May 18, 2008 talk on Joel Goldsmith in Sonoma County, Ca.
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Thank you, Vivian and the Church of the Oaks for inviting me to speak to your gathering about the work of Joel Goldsmith, and in particular, his views about happiness.
When I heard that the talk was to be only 15-20 minutes, I said to myself: “How could I squeeze in all the material?”
Then I remembered the comment of President Franklin Roosevelt about public speaking. He said “Be brief, be sincere, and be seated”
Because of the brief time available, I hope you will forgive me for predominantly reading my notes. Otherwise I would succumb to my tendency to wander.
When the term God is used it means the universal God within, not an external being. And, when I say Man, I refer to both men and women.
Also, to save time I will also take the liberty of describing Goldsmith as simply Joel. One syllable instead of two!
Joel was in the long tradition of mystics, those who seek the actual experience, realization, and feeling of God’s presence, love, and power within their own being.
Current spiritual writers Marrianne Williamson, Wayne Dwyer, and Eckard Tolle have all acknowledged the influence of Joel in their spiritual growth.
He was born into a Jewish family in New York City in 1892 and died in 1962. With only a grade school education, he worked with in business with his father. He became a Christian Science practitioner in the Boston area for 16 years. A very successful healer, at the end of this span, he frequently had contact to up to 400 people a day, many of them by telephone. He didn’t spend much time over details in communication about their names, diseases, or other problems. He would merely say something like “Rest assured, I will take care of it. Call me back tomorrow”. The fact that he was in a high state of God awareness and consciousness and that someone was reaching out to him often accomplished the healing.
During the 16 years as a Christian Science healer, his intuition told him that meditation would deepen even more his relationship with God and his healing ministry. In the 1930’s not much was known about meditation in the West. So, he delved into the study of meditation and the ancient Indian scriptures.
Soon after leaving the Church, he published a book “The Infinite Way”, the only book that he actually wrote. This was inspired by his experience in illumination, which commenced when he heard a “clicking” sound while in meditation. The other forty four books were compilations of his many talks and the monthly letters that he sent out to his students.
He continued a private healing practice in California and later in Hawaii. At the same time, he traveled extensively giving lectures, not only in the major cities of the United States, but all over the world.
He labeled his body of work “The Infinite Way.” Though was often asked to start a religious organization, he refused. He felt that spiritual discernment was a personal experience. By the way, he said that if he had to select one religion it would be Zen Buddhism.
A little bit about myself: In my early years I was involved with Judaism; then came a short period of agnosticism; after that, fifteen years studying yogic philosophy; being initiated by an Indian monk, and receiving a mantra; involvement with Unity, Christian Science, Science of Mind; and finally moving on to the path of the Infinite Way.
My first encounter with Joel came about 20 years ago when I was doing some research for an article on meditation that I was writing. In the footnotes of various articles in my research I noticed the name of Joel Goldsmith next to the name Joseph Goldstein, an American Buddhist I was familiar with. But, Goldsmith, who was he? So I read his book, “The Art of Spiritual Healing.” I was bowled over by his unique method of healing. From then on, I have been reading his books, going to tape groups, communicating with Infinite Way practitioners for healing and counsel, and going to weekend retreats.
Soon after I started studying in the Infinite Way I changed my method of meditation from mantra meditation to the type that Joel espoused called contemplative meditation, which I will describe later.