1961 Los Angeles Closed Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
398A – The Resurrection
Q: Is consciousness God?
A: Or the question could have been: Is God consciousness? And here I would like to point out how easy it is for us to trap ourselves, if we’re not careful. Of course consciousness is God, and of course God is consciousness. But supposing I were merely to say, “Yes, consciousness is God.” I would be leaving many of you under a wrong, or with a wrong understanding—an erroneous one completely. Because it would indicate that there is a God. In other words, we’d be talking about “consciousness/God” and we would have left ourselves out of the picture. Whereas, there is no God and there is no consciousness except the God or consciousness that constitutes individual being.
Any time that you attempt to explain God or define God, you leave yourself open to a terrible mistake, because you’ll be talking of God as if God were out there, as if God were separate from me, and that is the danger, and that is the reason that the world is called a human world. In other words, it’s something separate and apart from God, it’s a branch of a tree that is cut off and it’s withering. When you speak of God, when you speak of consciousness, be sure that you’re speaking of the God or consciousness that constitutes individual being, so that there remains in your thought no sense that there is “a” God. There isn’t “a” God—there is God. God manifest as individual being; God consciousness which constitutes individual being. Because the moment you separate yourself from God or consciousness, or the minute you permit yourself to say “God or consciousness” and do not immediately identify yourself with it, you are the branch that is cut off and withered.
You are only in the position to bear fruit richly when you are a branch of a tree that isn’t a branch. When we look at a tree, we don’t look up, and say, Oh the nice branch, oh the nice trunk, oh the nice root.” No. We just look and we say, “tree.” When you say “God,” be sure that you’re including God and man, because man is the manifestation, the expression, the individualization, the offspring, but absolutely and completely one with God. Therefore, let us never speak of God, for fear that we will be saying God, and here am I over here—something else, something separate, something apart. Whenever we speak of God, let us speak of God individually expressed as man, or God constituting individual man; God constituting individual being, so that we always have oneness.
Q: In the light of non power, resist not evil, put up thy sword—please clarify why Jesus deemed it necessary to use physical violence to cleanse the temple of the money changers.
A: Of course you know that in answering that question, regardless of who might answer it, they can only answer from their own inner conviction without any attempt to tell you that “this is the truth, this is the official reason.” The Master, better than anyone else, knew the power of non-resistance, of one power, which is non-power. But so do we in our work; we know that. But when we are dealing with students, when we are dealing with teaching, we sometimes have to resort to the human mode of expression to emphasize a teaching or to bring out some lesson forcibly. It wouldn’t be necessary if we were all equally of spiritual consciousness, then there’d be no necessity ever in teaching to correct or to forcibly bring some point to the attention of a student. But because this is not true, it is necessary sometimes to illustrate a point by action. And this would be more than ever true when it comes to dealing with those who are not living on any spiritual awareness whatsoever.
According to my light, the Master accomplished two things in the forcing out of the money changers, if he did it physically. We do not yet have any positive proof that it was a physical action. But assuming that it was, he could have accomplished two things with it. First place, to his own disciples or followers, he could have been showing them forcibly that they were not to indulge these human practices in following a spiritual path. Probably he had told it to them, and yet not made it clear. And here he is giving them a forcible demonstration of what he means by spiritual wickedness in high places and a lesson in cleansing their temple.
Also, I am sure that he meant that those of the Hebrew synagogue, I mean the officials, the Sanhedrin, should know that he was preaching against this practice of sacrifices and money changing and perhaps had discussed it with them, and perhaps had conversations with them, all to no avail. And then finally forcibly took this action to bring it to the attention not only of the Sanhedrin, but of the members of the synagogue so they could themselves see their own opinion.
Now, it is also logical to believe that the event never took place as a physical experience, but that he used this story as an illustration of cleansing, of purification, of taking ourselves at hand and forcing out of our own consciousness whatever it is that stands in the way of our spiritual demonstration. We’re entitled to believe any of these if we like; we’re entitled to believe none of them. Because until more manuscripts come to light that give us exact historical events, at the present time we have no way of knowing whether this experience was an actual physical event, or whether it was a symbolic lesson.
Q: The third stage we pass from law to grace. Can you explain the difference between living under Mosaic Law and living under the law of grace?
A: Well, that was last night’s lesson, and it’s all in that lesson, but this part of the question, “Are we not still reaping what we have sown.”
When you come to the third stage you are not reaping what you have sown; there is no sowing, and there is no reaping, unless you mean this: The attainment of that third stage is the result of having sown to the Spirit, yes, but once that spiritual estate is reached, there is no sowing, there is no reaping, there is only a state of divine being. You will find this clarified as we come to the subject of healing work and treatment. And you’ll find that in the earliest stages of our work, we use mental argument or treatment, not for the purpose of healing, but for the purpose of lifting ourselves in consciousness to the state of consciousness that heals.
Whereas, as you rise higher in consciousness, and have more experience in healing, you do not give treatments, you do not know the truth, you do not use mental argument. And the reason is that your consciousness has attained a state of grace, and it requires no human aid to perform its functions. Treatment, knowing the truth, prayer—these are human aids to the attainment of a divine state of consciousness.
But when the divine state of consciousness is attained these are no longer necessary. You will find this exemplified in the healing work of Christ Jesus. When he is addressing one patient, a crippled man, he says, “What did hinder you? Pick up your bed and walk.” Now he did not give the man a treatment, he did not use mental argument, he didn’t even pray for him. He just said, “What did hinder you? ” Asked him a question. And I suppose it shocked the man into realizing that he had been accepting some other power than that of the Spirit, and he was able to rise up.
In the case of a blind man, he gave no treatment… Open thine eyes … there’s no knowing the truth there; there’s no praying there, there’s no mental argument, there’s just a statement, “Open thine eyes.” How can he say open thine eyes and have the eyes opened? Because he had attained the divine state of consciousness, which is itself that which dissolves all appearances. The attainment of the fourth dimensional consciousness is that which enables an individual to live by grace. Certainly on the material and mental levels of life, you take thought what you shall eat or what you shall drink, wherewithal you shall be clothed.
But in the attainment of the spiritual consciousness, there is no need for that and this is the reason: There is a word “I.” I will never leave thee nor forsake thee … I am the bread, the meat, the wine and the water … I will be with thee unto the end of the world … I am the resurrection … I am come that ye might have life, and ye might have it more abundant. Now this I, this I is spiritual identity. It is what we call our real self or our Christ-self or the Son of God or Buddhi or the Buddha. Regardless of how we name it, it is the Son of God which is the true identity of each one of us.