1954 Infinite Way Letters: Chapter 4, Prayer
- ~ 4 ~ PRAYER Prayer is our contact, our means of communion with God through which harmony is revealed. God is, that we know. God is peace, harmony and supply. God is safety and security. God is our rock, our high tower, our dwelling place-God is. Notwithstanding the Is-ness and All-ness of God, the world is filled with discords, inharmonies, sin, disease, lack, envy, jealousy, malice, hatred and misrepresentation. All forms of negative influences and conditions seem to pervade the world and we are all innocent victims of them. Again and again the question is asked: If God is Good, if God is Life, if God is Love, how can these things be? And the answer is this: as long as a sense of separation exists between us and that which we call God, these discords must inevitably be, and will be, until we find our way back to our Father's House-to God-consciousness. All of human existence is a journey-a journey from sense to Soul: the prodigal's experience from the depths to his return to his Father's House. This is our journey, and our goal is God. How do we reach God? How do we attain our goal? The answer is always the same-through prayer. Prayer never fails. Some of you may question that statement, "prayer never fails." That which we knew as prayer in our orthodox Christian, Jewish, Muhammadan, Hindu days is not prayer at all. That which we have been taught from childhood, and that which is taught even today in most churches really is not prayer. These were the beginning steps on the subject of prayer, and were perhaps the only language we could understand at the moment. No doubt, every prayer from "Now I lay me down to sleep" on up to "The Lord's Prayer" have been helpful steps toward the realization of true prayer. What, then, is true prayer? What is the prayer that leads us unto God? What is the nature of the prayer that reveals our health and supply, our companionship, and the harmonies of everyday living? We know that God is the goal, and our work is to attain that ...
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Collected Essays of Joel Goldsmith: Prayer
- Prayer YE ASK, and receive not, because ye ask amiss," says the Apostle James. Have you ever thought of this when you have prayed for some time, and then found no answer to your prayer? "Ye ask amiss." There is the reason. Prayer, when based on the belief that there is a need unfilled, a desire unsatisfied, is never in accord with true scientific prayer. A prayer for God to do something, send something, provide or heal, is equally without power. It is sometimes believed that God requires a channel through which to fulfill our prayer; and this leads us to look outside ourselves for the answer. We may believe that supply can come to us, and therefore we watch for the person or position through which it is to come. We may be depending on a healer or teacher as the channel through which the healing is to come. "Ye ask amiss." Any belief that that which we are seeking is anywhere but within us, within our very own consciousness, is the barrier separating us in belief from our harmony. True prayer is never addressed to a Being outside ourselves, nor does true prayer expect anything from outside our own being. "The kingdom of God is within you," and all good must be sought there. Recognizing God to be the reality of our being, we know that all good is inherent in that Being, your being and mine. God is the substance of our being and therefore we are eternal and harmonious. God is Life, and this Life is self-sustained. He is our Soul, and we are pure and immortal. God is the Mind of the individual and this constitutes the intelligence of our being. Rightly speaking, there is not God and you, but God is ever manifest as you and this is the oneness which assures you of infinite good. God is the Life, Mind, Body and Substance of individual being, therefore nothing can be added to any individual, and true prayer is the constant recognition of this truth. Conscious awareness of our true being-of the infinite nature and character of our only being-this, too, is prayer. In this ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter IV, The Indissoluble Union
- CHAPTER IV THE INDISSOLUBLE UNION Very little progress can be made on the spiritual path of life until we have caught some vision of what God is, of what our relationship to God is, and of what God's function is in our life. This cannot be a vicarious experience; it must be individual and it must be approached in a completely relaxed manner. We must be unwilling to accept any authority other than our own interior revelation. So we ask ourselves questions about God, which will lead into a meditation on God: What is God? What does God mean to me? What is the place and function of God in my life? How many people have ever had a God-experience? How many have felt the flow of the Spirit in their minds, in their souls, in their bodies? The number is small, only a few hundred or at the most a few thousand in a generation; and yet God is available to every man, woman, and child. God demands our entire love and devotion; we must give ourselves to Him in order that He may reveal the eternal givingness of Himself to us. We must love God supremely with our whole heart, mind, and soul; love God so much that our only prayer is: "I must feel God; I must let God fill my soul, my heart, my mind, my being, my very body." We speak of God as impersonal Intelligence, Mind, Principle, but God is personal, too. The relationship between an individual and God is closer than his relationship with his own mother. It is like reaching out and feeling a presence always there, gentle, reassuring in its very quietness; it is joy, peace, and warmth. The moment we have a God-experience, that gentleness is there, that peace is there, that warmth is there; and with it comes a love toward everything in this world, a sense of companionship and joy in one another. The normal concept of God is that of a God separate and apart from us, who has within Himself all good but is withholding it from us. Usually, in praying to God, it is for the purpose of seeking or getting something from God-health, supply, ...
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The Infinite Way: Prayer
- PRAYER "YE ASK, and receive not, because ye ask amiss," says the Apostle James. Have you ever thought of this when you have prayed for some time, and then found no answer to your prayer? "Ye ask amiss." There is the reason. Prayer, when based on the belief that there is a need unfilled or a desire unsatisfied, is never in accord with true scientific prayer. A prayer for God to do something, send something, provide, or heal is equally without power. It is sometimes believed that God requires a channel through which to fulfill our prayer, and this leads us to look outside ourselves for the answer. We may believe that supply can come to us; and, therefore, we watch for the person or position through which it is to come; or we may be depending on a healer or teacher as the channel through which the healing is to come. "Ye ask amiss." Any belief that that which we are seeking is anywhere but within us, within our very own consciousness, is the barrier separating us in belief from our harmony. True prayer is never addressed to a Being outside ourselves, nor does true prayer expect anything from outside our own being. "The kingdom of God is within you," and all good must be sought there. Recognizing God to be the reality of our being, we know that all good is inherent in that Being, your being and mine. God is the substance of our being; and, therefore, we are eternal and harmonious. God is life, and this Life is self-sustained. He is our Soul, and we are pure and immortal. God is the consciousness of the individual, and this constitutes the intelligence of our being. Rightly speaking, there is not God and you, but God is ever manifest as you, and this is the oneness which assures you of infinite good. God is the life, mind, body, and substance of individual being; therefore, nothing can be added to any individual, and true prayer is the constant recognition of this truth. Conscious awareness of our true being - of the infinite nature and character of our only being - ...
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Living The Infinite Way: Chapter Seven, God Is Omnipresent
- ... Nothing in the message of The Infinite Way is radical or extreme, since it has its roots in the Bible. There is nothing radical or startling in admitting that you need not seek God or pray for God to come to you or to help you, but that you need only to acknowledge the presence and power of the Father within. The kingdom of God is within you-the Father within me, He doeth the works -your Father and my Father. So, instead of seeking and searching and praying to God, go to a quiet, peaceful corner, give up searching and make the acknowledgment, "Here and now, the kingdom of God is within me. I have all the authority I shall ever need; the kingdom of God is within me, and my heavenly Father knoweth what things I have need of, and it is His good pleasure to give me the kingdom." In this understanding you do not have to demonstrate supply, companionship, home, or health, but go out and begin to spend-money, time, service, love, or forgiveness. Spending has more connotations than just buying a new hat, a bag of groceries, a car, or a house. We spend out of the abundance and infinity of our being when we give love to someone, when we give forgiveness or a bit of joy. A great Mohammedan poet, Moslih Edden Saadi, wrote: If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft And from thy slender store two loaves alone are left Sell one, and with the dole Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul. Does it seem strange that of two pennies one should be spent for something as seemingly useless as a flower? If we have only one dollar, let us buy our loaf of bread, but let us also spend some for a purpose that will enrich the soul. Let us spend ourselves, for that is true spending- much more so than when we spend our possessions. Taking this from the standpoint of either God or supply, we find the same principle, and that principle is Omnipresence. When we consider the subject of health, we find that we cannot pray for God to give us health. It really does not work, except here and there under some great ...
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Spiritual Discernment: Chapter 8, Mind Imbued with Truth
- Chapter Eight Mind Imbued with Truth All spiritual healing depends on the degree of evolved or developed spiritual consciousness that a person has attained. To the medical way of thinking, a man or woman is a physical body, and a physician may go further and acknowledge that the mind has something to do with the body. The general conclusion is that if a person has the right mental attitude along with some medicine, he is going to be made well, which is correct from a materia medica point of view. On the material and mental level of life there must be specific remedies for the discords of sense. When you present yourself to a practitioner, however, he does not examine your mind or your body. Why? He has arrived at a state of evolved and developed consciousness that enables him to see you as you really are: spiritual. And not only are you spiritual but the entire universe, including your body, is spiritual. Because of the practitioner's evolved spiritual consciousness and your making yourself one with it, you respond to that higher consciousness and are lifted above the five physical senses. The Son of God, the Christ, is raised up in you. Material sense drops away, and with it the false images of physical sense which we call disease, unhappiness, or lack. Evolved Spiritual Consciousness Discerns True Being To the evolved and developed spiritual consciousness, you are not seen as a human being made up partly of good and partly of evil, partly of mind and partly of matter. This is because the evolved spiritual consciousness is not looking at your body; it is not looking at your mind: it is communing with you; it knows you as the child of God. Wherever there is an evolved spiritual awareness, there is a discernment of your true being, your true nature, and it is for this reason that healing at the spiritual level is without effort. No suggestions are thrown at you for the purpose of convincing you or changing your state of mind. Spiritual consciousness does not take you ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter II, The Purpose
- CHAPTER II THE PURPOSE The purpose of meditation is to attain divine grace. Once this grace has been attained in a measure, it takes over our experience and lives our life, performs those things which are given us to do, and makes the crooked places straight. We no longer live by bread alone, but by this inner grace. Satisfying relationships, abundant supply, successful business activity, and creative endeavor are the tangible effects of grace. First must come the inner grace before the things of this world can be added to us; but we can never receive the grace of God so long as we seek it for the purpose of demonstration, that is, seeking God in order to possess some person or thing, or to achieve some place. That is the reason meditation can never be used to demonstrate an automobile, more money, or a better position: meditation is for the purpose of realizing God. In meditation God is revealed as the life of individual being. God is the embodiment of all good. In achieving the experience of God, our good appears as whatever the need may be. We fail if we attempt to gain any thing separate and apart from God. God, Itself, is the good. Prayer or meditation for material things and persons cannot be answered by a God of Spirit. Such an objective defeats the purpose of meditation. Scripture tells us that the natural man receiveth not the things of God. Who is the natural man but the human being, the prodigal son, still deep in material consciousness, praying that his materiality may be made a little better, a little richer, a little more, or a little less? We pray to be stouter or we pray to be thinner; we pray to have more money, seldom to have less, although that might be a very spiritual prayer. The point is that we pray for an improvement or an increase of that very materiality of which God has no knowledge, and such prayer is not answered. Very often our human desires, if fulfilled, would leave us unsatisfied, because as human beings we do not possess the wisdom ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: August 1956, Contemplative Meditation
- ... But never should one be encouraged or even consider leaving his human surroundings until the call is unmistakable. Only in this way will the spiritual men and women of the world be worthy of their calling. When this is thoroughly understood there will no longer be false prophets and false teachers, nor will people leave the human world for what they consider the spiritual world before they are called. It also will be understood that each individual is called to fulfill some specific spiritual function in the divine plan; therefore there will be no lack, no disease, no war, and no unhappiness; and every individual will be cared for physically, mentally, morally, and economically. There are those who must be saints and seers and spiritual teachers, just as there are those who must fill positions in the family, business, and government; but each one who fulfills any of these in the realization of his spiritual destiny fulfills it harmoniously, joyously, successfully; with love, generosity, and forgiveness. The greatest privilege that can ever come to an individual is that of sharing the grace of God which is received and revealed in the silence and secrecy of the heart. The most sacred work on earth is the giving and sharing of God's riches of spiritual wisdom. My own heart is full of gratitude that God has spoken to me in silence, in sacredness, and in secrecy, and then permitted me to share these spiritual gems with others. One of the greatest human privileges that has ever been mine is the rare opportunity to travel to far places, and to encounter such enlightened souls as our beloved Swami Ramdas, who so liberally shared his spiritual gems as he travelled the world last year. I am sure Swami Ramdas knows my great joy in being permitted to speak on these occasions at Anandashram. To all of you, may I say that you have given me far more than I have been permitted to give you-more in spiritual memories than I will be able to store up in the next three or four ...
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Leave Your Nets: Chapter 4, Open Out a Way
- ~ 4 ~ OPEN OUT A WAY Since there seems to be a sense of separation between the Father and us, and between all those who are to play a part in our life's experience, our work is to realize our oneness with the Father, the one consciousness, and then we automatically become one with every spiritual being. There is but one consciousness, and that consciousness, functioning as your consciousness and as mine, is the connecting link between you and your world and me and my world, establishing us in oneness with all those who are a part of our fulfillment. Unless we wish to engage in a daily battle of competition, a daily battle of trying to work with persons antagonistic to our ideas, unless we wish to take our chance with whether we will have the right employer or right employee, or whether we will deal with those who are the right people for us or the wrong- unless we wish to do that, we must establish firmly our oneness with the Father before we leave our home in the morning to embark upon any enterprise, commercial, social, or ministerial, realizing that the consciousness of the Father, which is our consciousness, is the consciousness of every individual. Therefore, all those ready for the experience of association with us, by the attraction of that consciousness, are brought to us, and in the same way, we are led to everyone we can serve or bless. When we understand our connection with the vine, we do not compete with any man. We do not fight, we do not war with him or sue him because we have access to the infinite source of our being, and it is this source that feeds and supplies us even while it is feeding and supplying all the other branches on the tree. So instead of looking to one another for our needs, we learn to look to the one universal life that is flowing through all of us, and receive our good from it. Then everything works together for good, and we are led to where we can work with others, benefit from and cooperate with them, and yet not live off them. ...
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Living by the Word: Chapter 2, Spiritual Discernment of the Bible
- Chapter Two Spiritual Discernment of the Bible The Bible, which is given to us as the word of spiritual wisdom, as revelations concerning the kingdom of God, must be spiritually discerned, but today even twenty centuries after the time of the Master, some religionists are still trying to interpret this hidden word of the kingdom literally, and, of course, are failing. There is a spiritual kingdom. There is also the son of God who spiritually discerns the nature of this kingdom, the things of God, the laws of God, and who knows how to live a God-centered life. This kingdom can never be entered with the human mind or human body. It must be spiritually discerned. If the kingdom of God were attained, if the things of God were understood, and if God were known aright, there would be none of the evils so evident on every hand: none of the sins, none of man's inhumanity to man, none of the diseases. All this would be wiped out in the understanding of God, because the understanding of God would leave no trace of sin or disease. Letting Go of the Man of Earth The statement, "My kingdom is not of this world," 1 sets forth very clearly that there is a difference between "My kingdom" and "this world." Later, Paul revealed that there are two men: There is the son of God, and there is "the natural man [who] receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 2 "The natural man" does not have the ability to discern spiritually. And so it is that we are living partly in the world of sense, "this world," and partly in the kingdom of God, but certainly those of us who are on the path are striving to "die" to our humanhood, to "the creature," 3 to "the natural man," in order that we may be reborn spiritually as children of God with spiritual discernment. To all sincere seekers, the question arises: Is there a way for us to drop the man of earth? Can we "die" to it? Can we be reborn of the ...
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