Original Iwihub.com transcript. Proofread by Zane Maser.
Meditation and Its Function
1961 Stockholm Closed Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
As some of the old Hebrew prophets knew it, ‘The place whereon thou standest is holy ground.’ Think, ‘The place whereon thou standest….’ This place where I am, which seems to be so mundane, so human, so material; this very place whereon I stand is holy ground, for Thou art here. Thou art within me. Thy Presence is with me. Thy Presence goes before me. Thy Presence is my rock, my foundation, my dwelling place. I live and move and have my being in Thee. And, in this meditation, I acknowledge it. I acknowledge that I can of my own self do nothing. I acknowledge that where I am, Thou art. And, therefore, if I mount up to Heaven, Thou art there. If I make my bed in hell, Thou art there. If I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Thou art there, for the place whereon I stand is holy ground. Here, where I am, Thou art.
Thy Presence is the very health of my countenance. Thy Presence is my food, my substance, my sustenance. Thy Presence is my safety and my security. Thy Presence assures me of peace on Earth. Peace. Did he not say, ‘My peace, give I unto you.’ And, how is this meant? If the kingdom of God is within me, then it is the voice of God that says to me, ‘My peace give I unto thee; not as the world giveth, my peace give I….’ Why this is God speaking to me from within me. This is God giving me the assurance, and so it says, too, ‘I will never leave thee.’ I, this Father that is within me, is assuring me He will never leave me, nor forsake me. I never can be outside of the kingdom of God, as long as I am abiding in this Word and letting this Word abide in me.
When I abide in this Word, as I have been doing in this meditation, when I let these words pour through me, I am veritably in God’s presence, and God’s presence is in me. And then, the 91st Psalm comes to life and says, “None of these evils shall come nigh thy dwelling place.” Why? I have been living in this “secret place of the most High” within me. I have been living in the presence of God within me. I have been living in the word of God, and if I live in the word of God, and if I let the word of God live in me, I and my Father are one; and the spirit of God then dwells in me.
Now, when I have reminded myself of these things and, you see, I haven’t been asking anything of God. Nothing. I merely have been assuring myself of the scriptural promises, the word of God. I’ve been merely reminding myself of the presence of God. And now, when I have completed that I can turn within and say, “Speak Lord, Thy servant heareth.” And then, for just a minute or two, I become completely silent and listen, and eventually I learn that God is not in the whirlwind. God is not in my problem. God is not out here in the world. God is in the still, small voice that comes to bring to me the assurance, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine,” or “Son, I will never leave thee,” or “Son, my presence goes before thee to make the crooked places straight.” Always, there will come some inner assurance of God’s presence.
Now, there are times when we begin a meditation of that kind and then, all of a sudden, something reminds us that we are violating the law of God or that we are not obeying some law of God. As, for instance, it can happen as it did in Scripture. Do you remember this that when the man went to pray and then the voice comes and says, “If you go to the altar to pray and there remember that any man has aught against thee, get up, and go away, and first make thy peace with thy brother. Then, return to the altar.” So, it may be that sometimes when I start my meditation, I will be reminded, “You are holding anger, resentment against somebody. You are not forgiving seventy times seven, and there’s no use of praying, because this unforgiveness is a barrier to your receiving God’s grace. This inability to pray for your enemy—the prayer of forgiveness—is a barrier. So, don’t do your meditating. First, turn within, and do the act of forgiving or the act of praying for those who despitefully use you or persecute you. First, turn within and consciously release all men from any antagonism that you’re feeling. Release everybody that harms you, or your family, or your nation in a realization, ‘Father, forgive them. They know not what they do. Father, open their eyes that they may see. Open their ears that they may hear. Father, give them light, forgive them. They know not what they do.’”
Then, I can return to my meditation, feeling now I have naught against anyone, and it isn’t possible for anyone to have aught against me, nor does it matter if they think they do, once I have forgiven them. I have obeyed the Scripture. No more an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. No more seeking vengeance because of wrongs done me or mine but forgiving seventy times seven. Now, there’s no barrier between me and God. I am open to receive God’s grace.
Each time that we meditate, we find that something entirely new, something entirely different enters our consciousness to remind us of the nearness of God, the presence of God, the wholeness of God, the perfection of God. And, some of these times experiences come to us of a very shocking nature. Naturally, I don’t know your particular religious background, but I’m sure there must be some of you who were taught that God punishes sin and rewards goodness. As long as you have such superstitious beliefs in your thought, you cannot enter the kingdom of God, for God does not punish, and God does not reward. It was true before the advent of Jesus Christ that the religious world was taught that God punishes and that God rewards, but Jesus Christ changed all of that when he taught that God forgives even the woman taken in adultery, not after many years of punishment but now. Right now. Right now, in the instant when she seeks it, forgiveness is there. “Neither do I condemn thee.” The thief on the cross, “Neither do I condemn thee. I will take thee into paradise with me this very night.” In other words, the whole of the Master’s teaching is forgiveness, not punishment.
Some of you may have been taught that some of your troubles come to you through God, that for some reason God has visited this upon you. It’s utter nonsense. It’s a teaching that only existed before that of Jesus Christ, not since; because the Master reveals that he came to do the will of God; and the will of God is forgiveness seventy times seven, healing of disease, raising from the dead. And so, you find it a terrible shock sometimes when you go into meditation and find that you’re still believing that God has visited death on somebody. God has called some loved one home, or God has punished someone by bringing about their death. And, when you wake to that you ask God instantly to forgive you for your ignorance, forgive you for your injustice, and realize that the nature of God is Love. The nature of God is life eternal in which there is no death. “God has no pleasure in your dying. Turn ye, and live.” The whole life of the Master was raising the sick to health, never once telling them that they were under punishment for something. The whole ministry was raising those from the dead, proving that God never brought about their death, and God never approved of their death, since the mission of the Christ is to raise us from the dead.
Sometimes, when we go into this meditation, we find that we have been thinking these old, ancient beliefs about God, and we haven’t brought ourselves up to 2,000 years ago in religious history. We’re still living in the history before 2,000 years ago. And so it is that in our meditation, we have an opportunity to cleanse ourselves, purify ourselves of any untrue thoughts that we’ve been entertaining about God; because before you are through with meditation, you’ll find that the greatest source of joy in the world is the love that develops in your heart for God.