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What Is World Work?

World work is a spiritual practice that Joel Goldsmith invited his students to follow.  He believed that individual spiritual illumination was not solely for the purpose of advancing our own spiritual consciousness, but that its greater importance and purpose was to lift world consciousness.

Joel realized that the world is living in a sense of separation from God, and that this sense of separation is the root of all world problems.  Yet he also recognized that the illumined consciousness of individuals—the developed Christ-consciousness—can dissolve that material sense.  So Joel constantly encouraged students to refrain from fighting, bemoaning, or trying to solve the problems of the world in human ways, but rather to work to elevate our own consciousness by going within to the silence, realizing the omnipresence of God and communing with the Christ of being. Joel said,

“Our goal is not stopping wars. Our goal is not emptying hospitals of sick people. Our goal is not making all poor people have abundance. Our goal is the destruction of material sense, so that the new creature, Christ, may be revealed as individual being.”[1]

Joel believed that those who have gone one step ahead in spiritual understanding had to accept responsibility not only for their own family, community, and nation, but for world conditions.  He said that our concern should embrace the whole world, so that the spiritual kingdom would be manifest on earth.

The Practice: Three Daily Meditations

Joel’s world work practice consists of dedicating three meditation periods each day to uplifting the consciousness of the world and dissolving the material sense that keeps it in bondage.  We go into these meditations with no personal desires or intentions, and without criticism, judgment, or condemnation of others.  We do not seek to change the conditions of “this world,” recognizing that “My kingdom is not of this world,”[2] and that the realization of the Presence will reveal divine law, order, and harmony.  As we go into these meditations, we simply have the intention to experience the Presence, to realize the Christ within, and by so doing, release the influence of the Christ into the world.  As Joel said,

“It has been given to me that if a band of realized Christ-consciousness is formed around the world, it will touch and awaken individual consciousness and bring lasting freedom to the world.”[3]

These are Joel’s simple directions for the three meditation periods:

“Let your first meditation period be only for the purpose of feeling a consciousness of God’s presence.  When that has been achieved, that is the end of that period of meditation for the world. 

In your second meditation, again achieve a conscious awareness of God’s presence and realize that this realization of the Christ is dispelling material sense in human consciousness.

Begin your third meditation once again with a realization of the Christ, and then recognize that that realization of the Christ is dispelling material sense and opening human consciousness to a receptivity to Truth.”[4]

Doing these world work meditations is our gift to the world and our contribution to world freedom.  It is a part of our tithing, or giving back to God of our first fruits.

The Effect

Joel said that we cannot measure the degree of power that may flow through an individual who is realizing the omnipresence of God.  We have no idea who might be touched by the Christ as a result of our world work and be in a position to take some beneficial and effective action.[5]  The person who is in the right place at the right time with some degree of receptivity will be the one through whom the Christ will seem to come.  But we do not need to know who it is, or when it happens, or where.  Our function in world work is just to be instruments through which the presence of God can touch and awaken humanity.  Joel believed that through our spiritual realization, we can help to settle the affairs of the world, not by might and not by power, but by the Spirit of God.

Further Reading on World Work

Joel spoke often of World Work, but never more eloquently than in “Spiritual Freedom,” the Infinite Way Letter of July 1959, now found in the book The Heart of Mysticism


[1] Recording #155, Side A, 1956 Barbizon Private Class for “25”, “Three Daily Meditations—Realized Consciousness”

[2] John 18:36

[3] The Heart of Mysticism, pp. 1157 (1959 July Letter:  “Spiritual Freedom” )

[4] The Heart of Mysticism, pp. 1156-1157 (1959 July Letter:  “Spiritual Freedom” )

[5] In her book, The Spiritual Journey of Joel S. Goldsmith, Lorraine Sinkler tells a story that illustrates this point.   In 1937, the Congress under President Roosevelt proposed legislation to “pack” the Supreme Court in order to make it more amenable to the New Deal.  When Joel heard about this, he saw the risk.  The night before the bill was to come up for a vote, the “Voice” told him to stay up and pray that night, meditating and reading, not praying for defeat of the bill, but simply waiting for something to come through.  At four o’clock a.m. the answer came that the work had been done.  The bill did not pass, and years later, the editor of a chain of newspapers told that he had been awakened at four o’clock in the morning on that particular day by a voice in his ear saying that the bill must be stopped.  He sent out word to all his newspapers to enlist public opinion against the bill, with the result that the nation was so aroused that the bill was defeated.