New Thought

The New Thought movement (also Higher Thought[1]) is a movement which developed in the United States in the 19th century, considered by many to have been derived from the unpublished writings of Phineas Quimby. There are numerous smaller groups, most of which are incorporated in the International New Thought Alliance.[2][3] The contemporary New Thought movement is a loosely allied group of religious denominations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of beliefs concerning metaphysics, positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization, and personal power.[4]

New Thought holds that Infinite Intelligence, or God, is everywhere, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and "right thinking" has a healing effect.[5][6] Although New Thought is neither monolithic nor doctrinaire, in general, modern-day adherents of New Thought share some core beliefs:

  1. God or Infinite Intelligence is "supreme, universal, and everlasting";
  2. divinity dwells within each person, that all people are spiritual beings;
  3. "the highest spiritual principle [is] loving one another unconditionally... and teaching and healing one another"; and
  4. "our mental states are carried forward into manifestation and become our experience in daily living".[5][6]

William James used the term “New Thought” as synonymous with the “Mind cure movement,” in which he included many sects with diverse origins, such as idealism and Hinduism. The teachings of Christian Science are in some ways similar to Quimby's teachings. Its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, was a student and patient of Quimby's but she later disavowed his influence on her Christian Science.

Overview

William James, in The Varieties of Religious Experience, described New Thought as follows:

...for the sake of having a brief designation, I will give the title of the "Mind-cure movement." There are various sects of this "New Thought," to use another of the names by which it calls itself; but their agreements are so profound that their differences may be neglected for my present purpose, and I will treat the movement, without apology, as if it were a simple thing.

It is an optimistic scheme of life, with both a speculative and a practical side. In its gradual development during the last quarter of a century, it has taken up into itself a number of contributory elements, and it must now be reckoned with as a genuine religious power. It has reached the stage, for example, when the demand for its literature is great enough for insincere stuff, mechanically produced for the market, to be to a certain extent supplied by publishers – a phenomenon never observed, I imagine, until a religion has got well past its earliest insecure beginnings.

One of the doctrinal sources of Mind-cure is the four Gospels; another is Emersonianism or New England transcendentalism; another is Berkeleyan idealism; another is spiritism, with its messages of "law" and "progress" and "development"; another the optimistic popular science evolutionism of which I have recently spoken; and, finally, Hinduism has contributed a strain. But the most characteristic feature of the mind-cure movement is an inspiration much more direct. The leaders in this faith have had an intuitive belief in the all-saving power of healthy-minded attitudes as such, in the conquering efficacy of courage, hope, and trust, and a correlative contempt for doubt, fear, worry, and all nervously precautionary states of mind. Their belief has in a general way been corroborated by the practical experience of their disciples; and this experience forms to-day a mass imposing in amount.[7]

History

Origins

The New Thought movement was based on the teachings of Phineas Quimby (1802–1866), an American mesmerist and healer. Quimby had developed a belief system which included the tenet that illness originated in the mind as a consequence of erroneous beliefs and that a mind open to God's wisdom could overcome any illness.[8] His basic premise was:

The trouble is in the mind, for the body is only the house for the mind to dwell in [...] Therefore, if your mind had been deceived by some invisible enemy into a belief, you have put it into the form of a disease, with or without your knowledge. By my theory or truth, I come in contact with your enemy, and restore you to health and happiness. This I do partly mentally, and partly by talking till I correct the wrong impression and establish the Truth, and the Truth is the cure.[9][10]

During the late 19th century, the metaphysical healing practices of Quimby mingled with the "Mental Science" of Warren Felt Evans, a Swedenborgian minister. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, has sometimes been cited as having used Quimby as inspiration for theology. Eddy was a patient of Quimby’s and shared his view that disease is rooted in a mental cause. Because of its theism, Christian Science differs from the teachings of Quimby.[11]

In the late 19th century, New Thought was propelled by a number of spiritual thinkers and philosophers and emerged through a variety of religious denominations and churches, particularly the Unity Church and Church of Divine Science (established in 1889 and 1888, respectively), followed by Religious Science (established in 1927).[12] Many of its early teachers and students were women; notable among the founders of the movement were Emma Curtis Hopkins, known as the "teacher of teachers", Myrtle Fillmore, Malinda Cramer, and Nona L. Brooks;[12] with many of its churches and community centers led by women, from the 1880s to today.[13][14]

Growth

New Thought is also largely a movement of the printed word.[15]

Prentice Mulford, through writing Your Forces and How to Use Them,[16] a series of essays published during 1886–1892, was pivotal in the development of New Thought thinking, including the Law of Attraction.

In 1906, William Walker Atkinson (1862–1932) wrote and published Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World.[17] Atkinson was the editor of New Thought magazine and the author of more than 100 books on an assortment of religious, spiritual, and occult topics.[18] The following year, Elizabeth Towne, the editor of The Nautilus, published Bruce MacLelland's book Prosperity Through Thought Force, in which he summarized the "Law of Attraction" as a New Thought principle, stating "You are what you think, not what you think you are."[19]

These magazines were used to reach a large audience then, as others are now. Nautilus magazine, for example, had 45,000 subscribers and a total circulation of 150,000.[15] One Unity Church magazine, Wee Wisdom, was the longest-lived children's magazine in the United States, published from 1893 until 1991.[20] Today, New Thought magazines include Daily Word published by Unity and the Religious Science magazine, Science of Mind, published by the Centers for Spiritual Living.

Major gatherings

The 1915 International New Thought Alliance (INTA) conference – held in conjunction with the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a world's fair that took place in San Francisco – featured New Thought speakers from far and wide. The PPIE organizers were so favorably impressed by the INTA convention that they declared a special "New Thought Day" at the fair and struck a commemorative bronze medal for the occasion, which was presented to the INTA delegates, led by Annie Rix Militz.[21] By 1916, the International New Thought Alliance had encompassed many smaller groups around the world, adopting a creed known as the "Declaration of Principles".[12] The Alliance is held together by one central teaching: that people, through the constructive use of their minds, can attain freedom, power, health, prosperity, and all good, molding their bodies as well as the circumstances of their lives. The declaration was revised in 1957, with all references to Christianity removed, and a new statement based on the "inseparable oneness of God and Man".[12]

Beliefs

The chief tenets of New Thought are:[22]

  • Infinite Intelligence or God is omnipotent and omnipresent.
  • Spirit is the ultimate reality.
  • True human self-hood is divine.
  • Divinely attuned thought is a positive force for good.
  • All disease is mental in origin.
  • Right thinking has a healing effect.

Evolution of thought

Adherents also generally believe that as humankind gains greater understanding of the world, New Thought itself will evolve to assimilate new knowledge. Alan Anderson and Deb Whitehouse have described New Thought as a "process" in which each individual and even the New Thought Movement itself is "new every moment". Thomas McFaul has claimed "continuous revelation", with new insights being received by individuals continuously over time. Jean Houston has spoken of the "possible human", or what we are capable of becoming.[23]

Theological inclusionism

The Home of Truth has, from its inception as the Pacific Coast Metaphysical Bureau in the 1880s, under the leadership of Annie Rix Militz, disseminated the teachings of the Hindu teacher Swami Vivekananda.[24] It is one of the more outspokenly interfaith of New Thought organizations, stating adherence to "the principle that Truth is Truth where ever it is found and who ever is sharing it".[25] Joel S. Goldsmith's The Infinite Way incorporates teaching from Christian Science, as well.

Therapeutic ideas

Divine Science, Unity Church, and Religious Science are organizations that developed from the New Thought movement. Each teaches that Infinite Intelligence, or God, is the sole reality. New Thought adherents believe that sickness is the result of the failure to realize this truth. In this line of thinking, healing is accomplished by the affirmation of oneness with the Infinite Intelligence or God.

John Bovee Dods (1795–1862), an early practitioner of New Thought, wrote several books on the idea that disease originates in the electrical impulses of the nervous system and is therefore curable by a change of belief. Later New Thought teachers, such as the early-20th-century author, editor, and publisher William Walker Atkinson, accepted this premise. He connected his idea of mental states of being with his understanding of the new scientific discoveries in electromagnetism and neural processes.[26]

While the beliefs that are held by practitioners of the New Thought movement are similar to many mainstream religious doctrines, there have been concerns raised among scholars and scientists about some of the views surrounding health and wellness that are perpetuated by the New Thought movement. Most pressing is the New Thought movement’s rejection of empirically supported scientific theories of the causes of diseases. In scientific medicine, diseases can have a wide range of physical causes, from abnormalities in genes and in cell growth that cause cancer, to viruses, bacteria, and fungi that cause infections, to environmental toxins that can damage entire organ systems, human physical diseases are caused by physical issues.[27][28][29] While it has been empirically supported that the psychological and social health of a person can influence their susceptibility to disease (e.g., stress can suppress immune function which increases risk of infection),[30] mental states are not the cause of human disease, as is claimed by the New Thought movement.

Equally concerning is the New Thought movement’s emphasis on using faith and mental states as treatments for all human disease. While it has been supported that the use of relaxation therapy and other forms of alternative health practices are beneficial in improving the overall well-being of patients suffering from a wide variety of mental and physical health conditions (e.g., cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder), these practices are not effective in treating human disease alone, and should be undertaken in conjunction with modern medical therapies that have empirical support.[31] This rejection of scientifically supported theories of disease and disease treatment is worsened by the New Thought movement’s assertion that mental states, attitudes, and faith in New Thought are the sole determinants of health.

The New Thought movement has received criticism akin to that levied against the holistic health movement that in claiming that sickness is caused by a person’s attitudes, mental states, and faith, it is easy to place blame on patients for not adopting a correct attitude, thought processes, and/or lifestyle.[32] Blame can have powerful psychological effects – with stress and isolation seen in victim blaming being the largest issues that arise and the most concerning in terms of effect on patients’ health.[33] Further, holding beliefs that health and disease is controlled by faith in a higher power can create an external locus of control (i.e., believers may feel as though they themselves cannot prevent disease, and that any illness or disorder that they encounter is an act of the higher power’s will). This external locus of control can create learned helplessness in believers which has been shown to exacerbate mental and physical health conditions via several mechanisms – including reduced incidence of help-seeking behaviour.[34] Overall, the New Thought movement's position on the etiology and treatment of disease is not empirically supported.

Movement

New Thought publishing and educational activities reach approximately 2.5 million people annually.[35] The largest New Thought-oriented denomination is the Japanese Seicho-no-Ie.[36] Other belief systems within the New Thought movement include Jewish Science, Religious Science, Centers for Spiritual Living and Unity. Past denominations have included Psychiana and Father Divine.

Religious Science operates under three main organizations: the Centers for Spiritual Living; the Affiliated New Thought Network; and Global Religious Science Ministries. Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science, stated that Religious Science is not based on any "authority" of established beliefs, but rather on "what it can accomplish" for the people who practice it.[37] The Science of Mind, authored by Ernest Holmes, while based on a philosophy of being "open at the top", focuses extensively on the teachings of Jesus Christ.[38] The American Christian Church International and its theological school, the Arnulf Seminary of Theology, are also deeply influenced by the ideology of the New Thought movement.[39]

Unity, founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, identifies itself as "Christian New Thought", focused on "Christian idealism", with the Bible as one of its main texts, although not interpreted literally. The other core text is Lessons in Truth by H. Emilie Cady. The Universal Foundation for Better Living, or UFBL, was founded in 1974 by Johnnie Colemon in Chicago, Illinois after breaking away from the Unity Church for "blatant racism".[40]

See also

References

  1. ^ Dresser, Horatio Willis (1919), A History of the New Thought Movement, TY Crowell Co, p. 154, In England the term Higher Thought was preferred at first, and this name was chosen for the Higher Thought Centre, the first organization of its kind in England. This name did not however represent a change in point of view, and the movement in England has been similar to the therapeutic movement elsewhere.
  2. ^ Melton, J. Gordon, Jerome Clark & Aidan A. Kelly. New Age Almanac; New York: Visible Ink Press (1991); pg. 343. "The International New Thought Alliance, a loose association of New Thought institutions and individuals (approximately 350 institutional members), exists as a voluntary membership organization [to advance New Thought ideals]."
  3. ^ Conkin, Paul K. American Originals: Homemade Varieties of Christianity, The University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, NC (1997); pg. 269. "An International New Thought Alliance still exists, with offices in Arizona, a periodical, and around 200 affiliated societies, some of which still use the label 'church'".
  4. ^ Lewis, James R; Peterson, Jesper Aagaard (2004), Controversial New Religions, p. 226.
  5. ^ a b Declaration of Principles, International New Thought Alliance, retrieved 2008–09 Check date values in: |accessdate= (help).
  6. ^ a b "Statement of beliefs", New Thought info, retrieved 2008–09 Check date values in: |accessdate= (help).
  7. ^ James, William (1929), The Varieties of Religious Experience, New York: U Virginia, pp. 92–93.
  8. ^ "Phineas Parkhurt Quimby". MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. Retrieved Nov 16, 2007.
  9. ^ Phineas, Quimby (2008). "Christ or Science". The Quimby Manuscripts. Forgotten Books. p. 183. ISBN 1-60506-915-9. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
  10. ^ "The Quimby Manuscripts". New Thought Library. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  11. ^ ‘Quimby’s son and defender said categorically, “The religion which [Mrs. Eddy] teaches certainly is hers, for which I cannot be too thankful; for I should be loath to go down to my grave feeling that my father was in any way connected with ‘Christian Science.’...In [Quimby’s method of] curing the sick, religion played no part. There were no prayers, there was no asking assistance from God or any other divinity. He cured by his wisdom.” (Dresser, Horatio W., ed. The Quimby Manuscripts. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company Publishers, 1921. - p436). "Christian Science is a religious teaching and only incidentally a healing method. Quimbyism was a healing method and only incidentally a religious teaching. If one examines the religious implications or aspects of Quimby’s thought, it is clear that in these terms it has nothing whatever in common with Christian Science.” (Gottschalk, Stephen. The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973 - p130). A good composite of both Quimby, and the incompatibility of his ideas and practice with those of Eddy, can be found in these sources: Taves, Ann, Fits, Trances, & Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James. Princeton University Press 1999 (pp 212-218); Peel, Robert. Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery. Boston: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966 (chapter, “Portland 1862”); Gill, Gillian. Mary Baker Eddy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Books, 1998 (pp 131-146 & 230-233).
  12. ^ a b c d Lewis, James R.; J. Gordon Melton (1992). Perspectives on the New Age. SUNY Press. pp. 16–18. ISBN 0-7914-1213-X.
  13. ^ Harley, Gail M.; Danny L. Jorgensen (2002). Emma Curtis Hopkins: Forgotten Founder of New Thought. Syracuse University Press. p. 79. ISBN 0-8156-2933-8.
  14. ^ Bednarowski, Mary Farrell (1999). The Religious Imagination of American Women. Indiana University Press. p. 81. ISBN 0-253-21338-X.
  15. ^ a b Moskowitz, Eva S. (2001) In Therapy We Trust, The Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 978-0-8018-6403-2, p. 19.
  16. ^ "Your Forces and How to Use Them, Vol. 1".
  17. ^ William Walker Atkinson. Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction. Advanced Thought Publishing. 1906. Full text public domain version online.
  18. ^ "William Walter Atkinson", WorldCat. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  19. ^ MacLelland, Bruce, Prosperity Through Thought Force, Elizabeth Towne, 1907
  20. ^ Miller, Timothy (1995) America's Alternative Religions, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-2397-4, p. 327.
  21. ^ Dresser, Horatio, History of the New Thought Movement, 1919
  22. ^ "New Thought". MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. Retrieved Nov 16, 2007.
  23. ^ Houston, Jean. The Possible Human. 1997.
  24. ^ The Home of Truth, Our History
  25. ^ Home of Truth home page. Retrieved on 2007-09-20 from http://thehomeoftruth.org/.
  26. ^ Dumont, Theron, Q. [pseudonym of William Walker Atkinson. Mental Therapeutics, or Just How to Heal Oneself and Others. Advanced Thought Publishing Co. Chicago. 1916.
  27. ^ Cohen, M. (2007). Environmental toxins and health: The health impact of pesticides. Australian Family Physician, 36(12), 1002-4.
  28. ^ Playfair, J., MyiLibrary, & ProQuest. (2007). Living with germs in health and disease. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.
  29. ^ Tsiftsoglou, A., NATO Scientific Affairs Organization. Scientific Affairs Division, & NATO Science Institute "Regulation of Cell Growth, Differentiation, Genetics in Cancer". (1996). Tumor biology : Regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and genetics in cancer (NATO ASI series. Series H, Cell biology ; v. 99). Berlin ; New York: Springer.
  30. ^ Friedman, H., Klein, T., & Friedman, Andrea L. (1996). Psychoneuroimmunology, stress, and infection. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
  31. ^ Taylor, S., Thordarson, D., Maxfield, L., & Fedoroff, I. (2003). Comparative efficacy, speed, and adverse effects of three PTSD treatments: Exposure therapy, EMDR, and relaxation training. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(2), 330-338.
  32. ^ Gilovich, T. (1993). How we know what isn't so : The fallibility of human reason in everyday life (1st Free Press paperback ed.). New York: Free Press.
  33. ^ Hortulanus, R., Machielse, A., & Meeuwesen, L. (2006). Social isolation in modern society (Routledge advances in sociology ; 19). London ; New York: Routledge.
  34. ^ Henninger, D., Whitson, H., Cohen, H., & Ariely, D. (2012). Higher Medical Morbidity Burden Is Associated with External Locus of Control. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(4), 751-755.
  35. ^ Goldberg, P. (2010) American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. Random House Digital, Inc. p 62.
  36. ^ "Masaharu Taniguchi." Religious Leaders of America, 2nd ed. Gale Group, 1999. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008.
  37. ^ Vahle, Neal (1993). Open at the top: The life of Ernest Holmes, Open View Press, 190 pages, p7.
  38. ^ Holmes, Ernest (1926) The Science of Mind ISBN 0-87477-865-4, pp. 327–346 "What the Mystics Have Taught".
  39. ^ Seminary Website
  40. ^ DuPree, S.S. (1996) African-American Holiness Pentecostal movement: an annotated bibliography. Taylor & Francis. p 380.

Bibliography

  • Albanese, Catherine (2007), A Republic of Mind and Spirit, Yale University Press.
  • Anderson, Alan and Deb Whitehouse. New Thought: A Practical American Spirituality. 2003.
  • Braden, Charles S. Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought, Southern Methodist University Press, 1963.
  • Judah, J. Stillson. The History and Philosophy of the Metaphysical Movements in America. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press. 1967. Review by Neil Duddy.
  • McFaul, Thomas R (September–October 2006), "Religion in the Future Global Civilization", The Futurist.
  • Mosley, Glenn R (2006), The History and Future New Thought: Ancient Wisdom of the New Thought Movement, Templeton Foundation Press, ISBN 1-59947-089-6
  • White, Ronald M (1980), "Abstract", New Thought Influences on Father Divine (Masters Thesis), Oxford, OH: Miami University.
  • Albanese, Catherine (2016), The Spiritual Journals of Warren Felt Evans: From Methodism to Mind Cure, Indiana University Press.

External links

Charles Fillmore (Unity Church)

Charles Sherlock Fillmore (August 22, 1854 – July 5, 1948) founded Unity, a church within the New Thought movement, with his wife, Myrtle Page Fillmore, in 1889. He became known as an American mystic for his contributions to spiritualist interpretations of biblical Scripture.

Christian Science

Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical family of new religious movements. It was developed in 19th-century New England by Mary Baker Eddy, who argued in her 1875 book Science and Health that sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone. The book became Christian Science's central text, along with the Bible, and by 2001 had sold over nine million copies.Eddy and 26 followers were granted a charter in 1879 to found the Church of Christ, Scientist, and in 1894 the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, was built in Boston, Massachusetts. Christian Science became the fastest growing religion in the United States, with nearly 270,000 members by 1936, a figure that had declined by 1990 to just over 100,000. The church is known for its newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor, which won seven Pulitzer Prizes between 1950 and 2002, and for its public Reading Rooms around the world.Eddy described Christian Science as a return to "primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing". There are key differences between Christian Science theology and that of other branches of Christianity. In particular, adherents subscribe to a radical form of philosophical idealism, believing that reality is purely spiritual and the material world an illusion. This includes the view that disease is a mental error rather than physical disorder, and that the sick should be treated not by medicine, but by a form of prayer that seeks to correct the beliefs responsible for the illusion of ill health.The church does not require that Christian Scientists avoid all medical care—adherents use dentists, optometrists, obstetricians, physicians for broken bones, and vaccination when required by law—but maintains that Christian-Science prayer is most effective when not combined with medicine. Between the 1880s and 1990s, the avoidance of medical treatment led to the deaths of several adherents and their children. Parents and others were prosecuted for, and in a few cases convicted of, manslaughter or neglect.

Church of Divine Science

The Church of Divine Science is a religious movement within the wider New Thought movement. The group was formalized in San Francisco in the 1880s under Malinda Cramer. "In March 1888 Cramer and her husband Frank chartered the 'Home College of Spiritual Science'. Two months later Cramer changed the name of her school to the 'Home College of Divine Science'." during the dramatic growth of the New Thought Movement in the United States.

The church's official founders were Malinda Cramer and Nona L. Brooks, with Fannie Brooks James, Alethea Brooks Small and Kate Bingham also playing decisive roles. Both Phineas Quimby and Emma Curtis Hopkins, noted New Thought leader of the day, were direct influences. Nona Brooks was introduced to Hopkins's teachings through a student of Hopkins in Pueblo, Colorado. This student was most likely Kate Bingham, who lived in Pueblo and was the second wife of Frank Bingham, a noted rancher. Kate Bingham had been exposed to the tenets of Christian Science on a trip she had made to Chicago in the 1870s. A doctor in Pueblo had told a pregnant Kate that if she gave birth, she would die.Kate then went East to have her pregnancy terminated, there being no doctors in Colorado who could perform the operation at that time. While on the train to Chicago, Kate met a Christian Scientist who told her she would be able to give birth if she properly prepared her mind and spirit. In the end, Kate had the child at the home of her Christian Scientist friend (and was later to have three more children in Pueblo). When Kate returned home from her trip, she spoke about Christian Science to some of her friends, including Nona Brooks, and the women began to have weekly meetings at 318 West 9th Street in Pueblo, the winter home of the family which owned the Hopkins-Bingham ranch. The women consciously set about to adapt Christian Science philosophy to what they felt was a more pragmatic application of the Divine Spirit. For instance, Divine Science, instead of solely relying on prayer and positive thinking, permitted the consultation of medical professionals.

After the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the death of Malinda Cramer, the headquarters moved back to Colorado, establishing its headquarters in Denver, later to move the base of its operations to Pueblo.

Emma Curtis Hopkins

Emma Curtis Hopkins (September 2, 1849 – April 8, 1925 age 31) was an American spiritual author and leader. She was involved in organizing the New Thought movement and was a primary theologian, teacher, writer, feminist, mystic, and prophet who ordained hundreds of people, including women, at what she named (with no tie to Christian Science) the Christian Science Theological Seminary of Chicago. Emma Curtis Hopkins was called the "teacher of teachers" because a number of her students went on to found their own churches or to become prominent in the New Thought Movement.

Esther Hicks

Esther Hicks (née Weaver, born March 5, 1948) is an American inspirational speaker and author. She has co-written nine books with her husband Jerry Hicks, presented numerous workshops on the law of attraction with Abraham Hicks Publications and appeared in the original version of the 2006 film The Secret. The Hicks' books, including the series The Law of Attraction, are — according to Esther Hicks — "translated from a group of non-physical entities called Abraham." Hicks describes what she is doing as tapping into "infinite intelligence".

History of New Thought

The history of New Thought started in the 1830s, with roots in the United States and England. As a spiritual movement with roots in metaphysical beliefs, New Thought has helped guide a variety of social changes throughout the 19th, 20th, and into the 21st centuries. Psychologist and philosopher William James labelled New Thought "the religion of healthy-mindedness" in his study on religion and science, The Varieties of Religious Experience.

Holism

Holism (from Greek ὅλος holos "all, whole, entire") is the idea that systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic) and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not just as a collection of parts.The term holism was coined by Jan Smuts. Alfred Adler considered holism as a concept that represents all of the wholes in the universe, and these wholes are the real factors in the universe. Further, that Holism also denoted a theory of the universe in the same vein as Materialism and Spiritualism.

Iyanla Vanzant

Iyanla Vanzant (born Rhonda Eva Harris; September 13, 1953) is an American inspirational speaker, lawyer, New Thought spiritual teacher, author, life coach and television personality. She is known primarily for her books, her eponymous talk show, and her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She can currently be seen on television as the host of Iyanla: Fix My Life, on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Law of attraction

Law of attraction may refer to:

Electrostatics, dealing with the attraction and repulsion of electric charges

Law of attraction (New Thought), a philosophical concept in New Thought

Laws of Attraction, a 2004 film

Laws of Attraction (TV series), a television series

Law of attraction (New Thought)

In the New Thought philosophy, the Law of Attraction is the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person's life. The belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from pure energy, and that through the process of like energy attracting like energy a person can improve their own health, wealth, and personal relationships.

The Law of Attraction is among the most popular of the Universal Laws. Advocates of this mind-power paradigm generally combine cognitive reframing techniques with affirmations and creative visualization to replace limiting or self-destructive ("negative") thoughts with more empowered, adaptive ("positive") thoughts. A key component of the philosophy is that in order to effectively change one's negative thinking patterns, one must also "feel" (through creative visualization) that the desired changes have already occurred. This combination of positive thought and positive emotion is believed to allow one to attract positive experiences and opportunities by achieving resonance with the proposed energetic law.The Law of Attraction has no scientific basis and has been dubbed a pseudoscience. A number of researchers have criticized the misuse of scientific concepts by its proponents.

Louise Hay

Louise Lynn Hay (October 8, 1926 – August 30, 2017) was an American motivational author and the founder of Hay House. She authored several New Thought self-help books, including the 1984 book, You Can Heal Your Life.

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Deborah Williamson (born July 8, 1952) is an American author, lecturer, and activist. She has written 13 books, including four New York Times number one bestsellers. She is the founder of Project Angel Food, a volunteer food delivery program that serves home-bound people with AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. She is also the co-founder of The Peace Alliance, a nonprofit grassroots education and advocacy organization supporting peace-building projects.In 2014, as an Independent, Williamson ran unsuccessfully for the seat of California's 33rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives elections in California. On January 29, 2019, she announced her campaign to seek the Democratic nomination for the 2020 United States presidential election.

New-age music

New-age music is a genre of music intended to create artistic inspiration, relaxation, and optimism. It is used by listeners for yoga, massage, meditation, reading as a method of stress management to bring about a state of ecstasy rather than trance, or to create a peaceful atmosphere in their home or other environments, and is associated with environmentalism and New Age spirituality.New-age music includes both acoustic forms, featuring instruments such as flutes, piano, acoustic guitar and a wide variety of non-Western acoustic instruments, and electronic forms, frequently relying on sustained synth pads or long sequencer-based runs. Vocal arrangements were initially rare in the genre, but as it has evolved vocals have become more common, especially those featuring Native American-, Sanskrit-, or Tibetan-influenced chants, or lyrics based on mythology such as Celtic legends.There is no exact definition of new-age music. An article in Billboard magazine in 1987 commented that "New Age music may be the most startling successful non-defined music ever to hit the public consciousness". Many consider it to be an umbrella term for marketing rather than a musical category, and to be part of a complex cultural trend.New-age music was influenced by a wide range of artists from a variety of genres. Tony Scott's Music for Zen Meditation (1964) is considered to be the first new-age recording. Paul Horn (beginning with 1968's Inside) was one of the important predecessors. Irv Teibel's Environments series (1969–79) featured natural soundscapes, tintinnabulation, and "Om" chants and were some of the first publicly available psychoacoustic recordings. Steven Halpern's 1975 Spectrum Suite was a key work that began the new-age music movement.

Phineas Quimby

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (February 16, 1802 – January 16, 1866) was an American spiritual teacher, magnetizer, mesmerist, and inventor. His work is widely recognized as leading to the New Thought movement.

Prosperity theology

Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, the gospel of success, or seed faith) is a religious belief among some Protestant Christians, who hold that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one's material wealth. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity.The doctrine emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God's will for his people to be blessed. It is based on interpretations of the Bible that are mainstream in Judaism (with respect to the Hebrew Bible), though less so in Christianity. The atonement (reconciliation with God) is interpreted to include the alleviation of sickness and poverty, which are viewed as curses to be broken by faith. This is believed to be achieved through donations of money, visualization, and positive confession.

It was during the Healing Revivals of the 1950s that prosperity theology first came to prominence in the United States, although commentators have linked the origins of its theology to the New Thought movement which began in the 19th century. The prosperity teaching later figured prominently in the Word of Faith movement and 1980s televangelism. In the 1990s and 2000s, it was adopted by influential leaders in the Pentecostal Movement and Charismatic Movement in the United States and has spread throughout the world. Prominent leaders in the development of prosperity theology include E. W. Kenyon, Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, Robert Tilton, T. L. Osborn, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, Kenneth Copeland, Reverend Ike, and Kenneth Hagin.

Prosperity theology has been criticized by leaders from various Christian denominations, including within the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, who maintain that it is irresponsible, promotes idolatry, and is contrary to scripture. Secular as well as some Christian observers have also criticized prosperity theology as exploitative of the poor. The practices of some preachers have attracted scandal and some have been charged with financial fraud.

Religious Science

Science of Mind was established in 1927 by Ernest Holmes (1887–1960) and is a spiritual, philosophical and metaphysical religious movement within the New Thought movement. In general, the term "Science of Mind" applies to the teachings, while the term "Religious Science" applies to the organizations. However, adherents often use the terms interchangeably.

In his book, The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes stated "Religious Science is a correlation of laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to human needs and the aspirations of man." He also stated that Religious Science/Science of Mind (RS/SOM) is not based on any "authority" of established beliefs, but rather on "what it can accomplish" for the people who practice it. Today the International Centers for Spiritual Living, the United Centers for Spiritual Living (which combined into the Centers for Spiritual Living in 2011) and Global Religious Science Ministries are the main denominations promoting Religious Science.

The Secret (2006 film)

The Secret is a 2006 film consisting of a series of interviews designed to demonstrate the New Thought claim that everything one wants or needs can be satisfied by believing in an outcome, repeatedly thinking about it, and maintaining positive emotional states to "attract" the desired outcome.

The film and the subsequent publication of the book of the same name attracted interest from media figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Larry King. It has also received a great deal of controversy and criticism for its claims, and has been parodied in TV shows.

Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. It arose as a reaction, to protest against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality at the time. The doctrine of the Unitarian church as taught at Harvard Divinity School was of particular interest.

Transcendentalism emerged from "English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Johann Gottfried Herder and Friedrich Schleiermacher, the skepticism of David Hume", and the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant and German Idealism. Miller and Versluis regard Emanuel Swedenborg as a pervasive influence on transcendentalism. It was also strongly influenced by Hindu texts on philosophy of the mind and spirituality, especially the Upanishads.

A core belief of transcendentalism is in the inherent goodness of people and nature. Adherents believe that society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, and they have faith that people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent.

Transcendentalism emphasizes subjective intuition over objective empiricism. Adherents believe that individuals are capable of generating completely original insights with little attention and deference to past masters.

Unity Church

Unity, known informally as Unity Church, is a New Thought Christian organization that publishes the Daily Word devotional publication. It describes itself as a "positive, practical Christianity" which "teach[es] the effective daily application of the principles of Truth taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ" and promotes "a way of life that leads to health, prosperity, happiness, and peace of mind."

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