The Joel Goldsmith Reader: Living the Life of Grace
- Living the Life of Grace God is infinite, and God manifests Itself in infinite forms and in infinite ways. God is consciousness, and we therefore become aware of all those things necessary to our unfoldment through an activity of consciousness. We see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, but these are all activities of consciousness manifested at different levels. Often in meditation it is possible to see visions or to hear the still small voice; and then there are times when the Presence makes itself known through the activity of smell, and even of touch. We may feel a touch on the shoulder, the head, or on the cheek. At other times, the fragrance of flowers may be noticed. There is no way to limit God and feel that He can appear in one way only. God can appear in any form, and probably we can understand that best by recalling that when Joan of Arc was asked, "Does God speak to you in French?" her reply was, "I do not know in what language God speaks, but I hear Him in French." Does God speak as perfume or odors, voices, or a touch? No! But we can comprehend God in these ways. That is our interpretation of God's presence. Let us learn to accept God in whatever way and in whatever form God may appear to us. How do we know that it is God? How do we know that it is not imagination? By the fruitage, by the results. When we are indulging in vain imaginings about our spiritual activities and spiritual work, it leaves us up in the air, dangling in space, with no tangible results. But when our experience is actually an experience of God, we can know it by its fruits, and the fruits of the Spirit are joy, peace, prosperity, health, harmony, and love. When the Presence announces Itself, there comes with It a sense of serenity, tranquility, a peace which may translate itself into form. Everything has form: even thought. All substance must have a form although not a form always visible to our human sense, and the higher we go in spiritual realization and unfoldment, the more we see ...
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Leave Your Nets: Chapter 8, Living the Life of Grace
- ~ 8 ~ LIVING THE LIFE OF GRACE God is infinite, and God manifests itself in infinite forms and in infinite ways. God is consciousness, and we therefore become aware of all those things necessary to our unfoldment through an activity of consciousness. We see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, but these are all activities of consciousness manifested at different levels. Often in meditation it is possible to see visions or to hear the still small voice; and then there are times when the presence makes itself known through the activity of smell, and even of touch. We may feel a touch on the shoulder, the head, or on the cheek. At other times, the fragrance of flowers may be noticed. There is no way to limit God and feel that he can appear in one way only. God can appear in any form, and probably we can understand that best by recalling that when Joan of Arc was asked, "Does God speak to you in French?" Her reply was, "I do not know in what language God speaks, but I hear him in French." Does God speak as perfume or odors, voices, or a touch? No! But we can comprehend God in these ways. That is our interpretation of God's presence. Let us learn to accept God in whatever way and in whatever form God may appear to us. How do we know that it is God? How do we know that it is not imagination? By the fruitage, by the results. When we are indulging in vain imaginings about our spiritual activities and spiritual work, it leaves us up in the air, dangling in space, with no tangible results. But when our experience is actually an experience of God, we can know it by its fruits, and the fruits of the spirit are joy, peace, prosperity, health, harmony, and love. When the presence announces itself, there comes with it a sense of serenity, tranquility, a peace which may translate itself into form. Everything has form: even thought. All substance must have a form although not a form always visible to our human sense, and the higher we go in spiritual realization and unfoldment, the more ...
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Our Spiritual Resources: Chapter Two, Begin Prayer with the Word God
- ... A person can be the most unregenerate sinner in the world, but he will be made as white as snow in the moment that he contacts God. It makes no difference what his fears or sins may be today. Do not sit in judgment on him; do not criticize or condemn him. Remember that your function is to reveal the Christ, and instead of sitting in judgment on the Magdalenes and thieves and alcoholics, turn around and love them, forgive them, understand them, and place them in God's keeping where God's love and God's forgiveness and God's grace can reach them. One second of God-realization will dispel any sin, any disease, or any fear that has ever existed on the face of the earth-but it must be God-realization and not just talk about God or preaching about God. God-experience must come to you, and that experience is what dispels the sins, diseases, and illusions of the world. Keep your consciousness attuned to God, never bringing your thought down to the level of a patient, a discord, or an ... Out of the spiritualized individual consciousness come the great works of the masters, and in proportion to this deepening and enriching of consciousness will come forth the great works given you to do. I do not expect that the day will ever come when there will be one church on earth, since for many generations to come there will be varying states and stages of consciousness, but this need not in any way interfere with the ultimate realization of the great truth that there is but one God, and this God is the God of all churches, and therefore, regardless of our affiliation or nonaffiliation, we are brothers to one another. And now a final word: If you find it difficult to forgive those who have offended you or yours, pray daily that God forgive them. Forgiveness is one of the great spiritual qualities, but personal sense does make it difficult at times for us to understand and demonstrate the true nature of forgiveness. Nevertheless, we can always turn to God and ask that God forgive ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: November 1956, Scriptural Principles
- CHAPTER ELEVEN: NOVEMBER Scriptural Principles MANY of the ageless truths and principles which constitute the foundation upon which the structure of The Infinite Way is built are to be found in the Old as well as the New Testament. "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. . . . Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you. . . . Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him. . . . With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. . . . Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine. . . . Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." The Psalmist's spiritual perception and awareness were especially keen and comprehensive, and his songs of praise and thanksgiving confidently bear witness to the realization of God's presence. Probably the greatest and most assuring truths to be found in all scripture are the simple, yet profound, statements: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want," and "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Many other of the Psalms set forth the promises of grace to be enjoyed by those who place their confidence and trust in God. The 146th Psalm, for instance, is one such example: Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: September 1957, The Prayer of Mysticism
- CHAPTER NINE: SEPTEMBER The Prayer of Mysticism LIKE many words, the term "prayer" has no absolute meaning, in and of itself. Prayer means one thing to the child who says, "Now I lay me down to sleep"; it means another thing to the person who unthinkingly recites the Lord's Prayer in a monotonous drone, "Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name"; and it means something entirely different to the person who reverently prays, "Our Father-which art in heaven-Hallowed-be thy name." 1 That is as different a sense of prayer as is the Twenty-third Psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd," 2 a prayer which is an acknowledgment of that which God is, that which God does, and that which God means in individual life. Still another prayer is the prayer of gratitude, the "thank you, Father," which is a recognition that all good is in, of, from, and through the Father. Let no one have a static sense of prayer. Let no one in The Infinite Way ever say, "This is prayer, but that is not prayer." That which we may feel is a very deep prayer today may seem very far from prayer a year from now. On the other hand, a year from now we might know something entirely different about prayer from what we know today. There is no such thing as a right form of prayer or a Wrong form. Every prayer that has ever been voiced is right from the standpoint of the consciousness voicing it at the time. The form of prayer used by a person one day may be entirely different from the form used by the same person on another day. This does not mean that all prayer is effective, but if our prayer is sincere, it represents our sense of right at any given moment-the best we know at that moment. The highest form of prayer that has been revealed in the religious literature of the world is that in which there are no words and no thoughts, a form of prayer which is entirely a listening attitude, a listening as if to receive the word of God, which is quick and sharp and powerful. God is; perfection, omnipresence, ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter V, The Difficulties
- CHAPTER V THE DIFFICULTIES If we practice the foregoing meditations faithfully, undoubtedly many questions will arise as to certain procedures in meditation: What about the extraneous thoughts that race through the mind? Should we expect to see visions? Is there a definite length of time for each meditation? How much understanding is necessary? Does diet have any bearing on the effectiveness of meditation? Is any particular posture necessary or desirable? Let us consider the question of posture first. Meditation is most easily practiced when we are not conscious of the body. It we sit in a straight chair, with feet placed squarely on the floor, the back straight as it normally should be, the chin in, and both hands resting in the lap, the body should not intrude itself into our thoughts. This normal and natural position we should be able to maintain for five, ten, or twenty minutes, without thought reverting to the body. There is nothing mysterious about posture. In the Orient, few people sit on chairs; therefore, it is natural for them to meditate sitting on the floor with their legs crossed. In that position, they are comfortable; but we, of the Occident, would find such posture not only difficult to achieve, but, for most of us, very uncomfortable to maintain. If it is remembered that in meditation our whole attention is to be focused on God and the things of God, it will be readily understood that in meditating it is wise for the body to be in a natural or comfortable position, so that the attention is not drawn to the body. The only reason for assuming any particular posture is to make it easier to center the attention on God and to become receptive to Its infinite power. In meditation, a change within the system is noticeable. The spine is erect; the chest is high; the breathing becomes slower, and thoughts race through the mind less and less until they finally cease. Meditation is a conscious experience. As suggested earlier, it is a great help to begin ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: May 1957, The Christ - The Presence in You
- CHAPTER FIVE: MAY The Christ, The Presence in You THERE is a Presence and a Power which is always available to us, but it can only be realized in secrecy and in silence. Secrecy is one of the most profound truths revealed in the Master's teaching: Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.1 Secrecy is an important principle of The Infinite Way and forms a vital part of its message. Those who have taken this teaching seriously and have followed it have benefited beyond words. There are others who have received the teaching, but who have not understood it. In their inability to perceive its significance, they have not obeyed it, and therefore, have not benefited from it. No teaching is of real value as long as it remains an abstraction; it must find expression in our daily life. Every principle of The Infinite Way should be related to our experience and then lived as our experience. Let us take, as an example, this principle of secrecy enunciated by the Master and see how it can be applied to our everyday relationships. If I perform some good and generous act and if my friends hear about it, they will, in all probability, praise me, thank me, and speak well of me. My ego may be considerably inflated by their acknowledgment and recognition of my good deed. On the other ...
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Showing Forth the Presence of God: Chapter 9, Seek the Substance, Not the Form
- Chapter Nine Seek the Substance, Not the Form The world seeks to find peace, joy, satisfaction, supply, home, or companionship in people and things. But the Master said, "My kingdom is not of this world." 1 So the purpose of our work is to turn away from the way of the world to the spiritual way. In turning to the spiritual path, we learn that the world's weapons, its manner of protecting itself and its way of seeking its good, will not do for us. "The kingdom of God is within you." 2 If we think of that literally, it immediately becomes clear why there is no use going outside ourselves to find our good, that is, not if the kingdom of God is within us. The place to seek our good must necessarily be within. The spiritual revelators of all time agree on this truth, and they have been able to teach their immediate disciples or students how to make contact with that withinness and, because of making this inner contact, they have been able to lead a life without struggle or strain, a life of harmony and peace. The disciples of these spiritual revelators seem to have had difficulty in passing that principle on to those of the next generation, and those who followed experienced much the same difficulty, so that a spiritual teaching has thrived principally during the immediate lifetime of its revelator and to a lesser degree in the following generation or two. In the case of the Master, his ministry lasted for about 300 years before it died out and all but vanished from the earth, probably longer than any of those of which we have knowledge. The Spread of Spiritual Teaching and Healing Since that time there have been individual mystics who have caught the vision of withinness and have had the usual experience of some measure of success with their immediate disciples and for a short while afterwards. From the 12 th to the 17 th century, reaching all the way from Switzerland to England, there were mystics with large followings who had attained the spiritual vision. But ...
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The Contemplative Life: Chapter 3, Beginning the Contemplative Life
- ~ 3 ~ BEGINNING THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE In the Orient, as many of you know, those who are interested in attaining spiritual illumination go to a teacher and, as a rule, live with or near the teacher for a period of six, seven, or eight years, and by means of meditation with as well as without the teacher, meditation with other students, and spiritual instruction, eventually attain their illumination: satori, enlightenment, or the fourth dimensional consciousness. Mankind as a whole, however, is not geared for this kind of teaching, nor do many desire, need, or even have the capacity for full enlightenment. This is attested by the fact that some students and disciples who have lived in close association with their teachers even for many years could not or did not reach the heights, whereas others may have received it in two or three years. The question, then, for the young student at first is not one of attaining that degree of illumination which would set him up as a spiritual teacher or healer, but primarily how to attain sufficient illumination or enlightenment to be able to free himself from the discords and inharmonies of daily living and build up within himself a spiritual sense that would not only lift him above the world's troubles- his family or community troubles-but would enable him to live a normal family, business, or professional life, and yet be inspired, fed, and supported by an inner experience and contact. Recognize the Universality of God It is well known that all people of a religious turn of mind-whatever their religion may be-can attain some measure of inner harmony and peace and find themselves in possession of an inner grace that eventually lives their lives for them. It makes no difference what a person's religion is because there is only one God, only one Spirit; and that Spirit knows no difference between a Jew and a Gentile, a Protestant and a Catholic, an Oriental and an Occidental. The Spirit is beyond and above any denominational beliefs ...
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Rising in Consciousness: Chapter 13, God Is Not Mocked
- ~ 13 ~ GOD IS NOT MOCKED IT HAS BECOME MORE AND MORE CLEAR to me that the real purpose of spiritual teaching is not merely making the demonstration of daily living, daily harmony, even peace and health, in the human way. There is a higher sense to life than making the organs of the body a little healthier, or making physical life last a few years longer, or increasing one's income by ten dollars a week, or even a thousand dollars a week. Realize that life is spirit; therefore our individual expression of that life must be spiritual, and our entire existence can show forth the harmonies and perfections of spirit, and not merely physical health and wealth. This is the message. Now, one of the scriptural passages that opens to us a great deal of this thought is the one we are using as the basis for tonight's talk. Let me read a line from the book of Galatians, chapter six: "Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting." 1 Be not deceived; God is not mocked. If you look out at the human world, I am sure you will contend that God is mocked. When you see the sin, the disease, the wars, the depressions, it is an impossibility to believe this verse, "God is not mocked." Surely, God has never planned such scenes as we witness in the human world for its creation. Therefore, if we were to judge by the human experience, we would have to agree that God is mocked. We are told that God said: "I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth," 2 yet not only are the highways filled with death every day, but we send out the flower of youth to make sure they get killed off even faster than we would normally do it in traffic! Yes! In the human scene, God is mocked. Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time in spiritual healing work, any measure of time with people suffering with cancer and ...
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