What is New Thought?
When Did New Thought Start?
New Thought, also known as Higher Thought, is a movement that started in the USA during the 1830s. The teachings mostly focused on well-being, the mind, and the workings of the universe.
As we change our minds, we change our lives; this one of the main concepts revolving around the idea of New Thought. New Thought is rooted in universal science, a branch of metaphysics; it is considered to be a religion, philosophy, and way of life all rolled into one
New Thought teaches that we create our reality through our thoughts and beliefs. What we think about ourselves, others, and the world around us affects our life experiences. If you want to change your life, you need to change your thoughts.
One of the main goals in New Thought is to help people achieve their highest potential—this is done by teaching people how to use the power of their minds to create the life they want. New Thought also promotes positive thinking and the belief that were all connected to a higher power.
If you are interested in exploring New Thought, many resources are available. You can start by reading some of the classic books such as:
The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
Alternatively, you could explore online resources or find a local meetup group. Remember that the power to create your best life is within you.
The New Thought Movement and Law of Attraction
Although you may not be familiar with the New Thought movement, you have more than likely heard about the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction originated within the New Thought movement and is a significant aspect of universal science. The Law of Attraction is based on the belief that like attracts like—if you focus your thoughts on positive things, you will attract positive experiences. New Thought is built on the idea that our thoughts/feelings create reality, so it is important to focus on what you want to manifest the life you desire.
New Thought Beliefs
There is a version of God that exists in the New Thought movement, however, it may not be the God you are familiar with. Those who follow this practice view God as a spiritual force or intellect, not a complete entity. Although his nature remains mysterious, God is believed to exist inside every human being—this closely relates to the Pantheism concept of God. In Pantheism, people believe that God is the universe itself.
New Thought practitioners believe in the power of the mind. They believe humans can create reality through their thoughts/perceptions; this idea is a central tenet of the Law of Attraction.
International New Thought Alliance
The International New Thought Alliance (INTA) is an umbrella organisation that acts as a hub for the various branches of the New Thought movement. New Thought is a spiritual movement that arose in the 19th century and has roots in the United States and Europe. The movement began during the 1830s with Phineas Quimby. Phineas Quimby developed a form of mind-cure that was based on the power of positive thinking.
INTA was founded in 1893 by William Walter Atkinson, who was a prominent figure in the early days of the New Thought movement. The Alliance is a non-profit organisation that promotes the New Thought philosophy through education and research. INTA also hosts an annual conference, which brings together thinkers and leaders from all over the world. The INTA website provides resources and information on the New Thought movement, including a directory of New Thought organisations worldwide.
Phineas Quimby (February 16, 1802 – January 16, 1866)
Phineas Quimby was one of the founders of the New Thought movement. His inspiration for the movement arose after falling ill with tuberculosis; when no medicine could ease his suffering, Quimby used the power of his mind to cure himself. Quimby enrolled in activities like horse riding and positive thinking, which seemed to do the trick. It is still a mystery how he recovered, but from then on, he fully accepted the belief of mind over matter.
After his miraculous recovery, Phineas Quimby started to share his newfound knowledge with others who were also struggling with chronic illnesses. He developed a following who believed in his methods and began to see results for themselves. His treatment's success led Quimby to open a healing centre where he could help more people.
Despite the scepticism of many doctors/scientists, Quimby’s methods gained popularity, and he soon had celebrity clients like Mary Baker Eddy, who would go on to found the Christian Science religion. Christian Science is a set of beliefs that state that illness is nothing more than an illusion that can be remedied by prayer. Quimby’s work laid the foundations for the New Thought movement, which continues to help people achieve physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.
Emma Curtis Hopkins (September 2, 1849 – April 8, 1925)
Ema Curtis Hopkins was a spiritual author and a founder of the New Thought movement. Before joining/founding the movement, Hopkins was a student of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.
Although Quimby is regarded as the founder of the New Thought movement, it was not until after he died that Hopkins saw to its official creation. In 1887, Hopkins published an article in the Christian Science Journal that announced the formation of the New Thought movement.
Charles Fillmore (August 22, 1854 – August 5, 1948)
In 1886 Charles and his wife, Myrtle Fillmore, joined the New Thought movement. Similarly to Quimby, Myrtle was cured of tuberculosis, a miracle she attributed to classes she was taking within the New Thought movement. Charles, who broke his hip during an ice-skating accident as a child, also showed signs of recovery.
Charles and Myrtle Fillmore took what they had learned from the New Thought movement and created their own system of beliefs, which they called Unity which was also inspired by Transcendentalism.
Charles and Myrtle based their new religion on positive thinking, the power of prayer, and self-healing. The couple also believed that the Bible was a source of truth but interpreted it allegorically. The Myrtles saw Jesus as a spiritual example, but not as the only way to salvation.
The Unity Church grew slowly at first, but after Charles Fillmore’s death in 1948, it snowballed. Today, there are over 1,000 Unity churches and centres around the world.
While the Unity Church is similar to the New Thought movement in its beliefs, some important differences exist. For example, the Unity Church emphasises the practical applications of its teachings in individuals’ daily lives, whereas the New Thought movement is more theoretical. Additionally, the Unity Church teaches that God is both male and female, whereas the New Thought movement generally views God as male.
Malinda Elliott Cramer (February 12, 1844 – August 2, 1906)
Malinda Elliott Cramer, a former student of Emma Curtis Hopkins, founded the Church of Divine Science, a religious group within the New Thought movement. The group operates under the belief that God is a pure spirit, changeless, and eternal. God is present in everything that exists and transcends above and beyond the physical realm. Followers of this church believe that evil will only exist for as long as humans think it does. Cramer began practising faith-healing in 1888, and in 1892, formed the International Divine Science Association, which became a part of the International New Thought Alliance.
Prentice Mulford (April 5, 1834 – May 27, 1891)
Prentice Mulford played a significant role in developing the New Thought movement. He was the first person to formally conceptualise the Law of Attraction and talks about it in detail in his essay, The Law of Success. In his essay, Mulford explains that the Law of Attraction is based on the idea that like attracts like. Whatever thoughts and emotions we put into the world will be reflected back to us. We need to focus on positive thoughts and feelings to attract positive things into our lives.
The Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful laws in the universe as it governs all things. Everything that exists, from thoughts/feelings to physical objects, is governed by the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction dictates that whatever we focus on becomes our reality. If you focus on positive things, you will attract positive things into your life—the same is true for the negative.
The Law of Attraction is always working, whether we are aware of it or not. The Law of Attraction constantly interacts with our thought/emotions to create our reality. To use the Law of Attraction to its fullest potential, you need to understand how it works and how to use it to your advantage.
3 Ways to Start Using the Law of Attraction Today
1. Become Aware
To use the Law of Attraction effectively, you must recognise its power. Once you are aware of the law, you can start using it to manifest anything you desire into your life. All you need to do is focus your thoughts/feelings on what you want to attract.
2. Practice Visualisation
The practice of visualisation involves picturing what you want to attract into your life. You must be specific when you visualise, in fact, you should already see yourself in possession of what you desire. The more clear/specific your visualisation is, the better.
3. Take Action
Just because you have focused your thoughts and emotions on what you want, it does not mean it will automatically happen. You must take concrete steps towards your goals and put in the work.
By following these three steps, you can start using the Law of Attraction to manifest anything you desire.
The Purpose of the New Thought Movement
The main goal of the New Thought movement is to help people achieve physical/spiritual healing through the power of positive thinking. The movement also promotes the idea that humans can create their own reality.
The New Thought movement is alive and well, with millions of followers worldwide. Numerous New Thought churches, organisations, and publications promote the power of positive thinking and self-empowerment; additionally, many self-help and personal development programs are based on New Thought principles.
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