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History of New Thought & Science of Mind
From time to time, we are blessed to know people of apparent genius, people whose insight, understanding and love are influential in changing the thinking of whole generations, and whose impact will be felt for years to come. Dr. Ernest Holmes was such a person.
Dr. Ernest Holmes founded the spiritual movement that became United and International Centers for Spiritual Living. Born in 1887 on a small farm in Maine, Dr. Holmes spent his teenage years outdoors exploring such mysteries as “What is God? Who am I? Why am I here?” His inquiries led to his 1926 book, The Science of Mind, which outlines the foundational viewpoints of modern New Thought.
Dr. Holmes is also the author of numerous other books on metaphysics and originated the Science of Mind magazine, which has been in continuous publication since 1927.
Major Influences in Science of Mind
The founder of our teaching, Ernest Holmes (1887-1960), was most heavily influenced by four New Thought contributors as he moved along his spiritual path and developed Science of Mind. Those teachers were:
· Ralph Waldo Emerson, the distinguished New England philosopher and essayist (1803-1852)
· Thomas Troward, an eminent British jurist and metaphysician (1847-1916)
· Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a mental healer (1802-1866)
· Emma Curtis Hopkins, a greatly respected American teacher and mystic, often called the “teacher of teachers” (1853-1925)
Who is Ernest Holmes?
Ernest Holmes is the founder of the International Religious Science movement which is recognized as one of the leading viewpoints in modern metaphysics.
Science of Mind is a spiritual philosophy that easily applies to everyday living while also expanding the student’s sense of their relationship to God and their place in the Universe. Known to his family as the “question mark”, Ernest Holmes was a passionate seeker of knowledge. He embarked on a path of independent thinking at age 18.
He wrote Science of Mind which is used as a textbook in Religious Science churches. The major milestones of his life were:
· Began lecturing on Troward 1916
· Published his first book called Creative Mind 1923
· Published The Science of Mind 1926
· Established the Institute of Religious Science 1927
· Founded Science of Mind Magazine 1927
· Revised The Science of Mind 1938
· Reorganized the Institute to become the Church of Religious Science 1949
· Dedicated Founder’s Church of Religious Science 1960
· Made his transition 1960
· Church became known as United Church of Religious Science 1967
Ernest Holmes did not originally intend for Science of Mind to be a “church”, but rather simply a teaching institution for his philosophy. In that spirit, many member “churches” have traditionally referred to themselves as “centers.” The mental healing work of Phineas Quimby was a source of inspiration to much of the New Thought movement, including RS/SOM. Ernest Holmes was especially strongly influenced by Emma Curtis Hopkins, especially her “Scientific Christian Mental Practice”, a direct precursor to Holmes’ “Spiritual Mind Treatment”.
Holmes had previously studied another New Thought teaching, Divine Science, and he was an ordained Divine Science Minister. He saw humans as being “open at the top”—that is, open to an evolutionary improvement of consciousness in all areas of life.
Science of Mind as a Distinct Philosophy Within New Thought
While there are many attitudes, philosophies, and approaches to practicing the broader concept of “New Thought”, as reflected in the multiple schools of thought within it, Science of Mind has a clear and identifiable philosophical approach to the world that gives it a powerful and profound distinction.
To have the ability to elicit results, we are called to be consistent in our practice and exploratory in our pursuit of what “works” for us. Science of Mind gives a basic framework to help maintain consistency while also providing the creative medium through which unlimited individuality may be expressed. It is a great work to balance the gifts of our minds and our spirits and the philosophy of the Science of Mind provides a framework to seek and hone that balance in very powerful and direct ways.
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