1956 Second Steinway Hall Closed Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
150B – Your Names Are Writ in Heaven 3/5
Now as a human being, I naturally have the power to give or to withhold. I have the power to pet or to punch. Those are my prerogatives as a human being. But supposing it is true that the I of me is God, and that I have surrendered my disguise. I’ve taken off my masquerade, and I have said, “Joel, I and the Father are one. The Father alone governs you, maintains you, sustains you, supports you, animates you. God alone is your being.” After that, this hand can do nothing. It can’t give and it can’t withhold. Only God could move this hand. Even Joel can’t move it. Because if Joel ever tried to have a will apart from God, Joel would get nipped.
Once you have surrendered … once you have given up that masquerade and said, “Why, I am not mortal man whose breath is in his nostril. I am not a man born, conceived in sin, brought forth in iniquity. I am the Christ of God, the Son of the living God. Even my body is the temple of the living God, and I surrender my body, my mind, and my heart, and my soul to God.” And after you’ve done that earnestly, seriously, even you can’t give or withhold. Even you can’t pet or punch. You’ll find that it’s God that moves your body around, God that moves your mind around, God that animates and permeates your soul.
Ah yes, sure. Sure, as human beings, there are good ones and bad ones, but when we are faced out here with human beings, and one of us has the understanding to look out and say, “I know thee who thou art, the very Christ of God,” even the human beings out here lose the power to be human beings. That is what constitutes a true spiritual treatment; the realization that your body cannot manifest good or evil; that not even you can manifest good or evil; that you can’t be a saint or a sinner. Jesus said, Why callest thou me good? And if Jesus says, Why callest thou me good, you’d better say the same thing about you and about me.
Let’s not claim to be good, but on the other hand, let’s not claim to be evil. Let’s claim God as our identity. Let us claim God to be the mind of us, the soul, the spirit, the law, the cause. And then you’ll find that you really have died daily. You’ve died so hard daily that you’ve come to your death as a human being with a will of your own and a mind of your own. You’ve come to total death and extinction, and the Son of God has been born in you.
Yes, Silesius says, “If Christ were born a thousand times in Bethlehem’s stall, and not in you, it wouldn’t do you any good at all.” If Christ isn’t born in you, the birth of two thousand years ago is valueless, so far as you are concerned. When you begin to understand that there is neither good nor evil in the creature, that is, anything that is created, anything that has form, anything that exists as effect; if you can see that there’s neither good nor evil in it, that whatever quality this has comes from God, you have begun your own rebirth.
And you’ve begun to be a healer, and you can’t be a healer before that. You can merely be an exchanger of sickness for health, temporarily. You can just turn a bad condition into a good one temporarily. You can just mentally manipulate a body and make it from inactive to active, or from sick to well. But the rebirth, the dying daily of the old man, and the rebirth of the new, can only take place when you stop trying to change forms. When you stop trying to change the creature, and begin to recognize that all form, all effect, is a visible manifestation of an invisible creative principle called God and it is subject to the creative principle that formed it, that maintains it, and sustains it unto eternity. And now this hand has lost all power to be good or bad. It now is subject alone to God.
And what about the heart? We’ve already spent too much time on a hand. What about a heart? Can a heart be sick? Can a heart be well? No, a heart can only be a heart. A liver can only be a liver, and a lung can only be a lung. But it can’t be a good one and it can’t be a bad one. It can’t be sick, it can’t be well, and it can’t be alive and it can’t be dead. It has no qualities of its own. Whatever a heart, liver, or lung has, it gets from the invisible source which is God. No heart can keep anyone alive; only life can do that and life animates the heart.
I suppose that if I said this twenty-five years ago, I could be ridiculed: that it’s possible to live without a heart, because life, when it hasn’t got a heart to function through, will pick up some other organ of the body and function through it. Well if you don’t think it’s true, you could go back to Dr. Crile of Cleveland, some years back, when he removed half of a man’s brain, and found that the man functioned completely and perfectly with a half a brain, just as well as he had with a full brain. Or you could go to any hospital and find how many people are living without gall bladders. Just taken out, complete.
They haven’t lost the function. No, life is still functioning, but instead of a gall bladder, it picks up the liver and functions through the liver. Take away the liver; it’ll pick up something else and work through. Take the brain away, and life or intelligence will work through some other instrument of the body. There is no such thing as life being governed by a body. The body is governed by life. But this isn’t going to be true in our experience if you believe that that means that you can only have a good body. No. It won’t be true until you can agree that your body is neither good nor evil, that your body can neither be sick nor well. Don’t, don’t—please don’t get hooked on those pairs of opposites.
It is like healing alcoholism. It isn’t as difficult as it seems. It’s only difficult when you try to know the truth that alcohol isn’t evil. That isn’t what an alcoholic is suffering from. It’s the belief that it’s good. Destroy the belief that alcohol is good, and see what happens to the alcoholic. I’ve witnessed it, and the man says, “No use drinking this anymore. They’re making wartime whiskey now.”
If you want to handle alcohol, go ahead, but handle it from both standpoints. It isn’t evil. It can’t be evil, because there’s no power in anything, which doesn’t emanate from the spiritual source; so there can’t be an evil power in it. But be sure that you know there isn’t a good power, because that’s what the victim is suffering from. He’s finding good in it, not evil. It’s his family who thinks it’s evil.
So you see, right there you have both sides of the same picture. One says it’s good and one says it’s evil, and who is to say which is right? The safest is to deny rightness to both of them, and stand on the fact that liquor isn’t evil. Now of course, if you were to watch an alcoholic going through a bar room and that fatal attraction there is to the bottle, you’d really think there was an attraction in that bottle. But then when you or I go through and look at it without a sign of being attracted to it, there’s no attraction. So really, the attraction isn’t in the bottle, is it? It’s in just the way we conceive the situation.
Now, there’s only one way to destroy it, and that is in the same way that you destroy what appears to be ill health. Not by calling it evil. You won’t destroy it that way. You won’t destroy it by calling it evil, and trying to get rid of it. On the other hand, there’s no use of calling it God, saying, “Well God made all that was made, so God made a cancer.”
Now let’s not get hooked into that either. But let us agree to this: that it’s neither good nor evil. Whatever else it may be, it isn’t good, and it isn’t evil, because whatever it is, it derives its quality from an invisible source, and there’s only one invisible source, and that’s God. Then you’ll find that that which has been maintained by the belief in good and evil, disappears. The thing that sustains belief, that sustains disease, is the belief in good and evil. That’s all—nothing more. We believe that a body without disease is good, and that a body with disease is bad, and so we’re hooked on good and evil.