1955 Kailua Study Group
Joel S. Goldsmith
124B – Reality Experienced 1/4
It came to me this morning that we should understand the meaning of a word, which appears not only in The Infinite Way literature a great deal, but in all mystical literature, and which is but little understood. The word is Reality, capital R-e-a-l-i-t-y, Reality. This word is a synonym for the word God, and in some cases, and at some periods of development may be a very satisfactory word to use for God.
The trouble with the word is that the opposite of the word is unreality, and of course, there is no such thing as unreality, because there is no opposite to God, but the word unreal, and the word unreality have come into metaphysical literature to such an extent that many people believe that this world is unreal, or that this body is unreal, and so they have set up a state of unreality as the opposite of Reality, and then they set about devoting their lives to overcoming unreality, which of course, never existed to begin with, so couldn’t be overcome.
Now, please remember this, there is nothing unreal to be overcome. There is no state of unreality to be overcome anymore than we would say that two times two is five is unreal, and therefore, it’s to be overcome. No, no, no. It’s unreal, but it doesn’t have to be overcome. It merely has to be seen as unreal, and that itself is whatever overcoming is necessary.
Once you have said, two times two are not five you have overcome that belief. You no longer have the belief that two times two are five. Merely the recognition that two times two are not five is the overcoming. It is really the healing, because you no longer suffer from two times two being five after you’ve said two times two are not five. It’s an unreal statement.
So it is, when you have said “God is Infinite” or “Reality is the only true being,” you have in that done all the overcoming of error that is necessary. Or, if you state it negatively—“The evidence of the senses is unreal”—that’s the overcoming. There’s nothing left to do.
Perhaps you have done this sometimes—been confronted with some physical condition, or mental, moral, or financial, and then said to yourself “Oh, I know it’s unreal,” and then either set down to do some work about it or called a practitioner; when the work was done the very moment you said, “Oh, I know this is unreal.”
Had you just dropped it right there and then, and gone about your business, that would have been the end of it, but the mere fact that you didn’t shows that you didn’t believe it was unreal when you said it. You were merely indulging a platitude, a cliché. You didn’t really mean it.
Now, if we say that car tracks seem to come together in the distance, but because we’ve ridden car tracks for so many years we know it never happens, so I know that that appearance is unreal, that’s the end of the work, isn’t it? That would be the end of the treatment. You could then get on your streetcar and ride it as far as you wanted, because having said “Oh, I know that that’s unreal, it doesn’t exist that way,” you are no longer bound by the belief.
Or, supposing you wanted to go to sea, and as you stood at the shore you saw the horizon, and then you smiled at it and said, “Ah yes, but I know that’s not real,” then you’d step into your ship and sail. But supposing you stood there and said, “Oh, I know that’s not real, but oh, I must go and call up my practitioner.” You see what I’m getting at?
Unreality isn’t a condition. Unreality is a nothingness which, for a moment, appears real until you have made the declaration “It is unreal.” After that, even though the appearance remains, don’t do anything about it.
Now, if the mere statement that “all erroneous conditions and appearances are unreal” were sufficient, then all classes in spiritual wisdom would end on the first day of class, because it is just as simple a thing to say that “God or Reality is infinite, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, all being, all law, all action, all cause, and therefore, nothing else is real,” and then send the students home, and that’s the end of spiritual wisdom.
But the point is that even after you have intellectually accepted that, and that’s quite a step forward remember. There are probably not more than one million people in the whole world of four billion who are ready even to intellectually accept the fact that appearances are unreal, that discords have no law, so even that is a big step just to intellectually arrive at that point.
You won’t find doctors, ministers, lawyers agreeing with you on that point, and you won’t find many college professors willing to accept it. So you see that it is a tremendous step in spiritual development merely to be able to read such literature as makes those statements, but hearing it and reading it is not demonstrating it. There is yet the other point, and so I’m going to bring to you this morning the word reality in a different light.
As you know, there was a day when homes were lighted by candlepower, and nobody dreamed, at that time, that there was such a thing as gas power. Homes were heated with either wood fires or coal fires. Nobody dreamed that there was a power called gas that would do the heating better, cleaner, cheaper, less effort, and so gas power was absolutely unknown, and we had to be satisfied with our candlepower, wood power, coal power, and then the day came when it was realized that the gases coming up from the earth could be utilized for lighting and heating.
I can well remember the gas lighters coming around every afternoon, and lighting the gas lamps out on the street. Each man had a mile, or two of fixtures to go to, and turn on the power and light, and it was quite a miracle. You could go out at night in the dark and find, all of a sudden, there was a light in front of your house, and a dozen doors down the street another one, so that there was light enough to walk from one to the other.
Now, at that time, none of us had any awareness of a power called electricity that would be ten, twenty, thirty times more powerful than our gas lights, and instead of requiring gas lighters to walk up and down the street turning on individual gas lights, that one person down at a central headquarters could just throw a switch, and a whole neighborhood was thrown into light, powerful lights, electric lights, so you see we then had access to this greater power called electric power, and now, of course, we’re going further with this atomic and hydrogen power.
The world doesn’t realize that there is something called Reality, which is still another power. It is as concrete as gas power, or electric power, or atomic power, or hydrogen power, but like these a contact must be made with them.
The mere fact that there is gas in the world will not give you the use of gas in your home. The mere fact that there is electricity in the world will not give you an electrically operated home. There must be an actual contact with that force or power so that it can be harnessed and brought into the home, so it is with this power called God or Reality.
God or Reality actually exists, and it exists as concretely as gas, electricity, atomic force, or hydrogen force, but like these It must be contacted, only, but whereas the others are contacted through matter, this is contacted through the spirit, or soul energies—soul forces.
Now, because surgery has never revealed the source of soul force in one’s body, or the place where soul energy exists within one, it is usually assumed that there is no such thing, that it is merely a religious term or a fanciful term that dreamers dream about, but that isn’t true.
Reality, spelled with a capital “R”, is concrete fact, truth. It is an actual entity and identity which we can avail ourselves of, but not through the body. There is no kind of bodily exercise that will help one attain it, nor is there any mental exercise that will help one attain it, yet by virtue of the mind turning frequently in thought to this idea of Reality, eventually Reality breaks through, and probably by contemplating the invisible and intangible, the soul faculty is awakened.
In other words, we frankly declare that here before me is nothingness, nothingness, no presence, no power, nothingness. You see nothing, hear nothing, taste nothing, smell nothing, touch nothing; there is nothing here. And yet, we already have enough developed soul sense—everyone in this room has, as to enable us to admit, “Ah yes, it’s true. I cannot hear anything, see anything, taste, touch, or smell anything, but yet I know that there is something there because I know that if there is one amongst us who has contacted It, all the rest of us can be freed of this, that, or the other discords.” Every one of us can drop some mental, physical, moral, or financial ill if only one of us has access to that Reality, that consciousness of Reality.