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Science of Mind

Short Definition of Science of Mind

"Science of Mind" is a generic term used by various early New Thought writers to describe a form of New Thought which combines the latest scientific breakthroughs with the finest in Ancient Wisdom traditions, including philosophy, while propounding the belief in a responsive Universal Energy.

Originating with 19th Century Philosopher John Bascom, whose book Science of Mind was published in 1881, this teaching is continually growing and transforming in the light of contemporary science. Science of Mind is still evolving today. Although some misguided individuals would attempt to assert a trademark on this form of New Thought, it is a doomed expression of greed which could never be upheld in any court of competent jurisdiction where the truth of this wonderful form of New Thought would emerge. These are the same individuals whose odd delusions are in fact at the root of why New Thought did not thrive in the 20th Century.

John Bascom has been called the "often unrecognized father of New Thought." During a time in which Pantheism had entered mass consciousness and was largely the accepted view, Bascom articulated the principles that eventually came to epitomize today's New Thought movement. His work supports the understanding of the relationship of God to the soul and personality, articulating a theology of a living personal God, human rights and the continuation of the soul after death, reconciling Science and Faith through his philosophy, variously called Natural Theology, Science of Mind, and Constructive Realism.

Bascom's teachings preconfigured the teachings of 19th Century New Thought such as Unity and Divine Science, 20th Century New Thought such as the Religious Science Church (which has since evolved into the United Centers for Spiritual Living), Church of Truth and Universal Foundation for Better Living and continues to unfold in 21st Century forms of New Thought such as DivineUnity (which includes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ~ U.D.H.R.)

Some believe that Bascom is timeless because of his belief in the "Unity of Mind and Matter," others because of his teaching that "the physical universe is a product of God's thought." Still others are enthusiastic about Bascom and Science of Mind because of his demonstration of health, living to the age of 84 despite physical challenges that brought others of his generation to an early demise. Bascom taught that "Physical forces throughout all time are permeated and carried forward by spiritual forces." Bascom's idea that there is "a system of laws which sustain one another and completely cover all the phenomena of the world," was later echoed by Ernest Holmes in the opening of his pamphlet: Lessons in Spiritual Mind Healing (

Perhaps what makes Bascom timeless is his teaching that: "Man is both created and creator. A creature of God, he is free to work with God from this time forth." This New Thought concept which Bascom fervently promoted, was later given the name "co-creation."

It has been and still is the nature of New Thought to constantly recyle and refine ideas and in some cases failing to give credit where credit is due. Even Mary Baker Eddy who created a personal religion (Christian Science) and relentlessly pushed it forward with her intense and domineering personality, makes reference to the Science of Mind form of New Thought in her 1891 work: "Rudimental Divine Science." (

In Rudimental Divine Science she writes:

Page 4: "Science is Mind manifested.  It is not material; neither is it of human origin." 

Page 6:" Science of Mind healing is best understood in practical demonstration."

Page 11: "the demonstration of the Science of Mind healing by no means rests on the strength of human belief.  This demonstration is based on a true understanding of God and divine Science, which takes away every human belief, and,  through the illumination of spiritual understanding, reveals the all-power and ever-presence of good,"

Page 16: "In reality there is, and can be, but one school of the Science of Mindhealing.  Any departure from Science is an irreparable loss of Science.  Whatever is said and written correctly on this Science originates from the Principle and practice laid down in Science and Health, a work which I published in 1875."

In Scientific Christian Mental Practice, Emma Curtis Hopkins writes about Science of Mind in a number of places:

Page 16: "Therefore in the Science of Mind you may take for your first idea one word. It is the word 'Good'."

Page 25: "The first lesson of the Science of Mind tells the foundation idea of Mind."

Page 31: "The Science of Mind always runs by orderly steps in the same way. The first chapter of Genesis is the Science of Mind stated in the exact order of coming forth as power, as intelligence, as substance."

Page 128: "The Science of Mind must be the Science of Life."

Page 161: "in the Science of Mind. Even your dreams tell you the state of your mind."

New Thought editor and writer William Atkinson was a strong proponent of Science of Mind, writing about this form of New Thought in 1908. The current darling of Science of Mind adherents is 20th Century author Ernest Holmes who wrote his version of Science of Mind in 1927; its references to psychic phenomena (stripped away from later versions) reveal the strong influence of Thomson Jay Hudson, who wrote The Law of Psychic Phenomena in 1893. Ernest Holmes, perhaps the quintessential American Mystic, garnered one of Hudson's three laws of psychic phenomena ["Man has two minds: the objective mind (conscious) and the subjective mind (subconscious)"] into his writings. Holmes, with the aid of co-writer Maude Allison Latham, revised his version of Science of Mind in 1938. Although in the public domain and freely available, it is not as popular as his original 1927 version of Science of Mind, perhaps because the section on psychic phenomena was excluded, or because recent editions appear to have deleted credit to his female co-writer: Maude Allison Latham. It should be noted that the 1938 revision is beloved by Science of Mind ministers around the world. The fact that it is in the public domain should not be a rationale to eliminate the co-writer from the credits. Ernest Holmes never graduated from high school, or attended any college or university. Ernest was ordained in the Divine Science tradition of New Thought (,,, then went on to be awarded multiple honorary degrees from a variety of universities. Down to 13 centers, Divine Science is the oldest New Thought denomination and at one time the largest. In 2014, Divine Science was reported to be involved in some kind of merger with another old New Thought Organization. How it that this New Thought organization could go from being the largest denomination to 13 centers? According to New Thought Teachings, the reason for this would be consciousness, in this case the collective consciousness of the organization. A repetitive cycle within the New Thought movement revolves around the desire for a small group of individuals to push their interpretation of New Thought at the expense of others. This phenomena is usually first outpictured in marketing gambits such as branding.

Ernest Holmes, a 20th Century New Thought writer liked to describe this form of New Thought as: "A correlation of laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to the needs and aspirations of humankind"

Bascom's assertion that: "The difference between saint and sinner is merely in the use and abuse of powers alike to all," was also reiterated by Ernest Holmes. Although many have remarked upon the fact that Ernest Holmes never cited any of the texts he quotes extensively in his works, it should be noted again that Ernest never graduated from high school or attended university. We must celebrate Holmes for his wonderful ability to consolidate different forms of thought. Holmes himself spoke about how he was not original in his work or his concepts. Lacking even a modicum of formal education was probably the reason that Holmes was unable to create proper citations and therefore never did. Does this fact detract from his genius? Not at all. In fact it simply makes his accomplishments all the more remarkable.

As we celebrate the contributions of so many to the Science of Mind form of New Thought, we should take pleasure in the fact that Bascom's concepts have been so deeply accepted in New Thought today that they span the vast multitude of denominations that the New Thought movement has spawned.


Explore the Rainbow of New Thought Beliefs / Discover your Truth!

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New Thought Beliefs

Today there are at least ten different New Thought Denominations, some of which prefer to call themselves "Transdenominations." Although some say this term comes from the Rocky Horror Picture Show:

We believe it was invented by one of the more popular ministers in California.

One must understand that in New Thought there can be a tendency by some well-meaning souls to create new language such as the terms "transdenominational," or "chemiicalization" which conjure up strange imagery. This often springs from well meaning intent to describe things that these people have not learned the language for.

In fact there are many wonderful and diverse organizations within New Thought with distinct approaches to both their methods of teachings and their root texts.

Explore the different belief structures and beliefs of the various denominations and choose the path that best suits you. Although there are some denominations who attempt to avoid the issue of articulating beliefs ...

This is an exploration of the beliefs articulated by various New Thought denominations at some time or other.

New Thought - Divine Science - Divine Unity - Home of Truth - New Thought Alliance - New Thought Affiliates - Religious Science - Science of Mind - Seicho No Ie - Unity - Universal Foundation for Better Living

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