1963 Kailua Private Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
518A – Consciously Attaining the Experience 1/4
Good morning…You will notice in this September, 1963 Letter, the subject is God as individual consciousness and this Letter is made up of three of the Sunday talks given at the hotels here this year, and you’ll notice that the subject is the nature of consciousness, and then there’s a subtitle, “Your spiritual destiny—God is individual consciousness—The fruitage of consciousness at peace and the dignity of the individual.” And you will note throughout that this Letter relates entirely to oneness, the oneness of God and man, or the original Infinite Way premise: God as—not God and man, but God appearing as man, which is the original premise.
This work was built on two words, “is,” and “as.” God is, and God is manifest as man. Therefore, there is no twoness and that follows the Master’s teaching: I and the Father are one. Thou seest me thou seest the Father that sent me. But there is a difficulty that arises in the actual experiencing of this, the living of this, and it comes about, first of all, because for centuries we have lived in the sense of separation from God. We have prayed to a God in heaven, or we have prayed to a God on a crucifix, or we’ve prayed to an old gentleman on a cloud and we have always been taught God as something separate and apart from our own being, whereas the revelation of all the mystics has been oneness.
Now, this is very difficult to believe, very difficult, because there is no time in your life when you ever feel like you are God, or when you ever feel that you are spiritual. You may have a few moments of emotion or ecstasy or seeming to be on cloud nine, but there’ll always be an hour from now or tomorrow, and that sense of separation breaks in because you can feel to yourself, I cannot be one with God because I feel human, probably even I have a physical pain or a financial lack. And if I were one with God this could not be. All of this is based first on the erroneous teachings that have acted in our present experience to set up this sense of separation from God and to prevent us from taking the necessary steps that will eventually demonstrate—actually prove to us—that I and my Father are one, and that all that the Father hath is mine.
The first thing that must be remembered is this: do not judge from appearances. Do not judge from the fact that today you may be very ill, or today you may be very poor, or today you may be having sinful thoughts, or today you may even be committing a sin. Do not judge from that as to whether or not you are one with God. All that can tell you is that at this moment you have a sense of separation from God. It cannot prove to you that you are not one with God. It might be true that you will go on being sick for awhile or being poor. It might even be true that you will go on having carnal thoughts or sinful appetites and that you might even sometimes succumb to them. That may go on for awhile. But do not let that fool you because that, too, is only evidence that the centuries have set up this sense of separation from God and you have not yet attained the actual consciousness of your oneness with God. You are already one with God and it makes no difference if you are the woman taken in adultery, the thief on the cross, or the tax collector. It makes no difference who or what you are, you are one with God. You are only going to prove it in proportion as you attain the actual awareness of the relationship that already exists.
Therefore, you must not judge by the appearance of today, nor must you try to judge by your progress, because no one on the spiritual path can ever evaluate their own progress. Actually, what happens is that we go along, sometimes for years, feeling that we are making absolutely no progress whatsoever. We have no feeling of progress. We may not even have an outer sign of progress and then, all of a sudden, one day or one night, a split second, like Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, or like any of the mystics of whom we have read, Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree, after years and years and years of searching, of having almost every wonderful spiritual teacher in India, having fulfilled all of what they told him, one to starve and one to sit on nails and one to walk as a beggar and so forth and so on. He also made no spiritual progress, so he thought.
And one day, bathing in the River Ganges, he was so weak he could hardly get out of the river, he nearly drowned. It took the very last ounce of strength he had to get himself up on the bank. And then he realized the foolishness of all this fasting and starving himself, because it wasn’t making him spiritual. And so for awhile he ate normally until his body was back again where he could forget the gnawing of the body and then he sat under his Bodhi tree and meditated, and lo and behold the whole experience happened. And in this one, probably hour of meditation, all the failure of all the years, all of the lack of demonstration, all of the lack of progress came to an end and in that next hour he became the Buddha, or the Christ.
So every mystic has discovered that they meditated, they studied, they practiced, they did whatever they were instructed to do, in spite of not seeming to make much progress, and then all of a sudden, in one minute of one day, or one second of one night, whereas before I was blind, now I see, and the old man was dead, and the new man was born.
Now the reason that you cannot feel progress is that you cannot actually feel spiritual. There is no such thing as a person feeling that they are spiritual. That is as impossible as feeling that you are honest or feeling that you are moral. You can be honest and you can be moral, but you can’t feel it; you can just be it. There’s no feeling about it; nor is there any feeling to being spiritual. Being spiritual is a state of consciousness which you are, but you have nothing to compare it with, since the old man is gone, and the fact that regardless of how spiritual you really become, always there are human traits. Always. Jesus even goes into the temple and whips the money changers, which spiritually a Christ would not have done. And he calls them vipers, which spiritually is a form of mal-practice and only because in every mystic, there is always a trace of his human identity.
And it is for this reason that you never feel wholly worthy. You never feel that you’re really successful, that you’re really making the grade. And it’s good so. That was what Paul referred to, “I do not claim to have fully attained.” Certainly I’m aware of how far I have to go before I can fully claim Christhood. And it is for this reason then that you must learn to disregard appearances. Learn to disregard that you’ll have lots of days when you’ll feel very human, lots of days when you’ll have reason to think that you are failing. Ignore all that. What actually counts that you can judge by, is your motive, your inner motive. In other words, is there a drive keeping you on this path until you attain God realization? Is there something holding you to your meditations, to your studies, to the practice of principles? This is the only thing you have to go by. If there is something holding you to it, you are making progress, and then really it isn’t you making progress, it is a sign that you have been touched by the Spirit, and It is not going to let you go until it breaks through fully.
This, too, is a sign of error when we believe that it is by some virtue of our own that we’re on this spiritual path and by virtue of our own we are studying eight or ten hours a day, when this is never true. No human ever gets such a longing for God. What it really means is that the Spirit has touched us and it will not let us alone. It isn’t that we are wrestling with error. It is that the Spirit of God is wrestling with us until It breaks through. And so there’s no use of taking credit for whatever amount of studying we’re doing or practicing or anything else.