LOVE and LAW
The Unpublished Teachings
of Ernest Holmes
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Early lectures and private lessons from celebrated spiritual teacher Ernest Holmes, illustrating the key concepts behind his influential ideas.
Ernest Holmes was a beloved teacher and philosopher with a disarmingly simple message: Change your thinking, and you will change your life. There is a creative law in the universe, Holmes reasoned, and it is available to each of us right now through our thought patterns. We can, quite literally, think our way to happiness and contentment.
Love and Law is a collection of carefully selected lectures and private lessons that have never before been in print. It is a splendid testament to the living philosophy of this remarkable guide and thinker.
About This Book
Yellowed and brittle, the pages of transcription by students of Ernest Holmes, now, once again through this book, bring to life words to live by. There is a message of depth to show us how we may choose a life that can be more beneficial for us and the world. This book is prepared in three parts. It consists of three different series of talks given around the same time, 1918. Ernest was known to give a morning lecture, a different lecture in the afternoon, and perhaps an evening class, all in the same day.
Ernest, as he was usually addressed, never prepared his lectures with notes or manuscript. He lived in the Presence of God and his profound ideas come to prove this. We must take into account the era of these lectures. World War I ended in November 1918 and this war is referred to in some of his lectures. Also at this time there was a major epidemic of influenza in Europe and America.
Ernest had an amazing memory for literature, poetry, and the Bible. However, many Bible quotes are not word for word. He studied the King James Version and the verses he refers to may be round there. At times it seems he created his own words. You will also find a few slang terms of the day. The editor has, where necessary, brought gender inclusiveness to the lectures. In a few cases there were words left out by the stenographer; these additions have been made.
Throughout the years people have asked if Ernest Holmes believed and spoke the same in his early years, around 1916, as in his last, 1960. I would have to say yes and no. What he believed about our choice and how we create our own world remained the same. How he expressed his beliefs may have mellowed a bit in later years. His first book, Creative Mind, is about these beliefs in clear and concise terms. His last book, The Voice Celestial, co-authored with his brother Fenwicke Holmes, is an entirely different kind of book: a book of poetry.
Ernest was very much the mystic. In a talk he gave in 1958 in Whittier, California, he comes to a place where he believes he has seen “the veil, and it is very thin.”
Sometimes people have felt that Ernest spoke and emphasized the Law rather than Love. But he believed that “Love points the way and the Law makes the thing possible.” The thing being the desire manifested. In one of his lectures on Fundamental Metaphysics he states: “You will find your word has the amount of power, the amount of intelligence you put into it, and it has creative power according to the amount of absolute conviction and the impulse of love which is behind it.”
The use of the term practitioner was gleaned by Ernest’s early exposure to Christian Science. A practitioner is a person who practices the principles of Science of Mind. There are now people who have studied and been licensed through the organization of the United Church of Religious Science as professional practitioners. In 1920 there were only a couple of people in this position. They were Reginald Armor and Anna Holmes, Ernest's mother. The practitioners and patients that Ernest is referring to throughout his talks are the people he was speaking to, not licensed practitioners.
“There is no practitioner that can do anything more for you than to help you. Your final emancipation will be written by your own hand or it will never be written at all, it will be thought out by your own mind. It will govern your own consciousness as it recognizes the supremacy of mind, the infinite impulse of spirit, and your own divine birthright to use it.” In other words, the final determination of your healing is up to you, in your acceptance of truth. As Jesus said: “It is done unto you as you believe.”
Rev. Marilyn [Armor] Leo
About the Author
Ernest Shurtleff Holmes, public speaker, religious leader, and author, was born in Lincoln, Maine, on January 21, 1887, one of nine sons of William Nelson, a farmer, and Anna Columbia (Heath) Holmes.
Ernest received his education in the rural schools of his native community, the public schools of Lincoln, Maine, and Goulds Academy, in Bethel, Maine. From 1908 to 1910 he attended the Leland Powers School of Expression, in Boston, while at the same time working in a retail store, which he continued to do for the next three years.
In 1912 he went to California where he served as playground instructor and purchasing agent for the City of Venice. Beginning about 1915, he was asked to speak in a friend's home about his beliefs and philosophy. He quickly grew in popularity and until the early 1960s he was prolific in his lectures as well as successful at publishing books. By 1916 he began lecturing in auditoriums in Los Angeles to many hundreds of people.
He and his brother Fenwicke established a home in Venice, California, for metaphysical treatment. In 1916 they also began publishing a magazine, The Uplift. In 1917 they organized the Southern California Metaphysical Institute and in 1918 established a metaphysical sanitarium in Long Beach.
During these few years Ernest maintained a lecture hall and treatment offices in Los Angeles and spoke on Sundays in the Strand Theater. In 1920, he and his brother traveled to New York, Boston, and Philadelphia where they spoke to overflow crowds in lecture halls and theaters. Finally, in the early 1920s, Ernest sought more permanency and stability in his endeavors by confining his work primarily to one location. He then returned to Los Angeles and began to steadily expand his career, lecturing in the Biltmore and Ambassador Hotels. He established headquarters in the North Parlor of the Trinity Hotel (later known as the Embassy), conducting midweek meetings and special classes. Ernest's mother and his lifelong friend Reginald Armor established offices in this location as practitioners to meet the needs of the ever increasing number of followers.
In 1927 he founded the Institute of Religious Science and School of Philosophy, which was later changed to the Church of Religious Science and, most recently, the United Church of Religious Science. He served as dean of the school and leader of the church organization until the close of his life. Also in 1927, on October 23, Ernest was married in Los Angeles to Hazel Foster, daughter of Charles and Ann Durkee. They had no children.
Ernest had a casual form. He often wore plaid shirts and loafer shoes and was completely comfortable with whomever he was with, whether celebrities of Hollywood, university professors, or the indigent. He was at home in his surroundings. The feeling behind some of these lectures of sitting in his living room with a roaring fire is accurate. He, along with his beloved wife, Hazel, celebrated life often in their home with many friends. There was most often conversation with Ernest asking questions of others as well as giving his own personal views about life, the universe, and how it all works.
The same year (1927) he founded a monthly magazine, Religious Science which later became Science of Mind. Ernest was editorial director. This magazine has gained worldwide recognition and distribution.
At the time of his death in Los Angeles on April 7, 1960, the number of branch church organizations had risen to 101, in all parts of the world, most of these housed in their own buildings and with a registered membership exceeding 100,000. He lived to dedicate the Founders Church in Los Angeles in January I960. It is a magnificent edifice, costing more than $1,500,000. Its minister was Dr. William H. D. Hornaday.
Ernest lectured incessantly and his published writings are prolific. His central thesis was his own definition of Religious Science in less than twenty-five words as “a correlation of the laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to human needs and the aspirations of all.” He took the transcendental position of accepting a First Cause although he supported his thesis with logical arguments derived from the sciences and the authority of the outstanding thinkers of history, formulating a basic synchronism which he taught as a system of religion. He accepted the principle of idealistic monism and declared that science and religion are rooted in one and the same Mind, and that the world of phenomena is subject to the Law of Mind. He considered that people are an individualization of Creative Spirit and through their self-awareness and power of choice can control the health of the body and the conditions of environment by affirmative meditation, which he called treatment. To this end he maintained the necessity of understanding the principle of the Law of Mind, which responds automatically to any demand made upon it. Successful, wise, and affirmative employment of this Law result in what we call “good,” and an unwise or negative use of this law will result in so-called evil. Evil is therefore an effect and not a cause. He quoted the Bible often: “It is not the will of my Father that any of his children should perish.” He believed that the final answer lies in the receptivity of the individual: “Ask and ye shall receive.”
Ernest was an eloquent speaker and wrote widely in the fields of the new psychology, spiritual philosophy, and metaphysics. His consuming passion was to teach teachers. His counsel and assistance were sought by many noted people across the country. Thousands flocked to his classes.
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