1957 Inner Working Group Series
Joel S. Goldsmith
803A – Lesson On Developing Spiritual Consciousness 1/5
This is Sunday, November 17th,, and this is a lesson. The subject is spiritual consciousness or the developing a spiritual consciousness or the why and the wherefore of spiritual consciousness; and so I must begin by pointing out that there is that which is called our ordinary faculties, by which I mean the faculty through which we see, hear, taste, touch, smell, think and reason. Now every normal person has this faculty in some measure or another, for it is at this level of consciousness that ordinary human life is lived. Naturally, those who have the thinking, reasoning mind—highest developed, most highly developed—are those who attain positions as executives, officers, inventors, scientists: thinkers, in any field. The rest of the people are just the masses, or as scripture calls them, the sheep who follow the leaders.
There is a faculty beyond this, which is called the intuitive faculty. This intuitive faculty sometimes is accompanied by the ability to read the human mind. Duke University was probably the first in the United States to go in for the study and experimenting along the line of the subject of the intuitive faculties or the ability to read the human mind. This operates somewhat like this: if you have a deck of cards in your hand, face down and without seeing the cards, without seeing the faces of the cards, if you can tell the top card and the next and the next and the next and so on down, it is an evidence that you have this intuitive faculty because you don’t know what these cards are by seeing them, hearing them, tasting, touching, smelling, thinking or reasoning. There has to be another faculty which would disclose to you what those cards are, and that is called the intuitive faculty. It is still on the human level and deals only with human subjects. Through this intuitive faculty, you may know when to buy stocks and when to sell stocks, when the market is going up or when it’s going down. You may even be able to pick the right horse in a horse race: the winner. You might be able to do this often enough to prove that it isn’t an accident, that it is actually an intuitive knowing, a knowing in advance of coming events or hidden events.
Now the spiritual faculty lies beyond this, for the spiritual faculty, spiritual consciousness, is that which is not yours to command or use but which acts and moves and knows through you; it does not deal with human events and yet its influence makes human events, changes the course of human events, acts upon to improve human events. It is this faculty which a spiritual healer must possess in order to do spiritual healing or to be the instrument through which spiritual healing takes place. A physical healer will work through medicines, surgery, one form or another of the application of things. A mental healer, who may be equally as successful as a physical healer, works entirely through the mind and its offspring, which is thought.
And so it is by knowing certain things—I mean consciously knowing and declaring certain things, consciously voicing certain statements, consciously directing thought in specific directions—healings on a mental level can take place. But here, just like on the physical plane where, with a medicine you can heal or kill,—sometimes with the same medicine you can heal and kill—so on the mental level you can do good or you can do evil. Now this was proven by a minister, only recently, in his experiments with what he thought was prayer healing. Of course, as you will see, it had nothing to do with prayer; it had to do with mental powers. His object was to see if plants could be made to grow better or faster or more beautiful or more abundant through prayer. The experiment that he performed was having certain plants of a certain age in one room and plants of the same species and the same age in another room. In the first room he had a group of students who were consciously knowing the truth, or what he called praying, thinking thoughts of truth, declaring thoughts of truth. These plants grew many, many inches more than what is called normal, in the length of time of this experiment, whereas, the plants of the same species—probably of the same original plant and of the same age—when subjected to a group of students thinking wrong thoughts, error thoughts, evil thoughts, these plants became dwarfed.
Now, you can see immediately that prayer did not enter this entire experiment because prayer—which is the word of God—prayer which is a communion with God, would never result in evil nor could it be reversed into a negative form. All of this that is so-called good and so-called evil would have to take place on the mental level, but notice this: that the mental level is an effective one—effective both for good and for evil—and that a person can train themselves if they have the necessary powers of concentration, if they have an object, a goal, a desire, they can train themselves to be mental healers. Others, of course, lacking in a moral sense, could become mental malpractitioners.
Now, spiritual consciousness operates on an entirely different level and never takes into consideration any person or thing, object or condition or circumstance, of a human level at all. Spiritual consciousness is your individual consciousness when you are not engaged in any human thinking, when your thought is not occupied with any human thought of person, thing, circumstance or condition. This is not a state of mental blank; on the contrary, it is a state of alertness that the average human never knows anything about. It is an inner attitude of awareness, alertness, receptivity, a state of being in which one is open to a divine inflow; and in this spiritual condition, one becomes aware that the spirit of the Lord God is upon them and then every word they speak and every word they think is a healing influence, a regenerating influence, a saving influence. It is in this consciousness that the so-called miracles take place.