1961 Maui Work
Tape 392, Side 1
“I” SPEAKS UNTO ME
By Joel Goldsmith
Part 1 of 4
Within each one of us, there is a Presence, there is a Spirit—there is something more real than we are, with vision beyond ours. And it is, to use Paul’s words, living our lives for us.
It is true that too often because we are not aware of this Presence, we determine to live our own lives; we make our own decisions; we rely on our own wisdom, judgment, or strength. But, it is only because we have not yet come into the actual experience of this that is within us. Whereas the Master called it the Father within me, and Paul called it the Christ that dwells in me, it is known in the Scripture of the world as a Presence or a Spirit.
Before It makes Itself known in our experience, there comes a period in which we recognize that It exists. On the metaphysical and sometimes on the spiritual path, the student can only believe this because it is told to him. It is told to him by a teacher who has experienced It, or because they have read in the Scriptural writings of the world that It exists. In one way or another, regardless of how it is brought to our attention, it must first of all come that there is a Presence within me, a He that is within me that is greater than he that is in the world, a Spirit.
And with this knowledge comes the continuous recognition that It abides within me; that It goes before me to make the crooked places straight; that It walks beside me; that It is my vision, that It is my wisdom, that It is my guidance and my direction. And there must be an abiding in that truth until the experience itself comes to light, or comes to our conscious awareness.
When It does, It speaks very much as you imagine the Master speaking: Fear not I am with you . . . I will never leave thee nor forsake thee . . . I will be with thee unto the end of the world. It speaks very often in the word I: Be not afraid, it is I; be not afraid, it is I. And, It continually brings to our awareness the fact that we are not walking the earth alone.
We speak often of the fact that the human appearance presents to us the life of duality, and therefore, we feel sometimes that when we acknowledge God in us, or the Christ indwelling, that we also are indulging duality or two-ness—but this is not true. It cannot be logically explained any more than God can be explained to anyone. But it is a truth that although there is this I within us, this Presence of God, it does not make for duality because It is actually the Self of my being. But because It is, It is the Self of your being.
Now, this Self which I am, this Self which I am even when you declare it—I and It are one, but It is greater than I. Can you not see that that which is invisible and that can be the source of your inspiration, the source of your life, the cause and the creative principle of your life even though you are one with It, It is greater than you—in the same sense, perhaps, that we speak of the branch of the tree and the tree as if they were two? But a branch of a tree and a tree is not two; they are just one; they are one tree. And the word tree includes branch. So the word God includes individual being, just like the whole tree includes branch—not something separate and apart from itself.
There is no such thing as the life of a branch, and the life of a vine or life of a trunk of the tree. There’s no such thing as the life of a tree and the life of a branch of a tree. The life of the tree is the life of the branch, as long as they’re one. It is only when the branch is separated from the tree that the branch now has a life of its own—but it is one that is withering. From the moment it is separated from the tree that life is withering. And so, the human being that sees himself separate and apart from God is withering toward that threescore years and ten, a few years less or a few years more—but always withering toward that end.
As a matter of fact, one thing everyone must learn is the adjustment that must take place in the life of every individual as this thing called time goes on, in the realization that for every child that’s born, remember, there is also someone passing on. The very fact of birth makes inevitable the passing on. Therefore, everyone must eventually make an adjustment to the realization that they will not always have their friends, their relatives, their parents, and their children because in the human scheme of life, where the human lives as a branch separate from the tree, the very birth is the forerunner of the death that is to come.
Now there is only one way in which this can be overcome, and that is in the realization that since we are a branch of the tree, one with the tree, we have no life, no branch life, no life that has a beginning, no life that has an ending—we have the infinite and eternal life of the tree, the immortal life of the whole tree. And, because of our relation to the tree, a branch that is one with the tree, we have no personal responsibility, no personal life—we have that life, the life that is God.
Therefore a branch could say, “I and the tree are one, but the tree is greater than I.” And so can we say, “I am one with the life which is God, yet the life which is God is greater than any of its branches; it’s even greater than the sum total of all of its branches.”
To bring this relationship into active expression in our lives there must be a specific act. When the Prodigal realized his situation, separate and apart from his father; when he realized what his desire to be something of himself had brought him to, then we learn he got up and went to his father’s house. He got up and he started the journey back to the father’s house. He did not continue sitting there; he got up and started back.
There comes a moment in our lives when we realize that we have lived as human beings cut off from God, from our source; that we have been the branch, separate and apart from the tree of life. And, when we realize that, we perform an act—the act that is described in scripture as: Repent, or turn ye and live. It is an act like the Prodigal’s, in which we consciously make an about-face and declare: “I and the Father are one, I and the Father are one; I am now returning consciously to the realization of my true identity.”
My true identity is as a branch of a tree is to the tree, as the Son of God is to God, Father and Son, yet one in the sense that there is only the one life, the one mind, the one spirit, the one soul, the one intelligence, the one eternality, the one immortality.
And having taken that step of consciously declaring, “I have been living separate and apart from God. I have been living the life of a human being. I have been living by bread, by food, by water, by air. I have been living by external means, and now I return to the Father’s house. I realize consciously that from now on I shall be fed from that eternal spring that is within me; I shall be fed by the bread of life, the staff of life which I am, which the source and central being of me is. I shall draw from within me, from my Father’s storehouse. I will abide in the truth: All that God is I am. . . . All that the Father hath is mine. . . . Here where I am God is.
And as I abide in this, there comes an experience. It may come with that assurance from within: “I have never left thee . . . I have never been separate or apart from thee . . . I have walked with thee every step of the way, awaiting thy recognition . . . long have I sought thee, O Jerusalem. But the voice says to us: Long have I awaited thee, long have I awaited thy wakening, long have I waited thy return, long have I awaited thy recognition.”
See to it now—look within and find me, for I am within thee, closer to thee than breathing. I am the very fabric of thy life. I am the very source of thy life. And, the headaches you have known, the problems you have suffered, all of these have been only because of this sense of separation, which has kept your gaze in the outer realm instead of compelling you to turn it within where I am.
I am to be found within you; I am to be found within thy consciousness, within thy awareness. I am to be found in quietness, in stillness, in confidence. In quietness and in confidence shalt thou realize that I in the midst of thee am mighty. In quietness and confidence thou shalt realize: Be not afraid. . . . They have only the arm of flesh, carnal weapons. . . . I in the midst of thee am mighty, and I will never leave thee nor forsake thee—only, be not afraid, be not afraid.
Yes, it goes a step further; it goes a step further. And it reveals that I also—the I that is speaking to me—is the I of that army that is marching against me. The I that is my abiding place, my dwelling place, is the I of your being—you my friends or you my foes. And I dwell in you, and I dwell in them. As I dwell in thee, so do I dwell in them; so do I dwell in all.
End Part 1