Original Iwihub.com transcript by Sebastian Pigott, proofread by Michael Collie
The Fruit of the Art of Meditation
1957 Chicago Open Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
In our human experience of course, the same idea would be when we meet a person of our own level of thought at the moment and fall in love, or form a deep and life lasting friendship. And those things happen over and over and over again, that some woman meets another woman, or some man meets another man, or some woman meets a man, or man meets a woman, and in one instant there is a fusion and they know that they’ve known each other since time began, and as time evolves they find that they have the same things in common. They like the same music or they like the same literature or they like the same religion or they like the same home life, or the same sport, and so life is lived as one instead of two. It is that, on a higher plane, that takes place when we come face to face with God. We have met our own. We have met our own self in another form. We have met our own state of being and then comes a communion. It is as personal a communion as friends can know. It is an actual meeting within, in these periods of meditation, and it would seem in those moments as if it were an interchange, that is as if there something flowing from the person to God and then something flowing back from God to the person. Seems a little difficult to believe that God would need anything that we have, and probably it isn’t so that God needs but rather that since I and the Father are one that that which is of the Father that flows to the Son is likewise flowing back from the Son to the Father. The same way that love passes from the parent to the child and then is reflected back to the parent again. So it is that it would seem that there is this interchange, this flow; always something going out from one’s Self to God, something flowing back from God to one’s Self, and in that communion there is ultimately the realisation that we have nothing of ourselves. That whatever it is that we have, whether of love or wisdom or guidance or direction, is really of the Father, and that what we have or use is actually the capacity, the ability of the Father rather than of our own. There is a height that is sometimes reached, when that communion is transcended and when the personal self disappears and nothing is left but God. That is a rare experience in anyone’s life. Some who have known it have known it only once in their lifetime, some have known it twice, or three times or four times. Some few know it almost at will; can enter into the relationship almost at will. Actually, it is a rare thing and you will find it in mystical literature in these passages in which the mystic describes himself as the life of the blade of grass, or the life of the flower, or the life of the bird and feels himself a part of a bird life, or animal life, or plant life. You’ll find that in Walt Whitman and you’ll find it in some of the English mystics. Those particular periods in which you can almost feel yourself flowing through the oceans, through trees, through clouds, through the sun. They’re rare moments, but they are probably the periods of preparation for the life that ultimately awaits every spiritual student, which is the life of Melchizedek. Remember that our goal on the spiritual path is never achieved until we come into the realisation of the life of Melchizedek; that is the life in which we actually know that we were never born and will never die, and we can watch the body as impersonally as we can watch our automobile. And as the day inevitably comes when we trade in that old car for a new, we can just as impersonally watch as we trade in this sense of body for the newer, higher and more spiritual sense of body, that must inevitably come to those who realise that even as individual identity with form, that they were never born and will never die.
You can see now why the Infinite Way has its entire basis in meditation, why meditation had to be its underlying principle. In September, the Reader’s Digest had an article showing the value of meditation and this article went so far as to show that even a hard-headed business man could benefit in his business by breaking into his periods of the day with meditation, excusing himself from conferences to have an inner meditation or period of spiritual contemplation. In other words, the Reader’s Digest was trying to show that meditation is a very practical thing. I believe it was the month of March, the Reader’s Digest again published an article on the value of meditation and the value of contemplating nature and that which underlies nature. Strange that a magazine like the Reader’s Digest should find such a tremendous interest in the subject of meditation, but when you understand that they have their finger on the pulse of this entire world in all languages, you will know that they would never have published the first one, and certainly never the second one, unless they had definite indication that meditation is about to enter conscious human awareness and be recognised to a great enough extent to warrant their publishing it and helping to bring the subject into a wider knowledge. Now in between these two articles, as you know, the publishing house of Harper’s also saw fit to introduce meditation to the world through this book, “The Art of Meditation”, and to arrange with the British publishers, George Adam and Unwin, for its British publication. Probably elsewhere in the literature of today, you are finding more and more references to meditation, more and more references to a contemplation of reality or contemplating God. Well, it was in 1934 that this work of meditation revealed itself to me and has been the basis of my work ever since, and I feel that our work has been one of those instruments of unfolding consciousness through which meditation is going to be brought to the occidental world, to the Western world. It will come through many avenues, but up to this present time, this book, “Practicing the Presence” and “The Art of Meditation” are really the only two text books available on that subject. Now as a further step; some of you have not heard probably; I’m sure all of you will be glad to know, that when the editor of the Episcopal Church News, the official Episcopal organ, was asked to choose I believe it was twenty books out of nine hundred, as recommended reading for all Protestants, “The Art of Meditation was one of those books. And so “The Art of Meditation”, our book “The Art of Meditation”, now goes into the wider field of Protestants all over the United States and Canada. But what is much more important than what happens to my book, is that the subject of meditation is being introduced not merely into the metaphysical world, but into the entire Protestant world of the United States and Canada, and through the British edition into to all of the British Commonwealth.