Over the weekend, I attended the first meeting of my latest book group. We are still reading Joel S. Goldsmith. This time we have chosen “The Thunder of Silence” and “Class Lessons.” I wasn’t really prepared for the first meeting. I didn’t order “Class Lessons” on time and I didn’t re-read the beginning chapters of “The Thunder of Silence.” I was even doubting whether the time was right for me to participate in this group. It had crossed my mind to sit this one out. We were supposed to have our first meeting 2 weeks ago but there was a mix up in the days and times and it ended up getting postponed. I was unable to attend on the 10th so we rescheduled for the 17th. I always say that everything happens for a reason and by the time the 17th arrived not only did I no longer have doubts about the group but I was in need of it.
Joel S. Goldsmith’s primary teaching is to put your focus on God and all you need will be provided. In the group we talked about the I, the little self, and how all problems stem from an emphasis on that I. If we can look beyond the I to the reality of our being we will no longer suffer. Many people look at the world and it’s suffering and blame it on God. Some become God-fearing individuals and set up stringent guidelines for how they should live their lives to avoid suffering. When they are faced with hardships and struggles they assume it is punishment for their sins. They decide that all of us – even the best of us – are miserable sinners. It is the only explanation for why God would let the world be as it is. For others, they simply take God out of the equation. One of the group members said he’d been thinking about this for a while. Why does God let us suffer? The answer that came to him was that God doesn’t let us suffer, in fact God lifts us out of our suffering. If an individual has truly comprehended and taken into their being our oneness with God those to the left and to the right of him may drop and he will still be standing.
I have come to intellectually understand the idea of Maya (illusion). I recognize and witness when I am sucked into the hypnotism. When I let the opinions of other people direct my progress, I am submitting to the illusion. When I anxiously analyze how I will achieve goals, I am trapped in the belief of the little I and it’s big ego. I believe that seeking solitude and silence is vital in meeting with God. I believe that the richest form of prayer is to simply listen for God’s direction. I also believe that divine guidance is persistent and doesn’t always follow society’s rules. I strive each day to refrain from judging for this reason. Everyone has their role in the drama. And the drama will only conclude when all of us release our belief in Maya and truly accept the divinity within.