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Newton Dillaway

Newton Dillaway
Newton Dillaway sketch by Hope Dillaway

Make a Contract With the Universe To Be Used

Hi Friends —

In 1969 a Unity editor declared Newton Dillaway to be the foremost living authority on Emersonian thought. Anyone who reads Dillaway’s The Gospel of Emerson knows that is true. But those who read Dillaway’s book Consent will find a man who does much more than convey ideas.

Newton Dillaway and his wife Hope Dillaway embodied and lived the mystical life that Emerson wrote about but was too humble to explicitly share. They are, in my opinion, a great example, perhaps the best example, inside and outside of Unity, of what it means to be a Metaphysical Christian.

Dillaway’s message is that the key to living a mystical life, living with what Thoreau called “the license of a higher order of being,” begins with a consent to what Emerson called “the cause and constitution of the universe.” Once we “we make a contract with the universe to be used” we discover an inflow of a “mysterious energy” that may be directed with our conscious mind. But no such energy is available unless we consent. Consent is the key.

I wish Consent were not still under copyright. But you can "borrow" the book for an hour at The Internet Archive. Be sure to login and then click the button to "Borrow for 1 hour." Also, Consent was widely distributed and many copies are still available in libraries. What I do have are two resources that approach what Dillaway had to say in Consent:

I have some other things that I'll be working on uploading:

  • A PDF and full text of his book, The Gospel of Emerson.
  • Information about his work to promote world peace in 1969 and his vision for Unity.
  • A 1973 Obituary of Newton Dillaway.
  • January 1975 Unity magazine article about his book Consent. I hope one day to gain permission from the Dillaway family to upload the full text of Consent.

Newton Dillaway has always inspired me. Read the short piece about him shown further down. Give your “consent” to him for an hour or two by reading the pieces shown above. He was a wonderful man with an important message about living a mystical life.

Mark Hicks
Sunday, March 10, 2024

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Dillaway Biography by Richard Garnett, Unity Editor (1969)

Newton Dillaway is one of the great metaphysicians of our time. He has been widely acclaimed as the foremost living authority on Emersonian thought; many brilliant works have resulted from his years of study and research on this eminently worthy subject.

Perhaps the best known of these is The Gospel of Emerson, a masterully arranged collection which presents, in one small volume, much of the Sage of Concord’s most profound and illuminating discourse. A twelfth edition of this anthology has been published by Unity Books; the Library of Congress has published an edition in Braille. A long-time friend of the Emerson family has termed this remarkable little book “the finest work on Emerson that has ever been done.”

Although the influence of the Sage predominates throughout his writing, Dillaway has not limited himself exclusively to the subject of Emersonian philosophy; his many published works attest to a wide variety of accomplishments in literature and education. His book Consent, a classic in the field of practical metaphysics, has won an acclaim which is perhaps even greater than that accorded his studies of Emerson. In a truly enviable accolade, the New York Herald Trubune once pictured him as standing “in the line of apostolic succession. Mr. Dillaway,” the newspaper continued, “has developed working philosophy that delivers him from [all] pettiness and distraction.” - RG (Richard Garnett)