Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture
by Joel Goldsmith
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"Literal interpretation of scripture has created a God in place called Heaven, often pictured as above the clouds, and likewise a God with some forward son, such as Krishna or Jesus. This has brought about the belief of separation between God and you, making the sense of duality, which is responsible for every sin, disease and discord on earth. The consciousness of the oneness of God and you restores the lost Truth of all Scripture, re-establishes health, harmony, completeness and thereby ends discord and limitation." – Joel S. Goldsmith
The essence of this book is that God is. We talk about God; we think about God; we even pray to God. As we come into the conscious realization of God, we begin to see why talking about God is useless, and why much of our thinking about God is fruitless.
God is the only reality of our being. He is our Life, our Mind and Spirit, the animating Principle, the substance and Soul of our being and yet -- how well do we know God? In our experience we are apt to be content with the intellectual acceptance of God as Mind and Soul, and we fail to grasp that our great need is to know God --- to understand the law and reality of our being.
Men generally have little confidence or peace until they have a good position, or a successful business, or perhaps some land or investments. Then they achieve a sense of security and well-being, even though it is a known fact since human history began that these possessions are temporal and not permanent. The loss of them leaves men without hope in the world or in themselves, and the fear of losing them is the reason for most of the ills of the world, which are not brought about by the struggle to gain them.
Those who find God, who attain even a small measure of understanding, have wealth that neither time nor circumstance can affect. These have no concern for their material or physical well-being, because they have found that their permanent and unchanging good, their unvariable life and substance are all included in God.
Let us not be satisfied with an abstract God, a God who we call by name and yet with whom we have no conscious relationship. If God is the only reality of our being, can we any longer delay real acquaintance with Him? To know Him aright is Life eternal. To understand Him is to know the security and peace "that passeth understanding." "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found."
God is not found in names or statements of Truth. "He is in the midst of thee" -- "He is closer than breathing" -- yea, He is not in the physical sense of life, but is found in the stillness of your being when thought is tranquil. This does not mean that we are to forsake the world, but to abstain from the noise and clamor of everyday living, so that these do not cause even a ripple on the waters of thought.
The spiritual sense of Scripture alone reveals the laws and lessons of the Bible by which we may live. This book is an introduction to that infinite theme. To live out from Soul Consciousness is to know and enjoy the beauties and joys of Life. The Science of Soul reveals the nature or spiritual healing and unfolds the activities and capacities of the Soul of the individual -- of you.
Chapter 1 - Darkness to Light
Unless God shows forth our existence, we will labor in vain to make a success of life. So we take for a starting point the first verse of the 127th Psalm: "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."
It is possible to achieve great things in life through human means. Men have become wealthy, risen to great political and military power, achieved great things with the human mind and will, but in many cases the results of human effort have not been permanent or have not given the happiness that was promised.
Unless God produce for us, the product is apt not to be lasting or satisfying. When God produces for us our work is fruitful and brings happiness and joy with it.
What is happiness? George Bernard Shaw writes: "This is true joy in life: the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. The being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap-heap; the being a force of nature instead of a little clot of illnesses complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."
In his comment of Shaw's wisdom, John Mason Brown writes: "What happiness is, no person can say for another; but no one, I am sure, can be happy who lives only for himself. The joy of living comes only from immersion in something--anything--bigger, better, more enduring, worthier than we (humans) are. People, ideas, causes--these are for the one possible escape--not merely from selfishness, but from the hungers of solitude and the sorrows of aimlessness. Don't turn your back deliberately on the procession. Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little, we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from dedicating ourselves to a purpose."
Indeed, you are here as a part of a great cause. You are that place where God shines through. There is no way for God to express Itself finitely. You are infinite. In realizing your true identity, you have no longer a selfish motive. You have nothing to get because you already have the power of that infinite One; therefore, the purpose of your unfoldment is that you may be a revelation to those who have not yet awakened to that truth. You are here as a part of that cause. Your purpose is to be the Light; to let that Light shine, that those who are not yet illumined may find in you a hope.
Through the search for Truth you know God as Mind, Spirit and Principle or Soul, but in thinking of God in this light you are apt to think of Deity as universal Mind or Life separate or apart from yourself. This is the first correction to be made in your unfoldment of Scripture. You now recognize God to be the Mind or Soul of the individual, of you and of me. God is the Life of you and of me; God is the Principle of your being. There is no Soul, Spirit, Life or Mind outside of or separate from you. There is but one Life, the life that you are living now and that Life is infinite and eternal. There is only one Soul, your Soul--"closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet."
It is only when we understand God to be our own Spirit that we can rest in the assurance that the Mind of me is always performing its infinite and individual activity. When you understand this, you do not have to direct this Mind, or petition this God which is Mind, to do your bidding. You do not have to outline what its course or procedure should be. You know that the very Mind of you is God, infinite intelligence, and you can trust it to fulfill itself.
"If God knows our need"--this thought can only come to you if you are thinking of God as something apart from yourself. The reason for emphasizing this is that until you understand that you yourself are this infinite spiritual consciousness, you will not grasp the premise of the great truth: I am the Book of Life.
It must be true that since you are infinite consciousness, you embody within yourself all that exists--you include the entire universe within your being. The Bible, the Book of experiences of men, women, and ages of history, all is contained within the infinite, individual spiritual consciousness that I am. The Bible is not a book outside of you; it is not a series of events which took place thousands of years ago. Scripture is the unfolding of characters and movements or happenings that are taking place within you--right this minute. Every Biblical experience can be found in your consciousness at some time or other. You, therefore, embody within yourself every Bible of the world, every philosophy, character and story.
There are no mortals, no human beings; you are immortal. All that exists lives within your consciousness. You will never be characters or people in ancient Scripture; you will always live your present experience. True, it will be progressive. You are always unfolding in that place where you recognize that I am "I". You are there now, but you are unfolding individually toward the recognition of that point.
I am the Bible, the Book of Life. The entire history of life is revealing itself as your consciousness. It may appear as a past, the present, or future, but it is really the Here and Now unfolding to your awareness. It portrays the qualities of your own thoughts, the activities of your consciousness.
If you are ever betrayed, it is because in your consciousness there is still some quality of thought betraying you. Every bit of error that happens to us in our experience is directly brought on by some state of consciousness of our own. Not that "right thinking" stops it nor "wrong thinking" causes it, but in individual consciousness are these latent traits and they set these events in motion.
The stories of Adam, Moses, Jesus, Paul and John are only of value to you when you discover their relationship to your life; the laws of Scripture only benefit you as you realize them to be laws unto your affairs.
From the moment that Moses realized, "I AM THAT I AM" he was master of every situation, a leader of men. He knew then that life is not a physical experience, but is expressed as states and stages of consciousness and that progress is always from the lowest to the highest, to the realization that I am eternal Life.
The Book of Exodus, in which Moses leads the Jews from the lowest state of consciousness, represents the transition from bondage, ignorance and slavery into a higher form of humanity and a greater degree of human good.
In the forty years of desert experience, we go forward and fall backward; we go up and fall down; we progress and have backslidings--but with every experience we develop more faith, hope and courage.
The journey is in reality one from sense to Soul and all the events of the desert tour and detour, will eventually bring us into spiritual revelation.
There are three states of consciousness which you will meet in the Bible. First is the Egyptian darkness.
Egypt signifies the darkness of ignorance, obscurity. (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary of Unity.)
This is where you find the Hebrews when they are slaves under Pharaoh. They are in a state of total ignorance of spiritual truth. They are without cultural or educational enlightenment; economically poverty stricken; in every manner hopeless and without even material good.
In this Egyptian darkness there is bondage to physical sense, to bodily pains and bodily pleasures. There is the belief of power in material forms of supply and a slavery to matter as supply.
This may all be likened to your own state of consciousness before you received the first glimpse of Truth. You, too, are then in Egyptian darkness, spiritual ignorance and poverty, the darkness of your own consciousness before the advent of Moses in your thought. Moses is that state of thought in you which leads you out of the depths of utter lack to a higher and freer sense of good.
Into the darkened sense comes this first ray of Light with its Promise of a Land of Milk and Honey--a promise of abundance and joy.
Whatever it is that first brings us this Promise, it is our Moses--the Moses of the Bible or Book of Life which I am. As you follow that new Leader, the higher thought that has entered your consciousness, you are led into greater supply, better health, freer living. Every human circumstance is improved. The entire advance, however, is along the line of human betterment.
This period in your experience is the first introduction to Truth or metaphysics. The promise given you is better health or more wealth--and this, in most instances, is fulfilled.
However, it makes no difference how much material health or wealth you achieve--there is an end to it. There is no permanence to physical health or wealth.
As in the Hebrew's desert experience of going forward and backward, out of slavery into freedom and often back into slavery, so in your desert experience, there is health and sickness, abundance and lack. The only permanence of health, harmony, peace and prosperity is in spiritual enlightenment.
The spiritually enlightened are never poor, never dead--because the temporal and finite sense of life has given way to the permanent and real.
The second state of consciousness is human good--human betterment--human freedoms. This in turn is outgrown as the third state of consciousness is achieved, that which is called The Promised Land, the Kingdom of God or Christ consciousness.
You come into this spiritual realm as you lose faith and dependency on things in the external, and as you lose hate and fear of persons and conditions.
During the Exodus, the journey from darkness to Light, you have the law as your guide, protection and supply.
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