by Joel S Goldsmith,

1953 First New York Practitioner Class


Good morning.

I hope you will still think it’s a good morning a little later. And uh, that we can qualify this subject.

Those of you who have had occasion to ask me for help, personally or on the telephone, and some who have written, have surely noticed that I rarely answer with any statement of truth, or what I call metaphysical cliche, such as; “Oh, it isn’t true”, or; “Oh, don’t worry about it. God will take care of it,” or; “You know it isn’t real.” You don’t hear terms like that from me, statements like that. You don’t find them in your letters. The reason is this; there isn’t any truth that could be said to you that is truth. Nothing that could be said to you, when you ask for help, or nothing that you could say to another when they ask for help, could ever be true. And so, the greatest healing influence is the ability to refrain from answering a call for help with a metaphysical truth. The greatest healing influence is the ability to refrain from making a statement of truth to a call for help. The reason is this; I say to you, “I don’t feel well, give me some help,” and the moment you answer, you have set up a conflict. You have joined issue. I have said negative, and you have said positive, and now the battle’s on.

You see, when we see car tracks come together in the distance, when we see the sky sitting on the mountains, we don’t walk along and say it isn’t true, it’s an illusion. The mere act that we know it’s an illusion, makes it unnecessary for us to combat it. When we walk along, or when we drive along the road on the desert, and we see water up ahead of us, as we most usually do driving on the desert, we don’t sit in the car and say; “There is no water on the road, that is unreal, that’s an appearance, that’s an illusion.” It is because we know that it is an illusion that we do not combat it, we do not enter into any arguments with it. We just drive on, in the knowledge and the realization of its illusory nature. Were we either to stop the car and consider what to do about that water on the road, or were we to drive along with constant affirmations that it isn’t real, it would only be because we are accepting the appearance as reality, and trying to do something about it.

Those of you who have heard the tapes “Thunder of Silence”, will remember that there is a part in there where all of a sudden I say; “What is the use?” In a very disgusted sort of a way. Because I had spent four hours on just one subject, the illusory nature of error, and had used about every example that I know to show that that which is appearing as error has no existence, no substance, no law, no cause, no reality, and can’t have any effect. And then someone said; “”But how do you get rid of the illusion?” You don’t get rid of illusion. There is no way to get rid of illusion. As a matter of fact, an illusion isn’t a thing. An appearance. But once you know that it’s an appearance, you have gotten rid of it. It is gone. It no longer exists as wetness on the road. It exists only as an appearance without substance. The moment you know that the streetcar tracks do not come together, you don’t have to get rid of the illusion. You look at those tracks coming together and say; “Yes, that’s optical illusion.” And then you get right on the streetcar and go ahead riding. You don’t say; “But now, how must I get rid of the illusion?”

Now sin, what the world calls sin, what we metaphysically call sin, disease, lack limitation; these, we are given to understand, have their foundation in the sense of selfhood apart from God. But they have no real existence in the Kingdom of God, which is our individual being. Once it has been revealed to us that these so called conditions exist only as appearances, there’s nothing more to be done about it. We have done all. And so, if I say to you; “I don’t feel well, give me help,” and you immediately come back with all the metaphysical arguments you know, all you’re trying to do is combat, enter into conflict with, trying to overcome what I have said. Instead of, very quietly within your own being, realize; what can you do with an illusion?

Once you’ve discovered its illusory nature, what can you do about it? Why should you fear a toy serpent after you’ve discovered that it’s a toy? We can understand right well that I may have a toy serpent, and believe that it is a serpent, and say; “Give me help.” But you, from the higher standpoint of your wisdom, you discern that it is a toy serpent. Now, what you should do about it; nothing. Just give me the assurance, that’s all, that all is well. But do not try to combat my statement of error. Do not try to convince me of its error. Do not try to get rid of the serpent, overcome it or destroy it. Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. And the truth about a toy serpent is that it’s harmless. The truth about any disease, is that it’s harmless. The truth about any infection or contagion is that it’s harmless. Why then try to overcome it? Why argue with it? Agree with thine adversary.

Now, when a call comes for help, since we do know how real the discord appears to the one asking for help, the most compassionate thing we can do, the most loving thing we can do is to say; “I will help you immediately. I will be with you immediately.” And the patient, the student understands right well that you mean you’re going to be with them in the realization of the nothingness of that which is troubling them. Not that you’re going to be with them in an all night battle. Not that you’re going to be with them in an attempt to get God to do something for them, but that from your, at that moment, highest spiritual standpoint, you are able to discern the dryness of what appears as wet water on the road, or the true status of the car tracks that appear to be coming together and causing fright.

You see, the whole secret of spiritual work is the fact that you are looking out upon this world from spiritual vision, not material. Therefor, you are always beholding him as he is. And so, just as you are at this moment in the position to assure anyone in this room who may be fearing the rest of us, that they have nothing to fear, that we are just filled with love for each other, you know that, not from appearances, you know that from your inner wisdom of your acquaintanceship with us. You know, there have been tests made in the magazines, one I saw last year, very interesting one, of fifty photographs of people, some of whom were desperate characters, inmates of prisons. Others of whom were people of prominence in different fields, of very high character and so forth. And the test was to select which was which. Except by accident, we just couldn’t do it. So there’s just no way to judge correctly by appearances. Some, yes, but oh the percentage of wrong guesses was terrible. You would never believe it is possible that so many sweet nice people could be taken for desperate criminals, and visa-versa.