Infinite Way Letter
By Joel Goldsmith
Part 4 of 6
In spite of this clear teaching of God as the source of all good, all health, all life, many of us continue to be faced with discordant conditions. Apparently there is something operating in universal thought, universal consciousness, that is a persistent barrier to harmony. What is it that acts as a deterrent to the harmonious unfoldment of our experience? What is it that prevents our enjoying spiritual well-being? It is on this point that truth students must be most alert, because the world knows nothing of that which is causing it to be sick, sinful, and poor. The student of The Infinite Way has access to that information, but too often he does not understand how to use this knowledge effectively.
Should an accident occur, or should we awaken not feeling well, it would be useless to examine our thought to see where in we have failed, to ask whether we have been good or bad, whether we have deserved this untoward circumstance, or what wrong thinking we have been doing, because we shall never find the reason there. The error does not lie within us either physically or mentally. Error, every error we experience, is a universal belief. It has nothing to do with you or with me, except insofar as we have accepted it, and by this acceptance permitted it to affect us.
Let us illustrate it in this way: a child who is too young to have either right thoughts or wrong thoughts, and who knows nothing of truth, becomes ill. The foolishness of searching that little one’s thoughts to find what terrible sins he has committed, or what wrong thinking he has indulged that would bring on this illness, should be immediately apparent. The child is too pure to behold iniquity.
We, in The Infinite Way, begin with the fact that this illness, claim, or belief has nothing to do with the child. The explanation is that a universal, mortal belief in a selfhood apart from God has operated in the child’s consciousness to produce the distress. The child, not knowing the truth, and ignorant of the fact that there are such universal beliefs, becomes the victim of them. But the child is not the only victim of these universal beliefs: we are all victims of ignorance. Whatever of a negative or evil nature is taking place in our experience is not due to our sins—it is due to our ignorance. If a man steals, it is because of his ignorance that all that the Father hath is his; that in order to experience abundance he only has to open his consciousness for the inflow. Had he known that, he never would have stolen. Ignorance is the sin, the snare—ignorance, first, of our true identity; and secondly, of the fact that there are world beliefs operating in consciousness which we passively accept.
On one occasion a doctor, who had witnessed several spiritual healings but did not understand how they were accomplished, asked me to explain how Truth healed. In the short time we were together it was impossible to give a complete explanation, but our conversation gave him a clue from which to make further deductions.
“If we were to open the windows and doors this cold afternoon, what would happen? I asked.
“We would catch cold, of course!” he replied.
“Yes, that is probably true, if that is what we believe. Now, where will we catch cold?”
“Oh, it might be in the head, the lungs, the chest, or the throat.”
“Very well. Now, tell me, which of these organs knows that we are sitting in a draft?”
“What is that you are saying?”
I repeated, “Which of these organs knows that we are sitting in draft? Does the head, or the lungs, or the throat know?”
“Certainly not! How could they know anything?”
“Then, what part of us would know we were sitting in a draft?”
“In that case, we have to catch cold through the mind, do we not?”
“Why, yes. Yes, we do.”
“And the body will express it, eh?”
“Yes, it will.”
“Of course,” I continued, “the body cannot know that we are sitting in a draft, that is certain. If you are convinced of that much, you are beginning to see why some people have come to the conclusion that disease is not physical. It first must come through the mind and then the belief, entertained in the mind consciously or unconsciously, expresses itself in the body. Follow me just a bit further, and let us suppose that we go out into the rain and get our feet wet. That, too, will give us a cold, will it not?”
“Yet the feet do not know they are wet, do they?”
“Do you think the shoes know that they have something to do with it?”
“Oh!” he said, “I am way ahead of you now. I never heard of anything so stupid as catching cold because our feet are wet when we get them wet in the tub every day. I can see that.”
“All right. What else do you see?”
“I see that I can never again catch cold either from sitting in a draft or from getting my feet wet. The whole idea is ridiculous.”
End Part 4