Original Iwihub.com transcript by Alexandra d.l.V.
1958 Holland Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
8807—Importance of the God Experience
Good evening to you.
I’ve forgotten now how many years it is that I’ve been coming here, I guess five, four? [Comment from audience] Five, six, seven, eight, and each time it was a great pleasure because so many here have been making a very serious effort to break down the barrier of language to understand this message of The Infinite Way. It isn’t an easy message to understand even if English were your native language. We have many in the United States and Canada, and England, who find it very, very difficult to grasp the meaning of this message; and breaking this barrier of the language can be even more difficult, except for one thing: that if you can catch the simplicity of the message, then language is no barrier, and even a very, very simple or very slight knowledge of the language will give you the entire secret.
The message is difficult not because of being complex. It is difficult because of its simplicity. That is what makes the entire message of The Infinite Way difficult. It is its very simplicity. You see it is not an involved teaching. There are not many principles or deep metaphysics to this message. On the contrary, we begin with probably the most simple thing to understand in all religion and that is this: there must be a God experience. In other words: religion is not of the mind, it is of the heart, it is of the soul. There are no deep principles in a true spiritual message. That is why Jesus Christ could say that we must come as little children not seeking the deep things, the mysterious things of life, but the simple things.
Now, the most simple of all to understand is this: that if you knew all of the Bibles of the world, every Bible, every scripture, and if you knew all of the philosophies of the world and all of the metaphysics of the world, it might not help you to be healed of a simple headache. It might not help you to attain one minute of peace or happiness on earth because there is only one lasting satisfaction in life; without this, everything else becomes dust. Fame, wealth, society…none of these count, none of these make for happiness, or health, or for contentment. Yes, it is wonderful to have health, and it is wonderful to have wealth, if along with those things we have this one needful thing, and that is the experience of God. To be able to go within, to go within yourself or myself and there find the kingdom of God and experience it; have actual communion with God, this really is worthwhile. This makes health a joyous matter. This makes wealth a joyous matter. This even makes fame a joyous matter, if, together with these things, we have God. Not God as a word in a book, not God as a teaching, God as an experience. And that is where this entire message of The Infinite Way began.
To you who have not heard me before or who are not yet familiar with all of this message, let me tell you that it had its beginning in just a business man wanting to know if there wasn’t something more in life than just a successful business, and good times, and sufficient money. I was that business man that had many things, good things that this world has to offer but did not have the real thing and therefore did not have contentment, or peace, or satisfaction, or even the right sense of health. And, so it was that this search led up to a date, the end of 1928 when that most longed-for thing happened: a God experience, a spiritual experience.
I didn’t recognize it as that at first. I didn’t understand it at first. I only knew that whereas before I enjoyed my business, I no longer enjoyed it. Whereas before I enjoyed the theater, and the dances, and the things of the world, I no longer enjoyed them. And…neither did they enter my mind. I didn’t miss them. I didn’t enjoy them. I didn’t want them, but neither did I think about them. They disappeared from my experience, from my thoughts. And then the second thing I noticed was that first a woman came to me, a business woman, and asked me to pray with her, and told me that if I would pray with her, she could get well. Of course, I knew nothing about prayer, and I didn’t know how to answer her, but I did the best I could. I closed my eyes and turned to God, and I received an answer the first time that I was ever aware that God spoke to men. I heard a voice within me say, “Man cannot heal.” and I just rested, and that woman was healed.
A couple of days later a man asked me if I would pray with him, that he was sick and in pain. I still didn’t know how to pray but I could close my eyes again and wait. While I was waiting, he said, “My pain is gone.” That went on for eighteen months, and at the end of the eighteen months so many people were asking for healings that I had no more time for business, and I left the business world, and I haven’t been back in it since.
Now, that was how I learned that it isn’t what you know that makes your life healthy, wealthy or wise; it isn’t whether or not you know how to pray; it isn’t whether or not you give up pleading with God and begin affirming; it hasn’t to do with that at all. It has to do with whether or not we actually make contact with that Spirit that is within each one of us, and which is very difficult to contact, very difficult. The average person has great difficulty in attaining that ability by themselves, and if they find somebody in the relationship of practitioner or teacher, who is sufficiently one with God, that one then makes it possible for thousands of others to attain their conscious union with God.
At first, this was a very difficult situation for me because I did have that knack or gift of healing, but no understanding of how it took place. And that’s very difficult when people come to you and want to know. Then, of course, I began the study of what had been discovered by others. I studied all of Mrs. Eddy’s writings in Christian Science. I studied many other things that are written in books, but I did not find the answer to the actual principle that was involved until more of these experiences began to come to me, these spiritual experiences, and then I learned what in our work in The Infinite Way is probably the most important part, and that is this: there is no such thing as God answering prayer in the way that men usually expect. In other words, you cannot pray to God for something and get it. Oh, there are a few experiences in life, which seem to contradict that, but if you could examine each one of them, you would find that it is literally true that God does not give us the things we pray for and God cannot. It is for this reason that James said, “If you pray and do not receive your answer, it is because you pray amiss.” It doesn’t mean that prayer isn’t effective; prayer is effective but not the prayer that goes to God for anything. The effective prayer is the prayer that goes to God for God.
There is one of the greatest unfoldments that has ever been given to this world. God has nothing to give us but himself. God has nothing to give but the gift of God, nothing else. This teaching was given to the world by Jesus Christ, and before 300 years had passed the world had come to a place of tearing up that teaching and throwing it out of the window. He said in his teaching that we were not to pray for things, we were not to pray for what we shall eat, or what we shall drink, or wherewith all we shall be clothed. He told us we weren’t to pray in words, or in thoughts, and we weren’t to pray in public. That’s all been disregarded now for the past seventeen hundred years. But it still stands as He promised it would, “My word shall not pass away,” and if you look into the New Testament you will find these words. No longer shall you pray in this Holy mountain nor yet in Jerusalem. Do not pray where you can be seen of men, pray in secret. Your Father that seeth in secret, will reward thee openly. How shall you pray? Not for what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, or wherewith all you shall be clothed. Why? “Your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of these things, and it is His good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” therefore, do not pray for them, seek not for these things. What shall you seek for if you are obedient to the teaching of Jesus Christ? “Seek ye the kingdom of God,” that’s all, nothing else, the realm of God, the realization of God.