1955 Johannesburg Closed Class
Joel S Goldsmith
The Inner Meaning
Good Evening! (Response)
I have been asked if there is a way in which we can train ourselves to practice the presence of God, some simple way that everyone on the face of the globe could practice. And there is such a way. It is a way that has very, very deep possibilities. And yet it is so simple that it can be taught to a six-year old child. And that way is this: Let us assume for a moment that this is a telephone and the bell rings. And I pick up the receiver, and ordinarily it’s this way, “Hello!” Now let us change that mode and within three days watch a miracle in your life. Pick up your receiver, wait a second, and then say “Hello!” And very quickly you’ll begin to see the miracles come in your life.
In this brief – and then “Hello” you have waited for the Christ to enter, and It enters. If we do this, you are out there on the phone and I’m here, “Hello!” and you say, “Hello!” there are two human beings. They can be friendly and they can be unfriendly. They can start friendly and end up with a fight. But the moment that I learn to pick this up, admit the Christ, and then talk, there are three of us. There is you and me and the Christ between us. And the presence of that Christ between us levels the whole of human experience and makes it a spiritual one. Out of two human beings it makes two spiritual beings. Out of misunderstanding it makes for understanding. Out of incompatibility it makes for understanding, harmony and peace.
Now, when that practice is followed in every detail of our lives, for instance sitting down to breakfast in the morning and never touching anything on the plate there until the blink of the eye. That momentary pause, which admits the Christ, acknowledges the Christ. Never leaving home, never crossing the door without touching the knob of the door, and waiting that second for Christ to go before. Never going into a door, through a doorway, into a building, without a momentary pause, which admits the Christ before you. Never going marketing, never going shopping, never going up to a counter to buy anything, never sitting down in a restaurant, without that momentary pause.
And you see it changes all relationships, because instead of two human beings facing each other as human beings, that invisible, intangible presence, this transcendental being called Christ or the Spirit of God or the Comforter, that enters our relationship. And that transforms our relationship. That transforms the relationships between buyers and sales people, between employers and employees, between teachers and students.
It changes the entire aspect of one’s life. And you see, it not only operates as a leveler between us, I mean in all of our relationships, but pausing for the admission of the Christ, we no longer depend on our human wisdom. That pause lets in the spiritual guidance. We make no decision; we wait for that spiritual guidance. We do not open our mouths to talk without waiting for that spiritual presence. Every activity of the day – none can be neglected, although at the first – I’m trying to say that three-quarters of them are neglected the first day or second or third. And then you remember, “Oh, I forgot the last time.” And then you begin all over again. But that’s all right, there’s no harm done.
The thing is that we begin, and that every time we forget to admit the Christ that we redouble our efforts to remember it the next time. And until the day comes when it is not so much a conscious effort as, almost you might say an involuntary effort. It is done without conscious thinking. You just automatically do it. It’s like driving a car and then afterward wondering how it is that you drove it when you can’t remember shifting gears or touching this, that or the other thing and yet it all took place?
Now you see if we lean unto our own understanding then we have the usual experiences of good and evil. But if in all things we acknowledge the divine presence then we have the aid of that spiritual entity that we call the Christ. And you will find that there is no better way to begin training in this than just this illustration of the telephone. “Hello!” – and then the Christ has come between us and it becomes a contact within us. And it becomes a gentleness within us that may not have been there before, or it becomes more understanding or more patience, so forth and so on.
You see, when Paul says, “I live yet not I, Christ liveth my life” that is what he means. He means, “I don’t walk through doors, the Christ walks through before me to greet me on the other side. I don’t digest food, the Christ goes before me to digest it. I don’t buy and I don’t sell, the Christ goes before me.” He performeth that which is given me to do; He perfecteth that which concerneth me. How can He do it if you don’t admit Him? Do you see that? There is no He unless you yourself admit into this relationship that He. Without He there’s just you and me. But one of us has to admit this transcendental presence into the relationship. Then harmony can prevail.
Now, this is called practicing the presence of God. It really means acknowledging the presence of God in all thy ways. It means that you acknowledge that there is something more to your and my relationship than just human good, than just some human relationship. That between us there exists a spiritual bond that unites us in oneness in God. You’re not only blessing yourself remember, you are blessing every individual you contact during the day, because you are bringing the Christ into their experience, even while they themselves do not know what this spiritual power is. And very often you hear people say, “What is it that you have that we haven’t got? What is it that you have? What is it that your people have? What is it that your group has that others haven’t got?” And you might give a dozen different explanations, but there is only one true explanation. And that is that we have this transcendental spiritual invisible presence and power always operating in us, through us, for us, as us, as our very daily experience.