Collected Essays of Joel Goldsmith: Contemplative Meditation with Scripture
- Contemplative Meditation with Scripture CONTEMPLATIVE MEDITATION is the preparatory step before pure meditation without words or thoughts, and its main purpose is to keep the mind stayed on God-to acknowledge Him in all our ways-so that in quietness and in confidence we may "be still, and know that I am God." 1 We know that "the natural man 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 Therefore, only in contemplative meditation, conscious of scriptural truth, can we prepare ourselves to attain our divine sonship or the Buddha mind. It is promised: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." 3 In other words, if we abide in the Word and if we let the Word abide in us, we will bear fruit richly. Thus contemplating truth, we attain the gift of discernment through which we attain that truth which the "natural man" cannot know. This is affirmed in the Bhagavad-Gita. "See Me! Thou canst not! nor, with human eyes, Arjuna! Therefore I give thee sense divine. Have other eyes, new light! And look! This is My glory unveiled to mortal sight!" 4 To meditate properly-to develop the ability to practice meditation-it is necessary to understand certain spiritual principles of life. Unless a meditation has in it a conscious awareness of a spiritual principle, it will not be beneficial. It can in fact lead to just a mental stillness in which there is no spiritual fruitage or "signs following." Therefore, you must not only know why you are meditating, but you must know specific principles to take into your meditation. Let us take the major principle of life upon which a harmonious existence can be experienced: I am I. Declare this to yourself, because it is indisputable. You are not someone else: you are yourself! "I am I." In the great lesson on supply taught in Chapter 17 of 1 Kings, when Elijah asked the poor widow to ...
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Conscious Union with God: Chapter 12, Opening Consciousness to Truth
- ~ 12 ~ OPENING CONSCIOUSNESS TO TRUTH Spiritual healing is a conscious work and cannot be accomplished by sitting around blissfully saying, "Well, let God do it." True, there does come a time when you can legitimately use that expression, but if you were to say it during the early stages of your unfoldment, you would probably be thinking of a God separate and apart from your own being, something outside of you that could do something for you. Such an attitude might cause you to lose your way on the spiritual path through a blind faith. In healing work, open your consciousness and take the attitude of Samuel, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." 1 "Be still, and know that I am God" 2 - know that the I is pouring Itself forth as individual you. You can visualize this by once again recalling the illustration of Niagara Falls and Lake Erie. Let us suppose that you are Niagara Falls and, in and of yourself, you are continuously using up yourself so that ultimately there is nothing left. But if you were to realize that behind Niagara Falls there is Lake Erie, and as a matter of fact, actually there is no Niagara Falls-Niagara Falls is only a name given to Lake Erie at one corner of it where it flows over a precipice-there would be no sense of limitation or depletion. So it is with us. We call ourselves man, but actually we are not: We are that place where God is forever pouring Himself forth as individual you and me. There is really no place where God ends and man begins. That which is visible of us is God-we are God become visible. We are that point where God comes to a focus in an individual, yet infinite manner. There is no place where man and God can be separated and where you can say that here is man and there is God, any more than you can say that up to a certain point there is a Lake Erie and from that point on there is a Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls and Lake Erie are not two but one, and all that Lake Erie is, Niagara is; all that Lake Erie has, Niagara has; ...
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Consciousness Transformed: February 2, 1964, Realizing the Non-power of Appearances
- REALIZING THE NON-POWER OF APPEARANCES February 2, 1964 HUMAN EXISTENCE IS GOVERNED principally by emotions, and if you analyze your relationships with your family, your business associates, your friends, and your enemies, you will notice that very little reason enters into the relationships. It is mostly emotion, which is why most people lose money in speculation, because emotion controls them more than reason. When emotion controls you, you have no opportunity of benefitting by principles of life. When you are facing a situation and withdraw emotion long enough to realize the impersonal nature of the appearance, you immediately begin to dispel it. The natural tendency is to personalize and that is why it has been said, and rightly so, that it is unwise to discuss either religion or politics. The reason, of course, is that emotion enters in and makes it virtually impossible to talk about these subjects objectively. You would very quickly see what I mean if you could be in England during a pre-election campaign and witness how little emotion enters into the speeches by political candidates. The arguments are always aimed at the candidate's proposition, not at an individual. This is approaching politics with a minimum of emotion and a great deal of objectivity. In the same way we think of disease, sin, lack, and limitation as having to do with a person or persons, and so we center our arguments mentally against a certain person or a certain political party or that church group or that race, and this has been the error that binds men in slavery. There is no possibility of freedom from the human emotions and human passions except by the realization of the impersonal and invisible nature of error which may be operating in and through a person or a group. You do not cure a tree of its illness by cutting off its branches. You lay the axe at the root. Likewise, if you want to cut off the operation of evil in your individual or collective experience, you also have to lay ...
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Leave Your Nets: Chapter 13, The Inner Vision
- ~ 13 ~ THE INNER VISION You have come to that point in consciousness where you are seeking for what the world calls the intangible. When you came to a spiritual teaching, you knew in advance, or soon learned, that you were going to obtain nothing in the external realm. What you were seeking was the invisible, that which cannot be seen, heard, or known. And yet you were seeking to be able to see, hear, and know just that. Through that seeking, you are coming to know that which is unknowable, see that which is invisible, hear that which is inaudible. And on this nothing you now live. He "hangeth the earth upon nothing" 1 -nothing that you will ever see, hear, taste, touch, or smell. But of this, I am sure, if you are persistent and faithful, the day will come when you will feel it, see it, hear it, and know it, even though there is no it to see, hear, feel, and know. What was it that separated the followers of the Master from all other Hebrews? Only that those who were not Jesus' followers could not see, hear, taste, touch, or smell what it was that the disciples and the Hebrew Christians had accepted as the truth. It was foolishness to them, nothing but foolishness! How can anyone follow something that nobody knows anything about? And then these followers of the Master would smile, "Not know anything about it? We know all about it!" "Well, what is it? Where is it? Let me see it. Let me touch it." "No, it is a glint in the eye." "Ah, now! That is foolishness! That is foolishness!" And yet, that was the truth. These people saw something in the Master; they felt something in their association with him that satisfied, so that they, too, could say, "Ah, we do not live by bread alone. We are receiving an inner grace, an inner meat, wine, and water." They knew what the Master meant when he told them, "Take, eat; this is my body." 2 They knew what the others could never understand. It has been said that when a person of spiritual vision went into the darkened room where ...
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Living Now: Chapter 8, Beyond Words and Thoughts
- ~ 8 ~ BEYOND WORDS AND THOUGHTS Religion is a thing of the heart, and yet, without some specific knowledge of the principles underlying a religious teaching, a knowledge of which must be an activity of the mind, it is impossible to have a full and complete religious life. It is possible to find the religious life in a church, but living the spiritual life is not dependent on a church, and there are many religious persons in places where there are no churches. Religion is of the heart, and no one is religious except as the heart motivates him. That is why it is impossible to give religion or a religious instinct to anyone. This is something that takes place within an individual when he is ready for the spiritual experience, or, as they say in the Orient, when he is "ripe." One can have this religious instinct and pursue it and yet not fulfill himself unless certain principles of the religious life are revealed in one way or another, principles which make it possible to attain illumination, fulfillment, and that peace that passes understanding. In the Infinite Way writings, many principles of life are set forth. No one of us can demonstrate all of them, but if we live with them and take them into meditation, those necessary for our experience will reveal themselves to us. It usually takes several years after we have received a spiritual idea or principle before it becomes a part of us and before we can demonstrate it. It is so with everyone. We hear a spiritual principle expounded, and we read about it. In fact, we read it over and over again, and we hear it on tape recordings or in lectures or classes, and because of this much reading and hearing, we think we know it and wonder why we cannot demonstrate it. This is normal and natural and true of all of us. Even principles that have come through my own consciousness and my own lips have not really become mine until several years later. They did not register in a demonstrable degree when they were first revealed to me, ...
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Living by the Word: Chapter 5, Transforming the Unillumined Human Mind
- Chapter Five Transforming the Unillumined Human Mind We are born into a state of spiritual ignorance, and in that state we do not have the benefit of truth operating for us. It is for this reason that some of us come into the world physically or mentally handicapped, and it is possible for anything to happen to us of either a good or an evil nature. Because personal experience is the result of what is taken into the mind, as long as our mind is the human mind with its good and evil, we will live the experience of the human mind, which is a false sense of mind, both good and evil. The mind, however, in and of itself, is neither good nor evil: it is merely an instrument of awareness. A mind imbued with truth will bring forth harmony of mind, body, business, home, or family, but only in proportion to the degree in which that mind is stayed on truth. A mind imbued with ignorance, that is, one that accepts a materialistic view of life, must bring forth a life after its own image and likeness, which is also material, and therefore, both good and evil. Until we are led to some truth- teaching, however, we do not have the capacity to choose whether our mind is to be imbued with truth or whether it will remain under the domination of world beliefs. Up to that time we are in ignorance of the truth that our mind, when it is imbued with truth, will bring forth harmony, but when it is ignorant of truth and accepting the world's materialistic beliefs, it brings forth discord and inharmony. Abiding in Truth Leads to the Illumined Consciousness As we come to a truth-teaching, we learn that there is a truth which is contrary to human belief and also contrary to some orthodox religious teachings. First of all, we discover that there is no God sitting around in heaven worrying about whether we have an accident, become enmeshed in sin, or succumb to a disease. Our prayers to this unknown God are of no avail. Truth-teachings reveal that the reason these prayers have not been effective ...
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The Early Years: Chapter 23, Supply
- ... When we relax the conscious mind's struggle and striving, and let the flow of good pour into us through our spiritual consciousness, we find that we need not fear what mortal man can either give or withhold. We rest in the firm conviction that "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof," 5 and that all that the Father hath is mine; all that exists in the universal is unfolding to the individual. We come now to perhaps the highest spiritual law of the Bible, the one revealed to us by the Master Christian, Christ Jesus. In the Lord's Prayer we read: "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." 6 May we not interpret this to mean "forgive us our debts in proportion as we forgive our debtors?" Here you can set your own limitations on your demonstration of good. In proportion to your forgiving will you receive the blessings of the infinite. We may forgive those who owe us debts of money, and those who owe us debts of love, gratitude, appreciation, or even debts of family or friendly courtesy. But we must forgive. We must live in a constant state of benediction. This is the true forgiveness which releases us from material and mortal obligations. Some time ago a man came to me in great need of money, being without employment or income. He stated that one of his friends owed him a sum of money which would tide him over the period of lack, and asked: "How would you work on this debt collection?" I told him to forgive the man the debt. Not to write him canceling the debt, as the debt was the other fellow's problem, but to forgive it mentally, and should it never be paid, to think of it no more, not even think unkindly of the so-called debtor. "Drop it from your thought as though it never existed, and let divine principle open its channels of supply." He saw the point and turned away from this only visible possible channel of supply to the infinite unseen. The very next week, he earned enough money to support himself for two weeks, and at the end of the second ...
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The Early Years: Chapter 4, Reality
- ~ 4 ~ REALITY Christian Science understands all evil to be illusion and, necessarily, it declares human good equally without reality. It reveals that physical health is as much a belief as sickness. Likewise, material wealth is but the opposite belief of poverty. In order, then, that we do not vacillate between the beliefs of health and sickness, wealth and poverty, friendship and friendlessness, it becomes necessary that we come into the understanding of spiritual reality. Obviously we cannot measure our progress spiritward in terms of days or years of physical freedom or amount of dollars income. The measure of our progress is determined by the degree of our understanding of spiritual values. The natural result of our spiritual progress is a greater degree of harmony in what appears as our human affairs, but when this harmony is the result of spiritual realization we find no fluctuation and no vacillation. This spiritual, or real state of being, is exemplified in the Scriptures in such passages as, "And there shall be no night there," 1 and the revelation of light appearing although the sun was not yet created: "Let there be light: and there was light." 2 Again in the appearance of crops before the seed is planted. In these passages we find good appearing without dependence on material aid or accompaniment. Job says, "and hangeth the earth upon nothing," 3 again indicating spiritual power dependent on nothing tangible to human sense. Jesus fed the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes, and this so-called miracle has never been explained, nor will it ever be to human sense. That spiritual sense comprehends and can duplicate it we know, because of the frequency with which this is done by the spiritually illumined of all ages. Moses fed the multitudes and provided water; Elijah provided food and healed even death, as did the Master Christian. Every real spiritual healing that takes place today is further proof, if proof were needed, that there is a realm of ...
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The Only Freedom: Chapter 6, The Discipline of Knowing the Truth
- S Chapter Six The Discipline of Knowing the Truth tudents of the Infinite Way are taught to go into prayer, treatment, or a contemplative healing meditation without words, opening their consciousness in a state of receptivity, listening for that "still small voice," 1 and letting It give the treatment and do the work. On the other hand, students are taught to know the truth, declare the truth, remind themselves of truth, and go through a degree of mental discipline. Unless students understand these two approaches clearly, there might seem to be a conflict or a contradiction. But there is no conflict or contradiction. Spiritual Preparation Needed In the early stages of the development of spiritual consciousness, it is necessary to go through disciplines: mental disciplines, specific practice, and many forms of work that will not be used or be necessary later. In our earliest study, we fill ourselves full of truth through books, lectures, classes, or in any way in which truth can be imbibed. We spend hours and hours a day in reading, studying, meditating. We spend weeks, sometimes months, years attending classes, and we know the truth specifically about many things, probably about everything that touches our human experience. In doing that, let us understand that we are not doing it for the sake of God, nor are we doing it to reach God or to get something from God. As a matter of fact, such practices have very little to do with God: they have to do with preparing ourselves and making us fit for the receptivity to God. By that, I do not mean humanly fit or humanly good, but making ourselves spiritually receptive. That is what takes the preparation. Different Approaches Lead to God The more we read inspired literature, correct metaphysical or spiritual literature, and fill ourselves with it, the more our thought becomes spiritualized and the clearer transparencies we become. True, too, the more inspirational lectures to which we listen and the more classes we attend, ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter V, Transcending Mind
- CHAPTER V TRANSCENDING MIND In the beginning, there was only one state of consciousness, the spiritual, but ever since the so-called Fall, man has been divided into three states of consciousness -the material, mental, and spiritual. Spiritual consciousness, when made flesh, is the perfect, immortal body, but few of all the billions of people who have lived on this planet have achieved spiritual consciousness, very few. Instead, throughout countless generations of humanhood, the world has been living in a material and mental state of consciousness, and for the most part, all that has been known is a material sense of the world, a world in which men make their living by the sweat of their brow and in which everything they do is done by physical or mental means. Even today the world has not risen too far above that physical sense of a universe, despite the fact that in this last century more of the mental has been revealed, although revealed primarily in the sense of the mental governing the physical. Out of that has come what is known as the science of right thinking, designed to manipulate the human scene. For example, if a person does not have a home, all he has to do is to catch hold of the right thought and the home appears, or if he does not have a satisfactory companion, just a little right thinking, and the old companion vanishes and a new one appears! If he suffers from some physical discord, just a little bit of right thinking, holding the "right thoughts," and lo and behold, the diseased body disappears and the harmonious body appears in its place. Even when this sort of mental therapy is effective, and it often is, those using this technique are still left with a physical universe-a physical body, a physical companion, a physical anything subject to the laws of good and evil-and the very next day it is possible for the discords and inharmonies to begin all over again. One part of the body is healed, and then another one speaks up; the problem of supply is ...
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