What motivated me to move from Unity to Religious Science was time. The Unity Center I attended moved further from my home and I would leave my house at 8:30 AM (I was part of the Music Team) and not get home until 2:00 PM. It began to be too much. So I found a Religious Science Church which was 25 minutes from my home. I have been a member for 15 years.
I understand your reasoning for not wanting to spend quite that much time at church services.
Since you've remained a CSL member for 15 years, would you say that it suits you better than did Unity? Or were you equally satisfied with Unity's teachings/services?
Religious Science (now called Centers for Spiritual Living - CSL) relies quite heavily on the teachings of Jesus. The back of the Science of Mind textbook is filled with quotes from Jesus. Ernest Holmes loved Jesus and looked to him as a model for what was possible for every one of us. We often say that we see Jesus as the 'great example, not the great exception.' Holmes was also a student of Emerson, as well as eastern religions.
Although I'm familiar with the use of CSL, I'll admit that I have an issue with it; I feel that either of the organizational terms coined by Ernest Holmes--Religious Science and/or Science of Mind--should be used. So if I still throw around either RS or SoM, you'll know why.
I know what you mean about Holmes having talked considerably about Jesus' life example, although I've barely broken into The Science of Mind: The Complete Edition and haven't perused the back of it. (Now I will do so without delay.)
The one thing that bothers me about SoM magazine is that it doesn't mention Jesus and/or the Bible much unless you consider the "light from the language of Jesus" column wirtten by Rocco Errico and, sometimes, the "spiritual principle" column devoted to excerpts from Ernest Holmes' writings. It just seems that the magazine distances itself from using the terms Jesus or the Bible, which makes it seem as if the current organization is trying to distance itself from even esoteric Christianity.
Like Holmes, I'm a avid studen of Eastern teachings--especially those of the Hindu faith, which I greatly love and respect. I've long said that I'm thisclose to being a practicing Hindu. :) Unlike Holmes, though, I fully believe in reincarnation and the value of meditation as a means of Self-Realization--i.e., God Communion. At least, I have the impression that Holmes never took an official stance on the idea of reincarnation.
Both Unity and CSL fully embrace using medical help in healing. While both believe it is possible to effect a healing without medical intervention, if a healing requires the use of medication, surgery, or the help of doctors, then a person is encouraged to use them. At CSL, we are concerned with the outcome, not the specific way it happens.
I remember reading a quote from Holmes stating that a person should seek medication attention whenever it is necessary--that until a person can walk on water, s/he should take a boat. I'm all for affirmative prayer accompanying medical intervention, but I would never forgo--or suggest that someone else should forgo--medical care.
When I first learned more about Christian Science, I believed in its teachings--until I learned just how against medical care its practitioners are encouraged to be. That part solidified the fact that I could never be a CS member. Heh...
As for CSL, the organization has a Practitioner Licensing Committee (comprised of very experienced ministers) which grants licenses. After a center's Pastor feels the requirements for licensing have been met, then the committee reviews the documentation of demonstrated healings. A Practitioner candidate is also questioned by a panel to determine whether or not he/she has the approprate consciousness of a spiritual healer. If all requirements are met, a license is granted. It takes many years of classes and a minimum of one year as a intern before someone can attempt to get a license.
I'm a avid studen of Eastern teachings--especially those of the Hindu faith, which I greatly love and respect. I've long said that I'm thisclose to being a practicing Hindu. :)
I always experience a mixture of surprise and shock when I read a comment that identifies the selective blindness of Western students of Eastern teachings, especially those of Hinduism, a faith that invented and sustains by its beliefs one the most abject social systems the world has ever seen.
Anyone who would boldly claim to be "thisclose" to being a practicing Hindu really ought to be ashamed of him or herself.