Reprinted from Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Open At the Top
Ernest Holmes called his Religious Science philosophy "open at the top," meaning that all religions had insights worth exploring, that new learning was always possible, that spiritual truths could be discovered from many sources and from one's own experience.
In fact, Holmes never claimed that his Religious Science or "Science of Mind" was divinely revealed. It wasn't dictated by the Archangel Gabriel. It wasn't delivered by the Angel Moroni. It wasn't written down as an oracle or a prophecy. It wasn't canonized by an ecclesiastical council. It wasn't written in a trance. It wasn't the work of an ascended master being channeled through Holmes. It was simply what he discovered from his own research and what he could personally verify by way of practice. Holmes was able to blend the discoveries of science, the opinions of philosophy, and the revelation of religions to form what he believed was a spiritual or religious "science," that is, a systematic approach to spirituality that could be tested and its results repeated.
I'm not pushing the Science of Mind, aka Religious Science, though I have been profoundly influenced by it. What I am pushing is the idea that religion should be "open." Non-doctrinal, open, flexible, inclusive, experiential spirituality that sees the wisdom of science, the brilliance of philosophy, and the beauty of Judaism, Buddhism, the teachings of Jesus, the writings of Emerson and Swedenborg and more is something that can not only help us live happier and maybe even healthier and more prosperous lives but also help prevent needless religious wars and the spiritual violence caused by religious bigotry.
I'm not pushing Science of Mind, per se, but I am pushing for religion that is "open at the top." I hope to see an open Christianity, an open Islam, an open Judaism, an open Wicca, an open Buddhism, an open Hinduism, an open Unitarian Universalism, an open Humanism, an open Agnosticism, an open approach to A Course in Miracles...an openness in Religion that allows for peace and mutual forbearance. I'm ready for religion that builds up the individual seeker without tearing down the lesbian or the gay man or the transexual or the atheist or persons of other religious paths. I don't think a single religion is the answer, nor do I think that the absence of religion is the answer. I believe the answer is whatever religion that helps you without hurting others. I believe the answer is religion that is open at the top.