1953 First New York Closed Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
49A – Rising Above Concepts of God or Truth
Please try to be here not later than quarter to eight during closed classes for the meditation, and I’ll explain the reason for that. You may have noticed last night something a little different in the room than you ordinarily find at a lecture. The reason is this: not only that during a closed class before, during, and after, that I spend many, many, many hours in meditation, but the students spend much longer time in meditation, and here’s what happens: instead of the lecturer or teacher voicing some intellectual truth or some truth through the mind, and your accepting it in the mind, it becomes a spiritual impartation and one which you are more responsible for than I am. You draw it forth.
You would be astounded if you could see the difference in the messages with different groups of students. You would be much surprised if you could see the message or hear the message that comes through when there is a group of beginners or a group of students who are studying a half a dozen metaphysical teachings, or a message that comes through when we are a group of students all of one mind, in one place, thoroughly spiritually prepared.
Now here’s what happens: Deep, deep down within your being there is this hunger for God, this hunger for truth that brought you originally to the study. That hunger, that thirst for truth has led you step by step until you have come to this point of your unfoldment. Now then, the deeper the thirst and the hunger, the bigger meal you draw forth. The greater your longing for truth, the greater your devotion to truth, the greater effort of time, the greater effort of study, practice, meditation that you put forth, the greater the amount that you will draw forth from the teacher.
Now, there is another thing. A teacher may know all of the truth that can be found in books. The teacher may know all the truth there is and yet not give it to you. The teacher may be deeply, deeply inspired of God and not give it to you. Why? If you do not draw it forth, it cannot come. It is for that reason that we have had classes with as many as sixty-six practitioners in it, and out of such classes have come The Master Speaks. God, The Substance of All Form came out of a class of ninety-nine students of whom not less than thirty were practitioners. I mean professional practitioners, people already sufficiently aware of truth as to be able to practice the truth.
And so it is, we have had, in every city where closed classes have been held, we have had little groups, our core practitioner groups, mostly consisting of students who have been either in The Infinite Way study for a long, long time or who are actively engaged in the practice, and some in the teaching of truth. And you can imagine the depth that they bring forth.
Now, when you come in your hunger, in your thirst for truth and you create an atmosphere of silence, it is as if you were creating a vacuum for the teacher to fill in. The deeper the vacuum you create, the deeper the silence there is in the room, the deeper the message that is going to come forth. Now this is all part of spiritual being and spiritual teaching. Another thing, it would make no difference if the teacher gave you the very height and depth of spiritual wisdom, if you were prepared only to hear it with your mind, you would not receive it. You would receive words, statements. You might even remember some of them, but you would not have the water of eternal life. You would not have the meat that satisfieth. You would only have the froth at the top.
The result of a closed class depends upon two things, the depth of the silence of the students and the depth of preparation of the teacher. One without the other is of no avail. It would make no difference what I did in the matter of meditation, consecration, if you were not prepared to receive it, I would be the only one benefiting by it. On the other hand, even if I were half-prepared and you were wholly prepared you would receive more from it than if you weren’t prepared at all.
That is why to me, the closed class is a sacred thing. It is the reason that I seek no closed classes. It is the reason that I seek no students for closed classes. I am happy to welcome those who come. It is for that reason that we have the meeting a little earlier; it is for that reason that only those are accepted in a closed class who have made preparation for the entire class. There has never been a class, when after the first night or the second night, I haven’t received telephone calls, “Oh, I heard about the class but I didn’t know about it in time, can I begin tonight?” or some other reason for breaking into the middle of a class and the answer is always the same, no one can come into a closed class on Tuesday nights. They are there Monday night or they do not come in. Why? Well, you were here last night and you know the nature of the message you received.
Now, what would happen if six people were in this room tonight who had not been present last night? They would entirely have missed that important opening point and not only that, but they would interfere with you because now we would have someone here not a part of our consciousness yet, and probably I would be reaching out to bring them up to date with us. Whereas now I need have no thought about last night at all. I can go right on from where we were. So please remember that as long as there are Infinite Way Closed Classes—and never be surprised if they should come suddenly to an end—because with each one I promise myself there will not be another. Each one now for the last two years has been the last. I’m getting to be like that singer, no, Sarah Bernhardt, who was always on a farewell tour. Each class now is my farewell, there just happens to be now just one more. But one of these days it will be farewell, but as long as they take place, please remember that to me they are something sacred; they are an experience. With each one is the fervent hope that we will have experiences, as we have had in some, of the actual realization and visitation of the Christ Itself.
Now, those fifteen minutes of preparation may change the entire nature of the class for you and for me. That fifteen minutes of meditation may set the stage to bring forth the stage of consciousness, to bring forth a message that ordinarily would not be brought out of me without it. That’s very important because from the standpoint of our work there is only one thing of importance, and that is that we make room for God to reveal Itself. I have very little interest in telling you what I know about truth for the simple reason that there are plenty of books for you to read. My earnest hope with each class is that something new, something different or a new aspect of truth will reveal itself, and so far that has happened at every class because we have been able to maintain the sacredness of the closed class experience.
Alright, Let us meditate right now. (long pause)