1960 New York Closed Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
361B – The Peak of Mystical Living
You have noticed that we start our work with meditation, and the more meditation we have the greater degree of spiritual receptivity we have, and the deeper the spiritual message we receive. Now the reason is this—meditation actually is the act of consciously establishing contact with the source of your being.
I will use the Master’s illustration for this—that if you are one with the vine, if you abide and live in the vine, if you are one with the vine that you will bear fruit richly, but if you are not one with the vine, then you are as a branch that is cut off and withereth.
And so I would like to tell you that as a human being you are a branch of a tree that is cut off from its source, and that is why you can have sin, disease, accident, death, false appetites, all of the horrors of human existence can happen to any human being, and they can happen at almost any time, and the reason is that a human being is not under the law of God, neither in deed can be. A human being is a branch of a tree walking around the earth not attached to the tree.
But, the Master goes on, if you are one with the vine, if you abide in this Word, then you bear fruit richly because just as a branch on the tree receives its blossoms, its leaves, its fruit by virtue of its connection with the tree, and the trunk of the tree with the roots, and the root with the ground, because these are all one, everything flows up and out into the branch and becomes fruitage.
Now you and I are exactly what the Master said, “I can of my own self do nothing. If I speak of myself I bear witness to a lie,” and don’t think that you or I are any better than Jesus, and he recognized his nothingness as a man Jesus. He recognized his nothingness; he recognized his incapacity to do anything.
Ah but, the Father within me, He doeth the work, and therefore, I am but the outlet, the instrument used by God. I of my own self am nothing. The Father within me He doeth the works.
Therefore, the Master was consciously one with God, and by virtue of that, the Godhead could work through him and perform the mighty works which have, of course, kept his name alive, and his deeds, and his message, and his mission, and really serves as an example that all of the world is rapidly coming to, but not because of Jesus, but because of Jesus’ oneness with God, the Father.
Now, Paul tells us that as a creature you are not under the law of God, neither indeed can be, but if so the Spirit of God dwell in you, then do you become the children of God, and if children, then heirs, joint-heirs, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you, if so be you have that Father within you that the Master told us of.
Now, as human beings, even though we have the Master within us, we have the Father within us, it is of no benefit to us because we have no conscious contact with It, and a contact, to be a contact, must be a conscious one.
If you had a million dollars in the bank but didn’t know it, that million dollars could serve no purpose in your life. You might have a great big estate somewhere in California, but I can assure you that it will not benefit you until such time as you know you have the estate, in other words, until you become consciously aware of it, and until you become consciously aware of the Father within you it is just the same as if you didn’t have a Father within you.
If so be the Spirit of God dwell in you, then do you become the child of God, but the Spirit of God does dwell in you. It dwells in everybody, but if you are not consciously aware of It, it is of no value to you. Therefore, meditation is the way in which you establish conscious contact, conscious awareness of the Presence within.
Now in my experience I discovered this, and I discovered that it was through meditation that I became consciously aware of a Presence, and when I became consciously aware of a Presence, my life out here, that day, was more harmonious. Things went smoothly, everything moved in the way it should move with God governing it, but on those days when there was no such conscious contact I was back again as a human being and life was just according to luck, circumstance, chance or whatever might be.
After long periods, oh, way into the months, probably a year or so, of mediation that conscious contact was so well established that it became permanent, and then life out here began to be lived much in the way that Paul described—I live, yet not I. Christ liveth my life.
And so it was that after about a year of daily conscious meditations and contacts that all of a sudden it wasn’t necessary to take thought what I shall eat, or what I shall drink. It wasn’t necessary to take thought about what I should do. Everything was—you might say presented to me, or the way was made straight, mansions were prepared all by virtue of this contact.
Now, in teaching meditation to students I found it very, very difficult. The reason was that we, of the western world, are really taught to think continuously. Our lives are thought and action, thought and action. It makes no difference that a great deal of that thought is nonsensical thought, and unnecessary thought, nevertheless we have to be thinking something all the time or else, pick up something to read.
As a matter of fact it was discovered within this last quarter century that people aren’t very good at reading, and so we developed this new type of literature—the picture press, picture newspapers, and picture magazines so that nobody has to read and think any more. You just look at a picture and there you see it.
Now, in one way or another then, our western mind is busy either with pictures, internal or external, or with thoughts, and rambling thoughts they might be too, so that when you try to settle down into meditation you find it well nigh impossible because the think box keeps going; the mind keeps active, and you just can’t settle down into that peace.
And so, eventually, there revealed itself to me a way whereby we can settle down to peaceful meditation, and that begins with what in our book we have called “practicing the presence.” The title as you know comes from Brother Lawrence’s work, but the idea of practicing the presence is slightly different with us than with him, and the purpose is different.
With us practicing the presence is a specific activity of the mind, and it is performed for a specific purpose.
Number One: To practice the presence of God means to acknowledge Him in all thy ways. It means keep the mind stayed on God, and He will give thee peace, and so it is that with us practicing the presence of God is an acknowledgement of God in all our ways.
For instance, on waking in the morning our first thought is the acknowledgement that God has brought the daylight after the night, that this day the creation of God is God’s, and that in this day all that takes place is in the hand of God, that God is the life of this day, the law unto this day, the presence unto this day, and the power unto this day. And as we go to the breakfast table we acknowledge that God has sent forth food into this world. It is God that placed the crops in the ground. It is God that placed the cattle on a thousand hills. It is God that is responsible for the sunshine, the rain, the snow, everything that produces food that eventually comes to our table.
As we leave home we pause before going through a doorway to realize consciously that God’s presence goes before me to make the crooked places straight, that God will be the cement of our relationships with all those we meet throughout the day.