Joel S. Goldsmith

        Authentic Writings

Health and Illness are Error

Health and Illness are Neither

Good genes or bad genes

Low stress or high stress

Correct thinking or wrong thinking

Good nutrition or bad nutrition

Good behavior or bad behavior

And so we Nothingize:

Illness has no power

Health has no power

Health is not under the law of God

Health is not created by God

Health is created by man (through his human body)

Both health and illness are man-world-mind created.

If we picture a mud bath, that is the world. The mud is the error. Consciousness is the cleansing. So by lifting ourselves in consciousness, we wash away the mud (sins) of the world.

The vacuum created by eliminating the fear of illness allows our Christ consciousness to be expressed as the harmony appropriate for our experience.


Tape #522 side 2

Joel Goldsmith


"And so it is, you cannot go to God for form. You can't ask God to design a house for you or to diagnose a disease for you. You cannot go to God to sell your apple pies. You go to God for Grace. This is the substance. You turn within for Grace.

"If you're an architect Grace will appear as these new forms that you need. If you're an artist Grace will appear as skill. If you're a designer Grace will appear as the skill and the designs. If you are a metaphysician this Grace will appear as healings. If you are a . . . whatever you may be. Grace appears as that form.

"But for you to go to God to learn how to make apple pies will be a failure for you, because it isn't God who knows anything about apple pies or how to make them. But God's Grace reveals to us apple pies and how to make them if that happens to be our need.

"Now, when you turn within, you turn within for Grace. Thy Grace is my sufficiency in all things. Now it makes no difference whether we're going for health, wealth, ideas, healings, whatever it may be, we go only for Grace and the Grace appears outwardly as the form necessary to your experience. And therefore if your need today is food it comes forth as food. If it is transportation it comes forth as transportation. If it is an idea it will come forth as an idea but always remember this, God knows nothing of the forms. God knows only Grace. Therefore, when we go in, we go in only for the realization of Grace.

"Remember, God knows nothing of health because God knows nothing of the lack of health. Therefore there is no use of going to God for health. When we go within, we go within for a realization of God's Grace and God's Grace appears as health. And God's Grace appears to the other one as a new design, whether it's for a bridge or a house or a dress. God's Grace appears as a new kind of food, or a new type of automobile, but God knows nothing of those things.

"Now, strangely enough, God knows nothing of health, not a thing. God could never recognize the name 'health' in any language and the reason is that God doesn't know the opposite of health either. In God there is neither health nor ill health. There is only the perfection of God's Being. And it is for this reason very often that, in our work, students lose the way and lose their health because they seek it. And they're seeking something through God of which God has no awareness. God has no knowledge of health. God has no knowledge of wealth. God is Spirit and the Kingdom of God is spiritual. Therefore when you go to God you can go only for Grace. Thy Grace is my sufficiency in all things, whether it's a matter of health, a matter of supply, talent, art. Thy Grace is my sufficiency.

"Now, do you not see that regardless of our present human status, whether we are saint or sinner, if God knew it we would be equally obnoxious, because I'm sure that God is as unaware of saints as He is of sinners. God's awareness extends only to a knowledge of His own nature, and there's nothing saintly and nothing sinnerly about God. God is infinite Being, infinite Being. To be a saint He'd have to be better than something else and there's no better and there's no worse. There's only One.

"So it is with us. When we turn within, let us be very sure that if, by some kind of accidental chance, we are and always have been good, let us forget it as fast as we can, because it may keep us out of the Kingdom of Heaven. I don't believe they have any more room in heaven for good people than for bad people. And therefore let us forget goodness and badness and just remember Being, I am Being. Whether to human sense I appear to be good being at the moment or bad being, as a human being I have potentialities either way, and anything could come along and upset the balance.

"So let's forget about our humanhood and remember this. In my Divine Being, all that God is I am and all that the Father hath is mine. And then let us open these ears inwardly to be receptive. And then when the Word of God comes to us, you will discover that you will lose your goodness and your badness. You will have no more awareness of being good than you'll have of being bad, you'll just remember that you are Being, and as a matter of fact that it's really God being you. Then you will have no propensity, no possibility of sitting in judgment on your fellow man who may be bad only out of ignorance and who may be good just out of stupidity. Oh there are loads of stupid good people. And there are loads of good people who are merely good because they're afraid to be bad. So let us throw out all of this business about goodness and badness and just be spiritual. Just let us be of the Household of God, of the Kingdom of God, neither good nor bad, just spiritual.

"And then, as we develop this inner capacity to listen, our actions are guided by God, and they are neither good nor bad, they're just whatever it is that God meant them to be. But you have no way of evaluating them according to human standards. Because you do know this, don't you, that anything that you call good is merely your human evalutation. And by testing you out far enough we can almost find out what kind of a home you came from as to what their standards of good and evil were. And they may be entirely different than this family over here who also had standards of good and evil which may or may not have been actually good or evil.

"Now, in our work, we are never judging of our humanhood as to whether we are good or whether we are bad, because unless we're willing to lose both our goodness and our badness we are not going to arrive at the Kingdom of God. Be assured there is no clinging to goodness in the Kingdom of God. There is only Being, Being. But think what happens once I recognize that there is only one Being. That means that my Being is your Being. Therefore I can't be good to you or bad to you, I can only be to you what I am to myself. That's all. And be assured I'm neither good to myself nor bad to myself, I'm only that to myself which normally and naturally is.

"Watch this. Watch it very carefully. The Grace of God is not different in one individual than another because God has only one Child, one offspring, one Life, no matter how many billion times it may be lived on earth, it is the one Life. Therefore God is the same to all. The degree of harmony in our experience represents the degree in which we know this truth. This is what determines the degree. Now, do you see that if I and the Father are one and if I am consciously aware of that oneness, all that the Father hath is mine and all that God is, I am.

"And here we reach the fulfillment of a spiritual message. That is where we reach the fulfillment of a spiritual message. Once we come to the realization that, having dropped all thought of my good humanhood and my bad humanhood, and having come to the center of my Being in which I realize God as my Life, as my Soul, then and only then am I realizing that either the goodness or the badness of my human life means nothing. They both have to be overcome in order that we can ultimately say, Why callest thou me good? There is but one good, the Father in heaven and that is the good that is flowing. That is the good that is healing, that is the good that is enriching, that is the good that is forgiving, not I, not you, but that which flows from the Father as the Son. And only in your surrender of the belief in your badness, only in the surrender of the belief in your goodness can you spiritually attain. As long as you wish to persist in remembering the evil that has found an outlet through you, just so long will you keep yourself out of the Kingdom of Heaven. But, just so long as you keep remembering the good that has gone through you, just so long will you keep yourself out of the Kingdom of Heaven. And once you begin to realize that evil as such has only been a part of my existence through ignorance, and goodness has only been a part of my existence by the Grace of God, only then do you come to that place where you become an absolute instrument for the Grace of God to flow. Then you become a blessing, not only to yourself, but unto everyone who comes within range of your experience. "

Need to Rise Higher Than Form

From The Letters
"Christian Science understands all evil to be illusion and, necessarily, it declares human good equally without reality.  It reveals that physical health is as much a belief as sickness.  Likewise, material wealth is but the opposite belief of poverty.
"In order, then, that we do not vacillate between the beliefs of health and sickness, wealth and poverty, friendship and friendlessness, it becomes necessary that we come into the understanding of spiritual reality.  Obviously we cannot measure our progress Spiritward in terms of days or years of physical freedom or amount of dollars income.  The measure of our progress is determined by the degree of our understanding of spiritual values.  The natural result of our spiritual progress is a greater degree of harmony in what appears as our human affairs, but when this harmony is the result of spiritual realization we find no fluctuation and no vacillation."  (p.46)
"It is not sufficient to give up the belief that the devil is the source of evil power, we must go further and give up the belief in evil itself; we must understand the revelation that God is the only Presence and the only Power, and all else is simply illusion. the acknowledgement and realization that all apparent evil is but illusion is sufficient to dispel its appearance." (p. 15)
"Our work is to live constantly in the consciousness that disease has no power. Our resistance to disease brings on the pain and even death.  The disease of itself is powerless, as we have proven in seventy years of metaphysical healing. The evil power is never in the disease, or the condition itself, but always in the false universal concept or individual acceptance of the condition.  Keep uppermost in thought that no disease, or other condition, of itself has power for evil. All power, the only power, the ever-present power is Life, Mind, Truth, ever expressing Itself, even where error seems to be. (p. 58)
"There simply cannot be God (all good) and error too.  Therefore, it is self-evident that there is no error, and that which appears to us as error is mirage or nothingness.  As we realize this truth, we lose the fear of that which seemed erroneous, and normal being is revealed and experienced. (p.99 -100)
"The bodily ill for the moment is what drives us on until we learn that we never really were seeking just health, but were all the time struggling to reach some measure of understanding God.  Without these ills of mind, body, or purse, we would be content to go on living in the material sense of things, until one day old age would be upon us before we realized it, and then it might take later awakening to bring us "home" to the consciousness of heaven here and now.
"It is becoming clearer that all bodily discord is embraced in the material sense of existence, and that spiritual sense is the reality of all things.  It is not the universe doing anything to us, but our sense of the universe is reflecting itself back to us....
"For many years we used Christian Science like we formerly used doctors, medicine and surgery-as a curative or preventative agency. Also for years, we used it as a comforting religion, "getting our good" from services, lectures and books.  Ultimately the call comes to rise higher. (p.243-4)

Recent Lesson

"... You cannot heal physical disease.  That isn't the function of real true spiritual Christian Science any more than it is the function of The Infinite Way."... Joel Goldsmith Tape 46 Side 1

Recent lessons have appeared in our Los Angeles Infinite Way classes that need to be shared with the wider student body, yet it is very difficult to figure out how to do this ethically and according to Joel's instructions.  After all the instruction around "Letter to Norman" and the conduct of other teachers, it behooves me to be most careful in how we proceed now. 

After a week of intense meditating, the lessons here came to us. I have been called to get up in the middle of the night to write this down. It lingers day in and day out. How can we make it more clear? What else needs to be shared?  Where are the quotes to teach this? I hope that you feel the consciousness behind the words and take any questions you have within first. Check the Within for more light, more guidance. Check there for the rightness of what you are about to read.

It feels correct to say that the following is for students with a good foundation in the principles, especially The Nature of Error. Since you will find a "fine tuning" of principles here, it only makes sense that we know the principles well and are very grounded in them before tackling these new lessons. Great care and caution are used in each deliberate step of these lessons, referencing Joel's tapes and writings with precise references as we are led.

When we received this lesson, we marveled at the parallel with the tapes chosen for class, the 1963 KAILUA Private Class and 1963 LONDON Work . How kind it was of Grace to operate in such a way that none of us can take credit for the lessons.  IT did the teaching and we are just sharing what came. The credit is with Infinite Way consciousness which came to us through Joel. (Note: Aug. 25, 2006 I got a letter from Bertus Rabe in Holland directing us to the 1960 February Monthly Letter and discussing the common sense of going to a doctor if we are unable to meet a claim spiritually.)

Joel promised that he would remain with those of us who are committed to the message even if he is not here in the visible realm. (See Joel's Eternal Relationship on this site.) We can each individually, or in a group, connect with the consciousness that was Joel and feel its presence with us. 

Since lessons are continuing to unfold, we will bring them to you as they come. We will strive always to ground them in the principles and use Joel's quotes (perhaps Mary Baker Eddy if needed) to support the lessons.  We do hesitate for it is important for students to focus on Joel's tapes, first and foremost - next the writings.  We do not intend to take you from Joel, but rather to share some new aspects of the healing work that have been in the work from the beginning, but have been overlooked or blurred unintentionally.  We feel that Mrs. Eddy is an appropriate resource in these areas for she was Joel's foundation. (You can always pose any question in the Guest book if something about this comes to you.) 

Class Lesson July 16-22 Los Angeles

Joel speaks of Mary Baker Eddy saying that some day the world will overcome the "insanity of health." 

"And any of you who are familiar with Mrs. Eddy's writings ought to get familiar with this statement of hers:  "Someday, we will have to outgrow, overcome the insanity of health."  Never forget that - the insanity of health.  You see, as long as we think we are healthy in the body, healthy because the heart beats so much and the pulse beats so much and the blood flows so much.  As long as we have that kind of health, we are in that insanity of humanhood, because a little germ or a little bullet or a little bomb can upset the whole applecart.

"And so you see this little thing within us that has to let us go because we're so sure... Have you ever said it to a practitioner, or those of you who are practitioners, have you ever had somebody come to you and say, "I don't understand this, I've been so healthy all my life.  Why does this come now?"  They weren't healthy at all.  They were enjoying the insanity of health.  They had a good physical heart or a good physical digestion or good physical elimination, not knowing that in the course of every human experience there will come that three score years and ten and just snip it away, or three score years and twenty, sometimes less.  Unless we make the transition from that physical sense of health to where we understand that, "I live, yet not I, Christ liveth my life".  Then do we come into immortality realized right here on earth.  Then we come to a place where never can we die.  Never.  Death becomes an utter impossibility.  Oh, we can pass on, we can walk right out of this life.  The Master said that, "I can lay down my life, I can pick it up."  And we can, we can, we can, at any time we can walk out, and sometimes if we won't walk out voluntarily we'll get pushed out.  Because the time of expansion and growth comes for everyone when it is necessary to evolve out of our present state of consciousness." 82/1

"There is a universal insanity of so-called health, which mistakes fable for fact throughout the entire round of the material senses..." Science and Health Page 408

The comment was shared in class this week (Los Angeles July 16-22  2006) and it produced new light in meditation.  We began to work with what she really meant and were reminded of Joel saying that even health is illusion. Health is a state of spiritual harmony, the divine state of being. Health is not acquired, it IS.  We meditate and uncover the harmony that has always been our divine heritage. 

With that we took "health is an illusion?" into meditation and asked for instruction. The following unfolded thereafter.

Joel, Christian Science and other mystical teachings, teach that we are not in our bodies, our bodies are in us.  This has always been a very difficult principle for students to grasp and teachers to teach. We have worked with it over and over. On a number of tapes (tape 513 is one of them), Joel goes through the exercise of moving from your feet to your head searching for YOU, your "I", your soul.  It cannot be done. Throughout the centuries, man has searched the body for the location of the soul and he could never find it in the body.  This is because, it is not IN the body.

To illustrate this, an image came of a car (our human body). Add a trailer (our spiritual body)  attached to the OUTSIDE of the car.  Set the driver (our soul) in the trailer and give him a remote steering wheel (consciousness).  The car travels around in the world but the trailer and driver are invisible. 

Does the driver feel anything if the car is dented?  If it gets a flat tire, is the driver affected?  If the car wears out and has to be replaced, does it touch, alter anything in the invisible wagon or driver? Of course not. All this is happening to the human, material, physical body, the car.  Nothing is happening to the invisible trailer or to the soul. The driver is always in the trailer. It continues, knowing and feeling nothing of dents, flat tires, engine problems. Only the material car is exposed to the elements of the world. 

Once we can grasp and accept that we are not in our bodies, then it is easy to look at health being man-created. Only the material body (the car) can be healthy or diseased.  It is the only material thing in this picture. Everything else is invisible and spiritual.

Let's Consider Error

Error is the belief and acceptance of this world of opposites. Spirit/God has no opposite. Therefore, if health is material and therefore of this world, it must have an opposite. Does it?  Yes, it does, illness. 

We know from the lessons on the Nature of Error that anything material, man-made, man-imagined, is Error.  Error is the acceptance of two.  So let us not accept two.  Both health and illness are of the material body, Error, nothing, impersonal.

What does this mean?  It means that we cannot look at health as a function of consciousness any more. Until now we have been seeing health as a measure of someone's consciousness, our consciousness. We are afraid to use materia medica. We shun doctors. Many students fear them.  We hesitate to discuss our work with a doctor, it is our "secret." We feel less spiritual if we take an aspirin, get a filling or have an operation.  This is nonsense when you look at the principle presented here. 

If we are presented with illness,  what do we do?

We impersonalize it. 

It is not the patient's punishment/fault.  

They did nothing to bring it upon themselves. 

It is not a function of conduct, good or bad conduct.

Then we nothingize it.

It is not of God, has no law to sustain it (the body can be changed to non-illness, non-disease).  

It is an imaginary creation of man.

It has no power.

There is only God.

And, we meditate for the connection which is the healing.

Now we can do the same thing with health. 

Let's impersonalize it. 

It is not the patient's reward. 

The patient did not "earn" health. 

They did nothing to be healthy. 

Then we nothingize. 

Health is imagined.

It is not of God.

It has no law to sustain it (for it can change and become un-health - illness).

Health has no power.

There is only God power.

Again, we go within and rest for the click which is the healing.


"From the moment that our interest in physical harmony disappears, we then begin to behold this universe as it is. When we awaken, we shall see Him as He is, and we will be pleased with what we behold, only though- when we awaken.

The awakening comes when you can realize that health is only the opposite end of the stick of ill health, that wealth is only the opposite end of the stick of poverty. Somewhere in the spiritual realm there must be a consciousness of no health and no lack of health. Just as eventually you come to see a relationship to God that God is no power."  - Joel Goldsmith Tape 112 side 1


Well, this opens a whole new question. What are we to do with materia medica? Let us analyze the error of health as we would the error of supply.  Do we say to the poor person, "Do not touch money,"  "Do not go into a bank for you will only be reminded of your lack,"  "Do not go shopping, you will just be tempted?"  And, for the finale, "You must not be very spiritual if you struggle with Supply."  I can guarantee you that my teacher, Will Hoff, was a very high spiritual student. He never had a supply problem until his latter years. Then it was a struggle for him.  The Error of supply did not appear because he was not a fine mystic. He was presented an appearance to impersonalize and nothingize.

Jesus was presented with the appearance of Error in the last days of his life. Was he not high enough to have avoided them?  If he were "higher" in consciousness would they not have come to him?  The three temptations came as a classic lesson for the world.  Jesus faced them and used them as lessons to teach us. 

Joel tells us of very fine healers, with superb healing consciousness  who still died of disease.  Joel, one of the finest modern mystics,  could not heal his own beloved wife, Rose (also a fine CS practitioner),  although each could heal by the thousands.  Joel never could heal his own headache.  Can we be talking about a level of consciousness not "high enough?"  It just does not make sense.

If we have learned anything, we have learned that The Infinite Way is logical. The Infinite Way makes sense. The more we understand, the more sense it makes. 

Joel says, "We do not solve a problem on the level of the problem."  So, we never take the problem into our consciousness.  We leave it at the door and just meditate. Yet, with health, we are always proud to have it, sad to loose it. And we measure our progress on the path by it. We are still speaking about and believing a picture of this material world, are we not?  We are accepting an appearance of a separation from God.(Error)  Can we be separated from God? Why is it so easy to see when we do it with money, sex, alcohol, lonliness, parenthood?

It might help to recall Joel's story of the woman who had the alcoholic husband.  She was so annoyed and troubled by his drinking.  Joel told her she was the one giving alcohol power.  What difference, whiskey or Coca-Cola?  She understood, stopped fearing alcohol and brought some home that night for her husband.  After taking a drink, he said it had no kick for him anymore. The wife/patient had dissolved the power of alcohol IN HER CONSCIOUSNESS, and her husband was healed.

Just when we surrender and stop hunting for our lost keys, we find them.  How is this lesson about health any different?  Is it not possible that once we stop wanting health, seeking it, demanding it, it will come to us? Once we see that it is Error, this world, will it not stop appearing?  This is how every other appearance operates, why should we not expect it to be the same for health?

Joel tells us that we cannot measure a spiritual thing - consciousness, by a material object - health.

We are told that on this path there is less aging, less illness, less lack for harmony is a spiritual law and condition.  As we illumine our consciousness, we live more in divine harmony.  That does not guarantee that we are free of these human conditions. Why? Because we are human, and these are HUMAN conditions. As long as we live in the mud pit of this world, we will get mud on us. It will happen everyday that we breathe air. Every breath will be of duality. (Let every breath express oneness.) 

If we can grasp that the appearance of health is "mud," we can see a mental, human condition.  Health says nothing about our spiritual body or our spiritual consciousness.  Our spiritual body is not/cannot be touched by what happens in the world. Before we arrived and after we leave the earth, our human body was not/will not be subject to illness or health. Health is material.

We have given health such power. We fear not having it.  It may not even be that we fear a sickness, but we fear the condition of non-health. Every chance "this world" gets, we are bombarded with ads for pharmaceuticals, therapies, weight loss, bone issues, skin issues, muscle issues, nervous conditions.  Advertisers target every part of our body. Then we, spiritual healing students, practitioners and teachers, add a spiritual twist to empower the Error of health by using it as a marker on our spiritual path, a measure of our skill at healing or teaching the principles.  If we, friends, students, or family get sick, we feel that we have failed in consciousness.

This simply cannot be true. Nor is it usually the case.  Often we have healings we ignore, don't notice or accept as healing. You see, we really didn't want health. We wanted something specific to be healed. What we really wanted to do is to direct God and perform magic. That is, change bad into good.  If the something is not healed, we think the experience a failure, the practitioner a failure and our learning unsatisfactory.

Meanwhile, harmony may abound in our life, but we are blind to it ,for WE are determining our personal definition of harmony, rather than letting God/It decide for us, letting ITs will be done in our lives.

Joel had a heart-attack in 1962.  Do we dare say that he was not spiritual enough?  But there are those who do not speak of it, who deny what it was. They minimize the heart attack and say it was a "cold." 

Joel S. Goldsmith had a coronary thrombosis.  He was hospitalized. Instead of looking at the facts around the event, everyone assumes he fell in consciousness or may have somehow been negligent, less spiritual, etc.  This is ridiculous. Joel tells us that it was a form of initiation for him. (Read Spiritual Journey of Joel S. Goldsmith.)  Do we doubt that?  Some do, even though none of us have had his experience and know nothing about these things. Should we not take Joel at his word and learn from his lesson?

The human, physical facts are that Joel had been flying for 36 hours from Europe to South Africa. Along the way, the Cuban Missle Crisis reached its zenith, and he spent most of the 36 sleepless hours in meditation. (As we know, nuclear war between the US and the Russia was averted.)  Surely, we can picture this 70 year old man SITTING 36 hours in the plane and in terminals meditating.  Any doctor will tell you this is a perfect scenario for a blood clot. That is what a thrombosis is, a clot that reaches the heart. 

Joel wrote Emma that the pain started in the air terminal. He was in excruciating pain for 11 hours while he and one of his teachers meditated to dissolve the appearance. Finally, Tom Jones called a student who was an M.D. and head of the medical school. Joel was given immediate care and with the help of all the IW students there, recovered in three days.  Is this a failure or a triumph? 

Why did it happen?  It may be to leave behind a lesson for us all to use now in understanding this principle.  Can we say that Jesus was not very high in consciousness because he ended up with an agonizing death as a criminal?  Jesus certainly knew the principles.  We often do not see/are not meant to see the reason for an appearance at the time it is in our lives. 

When we demand to have a healing, or to understand "WHY?", are we not telling God his job?  are we not personalizing?

The purpose for The Infinite Way is not to heal people.  Healings are proof of the principles. We have had 50 years of proving the principles. They don't need to be proven.  What we need to do is to realize that this is a message about consciousness, a message that brings us to the understanding of who we are, "I."  That is where we need to be now in the work. (This is what Joel is asking of us in the 1963 work, please, please hear him.) 

It should not matter if we are sick, poor, sinning, as long as we can find our way to God. We can spiritual treat and then just ignore, or resolve the human condition in the most expedient way, as long as we remain focused on developing our spiritual consciousness IN SPITE of appearances. We continue meditating and learning to incorporate the principles in everything we do each day. We think of ways to express God and stop looking at ourselves, what we need, what we lack, what we want. Then when the contact is established and our consciousness refined, when our lives are lived for God, all the twelve baskets of health, supply, companionship, and human harmony will be overflowing with or without a material appearance.