The Joel Goldsmith Reader: Get Thee Hence Satan
- "Get Thee Hence, Satan" It took a really great mystic to discover the secret of impersonal evil and devise the name "devil" or "Satan" for it. This devil or Satan, as it was first conceived, did not mean an opponent of God; it had no such meaning at all. Instead, it meant something in the nature of a tempter-not a power or a person, but a tempter offering temptation. The evil is never in us; it is the tempter that tempts us into sin, disease, death, lack, and limitation, and this tempter should be recognized at all times as the impersonal source of evil. When the devil stood before Jesus in the wilderness tempting him to turn the stones into bread, Jesus answered, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." 1 Again Satan tempted the Master to cast himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, and Jesus' answer was, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." 2 Once more Satan offered him temptation in the form of worldly glory, and to this, Jesus replied, "Get thee hence, Satan." 3 With this recognition of the devil as the impersonal source of evil, Satan left him. From then on what do we hear about Satan as far as the Master is concerned? He does not appear any more. He seems to have faded out, right there and then. With that "Get thee hence, Satan," Satan is no more. The Master is alone, alone with God, consciously one with God, the victor, with full dominion. But the tempter, the devil, is gone; the temptation is gone. Temptation Always Appears as a Person or a Condition Every need for help for yourself or any call for help that comes from someone else should be recognized as a temptation, a temptation to be rejected. Even if it should be someone close to a hundred years, suffering from old age, remember that the claim of age has to do merely with the calendar. The calendar affects us only if we accept it, keep looking at it every day, and wondering what story it tells, instead of proving how impersonal it can be ...
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The World Is New: Chapter 16, The Universality of God
- ~ 16 ~ THE UNIVERSALITY OF GOD THE TWELFTH CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL according to John opens with the Master coming to Bethany, where a supper has been prepared for him by Mary, the sister of Lazarus, whom Jesus had just raised from the dead. Naturally, the little town is very much excited about Lazarus being raised from the dead-Lazarus present with them now and even eating supper after having been dead and in the tomb. We might well imagine that this occasion was one for rejoicing, for happiness and a real celebration, but that is only because we want to believe that the whole world is seeking truth and wants to see the dead raised to life and sinners reformed. The world as a world does not really like such things; it harbors an unconscious resentment toward those who have any desire to improve it. And so, the first murmurings of discontent are heard, and soon these murmurings become more than murmurs, rising to greater heights. This, the Master fully realized when he prophesied the trouble that lay ahead: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24 Here is the very principle on which The Infinite Way unfoldment is based. Translating that into our language of today, it means this: Unless we die to our humanhood, we cannot be reborn of the Spirit, nor can we bring forth spiritual fruit while continuing to live as human beings. Most people do not have any real understanding of what living the spiritual life means, and so when they first start out on the spiritual path they usually feel this way: "I am a human being, one who knows nothing of God, and I am sick. My desire is to be a human being who knows something about God, and who is well." They seem content to stay on the level of demonstration, wanting to be free of all their human discords, wanting to acquire all the good human things of life, and to continuing merrily on their human way to the age of ...
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 8, Not Good or Evil
- CHAPTER 8 Not Good or Evil I SUPPOSE THAT if we have a hard job to do, we might as well do it first. Let's get to the most difficult part of our work at once. Those of you who are familiar with religious literature or metaphysical literature know that all spiritual living is based on the overcoming of self; what Paul calls dying daily, being reborn of the Spirit. The religious literature of the world is in agreement that the only devil there is, is ourselves. By "ourselves" I mean my Joel self, your Bill self, your Mary self. It is that part of you or me which insists on being catered to, that part of us which can have hurt feelings or hurt bodies, that part of us which can have fears one day and joys another day. Now ordinarily in our physical world, you think it is quite enough if you can get rid of negative aspects of yourself. That is, you want to overcome your bad traits, sins, diseases, and the like, and hold on to all the good ones. That, in ordinary religion, is the hope. You stop being a bad human and begin becoming a good one. You stop being sick and become well. You stop your bad temper and have a good temper. However, that has no relationship to true religion or a spiritual way of life. In the spiritual way of life, you don't have any good world any more than you have a bad world. If anyone accuses you of having a good world, you say with the Master, Why callest thou me good? There is only One good." If they complain about the bad one, You can say with Paul, "The good I would, I do not, not because I am bad, but because I find a bad power in me." So we unload our bad only on the condition that we don't try to retain good, since that would only make us little better than good church-members. Of course, in our lifetime, church-and especially the right sense of church- can be a great blessing to us. For instance, we are in church whenever we are assembled in a place for the purpose of communion with God, where two or more can be together as spiritual ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: January 1958, Spiritual Unfoldment Through The Study of The Infinite Way
- CHAPTER ONE: JANUARY Spiritual Unfoldment Through the Study of the Infinite Way UNLESS spiritual teaching uses the letter of truth as a foundation upon which to build, it frequently results in a blind faith in some kind of a power outside of ourselves, a power that we expect and hope will do something for us. An understanding of spiritual principles is gained, first, by learning the letter of truth and, then, by applying it to the everyday problems of human existence-to our human relationships and to our headaches, corns, bunions, and simple colds. Eventually, we shall learn to apply these principles to the major problems of individual existence and finally come to the realization that these principles, if accepted, would operate in national and international affairs. Merely as statements, truth is of no avail, but as we live with the letter of truth and continually abide in it, one day there comes a transitional experience. The mind is no longer repeating words, but words are coming to our awareness from within. The Bible, the writings of The Infinite Way, the tape recordings, the tape recording meetings, and the class work, if properly utilized, serve a twofold purpose. First, these implant the letter of truth in the mind and then they become the instruments by which truth becomes conscious awareness, a feeling in the heart. In the early stages of the development of spiritual consciousness, you fill yourself with truth by reading, by listening to recordings and attending tape recording meetings, by individual study with a teacher who had gone a step beyond you, and by attendance at classes. The more inspirational literature you read, the more classes you attend, and the more recordings you hear, the more does your thought become spiritualized, and the clearer transparency for truth do you become. Regardless of what path you may be following, you will find that there are certain disciplines to be observed : there is work to be done; there are periods when it is ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: November 1957, Gratitude
- CHAPTER ELEVEN: NOVEMBER Gratitude FEW people understand the nature of gratitude. Just what is gratitude? Are human beings capable of gratitude? Actually, we should not expect gratitude from a person, and if we do expect it, we shall be disappointed because gratitude is beyond the capacity of a human being. Many people believe that money and gratitude are synonymous, but in reality, they have no relationship to each other. There are times when money can be a symbol of gratitude, but it is a mistake to tie them together because gratitude goes far beyond money. For example, if we should ask a practitioner for help for a headache and attempted to express our gratitude in a monetary form, we might well believe that a nominal payment would be a sufficient expression of gratitude; but on the other hand, if we were healed of a cancer, we might feel that even if we took our last dollar and ran into debt besides, it would be a very small token of gratitude for such a healing. In both cases, we would be wrong, because gratitude for spiritual healing has no relationship at all to what has been healed. Spiritual healing can only come through a realization of God. It can only take place when an individual has so dedicated himself to spiritual living that he becomes a transparency through which God can act; and when the Spirit of God flows through an individual, that Spirit of God can heal the headache or the cancer. There should be no difference in the degree of gratitude in either case because our gratitude should not be merely for the healing of a headache or for the healing of a cancer. No, we should be grateful because we have been privileged to be a living witness to the fact that God is as available on earth today as He was two thousand years ago. How, then, can we be more grateful for the presence of God in one case than in another? The world at large does not have access to God because it has cut itself off from contact with God. Many people believe that if they go to ...
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The World Is New: Chapter 3, Essentials of Healing
- ~ 3 ~ ESSENTIALS OF HEALING THERE CANNOT BE THE PRESENCE OF GOD and the absence of any quality of God, or the presence of any quality that is not of God. Anything unlike God is only an appearance or a suggestion of a selfhood or activity separate and apart from God. For example, if we see any evidence of error-drunkenness, immorality, accident, sin, or disease-let us translate that immediately into the word suggestion or the word appearance. If we do this, we will have taken a big step forward because, whatever the appearance, it does not exist as an actual condition, it does not exist as a thing or a person. It exists only as a false appearance, and when we recognize it as that, it disappears. We have thereby seen through it and destroyed it because its only reality lay in our believing it to be something or someone. Whenever, then, error presents itself to us as some person or some thing, if we are quick and alert and realize that it is neither a thing nor a person, that it is nothing but a suggestion of a selfhood apart from God, an illusory picture, so quickly will it be met that the sick person will jump to his feet and the drunken one will become sober. When a call for help comes, just to recognize that this is neither a person, a thing, nor a condition, but only a suggestion, which we are not going to accept, ends it. It is in this immediate recognition that instantaneous healings come. An instantaneous healing will not take place if the practitioner first looks upon the problem as a person, thing, or condition. The only way the illusion can be dispelled is to recognize instantly that we are dealing with appearance or suggestion. When we look at the streetcar tracks in the distance and see them converging, that is not a condition, and nobody has to pray or give a treatment. All we are called upon to do is to recognize that this is only an appearance. So also, the sky does not sit on the mountain. This exists not as an actual condition to be met, but only as a ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XVII, The Mystical Life Through the Two Great Commandments
- CHAPTER XVII THE MYSTICAL LIFE THROUGH THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS The first stage of our spiritual unfoldment is an experience of coming more and more into a conviction of the Presence and Its availability in all circumstances and conditions. Simultaneously with this growing assurance, we also become aware of how much we are failing to live up to the stature of manhood in Christ Jesus and how far short we come even from measuring up to the Ten Commandments. Realizing the presence of God and tabernacling with Him awakens us to our failings, and it is at this point that we enter the second stage of our spiritual life. Here it is that we begin consciously to try to live up to the Commandments, particularly those we have most failed to observe. It is not too hard for us to discover the degree of envy and jealousy that may be lurking in us, the bias and bigotry, the little lyings and deceits, the hypocrisies. These all come to light because the more we bring the word of God into our consciousness, the more we expose our own lack of godliness. This forcibly brings to our attention the necessity of developing a greater ethical and moral sense. In this second stage of our unfoldment, therefore, we earnestly try to live up to our highest sense of right, depending on the presence of God to help us and relying on the inner Invisible to lift us to a higher degree of humanhood. We begin to think more about being benevolent and charitable, and about practicing brotherhood. Not only do we recognize the importance of caring for our own families and those needing help in our community, but we begin to think in terms of people in foreign countries, of aid for the distressed, or of providing education for those who at the moment cannot afford it. We turn our thought in the direction of living for others, helping them, and of bringing about better human relationships between management and labor or between members of different religious denominations. All this is an attempt to make the ...
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Consciousness Is What I Am: Chapter 1, The Dedicated Consciousness
- ~ 1 ~ THE DEDICATED CONSCIOUSNESS There are two kinds of people on earth: the illumined and the unillumined, or to put it another way, the living and the walking dead. The living are drawing forth life from the Source and at least in a measure have dedicated themselves to some purpose. The walking dead are living an animal form of life, not drawing forth life or inspiration from anything but what can be found in the air or food. No one really lives, however, until he has found something greater than himself, something to which he permits his life to be dedicated. If this is true, why are there not more persons of dedicated consciousness? Because dedication comes as the grace of God. No one can seek it. He may desire it, but that is as far as he can go. No one can strive or struggle for it because it is not won that way. It comes as Grace, and that Grace comes when something of a spiritual nature is introduced into the consciousness of an individual. He must learn how to open his consciousness to the inflow of the Spirit and make it a matter of praying without ceasing, not just a period in the morning before starting out to work, but one of continuous dedication to a spiritual purpose. At some time in our experience, it is necessary to make a choice as to whether or not the spiritual goal is worth striving for. If we decide it is worthwhile, we will make some effort toward that consecration. But our effort will lead us to the point where we recognize the futility of our own efforts and realize that unless we have been dedicated by God, all our self-dedication will come to a very quick end. We have to make the decision to practice principles of spiritual living and to remember them consciously. Then, as time goes on, this practice provides the preparation for the entrance of God into our consciousness. OPENING CONSCIOUSNESS TO GOD'S DEDICATION In our spiritual ignorance, we did not know that from the beginning the spiritual Presence has been standing at the door of ...
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God Formed Us For His Glory: Chapter 9, The Inner Meaning of Living the Spiritual Life
- ... But whether or not we have nothing but success, we will not know the complete satisfaction and permanence that comes by admitting the Christ into our experience, because then under all conditions and circumstances we can rest in peace, knowing that the invisible God is on the scene. Attaining Continuous Conscious Awareness of the Presence We meet every situation in our experience with some spiritual or scriptural passage. We may have something to do tomorrow that at first thought looks like a hard job or even beyond us, too difficult to tackle or requiring too much of us. We are taught to turn within for some spiritual or scriptural passage that will help us meet that situation. With an assurance such as, "He performeth the thing that is appointed for me" or "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me," we are able to drop our responsibility, because we have admitted God, the Christ, into our experience. Let us suppose we are facing some situation where more money is demanded of us than we think we have or can afford to use, something requiring more strength than we think we have, or something requiring more patience, more kindness, more tolerance, or more forgiveness. Something more is going to be demanded of us than we feel we have, so we turn to another biblical passage and remember, "My grace is sufficient for thee,"8 and we will meet this situation not with money, with strength, or with advice, but with God's grace. The secret of spiritual living consists in the ability to attain the consciousness of this invisible presence until It becomes so alive and so real in us that It is as real as our right hand, as real as our checkbook or pocketbook, as real as anything in the physical realm. Those who attain this realization always have the awareness of an abiding presence. It appears in different ways, and each one realizes it in some different way, but always there is an assurance that there is something more here than we are immediately aware of. That ...
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Living Now: Chapter 5, God-Endowed Dominion
- ~ 5 ~ GOD-ENDOWED DOMINION The healing principles of the Infinite Way differ so radically from those found in other teachings that students who want to be successful in the practice of Infinite Way healing should work only from the standpoint of what has been given to them in this work. There are some teachings in which the practitioner endeavors to find the error that is causing the trouble and identify it with the patient. This practice is called "uncovering the error," and assumes that there is some erroneous thought in the patient, which is producing his particular disease. Early in my practice I discovered that this was not true. Evil does not originate in the patient's thought, although he may permit himself to become an outlet for it. All evil of any nature, whether it is sin, false appetite, disease, lack, or limitation, has its origin in the universal or carnal mind. The moment a practitioner knows this, he begins to set his patient free. Instead of pinning some error on to him and fastening it to him, he immediately realizes, "This does not have its origin in a person: it has its origin in the universal or carnal mind." Recognize the God in Everyone If I sit on a class or lecture platform in front of an audience, thinking that everyone in that group is the child of God with the mind of God and the Soul of God and that only God lives and works in and through him, what happens? Even though the members of the class or audience do not know that this silent realization of their true spiritual nature and origin is going on, they begin to respond to the truth about them. They do not know why, but they rejoice inwardly because I am seeing them as they are in their real nature, seeing their real Self, seeing behind the human masquerade. If, on the other hand, I were to sit on that platform and criticize the persons in the audience, resent or judge them after human standards, they would begin to twist and squirm and feel uncomfortable. Why? Because I would be ...
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