1960 England Open Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
354B – Transformation of Consciousness 2/4
This was, of course, the experience of Jesus Christ and his crucifixion. The people to whom Jesus spoke had been told how many hours on Saturday they must be in temple, and how much sacrificing they must do, and of the trip that they must make annually to the holy temple in Jerusalem, and the animals that must be sacrificed, and the tithes that must be given. So that when the Master said it is not to be found in holy mountains, or in temples in Jerusalem, and God has no pleasure in your sacrificing; and when he told them of the way in which God could be received, and they remembered how they had been taught, naturally they rejected him, and they rejected his message, and only those who could actually rise above the teachings of their church, only those who could discard many of the things that they had been taught, only they were able to follow the Master, and then only in part.
You remember that many years after the crucifixion, Peter still had not lost his belief that God could not be had if you ate the meat of a pig. And how many years after the Master’s crucifixion was it that they still believed that God was available only to Hebrews? Only to those who were circumcised, only to those who were of that Hebrew family. Why, it was more than thirty years after the crucifixion before they consented to go into foreign countries, and preaching the gospel to others than Hebrews. And even then they made a lot of trouble about it.
So it is that there are many to whom you would like to give the benefits of the spiritual presence and power, who would reject it, because it doesn’t come in the form and in the way in which they expect it. And to some degree we are like the disciples. We also have not been willing to forget all that we were taught. Many of us still insist on praying for ourselves and for our friends and for our relatives, in spite of the Master’s, it profiteth you nothing to pray for your friends. Ye must pray for your enemies. And if we could take a poll of all of our Infinite Way students, I wonder how many could truthfully answer that they are giving a portion of each day to praying for their enemies, to find out if Jesus was telling the truth, that in order to become a son of God, a child of God, you have to pray for your enemies. That is the way to become a child of God, and think of how many there are trying to be children of God who completely ignore that passage.
And in the same way, all of these other passages, such as resist not evil, and forgive seventy times seven. In other words, and here it is, and this is the difficult part, be transformed through the renewing of the mind. In other words, how many of us, even in this study, still believe that we can go on being human beings, having the same human emotions, loving the ones we want to love and hating the ones we want to hate, and ignoring the ones we want to ignore, holding others in condemnation, judgment, criticism, holding others in the grievances because of their ills to us? How many of us still believe that we can go on being this human being and still find the kingdom of God within us? And the answer is, it can’t be done.
The kingdom of God, the miracle of this presence and power which is so close to us, is that it can only be experienced through a transformation of consciousness. We have to be the ones, again, quoting the Master: Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Ye shall pray for your enemies. Ye shall resist not evil. Ye, ye, ye! Always, it is you, the individual you, who has to fit yourself to receive God’s grace.
You see, many people misunderstand that term, “God’s grace.” And they think of it as something that has a starting point. In other words, God’s grace isn’t functioning for me now, and how can I bring it to function for me? Or, what must I do, and how many years must I wait before God’s grace touches me? And the truth is this: God’s grace is functioning this very instant, and it has been functioning for you since time began. Whether or not you are receiving the effects of it, the results of it, the fruitage of it, has nothing to do with God, and has nothing to do with God’s grace. It has to do with you.
In other words, out here in this garden, the laws of nature are at work, and within a few weeks you will notice a change that is really being brought about now. Right now there is a change taking place in the earth which will cause these vines and plants to lose these flowers. Right now there is a process going on which is causing these leaves to turn color and to fall away. Now this is not going to happen in the future, this is taking place right now. The only thing that’s going to take place in the future is the actual turning of the colors and the dropping off of the branches. But that which is to produce that effect is operative and operating right now. And, as a matter of fact, there is that operating in this earth which is preparing these trees and plants for a rebirth next Spring. In other words, God is not going to start doing something on a certain day. God is not going to stop doing something on a certain day. The process of God is a continuous one.