1959 Hawaiian Village Closed Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
263A – Three Principles and Their Practice
We are dealing now with the specific principles of The Infinite Way which we are to apply in meeting the problems of our everyday living, the principles which constitute the healing principles of The Infinite Way.
And I recognize, and you must recognize, that there is going to be some difficulty about this, because most of you have other metaphysical backgrounds, and the principles of The Infinite Way, the major principles, are not only not the principles of your previous studies, but some of them may appear to you to be very contradictory. And I know that many students do have difficulties because they try to mix the principles of their former teachings with the principles of The Infinite Way and make no headway, or have difficulties in—let’s call it demonstration—the demonstration of harmony.
Last night I explained one of these principles and made it very clear, or hoped that I made it very clear, that it is probably the most important principle in the message of The Infinite Way, and that is that the nature of God being infinity, it is never used for any purpose. It is never used for the overcoming of sin, disease, or death. In The Infinite Way truth isn’t used at all. The very opposite of that is the truth in The Infinite Way. We seek to become the instruments of truth. We open ourselves that we may be used by truth, by God.
In other words that God may manifest Itself as our individual being; that God may live Its life as us; that God may lead, guide, direct, govern, sustain, maintain, support, supply, and we are the instruments through which, or as which, that takes place. You see, the wisdom of God is infinite wisdom, omniscience; therefore, it is ridiculous to believe that we can tell God, or ask God, or inform God of our needs. It is an impossibility for us to know more than God. It is only possible for us to know as much as God if we have first known that we know nothing, and then let the wisdom of God manifest Itself as our wisdom.
In other words, by attaining a receptive attitude for the inflow, as I indicated last night that you would do as a composer or artist or writer, always holding yourself here, inside, in a listening attitude almost as a vacuum, waiting for the new melody or the new idea or the new vision or the new invention or the new discovery to come to you.
This is perhaps best illustrated in the teaching of Zen, and we have it given to us very clearly in a book on Zen in Archery, in which it is so clearly taught that the Zen archer learns how to hold his bow and arrow, and then stands there waiting until something hits his hand and draws it away from the bow, and it flies right off into the heart of the target. In other words, man doesn’t aim it. Man hasn’t the power to hit that center of the target, but merely by holding it and waiting for that influence to open those fingers, the arrow darts right into the heart of the target.
So it is, when we get used to the idea of being an instrument—both mind and body—in the recognition of the truth that there is a God, infinite wisdom, infinite life, infinite love, and that in our silence and in our stillness, It can manifest Itself as us or through us and perform Its functions through us. Therefore, we can’t use God or truth, but by attaining an inner stillness, God or truth can use us and It can manifest through us as healings, if we have chosen the healing profession; as inventions, if we are inventors; as music, if we are composers.
God is infinity, and all that is is an emanation of God, whether It is to appear as engineering principles, scientific principles, literary works, art works, whatever it may be. It must be an emanation of God, and we are the instruments through which, and as which It is to function on earth. So you see then that our approach to life is not learning how to use truth, but how to be so receptive and responsive to the divine impulse that truth can use us, that life can flow as our life, wisdom flow as our wisdom, but we know right well it isn’t ours, it’s God’s.
Now, since God is infinite, the power of God is infinite and therefore, these discords of the world, of which we are so well aware, not only because so many of them afflict us, and our families and friends, but because we’re aware of them throughout the world. All of these afflictions, discords, diseases, inharmonies, all of these exist in the human scene as experiences due to our ignorance of the basic truth that God alone is power.
Now, it isn’t your ignorance or mine personally, it is this universal ignorance which instantly takes us over the moment we are conceived and begins to handle us the minute we’re born. It isn’t your ignorance or mine any more than any wisdom or power that we would attain is yours or mine. No. We come into this world ignorant of spiritual truth. We come into this world accepting the two powers—good and evil, and long before we understand the meaning of them, we have accepted them and of course, we become deathly afraid of the evil, afraid of falling down, and afraid of meeting strangers, and afraid of automobiles, and afraid of about everything there is on the face of the globe, until finally we’re sent to church to learn how to become afraid of God.
Now, the first lesson that we have to learn as students of The Infinite Way is that the nature of God being infinite, there is no power, no law to anything of a discordant nature, of a material nature, of a limited nature, and in doing this we learn to resist not evil. We learn to put up thy sword. We learn to stand before every form of Pilate and say, “Oh, you look terrible. You look frightening, and what I hear about you, you are very frightening, but thou couldst have no power over me, unless it were given thee of the Father.”
Now, it isn’t a simple matter to come to that state of consciousness because we are born and brought up in material consciousness, and that means in the consciousness of two powers, the good and evil. And we are consciously making the transition from that state of consciousness to the one that is able to look at the crippled man and say, “What did hinder you? Pick up your bed and walk,” or “Lazarus is not dead, but sleepeth. Come forth, Lazarus,” or to the blind man, “Open your eyes and see,” because there is no power to prevent it. There is only one power operating in consciousness. That power is God.
Now, because of our birth, even if we can intellectually accept this as the truth, we cannot demonstrate it until it begins to come alive in us, until an inner conviction comes with it, which comes with practice—and then, of course, we’re only able to demonstrate it in a measure. But that is the basic principle. That is the one which gives all students the most difficulty, and many metaphysical students great difficulty, because they have been taught that truth overcomes error and how to use truth, and of course, to get used to the idea that you can’t use truth. Truth is infinity. Truth is God Itself. No one can use God. No one can influence God. No one could sway God. No one could get God to do his bidding.
We have a chapter in the new book “Is God a Servant?” And just think, just think, if you haven’t thought of God, unconsciously of course, as a servant—telling God your need and expecting God to fulfill it, telling God what you want and expecting God to produce it, asking God for this favor or that favor or even commanding God, as if God were a servant, whereas the Master, himself, acknowledged himself to be the servant of God—not a master, but a servant.
Then we come to another principle, and all of our healing work is based on this. And again, to those of you with metaphysical backgrounds, I will say in advance, that if you wish to really understand and demonstrate this, you’ll have to work with it, and work hard, until you break yourself of your former beliefs, and are able to come into the understanding of this principle.