The New Thought movement is a spiritual movement which coalesced in the United States in the early 19th century. New Thought was preceded by “ancient thought,” accumulated wisdom and philosopy from a variety of origins, such as Ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Chineses, Taoist, Vedic, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures and their related belief systems, primarily regarding the interaction between thought, belief, consciousness in the human mind, and the effects of these within and beyond the human mind. Exploring the power of one person to directly influence another person’s mind to another person’s physical condition and behavior, Franz “Anton” Mesmer experimented with the power of suggestion, practicing so-called Mesmerism (a precursor to hypnotism). The unpublished writings of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, originally a clock-maker and later known as “the father of New Thought,” show that Quimby built on Mesmer’s methods, and he identified the mind of a person being influenced as the actual locus of control. He theorized that human behavior and human health change after the human mind is convinced to think and believe in so-called “new thoughts” and new beliefs. Quimby gave speeches to explain to people that, since human thoughts and beliefs affect human behavior and human health, people can learn to think and believe in ways which create individual healing. Quimby developed the New Thought philosophy and he used methods such as hypnosis, mind power, and prayer to help people to heal themselves. Quimby’s developing philosophy and healing treatments healed and informed Mary Baker Eddy (known as the mother of the Christian Science movement) and also inspired Emma Curtis Hopkins (1st Editor of the Christian Science Monitor magazine), who went on to influence both religious leaders, leading to the Divine Science and later, Unity faith healing movements; and also non-religious thought leaders. There are numerous smaller groups, most of which are incorporated in the International New Thought Alliance. 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.
Joseph Denis Murphy (May 20, 1898 – December 16, 1981) was an Irish-born American author and New Thought minister, ordained in Divine Science and Religious Science.
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