The New Thought movement appeared in the late 19th and early 20th century, and was an informal collection of organizations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who shared a common set of metaphysical beliefs concerning the Law of Attraction, Creative Imagination, the Power of the Subconscious Mind, Personal Power, Healing Power, life force, and transformation, etc.
Central to New Thought belief is the principle of the universe being pervaded and upheld by an infinite source of power and available energy (The Universal Collective-Consciousness with its Collective-Potential and Formless-Substance); and, as a consequence, the individual can create their own reality, and "attract what they want", using Visualisations, Affirmations, Meditation, and Prayer, etc.
Some of the early New Thought groups had strong Christian foundations and referred to the Holy Bible as their foundational material.
Consequently, in many of the works, the Law of Attraction was presented in Christian terminology and examples.
However, this should not put off the modern eclectic individual as the Christological references can be readily translated into the more specific and universal terms, which are used in later and contemporary works.
Many early New Thought proponents, as is the case today, emphasised the Law of Attraction coupled with the Transforming Power of the individual's Subconscious Mind, and have based their practical systems thereon.
In 1926, in his New Thought book, The Secret of the Ages, Robert Collier wrote:
All over the world, sick, weak and devitalized men and women are searching for health and strength. By the hundreds of thousands, they drag their weary and aching boxes around, or languish on sick beds, waiting for someone to bring health to them corked up in a bottle.
But real, lasting health was never found in pill boxes or medicine bottles. There is one method--and only one--by which it can be gained and kept.
That method is by using the power of the Subconscious, Mind.
The Quimby Manuscripts
Although the New Thought Movement had no "single" origin, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866), is considered, by many authorities, to be the earliest identifiable proponent.
And his, Quimby Manuscripts, published in 1921, are still used today as the foundation of New Thought philosophy.
However, the earliest proponent of Positive Visualization is Henry Wood, who published his, Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography, in 1895.
Today, New Thought continues to flourish, and is reflected in popular works such as Ronda Buryne's The Secret.
Campbell M Gold Vintage ArchiveWorks of specific New Thought interest, by the following authors, have been collected in our Vintage Archive:
Franklin, Benjamin (c.1757)
Evans, Warren Felt (c.1869)
Barnum, P T (c.1880) (This has been added for historical interest)
Wood, Henry (c.1895)
Trine, Ralph Waldo (c.1896)
Murphy, Dr Joseph (1898 - 1981)
Trine, Ralph Waldo (c.1899, c.1910)
Atkinson, William Walker (c.1900, c.1906, c.1908)
Dey, Frederick Van Rensselaer (c.1900)
Dumont, Theron Q (c.1900, c.1913, c.1918)
Marden, Orison Swett, (c.1901, c.1908, c.1917)
Allen, James (c. 1902, c.1909, c.1911, c.1913)
MacLelland, Bruce (c.1904)
Troward, Thomas (c.1904, c.1921)
Crane, Aaron Martin (c.1906)
Beals, Edward E (c.1907)
Mulford, Prentice (c.1908)
Wattles, Wallace D (*c.1908, c.1911) (*one of the writers who inspired Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret)
Westall, Laura M (c.1908)
Larson, Christian D (c.1909, c.1910, c.1912)
Hara, O Hashnu (c.1910)
Bennett, Arnold (c.1911)
Larsen, Christian D (c.1912)
Conwell, Russell H (c.1915)
Tashi, Yoritomo (c.1916)
Austin, B F (c.1918)
Haanel, Charles F (c.1918)
Holmes, Ernest Shurtleff (c.1919)
Hamblin, Henry Thomas (c.1920, c.1923)
Behrend, Genevieve (c.1921, c.1929)
Quimby, Phineas Parkhurst (c.1921) (considered by many to be the earliest identifiable proponent of New Thought)
Wilmans, Helen (c.1921)
Boyd, Thomas Parker (c.1922)
Coué, Emile (c.1922)
Shinn, Florence Scovel (*c.1925, c.1928, c.1941) (*reflected in Rhonda Byrne's book, The Secret)
Collier, Robert (c.1926)
Jarrett, R H (c.1926)
Hill, Napoleon (c.1937)