—— :: About Our Teachings :: ——
What is Creative Life's affiliation?
We are a member of the United Church of Religious Science, founded by Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science (a New Thought religious movement). Our teaching is called the Science of Mind, also the title of Holmes' textbook on the subject, and the magazine we have published since 1927.
Is Creative Life a Christian center?
No. While we respect the Judaeo-Christian heritage of many of our members, and we see Jesus as a great teacher, someone who knew his oneness with God, we don't worship him or think of him as different in his nature from other people. He was just different in what he did with his nature, and we try to follow his example, along with those of other great spiritual leaders who have come before us.
Likewise, we see the Bible as one of many wonderful guides to inner spiritual development that have come from every culture, written and compiled by people,over long periods of time. We also believe that there is nothing to be saved from.
What is the Science of Mind?
Reference: Science Of Mind
Can I be part of another teaching and still be welcome at Creative Life?
Of course! You can be anything you want. Many of our members consider themselves Christian or Jewish. This is wonderful. It means they have found our church to be an enrichment to their faith. Ernest Holmes strongly believed that every religion contains at its core the concept of the oneness of God and humankind, an idea that Emma Hopkins called "the thin live wire insulated by dogma," and Aldous Huxley termed the "perennial philosophy." Every religion is right insofar as anybody feels served in some way by it, because all religions are entryways into the place where the real work is done: within. And, this is just as true for personal, private spiritual practices without benefit of book.
Is New Thought the same as New Age?
No. New Thought is a family of churches made up of Religious Science, Unity, Divine Science, and many independent churches and centers. New Thought began to be organized in the late 19th Century, but its philosophical origins are ancient. We do practice some things are that may be termed New Age, like meditation (which is probably the oldest spiritual practice on Earth), while other aspects of New Age are just not relevant to what we do.
What is your theology?
The Science of Mind, the core teaching of Creative Life, has been termed panentheism, meaning the belief that God is all that now is (immanent) as well as all that is possible (transcendent). Panentheism maintains the universe is one whole system, whose intelligence, purpose, meaning and order are fully present at every point within it not unlike a hologram. This can be contrasted to theism, the belief that God exists separately from creation, or pantheism, the belief that God is absorbed within creation. So, we pray from a sense of oneness with God, rather than to bridge some imagined gap.
Will my beliefs be frowned upon?
Never. How Creative Life members choose to relate with their Higher Power is none of anyone else's business. We're not here to mandate forms of spiritual expression: we teach people how to believe, not what to believe. Ernest Holmes wrote, "Find me one person who is for something and against nothing, who is redeemed enough not to condemn others out of the burden of his soul, and I will find another savior, another Jesus, and an exalted human being."
That is the sort of person we each try to be. As we become aware that God is all that is, and that we are using the law of God at the level of our beliefs, we tend to naturally cease doing anything intended to harm ourselves or others. The greatest moral lesson anyone can have is a spiritual awakening, coming to realize they are in God and God is in them.
Do you believe in life after death?
Yes. Religious Science suggests that at the time of physical death, the nonphysical part of us (in other words, our soul) moves into a new world of experience, expanding its horizons of awareness, just as it did when it came here to occupy a physical form. Our position is simply that life is eternal.
As to where we go and why, just as where we came from and why, these are matters of personal speculation, and people here are free to believe whatever they wish about an afterlife when we leave our current physical expression. Heaven and hell, we believe, are states of mind rather than geographical destinations. One can have a hellish experience or a heavenly one, here and now: the choice is ours.
By what authority do you teach all this?
Personal spiritual experience. We don't bow to any spiritual authority, be it a person, a nonphysical entity, or a book, because nothing is outside the whole system we call the universe. So, we see all the world's sacred books and teachings as testimonies to someone's personal spiritual experience, and we use these as motivations and insights rather than as final answers. Our ministers are teachers, coaches, futurists and "vision-casters", but hardly authority figures, disciplinarians, or "closer to God" than anybody else.
What do you say about the devil?
We say there isn't one. We need not fear either God or the devil. There is no devil, and God is Love. The concept of an evil power is employed in some doctrines to explain why bad things happen, or to scare people into staying in line with the doctrine. The dark side of human character is simply a function of human fear: fear that we may simultaneously acknowledge and seek to heal. As we grow beyond the need for someone or something to blame, we will make more positive choices.
Is this some sort of a cult?
If by "cult" you mean a group of people who gather for spiritual celebration, and who more or less believe the same things, then yes, we are like every other church, club or society. If, on the other hand, you mean a secretive clique that wants you to fork over all your money, won't ever let you leave, intrudes into your personal life, and is led by a manipulative tyrant, then no, we're not. As an organization, we have no secrets, no ruler, a democratic structure, and an open door both ways.
What is the role of women?
Whatever each woman chooses it to be. As a matter of fact, the majority of Religious Science ministers are women, and this dates back to our founding in the 1920s, making us one of the first spiritual organizations in America to choose freedom from gender bias.
Are all ethnicities welcomed?
Absolutely. We celebrate together as a diverse gathering of the human family, a tapestry of many colors. Bring all your friends!
Do you condemn homosexuality?
No. Differing orientations of affection, regardless of speculation as to their cause, are forms of Spirit's variety in human experience. There is no one right way to be. Creative Life and all Science of Mind centers are proud to serve the spiritual needs of Gay and Lesbian people, just as they are.
Are you opposed to medical care?
Not at all, and we never have been. We believe that Spirit is as present in the medical arts as anywhere else. Holmes wrote, "Since our spiritual understanding is not sufficient to enable us to mentally set bones, we call in a surgeon; since we cannot walk on the water, we take a boat. We can go only as far as our spiritual knowledge takes us."
We do believe that all conditions are ultimately spiritual in cause, so we practice affirmative prayer (called spiritual mind treatment) to effect new causes. Then we follow where those causes lead, doing what needs to be done to support our wellness. For more information on this, please see our pamphlet, Speaking Your Word.
How do you relate to the world at large?
We believe in peace as a dynamic state of creativity, compassion as a natural instinct we are responsible for acting upon, and abundance as everyone's entitlement. We see the Earth and all forms of life as God-in-form, worthy of honor and celebration. As an organization, we have no political agenda at all.
Is Creative Life the spiritual center for me?
You decide. Creative Life is a fun, nurturing place to explore life's questions, like Why am I here? and What does it all mean? The answers you seek are within yourself. As one member put it recently, "Here, I've been able to realize that there is a place within myself where I can go to see my life from a greater perspective. That makes me happy, and it also makes me feel that I'm connected to everyone and everything. Before, I didn't know such a reality existed."
What is the meaning of the Circle-and-V Symbol"
The circle-and-v symbol is used by the United Church of Religious Science, with whom Creative Life is affiliated. It comes from the back of the book The Science of Mind, which we call our textbook, and is a diagram Holmes drew to depict the creative process. One of Holmes's most passionate beliefs was that our teaching should stay "open at the top" to new insights. Nothing in our teaching is cast in stone. View Symbol :: Read More »
Glossary of Science Of Mind terminology
The Basics of The Science of Mind Audio Series:
Reference: The Basics : Audio Series