1952 Honolulu Class Series One
Joel S. Goldsmith
13A Judging By Appearances-The Theater

This is Joel bringing you a message of The Infinite Way. Today I would like to bring you an idea that has been very much in my thought lately. It has to do with judging by appearances.

As you know all of our discords, every inharmony of human experience is caused by the state of mesmerism that binds us to the world of appearances. Now this statement must be understood.

In the ordinary sense of the word, we watch a person deriving their income or their supply from some particular avenue or channel, and if we note that this particular channel or avenue is closed we feel concerned for the individual, and wonder where their next supply, or business, or home will come from.

In the same way, if we watch the fruit being taken from the tree and have no knowledge of the principle of supply operating as the life of the tree, we might be concerned for the future supply of fruit.

In other words if we judge life from what we behold with our five physical senses, we are hypnotized to the world of appearances, and we are thereby in bondage to person, place and thing. As we become un-hypnotized, or de-hypnotized so that we do not look at the world as it appears to be, we find an entirely different situation.
I would like to use the illustration of the theater. Let us suppose that we are in a theater watching the performance, and we have observed the villain doing his worst, and have developed a concern for what he will do to the hero and the heroine in the next act. However, if we are theater wise we will not be concerned about the villain in the piece, since we know that there is a greater authority that is the author of the play.

The villain, in and of himself, cannot be a villain. The villain in and of himself can do nothing to the hero, or the heroine, or to the action of the play. The author and the idea of the play in the consciousness of the author determines what the villain will do and what will happen to the hero and the heroine.

Always remember that even the good characters in the play cannot be good any more than the evil characters can be evil. The determining influence throughout the play is the mind of the author.

Once this is established in our thought, we do not look to the good characters or the bad characters for anything except the excellence of their performance, but the idea of the play is the activity of the mind of the author, merely expressed or carried out through the acting of the characters on stage.

We might learn to adopt that method of looking at life in general, and instead of fearing what this person, or circumstance, or situation can do to us, and instead of being overly excited about the good that this one or that one may bring about in our experience, we might look behind the scene to the Infinite Invisible, which is the mind of the author, God.

God is the author and finisher of our work, of our world. And if we look to God, the one mind, the infinite intelligence, and the divine love of this universe, we will find that regardless of what any individual, or group of individuals may appear to be doing, in any given moment, in the final analysis the decision rests with the great author, God—the one mind, and the one soul of the entire universe.

Since God is the mind of individual man it follows that man can only carry out the lines given him by the great “author”. Since the nature of that mind is love, truth, principle, it necessarily follows that only such qualities, and only such activities can become a part of our universe.

Right here let me say that it is true that there are many people in the world who do not know that they receive their lines direct from the author, and that they are but the vehicles for the carrying out of the divine plan, and these people have set up the word “I”, or “me,” or “mine” within themselves, and they live out from the basis of I, me, or mine, and thereby bring themselves ultimately to disaster since no one in and of themselves can write their own part.

It takes the mind of the great author, the great architect of the universe to plan, and to direct, and as we become obedient to that direction, we find our lives God-governed, harmoniously maintained and sustained.

Here the question arises: “But cannot these people who do not recognize God-government, and who hold the issue of good and evil within themselves, can they not influence our experience and spoil our demonstration?” The answer is no, they cannot.

As we individually, and steadfastly look to God as the author and finisher of our work, of our world, as we steadfastly hold to the truth that the government is upon His shoulders, and that the visible scene is but the idea of God made manifest; that the visible is but the plan and works of the great author and architect made visible as our individual experience, as we hold to this, all those who do not bring themselves under the divine law are either healed or removed from our experience.

It is not possible to heal everyone who comes within range of our thought since there must be a preparedness and a willingness for healing. You will recall that the Master did not heal Judas, but Judas did not bring about the death of the Master, although eventually he destroyed himself. The Master survived the experience. In the case of Peter, even the Master could not prevent Peter denying him three times, but in the case of Peter there was a healing.

So in our experience it becomes necessary for us to break the sense of mesmerism that holds us in the belief that person or circumstance, in and of themselves, have power or jurisdiction over our affairs, and rather, in spite of every appearance, hold to the truth that only the Infinite Invisible governs, controls, supports, maintains and sustains us.

The Infinite Invisible acting as man and circumstance helps us to play our part in the play of life. Through this steadfast holding to the truth, those who become a part of our experience as family, friends, fellow citizens, either become healed and take their normal and natural place in our experience, or they are removed from the range of our experience where they can have no further influence upon us, or upon the harmony of our existence.

Now remember this: God, the Infinite Invisible, is the creative principle of this universe, and the universe shows forth the handiwork of God. It shows forth divine law and order. It shows forth the loving qualities, the spiritual activities. But, we experience this only in proportion as we understand that the people, and things, and situations of “this world” do not, in and of themselves, have power, but that they are the vehicle for the operation of the Infinite Invisible.


We may, of course, return to the illustration of the theater and remember that regardless of appearance, every character is showing forth the activity of the author and that no character and no situation has within itself any element not given unto it by the author; therefore, the end must come out as the author has planned it.

Or, we may look to our illustration of the tree, and regardless of how bare the branches may seem of leaves, and flowers, and fruit, we may look with our higher intelligence and behold that in the ground, in the roots, in the tree, a law is at work. We call it the law of nature, and in its due time the leaves, the flowers, and the fruit will appear, not because of any virtue of the tree, not by any virtue of the ground, or of the roots, but by virtue of the Infinite Invisible law of life which functions in the ground, in the roots, in the trunk, and in the branches inside and outside the tree.

It even operates in the heavens to bring moisture to the tree. It operates in the streams, and in the ground to bring moisture to the tree. It operates in the minerals and substances of the earth to bring to that tree, and to attract to that tree everything necessary for its development.