Centers for Spiritual Living
Science of Mind traces its foundations to Ernest Holmes and his text, The Science of Mind. In that book - first published in 1926 and later revised in 1938 - Holmes correlated laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion. Holmes’ efforts were not to invent some new, secret methods of tapping into the powers of the universe but, rather, to simply and clearly explain these laws and express their essence. Holmes took his inspirations and information from a variety of sources including (among many) Darwin, Emerson, Freud, and Mary Baker Eddy. No such approach to the subject had been taken before.
The origins of the Centers for Spiritual Living can be traced to various points in Holmes’ life, but he had begun speaking in Los Angeles in 1916 and started to draw crowds of thousands. After the first publication of The Science of Mind in 1926, interest really began to grow. In 1926, Holmes began speaking each Sunday morning in a theatre in the Ambassador Hotel, and within a year, the theatre was filled to capacity. Holmes initially resisted the urging of friends to form a corporation and an organization, but in 1927, a Board of Governors was chosen, and they incorporated the non-profit religious and educational organization, The Institute of Religious Science and School of Philosophy, Inc.
A few months later, the Church launched a monthly magazine, "Religious Science." The magazine was created to sustain and build interest for the many aspiring students who wanted to enroll in and attend the Church. In 1929, the magazine changed its appearance and its title to "Science of Mind."
On April 16, 1935, the original organization was reincorporated as The Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy. By 1939, there were 13 chapters in California, and the Institute obtained the right to ordain its own ministers. The organization continued to grow throughout the 1940s, and in 1953, it became, officially, the Church of Religious Science, with all chapters becoming affiliated churches.
Since then, other areas of growth include the establishment of the Science of Mind Foundation in 1986 and the launching of the Holmes Institute in 1997.
NOTE: The majority of this information was derived from the pamphlet, "Ernest Holmes: The First Religious Scientist," written by James Reid and published by Science of Mind Communications.
What We Believe
Science of Mind attempts to combine the best in science, religion, and philosophy. It teaches that every individual controls the course of his/her own life, success or failure, health or sickness, happiness or disappointments, etc. by mental processes which function according to Universal Law. We are all seen as physical, mental, and spiritual beings, each of us being a unique individualization of the one universal and supreme Being. The world we each seek can be achieved here and now, not just in some hereafter.
In the Science of Mind, we seek to put the principle of Mind into practice at all times and in all circumstances. The approach seeks to eliminate the feeling of separation between God and self, such that instead of seeking God’s favors, one believes that his or her needs and desires are fulfilled as God works through them.
The form of prayer used in Science of Mind is called Spiritual Mind Treatment. It is not a petitioning of God for favors. Rather, the approach is scientific, relying upon a series of specific steps, or stages, to manifest results in our lives. Although the approach is universal, it relies primarily on Christian terms and teachings. Because it sees all of us as divine expressions of God, it does not deny the divinity of Jesus, but it also emphasizes that each of us is also such an expression of God. Jesus is seen as one of many masters who taught how to use these principles.
As a spiritual organization, the Centers for Spiritual Living is committed to disseminating the Science of Mind teaching through prayer, community outreach, local churches and study groups, and magazine and book publishing.
This Center uses principles derived from Ernest Holmes’ text, The Science of Mind (and other, related texts and writings by him). Holmes studied a vast range of world religions and philosophies and sought to condense these into a simple, practical course of action and beliefs that can bring about changes and help revolutionize one’s life and bring about an evolution of consciousness in the world.
At its core, Science of Mind believes that God is All There Is. There is nothing that is outside of God. "God" is seen in a variety of ways, notably as a consciousness or energy that pervades all that is seen and unseen. Common words that have been used to describe God include Nature, Spirit, Life, Energy, Universal Intelligence, Love, First Cause, the Universe, the Changeless, Infinite Knowingness, the Divine Presence, the Great Spirit, and the Tao.
Because God is all and is in all, Science of Mind believes that this One Mind is within us as well as around us and that we are all in communication with each other on a deep spiritual level. God is the very source of our being, and when we act in harmony with God, we bring about results that improve the nature and quality of our lives and those around us.
This way of thinking has been called "new thought," but it is really based on forms of thought, religion, and philosophy that extend as far back as when our quest for truth began. It is the search for our true nature, and once this is realized, we find that we can apply the Laws of God to bring about health, abundance, success, creative activity, love, peace, and happiness. These are seen as fundamental parts of ourselves.
When we speak of the "Laws" of God, we speak of laws of spirituality, much as the electrician speaks of the "laws" of electricity. This is where Science of Mind is scientific in its nature. Very simply, we believe that the universe is fundamentally spiritual. It has intelligence, purpose, beauty and order. That order is based on fundamental spiritual principles by which the universe - in its fundamental spiritual nature - operates. Once we understand the spiritual Laws of God - or the universe - we can apply them to bring about practical results in our lives.
Science of Mind is an open system of thought. It grows continually as humankind evolves, drawing on new frontiers of knowledge. Our beliefs are in harmony with the basic tenets of all the world ’s religions, and many of our students are practicing Christians, Jews, and those of other faiths.