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Born in Ireland on July 30, 1886, Emmet Fox was primarily educated in England yet pursued his spiritual career largely in the United States, before dying in France on August 13, 1951.
Links to Emmet Fox's Works:
Emmet Fox's father was a member of the British Parliament, yet had little impact on Emmet's life because he died when Emmet was a child.. Due to his father's death and consequent economic difficulties for his family Emmet attended St. Ignatious College in Stamford Hill London on a scholarship. It was during this time that Emmet claimed to have discovered healing powers. It is said that his claim was "most disruptive and demanded a cane to help the young lad open to self-healing." Evidently this did not dissuade "the lad" from reading a copy of Thomson Hudson's Law of Psychic Phenomena when he was 13 which promptly earned him a knuckle rapping to cure him of his penchant for reading books on the Roman Catholic list of forbidden texts. Thereafter, Fox was less forthcoming about sharing his reading material but this did not stop him from pursuing his metaphysical inspirations. Emmet Fox became quite interested in Theosophy, then later in early New Thought authors such as John Bascom who wrote the original 1881 edition of Science of Mind which inspired Fox's contemporary Ernest Holmes to write a second version of Science of Mind in 1926. Fox was particularly inspired by Bascom's Natural Theology which was written before he was born and New Theology which was first published when he was only 5 years old !
Perhaps it was Emmet Fox's early interest in Thomson Hudson's work which led him to an acquaintance with New Thought writer Thomas Troward who was influenced by Hudson's concepts of Subjective and Objective Mind, writing about them in his book Edinburgh Lectures.
In 1914, Fox attended an organizational meeting for the creation of the INTA under the shadow of World War 1 which broke out in July of that year. At the time New Thought was truly international with strong forms throughout the world. World War One challenged the continuity of many of these groups, but World War Two was instrumental in their destruction. Hitler and the fascists threw both Christian Scientists and New Thought adherents into the death camps and burned New Thought books of all kinds. Stalin sent Theosophists and New Thought adherents to the Gulags. New Thought forms around the globe were rooted out in an effort to reimpose decadent forms of thought control upon their populations.
At the end of World War 2, America was a bastion of freedom. American blood and treasure had been spent to insure that the world would have peace and prosperity as characterized by a balance between capital and labor. New Thought found a haven within the United States, but largely languished due to obsessions with the Prosperity Gospel and the promotion of some forms devoid of ethics. Percentage wise there was little growth in the New Thought movement between 1912 and 2012. In fact, across North America, New Thought centers experienced a shrinkage from between 17% to 21% between 2011 and 2015.
But while New Thought communities within the old New Thought denominations shrank, the New Thought movement is growing in other ways across the globe. Enlightened individuals find New Thought to be the best vehicle for their spiritual expression, but they reject the forms presented to them by old New Thought denominations.
The 21st Century is seeing some of the international New Thought forms resurging, along with growing interest within the United States in
New Thought forms which contain the essential spiritual elements of compassion, shared ethics and higher values.
We can observe that many forms of New Thought are finding their way to higher thought throughout the globe and even old New Thought organizations such as the Religious Scientists (now Center for Spiritual Living) are belatedly remaking themselves and including evolving statements of compassion in their publicity.
Emmet Fox gave his first New Thought talk in Mortimer Hall in London in 1928, then later ventured to the United States to succeed James Murray as the minister of New York's Church of the Healing Christ. In contrast to a cacophony of diphthong rich speakers, Fox had a melodious voice becoming immensely popular. Fox addressed audiences in some of the largest halls in the city. He was ordained in the Divine Science branch of New Thought.
Fox's works are rumored to have sold over three million copies and some say that these copies have been shared at least five times which would mean they have been viewed at least 15 million times.
Fox's secretary was the mother of one of the men who worked with Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson, and as a result of this connection early AA groups were encouraged to attend the talks and services of Fox. Consequently, Emmet's writing, especially "The Sermon on the Mount," are immensely popular in AA.
The AA factor is a major part of Emmet Fox's influence with regard to the propagation of some of the ideas within New Thought. Those ideas which contributed to the growth of shrinking ministries such as the concept of the Prosperity Gospel and new ways of presenting Abrahamic ideas were adopted by ministers who were increasingly realizing that audiences were not inspired by apocalyptic visions or hell-fire and brimstone.
20th Century populations living within nations free of theocracy and other forms of oppressions were increasingly aware that the perpetual pratings of the proselytes of Abrahamic thought forms regarding odd prophecies of imminent return of angry prophet / gods and world destruction were not visions but simply warnings to humanity to change behavior and follow the road map provided by the American Founding fathers regarding the separation of church and state.
Intelligent people understand that spirituality and religion is a matter of personal conscience and thus inappropriate to politics
and most certainly antithetical to civilized governance of any kind. One can simply look at any of the decadent dictatorships in the Middle East to confirm this. South of the shores of the Mediterranean how many functional democracies with human rights are there?
With the dawn of the information age it has become clear that there is a difference between the accretion of knowledge (training, if the facts accrued are correct) versus the ability to use that knowledge (education, if one is able to think insightfully and creatively).
The fact that increasing amounts of knowledge is available does not mean that every person is capable of using it creatively with compassion.
Emmet Fox had additional outreach due to the fact that religious leaders of all stripes were reading his works and finding his insights to be supportive of ministry growth, and to view Abrahamic works of all kinds through the lens of the Divine by search for meaning of these within themselves. This aligned with the previous teachings of the majority of the Abrahamic populace within the United States who had been called upon to interpret those texts pertinent to their belief systems and provide insight and meaning often giving a talk between the age of 13 to 16.
These traditions were coming under increasing pressure from committees and leaders of organizations to which they belonged to be replaced by rigid belief systems modeled on cult, the Roman Catholic hierarchy and other decadent Abrahamic sects. Having been confronted with dictates and abuses as a child while attending St. Ignatious College, Emmet Fox provided a vehicle for adherents of Abrahamic belief systems to transcend the limitation of interpretation which had been repeatedly imposed upon them for thousands of years to evolve a healthy relationship with the Divine.
While some found inspiration in Fox's Divine insights, others purchased Fox's books with an interest toward finding a way to develop their ministries. (Develop = bring more money into their churches, mosques and temples.)
Toward the latter third of the Twentieth Century, even previously dynamic and healthy groups such as the American Baptists began to emulate the Roman Catholics creating fixed interpretations of scripture. This was a dramatic departure from their traditional teachings which encouraged higher thought so as to encourage Divine insight.
As Thomas Jefferson related during the founding days of the worlds' first experiment in modern participant democracy, 'a well educated populaces is essential to the preservation of democracy'. This along with freedom of thought are essential to the flow of the Divine through each soul. Fixed interpretations are one of the means by which the divine flow is blocked.
Thus the diminishment of Divine Inspiration within the various Abrahamic denominations translated to a diminishing presence of Divine Mind (God) within these communities resulting in a downward spiral characterized by decreasing compassion and increasing support for anti-democratic authoritarianism which mirrored the most decadent forms of Abahamic thought.
Surveys today show a diminishing number of Fox's works being sold in Fundamentalist bookstores. They were always on the Roman Catholic list of forbidden reading, but dramatic changes within the American Protestant denominations move them away from their early foundations to thought controlled belief systems dictated by usually all male committees, Abrahamic denominational bookstores in various cities show that while Emmet Fox's books are still read by thoughtful souls, they are not being sold by those interested in mind control. The majority of purchases of Emmet's works are now taking place online.
Perhaps the religious elites have found that Fox's books do not encourage the "proper" viewpoint they wish to inculcate in their congregations.
It can also be noted that Fox's books are not populating the shelves of New Thought Centers as much as they once were. This is most likely due to the rise of the influence of the Prosperity Gospel within many New Thought communities as well as a rising dichotomy of positive thinking which mirrors previous Calvinistic thought in its demand for perfect adherence to a magical world that is fully and totally controlled by the believer.
In short, this tendency to demand that people not only say they see the emperors new clothes but participate fully in any delusions deemed positive is one of the destructive tendencies in late 20th Century New Thought which is now fading away as it is replaced by New Millennial New Thought.
The writings of Emmet Fox remain influential today despite the fact that they are not frequently used within New Thought classes at this time. Yet it should be noted that many of the best New Thought texts within the public domain are seldom used by the old New Thought transdenominations.