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Founder of the Religious Science Movement
Ernest Holmes founded the International Religious Science movement, wrote "The Science of Mind" and numerous other books on metaphysics, and originated the international periodical Science of Mind magazine, which has been in continuous publication since 1927. Holmes' Science of Mind teaching, recognized today as one of the leading viewpoints in modern metaphysics, is a spiritual philosophy that has brought to people around the world a working cosmology - a sense of their relationship to God and their place in the Universe - and a positive, supportive approach to daily living.
Ernest Holmes was born in 1887 on a small Maine farm, the youngest of nine sons. As a teenager, he attended Bethel preparatory school, but he spent most of his time out-of-doors, asking himself "What is God? Who am I? Why am I here?" He mentally tangled with all the local preachers and doubted the answers he got in church. At the age of 18 he left school and formal education and set out on his lifelong course of independent thinking. He went to Boston, worked in a grocery store, and pursued his studies relentlessly. A year late, he discovered the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. "Reading Emerson is like drinking water to me," he said later. His metaphysical studies intensified, his quest for truth leading him to literature, art, science, philosophy, and religion, and in particular the Christian Science teachings of Mary Baker Eddy.
After Ernest Holmes became acquainted with the writings of Emerson and Mary Baker Eddy, he soon was exploring the writings of Christian D. Larson, Ralph Waldo Trine, Horatio Dresser and Phineas Quimby. Holmes was particularly impressed with the New Thought writings of Larson and eventually abandoned the Christian Science textbook for Larson's works.
In 1914, at the age of 25, Ernest moved to Venice, California. Pursuing his studies, he discovered the writings of Thomas Troward, which fed the flame ignited by his earlier studies of metaphysics. Almost casually, he began speaking on Troward's writings to small but ever-growing groups. Without ceremony, his lifetime ministry had begun. Later, as his audiences grew, he was ordained as a minister of the Divine Science Church.
book, "Creative Mind," in 1919, followed shortly after by another
volume entitled "Creative Mind and Success." He continued his studies,
to growing crowds in California and Eastern cities. Meanwhile, he was
"The Science of Mind," which was to become the "textbook"
of the Religious Science philosophy. First Published in 1922, it was
originally copyrighted by his wife in 1926, revised
in 1938, and is now in its 45th printing, and has been translated into
German, and Japanese. At the time the book was published, his many
students urged him to set up an incorporated organization. He refused
first, but eventually agreed, and the Institute of Religious Science
the School of Philosophy was incorporated in 1927.
On October 23, 1927, in Los Angeles, he was married to widowed Hazel Durkee Foster. They were to be inseparable companions for thirty years. In 1953, the Institute became the Church of Religious Science. In 1967, it acquired its present-day title, United Church of Religious Science, with member churches throughout the world. On May 21, 1957, he lost his chosen life-companion.
Ernest Holmes made his transition to the next experience on April 7, 1960, in Los Angeles. He left no children. But he left all humankind an enduring legacy: the way of life he called Religious Science.
On that way of life, he said this in 1958:
"We have launched a Movement which, in the next 100 years, will be the great new religious impulsion of modern times, far exceeding, in its capacity to envelop the world, anything that has happened since Mohammedanism started.
"We have to have the same faith in what we teach and practice that the scientist has, or the gardener has, and when that great simplicity shall have plumbed and penetrated this density of ours, this human stolidness and stupidity, this debauchery of the intellect and the soul, something new and wonderful will happen. It is the only thing that will keep the world from destroying itself...."
(Abstracted from the booklet Path of Discovery, prepared by Scott Awbrey, Los Angeles United Church of Religious Science, 1987.)
The following book by Ernest Holmes can be read on-line:
Ernest Holmes Speaks . . .
books by Ernest Holmes are available to purchase
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His Life and Times
by Fenwicke L. Holmes
Now available in handy ebook form for immediate download!
Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times, written by his brother Fenwicke Holmes, one of our most astute philosophical scholars, presents a spiritual insight into the potential and possibilities of man for peace of mind in today's stressful times. This is a book that every student searching for reality must read. It is provocative and contains satisfying answers for the seeking mind. Fenwicke's contribution to Ernest is magnificent.
William H. Hornaday, Minister of the Founder's Church of
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