The Infinite Way is a restatement of the message given to the world by many great revelators...
IN THIS DAY AND AGE, many persons are discovering that mysticism is a way of life that can be incorporated into their everyday experience. It is not impractical, and, as so many have thought, it is not a way reserved only for the few who can renounce all human responsibilities. Instead it is a way of fulfilling every obligation more effectively than would humanly be possible and experiencing the bliss and joy that nothing in this world can give.
Practical mysticism has been revealed to this age through one man's personal experience of God. That man, Joel Goldsmith, a successful businessman, had a God-experience which thrust him into the healing ministry. This was long before he had any awareness or understanding of the principles he later came to know as basic to the practice of spiritual healing and the living of the spiritual life. For sixteen years he sat in an office answering the many calls that came to him for help, which in the last years of this period of his life averaged 135 a day.
Then, in 1946 he passed another milestone, marked by an inner initiation that went on every day for about two hours in the early morning and lasted for two months. This lifted him into another dimension of life out of which came "The Infinite Way ." The healing aspect of his work continued, but a new phase now opened up for him as a result of this two-month long initiation. He became a teacher and lecturer with a worldwide audience, traveling throughout the United States and Canada and to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England and many countries in Europe, imparting the truth as it had been given to him. He traveled literally without purse and without scrip. He had no financial backers; he was entirely dependent on the Consciousness that abundantly brought forth the message to sustain the messenger.
God-Experience. Perhaps The Infinite Way can best be described in Joel Goldsmith's own words as "a God-experience." This experience is a touching of that Center within which for generations has been buried'under a life totally centered in the outer; it is discovering that in that Invisibility within there is Something greater than anything in the visible world; it is knowing with an undeniable certainty that there is a Power and a Presence within each and every person that is the All-Power and the All-Presence.
With this conviction, it is possible to walk up and down a fear-torn world with confidence, courage and assurance, knowing that you do not walk alone, but that this indefinable Presence goes with you. It is That which cannot be described but you can feel Its tug as you turn to It--sometimes in utter helplessness--and find It within your own being.
While an extensive literature setting forth the principles of The Infinite Way has evolved, these books are not the real Infinite Way. True, they are about The Infinite Way and its principles and they serve as guides to those who earnestly desire to enter into this new-old relationship of oneness with the Source of all life. They invite those who hunger and seek after the God-experience to come to the feast, helping to lead them to the experience of God. Each person, however, must enter on his own, for this is an individual unfoldment.
This God-experience is possible to anyone. Every person, no matter who he is--the saint rolling in ecstacy or the derelict in the very depths of degradation--has this Presence within him. Then, why are so few aware of this wellspring of life within? Because they are too busy shadowboxing, making a living, seeking companionship, climbing the social ladder: empty shadows, when all the time within them awaiting their recognition is the Substance of life, fulfillment itself. As Goldsmith says in The Art of Meditation:
Is there a path that leads to God realization, a path that can be trod here on earth? Can it be achieved here on earth? The answer is Yes. Not only is there a way of accomplishing this objective, but there is a short cut. That short cut, so simple and yet so very difficult, is to perform a bit of mental surgery on ourselves and cut away all our desires. Let us take a good sharp scalpel and cut out of ourselves all desire for a person, place, thing, circumstance, or condition. Every desire must be cut away in order that only one remains: to know Thee, whom to know aright is life eternal.
Pure Mysticism. The Infinite Way is pure mysticism, but not mysterious and not impractical. It is a complete reversal of the materialistic way of life which is based on the belief that there is only a limited amount of good and that in order to attain a portion of that good it is necessary to struggle, to wrest it from those who have it, a struggle which results in cut-throat competition and war.
To follow the mystical way is to recognize that everything you have need of is already within you, within your consciousness. Do not look outside: look within, and you will find all that makes life worthwhile. If the whole world should collapse, a conscious awareness of the Presence within could build it anew, if . . . Yes, there is an "if," and that "if" is: if you are resting in the Presence and relying on It instead of on some tangible thing out there that can so easily be swallowed up in a personal or international holocaust. The mystical way is a practical way because it puts an end to the strife that comes from trying to get something out in the world. Instead, it centers one's attention on how to release the Infinity locked up within.
It is a recognition of the essential worth and dignity of every individual, because within each and every one is this same Presence to be acknowledged and respected: God appearing as. This makes every person important, every person unique, with a special purpose and function in life--not just a cog in a machine.
Back of that acknowledgment of individual worth and dignity is the principle that man is not separate and apart from his Source, but is one with It in an eternal and irrevocable relationship because there is not God and man; there is only God, God appearing as man. God reveals and unfolds Itself as individual being. That being is the Essence Itself in individualization, possessed of all the qualities and capacities of God. How could It ever sin, die or be frustrated, disturbed or ill? Could any of these things happen to God? Then, if they cannot happen to God, they cannot be true of God individualized. God has planted Itself in the midst of every one of us, as us, and this is Grace, overflowing and abundant Grace, sufficient for every need.
Three Little Words. Joel Goldsmith had the unique ability, reserved only for those who themselves have had the deepest experiences, of giving the world the most profound truths in the simplest of terms. In fact, the principles of The Infinite Way can be summed up in three little words: "one," ''as'' and "is."
Oneness is a cardinal principle of The Infinite Way, a oneness which is so basic and all-inclusive that it cannot be side-stepped with any "ands," "ifs," or "buts." There cannot be that One and some other power, presence, cause, law, substance, or activity. Yet, how many persons are there who unquestioningly acknowledge one Power and in the same breath give power to something completely contrary to the nature of that one Power, thereby setting up a lesser power to be overcome by a greater one? But "Oneness" means what It says: One. This eliminates the possibility of anything other than that One having existence except as a mental concept. This simple principle of One is so expansive and all-inclusive that it can include life from every aspect.
Because God is the All-Power, there are no other powers. Because God is the All-Presence, there is no other presence. Because God is All-Wisdom, Infinite wisdom, It is instantly available and need not be enlightened.
Second, but equally important, is the word ''as'': God appearing as individual being and as the spiritual universe and all that is therein. There is nothing outside of or beyond that One, that One which is infinite, unlimited, pure Consciousness, the substance of all life. That One appears as the many, but always the essence and quality of the One are the essence and quality of the many.
And the final word — "is." God is; Grace is; harmony is; perfection is. How much good we shove away from us in our conviction that good was or has been our experience, but is not now present; or how often do we believe that some good may come to us in some future time or state! But all the Reality that exists, exists now. There will never be more of God than there is now, never more of good, wholeness, abundance, perfection, infinity than at this moment. As we live in this moment of is-ness, the next moment unfolds as a continuity of Grace.
The Spiritual Life. To attain the consciousness of the three little words is to have the fabric out of which life is made and to abide in that peace that nothing in this world of appearances can destroy. It is to follow the mystical path and to live the spiritual life. The spiritual life means abiding in is, and life, lived out from is, becomes a glorious experience of unfolding consciousness.
True, the steps leading to the attainment of that consciousness, while they are simple and clearly marked, are not easy. When we listen to a great artist, we seldom think of the years of arduous practice and discipline the artist has undergone to attain such heights of artistic achievement. The music flows forth effortlessly, but the apparent effortlessness comes because of the years of work that were necessary--the effort to attain the effortless.
So with us on this Path. The way is clear and simple, but not easy to follow. It would be simple if we could hug to us those three little words--"one," ''as," "is" — and leave out three other words which are the snare and the pit along the way: "I," "me," "mine."
It is this false sense of self, that personal sense of the little I, me, and mine, that is the source of all our troubles. To adhere steadfastly to one, as, and is annihilates, even though slowly at first, this false sense of self, so that the one Self, which expresses as your Self and my Self, may shine undimmed by any clouds of personal sense.
If there is no personal sense of self, who is there to have any problems? Certainly not God. We can easily prove this as we look at our own experience. Has not every problem stemmed from some thought that we have a life of our own, a selfhood to be preserved, protected, and supplied? Would there be any need for healing if there were no personal sense of self to be sick, in pain, lacking, or dying?
Healing As Revealing. Healing -- the healing of physical, financial, mental and moral ills--is one of the effects of living the mystical life. Actually, it is not really healing, but a revealing of the divine Reality hidden within every person. It is a lifting of the person who comes for help into a higher level of consciousness in which the problems of the world are seen from another perspective, and in that new perspective the problems fade away. In fact, it is seeing life whole, not merely a little segment of life. Just as the caterpillar struggles to climb over a log which looms as a great and almost insurmountable obstacle, so do we, before the mystical consciousness has taken over, see every human problem as great and often terrifying. But, through spiritual awareness we are lifted to a higher level of consciousness, and what appeared as a problem is now no longer that.
Meditation As Receptivity. This awareness is attained through meditation and the practice of the principles of spiritual living. Meditation is an essential part of The Infinite Way, it is an active state in which, through contemplation, the mind becomes a state of listening receptivity. In that silence and stillness, impartations from within come with force and with power, although they may come as quietly and gently as a still, small voice.
In The Infinite Way practice of meditation, there is no reliance on dietary restrictions, specific postures, breathing exercises, or any other external means of attaining this state of quietness. In many ways, the demands made upon us are far more stringent than anything of that nature. In the midst of appearances of every kind of condition and every type of person, there must be a consistent recognition of the one Presence and one Power. Anyone who attempts to adhere steadfastly to such a discipline knows that it requires complete one-pointedness and dedication. To consciously withdraw power from outer effects is an achievement of no small measure.
Most persons find when they sit down to meditate that they cannot be quiet at all. The whole world pushes in upon them with tremendous force, shattering whatever calm may have been felt before, and the possibility of reaching that Center within may seem even more remote. How can this inner clamor be stilled? Some have attempted to blank out the mind by an act of will and thereby attain that inner stillness which is meditation, and many have failed. The Kingdom within cannot be taken by storm.
There is another way to attain this inner stillness, which is so simple it does not seem possible that it could be of any value. But the greatest truths are the simplest and perhaps that is why so few persons are able to accept them: they lack the requisite humility. Anyone who will give this a trial may be surprised at how quickly the mind becomes quiet and peace takes over.
This method is based upon a simple statement of the great Master, Christ Jesus: "I can of mine own self do nothing." Take that same attitude that he in his elevated state of consciousness took and realize that you of yourself can do nothing--not even meditate. Notice the immediate release from all sense of strain and from that mental effort which only keeps the mind on its merry-go-round. As you sit there, remember that you are not trying to force anything; you are not trying to make something happen. You are sitting in an attitude of receptivity, letting the Father within do the meditating, waiting for that Presence to reveal Itself. You have released the responsibility to It.
This must not be a long process--a minute or two or three at the most. But it is something that should be repeated many times a day. Most people can find an odd minute every hour to retire within in an attitude of humility and receptivity. In that minute, you have opened yourself to the Presence and Power within you. If you make this a regular practice, pausing every hour or two to let the Spirit within do the meditating and communing, you will find yourself living in the rhythm of God, and one day you will live in a continuous conscious awareness of the Presence within.
Contemplation. It will be helpful, too, to take some bit of spiritual wisdom and contemplate it for a longer period of time, perhaps as long as five minutes. When I met Joel Goldsmith in 1949, I had been meditating according to a certain procedure for seven years, and meditating successfully because the meditation did bring many benefits. At that time, however, he suggested that I go in a different direction and take for my meditation, "I and my Father are one." This I did.
At first, my meditation consisted primarily of repeating thoughtfully many times, the statement, "I and my Father are one." But each time I repeated it to myself, I waited for something further to be given me, and for some time little or nothing came. The first bit of insight was given me when I fastened my attention on the word "one," asking what "one" really meant. Then later came the question, "What is the Father?", which had to take on a new connotation if it were to have any meaning in this context. And the last word on which my attention was focused was "I."
How long did this continue? An instruction had been given me, and since it was not changed, I continued--not for a day, a week, a month, or even a year, but for two years. Yes, for two years, early in the morning and late in the evening, I contemplated the meaning of "I and my Father are one." After a month or two, I found it easy to rest back in that truth in great peace, quietness and assurance, because such an inner awareness of my oneness with the Source had already come that nothing from the outside could shatter it. With the continued contemplation of it came the conviction and the realization of that eternal relationship of oneness.
Not a Mental Process. Meditation, as taught in The Infinite Way, is not a mental process. It is true that a contemplative meditation such as, "I and my Father are one," does use the mind, but pursued to its ultimate, it takes one beyond any intellectual answer the mind can conjure up. A point is reached where the mind can go no further. Its capacities for enlightenment are exhausted, and in that moment, real silence is attained. It may be for only a second or less than a second, but that second is the moment of "unknowing," and in that unknowing, truth wells up from within, that truth that is Truth, coming with the authority and force of inner revelation.
Patience and perseverance are required as in the attaining of any skill or the perfecting of any art form. The deeper you go within, the richer will be the treasure yielded, treasure not measured in terms of gold and silver, but in terms of quickened awareness.
Meditation is like exploring a forest. With each forward step, great giant trees, young saplings, or little shoots of green breaking through the ground stretch before you. So, too, in meditation new insights into facets of the One are continually whetting the appetite and taking you ever deeper within to greater awareness.
But why make the effort and take all the time necessary to turn to that Presence within? Because the promise is, "In thy presence is fullness of life" --in the presence of That which can be found only at the Center of being: yours and mine. Let that Presence interpret what that fullness of life is, and It will do so to the extent that you adopt the listening attitude and attain an inner stillness. You do not have to outline or plan what that fullness for you is to be.
Infinity Beckons. Most persons limit their present experience to what they already know, circumscribing it by the limitations of the mind, when all the while, Infinity is knocking at the door of their consciousness with new undreamed of and unthought of experiences and wisdom. They turn a deaf ear to that knocking because their attention is riveted upon their previous experience and what they have enjoyed or missed in it, what they seek to perpetuate, recapture, or eliminate. They live in that dead past which has no real existence since all of reality is now.
How are these new facets of Infinity to be recognized when they still represent that which is unknown and undreamed of? There is a way, and that way is turning in meditation from everything the mind has ever known into the unknown Sea of Consciousness. This sense of Infinity with Its immeasurable potentialities is never reached by carrying into meditation a mind image of what a person thinks life should be, but by approaching meditation with no preconceived ideas of what should be revealed and, thereby, truly entering the silence.
Always you must approach meditation in a state of not knowing, in the complete self-surrender of "I can of mine own self do nothing," realizing that the divine Consciousness that you are knows how to meditate. You let It do the meditating and contemplating, thereby releasing this personal sense of self so that the divine Consciousness may take over.
Dedication to faithful practice may at first result in days and days of no response whatsoever, when apparently nothing is taking place. Then something happens, the flow begins--not the flow from your mind but the flow from that deeper stratum of being: Consciousness. It may come as words or as an impartation of some kind. It can come as a sense of peace, but when it comes, you know that you have found the secret of life.
It brings forth a new era, a new world hinted at in the achievements of outer space. It is not the space age, however, but the spaceless age in which time and space are surmounted in the awareness of omnipresent Being.
No Organization. Because of the essentially individual nature of this work, there is no Infinite Way organization: there are no memberships and there is nothing to which anybody can belong. To engage in this study and practice, no one is required to give up membership in anything and no one is required to join or become a part of anything. Each person can go as fast or as slowly as he chooses. He can scale the mountain in one steep ascent, or he can follow many by-paths and delay the experience for one or more lifetimes. There are no restrictions and no limitations, or, in Goldsmith's words:
Illumination dissolves all material ties and binds men together with the golden chains of spiritual understanding; it acknowledges only the leadership of the Christ; it has no ritual or rule but the divine, impersonal, universal love, no other worship than the inner Flame that is ever lit at the shrine of Spirit. This union is the free state of spiritual brotherhood. The only restraint is the discipline of Soul; therefore we know liberty without license; we are a united universe without physical limits, a divine service to God without ceremony or creed.
The illumined walk without fear--by Grace.
The Infinite Way is a restatement of the message given to the world by many great revelators, but the essence of it can be summed up in this: If you achieve a realization of God by steadfastly and persistently seeking only that, then Something greater than your personal sense of self takes over and becomes your daily experience. The experience of God eludes most persons because they seek It for something other than Itself. They seek half a basket when they could have twelve baskets full left over. But the Experience is that Grace which is a sufficiency.
The Ultimate Goal. The purpose of The Infinite Way is to bring a person into complete union with That which is invisible. That Invisible is the Fourth Dimension of life, a dimension beyond height, width and depth. Out of that higher dimension come miracles of grace--healing, renewal, regeneration and a new world in which the miracle of Love holds everyone in Its embrace.
This new world can become a universal experience only as the chains that bind men are broken. And what are these chains that hold the world in bondage? Is it some enemy to freedom in the form of a ruthless dictatorship, an ideology, economic disaster, war, or the scourge of disease? One dictatorship after another has had its day; ideologies have come and gone; depressions have come in a kind of recurring cycle, only to be followed by periods of great prosperity; peace after war has been but an uneasy truce; certain diseases have worked their havoc, and then cures for them have been found, sometimes making way for new and more deadly diseases. All these phases of human bondage have been overcome many times, only to be replaced by new forms.
And so it will continue until a new Element is introduced into human consciousness that will dissolve the lust for power, the greed and the fear which constitute human consciousness. That new Element may be called by many names: "the Presence within realized," "the Messiah foretold of old," "the Christ of whose kingdom there shall be no end." The name is not important. What It really is, is an absolute realization and conviction of one Power which knows no opposites and no opposition. With Its coming, "the former things are passed away, and, behold, all things are new."
That this new Element can be introduced into human consciousness is the vision of The Infinite Way. How it can be done is the larger, broader, wider aspect of this message and its real purpose, which was never primarily to make a few thousand persons healthier, happier or wealthier. The vision of The Infinite Way is that, through the spiritual dedication of those who embrace the deepest principles of mystical teaching and reach the heights of the mystical consciousness, human consciousness may be emancipated from itself, that the Presence hidden within may come forth in Its splendor and glory universally. The way is set forth: it needs only to be followed.