Ernest Shurtleff Holmes
(January 21, 1887 – April 7, 1960) – founder of a Spiritual movement known as Religious Science
Ernest Holmes was an American spiritual writer, teacher, and leader. He was the founder of a Spiritual movement known as Religious Science, a part of the greater New Thought movement, whose spiritual philosophy is known as “The Science of Mind.” He was the author of The Science of Mind and numerous other metaphysical books, and the founder of Science of Mind magazine, in continuous publication since 1927. His books remain in print, and the principles he taught as “Science of Mind” have inspired and influenced many generations of metaphysical students and teachers. Holmes had previously studied another New Thought teaching, Divine Science, and was an ordained Divine Science Minister. His influence beyond New Thought can be seen in the self-help movement.
Holmes was born January 21, 1887, in Lincoln, Maine to a poor family. He left school and his family in Maine for Boston, Massachusetts at age 15. From 1908 to 1910 he worked in a store to pay for his tuition at the Leland Powers School of Expression in Boston. There he was introduced to Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, as well as Christian Science. In 1912 Holmes joined his brother Fenwicke in Venice, California. In addition to taking up a job with the city government, Holmes and his brother, a Congregationalist minister, studied the writings of Thomas Troward, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Walker Atkinson, and Christian D. Larson. In 1927 he married Hazel Durkee Foster. She died in 1957. Holmes died on April 7, 1960.
After leading small private meetings throughout the city, in 1916 Ernest Holmes was invited to speak at the Metaphysical Library in Los Angeles. This led him to repeat engagements, and on a nationwide tour. In 1919 he published his first book, The Creative Mind, and after almost a decade of touring Holmes committed to remaining in the L.A. area to complete his major work, The Science of Mind. It was published in 1926. That year Holmes started speaking each Sunday morning in a theatre in the Ambassador Hotel that seated 625.
In November 1927, they moved to the 1,295-seat Ebell Theatre. Subsequently, Holmes lectures continued moving to ever-larger spaces, including Biltmore Hotel, and the Wiltern Theatre, which seats more than 2800. In February 1927, Holmes incorporated the Institute of Religious Science and School of Philosophy, Inc., and later that year he began publishing Science of Mind magazine. In 1935 he reincorporated his organization as the Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy, and in 1954 it was reestablished again as a religious organization called the Church of Religious Science.
Today his Science of Mind/Religious Science teachings are continued by the Centers for Spiritual Living, the Affiliated New Thought Network, the Global Religious Science Ministries, Independent Religious Science ministries, and other organizations.
Through his research, Holmes created a “structure of concepts” based on the religions and philosophies of human history, sometimes correlating his findings with the then-emerging “new” physics. He named the teaching a science because he believed that its principles were scientifically provable in practice. He wrote, “I would rather see a student of this Science prove its Principle than to have him repeat all the words of wisdom that have ever been uttered.” Holmes ultimately came to believe in a “core concept” – what he saw as a “Golden thread of truth” that ran through all of the world’s religions as well as in science and philosophy.
Some of the many writings of Ernest Holmes include:
– Creative Mind (Original 1919 Version)
– Creative Mind and Success (Original 1919 Version)
– LOVE and LAW: The Unpublished Teachings
– The Science of Mind (Gender-Neutral Edition of Original 1926 Version)
– Ernest Holmes Trilogy – His First 3 Books As Listed Above (plus special bonus eBook – “What We Believe” by Ernest Holmes)
– IT’S UP TO YOU!: Your Ladder to Personal Achievement
– This Thing Called You
– FREEDOM FROM STRESS: The Art & Science of Creative Thinking
– The Voice Celestial: An Epic Poem (with Fenwicke Holmes)
– RICHER LIVING (with Raymond Charles Barker)
To visualize the process by which Spirit descends into matter (or form), Science of mind uses a particular teaching symbol. This symbol is a circle with a “V” in it. In Science of Mind, it is believed that it is necessary for Spirit to be manifested in order to express itself. God is ongoing creativity and expression, taking many forms but always remaining constant in nature of the Source of these many forms. The discussion of the diagram considerably oversimplifies what is being expressed, but in a simple way, what it shows is how Spirit descends into form (body) through Soul, which is the Law of God. All forms that we encounter begin with the level of Divine thought and, through the workings of the Law, manifest in particular ways. As Science of Mind emphasizes, “thoughts are things.” Those who work the principles of Religious Science seek to better understand this triune nature of God, via a form of prayer called “spiritual mind treatment,” to co-create with the Divine. This method of co-creation combines both the spiritual and the scientific in its approach.
NOTE: The majority of this information was derived from the handout, “Understanding The Science of Mind”, published by Centers for Spiritual Living, Greater Las Vegas. Additional information was obtained from the text, “The Science of Mind,” written by Dr. Ernest Holmes. Information was also derived from materials used in the Foundation Class of Science of Mind.