1954 Chicago Practitioner Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
59A – My Identity – Body – Communion
Good morning. Can you all hear me, all the way back? Oh, it’s wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
I wouldn’t have you think for a minute that the work we are starting is an easy one. The Master says that the way is straight and narrow and few there be that enter, and every one of us should remember that passage frequently. Few there be that enter. There is a reason for that fewness. The fewness is in the difficulty. What is so difficult about this work? We have learned, in the last two days, that there are no evil powers. There are no evil powers anywhere in heaven or on earth or in hell beneath the earth. All power is in God. All power is God. Why, then, this difficulty? Why so few that can enter? Why so few that can be practitioners, that is, successful practitioners? The reason why is in that one statement, that …the natural man receiveth not the things of God.
Generations upon generations have built up a human consciousness, a consciousness that believes there is power in things and in persons; a consciousness that believes it is something separate and apart from God and therefore can be destroyed. What is the one great fear on earth, the only fear, really? Death. No other. Nobody would be afraid of disease if disease couldn’t kill. No one would be afraid of age if age didn’t lead to death. No one would ever be afraid of an accident if an accident couldn’t kill; no one would ever be afraid of a war; no one would ever be afraid of poverty.
The only reason we fear these things is because behind all of them lies death, and why do we fear death? Because there is a human consciousness that believes it is something separate and apart from God, and it isn’t. Your consciousness and mine, the consciousness of every individual, is eternal. It is immortal. It is not subject to death. We not only do not know that, but even after we are taught that in metaphysics, we cannot accept it or believe it. Why? Because the human mind cannot accept anything greater than itself; and the human mind is itself a state of death, limitation, finiteness.
The moment the human mind comes in contact with spiritual truth, that moment the human mind starts dying. As soon as human awareness, human consciousness is touched by the Divine, human consciousness starts dying. Paul tells us about dying daily. The human selfhood, left to itself, will live out a human span—sometimes that human span is only one year in length; in some cases, as these boys in war, it may be 17, 18, 19, 20, 21—left to itself, it will go on to 60, 70, 80 years of age; and all of a sudden, it fades out, but human consciousness touched by the Divine…This human consciousness touched by the Divine begins to die at the moment of its contact with spiritual wisdom, but the dying is difficult. It will not yield itself quickly. It will not give itself up quickly. It has taken thousands of years to form, and it does not readily yield.
Now let us see what this human mind accepts. In the first place, if you look into a mirror, you will say to yourself, “I do not look too well,” or “I am aging,” or “I am too stout,” or “I am too thin.” You see, right there you have made the fatal mistake, because the word I is God; and when you look in the mirror, you’re not seeing yourself at all. You’re seeing your body. That isn’t you standing there. That is your body. You are invisible. No one has ever seen you; you have never seen yourself. Your mother has never seen you. You are invisible. Your body, or at least some concept of your body, is visible, but not even your body, really, is visible, not the body of you. It is only our finite concept of your body that is visible, and that is why your body keeps changing, whereas in truth, your body never changes. Only this concept that we entertain of body, changes; like our concept of wealth changes. If we look at our orange grove full of oranges, we consider that we are wealthy; and when we see the same orange grove after a good windstorm, we think that we are poor, whereas wealth is invisible. Just as I am invisible and you are invisible, so no one on the face of the earth has ever seen wealth.
No one has ever seen supply. That is why all of this metaphysical attempt to demonstrate supply ultimates in failure. It is true, 30 years ago there was a flourishing New Thought movement in America, based on demonstration. You could demonstrate everything from getting rid of corns to acquiring $1,000, but where is that New Thought movement today? Ninety percent of it has vanished into thin air. Very little of it is left on the face of the earth; and the same has happened in England, where also 30 years ago it was a tremendous, flourishing movement. Today there are just the last faint gasps of it, as it disappears from the scene. Why? Because the New Thought movement was based on demonstration: getting and getting rid of, getting rid of and getting.
Now, it isn’t possible to get rid of, and it isn’t possible to get; it isn’t possible to demonstrate anything on the face of the globe. It isn’t possible to demonstrate any condition. All of these were metaphysical fallacies that have more or less dropped out of sight and exist today only through artificial respiration. A little life is being pumped into the movement here and there that keeps it temporarily alive while some of the old, old teachers still exist. When the last of those is gone, the last of the New Thought movement will have gone, too. Why? Because its basic premise is erroneous.
Now, why is its basic premise erroneous? Because it looks upon you and me as man, as an effect, as something separate from God and therefore as something which can acquire qualities, activities of God. And so it sets out to help us acquire, get, achieve these things of God. The premise is wrong because the word, I is God, because the word I is being—infinite being, eternal being, immortal being; and I am that being. Because I am that being, nothing can be added to that which I am and nothing has ever been taken from that which I am and all attempts, then, to add to that which I am must end in failure, because all that the Father hath already is mine. All that the Father hath already is mine, because I and the Father are one, not two.
We are not something separate and apart from God, seeking to get God or get things of God. I and the Father are one. I am in the Father and the Father is in me. These are not statements in a book. This is a revelation of eternal truth. This is the truth of being, revealed originally by the Krishna, the original Christ in consciousness revealed somewhere on earth as a man, revealed again by the same Christ through the man, Christ Jesus, revealed over and over and over again through time, and always lost, always lost; it was always lost in the same way—because disciples try to grasp this truth with their mind and memorize it and recite it and declare it and state it and affirm it and then go out to teach it, long before they have demonstrated it, long before they have acquired the consciousness of it. Of course, because they only have it in their mind, they can only impart it with their mind and that’s no impartation at all.