Impersonalization of Good and Evil in Human Consciousness
1959 New York Private Class For “25”
Joel S. Goldsmith
Now, recognizing that this human consciousness is operating universally, the next question comes, “What power can we use to get rid of it?” Atomic bombs failed to get rid of it, and prayer failed to get rid of it. And so we come to that next principle of the message of The Infinite Way, the next great revelation; and I think really and truly one of the greatest revelations ever given to the world. This human consciousness isn’t a power; and the attempts to fight it, overcome it, pray to get rid of it, or hit it with bombs, or even commit suicide with a revolver or poison is all nonsense. It isn’t overcome by might or by power. If you’re that evil that you want to commit suicide, you might as well stop it right now, because you will not overcome human consciousness by committing suicide. You’ll merely remove your body from the earth, and you’ll go right on as the same human consciousness of good and evil. And, if you have any idea that finding some new way to pray, or if you could study the thousands of books on religious subjects that have been written, you’d know that every way to pray must have been discovered. There can’t be left in Heaven or on earth a new way to pray. None of them have succeeded. You might as well give up prayer.
So, we’ve given up bombs, and we’ve given up prayer, and we’ve given up suicide. And what is left? And that’s the principle of The Infinite Way—the recognition that the only evil is the belief in two powers and that individually we must start somewhere to recognize there are not two powers. There’s nothing to be overcome, either by bombs, by United Nations, or by prayers. Now that doesn’t mean that you and I are going to interfere, if the world wants to keep on praying for a while. For Heaven’s sake, let it. If the world wants to have bombs for a while, let them have it. And those that want to commit suicide for a while, don’t stop them. That’s their highest sense of right at the moment; let them go ahead. But you withdraw your activity from those things, and let the rest of the world do what it wants. And you sit back with every evidence of evil in you or in this world and recognize its source as human consciousness—that which is made up of the belief in two powers and your recognition of the non-power. So, you are impersonalizing, and so you are nothingizing.
Now, there would be no use of starting your program with trying to wipe material sense out of Mr. K’s mind, or Mr. A-B-C’s mind, or D-E-F-G-H. The thing to do is not handle it as if it were something outside or even something that had existence, but handle it as you would the water on the desert road, once you’ve recognized that it isn’t water but mirage. That’s where you begin to smile inwardly at the appearance, because now you do not judge by appearances. You judge righteous judgment. Now, you sit back in your car and look at that water on the road, and you smile, and you get into gear and start riding. “Thank you, Father. Water isn’t water. It’s mirage.” At least water on the desert isn’t water. It’s mirage. Disease isn’t disease. It’s mirage. It’s a belief in two powers. Sin isn’t sin. It’s a mirage. It’s a belief in two powers. Mad ambition, national and international lust and greed, these aren’t powers. Uh-uh. No, these are the carnal mind, human consciousness, or a belief in two powers; and you only have to sit back and know the truth.
But you begin, not with those great international affairs, you begin with the tiny, little bits of things that are close at hand—the impatience with a member of the family or a neighbor, the impatience that we sometimes have with our own selves; the newspaper or radio report of a cyclone, a typhoon, a tidal wave; the continuous reminders of danger from Mr. Nasser, or Mr. Castro, or Mr. Khrushchev; not to mention the enemies in our own midst, who may not all be evil, but they’re just as bad if they’re only ignorant. Don’t forget the greatest catastrophes of our generation were not generated by evil men. There were no evil men connected with World War I. All those responsible were just stupid, ignorant, unaware. That’s all. The only thing lacking in World War I was the intelligence of leaders. There were no evil men. There was commercial competition, and there wasn’t enough intelligence among the world’s leaders of that day to prevent that war. The Second World War, there were no evil people connected with that. There was a lack of intelligence on the part of all of the Allies. That’s all. It was the Allies who were responsible for World War II, not the enemy. Had they had the intelligence after World War I to know what to do with Germany and how to do, without believing that just by making it an agrarian state, or by keeping it under the neighboring guns, of keeping them in starvation, and believing that force would do it, I’m sure World War II could have been avoided. There would have been no Hitler on the scene, because Germany really had two Republican forms of government, both of which were destroyed by the Allies, because they wouldn’t support it. They wouldn’t help it. They wouldn’t give it an opportunity to come back. Oh, there are excuses on both sides, but the point is that there was no evil involved. It was ignorance. There was no evil. There was just ignorance.
And so it is that you will find that in some situations in life there are evil people. Ah, no question about that, or the circumstances raise up evil people. Surely Hitler became an evil person and so did Stalin, and later so did Mussolini, although one of these days Mussolini will be honored in Italy as undoubtedly its greatest hero. Right now that sentiment is all abroad in Italy to make him the great hero because of the good that he did for Italy before he succumbed to surrounding influence and became evil. Evil isn’t natural in the heart of men. It isn’t a natural state.
Now, we could have loads of evil men in the world, if enough circumstances came up in which there wasn’t enough intelligence to meet it. This breeds the evil. Certainly, we’re having a very evil condition with a very evil group of men in Communist China. No doubt about that. But any of those who were as close to the situation as I was in the 1930’s can tell you that this evil was bred in Washington, D.C. It was our ignorance of how to handle; it wasn’t evil. We weren’t evil. But the ignorance of knowing how to deal with China, our inexperience in international affairs, much more especially Asiatic affairs, bred all of this that we’re facing today. Just as our ignorance in Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam resulted in all of this that we’re having today. It isn’t evil men that are causing the condition today. It is the stupidity that took place in Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam that has created the situations and the evil men of today. You understand that I’m trying to say to you that human consciousness or the belief in good and evil is responsible for all the evil on the world, whether it is the evil of ignorance or the evil of evil. When we personalize, as we must when we come to a Hitler or a Stalin and so forth, let us remember that they themselves didn’t make these conditions. They were only individuals. It was all of the ignorance and all of the evil of human consciousness, which came together at a height and brought about these conditions. Now again, I’m not trying to make the mistake of personalizing or of whitewashing. I’m trying to show you that ignorance or out and out evil, either of these or both, are the same human consciousness. That’s what I’m trying to show you.