History of New Thought

New Thought, to quote Church of Religious Science founder Dr. Ernest Holmes, refers to the metaphysical movement whose philosophy teaches that we are living in a Spiritual Universe here and now.


Though it carries the term New Thought, the movement contains ideas from ancient cultures, the teachings of the mystics of the Middle Ages, and from thinkers revered in our own era like Ralph Waldo Emerson.


New Thought began with Phineas P. Quimby (1802-1866). Through a process of thought and experiment, he came to believe that mind is matter in solution and matter is mind in form. A watchmaker from Maine with little formal education, Quimby believed that there is Perfection at the center of everything. He taught that Mind or Intelligence, in its dual form of the visible and the invisible, constitutes the sole and only substance in the Universe. Holmes observed that this statement is no different from that of the philosopher Spinoza, who said, “I do not say that Mind is one thing and matter is another thing. I say they are the same thing.”


Quimby facilitated a number of healings, including that of Mary Baker Eddy, who later founded Christian Science. He established the groundwork that eventually became the Unity School of Christianity, founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in Kansas City, the Divine Science Church, and the Church of Religious Science as founded by Dr. Ernest Holmes.

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