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The Science of Mind, by Ernest Shurtleff Holmes [1926], at

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Lesson Four: Introduction

Mental Science is not a "get-rich-quick scheme," neither does it promise something for nothing. It does, however, promise the one who will comply with its teaching that he shall be able to bring into his life and experience greater possibilities and happier conditions.

The Science of Mind is based entirely upon the supposition that we are surrounded by a Universal Mind into which we think; this Mind, in Its original state, fills all space with Its Presence. Since It fills all space, It fills the space that man uses in the Universe. It is in man as well as outside of him. As he thinks into this Universal Mind he sets in motion a Law which is creative, and which contains within Itself a limitless possibility.


The Law through which man operates is Infinite, but man appears to be finite; that is, he has not yet evolved to a complete understanding of It. He is unfolding from a limitless potential but can bring into his experience only that which he can conceive. There is no limit to the Law, but there appears to be a limit to man's understanding of It. As his understanding unfolds, his possibilities of attainment will increase.

It is a great mistake to say: "Take what you wish; for you can have anything you like." We do not take what we wish, but we do attract to ourselves that which is like our thought. MAN MUST BECOME MORE IF HE WISHES TO DRAW A GREATER GOOD INTO HIS LIFE. We need not labor under the delusion that all we have to do is to say everything is ours. This is true in reality; but in fact, it is only as true as we make it. We provide the mold for the Creative Law, and unless the mold which we provide is increased, the substance cannot increase in our experience; for Mental Science cannot hold forth a promise that will do away with the necessity of complying with law.

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The Law is a law of liberty, but not a law of license. It is exact and exacting, and unless we are willing to comply with Its nature and work with It, along the lines of Its inherent being, we will receive no great benefit. Every man must pay the price for that which he receives, and that price is paid in mental and spiritual coin. An avenue must be provided through which the Law may work as a law of liberty, if It is to free us. This does not mean that we must please the Law; for It is impersonal and neither knows nor cares who uses It, nor for what purpose; but, because It is impersonal, It is compelled, by Its very nature, to return to the thinker exactly what he thinks into It. The Law of mental equivalents must never be overlooked; for "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." 58


The possibilities of the Law are infinite; and our possibilities of using It are limitless. We may, and should, receive full benefit, and we will to the degree that we understand and properly use It.

There is a law of unfoldment in man which says that he can advance only by going from where he is to the place where he would like to be. This is not because the Law is limited but because It is law. As man unfolds in his mentality, the law automatically reacts to him. The way to work is to begin right where we are, and, through constantly applying ourselves to the Truth, to gradually increase in wisdom and understanding; for in this way alone will good results be obtained. If, day by day, we have a greater understanding and a clearer concept; if daily, we are realizing more of Truth and applying it in our actions, then we are on the right path, and eventually we will be made free.


It is impossible to divorce spiritual understanding from the proper use of mental law. The Spirit within man is God, and

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only to the degree that we listen to, and seek to obey that Spirit, shall we really succeed. The Law is a blind force, and lest we misuse It, we should be very careful to FOLLOW ONLY A CONSTRUCTIVE COURSE. But the Law is Absolute, and we should trust Its impersonal action implicitly. It can do anything for us that we can conceive of Its doing. It is the law of freedom to all who believe in and obey It.

The highest realization that we can have is a recognition of the Omnipresence of Spirit. This will set in motion greater possibilities and will, automatically, provide a larger concept of life. We should daily train our thought to recognize the Spirit in everything we do, say, or think. There is no other way, and to try any other way would be to make a complete failure. "Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's; and to God the things that are God's." 59

A constant realization of the Presence of Spirit will provide a sense of Divine Companionship that no other attitude could produce. Why should we not take the highest and best? God Is,--and we should realize this fact and make use of it; as soon as we recognize that God Is, we can turn to the Law and tell It what to do.

We have no record of Jesus ever asking God to do things for Him; He gave thanks, and then commanded the Law to work. This is the correct manner of approach to the Spirit and the Law. This is not superstition but the fact in the case, and we would better realize it.

The Law is subject to the Spirit and is Its servant. Man is Spirit, but until he knows this he will be only half using the Law; for he will not have a clear understanding to fall back upon.


We hold no argument with any one over the possibility of demonstrating the Law. There is such a thing as Universal Law and Mind, and we can use It if we comply with Its nature and work as It works. We do not argue, ask, deny, nor affirm;

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[paragraph continues] WE KNOW. Thousands are to-day proving this Law, and in time, all will come to realize the Truth.

We can demonstrate to the level of our ability to know; beyond this we cannot go. But we will constantly expand and increase in knowledge and understanding, thereby continuously growing in our ability to make use of the Law; in time we will be made free through It.

It is a wonderful experiment and a great adventure to make conscious use of the Law, to feel that we can plant an idea in Mind and see it gradually take form.

The student should take time every day to see his life as he wishes it to be, to make a mental picture of his ideal. He should pass this picture over to the Law and go about his business with the inner assurance that on the invisible side of life something is taking place. There should never be any sense of hurry nor worry about this; just a calm, peaceful sense of reality. Let the Law work through, and express Itself in, the experience. There should be no idea of compulsion; we do not have to make the Law work; it is Its nature to work, and all that we need to do is to make use of It. In gladness, then, we should make known our desires, and in confidence we should wait upon the Perfect Law to manifest through us.


Our part is to be ready and willing to be guided into truth and liberty. If, in the making of a demonstration, it becomes necessary to change our mode of living, then the Law will point the way and we will follow. Our correct choice will be part of the working out of the Law. All doubt and fear must go, and in their place must come faith and confidence; for we shall be led by the Spirit into all good.


Treatment is not for the purpose of making things happen; it is to provide, within ourselves, an avenue through which they may happen. Treatment opens up the avenues of thought, expands the consciousness, and lets Reality through; it clarifies

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the mentality, removes the obstructions of thought and lets in the Light. We already live in a Perfect Universe, but It needs to be mentally seen before It can become a part of our experience. Treatment removes doubt and fear; lets in the realization of the Presence of Spirit; and is necessary while we are confronted by obstruction or obstacles. Every problem is primarily mental, and the answer to all problems will be found in Spiritual Realizations.


The subjective state of man's thought decides what is to happen to him. The subjective state of his thought is the sum-total of his thinking and knowing; It is the medium between the relative and the Absolute, between the Limitless and the conditioned. Whatever is involved in it will evolve; therefore, treatment is the act, the art and the science of systematically and consciously inducing such thoughts as we wish to see expressed. When there is no longer anything within our mentality that denies our word, a demonstration will be made; nothing can stop it, for the Law is Absolute. The question might be asked: "If this is true, why not affirm that we have what we desire and let it go at that?" This is true in Principle, but in practice and in fact, it is only as true as we make it; that is, we cannot demonstrate beyond our ability to know the Truth. We should begin, then, with the things that we do know, and from that basis evolve a greater knowledge.

We should approach the Law normally and naturally and with a sense of ease. There is nothing peculiar or weird about this; it is a natural Law, working in a normal way, and must be thought of in this light.

We should come to consider the Law and the Spirit as friends and think of them as such; in this way we will gradually go from good to more good and from peace to a greater peace. This is the natural unfoldment of Reality through man. We should expect the best and so live that the best may become a part of our experience.


176:58 Gal. 6:7.

177:59 Mark 12:17.

Next: Lesson Four: The Control of Conditions