1963 Kailua Private Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
516A – Teaching the Nature of God, Error, Prayer
There is something that might be called the secret of The Infinite Way, not because it is kept a secret from anybody because it appears all throughout the writings, but I use the words “the secret” in the sense of the basic essence, the basic teaching, something that escapes me, let us say, what is The Infinite Way all about? What is it that separates it from any religious teaching that is in the entire world today? What is the one thing that separates it from any and every teaching, and puts it in an exclusive place by itself, and that is this: it isn’t a teaching. It is an experience. The essence of it is an experience. And I can only illustrate that in this way.
As you know, its original start came when I realized that there is no God in the human world; that if there were a God in the human world, you couldn’t have rape, arson, murder, wars, dens of iniquity, drug addiction. None of these could happen in the presence of God—man’s inhumanity to man. Even working in a coal mine couldn’t be in the presence of God. So that everything that’s taking place on the face of the globe is taking place in the absence of God, and only because there is no God in this scene.
Now this was the original unfoldment that was given to me some time after 1909 that started me on the search, because I have never doubted that there is a God, but now at least I know that there is no God in this world, and I know that all of the going to church and praying isn’t going to bring one here because people have been going to church to pray since before the ancient Hebrew days, and continuously ever since, and they’ve done it with Hebrew prayers and Protestant prayers and Catholic prayers and Vedanta prayers and every kind of prayer that’s ever been known, and the world keeps right on falling apart.
Now with that for a start, the inner search began. Where is God? What is God? How do we bring God into our experience, because it must be possible, and eventually the experience took place. This is in that late 1928 experience. And there was no message. There were no words. There were no rules, no principles given, there was just an experience that couldn’t be described because it was just a matter of, well, whereas in one moment I was just every human being, in the next moment my body was well and all of the human habits had gone, a healing power was present and a whole new life was begun. The old life was dead, a new one was begun, but without a teaching, without any principles, without any laws, just by virtue of an experience.
Well, once you start examining the lives of the mystics, you will find that that’s what happened to them. None of them ever studied to become a mystic. Each one in turn had an experience, and that experience changed their lives. And, as a matter of fact, in every case they were enabled to give that experience to those who became their disciples and followers, and some of those were enabled to give that experience to their disciples and followers. The only thing is that it became a lessening experience with each generation until it died out.
Now, those who have done healing work in the message of The Infinite Way must know that there is nothing in the teaching that heals. I do not care what it is in the writings that you might know and repeat; it isn’t going to heal anybody of anything, including yourself. You are not going to heal until you have an experience. And you have to have an experience with every healing, until the time comes when you are so living in the experience, that you may only have to renew it once or twice or three times a day and then all the other healings take place because you are in the experience.
Now, to heal, you close your eyes—you may have to remind yourself at first, “I’m not going to God to get any God power. I’m certainly not going to try to heal man whose breath is in his nostrils. I’m only here to realize the Christ, to feel the presence of the Christ.” And, in Its own unknown way—unknown to us—the discords evaporate, harmony appears, and it would seem as if a sick person got well, or a bad person got good, or a poor person became more affluent. But that isn’t it at all. What has really happened is that more of the spiritual nature of God has come into manifestation. Then, Speak Lord, thy servant heareth and we attain that listening attitude until we feel some measure of a release within, sometimes even receive a message, and then our part of the work is done. Sometimes the healing is instantaneous. Sometimes it takes place after the second or third time and sometimes you may have to work with someone for a year or two or three. That all has to do with their receptivity, their ability to yield, and to the heights that you attain.
So that you might rightly say, “Then what’s the good of all this teaching, and what is the good of all the years that we study these books?” And I will say to you that the experience will not come without that. In other words, the study, the practice, the listening, the reading, these are the steps that break down the mortal sense in which we were born, that enable us to die to mortal sense and to be reborn. In other words, without all of those years from 1909 until 1928 in which I was breaking my heart and head trying to discern how to find God, and probably without the reading that I was doing in the Bible and the Christian Science writings, the experience might not have happened. In other words, every single effort that I made from 1909 on to discover the secret, to break through the darkness, was a helpful thing leading me ultimately to the experience.
And that is why I have said in the writings that it makes no difference what your background of study is, if your object was to discover truth, learn truth, seek truth, it doesn’t make any difference if you were studying with the Hottentots. It doesn’t make any difference if you were with some Paganistic teaching. It doesn’t make any difference what you were studying, as long as the motive was to seek the experience, the realization, the understanding of God. Ultimately you would be led there because people have been led there through Paganistic teachings, through Christian teachings, non-Christian teachings. People have been led there in every different direction and have reached there. The goal is to be reached, no matter what mode or method you use, if the basic motive is truth. In other words, as long as you’re just in metaphysics seeking to demonstrate health and harmony and supply and companionship, you have no hope of attaining it. In spite of how successful you may be in human demonstrations, you still never, never will attain spiritual awareness. That only comes when you have died to caring about the outer scene and are willing to take life as it is, and work from within toward the goal of God realization.
Now we are very fortunate in the message of The Infinite Way that certain things since my first experience have been revealed to me that make it easier for anyone else with the right desire to attain it and I want to illustrate that for you. Scripture says: “To know Him aright is life eternal.” And on that statement you can afford to rest. That is the truth. If you can come to know God aright, you will attain the experience, the God experience, the Christ experience, the spiritual experience. And, therefore, we have as our first principle to know the nature of God.
Always you will discover in every class that we have three subjects that are never missed: the nature of God, the nature of error, the nature of prayer. Now in teaching beginners, the major part of the classwork must be on the nature of God, the nature of error, the nature of prayer. As they become more advanced, the teaching can be on that and comprise only one half of the teaching. In other words, if you’re giving an hour’s class, one half of the hour should be given to the nature of God, the nature of error and the nature of prayer. When you come down to more advanced students, you can encompass that in ten minutes. But in my experience, there has not yet come the time when I can omit those three from any class. And I can promise you that you can go through every Infinite Way class that has ever been given, and you will discover that I have not omitted the nature of God, the nature of error, the nature of prayer. And the reason is that with this for a foundation, the experience is not difficult. Now watch why.