The philosophies and principle teachings of New Thought is actually ancient wisdom made new. The philosophies and beliefs of New Thought itself can be found in many ancient and modern traditions alike. The foundation of the "New Thought movement" originated in the early 19th century, and survives to this current day. The movement has branched out into loosely allied group of religious denominations, spiritual and metaphysical groups, teachers, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of beliefs concerning positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization, and other related ideas and concepts. Major groups within the New Thought movement include the Unity Church, Church of Religious Science, and Divine Science, and other groups and individuals such as Divine Unity, Universal Foundation For Better Living, and Seicho No Ei.
New Thought is not to be confused with 'new age' or the new age movement; although each may share some similar beliefs or ideals, they are not the same, nor affiliated with one another. New Thought itself is not a religion, nor does it hold any one main creed or doctrine. Many, but not all, New Thought groups have root foundations in Christianity or Christian-based teachings and theologies. New Thought is closely related to Christian Science both philosophically and historically. Christian Science is centered more around organized doctrine and scripture.
One fundamental teaching of New Thought is the understanding that the spirit is the true essence of who we are, and is more true and more powerful than the body, or the physical/material self and nature; the Mind has the power to heal the body. New Thought is sometimes considered a more practical, or universal spirituality, in that it understands the inter-connectedness of all beings and promotes fullness of all aspects of living. Meditation, affirmative prayer and positive thinking are all important aspects for living a harmonious or more spiritually centered life.
New Thought honors and respects all people of all faiths, cultures, creeds, and races. They believe spiritual equity and human rights belong to everyone, and that the presence of God is within all people, places and things. New Thought honors the divinity and wisdom found in each religion and spiritual tradition.
There are many ways to realizing the prsence of God in one's life. Some refer to God as the Divine, or Great Spirit ---but regardless of the name, the Divine remains changeless and constant. The name you choose to call God changes you, not God. The Divine is personally living within each of us and unites us all. Great Spirit does not necessarily have a gender, though some may choose to refer to God as He or She.
Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science said, “There is a Power in the universe greater than you are and you can use it.” New Thought believes this power was present in Jesus the Christ, and that Jesus embodied what many refer to as the “Christ Principle.” Jesus used his God-given power to teach, and heal for only good. There have been many great wayshowers throughout the ages who have shared and taught new thought principles and ideas, often emphasising that each of us has the capacity to awaken to the Divinity within us.
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