The Modern History of New Thought

The Modern History of New Thought

A Brief Modern History of ‘New Thought’

Have you ever noticed how Americans love to add the word ‘New’ to it: New York, New England, New Hartford, New Orleans, New Thought, etc etc etc…?

Seriously, the ideas of ‘Original Goodness, we create what we focus on, and the Divine force is a force of love not hate’ did not emerge in 1850… and even more seriously, if the fundamental guiding principle is “We are all born in inherent goodness” what need is there for any separatist or sectarian leanings?

To really grok the history, we must look at the principles themselves, and track them to their origins… You can read that here: “Ancient Origins of new thought”… This page is about the modern history, what has been termed, “The American New Thought Movement”

Now, as journalist, if something is called “The New…” it makes perfect and certain sense to contrast it with “The Old”… So to understand the new thought, one would tend to look for the ‘old thought’, show the differences, and illuminate when and how the differences occured.

As you’ll see in this brief essay, that’s not so easy in this case…

The Principles themselves are ‘Hermetic’ in origin and can be tracked back to Egypt some 5,000 years ago with a high degree of certainty. So if they’re 5,000 years old, how exactly does one go about calling them “New”?

The masons, as they are called are well known for having a hand in just about everything everywhere. Equally well known for their ‘Secret Teachings’ which are The Hermetic Teachings.

At the core of the divine universal force of goodness, there is an implied ‘Equality’ as a birthright. Simple. The Masons are a very powerful worldwide organization, and have a hand in the construction of most major Capitals, Universities, Treasuries, Castles, and Cathedrals…

Monarchs and dictators, don’t like powerful groups spouting a doctrine of religious tolerance and equality…

In merry old England, the movement had the Monarchy quite upset, not to mention the Catholic Church who was none to found of such a powerful organization refuting the mertis of Original Sin and a Wrathful vengeful God…

So in compromise (for their own safety from 1300 - 1800 the Hermetic Teachings were veiled publicly under the term “High Thought”

Thoughts of a benevolent God, Equality, original Goodness, Freedom of Self, were all said to be ‘High Thoughts’ and needed to be kept away from the common folks… Mind you, for those who hold these High Thoughts are seldom a warlike bunch and historically have been pretty content to let things play out in slow ways, building the cities, the cultures, the economies, the schools while simultaneously letting the monarchs and churches do their things… (when you believe everyone is inherently good, why seek to overthrow them? …better off just building more schools they thought

But America was a Brave new world, and even it’s declaration of independence had this ‘High Thought’ Principle strewn throughout it:

“…equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle … created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Unalienable Rights… Endowed by the creator with the rights of equality and Happiness… Powerful words, powerful principles

The americans decided it was time to take ‘high Thought’ out of the hands of the high and give it to the masses.

The New Thought Movement, can by all rights be considered the child of Emma Curtis Hopkins… She served as its most vocal writer and acted as a hub for the early and rapid growth. Perhaps sadly, the Principles were taken out of the hands of the High Class, out of the secret societies and placed immediately into Secularization at the same time they were being popularized. You see, Emma Hopkins was the editor of the Christian Science Journal and believed that Christianity, including Christian Science needed to be reformed utterly to be based on “Original Goodness”, everything else would pretty much stay the same. High Thought was now “New Thought”… and in her world “Christianity was now Christian Science”

Forgive me my commentary, and I am sure it is an artifact of the era, but if the fundamental lesson is the inherent goodness of all, then what need is there for any form of Secular Ownership?>/p>

She was a powerful woman, who taught that in a benevolent world based on original goodness, the rights of women’s equality were of paramount importance and was instrumental in the obtaining of womens rights.

But in here efforts, she felt she needed to overthrow (not reform – Overthrow) Christianity, and would first need to overthrow Christian Science by splitting it into two organizations. It didn’t work.

But she took the name ‘Christian Science’ anyways and formed her own offshoot ‘New Thought Christianity’ organization. At the time, “Christian Science” so why not just create a new group with the same name? There was no tv or radio, who would know the difference? To this day, the history of both groups is mottled…

So, you take ancient hermetic teachings, tailor them to fit, add a sprinkle of Christianity and you’ve got? Room for 150 years of confusion is what you’re left with… Her students thought they could do better and founded “The Church of Divine Science” which held all the same principles, but also added dogmatic superiority boasting “The Bible is the one true source of God’s wisdom”… Hmmmm… Everyone is born into equality, but our equality is better then yours? …. sigh…

So now there’s three groups, all “THE ONE TRUE GROUP” all teaching the same basic principles, plus each adding a little something-something special to make them ‘The Best and only True New Thought Source’ (ie: God is everywhere, and all-present but we are the closest to God because…) I mean, can’t we get to at least line three of the Principles before the oxymoronic hypocrisies start getting involved? A fitting compliment to New England, and New York…

Ah, but I digress… and perhaps few share my sense of whimsy over such ‘profound’ things… But it is pretty funny isn’t it?

Then two more of Hopkins students, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore went on to form - The Unity Society of Practical Christianity, Unity Church and Unity School of Christianity and differs from the others in the belief that God is the ONLY force and incorporates the teachings of Jesus as it’s core prophet (but still uses ancient Egyptian Symbology for it’s standards…)

Then, as if that weren’t enough, not to be confused with Christian Sciences 1 and 2 we now have Ernest Holmes enter the scene and create Church of Religious Science! Which of course, once again has the same core principles only with this little bit added “…opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to human needs and the aspirations of man” and when you formally incorporate opinions into your doctrine, well…

…and we’re just getting started here, the list goes on for pages and pages… Same core principles, Plus one or two little extras to make them the ‘Best’… With so many Churches all saying what ‘New Thought’ is, someone had to clear it all up, enter the International New Thought Alliance – Hurrah! Now it will all be clear. Finally an Organization, Not a Church steps in as the central body! The new Thought Movement finally gets a Unified Face!

Not so fast. This is big money, big religion now, they needed to get all the Churches on one page, find a common ground… So they put out a “Declaration of Principles”…

Oh no! Not another Declaration of Principles! With a declaration of principles, same thing all over again… Now there was something to disagree with.… So viola! The ANTN Associated New Thought Network was born! with a new Declaration of Principles! Once again not a church, an association! Everyone can trust associations after all right?

Phew! Now all the confusion will surely be cleared up eh? With Two international organizations spouting similar yet different stuff the new Thought Movement was finally gaining the controversy all good religions need… Problem is, the Principles aren’t Religions!!! It’s what you add to them that makes them Sectarian! Then as if it all weren’t convoluted enough, in order to add to the confusion was (is you head spinning yet?) : The Affiliated New Thought Network is actually the business arm of the Church of Religious Science….

Yes, the purely objective non-partisan group was and is, just a For-Profit business arm of a Non-Profit Church…

Alas, it gets worse… DivineUnity, another New Thought religious organization wasn’t going to be out down by religious science and started their own Non-Religious group called “Global New Thought” to vie for the position as the world leader in the new thought movement…

That’s it! I had enough! Would someone please just tell me “What is New Thought?”

Enter “The Association for Global New Thought” … and their ‘Living Source Document’ which finally explains it all… and begins with : “The Association for Global New Thought, and the participants in Awakened World 2000, declare it to be so:”

Sounds pretty impressive to me, I mean, they are ‘declaring it to be so’ after all… That’s more authoritative then: Declaration of Principles isn’t it?

And to make it even better, at “The Association for Global New Thought” you don’t even need to take a vow to be a part of it! You just need a credit card! (literally, application for membership requires your credit card #)… So finally, someone just calls it like it is… You don’t need to agree with anything, you just need to pay…

So, the Americans in their ‘Supersize’ tradtions took anceint hermetic teachings added ketchup and produced: Christian Science, New Christian Science, Church of Unity, Church of Religious Science, Church of Divine Science, International New Thought Alliance, Affiliated New Thought Network, and last but certainly not least the Association for Global New Thought….just to name a few.

With that many people involved it should be pretty easy to answer the question “What is New Thought?”

But like the old saying goes, “Too many chefs spoil the soup”. With so many organizations defining the same thing, we are really left with only one recourse, as Vivekananda said, “the principle of Truth is Truth where ever it is found and who ever is sharing it.”

 Yes Please! I want my FREE copy of... "The New Thought Practicals" Mini-Course.
Here's where to send my access details:

Privacy Promise:

We will not share your email address with anyone…

Free Videos
Privacy PolicyTerms and Conditions Secure Shopping Disclaimer Contact Us

All Contents Copyright © 2007-2009 Meritica Life Enhancing Technologies LLC. All rights reserved.