1964 Manchester Closed Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
560B – Scriptural Meditation – The Nature of God & Prayer
“Will you please enlarge on the subject of God contact. On a 1962 tape you say it is so sacred and secret that you must not tell it to another, and do not speak about it, except to your own teacher. Is it the same experience as that which happens during a successful meditation?”
It well can be. A successful meditation is a contact with God, and if it is a successful meditation, and it results in a contact with God, and then there is spiritual fruitage from it, do you see how impossible it would be to tell it to another? Because how could they believe it? How could they understand it? If it has never happened to them what makes you even think that they would believe it? In other words, well, Scripture says if you raise them from the dead, they will not believe it. And probably many of you have witnessed that of very fine spiritual healings that take place, and then some doctor says, “Oh well, they would have gotten better anyhow,” or, “Oh well, that’s one of the unusual things that sometimes happen that we don’t understand.” But never, or rarely, is credit given to the fact that it is a spiritual healing.
And so it is, how can a person who has never had a spiritual experience believe that there is such a thing? It is very much like in my earlier years, I had the gift of seeing many events before they took place, still do, in fact. But in those early years, I thought everybody wanted to know what was coming, so that they might prepare for it or against it, if it were to be evil, and I soon learned this isn’t true. Nobody wants to hear anything except what they already believe. And so if you could tell them that there is going to be a flood in their house next week, they are not going to believe it until the day after it happens, because they don’t want to believe it; they don’t want it to happen, and they’re going to put it out of their mind.
And so I learned as the years went on, never to divulge these things, because the first thing in the thought of a person is, “Well how do you know?” In other words, “I don’t know, so how do you know?” So it is that one who has never had a spiritual experience cannot possibly understand the nature of a spiritual experience. And more especially in the Occidental world, there are very few people who can believe in what happens in and through meditation, because meditation is an unknown factor in the Western world, and there are very few that know anything about meditation, and until The Infinite Way, there were still less who knew about it.
Now to tell anyone that you can go into meditation and feel the presence of God, or feel a deep breath, and then all of a sudden find the body healed or the mind or the pocketbook. Now this, you know, is ridiculous. I can still remember the day when my own father was sick, right here in England. The doctors notified us that he was dying, and a Christian Scientist asked if we had ever tried prayer healing. Well, I wanted to be polite, but I did have to hide a smile. “Do you mean Christian Science?” “Yes.” “No, we never thought about that. Mind over matter, no, I don’t think that would work.” But he persuaded me, and my father was healed by that very man. And it was an instantaneous healing.
It’s very difficult to tell these things to a person who has no experience with them, and I suppose this is good, because if everybody believed everything they heard, they’d be kind of gullible, and so we don’t like to believe what we don’t understand. And so it is that if you have spiritual experiences, it would be wisdom not to talk them over with anyone unless you have someone about you on the same path, at your level of demonstration, who could accept it and believe it, and with whom you could share, but those instances are rare.
Now, what makes the experience of fruitful meditation such a strange one to the world? Just this: that the world is not yet educated to know that the kingdom of God is within you; and that because of this, you can experience God. The world is ready to acknowledge that there are some spiritual people who have experienced God. Oh, they will acknowledge Moses and Elijah and Jesus and John and Paul and some others, but for you and me, oh this is quite impossible, but you see, we know now that it is quite possible for anybody who is sufficiently prepared within, to accept the presence of God as closer than breathing.
Now where would you locate closer than breathing? It doesn’t mean within your physical body, near your lungs or heart, because that would entomb God in a finite form, and we know that is impossible, because God is Spirit, God is incorporeal, and God fills all space, so you couldn’t lock God up in the lungs or heart. And so where would it be? Closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet, and if you will agree that that cannot mean within the body, you leave only one other answer: within my consciousness, within my awareness.
Therefore, since you cannot get the greater into the lesser, my consciousness must be as infinite as God or it could not hold God. Therefore, when I retire within, close my eyes to the without, turn within to my own consciousness, I meet God face to face, because I and the Father are one. The God consciousness and my consciousness is one, and this I can experience by shutting out the world of the five physical senses, by taking no thought for my life and listening.
Now you can see that you cannot tell this to your neighbor. You can speak of it among fellow students, if they are as advanced as you are, and ready to accept it, because this brings you to the nature of illumination, spiritual illumination. Spiritual illumination depends on two things: an understanding of the nature of God, whom to know aright is life eternal, and the nature of prayer. This is another point at which you will see that you must not expect the outside world to agree with you. The outside world has not been taught that God is omniscience.
Now this is the point that makes all the difference in the world in understanding the nature of God and the nature of prayer; because first of all, if you have accepted God as closer to you than breathing, you have accepted God as omnipresence, because it means that whether you are in heaven or hell, whether you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, whether you are in a holy synagogue or temple, or whether you’re home in your living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, you’re in the presence of God, because God is closer to you than breathing, and this means omnipresent where I am!
Now, if you have accepted God as omnipresence, you have already separated yourself from most of the world, especially the Christian world that is kneeling to a God in heaven, and very often personalizing God as a man, as a man who is absent, and for whom we are waiting. So therefore, if you have come to the conviction of God as omnipresence, closer to you than breathing, tell it to no man except one whom you know has come into the same understanding. Now if you have accepted God as omnipresence, you do not have to go anywhere to pray. Your praying is wherever you are, in sickness, sin, or death, in prison or freedom, in sin or purity, wherever you are is the place to pray, because right here where I am, God is, closer to me than breathing.