1953 FIRST PORTLAND CLASS
Joel S. Goldsmith
tape 38A – Temple Meditation (1/5)
Good Evening. We return now to the subject—self-completeness in God, and we return to the illustration of the tree. Elsewhere in the writings you will occasionally come across the statement that the I is the only devil—that is that small “I,” that personal sense of self, that which Paul tells us must die daily in order that we can be reborn of the Spirit.
It is this little I, which we know as I, Joel or I, Mary that is trying to live its own life, or is trying to live a life of its own, and it says I, Joel will do this, or I, Joel would like to do that. I wish I could do this. If only I had that. I would like to be here. I would like to be there. Oh, if I could just heal people or teach them spiritual truth, or if only I were successful or if I knew what to do next. I, I, I, I.
And all of this time there is an I that will live our lives for us joyously, successfully, prosperously, abundantly, if only we could give up I, Joel and let I, God take over.
Again Paul, I live, yet not I. Christ liveth in me.
If only we could give up that personal sense of I and let this other I, the Christ of us, the real being, take over and live it for us.
We know now that it can be done. We know that there have been great religious teachers, leaders, who have accomplished just that—given up their personal sense of life in order that the I, their real being, could live Its life for them. And we know that some of them have given us a chart so that we can plot our course along that same line.
One of these was the Master, Christ Jesus, and he reveals that, I can of my own self, do nothing. The Father within me He doeth the work…If I speak of myself I speak a lie, I bear witness to a lie…My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. Or Paul, I can do all things through Christ.
Many others have revealed this same ability to drop that personal sense of self and let this divine self come through. When they do, they find a statement coming to them, way down deep within them, that says: I Am come that ye might be fulfilled.
I, this I at the center of our being, which is really God, or the Christ man—this says to Joel, I Am come that ye, Joel, might be fulfilled…so ye, Joel take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed. I, your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of these things, and it is My good pleasure to give you the kingdom… I will never leave you nor forsake you… Whithersoever thou goest I will go… I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
All of this comes not from a book, not from scripture, not from a Bible, not from a man who lived two thousand years ago. All of this comes from way down deep within your own being, in proportion as you learn to listen for that still, small voice.
In this particular state of our being, let us assume that we are a branch on the tree, and that as a branch we are concerned about bringing forth fruit. I don’t have to tell you what happens. It just can’t be, because a branch, of itself, cannot bring forth fruit. And yet, ye are the branches. And yet, ye are trying to live your own lives—trying to plan for tomorrow, trying to scheme, trying to save, trying to think, trying to worry and be concerned about tomorrow, and ye are the branches.
How can you do that? In and of yourselves you can’t live at all. Only by virtue of the fact that you are one with the vine can you live, and then you can only live harmoniously if you can relax and let the vine pour through to you the essence, the substance, the life that later becomes the flower and the fruit on the branch.
From that standpoint then, any one of us can, at least begin to die daily, to give up that personal sense of responsibility, just by leaning back and think of the vine that is feeding us, instead of continuing to believe that I must take thought for myself, that I must worry and fret and be concerned and have anxiety for myself. Or you say: “Ah, I have no anxiety for myself. I’m thinking of my family.” Yes, you’re thinking of the other branches on the tree, forgetting that they are at-one with the same vine. Is your family dependent upon you then, or upon their connection, their contact, their oneness with the vine? And so, even if you have concern or fear for your family, are you not infringing upon the activity of the vine, and trying to assume its obligations, its place in your life and in the life of your family.
And you say, “Ah, but my family are not interested in truth.” Who cares whether your family is interested in truth, surely not God, surely not the Christ. The Christ doesn’t ask anyone to be interested in truth. It doesn’t even ask them to be good or bad or kind or generous or loving. It lays down no laws.
The vine is the avenue through which the Husbandman, the Father, God pours forth Its good to the branch, and It says that His rain falls on the just and the unjust.
And so to believe that it makes a particle of difference to God whether or not your family are interested in truth is to concern yourself with that which the Father never thought of.
Your heavenly Father knoweth that your family has need of these things, and it is your Father’s good pleasure to give them the kingdom. Your Father knoweth that your patients and your students have need of these things, and it is your Father’s good pleasure to give them the kingdom.
Only what is the Father? Ah, it is on that point that we must be clear in order that we may live the abundant life. I Am come that ye may have life, and that ye might have it more abundantly.
And so, in order to live that life, we must know, first of all that we, as the branch are always at-one with the invisible vine, and that It, in turn, is drawing from the infinite source of the Father, and yet the branch and the vine and the Father are one. Right here where I am is holy ground. It is the all of the Godhead and all of my individual being. In this awareness, in this understanding, you begin to relax. You begin to let go. You begin to let the Father reveal Itself, reveal Its plan for you, Its nature, Its activity for you.
God, the Father is infinite, and that infinity is manifest through one as a minister, a physician, a lawyer, a nurse, a teacher, a healer, but it is not of your choosing.
The Father, being infinite, manifests Itself infinitely, and we play the part that is assigned to us today. It may be a business man. It may be a house wife, a mother, but there is no use of trying to take the word I and move it out of its orbit.
You might as well try to reach up and take a star out of its orbit. You have no right to interfere with the divine plan, and so you begin with where you are and agree that where you are is alright. That is holy ground.
It doesn’t make any difference—many people have had to find it in prison, in hospitals, and begin with the realization, “The place where I am is alright. The place where I am is holy ground,” and not try to move themselves out, but begin right there to let God take over, and let God move them out.