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Our Philosophy


Our Philosophy

Our Philosophy

Our teaching is drawn from many faiths, and as such, you will hear the wisdom of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam as well as contemporary teachers who speak right to our hearts. Our teachers include Jesus, Buddha, Emerson, Ernest Holmes, Rumi and many modern day mystics who teach us how we can become the masters of our own lives.  

When we use the spiritual principles in these teaching we discover we are empowered to manifest our highest good and be a beneficial presence in our global community.

We are a multi-cultural, intergenerational community that embraces and nurtures all people seeking personal growth and spiritual transformation. We are a licensed Centers for Spiritual Living Teaching Chapter. 

We teach the transformative philosophy of Science of Mind, New Thought Ancient Wisdom that empowers people to awaken to their own Divinity and that of all of life.

We encourage everyone to open to an ever-expanding experience of the Divine. We know that "the unlimited givingness of Spirit is available to all, to the degree that we are open to receive.

We live with an open heart by aligning with spiritual principle, practicing compassion and nurturing our personal relationship with the God of our understanding. 



New Thought History

New Thought History

The Science of Mind is the study of Life and the nature of the laws of thought; the conception that we live in a spiritual Universe; that God is in, through, around and for us.
— Ernest Holmes

* The Greek Philosopher Plato developed the philosophical concept of transcendence.

* The verb "to transcend" means "to go beyond" something. In Transcendentalism, it meant that there are truths that go beyond, or transcend, proof. These were truths that were simply "known" but could not be proved with logic. These truths were a private experience of faith and conviction.

* The German philosopher Immanual Kant gave Transcendentalism its name.

* Kant, with other German thinkers, influenced the views of some important English writers; the poet-critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, and the Scottish philosopher-historian Thomas Carlyle. These three, especially Carlyle, exchanged ideas with Ralph Waldo Emerson of Concord, MA.

* It was Emerson who brought the movement to New England and nurtured its growth in this country.

* American Transcendentalism thus began in the 1840's as Emerson interacted with Longfellow, Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Thoreau and Lowell. This influential group of people were all born within a few years and a few miles of each other in New England.

* Transcendentalism was the beginning of American interest in Oriental thought. Emerson and his friends read the Hindus, Confucius, Buddha and the Mohammedan Sufis. The Bhagavad-Gita was very influential to Emerson.

* Transcendentalism became an eclectic composite of Oriental, Greek, English, French, German, and native thought.

* Transcendentalism is a belief there is a higher reality and greater knowledge than that manifested in human mind. It divides reality into a realm of spirit and a realm of matter. This division is made by many of the great religions of the world.

Major Influences in Science of Mind

There are three creative thinkers that greatly influenced Ernest Holmes (1887-1960) as he moved along his spiritual path and developed Science of Mind. They were

* Ralph Waldo Emerson, the distinguished New England philosopher and essayist (1803-1852)

* Thomas Troward, an eminent British jurist and metaphysician (1847-1916)

* Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a mental healer (1802-1866)

* Emma Curtis Hopkins, a greatly respected American teacher and mystic, often called the "teacher of teachers" (1853-1925)

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson's entire life was one of spiritual exploration. He has been called "the Father of New Thought" because he was instrumental in gathering together a group of intellectuals, writers and philosophers to explore the transcendental philosophy.

Emerson entered Harvard College on a scholarship at age 14. He became a Unitarian minister. He wrote eloquent essays on many subjects.

Emerson thought every man is an individual-ization of the one and only God. He thought that at the center of our being we are all operated on by spiritual laws which execute themselves.

Emerson is not thought of as a New Thought writer, but rather as one of the sources from which New thought drew a great deal.

Reading: Emerson's eloquent essays that particularly reflect Science of Mind thinking are Self-Reliance, Spiritual Laws, Compen-sation and The Over-soul.

Ernest Holmes and Emerson

Ernest Holmes was a spiritual seeker. Born in 1887, he was primarily "home schooled" by his mother, who was an ardent reader. In his teens, Ernest began a search for the similarities in all the worlds' religions. He read extensively about all of them. He was deeply moved by the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Holmes said, "Reading Emerson is like drinking water to me".

Thomas Troward

Thomas Troward was born in the Punjab, India in 1847, educated in England and returned to India to become a Divisional Judge in the Punjab, which is now Pakistan.

His chief interest lay in the field of religion. He explored the Indian religions and studied comparative religions. He studied Indian lore and sacred writings as well as Hebrew and other ancient scriptures. He was an ardent student of the Bible and was drawn to Emerson's writings. The concept of reincarnation was a strong influence in his thinking

He associated himself with the Higher Thought Centre in England and became a noted leader of British New Thought.

Troward was interested in formulating a theory of mental healing. When he was asked to label it, he called it "Mental Science ".

Troward began by examining the universe. He saw things that seemed to have a quality of livingness and some which did not. Since the difference was not always sharp he concluded that there are degrees of livingness. Further searching led him to conclude that what makes the difference is intelligence.

Reading: Trowards The Dore Lectures contains a logical, intellectual explanation of this rich philosophy.

Ernest Holmes And Troward

Holmes discovered Troward's work in 1914, two years before Troward died. He said "This is as near to my own thoughts as I shall ever come". He began speaking on Troward's writing to growing groups when he was 25 without realizing his lifetime ministry had begun. He totally absorbed Troward's ideas and deeply linked them with his own thinking. He was one of the main channels through which Troward's ideas reached American circles.

Phineas Parkhust Quimby (1802-66)

Phineas Quimby was an American mental healer whose ideas greatly influenced the New Thought movement, a religious-metaphysical healing group. He originally studied mesmerism and became a practitioner of hypnosis. He claimed that he could heal by mere suggestion. Quimby believed that illness originated in the mind and was created by erroneous beliefs. He taught that when a person opened their mind to God's wisdom, they could conquer any sickness.

One of his patients and disciples was Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. When Eddy moved into her own work she denied Quimby had made any contribution to the theory of Christian Science.

Emma Curtis Hopkins

Emma Curtis Hopkins, more than any other single teacher, influenced New Thought. She was born in Connecticut in 1853. She was educated at Woodstock Academy there and remained for a time as an instructor.

In 1882, she went to Mary Baker Eddy (founder of Christian Science) because she was ill. She was healed. She then devoted herself to the study and growth of the Christian Science approach. She became a practitioner and served as editor (1884-85) of the Christian Science Journal. Within another year, her independent quest for spiritual truth created an impossible situation between the two religious thinkers and she began to explore other metaphysical writings.

In 1886 she left Mrs. Eddy and moved to Chicago where in 1887, she established the Christian Science Theological Seminary, an institution founded to promote teachings similar to those of her mentor. She quickly won a following. She branched out and taught classes in New York, San Francisco, Kansas City, Boston and elsewhere. Among those influenced by these lectures were

* Melinda Cramer and Nona Books, co-founders of Divine Science;

* Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, who established the Unity School of Christianity.

* Harriet Emilie Cady, author of Lessons in Truth;

* Annie Rix Militz, founder of The Home of Truth; and

* Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science.

Because her influence was so pervasive in these New Thought organizations Emma Curtis Hopkins came to be called the "Teacher of Teachers."

Unity, Divine Science and Religious Science are the three largest organizations within the present-day International New Thought Alliance (INTA).

Emma Curtis Hopkins was a genuine mystic. She emphasized this element in all her teachings and writing. She drew upon the Bible, the non-Christian scriptures, and the works of the world's great philosophers and saints in her teaching. Her mysticism was a very potent influence upon Ernest Holmes.

She spent time in London, where she had contact with Thomas Troward and other British leaders of the New Thought movement. She eventually ceased using the name Christian Science and began teaching privately.

Ernest Holmes And Hopkins

Ernest Holmes studied with Emma Curtis Hopkins in her later years when she was teaching only individuals. He felt she was among the greatest of the mystics.

Reading: Hopkins' Scientific Christian Mental Practice is a powerful treatise on mental healing.

Who is Ernest Holmes?

Ernest Holmes is the founder of the International Religious Science movement which is recognized as one of the leading viewpoints in modern metaphysics. Science of Mind is a spiritual philosophy that easily applies to everyday living while also expanding the student's sense of their relationship to God and their place in the Universe.

Known to his family as the "question mark", Ernest Holmes was a passionate seeker of knowledge. He embarked on a path of independent thinking at age 18. He was deeply moved by the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He then found Judge Thomas Troward in England who further defined elements of the philosophy that was formulating in his mind. He began teaching Troward everywhere he could. He was also touched by the work of Emma Curtis Hopkins who had begun to influence other great "New Thought" leaders.

He wrote Science of Mind which is used as a textbook in Religious Science churches.

* Began lecturing on Troward 1916

* Published his first book Creative Mind

* Published The Science of Mind 1926

* Established the Institute of Religious Science 1927

* Founded Science of Mind Magazine 1927

* Revised The Science of Mind 1938

* Reorganized the Institute to become the Church of Religious Science 1953

* Dedicated Founder's Church 1960

* Made his transition 1960

* Church became known as United Church of Religious Science 1967

Reading: The Science of Mind, Living Science of Mind, This Thing Called You, This Thing Called Life, What Religious Science Teaches and many more.

Excerpted with permission from Getting Your Feet Wet in Science of Mind by Cara Lumen, RScP. Available in print and downloadable versions at . Spanish Version is available.


Our Community

Our Community

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Marie Kirkland

Marie Kirkland

It was Joseph Campbell who said, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”Rev. Marie's life’s work is empowered by this privilege and the synergy of life alignment, choice, and practical spirituality. She shares a unique blend of over 40 years of spiritual, military and thought leadership. 

As a licensed minister with the Centers for Spiritual Living, Rev. Marie is the founder and Spiritual Director of the Living Aligned Virtual Ministry and CSL Fayetteville Teaching Chapter. Through her practice of living with an open heart, she inspires sacred conversations that lead to self-discovery, facilitates classes that evoke curiosity and empowers individuals to live aligned and forward through practical spirituality. Marie’s sacred service extends outside of her local and virtual communities. She has served as a CSL World Ministry of Prayer Practitioner and the Manager of Technology for the CSL School of Spiritual Leadership Florida Campus.  She currently serves on the CSL Strategic Events Committee.


More About Rev. Marie

Rev. Marie’s ministry is the beneficiary of her applied education in the areas of spirituality, business, psychology, and communication. Rev. Marie is a graduate of Holmes Institute and the School of Spiritual Leadership. She has also earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Strayer University and an Executive MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University.

Currently, Rev. Marie is pursuing a doctorate in Psychology with a specialization in industrial and organizational psychology. As a doctoral student, she advocates for spiritual communities and seeks to strengthen organizational cultures through work-life enrichment converging psychological and spiritual perspectives.

As a speaker, author, and host of the podcast, Living Aligned Living Forward, she shares her voice to empower people to lean into the life they dream about and take action to create it through practical spirituality. She is a contributing author in the Amazon Bestselling book Speaking Your Truth, Volume II. In 2018, she earned Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) and currently serves as a District 37 leader in Toastmasters International. Before answering the call to ministry, she proudly served in the United States Army. After 20 years of service, she retired at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1995.

Rev. Marie is a wife and mother of two adult children. Her greatest joy is creating special moments with her family and living life as an adventure!

About the Living Aligned Living Forward Podcast

The Living Aligned Living Forward podcast is an invitation to lean into our lives as we answer the question, how do we live aligned and live forward while doing our meaningful work in the world and supporting others to do the same. Marie Kirkland and her guests share stories, gifts, practices, and lessons that have propelled them forward. Our show is an intimate conversation covering many perspectives.  Guest include spiritual leaders, thought leaders, creatives, authors, coaches and more. 


Websites For Your Spiritual Journey

Websites For Your Spiritual Journey

Centers for Spiritual Living

The Centers for Spiritual Living are dedicated to helping individuals discover the spiritual tools and an inner Power that has the ability to transform personal lives and make the world a better place.

Centers for Spiritual Living President's Teleconferences

Join CSL President, Rev Dr. John Waterhouse each week for the President’s Teleconferences .  Dr. John discusses the growth and expansion of CSL and how you can participate in this global teaching.

The calls are held each Wednesday at 1:00 PM Eastern. The call-in number is (605) 475-4700. When you hear the welcome message, enter code 183892# to enter the call. 

Visit the website to listen to the archives of these very informative calls. 

CSL World Ministry of Prayer

World Ministry of Prayer has been providing loving support to individuals all over the world for more than 80 years. Professionally trained Ministers and Practitioners use Affirmative Prayer to help you to turn away from the condition causing distress and realign your thinking with the Spiritual Truth that you are never alone and are always provided and cared for by Life.

Science of Mind Archives and Library Foundation

The library has approximately 12,000 volumes of new and rare books by metaphysical authors, great theologians, and popular self-help authors. It is one of the largest collections of metaphysical books in the United States. They are constantly adding materials today…for the history of tomorrow.

The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT)

The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT) is a 501c3 organization born out of a deep conviction and pure passion to give our movement a clear voice and commanding presence on the global stage.

Triangle Center for Spiritual Living

Triangle Center for Spiritual Living  provides both the environment and the spiritual tools to transform our personal lives and help make the world a better place. The Triangle is a spiritual community that honors all paths and can support you as you strive to experience a personal relationship with the Power and Presence that not only surrounds us but is within us.

Evensong West Ministries

Evensong West creates a global supportive virtual network and dispersed spiritual community through personal and online communications, classes and group consciousness.

Agape International Spiritual Center

Since its doors opened in 1986, Agape’s active teaching and practice of the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality has expanded into a trans-denominational movement and community of 9,000 local members and 1,000,000 friends worldwide.

Higher Vision Institute

Higher Vision Institute is a teaching and empowerment institute that offers a comprehensive learning and support program for visioning, and for living, creating and leading from vision. 

The Principles of Spiritual Living on

Visit the Centers for Spiritual Living blog on