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Questions and Answers from Joel

Many of us enjoy the classes in which Joel answers questions from students.  Sometimes the question is one that we ourselves might have asked.  Other times it is one that might not have occurred to us, but which we find interesting, and we are curious about how Joel will answer it.

On this page of our website, on the first and third Saturdays of the month, we will post a new question and answer from one of Joel’s classes or books.  We trust that you will find these interesting, helpful, and sometimes an answer to just what is on your mind.

You can access previously posted questions by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.

To download or print this Q and A, click here. 

Posted on 7/15/17:

Q:    Would you please explain the unreality of death and life eternal?

A:    I’d love to!  Nothing I love more than the subject of life eternal and the subject of death, except the words “God” and “prayer.”

If you look out onto this world, the subject of death is very easy.  Everyone who is born must die.  Everything that is born must die.  Everything that has a beginning must have an ending.  How do we know that?  By the evidence of our senses—the same way we know the tracks come together in the distance; the same way we know that the sky sits on a mountain; the same way that we know that there’s water on a dry desert.  That’s how we know that everything that lives must die—through the same senses that delude us; through the same senses that fool us in every way; the same senses that make us trust and put our faith in princes and consider man whose breath is in his nostrils.

Those five physical senses testify to a beginning and to an ending. They testify to birth and to death.  And if you can believe the senses in one way, you might as well make up your mind to believe them in all ways.  As you live long enough to get a few gray hairs, you’ll find out that you can’t believe those five physical senses.  And so the idea now comes: How then, do you approach the subject of life and the understanding of death?

And the answer is this: You begin with the word “God.”  And since the letters G-o-d in and of themselves will not give you the unfoldment, you turn to one of the synonyms of God that meets the situation, and you find that a much used synonym for God is “life.”  God is life.  Now, when does God begin?  And when does God end?  There you have the story of life eternal.  Since God is life, life has no beginning, and life has no ending.  And where, in that entire word “life” would you find death?  Where in the entire understanding of God as immortality could you find mortal life?  Are you following that?  Do you see that point?  If God is life; if God is immortal; is life mortal?  No!

On the other hand, is there more than one life?  Since we have accepted God as life and God as immortality and God as infinity, if God is infinite life, is there a life beside that?  No.  All right then, God being life, and God being infinite life, there can be no life that has beginning or ending.

Now we come to the point of realization in our individual experience:  Why were we born and why will we die?  Because of the acceptance of a life other than God.  That’s all.  It’s as simple as that.  Declare, realize, that God is our only life, and you have dropped all possibility of dying.  You’ll even drop the possibility of old age or weakness.

All of the discords of human experience can be summed up in this: a sense of separation from God.  I don’t care whether it’s financial lack, moral lack, physical lack, or mental lack.  It is summed up in a sense of separation from God.  The understanding of God as one’s life reveals immortality, eternality, infinity.

In the same way, any sense of mental weakness—loss of memory, loss of sanity, loss of intelligence—all based on what?  A mind apart from God; a sense of separation from the God-mind.  Now if you accept God as mind, you accept only one mind and that mind, individual mind.  That’s all, and it’s as simple as that.  If God is mind, intelligence is infinite.  Whose intelligence?  The intelligence of that mind which is the mind of the individual.

Now, you can take twenty synonyms and go up and down the ladder—soul, spirit, substance, activity—and you’ll find the same thing.  If you can come first of all, to the agreement within yourself that there is only One, and that One is God, then that One becomes the life, mind, soul, spirit, being, of the individual. …

Now, let us understand this: To every one of us comes a period or point of transition.  If we live our daily life minute by minute, in whatever way it is presented to us, maintaining always the realization of God as individual being, we will continue to unfold and unfold, always reaching higher levels of consciousness, and one day we will find ourselves removed from this scene of activity—not kicked out of our body by disease, but just gently moved on in a transitional experience to the next higher unfoldment.  There is no provision in the divine economy for anyone walking around on the earth forever in this form.

Why?  Well, this form that you see is not the form that sits here.  This [the form that you see] is our concept of the divine body.  But this concept of body has been changing every few years of the last thirty, forty years.  This concept of body has been changing just as this concept of life has been changing, and this concept of love has been changing, and this concept of supply has been changing.  So this concept of body has been progressively changing, and it will continue to progress—the concept will.  The [divine] body won’t.  The [divine] body is the temple of God.  But you can’t see this [divine] body except in your higher moments of meditation.

When I am in my depth of meditation, more especially if I have a very difficult case, and I am forced to go deep, deep down within my being to bring out healing, then I catch glimpses of the spiritual life and the spiritual form.  I catch glimpses even of the form behind the flower.  I’ve always, ever since I’ve been in this work, caught glimpses of spiritual man: that is spiritual identity.   And, the further my work goes, the more I see of the spiritual nature of this universe, but not through my eyes.  Through my eyes I still see men and women and trees and flowers and oceans.  It’s true that even what I see is much better to my eyes than it formally was, because I see more of the good points and less of the others. …

But that is still not beholding the real.  The real is beheld in the glimpse that one gets in the depth of meditation or treatment when “we behold Him as He is.”[1]  Then “we are satisfied with that likeness,”[2] and we will forever have that body that is our real body.  We won’t leave it any place.  It won’t be buried; it won’t be burned.  Never believe that for a single moment.

The only thing that we ever drop is a concept of body.  And as we stepped out of our infant body and our youth body into maturity, so we step out of a mortal sense of body into the spiritual demonstration and realization of body.  And that we can do, and do do here on this plane.  It is not necessary to die or make a transition to experience it.  We have experienced it here and now.  The Master says, “I can lay down my life, I can pick up my life.”[3]  And I will tell you that there are others who can step in or out of the mortal concept of body and life at will, here and now.  And it all comes about through attaining the revelation or realization within of true being.  That is the first thing.  That was what Mrs. Eddy had in mind when she wrote, “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, where sick and sinning mortal man appeared to mortals.”[4]

She did not mean that Jesus visualized a human being in a perfectly healthy body.  Never did she have such a thing in her mind.  She meant what she said: that Jesus, through his spiritual wisdom, his spiritual mind, and his soul faculties, beheld man as he really is, described later by John as “a temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”[5]

(Excerpt from Recording #28, 1953 Los Angeles Practitioner Class, Tape 2, Side 2: “The Spiritual View, Part 2.”  The full transcript of this recording is available at www.joelgoldsmith.com)

[1] Psalm 17:15
[2] Ibid.
[3] John 10:18
[4] Eddy, Mary Baker, Science and Health, pp. 476-477
[5] Joel probably meant Paul, not John, since this quotation appears in 2 Corinthians 5:1.

Previously Posted Questions and Answers

7/1/17:  Does God have a plan for each person before he is born?
6/17/17:  How is it, if there is a God, that there can be so much sin, disease, death, lack, and limitation, and wars – evil – on earth?
6/3/17:  “Please say something about parenthood.”
5/20/17:  “If you had a case of anemia, would you concentrate your meditation on the idea that there’s no life in it?”
5/6/17:  “Can we give help to those who have passed on?”
4/15/17:  “You spoke about stilling the mind.  Can you give us more help with this?”
4/1/17:  “What is the meaning of “Jesus died for our sins” and “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
3/18/17:  “Please explain illusion.”
3/4/17:  “What is the story behind the use of the term ‘white poodle?’
2/18/17:  “What is the purpose of life?”
2/4/17:  “When you are meditating, do you use positive statements, affirmations, or remain silent?”
1/21/17:  “If there is a God, why is there so much sin, disease, death, and war on earth?”
1/1/17:  “Is it essential to study the Scriptures and what is the best approach?”
12/17/16: “Why do we still have wars?”
12/2/16:  “What does the word ‘transparency’ mean?”
11/19/16:  “Explain ‘the healer alone must accept responsibility for the healing'”
11/5/16:  “Is God the substance of what we cognize with the senses?”
10/15/16:  “Questions on reincarnation”
10/1/16:  “Please explain the Scripture verse ‘Unless ye be born again …”
9/17/16:  “Does reiterating truth statements mentally result in an experience of Spirit?”