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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Healing Hypotheses  

APPENDIX P: SOME PATHS TO BOTH FORMS OF NEW THOUGHT

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Healing Hypotheses

Varying sides of Socrates inspired (l) Plato, who developed a largely idealistic, comprehensive system of philosophy; (2) the Cynics, whose rough championing of virtue led to Stoicism, which developed elements of mind control and pantheism, both of which much later would be found in New Thought, and (3) the Cyrenaics, whose espousal of the pleasures of the moment preceded refined Epicurean avoidance of pain and enjoyment of quiet pleasures. Although the Megarians are not shown above, Socrates also contributed to them; they were much like, and were influenced by, the Eleatics.

The antipodal views of Eleatic changelessness and Heraclitean change came together in the atomistic philosophy of many changeless units producing change through rearrangement. Atomism led to later materialism, which was expressed in Mesmer and in Dods, who contributed to New Thought to the extent that they showed the power of mind, however materialistically they interpreted it. Atomism, in revised forms emphasizing mind (with Leibniz) and energy (with recent scientists) influenced Whitehead and others whose thought contributed to Process New Thought. Process thinking is directly in line with the Heraclitean emphasis on change balanced with order.

The idealistic and healing influences of Christianity (combining insights of Jesus with Platonism, Aristotelianism, Judaism, and other views) blended with Hinduism and various mystical, esoteric, and occult mixtures to provide largely the theoretical background of Substance New Thought. Especially the practical side of New Thought came from Quimby (who worked out his thought in a background of his own experimentation and influences of [a] conventional philosophy, especially Common Sense Realism as found in Upham, and [b] Mesmerism, as well as, perhaps, [c] Swedenborg and [d] Andrew Jackson Davis), mostly as intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly, interpreted by Evans, Eddy, Hopkins, the Dressers, and others. Berkeley,

Healing Hypotheses

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Hegel, Emerson, and other idealists were drawn on as New Thought evolved.

Process New Thought developed directly out of Substance New Thought, with theoretical reinterpretations derived from Process Philosophy (which has some kinship with Buddhism) and Personalism.

From a process perspective, Quimby's Wisdom is individualized and active as initial aim; spiritual matter is creative, choosing activity of an occasion of experience; and the inadequate opinions of people (and the illnesses that they instigate) are the past, which the later development of aim in an occasion of experience generally tends to adopt more than to accept Wisdom fully.

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