The History of New Thought

New York isn’t New Either!

The principles underlying the New Thought Movement date back to pre-pharonic Egypt, but hey, New York’s been around for a long time now and we still call it New.

At the center of the New thought Paradigm are the ideas:

  • Original Goodness: The Divine force is a force of love not hate.
  • Creative Visualization: We each have the ability to manifest and create what we focus on.
  • Laws of Attraction:  Those things which are alike will have a tendency to align and gather together.

Now, you don’t need to be a historian to know that none of those ideas are new to the human condition in any way whatsoever.  So how the heck have they come to be called The New Thought Movement? 

The History of the Movement

The Masons are a very powerful worldwide organization, and have played a part in the construction of most major Capitals, Universities, Treasuries, Castles, and Cathedrals all over the world.  Not to mention a major role in the writing of United States Declaration of Independence.  They are equally well known for their collection of ‘Secret Hermetic Teachings’ passed down through the millennia.  At the core of these teachings is the idea of a divine universal force of goodness and ‘Equality’ as a birthright. 

In merry old England, these Masonic / Hermitic leanings had the Monarchy quite upset, not to mention the Catholic Church  was none to found of such a powerful organization refuting the merits of Original Sin and a wrathful God.  What place do equal rights have in a monarchy anyways? 

So from 1300 – 1800 these Masonic / Hermetic teachings were veiled publicly under the term ‘High Thought’ and meant to be discussed over brandy and cigars only by members of High Society.  Not meant for the masses.  Hence, they became, truly secret teachings.

The Brave New World

The Americans’ decided it was time to take ‘High Thought’ out of the hands of the elite and give it to the masses.  No longer was the phrase ‘High Thought’ appropriate because the idea of equality and original goodness could not be reserved for the few high and mighty, equality meant equality for all.  New Thought, for the New World…

The New Thought Movement can by all rights be considered the child of Emma Curtis Hopkins.  She served as its most vocal writer, coiner of the phrase, and acted as a hub for its early and rapid growth.  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 must take backseat to nothing. 

Simultaneously, President Lincoln was carrying the principles to new heights through his Emancipation Proclamation ensuring freedom for all regardless of race, while at the same time the Emma Curtis Hopkins was fighting for women’s equality and becoming one of the feminist movements most vocal proponents.

Results, not Religion

Riding the crest of American Civil War and the emancipation of the American slaves the movement was poised to gain equality across the genders.  However, a bit of a hiccup / speed bump came into play when the New Thought Movement gathered enough steam to take on the Christian Church itself.  You see, the idea of original sin runs counter to the notion of a benevolent God and original goodness, so from 1850 to 1920 much of the movement became centralized on reforming the Christian Church. 

New Thought Churches such as: Christian Science, New Thought Christianity, The Church of Divine Science, The Unity Society of Practical Christianity, Unity Church, Unity School of Christianity, and the Church of Religious Science all sprang to life and within just a handful of years had millions of followers and students, each one adding their own special something to those same core teachings. 

The problem was: the Principles aren’t Religious! 

The Principles underlying the New Thought Movement are all about getting real results in the real world.  They are the idea that at the core of all people we are each born into original goodness and that doing the most possible good for the most possible people results in the most possible good for each individual. 

The New Thought Movement is behind such monumental accomplishments as American Independence, the Emancipation of the Slaves, and Women’s Right to Vote in the United States.  The Movement itself is all about empowering people all over the world and elevating humanity to a place where inequality for any race, gender, or creed is nothing more than a long forgotten memory. 

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