1959 New York Closed Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
289A – The Infinite Way Principles of God – The Fabric of Being – 3/4
Impersonalization & Nothingization
Now, before we come to these subjects of individual problems of life, I want to bring to your attention that which you must consider to be the major principle in healing work. This I tell you in advance, is contradictory to every religious teaching on the face of the globe; definitely contradictory to all philosophy, and yet it is the supreme truth of all ages. Evil, regardless of its name or nature or form, evil is not personal; and you never will find an evil in any individual on the face of the globe. It isn’t there; and all of the attempts, whether on a couch or off, to find evil in an individual must fail. It isn’t there to be found. This has been one of the tragedies of the world that this truth has been lost. All evil is impersonal! And therefore, to free an individual of sin, false appetite, disease, lack or limitation, the first step must be to turn away from your patient and utterly disregard them. Don’t try to find out what evil or error is in their thought; don’t try to uncover error; and don’t ask them under any conditions to be better than they are; and never tell an unloving person to be loving; never tell an ungrateful person to be grateful; never tell an unjust person to be just; never try to get an individual humanly, to improve themselves for they can’t do it. They don’t have the capacity. If they had the capacity to be better they’d be better. They don’t have that capacity.
Twice today, in answering my mail, I had to say to wives who wrote me of their broken hearts because their husbands continued to break their promises about not drinking, and I had to say to both of them, “Please, don’t ask your husband to make such a nonsensical promise. He couldn’t keep it if he wanted to. I’ll say this; he does want to.” I’ve never known an alcoholic yet that didn’t want to be released from it. They haven’t any such powers—never have had, never will have. Don’t ask them to make a promise not to drink, because they can’t keep it—there’s no way for them to keep it of themselves.
Remove the condemnation from them and realize that this evil is not of them. This has nothing to do with them. This has to do with the universal belief in two powers—this is absolutely impersonal. And watch, as soon as you have released them from judgment, condemnation, criticism, when they can’t any more help what they’re doing than a person in fever can help being delirious, or a person with a pain can help being in pain. Oh everyone in pain would like to be out of it, everyone in delirium would like to be out of it, and everybody who is an alcoholic or a drug addict, would like to be out of it, but don’t ask them to do it, they can’t.
That is the reason the Master never judged, never condemned, never criticized; that was the reason he could say, “Forgive seventy times seven.” But, introducing the Christ or impersonalizing the evil, you begin immediately to free your patient.
Impersonalization is the first and major principle of healing of this work. I’m assuming of course that you do know that there is one principle which you may say is ahead of it; although not superior to it, and that is: the realization of God constituting individual being; God as the law unto all being; God as the life; God as the substance; God as the all-in-all of individual being; God constitutes all being. You may set that up as the first Infinite Way principle, but not the most important, the most important is the second one: impersonalizing.
Now, I know how many metaphysicians have used that approach of, “You are spiritual and you are perfect,” looking at the individual they were saying it to, you could hardly believe it. Or saying, “You ought to be more loving, or you ought to be more just, or you ought to be more something or other,” and then looking at them and saying, “I know you’d like to be if you could be”…What a waste of time to tell you what you ought to be. How do I know all this, because I know what a waste of time it is to tell me to be different than I am; what I am—I am; and what I was in the past—I was; and telling me that it isn’t so good isn’t going to make me change it. First place I’ll probably not believe it.
I actually have had that experience you know of noticing someone who really, really wanted to be set right, and saying, “Well you know from a human standpoint, this is really the thing that you have to correct.”
“How can you say that? That’s the one thing I haven’t got!”
And you’ve had that same experience. It is inevitable because we can’t see our own faults; we can’t see our own inadequacies, and to try to tell us to be rid of them, that’s next thing to sacrilege.
But, let’s get away from this psychological approach, from this attempt to make good humans out of bad humans, purses out of sow’s ears—it won’t work. Impersonalize! Start where you are and cease rendering judgment against anybody, or judging, condemning, criticizing, or trying to improve. Be assured that if those methods would work, Dr. Menninger wouldn’t have said a few years ago, “They haven’t yet healed anyone of anything.” And this board of psychiatrists here last month, wouldn’t have had to say, “We have never yet seen anyone healed of anything through psychiatry.” They wouldn’t have to say those things, if these methods worked, because they’re using these methods of digging into your mind, and digging into your past, digging into your ancestry, and finding what? Nothing! Nothing, but what they put there.
Understand this: God constitutes your being. And the degree in which you are not manifesting this, or I, it’s all the same, represents only that degree in which we are still personalizing; that degree in which we have not yet succeeded in impersonalizing.
The basis of all of my work, with the exception of the first two years when I did not know what was doing the healing work, but since nineteen-thirty-two the basis of all my work has been impersonalizing first—never looking to a patient or a student to find error; and even if I saw it standing right out at me like a sore thumb—turning my eyes away from it and denying it. Denying it how? Denying it as being personal, as being a quality or activity or trait of my patient—it isn’t. It can’t be.
Now, whence then, these troubles that afflict you and me and mankind, where do they come from? The first Mystic who discovered the secret of impersonal evil called it devil, Satan. And when it was named devil or Satan, it did not mean an opponent of God; it did not mean that which fought God, or opposed God. It had no such meaning at all. It meant something more in the nature of “tempter;” not a power, not a person, but more in the nature of a tempter, an offering of temptation.
You witness that in the experience of the Master being tempted three times in the wilderness by the devil, Satan himself. And when the devil is refused three times that’s the end of devil, that’s the end of his power—he’s finished!
Now, in what way I have no idea, devil or Satan became the opposite of God; it became an opponent of God; it became an enemy of God—something that God had to fight, and be assured of this and I say it only through revelation; God has nothing to fight at any time, and no one to fight, and nothing to overcome. God is and God is Omnipotence, beside God there is none else. God has no battles; God has no enemies; God has no opponents; and the devil can walk up and down the world all it wants, and if everybody says, “No,” that’ll be the end of the devil without God’s help. You don’t need God to fight the devil—you only need the word “no.” Get thee behind me. And, the biggest temptation the devil will ever offer you is believing that somebody is good and somebody is evil—whereas nobody is good and nobody is evil. Why callest thou me good, only God is good, and that is the pattern for all time.