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Excerpts from

  The San Francisco Lecture
Series (1948)

by Joel Goldsmith




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Book Description

Joel Goldsmith’s “San Francisco Lecture Series” was a result of an invitation extended by stu­dents who had earlier attended his classes given on the Bible. These talks took place in the beginning of his ministry but after the release of The Infinite Way. The students attending this class-work requested that it be transcribed and distributed in mimeographed form for further study. These lectures appear in this series in their pure form. They have never before been professionally published, and very few original copies remain in circulation.

The lectures embody the sub­jects of meditation, spiritual healing, spiritual freedom and the true nature of prayer. They serve to awaken us to the one Creative Spirit pervading the universe and all mankind, and to raise us above desires for per­sonal attainment to the mystical consciousness of oneness with God. They urge us to participate in establishing that conscious­ness universally.

The eBook version has 262 pages divided into 18 chapters.


Chapter 1

CREATIVE MEDITATION

WE ARE UNFOLDING STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS, and our outer experience is never going to be any greater than our inner unfoldment. If we have not developed spiritually to a greater extent by next week than we have at this point today, our demonstration of life and its harmonies will not be any greater or better next week than it is today. The only hope we have for greater health, greater success and greater harmony in our human relations is through the unfolding of our “inner” or “real” conscious­ness. So why not let us take today as merely the begin­ning of a week of unfoldment and see how much farther we will have progressed in our understanding and in our outer experience by this time next week.

Now, as to the meaning of the words “creative med­itation.” You and I have heard a lot about meditation and certainly we have read much about it, but this idea of creative meditation gives us something new to think about. Creative meditation goes a step further because in it, there must be an expectancy of a causative princi­ple and a specific effect. Let us not forget that when we think of the idea, creative meditation, we are thinking of a creative principle at work; and we are thinking also of an effect that must take place—under, of course, one condition: If the seed is planted in fertile soil; if our consciousness is receptive and responsive to the truth, and if our consciousness is not so cluttered up with the idea of demonstration, with the idea of an effect of some material good which we are expecting. If our conscious­ness is open to God and to the unfolding of divine consciousness, that is the state of consciousness which is receptive and responsive to the seed that will be planted there during meditation.

That is the idea of creative meditation. You plant the seed to allow the creative principle to act upon it and to produce fruit after its own kind. In our creative med­itation then let us above all be expectant of good; expectant of an answer; expectant of a greater degree of spiritual understanding and, therefore, of more harmony in what we call our human experience. As you know, it is not really a human, but a divine, spiritual experience. The “world” has turned it into a material one and has finitized that which is really the life of God made manifest as you and as me. The object of meditation is to achieve the spiritual life. Meditation of itself is but a means to an end—and the end is the attainment of spiritual life.

Yesterday while I was in the chapel in Palo Alto I took from the wall this statement: “The world is new to every soul when Christ has entered into it,” That is the purpose of meditation! As humans, we have become separated from our source and this is what makes us appear to the world as humans. Now we are opening consciousness to where the Christ, the presence of God, the spirit of God, can enter in and make us new. Listen to Jesus when he says, “I can of mine own self do nothing . . . the father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” And Paul: “I live, yet not I, the Christ liveth in me.”

Just think, if I were sitting here as a human being and all there was to me was a mind and body, you would not benefit very much by that. There is only one thing that can bring some measure of unfolding spiritual con­sciousness to you, and that is the presence of God, the Christ that liveth in me, for which I am the presentation or vehicle. You, of course, are identically that same thing when you open your consciousness and let the Christ enter in, so that you also can say—and mean it—“I can of mine own self do nothing . . . the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” And, “I live, yet not I, the Christ liveth in me.”

Now the object of meditation is to still the human mind, to still the activity of the human senses to that degree which will permit us to become consciously aware of the presence of God, to become consciously aware of the divine activity operating in, through and as us—and, as a matter of fact, as our consciousness. It is to become consciously aware of the divine activity operat­ing as our consciousness! God, the divine being individ­ualized as the Christ, becomes our individual conscious­ness and that consciousness is the savior of the world—the savior of my world. Your consciousness is the savior of your world. Lift your world up from the material sense of existence into the spiritual reality! Your own consciousness does that when it is imbued with this Christ! Therefore, the purpose of this meditation is opening consciousness to that inflow so that it becomes spiritualized; so that it becomes the very Christ itself in individual expression.

On this thought of stilling the human senses or the human mind, do not believe for a moment that that means trying to stop your thinking process, because you will never succeed in that. No one ever has. But there does come a time to those who continue meditation, when the human mind of itself stops, when thoughts no longer intrude during meditation. But you cannot bring that about through trying to stop thinking. All you can do is to dam it up for a little while, and then it breaks out stronger than ever. What you can do during meditation is to learn to pay no attention to the thoughts that are going through your mind. These will neither harm you nor help you. And as a matter of fact, that is what we are learning in this work—that no amount of human good thinking will help, and no amount of human evil thinking will hurt. On this point, too, it is so natural for me to know and say this, that I often do not remember that there are apt to be those who have been brought up in metaphysical teach­ings that stress the sense of “right thinking,” or “human thinking,’’ or “learning to hold the right thoughts.” What I say is in no sense in criticism or judgment or condemna­tion of that method or approach to living. Every path that we take leads up, up to the final one, which is God. I am not, therefore, speaking in contradiction or contradistinc­tion of any other approach. I am merely presenting what has been my individual unfoldment, which has been that the human mind is not a power. The human mind cannot create good and cannot create evil. It appears to, that is true. That is why we have the human world; that is why we have this metaphysical teaching—because there is this appearance of evil, and we think something is required to correct that view.

Two times two are four and no amount of human thinking will ever change that. Love is love, and nothing will change that. And so, while we are in meditation, if thoughts persist in coming to our mind, passing through our “upper story,” let us not be concerned about it. Let these thoughts come and let them go. They may be personal and sensual too, but let us not pay attention to them. Let us remember to let them come and go of their own accord and pretty soon, for lack of feeding them, they will not come any more. We can starve them by learning to disregard them; and when we are disregarding them, we are keeping our real thought on the object of our work. The object of our work is a state of receptivity so that the Christ may flow in. That is the purpose for which we meditate. That is the object we hope to attain—the ability to have a conscious recognition of the presence of God.

Where the Christ becomes the reality of our being, we are then no longer in the human sense of existence but in the spiritual. And that is the first step, as I see it, on this spiritual path. Take your thought off of person, place and thing. Take your thought off of body, health, money or employment. Take your thought off of every human situation, right now, this minute, and send it to God! Center your thought, right now, on God! What is God? God is love; God is soul; God is life. You cannot define God. If you could, it would not be God. We are not going to define what God is. We are going to re­move thought from person, place and things, and say the word God. God—the divine consciousness of my being. God—the soul of my being. God—the law of my being. God—the substance of my being—the substance of all form. God—the creative principle of the universe; the law unto my being; God—the substance, the law of all form, of all formation; God—the substance, the law, the cause, and even the form of all effect; God—the sub­stance, the law, the life eternal of all form. You cannot separate God, life, from its form which you are!

God is the life of all form. God is the substance, the law, of all form. God is the spirit and soul of our form. God, appearing individually as you, constitutes all there is of you. God is the life of you, and that is why you are immortal—and now! Because God is the substance of your body, even your body is immortal! Your body is not flesh and blood as it appears to be. God is spirit and your body is spiritual. Your body is as immortal as your life, which is God! There is no reason for any body to ache and change, or decay and die. We permit that through the acceptance of the belief of a selfhood apart from God. We permit it through accepting God as the form of spiritual creation, but not the form and sub­stance of all creation. God is the form, the substance, the law of all creation, including your body. Your body is not material. Neither is the food you eat material. It is spiritual. All that is material is our concept of creation. Creation itself is all God in the sense that God is the essence, substance, and form.

Now, in this meditation, we are not thinking of form or figure, of outline, color, grace, or body. We are thinking of God as the substance of all form, color, grace, outline, body. God is the substance of our being, the substance of the stone. God is the law of the stars and planets. The stars and planets are not a law unto themselves. God is the law unto them, as we are the law unto ourselves. And because we are infinite conscious­ness, the sun, moon, stars, and planets are embodied in us, and we are the law unto them. Yes, we are the law unto the stars, the moon and the planets!

This divine consciousness of ours, imbued with the Christ, is the law unto all creation. Nothing in this world acts upon us. We are the law unto all that appears in our universe. All of us are the activity of God; the universal I; the universal ego, individualized as you and as me. That is the law unto all creation. And so, in our creative meditation, we remember that our entire consciousness is filled with God. God as the law. God as the substance. God as the creative principle! And God appearing as effect. God appearing as form. God appearing to us as sun, moon, stars—as food, as pets, and as all other relationships on earth. So, while our consciousness, our main thought, is centered on that, these human thoughts that come and go are of no importance. Do not try to stop them or throw them out. Let them come and go, and they will fade out. I promise you, they will fade out. It is only a matter of practice.

Now as to our class beginning next week—and that is just an opportunity to continue this idea of meditation. For many years I practiced and taught metaphysical healing, not as a class teacher but merely as an individ­ual, a practitioner, who taught those who came for help and for healing; I taught only those who wanted the teaching in addition to the healing. The day finally came when I made the decision never to teach again, and when I made that decision I heard a laugh inside of me. It really was a laugh, and I heard it right out loud. And this voice said: “Oh, yes you will! You will teach, but you will teach those I send to you, and you will teach them what I give you to teach.” I did not question that, but neither did I understand or know how it would come about. Then, one day, a lady who had been coming to my office for help asked me if I would talk to a small group on the subject of the Bible. I said no, that I was not teaching. But the calls kept coming for several weeks, and finally I thought I would make an exception and for four nights would talk on the Bible. And those four nights have stretched out to this present time without the interruption of even a single night.

And so I have found it to come literally true. I have not sought students, and those who came have come of their own accord, either through reading my writings or through recommendations. So I feel impelled to say regarding these classes, that those who come to them must not come expecting them to be lectures, or expect­ing a good time. If the object is to be achieved which we have set out to achieve, it is really going to be work for two solid weeks—good, strenuous work! Why? Because here again, unless consciousness is enriched; unless it is changed or unfolded in a spiritual way, the outer experi­ence will be no different. Unless one is prepared to really put in conscientious work, so that at the end of the class they can say, “I am farther along in spiritual development,” it will be of no use to come to the class—not unless one is thinking beyond the immediate day or the immediate problem, beyond the meditation to realization. Let us then accept that the object of meditation, the object of my being in the spiritual realm is that I may become consciously aware of the presence of Christ, and become that which I am—the light of the world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that now.

In my own work when this began, I went through three months of inner initiation. It took place every morning from five to seven. It was a magnificent experi­ence and one that can never be shared with anyone. It was in that period that it was shown to me that the only purpose of our existence on earth is to be the light of the world; to be a path or a way, to show these others who are what I was before the ordainment—a seeker—so that they may rise above the human sense of existence.

Now remember that everyone in the human world is faced with the belief of a physical body. They are faced with the belief of physical supply. And right now, they are being faced with the belief of atomic bombs and rumors of wars. In the human picture there is no way of avoiding those experiences or of rising above them. The only way is the spiritual way, and the spiritual way is that way where the Christ becomes the reality of our being! And when we begin to look out from the stand­point of God, the sum total of all creation, then we are fulfilling the greatest law ever revealed by Jesus Christ—the law of forgiveness. There is no greater law than that of forgiveness. Remember, love God with all thy might and love your neighbor as yourself. That neighbor is every human being on earth, every animal, every plant! And there is no way you can love them while holding them in condemnation.

In this meditation, then, see and understand that God is the life, soul, mind, not only of friends, but of all so-called enemies. And, in that way, you will eliminate all enemies. Jesus said to Pilate, “Thou canst have no power over me, unless it came from the Father in heaven.” That is our answer to enemies or enmity of every form whether appearing as man, sin, disease, or lack. Some of you who heard me in January will remem­ber how many times I stressed this fact: that this law of forgiving, this law of forgiveness, is the real law of demonstration. This ability to see God as the mind, the life and soul of enemies as well as of friends. Why? Because not only in the Old Testament, but all the way through the teachings of Jesus, we have this reminder-the first commandment is the secret of life. Only one God, only one life; the life of every one of us; the life of our so-called enemies. God is the only mind, and there­fore God must be the mind of what we call enemies! Only one God, and only one creation—and all spiritual!

In that meditation, can you not see that as long as your consciousness is filled with this oneness—one God, one creation, all oneness, you are opening your consciousness for the inflow of the Christ? There is no other way. Love is the way and love is truth, and truth is the ability to become aware of God as the form and formation, the cause and effect of all that appears as our world! Thus our objective is embodied in these meditations: “The world is new to every soul when Christ has entered into it” . . . “I can of mine own self do nothing”, “The Father within, he doeth the works” . . . “I live, yet not I, the Christ liveth in me.”

Let us now sit in silence and take any or all of these three thoughts as the central theme in our consciousness. Paying no attention to the human thoughts, we center our thought on these and when we have finished, we can feel that we have become connected to the divine source of our being.

As a help, may I offer you this: You are familiar with the illustration I have used on the subject of supply and will know immediately what I mean. I said that the oranges growing on the orange tree are not our supply, they are not even the supply of oranges. They are the effect, the result, the fruitage of supply. Supply is the law that operates in and as the tree. You can take away all the oranges and as long as that law is in operation, you will have more oranges. Now to think of the oranges as supply and try to hold on to them or even give them away and think you are giving something is foolish. You are not giving a thing away because they are multiplying rapidly all the time. And so, with that as an illustration, you will remember that everything you see is only the result of the law of God! You will remember that behind the visible is the law of God producing and reproducing. That which is visible to you, whether money or what­ever, is but an effect of supply—it is not supply. It is only an effect of supply! Supply is the consciousness of good within, and as long as we have that, we have what we call dollars.

Now, in the same way, when we look at people do not look at them and think of them as good or bad or sick or well. Look through the individual and see that every individual is just the product, the result, the presentation, the vehicle through which or as which God is appearing. Remember not to put value on oranges, or dollars, or people! And even the good that appears to come through them, while being grateful for it, look behind to see the actual source through which it comes. No one is good of himself. Every bit of good you have ever done has not been a result of your own nature at all. We are neither good nor bad in life—it is God shining through. We of ourselves have never been charitable or kind; that is a quality of God shining through. And although we have those qualities, it does not mean we have them of ourselves. It is God.

Evil is not a quality of itself, either. There is no such thing as a concrete evil. Evil is just God shining through. It is our misinterpretation of it that causes it to appear to us as evil. There cannot be the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods-powers-besides me,” and evil. There cannot be infinite good and evil. So the evil we behold is only a negative appearance, concept, false idea of that which is real and which is God, good.

Jesus said: “Thou couldest have no power over me unless it be given to thee of the Father.” And so now, as we look at the individual, let us look through him, and see that only God is appearing through him or as him, and there is no evil. God is the only power to whatever is given effect. The same with oranges and dollars. Do not let us see those as supply, but as the effect of the law of God, which I am . . . the effect of the law of God—which I am!

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