I recently met a woman on a long drive down the Pacific coast. We got to talking about spirituality, Mary Baker Eddy, “Science of Mind”. She goes to the Church of Religious Science. She loves it. “Who founded your church?” I asked because I didn’t know. She answered, “A group of people. Ernest Holmes and Mary Baker Eddy were working together.”
I thought to myself. I tactfully shared that this idea of history wasn’t possible. Mary Baker Eddy’s organization is Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy predates Ernest Holmes by decades. She published “Science and Health” in 1875. He first published in 1926, a half century later. They never worked together.
She was unmoved and told me to check out Ernest Holmes.
On her suggestion I bought Ernest Holmes’s major work, “Science of Mind”, a first ed. A half century before Holmes, it was Mary Baker Eddy who first coined such popular phrases as “Science of Mind” “Science of Man” “Science of Being” and “Mind over Matter”.
One difference between these two sciences — “Religious Science” and “Christian Science” is that CS recognizes that all reality exists as mental thought only. This reality is all one God Mind (Father-Mother). Man is His image, perfect and individual. The true reality of man, in CS, is outside of anything that’s limited or finite including daily mortal experience which in CS is considered the Adam-dream. CS regards that all matter is false, false testimony by finite senses, an error and nonexistent.
In contrast, Religious Science as per Holmes recognizes that matter is of Spirit, containing spirit. Matter is real in Religious Science and we experience God with our finite senses. In CS, God, is perceived only through spiritual sense quickened as we evolve into spiritual understanding.
CS teaches that mortal mind thoughts, though unreal, do affect mortal experience. The call in CS is to cultivate human thought to increasingly reflect God, good. This then unfolds our true nature as a spiritual reality. In CS reality is composed of one Divine Mind. Man is the individual idea, a reflection of his Maker. Though we live and have our being in Divine reality, as mortals we experience a dream that seems to be another reality, an opposite to truth which is error. Error is but to demonstrate that God and his perfected ideal man, Christ or Truth, destroys all that is false, sin, suffering, sickness, and death. Suffering yields limit to the infinite, a purification process.
In CS you heal by evolving to a reality that’s wholely spiritual and outside matter. And it’s done here and now. Quantum physics is catching up to the ideas put forth by Mary Baker Eddy decades before.
God expression in CS is a trinity explained as Life, Love, and Truth. Christ is the embodiment Truth in man the perfect. Jesus in CS is the original scientist who proved to all mankind that Divine Truth lifts the veil of limited perspective, matter. To see the truth is to know the sick are well and the dead live.
CS is a science because it it uses the scientific process and demands for proofs to be demonstrated.
CS, true CS, is open-minded in that it loves all good whatever its source. Eddy teaches, “Truth reveals itself through all ages.” Here then is invitation for harmonic spirituality.
“Science of Mind” by Holmes clearly rips off of threads from Eddy’s prose. Prose is like music. Once you get to know original riffs your ear picks up on a diversion of harmony, the cut and patch. This doesn’t mean there isn’t good stuff in Holmes’s teachings. I just personally have lost patience up to this point.
I found the same with Paramahansa Yogananda’s “science” once I read the more original scientific ideas of Mary Eddy.
It came up again last night with my dear friend in Colorado. My GF occasionally goes to the Church of Religious Science in Denver. The building, decor, vibe, the iconography representing all religions are attractive healing tranquility.
I asked her if she new who started the church, when it was founded. She didn’t know. She likes it because it’s inclusive of all religions. I told her Earnest Holmes was a student of Emma Hopkins who was a student of Eddy’s. Earnest studied with Emma Hopkins. Emma was a brilliant student, healer, and editor working in Christian Science. But Emma had her own ideas and aims, understandably. Emma wanted to express her personal brand. The problem for Eddy with this is that she was presenting a discovery of a science that is specific. And Eddy could not patent her discovery. So she protected it by making organizational decisions. Dilutions of her science even by well-meaning people would cause loss of the true and pure science. And that’s what happened. Much was diluted by other teachers. But Eddy’s CS remains today just as it was, though it’s a bit obscure. In her day, Eddy was possibly the most well known woman in America. Eddy’s teachings are whole cloth, a complete scientific method.
I agree with what Eddy did when her organization ousted the few women who could have taken over large factions of the CS movement. Her goal was to create a pure science and lasting institution. Eddy had to protect her method as a true science. I think that CS, as a science, would have benefited from a patent. But I guess you can’t patent a religion when it’s a mental process that takes place off the material plane. Since a patent wasn’t possible, Eddy had to control her teachings. And she did. Her teachings remain today undiluted. But you have find them under the heap of later teacher thrift and theft.
I’m grateful Eddy preserved her ideas in stone. As a healer and hobbyist historian I spiritually understand the value of her cause to reinstate 1st Century Christianity and it’s lost art of healing. If you value science then you value truth. C.S. is about a God force of truth. In Hopkin’s writings there are distinct phrases that I identify as Eddy’s. Hopkins and Holmes twist a word here and there. Eddy writes: “Sin, sickness and Death” and Hopkins writes “Sin, Sickness, and Trouble”.
Even so I do enjoy Emma Hopkins, a first generation student of Mary Baker Eddy.