1964 Honolulu Infinite Way Study Center
Joel S. Goldsmith
537A – Preparation for Easter 1964
I was given the title of this lesson in the meditation just now. And it will strike you undoubtedly, as a very strange one for January 5th, but the title is “Preparation for Easter.” Of course there is no such thing as experiencing Easter without a preparation for it.
And to make this perfectly clear, sometimes I am asked, “Is this to be a lecture or a talk or a class?” The only answer I can make is that you are the one who determines that, not I. Because so far as I know, in my entire lifetime, I have never given a talk or a lecture. Every time I open my mouth, it is meant as an impartation of truth, and this makes of it a lesson or a class.
But there are those who listen with their ears closed, and to them this would be a talk. And there are those who listen with their ears open and let everything go in one ear and out the other, and to them this would be a lecture.
But really it is meant as an impartation of truth, and for this reason: there are really no such things as lessons in spiritual teaching; just as there are no such things as holidays. We don’t know any such thing as a Christmas holiday, New Year holiday, Easter holiday, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Labor Day—we know none of those things as holidays. To us, each of these must be an experience. Otherwise, they have no value in our lives, except as pastime.
Just think of this for a moment: whatever happens to you or to me or to anyone else, must happen as an experience of our consciousness. Without an activity of my individual consciousness, nothing can happen to me—for good or for evil. Without an activity of your consciousness, nothing can happen to you.
It is for this reason—at least this is one of the reasons—that people who are confined to mental institutes—actually live so much longer than the rest of us. The human span is longer. The reason is nothing is happening to them, nothing is going on in their consciousness, nothing is taking place in their consciousness, except an imaginary volume of words or thoughts going in and out, but no experience is taking place.
And actually, we live only in proportion to the conscious activity of our being; otherwise, we are unconscious. In some cases, in so many cases of the human race, we are nothing but walking dead; not only unconscious, but actually dead. Because we are alive, only as something is taking place in our consciousness, something that we are consciously aware of.
So it is, that to accept, let us say “Easter” as commemorating the resurrection of a man who died or was crucified 2000 years ago is really, not living, not being conscious—it is just letting superstition and ignorance pass through from one ear to the other, and on out.
Because resurrection is an experience, it’s an experience of truth, and the reason for the Master’s resurrection wasn’t merely to prove that he could be raised up from the dead, or that he could raise himself up from the dead, because what value would that be to us? It was to exemplify his teaching that the dead are to be raised. Whether dead in sin, dead in lack, dead in ignorance, dead in disease—the dead are to be resurrected, raised up into life again.
As a matter of fact, the resurrection is the main teaching of all mysticism, all religious teachings, all philosophical teachings; I’m sure all truth teachings, because without resurrection, you really have nothing. You have individuals who are sick, sinning, dying, dead. Without resurrection that’s where you leave them. You have individuals in the prison of their mentality of their thoughts; without resurrection, that’s where you would leave them.
Therefore, the entire race, all mankind, must be resurrected eventually, must be raised out of the death, out of inertia, which is a death in itself, a going on and on, and a continuing on and on in an old pattern—this is inertia, this is death.
Now to be resurrected, as the Master proved, takes something more than having 12 practitioners around you, or 11, and asking them to pray with you. There’s more to resurrection than that. Because he had 11 practitioners around him, and probably many of them very good practitioners, healers, and he did ask them to pray with him, and to stay awake with him, but it did not result in his resurrection.
In the end, he had to pray alone. In the end, he had to realize his own resurrection and ascension. And if you ask how? You must start with the premise that it all took place within his own consciousness.
It is true that part of our resurrection comes because of his experience and his disciples’ experience and apostles’. Part of our resurrection comes because we have found spiritual teachers or spiritual practitioners to help us on the way. But be assured of this, that these are just temporary helps.
Our resurrection only comes through an activity of our own consciousness. Something must take place within us, which ultimately leads to the Easter day, that is, the actual experience of resurrection.
What the Master did during the years of his seminary life, what the Master did during his three years of ministry—all of this together, added up to whatever took place in his consciousness in Gethsemane, and on that final walk to Golgotha.
All of these experiences added together, must have come to a focus in that last 24 hours, and enabled him to make the final demonstration on earth of resurrection and probably paved the way for the next realization, which resulted in the ascension.
Now resurrection is not something that happened to the Master; ascension is not something that happened to the Master. Resurrection and ascension is something that was an actual activity of the consciousness of the Master. And without this activity, whatever its nature—there would have been no resurrection and no ascension.
And as we have discovered, in many, many, many years of this work, whatever harmony, grace, beauty, prosperity; whatever measure of success, love, health, joy; whatever measure of these come into my experience, I can assure you have come through the years of struggling, inside of myself—with the help of course of books, teachings, teachers, but ultimately through a struggle within my own consciousness, to attain something.
In the beginning, I had only one goal and that was to discover why God is not in the human universe; why God doesn’t stop wars, or prevent them; why God doesn’t stop or prevent murders, rape, arson, suicide. Why isn’t God in this human picture? That was my goal.
The struggle lasted exactly 20 years, 1909 to 1929, until the first answer came. And the struggle could only take place in my consciousness, because I had no knowledge then as I have no knowledge now of any other place to find the answer to that particular question.
Now in the same way, since then I have discovered with our students in all parts of the world that some of them attain most wonderful experiences of life, most wonderful harmonies and peace, most wonderful contacts with the Father within, and in the case of each and every one of them, I know that regardless of what help I may have been to them, regardless of what help these writings may have been to them, their success did not come through me or through the writings, their success came through the struggle that took place in their consciousness to embody that which is in this message.