1957 Kailua Advanced Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
180A – Individual Identity and Responsibility 1/5
JG 1957 – 180A Individual Identity and Responsibility
There are parts of The Infinite Way work, facets, of which I very seldom speak. When I do it is never in public. It is always either with those few students who are much around me or to small groups like this who have over a period of years indicated their interest in the message and whom I probably have every right to believe has a love of God as the foundation of their interest in spiritual studies.
The world at large has no such love of God because to begin with it has no God to love. The God to which most people pray is a God of giving and withholding: A God of revenge and vengeance — a God of punishment more than a God of reward. Or probably some would say that God does all the punishing of us in this world and saves the rewards for when we die and go to heaven.
But at any rate very few in the world look upon God as love. And very few have any evidence that God is love. They are reminded always of the terribleness of God and of the quickness with which God punishes wrong doing, so forth and so on.
So that it is an impossibility under ordinary circumstances to generate a love of God in the heart of mankind. A fear of God — yes. A love of God — no.
So that regardless of where you travel in this world you will find that the only people who have a love of God are those who through some act of grace have received an inner assurance that God is not a withholding God, and God is not a punishing God. And that in all the history of the world God has never punished anyone for anything, or any people, or any race of people.
Now of course the belief that God punishes, not only individuals, but whole nations comes out of the Old Testament, which to begin with should not have been accepted literally, and for the most part should not have been included in the New Testament in the Bible when the New Testament was given; for the simple reason that the teaching of the Master Christ Jesus differs almost one hundred percent from the Old Testament except in the few rare cases where there were some inspired Hebrew prophets, and even they unfortunately have been misinterpreted or mistranslated.
In the teaching of the Master, you do not find God punishing anyone for their sins, but rather forgiving them their sins even unto seventy times seven, which means an infinity or completeness, time without number; ages untold. A complete and eternal and a continuous forgiveness and over and over again. It is doubtful if anyone could sin as many times as God could forgive according to the teaching of the Master Christ Jesus.
Nowhere does he indicate that a person is to die for their sins, since on every occasion in which he meets death he raises them from the death regardless of what caused that death whether it was a young child or an old lady. At no point does he say there is a reason or an excuse for sickness in so far as God is concerned since it is through the gospel given him of God; the doctrine which he says is given me of my Father.
But he heals the sick. And it makes no difference to him whether that sickness came through venereal disease, an indication of sin, or whether it came through heredity, or whether it came through natural causes. In every event the Master heals the sick, and never once gives as an excuse for failure to heal, that you are being punished for something.
Now, in the entire ministry of the Master there is found no criticism, no judgment, no condemnation except for spiritual wickedness in high places. That is of course is the using of religion for personal gain or power or profit. And he certainly rebuked his own church for its practices of that nature. But when it came to individuals, he had no criticism for them for their sins, recognizing they know not what they do. Sin is a product of ignorance. Everyone who sins does so only through an ignorance of the joys and benefits and profits of spiritual living.
Now, unless we properly understand the nature of God, there is no way in which we can feel a love of God. If we do not attain a love of God, we have no way of attaining a love of our fellow man because basically, we are offspring of God in our inner being — in that part of us which is reality; in that part of us in which we recognize our true selves. We are the manifestation, the emanation, the offspring of that which is God. We are of the same substance, the same fiber, the same caliber, the same character as God. God constitutes our being. But remember that this is true of our friends and of our enemies. This is true of the saints and of the sinners. This is true of individual being.
It is not a demonstrated fact in the lives of mankind because they are living in ignorance of their relationship to God and of that which is the creative, maintaining, and sustaining principle of their being. And therefore, like the prodigal, mankind is trying to live on a little substance that it has in its pockets or stored up in its body; living by bread rather than by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Without an understanding of God there is no love of God; without a love of God there is no love for each other and for our people of the world. And without that love, religion becomes a shamble because it becomes a marketplace in which everyone is struggling for some benefit for themselves. Only instead of getting it now from a doctor or a stock market or a business, now we are going to see if we can’t get it from God. And in that case we have just as much commercialized God as we have many forms of business.
Now then, it is true that even in going to God, long before we have found Him, that we begin to receive the benefits of better health, a better sense of supply, a better sense of human relationships, more harmonious living in our everyday affairs. But, the sad thing is that so many who turn to a spiritual path get stuck at that level and believe that now they have found the “way.” The way to what? To get healthy, wealthy, and wise for me and myself and my children and my parents and maybe even my next door neighbor? And you see that’s not religion; that’s not religion. That again is making a merchandise mart out of God, out of the spirit, out of the soul and that is not the function of true religion.
The function of true religion is that God be revealed in us individually in order that our lives may be the light to shine in the darkness of the world of humanity and awaken it to its true identity.
When the world is awakened, there will be no need for religious teachings. Everyone will be living in their conscious union with their source. They will have no need of books, or teachers, or teachings, for each one will himself be the Book of Life. But you are only the Book of Life when you open yourselves to God that God may fill you full, and then permit that realized splendor to escape for the benefit of this world.
Now, The Infinite Way has such a mission. And it is for this reason that The Infinite Way doesn’t advertise, and doesn’t seek the masses. Because it has to operate in a narrow circle of God-lovers, so that these may by the example that their lives attest, be the light that will interest and attract others from out in the world.