Understanding the Body 3/5

We look out upon each other and we see forms which we call bodies. Ah yes, a husband or wife may see something entirely different than we see. A mother or father may see something entirely different than we see. Sister and brother see something entirely…. And yet, it’s all the same body, the same form. No it isn’t—no it isn’t. In each case what we are seeing represents our concept of that which is there, and in one case we are just indifferent to it as body, and in another case we are vastly indifferent and otherwise than indifferent.

1955 Kailua Study Group
Joel S. Goldsmith
113A – Understanding the Body 3/5

All right, so it is with all of us. We look out upon each other and we see forms which we call bodies. Ah yes, a husband or wife may see something entirely different than we see. A mother or father may see something entirely different than we see. Sister and brother see something entirely…. And yet, it’s all the same body, the same form. No it isn’t—no it isn’t. In each case what we are seeing represents our concept of that which is there, and in one case we are just indifferent to it as body, and in another case we are vastly indifferent and otherwise than indifferent.

Now, once the realization comes that I am life eternal, you can then look out and say, “Well, I have form. I have body. And my form and my body represents the instrument through which I walk the earth. I could walk the earth without a form or body, but that would be invisible to you.” That is why when you read these stories of the Orient, and you read of the masters who could transport their bodies through space without any element of time, do not disbelieve that for a single moment because not only it was true, it still is true. But, that vision is not beheld by man whose breath is in his nostril. It is only beheld by those of his own state of consciousness. In other words, if a master transports himself from northern India to southern India, you can bet that only another master is seeing him. The man in the street is saying, “That’s nonsense.” Why? Because like Thomas, I must handle it. In other words I believe only my own concept. That is the secret of the resurrection. Never doubt for a moment that Jesus rose from the tomb. Never believe for a moment that the multitudes that he healed witnessed it. We are told that only five hundred and eighteen witnessed it. Why? Five hundred and eighteen may have been fifty-eight or six thousand eighteen. We don’t know. We do know this—nobody witnessed it except those of such a high spiritual atmosphere that they could perceive that which finite, human sense could not behold.

The lesson of the resurrection is this: The Master was no magician. He did no tricks for people, nor did he ever do anything to impress anyone with what a great fellow he was. Never. When the resurrection took place, a principle was revealed to mankind. YOU NEVER DIE! Nor does your body ever stay in a casket or in an oven. Never, never. To gross material sense, to the gross material sense which has accepted this to be me, to them there will be a funeral, a burial, or a cremation. But to those of illumined consciousness who never did believe that this was me, Joel will always walk the earth for them. You will always walk the earth for me. Never, never will I consign you to a tomb or to an oven. As far as I am concerned, you will walk this earth within three hours after you seem to take your departure from it, because I know who and what you are, and I won’t be looking for you in the tomb of flesh. “He is not here in the tomb,” the guard says. “He is risen.” That’s a principle. You are not here in the tomb of flesh.

Now this is true not only when you are dead to human sense, but it is true now. You are not buried in this tomb we call a human body—you are not in it. No surgeon has ever been able to find you inside of a form whether they operate from the brain to the toenails, they cannot find you because you are not entombed in body. Body is embraced in you, and it is as much an instrument for you as your dollar bills are instruments. Dollar bills do not constitute your wealth; you constitute your wealth—the life, which you are, and the dollar bills are the instrument, which you use as activities of exchange, modes of exchange; so with the body.

As an infant you had one body, but you exchanged it like you exchange your dollar bills. And you exchanged it for the body of a child. And when you outgrew it, you exchanged that body for the body of youth. When you were through with that, you exchanged that body for the body of adulthood. In that body you found something that was in none of your previous bodies, you found the power to reproduce yourself. That wasn’t in your infant body; that wasn’t in your childhood body. Now in this new body of youth and adulthood, you found this new power. Ah, but as you advance in the years you lost that power again. Why? Because now you didn’t need it. Now that was not a necessary function of your experience—to be a parent. Now you go on to higher modes of life—or different ones, if they are not higher, they are different. And so you leave behind yourself your dolls and toys, then you leave behind the marbles and school books, then you leave behind the parenthood. Each time you leave behind a function of your life, and you leave behind a part of your body and you acquire a different body and a different function of life and you go on.

Now because this is unknown, just about the time when we no longer have the faculties to become parents we look on this as a horrible thing that has happened to us because it’s old age and now we have nothing left but death or being a grandparent. But in spiritual wisdom we find this is not true. That everything up to the period of being finished as parents has been only a preparation for our leaving behind the material sense of world with its cares and a preparation for entering the spiritual unfoldment of life. That is why it is not as easy to interest the young in spiritual things as the older—not because the older are just afraid of dying and want to know something about God, but because the younger still have functions on the human plane which they have not outgrown. It would be a wonderful thing if they could learn the spiritual wisdom as an adjunct to their physical lives. And it does happen in some cases. But very often it’s necessary for them to outgrow the physical sense of life before they are ready to enter the spiritual sense of life.

Now, we come to this point then: that you must understand your body. And you must understand that you are not this body, and this body is not you. This body is an instrument through which you are functioning. You are the life of the body; you are the soul of the body; you are the intelligence of the body; you are that which says, “up – down – left – right” You are that which writes or paints or sculpts or composes. You are that which buys or sells. But the body is the instrument, which is always obedient to you.

Now, in the lower forms of life—the ignorant and very often the illiterate, the body is the master of the person and the bodily functions control the person and the person seems to have no control over their body. But the moment one rises into spiritual light in some measure, they posses the body; they govern the body; they begin to use their bodies in the directions they wish to use them, which of course by then is always along the line of intelligence and so-forth.

Now, the body itself is as spiritual as we are. This that we see is a mental concept of that body. It is only a concept because it isn’t what it is. If this were what it is, then it would always be what it is. But because this is my concept of what it is, it changes. And one day it seems healthier and one day sick, and one day young and one day old, one day pretty and one day not pretty. All depending on what? It? No, on what my view of it is. So therefore we are never seeing the body. We are seeing a human concept of body. And so we come to this mystery of the body. And remember all of this is in The Infinite Way in short sentences even though here it takes a whole book to explain it.

This is called “Flesh and Flesh” and I hope that someday it will be the chapter of a new book. And it starts with a quotation from 1st Timothy: And without controversy, great is the mystery of Godliness: And after that “mystery of Godliness” there is a colon. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. The mystery of Godliness is what? “God was manifest in the flesh” I appear as body. I function through body. I am seen in the world as body. I am not seen. I am seen in the world as body. I am seen in the world as flesh.

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