Let us return to 1927 lest we forget another event that made that a special year for Ernest Holmes. on October 23, 1927, in Los Angeles, he married the widowed Hazel Durkee Foster. They were to be inseparable companions for thirty years.
On April 16, 1935, the organization founded by Ernest Holmes was reincorporated as the Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy.
On August 1, 1935, the Institute, having outgrown its quarters on Wilshire Blvd. at the corner of Carondelet Street, moved into the round building at 3251 West Sixth Street, where it remained for many years, and eventually became known as Founders Church of Religious Science. Extensive property was included in the purchase, providing for future expansion.
In October 1929, the magazine was to acquire a new cover design, a new makeup inside, and a new name: Science of Mind Magazine. It was a reflection of the proven appeal of this new teaching, and the book that explained it. A new "Announcement" assured all readers:
"As one of many channels for giving to the world the invaluable truths of Science of Mind, this magazine will, to the utmost ability of the organization behind it, serve men and women everywhere; seeking to help them realize their greatest good, not alone in a far-distant future, but Here and Now."
Today it has world-wide circulation and is read by millions.
In the first issue of the Religious Science magazine, Ernest Holmes announced:
"The purpose of this magazine will be to instruct ethically, morally, and religiously, from a scientific viewpoint of life and its meaning.
"A semi-religious periodical, ethical in its tendency, moral in its tone, philosophical in its viewpoint, it will seek to promote that universal consciousness of life which binds all together in one great Whole...
"It will also be the purpose of Religious Science to present to its readers a systematic and comprehensive study of the subtle powers of mind and spirit, insofar as they are now known; and to show how such powers may be consciously used for the betterment of the individual and the race."
Like so many other ideas of Ernest Holmes, that first issue contained features that have endured. One was a meditation for each day of the month; it was a one-line meditation, at the top of a page. Also, there was a listing of Religious Science Practitioners,. That first issue carried eight names; one was Anna Holmes - Ernest's mother.
Like the university professors who soon were speaking at this new center of learning, throngs of students were attracted there by its climate of soul-searching, as well as mind-searching. Both instructors and students discovered that this unassuming, self-educated, American-born philosopher, Ernest Holmes, was very practical and highly inspirational. They wanted to share this experience with others.
In other ways, 1927 was to be a milestone year for both Religious Science and its founder. Headquarters and offices, including Practitioner offices, as well as a library and lecture halls, were established at 2511 Wilshire Boulevard.
The organizing of the Institute led to the launching, only a few months later, of a monthly magazine: Religious Science. The Institute was not yet equipped to enroll all the would-be students who wanted to attend. The magazine was created in an effort to sustain and build the interest that the Institute already had generated by word-of-mouth.
Friends persisted with Ernest Holmes that he start a new religious organization.
As he expressed later: “They argued this was something they thought valuable, and the greatest thing in the world, and finally convinced me. A Board of Governors was chosen, and we became incorporated as a non-profit religious and educational organization – the Institute of Religious Science and School of Philosophy, Inc., it was called.”
They incorporated in February 1927. Ernest Holmes was 40 years of age.
The purpose of the Institute was to furnish instruction not only in the Science of Mind, with Ernest Holmes’ book as the textbook, but also to offer lectures, by recognized authorities, on diversified, allied subjects.
Perhaps because he lacked a formal education, he never considered himself a professional writer. Yet he wrote prolifically, and most persuasively, on every subject that deeply interested him.
His first book, published in 1919, bore the title:Creative Mind. Even that early, he was beginning to find answers to his impelling search.
The Science of Mind was first published in 1926. (His revised edition, now translated into numerous other languages... was first issued in 1938... [and is the version we use today].
And the Consciousness Grew
In 1926 he started speaking each Sunday in a theater int he Ambassador Hotel that seated 625. Within a year, latecomers couldn't get in. The Sunday morning talks were moved in November 1927 to the Ebell Theater, which seated 1295. Within a year, that also was too small an auditorium.
During the next few years progressive moves were made - one being to the beautiful Sala de Oro of the Biltmore Hotel. In 1934 the services were moved to the large Wiltern Theater, at Wilshire and Western, with a seating capacity of more than 2800. There, too, before long, hundreds were turned away every Sunday.
In 1926, far-sighted friends - important men in Los Angeles - had begun to urge him to form a corporation and organize for the inevitable growth of what he was teaching. He said, "No, I don't want to do that. I don't want to start a new religion or be responsible for it."
How the Speaking Started
An engineer who frequented Ernest's purchasing office became curious about the books on philosophy and metaphysics and assorted other subjects Ernest had around him, and asked to borrow some of them. After a while, the engineer suggested inviting a few friends to his house one evening and having Ernest talk to them. "That was the first talk I ever gave," he later revealed. It led to others, in the homes of other friends.
One evening, a lady informed him that she had told the librarian at the the big Metaphysical Library... that he would talk there the following Thursday. "Talk on what?" he asked. Her answer was: "What you have been talking about to us here. You're better than any of the people we hear there."
He investigated. The hall rented for $1 / class, and the admission price per person was 25 cents. He decided to talk on Troward and the Edinburgh Lectures. Enough people showed up, and stayed, so that he went home with a $5 gold piece, after paying his rental. It was a heady experience. The year was 1916.
Within the next two years he was speaking to thousands of people a week in Los Angeles. He wondered how he might fare in other places, and began speaking around the country. He soon had a national reputation as a man who stimulated others to think for themselves. Wherever he went, people wanted to hear his message. They were ready for what he was already embarked upon: the great synthesis that would result in the book, The Science of Mind.
He said later: "It's true that you learn from yourself in doing." He decided to halt the long speaking tours, confine his speaking to the Los Angeles area and concentrate on completion of the book. The year was 1925.
Ernest Holmes came to California in 1912 on an exploratory visit. Two years before, his brother Fenwicke 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..."
Except for that inner drive to ask questions, Holmes 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."
In the 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, "I am going to tell you what I didn't tell any others."
Asked about his quitting school at 15, he said: "I didn't want to be taken care of, so I went to work. What I have gathered has been from reading, studying and thinking, working, experi-encing. 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, theologically, was pretty strict; but she was a wise woman and she determined we should never be taught there was anything to be afraid of..."
Holmes was born January 21, 1887 on a small farm near Lincoln, Maine. He was the youngest of nine sons born to William and Anna Heath Holmes.
He acquired a basic education in rural schools, a grammar school in Lincoln, and at 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." He attended the Leland Powers School of Expression in Boston (1908-1910) and worked in a store to pay his way.
Holmes had an insatiable thirst for learning what would be most meaningful for any man to know. He was an omnivorous student of universal truths, eventually becoming an authority on the topic. His studies included literature, arts, science, philosophy, and religion. He spent a lifetime synthesizing his discoveries. The result: The Science of Mind.
Ernest Holmes was the first Religious Scientist. 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. 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 man[kind]."
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 mankind 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 mankind.
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Submitted by Kevin Brown
Wisdom from a Master
"The Spirit is a power added to the body, because alone, the body cannot endure. The Spirit desires to remain with the body, because without the organs of the flesh, it can see or hear nothing of this world." - Leonardo daVinci
Submitted by Michael Mahaffey
Quote: "Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament." - George Santayana
Meditation Thought: "We are engaged in the development of relationships that have lives of their own, and its not always clear where they are going." - Touchstones, a book of daily inspirations
Affirmation: "Today, I will recall predicaments in my past life that, in time, became clearer, and I will have patience with what seems unsettled."