1959 New York Closed Class
The Blessed I
Tape 290 Side 1
By Joel Goldsmith
Part 1 of 3
Good evening. Perhaps the lesson last night brought to your attention the fact that we are dealing in this work with you and with me as individuals. In other words, I as an individual have a life to live. I as an individual came here on earth and from that very beginning and all the way through the rest of this experience until the moment of passing on and then after that into and through whatever the next experience may be, I will exist as an individual – individual me – individual identity.
Somewhere we have come into the belief that my life can be influenced by prenatal experience, by home environment, by schools, education and later personal experience. In the human picture, that is exactly what seems to happen. There’s a strange thing, of course, that no one has ever been able to trace a particular pattern and to know what one’s early life and young experience – school and so forth – plays in the development of their lives. In other words, there is no pattern. For instance, you may have heard it said of some criminal sentenced to life or death, “well, you can’t expect anything else. He was born in the ghetto, his parents had no education, he had no education. He started out to work for a living early. This is the inevitable end of that kind of a life.” Of course that isn’t true because for every one like that out of that surrounding, there are 99 who have come out of that same surrounding and written their names in the halls of fame. There are more men who have become eligible to the Grand Street boys in New York than came out of that same neighborhood and ever got to prison. The Grand Street boys is an organization of boys who went to school at Grand Street in the Bowery – right at Chinatown, the deepest part of the ghetto. And then found their names inscribed on the halls of fame either in law, in business, in government, in medicine, in some form of fine, high accomplishment.
In exactly the same way then we have the boys or girls born into wealth, position and ending up nothing. Sometimes when that picture is presented to you, it is almost as if that were to be expected, because their parents were too rich or too popular or too something. They were spoiled, but that’s not a pattern either, because there are more boys and girls born in such circumstances who develop into prominent men and women, taking full advantage of their background – to bring it into a position of success. And so it is that there are no patterns. It is not necessarily true that because we were born into poverty and lack of education that we will turn out badly. It is not necessarily true that because we were born into wealth and opportunity that we will turn out well. We must look beyond the circumstances to see why it is that we as individuals form our own destiny.
As long as the world looks for patterns, as long as it believes that circumstances make the man, it will look in vain for the solution of life. You can take the man out of the ghetto, but you can’t always take the ghetto out of the man. It will be discovered eventually that whatever we are and whatever we become has nothing whatsoever to do with our homes, our environments, our circumstances. We ourselves as individuals determine the destiny of our lives. It is true that previous existence plays an important part in our destiny, but this only confirms the fact that it is our individual experience that determines where we go and why. In other words, it is folly to say that we are all born equal. There is no equality among us at birth. The only equality, of course, is the equality of opportunity. We may all have an equal opportunity in a country that gives us the freedom to be educated and to find employment or to use inventive skills, arts. There is a certain equality of opportunity, but that is as far as equality goes. Why? Because each one of us on coming into this world is the product of what he was before he came into this world. We have all lived from everlasting to everlasting. We all co-exist with God since the beginning of time, and we will all co-exist with God unto the end of time. For the life of God and the life of man is one life – indivisible, indistinguishable. One infinite life, immortal and eternal. This is the life we live.
End Part 1