1959 Tuesdays at Halekou
Joel S. Goldsmith
255A – To Know Him Aright Is Demonstration 3/5
If you go back to Moses, you will see that he really had God realization, full and complete; but that only a few of those who were with him were able to receive it, to understand it, to live it, and the others went back again to their slavery days. They went back to wars and famine, conquering; and then came some more leaders, and lifted them out of it.
And again you have the few, and the masses again losing all that they had gained through these leaders. And so on from Abraham all the way to Jesus, the life of the Hebrews shows how high they ascended when they had wonderfully illumined spiritual leaders; and how low they sank until at the time of Jesus Christ, they were almost in their lowest estate.
We know now from these “Scrolls” that have been found and translated in recent years that for a hundred-and-fifty years before Jesus Christ, the Hebrews suffered under their own leaders, worse than they suffered from their conquerors. They were more badly treated, unfairly treated, unjustly treated, by their own religious leaders than they were by their conquerors. For a hundred-and-fifty years before Jesus and for sixty years after Jesus it was the evils of their religious hierarchy that kept them in terrible bondage.
And here comes Jesus with this marvelous message and could he take the Hebrews out of their bondage? And the answer is no! A few hundreds of them only were able to see the Light sufficiently, to apprehend it, comprehend it, discern, so as to follow him and the disciples into the Jewish/Christian era.
Why? Inertia. It’s a very difficult thing to stop doing today what you’ve doing for the last twenty years. It’s a very difficult thing to come out from among them and be separate; it is a very difficult thing to break the habits of a lifetime, and believe something new. I’m thinking just in this moment of the time when my mother told me there was no Santa Claus and there was no use of hanging up stockings. But I must tell you the truth that I hung them up that year anyhow in case she was wrong. I was very reluctant to give up my Santa Claus; he was pretty good to me.
And we are reluctant to give up the religious beliefs with which we have been indoctrinated. We are reluctant to give up the nationalistic beliefs, the racial beliefs. We are reluctant because in them we find a certain amount of security and respectability—everybody else believes this way, and, we aren’t quite respectable if we don’t; we aren’t orthodox; we aren’t regular; we aren’t normal; we may even be insane.
And, even when it comes to our inner most being, our inner most thoughts, we are still reluctant. We find there an inertia that makes it difficult for us to accept that “as ye sow, so shall ye reap.” We find it difficult to believe that we have to make the change within ourselves in order to bring God’s grace into our lives. We believe that we can be the same human being today that we were yesterday, and yet have more of God’s grace; and that’s impossible. We receive God’s grace in proportion as we “yield” our humanhood.
There is no way the Master taught, “to add new wine to old bottles.” Ah, do you see how we have passed up those passages? Why? Because it’s so nice to ignore it, and to believe that we can go on being the same person we were yesterday with the same hates, fears; jealousies, animosities, and yet add to us more of God’s grace. Either the coming of God’s grace to our consciousness wipes out those tendencies, or we start some wiping out of the tendencies in order to create a vacuum for God’s grace—one or the other has to take place.
Certain it is that when a person has an experience such as Moses had that they are never the same after that. The very fact of the experience transforms them, and they no longer go through life with the same human tendencies. Whatever experience it was that Jesus Christ had that transformed him from whatever his idea of a Hebrew Rabbi was, to a spiritually illumined being, whatever it was took from him all of his loyalties to Hebraic teachings, to the Hebrew law; took from him his dependency on their rights and rituals and sacrifices, and gave him a whole new consciousness.
So it is, whenever an individual has an experience of illumination, it dissolves the human traits. They are then reborn. But so many of us do not start out with spiritual experiences, we start out as human beings, with all of the failings of human beings: racial, religious, national and personal. And we know there is something to be attained spiritually; we know there is such a thing as God’s grace—something within us tells us that. That is why we stay on the “path”, as difficult as it is, and sometimes as frustrating as it is—we stay on it; because something within us says, “this is truth and I have to attain it.” That is the experience of most of us. We go through very, very hard, difficult years, because there is a song in our heart; something says to us: “this is truth or there is truth,” and we can’t prove it, day by day our problems come up; over and over again the same problems or new ones; or we get rid of some and find others take their place; and, we all come to that place of, “well what is the use, what is the use?” And the answer comes back, as it did to the disciples, “Where shall we go? Thou hast the word of truth.”
As difficult as it is we have to stick to it, because there is no other place to go. We know we can’t go back to sensuality, sensuousness; we know that we can’t go back to depending on bullets and bombs for safety and security; we know we can’t go back to believing that the only hope for mankind is in a pill or a powder; we know we’ve gotten beyond that state—even though we may have to have recourse to them here and there; we may not completely make our demonstration day by day, but we know that there’s no ultimate hope in them; and we know that we must go forward.
Now while we’re doing it let us remember this. We ourselves must make room for the spiritual experience. The Master outlines many, many ways for us—one especially when he says, “that if you go to the altar to pray and there remember that any man has ought against thee, get up.” In other words, praying, meditating, communing, while you are still acknowledging a presence and power apart from God, or while you are attributing evil to persons, conditions or nations, is folly and your prayer can’t break through. Not that your prayer is for God to do something, but your prayer is really the effort at inner contact, at-one-ment—spiritual realization.
Now, it is for this reason, that Moses gave the Hebrews ten Commandments. Now you must understand that a people to whom it is necessary to say: “Thou shalt not steal; or thou shalt not envy; thou shalt not murder, must have been very low in the animal scale of life. Jesus found a higher preparation for his message when he did away with nine of those Commandments, and substituted just two Commandments. In those two Commandments are embraced the nine that he omitted; because when a person comes to a measure of spiritual Light, they have lost the capacity to steal, lie, cheat, defraud, envy, etc.
In the experience of the Master, you will find the Sermon on the Mount takes the place of ten Commandments. And now you will find, that not that he gave permission to steal, lie, cheat—I’m sure you know that by omitting those nine Commandments he wasn’t giving anybody permission to indulge them. Oh no! he knew that if you could live according to the Sermon on the Mount, you would have no need for them, because temptation in those forms would not enter your consciousness.
In the enlightened consciousness the temptations resolve themselves into deep personal sense. That’s why I have warned our students repeatedly that after you get to a certain place in your spiritual progress; you will find three serious temptations facing you. You believe of course that by the time you have attained some measure of spiritual demonstration that there are no temptations for you but that’s not true. All of the temptations of the world will resolve themselves down to three. And you will have your difficulties, with one, two or all three of these before you rise completely above the human scene. Those three temptations are to be found in our classwork.