From: The Heart Of Mysticism
December letter of 1958
by Joel S. Goldsmith
Saul of Tarsus was a very good man, a man who spent his days and nights pondering God, deeply religious, believing in God, fearing for God’s kingdom so much that he was willing to do almost anything to protect his God and his God’s way of life. His was such an intense passion for God that he would permit nothing to stand in the way of his achieving the realization of God. In the midst of his zeal, the realization came: He was struck blind with a tremendous power of light, and, then, he who had persecuted the Christians became one of the great apostles of Christianity. All the years that he had spent learning about an unknown God, a God “whom therefore ye ignorantly worship”3 as he later termed it—all the years of zealous, almost fanatical, devotion to God were profitable to him.
And so it is with us: Every affirmation we have ever made, every denial we have ever made, every right thought we have ever entertained, or every attempt we have made humanly to improve ourselves is a help along the way. If we persist in it with enough devotion, we shall come to that place where we, too, are struck with the light of Truth, and, in that blinding flash, we shall know that the Christ exists as a living reality. The Christ is not right thinking; the Christ is not knowledge of truth; and the Christ is not a book about truth: The Christ is an actual, living reality that no one yet has ever been able to explain, but which ever so many people have been able to entertain within themselves and to experience.
When we no longer have faith in “the horses and horsemen of Egypt,” when we no longer have faith in swords or material remedies or thoughts or anything that is in the visible or tangible world, we come to a moment when we have nothing to cling to: It is that moment when we cry out in desperation, as did Mary, “They have taken away my Lord.”4 That is the day! That is the moment of glory, the moment when we have no Lord —nothing to cling to, not a thought to hold on to, not a belief. Nothing in which we have had faith remains. That is the most glorious moment of our whole career because when every tangible “horse and horseman” have been taken away from us, when all our guns and bombs have been taken away and all these “right thoughts” have failed and we have nothing left, no thing left, that is when we have the Christ. That is when the Spirit takes over and says, “Have you forgotten Me? I am still with you. If you go through the waters, you will not drown; if you go through the flames, they will not kindle upon you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Before Abraham was, I am. I will be with you until the end of the world.”
And we turn around and say, “I forgot all about I. I was looking for a thought; I was looking for a statement of truth; I was looking for a good practitioner; I was looking for a new teaching.”
“Yes, I know you were, and I was standing back here—I, always I. I in the midst of you am mighty. I am the Lord God of Israel, the very Christ, or Son of God, in you.” “Yes, I in the midst of me is mighty. Paul saw (a man in Christ . . . whether in the body . . . or whether out of the body, I cannot tell’) 5—whether in physical form or not I know not, but I saw that Creature. I do not even know if it was externalized; it may have
been within my own being.”
“And it was, because I never get outside of you. I never become external to you. I am always in the midst of you. I is the very consciousness of your own being. I is your Soul; I is the very bread and meat and wine. I in the midst of thee Is. I has meat the world knows not of. I can give you water, living water. I is the bread of life.”
Just think of that: I is that—and we have been looking in a book for it; we have been looking to a man for it; we have been looking to some teaching for it. The Hebrews of old made the mistake of thinking that the Messiah would be a man instead of realizing that the Messiah would come in the form of a man, as a messenger bringing them the awareness of the Christ. After Jesus’ time, it was thirty years before the Christ-light came to Paul, and it was ninety years after the Master was no longer visible on the earth before John of Patmos, the greatest exponent of the Christ, the greatest witness of the Christ of whom we have any knowledge, had the vision of the Christ. This experience could come to them only because the Christ, I, is ever present, omnipresent.
I was omnipresent in Paul; I was omnipresent in John; and I is omnipresent in every saint and sinner on earth, awaiting first the acknowledgment of It, and then the recognition of It. We become aware of the Christ in proportion to the moments of receptive silence we experience. No person who does not set aside enough time, both day and night, even though that time may be divided into periods of only two or three minutes each, will become receptive and responsive to the Christ—unless it is in a period of terrible danger. I hope that none of us will have to wait until we are in a dungeon somewhere, or at death’s door before we open ourselves to the Christ.
We have the same opportunity of having It revealed within us as anyone else has. You may say that someone else has more leisure. You might even say that I had more leisure. But I did not find the Christ in my leisure. When I was in the business world out on the road selling merchandise or making trips to Europe to buy merchandise, I had to take time for reading and introspection. I was busy, as busy as any of you are, but I had to learn to put first things first. That is the lesson we all have to learn. We always find time to do the things we really want to do. If there is a sufficient God-hunger within you, you, too, will find the necessary time in which to pray to God to be shown the way, and a highway will open before you.
You will find that with these frequent periods of meditation, with enough practice, eventually it will happen: One of those flash seconds will come as it did to Paul, probably in a lesser degree, possibly in a greater degree, because there is no limit except the limit of our receptivity. It will happen! And when it happens, you will know what I mean when I say the Christ is our salvation, the Christ is our health, the Christ is our supply, and the Christ is our guidance, direction, and protection. The Christ is all in all to us as the Christ is realized.
3 Acts 17:23.
4 John 20:13.
5 II Corinthians 12:2.