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Extension Study Course in the Science of Mind, Volume One (Lessons 1-12)
By Jeannette Quinn Bisbee

If you were at Asilomar 2013, you might have been lucky enough to purchase our newest publication, the updated reprinting of the Extension Study Course in the Science of Mind, Volume One.  We had fourteen books available at the Science of Mind Archives table, and we easily sold out before the end of the conference!  The Extension Study Course was first written in 1939 as a home study correspondence course, and, then, updated in 1953, and, finally, in 1984 it was republished as a 6-Volume condensed version of the course and released under the title of Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.  This new publication is the 1953 version written by Ernest Holmes and Reginald Armor.

Over the years, the Science of Mind Archives and Library has fielded many requests for this Home Study Course.  One of our first volunteers, Nan Agriesti, scanned the original blue booklets into the computer, and just this year volunteer Ted Penberthy digitized the scanned version so that a copy-ready version was available for book publication.  Volume 1 contains the first 12 lessons of the 48 lessons and is 203 pages. It features weekly letters from Ernest Holmes, the Dean of the Institute of Religious Science, explaining the lesson, the required companion readings in the textbook The Science of Mind, a summary of the lesson’s ideas, questions for the student to answer, supplemental reading material, and homework that illustrates the lesson and the reading.  Ernest Holmes explains that these first twelve lessons focus on “an explanation of the inner meaning of the Bible.  This explanation is based on what we consider the finest authority.”  Thomas Troward’s ideas are used extensively to illuminate the Bible’s meaning.

The explanation of core principles, readings in The Science of Mind, and the supplemental ideas and homework formulated by Ernest Holmes and Reginald Armor in the early are really illuminating and inspiring.  Reginald Armor first developed some of this material in reaction to some of the problems that were cropping up with practitioners in the 1930s.  Word got back to the Institute, Holmes and Armor, that some practitioners were analyzing handwriting, using Tarot cards, or preparing horoscopes as part of how they worked as practitioners and disseminated Science of Mind ideas and teachings. Reginald Armor, Idella Chadwick, and Clarence Mayer approached Ernest Holmes in 1939 about initiating an additional course of study that would allow them to test and license practitioners. This is not that course they designed, but some of this material grew out of the tightening and rewriting of educational material so that the Institute could preserve and distribute Religious Science ideas to an ever-growing audience that was very hungry to hear more about Ernest Holmes’ ideas and teachings.

The first lesson focuses on how to give a spiritual treatment.  The book states:

“The Science of Mind is intensely practical because it teaches us how to use the Mind Principle for definite purposes, such as helping those who are sick, impoverished, or unhappy.  Each one of us should learn to become a practitioner of this science, a demonstrator of its Principle, a conscious user of its Power.  Power already exists, but the existence of Power is of no particular value to us until we use it.  We must not only be conscious of Power, but we must be actively conscious of it.  This is one of the first lessons we learn in the Science of Mind.”

This book is practical and useful. It has re-fired my determination to use Science of Mind principles and treatment in every area of my life—to not separate parts of my life as only spiritual and other parts as only practical.  This book reminds the reader over and over that ALL OF LIFE is spiritual, and the serious student has control over ALL OF LIFE! From the very first lesson, eager students were gently reminded of the following:

“You are ready to use the Principle governing the Science of Mind the very moment you accept the fact that there is such a principle and that it does operate through your thought.  But this seems to be the very place where many fall down.  They talk so much about the Principle and use it so little…They spend too much time in merely philosophizing, theorizing, speculating, until finally they live in a world of wistful wishing, of day dreams…Above all, determine to use this science.  Do not say, ‘Well, this is but the first lesson and I expect to have understanding enough within a year to use it.’  Seize upon whatever facts present themselves to your mind today, begin to use such truth as you grasp out of your first lesson, and before the year is over you will have become an effective practitioner.”

If I was stranded on a desert island, and I could only have three books about Science of Mind—one of those books would be this fantastic home study course.  AND THIS IS JUST THE FIRST VOLUME!  Volumes Two, Three, and Four, which will complete the 48-lesson course, are in the works.  They should be available very soon from the Science of Mind Archives for purchase.

Science of Mind Archives and Library wants to thank those who have donated—because it was those donations that have made this new book available to the public.  Please keep donations coming in; we have so many more projects and books that we would like to get back out in circulation for lovers of Ernest Holmes and Science of Mind!

Click here to purchase the Extension Study Course via

Jeannette Quinn Bisbee R.Sc.P has been published in Science of Mind magazine, and was an Insight Speaker at the 2013 Asilomar Convention. Her passion is the Archives, and she contributes this blog twice monthly highlighting for readers around the world the wonderful projects and items available in the Science of Mind Archives.  She is currently involved in a book project based on material from the Archives and Science of Mind magazine.