1959 Hawaiian Village Open Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
260 A – Treatment and Meditation 1/4
Now we have just had our usual meditation, but in this particular meditation we began by assuming the position, which is our natural birthright of placing ourselves as superior to mind and body. That is, we took the word I which I am—I-Joel, that’s a legitimate statement; there is an I-Joel, there is an I-Mary, an I-William; whatever your name may be, you identify yourself with the word I. Now that I is, of course, your being, the being which you are; but your mind is something you possess; and your body is something you possess.
The mind is not you; the body is not you—I am you; and I was given a mind and a body through which to perform my functions on earth. Remember, you are following me now because this is true of you. You where given a mind and a body. The mind is that instrument which you use for thinking purposes, reasoning purposes, or any purpose of awareness. Through your mind, you become aware; through your mind, you know; through your mind, you think; through your mind, you receive decisions, judgments. But the body is a physical instrument, and it takes its orders from you through the mind.
I say to this hand, “up,” and the mind communicates that to the hand, and the hand obeys the mind, which in turn obeys me; but then I must have dominion over the mind and over the body. But suppose I do not exercise that dominion, which was given to me by God in the beginning, and supposing I turn to the mind for its judgments, or to the body for its conduct. I would soon be in all kinds of trouble. And those who have not learned to accept their dominion over mind and body are in trouble, much of the time. The mind was given to you, the body was given to you, and dominion was given to you.
When you sit down in mediation, the mind does not wish to be still, the mind does not wish to come under control—not because it has a wish or a will of its own, only because you haven’t assumed dominion, and it is accustomed to doing what it wants.
I’m afraid it’s much like the horses that I have ridden. They don’t acknowledge my control a bit. They just take me where they want to go. But that’s because I do not know how to assume dominion over a horse, and so he has his fun with me. And so it is that the mind has its fun with us only because we have not learned to take dominion over it.
In some ways the body behaves better than the mind, at least the hands won’t steal if we don’t direct them to; and the hands will cooperate and share and give, if we do direct them. The mind doesn’t always obey that readily. But in another direction, the body is as unruly as the mind. It tries to determine for us when we are well and when we are sick—as if we had no dominion over health. Rightly understood, we have as much dominion over health as we have over morals, or as we have over the thinking mind; and when we do not seem to have, it is because we have not assumed dominion.
Since our work teaches us that we must not use force, we must not take up the sword, we must not punish our mind or body, we have recourse only to discipline. But not the harsh discipline of an unthinking parent over a child, but rather the loving dominion that a wise parent, a mature parent, exercises over a child—a discipline with love, a discipline with gentleness, a discipline with peace and patience.
And so, we will learn to have dominion over the mind, so that we can meditate by gently taking dominion in the way that we have in this meditation:
I say unto thee, peace be still. I am addressing my mind. I say unto thee, peace be still; fear not, fear not. God in the midst of thee is mighty. Fear not; not all the armies of the aliens, for God in the midst of thee is mighty. God’s peace give I unto thee. God’s grace give I unto thee…peace. In quietness and in confidence shalt thou meditate; in stillness and in joy shalt thou receive God’s grace; peace be unto thee… peace. My peace give I unto thee; you need not battle. You need take no thought for what you shall eat, or what you shall drink or wherewithal you shall be clothed. God’s grace clothes thee. God’s grace feeds thee; be still…be still and receive God’s communion. Be still and hear the still, small voice. You need not battle; you need not take thought; be at peace, be still.
Nothing shall enter the mind that defileth or maketh a lie; no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, there is peace, harmony, quietness, calmness, assurance; in God’s presence is fullness of joy, fullness of life, abundance of good; here where I am, Thou art. I need not fear what mortal man can do to me; no weapon that is formed against me shall prosper. They have only the arm of flesh; we have the Lord God almighty.
And so you see, in this meditation you have taken possession of your mind and you have taken possession of your body, and you have acknowledged that all of this comes not by virtue of any qualities of your own, but because of the presence of God, the grace of God; but the main thing that you accomplished was that you realized your own identity as separate from the mind and body and as having jurisdiction over mind and body and you assumed that dominion.
In ordinary human life, people do not realize that there is somebody called I and so the mind and the body seems to constitute all there is to them, and no one is there having dominion. But, in our work it becomes necessary to know that there is someone called Joel or Bill or Mary or whatnot: I Joel born of God, created in His image and likeness governed, maintained and sustained by God; and by the grace of God, I have a mind and I have a body; and these are the instruments given to me for specific purposes on earth.
Now the value of this, you will soon see, when you are faced with a problem, whether your own, or whether a problem concerning someone else who has turned to you for help, for you will then come into the subject of treatment. As you know, we have for many, many years taught in the metaphysical world that treatment and prayer were synonymous. This is not wholly true. It is only true in the sense that treatment is a form of prayer, but let’s call it a much lower form of prayer. Actually, treatment is a preparation for prayer. Why is this? Well, prayer itself is a spiritual activity. Prayer is our communion with God. As a matter of fact, prayer in its highest sense is God’s impartation of Himself to us. Whether we take it from the standpoint of communion with God, or God’s impartation of Himself to us, either of these is prayer. But, neither the communion between God, our inner true selfhood, and ourselves as we appear to be, or the highest form where prayer is an impartation from God to us, within us—both of these are without words and without thoughts.
And therefore, we, more especially of the Western world, cannot easily attain to the subject of prayer, but we can rise to it, through that which we in metaphysics call treatment, or that which in orthodox, religious circles may be called their form of prayer. That is, with the use of words and the use of thoughts. They, of course, speaking of the orthodox religious work, they of course still use the pagan forms of prayer, which came to them when the churches were first founded; and when their own forms of prayer had not developed; and they used the prayer of petition—“Oh God send us rain for our crops;” or “Oh God take away the rain there’s too much;” or “Oh God save my child.” Wouldn’t be a good prayer without that “my” in there, because we’re not too interested in our neighbor—especially if our neighbor lives over the hill, out of sight.