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Neville Goddard 7-14-1969
Tonight’s subject is Imagination. You read in the 17th chapter of the book of Acts,
a story of Paul coming through to the Athenians, and he calls upon these men, for
he saw the inscription over and over. He said: “As I passed by…I saw [an altar
with] this inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ This therefore that you worship as
unknown, [this] I proclaim unto you.”
“He is not far from each of us, for in him we
live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:23, 27, 28)
The great Blake said it differently. This is what Blake said: “All that you behold;
though it appears without, it is within, in your Imagination, of which this World of
Mortality is but a Shadow.” (“Jerusalem”)
Then he said: “Babel mocks…” We are
all familiar with what Babel represents: the confusion of tongues, no two believing
in the same god. Not yet speaking different languages but speaking one tongue,
they have different concepts of the creative power of the universe. And so he said:
Babel mocks saying, there is no God, nor Son of God
That thou O Human Imagination, O Divine Body art all
A delusion, but I know thee O Lord...
He equates God and his son with the human Imagination. To him and to the
speaker, Divine Imagination is identical with the word “Jesus.” So, when I think of
Jesus I do not see a being outside of my own wonderful human Imagination. Are
we not told in Scripture: “With God all things are possible”? (Matthew 19:26 and
Mark 10:27) We are also told in Scripture: “All things are possible to him who
believes.” (Mark 9:23) That is Scripture, now.
The power of believing is God himself.
So, God in man is man’s own wonderful
human Imagination. It’s difficult for man to make the adjustment, having been
trained to turn on the outside to some god that he worships. We go to church and
the mind turns outward to some god, and he paints a word picture of someone
before whom we must bend our knee and cross ourselves. But that’s not what
Scripture really teaches. Scripture teaches that the power that creates the entire
universe is not without man, but within man, as man’s own wonderful human
Imagination. That is the creative power of the world. All things exist in the human
Imagination, so if the word “God” would turn you out, try to make the adjustment
within yourself and begin to believe that the God of Christendom, the Lord Jesus
of Christendom, is your own Imagination.
If all things are possible to God, and
God is your Imagination, then it should be possible for you.
Now, I ask the question. I think I have told it simply enough how you can test it,
how you can enter into a state. I think I have told it to the satisfaction of most
people that we are the operant power. To hear it, to recite it, commit it to memory,
is not enough. We have to apply it, for we are the operant power.
A few days before I closed in Los Angeles, I retired quite early, maybe 9:30 or
10:00 o’clock and I communed with myself. To whom would I turn? “So,” I said
to myself, “I have said everything that I have heard from within myself, everything
that I have experienced concerning the Law, I have told. I have told what I have
experienced concerning the Promise. Could I tell them something more about the
Law that would make it a little bit more simple? What can I say that I haven’t
So, I asked the depth of my own being to show me, to show me exactly
what I could say that I haven’t said. Well, in the wee hours of the morning, a little
after 4:00 o’clock, as I was coming through from the depths of my own being, here
is the experience: I am on a spacecraft headed for the moon. Now, it is all in one’s
Imagination, for the dreamer is one’s Imagination. That is the cause of all. Now,
first of all, let me say that everything in this world contains within itself the
capacity for symbolic significance. So, the moon has within itself the capacity for
some symbolic significance. I am headed for the moon.
Now, you have heard the expression time and time again: “Oh, he is reaching for
the moon.” It could be an ambition based upon your social desire. You want to
transcend the limitation of your world where you were born. Or it could be some
financial ambition, and friends who know your limitations will say of you: “He is
reaching for the moon.” Or it could be some tyrant trying to conquer the earth. We
have had a Hitler, a Stalin, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon. All these were
reaching to conquer the earth, reaching for the moon. Now we are actually on the
verge of stepping on the moon, and so we will hit this object in space.
But forget that part of it. I am asking for light so that I can throw some light upon
the Law, how to realize my objective in this world in a more simple way than I
have so far succeeded in telling it, and this is the vision: I am on this craft and I am
headed for the moon. There are others on the craft with me. Instead of landing on
the moon, I went into the moon through a very, very large tunnel – a tunnel wider
than the depth of this room. The object is dead, dead as dead can be.
I say to someone on the craft: “May I get off?” and he said: “Certainly.” I stepped off onto
this dead body in space, the moon. There were little objects for sale, objects made
on earth and placed on the moon to sell to tourists. They were cheap, cheap beyond
measure, made of clay: little cups, little saucers, little plates, little ornaments but
the cheapest of cheap! You can’t conceive anything cheaper in appearance and in
There they were, made on earth to sell on the moon, just like some
sideshow at a carnival. I picked them up, examined them, and thought: “Here, a
quarter of a million miles away, man made these things, put them on the
moon to sell to tourists.” What was the significance of the vision? All of man’s
ambitions are like clay. They will all turn to dust.
A man died here the other day in Texas. He started out as a poor boy and left an
estate of five hundred million dollars, but he left the estate. He had reached the
nice, ripe age of seventy-five, but he left every penny behind him. And those who
now have billions, they will leave every penny behind them, just as though it is
made of dust.
Nevertheless, I asked the question of myself and the depth of my
own being answered: so what is the significance of the dream? Tell man, not that
he shouldn’t have what he wants, certainly he should have it; it is going to be
dropped anyway, but he can get it. So, what other point was driven home to me?
This is the point: instead of landing on the moon, I went into the moon.
Blake makes the statement, “If the spectator could enter into the images in his
Imagination, approach them on the fiery chariot of his contemplative thought, if he
could make a friend and companion of any one of these images in his Imagination”
well, he emphasized “enter into the image,” not to contemplate it as something on
the outside. I contemplate now New York City. I am seeing it from San Francisco.
If my desire this night is to be in New York City, I say I can’t afford the time, or
maybe I can’t afford it because of lack of funds, or maybe my commitments will
tie me here ?I don’t know, yet my desire is to be in New York City.
I must, if I
would realize it in spite of the limitations that now surround me (money, lack of
time, obligations, call it what you will, I still want to be in New York City. I must
enter into the image that is now something on the surface of the mind 'out there,'
3,000 miles away. Standing here, I must shut out the belief that I am in San
Knowing New York City quite well, I would assume I am standing in a most
familiar part of New York City and let it surround me. I must be in it, and then
think of San Francisco. I must now see it 3,000 miles to the west of me, as I now
see New York City 3,000 miles to the east of me. If I go into that state and dwell in
it and make it natural, though I remain in it only for a little while, a minute or so,
then I open my eyes, 'I am shocked' to find that I am still here. I came back here. I
have done it. I have entered into the state of my desire and I will move across a
bridge of incidents, a series of events that will lead me and compel me to take a
journey to New York City.
Now, this I have used only as a spatial example. You can take it in a financial
sense, take it in the social world; take it in any way whatsoever. That is what came
to me a few days before I closed. For if I could find something more simple to tell
them than I think I have told them, this would be it:
To enter into the state and not
simply think of the state.
Thinking from it differs from thinking of it. I must learn
to think from it.
A man who this night came into a million dollars, from that
moment that man is made aware that he has a million, when prior to that he had
nothing. He is thinking from the consciousness of having a million dollars. He is
not thinking of it; he is walking in the consciousness of having a million dollars.
He’s not hoping for it, wishing for it; he is actually in it. That is what the vision
revealed to me.
Even though at the end of my journey I will leave my things behind me and they
will all be as though they were made of clay – all cheaply made, at that, every
man, not knowing this ?in fact, how many know it or care to know it? They still
want to realize their earthly dreams, and I am all for it; I teach it. But I cannot
change the Promise. The Promise is fixed. That is something that will come to
every being in this world, for it has been predetermined. But when we are here in
this world of Caesar, I can cushion the blows, the inevitable blows, by learning
the technique of Law and how to apply it, how to use it.
Now, the thing I quoted earlier, Blake said in this quote from “Jerusalem”:
“Although I behold Thee not…” Well, here it’s perfectly true; I do not observe
imagining as I do objects. Imagining is the reality that we name this power called
God. So I don’t observe imagining; I observe objects, but I don’t observe the
power in them. That’s the greatest secret in the world.
The secret of imagining is the secret of God. Anyone who finds it finds supreme
power, supreme wisdom, supreme delight. Every one should aspire after this secret
and try to unravel it, for whatever you find about your own wonderful human
Imagination, you are finding about God for your Imagination and God are one and
the same. There is no other God. You imagined yourself into this world, and you’ll
imagine yourself out of it.
You came into the world for a purpose, and when the purpose is fulfilled you will
detach yourself from it and return to the being that you were prior to your descent
into this world. “Man is all Imagination and God is Man and Exists in us and we
in Him. The Eternal Body of Man is the Imagination and that is God Himself.”
Now, I am not saying it is the easiest thing in the world for you to accept this. It
will come to those who have never heard it before as blasphemy. It will come as a
shock, an awful shock, when man who is trained to believe in an external God to
whom he bows, to whom he prays then to discover that He is not on the outside at
As we are told in Scripture: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and the Spirit of God dwells in you,” and God is spirit. (I Corinthians 3:16) Well,
if God is spirit, and his spirit dwells in you, you can’t divide it into different kinds
of spirit. God is spirit and his spirit dwells in me. Now, if his spirit dwells in me, I
try to find out what that spirit is in me that I can call by another name that is more
intimate. Well, I have found it and the spirit of God, which is God himself in me,
is my Imagination. And if all things are possible to God and if I can but believe
that they are possible to me, well then it’s entirely up to me to find out how to
I imagine, as do you. We cannot imagine differently. All difference lies in content.
So, [my] response to the eternal question: “Who am I?” will determine the
circumstances of my life. Who am I? Am I the little one that was born on a tiny
little unknown island with no social, intellectual, financial background? Must I
accept the limitations of birth? Well most people do. But have I read Scripture?
Did I read the words that I am the temple of the living God, and the spirit of that
God dwells in me and all things are possible to that God? Well, I should not allow
anything to interfere with my discovery of that spirit in me that is called the “Spirit
of God,” for if all things are possible to him and he dwells in me, I must make
every effort to locate him.
Well, I have located him, and he is my Imagination and
I do not differ from any person born of woman. The Imagination in every one is
God. But if they have been trained to believe [in] their little beings and my own
tiny little Imagination, people will say: “Oh, that’s just his imagination.”
We are going to the moon. A man imagined it a hundred years ago, Jules Verne. He
even imagined the nation that would do it. He said the Yankee know-how, their
engineers will contrive the means to get there first. He wrote that 100 years ago,
and no matter how others try, we will get there first. We are on the verge of it, but
he had to imagine it first.
What is now true was once only imagined. We are in a room. It seems
so real. Well, this was once only imagined. You are wearing dresses, you are
wearing all kinds of things, but they had to be imagined first. You go to a tailor or
your dressmaker and you pick out the material that you like. It’s just a plain piece
of cloth. Then you tell your dressmaker or I tell my tailor what kind of a suit I
want. So I allow him with his know-how, to take my vision of the kind of a suit
that I want. Having picked out the material, he executes it. Now what is then
proven when I put it on was first only imagined?
A man imagines a desire, say for wealth. When he becomes wealthy he may forget the means by which it came
about and think all the external forces that were used to bring it to pass are the
causes. They had to play the part that they played because he imagined what he
So, I don’t differ in the act of imagining from you or any being in the world. The
only difference will have to lie in the content of my imagining. What am I
imaging? If I imagine something little and feel sorry for myself ?all right, life will
prove that I had every reason in the world to feel sorry for myself, because the
blows will come to me. And I will turn to the one who gave the blows and blame
him or blame them, when the blame (if any) is in myself; for had I not imagined
what I have imagined, I could not encounter the conditions that I encountered. This
is the Law of Scripture.
We are told: Don’t fool yourselves. “Be not deceived. God is not mocked.” God is
your imagination; he’s not mocked. “As a man sows, so shall he reap.” (Galatians
6:7) Well, what am I sowing? I am sowing everything that I am imagining. That is
what I am sowing, for the only thing I can 'sow' is what I imagine. So, will I now
change from an external god to the internal God and find him in myself as my own
wonderful human Imagination?
Let Babel rant and say there is no God. Let Babel
say there is no Son of God. Then comes that wonderful statement of the prophet,
who sees that: “You, O Human Imagination, Divine Body called my Human
Imagination, the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ, buried in me.”
And were he not buried in me I couldn’t even breathe, I couldn’t think. But one day he will rise in
me and as he rises in me, I am. I am he now, but do not know it. When he rises in
me I know it then because I rise, not “he” rises. He has become me to the point
that we aren’t two; we are one.
So, he suffers us.
I say: “I am in pain.” Well, his name is “I Am.” That is my
I don’t say: “My body is weeping,” I say: “I am weeping.”
say: “My body is tired,” I say: “I am tired.”
So, is not Blake right when he says:
“Thou sufferest with me”? Though I do not behold…I can’t quite see you as
something external. I could not in eternity see myself as something external. I
must see it only by reflection and the world undevoutly reflects what I am doing
within myself. The day will come I will actually see myself, but not as something
external to myself. I will know myself only by reason of the son who stands before
me and calls me, “Father.”
Then I am looking right into the face of the Son of God,
and he will call me “Father.” Then, and only then, will I know who I Am.
Everyone will have that experience. One day you will actually see the Son of God,
and this relationship is something so deep and so profound there is no uncertainty
whatsoever in you when you are confronted. He stands before you, and you see
him and you know he is your son and he knows you are his father and there is no
uncertainty whatsoever. Only then do you know who you are, that you are God the
Everyone, one day, will have that experience, everyone. I am speaking
from experience. I am not theorizing. I am not speculating, but until that day
comes let us discover God within ourselves as our own wonderful human
Imagination and then test it. “For all things are possible to God; and all things are
possible to him that believes.” (Mark 9:23)
Well, I can believe but have I made all things come to pass? It can only be my lack
of belief if that statement is true. So how then to believe when reason denies it,
when my senses deny it?
So reason cannot be the God of whom I speak, for reason
will deny it. Doubt cannot be the God of whom I speak for doubt is called in
Scripture the devil, 'the demon' and he finds rest only in the human Imagination,
the Imagination that will entertain him that’s where he went.
If I will have no room in my Imagination for doubt then I am on the road to learning the art of
believing. How to believe when reason denies it, when my senses deny it? Well,
entering into the image is the most delightful thing in the world. You can try it
tonight when we go into the silence. Try it in the simplest little way: putting
yourself elsewhere by making 'elsewhere' here, making “there” here and “then”
now. And you can do it. It’s not difficult if you’ll try it.
Let me repeat: we are the operant power. Knowing it is one thing and doing it is
another and the minute you try it, you can do it.
Well then, wait. The minute you
do it and open your eyes, in the twinkle of an eye you’re back here and you will
say to yourself, “I didn’t do anything; I just did a simple little thing in my
Imagination. How on earth could that produce the result when I’ve just assumed
that I’ve done it?” Well, wait and see if a little bridge of incidents does not quickly
appear, compelling you to walk across that bridge of incidents towards the
fulfillment of what you have done. It works that way and after you have proven it,
the whole world can rise in opposition and it makes no difference to you, you’ve
done it. After you’ve done it, you keep on doing it and become all the more rooted
in who God really is and you’ll walk with your head up, walk as you ought to
walk as one in whom God dwells.
There’s no place in the world more holy than where you are. For wherever you are
God is there. There’s no church built with human hands comparable to the temple
of God and “ye are the Temple of the Living God and the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (I
Corinthians 3:16) What temple in this world made with human hands could
compare to this temple when no hand could make it? It comes into the world and
it’s a temple of the Living God.
But again, if this is the first time you’ve heard a thought of this nature, if it’s the
first time you’ve been exposed to it, I am not telling you it is not a shock and it’s
not difficult to accept. It isn’t difficult to grasp, but difficult to accept after the
training most of us here have had. I know I had it. I was raised in a very wonderful
Christian orthodox home, where Sunday school was in order not once a week,
but twice a week, grace at the table, Mother reading Scripture to us and interpreting
Scripture based upon her concept, which was a secular concept.
To her the Bible was secular history, things that actually happened in her world. She didn’t realize
that she, as the whole vast world was mistaking personification for persons and
the vehicle that conveys the instruction for the instruction itself and the gross
perspective for the ultimate sense intended. But Mother was raised that way and
she made her exit from this world in that belief.
So, when I was exposed to this at
the age of twenty or twenty-two, I must confess I couldn’t sleep. It was so
completely different that it turned me inside out. I wondered if I’d done the wrong
thing to visit this friend. I wondered what on earth have I done? I felt I was a
sinful being even to entertain the thought. I had to wrestle with myself and finally,
when I put it to the test and it proved itself in performance then I knew that I’d
But you can’t find him and not share it with others, as told in Scripture:
So Philip found him and he goes and he shares it with Nathaniel. Andrew found
him and he goes and shares it with his brother, Peter. Peter didn’t find him; his
brother found him and then shared it. (See John 1:40-46) So here, we find and we
share it. I have found him. All I can do is share him, in the hope that you will
I know this much: if you believe to the point of acceptance, life will be marvelous
for you, perfectly wonderful for this is the one secret in the world that everyone
should aspire to solve, for God is that pure imaging in ourselves. He underlies all
of our faculties including our perception, but he streams into our surface mind
least disguised in the form of productive fantasy. I sit here and have a daydream.
Well, that’s God in action, but then someone breaks it and I forget it. I didn’t
occupy it; I simply had a daydream but without occupancy. That’s one of the
greatest fallacies of the world, 'perpetual construction'. It’s a daydream, deferred
occupancy. I don’t occupy it, I don’t go in and possess it and make it mine. If I, in
my Imagination, could go right in and possess it and make it mine...If I, in my
Imagination, could go right in and possess it and clothe myself with the feeling of
the wish fulfilled, actually clothe myself with it by assuming that it’s done now,
until I feel natural in that assumption and that assumption though at the moment
denied by my senses, if persisted in will harden into fact. [a statement made by
Anthony Eden at the Guild Hall when he was Prime Minister of England]. So, this
is our great secret concerning imagining.
If you doubt it tonight, I would only ask you not to deny it to the point of not trying
it, but hold it in abeyance and try it now. Just try it, even if you want to disprove it.
I tell you, you will not disprove it. You will in the attempt to disprove it, prove it.
And then slowly you will come to completely accept it and then you will walk in
the company of God.
You won’t have to wait for Sunday morning to meet him in a
church or any time of day. No matter where you are, you could be standing in a
bar enjoying a drink, having fun at a dance and you are in the company of God. It
makes no difference where you are once you know God and God is your own
wonderful human Imagination and you’ll become extremely discriminating
because you’ll know you can’t entertain these ideas with complete acceptance of
them and not reap them in your world.
And who wants to reap the tears forever?
So, you become ever more discriminating. Don’t think for one second that you’ll
live a loose life. No. You’ll become a far more wonderful person in the world. You
hear a piece of gossip, it doesn’t interest you.
Today in the morning paper, many people turned right away to the gossip
columnist and wondered who is living with whom and they love it. They don’t
know the people and they will go right out and repeat what this person is paid to
print, because it is like almost peeking through the keyhole of someone else’s door.
He can’t maintain that job. He’s paid to be a gossip hound and people read it.
Others read only the obituaries to see who’s dead. You will not read those pages.
You will simply suddenly dwell upon the noble things. Not only for yourself will
you do it, your circle will widen. You will. You will think of a friend and if he is
distressed, you represent him to yourself as you would like him to be. If he’s
unemployed, you represent him to yourself as gainfully employed. If he is earning
less than what it really takes to live well in this world with his obligations, you
represent him to yourself as living well and earning a decent living and assuming
full responsibility of his job and you push him in your mind’s eye.
So you widen your circle. It’s sort of self perpetuating; you take in all because, eventually, “all
that you behold, tho it appears Without it is Within, In your Imagination of which
this World of Mortality is but a Shadow.” (Blake, “Jerusalem”)
So, you can’t exclude anyone. If you exclude one, it’s your own failure. But you
don’t sit down and work with that one to make it so. You simply assume that it is
so. You plant it as lightly as you would if you sowed a field. You don’t go out and
trample it, you sow the field and it comes up.
Well, this is what I mean by 'Imagination.' I identify my own wonderful human
Imagination, when I say ' I,' I am speaking of all for everyone imagines, so I
identify our Imagination with God. That to me is the Lord Jesus. He is buried in us
and one day he will rise in us, not as something external to ourselves but he will
rise in us as us, after we’ve gone through the furnaces of experience in this world
Now there’s no room for a final death with Christ in man, for Christ resurrects.
You say good-bye to a friend who has gone through the gate we call 'death,' but he
cannot die. Nothing dies in this world for God is the God of the living. But
nothing dies, because the immortal you cannot die and the immortal you is far
more real than the garment of flesh and blood that it wears in the world of Caesar.
This is the limit of contraction for a purpose, but when this is burned in the furnace
(cremated) you, the occupant, are not burned in the furnace. You are restored,
clothed as you are now only the body is young, not a baby, a young body about
I encounter them all the time and they are young, though when I said
good-bye through the gate of 'death,' they were seventy or eighty, my father,
eighty-five when he said good-bye, my mother, sixty-one. I met them in their
twenties. I am much, much older. I am. I meet them, and they grow. They grow
there too; they don’t remain twenty. You grow there and you are just as afraid as
you are here; and you marry there too and strive there too and die there too, to
find yourself restored once more.
And the journey continues until you resurrect.
Resurrection is a departure from this age into that age called “the Kingdom of
Heaven,” but only when he in you resurrects as you, will you leave this world of
Caesar. But while you are in it, why not learn his law because the blows are
inevitable. Learn the law, that you may cushion the blows.
So, when I know what I
want to cushion the problems of the moment, then I will apply it and
apply this principle towards anything in my world. And the principle is this: First,
you start with desire. Who is desiring? Well, I Am. Well, who is “I Am”? That’s
God. “That is my name forever and forever,” as we are told in the book of Exodus.
“Go tell them I Am has sent you. This is my name for all generations, forever and
forever.” (Exodus 3:15) Therefore, who is feeling? I Am. Well, that’s God! Who is
desiring? I Am. Well, that’s God and “all things are possible to him.” (Mark 9:23).
All right, start right there.
Could I continue desiring if I had it? No I couldn’t. If I wanted this room to lecture
in when I came here and then I got confirmation from the management that I am
allowed to speak in the Marines’ Memorial for ten days and the dates are set,
could I write him a second letter pleading with him? Could I in any way hope after
I had realized it? No, I simply walk in the assumption that I have it. So, when I
requested that I have this room for 10 talks, it was granted and from then on I had
no more desire for it. The desire was realized.
I had to wait the normal time, the
interval of a month, well it was a month ago that I accepted it. Then I came a
month later to fulfill it. Well, the same thing is true in all that you do in this world.
You simply dare to assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled until it seems natural,
until it takes on the tones of reality and when it does, it’s done.
And now, trust God. Well, who is God? Your own wonderful human Imagination! Did you
imagine it? Well, that’s God! Now trust him. Don’t turn to any outside power.
The church has just demoted something like a hundred saints, after making
fortunes selling little pictures of them. I wonder how many still wear St. Nicholas?
They treated him as a saint. It’s like treating Santa Claus as a saint. And all these
saints – the saint of the road, to protect you against an accident, now they say he
never lived. If he never lived why did they ever start it and yet, hundreds of
years ago they started this nonsense, so unnumbered millions of these little icons,
little medals. Down south our Cardinal admitted that tens of thousands of these
little medals, he had put his seal of approval, the Seal of the Cardinal, on the
reverse side of that little medal. When they asked him: “Well, now do you regret
it?” he said: “No, it was acceptable then and I did it in good faith.” But whoever
started that nonsense started it for a commercial reason and they made
unnumbered millions, hundreds of millions in selling them to the many. And what
number of millions of people wore them and are still wearing them – and he never
existed! They mount them on the front of their car, on their little trucks, on their
bikes and now to discover at this late date…
I’ve gone out with these friends of mine to greet three fellows who came back from
the war. One was a marine; he lost one foot and the arm was completely smashed,
one arm. His brother was going into the priesthood and he came back deaf; he was
in the army. Another was in the army; he came back with TB. And their mother
told me in all innocence and they went along with the mother. “Were it not for St.
Christopher they would not have returned.” She really believed it, and they
believe it and one was three years going for the priesthood when the war broke
and he thought it better to serve his country than to become a priest. Then
when he came out he gave up completely and got married and has a nice little
family. But he believed it and they believed it and the father and the mother
They entertained me very well, but they knew that I was not safe because I was a
Protestant. “Christian” meant nothing to them because you either are a Roman
Catholic or you are not a Christian. So, I said to my wife, “What will they think
when they find out that I am not a Roman Catholic?” She said, “It doesn’t really
matter. They love me dearly and I am not one. They know you can’t be saved
anyway, so what?” So, we all go and have fun. My wife was very, very honest
about it for the simple reason her father was that family’s closest friend.
And these came back, one with a foot missing, a crushed shoulder. Well, I was in
the army too, not as long as these fellows were, but I didn’t come back
fragmented. I used this principle to get out of the army and I got out honorably
discharged. I didn’t run away. The very one who said “No” to my request was the
very Colonel who called me nine days after I began to apply this principle. I did it
quite simply. I made up my mind that I wanted to get out of the army and then I
thought, if I were out, where would I be? Well, I wouldn’t be here picking up pots
and doing all these things in the army and being trained. I would be a civilian in
New York City in my own apartment with my little girl and my wife.
My son was a Marine and he was already in Guadalcanal. He volunteered with my consent for
he wasn’t more than seventeen when I gave my permission for him to join the
But having tasted the army life, I wanted no part of it. I was thirty-eight.
So, I simply assumed I was a civilian living in New York City with my wife and
my little girl, who was only a few months old and the same Colonel who had
disapproved my application called me in and said: “Goddard, you still want to get
out of the army?” I said: “Yes, sir.” And he asked a thousand questions and to each
I said: “Yes, sir.” Then he said, “All right, bring me in a new application,” and that
day I was honorably discharged and on a train headed for the fulfillment of my
I simply knew what I wanted; I didn’t ask any one’s permission. I went to sleep in
the barracks with all the boys all around. I didn’t tell them what I was doing. As far
as they were concerned I was sleeping on that cot. As far as I was concerned I was
sleeping in New York City. I went to bed physically on a cot, but in my
Imagination in my own bed in New York City. When I thought of Camp Polk,
Louisiana it was way down south and I am up here in New York City. And, then
the same man who disapproved was the one who actually granted me
I am speaking from experience; I am not theorizing. I didn’t hurt any one. No one
was hurt by my application of God’s Law. Are we not told: “Whatever you desire,
believe that you have received it, and you will?” You will read that in the 11th
chapter of the book of Mark: “Whatever you desire….” He didn’t say, if it’s good
for you. He leaves us entirely to make our decision. He actually acquaints us with
the law, and leaves us to our decision. So, I was left to my decision. I wanted to get
out. The Colonel could tell me nothing to persuade me to change my opinion. If he
had said, “No,” that was final, I couldn’t appeal to some higher echelon.
I could take it only to my commanding officer. Well, he was my commanding officer, and
he disapproved it. Well, I came back, I had the paper in my hand, “Disapproved.” I
went to bed, without his permission, and slept in New York City. I went to bed
without anyone in the barracks knowing what I was doing. They saw a man called
Neville Goddard sleeping in that bunk but they didn’t know I wasn’t there, for
where could I be save in Imagination? If I am not sleeping here in Imagination, I
am not here.
You see the garment that I am wearing, but you would have to find
out where I am in Imagination to actually know where I am. You can see the
garment, but is the garment the man? I was sleeping in Imagination which is God
and “all things are possible to him.” Well then, “He” changed the Colonel’s
decision. He changed his mind. Who is “He”? My Imagination.
God is one. There aren’t a million little gods running around. There is only one
God. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” [Deuteronomy 6:4]
Don’t look for a second god; there aren’t any second gods. And that one God
became humanity and in man that one God is man’s own wonderful human
Imagination: that one God. So it’s the 'one' made up of 'others' and that is exactly
what the word Elohim means. The word translated 'God' in Scripture is Elohim
and Elohim is a compound unity. It’s a plural word, one made up of others. We are
the 'others' and all collectively make the one Lord, which is called 'I Am.' Well,
don’t you know that you are, and don’t you say: “I am”? That’s God. And can’t you
imagine? Well, imaging is God in action.
So, what are you imaging? You determine that. For, as I said earlier, I imagine, as do you. We cannot imagine
differently. All differences lie in content. What is my response to the eternal
question, “Who am I?” That response determines the conditions of my life.
Am I a little unknown being, struggling for a dollar to pay rent, to buy food? Well,
all right, that’s what will happen to me. And there’s no being on the outside to
change it! I’ve got to bring about the change within myself. I can borrow money
and beg for money and if I remain in that little concept of myself, I will be unable
to pay back and will always have to keep looking for someone else to borrow from
while I remain in the consciousness of being a little unwanted non-entity.
Let me remain at that moment just what I am and change it now, begin to change
my response to the question, “Who am I?” And if God dwells in me I ought to be
important, not against some one else in the world. That doesn’t make any
difference to me what they are. Grant them exactly what they want. If they want
riches, let them. What does it matter? If they want to be in the social world at the
very top, let them be. No envy whatsoever! If they want to be important in the eyes
of the world, let them be important. You have different values. You are in union
with God and God is within you and what better companion could you have in
this world than to walk in the company of God, walk with him not only on
Sunday morning, but every day of the week, knowing who he is?
So, we have to make the decision. “Choose this day whom you will serve.” [Joshua
24:15] Will I serve a false god or will I serve the one and only living God? And
that one and only living God is your Imagination – my Imagination – and that is
the immortal man that cannot die.
Now let us go into the silence.
When you completely accept this, you will discover you need no
intermediary between yourself and God – none! He became you, that you may
Now, are there any questions, please?
Neville: I would not say that every dream needs an interpretation. Most of them do,
for the universal language, regardless of what tongue you use to express
yourself…there is a universal language, and that is the language of symbolism.
Unfortunately, we are all past masters at misinterpretation, but there is a language
that is a universal language of symbolism. So, I say, everything in this world
contains within itself the capacity for symbolic significance.
So, in my vision of the moon I asked for light concerning the law [how] I could tell those that I am
trying to teach, a more simple way to realize their objective in this world. And then
that night came the vision. It was a very simple presentation, for here the moon is
something that man aspires to reach. Long before we entertained the thought
seriously of reaching the moon, we used it as an expression, “He is reaching for the
moon.” And you would say about someone who has no background to even aspire:
Why he is crazy! Here is this man without any educational background, and he
hopes one day to leave his imprint in the world concerning that which only an
educated man can do. Well, they say, “He is reaching for the moon.” So, the moon
is only a symbol of anyone’s desire.
[The same man continued his question.]
Neville: I find myself intuitive enough to interpret the dream of another. I asked
down south (I haven’t the time here ?it would take more time than I am allotted
here for two weeks) but down south they write me letters asking me to explain a
dream, which they find difficult to interpret for themselves. And as they grow (and
we outgrow in this world) they turn to me for the interpretation of a dream that
seems to have no meaning. But every dream has meaning. As we are told in the
12th chapter of the book of Numbers: “God makes himself known unto man in a
vision and speaks to him in a dream.” (v. 6) Well, if God is my Imagination, and all
dreams proceed from my Imagination (that is, my dreams and your dreams)
therefore, I must learn the language that it is using to convey to my surface mind
this message. So, I cannot discount the simplest dream. It may be produced by
some undigested piece of beef, but I don’t look upon a dream as the result of any
undigested piece of beef. I look upon the dream as my own being – the depth of
my being – attempting to reveal something to me in the language of dreams. When
it comes to vision, that is something entirely different. This is vision. A vision is
just like this, real beyond measure.
Question: As regards symbolism, I came across a book that contradicted the whole
idea. In other words, this mysticism . . . they say to deny yourself and all images,
and leave yourself open and empty to God, and that this is the only way you can
have a mystical union.
Neville: First of all, I would not accept that, and I would not say that any person’s
individual approach is the only way. So, any man who writes a book (and may I tell
you, ninety-nine per cent of the books written are a waste of paper) but because a
thing is printed, the other person, because he sees it in print, thinks he must be a
wise person. “Look, he has a book,” but it is sheer nonsense from beginning to end.
[The man continued with his question]: It was not just one person; it was several
who called themselves, “The Friends of God.” I don’t know whether you have
Neville: Well, for instance, today we have enormous groups of people calling
themselves by other names. We just had a huge, big one in New York City where
the Yankee Stadium couldn’t hold the crowd, and Yankee Stadium can take care of
75,000-odd people in the stands alone. But they were allowed to come down on the
grass. Well, if the stands can take care of 70-odd thousand and the field certainly
[holds] many, many more ?they estimated they had about 300,000. They called
themselves by a very wonderful name in Scripture, and ask any one of the 300,000
who were there to get up and testify from experience about their name. They called
themselves “Witnesses.” Well, if you are a witness, witness to what? Have you
witnessed the birth of God in you? Have you witnessed any of these great
mysteries of Scripture?
One of these “Witnesses” came to my door about a year ago (in fact, four of them,
but only one came up the stairs). I was busy at the time reading my Bible. I spend
hours every day with the Bible. Well, this was about 4:30 or 5:00 o’clock in the
afternoon. She came to the door with her Bible all marked up with little pieces of
paper, and then, on the street (looking to see what reception she was going to get)
there were about three or four down on the sidewalk. She came up and asked me if
I would open the door to let her in to explain God’s Word to me. I said: “I am sorry,
but you came without an appointment, and I am busy. In fact, I am reading his
Word right now.” And then something led to something else, and I said: “I am
sorry, I am busy, and I have no time to entertain you or to discuss anything with
you.” Then she started quoting; she wouldn’t allow me to brush her off this way, so
she started quoting some Scripture. She said, “Do you know what it means?” So, I
told her my interpretation of the passage she quoted, and she said to me, “What are
you? A Mormon, or something?” So, she was going to have her way, and that’s all
you can do. So, I said: “I am awfully sorry, my lady, but I cannot give you any
more of my time unless it is by appointment. You can’t come and ring my doorbell
and expect admittance. You can’t do it. I have a family, and we live a very quiet
and nice life, and we don’t have interruptions this way.” So, she went on down and
they gabbed and pointed their finger up: “Mark that one off; he’s going to hell.”
So, what can you do with people? I mean, leave them alone. You cannot take a man
by his nose and put him into a state of consciousness if he resists it.
We are told in Scripture, “I will send a famine upon the world; it will not be a
hunger for bread or a thirst for water, but for the hearing of the word of God.”
[Amos 8:11] Well, until that famine is sent upon you by the God within you, the
word is not within you. You are more interested in making an extra dollar.
I can’t give one person all the questions. I’ve got to get to someone else.
Neville: Ultimately we turn to the One, but we are brothers, as spoken of in
Scripture, these words, “He has set bounds to the people, according to the numbers
of the sons of God.” So, we are brothers; it takes all to make the one. I will never
in eternity lose my identity, neither will you, and yet we are one. You are the same
God. Of the same son you are the father, as I am the father. That shows the unity of
our being. If you are the father of my son and that one son I know to be my son,
and everyone is going to be the father of that son, there is only one Father.
Scripture teaches, “There is only one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one
faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:4-6) only one, yet no
one is going to lose their identity. I am expanding my identity but there is no loss.
When I am embraced by the risen Lord as he wore the “human form divine,”
which is Love, I answered the question. He asked me to name the greatest thing in
the world. When I said, “Love,” he embraced me and we fused and became one
spirit, one body but I didn’t lose my identity. When we separated from that
union, I came out as Neville, only within myself I was conscious of a greater self,
fully aware of the greater self, without loss of identity. So, everyone here is
destined to discover the fatherhood of God as himself through the Son calling him,
Neville: My dear, we have eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We
have enormous pressures in the world to make the world good. We will never bring
about an unbalance of good and evil. It is always borne on this tree. This is the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil, and it bears equal number of fruit. So, they
have all the efforts in the world to make it a better world. They are up the wrong
tree. We’ll get off this tree of good and evil one day and eat of the tree of life
[when] that day comes which comes with the resurrection. And the resurrection is
not a collective thing; it is an individual experience. We are called out of this state
one by one by one, to unite into a single body, who is the risen Lord. So, everyone
Ten million dollars for this, a hundred million dollars for that and then just wait a
little while, and then at the end of a year a little investigation: a committee is
formed to find that those who got the hundred million to dispense it for good, they
pocketed it themselves. All of a sudden: “Where is the twenty-seven million dollars
in oil gone?” Why, twenty-seven million dollars in oil can’t be accounted for.
Somebody had it. They didn’t spill it in Santa Barbara. [Ed. note: reference to oil
blowout in 1969.] That came out of the sea. So, where are the twenty-seven
million? Only that week twenty-seven million dollars worth of oil for our boys in
Vietnam and they can’t account for it. You see, you find this in every walk of life:
good and evil. So don’t try to burn it out; you’ll not stop the tree from bearing good
and evil. You go along your own way in all the lovely things in the world and
grant the others to do what they want to do. They are going to do it anyway. When
I speak, I want to help every one in this world, individually. I am not for the crowd,
to make them all this so-called 'good.' “No one can come unto me, unless my
Father call him.” (John 14:6) and “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30) Not one
could be here tonight if my Father didn’t call him. Even those who may never
come again were called. This is your first little blow, little explosion.
Neville: Why, certainly, you can help anyone in this world, and you will get to the
point where you will help everyone. But you are not going to change the nature of
the tree. This tree bears good and evil. This is the nature of this world. And all of a
sudden you will come out of it and you will eat of the tree of life, and you will see
this world so differently, you will be shocked beyond measure.
Neville: My dear, the world is dead and people don’t know it. Dead, dead as dead
can be, even though they are walking it. The day will come that you will have this
experience. You will know that what you are feeling within you, you could arrest;
and as you look at the people round about you, you arrest their activity within you,
and every one stands still. I don’t mean they are standing still like soldiers at
attention when they can still blink their eyes and move the body; I mean they are
dead! They can’t move an eye. They are not aware that they are standing still. And
if you arrested that motion for 1,000 years, when you released it they would
continue on their intention and not know for one moment that they were still for
1,000 years. This is all part of the structure of the universe.
All that is taking place
in the world belongs to the eternal structure of the universe. You didn’t get created;
you are part of the eternal structure. All marriages, all divorces, all love, wayward
love, lovely friendships, hates it is all part of the eternal structure of the universe.
So, when we speak of creation, I don’t mean erecting a little man of clay. Man was
always a part of the structure of the universe. I am not speaking of the creation of
life. We are only animated bodies now. The day is coming that we will become
life-giving spirits. Then you will see the whole vast world is a dead body, as dead
as the moon and all the relationships are worked out in detail. If one could but
see with the awakened eye as the child comes through the womb, the whole pattern
of its life is there.
Neville: Because it’s a dead body. It is now animated by the spirit of God, which is
called breath, for the word “breath,” the word “wind,” [and] the word “spirit,” are
one and the same, both in Greek and in Hebrew. So, it breathes the breath of life
into man’s body. It is the spirit that possesses the body, that then becomes an
animated body – a living being, but not a life-giving spirit. (That [one’s] the act of
[Question concerning assuming the wish fulfilled]…you cannot allow any
Neville: The question is: having assumed the feeling of the wish fulfilled, you
cannot deny that in spite of that assumption there are a few conscious doubts and
fears. Well, I do not deny that, but practice will make it less and less so and you
will trust God so implicitly, not as an external being who may be quite watching
you when you are praying. That is what people say, “I wonder if he saw me?”
because your Imagination will always…
As we started off the lecture tonight quoting from the 17th chapter of the book of
Acts: “You have an unknown god...I will tell you of that unknown God and he is
not far off. In him we live and move and have our being.” Where could I go,
departing from my Imagination? I am all Imagination and that is God. So whatever
I am imagining, my Imagination is seeing. Eventually you have such complete
confidence in Him. Imagination and faith are the stuff out of which man fashions
his world. Now, faith is the subjective appropriation of the objective, hope, and
faith and Imagination are the stuff out of which we fashion our world.