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Best New Thought of All Time

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    1

    Power of choice

    Power of Choice is originally introduced by "Science of Mind" New Thought philosopher Frederick Bailes in the 19th century with this quote: "Man’s power of choice enables him to think like an angel or a devil, a king or a slave. Whatever he chooses, mind will create and manifest", the concept of the ability for humans to decide, using free will, the course of their lives, has separated the species from the rest of the animal kingdom. Choice empowers the human condition—some respected sources contend that choice is more of a curse. Researchers from several prominent universities have discovered that while the human ability to weigh a variety of choices can be advantageous, it can also provide serious liability. Through a series of seven experiments involving over 300 participants, researchers discovered that if shoppers in a mall were subjected to many decisions, no matter how significant, their ability to do simple math problems was severely compromised. The concept of the Power of Choice is used extensively by the advertising industry, which seeks to guide consumers to purchase products while conveying them a sense of choice that may be less real than the consumer believes. In the
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    New Thought Ministries of Oregon

    New Thought Ministries of Oregon

    New Thought Center for Spiritual Living, formerly New Thought Ministries of Oregon, is a New Thought church in the U.S. state of Oregon. In 2007, the church became affiliated with the United Centers for Spiritual Living and changed its name to the New Thought Center for Spiritual Living.
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    5

    Transcendentalism

    Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the Eastern region of the United States as a protest to the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard University and the doctrine of the Unitarian church taught at Harvard Divinity School. Among the transcendentalists' core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both man and nature. Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions—particularly organized religion and political parties—ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. They had faith that man is at his best when truly "self-reliant" and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed. The major figures in the movement were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Margaret Fuller and Amos Bronson Alcott. Other prominent transcendentalists included Louisa May Alcott, Charles Timothy Brooks, Orestes Brownson, William Ellery Channing, William Henry Channing, James Freeman Clarke, Christopher Pearse Cranch, Walt Whitman, John Sullivan Dwight, Convers Francis, William Henry Furness, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederic Henry
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    6

    Transcendentalist Generation

    The Transcendentalist Generation was the first generation of Americans born in the republic established by the Constitution of the United States. They were born from 1789 to 1819. They would draw much inspiration from the previous generation (The Founding Generation), but would break from the rationalist approach of the founders, to emphasize instead the non-verbal romanticism and spiritualism inspired by Hindu and Buddhist thought.
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    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence". Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first, then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, published respectively in 1841 and 1844 – represent the core of his thinking, and include such well-known essays as Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet and Experience. Together with Nature, these essays made the decade from the
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    10

    The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life

    "The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life" was an essay by the philosopher William James, which he first delivered as a lecture to the Yale Philosophical Club, in 1891. It was later included in the collection, The Will to Believe and other Essays in Popular Philosophy. James' essay anticipated theories of value-pluralism later associated with Isaiah Berlin and Joseph Raz. He drew a distinction between three questions in ethics: psychological, metaphysical, casuistic. "The psychological question asks after the historical origin of our moral ideas and judgments; the metaphysical question asks what the very meaning of the words 'good,' 'ill,' and 'obligation' are; the casuistic question asks what is the measure of the various goods and ills which men recognize, so that the philosopher may settle the true order of human obligations." As James sees it, the psychological question is whether human ideas of good and evil arise from "the association of [certain ideals] with act of simple bodily pleasures and reliefs from pain." He believes that some elements of our moral sentiment do have such a source, and that Jeremy Bentham and his followers have done the world a lasting service by
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    11
    William James

    William James

    William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist who had trained as a physician. He was the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. James wrote influential books on pragmatism, psychology, educational psychology, the psychology of religious experience, and mysticism. He was the brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James. In the summer of 1878, James married Alice Gibbens. William James was born at the Astor House in New York City. He was the son of Henry James Sr., a noted and independently wealthy Swedenborgian theologian well acquainted with the literary and intellectual elites of his day. The intellectual brilliance of the James family milieu and the remarkable epistolary talents of several of its members have made them a subject of continuing interest to historians, biographers, and critics. James interacted with a wide array of writers and scholars throughout his life, including his godfather Ralph Waldo Emerson, his godson William James Sidis, as well as Charles Sanders Peirce, Bertrand Russell, Josiah Royce, Ernst Mach, John Dewey, Macedonio Fernández, Walter Lippmann, Mark Twain,
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    13

    Frederick Bailes

    Frederick Bailes (1889–1970) was a New Thought teacher of Science of Mind. Bailes served with Ernest Holmes as Assistant Dean of the Science of Mind Institute in Los Angeles, and later headed the largest Science of Mind church of its day. Born in New Zealand, Bailes attended the London Missionary School of Medicine until 1915. That year, one month before he graduated, Bailes became too sick from diabetes to complete his studies. After considering the effects of placebos on people with diseases, Bailes became convinced he could cure himself of diabetes, and using affirmative prayer, Bailes did exactly that. Bailes' influence extended beyond New Thought, also influencing Christians and self-help writers. His approach starts, he says, "with the fundamental truth that the person for whom we are treating is a perfect idea in the Mind of God, and our whole procedure during a treatment is intended to remove from our own mind any idea or picture of imperfection or sickness".
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    14

    International New Thought Association

    The International New Thought Alliance (INTA) is an umbrella organization for New Thought adherents "dedicated to serving the New Thought Movement’s various branches, organizations and individuals". The antecedents of the International New Thought Alliance date back to an 1899 New England convention of the Metaphysical Club, one of the first New Thought organizations, formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1895 by, among others, L. B. Macdonald, J. W. Lindy and Frederick Reed. The first public lecture sponsored by the club was an address by Julia Ward Howe. This convention led to the founding of the International Metaphysical League the following year. This League held the "International New Thought Convention" in Chicago in 1903, which was followed by similar conventions in 1906 and 1907. In 1908, the organization was renamed the "National New Thought Alliance". This organization held national conventions annually through 1914. The first international convention, held in London, England June 21–26, 1914, saw the renaming and re-organizing of the National New Thought Alliance into the International New Thought Alliance. The New Thought Bulletin was the newsletter for the organization.
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    15
    Living Enrichment Center

    Living Enrichment Center

    Living Enrichment Center, often referred to as LEC, was a New Thought megachurch and retreat center in the U.S. state of Oregon. Originally founded in the Scholls, Oregon farmhouse of senior minister Mary Manin Morrissey in the mid-1970s, the church grew so exponentially that it moved to a 94,500 square foot (8,800 m²) building on a forested area of 95 acres (384,000 m²) in Wilsonville in 1992. Over the course of its existence, the congregation grew from less than a dozen to an estimated 4,000 making it the biggest New Thought church in the state. Living Enrichment Center also maintained an in-house bookstore, retreat center, cafe, kindergarten and elementary school, and an outreach television ministry. Living Enrichment Center closed in 2004 as a result of a $10.7 million financial scandal. Mary Manin Morrissey's husband Edward Morrissey pled guilty to money laundering and using church money for the personal expenses of himself and his wife. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison. He was released in early 2007. Living Enrichment Center transitioned into New Thought Center for Spiritual Living. "The dream called Living Enrichment Center began in 1974 when I graduated from
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    16

    The Transcendentalist

    Ralph Waldo Emerson's The Transcendentalist is one of the essays he wrote while establishing the doctrine of American Transcendentalism. The lecture was read at the Masonic Temple in Boston, Massachusetts in January 1842. The work begins by contrasting materialists and idealists. Emerson laments the absence of "old idealists." He goes on to outline the fundamental beliefs and characteristics of the New England Transcendentalists. He discusses the nature of epistemology and the debate between Locke and Kant on Imperative forms and Transcendental forms, and discusses perception and reality in a blatantly Platonic sense. He says that solitude is a state of being that should be encouraged, for it allows humanity to achieve a higher level of alignment with nature and prevents the contamination that one encounters within a society. Henry David Thoreau embodied the majority of these characteristics, except for neglecting to take action against the government. Thoreau was a staunch abolitionist; his home was a stop on the underground railroad. He was actively subverting the government, but Emerson admitted that there was no perfect Transcendentalist. Emerson created a perfect, ideal
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    19

    New England Transcendentalists

    New England Transcendentalists are the core group of writers from whom the phenomenon of American Transcendentalism radiated. The primary examples are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Bronson Alcott among others from Concord, Massachusetts. This group was largely influenced by the Unitarian church in nearby Boston.
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    20

    The Varieties of Religious Experience

    The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 1901 and 1902. These lectures concerned the nature of religion and the neglect of science, in James' view, in the academic study of religion. Soon after its publication, the book entered the canon of psychology and philosophy and has remained in print for over a century. James went on to develop his philosophy of pragmatism. There are many overlapping ideas in Varieties and his 1907 book, Pragmatism. James believed that the study of the origin of an object or an idea does not play a role in the study of its value. He asserted that existential judgment, or the scientific examination of an object's origin, is a separate matter from that object's value. As an example, he alluded to the Quaker religion and its founder, George Fox. Many of the scientists in James' audience immediately reject all aspects of the Quaker religion because evidence suggests that Fox was schizophrenic. Calling this rejection medical materialism,
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    21

    Essays in Radical Empiricism

    Essays in Radical Empiricism (ERE) by William James is a collection edited and published posthumously by his colleague and biographer Ralph Barton Perry in 1912. It was assembled from ten out of a collection of twelve reprinted journal articles published from 1904–1905 which James had deposited in August, 1906, at the Harvard University Library and the Harvard Department of Philosophy for supplemental use by his students. Perry replaced two essays from the original list with two others, one of which didn't exist at the earlier time. Because ERE is a collection of essays written over a period of time, and ultimately not selected or collated by their author, it is not a systematic exposition of his thought even though Perry suggests otherwise in his preface. This circumstance, in addition to the evolution of James own philosophic stance, has contributed to a wide variance in understanding, misunderstanding, and critical opinion of radical empiricism. This is the original collection of articles deposited by James (as bound by Harvard about 1912), with dates of journal publication.: In mid-1907 James composed a list of 15 essays for an anticipated book titled "Essays in Radical
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