From 1952 New Washington Series, by Joel S. Goldsmith tape 7B-1 – Questions and Answers
Q: Why should an intelligent person all of a sudden become insane, and of course the same question would be why should a normally healthy person all of a sudden become ill?
A: Well now, in the psychological approach to life or the mental science approach to life, the answer would be to look into the thought of the individual and find where the error lies, what kind of wrong thinking they are doing, what influence is taking place within themselves.
From our standpoint that would be incorrect. Our basis for the explanation of any form of discord or inharmony that befalls us is basically that original sense of separation from God that symbolically took place in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, when they believed that they were creators, when they believed that they were something separate and apart from God, and started to live lives of their own.
Now, with that as a beginning, each of us has accepted the belief that we have a life separate and apart from God and that we are living it, and that we have the power of choice, that we have the power of good and evil, that we have the power to be good or to be bad. If we’re bad we have the power to reform. If we’re good it’s because we naturally are that way. All of these beliefs have sprung up and we have accepted them.
If we are bright we’ve accepted the belief that probably we inherited some of our brightness. If we’re not so bright probably we inherited some of our dullness or perhaps we’re just naturally that way, and in the same way it is accepted that some people are just naturally ill, just naturally weak constitutions, others are just naturally strong as if each had a life of their own, and in one case it could be good and one case it could be bad. That is the basis of humanity. That is the basis of human kind. That is the basis of our entire human experience.
And so, when we come to that question of, “Why has this person who has been so good all their lives all of a sudden become bad? Why has this person who has been well all of their lives become ill? Why is this person who is so brilliant mentally now become insane?”
Probably you remember that Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the greatest minds, one of the greatest intellects of all American literature, and yet, the last couple of years of his life were lived in insanity, and Walt Whitman, certainly one of the greatest minds of any age in American history spent the last ten years of his life in a wheelchair, an invalid, and the question is, why is this? And the answer is because these people have accepted the belief of a selfhood apart from God, which means this: that they believe they have a mind of their own, a mind that is subject to outer conditions like accidents, strain, over use, over taxing, or that they have a life of their own which also may be weakened by over work or strain or labor or too much exercise or sports or games.
It is in the same way that a person believes that their business can be good or bad. Why? Well, it’s my particular business and right now it’s bad, or it’s my particular business and now it’s good, and of course, as long as there is a sense of “my” business, it will be bad, and it will be good. It will have its ups and its downs.
Only in proportion as we accept the great truth that God is the mind of this universe, God is the mind of man, God is the mind of animal, vegetable, and mineral, God is the only intelligence, God is the only soul and the only life, God is the only Spirit and the only substance, and therefore, perfection is all that exists.
Now, here is where we are apt to lose our principle: If we look out at this world from effect and try to think back to cause we can’t do it. In other words, if you look up here to see what I am, all that you can see is so much height and width and weight, and you must judge by that, or you may have met me one day when my mind was full of other things and I was quick or sharp or indifferent, and you judge by that, or it may have been the other way around, and you met me on a day when I was feeling particularly good, and had plenty of time, and you judge me by that. In other words, looking up this way you are judging by appearances and you cannot see me as I am. You can only see me as I appear to be at some given moment.
Now, let us take the spiritual way of looking and find out what kind of fellow I am, and the thing to do is to go back and say, “Who made him?” The answer is, “God is the only Father/Mother.” Oh! God. Yes, and God is his mind. Well, he must be very intelligent. God is his life. Well, he must be ageless. God is the very love of his soul. He must be very loving. Ah, as you start to analyze me now from the standpoint of God being the all and all of my being, see what a different appearance I present than if you were to look up here from the front and judge me by my clothing or my body or my face or my expression. Do you follow that? Because let me tell you how important this is—that it’s the secret of the healing work.
Without understanding this no one can do spiritual healing, because all spiritual healing is based on this: that no matter what you may appear to be it has nothing to do with your true being, and the only way we can arrive at your true being is to go back to That which produced you, which sent you forth into expression, and see what nature and character, what qualities and quantities It incarnated in your being, and then what do we find?
God manifests Its intelligence as yours. God inculcated Its qualities of love as the love of your being. God incorporated in you the harmony of Its being and of Its body and of Its form. God has imparted to you all of Its nature, character, and quality, and that’s what you are, and that’s all you are, and that’s all you ever have been. Now this knowing the truth about you as against judging you by appearances constitutes the healing ministry, the spiritual healing ministry. There is no other way to do it.
If a person were to look at you and say you need more kindness or more love or more generosity or more understanding; they would be seeing lack and limitation in you which does not exist, and thereby they would lose all power to heal you.
It makes no difference what you appear to be to human sense. The only reason you appear to be that is because you yourself have accepted the belief that you are a selfhood apart from God and that you have qualities of your own, quantities of your own, activities of your own, intelligence of your own, loves of your own.
Now, you have no power to give love or to withhold it. God is love, and God is infinite love, and therefore God expresses love—nobody else. You never do. No one ever expresses love. That’s part of the mistake of some of our metaphysical teachings. They believe that you or I can express love—sometimes we do it and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we express it and sometimes we withhold it—just cannot be. If God is infinite and God is infinite love, and God is infinite action and law, then God is all that ever can express love and we are merely the vehicles through which it is expressed. Once we begin to understand that about ourselves we remove the word `I’ and we stop trying to be more loving or less loving and we just let God express and manifest Its love as It will, and It does it wisely and judiciously, kindly.
In the same way with intelligence: We never express intelligence. We have no power to express intelligence. God is the one universal, divine mind, and God is all that can ever express intelligence, and we are the vehicles or the instruments through which that intelligence is expressed. Now, if you were called to a person mentally unbalanced and tried to tell them to be more intelligent, you know how fruitless that would be, how senseless, how impossible it would be for them to try to be more intelligent when they already are convinced that they are the intelligent ones and we are the ones who do not understand.
There would be no use of trying to tell them that, and there’s just as little use of telling your pet cat at home, or your pet dog at home, that it ought to be more loving or kind or gentle or sweet or generous or appreciative. It can’t do it. You can know the truth that God is the very mind and life of the individual or of your cat or your dog and bring out healing, but trying to do it on the human level of asking them to be better or wiser—it cannot be done.
Now let us get this clear. Unless you can start your spiritual ministry from the word “God” you cannot bring forth harmony in health or wealth or intelligence or success, because it is impossible for a man or a woman to be intelligent or to be loving or to be successful. It is only possible for God to express these qualities and activities as your individual being, as your individual qualities and mine, and for you to make an effort to do that would be to get in Its way. It would be, for instance—oh, I can think of this illustration—here I am talking and into an amplifier. Now all I have to do is talk. The amplifier has to do the work, but if I try to enter that amplifier and try help it do its work I would merely gum up the whole operation of the instrument.
Now on the same way, let God do Its work. Don’t try to do God’s work for It. It is perfectly capable of doing its own work, which means of expressing life, expressing love, expressing intelligence, expressing abundance, expressing harmony. Only be sure that you understand that it is God expressing—not you expressing, and not me expressing. We do not reflect God, and we do not express God. God expresses and manifests Its own being, Its own qualities, Its own character, Its own nature—God does those things and we are the instruments or vehicles for the showing forth of God’s glory. The sooner we know that the better off we will be.
And so when the question comes up, “Why did this happen? Why did that happen? Why was this child born deformed? Why was this child born blind? Why was this child … have this happen and the other?” Let us accept this always. There is a universal belief that we, each of us, have a life and a mind separate and apart from the God life or the God being, and it is that acceptance that brings us into trouble. So that when a child is conceived and a parent, through universal belief or training or mis-education fills its thought with all of the terrible things that might happen to the child, and could happen, and probably will happen, and starts to think of the ancestry of the child, and all the bad things that they can remember about that ancestry, and the fear thoughts, and this thought, and the medical things that are thrown into the young mother’s thought, it is hardly any wonder that by the time the child comes forth it has anywhere from one to a dozen different things wrong with it.
Whereas, let the young parent, through their understanding of truth, realize that man is not a creator. God is the only Mother/Father. We are but the vehicles through which that child is being sent into expression, and its coming into expression with God life, God mind, God soul, God qualities—not the inherited qualities of good or evil, of human parentage or ancestry. It’s not coming in to be the victim of the weather or the climate or whether the mother has a little accident. It is coming in as God expressing Its own life, God manifesting Itself in another form and expression of individuality, and let the young parent realize that this isn’t a child, and it isn’t my child—it’s God life, God mind, God soul, God presence coming into visible expression, and then you’ll find that we will overcome these many, many discords of prenatal experience and childhood experience.
Always the basis of error is the same. It is the ignorance of the truth of being. Too many people still say, “How could God have permitted this?” As if God did permit this. It wasn’t God that permitted it. It was our ignorance of God that permitted it. If we make mistakes in our mathematics, there is no use of saying, “How does the principle of mathematics permit such a thing?” It doesn’t. It doesn’t. Our ignorance of mathematics may permit anything.
Our ignorance of our true identity is the only cause of error in our experience, and it is in proportion as we regain the Father’s house—that’s the experience of the prodigal—it is in proportion as we determine to return to the Father’s house, the Father consciousness, and realize, “Why God, the Father, is my consciousness. God, the Father, is the author of my life, the architect of my life, and therefore, my life must show forth the perfection of Its creator.” Then do we begin to restore harmony through spiritual realization.
Now remember again—material sense says that you have a mind and life and soul and body of your own, and anything can happen to them and most things do, sooner or later. Spiritual sense says that God is the life of this universe, and it is immortal and It is eternal and harmonious and perfect, and not only that but It’s the only life there is. It also says that God is the universal mind, and therefore It can only express infinite wisdom, infinite intelligence, and so on through every one of the synonyms that you can remember.