Recently I came across a brief text by Joel Goldsmith* which really shook me in my foundations! It also made me become aware of how we can use words to protect ourselves in many different ways. You might also wish to refer to the story on this site about my discussion on the nature of God with a modest Muslim imam of a Dakar shantytown (see

Joel writes: « Every concept of God that you have ever entertained must go. If you have believed that God is love, this must go; if you have believed that God is spirit, this must go; until one by one you have shed every concept of God that you have ever entertained and finally come to the place where you have no concepts whatsoever of God. When you reach that place where you are shorn of every concept of God, you are in the presence of the living God. Until then you are separated by that word in your mind which stands for God, whatever that word may be, because that word represents only a concept of God and that concept of God will separate you from the experience of God. » (from I Stand on Holy Ground, chapter 4, page 60)

The first time I did this exercise I suddenly felt like a ship that had broken from its moorings, I really felt a deep unease inside me, and realized how much I have invested in my favorite word to define God (Love) – almost to protect me against the unknown. In his book The Art of Spiritual Healing,  Joel explains that when he received a call for help from a patient, the first thing he did was forget the patients’ name and the nature of the disease or problem and just plunge into the silence to feel the Presence and the utter perfection that accompanies it. Again, an experience, not words.

Try this, friend. It might open up vistas on undreamed of horizons.

Pierre Pradervand

* Joel Solomon Goldsmith was an American spiritual author, teacher, spiritual healer, and modern-day mystic. He founded The Infinite Way movement.

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