1954 Chicago Practitioner Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
60B – Contemplation, Meditation 1/4
Let us notice these things, particularly. The Infinite Way consists of certain principles, which form the letter of truth. These principles are not original with The Infinite Way. Every one of them is found in the Master’s teaching, Christ Jesus. Some of them are found in Hebrew scripture, the Old Testament. Some of them are found in older scriptures, but all of them are embodied in the Christian teaching of the Master as revealed through Jesus, John, Paul.
These principles are brought to our attention through the mind, through the intellect; and at a certain stage of our human development we read or hear these principles and agree with them. We agree that they’re fine, they’re beautiful and we’d love to be able to live them. Sometimes they’re called too transcendental for practical use in a modern age, but those who have lived them, even in a measure, have found that they’re the most practical… they constitute the most practical way of living ever found, even in a practical universe, even in a practical age; however, there is a long step between the acceptance of these principles and their demonstration. That step is taken only through practice, diligent practice, sometimes very arduous practice. The reason so few attain it is that it requires not only days or weeks of practice, but actually years. The way is straight and narrow; few there be that attain it because, like everything else in life, it requires years and years and years of diligent practice before one makes the ultimate transition. There are some exceptions to that rule, but they are very few. There are some people so highly developed right from the start that the moment they come in contact with their teacher or their teaching, they yield to it; and sometimes in a matter of days or weeks they have attained spiritual consciousness, spiritual awareness and the demonstration of it in their lives, in their healing works, in their own experience. These people are few, and we need not expect ourselves to be of their fortunate number unless, in some way, we see definite evidences in our experience; otherwise, there is a need for practice.
Now, in this work that we have had in the mornings, the major principles have already been revealed here; and fortunately for us, have been trapped in that little gadget on the right there, so that we can go over them, review them, study them and practice them to our heart’s content. No matter where you are, some way can be found to make them available to you; and those of you who practice these diligently for awhile will find the next step, which we will take up today, a simple one. That step is contemplation and meditation.
Unless we understand these principles and unless we are trying to put them into practice, contemplation and meditation become difficult except for those few who come to this plane gifted with the Spirit or receive the ability through divine grace. After contemplation and meditation, comes transition; and in that transition, you pass entirely from the plane of thinking thoughts, of knowing truth. You pass completely from the plane even of reading truths, except for inspiration, and become a state of awareness, a state of receptivity, always receiving, always receiving impartations within. It flows from the within to the without. You see, this first stage and the second stage, it is all being taken in. We are doing the thinking. We are doing the reading. We are doing the contemplating. We are doing the meditating, but after we get to the third stage, we don’t enter the scene at all except as a state of receptivity, that which is receiving the impartations, the impulses, from within.
Now, since human experience knows absolutely nothing about God as one power, and since our very humanhood is constituted of a belief in many powers, you can see that it is a matter of self-training to bring yourself to the point where even in a tiny measure, you can say, “Oh yes, there is only one power.” There is no power in sin or no power in disease or no power in person or no power in bombs or no power in infection, no power in contagion, until you can bring yourself to that place where, automatically every claim of a power apart from God presents itself, you are able quickly to respond with, “No, no. All power is in the invisible, not the visible. It is the invisible that acts upon the visible.”
Just think for a moment of planting a seed in the ground and instead of turning away and forgetting it, now let’s keep looking right down into the ground; and very soon you will see the seed break open. Now, the seed didn’t break open of its own accord. Something acted upon it, and we call that a law of nature. We could just as well call it a law of God or the law which is God, but an invisible something acted upon that seed and broke it open. After it broke open, this invisible still acted upon the seed and caused a little shoot or sprout to take root in the soil. The seed didn’t do that of its own accord. It was a law, an invisible law operating in and through and upon that seed that made it happen. This invisible kept on operating, and pretty soon the shoots began to come up through the soil and then you have your plant and then you have your tree and then you have your blossoms and then you have your fruit or flowers; but all of this is produced by something that no one has ever seen, heard, tasted, touched or smelled. It is an invisible something that, in agriculture and horticulture is called nature, in religion is called God; in philosophy, may be called the divine intelligence or the intelligence of the universe. But regardless of what name you give it, the fact is, it is an invisible presence and an invisible power, one of which you have no knowledge except by witnessing its effects. It, itself, you can never see in operation.
Ah, a mystic in the height of spiritual illumination, sees right behind every visible thing and witnesses that cause or that spiritual cause at work. Whenever you find an individual who pierces the visible and can behold that invisible presence or power operating in nature, there you have a mystic. There you have an individual who has attained conscious union with God. In the writings of Boehm, he explains how looking out from his window, all of a sudden he became aware of grass, trees, plants, but he saw through them, right through the trunks of the trees, right through the leaves and through the blades of grass, and he saw the operation of nature bringing those into effect, bringing those, producing those in our visible world. That has been the experience of practically every mystic; every individual who has attained conscious union with God has been given glimpses of the invisible and watched nature at work producing this outer universe, renewing it, restoring it. That is why we have the knowledge of immortality, because they have seen behind the scenes and witnessed this ever-renewing of the form-world. Something like that happens in the experience of every practitioner of spiritual healing, because at a certain point of their treatment or meditation or communion, the activity of the mind ceases and it is as if they had a momentary glimpse of the real man, the Christ of individual being, that invisible portion of us which is the Son of God.. That which is visible is but the outer form of our invisible selfhood. Each one of us has an invisible selfhood, and you can prove that by closing your eyes and realizing that you, yourself are behind those eyes. You, yourself are not visible. This out here is your form or body or appearance, but you yourself are behind those eyes; therefore, there is a you, and that you is invisible and that you is eternal and it is immortal. It is the very presence of God.
Now, that is why the place whereon thou standest is holy ground, because the very presence of God is there; and you are that presence of God, looking out through your eyes. Now then, we with the intellect cannot perceive you, can never know you. As I said the other evening, your own mother has never really known you, nor your husband nor your wife. There is a you that is unknown to anyone in this world but yourself; and the only exception to that is the mystic; those who have attained conscious union with God, or that degree of it which spiritual practitioners attain when they catch this glimpse of your spiritual selfhood, and that is what produces healing. When the practitioner glimpses, even momentarily, the Christ of you—that which transcends your physical and mental sense—then, in that instant of spiritual conception, immaculate conception, that is when you are born of the Spirit. That is when you die to physical sense and are born of the Spirit. It is your practitioner, then, who becomes the Mary, the one who experiences immaculate conception, and your spiritual identity is, in that second, conceived and then later brought forth as demonstration. When the practitioner receives that visitation of the Holy Ghost—let us see that again in Luke—and the angel answered and said unto her, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”