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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 5/18/19:

Q:  Christian Science teaches that the body is a sensual concept.  The Infinite Way teaches that the body is the temple of the living God.  Would you clarify this, please?

A:  You see, we are always talking double-talk.  We are always talking in two languages, and students must recognize this.  Otherwise they will make the same mistake that has wrecked India.  India has one of the greatest spiritual heritages of any nation on earth.  India is the seat of original spiritual revelation.  India has within its teachings some of the most spiritual revealed truths ever given to the world.  Why is India in its present condition?  Let nobody answer that it is ignorance, or that it is the result of colonialism, for behind these lies the error.

Gautama the Buddha had a revelation of absolute truth, beyond which there is no known revelation.  In other words, there are other revelations equal to it, but none beyond it.  In this revelation, he saw that this appearance world is maya, or illusion.  Now, if you understand this rightly, you have the kernel of all mystical teaching.  If you understand it incorrectly, it will wreck you as it has wrecked India.  Gautama the Buddha understood what it meant, and he demonstrated it by his healings and  by the spread of his message all across India at a time when they had no telegraphs, fast mails, or airplanes.

Yet his message spread like wildfire, and it spread because of its fruitage, and its fruitage came about in this wise.  In the Advaita teaching of India, it is revealed that there is but one Ego, one “I”, one “I am that I am,” and that this “I that I am” constitutes the consciousness of the universe. Then, that which appears as a mortal scene is not a mortal scene. The way It appears to us constitutes mortality, whereas It, Itself, is this divine universe.  Therefore, the illusion is not out here in the world, for illusion cannot be externalized.  You can write that sentence in your mind in capitals: ILLUSION CANNOT BE EXTERNALIZED.  Illusion is a deceptive state of thought, and it can only take place within an individual’s mind, not external to it.  Therefore, this world is God’s world.  It is the temple of the living God, but as we see it with finite eyes and ears, that which we see is but the illusory picture of the Reality that is there.  The illusion isn’t out in the world; it is in the mind that is falsely seeing the world.

Now then, that teaching is the basis of every mystical teaching, including The Infinite Way. That is the revelation of The Infinite Way—a re-revelation—that I myself am one with God, and therefore I am Infinite, and I am eternal, and I am immortal, and my body is the temple of the living God.  Just remember that when I declare this, I am not declaring it solely for Joel.  I am declaring this as a universal truth about every individual who exists on this earth, or whoever has existed, or whoever will exist:  I am infinite, eternal, spiritual being, one with God, the very Christ of God, the Son of God, the offspring of God, not separate and apart from God, but absolutely one with God.  Therefore, I am looking out and seeing you, and you are this infinite, spiritual, divine Being, whose body is the temple of God.

Do I see that with my eyesight?  No.  With my eyesight I see young, middle-aged, and old.  I see sick and well, and poor and rich.  But at least I have sense enough to know that none of that is out there in this room.  It is all an illusory picture in the human mind, and because there is only one human mind, it is the illusory picture in your mind and mine.  But it has no externalized existence.

I am spiritual integrity Itself—in my mind, in my soul, in my being, and in my body, and this is a universal truth.  The way my eyes see the world is maya, illusion, but the illusion isn’t out there. The illusion is up here (points to head).  Therefore, it cannot be corrected out there, and that is why prayer, as it is normally known, must fail.  That is why prayer is a complete failure.  That is why in the tens of thousands of churches that exist, not one of them—except the few who have awakened—can make their prayers effective.  The reason is that they are trying to improve the illusion.  Well, you know, if they succeeded, it would still be an illusion!  It would just be a good illusion instead of a bad illusion.

Now, let me read something to you from the newspaper of April 25:  “Miss Betty Lou, who as a girl of ten, received the nation’s prayers to spare her right hand from cancer, will be married June fourth.  She is now twenty-one and will become the bride of so and so.  In 1949, the young girl asked readers of the Memphis Commercial Appeal to pray that ‘I may not lose my hand, and that I may soon completely recover.’  Millions prayed for her, but doctors later decided the right hand must be amputated to save her life.”

Tell me, what was wrong with the prayers of millions?  Millions!  Now, you know, only church people pray.  It wasn’t the non-church people who prayed.  It was the church-goers, and millions of them, but they didn’t save her hand—not all the millions of them.  Why?  Because all they were doing was trying to pray to save an illusion, trying to change an illusion, praying to do something to this illusory picture, which they thought was out here in a girl, but which existed no place except in the human mind’s belief in two powers.

One person could have saved that girl’s hand—one person who would not have tried to save a hand; one person who would not have tried to cure a cancer; one person who would have realized that God constitutes individual being, and any appearance to the contrary is illusory, is a picture in the mind without spiritual substance, without spiritual cause, without spiritual law, without spiritual entity or identity—maya, Illusion; one person who would have recognized that if you see an ocean out in the desert, you don’t call for rubber hoses to drain it off; if you see a city in the distance on the desert, don’t go looking for a wrecking crew to pull it down.  Recognize it as illusion and go through it, and you’ll find that it has no more substance than any illusion.

So it is that in healing work, or in living spiritually, don’t try to change this outside world.  Don’t try to change your friends and relatives.  Don’t try to change their temperament, their disposition, or their health, but recognize within your own being that the very omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God make it impossible for sin, disease, death, lack and limitation to exist as externalized reality.  They can exist only in the mortal dream, which is a belief in two powers, and in proportion as you surrender this belief in two powers, you find the dream punctured.

You see, your body is the temple of the living God.  When you look in the mirror, you do not see your body.  You see the human mind’s concept of your body—a purely illusory concept—and as long as you are looking out through your eyes, all you can see is the illusory concept.  It is only in your meditations, when you are realizing the grace of God, the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, that you catch momentary glimpses of our divine Being, and sometimes even a flash of the spiritual Body, which is really light.  It is really light.  You know that it is light because, you know, don’t you, that there is no such thing as sound.  You know that there are only vibrations or waves going out from my mouth, and there isn’t a bit of sound. The sound only takes place when those vibrations touch your ear, and then your ear transforms the vibrations into sound.

In the same way, there is no color in these flowers and no color in my suit or in your dresses. There is only a light vibration, completely colorless, and it is only when that vibration reaches your eye that your eye changes those vibrations into color.  That is why it is possible for a colorblind person to see an entirely different color than is there. … What you see with your eye is not Reality, and it is not physicality.  It is a vibration, and in its true essence, it is light, and this you sometimes see.

This excerpt is from Recording #339, 1960 First London Closed Class, Side 1: “Reality and Illusion.”  It is posted with kind permission from the Estate of Joel Goldsmith, which holds the copy protection on the recorded classes and the copyright on all transcripts. The full transcript of this recording is available at www.joelgoldsmith.com or by calling 1-800-922-3195.


Previously Posted Questions and Answers

5/4/19: You have said in your writings that supply is one of the easiest demonstrations for a spiritual student to make.  Why? 
4/20/19: What is your interpretation when Jesus said, “My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
4/6/19: How does one pray for one’s enemies if one does not take cognizance of error into prayer?
3/16/19: Do you recommend the New English Bible, New Testament by Oxford University and Cambridge University Press, and other versions and translations such as the Revised Standard Version Holy Bible by George Lamsa and the Smith Goodspeed Bible?
3/2/19: Please explain how to distinguish the difference between the Presence and an emotional sensation. 
2/16/19: Please explain: “Your heavenly Father knoweth what things ye have need of…”
2/2/19: How can I experience myself more and more as Spirit without getting into the mental plane?
1/19/19: Will you please explain pre-existent consciousness that one brings forth with them?
1/5/19: Why doesn’t God make surgery unnecessary? 

To view questions and answers posted in 2018, click here.
To view questions and answers posted in 2017, click here.
To view questions and answers posted in 2016, click here.