Today, we have a real treat! Below is a sampling of some of the more humorous statements made by spiritual teacher Ernest Holmes during talks he gave at Asilomar summer conferences in the 1950s. These quotes come from an upcoming book featuring the transcripts of Holmes’ talks at Asilomar.
For the past few months, I have been working on this book as a joint project between the Science of Mind Archives and Library Foundation (for which I am a board member and volunteer) and Science of Mind Publishing. It’s been a real labor of love—doing research, writing the introduction, reviewing all of the talks and more. We are targeting a late summer release for the volume, timed to be available at Centers for Spiritual Living’s return to Asilomar this August (the first in a few years). Stay tuned!
Holmes’ talks could be considered “advanced metaphysics” lectures, but they are so much more! They are deep and full of “stream of consciousness” asides, but key here is that they are also full of humor and give an insight into the human/humorous Ernest Holmes. As a quick treat, here is a sampling of some of his quips from the upcoming book. Please enjoy!
Selected Quotes from Ernest Holmes at Asilomar (1954-1959)
“It looks as though these talks that I am going to give on the transcendence, the immanence and the presence should be entirely inspirational and we should soar on clouds of heaven over Asilomar. I would like to soar all around Asilomar and out over the ocean, but I would like to be careful that I don’t fall to earth with a dull and sickening thud. The ideal and the real must be brought together, definitely.”
“I even think God is in myself though when I look at myself sometimes I say how funny can God be? But God must be that too. How do we know but what God laughs at himself? I don’t know that he does, I don’t know that he doesn’t. But if you and I laugh, at what do we laugh?”
“I think it’s nice to celebrate Thursdays because it comes between Wednesday and Friday.”
“Let us thank the God that is that the God that’s believed in isn’t.”
“Our subject tonight is really “non-resistance”. It is going along with life and because of the nature of the two previous talks, we don’t know what will happen in the next hour, at least I don’t. “
“God is full of fun, else you and I wouldn’t laugh.”
“You know if you can knock a guy out and make him believe he is lost, you can sell him a pretty good bill of goods about being found. But I feel more like the North Country woman who came over here and was very religious and a little superstitious and the usher was going up and down the aisle saying, a dollar for the Lord? And she didn’t put in anything and he said, don’t you want to give a dollar to the Lord? And she said I do and he said why don’t you? She looked at him and said I’ll give it to him myself, I think I’ll see him first.”
“Now very few people understand the meaning of Religious Science and very few people in our field understand it as well as we ought to, I know I don’t. I often say, I would give anything and all I have, if I only knew what I believe.”
“I am not a prophet, else I would wear whiskers. I think whiskers are unsanitary and they itch my face but I wouldn’t be surprised that we might be laying a cosmic egg. It looks that way. It would be just a question of whether we sat on it long enough to hatch out a lot of chickens.”
“No, there are no prophets other than the wise in our language, but the other-wise also prophet, prophesize.”
“I can write automatically better than the Book of Revelations, that’s saying a mouthful isn’t it? But it’s true. That is an automatic writing, like people get them today. You cannot depend on these kind of things, what you feel, what comes though. Anybody can do this if they tried to, if they’re a little bit psychic, it’s not very difficult.”
“Now l’m not a Yogian or a Yogi. A yogian is a student and a Yogi is one who has students and I think that’s about the only difference and the yogian thinks the Yogi knows more than the yogian and the Yogi thinks the yogian knows less than the Yogi, sounds almost like the culture they make with milk but it isn’t. It’s like a bunch of kids were asked to write what’s the difference between a republican and a democrat. Now there was only one real smart student in the class, a little girl of twelve. She won the prize because she said, “a democrat is one who thinks a republican is all wrong. A republican is one who thinks a democrat is all wrong. They both are right.””
“Most people are afraid, you know, to admit that there might be something that happens that they do not understand for fear people will think they’re strange, well, we’re all strange. We’re just different kinds of strange people and don’t ever look for or hope to find any human, who is perfectly sane. Probably if he were he wouldn’t be here, he would be so unhappy with the rest of us. He would become so frustrated he would just drop dead. Don’t look for any human being who is completely perfect, objectively or subjectively.”
“I remember one time a very sweet and sincere and world-famed metaphysical teacher, said to me when I was quite young, I was once like that, I think Ernest you are a very nice boy, a little patronizing, she was about 50 or 60 at that time and I was a sweet boy and didn’t know what it was all about, she had discovered and knew all the answers and did know bettor than most people, much better than I. She said, I don’t like your teaching that you say you have a right to choose. I said no, well probably it’s wrong. I’m willing to admit you know, I don’t know from nothing. I said it seems to me — I saw in a Los Angeles paper the other day in the Saturday notices where you had advertised that were going to speak on the subject “Living a Life without Choice,” of course, she swelled up but didn’t burst open and she said, yes and I said, so, did you choose to speak on the subject that you don’t choose? This was too fast for the old girl and we talked about something else. I’m not going to try to answer it, you answer it.”
“If we watch the performance and the pageantry in any of the more picturesque churches, such as Catholic or Episcopalian, we realize that it is accepted because it has been going on for so long. If we did the same thing tonight that the Catholics do and I am not saying there is anything wrong with it, everyone would think we were a bunch of nuts because everyone does not have the wit to know that there is a universal nut tree and it bears more than one kind of fruit.”
“Somebody said last night that’s a dangerous thing you said. I said I am going to skate on even thinner ice because I can swim.”
“People say to me oh, why don’t you go away, I know a place out in Oregon or somewhere where you can sit under a tree. I said I sat under a tree. It was a very wonderful experience too. I like it where the traffic is. I like it where the beat of human feet create a collective rhythm that sings to me of the people of the world. Sit beside the road and be a friend to man and look into this face and that one and some other and through sometimes the hatred and the fear and the tears and the shame and the isolation, find that common denominator that makes us all tick.”