someone asks you, "What do you
believe?", it sometimes seems easier to
answer this question by listing all the
things one does not believe. A reporter
once asked our founder Dr. Ernest Holmes
to put in his own words, briefly, what
Religious Science teaches. His answer
has become known as the Declaration of
Principles. Religious Science or the
Science of Mind® is all about awakening
to our own inherent magnificence. The
principles that follow have nothing to
do with what we're against, for in
truth, we're not against anything, but
for something wonderful.
We believe in God, the Living Spirit
Almighty; one indestructible, absolute and self-existent Cause.
This means we have a belief in a Creative Principle, an intelligence
behind all things, and that this principle is unitary, not multiple; it
is outside of time or space, and it is independent of, and supersedes,
the physical world we know. It is not a created entity; but is
pre-existing; forming the base energy from which all things have
As Cause, this Principle represents Intelligence or Mind, which has the
power to create.
This Principle declares that Life did not spring from the universe, but
the universe sprang from Life.
This One manifests Itself in and through
all creation, but is not absorbed by Its creation.
This Principle, "The Thing Itself" as Holmes called it, is not created,
but is innate in the very fibre of the multi-dimensional existence in
which our universe of limited dimensions has its being.
It is not only to be found in the world, but in the core of each atom,
in each speck of empty space. The world has its very existence through
the Being of Spirit.
Creation is not something outside of Spirit, but Spirit has unfolded
itself to form the world we experience, so that the substance of Spirit
is both outside of and within each created thing.
The manifest universe is the body of God;
it is the logical and necessary outcome of the infinite self-knowingness
All things we can sense and experience, this world that we typically
call "real", is the unfoldment of the original energy-stuff of the
universe. Mind can only know things as FORM, and mind creates form as It
comes to know things. Therefore as God expands Its knowledge of Itself,
more forms are created, and energy must flow into the forms that are
created. Hence God knows itself as US, and as the entire created
universe. As It does so, we are created, and the universe is created.
As Mind evolves, thought evolves, and we observe that the world evolves
to keep pace. Creation and Evolution are but two sides of the same coin.
Creation does not occur from outside, as we commonly think of it, but as
an unfoldment from within.
We believe in the incarnation of the Spirit
in us and that all of us are incarnations of the One Spirit.
Naturally as all things are formed by Spirit, so are we. And as Spirit
is in everything, as well as outside of everything, Spirit is in us. We
are evolved to the point where we have become consciously aware of our
nature, and able to change our nature through the creative process.
Though we can act as individuals, we are able to know that our nature
stems from the One.
We believe in the eternality, the
immortality and the continuity of the individual soul, forever
Material things come and go, are built and crumble. From this we know
that they do not have the same reality as Life Itself, which goes on
independently of the form it takes. A beetle is just as alive as an
elephant; a dog is as alive as a horse. Life is independent of form, and
hence of time and space.
Life has never been found to spring from matter. Instead, it is handed
on from parent to child. If we followed into the dim and distant past,
we would find it handed on from primitive cell to fish to reptile to
mammal to primate, finally to man and eventually to you and me. Where
did Life begin? Before that primitive cell, it was in the very fabric of
the molecule, the atom, the plasma, and finally, the Big Bang itself.
Life did not start - it started everything else. It is not done, it
continues after us. We are but the latest form in which Life plays out
its knowing of Itself.
We believe the kingdom of heaven is within
us and that we experience this kingdom to the degree that we become
conscious of it.
The 'kingdom of heaven' was said by the teacher Jesus to be within us.
This refers to our internal state of Being, our combined thoughts and
feelings, our wellness, our disposition, our attitude, and finally, our
experience of life.
A kingdom is a region which is ruled by a king. In this case, the king
refers to our inner Spiritual nature, the presence of God within us. It
refers to our clear decision to be ruled only by the Principle of good,
and to reject or deny the influence of the negative from whatever
source. In this way we become ruled by Good, or God.
The ultimate state of achievement on this path is Christhood, or the
full accomplishment of God-realization. This state of complete unity
with God is what will allow us to state, in truth, "I and the Father are
Naturally, what we are conscious of is what is in our thoughts. And when
our conscious thoughts govern our experience, then the events which
occur on a daily basis, need no longer be the controllers of our
internal responses. We can respond to our inner thoughts rather than to
our outer stimuli. We can create a heavenly experience by being aware of
the Law and how It works, and by aligning our thoughts with the Law in
such a way as to bring about a happy, positive, joyful experience.
We 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.
This goal of course is our personal choice. As a group, this is what
Religious Science represents. It flows from the concept of the 'Kingdom
of Heaven' which has already been described. When we have learned to be
spiritually centered, focused in a Truth, which goes beyond the apparent
and the obvious in this world, then we will have become immune to the
ups and downs of daily life. This will not guarantee a life with no
setbacks. In the words of the late Dr. Kennedy Schultz, "We are not
supposed to win them all. We are supposed to remain spiritually superior
to both our successes and our failures."
We are all on the same path. Some of us are moving along it, some
standing still. But all of us will reach the end, in our own time. We
can choose to learn by inspiration; or we may learn through desperation,
but learn we will, now or later.
We believe in the unity of all life, and
that the highest God and the innermost God is One God.
Given our vision of a universal Unity, how can we feel apart from
others, from nature, from the natural world? We are one in Spirit, since
the one Spirit is All That Is. With this view, we need never feel
fragmented or less than whole.
The other corollary of this principle is that the Spirit which is in us
and which enlivens us is not a tiny part or a fragment of a whole. An
infinite Being cannot be fragmented - the core of our being extends
outside of time or space, to allow us to reach the very stars by
reaching within, not by reaching out as humanity is accustomed to do.
This is a deep and perhaps obscure philosophical principle which has
important implications for us. Our sense of scope and vision is
stretched far beyond belief by this understanding. How can we feel
insignificant or small, ever again? The God that made us did so by
unfolding outward from within each tiny quantum into the form that is
the idea of us in the world. This idea becomes real because the
God-principle pours its energy automatically into each form created by
thought. We are thoughts in the mind of the Universal Creator, and that
creator is fully present within us, right here and now.
We believe that God is personal to all who
feel this Indwelling Presence.
God expresses as personality within each of us, to the extent that we
are willing to permit our inner energy to express. We can block or blunt
the impulse to project God's qualities into the world by providing a
haven for thoughts that are unlike the good that Spirit represents.
Spirit takes more than one guise. It is the non-judging, impersonal Law
of the world, which treats all alike and does not choose. This law is
automatic and does not initiate; it merely responds to thought. This
does not mean it operates unintelligently, since it controls and governs
a complex universe. Our heart beats without our thinking about it; our
breathing will occur whether we do so deliberately or not. Our
unconscious mind carries us through much of every day, without our
having to think where or how to drive or walk. Spirit is also the
Initiator of thought, the conscious side of our life, the urge to
create, the drive to grow and develop, the force for order rather than
chaos. This conscious side is also indwelling in us, and this aspect can
express in a personal way whether in or outside of us.
We can form a personal relationship with both aspects of this mighty
Power. We can relate both to the initiative power of that outward,
active creative urge, and the passive but mighty gestative power that
works in the background to deliver the created elements of our
We believe in the direct revelation of
Truth through our intuitive and spiritual nature, and that any person
may become a revealer of Truth who lives in close contact with the
Once we realize our unity with Spirit, how can we think that revelation
is unique to a select few? True, there have been few teachers who have
realized the full oneness of their connection to the All, but each of us
does connect to a greater or lesser degree. We are guided; we are led;
we are urged toward the Truth. Each of us has realized SOME truth; and
we can cry to the world the way it looks from our special viewpoint.
Our intuitive thought was with us before we learned to be self-aware and
conscious, and has always been directly in contact with Spirit. When our
thought is focused too much in the affairs of the world, we may forget
to stay in tune with our inner nature. That ‘close contact’ that Ernest
Holmes speaks of gets us refocused and connected to the source of all
That which comprises all certainly knows all; and we are as one with It
provided we realize it.
We believe that the Universal Spirit, which
is God, operates through Universal Mind, the Law of God.
Those aspects of God which we may realize include the Creative Impulse,
which is Love, and the universal subjective Mind, which is immutable
Law. This is comparable, perhaps equivalent, to our own unconscious
mind, which regulates and controls all the functions that keep us
living, without our having to consciously regard it. Imagine having to
consciously think your heart into each beat! Imagine having to
consciously think each digestive chemical into action in your stomach.
There is an element of Mind there which is larger than we imagine; which
‘knows’ that which we cannot. That Spirit which is also in us, which
gives to us our power of choice, our power to be creative, is the
directive force which sets this subjective mind in motion.
We are surrounded by this Creative Mind
which receives the direct impress of our thought and acts upon it.
Our ability to think and to choose is our creative potential. This
medium of thought which we somehow can use is the active element in
creation. It provides FORM , or a mental equivalent of a ‘thing’ if we
use it with definiteness and clarity. Into this form, the subjective
part of Mind will pour substance without our having to know how it
God- Mind is not our slave in this but our partner. It is the water in
which we swim, surrounding us without our knowing. It is more alive than
we are, as it is the source of the life we have. It lives as us in this
world, and we live through it. We create our life through use of this
mind, either randomly if we are unaware of It, or purposefully if we
realize It fully.
We believe in the healing of the sick
through the Power of this Mind. We believe in the control of conditions
through the Power of this Mind.
Once aware of the Law that governs us, we can consciously use the Law to
further our good.
We may do this initially to ‘get things’, but ultimately we will realize
that there is more to life. We will heal not only our physical selves
and others, but we will heal our affairs, our relationships, our
finances, our careers; all by realizing that wholeness is our natural
state; that we are more than we appear, and that we are meant to be
healthy, happy, wealthy and wise.
We can and will control our experience in the direction of greater good.
To do so is our destiny.
We believe in the eternal goodness, the
eternal loving kindness and the eternal givingness of Life to all.
This is a choice we have; to believe as we wish. However, our belief
governs our experience – so what sort of beliefs would you want to
entertain? We know that God represents wholeness and completion; and
therefore must be good in essence; for any bad would subtract from
wholeness and make God lesser. How can an infinite Being be lesser?
The ever-present desire to express through creation is the essence of
pure love. This is the essential nature of God, the Principle of Life
It is important to realize that, if God were anything other than whole,
anything other than good, or anything other than loving, then given the
Law of Mind, which is that our belief determines our experience, we
should still be better off to believe in pure wholeness, goodness and
love; for that is surely what we want in our experience. Our experience
of God is also determined by our belief in God. This may explain why
some peoples of the distant past had experience of an angry, vengeful,
even petty deity. Their experience of God could never be better than
their thinking would allow.
We believe in our own soul, our own spirit,
and our own destiny.
We are spiritual beings. This
is the most important thing we can know. It means that we are greater
than this world; greater than this body; and greater than the problems
that we encounter. It means we are in essence immortal – we have always
been here, in some form or other.
We are creative beings. We
have at our core the very Spirit of God, in us, as us. This gives us
power of thought, of choice, of decision. God, as the supreme universal
Creative Principle, is experiencing life as us; and has accordingly
endowed us with the powers of creation.
We are purposeful beings. We
are not here by accident. We have a life purpose, and it behooves us to
find it out. There is a plan, for us and by us, which brought us here.
However much this plan may have been neglected, or may have gone awry,
we will still be happier pursuing it than ignoring it. Our joy lies in
the pursuit of our intended destiny. Destiny in this context is not some
hand of fate using us like puppets as we go though life – destiny is the
plan we made, when we knew that we were one with Spirit. It is our plan
for our life. When this earthly visit is over, it will be us who will
judge how well we followed it through.
We understand that the life of humankind is
The unity – the oneness – that realization is our goal. That is the
magic key to everything else. Our life is God in action in this world,
in yet another form, another disguise. This is the ultimate realization.
If God is for us – what could be against us? But if God IS us, what
then? And if God is all, what then? Then there are no enemies, there is
no opposition, it is all just us, the parts of God, fitting together. It
means that all conflict is an illusion. It means that no matter what
anything looks like, it is all OK. Whatever appears to be wrong, we are
the ones who have the authority – we have the power – to act and make it
It means we are not small beings – we are aspects of an infinite being.
And an infinite cannot be divided. What can we not tackle, and resolve?
Can we not now act from our inner spiritual nature, and love all those
other parts of ourselves, as a creator should love It’s children? That
is our challenge, and our shared destiny as part of this planet of life.