|Centers for Spiritual Living|
COVID-19 Vaccination Update
This statement is offered in response to questions regarding Centers for Spiritual Living’s stance on Covid-19 vaccinations. Our founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes, wrote that in the practice of Science of Mind, there is no place for “arrogance or the holier-than-thou attitude. The great have always been humble. The great have always been kind. The great have always been lovers of humanity.”
We begin our statement, therefore, with great love and compassion for the diversity of thought that exists among our members. We acknowledge that as spiritual beings, we are self-determining and have personal freedom and choice. We acknowledge that this individuality expresses itself as a continuum of opinions related to vaccinations. Because vaccination decisions are often influenced by religion (1) or sincerely held spiritual beliefs (2), we are compelled to confirm that there are no precepts or strictures against vaccinations or receiving medical treatment of any kind within Centers for Spiritual Living.
Indeed, Holmes cautioned us not to say everything is all right when it is all wrong. (3) We don’t say that people aren’t poor, sick or unhappy. We do not deny the existence of illness, nor do we deny the need for hygiene or medical assistance. We unite with these modalities, are grateful for their assistance and cooperate with their efforts in every way. Though we may explore why sickness exists when the original Cause is harmonious and perfect, we will neither deny nor minimize the extraordinary work being done in the field of medical science.
Nevertheless, we can add something important to the care and healing of our physical bodies: the understanding that we are primarily spiritual beings with a mind and a body, and we have the tool of spiritual mind treatment to augment and enhance medical science, but it does not replace it. Indeed, we give thanks for and celebrate public health achievements that have saved lives worldwide.
Taking this perspective into consideration, we ask members to apply their freedoms for the greater good, and to consider how public health might be an expression of oneness. And most importantly, we urge our members to think about how to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable among us, who cannot be vaccinated, when we choose whether to vaccinate.
Although vaccination is a personal matter, as is the interpretation of Science of Mind, this Executive Team, using our founder’s words as a guide, cannot in good conscience endorse religious exemptions against vaccines under the authority of Centers for Spiritual Living.
In addition to following public safety protocols, it is important that our clergy, teachers, study-group leaders, practitioners and other leaders who interact with our members be transparent about their vaccination, test and exposure statuses so that the people they interact with may make decisions for themselves about safety, masking and physical distance.
In the early days of spiritual therapeutics, it was believed that a practitioner could not successfully treat patients if they were being attended by a physician or if they were using material methods for relief. Now we know that this was based on superstition. We no longer give it any serious thought. The metaphysician feels it a privilege to be called into consultation with a physician or with a psychologist. They have learned to appreciate the fields of medicine and surgery. — Ernest Holmes, “Living the Science of Mind,” page 263
We do not deny the body, nor do we deny the mind. What we do is affirm the Spirit. We believe the body should be properly cared for — that is the office of the physician. — Ernest Holmes, “Living the Science of Mind,” page 527
The physician and the surgeon can patch up this physical body of ours, and the psychologist or psychiatrist can help us to straighten out our emotional tensions, for all of which we should be grateful. — Ernest Holmes, “Living the Science of Mind,” page 402
One of the chief offices of spiritual mind healing is to relieve the mind of fear, to compose the thought and permit it to reflect the deep inner feeling that comes from conscious union with the Spirit. Science and religion should walk hand in hand in the accomplishment of this purpose. — Ernest Holmes, “Living the Science of Mind,” page 253
Unity is the basis of all that there is. There is but one God, one Mind, one Spirit and one Power. When I embody myself in my thoughts selfishly, I am separating myself from that which I think would be my good. You may think this is a very subtle thing and could not be the reason for so much trouble. It is the foundation of most of our troubles. I am unconsciously separating myself from my good. — Ernest Holmes, “Love and Law,” page 231.4
Centers for Spiritual Living Executive Team
Dr. Edward Viljoen, Spiritual Leader
Rev. Sunday Cote, Field Leader
Dr. David Alexander, Chair, Leadership Council
A list of spiritual organizations’ stands on vaccinations from Vanderbilt University – https://www.vumc.org/health-wellness/news-resource-articles/immunizations-and-religion An example of explanations of sincerely held religious beliefs (California) from Mark Spring, CDF Labor Law, LLP
– https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/defining-sincerely-held-religious-9250227/ Dr. Ernest Holmes on the integration of medical science in spiritual healing, page 252, “Living the Science of Mind,” “Let Us Not Fool Ourselves”
Vaccine equity concerns: https://www.who.int/campaigns/vaccine-equity
“12 Things to Know” from Johns Hopkins Medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid19-vaccine-hesitancy-12-things-you-need-to-know
Faith traditions that do not endorse vaccine exemptions: Many faith leaders say no to vaccine exemptions – The Columbian