What book are you reading?
“Practicing the Presence: The Inspirational Guide to Regaining Meaning and a Sense of Purpose in Your Life by Joel S. Goldsmith.”
Tell me about it.
“This is a book by Joel Goldsmith which presents a whole new picture of God and how we as individuals on this Earth can practice the true presence of God in our lives. He outlines who God is, what God is, rather than our preconceived notions. He outlines how every individual has the presence of God with us and in us but we must come to consciousness, a state of acknowledging that and consciously practicing that presence in our life.”
Does he give techniques for doing so?
“Yes, basically, the technique is first of all to scrap all of your previous concepts that have been brought to you by family, church, synagogue — whatever. He was Jewish but never really raised in the faith of Judaism. He practiced his own faith, which came to him after what he described as a divine healing. And then he began to really delve into who God is, what it is, what it means to us as people on Earth and in the universe.
“I’ve used the truths that Goldsmith is presenting in a women’s shelter and homes for women who have been drug addicts and on the street. I’ve been presenting these ideas to them and seeing some remarkable changes in their lives. It’s quite a testimony to the power of ideas.”
Does he mention any spiritual influences on his own writing?
“He discovered it from within, and then he began to allude to both Eastern and Western faiths. He acknowledges Christ as a real historical person. He acknowledges Buddha and the Zen path as being real. Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now, has been on Oprah Winfrey recently and everything he knows seems to come from Goldsmith. He really is more of a disciple of Goldsmith and Goldsmith’s concepts of God in the universe.”
Do you have a favorite passage?
“‘God is infinite consciousness and God is our mind and our consciousness.’ In other words, he doesn’t separate us from God but God lives its life through us. In other words, we are all possessed of God. We just have to acknowledge it.”
Do you have a favorite author?
“I’m a clinical psychologist, so in that genre my favorites have always been people like Carl Jung, who was more in the mystical sphere. Jung was also very practical in that he was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Also Plato, the ancient philosophers, the early American Transcendentalists. Carl Sagan. They are tremendously fascinating to me and always have been.”
What magazines or newspapers do you read?
“Psychology Today, Scientific American, Discovery magazine.”
Do you talk to your friends about reading?
“No. That’s one of the things about Goldsmith, that everything should be kept — according to Christ’s words — everything you do, do in secret. So, this interview is a great chance to talk. But I don’t tell anybody unless I’m asked. It’s a Masonic kind of secrecy that Goldsmith advocates.”
Name: Thomas Goulder | Occupation: Clinical Psychologist
Neighborhood: Scripps Ranch | Where interviewed: San Diego airport