The Contemplative Life

Book by Joel S. Goldsmith

      Where I am, God is. The presence of God is closer to me than breathing; I and my Father are inseparable and indivisible because we are one. If I mount up to heaven, I will find God, not that I will find God in heaven, but I will take God up to heaven. If I make my bed in hell, I will find God, not because God is in hell, but because I will take God with me; and if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will find God because where I am, God is, and where God is, I am: we are inseparably and indivisibly one.

Those who abide in this realization consciously find that when any form of evil comes into their experience, it dissolves and disappears. This is the secret of the mystical life; this is the secret of the spiritual life. It is all embodied in the one word consciously. Those who consciously know the truth are those who experience truth because truth is present whether or not they know it. Two times two is four, even in the presence of those who do not know it; but to be of any benefit, two times two must be consciously known.

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Gratitude has nothing to do with gratefulness for the good that comes to us. Like everything else in the spiritual life, God is not only universal, but impersonal, in the sense that God is no respecter of persons and never has sent anything to you or to me or given anything to you or to me….

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The presence of God appears as food, clothing, housing, and raiment. All that is, is the presence of God made manifest, and when we begin to express gratitude for the presence of God appearing as the good in this world, our souls, our minds, and our hearts are filled with love. When we personalize and believe that for some reason God has given to one person and is withholding from another, we dishonor God.

Let it be clear, then, that to our meditation and our practicing of the Presence, we must add the all-important ingredient of gratitude. As we walk in the park, let us be grateful for all the beauty that is on every hand to gladden the heart. If we look up into the sky when the stars are shining, let us be grateful that they are there — but let us be equally careful not to claim the stars for our own! (Chapter: “Conscious Awareness” 13-15)


Day and night and night and day, I owe no man anything but to love him. My sole obligation is to love my God and my fellow man. There is no way of expressing the joy and the freedom this gives all of us; there is no way of explaining what takes place in the consciousness of an individual who knows that he is free in God.  (Chapter: “Erasing Our Concepts of God” 20)


Always when fear goes, the object of fear goes, because the object of fear is only fear itself externalized, and there cannot be fear in the presence of a realization of spiritual law.  Spiritual law does not overcome other laws. Spiritual law, being infinite and omnipotent, is the only law.  What has probably made this difficult to understand throughout these years is that spiritual law is not evident to human sight, to hearing, taste, touch, or smell and can be observed only by its effects. It becomes important, therefore, to look back and see how inevitable is the downfall and destruction of whatever is wrong.

“There is always some leveling circumstance that puts down the overbearing.” Emerson does not define or explain it. He simply states, “There is always a leveling circumstance” — and there is! The leveling circumstance is God, spiritual law, and he rightly concludes that “the dice of God are always loaded.”  (Chapter: “The Dice of God Are Loaded” 113-114)


When you are praying or meditating for someone else, do not try to transfer thoughts to him, do not try to know what is right for him or best for him, but sit in a state of complete receptivity, and then let the Father function as your consciousness. You may not receive any message for your patient or student, but you do not need any. He will receive it, and he will receive it not from you, but from the Source of you. Your consciousness acts only as the instrument of contact, and you yourself may never know what the message is, or even whether any message has been received. In my practice, it is never given to me to know what message my students or patients receive, and furthermore, I never concern myself with this phase of the work. Many times when they ask if I have received anything for them, my answer is, “No, I have received nothing for you. I have merely meditated, and whatever is to be known or experienced must come to you from the Father. I do not enter the picture of your life except as a transparency, nothing more, nothing less.” (Chapter: “Daily Preparation for Spiritual Living” 154)


The greatest spiritual blessings that come into your experience are not brought about so much by what you know of truth as by the degree of silence you can maintain. What you know of truth, that is, of the letter of truth, acts only as a foundation for the real demonstration of spiritual living.

Beyond a few simple statements of truth which every truth-student must understand and realize, there is little of an intricate or difficult nature that one has to know so far as knowing truth is concerned. The difficult part comes in developing a state of consciousness which enables him to be inwardly still.

Except for the realization of the true nature of prayer, which carries with it the understanding that God does not have to be appealed to or used, and the understanding that all the presence, substance, power, and law of God are where you are, silence is far more valuable than all the speech and all the teaching that can be given. . . . To be able to abide in the is-ness of God is far better than all the teaching or talking in the world. It is not what a person says that does the greater works: it is the quiet, peaceful realization. (Chapter: “Meditation on Life by Grace” 159-160)


Do not talk about the truth you are learning. For example, in this text you have been given three words: Omnipresence, Omnipotence, and Omniscience. Do not talk about these words, because if you do, you will be taking seeds and scattering them on top of the earth instead of burying them in the ground. Rather take those three words into your consciousness, ponder them, and every time that some evidence presents itself to you of an erroneous form of power, realize within yourself that this cannot be true if Omnipotence is true. Every time something presents itself to you of an erroneous or destructive nature, realize within yourself that, in the light of Omnipresence, this presence cannot be. Whenever any temptation comes to you to go to God and tell Him something about your problems, immediately bring to your thought the word Omniscience — all knowledge, all wisdom — and remind yourself that God already knows all. (Chapter: “Supply and Secrecy” 185-186)







Note: Emphasis, such as text bold-facing, italics, or text color highlighting, may have been supplied, with respect to the excerpts posted in this page.


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