1956 Barbizon Plaza Private Class for “25”
Joel S. Goldsmith
153B – Christ Realized 3/6
You see, many people criticize, unthinkingly, Mrs. Eddy, for having started a Christian Science movement or church. And I can tell you that if she had not done it, there would have been no advance in spiritual work. She is responsible, and her organization, for even spiritual advance. And the reason is this. In the beginning, before they had an organization, they had clinics, Christian Science clinics. And patients would go to the clinic and pay their dollar for a treatment, and go home … and their, or fifty cents, and they would come back the next time for another treatment, and the next time, another treatment.
And eventually, most of them got physical healings. And they were very happy. And they got in the habit of running down to the corner to the clinic. Now, Mrs. Eddy soon discerned this, and instructed those who were practicing, to see that those who came for help bought the Textbook, which of course to many people seemed like very mercenary things. In order to get well, you had to buy a book for three dollars. Now Mrs. Eddy wasn’t mercenary at any time in her life. The idea was that if somebody paid three dollars for a book, the chances are they’d read it. And it was necessary to read a book in order to attain a spiritualization of thought, which was more important to Mrs. Eddy than getting a physical healing.
Now then, in time, I’m sure she saw that even that wouldn’t do, that just sitting around reading a book wasn’t going to take a person into the kingdom of heaven. And so, with the activity of church, there came doing a daily lesson; there came meeting twice a week in church; there came church meetings; there came doing metaphysical work for different committees. Every activity of the Christian Science Church is a spiritualization of thought. Every committee that a person’s on, increases the degree of their spirituality, not because of the work they’re doing, but because of the metaphysical work and the reading they have to do for that work. Do you see that?
Now, by that, she prevented Christian Science becoming just another prayer therapy for physical healing. It became a religion. It became a way of life. Do you see that? Otherwise it would not have been. Now we are in the same danger. You can see that we twenty-five are here because of the amount of reading we’ve done, studying we’ve done, meditating, praying, and practicing of the word, putting into practice even the little we know. All of this has spiritualized our thought to the point where the activity of the Christ can become active in us.
Now tell me what is going to happen if you permit a hundred people to telephone you for help, and you never see them, and you have no way of knowing whether they’re reading, or how much they’re reading. Won’t they in time just get to be medical patients whom you are healing through mental or spiritual means? What will you be doing for their souls. Nothing. You’ll be freeing their bodies to go out into more dissipation. That’s all. The healthier they are, the more time they’ll spend at the movies, and dances, and skating rinks, and television, and all the rest of it. So all you’ll be doing is giving them some physical health to waste.
Whereas, if you work as I have worked with you, pointing out the need for study, for reading, for hearing, for classes, for lectures, you’ll eventually know why I’ve done this. Because if I don’t, I would have the same thing. I get far too many telephone calls now from people for help, whom I’ve never seen, who don’t own a single book. They’ve just heard from somebody that you can get healed by calling Mr. Goldsmith. You don’t know how many calls I get in Hawaii from people in hospitals, or relatives of people in hospitals, and all this and that. I never hear from them again after the call for help.
Many of them get it. Oh, yes, many of them get it, but then what do they do with it? Go home and say, “Oh wasn’t it wonderful? Somebody prayed and helped my doctor heal me.” And then they go on about their business until they’re sick again, and then they call Mr. Goldsmith. See that? You’ll have the same thing.
The minute it becomes known in your community that you do healing work, and that some people have been healed, you will get more calls than you can take care of for healing work, and you will soon have to choose whether you’re going on with that, or whether you are going to take a stand and say, “No, I’m not a healer. Absolutely not. I’m a teacher of spiritual living. If you want to be taught spiritual living, you’ll get your healing while you’re studying.”
Or someone else may be dying in a hospital. Of course you can’t refuse help for them, but as they improve, you’ll have to let it be known, “Well now my work’s through. Get along on your own until you’re ready to study.” In other words, you yourself are going to have to develop backbones, human backbones, in which you are willing to refuse help to people, in which you are willing to refuse help unless they are willing to buy books, or buy tapes, or study books, or study tapes, or pay for classes, or do something to indicate that physically, mentally, financially, they’re throwing themselves into this.
The Master says, sell all that you have to buy this gem. Get rid of that pearl of great price that you’ve got for this pearl of great price. Do you see that? And if you’re not saying that to your students, you’re letting them become sponges. You’re letting them become spineless entities, who merely want to be physically comfortable.
Now I am the one first of all, to admit that the Christian Science organization has done more for the spiritualization of thought than any activity that has ever yet been on earth. Because it makes people support their churches. It makes people support them spiritually. It makes people do metaphysical work. It makes people read the books. It makes people study, and go to lectures, and go to classes. And that isn’t for the benefit of the church, because the only benefit the church can ever get is to pile up some more dollars. The benefit is for the individuals who are doing the work.
I speak from experience, because I have been on every committee there is, and three different churches, everything up to First Reader. Three times First Reader. Reader in the prisons in New York, reader in the prisons in Boston, reader in the church in Boston, and I know the value of keeping my head in those books, morning, noon, and night, so that this consciousness could evolve. And I know you can’t get it any other way. I know that if you don’t put your head in the books, or in the tapes, or in the meditations, you can never be more than human beings.
But if you keep your head in the right spiritual literature and work, your consciousness will be so spiritualized, the activity of the Christ will take over, and others will be blessed. But now the point will come: are you supposed to just be like Oral Roberts, or Brother Mandus, and let a great big audience come together, and walk out healed; and then when you leave town, they get a cold next week; they have to go back to the doctor. You could be forced into that. You could be forced into being so busy that you’d never have time to teach, that you’d never have time to insist on anyone … and of course, the first temptation is this. The first thought is that you’re giving the impression that you’re being commercial. And you hate that. You hate the idea of people thinking you’re trying to sell them a book, or sell them a tape, or sell them a course. It goes against your grain. Well it does mine too—very much so.