“There is a golden thread that runs through every religion in the world. There is a golden thread that runs through the lives of the prophets, seers, sages and saviours in the world’s history, through the lives of all men and women of truly great and lasting power.”
Ralph Waldo Trine
I sometimes like to reread and reflect on books that have resided on my bookshelves for many years. Ralph Waldo Trine‘s book In Tune with the Infinite was inspirational when I read it in 1987. Here was a philosophical and spiritual exposition in readable form that I could relate to and that seemed to make sense. The pages of my copy are now yellowed at the edges, but the text still makes absolute sense. Since its publication in 1899 sales of this book number in the millions, so clearly many agree with this assessment. Notably it was said to have been very influential on one Henry Ford, who created the Ford motor company.
Academically, Trine is now classified as part of the New Thought Movement, which Wikipedia characterises as holding that
- Infinite Intelligence, or God, is everywhere
- divinity dwells within each person, people are spiritual beings
- the highest spiritual principle is loving one another unconditionally
- thoughts are carried forward into manifestation and become our experience in daily living.
- sickness originates in the mind, and “right thinking” has a healing effect.
The magic of Trine’s short (208 pages) book is to bring this down to simple language that is easily comprehended, a true popularization of psychology, philosophy and spirituality. Along the way he explains important concepts such as
- the importance of optimism,
- the effect of mental attitude and faith in focusing thought into fruition,
- the effect of fear as the enemy of life forces,
- the effect of thought on healing,
- the importance of love,
- the finding of one’s own inner spiritual centre,
- ignorance and selfishness being at the root of all error,
- the corrosive effect of negative thoughts,
- living by example,
- the importance of the inner guide – conscience, intuition, wisdom,
- it is the truth that makes us free,
- the refreshing power of sleep,
- living according to inner soul direction – not to suit others,
- as we sow, so shall we reap,
- being a friend to the highest within us.
The basic philosophy and psychological/spiritual guidance in this book are, I think, just as valid today as the day they were written.
Trine’s book continues to give and give to each new generation of readers.
In the 80s I also read Prentice Mulford’s book Thought Forces, which was on similar lines, shorter but less readable.