“William James considered New Thought to be the one truly original contribution made by Americans to spiritual philosophy. New Thought is truly a do-it-yourself path, built by many uneducated, simple people who pioneered on the frontiers of the American soul. Hypnosis marks its origins to Anton Mesmer’s work in France back in the mid-1700’s. Benjamin Franklin went to France to investigate mesmerism. By the turn of the 19th century this ‘new’ healing phenomenon had sparked many enthusiasts within the United States.
New Thought typically marks its beginnings to Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, born in Lebanon New Hampshire in 1802. In his 30’s he was introduced to mesmerism by a traveling show. He practiced magnetic healing, but then innovated the approach that the healing was direct, mind to mind. Later, he concluded that it is ‘truth’ that is the real cure. He believed he had rediscovered the healing power of Jesus.
“Among Quimby’s patients was Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science, and Emma Curtis Hopkins, who as ‘teacher of teachers of New Thought,’ had among her pupils Ernest Holmes (author of Science of Mind and founder of the Church of Religious Science) and Myrtle and Charles Fillmore (founders of Unity church).
“The basic psychology of New Thought is that the mind is the builder [a common phrase from the Edgar Cayce readings], that what you expect is what you get, that your beliefs create your reality [Seth’s mantra]. Its metaphysics is that of ‘idealism,’ (shared by Plato, Cayce, and Jung), which assumes that a non-material dimension of psychic images is the primary reality and that physical matter is a resultant manifestation. New Thought has a mysticism too, which holds that unity or harmony with the Creator is the fundamental requirement for both the pleasurable and practical transformation of one’s life.”
“‘Everything exists for the harmonious good of every other part,’ Holmes avowed. ‘Accordingly, the essence of all things in the universe, from thought forms to physical forms, is their interconnectedness [Oneness].”