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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Healing Hypotheses  

APPENDIX O

PRACTICAL PROCESS PHILOSOPHY

from

A GUIDE TO THE SELECTION AND CARE OF YOUR
PERSONAL GOD

by C. Alan Anderson

(Canton, MA: Squantum Press, 1991), pp. 46-49.

(l)   You, the universe, and God are new every moment.

(2) You can make a significant new departures at any time. You can be burdened by the past much less than you probably believe.

(3) There is no reason for you to regret "your" past. You were not there. You did not exist a second ago, and you will not exist a second from now. Someone very much like you did and will, but he or she should be recognized as an ancestor or a descendant, someone to be appreciated in some way, but not identified with.

(4) No effort ever is wasted. All occasions of experience, including you, become objectively immortal when they complete their split-second subjective careers, and they influence everything forever, in some degree.

(5)   Cooperation is essential. Unless something that you are committed to doing takes no more than a small fraction of a second, you are only a fleeting part of a relatively long cooperative program of many generations of [the abstraction that is considered] you. Needless to say, in many projects cooperation with other lines of development (other people and things) also is necessary.

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The entire universe is involved in any act.

(6)   You can't take it with you beyond your fraction of a second of awareness as a subject. However, nothing that you have ever is lost. It will be forever in God and in your successors, who in some degree will identify with you (however wisely or foolishly), most likely both before and after death. Make the most of the moment.

(7) You can afford to risk everything, to go for broke, in providing your greatest momentary satisfaction and the best background out of which your successors will arise. It is foolish to settle for less than the best: what God offers.

(8)   Love is ultimate, as the universal recycling process. God as love gives the perfect initial aim to each occasion of experience. God allows the occasion to choose freely and enjoy fully, and then he accepts appreciatively the product of the occasion's choosing, which is the completed occasion itself. He arranges it in the universal pattern, and passes it along to coming generations.

(9) Recognizing God as love (which is wise, giving, sharing, participating in the experience of others) provides a full understanding of God's operations. The invariable reliability of God may tempt us to think of God as law, but the notion of law is only an approximation of what goes on as divine personal action. Law is a name for perfect love at work, for the consistency, uniformity, and dependability of God's personality. God is not a cosmic vending machine, and even if he were, process thought holds that the person who inserts the coin actually would not be the same person who receives the product. To consider God as law undermines God's place as initiator and your place as responder. Your originality lies in the character of your response to God.

(10) God is fully personal. It is because God is

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perfectly personal that he is perfectly impartial, which probably is what most people mean when they say that God is impersonal. An impersonal God is a contradiction in terms, a monstrous impossibility, which, if it could be, would be the most ugly incongruity of existence. The personal ultimate, God, is indescribably loving, intelligent, and aware, so he provides an initial aim that is perfectly consistent with the occasion's background. This background includes the prayers, conscious or unconscious, of the occasion's "own" predecessors [in its own line of development] and of others. Moreover, by providing (and being present as) the initial aim, God lovingly gives tailor-made guidance, as no impersonal ultimate could do.

(11)   Unity with God, as well as our seeming separation from him, can be understood in terms of phases

of development of an occasion. At the beginning, as initial aim, clearly it is God; as it progresses in its choosing of its unique balance of the past and the possible (giving God a unique perspective on the whole) it is convenient to speak of it as if it were other than God, although it continues to be an individualization of God [one of God-the-many]. The fully developed mystic is one who is as consciously God at the completion of momentary creation as he or she was God at the beginning of creation a moment earlier.

(12)   Understanding God, we appreciate the power of gentleness and of the futility of force. God acts as loving persuasiveness by presenting possibilities of perfection to lure us into acceptance of what he offers.

(13) Accepting what God offers may require our persistence and commonsensical action as parts of a process extending over generations of occasions.

(14)   We can understand all kinds of treatment, ranging from taking an aspirin or undergoing surgery to affirmation or visualization, as ways of enriching the

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immediate pasts of occasions (usually people) being helped. Treatment does this by reducing the discrepancies between their negative pasts and the possibilities presented by God as initial aims, enabling the occasions (people) to opt for the initial aims more easily.

(15) Evil is the acceptance of lesser possibilities [influences of the past] than God's initial aims offer. Any creation is good to the extent that it converts potentiality to actuality. But backward-looking, lesser-than-perfect blends are of less value than are more positive selections, both to the occasion in question and to God in his forming of the most beautiful whole. From the standpoint of any one developing occasion there is little point to speak of evil at all. That occasion was not in the past and it will not know the future, so its sole concern should be making the best of the present, which in itself never can be evil. Evil always is about might-have-beens, about the way that we wish that things were.

(16)   All concrete, actual, reality is growing, evolving, in flux. The panentheistic personal God is never changing in loving, divine character, but is always expanding in experience. This is an awesome vision of an open future in which even natural laws (understood as habits of interaction) are subject to development and eventual practical dissolution (MT 155). Yet always there will be the changeless pattern by which occasions of experience arise by loving divine instigation, create and enjoy themselves by relatively free choice, and exist everlastingly as objects influencing all later occasions.

(17) To be is to be utterly dependent on God for existence and potentialities, free to find complete fulfillment in God, yet to hold an effective veto power over God through rejection of the possibilities that he presents to you.

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(18) Your everlasting place in the all-encompassing reality is as a contributor to God. What you contribute is your unique perspective. Your perspective is most valuable when it is "directed to the end of stretching individual interest beyond its self-defeating particularity" (PR 23). This self-defeating particularity is what you attempt to overcome in linking yourself with the way of God, which ever more fully is to become your own way (the way of you and your descendants known by your name and approximately your appearance over the next minutes and decades). Our petty, if horribly prominent, desires can be satisfied only by subordinating them to the desire for God himself.

Your understanding and power to accomplish in all this is enhanced greatly by acceptance of (a) mysticism's experience of unity with God, (b) personalism's awareness of the centrality of personality for all levels of existence, (c) process thought's comprehension of the nature of the creative advance, and (d) New Thought's use of constructive techniques for achieving wholeness in all aspects of daily living. The outcome--a powerful tool for living effectively and beautifully--is a mystically-inspired, personalistic Process New Thought.

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