Ernest Holmes, The Man by Reginald C. Armor
Ernest’s Closest Confidante Shares His Stories
By Jeannette Quinn Bisbee
Here is a wonderful, hidden gem to be found in the Archives. I thought I had read everything written about Ernest Holmes, except for the biography of him written by his brother, Fenwicke. I had read a book by Reginald C. Armor called That Was Ernest, but little did I know that the Archives contains another book written by Reginald Armor called Ernest Holmes, The Man. And you can download and read this wonderful little jewel right now!
The first thing you notice when you read the book are some photos that are rarely seen of Ernest, and a great one of Reginald Armor in his Boy Scout uniform during his teen years when he first met Ernest. Who is Reginald Armor? Armor met Ernest Holmes back in 1915, when Ernest was his baseball umpire at the local Venice, CA playground, and Reginald was playing ball with some of his friends. Ernest Holmes was in his 20’s, and took Reginald Armor under his wing; Armor looked up to Holmes instantly. Their friendship continued on steadily for 45 years—all the rest of Ernest’s life. Armor and Holmes had an almost a father/son relationship; they were next-door neighbors for a few years; Armor was Holmes’ right-hand man at the Institute working side-by-side with him nearly every day of his life, and they were close, dear friends. Except for Hazel Holmes, Ernest’s wife, and Anna Holmes, Ernest’s mother, probably no one knew Ernest Holmes better.
So, this wonderful book gives fans and readers some wonderful glimpses of Ernest Holmes, and the picture that emerges of Holmes is that of a deep thinker, and of an amazing man who aimed to appear “normal”, so no one would ever put Holmes up on a pedestal. Armor explains that Holmes was quick to realize when someone was probably lying to him, but he chose to look past the “lie” and see the God-man behind the appearances, behind the actions—love and not condemnation, not superiority, not holier-than-thou was part of the wonderful mystique of Ernest Holmes.
The atmosphere which he [Holmes] imparted was inspiring and made one feel it is good to be alive, and good to know this wonderful person. He often caused those who met him or talked to him to feel that he was one of their best friends.
In the opening section of the book, Armor shares with readers some of Holmes’ favorite sayings, philosophies, and witticisms; they range from Holmes’ ideas on receiving divine gifts, on being human, on frustration, on drinking, on heaven and hell, on criticism, on cooking and numerous other subjects. Here are Holmes’ ideas about self-esteem couched in truth, humor, and simplicity.
You are the most wonderful person you will ever know. As a matter of fact, you are the only person you will ever really know, although because you are a God-intended person your self-awareness permits you to be aware of others and what goes on around you. You are constantly being and expressing that which you know yourself to be.
Armor was so close to Ernest throughout all the years of their friendship and work that as he quotes Ernest, you can truly hear Holmes talking even though this book was written years after his death. There are so many wonderful nuggets of advice and practical guidance that this is a book that you can read and reread again and again. For example, here is Armor explaining what Holmes felt about treatment and why it sometimes doesn’t seem to “work.”
In speaking of spiritual mind treatment, Ernest said that if one makes up his mind how God should answer his prayer, it would be outlining, or telling God what to do. This would open the way for personal opinion to interfere with God Action or Right Action, and in many instances this would be the equivalent of saying “no” to God’s “yes” in a demonstration.
In another chapter, Armor shares with readers some of Holmes’ favorite jokes or sayings. This is a wonderful chapter for ministers or teachers—just little silly nuggets that Holmes lacked to share from the platform or in class. They would still be fun for ministers to use today! I had read a couple of these in other books or articles about Holmes, but there are literally almost ten pages of his assembled jokes and anecdotes. You’ll read them and shake your head smiling; here was a man who was used to entertaining audiences and making them laugh! Here is a brief one that will make you smile:
This story is about a wake which was held for a man who liked money very much. Three of his close friends sat in the front row, and after the service, as was customary, those attending passed by the open casket and placed in it a flower or some memento. Knowing of their friend’s love for money, the first friend threw in a $10 bill as he filed by. The second friend did likewise. As the third friend went by he picked up both $10 bills and ceremoniously tossed in a check for $30.
Holmes love of poetry and his training at the elocution school are discussed and Armor shares with you some excerpts of Holmes’ favorite poetry. The picture Armor paints of Holmes, the poet, is riveting. He describes how Holmes had a special room where he did most of his poetry writing; he wore a green visor; he often wrote on scraps of paper or the cardboard inserts that came with his laundered shirts.
In the last chapter, Armor shares with the reader’s excerpts from letters that include some of Holmes’ philosophical and metaphysical musings in letters that were willed to Reginald Armor after Holmes’ passing. There are some evocative and moving thoughts contained within these pages. Here is one of my favorites:
It seems to me that God lets us alone until we discover God and when we discover God, we discover ourselves at the same time.
This is a lovely, fine book. While I was reading it, I felt almost convinced that Ernest was in the room with me. Smiling, as I laughed at his jokes, curious about what parts of his poetry I liked the most, and ready to converse with me about the great ideas, the amazing thoughts, and the enthusiastic, passionate thinking that shaped his life, and that Ernest shared with everyone throughout his life.
I am so blessed that Reginald took the time to bring Ernest alive in a new light—making his words so alive in your mind—you can hear him speak!
You can download this eBook now for only $10. Click the link below to enjoy!
Jeannette Quinn Bisbee is currently in the Online Spiritual Practitioner Program and will graduate in 2013. She loves the archives because she has recently moved to Canada where there are not any Centers for Spiritual Living nearby. She is, also, currently involved in a couple of book projects related to Science of Mind and looks forward to sharing more “posts” on the Science of Mind Archives and Library.