1953 First New York Closed Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
Now, we have a new experience. Now, we have a God to whom we cannot pray for anything. Now, since we have God not as a power, we also are deprived of the prayer that turns to God for something. Now that we have God and understand God as Being, but not as a power, while we can hear that in the space of an hour, I’m sure you’re going to find that it will take the space of a year for the realization of it. It will take a long period of continuous meditation, of a putting out of the temptation to turn to God for some power, if the habit is strong with us. And, until a moment of illumination comes, we are struggling against these superstitions, ancient beliefs, and theories; and it really takes practice to overcome, to come into the realization of Truth. That is why in our work, we do not make use of affirmations, that we make use of statements of Truth. And that seems bandying words or being contradictory, but it really isn’t. Let me illustrate that.
We will say that God is not power and immediately you think that’s a wonderful statement. And some, with their backgrounds in metaphysics, will immediately decide to repeat that a hundred times each night before going to sleep and then will be shocked when nothing happens, except that their troubles multiply. In the same way, I know this from experience that I’ve had in the work, Scripture says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee,” and I have known students to memorize that and repeat it twenty-five times every morning. Now, you see, that affirmation is nothing. It’s powerless. It’s a waste of time, and it produces a state of hypnotism in which one thinks that, having recited it, some mysterious power is going to keep them in peace.
Now, our use of that is entirely different. We would take that statement into meditation. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,” and the first thought would be, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.” Thou, thou. What does “Thou” mean? What do we get from that word, “Thou?” And then, as we sit in the silence, it comes to us, oh, the Master says, “The Father within me, He doeth the works.” So the “Thou,” then, is the Father within me. Or, “I can do all things through Christ,” Paul says. Well, then, that “Thou” is the Christ. In other words, there is a Father within me. There is a Christ within me. There is a Presence. There is something that will keep me in perfect peace. Oh oh, wait a minute, if, if, if the “mind is stayed.” Oh, if the mind is stayed on Me, on God, if the mind is stayed on this Christ within, on this power within. If the mind is stayed. What do you mean by stayed? Stayed, stayed, stayed, kept, maintained. Uh-huh.
Now, we know what it means—pray without ceasing. Now we know, “Acknowledge Him in all thy ways.” If we were to acknowledge God as the Source of our good, our mind would be stayed on God in that instant. If we acknowledge God as the Life of our being, our mind would be stayed on God. If we acknowledge God as the Presence going before us, our mind would be stayed on God. And so, we would find a thousand different ways to acknowledge God as the activity of our being, or the law, or substance, or creative Principle; and all through the day, some other way would be found of acknowledging God; and by the time the end of the day had come, we’d find that we had kept our mind stayed on God; and by bed time, we will have found ourselves to be at peace.