World Work in Joel’s Words – February 2020

Joel taught that rising in consciousness to realized Christhood is not ultimately for our own benefit, but the means to uplift the consciousness of mankind universally and dispel the ignorance of truth that is at the root of all human trouble.  He spoke often about how we as individuals can be an influence in bringing that freedom to the world. 

On the first of each month, we post an excerpt from Joel’s writings on this topic.  The following excerpt is from the July 1959  Infinite Way Letter, “Spiritual Freedom,” and it is a continuation of the excerpt posted for January 2020.  

You and I who have attained a degree of spiritual consciousness must be even more alert than other people to our obligations as citizens. This cannot be accomplished by adopting a do-nothing attitude of “What difference does it make who governs our country or what kind of men and women we have representing us in Congress or Parliament because they are all spiritual anyway?” That really is stupidity. True, we must maintain our own spiritual integrity by refraining from condemnation. This, however, is not to be construed as having no opinions.

It is certainly right to have opinions about governmental and world problems, but it is not right to be aggressively contentious about those opinions. As a matter of fact, we are perhaps more firmly
established in our opinions if we have spiritual wisdom than would otherwise be the case. If we have a consciousness of man’s true identity, the person who is peculiarly fitted for a particular position will be revealed to us in our meditations. In other words, just as we are guided to one another as patients and practitioners, or as students and teachers, so are we guided to vote for the right candidate and the right party at any given time.

We should not shirk the responsibilities and privileges which citizenship entails. We render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, obeying the law of the land, paying taxes and performing services with which we may not always be in accord and which we sometimes may feel are entirely wrong, but even while we do those things and recognize the wrongness of them humanly, every student of spiritual wisdom can be about his special business of prayer and become a part of a world-wide activity to bring the realization of the kingdom of God to earth through uplifted consciousness. Even though humanly we are unimportant to the world and its governments, nevertheless we can be a greater power than those who sit in the seats of the mighty, because 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.

There has never been a time since the beginning of recorded history when the world has not used material force to gain its way and its will; and even today, with all the progress that has been made, the world has not yet learned that lasting victories are not won by means of material force. It has not learned that the battle may be won, but the war lost; that a particular war may be won, but far more lost than has been gained, often resulting in a repetition of the conflict on a larger and more violent scale. Very seldom does a war accomplish its purpose, except temporarily. Always the great powers have eventually gone down in defeat. It is inevitable. “For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

Those who have gone one step ahead in spiritual understanding, wherever they are and of whatever persuasion, must accept responsibility not only for their own community and nation, but for world conditions. The world grows increasingly smaller. It has become our community and everyone in it our neighbor. Today, almost any place in the world can be reached in twenty hours; next year or the year after, it may be ten. Do you not see that boundaries are becoming of less significance and importance in a world where mountains, rivers, and oceans are no longer barriers? Boundaries are artificial lines drawn by man in an attempt to divide the world into “mine” and “thine”; they are created by man who has forgotten that “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof”12 and that he stands in relationship to that fullness as an heir.

When you travel 20,000 feet up in the air in an airplane and look down, you can really see and believe that the earth is the Lord’s—just one great, big, round ball. Down here it seems natural to have a fence around some segment of this earth and assert possessively, “Don’t come in here. This belongs to me”; but it looks foolish from 20,000 feet up in the air.

And so it is from a higher state of spiritual consciousness. From that state, it looks foolish to pray for your land or my land, for your people or my people, because unless we see God as your Father and my Father, our prayers are useless. So let us not be concerned only about our own government, but let our concern embrace the whole world, that the spiritual Kingdom may be made humanly manifest. Let us realize that the government is upon His shoulders—the government of mankind, the government of the world, until we do come to that day when we realize: “This world is not governed by might or by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord.”

If there are ten righteous men in the city, the city may be saved. In other words, there is no way to measure the degree of power which may flow through one individual consciousness, realizing the
presence of God. Our faith is not in might or in power; our faith is not in the ballot, because that is merely the might of numbers or percentages: Our ultimate reliance is in the degree of our awareness of the presence of God and of our realization of the impersonal and universal nature of the Christ.

Not one of us has any idea who may be touched by the Christ through our realization and be in such a position that his influence can balance the scale on the side of spiritual power. We have no way of knowing who the individual is, or where, or when, who may be struck as Saul of Tarsus was struck with a blinding light and awakened out of his “Saul-ness” into “Paul-ness.”