Chapter 12: “The Principle of Nonpower”

The Recording for This Chapter

The basis for this chapter is Recording 250A, from the 1959 Maui Advanced Class, titled “The Principle of No Power” 

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Optional Study Suggestions

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In this chapter, Joel gives a lesson on the nature of the evils of the world and how to nullify them.  Once again, he reiterates that what seem to be powers of sin, disease, lack, and unhappiness are not powers.  They operate as powers only as long as you individually, and the world collectively, can be made to fight them and seek a power to destroy them.

The secret is “Resist not evil.”  The way to harmony in all aspects of life is NOT invoking a God-power but recognizing that the God-power already is active where you are.  “The place whereon thou standest is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5) because the presence of God is already there.

So, we sit in the silence, in the assurance of the non-power of that which is appearing.  We are not utilizing one power over another; we are not even utilizing a God-power.  We are not utilizing any power; we are recognizing non-power—the non-power of that which is called the negative forces and influences of this world.

Joel says that our benefit to the world is only in proportion as we can prove this principle first in our individual lives, and he teaches that to prove a principle, you must “take your Christ into Egypt and hide It within yourself.”  In other words, we have been entrusted with a pearl of wisdom, and because there is always an enemy ready to destroy it, we keep this gem of wisdom secret and sacred within ourselves.  We keep it locked up inside; we continue to study and contemplate it.  We “practice it, live it, practice it, live it, practice it,” until we have the principle to such an extent that we can demonstrate it.  Then we can share it with those who come to us.  As Joel says, “You must be able to prove, in some measure, the truth you voice.”

Joel acknowledges that it is not easy to get to the point where you can demonstrate a principle.  As he says, just because the principle is true does not mean that you can immediately demonstrate it.  You have to attain the consciousness of it.  That is the key.

How Do We Attain the Consciousness of the Principle?

How do we do attain the consciousness of the principle of non-power, or the nature of error?  Anyone who has studied Joel’s message for a while knows that for any principle, his answer to that question is always the same:

1.  Know, understand, and accept the principle. Ponder and contemplate it.
2.  Meditate (listen in silent receptivity)
3.  Live with the principle and practice it.
4.  Repeat 1 – 3.

Joel gave us a recommended study method for really knowing and understanding a principle, and we can apply that method to studying the principle that was the focus of Chapter 12—non-power, or the nature of error.  Joel said:

“I would like to ask you to read the books this coming year in a different way than you have before.  I would like you to take, in each book that you have or can get, the chapter heading ‘God’ or ‘spirit’ or ‘soul,’ or ‘deity,’—whichever way it’s written—and just study that chapter in each one of the books and leave all the rest of the book alone.  Just take that one chapter in each book that is on the subject of God.

“When you have gone through that carefully, take the word ‘Christ.’  I don’t mean in this order, because you can take them in any order you like, but take the word ‘Christ.’  Take up every book that has a chapter heading ‘Christ’ in it and study the subject of Christ in every book.  Then take the chapter ‘Prayer’ in every book.  Then take the chapter ‘Meditation,’ ‘Communion,’ ‘Treatment,’ ‘Oneness.’  Do you see that?  Make a list of four, five or six chapters with the same or similar headings, and just study those until you can say ‘Aha! I’m catching an idea of the nature of God.’

“You’ll find a chapter in many of the books called ‘The Nature of Error.’  Stay with those chapters until you can say, ‘I’m commencing to glimpse the nature of error,’ or ‘I’m commencing to glimpse prayer in a new light, or meditation in a new light, or communion in a new light.’  And so on.  Then you can say ‘Aha! I have the correct letter of truth.  Now that I’ve got it, this must be developing the very spirit or consciousness of truth.’  And then occasionally one sentence will stand out almost in electric lights and that is illumination.  That is realization.  And that is spiritual consciousness attained.”

~ Recording 643A: 1956 Johannesburg Closed Class, “The Anointed of God

Joel explains why it is helpful to use this method:

“Each one of these subjects is handled from the state of consciousness at the time that a book was produced. … [If] the student reads [about a subject] in all the books, they will catch the varying states of consciousness covering that subject, and that will give them a rounded out understanding of it. …

‘“So, take your subjects in that way. … Take “prayer;’ take ‘the Christ;’ take ‘God as individual being;’ take the subject ‘God,’ and read as many of those chapters in as many of those books as you can.  But stay with one subject for one, two, three or four months until you are sure that you have got a grounding in that subject.

“Now I will tell you the miracle that will come out of that.  If you really and truly get so familiar with these subjects that you really know them, that in itself will form a healing consciousness, because it is knowing the truth that makes you free.  There is no way to get around that. It’s knowing the truth that makes you free.

No matter what we say, no matter what we do, you can’t get away from the Master: “Know the truth and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)   And knowing the truth does not mean just knowing a few sentences or a few quotations.  It really means knowing the principle of truth.  And if you really know what prayer is, or the highest concept of prayer; if you really know what the Christ is; if you really know what treatment is; that’s knowing the truth, and that forms this new consciousness.  And that’s what we are after.”

~ Recording 1006AB: 1951 Portland Class, “My Vision of 1950 of the Blanket of Spirit”

Joel compares spiritual study to studying music or art, and asserts that anyone can develop spiritual consciousness:

“Studying and practicing music develops your musical consciousness, and studying art develops your artistic consciousness.  In the same way, reading, studying, and practicing truth develops your consciousness of truth—your spiritual awareness of truth. It is this spiritual consciousness that does the work.  Once you have attained some measure of spiritual consciousness, you will no longer have to do much in the way of studying or treatment.  It will be mostly a matter of maintaining that consciousness and holding it high above the mesmerism of the world by living and moving in spiritual consciousness.

“The development of spiritual consciousness is possible for anyone on earth.  The degree you attain depends entirely on how much time and effort you put into it.  You cannot get more out of it than you put into it.  The more you study truth from teachers, from books, from recordings, from lectures or classes, the greater and quicker will be your development.  But remember that all the studying and practicing leads to the attaining of some measure of spiritual consciousness, which does the work.

“It is impossible for anyone to absorb and assimilate these principles upon learning of them for the first time.  Therefore, avail yourself of every opportunity to hear them again or to read them again so that you can lock them up within you, ponder them, meditate on them, and practice them until they bring forth fruit after their own kind.”

~ Invisible Supply, Chapter 7, “Practicing Spiritual Truth”

Resources for Study

If you want to study the principle of non-power, or the principle of the nature of error, using Joel’s recommended method, there are several resources available today that make it much easier than it was for those who were studying in Joel’s time.

1.  All of Joel’s books are available as e-books, and e-books have a built-in search function that allows you to locate key words quickly.
2.  The Joel Goldsmith Electronic Search Tool allow you to find key words in both books and class transcripts.
3.  If you subscribe to the Joel Goldsmith Streaming Service, it has a search tool that allows you to search the titles of all of Joel’s recorded classes.