Original Iwihub.com transcript by Zane Maser. Illustration: Choir Performance VoidSpace in Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, NL.
God Seeks Us – Three Points of Practice 1/6
1954 Northwest Series – Portland
by Joel S. Goldsmith
We hear so much about the search for God. Yes, we even speak and write a lot about the search for God, seeking God, trying to become at one with God, making effort to contact God. And every bit of that is wrong. I wish I could rewrite every passage in The Infinite Way writings that refers to seeking God, or searching for God, or trying to find God, or make contact with God, because even though when I wrote those things I knew what I know now, I was using the language of the religious world, of Scripture, instead of writing what my heart felt. And so the most I can do now to make up for it is to rephrase it in our class work.
There is nothing that we can do or think that will enable us to find God. There is no effort that we can make to find God that will be successful. If we could be quiet enough, God would catch up with us, because that is the way the relationship really is. We are running away from God all the time, and the more we use personal effort—physical or mental—the more we are running away from God. The real true secret is that GOD IS. And not only that God IS but when we say God IS we’re saying the same thing as I AM. And so God is I am. And that’s Oneness. And so the relationship is I and the Father are One. And every effort to make contact with God would be like Joel trying to make contact with Joel. It is already One, not two.
Now the ability to relax the mental effort, the ability to read Scripture, study it, the ability to read inspirational writings, and at the same time be relaxed will enable God to reveal Itself to us. The kingdom of God is within us. There is no need searching for it anymore. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t even a need before the days of Jesus Christ when he said, “The kingdom of God is within you,” because it had been said in other words thousands of years before the Master. But instead of accepting it literally, we have voiced it in words and then denied it by our actions. If the kingdom of God is within us, where are we going to go? What effort is necessary to find that which is within us but to be still? As Scripture says, “Be still.” The I will reveal Itself, and It will declare, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” You can’t search for It, but It can say It to you.
In other words, you find throughout The Infinite Way writings that we do not give treatments. We get still and let God give the treatment within us. You find all through The Infinite Way writings that we do not go to God for healing. We let God reveal the truth of Being, the truth of your being, of mine, the truth of the patient or student. Think how awful it would be for us to speak to God. Oh, I’m sure God has many more interesting things to say to us than we could ever have to say to God. And we can hear all that God has to say by being still, instead of seeking, searching, mentalizing.
Now, a new world opens up the moment we learn to be still, mentally still, as well as physically still. As a matter of fact, it isn’t necessary to be physically still. You can go right on about your work, ride horseback, do housework, go to business, do anything you like physically. But mentally be still. Mentally open that inner ear, that listening attitude and watch how close God is and see why the poet could so beautifully say, “closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet.” Do you imagine we are searching and seeking for that which is closer than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet? Oh today would be such a good day to give up that search for God and let God search around a little for us. And be assured God would find us right where we are. Ye though I make my bed in hell, God will find us there. If I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God will find us there. Why? Because with God, it isn’t a matter of searching or seeking. It’s a matter of Knowing and Being. But we, we do not let that come through. It is as if the sun were outside and we kept the shades down and then went searching for sunlight.
So it is with us. Because there is a legitimate use for the term seeking God and the search for God, we have turned it into a physical and mental seeking and searching. Actually to seek for God or search for God merely means to recognize that we have not come into God awareness. And so every bit of praying that we do, communing, meditating, every bit of spiritual reading that we do, every bit of attendance at lectures or services or classes is a seeking and searching. But it is not in the sense of mentally trying to make contact with. That’s a seeking and searching but if anything would tend to separate us from God.
I feel so tempted to say that this is the secret of supply, but here I’d be getting into something so simple that I’m afraid nobody but children would understand it. The seeking and the searching and the laboring and the mentalizing for supply is about on the same level as praying for supply in the last depression when the world was full of supply, more than we could use, so much that we were destroying it.
And so it is with supply today. It isn’t necessary, and it never was intended that we should labor for supply mentally any more than physically. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our work and have our occupations or professions but that shouldn’t be working for a living. That should be working for the joy of working. In other words, there should be just as much joy in one’s work, labor, or profession as there is in my work. Certainly, you wouldn’t engage in this work for a living. You’d be very glad to do it if there wasn’t any living in it. Matter of fact if you were called to it, you’d find that you’d gladly sacrifice all the living in the world just for the joy of being in it. But so it should be with any art, any profession, any work that we are called to do it should be our joy to do it.