The Joel Goldsmith Reader: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
- An Idea Whose Time Has Come Truth received and embodied in consciousness eventually becomes known throughout the world without any human effort or human striving. By abiding with truth within oneself, it has a way of establishing itself. This does not always happen as quickly as you might like to have it happen, but you must learn that in the realm of truth "a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past," 1 and one day as a thousand years. There will be periods of thousands of years when little progress seems to be made. Then suddenly more progress is made in one day than in the preceding thousand years. An Idea in Consciousness Must Manifest Itself The process of consciousness coming into expression in changing and better forms is a painfully slow one, and in religion the world has been more backward than in almost any other area of human experience. Until after the middle of the nineteenth century, religion in the Western World was a total state of darkness and ignorance, almost without even the tiniest bit of light. But in the middle of the nineteenth century, some of the Oriental Scriptures were translated into English and German and later into French, although it was in England and in Germany that they took root and the first spiritual light began to dawn. Then, in the United States, there was the period of the Transcendentalists in New England and the founding of Christian Science and Unity. All these were the light casting its shadow into visibility and prophesying things to come. "Nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come," 2 and the idea of freedom, liberty, justice, and equality is an idea whose time has come in this age. Colonialism, the holding in bondage of one people over another, has to go. Nothing today can stop the breaking down of racial, religious, and nationalistic prejudice. Unfortunately, the world, not knowing how to achieve this by spiritual means, has had recourse only to the human means of force. To go out ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XX, The Meaning of Initiation
- CHAPTER XX THE MEANING OF INITIATION Initiation is an act of Grace bestowed on individuals at a certain time in their unfoldment, lifting them into the master-state of consciousness. There is far less opportunity for a student to attain initiation in the Western World than in the Eastern because in the West we are brought up from childhood with the idea of equality. We are taught that we are all equal, and therefore we do not have the correct understanding of the role of a spiritual teacher, or what spiritual consciousness is. We do not realize that while we may have political and economic equality, we are far from being equal in spiritual development. We of the Western World do not lend ourselves to becoming students of a spiritual teaching. Oh yes, we are very eager in the first year or so to jump up from the status of a beginner into being at least a master, and then going on from there. Attaining the spiritual life, however, does not come so quickly: it is a life of continuous dedication to that which is greater than we are. Personally, I do not believe that a student can consciously prepare for initiation, nor have I ever seen anyone who had initiation as his goal achieve it. Rather the goal must always be the attainment of that mind that was in Christ Jesus without any thought of receiving initiation or experiencing the effects of initiation. As the student takes his first steps on the Path leading to illumination, he learns to meditate on the indwelling Spirit. Initiation carries him from one step to another into the awareness of the Presence, on and on and on, purifying him to the extent that he no longer wants God to destroy his enemies, but is willing always to forgive and love them because he knows that it is only through their ignorance that evil is being expressed. He is purified to such a degree that he no longer wishes to gain his ends by any personal sense of might or power. In way after way his life becomes so purified that it is lived in dedication ...
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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 11, Breaking the Bonds of Humanhood
- ~ 11 ~ BREAKING THE BONDS OF HUMANHOOD The goal of all spiritual work is God-realization, arriving at a place where we are consciously aware that we are not living our own life, that there is a something, a transcendental presence, that has taken over, that goes before us, and that cares for us. Life eternal and divine harmony come to us in proportion as we know God aright. While this is the most difficult part of our spiritual journey, because it involves releasing every concept of God acquired throughout our lifetime, nevertheless, it has to be the first part of it. We have looked to our concepts of God to bless us, but concepts of God, regardless of how lofty they may be, cannot bless anyone. We can be spiritually blessed only as we come to know him as he is, and that knowing has no relationship whatsoever to any concept of God. It is useless to try to define or analyze God, or to seek to know what he is through the mind. If it were possible to embrace God in our mind, God would be smaller than our mind, and this he cannot be. One way in which we can begin to lose our concepts of God is through contemplation and meditation on the nature of God. Knowing the nature of God is quite different from knowing God itself, just as our individual nature is different from the essence that we really are. Our nature is the outward expression, or set of qualities which we possess, but we ourselves are greater than our qualities, that is, greater than our nature. We may have a kindly nature, a philanthropic nature, or a peaceful one, but that is not we ourselves: we are greater than these. Releasing Concepts of God God is far greater than what we can ever know of his nature. In order to be known, God has to be experienced, and while we can experience God through an awareness of his nature, he cannot be known with the mind or the intellect. The fact that we may have prayed to God, asking for something, is proof positive that we do not know the nature of God, for if we knew his ...
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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 9, Spiritual Dominion
- ... Only when it gives itself up, surrenders itself, and permits itself to be broken open by the natural elements, does the seed change its form and eventually become a whole tree full of fruit. So it is that we-insignificant you and I, who of ourselves are really nothing-suddenly become the source through which flows infinite wisdom, love, companionship, supply, forgiveness, and infinite good in every form. Jesus was quick to admit that of his own self he was nothing, but we all know ... If, for any reason, there are those who are unable to do that, they can begin to share forgiveness. They can look out at the everpresent world of enemies-personal, national, racial-and begin to forgive them, praying that God's mercy open their consciousness. They can begin to pray, not so much for their friends and relatives, but for the sick and the sinning of the world, for those who are downtrodden, dejected, and rejected. One reaction to such a program may be, "Oh, but I'm further down in the scale than are these people for whom I am supposed to pray." In this realization, we forget that: we give what we have to give, and if we have nothing to give but prayer, then we pray. If we have nothing to give but forgiveness, we give forgiveness. If we have nothing to give but service or dedication, we give it-but we give! This is a practice. This is not conversation; this is not reading a book and exclaiming, "How lovely!" This is taking it out of the book and putting it into practice. In other words, it is acknowledging that infinity dwells within, and if we have only one dollar's worth of infinity at this minute let us give ten cent's worth of it away. It makes no difference how little we may have at the moment. What counts is that we make the acknowledgment that infinity is the measure of our being and act as though that were true, even though we act only with pennies, or if we act only with forgiveness or prayers or service. The way of the spiritual life was presented to the world by ...
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Our Spiritual Resources: Chapter Eight, Bringing God Into Daily Experience
- CHAPTER EIGHT BRINGING GOD INTO DAILY EXPERIENCE Bringing God into individual experience is possible only through an activity of consciousness. If we make a conscious contact with our source, we make contact with the spiritual source of all those who can bless us and all those whom we can bless: "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one." 1 That relationship of oneness is not really effective, however, until the moment of contact, because until that moment we are separate human beings, each with his own interests and purposes, each with his own needs, and in that separateness we may not be fulfilling one another's needs at all. There is no circumstance in life so small or insignificant but that it can be made an important one through that conscious contact. If it were nothing more than the routine of merely going out to market, it would not only save time, but what is more important, making that conscious contact even in inconsequential matters would establish in us the habit of making and continuing the contact so that when some more vital decision or problem arose, there would be no possibility of forgetting the principle, because our reaction to it would have become more or less automatic. It may not be too important to us whether our marketing costs eight dollars or eight dollars and sixty cents, and it may not be too important whether we buy this cut of meat or that one, or whether we purchase these vegetables or those. The important thing is that we are forming one more link in our chain, because we shall be learning never to make a move without a consciousness of that oneness. There must be the actual experience of being consciously one with God in order to find ourselves consciously one with all spiritual being and idea. Declaring it with the mind is not going to make it so, but if we keep that principle in our mind, sit with it, reflect upon it, and ponder it until we feel that inner response within, then we actually begin to ...
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 6, My True Identity
- CHAPTER 6 My True Identity I AM INVISIBLE. You have never seen me. You have only seen your, or the world's, concept of my body. Me you haven't seen, for I am hiding behind my eyes. I have never seen you. I see out there only forms. I can't see you, because you're behind those eyes looking out at me, and I can't see behind your eyes. That's where you are-not inside your skull, but looking through those eyes. Now if you have pondered in meditation this idea: "Who am I? What am I? I do not exist in my feet. I do not exist in my knees, in my stomach, my chest, my head," then where do I exist? I search myself from toenails to the topmost of my hair and I cannot find me. I ponder and ponder, "What is this mystery of my true identity? Why is it I have always thought I was either of this body or in this body? Now I perceive that I am not of this body and I never was in this body. I never could be encompassed in a body." As you ponder that in meditation, sooner or later God will reveal to you the secret of that I-how you exist, and where, and when. Then you will know why I say, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." It is not you that I am looking at but Thou, the I that you are-that which is looking out at me, that which is invisible. That is why I cannot visualize it and that is why I cannot imagine what you look like. I don't know what your form is. I do not know what your character or nature is as I look out. When I retire into the I that I really am, I can commune with you. I cannot see you with my eyes, and that is why I can't describe you. But I know you. I can tabernacle with you, I can commune with you, I can even talk with you. You may be ten thousand miles away, but I can still be communing with you because the I of you and the I of me Is all Omnipresence. Where I am, thou art. Wherever thou art, I am, for I am in you and you are in me, and we are in God, for we are One. You see, for all those difficult passages of Scripture, omnipresence is the word, ...
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The Altitude Of Prayer: Chapter 1, True Prayer, The Source Of Our Good
- ~ 1 ~ TRUE PRAYER, THE SOURCE OF OUR GOOD THE FIRST TIME that a person ever came to me for healing and asked, "Will you pray for me?" was when I knew nothing about prayer except the well-known childhood prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep." Although not a very grown-up prayer or a deeply spiritual one, for many years it helped to put me to sleep at night. The reason for this would later become clear, after I had gained some understanding of prayer. I was going to sleep; I was going to become unconscious; I was going to enter a state in which I could not take care of myself; and by laying myself down to sleep and placing myself in God's hands, I was throwing the responsibility off myself, thus enabling me to relax in His care. That is about as high a form of prayer as there is-not the words, but that attitude of "Father, I am going to be asleep. Anything can happen in my sleep, and I will not be around to protect myself. So now, as I lay me down to sleep, please take care of me. Take over while I am out." That attitude is a surrender, virtually saying, "I can of my own self do nothing while I am asleep, so, Father, You take over." It is the surrender of any dependence on material resources; it is throwing oneself completely on the spiritual. Let me therefore tell you what happened when that first person asked me to pray for him. I closed my eyes and said, "Father, You know that I do not know how to pray, so what is the next step?" Instantly, a voice came back and said, "Man cannot heal," and the whole responsibility dropped away from me. I still did not feel that I was praying and I still did not know how to pray. But you can see that I really was praying the very moment I acknowledged that I did not know how to pray. Paul prayed much the same prayer when he said, "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought." 1 That is one of the highest forms of prayer ever conceived by man-not that the words will do anything for anyone. If, however, you have the feeling ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XIX, Attaining Divine Sonship
- CHAPTER XIX ATTAINING DIVINE SONSHIP When we have encompassed the First and Second Degrees, a new dimension of life, an entirely different area of consciousness, opens up to us. In that moment there is something within us that is no longer a quotation, an affirmation, or a recalling of truth: it is an experience. We have entered the Third Degree, where we no longer live by the standards of this world, where the values are different, and life is governed not so much by what the outer law is as by what our inner integrity is. It is at this point that we pass from law to Grace. As human beings we live under man-made laws which continue to operate as long as we remain in ignorance, and until we are awakened, we are held in slavery to all kinds of mental and physical laws. As we come to an awareness of a spiritual Presence within us, we gradually become immune to these laws because as we pass into the third stage, the Presence lives our life, and It cannot be influenced, nor can It be acted upon by physical or mental laws: It is immune to them for they are only theories, superstitions, and the universal belief in two powers. In proportion as the son of God is raised up in us, these laws do not operate, and not only are we not receptive or responsive to them, but we aid in nullifying them for others who may come to us. When an immunity is developed to material and mental laws, we live in an entirely different world because then we do not have to take the law into consideration, nor do we have to be concerned about things. Having found the kingdom of God and dwelling in it, something else is taking over the responsibility for our entire experience. The government is on His shoulder, on this divine Son which in the Third Degree is now raised up in us. In our humanhood It was dormant; It stood by and could do nothing. Regardless of what wrong was done to us, we had to resign ourselves to it unless our human wisdom or strength could provide an escape for us, and in most cases ...
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Beyond Words & Thoughts: Chapter 6, Measuring Spiritual Progress
- ... Once you have chosen the mystical or spiritual path, you have no power to be either good or evil because when you meditate and make contact with the Spirit within, It performs that which is given you to do. It lives your life, and It is neither good nor evil: It is just spiritual, perfect, and infinite. There is no such thing as good or evil in Spirit; there is no such thing as rich or poor in Spirit: there is infinity. There is no such thing as health or sickness: there is immortality. When you are not living by bread alone, by exercise or diet, when you are not depending solely on money, property, or investments, but when you are living by the word of God that you contact in your meditation, you are no longer living according to your will to be good, to be charitable, or your will to be moral. This is no longer your choice; this no longer lies within your power. Every time that you go within, touch the Spirit, and feel a release, that Spirit is performing the functions of your life, and whatever function you have to perform will be infinitely good, and it will be for eternity, not just for today or tomorrow, and not torn down next week or next month by a depression, a boom, or a war. In other words, the evils of this world will not come nigh your dwelling place because it will no longer be your dwelling: it will be the Father within doing the dwelling. Do you see why it is that when you go to God, it can be only in a complete surrender? Progress on the spiritual path seems to come slowly and imperceptibly, but years of devotion, dedication, and persistence inevitably bring the goal of conscious oneness with God closer and closer. Your pure motive leads you to where there is less and less reaction to the appearance-world; forgiveness and a lack of condemnation mark your attitude toward your fellow man; the fear of death diminishes; and the ego or personal sense is superseded by a recognition of the divine Self of you and of all men. "He that seeth me seeth him that ...
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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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