What I have to offer today is a full, online copy of Henry Wood’s book, The New Thought Simplified, published in September 1903. Henry Wood (1834-1908) was a philosopher and psychologist who introduced many people to New Thought ideas.
Henry Wood is important because of the endorsements he got in the early days by William James and in recent years by Deb Whitehouse, Ed.D, Process New Thought philosopher and long-time editor of INTA magazine. In between these two endorsements are dozens of quotes found in Unity over several decades. No doubt Henry Wood was one of Charles Fillmore’s favorites. Let me start with William James.
William James wrote in The Varieties of Religious Experience, p.78:
The plain fact remains that the spread of the movement has been due to practical fruits ... It matters nothing that, just as there are hosts of persons who cannot pray, so there are greater hosts who cannot by any possibility be influenced by the mind-curers’ ideas. For our immediate purpose, the important point is that so large a number should exist who CAN be so influenced. They form a psychic type to be studied with respect. ... It is evidently bound to develop still farther, both speculatively and practically, and its latest writers are far and away the ablest of the group :  I refer to Mr. Horatio W. Dresser and Mr. Henry Wood, especially the former. Mr. Dresser’s works are published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York and London; Mr. Wood’s by Lee & Shepard Boston.
Think for a moment what James is asserting: New Thought is reaching people who cannot pray. And New Thought is not only reaching them, it is bearing practical fruit in their life. I’m going to repeat that as an affirmation. I hope you memorize, tweet, share on FB and include it in your Sunday sermon:
New Thought is reaching people who cannot pray. And New Thought is not only reaching them, it is bearing practical fruit in their life.
This quote from William James is on the back cover Deb Whitehouse’s book: Sunny Apartments: The Thought of Henry Wood (1834-1909). Deb wrote, spoke and taught with her beloved partner, Dr. Alan Anderson. Her book is based on two and a half years of commentary she wrote on Henry Wood writings in their newsletter, The Philosopher's Stone. You can read more on their Henry Wood page.
It’s fair to say that no one knows more or has written more of Henry Wood than Deb Whitehouse. She writes in an opening chapter, “In the life cycle of any organization there needs to be a period of stocktaking, of determining what is currently going on and whether or not it is working.” Her conclusion, like the conclusion made by William James, is that Wood’s writings were bearing fruit — and they were bearing fruit even for those who were uncertain about God, healing and miracles. Further on, she continues,
[Wood] espouses naturalism of the non-supernatural, non-superstitious sort that process philosopher David Ray Griffin later outlined. Wood was so broad and yet balanced in his interests that every page brings up new topics to pursue in both science and religion, which he sought to reunite. Reading Wood aloud, the Philosopher [Alan] and I found new delights on every page.
That is another way of saying New Thought is reaching people who cannot pray. And New Thought is not only reaching them, it is bearing practical fruit in their life.
Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, 2022