Questions and Answers from Joel (2/4/17)

Q:   When you are meditating, do you use positive statements, affirmations, or do you remain silent, keeping thought on some question or on a single idea?

A:    When you meditate, take a question and ponder it.  As you ponder it, suddenly you feel yourself in God consciousness.  From that moment on, listen.  The real meditation is just listening.  The rest of it is only for the purpose of arriving at that point of listening.  When you are listening, you are meditating.

The object of meditation is opening consciousness to God.  It has no other object.  We do not meditate for the purpose of seeing or hearing “something.”  It is true that often a statement does come to us, or that a light is seen.  Sometimes, too, a person is completely surrounded by light or he finds his room is filled with light.  It may be that he receives a direct impartation either in scriptural or metaphysical language or in some form absolutely original to himself.  But none of this is necessary.

Let me explain this again, because meditation is so important in this work.  The whole object of meditation is opening consciousness.  You do not have to experience any occult phenomena. The only reason we have a process of meditation is because in our occidental world, very few people have been taught to turn to God; to be still and to listen to God.  We are trying, through meditation, to reverse that situation.  We are trying to learn to say, as did Jesus: “I can of mine own self do nothing.  The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”[1]  The technique of meditation is the process by which we open our consciousness and let the Father come in and take over.  There is no virtue in saying, “The Father doeth the works,” if you do not have a Father to do them.  Improved conditions in the outer world are the direct response to opening your consciousness and asking the Father to flow in.

The Father does not have to flow in with words.  I do not always have a response in words; sometimes it is only a feeling.  I know then that the Father is there.  Anything that conveys the feeling of the presence of God is all that is necessary.  Sometimes that silence lasts only a minute or half a minute.  After you have meditated for some length of time and have learned to turn within for divine guidance, you may find that meditation has become habitual, and that you do not have to sit down to meditate before driving your automobile, walking to the office, cleaning the house, or attending to any business at hand.  All you have to do is to look up and smile, and you find that that opens your consciousness.  At first, it may not work that rapidly, and we use this process of meditation to “clear the way.”  Once you do arrive at this second stage, it is not then necessary to stop and sit down so often for meditation.  It is enough to keep that listening ear open.

I have often stressed: Do not do too much reading.  When you come to a passage in whatever it is you are reading that stands out, sit and meditate on it; ponder it; get the inner meaning of it.

We need inner enlightenment concerning the outer world.  When we open our consciousness, we see it as it is.  We do not change it.  The outer world is already spiritual and perfect.  It is already the manifestation of Consciousness, but we are seeing it through a glass darkly.  As illumination comes to us and we see with inner vision, we cease to be among those who, having eyes see not, and those who, having ears hear not. Our inner eyes begin to discern reality.

Nothing changes in the world. The same old world goes on, but now in a more harmonious way. We do not see what the world calls “angels” running around, but the people we meet are angels to us, and we become so to them.

Jesus said: “The kingdom of God is within you.”[2]  That is not literally true, but the real truth is that you are the kingdom of God.  See the “kingdom of God” as consciousness, and as consciousness formed.  It is neither external nor internal; it is both.  In one sense, it certainly is appearing externally as, for example, in the people who are appearing to us.  But spiritually, they are not external to us.  They are a part of our own consciousness, or how else would we be aware of them?  We are living in what appears to be two worlds – the human and the spiritual. We are told to be in this world, but not of it.  Jesus said, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world,”[3] but that the evil be taken out of your concept; that the error be taken from your concept.

Consciousness cannot be confined within anything and be infinite.  So actually, consciousness, being infinite, is the in and the out to all there is. Then that consciousness is ever being manifested as creation.  It is in it; it is of it; it is from it; it is as it.  But actually, it is consciousness appearing.  It is as though we could take this roomful of air, and make forms out of the air. These would still be air, and would not be in or out of the air. Literally, they would be forms of air. So it is with consciousness.

Consciousness is infinite substance.  Because consciousness is infinite, its formations, which we call creation, must be infinitely appearing because the very substance of which they are formed is infinite.  Is this not true of the mind of a composer?  Is not his consciousness of music appearing in infinite combinations of notes?  Does not the consciousness of a mathematician appear in an infinity of numbers and combination of numbers and formulae; or the artist, painting hundreds and thousands of strokes, an infinity of artistic knowledge appearing as paintings? The same is true of these words you are reading.  Are they not the very consciousness of truth, itself, appearing in an infinity of words, sentences, statements, examples, parables, and illustrations?  That same consciousness of truth can go on and write hundreds, thousands of books, if egotism does not enter in to make the writer think that he is doing it of himself.  As long as I can keep my consciousness open to the oneness of mind and let it flow, there is no limit to the books that can be written on the subject of truth. Truth, being infinite, must be infinitely expressed.

It is better to let truth unfold as your consciousness, rather than to approach this study from a purely intellectual point of view, questioning every statement in the light of human reason.  The greatest teaching is from inner unfoldment.  Be willing to be “taught of God.”  That is why I am stressing so much the idea of meditation, of inner unfoldment, of God appearing as your own individual consciousness.  That is the reason I also ask you not to read through pages and pages of books from cover to cover without stopping.  Read until some kind of an idea develops or unfolds.  Then ponder that and let the light of truth come from within.

The real function of a teacher is to free the student from the teacher. That can be done only as you learn to let truth unfold.  Whatever is told to you intellectually will not be effective spiritual teaching.  No one can tell you what God is.  I can say to you that God is infinite consciousness revealing Itself, but it would be sheer folly for you to think that I have told you what God is.  You will know what God is only as that knowledge unfolds to you from within.

In the occidental world, we have not been taught to go within.  The experience is new to most people.  Some have been taught to learn certain statements, affirmations, and denials, and to repeat them.  They have not been taught to go to the kingdom of their own consciousness. Most people are not trained to meditate.  But I know this: There is no real teaching from without.  The only teacher who is going to prove of any lasting value in your life is the one who can lead you back to the kingdom of your own mind and the realm of your own Soul and there let the divine Infinite come forth.

My function is not so much to teach the letter of truth.  However, there are three points of the letter which it is important that you remember: the nature of God; the nature of individual being; and the nature of error, which we are forever battling in this human world of sin, disease, and death, lack and limitation.  Then we shall learn not so much to battle these, as to meet them by seeing through them.  When you understand the nature of treatment and of prayer, you experience the nature of the Christ.  The Christ is nothing in the way of words; it is a feeling.  It is an assurance of the Presence.  It comes forth from our own consciousness through meditation and unfoldment.  Then you experience God unfolding as your own individual consciousness, and that is the purpose of the Infinite Way.

(From Consciousness Unfolding  by Joel Goldsmith, Chapter 12)

[1] John 5:30; John 14:10
[2] Luke 17:21
[3] John 17:15