LivingSpiritually.com exists to facilitate and deepen the connection to your Higher Self, your Spirit nature. The spiritual teachings and philosophy that guide the content of this site can be distilled into a simple narrative:
God, Spirit, Universal Mind (any name you choose for the ONE divine) is everything. God is all there is, and we are part of this everything, so we are God individualized in a human form, eternal beings experiencing human life as part of a living God. As we are each a part of God we can choose to consciously deepen our connection to this spiritual Source Essence through meditation and affirmative prayer, manifesting demonstrable results as we continue living spiritually. As we positively change our thinking, we change our life — creating a better, more peaceful and rewarding experience each day.
LivingSpiritually.com is an extension of the spiritual teaching of Dr. Barbara Lunde and Reverend Jill Guerra from the Center for Spiritual Living in Boca Raton, Florida. The Center for Spiritual Living’s primary text and philosophy is called Science of Mind.
What Is Science Of Mind?
The Science of Mind is the study of Life and the nature of the laws of thought — the conception that we live in a spiritual Universe, that God is in, through, around and for us. — Ernest Holmes
Science of Mind is a spiritual teaching and way of life originating from the title of the seminal work of Dr. Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind, written in 1926 and revised by the author in 1938. It is the basis of the teaching and philosophy of the Centers for Spiritual Living and livingSpiritually.com. It is a simple, practical way of understanding the universe and our relationship therein. Science of Mind is a distillation of many of the world’s great teachers and spiritual leaders, from both East and West, throughout the ages.
Science of Mind is not in conflict with any other spiritual or religious teaching, but seeks to illuminate the unifying truths shared by all. Teaching Science of Mind concepts began under the name Religious Science and is now taught at the Centers for Spiritual Living worldwide. The name of the ongoing spiritual practice was changed to avoid confusion and comparison to similar names with which Science of Mind has no affiliation. Science of Mind is an important part of the New Thought Movement.
LivingSpiritually.com embraces the spiritual concept of New Thought. This spiritual modality took form as a “term” in the U.S. in the late 1900s, but its meaning precedes organized religion and it is both very old and very new. It is this way because it is ever evolving as man’s consciousness expands. Early on, Plato and Buddha both memorialized the New Thought basic premise:
“Take charge of your thoughts. You can do what you will with them.” – Plato
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world.” – Buddha
Dr. Ernest Holmes, author of Science of Mind, describes New Thought like this:
“A system of thought which affirms the unity of God with man, the perfection of all life, and the immortality and eternity of the individual soul forever expanding.”
New Thought constantly re-invents itself, thus remaining forever “new,” even if its message remains substantially the same. New Thought is not, as many believe, a name or expression employed to define any fixed system of thought, philosophy, or religion, but is a term used to convey the idea of growing or developing thoughts and ideas about our spirituality and our world.
Transcendence Concept Influences New Thought
* The Greek Philosopher Plato developed the philosophical concept of transcendence.
* The verb “to transcend” means “to go beyond” something. In Transcendentalism, it meant that there are truths that go beyond, or transcend, proof. These were truths that were simply “known,” but could not be proved with logic. These truths were a private experience of faith and conviction.
* The German philosopher Immanuel Kant gave Transcendentalism its name.
* Kant, with other German thinkers, influenced the views of some important English writers: the poet-critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, and the Scottish philosopher-historian Thomas Carlyle. These three, especially Carlyle, exchanged ideas with Ralph Waldo Emerson of Concord, MA.
* It was Emerson who brought the movement to New England and nurtured its growth in this country.
* American Transcendentalism thus began in the 1840’s as Emerson interacted with Longfellow, Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Thoreau and Lowell. This influential group of people were all born within a few years and a few miles of each other in New England.
* Transcendentalism was the beginning of American interest in Oriental thought. Emerson and his friends read the Hindus, Confucius, Buddha and the Mohammedan Sufis. The Bhagavad-Gita was very influential to Emerson.
* Transcendentalism became an eclectic composite of Oriental, Greek, English, French, German and native thought.
* Transcendentalism is a belief there is a higher reality and greater knowledge than that manifested in human mind. It divides reality into a realm of spirit and a realm of matter. This division is made by many of the great religions of the world.
Major Influences On Science Of Mind
There are four creative thinkers that greatly influenced Ernest Holmes (1887-1960) as he moved along his spiritual path and developed Science of Mind. They were:
* Ralph Waldo Emerson, the distinguished New England philosopher and essayist (1803-1852)
* Thomas Toward, an eminent British jurist and metaphysician (1847-1916)
* Phineas Parkhurst Quemoy, a mental healer (1802-1866)
* Emma Curtis Hopkins, a greatly respected American teacher and mystic, often called the “teacher of teachers” (1853-1925)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson’s entire life was one of spiritual exploration. He has been called “the Father of New Thought” because he was instrumental in gathering together a group of intellectuals, writers and philosophers to explore the transcendental philosophy.
Emerson entered Harvard College on a scholarship at age 14. He became a Unitarian minister. He wrote eloquent essays on many subjects.
Emerson thought every man is an individual enactment of the one and only God. He thought that at the center of our being we are all operated on by spiritual laws, which execute themselves.
Emerson is not thought of as a New Thought writer, but rather as one of the sources from which New thought drew a great deal of inspiration.
Reading: Emerson’s eloquent essays that particularly reflect Science of Mind thinking are “Self-Reliance,” “Spiritual Laws,” “Compensation” and “The Over-soul.”
Ernest Holmes And Emerson
Ernest Holmes was a spiritual seeker. Born in 1887, he was primarily “home schooled” by his mother, who was an ardent reader. In his teens, Ernest began a search for the similarities in all the worlds’ religions. He read extensively about all of them. He was deeply moved by the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Holmes said, “Reading Emerson is like drinking water to me”.
Thomas Troward was born in the Punjab, India, in 1847, educated in England and returned to India to become a Divisional Judge in the Punjab, which is now Pakistan.
His chief interest lay in the field of religion. He explored the Indian religions and studied comparative religions. He studied Indian lore and sacred writings as well as Hebrew and other ancient scriptures. He was an ardent student of the Bible and was drawn to Emerson’s writings. The concept of reincarnation was a strong influence in his thinking.
He associated himself with the Higher Thought Centre in England and became a noted leader of British New Thought.
Troward was interested in formulating a theory of mental healing. When he was asked to label it, he called it “Mental Science.”
Troward began by examining the universe. He saw things that seemed to have a quality of livingness — and some which did not. Since the difference was not always sharp he concluded that there are degrees of livingness; further searching led him to conclude that what makes the difference is intelligence.
Reading: Troward’s “The Dore Lectures” contains a logical, intellectual explanation of this rich philosophy.
Ernest Holmes And Troward
Holmes discovered Troward’s work in 1914, two years before Troward died. He said “This is as near to my own thoughts as I shall ever come.” He began speaking on Troward’s writing to growing groups when he was 25 without realizing his lifetime ministry had begun. He totally absorbed Troward’s ideas and deeply linked them with his own thinking. He was one of the main channels through which Troward’s ideas reached American circles.
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Phineas Quimby was an American mental healer whose ideas greatly influenced the New Thought movement, a religious-metaphysical healing group. He originally studied mesmerism and became a practitioner of hypnosis. He claimed that he could heal by mere suggestion. Quimby believed that illness originated in the mind and was created by erroneous beliefs. He taught that when a person opened their mind to God’s wisdom, they could conquer any sickness.
Emma Curtis Hopkins
Emma Curtis Hopkins, more than any other single teacher, influenced New Thought. She was born in Connecticut in 1853. She was educated at Woodstock Academy there and remained for a time as an instructor before she found her calling as a metaphysical teacher and lecturer. She traversed the US sharing her wisdom, developing a following and influencing the next generation of New Thought leadership.
Emma Curtis Hopkins was a genuine mystic. She emphasized this element in all her teachings and writing. She drew upon the Bible, the non-Christian scriptures, and the works of the world’s great philosophers and saints in her teaching. Her mysticism was a very potent influence upon Ernest Holmes.
She also spent time in London, where she had contact with Thomas Troward and other British leaders of the New Thought movement. She eventually ceased using the name Christian Science and began teaching privately.
Because her influence was so pervasive in these New Thought organizations Emma Curtis Hopkins came to be called the “Teacher of Teachers.” Ernest Holmes studied with Emma Curtis Hopkins in her later years when she was teaching only individuals. He felt she was among the greatest of the mystics.
Unity, Divine Science and Religious Science are the three largest organizations within the present-day International New Thought Alliance (INTA).
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 was deeply moved by the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He then found Thomas Troward in England, who further defined elements of the philosophy that was formulating in his mind. He began teaching Troward everywhere he could. He was also touched by the work of Emma Curtis Hopkins, who had begun to influence other great New Thought leaders.
He wrote Science of Mind which is used as a textbook in Centers for Spiritual Living. Among other notes, he:
* Began lecturing on Troward 1916
* Published his first book Creative Mind
* 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 1953
* Made his transition 1960