"The appetite grows with eating"
The following lessons are presented to help students who are struggling with questions of human desire. It really does not matter if the desire is alcohol, food, sex, drugs. They are equally imprisoning and all stem from the same error. We accept that we are subject to our bodies, rather than acknowledging our true identity and living from the understanding that we control and govern our body just as we do our mind.
A former student tells us that Joel was rather Victorian in his manners and outlook. It is not clear whether this means he was rather shy about openly discussing carnal things or if he simply spoke around delicate, private topics while taking certain understandings for granted.
We will continue assuming the latter for Joel was no prude. He accepted everyone wherever they were in life, and did not consider human behavior sinful. His student body included/still includes alcoholics, divorcees, adulterers, gay students. On tapes he talks about carnal habits considered sinful in Western cultures to be acceptable in other societies. Human behaviors, then, vary by culture and are viewed differently around the world.
If we look at human history and the legacy of religious instruction on the topic of carnality (defined as pleasures and appetites of the flesh or simply - lust) we see instruction supporting the family unit and discouraging responses to human appetites. Societies have always suffered when the family unit was undermined with free and indiscriminate approach to human behaviors as we remember the coarse and gross behavior of the Israelites which brought forth the Ten Commandments.
We are not our material body. We are not ruled by our body. Our body is under our spiritual dominion.
A very common concern for students is spiritual approach to physical relationships. Perhaps the easiest place to start is to speak of spiritual love.
"Divine love is that outpouring that asks no return and seeks no reward. When you have it, people can love you, and you can have satisfying relationships with them. They know you are not seeking anything from them."
"Love has in it no desire for return or recompense, so if what you do has in it any desire for reward, recognition, or gratitude, it becomes a trade, not love.
"When two persons who say they love each other take the attitude, "You do this, and I'll do that," that is not love. That is trade. Love is what a person feels and does without a single trace of hope or desire for reward.
"The best way to explain it is to think of what you do for your children. You certainly have no thought of doing for them, hoping for their gratitude. No, you do for your children because that is your function as parents.
"If you could extend that same attitude to all, you might very well find you would wipe all discord out of your human relationships. Does not the discord come because you expect something in return for what you do? In that expectation you are violating spiritual law.
"Everything that you are entitled to in life must come from God, not from man - everything. It should be your privilege and joy to do every job that is given you to the best of your ability, not for the reward, not for recognition, not for gratitude, but because the job is to be done, and the only way you can fulfill yourself is to do it to the best of your ability.
"Your reward, your compensation, and your life's harmony come from God, not from man. So if anyone withholds gratitude, recognition, or reward, he is not cheating you. He is cheating himself. Gratitude is one of the great attributes of love, and a person who is not filled with gratitude is devoid of love which means that he devoid of God. A person who is not grateful, is not cooperative, or who does not share is never cheating the other person. He is cheating only himself...
"Just as in business so in the home, no one should do things just for praise or gratitude, but because it is his job, and he should do it to the best of his ability, trusting that reward and recognition will come from God, not from man. Harmonious relationships can be maintained only on that basis. If you put into each relationship what is its due, harmony is bound to follow."
Science and Health
1910 edition by Mary Baker Eddy
"Union of the masculine and feminine qualities constitues completeness. The masculine mind reaches a higher tone through certain elements of the feminine, while the feminine mind gains courage and strength through masculine qualities. These different elements conjoin naturally with each other and their true harmony is in spiritual oneness. Both sexes should be loving, pure, tender, and strong. The attraction between native qualities will be perpetual only as is pure and true, bringing sweet seasons of renewal like the returning spring."
If we truly love spiritually, we do not need this commandment. It would be impossible for us to truly love our neighbor as ourselves and do unto another what we would not have him do unto us.
It is when we love humanly, physically and materially that this can become a temptation. And, we know that this temptation would be error, nothing, impersonal. We drop our desire as we go to God to commune in meditation. There we find our comfort, our release, our companionship, in the silence of God's love.
"What we go by in the student is not what they're doing or thinking when they come to us but what changes take place when they continue to come to us. And if we say we are making inroads into their Consciousness we can be sure their errors are leaving. Do you see that? We do not moralize. We do not psychologize. We pay no attention to bad humanhood and no attempt to make it good humanhood. We are always imparting spiritual truth, ignoring the appearance and not watching the evil turn to good because that is not what we're seeking. We're seeking the evidence that Christ has touched an individual. When it does, the Christ will do all the work of I am come that you might have life and you will have it more abundantly.
"So when you can bring the Christ to an individual it will see to it that the diseases are healed, the sins are washed out, the lacks are eliminated. The Christ does that, not you nor I, not The Infinite Way. The Christ does that.
"Our function is to awaken that Christ in an individual, and this we do by this method of teaching. I get letters, I got two this week, from Christian Science practitioners who gave up the case because they had no more money to pay. Others give up the case because the patient had to take some medicine or had to go to a hospital. That's not our function. Our function is to respond to the calls that come to us. And the only time that we dismiss anyone is when there is an evident lack of integrity or when the degree of argumentation is so great that we just can't keep it up. We have no time to waste on arguments." -Joel Goldsmith Tape 510:1
Celibacy is seen by some students of truth to be a necessity of illumination. It is not required by The Infinite Way. Unless celibacy is a natural evolution of a student's unfolding consciousness, it cannot change a person's humanhood. Our behavior has no impact on our consciousness. Our meditations, God contacts and spiritual unfoldments change our consciousness.
As spiritual consciousness evolves, physical appetites and needs begin to naturally fall away. We need less sleep, we do not concern ourselves with the body and its functions as we used to. We eat to live, not live to eat. We loose a taste for alcohol, tobacco, etc. And, physical desires also begin to dissolve.
When we take a natural instinct placed in us for human survival, we cannot mentally fight it. It only creates a battle. Just as if we were to force ourselves not to eat three meals a day. We would constantly be thinking about the meals we were NOT eating. Rather, we just allow our body to express hunger and eat accordingly. The periods become longer and longer between meals to no ill effect and no discomfort. We just don't notice anymore. Sometimes we are hungry, sometimes not.
Celibacy should be a natural unfolding, as with all things in our lives. There is only one power, God. If we are upset with other longings and desires, we meditate and make our connection to God. The harmony then unfolds. Until we are lifted out of our desires.