1953 FIRST NEW YORK LECTURE SERIES
Joel S Goldsmith
43:A The Word Within (1/4)
To those who are not familiar with our work I would like to speak for a moment about this meditation period which begins all of our work. Before we have a lecture, before we have a class, we have a period of meditation. Before our class work we have full fifteen minutes of meditation. And during the class work we have anywhere from one to three or four more periods of meditation.
Meditation is the real secret behind all of the work that we do in the message of The Infinite Way. It is the basis of the work and whatever measure of success has come to The Infinite Way or to the students of The Infinite Way in their lives is due primarily to the periods of meditation; much more so than to any knowledge of truth that we have.
The knowledge of truth, the letter of truth is a really wonderful thing. It’s a marvellous thing to know the great wisdoms that have come down to us through the ages through great prophets, saints, seers and sages. It is a most wonderful thing to realize the depth of wisdom that has come to human consciousness from God, from the great universal soul to individual consciousness first, and then to us as mankind.
But this wisdom is the least of all. This wisdom is only a tiny measure of what is necessary for good living, spiritual living, harmonious living. More than all the wisdom that has ever been known is the spirit itself, the actual consciousness or awareness of this inner peace. It is for this reason that in our work we have found the great benefit of not seeking health or supply or happiness or home or companionship. As a matter of fact we have found that these are very difficult to attain, almost impossible to attain until we have given up the effort to attain them.
In giving up the effort to produce out of thin air, out of what we sometimes call God, the good things of life and in turning to a realization of God Itself we have found the answer to almost every problem that has arisen. The answer to every problem is in that practice of the presence of God, that realization of the presence of God. And our failure to attain the complete demonstration of harmony is due only to our failure to attain the complete realization of God. In proportion as we attain the realization of God, in proportion as we attain some measure of this inner peace, this awareness of an inner presence, in that proportion do the discords and inharmonies of existence fall away from us.
Now, it is for that reason that meditation becomes so important in our work. Let us see it in this wise: The kingdom of God is within you. The kingdom of God, a poet has told us, is closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet. Every sage, every prophet, every great spiritual light has revealed this truth of the allness of perfect being, the allness of divine power within you, within me, within our individual being.
Now, as humans we haven’t found that. As humans we haven’t found the kingdom of God. As humans we have not contacted that divine presence and the very lack of that has caused us to be humans and to have all of the discords, all of the inharmonies of human existence. These discords and inharmonies disappear in proportion as we touch that realm within our own being.
How are we to attain the realization of this kingdom within unless we can become silent enough, still enough to touch it, to feel it, even to hear the still small voice? It is within us; there’s no doubt of that. But until we become still enough to hear the still small voice, silent enough, quiet enough to feel that inner peace, there is no contact. And so to us, meditation becomes the way. Meditation becomes the means through which we come into the feeling, the actual experience of the presence of God. And that brings us to our important word experience.
Reading about God is far from experiencing God. Hearing about God is just as far removed. Only the experience itself of God brings the kingdom of God, the power of God, the presence of God into our lives. Please let us be clear about that. Hearing about God and reading about God is not the secret of life. These are steps leading up to the experience.
Hearing about God, talking about God, reading about God – these are steps leading to the experience of God. But if our religion, if our religious life leaves us at a point of merely reading about God, studying about God and hearing about God, it then leaves us half-way to heaven; leaves us without the experience that is necessary for the harmonies to be made evident in our experience.
God is not something to be talked about merely, nor read about. God is an actuality. God is real being. God is life. God is love. God is spirit. But this is real; this is as real as your very presence here or mine. And until we become consciously aware of that presence, as consciously aware of it as we are now conscious of each other’s presence, we do not come into the realm of It’s government.
Now, at this point there comes to us – how shall I say it? – an almost frightening fact, and that is as human beings we are not under the government of God. The human race as such is not under the government of God. It is not God-governed, God-protected, God-maintained or God-sustained. The human race is as far from God as east is from west, or here is from there. The proof of that is the discords, the inharmonies of human existence, none of which would exist if the human race were under the jurisdiction of the Almighty.