1960 Maui Work

Tape 369 Side 2

Contemplation Develops the Beholder

By Joel Goldsmith

Part 1 of 5

Good morning.

Nice Sunday morning on Maui. Many times we, especially the younger student, is apt to believe that the spiritual way of life, the contemplative way of life—is one without discipline. And the very opposite of this is truth, because there is no life that requires more disciplining than the spiritual life. (pause)

The human life, as much as we think that it is disciplined, is more or less an undisciplined one, because no attempt is made to control the—or little attempt is made to control the nature of our thinking. We are more apt to accept everything that we see or hear, and then rejoice over what we think is good, and start to moan over what we believe to be evil.

So that, we don’t really discipline ourselves to ask, “is this as good as it appears to be” or “is this as evil as it appears to be?” But rather we accept appearances in accordance with our own judgment. And, in the spiritual way of life, that cannot be done. As a matter of fact, the entire spiritual life is built on the rejection of appearances.

In the metaphysical life, such as you have in Christian Science and Unity, New Thought: you always have the rejection of an appearance of evil, the denial of an appearance of evil, the realization of the unreal nature of all that is appearing as evil, as error.

But when you get to the spiritual life, you have to go beyond that, because you have to deny reality to that which appears good. You have to unsee the humanly good to the same extent that you have to unsee the humanly evil.

And the reason is, that spiritually discerned, “there is neither good or evil”. . . and the entire spiritual universe is built on that. “Why callest thou me good?” Or, “neither do I condemn thee.” In other words, I am not sitting in judgment on what appears to be evil, but neither am I accepting the appearance of good. Why? Because the only real is “the invisible-spiritual”. . . and that can’t be seen with the eyes, and it can’t be heard with the ears.

And therefore, the discipline on this Path lies in rejecting every appearance, whether it is good or evil, in the realization that whatever it is that is of God is invisible to the human senses.

Now the effect of that, when it is successfully accomplished, is this. If I am confronted with an appearance out here and I judge it to be “evil,” I immediately have to resist evil, or overcome evil, or destroy it, or remove it.

If, on the other hand, I am confronted with an appearance out here of human “good,” I am forced to accept it and rejoice in it. And the danger of that is, that the very thing that appears to be “good” may in and of itself be “evil,” or may change to “evil,” or its effect upon one may be “evil.”

The commonest illustration of that is that everybody would agree that a million dollars is good, or getting a million dollars is good. And yet getting a million dollars has ruined more people than it has helped. It has changed their nature, it is made them grasping—even people who have little or nothing, and who ordinarily are free and joyous and sharing it—the very moment that they have a little, begin to start hoarding it and grasping it and laying it up for a rainy day, and fearing to spend it. So that, what would appear to be good has for them turned into an evil.

And so it is. In the human picture, everyone without exception rejoices at a birth. And everyone without exception sorrows at a death. And certainly more trouble is caused in the world by birth than ever was caused by death. So, if you are going to judge from human appearances, think of the tragedies that take place, with all of this rejoicing at births. And think of the nonsense of much of the sorrowing at death.

Because strangely enough, there is just as much sorrowing when a person goes on in far advanced years, and has outlived their usefulness to themselves or to anyone else on earth. And yet, the sorrowing goes on, as if something were being lost or something were being hurt.

Now, these are but extreme illustrations of the fact that it is unwise to judge of good or evil. But spiritually it goes beyond being unwise; in the spiritual sense it becomes absolutely a wrong thing, and for this reason: there is a power that is within each and every one of us. And this power has as its function the creating, maintaining and sustaining of harmony in our existence. Or, when for any reason harmony is taken from our lives, its function is to restore it.

Now, you can follow this power or principal by following the experience of Jesus Christ through the Four Gospels. He makes it very clear that his function is “to heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the hungry, forgive the sinners”. . . that’s his mission on earth. Yet not his mission, it is “the Father that sent me, for I of my own self am nothing.”

In other words, he then is bearing witness to the Presence of God. In every demonstration, “I of my own self am doing nothing, for I of my own self am nothing, if I speak of myself I bear witness to a lie.” Therefore, it is not I who am good, it is not I who am healing—I am bearing witness to the Presence and the Power of God.

Now, how can I bear witness, except by being still? If I do anything other than be still, I can no longer say that I am doing nothing, and that I am nothing. I have become something the moment I do something.

Therefore, when I am confronted with appearances—now it makes no difference whether humanhood calls the appearance “good,” or humanhood calls the appearance “evil”—I am confronted with a human appearance. And, if I would bear witness to the Presence of God: I must do nothing, I must think nothing, and I must have no judgment; I must immediately, in order to make myself nothing, I must realize within myself, “there is neither good nor evil, there is but God.”

And now as I look out at the erroneous appearance, with no judgment, “there is neither good nor evil, there is only the Presence of God”. . . and then I’m still! And now the Father within me can perform Its function. And, Its function then is to destroy the appearance and reveal God’s Glory, HIS own BEing. So that, even though to our sense a healing appears, it isn’t really a healing—it is the destruction of the material picture and the making visible of the spiritual one.

But, there is only one way in which we can do that. And that way is to have no judgment as to good or evil in the appearance—and then let the Father within me do the work. Then and then only can we say, “I had nothing to do with this demonstration, except to bear witness to God in action.”

End Part 1