Saturday, March 26, 2011
Old New Thought
Recently, in my meanderings around the net, I chanced upon the site for a company called Seed Of Life Publishing. They offer for sale PDF files of rare and obscure metaphysical texts from the Victorian age, including New Thought Common Sense by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, The Message of New Thought by Abel L. Allen, The Law of the New Thought by William Walker Atkinson, The Science of New Thought by E. Whitford Hopkins.
And if you'd like a book that doesn't have "New Thought" in the title, try This Mystical Life of Ours, by Ralph Waldo Trine. Trine, seen pictured at right striking a pose that Edgar Cayce would mimic years later, was born in 1866 in Illinois, and died in California in 1958, at the age of 91. During those years, he wrote at least 24 books - including the aforementioned and In Tune with the Infinite, which was a huge success and its philosophical advice was championed by such luminaries as Queen Victoria and Henry Ford.
They also carry the complete collected works of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, an inventor, philosopher, and - some say - a faith healer whose work inspired Mary Baker Eddy.
Today, the Church of Spiritual Science (not to be confused with Eddy's Christian Science, Ernest Holmes' Religious Science, Malinda Cramer's Divine Science Federation or L. Ron Hubbard's Churches of Scientology) keeps Quimby's reputation out there, plus other related New Thinkers like Prentice Mulford, C.W. Leadbeater, and the Queen of Theosophy, Helena P. Blavatsky.
Quimby was something of a savant in that he was an stirring orator and prolific writer even though he had very little in the way of a formal education and his manuscripts had to be proofread and corrected. He also was a whiz at watchmaking and clockmaking, and a huge clock he made for a church in Belfast, Maine (see image below) still ticks on to this day.