Original Iwihub.com Transcript. Transcriber: Hilda Soon, Proofread by Zane Maser. Photography: Inez Marques
When Spirit is Upon You 1/5
1961 London Open Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
It is impossible to avoid the experience of facing ourselves with, what shall we call it, the basic facts of life, as concerns ourselves on the spiritual path. Very often in our attempt to be very spiritual or very absolute, we’re apt to think of ourselves as being spiritual, as being children of God, when we haven’t, as a matter of fact, attained that status. It is made very clear in the New Testament that, as human beings, we are not children of God. We are not spiritual. In fact, we’re not under the law of God at all. We’re not under the protection of God. We’re not under the care of God.
This should be evident to everyone, because you need only read your newspaper and know right well that what is happening to the human race is not happening under God’s jurisdiction or God’s government. You would know instinctively that anyone who is under the law of God couldn’t kill or be killed, couldn’t die, couldn’t sin, couldn’t be exterminated in any way, couldn’t be made to suffer. How impossible it would be for the image and likeness of God to be in any way limited, crippled, diseased.
When we face this, we are enabled to go further in the Christian teaching and understand that it is possible for this man of earth, the man who is not under the law of God, neither indeed can be, that it is possible for him to be the child of God, to be the image and likeness of God, to be under the law of God, under God’s government. It is made very clear in the Master’s teaching that if you abide in this Word, you bear fruit richly—not disease, not accident, not sin, not poverty. You bear fruit richly, but when we do not abide in the Word and let the Word abide in us, we are as a branch of a tree that is cut off, and withers, and dies. That’s the human race.
When you see this point, the question comes to thought immediately. How then do I make the transition from being this man of earth, who is not under the law of God, to being that man who has his being in Christ or the spiritual Son of God? How do I make that transition? And then you’ll find that that is the reason you are on the spiritual path for the purpose of making that transition, for the purpose of leaving behind you that selfhood, that mortality, that humanhood, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes sick, sometimes well, sometimes rich, sometimes poor. The only reason you are on the spiritual path is to leave behind you your mortality and emerge into your immortality, to emerge into your divine status as a child of God.
Now, Paul told us that even though you are a creature that is not under the law of God, neither indeed can be, that if so be the spirit of God dwell in you, then do you become the child of God. If so be the spirit of God dwell in you, then do you become the child of God. “If you abide in the Word,” the Master says, “and let this Word abide in you, then do you bear fruit richly.” Then are you one with the vine. Then can you say, “All that the Father hath is mine.” Surely, you realize it isn’t true of humans that all that God has is theirs, or we would be a better-looking lot of humans than we are. We would be a healthier lot of humans than we are; and so it is, that as humans, we can only expect to be healthy part of the time, and good part of the time, and prosperous part of the time. And it is only when we leave that status of creature, of man of earth that we have any right to expect not only a permanent prosperity in all of our affairs, including health, but an abundant one, an infinite demonstration of divine harmony.
Therefore, our entire work is really based on this premise that there is a man of earth—the human race—walking around separate and apart from God, seldom if ever having prayers answered, seldom if ever knowing the experience of the intervention of God in their personal affairs. And then, with that as a basic fact of human life, revealing as Scripture does, that it is within our power to make the transition to our spiritual status, the Son of God, offspring of God, image and likeness of God, heir of God, joint heir to all the heavenly riches, to all spiritual good, spiritual harmony, spiritual freedom, spiritual health, spiritual life.
Then, the point naturally comes up, how then do we make that transition? How do we leave our former state of humanhood and enter the divine state of spiritual Sonship? And there, of course, we have Scripture as a guide, and we have the revelations that have been given to people throughout all ages to help us in our experience. Right at the start here, we read 2 Peter [1:21]: “For no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men state from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.”
And so it is that we have in our scriptural literature and in our mystical literature, the experience of countless men who have attained the mystical estate of conscious Oneness with God and had the revelation of the meaning of this Oneness, and, in some cases, how to attain it. And so it is with Scripture and with these revelations of the mystics that we start a program of individual spiritual living, study, meditation, and practice, until we, too, find ourselves experiencing some measure of our Christhood.
Truly, we do not experience our Christhood all in one moment. Yes, we have mystical experiences, during which we may experience the full Christhood, but those are momentary experiences after which we come back to earth again and know only a tiny measure of spiritual discernment or spiritual experience, whereas in memory we have the recollection of that experience of Totality. As students persist in their studies, in their meditations, in their seeking of instruction, these spiritual experiences take place more frequently, last longer, and eventually many enter a phase of consciousness in which they are more or less always in the Spirit, though not always to the same degree. In other words, never completely coming out of the Spirit but, on the other hand, only frequently coming into the full measure of spiritual Realization.