MORE THAN 400 years ago, St. Ignatius of Loyola composed his famous Spiritual Exercises.
These were instructions he gave those who were under his spiritual direction. The program took four weeks. The
exercises included visualization, prayer, meditation, and personal observation of one's self. It is interesting
to learn that certain aspects of his instruction are similar to Science of Mind practices.
The 19th-century Indian saint Sri Ramakrishna has been an inspiration to millions of Hindus in India and to many
others throughout the world. He was able to attain the highest realization of God through various practices drawn
from many different religions. He was a living example of the Vedic declaration “Truth is one; men call it by various
One of the teachers of spiritual exercises and philosophy based on the Vedantic tradition was a disciple of Sri
Ramakrishna, the renowned Swami Vivekananda. In 1893 he presented the great Vedanta truths to the World's Parliament
of Religions in Chicago. Here was one of the outstanding individuals in spiritual history who brought the liberating
idea of the Absolute to the Western world. Although New Thought was already in full flower when Swami Vivekananda
came to Chicago, he contributed many liberating ideas to its followers. Swami Vivekananda suggested repeating the
Sanskrit expression Soham (“I am He”). He said this constant recognition of one's unity with God in addition to
performing good works would produce a spiritually integrated person.
Swiss philosopher-psychiatrist Dr. Carl G. Jung gives a simple formula for spiritual integration and discipline:
“Introversion, Introspection, Meditation, and the Careful Investigation of Desires and Their Motives are the Real
Means Through Which You Can Work on Yourself.”
Although brief, this review of different spiritual exercises and the need to keep spiritually fit enables us to
understand the tremendous value of the Science of Mind. What we actually do through this investigative study of
world religions and philosophy is validate for ourselves the richness and practical vision of Ernest Holmes.
Through Science of Mind practice, keeping spiritually fit becomes a method of spiritual discrimination. It means
discovering who and what we are as a child of the Universe — the expression or manifestation of God. When one says:
“I am an expression of the Infinite Mind,” this is remembering our essential nature. It is recognizing that clear
thinking vitalizes the entire being. Taking conscious responsibility for one's thought and directing consciousness
toward a particular constructive goal is what spiritual discipline is all about. For students of the Science of
Mind, it becomes the spiritual exercise. We learn how to discriminate between the false “facts” of the world and
Truth, the essential Reality, expressed as divine order and perfect right action.
Keeping spiritually fit means reviewing spiritual ideas again and again. Always think them through to a logical
conclusion. This “reviewing” is devotion to Truth. It always produces a happy and fulfilled life experience.
It means never losing inspiration and it brings a new enthusiasm to the daily study
and practice of the Science of Mind.
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© 2000 Stuart Grayson Communications, Inc.
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