Gender inclusive and diversity symbol.

The Role of Evolving Consciousness in New Thought

As our consciousness evolves, so does our comprehension of the world and our place within it. This evolution is about both personal growth and our collective advancements as spiritual communities. New Thought has traditionally embraced this journey, using it as a framework to integrate more profound truths and adapt to new realities.

Integrating Contemporary Insights into Gender Diversity into the New Thought Movement

In keeping with its progressive roots, New Thought is uniquely positioned to incorporate contemporary insights of gender diversity. This integration of a “new thought” about gender is crucial as it reflects our current understanding of gender as a spectrum rather than a binary concept, aligning with both scientific findings and the treatment of gender diverse individuals in ancient wisdom traditions. By reimagining our foundational principles through the lens of modern gender studies, New Thought continues to offer relevant and inclusive spiritual perspectives.

The Importance of Adaptation in Spiritual Practices

This adaptability is essential for any spiritual practice seeking to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world. It ensures that New Thought honors its origins and remains at the forefront of discussions on spirituality and identity. This commitment to evolution and inclusivity invites followers and new seekers alike to explore their spirituality in a space that values and respects their unique identities.

Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science: The Development of New Thought

The origins of New Thought are distinguished by an integration of ancient wisdom with the empiricism of modern science. Pioneers like Franz Mesmer and Phineas P. Quimby applied scientific methods to mental and religious healing, illustrating the significant impact of the mind on physical health.

The Convergence of Diverse Philosophies

During the development of New Thought, science and religion were frequently viewed as paradigms at odds with one another, a phenomenon that still exists today. The New Thought movement became a bridge between the two. New Thought metaphysics embraced the empirical methods of the burgeoning scientific community alongside the spiritual insights from ancient traditions. The movement’s approach was revolutionary, proposing that true understanding can come from a synthesis of science and spirituality.

Continuing the Legacy: Modern Advances and Ancient Wisdom

Today, as we continue to witness advances in fields like psychology, neurology, and quantum physics, the New Thought movement remains at the forefront of integrating these discoveries with spiritual practices. This ongoing integration reaffirms the movement’s belief in the importance of a holistic approach to understanding life’s mysteries.

Headshots of women in new thought in order: "Mary Baker Eddie, Emma Curtis-Hopkins, H. Emile Cady, Myrtle Fillmore, Nona L. Brooks, and Malinda Cramer.
Top Row: Mary Baker Eddy, Emma Curtis Hopkins, and H. Emilie Cady Bottom Row: Myrtle Fillmore, Nina L. Brooks, and Malinda Cramer

A Few of the Influential Women in New Thought

Mary Baker Eddy: Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy‘s work was revolutionary in its assertion that mind and spirit could directly influence the body. Her ideas challenged both medical and ecclesiastical authority, positioning her as a formidable figure in religious and healing circles.

Emma Curtis Hopkins: Known as the “teacher of teachers,” Hopkins was instrumental in shaping the philosophies of several key New Thought branches, including Unity and Religious Science. Her synthesis of spiritual ideals with a structured method of study and practice offered a new framework that was both accessible and profound for her many students, majority of whom were women.

H. Emilie Cady: Best known for her work “Lessons in Truth,” Cady brought a deeply thoughtful and systematic approach to New Thought teachings, helping to lay a foundational text for Unity and influencing countless seekers with her clear exposition of metaphysical laws.

Myrtle Fillmore: Co-founder of Unity, Myrtle Fillmore’s personal healing experience was central to the formation of the Unity School of Christianity. Her emphasis on affirmative prayer and the power of thought to change physical conditions has remained a cornerstone of Unity teachings.

Nora Brooks and Malinda Cramer: As leaders within the Divine Science branch of New Thought, both women contributed significantly to its theology and practice. Their work helped solidify the movement’s commitment to healing through spiritual understanding and the application of divine laws.

We could list countless women that influenced the New Thought movement, but these are just a few representations of how the New Thought movement was profoundly impacted by the inclusion of women’s voices.

A Progressive Stance on Women’s Leadership

At a time when leadership in most fields, including science and religion, was dominated by men, the New Thought movement distinguished itself by actively promoting and valuing the contributions of women. This progressive stance challenged societal norms and enriched the movement with diverse perspectives, particularly in how spirituality and science can intersect and inform one another.

The Impact of Women’s Leadership in New Thought

The involvement of these pioneering women was foundational to New Thought’s identity and growth. By embracing and elevating women to leadership roles, New Thought expanded its boundaries and provided a model of empowerment that influenced contemporary spiritual and religious movements. The inclusion of women leaders facilitated a more comprehensive exploration of spirituality that was deeply interwoven with the principles of healing and personal growth, making the movement particularly appealing to those who sought a more personal and direct experience of the divine.

Revisiting Foundations: Modern Science and Ancient Wisdom

The New Thought movement has historically been at the forefront of gender inclusion, beginning with its early inclusion of women in leadership roles. This foundational inclusivity has set the stage for a broader and more progressive understanding of gender roles within the movement.

Modern Science and the Spectrum of Gender

Recent advancements in science continue to underscore the fluidity of gender. Biological sex and gender identity are increasingly understood as spectrums rather than fixed binaries. This perspective is supported by research in fields such as psychology, endocrinology and genetics, which reveal the nuanced ways that individuals express biological sex and gender beyond simple male and female categories.

Gender and Ancient Wisdom: A New Thought for Today

As we honor our roots in both ancient wisdom and innovative scientific thought, it is time for the New Thought movement to forge new paths in understanding gender diversity. Recognizing contemporary scientific discoveries about gender and integrating them with spiritual insights can help us foster a more inclusive and compassionate community.

Embracing Ancient Wisdom: The Foundations of New Thought and the Call for Gender Diversity

The New Thought movement has long embraced ancient wisdom traditions, drawing particularly from Sanatana Dharma, or Hinduism. This rich tradition has informed many core New Thought teachings, especially concepts like God as an omnipresent principle and the universal creative power. These ideas reflect Hindu philosophical and theological tenets that see the divine as an integral, pervasive force in the universe, transcending individual and discrete manifestations.

Revisiting Ancient Perspectives on Gender

With the advancements of modern science shedding new light on gender identity, it becomes imperative for New Thought to revisit these ancient wisdom traditions and their inclusive views on gender. Sanatana Dharma, along with other indigenous traditions, offers a broad and accepting view of gender diversity, which can greatly inform and enrich contemporary understandings within the New Thought movement.

Celebrating Gender Diversity in Hinduism and Indigenous Cultures

Hinduism, or Sanatana Dharma, has a long history of recognizing and honoring gender diversity, evident in its deities, spiritual texts, and community practices. The hijras of India—a community recognized as a third gender—have been considered both sacred and integral to the cultural fabric of Hindu society.

Indigenous cultures around the world also demonstrate a profound respect for gender diversity. Many Native American tribes, for example, have recognized Two-Spirit individuals—people who embody qualities of both genders—as community leaders who are often seen as bridge-makers, teachers, and healers due to their unique perspectives and abilities to understand multiple viewpoints.

The Importance of Embracing Gender Diversity in New Thought

As New Thought practitioners committed to the principles of spiritual inclusivity and progressive understanding, recognizing and embracing gender diversity is not just an academic exercise—it is a moral and spiritual imperative. By aligning with the inclusive views of ancient wisdom traditions and acknowledging the latest scientific insights into the spectrum of gender, the New Thought movement can continue to lead in creating a spiritually fulfilling and socially just world.

The call to embrace gender diversity is deeply rooted in both the ancient and modern ethos of understanding human identity in its fullest expression. For New Thought to remain at the forefront of spiritual progressivism, it must integrate these broader concepts of gender, honoring the complex, multifaceted nature of human experience as a reflection of the divine.

In doing so, New Thought will stay true to its foundational principles and expand its relevance in today’s global discourse on gender, fostering a more inclusive community that reflects the true diversity of human experience. This approach enriches our spiritual practice and empowers all individuals within the New Thought community to express their authentic selves in a supportive and affirming environment.

Person with trans flag painted on their hand.

Embracing Gender Diversity in New Thought Communities

As we continue to explore the rich tapestry of gender diversity through the lens of New Thought, it is crucial that our communities reflect these inclusive principles in practical, everyday actions. Here are some actionable steps that New Thought communities can take to better include gender-diverse individuals:

  • Nametags with Pronoun Stickers: Provide nametags that include pronoun stickers at community events and gatherings. This simple gesture helps everyone feel seen and respected for who they are.
  • Create More Opportunities for Discussion: Organize workshops, discussions, and educational sessions that focus on gender diversity. These can help foster understanding and acceptance within the community.
  • Establish a Folx with Faith Group or another type of Queer Safe Space: Form a group specifically dedicated to exploring issues of gender diversity within the spiritual context of New Thought. This could serve as a safe space for sharing experiences and support.
  • Inclusive Language in Liturgy and Communications: Review and revise the language used in sermons, printed materials, and digital communications to ensure it is inclusive and affirming of all gender identities. Glossary of Queer Terms
  • Gender-Inclusive Facilities: Ensure that community spaces, including restrooms, are accessible and welcoming to people of all gender identities.
  • Training for Leaders and Volunteers: Provide regular training on gender diversity and inclusivity for all leaders, staff, and volunteers to cultivate an environment of empathy and understanding.

These steps can help New Thought communities promote inclusivity in their daily practices and interactions.

New Resources from Folx with Faith

We are excited to announce the release of our latest Folx with Faith Meeting Template focused on gender diversity. This new resource is designed to help leaders facilitate meaningful discussions about gender diversity within spiritual communities.

Additionally, our platform continues to expand its library of resources with meeting guides on various topics, including:

  • Cross-Cultural and Interfaith Connections
  • Coming Out
  • Body Positivity
  • Rituals of Healing: Prayer
  • Rituals of Healing: Resilience through Storytelling
  • Sex Positivity and Spiritual Health
  • Intersectionality in Spirituality
  • Healing from Religious Trauma
  • Mysticism and the Queer Experience

We are committed to releasing new templates every month as part of our membership platform, providing ongoing support and resources for our community leaders.

Join the Folx with Faith Community

Whether you’re looking to connect with others, start your own journey, or find support, we’re here to help. Click below to take your next step:

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the latest insights and stories.

Newsletter Sign Up

Upcoming Events

Join us for upcoming events.

Event Registration

Find or Start a Group

Find or start a local Folx with Faith Chapter.

Folx with Faith Groups

Resources & Blog References to better incorporate inclusivity of Gender Diversity in New Thought

To further support and deepen your understanding of gender diversity within the context of New Thought and beyond, here are some valuable online resources:


Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

Human Rights Campaign (HRC): Provides a wealth of information on LGBTQ+ issues, including detailed reports, guides for workplaces, and resources for community leaders.

Visit HRC


Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

GLAAD offers extensive media and advocacy resources, focusing on promoting understanding, increasing visibility, and ensuring fair representation of LGBTQ+ individuals.



Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

PFLAG is a national organization providing support, education, and advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ+ people and their families. PFLAG has numerous resources to help communities foster understanding and acceptance.



The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project offers crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people. Their site includes resources for understanding LGBTQ+ terminology and issues affecting the community.

Visit The Trevor Project


Transgender Law Center

The Transgender Law Center focuses on changing law, policy, and attitudes to ensure that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.

Visit The Transgender Law Center


National Center for Transgender Equality

The National Center for Transgender Equality offers detailed information on transgender rights and advocacy, including practical resources for navigating healthcare, employment, and legal challenges.

Visit the National Center for Transgender Equality

Leave a Reply