Spiritual Discernment

Book by Joel S. Goldsmith
 


You can find God through the study of the letter of truth combined with meditation, prayer, and a very humble desire to know God.  But you will not gain eternal life merely by following a religious teaching.  You will gain eternal life only by knowing God aright.  There have been Catholic and Protestant mystics who knew God — Christian Science, Unity, New Thought, and Infinite Way students.  All you have to do is to be concerned with your goal of knowing God and then stay with it through the trials and tribulations that come until those onion skins fall off, enough of them to bring you to the spiritual experience of knowing God.   (Chapter: “Peeling Off the Onion Skins” 10-11)

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And what is the most important thing we have to give up? What, but our concepts of God and man.  We have to sacrifice everything we believe about each other; we must be willing to give up some of our most cherished beliefs including the belief that Jesus of himself was good.  That is a hard sacrifice.  So, too, we must give up the belief that some dictator is bad, that our friends are good and enemies bad.  In short, we have to give up the thing that is hardest for us to give up, and that is our concept of God and man.

… There is no way to please God except to give up our judgments of each other, our hates and loves until we come to the place where we can say, “There is but one good, the Father in heaven. God is the soul of every individual.” …  God is the soul of every individual being.  See no exception to that no matter what you see the person doing.  Stand on God as the soul of every individual.  Judge not. (Chapter: “Judge Not According to the Appearance” 78)

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… If a volcano or the atomic bomb came and wiped us all out, that would not change one single thing in heaven. God’s kingdom would still be intact on earth as it is in heaven. Why? Because this that we behold as humanhood represents a mental concept in human thought, not so much individual human thought but universal belief which we individually accept by virtue of having been born. Human concepts arise from the fact that we were physically conceived and born, and that was our entrance into the whole world of misconception. Now we have to die to that humanhood or misconception.

We have to die so that we can be reborn, but it will not do us any more good to die physically than it has done us any good to be born physically. The death must take place within our consciousness so that we may be reborn of the Spirit. It is a birth that takes place as a transformation in consciousness. A term I like to use is transition, the transition from one state of being to another, from one state of consciousness to another.   (Chapter: “Is” 109)

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When someone tells us he is ill, and our response is that that is illusion, we have given the treatment because we cannot do anything to an illusion.  If we were to see the leaves on a flowerpot as green snakes and then realized that they are not snakes but illusion, would we sit down and give ourselves a treatment?  The treatment is the recognition that what we thought was evil has only an illusory existence. The moment we recognize that the problem exists only as temptation, our treatment is over.

Let us come to the realization that since Is, is, all else is not, even if we have to sit down for an hour and remind ourselves of all the statements of truth we know.  We are not removing or changing something out here; we are not saving a person’s life, we are not reducing a fever.  We are coming to a point of conviction within ourselves that Is, is. (Chapter: “Is” 114-115)

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God Is Not Overcoming: God Is Being

As long as there is a trace of belief in your mind that God can be used to overcome something, you are still in the old belief of two powers. When you come to the realization that God is the infinite All and there is nothing else, then you have come to an awareness of Infinite Way healing principles, where you do not heal anyone of disease, but where you realize that God’s grace is omnipresent, and that what appears as sin, disease, death, lack, or limitation is but the human appearance, the belief in two powers.

In one way or another come to the place where you do not reach out for God, but where you realize that God already is. If you reach out for God, you have some negative power that you want God to do something to. When you can relax in the realization, “Thank You, Father, Thou art. Omnipotence is,” you have nothing to get rid of, nothing to destroy. The negative appearance, the sick appearance, or the sinful appearance dissolves.

It is the reaching out for God to have God do something that is the barrier to spiritual demonstration. Instead, the way is relaxing and not reaching out to God for anything. Harmony already is; peace already is; joy already is; spirituality already is. You do not have to reach out to God to do something. Rest here and now in the realization that it is God’s presence that ensures freedom, harmony, peace, contentment. With that awareness, you can walk up and down the street, ride up and down the road, and not reach out for God. Since you are not ascribing good or evil to man you can sit back and relax in the assurance:

God’s grace is here and God’s grace is my sufficiency,
my protection in all things.

The Indwelling Spirit of God

As you think of all those who are a part of your experience, remember that there is a Spirit in man. Instead of looking on the frame which you see — the form or the figure — look through it and realize that the spirit of God is in every man and woman you are seeing. How different they look when you see them in that light, instead of just as a man or a woman. Now they are not merely a man or woman: they are man and woman plus the spirit of God that dwells not only in them but in the consciousness of everyone. There is a Spirit moving in and through every person who is a part of your consciousness, and this Spirit is your supply and their supply, health, abundance, and integrity.

I have the spirit of God in me, the source of my
health and strength, the source of my supply, the
source of whatever integrity I may show forth.
The Spirit in me is the source of my entire life.

This Spirit has not been left out of anybody. The spirit of God indwells you, and It is the resurrection of your life. It can overcome the lost years of the locust. If your temple has been destroyed, in three days It can raise up the temple of your body your health, your business, your home, or your family; It can resurrect out of any grave any part of your experience by your acknowledgment that His Spirit dwells in you.

In spite of any appearance to the contrary, the indwelling Spirit is here, everywhere present in everyone, even in hospitals and prisons. The spirit of God is in everyone in the government. That is hard to realize sometimes, but it must be done. With this realization, you have no evils to overcome. You have nothing to do because the spirit of God that dwells in you does the work. The responsibility is off your shoulders.

You have to realize that this same Spirit indwells every member of your household even though some seem to be trying to prove that they are children of the devil. It is like some youngsters who try to convince you that they are bad or indifferent. It is not true; it is a human trait based on the misunderstanding of their true identity. All that can be changed by knowing the truth. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. . . . I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. . . . He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

But that is not enough unless you have seen this Spirit indwelling. When you live with this passage of the indwelling Spirit, you will eventually feel It within you as if It were a living presence. It is a living presence, and It is within you, but you have neglected to tabernacle or commune with It. Communion has nothing to do with an outside experience: it has to do with an inner experience. You commune with the Spirit that indwells you by shutting out the world when you are in your inner sanctuary, realizing the closeness of the spirit of God, this power of grace and resurrection.

Realization and Not Mere Words

In the Infinite Way, passages of the Bible are used to gain from them the principles that they are meant to convey. Reciting the statement, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” will never bring sufficiency to you, but understanding that idea and gaining a realization that there is within you a presence and power of Grace helps you rely, not on the statement, but on the inner Grace. This makes the difference. . . .   
(Chapter: “The Christ Kingdom” 146-148)

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The healing principle is not bringing God-power into the world; it is not the power given to one person only who has been especially chosen to heal the sick.  Whatever God does for one, God does for all.  It is a question of whether a person is willing to pay the price, and in spiritual healing one price is the ability to control the emotions so that he does not react to appearances, so that he does not become shocked at the most horrible appearances and does not glory too much in the health that he sees restored.  (Chapter: “Rejecting Appearances and Concepts” 165)

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Assume Control over Your Mind

In the material sense of life, matter and material power in its many forms, down to and even beyond the atom, can be used.  As we advance, we come to a place in consciousness where we can use mental powers and can control what goes into our mind and what comes out of our mind if we so desire.

Most persons are not only at the mercy of material powers and forces, however, but unfortunately they have not learned how to control what goes into the mind and what goes out from it.  When they find one of the metaphysical movements, they learn that they have jurisdiction over the mind.  They can choose not only to read spiritual or metaphysical literature, but they can also choose to refuse to entertain the fear-thoughts of this world. By accepting their dominion they can refuse admittance to anything undesirable.

It is you, individually, who must, at some time or other, refuse any longer to be a victim of universal beliefs, of the malpractice of the world or the domination of the minds of men, refuse to be taken in by false advertising or by the millions of unseen and unheard thoughts that travel through the air.  In other words, you must assume responsibility for your own mind, both as to what goes into it and what comes out from it.  In this way you determine the nature of your entire experience because you learn how to avoid accepting universal beliefs and how to avoid the pitfall of coming under the domination of the thinking of others, individually or collectively.  Thus, you can learn how to go through life in control of your own experience.  (Chapter: “The Infinite Way of Life” 177-178)

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Imbued with truth, the mind is no longer a human mind. It is spiritual consciousness. The human mind has died, died to its illusion, died to the fabric of hypnotism. Now it looks out and does not see that hypnotic picture. “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness”. When you awaken you will see the person as he is, and you will be satisfied with that likeness. You will not try to change him or reform him or improve him. You will see him as he is.

Spiritual Discernment: the Healing Consciousness.

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Readiness for spiritual unfoldment is a matter of Grace, not a matter of free will. There is no one who has the power in and of himself to determine to study eight hours a day. Those who can do that do not have that power of themselves: it has come to them through Grace, so there is no use finding fault with persons who say, “Somehow I don’t have time to study truth.” They are right; they do not have time because their time is already filled with other things, and the hunger and the thirst for truth have not yet appeared. There is no use trying to fill their hours with truth any more than there is trying to fill a person with food who has already eaten. He will not appreciate it, and it will not taste good, no matter how many hours may have been given to the preparation of it.

So with truth. No one is going to appreciate truth except in proportion to his hunger and thirst for it, and that comes through divine Grace, often manifesting as an acute need. One person finds a need for God or for something to fill a void; another has a need to be healed of a disease; another has a need to be healed of unhappiness or lack. Whatever the acute need is, is divine Grace, because it is compelling him to return home to the Father.

Spiritual Discernment : the Healing Consciousness

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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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