1956 Barbizon Plaza Private Class For “25”
Joel S. Goldsmith
154A – The Nature and Activity of The Infinite Way 4/6
But I’m going to say this to you, that the message of The Infinite Way is deeper and has more significance than appears on the surface. For instance, so far as you have ever been able to see or know, it is merely things that have been written and spoken by a man who has had some experience in the practice. And it has value to that extent. But now I’m going to tell you that there must be something deeper than that to it.
A few weeks ago, among my books there appeared a paper, which was a piece of scratch paper off of my desk. And it was dated 1940, November 20, 1940, 1:45 PM. And going back, it is evident that I was sitting at my desk in Boston, because I was then First Reader of Third Church in Boston, and I was also Associate Reader and substitute Reader at Norfolk Prison Colony, and active in the practice. And I had never written a line, except some letters to my patients. And here’s what the note said: “My task will be to gather those around me who understand truth as it is presented in my writings.” There weren’t any writings, and there weren’t any students, and there wasn’t any task. But I wrote that down, and only here last month, or month before last, in going through my papers, that turned up.
Now that’s somewhat in the nature of a prophecy, isn’t it? Something of a forecasting of something to come, that there are to be books, and there are to be those gathered around me, and it has been. Most of you here have been gathered around me with these books for quite a few years. But now, in 1946, sitting at a desk in Santa Monica, California, when the original manuscript of The Infinite Way was just coming into form, I found another piece of paper from evidently that same pad, dated 1937, and I liked it so much that I put it in a book, The Infinite Way.
And here’s what it says.
“Illumination dissolves all material ties, and binds men together with a golden chain of spiritual understanding; it acknowledges only the leadership of the Christ; it has no ritual or rule but the divine, impersonal, universal love; no other worship than the inner Flame that is ever lit at the shrine of Spirit. This union is the free state of spiritual brotherhood. The only restraint is the discipline of soul. Therefore we know liberty without license. We are a united universe without physical limits, a divine service to God without ceremony or creed.”
How could a Christian Science practitioner ever write a thing like that? How could he ever dream of such a thing as breaking material ties, or spiritual brotherhood, or a united service to God? Those thoughts just do not enter one’s mind, and yet it came out of the universal, was written down, and never seen again until 1946: from 1937 to 1946. Then it pops up three thousand miles away. And certainly I didn’t understand it, but I liked it. And so I stuck it in on page 40 of this manuscript.
Now watch this that happened. As the book is ready for press, this same passage comes to my mind again, and I said to the publisher, “I want that passage put in the front of every book or every manuscript, or every pamphlet that may ever appear with my name on it.” You think I knew why then? I had no more idea of this day here, or the many days we’ve had in other cities. No such thought of that. So it wasn’t I that did it. The same thing that wrote, or that sent that message in ‘37, that sent it in ‘40, that wrote the book, that prepared us, that gave me the cue for the whole Infinite Way work throughout all time in one paragraph.
Now do you see that the recognition came … well I knew nothing about it, that the recognition came that we could sign any kind of membership blank, any kind of oath to each other, and it would be as meaningless as any other membership blank, or any other oath that anybody took. It would be fine as long as we both meant it. When it wasn’t, one or the other would break it, or both.
But when there is no tie binding us together, and the only tie that unites us is the Spirit, now tell me whether God or man could destroy it. Tell me what could destroy the relationship of these students. There isn’t a thing in the world, because nothing’s drawing them but their own Spirit. They came together through their own Spirit; they united through their own Spirit; they’ll keep on going through life in their own Spirit, for the simple reason that there’s no other tie binding them, and we can’t break the tie of Spirit.
Now you see, “Illumination dissolves all material ties.” And that’s fulfilled here. We have no material ties between us; nothing of any nature; but illumination “Binds men together with the golden chains of spiritual understanding.” That’s what’s brought us together; that’s what’s kept us together; and there isn’t any doubt that we’ll have differences of opinion; we may even have fights, but we are bound together, and we will remain together, not because of my will or yours. Not even through my physical presence on earth or yours.
It’ll make no difference whether we’re on earth or not. Many times you’ve had people ask you, “Well, will I ever again meet those of my loved ones who have gone on before?” I don’t know how you answer them, but I’ll tell you how I answer them. They will if you are one with them in Spirit, and they are one with you. But if not, you’ll never see them again, and they’ll never see you. You may never want to see them again; they may never want to see you. Because we have friends and relatives on earth that we don’t see. They live around the corner and we don’t see them. They’re no part of our consciousness, and the mere fact that we’re both on earth in the flesh is meaningless.
On the other hand, there are people with whom we are united in the Spirit, and you cannot get us apart. So it will be in whatever phase of life we go into. Those that are a part of our consciousness can never be taken from them; those that are not can never get in. And so it will be with us. We were united in a spiritual bond, and there will be no separation here or hereafter. And the union will not be for anybody’s good, but for Good Itself.
Now “It acknowledges only the leadership of the Christ;” that is, illumination acknowledges only the leadership of the Christ. Throughout all our experience together, you have become aware of the fact that at no time have I asked anything personal, or wanted any personal allegiance or loyalty, because I don’t deserve it. It’s the message, if anything, that does. And illumination will always acknowledge Christ as its leader.
Now then, humanly I can do nothing for you, but Christ can. Therefore you must make a contact with Christ, the Christ of your own being, and then you will find that that is the leadership that will take you throughout the world. Don’t place your leadership in a man, and don’t try to be a leader to your patients or students. Be a servant, but don’t be a leader. Even if they give you the title of leader, and out of common courtesy you have to accept it, don’t accept it inside of yourself.
One of the tragical things that I have witnessed since I am on this path outside of organized movements, is that there are many people in the world who would like to be a spiritual master, because they’ve read in books about spiritual masters, and they wonder how they can attain mastership. And when I say to them, “Do you know what a master is?” Well, they think so; they’ve read about it in books. “No,” I said, “You couldn’t read about it in books, because those who know what a master is, won’t put it in books, because they don’t want to discourage you from trying. But I can tell you—a master is a servant.”