by Chris Anama-Green
My goal this year is to read the backlog of new thought books on my shelves, in my Kindle, and on my "to-read" list. I don't know that I'll make it through all of them (my list is pretty long and my kindle is getting full) but I hope to read as many as possible!
Since I first learned about New Thought, I have been fascinated with metaphysics, divine law, and the various "ins and outs" of the workings of the Universe. I have acquired a number of books via eBook sales (thank you Hay House and BookBub), Netgalley, secondhand book shops, Project Gutenberg, the Internet Archive, Libraries, etc.
Because a lot of New Thought literature isn't -- well -- "all that new," many of these books have fallen into the public domain. This makes some of them freely or cheaply available. Unfortunately others are harder to come by. Some of my favorite New Thought voices are those that published in the mid 20th century but didn't quite make it to household name status. Their books aren't old enough to be in the public domain and they aren't new enough to be available as eBooks.
So, whose books do I plan to read this year? Here's my list -- in no particular order except train-of-thought.
Winifred Wilkinson (Hausmann)
I discovered Winifred Wilkinson by accident (from my perspective) but probably really by divine appointment (from the Universe's perspective). It was cold and cloudy -- middle of January -- and I was having a rough day. Sitting in a restaurant that my spouse and I had quite literally stumbled upon, I was looking around at the thousands of books lining the walls...most of them old and a bit dusty. I pulled -- at random -- "Focus on Living" by Winifred Wilkinson. Again, I had never heard of her and had no clue that she was a New Thought author. I read a few pages and I was hooked. I speed-read the entire book on the spot and promptly ordered a used copy online. Unfortunately all of Winifred's books (correct me if I'm wrong) seem to be out of print. Per an email conversation with Winifred's publisher, there are no plans to re-release them in print or eBook format. Fortunately I have found a few copies online that are...waiting for me to read them! From Winifred I plan to read:
Holmes is a must-read. Founder of Religious Science and Science of Mind Magazine, Ernest Holmes' name comes up a lot in New Thought circles. I have to be honest when I say that I haven't read much of his work.
Perhaps its because I like his quote (to the left) and don't want to be told "what to think." ;-) In any case, his work is important to the New Thought movement and I want to read some of it. From Holmes I plan to read:
BONUS: Time permitting, I may explore some of his brother's work (Fenwicke Holmes) this year.
Napoleon Hill and I share a hometown (in the heart of Appalachia, thank you). Yet I had never heard of him until I moved away. Our hometown isn't all we share. We are both writers and we were both inspired to study New Thought ideas in the same unlikely place.
His books have been on my list for years and it's time I take them off the reading list and actually read them.
Who says you can't go home again? (Besides Thomas Wolfe, of course.) My list includes:
Mary Baker Eddy
I've studied New Thought principles via College of Divine Metaphysics and the University of Metaphysics...but I've never read Eddy's work (beyond a few quotes). While I don't fully align with Christian Science (particularly regarding health and healing), I respect that Eddy's work greatly influenced New Thought and that I really should be more familiar with her work.
For those who aren't familiar, Eddy founded Christian Science. She was also a very prolific writer on spiritual topics. Fortunately, many of Eddy's works (including the following books) are available free from Project Gutenberg. My list includes:
Quimby's complete writings are available on Kindle for a reasonable price. I'm not sure I'll make it through all 600+ pages this year, but I plan to read some of his work. Quimby supposedly inspired Eddy, but the two are different enough. Quimby's route to curing his ailments early in life is fascinating enough to pique my interest and read his work.
Charles and Myrtle Fillmore
From the founders of Unity, there are lots of books to choose from. I'll start with The Twelve Powers of Man and the Atom-Smashing Power of Mind.
BTW, my favorite Fillmore quote is: "Search for the good in all men and you will find it."
Emma Curtis Hopkins
Wow, where to begin. The "teacher of teachers" of the New Thought Movement was a very prolific writer. She also led an anything-but-boring-life. But I'll save that for another day.
I'll start with Drops of Gold and Scientific Christian Mental Practice before working my way to High Mysticism.
A New Thought minister and writer, Emmet Fox published a dozen or so books in the early 20th century and I haven't read any of them yet. I plan to read The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life. I may add more after that. I notice that the Emmett Fox Resource center offers reasonably priced e-courses. I may be interested in taking one.
Harriet Emilie Cady
A student of both Mary Baker Eddy and Emma Curtis Hopkins...and a homeopath...and a writer whose work is used by Unity...and an associate of Fox, Holmes, and the FIllmores...Cady is fascinating. I plan to buy The Complete Works of H. Emilie Cady (Kindle version -- $10) and read parts of it this year.
Inspiration for Emmett Fox, Troward is famous for The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science 1904, which is where I will start.
Florence Scovel Shinn
I don't really know where her work fits in to the grander scheme of New Thought. Apparently her work influenced Louise Hay. But I look forward to learning more as I read: Your Word Is Your Wand and The Game of Life and How To Play It.
OK, rapidly fast forwarding to a more modern era, I love Louise Hay. I will re-read a few of her books this year. Definitely You Can Heal Your Life as well as a few others. I miss her, but I'm grateful that she left so many wonderful books, meditations, courses, and recorded lectures for us.
College of Divine Metaphysics Course Authors
Years ago I took several courses from the College of Divine Metaphysics. I loved them all and this year I hope to revisit some of the course texts and my notes. In particular:
Others "Still on the List"
I'm not crossing the off the list, but I may not make it to their work this year. There's always next year!