This writing is a preliminary survey of contrasting strains of metaphysical idealism contributing to New Thought.
New Thought is a 19th and 20th Century philosophico-religious movement, which includes Divine Science, Religious Science, Unity, and numerous other groups and people unassociated with New Thought organizations, and in many cases members of traditional churches and/or other religious bodies. New Thought is dedicated to the practice of the presence of God, not only for its own sake, but for the attaining of health, wealth, and happiness. In pursuing these ends the followers of New Thought base their attitudes and actions on various forms of metaphysical idealism.
"Metaphysical" of course refers to "metaphysics," the primary meaning of which, followed in this paper, is the branch of philosophy which is concerned with what basic nature anything must have in order to be at all. "Idealism" is the metaphysical position which maintains that all reality is spiritual or mental. It is not to be confused with "idealism" as high-mindedness, although the two meanings are compatible; ideals as well as ideas may be basic to reality. The chief opposing metaphysical position is materialism, or naturalism, the view that what is real is basically matter or lifeless energy.
The whole movement, which includes Christian Science and some other groups, of which New Thought is a part sometimes is called the metaphysical movement, primarily because of its uses of metaphysics, but also because of a popular misunderstanding of the meaning of the term. "Metaphysics" means "after physics," but this originally referred to the arrangement of the writings of Aristotle made after his death. His writings on what later would be called metaphysics were placed after his writings on physics. "Metaphysics" often is used to refer to all sorts of concerns with mysterious realms beyond the visible and the ordinary. Sometimes New Thought and related outlooks are called "metaphysics" and their adherents "metaphysicians."
That there are various views about the meaning of "metaphysics" within the metaphysical movement itself is shown by statements of some of its prominent past [p. 2] leaders. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, recognizes both philosophical and popular meanings in his definition of "metaphysics":
The systematic study of the science of Being; that which transcends the physical. By pure metaphysics is meant a clear understanding of the realm of ideas and their legitimate expression.1Emma Curtis Hopkins, the Chicago-based teacher of the Fillmores and many other people who would become New Thought leaders, characterizes metaphysics as follows:
The study of the lines of reasoning which bring out your healing power is called the study of metaphysics. The word, metaphysical, means "above and away from the physical."2She also presents metaphysics as the Science of Life, Health, Strength, Support, Defense or Protection, Truth, Love, Substance, Intelligence, and Spirit.3
Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science, defines "metaphysics" as
That which is beyond the known laws of physics. Refers to what are considered unknown but intelligent forces latent in the human mind.4Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science, identifies metaphysics with idealism:
Metaphysics is above physics, and matter does not enter into metaphysical premises or conclusions. The categories of metaphysics rest on one basis, the divine Mind. Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul.5Although the metaphysical movement is united in its adherence to idealism, it is divided in its views as to what the correct understanding of idealism is. This paper is concerned with the variety of views. Before turning to competing conceptions of idealism it is appropriate to take note of the an aspect of the materialistic background which surrounded the Maine clockmaker, photographer, inventor, mesmerist, and finally spiritual healer who generally is viewed as the father of New Thought, Phineas Parkhurst, "Park," Quimby. [p. 3]
A MATERIALISTIC BACKGROUND OF NEW THOUGHT
The immediate background of the work of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby was mesmerism, which normally was interpreted materialistically. One of the most interesting interpretations of this type was the theistic materialism of John Bovee Dods (1795-1872).6 It is not clear whether the views of Dods are an utterly thoroughgoing materialism, for he refers to God, while rejecting "the immateriality of spirit, because that which is positively and absolutely immaterial" cannot have form and occupy space, "to talk of a thing having existence, which, at the same time has no form nor occupies space, is the most consummate nonsense. Hence an immateriality is a nonentity--a blank nothing."7 Dods views electricity as an "emanation of God,"8 and says that it is "co-eternal with spirit or mind."9 If mind is material, electricity is the second highest, second most rarefied, form of matter. Mind and electricity are imponderable, invisible, and coeternal.10 Sounding rather like Ernest Holmes, Dods writes that
substances, in their infinite variety, pay a visit to time, assume visible forms, so as to manifest their intrinsic beauties for a moment to the eye of the beholder, and then step back into eternity, and resume their native invisibility in their own immortality.11However, eternity, as Dods understands it, despite his contrasting it with time, is not timeless. He says:
There must be something eternal. God, duration, and space exist of philosophical necessity, and . . . space was eternally filled with primeval matter. When I say that they exist of necessity, I mean that the contrary of space and duration cannot possibly be conceived.12Matter would not be if it had not always been.13
is the body of God. All other bodies are therefore emanations from his body, and all other spirits are emanations from his spirit. Hence all things are of God. He has poured himself throughout all his works.14Although the world is [p.4] made of electricity, the world differs from electricity in that electricity is uncreated substance, so is positive, whereas the world is negative.15 Disease is caused by "disturbing of the nervous fluid, or throwing the electricity of the system out of balance."16 This can be done either by physical or by mental impressions. The electro-nervous fluid heals, and can be called to the right place in the body either by the physical impression of medicine or by mental impressions.17
It is easy to see how the views of Dods could be converted into an idealistic New Thought outlook. Moreover, some might say that these words of Dods suggest possibilities for interpreting New Thought in a materialistic way. However, any such attempt would founder on questions related to the status of values, purposes, and persons.
Before attempting to discover what types of Idealism may be found in New Thought, it is appropriate to see what types have been found anywhere. To say that New Thought believes in idealism means no more than to say that anyone believes in God. In either case, the next question is what kind is believed in. With regard to Idealism, at least six types have been suggested. These include Platonism, Absolutism, Berkeleianism, Panpsychism, Existentialism, and Personalism.18 They all have in common the holding of mind, rather than things held to exist independently of mind, to be "the fundamental principle of explanation, not merely in ethics and general axiology, but also in epistemology and metaphysics."19 These types of Idealism can be summarized briefly as follows.
(1) Platonism emphasizes that the genuine objects of knowledge are
changeless Forms or Ideas, discovered by the mind, rather than by the senses,
yet maintaining that there is a receptacle or non-mental raw material existing
in addition to the Forms, and taking on the Forms to become the many things of
the material world of becoming.
(2) Absolutism believes that not only is all reality of one quality, mind or spirit, but that quantitatively there is only one unit of it. Absolutism is found in the Vedas, Shankara, Plotinus, and Hegel, among others.
(3) Berkeleianism, named for Bishop George Berkeley (1685-1753), holds that reality is composed of a divine spirit, finite spirits, who are not parts of the divine spirit, and the ideas experienced by spirits. Nature is composed of the ideas of the divine spirit (God). (4) While absolutism believes in only one mind, and Berkeleianism believes in God and many finite spirits or minds, panpsychism not only believes that reality includes these minds, but believes that nature is made up of innumerable units of mind. [p. 5] These mental units are called "monads" by Leibniz (1646-1716) and various names, including "actual entities" and "occasions of experience," by Whitehead (1861-1947).
(5) Although existentialism is not ordinarily classified as a kind of Idealism, and often is considered more an attitude than a philosophy, Existentialism emphasizes human subjectivity, human freedom and responsibility, and the nonexistence of values apart from persons; all these are at least building blocks for Idealism.
(6) Personalism considers reality to be a society of intercommunicating selves or persons, of which God is the creative center. The world of nature consists of one realm of divine experience, ordered (or created) by God's will, but the finite persons are no part of the divine being.20 From this viewpoint, Berkeleianism is an imperfectly developed personalism, and panpsychism an overdeveloped personalism. In absolutism it would appear that synopsis is overemphasized at the expense of analysis. In Berkeleianism and panpsychism, analysis is overemphasized at the expense of synopsis. Personalism attempts to synthesize analysis and synopsis.21
Which of these types of Idealism might the founders of New Thought have encountered, and which did they encounter? Clearly, Existentialism was unavailable. Leibniz certainly could have been read, but it is doubtful that his views entered crucially into the thinking of anyone involved in the establishment of New Thought.22 Only now is Whiteheadian thought coming to be recognized as a valuable resource for New Thought. Personalism became systematized in the work of Borden Parker Bowne (1847-1910), and most of his writings were clustered around the turn of the century, so were too late to be considered in the founding days of most of the constituent groups of New Thought; and there is no reason to suppose that Personalism in any significant way has influenced New Thought, although Ernest Holmes appears to have known noted Personalist philosopher Ralph Tyler Flewelling. Obviously, Platonism and various forms of Absolutism were available, and were used, as will be seen below.
This writing's primary purpose is to point out the strains of metaphysical idealism which contributed to New Thought; it is only incidentally concerned with the lives of those who held these views, their healing methods, and their influences on others. The paper is decidedly preliminary in nature. It does not claim to deal exhaustively with the writings of any of those included; many relevant passages which seem to duplicate others referred to have been omitted because of space limitations. Obviously, other thinkers would have been included in a more nearly complete study of the topic.
The major focus of this exploration can be expressed in terms of the status of matter. When one speaks of the existence or nonexistence of matter, it is helpful [p. 6] to indicate whether matter is referred to as (a) something real in itself, essentially unaffected by the existence or nonexistence of mind [materialism or naturalism, or, if mind is held to be equally real, dualism, although dualists fall within (c) if they maintain that while mind and matter are independent, matter is ultimately dependent on divine mind for its creation], (b) a reality not dependent on the ideal for its existence, but for its being given form [Platonism], (c) a reality as the product of and essentially independent of (not included within) its nonmaterial source, but dependent on its source for its continuing existence [Judaism, conventionally interpreted Christianity, Islam], (d) a form or appearance of a nonmaterial reality, a way in which mind or spirit expresses itself, the phenomenon of a nonmaterial noumenon [Berkeleyianism, panpsychism, and personalism], or (e) sheer unreality [acosmic pantheism, perhaps Hinduism and Christian Science]. Matter as "illusion" may be applied to either (d) or (e), and it appears that some people apply it to other views as well. One also could refer to matter as potentiality, as in Aristotelianism, but this does not seem to fit well into this list, as it is a significantly different usage, although related, especially to the Platonism out of which it grew. Along with matter, other terms of central importance to the philosophical understanding of New Thought are law, personality, and concreteness, which will be dealt with in connection with the views given below.
PHINEAS PARKHURST QUIMBY (1802-1866)
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby generally is recognized as the fountainhead of the metaphysical movement. He did not publish his writings, so his views were influential indirectly through the thought and action of those who were his patients, most notably Warren Felt Evans, Julius and Annetta Dresser, and Mary Baker Eddy.
There has been considerable speculation on the sources of Quimby's views. Clearly, he was an expert mesmerist, and was influenced at least negatively by writers on mesmerism, as his "lecture notes," from the period 1843-1847 23 show. Although Horatio Dresser may understate the amount of reading that Quimby did and the influence that it had on him, Dresser probably is essentially correct when he writes:
Those who have supposed that Quimby borrowed from Berkeley or Swedenborg will see why this could not have been the case. Quimby was not a reader of philosophy or theology. He was not in any sense a borrower, after he took up the theory of mesmerism and found how meagre was the supposed science, and branched out into the field of his own investigations. His experience in [p. 7] practising the silent method of spiritual healing, after 1847, led the way to his idea of God as indwelling Wisdom, as we find it expressed in his best essays.24Nevertheless, the relationship of other thought to that of Quimby remains an interesting and important question. This paper focuses primarily on metaphysical idealism, so ignores such concerns as scriptural interpretation. Despite a recent emphasis on possible Swedenborgian influence,25 it will be seen that Quimby's views differ significantly from those of Swedenborg. There are parallels between Quimby's outlook and that of spiritualist seer Andrew Jackson Davis.26 There are more fruitful references to standard philosophers in Quimby's writings; they will be considered next.
The lecture notes suggest that the prime philosophical influence on him as he was working out his philosophy, at least in the early stages of that process, was dualistic Scottish Common Sense Realism, particularly as found in the writing of Thomas Upham, who was at relatively nearby Bowdoin College.
In this tradition, Quimby writes,
Man is composed of matter and mind, by some mysterious combination united; and we may divide our identity with mental and bodily. . . . Matter & mind have uniform, undeviating & fixed laws. And they are always subject to, & controlled by them. . . . Yet we are not to suppose, that the same laws apply both to matter & mind. Each has its peculiar governing principle, & in as much as mind, in its nature, deviates from matter, so may its laws deviate.27Quimby at this stage of development did not much appreciate Berkeley's views, for Quimby did not then reach the point of interpreting matter in a strictly Idealistic way, except perhaps in a Platonic sense. From Quimby's experiments with Mesmerism, he became convinced that there was no invisible, electric fluid connecting one mind with another, and he rejected the view of Chauncey Hare Townsend that "immateriality cannot move masses of materiality,"28 for, as Quimby said, without denying the materiality of matter, the Townsend proposition "does not apply to destroy the influence or action of mind, being immaterial, over immaterial mind,"29 which, in turn, could move the matter of the body of the receiving mind, in whatever way mind constantly does that job. Quimby had discovered that
mind in its excited or mesmeric state is present with everything--that space, distance & material objects are no impediments to its action--that it is susceptible [sic] of impressions from other minds & will act under such impressions [p. 8] as it receives.30In the principles that mind acts directly on mind and that mind acts in accordance with the impressions made on it he had much of the essence of New Thought. He would add the rest in his later years when he realized that infinite Wisdom consciously can be accepted as the source of the most constructive impressions on which mind can act in producing one's experience.
In denying the existence of any mysterious fluid, Quimby observed that "the fluid which really exists, is in the mind of the operator, being like Berkley's [sic] composition of matter, made up of ideas, impressions &c."31 He refers to Berkeley again, and to Hume, in dismissing the claim that a Mesmeric subject's following directions to do something at a later time is the result of imagination:
If these are all the result of imagination, every thing which surrounds us exists only in imagery--the world is ideal. The system of Berkley [sic] concerning the non existence of matter might well be adopted; & to carry up the science a little further, Hume, with his creations of images & impressions, would be the patern [sic] philosopher of the images of men!32At this relatively early stage of his philosophical development Quimby not only failed to appreciate Berkeleianism adequately, but he quoted approvingly--and appropriately for his purposes--from De Rerum Natura of Lucretius, a major ancient promoter of materialistic Epicureanism, and wrote,
Lucretius[,] one of the pupils of Epicurus[,] contended that man is the cause of his own misery by his own belief. He does not use these words[,] but I shall show that that was what he meant and being so misrepresented, his ideas have never found their way into the minds of the Christians of our day because he showed that the religion of his day was the cause of all the disease, and trouble that men suffered. To show this was his labor in his poem that has never been understood.33Probably the classification of Lucretius as a materialist, if Quimby was aware of it, mattered much less to him than the practical value of realizing the effects of belief on living. Quimby made brief references to other philosophers, including Plato.34 Perhaps the best statement of Quimby's later idealism is found in conjunction with a reference to Plato:
Plato believed in one great cause and matter in an invisible state subject to a power. Here he like all the rest of the philosophers [p. 9] loses man. Now according to my own experience, matter is a substance to the one that believes it[,] but to suppose that matter exists independent of wisdom, it is not in the power of man to prove. So, if matter is an idea [here Quimby seems much more open to Berkeley than in the days when he was writing his lecture notes], it is very easy to see that it is entirely under the control either of our belief or our wisdom. Now here are the two powers--one wisdom and the other belief. Now belief admits matter as a substance, wisdom admits it as a belief. Wisdom speaks it into existence and to belief it is a reality. . . . Senses are swallowed up in wisdom and there can be no space. So everything is present. The difference between wisdom and belief is this--Wisdom is never deceived, belief is never certain, but always changes.35
It is fascinating to speculate on the parallelism of Plato and Quimby. One scarcely dare refer to influence, but at least there was some recognition by Quimby of a similarity of viewpoint in Plato. One can see something of Plato's receptacle, which takes on the impression of the forms by the action of the demiurge, in Quimby's spiritual matter. (Similarly here is Ernest Holmes's unformed stuff.) Quimby's dichotomy of belief and wisdom is reminiscent of Plato's views, most succinctly expressed in his Divided Line, with the shifting world of appearance, belief, conjecture, on the one hand, and the intelligible world of genuine knowledge, of timeless, changeless forms and mathematical entities, on the other. The Demiurge, the artificer god, of Plato, can be likened to the action of wisdom in each of us.
As Quimby continues from the last-quoted sentence, there is a hint of affinity to panpsychism and/or process thought, with which panpsychism is associated:
Man is like a town. The inhabitants are the intelligence and the identity of the town is the same. . . . Man is not a unit but is governed by a city or nation and is liable to be deceived by false ideas into a belief that gets up a sort of rebellion. All this is the working of matter. So diseases and revolutions take place and sometimes the inhabitants flee from their enemies[,] but this is the working of matter. There seems to be a sort of inconsistency in regard to God. If God knows and rules all things, how should there be another power that seems to be contradictory to what we call God's wisdom? Now according to my theory that mind is matter, it looks very plain to me that there should be a conflict [p. 10] going on in man as in nations, for there is a regular grade of matter from the mineral to the animal creation and there is a regular grade of intelligence that corresponds to the matter. Now as the matter of vegetables and animals are connected, it is not strange that every person should partake of the elements of each, yet we all admit that the mineral and vegetable life acts just as it was intended by God but when man steps in, he reasons that God is not quite up to the intelligence of man and we try to reconcile God to man, not man to God. This is as natural as our breath. Man wants to rule his fellow man and even dictate to God what is best for mankind.37
Despite the similarities to Plato, Quimby moves beyond Plato in recognizing the nonphysical nature of all reality. In resorting to such terminology as "spiritual matter" Quimby was improvising more successfully than Plato in attempting to understand the relationship of what seem to be two worlds. Quimby denied that they are two worlds; he saw that they are gradations of one reality, and that at the level of human awareness we are able to bring about results contrary to our best interests, all within the divine pattern of creativity.
For Quimby the essence of matter is its susceptibility to change (like Plato's world of appearance). In effect, Quimby says that what we experience as matter is the phenomenal product of the action of spirit on the lower level of mind, called "spiritual matter" (changeable mind), which can be likened to Plato's receptacle, except that Plato's receptacle is separated from the world of forms. Dresser believes that Quimby discovered the subconscious mind and applied the name "spiritual matter" to it.38 The spiritual action in "spiritual matter" can be either the expression of fallible human belief or of infallible divine wisdom. Negative conditions, such as illness, created by the implantation of erroneous thoughts--whether actively entertained or relatively passively held as settled beliefs--in "spiritual matter" can be remedied by the substitution of divine wisdom, which requires only acceptance, since in its nature it is the ultimate intelligence and guidance. The susceptibility of mind to thoughts, irrespective of whether conveyed in any way detectable by the usual senses, is expressed in Quimby's early principle that "mind acts directly on mind," and in the healing effect of divine wisdom in his later principle that "the explanation--or the truth (or science, in the sense of ultimate knowledge or, Quimby's favored term, wisdom)--is the cure."
A major contrast of Quimby and Plato is in the activity of the ultimate. Plato has changeless forms or ideas behind the scenes, with the necessity of a workman god to make worldly things that express in varying degrees the perfect patterns. Plato's receptacle of forms is "an invisible and formless being which receives all things and [p. 11] in some mysterious way partakes of the intelligible, and is most incomprehensible,"39 and is "formless and free from the impress of any of those shapes which it is hereafter to receive from without."40 Quimby has ultimate wisdom (in Platonic terms incorporating the functions of both the forms and God) active in the world, working in mental reality, which is of one kind with the ultimate. Hence, there is no separation of worlds, such as one finds in Plato, nor any flow of emanation outward from the One to the sheer negativity which is matter in the thought of Plotinus.
Nor in Quimby are there Swedenborgian "discrete degrees" of discontinuity separating the divine and natural worlds, which are in a relationship of correspondence, with a divine influx into the natural world, according to Swedenborg.41 Any similarity of Swedenborg and Quimby is decidedly general, and there is no proof that Quimby was influenced significantly by knowledge of Swedenborgianism.
When Quimby says that "there is no wisdom in matter"42 he is neither endorsing dualism nor the nonexistence of matter, but is maintaining, anti-reductionistically, that the higher is not to be understood in terms of the lower, the cause in the effect, the larger in the smaller. Quimby seems to distinguish God as a whole from God as indwelling wisdom when he says,
My God does not act at all, He has finished His work and leaves man to work out his happiness according to his own wisdom. . . . So the understanding is God, for in that there is no matter, and to understand is Wisdom, not matter, and to know wisdom is to know God, for that is Wisdom. I will give you some ideas of God, reduced to man's knowledge. All science is a part of God, and when man understands Science the same is known to God; but the world's God is based on man's opinion and right and wrong is the invention of man, while God is in their reason, but not known.43
Death and disease are matter, and when the senses are attached to the body we become subject to the laws of matter.44
Here is the theory of my religion; My God is wisdom, and all wisdom is of God; where there is no wisdom there is no God. God is not matter, and matter is only an idea that fills no space in Wisdom, and as Wisdom fills all space, all ideas are in Wisdom. To make creation larger than the Creator is absurd to me. The [p. 12] Christian God is in everything; my God is in nothing, but everything is in Him.45
Attach all sight, smell, and all the senses to Wisdom, then they fill all space; everything to which we attach wisdom, and all inanimate substances are in this Wisdom.46
There is no such thing as reality with God except Himself. He is all Wisdom and nothing else. All other things having form are His creation. His life is attached to all that we call life.47
God is the embodiment of light or clairvoyance, and to His light all is a mere nothing. When He spoke man into existence His wisdom breathed into the shadow and it received life. So the shadowed life is in God, for in this light it moves and has its being, and it becomes the son of God.48
Judah classifies the status of matter as "a semantic problem that depends upon whether one speaks from the standpoint of natural man or God."49 Although, as Dresser observes, Quimby uses "matter" "in so many ways that some of his statements are scarcely intelligible,"50 it seems fairly clear that in the last several quotations Quimby is presenting an essentially panentheistic, coherent world-view. God from his/her all-inclusive viewpoint is wisdom and recognizes matter as an idea, or many ideas. Nothing is separate from God; all is in God. Wisdom fills all space in the sense of being the foundation, or context, or container, or possessor, of the idea of space. God is not in matter in the sense that God acting in her/his capacity of unitary, universal awareness is more than the limited form of expression that is matter. Wisdom as such has no space, so cannot be filled; yet it has all that is, and in this sense contains everything. Space, which is essential to matter in the usual sense of the word, is one of the ideas of wisdom. When creating, which presumably God always is doing, although Quimby does not make this clear, God does not project into some other realm, but simply forms a "shadow" or potential for actuality, and is present as a guiding light, which is all wisdom, the realization or identification with which is healing. Wisdom is present in its wholeness "wherever" (as we must speak in spatial terms) it is, since if it excluded any of its wisdom in any instance it would be less than itself; the closest that it can come to being less than itself is to acquire the perspective of the finite by expressing in that form, which always is capable of realizing the wholeness of wisdom which is its essential nature. To the extent that the created reality recognizes its divinity it is like the spaceless, and possibly timeless, reality of which [p. 13] it is a part (and the whole of which it reflects or incorporates, although without the full clarity with which God as a whole--what has been called God the One, as distinguished from God the Many51--knows it). Quimby here anticipates the essentials of the creative process as understood by Whitehead and his followers.
Although this writing cannot well go far into Quimby's application of his metaphysics to people and their problems, it may be appropriate to note that Quimby characterizes man as combining
three parts in himself,  animal,  human,  scientific, in different degrees in each person. Man partakes more of the animal, less of the scientific. Women have more of the scientific element, less of the animal; the latter kingdom makes them strong, the human benevolent, the scientific spiritual and poetical.52
Man is not developed enough to see outside of his idea "matter." He is in the idea prophesying of what may come hereafter. I have developed this wisdom, which is the real man, till I have broken through the bars of death and can see beyond the world of opinions into the light of Science. I can see what things have being, and how we take our opinions for truth.53
It was mostly from his own experience that Quimby reached his metaphysics. One can discern stages of Quimby's development marked by such experiences as (1) seeing through matter and over great distances, (2) "condensing" thought into mental objects for mesmeric subjects, and (3) healing with the intuitive, mystical awareness of a superior wisdom operating through the fertile ground of a "spiritual matter."
Quimby abandoned an anthropomorphic God, but did not move to an impersonal ultimate. He refers to "a Principle which is always his guide while with the sick,"54 and also calls it "the Principle of Goodness [which] is the highest intelligence that operates in the affairs of man, always producing harmony, and making man feel that he has more to learn and is a progressive being."55 But he goes on to say, "It has been his aim to develop this principle in relation to human misery and make life a science."56 So this principle scarcely seems to be a synonym for God or a substitute for God. Quimby calls it "the highest intelligence," but this may be taken in the sense of knowledge held by a human being, rather than independently operating intelligence. The reference to his "aim to develop it" certainly suggests that it is to be understood in an ordinary sense of "a fundamental doctrine or tenet" or "an adopted rule or method for application [p. 14] in action," rather than "an originating or actuating agency or force" (The Random House Dictionary of the English Language: Second Edition--Unabridged). If Quimby said anything to Evans to the effect that the ultimate is impersonal, Evans certainly was not convinced, but there seems to be no reason to believe that Quimby held any such view.
Science, with a capital S, was a synonym for God, for Quimby, but clearly he also used the word to stand for a systematized, provable procedure, as in the quotation immediately above.
With most Westerners since the time of Newton, at least, law in the sense of a description of the workings of nature, was commonplace. Neither more nor less than others does it appear that Quimby used the term "law" as if it referred to something that acts, rather than an abstract description of the action of a concrete, actual reality.
Quimby stands out not only as the father, or at least the grandfather, of New Thought, but as the propounder of vastly more sound insights than those which have contributed to most of the currently existing New Thought groups. To be sure, his Idealism was offered in terms which seem confusing to those who have not had the opportunity to become familiar with the whole of his thought, including that expressed in his early writing, which was not published until 1988, in Ervin Seale (ed.) Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: The Complete Writings, 3 vols. (Marina Del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1988). In addition, it will be necessary to present his thought in the context of current thinking which similarly avoids dualism, yet avoids the errors of asserting utterly undifferentiated absolutism. Thus, Quimby remains an extremely rich source of material for study and practical use.
WARREN FELT EVANS (1817-1889)
Warren Felt Evans57 was a Methodist minister who became a Swedenborgian author and lay leader, was healed by Quimby, and turned to the practice of healing, along with the writing of a series of books important in the early years of New Thought. Although the name of Evans probably is known to comparatively few people today, he played an important part in the establishment of New Thought. While it is not known just how influential he was in the New Thought organizations which came into existence, it may well be that if they had not been established, there would have come a New Thought more obviously indebted to Evans. In 1869 Evans published The Mental-Cure, the first book in the line of those which led to New Thought; there followed his Mental Medicine (1873), Soul and Body (1876), The Divine Law of Cure (1881), The Primitive Mind-Cure (1885), [p. 15] and Esoteric Christianity and Mental Therapeutics (1886). All were published in Boston by Carter, with variations in the name of the firm. Mental Medicine was published in five languages, and The Primitive Mind Cure was issued by an English publisher under the title Healing by Faith. That his writings were distributed widely is indicated by a sentence in the preface of Esoteric Christianity and Mental Therapeutics:
A large number of letters have been received from every part of the country, and some from Europe, from invalids who have carefully read and studied the two preceding volumes of the author, gratefully confessing the benefit received from them.58
Judah maintains that
because of their published works on mental healing, both Evans and Mrs. Eddy [whose Science and Health was published in 1875] must be credited with exerting the greatest influence upon those who later called their philosophy New Thought.59
Braden, after giving information on the considerable number of editions of Evans books, says:
Organizationally, of course, his influence was not felt. Evans was clearly not an organization man. . . Whether he would have participated in the regional and wider group organizations that began to take form in the nineties, there is no way of knowing. But the one certain fact is that he was the first and indeed the only important figure, aside from Mrs. Eddy, who attempted to work out a consistent and philosophically supported system of what may be called mental or metaphysical healing, during the first two decades after the death of P. P. Quimby. The New Thought periodicals which began to appear in the late eighties continued to carry advertisements of his books at least to the end of the century; and copies of the books were to be found in the major public libraries and the libraries of most New Thought leaders and centers. Also, though he was but infrequently quoted directly by the early New Thought writers, there is no lack of evidence that they had read him.60
The thought of Evans moved gradually from a Swedenborgian dualism to an idealism of unity, in which he sometimes identified thought and existence. At one point he referred to "Christian Pantheism," of which he wrote as follows: [p. 16]
The conscious realization of a life in God, and not as a speculative thesis to be argued and disputed, is the fundamental thought in the system taught by the Christ,--a union with God so complete in every department of our being that we can say: "The Father is in me and I am in the Father," and "I and my Father are one." A Christian Pantheism which does not destroy the individuality of man, nor separate God from the universe which he continually creates out of Himself, nor sunder Him from the activities of the human soul by the intervention of second causes, is the highest development of religious thought. An intuitive perception of the unity of the human with the Divine existence is the highest attainable spiritual intelligence, and one which raises man above disease and the possibility of death.61
and in a more philosophical vein:
The highest development of religious thought and feeling is that of a Christian Pantheism, not the cold, intellectual system of Spinoza, but one nearer to that of the warm and loving Fichte, who exhibited the blessedness of a life in God.62
Here is Evans at what it seems fair to call his best. Evans does not apply the term "Christian Pantheism" to his own thought, but it seems appropriate to do so, although it will be seen that Evans fluctuated in his conception of the nature of unity and distinctiveness within wholeness. In "Christian Pantheism" "Christian" can be taken not only to indicate the belief of Evans that what he teaches is essential Christianity, but also, or as part of the meaning of Christianity, that it is distinguished from forms of pantheism which characterize reality as an undifferentiated unity.
In current terminology it would be appropriate to refer to this "Christian Pantheism" as panentheism,63 which holds that the universe is God's body; everything is in God; there is nothing which is not part of God (and, to the extent that God is fully present in all manifestations, all of God is present everywhere, although with a unique perspective characterizing each manifestation), but God's selfhood transcends the totality of the universe. Pantheism identifies God and the universe. That pantheism which emphasizes the assumed divine quality of changelessness is known as acosmic pantheism, since it flatly denies that that which has the fluctuating characteristics of the apparent cosmos can be. Unless the universe, the totality of whatever is, is conceived naturalistically, in which case "God" is simply a name for the world, both pantheism and panentheism are forms of idealism. [p. 17] Probably the best way of characterizing the purpose of this paper is to say that it is an attempt to distinguish some major proto-New Thought and New Thought statements about reality with respect to whether they are dualistic, pantheistic (especially acosmic pantheistic) or panentheistic. It may well be that for purposes of practical effectiveness in doing the work of applied metaphysics it makes little or no difference which view one adopts. However, it is of interest to recognize the contrasting strains of idealism, and if one view is sounder metaphysics than the other, it may be that the closer approximation to truth will be the more effective, in making New Thought more understandable if not more obviously functional.
In understanding Evans it is helpful to see something of the development of his thought. When primarily under the influence of Swedenborgian thought early in his writing career, Evans, much like the early Quimby, maintains that "the spiritual world is entirely distinct from the natural world, being known by different properties and governed by other laws."64
The rest of his career can be understood in terms of his attempts to get the two worlds together. This can be seen in both practical and theoretical dimensions. In practice he probably did better than in theory, which has been the case with New Thought throughout its history. Probably the same is true of all religions; if they had to stand on the strength of their theoretical constructions, all would fall.
His first book on healing is clearly Swedenborgian, and Swedenborg's influence remains throughout all the books, but with varying degrees of sharing the stage with standard philosophers. In The Mental-Cure Evans contrasts matter with mind or spirit:
It is one of the peculiar properties of mind, or spiritual essence, that it is not subject to the limitations of time and space. These are the essential conditions of what we call matter. It exists in time and fills space, and is limited to the space it occupies. But the human spirit is free from this confinement and restraint. In the realm of spirit, time and space are not objective realities, but subjective states, or as Kant expresses it, "forms of the intellect."65
But the more characteristic, Swedenborgian, assertion of Evans at this period is "The life of God is love. His love is an infinite desire to impart his own good to others."66
In later books by Evans there are far more references to philosophers. It is possible to discern something of a battle between Berkeley and the rather more Swedenborgian Plato in the development of the thought of Evans. All too simply put, he thought that he was following Berkeley, but the dualistic pull of Plato, reinforced by Swedenborg and by what often is called common sense, was too great [p. 18] for him to realize that even as he was espousing the identity of thought and existence he remained in a Platonic bifurcation of two worlds.
In Soul and Body I Evans dualistically calls the matter which composes the body "passive and inert, having no life except that which is imparted to it by the all-pervading and animating spirit."67 In contrast, in The Divine Law of Cure Evans pays homage to metaphysical idealism and declares, "Reid's attempt to refute Berkeley made me a convert to idealism more than two score years ago."68 (This would have been around the time that he was a student at Middlebury and then Dartmouth, which he left at the middle of his Junior year.) He goes on for pages agreeing with Berkeley's contention that to be is to be perceived. Yet even in this book, in which he includes a chapter called "The Creative Power of Thought, or Hegel's Philosophy as a Medicine," he falls away from this demanding standard. For example, he defends idealism by saying,
The idealists do not deny the reality of external things. They only deny that they have any reality independent of mind, as all the so-called properties of matter are modifications or sensations of mind. They correspond or answer to something in the mind, and without the mind they could not exist. When men attribute to objects a real existence, they do not err; they only err when they suppose that those objects can or do exist independent of a perceiving mind. There can be no external world without a world of spirit in which it exists. The world of matter with all it contains is bound up in an indissoluble unity with the world of mind, and in fact exists in it. So it is with regard to the body. All the properties of our bodies are only modifications of our minds. They are reducible to feelings or sensations in the soul.69
Similarly he maintains,
Matter offers no resistance to the movements of spirit . . . It is penetrable by spirit, and the two can occupy the same space. . . . The mind permeates the bodily organism, and fills it with its own life, though the body does not contain the mind, and limit its action.70
Evans seems unable to get past some vestige of dualism, of mind and matter occupying space, even if it be the same space. One looks in vain for an extended presentation of matter as mind or spirit. After presenting Berkeley's position of replacing an unknown, independently existing matter behind awareness,71
Evans [p. 19] seems to slip away from recognizing the purely mental nature of matter by making the lesser statement that "matter has the root of its being in mind, and without this it has no existence."72 Following an affirmation that "all force is spiritual, and all causation mental, then matter itself becomes only the manifestation of spirit, and mind the only real substance,"73 Evans goes on to a reference to Leibniz as holding that matter is "the externality of mind, the manifestation of force, the phenomenon of spirit. External nature, in his view, was an 'unconscious soul.'"74 Perhaps his use of italics for "externality of mind" and his reference to "external nature" indicate that it is very difficult for him, and perhaps anyone, to get beyond commonsensical spatial experience. In a passage in relation to Swedenborg's views, Evans includes both the view that material things are "spirit made visible" and "counterparts of spiritual entities," apparently without realizing that he is offering two at least subtly different views.
Swedenborg viewed the external world as the ultimation of the spiritual universe. The natural world, with all its objects of beauty and grandeur, is the outside boundary of an interior spiritual realm,--the point where the wave of creative influx proceeding from the Central Life terminates, or is staid. Accordingly, every object in nature corresponds or answers to something in the spiritual world, and to which it sustains the perpetual relation of an effect to a cause. Matter in all its forms is only spirit made visible to the sensuous range of the mind, or the space-creating power of the soul. All material things are the counterparts of spiritual entities, and together they constitute an undivided and indivisible whole. . . .75
Spirit, or mind, is the only substance, or is that, as the word signifies, which is the underlying reality of all material things. Mind and matter sustain the necessary relation of substance and form. These are always connected in thought. Every substance must be manifested and conceived of as a form. . . . Matter is the form of spirit, or that which gives it a definite limitation in space. The mind or spirit is the substance or underlying reality of the body; and as every change in a substance necessitates a modification of its form, or external manifestation, so a change of mental state is followed by a corresponding alteration of the bodily condition, either in the direction of health or disease.76 [p. 20]
Certainly there are abundant grounds for practical application in all that Evans says, despite the theoretical faults that may be found. He says so much about idealism that it may be unfair to estimate the adequacy of his view without offering many more quotations, but space will not all much more to be said by or about Evans. But a few more words from The Divine Law of Cure may be appropriate to show more of his dualistic sort of idealism (which is not necessary to have in order to have an idealism which admits multiplicity within unity):
I do not mean . . . to deny the reality of what we call the material world, but only to affirm that it has no separate existence, but is bound up in an eternal unity with mind; and if the realm of spirit should cease to be, the material world would instantly perish with it and in it.77Despite the dualism of emanation at the beginning of the quotation, on the whole one might ask what greater rejection of dualism could be found; but less than a dozen lines later he is saying dualistically, "The body is the shadow, and the mind is that to which it belongs, and to which it is attached, and the two are vitally linked together."79
The Divine Being projects Himself outward in thought, and the universe is the result. We do the same, and the body, which has been called a microcosm, or little universe, is the product. Thus, the soul perpetually creates its body out of itself just as God creates His universe, not from nothing, but from Himself. The body is not something superadded to the mind, but a representation of the mind to itself, and also, when interpreted aright, to others. It is a word of which the soul is the meaning. It is not a mere appendage of the soul, but is a manifestation of the soul itself under the limitations of time and space. This destroys the dualistic conception of man as a being made up of soul and body, and reduces the two departments of his nature to an indivisible and inseparable unity. He is not a living personality divisible into two distinct and separate halves, but they are one, and the soul is that one.78
By the time that Evans wrote his last two books, he had been reading on Oriental and esoteric outlooks. But his basic outlook seems essentially unchanged. In his final published book he writes:
The inward Word in us is a manifestation of the creative Logos or Word of the Lord by which the heavens were made. (Ps. [p. 21] xxxiii:6. 2Pet. iii:5.) The visible universe is only the outward expression of the Logos, the externalization of the Word. So the inner Word in us seeks and endeavors to come in the flesh, or manifest itself in a bodily organism in harmony with it. Matter is in itself not evil. In its reality and inmost essence it is divine--the second emanative principle from God. It is only when matter has dominion over spirit, that it is evil. It then usurps the place of God and is idolatry. Matter as it is in itself, and in its place, is an invisible, divine, and immortal substance. It is the correlative of spirit--a manifestation of spirit. What we call matter is not matter, but is unreal and an illusion.80Yet he also assures us that
matter exists as a mode of consciousness in us, and is as real as that mode of thought. So disease exists as a wrong way of thinking, and to change that way of thinking for the belief of the truth, is to cure the disease, of whatever nature it is.81
If Evans gives an uncertain picture of the exact relationship of mind and matter, what does the man who wrote a book called The Divine Law of Cure say with regard to the nature of the ultimate in terms of person, principle and law? Evans maintains:
In order to [have] a successful practice of the mental-cure system, it is not necessary to deny the personality of God as some have done, and reduce him to an inconceivable sea of being, an ocean of spirit without bottom or shore. . . . Such a God would be to us no God. Personality consists in Love and Wisdom, as there is no abstract impersonal love or understanding. The infinity and immensity of God are not boundless space, but the negation of space--absolute freedom from the limitations of space. So the eternity of God is not endless time, but the denial of time. We are to eliminate from our conception of the Deity all ideas of time and space.82
Evans also suggests that person and principle may be alternate ways of referring to the same reality: [p. 22]
It is a truth, and a great truth, that there is a divine saving principle, a universally diffused, and consequently ever accessible intelligent and loving Life, that exhibits an endeavor to impart itself and its saving blessedness to everything that breathes. This universal saving principle (or Divine Personage, if we prefer thus to conceive it) lies beyond the apprehension of the senses, and consequently must be perceived and appropriated by faith, and taken up into our individual being by real prayer; not the noisy supplications that clamorous lips pour forth, but a passive attitude of the mind. It comes to seek and save that which is lost, or to restore to man all that has dropped out of his existence and which is necessary to the realization of the divine idea in him. It is represented and signified by the name of Jesus. It is a principle (and in thought becomes limited in a personality) of pure spiritual intelligence, united to its correlative, pure love, which in conjunction constitute it a living substance and force. If we will assume towards it, or him, an attitude of passive trust, it will save us. . . .
This universal saving principle is the same as [Plato's] supreme and eternal Goodness, the Christ of Paul, "a divine human principle" and person. . . . [O]ur true being is included in this principle represented by the name of Jesus. It has an affinity for all sinful and diseased humanity. It not only can be prevailed upon to save us, but it yearns to save. We need only to hold the soul passively open and upward to imbibe its life.
This only saving, healing principle in the universe is identical with the sun of the spiritual world, as described by Swedenborg, and which he defines as the proximate emanation from the "invisible God." It is the Kabalistic sun of righteousness (or spiritual truth) which arises in our souls with healing in its wings (or elevating power). (Malachi iv:2.) Its light is the highest intelligence that can come to men, and its heat is a celestial love; and the two in conjunction, and set over against each other in the mystic balance, make it pure life, a divinely vivific principle.83
One may question whether Evans is consistent in defending the personality of God and also the seeming primacy of principle, which "in thought becomes limited in a personality." Moreover, he also uses "principle" to refer to a rarefied something, [p. 23] which at least if he did not begin the following quotation with the assurance of the mental or spiritual nature of everything, could well be taken as material in connection with some of the names that he supplies.
There is only the transmission of a mental energy, and the action and reaction of one mind or spirit upon another. And this takes place in an all-pervading, all-surrounding, and everywhere present principle a thousand times more subtle and vital than anything known to science. We may denominate it with the Hindus, the Akasa; with the Rosicrucians, the astral light; or with the Platonists, the anima mundi, or world-soul; or we may adopt the name given to it by Jesus, and call it the Holy Spirit: it is essentially the same thing under various designations.84
One might suppose that one with this view of principle would consider law an aspect of God. However, he conventionally uses law as a name for observed uniformities, as in "laws of mind,"85 "the eternal laws of the mathematics,"86 Swedenborg's "law of correspondence, by which all outward things signify and represent internal things,"87 and the law "that whatever is conceivable is possible." He refers to "that profound work, Natural Law in the Spiritual World,"89 but not for the purpose of exploring the nature of law. Presumably he was aware of that book's statement that "the fundamental conception of Law is an ascertained working sequence or constant order among the Phenomena of Nature."90 At any rate, Evans does not equate God and law.
As with the others who contributed to New Thought, Evans generally took for granted the concept of substance, an underlying something--either mind or matter--that persists either changelessly or is that which changes. Only in the Twentieth Century would the rival view of process, rather than substance, as the basic reality come into prominence. However, Evans shows that he is aware of evolution and becoming, in addition to being:
The creation of the world instantaneously by the divine fiat is not now entertained by thinking men anywhere. It is a tenet that has passed out of science and philosophy. In fact, creation is not now an accomplished event. It is not a thing done, but one that is in the process of being done. The divine idea is not yet fully realized or actualized. The world is an unfinished picture. As the Platonists would say, it is in a state of becoming. The divine idea, the universal divine life, a mysterious power of order and arrangement, is at the very centre and heart of things, struggling [p. 24] to work itself out into a complete material expression. Universal nature is moved from within by the Universal Mind, of which our minds are a part.91
Despite his wavering positions--and it would be possible to give many more examples--Evans probably deserves to be taken primarily as a continuer of the essentially panentheistic position of Quimby, although there is no proof that he got this from Quimby. While it is possible to find much fault with Evans, his writings are a joy for their clarity and his detailed references to other thinkers, something almost unknown in New Thought.
MARY BAKER EDDY (1821-1910)
Although Mary Baker Eddy is associated with Christian Science, rather than New Thought, her influence on various people who contributed to the founding and shaping of New Thought makes her views relevant to this paper. Her conception of matter as utterly unreal is the prime philosophical fact about her worldview. In emphasizing Mind or Spirit she contrasts it so sharply with matter that she has been interpreted as a dualist. However, in the interpretation of Stephen Gottschalk, who is a Christian Scientist:
Mrs. Eddy's metaphysics is incompatible with a dualistic ontology which posits two separate realms of being opposed to one another, even though she continually contrasts matter with Spirit, unreality with reality, and mortality with immortality. For what appears as a material man in a material creation only objectifies a misconception of true manhood and the one true creation.92
Gottschalk rejects the identification of Christian Science with idealism, except in "the most general sense":
Mrs. Eddy, as we have said, had little use for philosophy. She was not well read in it and certainly did not feel that any philosopher had been the source of her teaching. In the most general sense, of course, that teaching can be understood as a form of idealism. For broadly speaking, one can call any system which construes experience in terms of mind or spirit idealistic. Yet there is no evidence that in her discovery and statement of Christian Science, [p. 25] Mrs. Eddy was directly influenced by any form of philosophic idealism.93
Gottschalk distinguishes Christian Science--and one could well add New Thought--from conventional metaphysical positions by pointing to the claim "that the true understanding of reality makes a difference in experience and is not merely an interpretation of it."94 This distinction, of course, is crucial, but it does not lessen the need for attempting to understand the metaphysics of any such outlook; the claim is a basic one about the way that reality works; it is an enrichment of idealism.
Another Christian Scientist, Henry W. Steiger, finds Christian Science interpretable as a panentheistic95 form of idealism, specifically Personalism,
understood as the formalistic framework of an idealistic philosophy holding to the view that all phenomenal experience takes place in mind (Mind) and that this mind belongs to (or is) Person. While in the school of Personalism the exact definition of Person is left to individual opinion, the doctrine of Christian Science represents that form of Personalism in which the concept of Person is reserved to God.96
Mrs. Eddy clearly accepts the personality of God:
As the words person and personal are commonly and ignorantly employed, they often lead, when applied to Deity, to confused and erroneous conceptions of divinity and its distinction from humanity. If the term personality, as applied to God, means infinite personality, then God is infinite Person,--in the sense of infinite personality, but not in the lower sense. An infinite Mind in a finite form is an absolute impossibility.97
In this view human beings apparently are not persons, as they are simply ideas of God (which might be what finite persons are), the only person, for whom Mrs. Eddy also uses the term principle ("eternal Mind or divine Principle, Love"),98 although she also refers to principle in a seemingly conventional sense.99 "Christian Science reveals man as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions."100 Put very simply, Christian Science says that God is all and that any appearance, such as matter, to the contrary is utterly false. "God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter."101
[p. 26] Material beliefs and spiritual understanding never mingle. The latter destroys the former. Discord is the nothingness named error. Harmony is the somethingness named Truth.102
The realm of the real is Spirit. The unlikeness of Spirit is matter, and the opposite of the real is not divine,--it is a human concept. Matter is an error of statement. This error in the premise leads to errors in the conclusion in every statement into which it enters. Nothing we can say or believe regarding matter is immortal, for matter is temporal and is therefore a mortal phenomenon, a human concept, sometimes beautiful, always erroneous.103
In common with the others, except Dods, considered in this paper, Mrs. Eddy denies that there is any self-existing, substantial matter. Whereas they grant the existence of the phenomenon called matter as an expression of God, Mrs. Eddy ordinarily denies that and the evil associated with it. The last quotation's reference to matter as "a mortal phenomenon" probably does not essentially undercut the conclusion that "what clearly distinguishes Christian Science from other teachings is that it declares evil unreal, while other teachings may still give some sort of reality to the irrational factor." In the words of Mrs. Eddy:
We define matter as error, because it is the opposite of life, substance, and intelligence. Matter, with its mortality, cannot be substantial if Spirit is substantial and eternal. . . .
Matter is neither created by Mind nor for the manifestation and support of Mind. . . .
Spirit and matter can neither coexist nor cooperate, and one can no more create the other than Truth can create error, or vice versa. . . .
Every system of human philosophy, doctrine, and medicine is more or less infected with the pantheistic belief that there is mind in matter; but this belief contradicts alike revelation and right reasoning. A logical and scientific conclusion is reached only through the knowledge that there are not two bases of being, matter and mind, but one alone, --Mind.106
Her "scientific statement of being" is: [p. 27]
There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.107
[M]atter is nothing beyond an image in mortal mind.108
One may wonder whether she, and most others who talk about matter, keep in mind the distinction between (1) matter as real in itself and (2) matter as phenomenon or experience or idea. Mrs. Eddy seemingly denies the reality of matter in both senses (although many of her statements need not be extended beyond the first understanding of matter), whereas New Thought denies it in the first sense, but affirms it in the second. Mrs. Eddy concludes that since God is all, matter is neither real in itself nor real as phenomenon or as idea. New Thoughters move from the premise that God is all to the conclusion that although matter is not real in itself, it is real as a phenomenon or as an idea held by God and shared with the expressions of God that we, and all other beings, are. Mrs. Eddy appears to hold that God can have no positive idea of matter or the extension or space which are inseparable from it; so these are the products of the ideas which we are, which somehow can and do go contrary to their source and produce these grievous errors. Irrespective of whether this characterization of her metaphysics is justified on the strength of all her writings, the upshot is that she is known for what might be called an idealistic dualism, with great competition between God and the total errors given such names as matter, mortal mind, and malicious animal magnetism.
EMMA CURTIS HOPKINS (1853-1925)
Emma Curtis Hopkins was known as the "teacher of teachers"109 of New Thought. After being associated with Mary Baker Eddy, Mrs. Hopkins taught for many years. Among her students, who may have numbered 50,000, 110 were the founders of most of the major New Thought groups. So it would be surprising if her influence were not very significant in New Thought. If the movement had come into existence without her influence, and had been shaped largely by the influence of Evans, the Dressers, and Mrs. Eddy, it might have been much different. [The direct influence of Mrs. Eddy's views might have been much like that of Mrs. Hopkins. However, there might have been different leaders.]
[p. 28] Mrs. Hopkins apparently read widely, and her writings contain numerous references to thinkers, although sometimes in ways that make one wonder how well she understood them. It seems fair to consider her primarily an interpreter of scripture and an inspirer of people to make meaningful contact with God for the transformation of life.
She sounds like Mrs. Eddy in listing:
1. There is no evil.and in teaching:
2. There is no matter.
3. There is no absence of life, substance, or intelligence.
4. there is nothing to hate.
5. There is no sin, sickness, or death.111
Say that in your idea of Good there is no delusion. Very soon all matter will appear as delusion. You cannot say that in your idea of Good there is no mixture of evil without coming straight to the realization that all matter is delusion, built by belief in the absence of Good, which is evil.112She indicates an apparent dissatisfaction with Christian Science in the following quotation in which she deals with the denial of the reality of matter. When she refers to metaphysicians it seems to be in a conventional philosophical sense, although she considers metaphysics to be "the study of the lines of reasoning which bring out your healing power,"113 and metaphysical to mean "above and away from the physical."114
The denial of matter has never been made satisfactorily. Notice that all the metaphysicians have concluded that there is no reality in it. They have said that it is all the imagination of our mind; but what imagination it is they have not concluded. To persistently declare that there is no matter will dissolve material conditions. It will cause a swelling to disappear when we deny matter.115
Although she fails to distinguish clearly matter as claimed reality and matter as phenomenon, there is an indication at the end of the following quotation that she may have recognized the spiritual nature of matter.
Looking up suddenly from their deep thoughts, metaphysicians have declared that "there is no life, substance, or intelligence in [p. 29] matter." They have affirmed that all life, all substance, all intelligence is Spirit; and therefore there is no life in matter, no substance in matter, no intelligence in matter. Spirit occupies the place that matter claims to occupy. In the spot where matter even seems to be a dead substance the life of the Spirit is moving. Spirit is the substance where even the stones seem to be.116Mrs. Hopkins goes on to suggest a metaphysical improvement to recognize the positive presence of spirit:
Spirit is pure Intelligence. There is no place where matter seems to be intelligent, is there? Yet, "there is no absence of life, substance, or intelligence." If the metaphysicians had said this, rather than "there is no life, substance, or intelligence in matter," they would have demonstrated life better than they have. For if life is Spirit, never absent, why speak of "no life"? And if Spirit is substance omnipotent, why speak of substance as "no substance" anywhere, and the same of intelligence?117
Here is the essentially positive sort of metaphysical statement that would become the hallmark of New Thought.
Without attempting to trace the development of her thought, it is appropriate in looking for her final views to turn to her last book, High Mysticism. Presumably it was the culmination of all her thinking. "She spent about five years writing it, some of which time was spent in Europe."119 Ferne Anderson has observed, "By this time, her writings contain very few comments on Jesus Christ. Her sources are broader in scope and lean toward a more philosophical approach. Oral tradition suggests that she may have communicated with Thomas Troward.120 However, one still finds nothing remotely approaching the closely reasoned presentation of Troward. There is an interesting blend of philosophical and more traditionally religious approaches in such a sentence as:
To address Responsive Reality in this way is to come into ready praise of the victorious divinity, the Angel of his Presence of each claimant for our help.121The sentence that follows the last one is more characteristic of her:
Praise of the ever present Son of God distills as wine for the faint in the wilderness, sweet friendships to the lonely, blessed [p. 30] restorations to hearts sick of earthly hardships, for there is ever a baptism from high praise.122Despite her recognition of spirit in everything, the central theme of Mrs. Hopkins was the transcendence of both matter and mind, which are united:
Matter and its laws of mind are the fictitious generations of ofttime downward glancing with our efficient visional sense. When this sense is lifted up, what seemed external exists no more at all.123Her references to science do not seem to follow the usages of Quimby and Eddy. There are material, mental, and mystical sciences, but there is no Science which is God, although the mystical science referred to below is the science most directly concerned with God:
The Sacred Books of all ages mention three sciences: Material, Mental, Mystical. Material Science declares laws that are sure; as that iron sharpeneth iron, and hydrogen and oxygen clashing together fall into thirst-quenching waters.
The Sacred Books proclaim a Mental Science to which the world can subscribe, as, "All that we are is made up of our thought."
Mystical Science announces the miracles of "Predicateless Being," setting the ways of matter at naught, and nullifying the thoughts of mind:
"The flesh profiteth nothing."
"Take no thought."
"In such an hour as ye think not."
Mystical Science is a chalice of golden wine passed along to the sons of men by John's angels of the Apocalypse. It is a new song for the hearts of the Children of the New Age.
The Science of God reveals all science. The true Name of God reveals the Science of God, and reveals all names, from the names [p. 31] of the stars to the names of the insects, from the names of the fearless archangels to the right names for the victorious earth walk of our children.125
As with "science, "her employment of the terms "law" and "principle" ordinarily follows conventional usage. "A principle is a comprehensive law."126 She repeats this and adds "or doctrine from which others are derived."127 She does say that "the Lord is the resistless Law of the High Deliverer making manifest among mankind as the result of upward watch."128 However, this seems more like poetry than a claim of law as an aspect of God. Her references to the "Lawgiver,"129 "Mystical Laws,"130 and numerous references to laws strengthen the belief that she was not identifying God and law, except in the sense that God encompasses all reality.
Since she does not identify God with law or principle, or at least does not make any such identification clear, she naturally does not seem much concerned with whether God is person, although she does say, "As 'Person' intimates form and collect of parts, the term Person applied to Deity has stirred wide human resentment."131 After citing some Biblical references to the inscrutability of God, she concludes with a quotation presumably referring to the effect of attributing a finite notion of personality to God: "'The nature of Deity is undetermined,' reads the most modern of Cyclopedias."132 It seems fair to say that she and others who question the personality of God generally have in mind human personality, rather than infinite personality, and mean that God is impartial when they say that God is impersonal. Her reference to God as the "Giver" of "Life, Love, and Spirit"133 points toward the personal nature of God. Her identification of God with one's inner, higher self and with all the world certainly is consistent with an infinitely personal God. Since God is a God of love and intelligence, personality is essential to the divine nature, to the extent that we can characterize God. But God cannot be known fully. "The name God is not the true name of the ineffable One from whom we came forth."134 The true name is "not yet spoken,"135 but
One name of that which is the Spirit and Life is Jesus Christ [not to be confused with the historical Jesus]. It is both God and man. It is the indecomposable element. It hath nothing of which it is composed or for which it stands. It is Itself and speaks a language to the heart, as an independent potentiality. It is the mystic Name in that it gives an understanding of the "I" of man. It gives an understanding of God. It gives an understanding of Science. It gives the unspeakable Name.136[p. 32] Even if we cannot know God fully, we can experience God significantly in our lives. Part of what we can learn of God is that God is "the Universal Obedience" or "the Universal Servitor."137
The Eternal Immanence is . . . the still intelligence that waits at every infinitesimal pore of our human frame, today, as yesterday, [and] leaps into action if we command with firmness and sweet sternness.138
God is and works in our lives in accordance with the way that we approach God. The last sentences in her last book summarize much of the essence of her outlook as to why this is so, as succinctly and simply as her semi-Elizabethan lingo will allow:
Let us write to the Angel of our neighbor's presence: Ye are above the wheel of matter and the net-work of mind. Ye are light of the world--free, flawless, immortal.139Thus endeth this consideration of the thought of Emma Curtis Hopkins.
At the risk of great oversimplification, Divine Science and Unity can be classified as being in essentially the same category as the Hopkins teachings, partly through indirect influence, partly through parallel inspirations.140 Religious Science also is indebted to Hopkins, but with significant modification, especially from the thought of Thomas Troward.
Divine Science was the joint creation or amalgamation of the thought and practice of Malinda Cramer and the Brooks sisters: Nona Brooks, Fannie James, and Alethea Small; these sisters, in Colorado, began their study of this field a century ago this year, the same year in which Malinda Cramer opened her Home College of Divine Science, in San Francisco.141
Divine Science "has always taught that so-called matter is pure divine energy manifesting as form; it repeatedly points out that Substance is Spirit."142 The paramount emphasis in Divine Science is the omnipresence of God, or simply Omnipresence. All else follows from the present, practical availability of God.
The emanation of the life and substance of God into creation must mean that the life and substance of creation is as perfect as that [p. 33] of the Creator, God Himself. The essence of all created things must, by logical reasoning, be eternal Spirit-Substance and the idea of each created form must be held within God-Mind in order to maintain existence. All creation is within the Creator, or Source, before coming into form, for in the Invisible is the eternal Idea of all that makes up creation, while in the visible is the expression or living form of Idea. Reason tells us that it is necessarily true that all living forms are included within Omnipresence, since Omnipresence embraces ALL within itself.143
What is our name for Omnipresence--"The Presence that filleth all"? We love to speak of it as God, the Father, Infinite Mind, Source and Cause, Principle. It, in fact, makes but little difference what name we use; the vital matter is that we understand this Presence, and live in the consciousness of It.144
We have the same idea of substance; you call it matter; we call it Spirit.145
To say there is no matter, does not deny visible existence, does not exclude the body from Truth; it simply excludes the belief of another Substance than Spirit. There are not two opposing Substances any more than there are two Minds, two Laws, or two Powers of opposite nature.146
"There is no matter" does not mean that there is no visible universe, but that there is no Substance other than Spirit.147
In contrasting Divine Science and Christian Science, Fannie James says,
In Divine Science, the indwelling Presence is emphasized. The Omnipresence, the One all Presence, must be the Presence filling all. This agrees fully with Bible teachings. Divine Science declares Omnipresence to be divine Presence everywhere as the all. Christian Science teaches Omnipresence, but says it is only reflected in all. It clings somewhat to the old conception of God "above all," but not "in and through all." It declares Principle to be above that which it governs, but not within its creation. . . . [p. 34] Both Christian Science and Divine Science acknowledge Omnipresence as a fundamental Truth. Christian Science denies God's Presence as Life, Intelligence and Substance everywhere, which affirmation agrees with Omnipresence.148
The body is to be redeemed from the false conception that it lacks Life, Intelligence and Substance. Life, Intelligence and Substance are Omnipresent. . . . [The body] is not "matter" but Spirit and as we insist upon this, the seeming mortality will disappear.149
Since all is God, is this pantheism or panentheism? Is there a divine personhood that transcends the world, so that the outlook should be called panentheism? Perhaps the answer will come from considering the question of guidance, since one scarcely could expect to get guidance from an entity that did not have the personhood required to offer guidance in the light of awareness of the whole of reality, including possibilities for realization. Similarly, if there is love, this points toward the personal nature of God. On the other hand, if God is principle or law, this may point toward an impersonal reality.
There are significant indications pointing toward panentheism. The problem about the meaning of potentially impersonal principle is removed by a definition included in one of the textbook's "statements of truth":
God is omnipresent Principle. "Principle is the source and origin, that from which anything proceeds; the beginning, the first." --Webster.150
The textbook's glossary defines principle as "that which is first, supreme, therefore, one of the names of God; the true basis of judgment and action. Cause in its widest sense; that which brings forth, regulates, determines."151
Similarly, the problem of law is removed by identifying it with love. "If the individual be obedient to 'the Law'--Love--then perversity is overcome."152 The textbook's glossary defines law as "God's rule of action; the rule which governs creation. Integrity of Being."153 One finds little or no impediment here to understanding God as infinite personality. The same is true of the statement about God's "inherencies," that God's nature is "love, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, power, life and joy."154
Perhaps the final information needed to justify pronouncing God personal is found in such statements about divine-human unity as the following: [p. 35]
You receive Life directly from God. He thinks you, creates you, perfect like Himself. He is living you now and sees you only as He creates you, pure and perfect. You inherit from God only that which is good --His Wisdom, Love, Health, Power, and Joy. In this perception of Truth is your salvation from every ill.155
The conception of a loving God, as taught by Jesus, is transforming men's lives; it is impelling them to translate the theory of human brotherhood into daily practice.156
Man accepting himself as a son and heir of God may learn to appropriate for his own use the attributes or inherencies of God--His wisdom, love, knowledge, understanding, power, life and joy. He may learn to use God-guidance, God-protection, and God-peace if he chooses to avail himself of his birthright.157
On the strength of such evidence, it seems justifiable to conclude that the metaphysics of Divine Science is a form of panentheism. This is so since there is at least implied a self-aware, rational, value-centered purposing God, within whom all is included.
Charles and Myrtle Fillmore studied with Emma Curtis Hopkins and founded Unity. Charles Fillmore read widely, and "declared Evans' works to be 'the most complete of all metaphysical compilations.'" The prime introductory text of Unity long has been Emily Cady's Lessons in Truth. In recent years this has been excerpted and supplemented with commentaries in Foundations of Unity,159 which is quoted below.
In common with the rest of New Thought, Unity espouses no doctrinal conformity:
Unity has no dogmatic statement of faith to which it asks its followers to agree. Rather it invites a person to accept what he finds helpful in his efforts to lift his consciousness to a higher level.161[p. 36] The nature of God is, of course, of central importance. Unity makes it clear that it holds God to be impersonal spirit, but this has to be understood in the light of the definitions that Unity uses.
The nature of anything is its essential character, therefore the nature of God is absolute Good, the unchangeable, impersonal, eternal Truth standing under all creation with absolute integrity.
The elements that make up this absolute Good are what we term ideas (attributes, qualities) of God, such as life, love, substance, power, wisdom. . . .
God is not a person. If we attempt to personify God, we set Him apart from us. God is not a person having qualities or attributes; He is All-Good. God is Spirit, Being, the everywhere-present Mind teeming with living ideas, qualities, or attributes, such as life, love, power, wisdom, substance, joy, strength, plenty, and every other good thing.162
Personality here is to be understood in relation to the characterization of it as
the sum total of the distinctive personal characteristics that each of us show [sic] forth through facial expressions, mannerisms, mental and physical attitudes[,] . . .that which makes a person appear either different from others or like others. It is what we build mentally, emotionally, and physically for ourself [sic], as the vehicle of expression.163
Obviously, this understanding of a finite person is not what philosophers and theologians have in mind when they consider whether God is the infinite person. Most, if not all, of what Unity (along with most of New Thought) proclaims under the name of impersonality--presumably emphasizing regularity, reliability, and impartiality--is fully consistent with God as the only complete, infinite, person.
As in Divine Science, Principle is not an abstraction from actuality, but itself is supremely actual:
God as Principle is the creative Cause underlying all creation, the everywhere-present Spirit of absolute Good, the Source of all that is, the Fountainhead of all unexpressed good.164[p. 37] Principle also is identified with truth, one of the most troublesome terms found throughout New Thought. About the only meaning which it seldom, if ever, seems to have in New Thought is the most philosophically common one of the characteristic of a statement which accurately reports the situation to which it refers. The entry on "Principle" in Fillmore's The Revealing Word, begins
Principle--Fundamental Truth. Divine Principle is fundamental Truth in a universal sense, or as pertaining to God, the Divine. It is the underlying plan by which Spirit (God) moves in expressing itself; the oversoul of this planet which works its way into expression through Jesus [who is held by Unity to play a larger, and continuing, role in the world than is believed by most of New Thought]. . . . Although Principle is formless, it is that by which all form is produced.165
However, principles are understood in a conventional sense, as in the entry on "law, divine":
law, divine--Divine law is the orderly working out of the principles of Being, or the divine ideals [which presumably require a divine person to hold them], into expression and manifestation throughout creation. Man, by keeping the law of right thought, works in perfect harmony with divine law, and thus paves his way into spiritual consciousness.166In the numerous types of law with which Fillmore deals in entries following this one there is an ordinary notion of law as uniformity or regularity of actions, without any necessity of its being a special attribute or aspect of God.
There is less tendency in Unity than elsewhere in New Thought to conceive of God as all-inclusive, at least in any clearly pantheistic or panentheistic sense. To be sure,
God is Omnipresence, the only real presence in the universe; the Mind essence or substance which is all- inclusive; that which permeates, enfolds, supports, sustains, and maintains all things, every moment.167and
God is Omnipotence, the only real power, which is the ability of all creation (including man) to attain fulfillment.168[p. 38] as well as other qualities, including Being:
God as Being is the one Presence and one Power, the essence of all being. Being is, thus it is always in the present, here and now.169
Despite such statements as this about Being, perhaps because of the emphasis on divine impersonality, there seems to be a lack of genuine unity of divine nature and of God and world, which recognition of infinite divine personality could provide. So there seems not to be panentheism, although Unity's view of reality may be entitled to be called pantheism, and of course not acosmic pantheism. Yet there is a divine presence lying behind the universe, "standing under all creation," as seen above,170 rather than existing in a panentheistically all-inclusive manner. In Unity one senses, possibly because of its emphasis on Jesus, an essentially conventional Western religious separation of creator from creation. This certainly does not appear to be the intent, but there is a touch of dualism here, albeit within an idealistic framework.
Some degree of dualism probably is inescapable in human thought, however much one attempts to proclaim unity. More of this problem is to be seen in following sections, in which one sees progress in moving toward a unity that frankly accepts the bipolar or dipolar nature of a growing, personal, all-inclusive God.
THOMAS TROWARD (1847-1916) and ERNEST HOLMES (1887-1960)
Troward and Holmes deserve extended and separate attention. That they are lumped together in one section of this paper is a warning that the limitations of the paper do not allow such treatment. Since Troward's thought greatly influenced Holmes, and the points selected for consideration here largely are those that are common to both men, it is appropriate to link them here. Almost certainly they are recognized as the most systematic of the popular New Thought writers. Since Troward came first and provided basic underpinnings, his views will be emphasized here. A major question to be dealt with is how systematic Troward was, or in what way, Troward was systematic.
Thomas Troward, a former British divisional judge in India, was one of the most important figures in the development of New Thought after it acquired its present [p. 39] name, in the 1890's, and its earlier organizations.
Since Troward is respected as a master theorist of New Thought, it is appropriate to consider briefly how he ought to be classified. Since he is dealing with matters of philosophy, and especially the branch of it which is metaphysics, he scarcely can be excluded from the ranks of philosophers and metaphysicians, in the stricter meanings of these terms. However, except for H. W. Dresser and probably W. F. Evans, no New Thought thinkers, including Troward, appear to have been familiar with any great amount of standard philosophical writing. New Thoughters have taken a few simple philosophical principles, adapted them to their own insights, and applied them practically. In doing so, probably they have contributed more to the world than did those who clearly must be ranked as their philosophical superiors. But for philosophical purposes their technical metaphysical limitations deserve to be noted. This is no overall unappreciative judgment; it is simply a recognition that they were mostly philosophically unsophisticated. Considering how little they knew of the alternatives open to them, they did well. Mystical experience and ability to make use of it practically are far more important than putting one's insights into the best philosophical expression, but there is no reason why New Thought should not strive to have it all. The more adequate the philosophy, the more helpful it can be in placing New Thought firmly in the intellectual mainstream.
How should Troward be classified? Some comments on him in the forewords of two of his books are helpful. In Troward's Comments on the Psalms, his widow, Annie Troward, writes:
When he retired from the Bengal Civil Service in 1896, he decided to devote himself to three objects --the study of the Bible, writing his books, and painting pictures.171
While "writing his books" could have included significant philosophical study, Paul Derick's tribute to the then recently deceased Troward in the foreword of The Law and the Word suggests something of the tendency of his thinking which runs contrary to at least the expression of philosophical subtleties:
[N]o books ever written more clearly expressed the author. The same lucidity and gentle humanity, the same effort to discard complicated non-essentials, mark both the man and his books.172
Derrick tells of his loaning Troward a copy of Bergson's Creative Evolution and Troward's returning it "with the characteristic remark, 'I've tried my best to get hold of him, but I don't know what he is talking about.'"173 Derrick goes on to observe that [p. 40]
What Bergson has so brilliantly proven by patient and exhaustive processes of science, Judge Troward arrived at by intuition, and postulated as the basis of his argument, which he proceeded to develop by deductive reasoning.174
He cared not for complexities, and the intricate minutiae of the process of creation, but was only concerned with its motive power--the spiritual principles upon which it was organized and upon which it proceeds.175
That Troward could not understand Bergson is unfortunate, since Bergson was a pioneer of modern process thought. Had Troward adopted some of the thought of Bergson, we now might have a New Thought less in need of being reconsidered in the light of current process thinking. Apart from that, these remarks are instructive with regard to what one may expect to find and not to find in Troward's worldview.
It is noteworthy that Troward refers to his subject as "mental science." This was a term commonly employed for what later would be called New Thought,176 and in England Higher Thought,177 which name it already had by the time that Troward learned of it as he did his writing.178 But Troward's use of "Mental Science" goes beyond the use of what had been a common term, in that it emphasizes his largely secular, or at least broadly spiritual rather than conventionally religious, approach to his subject. He tried to avoid expressing himself in theological or even conventionally metaphysical terms; he wanted to be scientific.
Troward asserts that
the business of Mental Science is to ascertain the relation of . . . individual power of volition to the great cosmic law which provides for the maintenance and advancement of the [human] race.179No brief summary can do justice to Troward, but the following quotation from him gives much of his basic outlook:
What the individual does is to give direction to something which is unlimited, to call into action a force infinitely greater than his own, which because it is in itself impersonal though intelligent, will receive the impress of his personality, and can therefore make its influence felt far beyond the limits which bound the individual's objective perception of the circumstances with which he has to deal. It is for this reason that I lay so much stress on the [p. 41] combination of two apparent opposites in the Universal Mind, the union of intelligence with impersonality. The intelligence not only enables it to receive the impress of our thought, but also causes it to devise exactly the right means for bringing it into accomplishment. This is only the logical result of the hypothesis that we are dealing with infinite Intelligence which is also infinite Life. Life means Power, and limitless power moved by limitless intelligence cannot be conceived of as ever stopping short of the accomplishment of its object; therefore, given the intention on the part of the Universal Mind, there can be no doubt as to its ultimate accomplishment. . . . It has no intention, because it is impersonal. . . . If [the individual's] wishes are in line with the forward movement of the everlasting principle, there is nowhere in Nature any power to restrict him in their fulfillment. If they are opposed to the general [lifeward] forward movement, then they will bring him into collision with it, and it will crush him.180
Troward finds that "the livingness of Life consists in intelligence--in other words, in the power of Thought,"181 which is "the distinctive quality of spirit,"182 whereas that of matter is Form, which is required in order to occupy space. But "Life as the fact of livingness"183 is not extended in space. He reasons that
if we can conceive of anything as entirely devoid of the element of extension in space, it must be present in its entire totality anywhere and everywhere--that is to say at every point of space simultaneously.184
Here Troward seems to take for granted the existence of space as something real in itself, rather than idealistically as an idea of God. If he takes thought and extension to be basically different orders of being, he is in the great and insoluble--in its own terms--problem of Cartesian dualism. He might better have concluded that something without extension is nowhere, rather than everywhere, and that reality has to be interpreted in a consistently idealistic fashion.
On the basis of an arbitrary definition of time as "the period occupied by a body in passing from one given point in space to another"185 he reasons that spirit is timeless, since it is spaceless. His conception of spirit is "of it as subsisting perfectly independently of the elements of time and space."186 He thinks that after disposing of time and space "all our ideas of things must necessarily be as subsisting in a universal here and an everlasting now."187 Presumably he means not only our ideas, but the things themselves. This is a traditional mystical view, [p. 42] which ought not to be dismissed lightly; however, it scarcely can be established by the reasoning offered by Troward. If spirit is the only reality and it is fully spaceless and timeless, the world is sheer unreality, as Christian Science declares. There is not "a universal here and an everlasting now"; there is a neither-here-nor-there, neither-now-nor-then, which is, if it be at all, so totally unlike anything in human experience, at least outside of mystical experience, that it is, as the mystics say, ineffable; we are not able to say anything about it. Moreover, it must have no effect on the unreality which seems to be experienced, since the two are so unlike as to be unrelated.
Troward rejects both what he calls "extreme idealism" and what he calls "extreme materialism." He maintains:
The error of the extreme idealist is in endeavouring to realize the absolute without the relative, and the error of the extreme materialist is in endeavouring to realize the relative without the absolute. On the one side the mistake is in trying to realize an inside without an outside, and on the other in trying to realize an outside without an inside; both are necessary to the formation of a substantial entity.188
He simply does not seem to understand a thoroughgoing idealism, which denies nothing but the independent reality of matter. Presumably he favors a moderate idealism, whatever that might be; in effect it is what has been called above an idealistic dualism.
Because of this dualism, although within a loosely idealistic context, it is not altogether clear that he teaches pantheism, although he refers to the "all-pervading spirit"189; he probably reaches pantheism, but not panentheism. With his impersonal ultimate there is no panentheistically transcendent, yet all-inclusive, deity.
Troward takes clues from hypnotic evidence of two minds or ranges of mind, and describes the ultimate as follows:
We may . . . lay it down as a principle that the universal all-permeating intelligence . . . is purely subjective [subconscious] mind, and therefore follows the law of subjective mind, namely that it is amenable to any suggestion, and will carry out any suggestion that is impressed upon it to its most rigorously logical consequences. . . . [T]he subjective mind in ourselves is the same subjective mind which is at work throughout the universe giving rise to the infinitude of natural forms with which we are surrounded, and in like manner giving rise to ourselves also. It [p. 43] may be called the supporter of our individuality; and we may loosely speak of our individual subjective mind as our personal share in the universal mind. This, of course, does not imply the splitting up of the universal mind into fractions . . . 190
In evaluating the worth of Troward's, or anyone's, theorizing it is essential to keep separate (1) the phenomena, or accomplishments, which are reported and (2) the reasons for them. A system of thought may be decidedly helpful in bringing forth facts and in offering suggestive, psychologically-helpful explanations without being intellectually adequate. Already something of Troward's inadequacy, from an idealistic viewpoint, has been seen.
One of the most important questions to be asked about Trowards's thought is his view of law. This is a particularly good reminder of the dangers of committing the fallacy of misplaced concreteness," which mistakes the abstract for the concrete.191 Troward, like Holmes after him, placed great emphasis on law. While this is found throughout New Thought, it is especially prevalent in the Trowardian tradition. Troward often capitalizes law and refers to it as if it were something that acts, rather than a description of the action of an actuality, rather than such an abstraction as we usually consider law to be. In discussing the origin of the universe, Troward claims that
from the time when the nebula first spreads its spiral across the heavens, the mathematical element of Law asserts itself, and it is by means of our recognition of the mathematical relations between the forces of attraction and repulsion, that we have been able to acquire any knowledge on the subject. I do not for an instant wish to suggest that the Spiritual Power has not continued to be in operation also, but a centre for the working of a Cosmic Law being once established, the Spiritual Power works through that Law and not in opposition to it.192He holds that
the Law itself never changes, and it is on the unchangeableness of the law that all Mental Science is founded. We are accustomed to realize the unchangeableness of natural law in our every day [p. 44] life, and it should therefore not be difficult to realize that the same unchangeableness of law which obtains on the visible side of nature obtains on the invisible side as well. The variable factor is, not the law, but our own volition; and it is by combining this variable factor with the invariable one that we can produce the various results we desire.193
Troward also refers to principle, without capitalization, as if it were a lesser member of the law family. For examples, he refers to "the grand impersonal principle of Life which gives rise to all the particular manifestations of Nature"194 and "a principle of knowledge."195 The first seems to use "principle" for origin and the second for characteristic. Perhaps the best hint of clarification of the nature of law is that which is found in connection with the final topic to be dealt with in relation to Troward's terminology; Troward refers to "the inherent personalness of the divine all-pervading Life, which is at once the Law and the Substance of all that is."196 Perhaps he means that the ultimate Life includes both the abstract and the concrete, but that interpretation is doubtful, since he does not seem concerned with such distinctions elsewhere.
Troward, apparently unfamiliar with personalistic outlooks, considers the Universal Mind to be impersonal, as noted above. This is because he thinks that personality requires recognition of otherness, which cannot apply to the a mind that is universal.197
Its absolute impersonalness, in the sense of the entire absence of any consciousness of individual selfhood, is a point on which it is impossible to insist too strongly.198
Yet there is a "personalness" to it:
We are . . . brought to the conclusion that this universally diffused essence, which we might think of as a sort of spiritual protoplasm, must possess all the qualities of personality without that conscious recognition of self which constitutes separate individuality: and since the word "personality" has become so associated in our ordinary talk with the idea of "individuality" it will perhaps be better to coin a new word, and speak of the personalness of the Universal Mind as indicating its personal quality, apart from individuality.199 [p. 45]
If he were familiar with a broader definition of "personality," Troward might adopt the term, but his ultimate still would lack the unity and purpose required for either finite or infinite personhood, unless he changed his system considerably.
Immediately after the last quotation Troward adds that "this universal spirit permeates all space and all manifested substance,"200 thereby adding to one's suspicion that he failed to achieve a full idealism; he seems to assume that the space is there and that the spirit infuses it, rather than that the space has its existence only by virtue of its being something of spirit.
Much dualism, even if within idealism, is to be found in Troward's thought. He employs his at least questionable premises and he erects a structure of thought on them. It works out well practically, and presumably most people fail to see the dualism or are not bothered by it. If it works, and many people have found that it does, there must be some very important truth about it.
What is the way out of this mess of a practical but incoherent philosophy? Ernest Holmes points the way simply, beautifully, and acceptably to all New Thought and many other outlooks, when he refers to that "upon which our whole practice is based: a consciousness of the Presence of God within everything and everyone." His good, practical, mystical sense ran far ahead of his metaphysics, as did that of Troward. Troward thought that he had given a rational, systematic presentation of truth, adequate for application. What he really did was present essentially the last great attempt to understand spiritual healing and the rest of New Thought wonders in terms of old substance metaphysics and commonsense notions of space and time, taken for granted if not specifically endorsed. It was, for New Thought, the last, glorious, heroic, dying gasp of an ancient metaphysical approach. It is comparable to the invention of epicycles to explain the motions of heavenly bodies on the assumption that they move around Earth. The Copernican paradigm would leave it behind, just as much of Troward must be left behind. Troward gave the old metaphysics its best shot. For this we should be profoundly grateful; it was a very significant contribution to New Thought. If he did not strictly prove that it is impossible to a build a fully coherent, comprehensive metaphysics on the old assumptions, he came close enough to doing so, by offering his own system, that it seems unlikely that anyone with considerable awareness of current philosophy will make the attempt again without moving from substance to process as the starting point.
Ernest Holmes was especially important in systematizing the procedure, known as spiritual mind treatment, for bringing about desired results. He blended elements from Emerson, Hopkins, Troward, and others. His metaphysics is an advance over that of Troward.
Toward the end of his career he summed up his outlook in words which more clearly than those of Troward recognize unity: [p. 46]
Our whole system of teaching is based upon Quimby's concept that the things which have to be resolved are mental, not physical. We must be able to reduce everything to mind, or consciousness, because consciousness does not operate upon something external to itself. Consciousness is the one great reality in the universe. In other words, our thought does not spiritualize matter and it does not materialize Spirit. Spirit and matter, or thought and form, are one and the same thing.201
It may be that this assertion of identity of spirit and matter should be taken to supersede his earlier writings on this topic, although the difference may be only one of emphasis, if even that, depending on how his earlier words are chosen and interpreted. In his New Thought Terms and their Meanings, Holmes says, in the entry "matter seen as mind":
Matter or the physical world is not one thing while Mind is another; they are identical. The physical universe is Mind in form.202Some years earlier he writes:
As Plotinus said, "Nature is the great no-thing, yet it is not exactly nothing," since Its business is to receive the forms of thought which the Spirit lets fall into It.203
Here there is a ghost of Platonic dualism. Creation involves planting a seed, producing a form, in something already there, instead of simply creating in and remaining clearly in and as spirit, which a thoroughgoing idealism demands. Even if we say that the receptacle itself is spirit, Occam's razor could be used to good advantage to simplify the understanding of the creative process as clearly spiritual, and personal. This is the great clarification needed throughout New Thought.
Holmes finds that not only is there but one quality of existence; there is only one unit of it. There is absolutism both in theory and in practice:
In practice . . . we have to create a big feeling of wholeness . . . [T]here is no such thing as an individual spirit, an individual mind, or an individual body.204
We shall never understand the Science of Mind as a science if we depend only upon the inspiration of spiritual illumination, which [p. 47] I value above everything else, or if we depend only on the idea that our individual thought does something somewhere. We have no individual power! There is no such thing. I have no individual mathematics. I individualize it. The moment I imagine that I have my own individual mathematics I am limited in its use to the numbers I can handle. All progress starts with thought, and we have no mind which belongs to us, but we individualize a Universal Mind.205
Troward [said] "We enter the Absolute to such degree as we withdraw from the relative." This is a dangerous statement because too many people do not realize that the relative is the Absolute at the level of the relative!206
Holmes essentially carries on Troward's view of law as an aspect of God:
Religious Science is based on a very few simple and fundamental ideas. The basic proposition is that the universe in which we live is a combination of Love and Law, or Divine Presence and Universal Principle. We may call it a spontaneous Self-emergence and a mechanical reaction, or the Law and the Word, or the Personal and the Impersonal, or the Thing and the way It works. Everything we do, say, and teach; our methods of treatment and procedures; all is based not on a duality but on a dual unity or a two-sided unity of one and the same thing. 207
As noted by Braden, the International New Thought Alliance Declaration of Principles revision adopted in 1954 is "essentially Trowardian"208 in its emphasis on law as the means by which God operates. A conversation with Ervin Seale, who was chairman of the committee which prepared the revision, adds the information that the drafter of the revision was Frederick Bailes, who was a Religious Scientist, so it was natural that he should have included such material; no discussion of the revision was recalled, so it may well be that the changes were not interpreted as controversial. The 1917 Declaration does not have this emphasis, nor, incidentally, does the 1901 Metaphysical Club of Boston statement.209 The 1954 Declaration, which still is used, carries the notion of law to the extreme of suggesting that law might be material in appearance, the meaning of which is not explained. The part of the Declaration in question is: [p. 48]
We affirm that the universe is the body of God, spiritual in essence, governed by God through laws which are spiritual in reality even when material in appearance.
A related part is:
We affirm that man's mental states are carried forward into manifestation and become his experience through the Creative Law of Cause and Effect.
Holmes also carries on largely a Trowardian view of personalness, although there seems a fuller commitment to a fully personal side to the ultimate in the view of Holmes.
It is basic to our philosophy that we are surrounded by an Infinite Presence and that we are also surrounded by an Infinite Principle, and we never mistake the Principle for the Presence, or the Presence for the Principle.210
Belief in a "dual unity" provides Religious Science with a significant link to a possible future briefly dealt with below. Ernest Holmes said that Religious Science is "open at the top," open to new ideas, new formulations of belief. There are great opportunities for showing this.
In the first issue of Science of Mind Magazine in October 1927 Holmes published "What I Believe," which begins
I believe in God, the Living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent Cause. This One manifests Itself in and through all creation but is not absorbed by Its creation. The manifest universe is the body of God; it is the logical and necessary outcome of the infinite self-knowingness of God.
This sounds considerably like a dipolar panentheism, such as that which could be recognized as a metaphysics for New Thought, as suggested in the next section.
Both Troward and Holmes provided pictures of reality which are workable, and in broad outlines correct, as best one can judge from results, yet defective in details, which, especially when combined, can outweigh the positive aspects of the outlooks, in relation to metaphysical, if not practical, worth. Still, the outlooks work, as myths work in all religions. But demythologization scarcely can be avoided eventually, and it is better if it is undertaken in a timely, desired way than to have it thrust into an outlook later. [p. 49]
A POSSIBLE FUTURE
The intellectual history of New Thought is largely the history of the blending, both in the past and in the present, of the outlooks of (1) the incipient panentheism of Quimby, (2) the eclectic idealism of Evans, (3) the acosmic pantheism of Eddy, (4) the positive, mystical pantheism of Hopkins, (5) the rationalistic, idealistic dualism of Thomas Troward, (6) a variety of Oriental, occult, esoteric, psychic influences, and (7) traditional Christian and other Western religious and philosophical views, especially those of Emerson).211 It is with a very brief look at one of the outlooks in the last category that this writing will close.
There is much in common between the statements of Holmes and others of New Thought, on the one hand, and panentheistic process thought, which has developed out of the work of Alfred North Whitehead and his followers.212 If New Thought wants to update its theoretical foundations, this is an obvious direction in which to turn.
If this is done, weeding out and reinterpreting of abstractions mistaken for concrete actualities will be in order. But creativity, a dynamic universe, a growing, dipolar God intimately active in everything, and the universe as God's body will be affirmed. Law and conformity to it for accomplishment will continue, but natural laws will be seen as evolving habits of interaction of God the One and God the many. All this is in the context of a changeless pattern of endless creative advance into newness in accordance with God's offering perfect guidance for free response. Substance as continuing stuff, whether mental or material, will be replaced by successions of momentarily-existing bursts of creative, living experience. All that really matters will not only remain, but will be seen in even more meaningful terms. Love operating with the regularity that we call law will be the nature of reality forever.
It will be most interesting to see how long it takes New Thought to enter into the reconceptualizations that are necessary for it to keep up with philosophy, for it to be able to interact effectively with philosophers and others who are up-to-date in their metaphysics, and even to enrich philosophy and theology by injecting the practical element for which New Thought has been known throughout the past century. In the process New Thought should come to understand more adequately its idealistic metaphysical foundations.
1. Charles Fillmore, The Revealing Word (Unity Village, MO: Unity School of Christianity, 1959, 1981), p. 132.
2. Emma Curtis Hopkins, Scientific Christian Mental Practice (Cornwall Brige, CT: High Watch Fellowship, 1958), p. 12.
3. Ibid., pp. 13-14.
4. Ernest Holmes, New Thought Terms and Their Meanings (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1942), p. 91.
5. Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Boston: Trustees under the will of Mary Baker Eddy, 1906), p.269.
6. C. Alan Anderson, Horatio W. Dresser and the Philosophy of New Thought [published as Healing Hypotheses: Horatio W. Dresser and the Philosophy of New Thought (New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1993)] (Boston, MA: Ph.D. dissertation, Boston University, 1963), p. 26.
7. John Bovee Dods, The Philosophy of Electrical Psychology (New York: Samuel R. Wells, 1870, originally 1850), p. 102.
8. John Bovee Dods, Six Lectures on the Philosophy of Mesmerism (New York: Fowlers and Wells, 1847), pp. 39-40.
10. Dods, The Philosophy of Electrical Psychology, p. 108.
11. Ibid., p. 146.
12. Ibid., p. 123.
13. Ibid., p. 124.
15. Ibid, p. 130.
16. Ibid., p. 71.
17. Ibid., p. 85.
18. Edgar Sheffield Brightman, revised by Robert N. Beck, An Introduction to Philosophy, 3rd ed. (New York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1863), chapter 11.
19. Ibid., p. 309.
20. Ibid., p. 314.
22. See note 74.
23. Horatio W. Dresser (ed), The Quimby Manuscripts, 2nd ed. (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1921), p. 57.
24. Ibid., p. 18. See Swedenborg references in the index. Dresser was a Swedenborgian minister, so might well have emphasized Swedenborgian influence on Quimby if he had found any. Dresser (p. 57) notes that there is only one reference to Swedenborg in Quimby's writings.
25. Martin A. Larson, New Thought Religion: A Philosophy for Health, Happiness, and Prosperity, rev. ed. (New York: Philosophical Library, 1987), chapters 2 and 3.
26. J. Stillson Judah, The History and Philosophy of the Metaphysical Movements in America (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1967), pp. 151-54.
27. Anderson, op. cit., pp. 205-206.
28. Ibid., p. 222.
31. Ibid., p. 219.
32. Ibid., p. 220.
33. Ibid., p. 247.
34. Ibid., p. 249.
35. Ibid., pp. 249-50.
36. Republic, 509d-511e.
37. Anderson, op. cit., pp. 250-51, in a section quoting from E. S. Collie (ed.), The Science of Health and Happiness (second edition, privately processed), II, pp. 164-68.
38. Anderson, op. cit., p.260.
39. Timaeus, 51a-b, Jowett Translation. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns (eds.), Plato: The Collected Dialogues (Bollingen Series LXXI, Pantheon Books, 1961), p. 1178.
40. Ibid., 50d, Hamilton and Cairns, p. 1177.
41. Larson, op. cit., p. 65, indicates that Swedenborg paved the way for Quimby in equating mind, spiritual matter, and the essential man. However, it is seen above that Quimby considered wisdom, rather than spiritual matter, the essential man.
42. Dresser, op. cit., p. 167.
43. Ibid., pp. 167-68.
44. Ibid., p. 408.
46. Ibid., p. 408-09.
49. Judah, op. cit., p. 154.
50. Dresser, op. cit., p. 420.
51. C. Alan Anderson, The Problem is God (Walpole, NH: Stillpoint Publishing, 1985), p. 84.
52. Dresser, op. cit., pp. 234-35.
53. Ibid., p. 236.
54. Ibid., p. 309.
57. Anderson, Horatio W. Dresser and the Philosophy of Nw Thought, pp. 35-59 and 273-96. See also John F. Teahan, "Warren Felt Evans and Mental Healing: Romantic Idealism and Practical Mysticism in Nineteenth Century America," Church History 48, 1 (March 1979): 63-80.
58. W. F. Evans, Esoteric Christianity and Mental Therapeutics (Boston: H. H. Carter & Karrick, Publishers, 1886), pp. 5-6.
59. Judah, op. cit., p. 168.
60. Charles S. Braden, Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963), pp. 127-28.
61. W. F. Evans, The Divine Law of Cure (Boston: H. H. Carter & Co., Publishers, 1881), pp. 42-43.
62. Ibid., p. 15.
63. For a brief description of panentheism and rival views see Anderson, The Problem is God, chapter 11, especially the chart at p. 84. Charles Hartshorne, in his entry on panentheism in An Encyclopedia of Religion (New York: The Philosophical Library, 1945), defines the term as "the view that all things are within the being of God, who yet is not merely the whole of things."
64. W. F. Evans, The Celestial Dawn; or Connection of Earth and Heaven (Boston: T. H. Carter and Compant, 1864) p. 67.
65. W. F. Evans, The Mental Cure (Boston: H. H. & T. W. Carter, 1869), pp. 259-60.
66. Ibid., p. 216.
67. W. F. Evans, Soul and Body (Boston: H. H. Carter and Company, 1876), p. 9.
68. W. F. Evans, The Divine Law of Cure (Boston: H. H. Carter & Co., Publishers, 1881), p. 154.
69. Ibid., p. 168.
70. Ibid., pp. 170-71.
71. Ibid., pp. 145-46.
72. Ibid., p. 146.
73. Ibid., p. 147.
74. Ibid., citing "Lewes' History of Philosophy, Vol. 2. pp 274-76," rather than a direct reference to Leibniz.
76. Ibid., p. 148.
77. Ibid., p. 150.
78. Ibid., p. 165.
80. Esoteric Christianity and Mental Therapeutics, p. 28.
81. Ibid., p. 156.
82. Ibid., pp. 154-55.
83. Ibid., pp. 23-24.
84. Ibid., p. 127.
85. Ibid., p. 126.
86. Ibid., p. 38.
88. Ibid., p. 56.
89. Ibid., p. 29.
90. Henry Drummond, Natural Law in the Spiritual World (New York: James Pott & Co., Publishers, 1888), p. 5.
91. W. F. Evans, The Primitive Mind-Cure (Boston: H. H. Carter & Co., Publishers, 1885), p. 124.
92. Stephan Gottschalk, The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), p. 71.
93. Ibid., p. 76.
94. Ibid., p. 79
95. Henry W. Steiger, Christian Science and Philosophy (New York: Philosophical Library, 1948), p. 60.
96. Ibid., p. 138.
97. Eddy, op. cit., p. 116.
98. Ibid., p. 270.
99. Ibid., p. 116. For example, see pp. 117 and 147.
100. Eddy, op. cit., p. 477.
101. Ibid., p. 113.
102. Ibid., p. 276.
103. Ibid., p. 277.
104. Steiger, op. cit., p. 127.
105. Ibid., p. 59; Steiger points out that the definition of pantheism used by Mrs. Eddy is a materialistic one, "the doctrine that the universe, conceived of as a whole, is God; that there is no God but the combined forces and laws which are manifested in the existing universe." 106. Eddy, op. cit., pp. 278-79.
107. Ibid., p. 468.
108. Ibid., p. 116.
109. Ferne Anderson, Emma Curtis Hopkins--Springboard to New Thought (Denver: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Denver, M.A. Thesis, 1981), p. 3.
110. Ibid., pp. 4-5.
111. Emma Curtis Hopkins, Scientific Christian Mental Practice, p. 46. In her Resume: Practice Book for the Twelve Chapters in High Mysticism--First Sent Forth in 1892 (Cornwall Bridge, CT: Emma Curtis Hopkins Fund, 1928), pp. 22-23, she similarly lists:
1. Facing Thee, there is no evil on my pathway--
2. There is no matter with its laws--
3. There is no loss, no lack, no deprivation--
4. There is nothing to fear for there shall be no power to hurt--
5. There is neither sin, nor sickness, nor death.
Because Thou Art The Unconditioned and the Absolute,
I also am Unconditioned and Absolute.
Because Thou Art Omnipotent Free Spirit,
I also am Omnipotent Free Spirit.
112. Ibid., pp. 33-34. [p. 57]
113. Ibid., p. 12.
115. Ibid., p. 35.
116. Ibid., p. 37.
117. Ibid., pp. 37-38.
118. Emma Curtis Hopkins, High Mysticism (Cornwall Bridge, CT: High Watch Fellowship, n.d.).
119. Ferne Anderson, op. cit., p. 50.
121. High Mysticism, p. 199.
123. Ibid., p. 33.
124. Ibid., p. 322.
125. Ibid., p. 148.
126. Ibid., p. 28.
127. Ibid., p. 78.
128. Ibid., p. 196.
129. Ibid., p. 223.
130. Ibid., p. 327.
131. Ibid., p. 306.
133. Ibid., p. 30.
134. Emma Curtis Hopkins, Self-Treatment (Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Co., n.d.), p. 6.
135. Ibid., p. 5.
136. Ibid., pp. 7-8.
137. High Mysticism, p. 103.
138. Ibid., p. 104.
139. Ibid., p. 349.
140. Braden, Spirits in Rebellion, pp. 269-70.
141. Divine Science: Its Principle and Practice, Compiled from Truth and Health by Fannie B. James and Divine Science and Healing by Malinda E. Cramer. (Denver: Divine Science Church and College, 1957), pp. 9 and 14.
142. Ibid., pp. 39-40.
143. Ibid., pp. 38-39.
144. Nona L. Brooks, Short Lessons in Divine Science ([Denver:] n.p., 1940), p. 18.
145. Ibid., p. 19.
146. Fannie B. James, Truth and Health: Science of Perfect Mind and the Law of Its Expression, 4th ed. (Denver: The Colorado College of Divine Science, fourth edition, 1911), p. 78.
147. Ibid., p. 182.
148. Ibid., p. 315.
149. Ibid., p. 316.
150. Divine Science, p. 47.
151. Ibid., pp. 235-36.
152. Cramer, op. cit., p. 201.
153. Divine Science, p. 234.
154. Ibid., p. 41.
155. Brooks, op. cit., p. 69.
156. Ibid., p. 75.
157. Divine Science, p. 36.
158. Judah, op. cit., p. 140, quoting from James Teener, Unity School of Christianity (Chicago: University of Chicago, Ph.D. dissertation, 1939).
159. Foundations of Unity (Unity Village, MO: Unity, n.d.). Two volumes in Series One and three volumes in Series Two. All references here to Foundations of Unity are to Volume One of Series Two.
160. Sometimes Unity is distinguished from new Thought, but so probably is every other New Thought organization. Unity as a whole has been in and out of the International New Thought Alliance, but many of its local churches are members, and a Unity minister, Blaine C. Mays, is President of the INTA. Of course, membership in the Alliance is not necessary for meaningful classification of an organization or outlook as being within New Thought.
161. Elizabeth Sand Turner, What Unity Teaches (Unity Village, MO: Unity School of Christianity, n.d.), p. 2.
162. Foundations of Unity, p. 38.
163. Ibid., p. 45. See also Charles Fillmore, The Revealing Word, p. 83.
164., Idid., p. 50.
165. The Revealing Word, p. 156.
166. Ibid., p. 118.
167. Foundations of Unity, p. 40.
169. Ibid., p. 41.
170. Foundations of Unity, p. 38.
171. Thomas Troward, Trowards's Comments on the Psalms (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1956, copyright 1929), p. vii.
172. Thomas Troward, The Law and the Word (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1950, originally 1917), p. iv.
173. Ibid., p. viii.
175. Ibid., p. ix.
176. Horatio W. Dresser, A History of the New Thought Movement (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, Publishers, 1919), chapter VI, "The Mental Science Period." Braden, Spirits in Rebellion, p. 150, in referring to developments in the 1880's says, "Leander Whipple in New York and the groups in Boston began to use the term 'metaphysical' to describe the new philosophy of spiritual healing, also called Mental Science."
177. Braden, op. cit., p. 414.
178. Ibid., p. 416.
179. Thomas Troward, The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1909), pp. 10-11.
180. Ibid., pp. 58-59.
181. Ibid., p. 5.
183. Ibid., pp. 5-6.
184. Ibid., p. 6.
187. Ibid., p. 7.
189. Ibid., p. 30.
190. Ibid., pp. 30-31.
191. Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1929), p. 11, referring to his Science and the Modern World (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1925), Chs. III and IV.
192. Troward, The Law and the Word, p. 53.
193. Troward, The Edinburgh Lectures, pp. 42-43.
194. Ibid., p. 46.
195. Ibid., p. 51.
196. Ibid., p. 50.
197. Ibid., pp. 45-46.
198. Ibid., p. 46.
199. Ibid., p. 47.
201. Ibid., p. 82.
202. Holmes, New Thought Terms and Their Meanings, p. 86.
203. Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind rev. ed. (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1938). p. 599.
204. Ernest Holmes, Seminar Lectures rev. ed., Georgia C. Maxwell ed. (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1955, 1980), p. 25.
205. Ibid., p. 73.
206., Ibid., p. 75.
207. Ibid., p. 33.
208. Braden, op. cit., p. 200.
209. Horatio W. Dresser (ed.), The Spirit of the New Thought (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1917), pp. 215-24.
210. Holmes, Seminar Lectures, p. 33.
211. See Anderson, Horatio W. Dresser and the Philosophy of New Thought, pp. 154-55, on the relatively late recognition of kinship of Emerson in the mid 1880s.
212. Among many writings on process thought, see Anderson, The Problem is God, especially chapters 11 and 12. Perhaps the simplest of Whitehead's own writings are found in his Modes of Thought (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1938), especially section III, "Nature and Life."
Converted October 12, 1995
by Alan Anderson
[Republished here through the courtesy of Anderson-Whitehouse Process New Thought.]