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.

Posted on 7/17/21:

This excerpt is from The Foundation of Mysticism, Chapter 13: “Questions and Answers Revelation of Scripture: The Truth about Prayer.”  It is posted with kind permission from Acropolis Books.

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Q:  You don’t mention the Lord’s Prayer. How does it fit in?

A:  Please let me explain to those who do not know this: There is no part of the Infinite Way message which is mine, that I have ever thought up, or conceived in any way. Every principle that is in our writings and in our work has been given to me from an infinite source, and it does not represent my opinion, my belief, or my concept, separate and apart from the fact that it is mine because it was given to me. In the same way, every passage of scripture that has been spiritually interpreted in our writings has been given to me. Those for which I have not received spiritual interpretation, I have never included in my writings and never will until the interpretation is given to me.

The Lord’s Prayer is a passage about which I have never had any spiritual unfoldment or revelation. However, there is one part of it that is very much a part of our work because it is a confirmation of other scriptural passages which have been given to me, and which are included in the writings, and that is: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” That I understand full well. Only that which I release can be released within me. Anything that I hold is held against me, but not by any God. It is a reflex action of my own state of consciousness. Therefore, any time that I am holding an individual in absolute, complete unforgiveness, I may rest assured that somewhere, somehow, sometime, I too will be held in unforgiveness, not necessarily by a person, but by my own erroneous clinging to the false sense of man.

So I do know this: Whatever you release, you are released from. What you cling to is that which binds you. You are your own liberator. If you cannot accept spiritual principles as they have been revealed by the mystics, you cannot come into the fullness of mystical life, which is a life of freedom: “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” And this means mental, moral, physical, financial freedom, and freedom in human relationships; but you can’t enjoy this any more than you can give of that enjoyment.

Since we are in the Western world and the Christian world, we accept, not only the revelations of all mystics, but more especially the teachings and revelation of Jesus Christ. Therefore, if we are told, “Pray for your enemies that you may be the children of God,” we do this because the revelation was given to Jesus and proved in his experience. We who have followed in his footsteps have since proven it to be true that as we pray for our enemies, we ourselves are prayed for. In other words, to pray for one’s enemies means not to hold them in bondage, not to want them to be punished even for their sins.

To pray for them doesn’t mean we ask God to prosper them in their iniquities, but rather to release the sin and discord from their consciousness. The principle of praying for your enemy is not merely a beautiful teaching of scripture, it is a spiritual principle, and you either live by it or suffer from the violation of it. You have no choice in the matter; it’s going to be one way or the other. All your prayers to God to release you from your offenses have no power unless you have already released everyone in this world, not only those who have offended you, but those who have offended mankind, those who have offended freedom, liberty, justice; those who have offended nations, races, or religions. Unless you can come to the full agreement of not holding them in bondage to their ignorance–“Father forgive them, they know not what they do”–unless you can readily see that, you yourself will be held by yourself in some form of bondage. Do you not see that? That these revelations of the mystics are not beautiful statements, they are laws? Violating these laws does not bring the wrath of God upon you, it brings the wrath of your sin upon you. You are never punished for your sins, never. And you never will be. You are punished by your sins, and you can’t avoid it.

“As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” That is not a beautiful passage in scripture, it is an absolute spiritual law. What goes out from you is what comes back to you. “Cast your bread upon the waters.” Why? So that your bread can come back to you with butter and jam. But remember: If you do not cast your bread upon the waters, there is no bread on the waters to come back to you. You can’t have the bread that belongs to somebody else. That bread is on its way back to the one who cast it upon the waters. You can’t even get away with stealing it. That is why it has been clearly revealed in this message of the Infinite Way that there is no such thing as competition; there is no such thing as anyone taking from you that which is yours, except in the human picture. If you are living in obedience to the spiritual principles which constitute this message, it would be an utter impossibility for anyone to take away from you that which is yours. …

I cannot answer about the Lord’s Prayer, except that one passage, for I have had no light on it. Many of you know that for years at every class, the question was always put on my desk, “What about the Sermon on the Mount?” And every time, I gave the same answer that I am giving you on this question: I can’t answer you because I have no spiritual light on the subject. Then one Wednesday night in Chicago, we had a beautiful meditation in our class and the voice said to me: “Open the Bible to the Sermon on the Mount.” I turned around and said, “It’s no use. I don’t know anything about it.” It came back a second time and said: “Open to chapter five, Matthew, The Sermon on the Mount.” I said, “It wouldn’t do any good. I don’t understand it.” Again, the third time it came back, so then I said, “Well, maybe I’m going to be taught.” I opened the Bible to chapter five in Matthew, and the revelation of the Sermon on the Mount was given to us, and if we can ever get through with our editing work, it will be in a book. We have a very beautiful spiritual interpretation of The Sermon on the Mount, but it was given to us; it was given to me at the same time it was given to those who were in the class. The spiritual interpretation of many other passages has been revealed in that same way. So, when you read the interpretation of a Bible passage in any of the Infinite Way writings, you are reading what has been spiritually interpreted or explained to me. Please remember that you are not getting my opinion; you are getting a spiritual interpretation that was specifically revealed to me and merely passed on from me.

Previously Posted Questions and Answers

7/3/21: Please tell us about forgiveness.  What is it?  What it is not?  Is it necessarily a conscious process?  What actually is done by the forgiver?
6/19/21: Please enlarge on the statement “Take no thought.”  How may we avoid this human planning?
6/5/21:  Would you please enlighten me on the Master’s words: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
5/15/21:  Will the study of Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, or Steiner Spiritual Science, be a help or a hindrance to progress in The Infinite Way?  
5/1/21:  “This question has to do with the practical application of what I said about having neither good nor evil.”
4/17/21:  “Please explain the sleep that is needed, and how or when it becomes something to transcend.” 
4/3/21: “What is the actual state of man immediately following the change called death?”
3/20/21: “Would you please delve more deeply into the ways that we who are not practitioners, artists, or writers, can apply the principles of The Infinite Way in our daily lives at our offices?”
3/6/21: “Why don’t Bible promises come true?” 
2/20/21: “Should our bodies be free from so-called natural feelings?  If not, what place have they in our life?  How do we deal with them?”
2/6/21:  “Will one eventually rise above a sense of duality?”
1/16/21:  “The Father and I are one.”  This seems to be duality.
1/2/21:  “When contact within is truly made, shouldn’t one expect that to appear in improvement—better health, morals, government, at every level of consciousness?”

To view questions and answers posted in 2020, click here.
To view questions and answers posted in 2019, click here.
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.