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How Spiritual Practice Works Best

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Ernest Holmes said in The Science of Mind that “Perfect belief is the beginning and the end of all good mental work.” Makes sense to me, but that can be tricky to achieve. Perfect belief, of course, means the absence of doubt. Perfect belief and doubt cannot exist in the same space or they’ll cancel each other out. Perfect belief results in perfect practice. Perfect belief and practice are what most of us aspire to build up to. How can we do that?

Holmes offered something about that as well, and these are the aspects that must be consistently practiced. “We must practice thinking upon the beliefs and desires without which theools:(1)” Holmes quoted from French poet, figure in turn, Superior Man. “It is his religion that gives him strength, and it is his religion that lets him know the worth and the weakness of things without which he takes no account,” wrote Holmes.

After Superior Man mentions “God,” Holmes continues. “But we do not stop there. While his ideas are perfect in themselves, yet they consist of broken English words, and are so far from perfection that they need theidgetleness of thePoet(2)” he quotes from Shakespeare in his ” Dictionary of the Vulgar Hum.” Thus,Holmes is saying that whilst the ideas and words are perfect in themselves, those elements which make it up are imperfect. He uses the uptown phrase “in the summer” to illustrate one of these imperfections.

Perfect belief and practice are what most of us aspire to build up to. How can we achieve that goal?

Holmes’ solution is to take the time to read and practice great writers, or at least famous ones, such as Shakespeare or loved by almost all, but obscure authors. He suggests that we read under the influence of meditation or in the comfort of our own home and in quiet times. As he sees it, we should spend about half an hour every day immersing ourselves in the written word.

Holmes sees belief in something greater than himself as something that’s attainable, not something that’s divine. He suggests that we don’t need to wait for special circumstances to meet with something greater, saying “I have no desire that any one should caution me in this business, but the very instant that I nearest approach to death, and even in the instant that I am near to the grave, I begin to believe that it is but a natural conclusion and a necessary one, that the depth and strength of my belief in God, and of his mercy towards man, will sooner or later be manifest to my eyes. To be sure of this, even to a doubt, is what I ask myself: and with this Doubt I draw near to Him.”

Holmes wrote The Science of Mind in differable terms. He said it was all in the mind. The rest was in the way the various perceptions are converted to abstract ideas and transported to the brain to be compiled and stored as thoughts. These thoughts are in turn destined to provide answers as Holmes derived them from events of his daily life during and after his lifetime. His was no quick trail. He dwelt on his beliefs and spent a lifetime building confidence in them.

The first steps for Holmes were easy. He saw the need to develop confidence in himself as a knowledgeable and considerate person. This led him to his ability to define and name almost anything that he saw. Then the next step for Holmes was to have confidence in the general improvement which the knowledge has brought to his life. And this confidence was in himself as a knowledgeable person. He recognized that he had power over any event or conditions that he encountered and that they were within his power to change. Therefore, he saw the ability of his mind to conquer many different events with the same power that his body was equipped with. This step towards confidence was easy because he was definitely convinced that he had this power. This was his point of view.

This was the beginning of his ease because he spent a long time to see the effects of the belief in his awareness. Because he could easily see the positive effects that were obtainable in his life, his confidence grew and became stronger. He was able to grow even faster from here by trusting even more the knowledge that was already present within his brain. He tried hard to build new beliefs and to constantly reinforce old beliefs with knowledge.

But then came the time to create new events of his own, something else that was not within the remit of his beliefs. Here he had to be intolerant towards intolerance. He had to see the need to create events, something non-spiritual, something that could be easily manipulated. And this new item, this impetus towards evil, was to be something invented by another person, a mere shell exterior to himself, interior to his mind, for manipulation.

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How Spiritual Practice Works Best
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