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For the Anglican
Archdeacon of London, see Ernest
Ernest Shurtleff Holmes
January 21, 1887
Maine, United States
April 7, 1960 (aged 73)
Los Angeles, California
Founder of the Religious
Hazel Durkee Foster
Holmes (January 21, 1887 – April 7,
1960) was an American New
Thought writer, teacher, and leader. He was the founder of a
Spiritual movement known as Religious
Science, a part of the greater New Thought movement, whose
spiritual philosophy is known as "The Science of Mind." He
was the author of The
Science of Mind and numerous other
metaphysical books, and the founder of Science
of Mind magazine,
in continuous publication since 1927. His books remain in print, and
the principles he taught as "Science of Mind" have
inspired and influenced many generations of metaphysical
students and teachers. Holmes had previously studied another New
Thought teaching, Divine
Science, and was an ordained Divine Science Minister.
His influence beyond New Thought can be seen in the self-help
Holmes was born
January 21, 1887, in Lincoln,
Maine, to a poor family. He was the son of Anna Columbia (Heath)
and William Nelson Holmes.
He left school and his family in Maine for Boston,
Massachusetts at age 15. From 1908 to 1910 he worked in a store
to pay for his tuition at the Leland
Powers School of Expression in Boston. There he was introduced to
and Health, as well as Christian
In 1912 Holmes joined his brother
California. In addition to taking up a job with the city
government, Holmes and his brother, a Congregationalist
minister, studied the writings of Thomas
Waldo Emerson, William
Walker Atkinson, and Christian
In 1927 he married Hazel Durkee Foster.
She died in 1957. Holmes died on April 7, 1960.
Religious Science/Science of Mind
Main article: Religious
After leading small private meetings
throughout the city, in 1916 Ernest Holmes was invited to speak at
the Metaphysical Library in Los Angeles. This led him to repeat
engagements, and on a nationwide tour. In 1919 he published his first
book, The Creative Mind, and after almost a decade of touring
Holmes committed to remaining in the L.A. area to complete his major
work, The Science of Mind. It was published in 1926.
That year Holmes started speaking each Sunday morning in a theatre in
Hotel that seated 625. In November 1927, they moved to the
Theatre. Subsequently, Holmes lectures continued moving to
ever-larger spaces, including Biltmore
Hotel, and the Wiltern
Theatre. which seats more than 2800. In February 1927, Holmes
incorporated the Institute of Religious Science and School of
Philosophy, Inc., and later that year he began publishing Science
of Mind magazine.
In 1935 he reincorporated his organization as the Institute of
Religious Science and Philosophy, and in 1954 it was reestablished
again as a religious organization called the Church
of Religious Science.
Today his Science of Mind/Religious Science teachings are
continued by the Centers
for Spiritual Living, the Affiliated
New Thought Network, the Global
Religious Science Ministries, Independent Religious Science
ministries, and other organizations. In 2015, his books "Creative
Mind" and "Creative
Mind and Success" were narrated by Hillary
Hawkins and published in audiobook
Holmes Memorial Chapel at Founder's Church in Los Angeles, CA
In the 1920s, Holmes published the
following statement of beliefs:
I believe in God, the Living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible,
absolute and self-existent Cause. This One manifests itself in and
through all creation, but is not absorbed by its creation. The
manifest universe is the body of God; it is the logical and
necessary outcome of the infinite self-knowingness of God.
I believe in the incarnation of the Spirit in all, and that we are
all incarnations of the One Spirit.
I believe in the eternality, the immortality, and the continuity of
the individual soul, forever and ever expanding.
I believe that the Kingdom of Heaven is within me and that I
experience this Kingdom to the degree that I become conscious of it.
I believe the ultimate goal of life to be a complete emancipation
from all discord of every nature, and that this goal is sure to be
attained by all.
I believe in the unity of all life, and that the highest God and the
innermost God is one God.
I believe that God is personal to all who feel this indwelling
I believe in the direct revelation of Truth through my intuitive and
spiritual nature, and that anyone may become a revealer of Truth who
lives in close contact with the Indwelling God.
I believe that the Universal Spirit which is God, operates through a
Universal Mind, which is the Law of God; and that I am surrounded by
this Creative Mind which receives the direct impress of my thought
and acts upon it.
I believe in the healing of the sick through the power of the Mind.
I believe in the control of conditions through the power of the
I believe in the eternal Goodness, the eternal Loving-kindness and
the eternal Givingness of Life to all.
I believe in my
own soul, my own spirit, and my own destiny; for I understand that
the life I live is God.
Through his research, Holmes created a
"structure of concepts" based on the religions and
philosophies of human history, sometimes correlating his findings
with the then-emerging "new" physics. He named the teaching
a science because he believed that its principles were scientifically
provable in practice. He wrote, "I would rather see a student of
this Science prove its Principle than to have him repeat all the
words of wisdom that have ever been uttered."
Holmes ultimately came to believe in a
"core concept" – what he saw as a "Golden thread
of truth" that ran through all of the world's religions as well
as in science and philosophy.
Ernest Holmes received a variety of recognition for his work. In
1945, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy by
University in India. The California College of Medicine, and the
Foundation Academic University of Spiritual Understanding in Venice,
Italy, awarded him a Doctor
of Letters. In 1942, he was bestowed with the Cross
of the Commander of the Grand Humanitarian Prize of Belgium, and
in 1944 he was named honorary member of the Eugene
Holmes, Ernest (1919). Creative
mind; a series of talks on mental and spiritual law delivered at the
Metaphysical Institute, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., in the year
nineteen hundred eighteen. New York: R.M. McBride & Co.
Holmes, E. (1922) Creative Mind
Holmes, Ernest (1922). The
science of mind; a complete course of lessons in the science of mind
and spirit. New York: R.M. McBride & Co.
Holmes, E. (2007) This Thing
Called You. Los Angeles: Tarcher.
Holmes, E. (1991) Living the
Science of Mind. Camarillo, CA: DeVorss & Company.
Holmes, E. (2006) The Hidden
Power of the Bible. Los Angeles: Tarcher. (Originally published
in 1926 as The Bible in Light of Science of Mind.
Holmes, E. (2007) 365 Science
of Mind: A Year of Daily Wisdom from Ernest Holmes. Los Angeles:
Holmes, E. (1999) How to Change Your Life: An
Inspirational, Life-Changing Classic from the Ernest Holmes Library.
Deerfield Beach, FL: HCI.
Holmes, E. (2007) Prayer: How
to Pray Effectively. Los Angeles: Tarcher.
Holmes, E. (2004) Love and Law. Los Angeles: Tarcher.
Group, (1999) "Ernest Shurtleff Holmes" Religious
Leaders of America, 2nd ed., Farmington Hills, Mich., accessed
G.M. (1999) Religious leaders of America: A biographical guide to
founders and leaders of religious bodies, churches, and spiritual
groups in North America. Gale Research.
Hunt, Dennis (2007). Are
We There Yet?: A Guide to Life, Living and Death. Troubador
Publishing Ltd. pp. 22, 42. ISBN 1-905886-26-8.
Armor, R.C., Llast, R., and
Vergara, A. (2000) That was Ernest: The story of Ernest Holmes
and the Religious Science movement. DeVorss Publications.
Holmes, F.L. (1970) Ernest Holmes: His life and times.
Dodd and Mead Publishers.