New Thought was called "The religion of healthy-mindedness" by William James. And that's really the truth! Sometimes confused with what is called "New Age" in the media, New Thought is actually the perennial philosophy, that thread of truth that is woven through all the world's great spiritual traditions. It's spirituality for the 21st century. The principles of New Thought are to be found in Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Zen, Hinduism, and many philosophical and theological works. Read More...
Of course, in the West, we love practicality. And it's the practical application of these principles that make all the difference. If you've ever watched Oprah Winfrey, and seen her interview a guest who explains a way to make your life better by changing your intentions, you've seen New Thought principles being taught. If you've read some of the works of Deepak Chopra, which focus on how to heal your body by healing your mind, you've read about New Thought. There are many contemporary authors and teachers illustrating the principles of New Thought through their work. You might be surprised at how long the list is!
Wayne Dyer - Ram Dass - Caroline Myss - Suze Orman - Thomas Moore - John Gray - Stephen Covey - Gabrielle Roth - Gary Zukav Julia Cameron - Marianne Williamson - Fritjof Capra - Louise Hay Larry Dossey - Bernie Siegel - Iyanla VanZant - Christiane Northrop Neale Donald Walsh - Alan Cohen - Jerry Jampolsky - Don Miguel Ruiz Elisabet Sahtouris - Fred Alan Wolf - Eckart Tolle - Jean Houston Peter Russell - Raphael Cushnir - Greg Levoy - Colin Tipping - Walter Starcke - Peter Drucker - Patrick Harbula
There are so many ways to approach the truth, and all of these authors are offering a pathway to understanding and transformation. We invite you to join us in an ongoing exploration of these principles, and in learning to consistently and persistently apply them to your life.
At the Center for Spiritual Living, the particular style of New Thought we teach is Religious Science. It is based on the ideas found in Dr. Ernest Holmes' 1926 book, The Science of Mind. These ideas aren't new, of course! In fact, there were many influences on the formation of Religious Science. Dr. Holmes looked at the world's great religions and philosophy, at the scriptures from many traditions [the Bible, Upanishads, Vedas, Koran, and so on], and the best that science had to offer in his day. He read the works of Emerson and Thoreau, studied the mystics, and followed his own intuition. The result was a book that offered a practical and practicable way to approach spirituality that is free from dogma, from rigid rules or thinking, and totally contemporary today.
Simply, New Thought teaches the law of cause and effect; that it is done unto us as we believe; that as we sow, we do indeed reap. While the theory of New Thought or Religious Science is simple, the proof of it is in the practice.
We teach clear, easy-to-follow ways to change our belief, to sow more mindfully, and to set only those causes in motion we're happy to experience. The main practice we teach is affirmative prayer, also known as spiritual mind treatment. It's spiritual, because it deals with the spiritually based causes of what we experience. It's mental, because it happens within our own minds and hearts. And it's a treatment, because it provides tangible, definite results! This is a teaching that has helped millions of people. They have experienced healings of terminal and inoperable cancer, depression, poverty, bad relationships, and a lack of job fulfillment.
Many Center for Spiritual Living churches also will teach techniques in meditation, contemplation, mindfulness, and other forms of positive living. Whatever the vehicle, the point is to live more consciously, so that our lives become richer, fuller, and more meaningful.
For more information about Center for Spiritual Life, New Thought or Religious Science, you might consider taking one of our classes in Baltimore. You can also ask specific questions by emailing our ministers.
Throughout even the earliest records of human existence the basic concept of creation has remained consistent. Creation began with a thought or words from the Self-Existing Presence, which acted upon its own thought and the Universe of physical creation came into existence. This idea is expressed in the two stories of creation found in Genesis.
The creative nature of "the Word" is referred to numerous times in the Bible. In John 1:1-2, we read: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. He was in the beginning with God. And in John 1:14: ...and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Only in recent history is Jesus thought to be the one and only son of God. Philosophers throughout time have generally agreed that the term "The Son" more aptly refers to Creation in the broadest possible understanding of the word.
Meister Eckhart (1260-1329 A.D.) a Catholic theologian of major significance was posthumously condemned by the Pope in a decree issued on March 27, 1329 for expressing just such a belief. Eckhart said, "God never begot but one Son, but the Eternal is forever begetting the only begotten." New Thought is heir to this basic concept as articulated by Eckhart and all the great philosophers before and after him.
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby is generally recognized as the father of New Thought. He was a New England clock-maker and inventor. Inspired by the work of Anton Mesmer, the founder of mesmerism, later known as hypnosis, Quimby studied and experimented with the effect of thought on the physical body. Quimby's method always involved two people, a subject and a practitioner. His work is well documented in The Quimby Manuscripts compiled by Horatio Dresser.
One of Quimby's subjects was Mary Baker Eddy. Quimby successfully treated Mary Baker Eddy for an aliment. Later Mrs. Eddy institutionalized the healing methods of Quimby in the form of a religion known as Church of Christ Scientists more widely known as Christian Science.
Mary Baker Eddy made important contributions to Mental Healing. In the process of working to heal her injured back, Mary Baker Eddy demonstrated the capacity of the individual to use the principles of mental healing for oneself without the aid of another. Mrs. Eddy is also responsible for establishing the first female clergy.
One of Mary Baker Eddy's students, Emma Curtis Hopkins, influenced New Thought profoundly. She did so by becoming the teacher of so many great thinkers that she became known as the "Teacher of Teachers". Her students included Dr. Ernest Holmes [the founder of Religious Science], Charles and Myrtle Fillmore [the co-founders of Unity], and Nona Brooks, who founded Divine Science. If Quimby is the father of New Thought, Hopkins is certainly the mother. Read Less...
"There is a power for good in the Universe, greater than we are, available to everyone, and we can use it."
The man who first stated that affirmative belief, choosing those exact words, was speaking to those sharing the Twentieth Century with him. Because of him, countless others have discovered and countless millions yet unborn will discover a rewarding awareness of their infinite potential. A lifelong searcher and student himself, he was inspired to write a book that would become a textbook, a guidebook, for other searchers and students. Read More...
His book, The Science of Mind®, correlated "the laws of science, the opinions of philosophy, and the revelations of religion applied to the needs and the aspirations of humankind."
This correlation, something completely new to the world, was also the beginning of the Institute of Religious Science and School of Philosophy, Inc., where he and others were to teach and inspire. This, in turn, would lead to the beginning of the Church of Religious Science, later to become the United Church of Religious Science.
As he always insisted, he did not legislate any of the laws that govern the universe, and he did not invent a secret new way by which humankind can partake of the unlimited good in the universe. He sought only to explain the infallibility of the laws and express the essence of the ever-existent way. No one before him had done that. His work was to make this modest man "a man for the ages" a pioneering guide to all humankind.
His name was Ernest Holmes. He was born January 21, 1887, on a small farm near Lincoln, Maine.
His parents, William and Anna Heath Holmes, had nine sons. The youngest was named after a poetic young preacher of that area, Rev. Ernest Shurtleff, who later wrote the hymn, "Lead On, O King Eternal." In the order of their arrival, Ernest Holmes' older brothers were: Walter, Luther, William, Charles, Harry (who died in infancy), Fenwick, Guy and Jerome.
He acquired "the basics" of education in rural schools: grammar school in Lincoln, and Gould's Academy in Bethel, Maine. He once said: "I quit school when I was about 15 and didn't go back except to study public speaking." From 1908 to 1910, working in a store to pay his way, he attended the Leland Powers School of Expression in Boston.
The rest of his prodigious learning came from an insatiable search for what would be most meaningful for any man to know. He was an omnivorous student of and finally an authority on the universal truths and imperishable ideas manifested through the ages of literature, art, science, philosophy and religion. He spent a life-time synthesizing his discoveries. The result: The Science of Mind.
Near the close of his life, he talked to an interviewer about his own beginnings and the beginnings of Religious Science.
Asked about his quitting school at 15, he said. "I didn't want to be taken care of, so l went to work. What I have gathered has been from reading, studying and thinking, working, experiencing. It is a long, laborious, tough method, but it pays off. I don't believe there is a real other method.
"What you will really learn in life will be what you tell yourself, in a language you understand, that you accept...because it is rational enough to accept, and inspirational enough to listen to with feeling...
"From the beginning I was a non-conformist, asking so many questions I drove my relatives crazy." (But he never stopped asking, then or later.) "Fortunately, I was brought up by a mother who refused to have fear taught in her family. New England, theoretically, was pretty strict; but she was a wise woman and she determined we should never be taught there was anything to be afraid of…"
Except for that inner drive to ask questions, he said, "I wasn't strange in any particular way." He saw no visions, had no hallucinations. Even at an early age he started to study Emerson on his own initiative. About Emerson he said: "Studying Emerson was like drinking water to me. I have studied Emerson all my life."
At the Leland Powers School in Boston, some of his fellow students were Christian Scientists; an instructor was a reader in the Mother Church. He became interested in some of their thinking, especially about the healings they believed possible by those who prayed in a certain way. If such things were possible to them, he reasoned, such things must also be possible to others.
Long afterward, he elaborated on this reaction: "Anything anyone has ever done, anybody can do; there can be no secrets in nature. This I have always believed. There is no special providence, no God who says, 'l am going to tell you what I didn't tell any others.' "
Two years before, his brother Fenwick had sought a warmer climate for reasons of health. He had written Ernest glowing reports about the Los Angeles suburb of Venice, where he had become a "home missionary" and built a small, thriving church.
Ernest, too, liked the climate; he liked "helping out" on Sunday in the church, and he found a job he liked, as purchasing agent for the city of Venice. What he especially liked about the job was that it allowed him plenty of time to study.
He found Los Angeles an exciting place: a growing city of progressive people, in a ferment of expanding their horizons, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. It was a community of stimulating intellectuals. Anything anyone might want to study was taught there.
He said, many years later: "I began to read and study everything I could get hold of—no one thing. I started from the very beginning with the thought that I didn't want to take one bondage away from myself and create another. I have always been very careful about that."
"We happen to have the most liberal spiritual Movement the world has ever seen, yet it is tied together by the authority of the ages and the highlights of the spiritual evolution of the human race all of which I have become familiar with, over a long period of time, studying it and thinking about it…"
"It has always been my idea that the greatest life is the one that includes the most—that we have to study what everybody has to say, we have to be the judge principally of what we think is right or wrong, good or bad, or true or false. There is nothing else, and we must not live by authority. We must have no more prophets or saviors."
-Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of MindRead Less...
I consider Religious Science a thing of destiny or I wouldn't be here. I have given my life to it. I never even made a living out of it, because it doesn't interest me in that way. I think it is a thing of destiny. I believe that the evolutionary process, periodically in history, pushes something forward as a new emergence to meet a new demand.
What I have gathered has been from reading, studying, thinking, and working–it is a long, laborious, tough method, but it pays off. I don't believe there is a real other method. What you will really learn will be what you tell yourself, in a language you understand, you accept–giving yourself a reason that is rational enough to accept, reasonable enough to agree to, inspirational enough to listen to with feeling, profound enough to sink deep, with light enough in it to break away the clouds. Because there is a place where the sun never has stopped shining in everyone's mind, and there is ever a song somewhere and we all have to learn to sing it. Read More...
There would be no Religious Science movement had there not at first been a New Thought movement. We are one of the New Thought groups of America, which have come up in the last 60 years and influenced the thought of the world and this country more than any other one single element in it–that is, spiritually, religiously, theologically, and psychologically too. But the New Thought movement itself, which originated in America, had its roots in a very deep antiquity.
We happen to have the most liberal spiritual movement the world has ever seen, and yet it is synthesized and tied together by the authority of the ages and the highlights of the spiritual evolution of the human race, all of which I have been familiar with, since I have spent 50 years studying it and thinking about it.
I was always studying; and since I had to make a living, I took a job as a purchasing agent. A superintendent asked me what all the books that I had around my office were, and I said they were books on philosophy and metaphysics, the occult, New Thought–everything you can think of. He said, "They look interesting to me." I said, "You are an engineer and wouldn't be interested," but he thought he might. He borrowed some of them and after a while he said, "How would you like to come over to my house and I will invite a few people one evening and you can just talk to us?" I said that would be fine–and we did it.
Those were the first talks I ever gave, in two homes. During one of these evenings a lady came to me and said she was at the Metaphysical Library (we used to have a big metaphysical library at 3rd and Broadway, and I used to get books out of it) and she said, "I told the librarian you would come up next Thursday and talk." I said, "Talk on what?" And she said, "Like you talk to us! You are really better than the people we hear up there."
I went, and the librarian said, "You have a class this afternoon at 3 p.m." I said, "I wouldn't know how to teach a class." She informed me I could pay a dollar for the room and charge 25 cents a person to come. I decided to teach Troward. I had read The Edinburgh Lectures. I believe I had 13 in the class and got home with a five-dollar gold piece above my rent. Within two years I was speaking to thousands of people a week and never put a notice in the paper. They just came.
This went on for a number of years, and I thought I would like to see how it worked in other places. For several years I went to Eastern cities and around and discovered that people everywhere wanted it and were ready for it. I had already started on what I consider our great synthesis, putting the thing together. I had a beautiful home here and had made many friends, so I came back to Los Angeles after several years of being out of this local field.
In 1925 we took the little theater which used to be in the Ambassador Hotel. It seated 625 people. We put an ad in the paper and started on a Sunday morning. Within a year the people couldn't get in. Then we took the Ebell Theatre and within a year were turning people away from there. It seated 1,295 people.
Then, because we needed the space, I took the Wiltern Theater, and we turned away many, many hundreds every Sunday. This was during the time of the Depression, and probably many people were looking for help even more than ordinarily. I had a big radio program, too, which was a big help.
I want to go back before this happened. I came back here in 1925, and in 1926 some friends of mine said, "You should organize this." But I said, "No, I don't want to do that; I don't want to start a new religion or be responsible for it; I don't want to tell anyone what to do. I don't know what to do myself, so how can I tell anyone else?" But they argued that this was something they thought valuable and the greatest thing in the world, and they finally convinced me–and we became incorporated as a nonprofit religious and educational organization. It was called the Institute of Religious Science and School of Philosophy.
It wasn't until it had many, many, many branches that I really thought to myself, something is going on here, this really is a thing of destiny; it is really going to become the next spiritual impulsion of the world–and I believe it. I finally came to see that it had to be organized so it wouldn't fall apart. We have a very wonderful organization, democratic; we are governed by a top board of 19 members, seven of whom are elected by the field.
This is a new spiritual impulsion in the world; it has certain objectives in the world, has certain purposes: to teach and to practice, and nothing else. Teach and practice, practice and teach–that is all we have; that is all we are good for; that is all we ever ought to do.
We must bear witness to a spiritual truth which has come down to us through the ages; and if there is any truth, this is it. It is a compilation, a synthesis–a putting together of all the great thoughts. If you take the deep thoughts of the ages–Plato and Moses and Jesus, Buddha, Socrates, Aristotle and Emerson and Plotinus, all of them–you will have to have the greatest teaching the world has.
It is a terrific thing to synthesize the wisdom of the ages. I don't claim to have done it, but we have come nearer doing it than ever has happened before in the history of the world. Therefore, we are beneficiaries of innumerable sources. Those sources we gladly recognize, and we feel very proud and happy we have had sense enough to use them. They must be brought into line–the great philosophical and spiritual truths must be brought into line with the modern metaphysical knowledge of the Law of Mind in action, which the ancients did not understand at all. If they did, they didn't practice it or, as far as I know, teach it. They taught the broad, generalized principles that underlie it and which will explain it–but not in action.
We have launched a movement which is destined–I won't live to see it and don't want to–in the next hundred years to be the great new religious impulsion of our day and of modern times. I am convinced our movement is a thing of destiny.
Now what do we teach? It is very simple: God is all there is. There isn't anything else; there never was and never will be. When the psychological reaction of condemnation is done away with in the world, Hell will have cooled off; the Devil will be out of business; present-day evangelism will have been rolled up like a scroll and numbered with the things that were once thought to be real.
Something new and grand will have appeared. We are the forerunners of a new race of people; we are the arbiters of the fate of unborn generations; we are the custodians of the chalice of truth. But we are not hung on a cross. We have a song to sing; we have a joy to bring to the world, and love and peace and happiness.
I think we should feel as though we are on a mission. Not a mission of sadness to save souls–they are not lost, and if they were, you wouldn't know where to look for them–but a mission that glorifies the soul. Not to find we are here for salvation, but for glorification–the beauty, the wonder, the delight of that Something that sings and sings and sings in the soul of humankind.
"These lessons are dedicated to that Truth which frees man from himself and sets him on the pathway of a new experience, which enables him to see through the mist to the Eternal and Changeless Reality."
"My business is directed by Divine Intelligence. The All-Knowing Mind knows what to do and how to do it. I do not hinder, but let it operate in my affairs. It prospers and directs me and controls my life. My affairs are managed by Love, and directed by Wisdom, and they cannot fail to prosper and expand."
"Oh, for a tongue to express the Wonders which the Thought reveals! Oh, for some Word to comprehend the boundless idea! Would that some Voice were sweet enough to sound the harmony of Life. But Within, in that vast realm of thought where the Soul meets God, the Spirit knows. I will listen for that Voice and It will tell me of Life, of Love, and of Unity."
"We should be careful to distinguish day dreaming and wistful wishing from really dynamic and creative treatment. When we treat we do not wish, we KNOW. We do not dream, we STATE. We do not hope, we ACCEPT. We do not pray, we ANNOUNCE. We do not expect that something is going to happen, we BELIEVE THAT IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED."
"People are so tired of looking for things where they do not exist, that they are going to more and more completely open their thought to the realization that Spirit is an active Presence...Somehow there must come to each individual an interior conviction that we are One with the Universe, and that the Spirit flows through us at the level of our recognition and embodiment of it."
"What the world needs is spiritual conviction followed by spiritual experience"
"In treatment we turn entirely from the condition, because so long as we look at a condition we cannot overcome it. That is why the mystic said: ’Behold my face forevermore.' 'Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.' That is, look up and not down."
"One, alone, in consciousness with the Infinite, constitutes a complete majority. knowing this in your thought, work in perfect peace and calm. ALWAYS EXPECT THE GOOD. Have enthusiasm, and, above all, have a consciousness of love– a radiant feeling flowing through your consciousness at all times. Treat yourself until you have an inner sense of unity with all Good."
"The fear of lack is nothing more than the belief that God does not, and will not, supply us with whatever we need. The fear of death is the belief that the promises of eternal life may not be true. The fear of loss of health, loss of friends, loss of property–all arise from the belief that God is not all that we claim: Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence."Read Less...