An engineer who frequented Holmes' purchasing
office became curious about his books on philosophy
and metaphysics and invited him to his home to talk
to a few of his friends. That first talk led to others,
in the homes of other friends. Then one evening, a lady
informed Ernest that she had told the librarian at the
big Metaphysical Library that he would talk there the
following Thursday. The hall rented for $1.00 a class,
and the admission price per person was 25 cents. He
decided to talk on Troward and the Edinburgh Lectures.
Enough people showed up that he went home with a $5.00
gold piece after paying his rental.
Within the next two years, Ernest was
speaking to thousands of people a week in Los Angeles.
Soon he began traveling around the country, developing
a national reputation as a man who stimulated others
to think for themselves. Wherever he went, people wanted
to hear his message. They were ready for what he had
already embarked upon: the great synthesis that would
result in the book, The Science of Mind.
Ernest decided to halt his speaking tours
and confine his speaking to the Los Angeles in order
to complete the book. The Science of Mind was first
published in 1926. That same year, far-sighted friends
were urging him to form a corporation and organize for
the inevitable growth of what he was teaching. They
finally convinced him and in February, 1927, the Institute
of Religious Science and School of Philosophy was incorporated.
Ernest was 40 years old.
It was also in 1927 that the first Religious
Science headquarters, including general and practitioner
offices, a library and lecture halls, was established
at 2511 Wilshire Blvd. And only a few months after the
Institute was founded, a monthly magazine, Religious
Science, was launched. It has enjoyed continuous publication
since the first issue, and lives on today as Science
1927 was a special year for Ernest because
on October 23 he married Hazel Durkee Foster; they were
inseparable for 30 years.
People who were thirsty for knowledge
sought out Ernest, and his popularity grew by phenomenal
leaps and bounds. In 1926, Ernest started speaking each
Sunday morning in a 625-seat theatre at the Ambassador
Hotel. A year later, he moved to the Ebell Theatre which
seated 1,295. Within a year, even Ebell could not accommodate
the crowd. Several more moves were made, and by 1934,
Ernest was speaking at the 2,800-seat Wiltern Theatre.
Before long, hundreds were being turned away every Sunday
for lack of seating.
On April 16, 1935, the organization founded
by Ernest Holmes was reincorporated as the Institute
of Religious Science and Philosophy. On August 1 of
that year, the Institute, having outgrown its quarters
on Wilshire, moved to West Sixth Street.
In 1945, in recognition of his book, This
Thing Called Life, Ernest was awarded the honorary degree
of Doctor of Philosophy by India's famed Andhra Research
University. He also received honorary degrees from what
is now the California College of Medicine, University
of California at Irvine, and the Foundation Academic
University of Spiritual Understanding in Venice, Italy.
In 1949, Ernest began a popular weekly
radio program on the Mutual network entitled "This
Thing Called Life." Each Sunday, his opening words
were, "There is a power for good in the universe
greater than you are—and you can use it."
The growth of the Institute, the demand for edition
after edition of his book, The Science of Mind, and
the growth of the magazine led to another change of
name. In 1954, the Institute of Religious Science became
the Church of Religious Science. By then, even Ernest
was convinced that the world wanted such a church.
In 1956, a special bequest made possible
a half-hour television program, "This Thing Called
Life." For 26 weeks, Ernest was seen and heard
by another fascinated audience.
The following spring, he lost his chosen
life companion, Hazel. Two years later, on April 7,
1960, Ernest himself made his transition. It had only
been four months since he had presided at the dedication
of Founder's Church of Religious Science, adjacent to
the United Church Headquarters.
He left no children. But he left humankind
an enduring legacy: the way of life he called Religious
In the 1950s, during a period of strong
organizational growth, one organization became two.
Religious Science International was initiated.
Today, the United Church of Religious
Science is a worldwide organization. In 2005, to reflect
its desire for accessiblity and ease of communication
about its philosophy, the organization adopted the DBA
of United Centers for Spiritual Living.
To read more about Ernest Holmes, click here.
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-By Ernest Holmes
The Science of Mind that is taught in
these lessons is an outgrowth of the spiritual faith
which people have had throughout the ages. Before science
was conceived the Presence of God was felt. Before ever
mental actions or reactions were analyzed history was
filled with instances of men and women who had experienced
The Science of Mind is comparatively new,
but the mental experience of the invisible universe
is as old as the history of man. It is new in that for
the first time in history we have put together all findings
which contribute to the establishment of man's relationship
with the universe, to the end that he may be able to
apply his spiritual understanding to the everyday problems
of human life.
This science necessarily starts with the
proposition that we are living in a spiritual universe
whose sole government is one of harmony, and that the
use of right ideas is the enforcement of its law.
The Science of Mind is built on the theory
that there is One Infinite Mind which of necessity includes
all that is, whether it be the intelligence in man,
the life in the animal, or the invisible Presence which
is God. In it we learn to have a spiritual sense of
things. This spiritual sense of things is what is meant
by the Consciousness of Christ. To be able to discern
the spiritual idea back of its physical symbol is to
use the mind that Jesus used.
The Science of Mind is intensely practical
because it teaches us how to use the Mind Principle
for definite purposes, such as helping those who are
sick, impoverished, or unhappy. Each one of us should
learn to become a practitioner of this science, a demonstrator
of its Principle, a conscious user of its Power. Power
already exists, but the existence of Power is of no
particular value to us until we use it. We must not
only be conscious of Power, but we must be actively
conscious of it. This is one of the first lessons we
learn in the Science of Mind.
This science is more than mental; it is
also spiritual, since we live in a spiritual universe.
The Science of Mind declares the Truth about this spiritual
universe and it also declares the Truth about false
belief, considering everything which is opposed to good
as an accumulation of human thought, the collective
negative suggestion of the race.
Wrong conditions are resolved into false
beliefs, and through the use of right ideas a transformation
of thought takes place. We learn to build our ideas
upon an affirmative rather than a negative factor. To
state the Truth and deny or disregard that which in
belief is opposed to it, is to prove that the Principle
of the Science of Mind is actual.
The ever increasing thousands of persons
who are daily proving this Principle add to our conviction
that we are dealing with the most intense reality the
human mind has ever conceived. As you will learn later,
the practice of this science is the application of a
definite technique, the law of right thought, of true
It is necessary to start these studies
with the complete conviction that there is such a Principle
and that you understand the scientific use and application
of it. Conscious knowledge alone gives you the conscious
control of the laws of nature. The advance in any science
always corresponds to the conscious use made of the
laws of nature. There could be no advance in science
without such conscious use of nature's laws.
It would be unwise to approach a study
of the Science of Mind with superstition. You must approach
it with understanding. Above all, you must approach
it with the definite intention in mind of making conscious
use of its Principle. You must come to realize at the
very start of your inquiry that Mind exists as a Principle
in the universe, just as electricity exists as a principle.
Once you understand this it will not be
difficult to see that thought is the tool of Mind, that
right ideas enforce the Law of Mind; nor will it be
difficult to see that physical objects are fundamentally
spiritual in their nature, that an objective fact is
but a symbol of a subjective or an invisible cause.
It certainly follows that if you are to make practical
use of the Science of Mind you must be able to convert
things into thoughts, and by changing the stream of
consciousness produce a corresponding change in an objective
situation, whether this be used for helping those who
are sick, or to meet any other need.
The question naturally arises whether
or not man has a right to use his thought for whatever
purpose he wills. The more sincere one is the more likely
he is to ask this question. Strangely enough, he would
not ask this relative to any other science but would
feel that all laws exist to be used, and any sane person
would naturally desire to benefit himself and others
through the use of nature's laws. Why should any exception
be made to the greatest of all laws - the Law of Mind
in action, and the enforcement of this Law through right
One of our fundamental propositions is
that God is all there is. When you say God is all there
is, that includes everything, all possibility and all
action, for Spirit is the invisible essence and substance
of all form. It is impossible to separate the highest
use of this science from the most exalted conception
of an immanent Spirit, a transcendent Spirit, an available
Perhaps one might at first have an aversion
to the idea of using spiritual power for material purposes,
but in the Science of Mind we discover that there are
no final material purposes; that whether life exists
in an objective or a subjective state, whether it is
visible or invisible, all is Spirit; that Spirit or
Intelligence, plus what It does, constitutes the entire
universe, including man.
The Science of Mind reveals that every
man is a potential Christ. Every man has inherent God-power
within him. And how could this God-power be used other
than through his thought? Since it would be impossible
for a man to act as an intelligent being unless he could
first think, the very idea of man supposes a center
of consciousness, a center of thought activity. The
Science of Mind reveals that this center of God activity
within each one is a complete and a unique manifestation
of the Parent Mind; that the Power of God does actually
exist in man.
It is a basic proposition in our philosophy
that we live in a mental or spiritual universe and that
things can be resolved into thoughts. This is the foundation
upon which all scientific practice must be established,
and when you are able to establish this premise in your
own thought, you at once find yourself equipped with
an instrument through which you can change your environment.
The Science of Mind does not deny the
physical universe. The objective universe is the Body
of God. That body includes our physical being. In reality
every idea of our physical being is a Divine idea.
The misconception of the spiritual universe
causes our universe to appear separated from good, and
in fact we experience this separation. But that which
is a fact in experience is not necessarily true in principle.
Bondage cannot be conceived by the Divine, and yet we
all know that bondage is a part of man's experience.
In trying to seek a solution for this
enigma we must either conclude that there is an ultimate
good and an ultimate evil in the universe, or we must
conclude that there is but one Ultimate, which is good,
and that this Ultimate by Its very nature and by our
very nature is compelled to appear to each one of us
in the form of our belief. If you can accept this proposition
it will be easy enough for you to see how it is that
false belief binds humanity.
If that which binds is false belief and
not the Truth, then you will see why Jesus told us that
a knowledge of the Truth would produce freedom. He did
not mean that knowledge of the Truth creates freedom,
but that knowledge of the Truth makes us free by aligning
us with that which was never bound.
Accepting the foregoing conclusions as
true it follows that the Divine Creative Principle is
already perfect, having neither confusion nor chaos
within It. It was, is, and will remain exactly perfect.
Our individual universe shall be redeemed from its bondage
in such degree as we become actively conscious of the
Truth of our being. We must use the Law as a Law of
Liberty, else we shall be using It as a law of bondage.
The Science of Mind provides us with a
definite technique for the use of this Law and teaches
how each one can use It in freeing himself and demonstrating
to his complete satisfaction that right ideas, correctly
used, can and must produce right conditions.
So far, neither science, revelation, nor
philosophy has arrived at any conclusion which could
disturb this proposition, and every day the physical
sciences are more completely proving that the physical
universe in which we live is more like a gigantic thought
than anything else. Now if the physical universe, or
the cosmos as a whole, is more like a gigantic thought
than anything else, it follows that our immediate world
is a part of this thought.
How amazed we all should be if we awoke
some fine morning, not only with the absolute conviction
that this is so, but also with the inner insight which
would enable us to see exactly what it means. Then we
too should be able to say to the paralyzed man, "stretch
forth thine hand!" But before we can do this we
must see the principle of freedom instead of the belief
in a paralysis of this principle.
The Science of Mind is a reinterpretation
of the universe by a process of thought which Jesus
used. We learn that there is one body, the body of right
ideas. Jesus sensed this Body of God, which includes
man's body, as a perfect, harmonious unit, and he realized
that the evil which binds man is not a principle within
itself nor a thing of itself, and most certainly not
a person, but merely a false system of thought. He understood
that his knowledge of good annihilated that which denied
good. This fundamental fact he clearly brought out in
his teaching; the Truth known is followed by the Truth
The Science of Mind does not necessarily
create a new religion or sect, for it may be added to
any spiritual system of thought since it is a complement
to all. The person who already has the greatest spiritual
faith will make the most active demonstrator of Truth.
The person who naturally has a spiritual insight or
who has already trained himself to have spiritual insight,
will more quickly sense the truths which the Science
of Mind portrays. He will more quickly lay hold of its
technique and more perfectly demonstrate for himself
and others that the invisible is the cause of the visible.
For every science there must be a technique
or a way of proving its truth. Science of itself is
a knowledge of laws and principles arid systematic arrangement.
And the technique of any science is the way in which
we use this knowledge of laws and principles.
Applying this rule, (which is common to
all sciences) to the Science of Mind, it naturally follows
that if there is such a principle as Universal Mind,
and if it does work according to the Law of Cause and
effect, and if thought, self-contemplation, or self-knowingness
is that which stimulates Its action, then correct thinking
can and must produce objective or visible results.
We must lay even more stress on the use
of the Science of Mind than we do on seeking to establish
its Principle. As a matter of fact its Principle is
self-evident; its use is exactly what we make it. And
the first thing that any student of this science should
do is determine to make daily use of it. In this, as
in all other things, we should be practical. Too much
study of any principle without making conscious use
of it will lead to mere theorizing, and I am sure we
all wish practical results.
You are ready to use the Principle governing
the Science of Mind the very moment you accept the fact
that there is such a principle and that it does operate
through your thought. But this seems to be the place
where many fall down. They talk so much about the Principle
and use It so little. They permit themselves to become
confused by the introduction of contradictory ideas.
They spend too much time in merely philosophizing, theorizing,
speculating, until finally they live in a world of wistful
wishing, of day dreams.
You must come to see that the Science
of Mind is an actual Principle to be definitely used;
that no matter how much good may exist in the universe,
only as much good can come to you as you can conceive.
Above all things, determine now to use this science.
Do not say, "Well, this is but the first lesson
and I expect to have understanding enough within a year
to use it." Seize upon whatever facts present themselves
to your mind today, begin to use such truth as you grasp
out of your first lesson, and before the year is over
you will have become an effective practitioner.
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