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Christian D. Larson

Influential early New Thought leader

Christian D. Larson was an outstanding and highly influential early New Thought leader and teacher as well as a prolific writer of New Thought books who believed that people have tremendous latent powers, which could be harnessed for success with the proper attitude.

Christian Daa Larson, of Norwegian extraction, was born in Iowa in 1874. He attended Iowa State College and a theological school (Unitarian) in Meadville, Pa. In his early twenties he became interested in the Mental Science teachings of Helen Wilmans, Henry Wood, Charles Brodie Patterson, etc. Little is known about his personal life and what originally led him to take up his intensive study of Mental Science, but its logical teachings clearly suited young Larson's analytical mind and provided a point to him where theology and science could meet and combine to provide a practical and systematic philosophy of life.

Larson located in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1898. In January, 1901, he organized the New Thought Temple, at his residence, 947 West 17th St. In September of that year Mr. Larson began to publish Eternal Progress, for several years one of the leading New Thought periodicals, carrying it to a circulation of over a quarter of a million. While acting as editor of Eternal Progress, he began his prolific book writing career. Forty of his books have been published. Among the best known are: Poise and Power, The Great Within, The Hidden Secret, Mastery of Self, Mastery of Fate, The Ideal Made Real, Thinking for Results, Your Forces and How to Use Them, How to Stay Well, and The Pathway of Roses.

A one time honorary president of the International New Thought Alliance, along with such stalwarts as W.W. Atkinson, Horatio Dresser, Charles Brodie Patterson, and Annie Rix Militz, he was one who exercised considerable influence over Religious Science founder, Ernest Holmes, in his early career. Holmes had been studying the Christian Science textbook, Science & Health, but was particularly impressed with the New Thought writings of Larson. According to Fenwicke he abandoned the Christian Science textbook for Larson's works. Ernest and his brother Fenwicke took a correspondence course with Larson, and in his biography of his brother, Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times, Fenwicke Holmes elaborates on the influence of Larson's thought on that of his brother. Here he ranks Ralph Waldo Trine's In Tune with the Infinite with Larson's The Ideal Made Real as influential on Holmes:

"As early as 1928, the name of Christian D. Larson began to appear in Science of Mind magazine and to be a part of the major teaching courses. It was the very same Christian D. Larson whose book The Ideal Made Real, nineteen years earlier, had introduced Ernest to the New Philosophy, inspired him to go forward in learning and practicing the art of mental treatment and encouraged him to expand beyond physical healing to the "control of conditions." Now Christian D. Larson was on the permanent staff of the Institute of Religious Science in Los Angeles of which Ernest was the founder."

The Optimist Creed was authored in 1912 by Chistian D. Larson, appearing in his book Your Forces and How to Use Them. It was adopted as Optimist International's creed in 1922. Many have found inspiration in The Optimist Creed. In hospitals, the creed has been used to help patients recover from illness. In locker rooms, coaches have used it to motivate their players.

The following version, without the title "The Optimist Creed," is quoted from Science of Mind 71 (June 1998):

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.

To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

A somewhat different and shortened version of this is the one adopted by Optimist International, which publishes it on the Webs.

When Ernest Holmes' two-year-old magazine changed its name to Science of Mind in 1929, Ned L. Chapin became editor, and Christian D. Larson was associate editor and a frequent contributor.

In short, Christian D. Larson was an important New Thought leader in his own right and in influencing the founder of one of the major branches of New Thought, Religious Science, which also is known as Science of Mind. New Thought has influenced many, such as Norman Vincent Peale and numerous other inspirational, self-help writers far beyond the bounds of New Thought in its organizational forms.

"Follow the light of the spirit in all things and depend upon God in all things, choose the living Christ as the pattern in all things and depend upon God in all things Do not seek the truth; seek the spirit of truth The spirit leads into all truth. To know the truth is to know the way.To be guided by the spirit into all truth is to walk in the light of the spirit all the way and the way of light leads into the kingdom of eternal life. Follow the words of the Christ until the spirit is found; then follow the spirit into the greater life of the Christ. Keep the eye single upon that light that is revealed through the spiritual vision of the soul. Where that light is shining there is the gate; beyond is the way that leads unto life, and all who are in the spirit shall find it even now" -- Christian D. Larson, THE PATHWAY OF ROSES

The following books by Christian D. Larson are available to purchase in eBook form for immediate download. They may then be read on your computer and printed out. The eBooks are in Adobe Acrobat Reader (.pdf) format.

Excerpts from the following books may be read online:

What is Truth?
The Pathway of Roses
The Hidden Secret
Healing Yourself
How to Stay Well
Perfect Health
Mastery of Fate
Poise and Power
How To Stay Young
The Ideal Made Real
Thinking For Results
How the Mind Works
In the Light of The Spirit
Nothing Succeeds Like Success
Brains and How to Get Them
Your Forces and How to Use Them
How Great Men & Women Succeed
The Scientific Training of Children
The Mind Cure: How to Overcome Nervousness and Fear
The Great Within: Your Unlimited Subconscious Mind
Leave It To God, Just Be Glad, On The Heights (3 Books in 1)

The following book is available as an mp3 format audio book:

The Great Within: Your Unlimited Subconscious Mind

The following books may be ordered using a Credit/Debit Card via our association with When you click on one of the following links a new window will open with details of the book. It is recommended that you click the "Add to Cart" button right away. The book can always be removed from your cart later on if you change your mind. You can then close the window and continue browsing. When you are finished shopping, just click the "Checkout" link at top right of your screen to complete your order. You can click here to view your shopping cart and checkout also.

The Pathway of Roses
The Great Within
Your Forces and How to Use Them
The Ideal Made Real
On the Heights
Brains and How to Get Them
How the Mind Works
The Scientific Training Of Children
How To Stay Young
Perfect Health
Poise and Power
Mastery of Fate
How Great Men Succeed

Click Here to read a free online book explaining the principles and practice of Mental Science.

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