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
Now see what I’m driving at. That we should be an instrument through which this happens to the whole world is a beautiful thing, but of far greater importance is the fact that this subject should now be given world wide awareness regardless whether it comes through us or through others. It just happens to be a fortuitous circumstance and a joyous one for us that we are an instrument and perhaps at the present time the largest instrument, the greatest through which this is coming. But let us not rejoice so much in that as the fact that meditation itself is now being presented to this world, not only of the world of metaphysicians but the entire religious world, or Protestant religious world, as a subject for study and for reading. Do you know why this is so important? For the same reason that it was important in our experience in our work. You can not meditate for many months or many years, until you come in contact with that Father within you. Now, we have been reading about the Father within you ever since the Bible was published in 1611, over four hundred years ago. That means that the Protestant world and the Catholic world has been hearing for over four hundred years about the Father within you and the Kingdom of God within you, and how many people have ever found that Father within them or the Kingdom of God within? Only those who through contemplation and meditation actually found their ability to go within themselves, reach the centre of their own being and there meet face to face this God of whom we have been speaking tonight.
Do you know what you feel toward those in this room with whom you’ve sat before in classes, tape recordings, readings, as you remember that they know the same things you know, that they love the same things you love, that your interest is in the same direction? Do you know the feeling you have for each other? Do you know the feeling we have for each other? Can you imagine what is going to happen in this world after just a few years of everybody meditating and finding the secrets that you and I have found; have found that love that we find because our interests are in the same direction, because our goal is the same? Do you know how impossible it would be for us to steal from each other, cheat each other, defraud each other? I mean all of that’s kind of unthinkable, isn’t it? That’s really out of the question. If there is any place in the world where there is an absolute union of interests, it’s in this room. Yes, but what made it? Only one thing made it, was our meditation. Because in going within ourselves we found each other. We found the same God, we found the same Son of God, we found the same interests, we found the same path, we found the same goal, we found the same interests in life. And instead of people, or a group of people, who are intent on getting from each, it is probably as true as anything ever can be that in this room and in the other groups that have been like us here, that our major purpose is to share with everybody in this room whatever of unfolding good is given to us. Can you imagine what a world we’re going to be living in when everybody is meditating and finding that same desire to share with their neighbour that we have to share with each other? When everybody has that same feeling of wanting to give to each other that we have, instead of get from each other? All of this is going to be brought about through meditation. You might say; “Don’t you mean it’s going to be brought about through God?” No I don’t. I mean it’s going to be brought about through meditation. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God isn’t going to add anything new to this world. God isn’t going to do a thing tomorrow that God isn’t doing today. It is through meditation that we are going to come into the actual experience of God, the meeting with God, the union with God, and with each other through God. Meditation is going to bring that to us. What we find when we get into meditation has always been there awaiting our readiness to do some meditating. And so it is, in the degree of our meditation, it’s going to be the degree of our God awareness. In the degree, in the time, effort, love that we pour into meditation is going to be the fruitage that we derive from it. But at any level, and even a little drop of meditation is going to work wonders for this world, because in going inside of our own being and finding even the tiniest touch of God we’re going to find a release from fear, a release from hate, a release from self seeking, from self-preservation. We’re going, even with that first little drop, that first touch of God in us, we’re going to lose a great deal of the material sense that has acted as a separation from our good.
In this “Practicing the Presence”, there is a chapter that to me is of highest significance. The title of it is “Love Thy Neighbour”. And of course if you listen to that in an orthodox sense, you’ll say; “Well that’s an old story. We’ve always been told to love our neighbour, but how do you do it?” And then we begin to hear how difficult it is because of what our neighbour has been doing to us. Of course that leaves no room in us for remembering what we have done to our neighbour. But through meditation, this chapter revealed within me the impossibility of loving our neighbour until we came to the realisation that our neighbour is our self, and that our self is our neighbour. And this brought me back to probably the basic passage of all spiritual literature; “I AM”. “I am in Thee and Thou art in me”. I in Thee and Thou in me, and all the rest of these in me, and I in them. And that brought forth this entire chapter’s unfoldment; that what I do of good or of evil, I do unto me. For, “Is there any beside me?” says Isaiah, “I know not any.” There is only me. There is only I. And the I of me is the I of you. When I realise that, I instantly realise; let’s call it my sins, and I begin immediately to see how important it is that I either forgive myself or hang myself, one or the other. Because I must do one or the other. When I remember my sins, I either must say; “Well I can’t stand facing myself much longer,” or I must forgive myself. If I forgive myself then I can see that if I can’t do that with my neighbour I haven’t really done it with myself. Now watch this very carefully. You will come to that point where you will say to yourself; “I can’t look at myself much longer unless I can forgive myself.” And when you have forgiven yourself, you will realise; “If I could forgive myself, I’m sure that I can forgive everyone else that’s ever been on this globe.” That leads to the ultimate realisation that there never was another. That it always was the self of me that was acting against me, even when it appeared to come through Jones, Brown or Smith. Always it was something in my consciousness that drew to me that which I got, for good or evil. The Master knew this when he said; “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” He knew this when later it was given to us that if you sow to the Spirit you reap life everlasting. If you sow to the flesh you reap corruption. He knew that. He knew that everything that took place, took place within our own being. Well of course, at first glance, you’re apt to deny that that’s true, because you can look at the vast amount of good that you’ve done in the world and the little amount of evil you’ve done and you say they don’t balance. But unfortunately, it isn’t quite that way. It isn’t how much good you’ve done or how much evil you’ve done, it is how much of ignorance you have entertained about your relationship with God and man. One need never have been an actual sinner to be reaping all the punishments that hell ever knew. Not through conscious sin, but through ignorance. For ignorance is as much a sin as sin itself. In other words, to believe that there is another is to separate ourselves from the love of God. And that can be done just through the ignorance that has been placed on the religious teachings of all the world. As you come to this you will learn the importance, at least I learned, the importance of the word “I”. And I came to see that when I said “I”, I meant you as well as I meant Joel. That there is only this one divine ego. This one; call it Mind, call it Spirit, call it Soul, but that was you as well as it was me. And everything that I was doing of good, when I thought I was doing it to patients or to students, I was doing it to myself. Every bit of evil that has ever come through my thought, even when it seemed to me that others must be paying a penalty for it, I know now was coming right back into my own selfhood. For so it is, there is an inner activity always taking place within us and this activity appears outwardly as love, but sometimes self-love; but sometimes selfish love. Even in the indulgence of that, we are in the end wronging ourselves.