New Thought

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If we are sick, it is because we are not thinking correctly. If misfortune befalls us, it is because we are not thinking correctly. Health is due to correct thought; the truth will set you free and the truth is that you need only faith to be healthy, rich, saved, whatever.
—New Thought movement[1]

New Thought is a religion that draws on various traditions, including Christianity, transcendentalism, and to a lesser extent Hinduism and Buddhism. Though it generally recognizes a god or "Infinite Intelligence," New Thought is non-doctrinal, non-dogmatic, and rather non-theistic. Spirituality is central to New Thought, but how it manifests the divinity of and in each person, differs with each person.

New Age[edit]

New Thought is one of several forerunners to the later New Age movement. The now-trendy law of attraction originated in the New Thought movement. Positive thinking can bring people anything they want, especially health and happiness, and the known Placebo effect is extended beyond what is scientifically verifiable. The negative side of all this is that people are blamed for their own misfortune. Sin does not exist, but people make mistakes through not understanding their divine nature, and when we suffer, we should work harder to correct our thinking.[1] Incidentally, New Thought originated in the 19th century, and all the early towering figures who promoted New Thought are now dead. Their style of thinking could not prevent old age, sickness, and death.

New Thought is also one of the antecedents to the prosperity gospel movement, since some of the New Thought advocates applied the idea to business success.[2] Examples of such New Thought advocates are Charles Benjamin Newcomb[3] and William Walter Atkinson.[2][4]

God in New Thought[edit]

God is some form of spiritual energy or intelligence, but not an entity; its exact nature is a mystery, but it is powerful. God is in everything and every human being or everything is in god, yet god is greater than the sum of the universe — see panentheism.

Jesus in New Thought[edit]

Jesus was divine, but according to New Thought, the divine is in everything. According to some in the New Thought movement, Jesus successfully recognized and used his divine nature. Jesus is sometimes seen as a spiritual leader who can show us the road.[5]

“New” and “Thought”[edit]

Although the particular mix constituting “New Thought” might have been new, it is neither really new, nor does it involve much thought, at least not critical thought. This has all been new before and the thoughts have been the same. The only thing different between periods in history is whether the leaders became obscenely rich or not.

International Metaphysical Ministry[edit]

The International Metaphysical Ministry (IMM) is an unaccredited[6] "Transpersonal, Transcendent, Theocentric, Holistic New Thought Metaphysical Ministry." The IMM operates two distance learning organizations, the University of Sedona and the University of Metaphysics, and a number of similar websites from a tiny building on a commercial strip in Sedona, Arizona.[7] The IMM's stated purpose "includes the evolution toward the synthesis of science, psychology, transcendentalism, and mysticism so that eventually absolute spiritual truth and absolute scientific psychological truth may compliment and explain each other as one reality."[8]

Examples of New Thought[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Skeptic's Dectionary: New Thought (aka Mind Cure or Mind Science) movement
  2. 2.0 2.1 For Marianne Williamson and Donald Trump, religion is all about themselves: The conviction that you can shape the world with your mind is an American tradition. by Tara Isabella Burton (August 1, 2019) The Washington Post.
  3. All's Right With the World by Charles Benjamin Newcomb (1897) The Philosophical Publishing Company.
  4. Thought-Force in Business and Everyday Life: Being a Series of Lessons in Personal Magnetism, Psychic Influence, Thought-force Concentration, Will Power & Practical Mental Science by William Walter Atkinson (1901) Sydney Flower, 18th edition.
  5. BeliefNet: What New Thought Practitioners Believe
  6. Accreditation at

    Metaphysics degrees granted by IMM are religious in nature and are earned solely by the study of Metaphysical teachings with an emphasis on spirituality. Because Metaphysical degrees are religious in nature, the U.S. Department of Education, under U.S. Federal Law, can neither praise, credit, discredit, nor accredit Metaphysical institutions.

  7. The two "schools" have virtually identical websites: Universite of Metaphysics and University of Sedona.
  8. Mission at the University of Metaphysics.