Monday, July 12, 2010
The Eternal Mind in The Science of Mind
Ernest Holmes' own specialised terminology flows thick and fast throughout his mammoth text The Science of Mind. I suspect that at times terms are interchangeable, but I may be wrong - he may be completely thorough and consistent in his subtle use of terminology. I would have to read the book many times over to be able to ascertain that, and to be honest I don't think that's going to happen.
There are many terms for God, and they are quickly identified by the capitalisation of the first letter. One of the most common is Mind, occasionally more clearly signified as Eternal Mind. This Eternal Mind is the creative, unifying force at work in the universe, the thing to which we are all attached, and from which we all emerged. It is separate from the small-m mind that we all possess, but only because we have limited our material minds, and enforced our own separation. In fact, the goal of Science of Mind (i.e. Holmes' philosophy) is to re-unify us with the Eternal Mind, so that we can experience one-ness with the absolute.
Holmes tells us that "the Eternal Mind knows all things" and this assures the reader that what we are talking about here is the old-fashioned God, re-cast as something more scientific, less loaded. It is subtle theology, and I imagine quite effective - few could quarrel with the notion of the mind, something we all possess.
These two minds - the material and the Eternal - are the essence of Science of Mind philosophy. What the spiritual practitioner is doing is training the small mind (Holmes says "renewing") to work in accord with the Eternal Mind, so that we might recognise our own divinity. This is an individual project, and the work can only ever be done by the individual - we cannot hope to change the mind of another.
By turning our thoughts toward good, the mind is retrained, and material circumstances are changed. In Holmes' philosophy (as in the Fillmores' and Mary Baker Eddy's) good must always trump evil - a good thought held in the mind will drive out all evil, for only good is real. Good is of the Eternal Mind - it is its essential nature.