1960 Maui Work
Tape 369 Side 1
Purpose, Method, Attainment of the Contemplative Life
By – Joel Goldsmith
Part 1 of 5
Now, we are working this week with the subject of “the contemplative way of life.” And you will recall that there is a specific function of “the contemplative way of life,” there is a specific purpose for it. It is not something that one begins to live with for no reason, it isn’t something that one arbitrarily wants. It is a specific way of life that has a specific purpose, and it also has a specific method of application, or introduction into consciousness.
First let us come to the function. Ordinarily as human beings we have very little control over our lives, over our destinies. We are subject for instance to government, we are subject to weather, we are subject to climate, we are subject to sometimes the limitations of our communities, we may be subject to the limitations of education—we may not have sufficient education for the needs of an era like this.
We find, as we live our adult life, that so many circumstances outside of us and beyond our control govern our lives—that it is almost ludicrous to say that we are masters of our own fate. But it has been discovered throughout all time, and introduced now in our world—that this need not be so. In other words, an individual need not be a victim of circumstances beyond his own control, he need not live as the object of the evils of life.
In other words, because a thousand may fall at my left and ten thousand may fall at my right, it does not necessarily have to come near my dwelling place—but I am the only one who can prevent it. It isn’t something that you can do for me, or my parents, or my family, or my children—it is something that I alone can do.
And in the 91st Psalm it gives an inkling, it says, “if you abide, if you live, if you dwell—in the secret place of the Most High.” And the important word there is “you,” if “you”. . . it isn’t what your parents did or don’t or didn’t do, it isn’t what your children do or don’t do, it is—or what your neighbors do or don’t do: it is what you do, and if you dwell in the secret place of the Most High.
Now the Master Christ Jesus gives us the same formula in the 15th chapter of John: “if you abide in the Word and let the Word abide in you, you will bear fruit richly; if you do not abide in the Word or let the Word abide in you, you will be as a branch of a tree that is cut off and withereth.” And always the emphasis is on “you!”
Now it has nothing to do with what your community does, and it has nothing to do with what the times or conditions of the world may be—it has to do always with “you.” That is why the Master was the “great individualist”. . . he did not believe in collective anything. As a matter of fact he didn’t organize any collection of members, he didn’t organize any group of people—he merely told the Truth or preached the Truth to anyone who would listen. And always he would say “you”. . . “if you abide in this word, such and such will happen.” “But if you do not abide in this word, such and such will not happen.” And so the responsibility was always on “you.”
Again, he never taught that the Truth would make us free—he taught that “ye shall know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.” But first there comes the “ye”. . . ye shall know the Truth. You can’t sit in a group and expect to be set free, except that whether you’re alone or in a group, that you are accepting the responsibility of “ye”. . . “ye shall know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.”
Now, the reason for all of this is that life is strictly individual: each one of us comes into this world alone, each one of us goes out alone, each one of us is responsible for every step of the way alone.
That is why in some families we have successes and we have failures, and mediocrity. And in other families we have all successes, and in other families all failures, [all] other families all mediocrity, is why in some families we have successes and we have failures, and mediocrity. And in other families we have all successes, and in other families all failures, [all] other families all mediocrity.
And the reason is that there isn’t this “ye,” this “ye” is not recognized. What you do determines your fate, not because you belong to a member of a family. Sometimes to being a member of some families proves disastrous, even when it would seem that it should prove beneficial.
Now, it has been known since the most ancient of days that all of the God-power resides, has its abiding place “within you;” that you do not find God-presence and God-power in holy mountains, nor in temples—because, “the Kingdom of God is neither Lo here nor Lo there, it is within you.” Therefore, it is “from within” you that you have to bring it forth.
It is for this reason that there are members of the Hebrew faith, the Protestant faith, the Catholic faith, the Vedantist, the Taoist, the Buddhist who have achieved spiritual illumination and realization—showing that it is no respecter of one church or another, that it is to be found in any church, or none—depending on what the individual in the church chooses to do. In other words, there is enough Truth in any and in every religion to bring illumination to those who are determined to find it there.
Well it is the same way in our fraternal organizations, in this very one. There is enough Truth in masonry to provide anyone not only with a religion, or a way of life—but any degree of success in life that they may want. But it doesn’t mean that all masons achieve it. Because, they will not all put into the work that which must be put in, in order to draw out the fruitage.
All of these teachings, more especially those of Christianity, masonry—all have their origin in the same schools of Wisdom, they all had their beginning in the same place. These schools were in Egypt, went across to Greece, and from Greece across to the Holy Land. And out of this combination of schools has come all of the religion, as we know it, in the West.
End Part 1