This exegesis on the hidden lessons of scripture's most familiar passages was first published in 1929. The new edition comes with an index and a preface in which it is explained how every religion has exoteric (outer) and esoteric (inner) aspects. For example, ritual represents the exoteric whilst the experience of the participants are esoteric. These two aspects have also been likened to the difference between a map and a journey.
It is difficult to describe esoteric experiences as they are associated with a different state of consciousness. But by contemplating the meaning in our Judeo-Christian scriptures we unite thought with emotion to reveal a deeper meaning. According to Rabbinical tradition there are four levels of understanding:
The face value or literal interpretation is called Pashat, the next level is called Remez (hint) which is the implied meaning. The third level is Drash (search), the allegorical or typological application. Finally there is Sod (hidden), the secret meaning of the text which often involves the numerical value of words and letters. Holmes' exegesis is of the interior type: Remez, Drash and Sod. This approach makes the reader contemplate what passages might mean personally rather than literally.
Moses taught the universal law of cause and effect, and Jesus revealed a direct relationship between God and mankind. Religious Science is a science of mind and spirit - psychological, metaphysical, mental, spiritual, idealistic and practical. Prayer in faith, believing, restores our sense of oneness with the Creator. This book first provides the Biblical passage which is then followed by a detailed exegesis.
Titled "Readings From The Old Testament," the first part examines passages from the story of creation with chapters like Involution And Evolution, Man's Spiritual Nature and The Story Of The Fall, and from the teachings of Moses the Great Lawgiver, with chapters on The Divine Presence and Blessing And Curse.
Part two is titled "Readings From The New Testament" and is divided in two: From The Teachings Of Jesus and From The Epistles Of The Apostles. The first includes pieces on the secret of prayer, religious morbidities, the kingdom, the prodigal son, the two great commandments, love balanced by law and the Holy Comforter. The second includes passages on the law of correspondents, symbols, intuition, God's law of liberty, the armor of God, doers of the Word and the prayer of faith.
The great psychologist William James called it "the religion of healthy-mindedness." This New Thought approach, variously called Religious Science, Mental Science, Science of Mind or Divine Science, is especially helpful in healing those who have been abused spiritually or who suffer from spiritual exhaustion.
In this book, the section called Religious Morbidities reveals that morbidities come from false judgement. We must first clarify our own vision and carefully guard our thoughts. Then we must praise constructively and bless creatively. It is the ultimate cure for depression: loving givingness, pouring one's energies into good causes makes you receive a new inflow of life.
For similar investigations of the hidden meaning of scripture, I recommend Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning by Thomas Troward and The Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox, In Tune With The Infinite by Ralph Waldo Trine and Our Spiritual Resources by Joel Goldsmith as well as Can We Talk to God? by Ernest Holmes. May the reader be blessed with insight and understanding.
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