Since this is a topic which is often requested, we are using this text until we are able to substitute original transcript text for you.
From Consciousness Is What I Am by Joel S. Goldsmith, edited by Lorraine Sinkler, 1976 (the 1969 Letters)
Taken from Tapes 605 Sides 1&2, 253 Side 1 and 102 Side 2
THE ISSUES OF LIFE ARE IN CONSCIOUSNESS
Spiritual consciousness is the opposite of all we have been taught from infancy. For one thing it is a reversal of the commonly accepted idea of substance as that which we can see, feel, touch, or handle.
So much effort is put into acquiring money, property, or merchandise that the world places its value in these things. Why are wars fought? Why are political elections held? Why the eternal struggle to try to own a business or create a monopoly? Is it not primarily for the purpose of acquiring money, property, or merchandise? All the thousands of years that this has been going on, people have not learned that even after these things are acquired there is no assurance of their being able to hold onto them or that they will buy the things they hoped to get.
A gross materialist does no work for money for the sake of getting money. He believes that the money will buy something called satisfaction, pleasure, security, peace of mind, or power. Few persons think that money in and of itself is valuable. Even the man who owns a gold mine is not satisfied to keep the gold. He has to translate it into some other substance. Everyone who struggles for money expects to trade it, or some of it, for those things called peace of mind, health, or power.
It is the same with those who gormandize. It is not the food they care about. Always in connection with the eating or overindulgence in food and drink is the belief that the indulgence will bring satisfaction.
Where the materialist differs from those of spiritual vision is that the materialist believes that he must first accumulate the matter and then exchange it for spiritual values. In that he fails. The person of spiritual vision does not believe that spiritual qualities can be purchased with money, property, or merchandise. Rather he has arrived at the realization that they come from some fountain within his own being having nothing to do with money, and that a person may have no money and have more peace of mind, satisfaction, and joy than the person who has more than enough money for all his needs and desires.
Those of us who have gone through life seeking satisfaction in the outer realm already know how unsatisfactory the process is, and to what degree we fail. Seeking our good in the outer world has not produced what we have sought. That is why we are on the Path.
In our evolution from material sense to spiritual consciousness, we learn that there is an invisible substance called God, Spirit, Soul, or Consciousness. The name is not important. The important thing is that there is an invisible substance within our own being, and out if it the good things of life are formed. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for," which we interpret to mean that Consciousness is the substance of things hoped for, and out of Consciousness come the issues of life.
TRANSFER POWER FROM EFFECT TO CAUSE
We are up against generations of world belief that the organs and functions of the body can be and do something of themselves and that they can determine the issues of life, and that they can act in such a manner as to cause disease and ultimately death, as if they contained the intelligence to govern our existence. In truth, the dominion was given to us in the beginning.
No organ or function of the body in and of itself has the intelligence to be healthy or to be sick, to be active, overactive, or underactive. No part of the body can determine for itself what it will do or how it will act or when or why. The consciousness that formed the body in the beginning is the Consciousness that maintains and sustains it.
Since it is our state of consciousness that has accepted the belief that the organs and functions can act of themselves, it must be our consciousness that rejects that belief and accepts the truth that God gave us dominion through Consciousness, and that this Consciousness is the cause and creative principle of our body.
THE NUTRITIVE VALUE OF FOOD IS IN CONSCIOUSNESS
One of the major things that seems to throw our bodies off balance is food and the claim that it has power over us. I am sure you have all seen food frying, boiling, or broiling in the pan. Is it not foolish to look at it and think that it has power over us? Actually it hasn't. That the nutritive value of food is in the food is a belief that has been handed down to us through generations.
The truth is that the nutritive value of food is in our consciousness. It is not in the food at all. We first have to impart to that food its value before it can nourish us. We have to give it its power to harm us before it can harm us. All of us have done that from childhood by saying, "This doesn't agree with me, so I won't eat it, and if I do eat it, it will upset me. If I drink coffee at night, it will keep me awake."
The world belief is that certain foods provide necessary elements and substances for the body, and according to material standards of life, no doubt that is true. When nutritionists tell us that vitamin A does one thing and vitamin B another let us not doubt but that they do. And when they tell us that we require so many calories a day, it is probably true. It would be foolish for anyone to deny that in the human picture vitamins and minerals are effective. But if they were doing their work and if the organs of the body were functioning perfectly, many of us would not be looking for something that would give us a greater sense of well-being.
Human belief, universally accepted, claims that life is in the heart, the liver, the kidneys, and in the digestive and eliminative organs. We have become victims of that belief. The truth is that in and of themselves the organs of the body cannot move and cannot operate. If we believe that the digestive organs can digest separate and apart from consciousness, we have failed to see that the body of itself is just a piece of dead flesh. There is an I that governs and controls the body and the entire situation.
The unfoldment that came to me, however, is that the food we eat does not nourish us. It is the Soul at the center of our being that imparts to the food the value that we are to derive from it. In reality, all food that we take in is harmless, and if it has any qualities of world belief that are harmful, it cannot hurt us since our enlightened consciousness does not empower it to be harmful, and in and of itself it is not harmful. As many times as we eat each day, let us realize that whatever of value there is in the food comes from our consciousness. This we must do with food. Sooner or later we must do it with the organs and functions of the body. As we come to a measure of spiritual consciousness, we learn the great lesson that nothing in this world of effect has power.
All power is in God at the center of my being, and God at the center of my being imparts to my bones, to my flesh, and to my food all the energy and power that they finally have in and on me.
The Consciousness that formed me is the government of my body. The Consciousness that created me maintains and sustains every action, every organ, and every function of my being, and that same Consciousness imparts to the food I eat its qualities of good to me. It is the very substance of the food I take in, and that Consciousness determines its health-giving and nourishing value to me. The food itself does not determine its qualities of nourishment, nor do the organs and functions of the body. The Consciousness that formed the food and that formed the organs determines the harmony and activity of my body and the value of the food I eat.
I consciously withdraw power from the outer realm and place it where it belongs: in Consciousness. Here and now I agree that Consciousness governs every function, organ, and activity of my body, and I no longer accept the belief that weather, climate, food, or anything else is a governing factor in my experience.
If we accept and believe this truth, food, as such, cannot be the determining factor in our experience. Food of itself has no power; food of itself cannot possess any maintaining, sustaining, or nourishing qualities, since the same Consciousness that governs and controls the organs and functions of the body must govern the quality of the food we eat. We consciously realize the divine government of the body, not merely to have a better digestive or eliminative system, not merely to give us a better figure if we are too thin, or too reduce our weight if we are too heavy, but once we catch this principle as applied to food, organs, and functions, we will have caught the entire spiritual principle of life. Every issue of life is determined, not by external conditions and things, but by Consciousness.
Within us are the issues of life, not in somebody or something. If we can prove this principle in one instance, never again will we have a false desire or an unsatisfying desire. Every desire will be normal, natural, right, harmonious, joyous, and abundant, and it will fulfill itself. To prove in one area of experience that the Infinite Invisible is the real substance, law, and activity of our existence is to find ourselves quickly independent of person, place, or thing. We will have made our contact with God, and from then on, God will supply everything necessary for our unfoldment and spiritual welfare.
At least two or three times a day, we should realize that Soul, the intelligence and the life of us at the center of our being, is governing and controlling our body. The body is not controlling us. We control the body. There is a Soul at the center of our being, and it must be a daily realization that Its function is to govern and animate our body intelligently and harmoniously, not only today but eternally not just threescore years and ten, but on to 120, 130, or 140 here on this plane if we choose. There is no limit to the length of time that the body will function except the limit of universal belief that we accept.
It takes discipline to become accustomed to the idea that neither the body nor the actions and functions of the body determine our health, but rather that health is determined by Consciousness, and that Consciousness animates, governs, and controls the organs and functions of the body.
We should eat intelligently, eat what we know is good for us at our stage of consciousness. That does not mean making a fetish of it. The person who is sensible about his eating habits realizes that it is not what goes into the mouth, but what proceeds out of the mouth that is important. It is what comes out of one's consciousness that feeds the body, maintains, and sustains it. We must act intelligently in our dietary habits, eating the things we like while avoiding the more destructive kinds of food according to universal belief and then giving it no further thought. If we live each day in meditation and contemplation of the word of God, we will be fed from within. "I have meat to eat that ye know not of." That meat is the inner meat, the inner bread.
Many people believe that bread is the staff of life only because of what Scripture says, but that was never meant in a literal sense. It means that the word of God is the staff of life, and abiding in it, food will never bother us to too great an extent. There will not be an overindulgence, nor will there be an under indulgence. Our elevated state of consciousness will prove to be selective, so that gradually we will discard food that for us is not particularly acceptable to our system.
That does not mean that food is either good or bad, but it does mean that there are states of consciousness which will not take too readily to some foods and will take to others. Not knowing that, we have formed the habit of eating almost everything we like. But spiritual selectivity will sometimes tell us not to eat meat for a week or for two or three weeks or to drink a quart of water daily. That is not a reliance on matter: that is a spiritual selectivity, bringing to us our need in a language intelligible to us at a given moment and at a given state of consciousness.
In our modern way of living, everything that is put in front of us is not really food, even though it is dressed up as food on the table. When we go to restaurants, we eat what is set before us. It cannot harm us because it is not a power, but neither would we want to spend our whole life eating what from a human standpoint is not food. So in our homes we should have the intelligence to use bread, pies, or cakes that are baked of flour and other substances that have real food value.
If at this level of consciousness, we find that we are not getting enough of certain vitamins in our food, what difference would it make if we should take them in the form of a capsule or a pill? It is the same as food. As long as we tabernacle in the fleshly sense of body, we have to eat, and the food we eat will carry with it some measure of world belief, and the measure of that belief will determine our comfort. As we work with the principle of one Substance and one Power, world belief will have less and less power in our experience and we will be living out from our God-given dominion.
POWER IS IN CONSCIOUSNESS
We must pass from the belief that something external has power over us to the realization that all power is derived from God and is given to us. Whether it is the organs and functions of the body, the food we eat, or the climate or weather outside, it is our consciousness that determines its good in our experience. When we realize this we have made a transition out of material sense into spiritual consciousness.
Now we no longer look outside for our good but to Consciousness, and It appears outwardly as food, transportation, or home. We do not become ascetic and deny whatever of good comes, but enjoy it, knowing that it has come from the divine Consciousness within us.
So, also, we do not look to friends for companionship. We realize that the Soul-power at the center of our being appears outwardly as friends. Humanly, those who are friends today can be enemies tomorrow. That could not be true if we realize that only the God-power at the center of our being gives them the power of friendship with us, because there is one Soul, functioning as each one of us.
The essence of the mystical life was revealed by the Master when he said, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of." When Jesus was hungry and the temptation came to him to turn stones into bread, he said, "No, none of that for me. I'm not interested in food on the outside. 'Get thee behind me, Satan.' I'm not making any miracles around here." He knew that at the center of his being was the God-power that would feed and sustain him, and when It was ready to bring bread to him, the bread would be there. God at the center of his being would produce it.
There was no call for Jesus to jump off a cliff to prove that his life was eternal and that God would sustain him. God was sustaining him on top of the cliff. Why jump off? He was being sustained and was satisfied where he was. That was all that was necessary. He did not have to prove it. It was going on. Life is going on for us, and as we realize that this Life which is our life is Self-sustained and Self-maintained, we will make less effort to improve it, and then we will find it taking care of itself.
GOD, THE SELF-CREATED AND SELF-MAINTAINING PRINCIPLE
It is reported that a professor who was working on a project in connection with hydrogen was addressing a group of scientists and physicists on some new phase of the experiment. He began by saying that he knew that there were some of those present who still believed in God. "I must tell you that to understand this experiment and the higher experiments in nuclear fission, you must accept the fact that there is no God. And not only must you accept it, but you must believe it. I am not telling you this from a religious standpoint: I am speaking from the standpoint of what I have proved in the laboratory. There is no God, and you can drop all that nonsense right here and now. I have proved that everything that exists in this world is hydrogen in some form, shape, or manner. There is nothing existent that is not composed of hydrogen."
One of the scientists looked up and said to him, "But, Professor, where does the hydrogen come from?"
"Oh," he replied, "that is self-created and self-sustained."
And this man commented, "I thought that was God."
At that, the professor stood stock-still and said, "You are right. Whatever name you give it, it is self-maintained, self-sustained, and self-created; it is the Infinite." And he himself was convinced.
If that professor could have understood that there is a self-created and self-maintained Substance, he would have understood also that the substance of all form is eternal, immortal, and governed by that same self-creating, self-created, and self-maintaining Principle or Substance. Surely we must be able to go as far as this learned man and agree with that. We must recognize that the organs and functions of the body, the food we eat, the air we breathe, or the rain or snow that falls is of that self-created and self-maintained Substance and Activity which the professor called hydrogen, but which we call God. Because of that, there is no evil in any of those things.
This brings us to the highest law of mysticism: in reality there is only one Power in this universe, all good, and there is nothing evil. We can make anything evil in our experience by thinking it so, but that does not mean that it is of itself evil. On the contrary, if we can posit a principle of a self-created and a self-maintaining infinite Substance, then we must logically go the next step and recognize It as the only Substance. If It is Self-created and Self-maintained, It must be good or It could not last eternally and immortally; and if It is good, It is good in any form in which It appears.
Everything that exists was formed of the one basic Substance we call God, Soul, Spirit, Life, Principle, or Law. That Substance is within us, and our realization of this makes It the law to the organs and functions of our body. It becomes the law even unto the food we eat, and it is that Substance at the center of us which is the only nourishment that food can have.
Every time we eat a morsel of food, usually we take in, not only the food, but the world belief about the food: some of it is fattening and some of it is thinning; some of it is good for us and some of it is bad for us. Since no change takes place in our life except through the activity of our consciousness, it becomes necessary for us to realize every time we eat:
The substance and the activity of me are derived from God at the center of my being, and I can respond to no other thought or thing. I impart the activity, the nourishment, the satisfaction, the taste, and the pleasure to this food. I, Consciousness, Soul, Spirit, at the center of my being, give unto the organs and functions of my body their capacity to digest, assimilate and eliminate, or whatever else the body has to do.
SURMOUNTING WORLD BELIEFS THROUGH AN ACTIVITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Through an activity of consciousness, we transfer all power from the outer world and place it where it really belongs: within us. Dominion has been given to us by God over everything that exists, but we must consciously exercise that dominion. Consciously, we have to come back to the center of our being and for weeks and months realize that dominion until it becomes automatic. The first few months of this study are very difficult. It takes discipline to remember where power is, how power is derived, and what real substance is.
Every time we are tempted to think in terms of money, consciously we have to reinterpret this and realize, "No, the power, substance, and supply are within me, not in dollar bills within me. If they were in dollar bills, a dollar bill would always buy the same thing. It does not. The power of supply is within me, within my consciousness, which determines my supply."
No one can avoid the responsibility for spiritual realization and for developing a consciousness of one Power. We pay the penalty for whatever belief we accept, until that belief is corrected. Whatever of good comes into our experience comes through the activity of our consciousness in accepting the truth and rejecting universal belief by consciously remembering every day:
God at the center of my being is the law of my experience, and It is the law of love unto me. God at the center of my being is the substance and the nourishment of the food I eat. God at the center of my being is the law and the activity unto every organ and function of my body. God at the center of my being is the law and the activity of the weather and the climate.
God at the center of my being draws unto me everything necessary for my good. It acts as a law of elimination to everything not necessary to my spiritual unfoldment and development.
It is something to remember three times a day that all power is at the center of our being, vested in our Soul, and that our Soul is the substance, the law, the activity, and the reality of all that concerns us. Only in proportion as we know the truth can it make us free. Substituting truth for universal belief is an activity of our consciousness, and that makes it operative in our experience.
We live as human beings under the laws of belief, including every law that materia medica has set down, even those that ten years from now we will not accept as laws at all. These laws are operative in our experience just as Santa Claus operates as a law unto a child until he learns that Santa Claus is a fictitious character, and after that Santa Claus becomes nothing more than a name to him.
So it is that these laws of materia medica, of food, and of climate are really Santa Claus experiences in our life. They are nonexistent powers, but they operate as real until we consciously eliminate the belief and exchange it for truth. That, no one can do for us except temporarily. That is why we can have healings from practitioners, but we cannot have our life made over. Only we ourselves can make our life over, and the way is to give up these universal beliefs as fast as we discover that they are beliefs and come to the realization that I, God, at the center of our being, is the substance and Soul of our being, and It is governing our whole experience.
That divine Consciousness to which we open ourselves in receptivity takes over and fulfills our life. But we have to let It in by opening our consciousness to that I within us which is All-wisdom. If it is possible to let that I which is God take over, It lives our life and fulfills our experience. It has a better will for us and more power to fulfill Itself and Its good than we have, and It does it in a much better way than we can ever plan it.
A good illustration is the experience I had when I first went to
So, when I came to the Center and was asked if I would object to having the talk tape recorded, I had not even heard of a tape recorder and knew nothing of its function. Since that time all my class and lecture work has been tape recorded, and through that instrument it has been made available to students for all time. I was not praying for something, but just leaving myself open, and what came, came by the grace of God.
For this effective way of spreading the message of The Infinite Way, I could not have prayed, nor could I have asked God for it because it was as totally unknown to me as atomic power was unknown to us a few years ago. It walked in by Grace, and is now serving an important purpose. A new way of teaching and presenting truth had opened up. Through what? Through the ability to be receptive so that when a new idea was presented, there was a willingness to accept it. A door was opened because my prayer was to open consciousness to whatever form of good God sends even if it is one about which I know nothing.
We may think that we know what would be good for us tomorrow or for the balance of this year, but I can assure you that God has good for us that we could not dream of and would not ask for. Personally, I do not care what happens tomorrow. The way is so completely open with me that whatever God determines, that is the way it will be, and I am not going to be egotistical enough to try and tell God where I think I should be or what I think God should have me do tomorrow or the next day or next month or next year. We do not go to God to have certain things brought about for tomorrow. We go to God with this attitude:
Today, tomorrow, and all time to come, God, I belong to You. Map out my days.
As we sit quietly and peacefully, listening intently, it will not be long until Something says to us, "Go to bed; it is all right;" or "Go on now and do your housework;" or "Go to business. I am on the field." It does not have to say it in those words, but there will be a feeling of rightness. There will be a release of the burden, a dropping away of fear. Something will come bringing us a sense of assurance that God is on the field.
This is the transition from material sense to spiritual sense. Every day we whittle away some world belief and substitute an activity of truth, until we reach the ultimate of spiritual living where we do not have to take thought. Something at the center is always doing things for us: bringing the right food to us and rejecting the wrong; bringing us the right friendships and taking from us those that have no part in our experience; bringing the right opportunities to us and seeing that we do not take advantage of the wrong ones.
Always there is Something at the center of our being so that we find ourselves saying, "Heavens! I'm not living my own life anymore." That's right. We are not. It has taken over and It lives our life for us. So we can say, "I'm not digesting my food." And we are not. It is digesting it. We have no conscious thought in the matter. We do not have to take conscious thought for any phase of our life: we let It take over and live it. Then we understand that the divine Consciousness within us lives our life, and we just watch what It does.