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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Consciousness Transformed: June 2, 1963, True Prayer-The Experience of God
- ... To come to this place in consciousness means that a great part of your spiritual journey is behind you, because you cannot attain this lightly, easily or quickly. You have been led up to this, as you will discover when others come to you for spiritual wisdom. You will learn that it is not an easy matter to say to them: "We are not going to God to have your fever reduced, and we are not going to God to get increased supply," for the answer you will receive is: "What then is the use of going to God?" When you have arrived at the place where you can accept such a statement, you have arrived at the place where you have given up human aspirations for spiritual revelations. We do not become ascetics. In giving up the world it is not in the mistaken sense of asceticism in which, by depriving ourselves of everything pleasant, we believe we are pleasing God. On the contrary, be assured that God is only pleased in our joys-in our fruitage. We know this from Christ Jesus, who was sent to earth to "do the will of the Father," and the will of the Father is that we have health and happiness and forgiveness of sins and life eternal. There is no asceticism in the Master's teachings. He took only their sins-never did he take from anyone any form of good. Once you stop seeking in your prayers "what ye shall eat, what ye shall drink and wherewithal ye shall be clothed," you will find they are being added unto you. "Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things," 18 only I must not seek sufficiency, I must seek grace. For thousands of years men have prayed for an end of war, for an end of injustice, for an end of slavery, and disease. All of these human conditions are still going on, and those that are not going on have not been overcome by prayer but by men. Many diseases have been overcome and lost from the world because of medical and surgical discoveries, but you recognize the fact that Christ Jesus revealed that this could be accomplished without human aid. So we are not to be ...
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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 7, The Power to Become the Son of God
- ~ 7 ~ THE POWER TO BECOME THE SON OF GOD Life is a matter of individual demonstration. Hundreds of persons may be exposed to the same truth, but only a few will benefit from it. The words each person reads may be the same, and the consciousness back of those words the same, but the difference lies in individual receptivity and individual responsiveness to the spiritual word. The benefit derived by any person results by virtue of some active receptivity within him. Those of you who have had experience in the healing work must realize this. If ten patients come into your orbit in a single day and you give the same degree of integrity to each one, the same understanding, consciousness, and faithfulness in treatment, one of them may receive an instantaneous healing; three, very quick healing; three, long drawn out and protracted healing; and others, no healing. Why is that? In every case, the treatment was equally able and faithful, so what is the difference? The difference is in the degree of spiritual receptivity in the consciousness of the person who is seeking your help. He may have it in great or slight degree, or he may have no spiritual receptivity whatsoever. That is no reason for criticism or praise because no one is responsible for the degree of his receptivity or spiritual integrity. That is a matter over which he has no control. Some people have come into this world more spiritually blessed and more spiritually receptive than others, whereas some have come into this world more materialistically inclined, and they, therefore, will have a greater struggle developing the necessary spiritual receptivity and responsiveness. When a practitioner begins to work with a patient or student, it is not possible to know whether he will have an instantaneous or a slow healing because the practitioner does not know the factors that are involved. He does not know what there is in the patient's consciousness that may be blocking the message or preventing the spiritual ...
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The Art of Spiritual Healing: Chapter XVI, Is
- CHAPTER XVI IS The basis of all spiritual teaching is that spiritual consciousness evolves in what is called "time." We may wonder why time enters into that which is eternity and which knows no such thing as time, but the element of time is involved because spiritual evolution is the unfolding of consciousness, which to our sense appears as time. However, there is a definite moment in time and space when each one of us makes the transition from law to grace. Up to that point, we are students of truth, seekers after God; and through our study and good works, we hope and expect to improve our human situation. The Hindus liken this process of spiritual evolution to the peeling away of the skins of an onion. The peeling away of one layer of skin is barely perceptible, but by the time ten or fifteen layers have been removed, a definite change is noticeable. As the skins are removed, layer by layer, eventually a place is reached where there are no more onion skins: There is only nothingness; the onion is no more. And so it is that human beings are born into this world, bringing with them numbers of layers of material sense to which they continually add, building up the onion-self, skin by skin, until they begin the return journey to the Father's house. When that spiritual impulse is felt, then we begin to study and meditate, always with the goal that one day we may actually feel God within us, realize the Presence, be touched by Him, and come to live under grace in that state of consciousness in which there is no longer any law-no longer a law of good and evil, no longer a law of cause and effect, no longer a law of punishment and reward: There is only a state of grace-and at a certain moment in our experience, it happens. Such an experience takes place in time. It may happen at ten o'clock in the morning, at midnight, or in the silence of the early morning hours, but at some time or other it does take place, and we feel that inner impulsion and know that we have felt it. ...
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The Early Years: Chapter 12, Mind and Its Idea One
- ~ 12 ~ MIND AND ITS IDEA ONE Mind and its idea, life and its expression, these are one, inseparable and indivisible. The continuity of life is maintained by infinite and eternal law, or principle. The Son of God is forever one with the Father. That which God has created is forever manifested. In other words, life cannot be deprived of its manifestation; spirit cannot lose its formations, mind cannot be separated from its ideas; love always expresses itself, and the varied expressions of love are eternal and immortal. This is true of God and man, of God and his activity. God, life, truth, love, harmony, perfection, all these are infinite in being and in manifestation. Error, evil, disease are appearances without entity or identity, without presence or power, without law, action, volition, or continuity. Having no law to enforce them, they have no being; having no cause or creator, they do not exist as effect. Infinite life, its activity and harmony are eternally expressed as God's manifested being-man and the universe. There is not a single element of error, discord, or fear in either God or his son, in mind or its idea, in spirit or its formations, in life or its expressions. This is the law of life and the law of mind-the ever-operating law of good. It reveals the reality of being, dispelling the false appearances of sense. This is the law unto you. The basic premise of Christian Science is that God is infinite being and that man is that being expressed in all its perfection and harmony. Therefore, a sick, sinning, evil, unkind, ungenerous man has no existence anywhere at any time, and the belief that there is such a man must be overcome in your thought. "Man is the expression of God's being" 1 -"God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power nor presence." 2 It follows, then, that you are being called upon to refute the testimony of the senses and to behold "in Science the perfect man . . . where sinning mortal man appears to mortals." 3 This ...
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The GIft of Love: Chapter 4, Our Love for God
- ~ 4 ~ OUR LOVE FOR GOD Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:5 That is a command. But how many persons are there in the world who feel a real love for God? Love, itself, is somewhat of an abstraction, and certainly to love an unknown or invisible God does not bring forth a very tangible or warm feeling. Eventually, however, there must come into individual consciousness a love for God that is deeper than any love that a human being has ever known. That cannot come about if we persist in thinking of God as an impersonal principle, an impersonal law, or an impersonal life. True, God is all that, but God is more than that. To me, God is very personal. Tennyson said that God is "closer . . . than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet." Surely he was not thinking of anything as cold as mathematics or as impersonal as music. He must have felt a warmth that was close to his heart, almost a personal presence. The love of which I speak is a love that comes of a union when like meets like. Only when we are in the highest state of spiritual being do we come face to face with that which is truly God. It is God the Father and God the son meeting, and in that union love is generated. That is when love is felt, not for a reason, not because we have gained what we sought, but because we have found our home in His bosom. Since only God can tabernacle with God, it is only when you and I rise above our humanhood into a state of spiritual awareness that we can meet God. Then it is literally true that God, appearing as individual being, is fusing with God, God coming into conscious union or oneness with God. It is like two persons on the same level of thought meeting and falling in love, or forming a deep and lasting friendship. In one instant there is a fusion. They know that they have known each other since time began and, as time evolves, they find that they have things in common: music, literature, or ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: September 1955, The Deep Pool of Your Being
- ... Had the Master not been able to step aside sufficiently to know that "I can of mine own self do nothing," and had the word "I" entered His demonstration in any way, the miracles could not have taken place. This brings us back to our first point: God is individual consciousness (the consciousness of you and me) and therefore the storehouse of infinity is within you. You cannot draw it forth-you can get out of the way, make the contact, and let it flow forth! In order to understand this properly it is necessary that you first overcome time and space. You must remember that none of this has anything to do with yesterday. None of yesterday's virtues will help you achieve this realization today, and none of yesterday's sins will prevent proving it today. Your yesterday's, whether for good or evil, have nothing to do with today's spiritual unfoldment. You must rise in consciousness above any sense of limitation, and each time you turn to the within in an earnest sense of self-forgiveness and Self- realization the yesterdays are blotted out. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow," and because the nature of the Christ is forgiveness, until seventy times seven, even were you to sin again you will be "as white as snow" the moment you return. As long as you earnestly and sincerely follow this path for the purpose of "forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before," and ". . . press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," even though mistakes cling and must be risen above again and again, nevertheless there will come that day of complete attainment when there will be no going back to the yesterdays. You do not live on yesterday's manna. It is necessary that you make this contact almost hourly throughout each day until that glorious moment when It takes over and says, "I am with you," and eventually on to the end of the road where It says, "I am you." Until that day ...
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The World Is New: Chapter 4, Conscious Oneness
- Therefore, the only way I can ever really know you is through spiritual consciousness. That is the real sense of communion, and that is where healing takes place-not in calling a person either a human being or a divine idea, but in reaching through the appearance to the reality. When through spiritual sense we have contacted the reality of a person, we find that God is all the reality there is to him. God, the universal Good, is his individual life, mind, and Soul. Beginning with God then, we come down to Its individualization and find it to be you and me. It is a great temptation, however, to look at people as human beings and find something in them that needs changing, altering, or improving. Oftentimes we become self-righteous when we find someone doing something we think is wrong and piously state, "I can forgive him." This is all part of the human picture and will heal nothing. But when we know that every person is the individualization of God, we can then apply the great law of forgiveness which is not sitting in judgment on a person, first finding him to be wrong and then deciding to be magnanimous and forgive him for being wrong. True forgiveness lies in closing our eyes and in going within to the spiritual sense of things, and there touching the reality of that individual and finding that all reality is God, and that there never has been a sin, a mistake, or anything to overcome. Even if we could correct the sins and faults of our friends or loved ones-and did-we still would not have accomplished much in a spiritual way. But when we blot out the picture of all humanhood, the good as well as the bad, and come close to the center of being, close to God, we find that sooner or later that friend or relative is no longer the erring individual he seems to be. In healing work, we have what appears to be a patient, a practitioner, and God. According to the popularly accepted idea, the patient goes to a practitioner, and the practitioner goes to God, and then God ...
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The World Is New: Chapter 8, Tithing
- ~ 8 ~ TITHING SOONER OR LATER, we all have to learn the meaning and importance of tithing because this practice carries us to our highest sense of gratitude, and gratitude is one facet of the vast subject of love. Tithing is usually understood to mean that if ten per cent of our income is given to some charitable or spiritual purpose, we will in some mysterious way have pleased God and so will be rewarded. Personally, I think that this teaching is entirely incorrect. There is no virtue in giving when there is any sense of a future tense connected with it. If our giving, whether in contributions to a charity, a church, or to a teacher, carries with it any thought that we will receive some benefit from it, it is best not to give. Giving should always be from the standpoint of gratitude for that which already is-health, wealth, happiness, and peace. We cannot get health and we cannot get wealth, we cannot get happiness, we cannot get peace. Those things were established from the beginning. They are a part of the divine Consciousness, and they will unfold as our individual consciousness in proportion to our turning within for that unfoldment, and in proportion to our devotion to the spiritual sense of life. It is perhaps true that many of us are not yet at that point of consciousness where we are able to realize our oneness with God sufficiently to receive a spiritual message without mediation. And yet God needs no mediator. Because of our oneness with God, truth can reveal itself in our consciousness without any person talking to us or without our reading a book; but inasmuch as we have not reached that state of communion and conscious oneness, truth interprets itself to human consciousness as a book, a church, or a teacher, until the time comes when our conscious oneness with God enables us to accept truth without any human means. God knows nothing about human teachers or teachings, or human places of worship. If God had made our churches, none of them would ever have ...
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 2, Before Abraham
- CHAPTER 2 "Before Abraham" IMPERSONALIZE GOD and what do you have? You have divine Being, universally expressing Itself, universally manifesting Itself; before Abraham was, and unto the end of the world. This is what you get when you impersonalize God: you get infinite, divine Being, from the so-called beginning to the so-called ending. You also discover that there was no beginning, as there will be no ending, for life is a circle. It never began. It never ends. It Is! Before Abraham, It Is; unto the end of the world, It Is. It Is I AM! I AM! Before Abraham was, I Am! As one mystic said, "Before God was, I am"; and this is Truth. Before there was such a thing as a God concept in anyone's mind, I am. Someone else has said, "If there were not a God, man would have to make one." Do you not see that this only promotes that we might live forever in darkness, that we have to make up a God, that we have to form a concept of God, that we have to have some image or idea, in our mind, of God? God is invisible, indescribable, incorporeal, infinite, from everlasting to everlasting, and who can draw a picture of that? Who can invent a word to encompass that? The only word that has ever been shown forth that set men free is that word I! Whenever it was revealed, the veil was removed. Whenever God was personalized and finitized, or made an image in this or that religion, the veil was on again. Why could the mystic see that God is closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet, when there is nothing closer than breathing but I myself? We are to relax, to rest, in this consciousness, the creative Principle of life, the Reality of life, the Omnipresence, Omnipotence, and Omniscience that Is within me. Closer than breathing Is the Selfhood of me. Relax in It and let It perform Its work. This also shows you why it was said, "He performeth that which is given me to do, He perfecteth that which concerneth me." There is always this He, that is within me, that we identify as not a "He" ...
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