Dr. Arthur Chang, author of “The New Positive Spirituality: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Everyday Life,” defines positive spirituality as the practice of positively embodying God’s attributes of love and law and using them in our lives to bring our desires into physical reality.

Thursday, January 21, 2021



By Rev. Dr. Arthur Chang


Ernest Shurtleff Holmes (January 21, 1887 – April 7, 1960)

Happy birthday Ernest Holmes!

If you are convinced that living positively is the pathway toward your best life, you may wish to know the pavers to this path of confident living in a dangerous world did not just fall from the sky one sunny day. Throughout history, spiritual teachers from many traditions have laid a paver or two along this path. Moses, the Psalmists, Solomon, Hermes Trismegistus, the Hindu seers, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, St. Paul, Patanjali, Marcus Aurelius, Meister Eckhart, William James, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Phineas Quimby and countless others have been preparing this path for us. More recently, the New Thought thinkers have added their scientific spin to it. These thinkers including Quimby, Mary Baker Eddy, Emma Curtis Hopkins, Charles Fillmore, Holmes and others.

Holmes, in his book The Science of Mind, published in 1926, attempted to systemize “thought” into a “Religious Science.” Borrowing from the ancient Greeks, the Hebrew prophets and especially Jesus, Holmes’ effort was to shift our consciousness from being subject to the whims and fancies of time by revealing the science of thought. His objective was for us to know how to use the Law of Thought for definite purposes.

Holmes felt deeply that the greatest discovery by humans was the creative power of thought. Henry Ford, though not the first or the last to discover his agreement with the Holmes’ conviction on the power of thought, said, “Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t, you are right.” Combining the philosophy of Plato on God’s Perfection, Intelligence and Power with the psychological model of Freud’s conscious and subconscious mind, Holmes argued, “Thoughts are things.” Of course, one must understand that some measure of poetic license is taken in this statement. Yet, it may not be as much as we may think because Einstein’s  indicates energy and information do become mass in our objective world.

Holmes believed that, in prayer, our thoughts are like seeds from our conscious mind, planted into the soil of subconscious mind and yielding creative entities in the actual world.

Today, a completely new emphasis of psychology has developed around a positive way of life called “Positive Psychology.” However, Positive Psychology is quite distinct from New Thought and Holmes’ assumptions. Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology is a strong proponent of Aristotle’s “The Good Life” can be achieved by positive means.

Nonetheless, on Ernest Holmes’ birthday, there is much to appreciate and celebrate. He has contributed enormously to living positively by urging us to use our thoughts to create the best life we can live.