Authors Overview

James Allen(November 28, 1864–1912) was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement. His best known work, As a Man Thinketh, has been mass produced since its publication in 1903. It has been a source of inspiration to motivational and self-help authors Born in Leicester, England, into a working class family, Allen was the eldest of two brothers. His mother could neither read nor write while his father, William, was a factory knitter. In 1879, following a downturn in the textile trade of central England, Allen’s father traveled alone to America to find work and establish a new home for the family.Within two days of arriving his father was pronounced dead at New York City Hospital, believed to be a case of robbery and murder. At age fifteen, with the family now facing economic disaster, Allen was forced to leave school and find work.For much of the 1890s, Allen worked as a private secretary and stationer in several British manufacturing firms. In 1893, Allen moved to London where he met Lily Louisa Oram who he then wed in 1895. In 1898, Allen found an occupation in which he could showcase his spiritual and social interests as a writer for the magazine The Herald of the Golden Age. At this time, Allen entered a creative period where he then published his first book of many books, From Poverty to Power (1901). In 1902, Allen began to publish his own spiritual magazine, The Light of Reason, later retitled The Epoch.In 1903, Allen published his third and most famous book As a Man Thinketh. Loosely based on the biblical proverb, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” the small work eventually became read around the world and brought Allen posthumous fame as one of the pioneering figures of modern inspirational thought. The book’s minor audience allowed Allen to quit his secretarial work and pursue his writing and editing career. In 1903, the Allen family retired to the town of Ilfracombe where Allen would spend the rest of his life. Continuing to publish the Epoch, Allen produced more than one book per year until his death in 1912. There he wrote for nine years, producing 19 works.Following his death in 1912, his wife continued publishing the magazine under the name The Epoch. Lily Allen summarized her husband’s literary mission in the preface to one of his posthumously published manuscripts, Foundation Stones to Happiness and Success saying:

“He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.”

William Walker Atkinson(December 5, 1862 – November 22, 1932) was an attorney, merchant, publisher, and author, as well as an occultist and an American pioneer of the New Thought movement. He is also known to have been the author of the pseudonymous works attributed to Theron Q. Dumont and Yogi Ramacharaka.Due in part to Atkinson’s intense personal secrecy and extensive use of pseudonyms, he is now largely forgotten, despite having obtained mention in past editions of Who’s Who in America, Religious Leaders of America, and several similar publications—and having written more than 100 books in the last 30 years of his life. His works have remained in print more or less continuously since 1900Some time after his healing, Atkinson began to write articles on the truths he felt he had discovered, which were then known as Mental Science. In 1889, an article by him entitled “A Mental Science Catechism,” appeared in Charles Fillmore’s new periodical, Modern Thought.By the early 1890s Chicago had become a major centre for New Thought, mainly through the work of Emma Curtis Hopkins, and Atkinson decided to move there. Once in the city, he became an active promoter of the movement as an editor and author. He was responsible for publishing the magazines Suggestion (1900–1901), New Thought (1901–1905) and Advanced Thought (1906–1916).In 1900 Atkinson worked as an associate editor of Suggestion, a New Thought Journal, and wrote his probable first book, Thought-Force in Business and Everyday Life, being a series of lessons in personal magnetism, psychic influence, thought-force, concentration, will-power, and practical mental science.He then met Sydney Flower, a well-known New Thought publisher and businessman, and teamed up with him. In December, 1901 he assumed editorship of Flower’s popular New Thought magazine, a post which he held until 1905. During these years he built for himself an enduring place in the hearts of its readers. Article after article flowed from his pen. Meanwhile he also founded his own Psychic Club and the so-called “Atkinson School of Mental Science”. Both were located in the same building as Flower’s Psychic Research and New Thought Publishing Company.

Atkinson was a past president of the International New Thought Alliance.

Sri Aurobindo (Bengali: Sri Ôrobindo) (15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950), born Aurobindo Ghosh or Ghose (Bengali: Ôrobindo Ghosh), was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for freedom from British rule and for a duration became one of its most important leaders,before developing his own vision of human progress and spiritual evolution. He was also one of the famous Radical leaders of India during the Indian National Movement.The central theme of Sri Aurobindo’s vision was the evolution of human life into life divine. He wrote: “Man is a transitional being. He is not final. The step from man to superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner spirit and the logic of nature’s process.”Sri Aurobindo synthesized Eastern and Western philosophy, religion, literature, and psychology in writings. Aurobindo was the first Indian to create a major literary corpus in English. His works include philosophy; poetry; translations of and commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Gita; plays; literary, social, political, and historical criticism; devotional works; spiritual journals and three volumes of letters. His principal philosophical writings are The Life Divine and The Synthesis of Yoga, while his principal poetic work is Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol.
Genevieve Behrendwas the only personal student of Thomas Troward (1847- 1916) the master of Mental Science.From 1912 to 1914, Genevieve Behrend’s life focused solely on the wisdom and philosophy of Troward who’s influential and compelling ideas provided much of the groundwork to the spiritual philosophy known today as New Thought.As the awareness of “mental science” was taking shape, Troward imparted his personal insight to only one pupil who could perpetuate this knowledge and share it with the world.After her studies with Troward, Behrend began her mission in New York City where she established and ran The School of the Builders until 1925. She then established another school in Los Angeles before touring other major cities throughout North America for the next 35 years as a celebrated lecturer, teacher, and practitioner of “Mental Science”.Millions heard and enjoyed her, not only on the public platform but over the radio. Her students numbered tens of thousands all over the English-speaking world. Paris, France was her native city, but she was half Scotch. The book, Your Invisible Power, was her first. However it remains the most popular of all her books and has been, since its first edition, one of the world’s best sellers on Mental Science. It has exhausted scores of editions.Behrend presents the Troward philosophy at its best because of the way her incomparably direct, and dynamic personality relates the life-changing concepts on a personal level.

Your Invisible Power remains Behrend’s most powerful and popular work. This book can teach you how to use the power of visualization and other processes taught by Thomas Troward to transform your life. Your Invisible Power is a powerful, yet simple and easy guide.

Behrend says, “We all possess more power and greater possibilities than we realize, and visualizing is one of the greatest of these powers. It brings other possibilities to our observation. When we pause to think for a moment, we realize that for a cosmos to exist at all, it must be the outcome of a cosmic mind.”

Russell Herman Conwell(February 15, 1843 – December 6, 1925) was an American Baptist minister, orator, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer. He is best remembered as the founder and first president of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the Pastor of The Baptist Temple, and for his inspirational lecture Acres of Diamonds. He was born in South Worthington, Massachusetts and was buried in the Founder’s Garden at Temple University.”Acres of Diamonds” originated as a speech which Conwell delivered over 6,000 times around the world. It was first published in 1890 by the John Y. Huber Company of Philadelphia.The central idea of the work is that one need not look elsewhere for opportunity, achievement, or fortune—the resources to achieve all good things are present in one’s own community. This theme is developed by an introductory anecdote, told to Conwell by an Arab guide, about a man who wanted to find diamonds so badly that he sold his property and went off in futile search for them; the new owner of his home discovered that a rich diamond mine was located right there on the property. Conwell elaborates on the theme through examples of success, genius, service, or other virtues involving ordinary Americans contemporary to his audience: “dig in your own back-yard!”.In A People’s History of the United States, historian Howard Zinn comments that the message was that anyone could get rich if he tried hard enough while implying that Conwell held elitist attitudes by quoting the following from his speech:”I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich…. The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community. Let me say here clearly .. . ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men of America are honest. That is why they are rich. That is why they are trusted with money. That is why they carry on great enterprises and find plenty of people to work with them. It is because they are honest men. … … I sympathize with the poor, but the number of poor who are to be sympathised with is very small. To sympathize with a man whom God has punished for his sins … is to do wrong…. let us remember there is not a poor person in the United States who was not made poor by his own shortcomings. …”

Conwell’s capacity to establish Temple University and his other civic projects largely derived from the income that he earned from this speech. The book has been regarded as a classic of New Thought literature since the 1870s.

Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie (February 26, 1857 – July 2, 1926) was a French psychologist and pharmacist who introduced a method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion.The application of his mantra-like conscious autosuggestion, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” (French: Tous les jours à tous points de vue je vais de mieux en mieux) is called Couéism or the Coué method.The Coué method centers on a routine repetition of this particular expression according to a specified ritual, in a given physical state, and in the absence of any sort of allied mental imagery, at the beginning and at the end of each day.[citation needed] Unlike a common held belief that a strong conscious will constitutes the best path to success, Coué maintained that curing some of our troubles requires a change in our unconscious thought, which can only be achieved by using our imagination. Although stressing that he was not primarily a healer but one who taught others to heal themselves, Coué claimed to have effected organic changes through autosuggestion.Coué’s family, from the Brittany region of France and with origins in French nobility, had only modest means. A brilliant pupil in school, he initially studied to become a chemist. However, he eventually abandoned these studies as his father, who was a railroad worker, was in a precarious financial state. Coué then decided to become a pharmacist, and graduated with a degree in pharmacology in 1876.Working as an apothecary at Troyes from 1882 to 1910, Coué quickly discovered what later came to be known as the placebo effect. He became known for reassuring his clients by praising each remedy’s efficiency and leaving a small positive notice with each given medication.In 1901 he began to study under Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault and Hippolyte Bernheim, two leading exponents of hypnosis. In 1913, Coué and his wife founded The Lorraine Society of Applied Psychology (French: La Société Lorraine de Psychologie appliquée). His book Self-Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion was published in England (1920) and in the United States (1922). Although Coué’s teachings were, during his lifetime, more popular in Europe than in the United States, many Americans who adopted his ideas and methods, such as Norman Vincent Peale, Robert H. Schuller, and W. Clement Stone, became famous in their own right by spreading his words
Horatio Willis Dresser (1866–1945) was a New Thought religious leader and authorDresser was born January 15, 1866 in Yarmouth, Maine to Julius and Annetta Seabury Dresser. His parents were involved in the early New Thought movement through their study with Phineas Parkhurst Quimby. During his teens, Dresser’s father was embroiled in a controversy with Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, whom he accused of stealing Quimby’s concepts and using them as a basis for Christian Science.[1]Horatio Dresser was admitted to Harvard in 1891, but dropped out in 1893 upon the death of his father. Ten years later he returned to Harvard, completing his Ph.D. in 1907In 1895, Dresser became involved with the Metaphysical Club of Boston, a group which Dresser would later refer to as the “first permanent New Thought club”.[3] That same year, Dresser published his first book, The Power of Silence. In 1896, Dresser founded the Journal of Practical Metaphysics. Two years later, this journal was merged into The Arena, for which Dresser was subsequently an associate editor. The following year, 1899, Dresser founded another New Thought magazine, The Higher Law. He was a past president of the International New Thought Alliance.
[edit] ControversyIn 1921, after the Library of Congress made Quimby’s papers available, Dresser compiled and edited a selection of Quimby’s works, The Quimby Manuscripts. In this work, Dresser re-opened the controversy concerning Quimby and Mary Eddy Baker, attacking Baker in a chapter as well as the appendix of the book; for example:

1885. Mrs. Eddy collects her “facts” in “Historical Sketch of Metaphysical Healing” … tries to show that Quimby was a mere mesmerist: alleges that she left [manuscripts] with him in 1862

Emmet Fox (July 30, 1886–August 13, 1951) was a New Thought spiritual leader of the early 20th century, famous for his large Divine Science church services held in New York City during the Great Depression Fox was born in Ireland. His father, who died before Fox was ten, was a physician and member of Parliament. Fox attended St Ignatius’ College, a Jesuit secondary school near Stamford Hill. He became an electrical engineer. However, he early discovered that he had healing power,and from the time of his late teens studied New Thought. He came to know the prominent New Thought writer Thomas Troward.Fox attended the London meeting at which the International New Thought Alliance was organized in 1914. He gave his first New Thought talk in Mortimer Hall in London in 1928. Soon he went to the United States, and in 1931 was selected to become the successor to James Murray as the minister of New York’s Divine Science Church of the Healing Christ. Fox became immensely popular, and spoke to large church audiences during the Depression, holding weekly services for up to 5,500 people at the New York Hippodrome until 1938 and subsequently at Carnegie Hall. He was ordained in the Divine Science branch of New Thought.Fox’s secretary was the mother of one of the men who worked with Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill W., and partly as a result of this connection early AA groups often went to hear Fox. His writing, especially “The Sermon on the Mount,” became popular in AA.
Neville Goddard, better known as just Neville, was one of the quietly dramatic and supremely influential teachers in the New Thought field for many years…In a simple, yet somehow elegant one-hour lecture, Neville was able to clarify the nature of God and God’s relationship to every person. He spoke of God in intimate terms as though he knew God very well, which he did.

Joseph Murphy, a writer and lecturer, who studied with Neville in New York City, said of him: “Neville may eventually be recognized as one of the world’s great mystics,”

Born on Barbados in the British West Indies, Neville was the fourth child in a family of nine boys and one girl. One day some of them were playing near an old wind-swept hut by the sea. A seer lived in the hut and told them their fortunes, The older sons would go into the professions, into medicine, into business. The predictions for them came true. The Goddard family is one of the most prominent and influential families on the island.

“Do not touch the fourth one,” the seer said, pointing to Neville, “he has a special mission to perform in the world – from God.” And to Neville, “You will journey to a distant land and spend your life there.” This prediction also came true. As a young man he went to America and worked in some of the department stores in New York City. Later, he worked in the theatre with the Schubert’s.

Under unusual circumstances, he met a black Jew, named Abdullah, who lectured on Christianity. Neville went to hear him, somewhat under protest, to satisfy the constant urging of a friend, “Whose judgment I did not respect,” Neville said, “because he made such poor financial investments.”

Neville said he was seated in the auditorium waiting for the lecture to begin, when the speaker – who had never met Neville came down the aisle from the rear of the auditorium to the stage.

“You are late, Neville!” Abdullah said, “six months’ late! I have been told to expect you.” From this introduction, Neville studied with Abdullah seven days a week for seven years.

“Abdullah taught me Hebrew, he taught me The Kabbalah, and he taught me more about real Christianity than anyone I ever met,” Neville declared.

Neville originally came to the United States to study drama at the age of seventeen. In 1932 he gave up the theater to devote his attention to his studies in mysticism when he began his lecture career in New York City. After traveling throughout the country, he eventually made his home in Los Angeles where, in the late 1950’s, he gave a series of talks on television, and for many years, lectured regularly to capacity audiences at the Wilshire Ebell Theater. In the 1960′s and early ‘70s, he confined most of his lectures to Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Neville once said that if he was stranded on an island and was allowed one book, he would choose, The Bible, without hesitation. If he could squeeze in more, he would add Charles Fillmore’s Metaphysical Dictionary of Bible names, William Blake, (“… Why stand we here trembling around, Calling on God for help, and not ourselves, in whom God dwells?”) and Nicoll’s Commentaries. These were the books he recommended at his lectures.

In his lectures and books, Neville dealt solely with The Law until the year 1959, “For I did not know of The Promise until I began to experience it and have it unfold within me beginning that summer and continuing during the next three-and-one-half years. And this is Scriptural,” he would say, “read it in the of Book of Daniel where it is referred to as ‘a time, times, and a half.’ It comes to 1260 days in your experience of it.”

In his use of The Law, he related how he made a sea voyage from New York to see his family in Barbados during the Depression, without any money of his own. He related how, by the use of imaginal power, he was honorably discharged from military service to continue his lectures during World War 11. He gave his audiences in San Francisco in the 1950′s and ‘60s accounts of how others had made use of The Law. He discussed it on television in the Los Angeles area, “Learn how to use your imaginal power, lovingly, on behalf of others, for Man is moving into a world where everything is subject to his imaginal power,” he taught.

In the latter part of the 1960′s and early ‘70′s Neville gave more emphasis to The Promise after he had experienced it. The use of imaginal power can change circumstances, but it is all temporary, “– and will vanish like smoke,” he asserted with another sweep of his hand. “Oh. – you can use it to make a fortune, to become known in the world – all these things are done – but your true purpose here is to fulfill Scripture,” so he subordinated it and became as eager to hear accounts by those who had experienced The Promise, and sharing such accounts, as he had of those with The Law.

In the last years of his life he said, “I know my time is short. I have finished the work I have been sent to do and I am now eager to depart. I know I will not appear in this three-dimensional world again for The Promise has been fulfilled in me. As for where I go, I will know you there as I have known you here, for we are all brothers, infinitely in love with each other.”

This discovery Neville called God’s “Promise.” There is nothing any person can do to earn it. It is sheer Grace and comes in its own good time.

If you do not experience it in this life, then what?

“You pass through a door — that’s all that death is,” Neville said, “and — you are restored to life instantly in a world like this — just this world,” he was fond of saying to his audiences with a sweep of his hand, “and you go on there with the same problems you had here with no loss of identity – not old, not blind, not crippled, if you depart this life that way, but young. They grow, and they marry, and they die there, too, with all the fear of death that we have here. And if they die there without experiencing The Promise, they are restored to life again and again in a place best suited to the work yet to be done on them. And it continues until ‘Christ be formed in you’ and as ‘sons of The Resurrection’ you leave this world of death never to enter it gain.”

“You are born once through the womb of woman, once from above,” Neville insists you don’t go through any womb again.

What about the fear many have of eternal hell and damnation? In response to this often asked question, Neville replied with a quote from Scriptures, “’Not one shall be lost in all my holy mountain.’ You are God and how could God eternally condemn Himself?”

Until we awaken and make this discovery, we are privileged to use a Law, given by God, to “cushion the blows of life.” The Law, stated succinctly is this, In Neville’s words: “Imagining creates reality,”

Neville spoke without notes and followed his lectures with questions and answers. When he was asked if he had tapes of his lectures for sale, he replied, “I have no tapes. Others here are making tapes for their own use, Perfectly all right. But I have no tapes.”

There are many tapes of his lectures In Los Angeles and San Francisco circulating, thanks to the loyalty and dedication of many of Neville’s students and friends who have preserved much of What he said. His books are also in print.

Neville departed from the Earth plane on October 1, 1972, in Los Angeles.

Although Neville’s career peaked in the late 1950’s and early 60’s, his message continues to find a place in the hearts of spiritual readers throughout the world today.

Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon (commonly known as Madame Guyon) (13 April 1648 – 9 June 1717) was a French mystic and one of the key advocates of Quietism. Quietism was considered heretical by the Roman Catholic Church, and she was imprisoned from 1695 to 1703 after publishing a book on the topic, A Short and Easy Method of PrayerGuyon was the daughter of Claude Bouvier, a procurator of the tribunal of Montargis. Of a sensitive and delicate constitution, she was sickly in her childhood and her education was neglected. Her childhood was spent between the convent, and the home of her well–to–do parents, moving nine times in ten years. Guyon’s parents were very religious people, and they gave her an especially pious training. Other important impressions from her youth that remained with her came from reading the works of St. Francis de Sales, and from certain nuns, her teachers. At one time she wanted to be a nun, but soon changed her mind.When she was 16 years old, after turning down many other proposals, she married a wealthy gentleman of Montargis, Jacques Guyon, age thirty eight. During her twelve years of marriage, Guyon suffered terribly at the hands of her mother-in-law and maidservant. Adding to her misery were the deaths of her half sister, followed by her mother, her beloved son, and of her daughter and father who died within days of each other. Guyon continued belief in God’s perfect plan and that she would be blessed in suffering. To this end she was, when she bore another son and daughter shortly before her husband’s death. After twelve years of an unhappy marriage, Madame Guyon had become a widow at the age of 28.During her marriage, Guyon became introduced to mysticism by Fr. François La Combe, a Barnabite, and was instructed by him.

Charles Francis Haanel (May 22, 1866 – November 27, 1949) was a noted American New Thought author and a businessman. He is best known for his contributions to the New Thought Movement through his book The Master Key System.Haanel’s book The Master Key System, was published in 1912, when he was 46 years old. It is written in the form of a course in New Thought, mental development, financial success, and personal health. The book was heavily promoted in the pages of Elizabeth Towne’s New Thought magazine The Nautilus. By 1933 it had sold over 200,000 copies worldwide. Haanel practiced the financial principles he preached and was a self made success who owned several major companies. According to Stevens, writing in 1909, “He was president of the Continental Commercial Company, president of the Sacramento Valley Improvement Company, and president of the Mexico Gold & Silver Mining Company.”The original Master Key System contained 24 parts or modules of study. The allegedly “lost” chapters of the Master Key System, chapters 25-28, which are found in some editions, are not original, but have been copied from the chapters 11-14 of A book about You. Among the key points of Haanel’s system are what he refers to as the laws of concentration, attraction, and harmonious thinking and action. Unique to the Master Key System is a set of exercises that accompany each chapter, and which are systematically building upon each other — they are what makes the Master Key System a system.In addition to the Master Key System, Haanel wrote several other books including Mental Chemistry, published in 1922, The New Psychology, published in 1924, A Book about You, published in 1927, and The Amazing Secrets of the Yogi, co-authored with Victor Simon Perera and published in 1937.
Henry Thomas Hamblin (19 March 1873 – 28 October 1958) was an English mystic and New Thought author.The essence of Hamblin’s mystical experience and philosophy was of the omnipresence, omnipotence and all-goodness of God (“The Kingdom or realm of God is with us now and always”). He believed that “abounding health, sufficiency of supply, achievement, accomplishment and joy indescribable are the normal state for man.”, and that, to achieve this state, man needed to come into “harmony with Cosmic Law”.Over time the emphasis of Hamblin’s written work changed from showing people how to change their lives through right thought and faith, to teaching them how to find a living consciousness of God for himself alone.Hamblin’s work is continued to this day through the Hamblin Trust, a registered charity which publishes his books and the magazine, “New Vision” (founded in 1921). The trust, set in three acres of gardens in Bosham, West Sussex, is also a venue for organisations and events promoting healthy living and personal development
Napoleon Hill (October 26, 1883 – November 8, 1970) was an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. He is widely considered to be one of the great writers on success.His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time (at the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold 20 million copies).Hill’s works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. He became an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933-36. “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is one of Hill’s hallmark expressions. How achievement actually occurs, and a formula for it that puts success in reach of the average person, were the focal points of Hill’s books.According to his official biographer, Tom Butler-Bowdon, Napoleon Hill was born in a one-room cabin in the Appalachian town of Pound in Southwest Virginia. Hill’s mother died when he was ten years old, and his father remarried two years later. At the age of 13, Hill began writing as a “mountain reporter” for small-town newspapers in the area of Wise County, Virginia. He later used his earnings as a reporter to enter law school, but soon he had to withdraw for financial reasons.Hill considered the turning point in his life to have occurred in the year 1908 with his assignment, as part of a series of articles about famous and successful men, to interview the industrialist Andrew Carnegie. At the time, Carnegie was one of the most powerful men in the world. Hill discovered that Carnegie believed that the process of success could be outlined in a simple formula that anyone would be able to understand and achieve. Impressed with Hill, Carnegie asked him if he was up to the task of putting together this information, to interview or analyze over 500 successful men and women, many of them millionaires, in order to discover and publish this formula for success.As part of his research, Hill interviewed many of the most famous people of the time, including Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Eastman, Henry Ford, Elmer Gates, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Charles M. Schwab, F.W. Woolworth, William Wrigley Jr., John Wanamaker, William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft and Jennings Randolph. Hill was also an advisor to two presidents of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Thomas à Kempis(c. 1380 – 25 July 1471) was a late Medieval Catholic monk and the probable author of The Imitation of Christ, which is one of the best known Christian books on devotion. His name means, “Thomas of Kempen”, his home town and in German he is known as Thomas von Kempen. He also is known by various spellings of his family name: Thomas Haemerkken; Thomas Hammerlein; Thomas Hemerken, and Thomas Hämerken.He was born at the Lower Rhine region in Kempen, Germany, County of Cleves ca.1380. His paternal name was Hemerken, Kleverlandish for little hammer. His father John was a blacksmith and his mother, Gertrude was a school-mistress.In 1392 he followed his brother, Jan, to Deventer, Netherlands in order to attend the city school. While attending school in Deventer, Thomas encountered the Brethren of the Common Life, followers of Gerard Groote’s Modern Devotion. He attended school in Deventer from 1392 to 1399.After leaving school, Thomas traveled to Zwolle, Netherlands to visit his brother again, after Jan had become the prior of the Mount St. Agnes monastery. Thereafter, Thomas was invested at the Mount St. Agnes monastery in 1406. He did not become ordained as a priest, however, until almost a decade later. He became a prolific copyist and writer. Thomas received priest’s orders in 1413 and was made sub-prior of the monastery in 1429.

The monastery was disturbed for a time because of the pope’s rejection of the bishop-elect of Utrecht, Rudolf van Diepholt; otherwise, Thomas’s life was a quiet one, his time being spent between devotional exercises, composition, and copying. He copied the Bible no fewer than four times, one of the copies being preserved at Darmstadt, Germany in five volumes. In its teachings he was widely read and his works abound in Biblical quotations, especially from the New Testament.

Kempis died in 1471 near Zwolle in the Prince-Bishopric of Utrecht, seventy-five miles north of his birthplace.

Brother Lawrenceof the Resurrection (c. 1614 – 12 February 1691) served as a lay brother in a Carmelite monastery in Paris. Christians commonly remember him for the intimacy he expressed concerning his relationship to God as recorded in a book compiled after his death, the classic Christian text, The Practice of the Presence of God.Brother Lawrence was born Nicolas Herman in Hériménil, near Lunéville in the region of Lorraine, located in modern day eastern France. Having felt he had received a revelation of the providence and power of God at the age of 18, within six years he joined the Discalced Carmelite Priory in Paris. In this intervening period he fought in the Thirty Years’ War and later served as a valet.Nicolas entered the priory in Paris as a lay brother, not having the education necessary to become a cleric, and took the religious name, “Lawrence of the Resurrection”. He spent almost all of the rest of his life within the walls of the priory, working in the kitchen for most of his life and as a repairer of sandals in his later years.Despite his lowly position in life and the priory, his character attracted many to him. He had a reputation for experiencing profound peace and visitors came to seek spiritual guidance from him. The wisdom he passed on to them, in conversations and in letters, would later become the basis for the book, The Practice of the Presence of God. Father Joseph de Beaufort, later vicar general to the Archbishop of Paris, compiled this work after Brother Lawrence died. It became popular among Catholics and Protestants alike, with John Wesley and A. W. Tozer recommending it to others.

As a young man, Herman’s poverty forced him into joining the army, which guaranteed him meals and a small stipend. During this period, Herman claimed an experience that set him on a unique spiritual journey. He considered it a supernatural clarity into a common sight, more so than as a supernatural vision.

Mildred Mann (1904 – 1971) was active in the New Thought Movement and taught metaphysics in New York City. She founded the Society of Religious Pragmatism, which was later reorganized as the Society of Pragmatic Mysticism in Vermont. Her book Become What You Believe remains influential among non-denominational New Thought practitioners and adherents, especially the section in which she defines the “Seven Steps in Demonstration”:* Desire. Get a strong enthusiasm for that which you want in your life, a real longing for something which is not there now.
* Decision. Know definitely what it is that you want, what it is that you want to do or have, and be willing to pay in spiritual values.
* Ask. [When sure and enthusiastic] ask for it in simple, concise language. . . .
* Believe. Believe in the accomplishment with strong faith, consciously and subconsciously.
* Work. Work at it. . . a few minutes daily, seeing yourself in the finished picture. Never outline details, but rather see yourself enjoying the particular thing . . .
* Feel gratitude. Always remember to say, “Thank you, God,” and begin to feel the gratitude in your heart. The most powerful prayer we can ever make is those three words, provided we really feel it.
* Feel expectancy. Train yourself to live in a state of happy expectancy. . . . Act it until it becomes part of you, as it must and will.
William Walker Atkinson (December 5, 1862 – November 22, 1932) was an attorney, merchant, publisher, and author, as well as an occultist and an American pioneer of the New Thought movement. He is also known to have been the author of the pseudonymous works attributed to Theron Q. Dumont and Yogi Ramacharaka.Due in part to Atkinson’s intense personal secrecy and extensive use of pseudonyms, he is now largely forgotten, despite having obtained mention in past editions of Who’s Who in America, Religious Leaders of America, and several similar publications—and having written more than 100 books in the last 30 years of his life. His works have remained in print more or less continuously since 1900
Elizabeth Towne(1865 – 1960) was an influential writer, editor, and publisher in the New Thought and self-help movements.Both Elizabeth Towne and her second husband William E. Towne were for many years associated with the International New Thought Alliance (INTA), and served on its board in various capacities. She served as the president of INTA in 1924.Towne was the founder and publisher of Nautilus Magazine, a journal of the New Thought Movement that ran from 1898 through 1953, when she brought it to a close due to her advancing age (she was 88 years old at the time). She also operated the Elizabeth Towne Company, which published an extensive list of New Thought, metaphysical, self-help, and self-improvement books by herself and writers such as William Walker Atkinson, Kate Atkinson Boehme, Paul Ellsworth, Orison Swett Marden, Edwin Markham, Clara Chamberlain McLean, Helen Rhodes-Wallace, William Towne, and Wallace Wattles.
Ralph Waldo Trine(1866-1958) was a philosopher, mystic, teacher and author of many books, and was one of the early mentors of the New Thought Movement. His writings had a great influence on many of his contemporaries including Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science. He was a true pioneer in the area of life-transforming thought. No other New Thought author has sold more books than he, his writings reaching far beyond New Thought circles out to the general public, which has bought and read Trine’s books without ever knowing that they were New Thought.Trine was born on 6th September, 1866, in Mount Morris, northern Illinois. He was educated at Carthage College Academy, Knox College, A.B. 1891; and studied at the University of Winsconsin and later at John Hopkins University in the fields of history and political science. He was much interested in social and economic problems, having won a $100 prize for an essay on “The Effects of Human Education on the Prevention of Crime.” After spending some time as a graduate student at the latter University, Ralph was a special correspondent for The Boston Daily Evening Transcript. Whilst working in this capacity, he built himself a little cabin on the edge of a pine grove – testament to the peace and simplicity of the man. He married a graduate of the School of Expression (which became Curry College) who became Grace Hyde Trine, an author and poetess in her own right, and together they had a son, Robert. Trine lived for years at Mt. Airy, New York, and was deeply involved in the metaphysical seminars at Oscawana.
Thomas Trowardwas Her Majesty’s Assistant Commissioner and later Divisional Judge of the North Indian Punjab from 1869 until his retirement in 1896. It is this later period for which he is best remembered and most celebrated; in it he was at last able to devote himself to his great interest in metaphysical and esoteric studies.The most notable results were a few small volumes that have had a profound effect on the development of spiritual metaphysics, in particular that of the the New Thought Movement, of which the teaching known as Science of Mind is Troward’s most direct legacy. He was a much influential figure in the development of Ernest Holmes’ Religious Science/Science of Mind organization due to the impact his philosophy had on Holmes, and Troward’s teachings are regularly taught in Science of Mind classes.Thomas Troward was born in Punjab, India, in 1847 of British parents, Albany and Frederica Troward. His father was a full colonel in the Indian Army. He was brought back to England to attend school and in 1865, at the age of 18, he graduated from college with gold medal honors in literature. He then decided to study Law, although at heart he always considered himself an artist and a painter.At age 22, in 1869, he returned to India and took the difficult Indian Civil Service Examination. One of the subjects was metaphysics and Troward surprised everyone with his answers because of their originality. He became an assistant commissioner and was quickly promoted to Divisional Judge in the Punjab, where he served for the next 25 years.

In India, he married his first wife. Together, they had three children. He married a second time after his first wife died and had three more children. His second wife, Sarah Ann, helped in the publishing of his works after his death. In the forward to a publication entitled, Troward’s Comments On The Psalms, 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… He believed that the solution to all our problems was there (in the Bible) for those who read and meditated with minds at one with its Inspirer.”

Troward’s favorite hobby was painting. He had won several prizes for art in India. After he retired from Civil Service, he returned to England in 1902, at the age of 55, intending to devote himself to his painting, as well as writing. He had already thoroughly digested all of the sacred books of the oriental religions and they had certainly influenced his spiritual ideas. It is said that at one time a vision came to him about the development of a system of philosophy that gave peace of mind and the practical results of physical health and happiness to the individual.

People described him as a kind and understanding man, simple and natural in manner, but personally boring as a speaker. He was considered a very precise and proper Englishman. His two daughters were born of his second wife and he was fond of playing practical jokes with his family. While in India, he learned the language of the country. He studied all of the bibles of the world, including the Koran, Hindu scriptures and books of Raja Yoga. His studies in original Hebrew provided the foundation for his book, Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning.

Shortly after returning to England, Troward begin to write for the New Thought Expressions publication. He had already developed, in some detail, his philosophy of Mental Science when he was accidentally introduced to the “Higher Thought Center” of London through a Mrs. Alice Callow, who happened to meet him in a London tea room. This group immediately recognized him as an extremely articulate and learned individual. He was invited to give a series of lectures and in 1904 delivered his famous Edinburgh lectures at Queens Gate in Edinburgh, Scotland. These lectures were given to a very small but appreciative group of persons. However, it is said that even this captive, willing audience hardly understood what he was saying.

Still, Troward’s genius did not go unrecognized. The philosopher William James characterized Troward’s Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science as “far and away the ablest statement of philosophy I have met, beautiful in its sustained clearness of thought and style, a really classic statement.”

His writing is a combination of intuitive oriental mysticism filtered into a Western pedantic writing style. It is said that reading Troward is difficult. Actually, if we read Troward slowly and deliberately we will discover that he is very clear and concise. The secret of understanding Troward is to understand his major premises, then how he logically argues from those premises. This is typical of the Western legal mind.

Troward was a major influence on the works of Ernest Holmes, Frederick Bailes, Joseph Murphy and Emmett Fox, and has been quoted by numerous other writers.

It must be remembered in reading Troward that he was a product of his time. His books use scientific jargon that was present around 1900. He was raised in the Church of England and had read the Bible daily from boyhood. Therefore, his books, especially Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning have a clear Christian bent.

On May 16, 1916, at the age of 69, Thomas Troward passed from this plane. He will be recognized in history as a contributing influence to Religious Science, the New Thought Movement in the United States and Great Britain, and also, to some extent, to the more liberal ideas of the Church of England.

Sun Wu(simplified Chinese: traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Sūn Wǔ), style name Changqing , better known as Sun Tzu or Sunzi (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Sūnzǐ; pronounced [swə́n ts̀]), was an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed, and who is most likely, to have authored The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. Sun Tzu has had a significant impact on Chinese and Asian history and culture, both as an author of The Art of War and through legend.Historians have questioned whether or not Sun Tzu was an authentic historical figure. Traditional accounts place him in the Spring and Autumn Period of China (722–481 BC) as a military general serving under King Helü of Wu, who lived c. 544–496 BC. Modern scholars accepting his historicity place the completion of The Art of War in the Warring States Period (476–221 BC), based on the descriptions of warfare in the text, and on the similarity of text’s prose to other works completed in the early Warring States period.Traditional accounts state that his descendant, Sun Bin, also wrote a treatise on military tactics, titled Sun Bin’s Art of War. Both Sun Wu and Sun Bin were referred to as Sun Tzu in classical Chinese writings, and some historians believed that Sun Wu was in fact Sun Bin until Sun Bin’s own treatise was discovered in 1972. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society, and his work continues to influence both Asian and Western culture and politics.
Wallace Delois Wattles(1860–1911) was an American author. A New Thought writer, he remains personally somewhat obscure,but his writing has been widely quoted and remains in print in the New Thought and self-help movements.Wattles’ best known work is a 1910 book called The Science of Getting Rich in which he explained how to become wealthy.Wattles’ daughter, Florence A. Wattles, described her father’s life in a “Letter” that was published shortly after his death in the New Thought magazine Nautilus, edited by Elizabeth Towne. The Nautilus had previously carried articles by Wattles in almost every issue, and Towne was also Wattles’s book publisher. Florence Wattles wrote that her father was born in the United States in 1860, received little formal education, and found himself excluded from the world of commerce and wealth.According to the 1880 US Federal Census Wallace was living with his parents on a farm in Nunda Township of McHenry County, Illinois and working as a farm laborer. His father is listed as a gardener with his mother ‘keeping house’. Wallace is listed as being born in Illinois while his parents are listed as born in New York. No other siblings are recorded as living with the family. According to the 1910 census Wattles had changed the spelling of his last name from Walters to Wattles, He was married to Abbie Walters 47 at the time, they had 3 children Florence Walters; 22, Russell H Walters; 27, and Agnes Walters; 16. It also shows that at the time Wallace’s mother was living with the family Mary A Walters at the age of 79.

Florence wrote that “he made lots of money, and had good health, except for his extreme frailty” in the last three years before his death, Wattles died on February 7, 1911 in Ruskin, Tennessee and his body was transported home for burial to Elwood, Indiana. As a sign of respect businesses closed throughout the town for two hours on the afternoon of his funeral.

His death at age 51 was regarded as “untimely” by his daughter, as during the previous year he had not only published two books (The Science of Being Well and The Science of Getting Rich), but he had also run for public office.

 
 
 
 

 

Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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