Infinite Way Letter
By Joel Goldsmith
Part 1 of 6
Meditation For Beginners
Few people believe in God. Most people are convinced that there is a God, or that there is a divine Power of some sort, but they are not sure just what It is. There was a time when they were content to believe that there was a God in Heaven whom they would meet after death, but in this practical age, particularly, too many are satisfied with that kind of a God. In this present age, the cry is that in spite of all the great mechanical and material advancement in the world, very little progress has been made in the way of spiritual development and unfoldment. Actually, this is not true, because every bit of this mechanical and material development is really the outward expression of inward spiritual power. Our greatest inventors, discoverers and scientists have all been spiritually endowed men; men who have lived close to God, and who have had actual God-contact. Many of the greatest physicists of today are in complete agreement not only that God is a reality, but that God is evident in our human world.
All through the ages there have been spiritually endowed men and women who have had conscious contact with God, who have known conscious union with God, and who have brought this Presence and Power into their actual experience. Always there has been a Lao Tse, a Buddha, a Jesus, a John, a Paul, but none of them ever had wide followings very far beyond their personal circle. None of them were ever widely known, nor their teachings widely practiced—not during their own times or for long periods thereafter.
Every one of these great spiritual leaders is in agreement on these basic principles and teaching: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you; Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not commit adultery; Thou shalt have one God. They did not teach that we all be of the same race, color or creed—they taught the principles of live, let live; love, share, co-operate. If the several hundred million who profess the teachings of Lao Tse, Buddha or Jesus really practiced and lived them, there could never be a war. Later, as the teachings of the great spiritual masters were organized, the religious forms and ceremonies were practiced, but not the original religions. It is for this reason that the world has gone downward, morally and spiritually, to where today nine-tenths of the world is at war, actually or potentially. This represents the degree in which mankind has become separated from the God-power or God –presence which has been revealed through these great mystics as possible to all men.
The questions that are occupying the thoughts of people all over the world today are: How can we make God available in our experience? How can we bring the God-power to us as, for instance, did Jesus in healing the sick, raising the dead, feeding the poor? How can we make the Presence and Power of God practical in our experience, so as to have a principle with which to work which will enable us to rise above the level of human existence?
We begin to understand how this is accomplished through some of the revelations of these spiritual masters. We are taught by the Master Christian that the kingdom of God, the Presence and Power of God is within you. Jesus called this Presence and Power “Father,” and He said, “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” Paul, using a different term, said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” It makes no difference what you call this power—God, Father, or the Christ, by whatever name you call It, It is to be found within you!
The kingdom of God is within you, not in churches nor in organizations, not in holy mountains nor yet in the temple at Jerusalem, and if we would really believe this great wisdom it would be enough to cause us to leave the world for a season until such time as we could reach, touch and respond to the Father within. Then, when we had made our God-contact, it would be revealed that the whole of the Godhead is to be found within our individual being.
The sure method of making that contact was discovered, many, many centuries ago, through the practice of meditation. The enlightened and educated peoples of India, China, Japan and other Oriental countries learned how to retire into meditation, and there find peace, harmony and joy, even in the midst of world tribulation. In the eighteenth century the Quakers brought meditation into this country, but the Occidental teachings did not accept it, and so it did not spread beyond their own groups. Meditation is the way to contact the Presence and Power within each individual so as to bring forth this Power of God into expression, into manifestation and into evidence. The question naturally arises: For one who has not learned the art of inner silence, how is meditation accomplished?
The ultimate of meditation is attaining a state of complete silence within. This is not simple of accomplishment because there is no way to stop thought. However, there is a way of meditating which eventually will lead to all thought ceasing of its own accord, leaving one in a sublime state of inner quiet in which come only those thoughts which emanate from God. There are many, many ways of meditating, but, for the beginner in meditation, it is important to avoid trying to accomplish something beyond his immediate understanding. In order to mediate without losing the thread, and without permitting disturbing extraneous thoughts to enter, the mode of contemplative meditation is simple, and will lead one, step by step, into the higher forms of meditation. Even before that it will result in an inner experience that will be one’s assurance that the inner contact has been made.
End Part 1