Note: I found an audio recording of the Neville Goddard lecture “Awake O Sleeper,” which he delivered on January 8, 1968, online… and as I usually do, I wondered if there existed a transcript of the lecture, since I like to read these things as well as listen to them.
I found a transcript, but it wasn’t a literal transcript… far from it. Many sections of the lecture were paraphrased and condensed. It’s almost as if the person who made it didn’t do a literal dictation transcription from a recording, but, rather, made a transcription from notes that they either took while attending the lecture itself, or while listening to the recording.
So I decided to make as close to verbatim a transcript as I could.
I tried to put Neville’s emphasized words in italics, and also put breaks where he either paused or where it seemed that a break should occur due to a thought being completed.
I hope I did this lecture justice.
AWAKE O SLEEPER
Transcript of a lecture originally delivered January 8, 1968
Now tonight’s title is “Awake, O Sleeper.”
You’ll find this in the 5th chapter of Ephesians:
“Awake, o sleeper, and arise from the dead.”
Now what person– rationally– would grasp it?
See, the Bible is addressed to the imagination, which is spiritual sensation, and only but immediately to the understanding or “reason.”
If you try to grasp it through reason, well, it doesn’t make sense. How could I speak to someone and tell him that he’s not only asleep, but he’s dead? I equate “sleep” with “death,” and tell a man that I’m addressing to “awake, you sleeper, and arise from the dead.”
I am telling him he has entered a world of eternal death. But he doesn’t know it.
I am telling him that he is dreaming his world into being. But he doesn’t know it… and maybe he doesn’t believe it. For he’s a rational being.
In the Old Testament, in the 44th chapter of the book of Psalms, we read “Rouse thyself! Why sleepest thou, O Lord? Awake!”
So it’s addressed to the Lord. All the commands of scripture are addressed to the Lord, and fulfilled by the Lord. There is nothing but the Lord.
So we start on the greatest confession of faith that man has ever received through revelation. It’s called “The Hebrew’s Confession of Faith”… the Sh’ma:
“Hear, O Israel. The Lord – our God- the Lord is one.”
It’s a compound unity: one made up of others. For the word is Elohim: “the gods.”
Now I will tell you I firmly believe in God. I don’t have to believe in God. For I stood in the presence of the risen Lord, who embraced me, and incorporated me into his one body. And from that moment, back in 1929, I am one with the body of the risen Lord.
So here is the Lord– I don’t have to believe in it. But I tell you, using the word “belief,” I believe in God.
I believe also that men are gods, and that collective man IS God.
That we are the Gods spoken of in the 82nd Psalm, which, we are told, is the most difficult of all the Psalms for the scholars to unravel.
If it ever had any meaning, they said, the meaning has long been lost. And this is what stumps them: it’s quoted in the 10th chapter of the book of John. But we go back to the origin, the 82nd Psalm:
“And God has taken his place in the divine assembly; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment.”
Now he speaks.
“I say we are Gods… sons of the most high, all of them. Nevertheless”– now here comes the future prophesy now. All of this is a present fact. We are Gods. Now: “Sons of the most high.” Now: “Nevertheless, ye shall die as men, and fall as one man, o ye princes.”
Here is a prophecy: “You will fall as one man.”
Is the fall the result of disobedience, as we are taught?
Is the fall something that is a punishment?
I tell you it is not.
The fall is a plan. It’s a pretext… an assumed appearance in order to conceal the real intention.
The real intention is an expansion of further existence and ultimate birth.
That’s the real intention.
And the gods fell as one man. One man. He chose us in himself before the foundation of the world. And as one man fell, it fragmented itself into the unnumbered men of the world.
We are the gods in disguise not recognizing our brotherhood… not recognizing ourselves.
Now we’ll go to the beginning of Genesis, and take it from there:
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man. And while he slept, he took from man a rib. And from that rib, he made a woman. And bringing a woman before man, man said ‘At last. Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.’ Therefore man must leave father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Now through the eyes of reason, you discard it. It’s all a myth. It’s stupid. We know biologically that’s stupid.
And may I tell you, it is true. But not as the world sees it.
To understand it, you must have the vision. It must be revealed to you: that man has no body distinct from his soul. That called “body” is only a portion of soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlet of soul in this world.
This body is “Eve.” This is my emanation, my vegetated mortal wife. My emanation, yet my wife, till the sleep of death is over.
This is Eve, whether it be male or female. Makes no difference. This is my emanation… the Jerusalem in every individual man.
I am adjoined to you, and you to me, by our emanated portion, which is the Jerusalem in every man. And this “Jerusalem” is the Jerusalem below that bears sons into slavery. Everyone comes in wrapped in this garment, that is his emanated portion, and he is enslaved in this world of eternal death.
There is another Jerusalem. The one who emanates is the Jerusalem from above. And that is the emanation of the Lord that is hidden from view. But it is one with this. This is my Eve. I become so much one with Eve that if you struck me tonight and cause me pain, I scream out “I AM in pain.”
Well, what is His name by which all men must know Him forever and forever?
“Go to the people of Israel and tell them ‘I AM has sent you.'”
That’s my name forever. Throughout all generations.
So when you strike this, I am so much a part of my “wife” to which I have cleaved, that, strike her and you strike me. For I said I AM in pain. I go on throughout, so take this from me. Destroy this temple, and I will in three days raise it up again.
They said “What? In three days? And it took us 46 years to build it?”
That’s how the mind of man thinks. They think only in terms of an external thing made with human hands… knowing not that he spoke of the temple of his body.
“For know ye not that ye are the temple of the Lord, and that the spirit of God dwells in you?”
That’s what Paul asked us in his letter to the Corinthians. That we are actually– this is the temple. He dwells in his wife, he cleaves to her. And they become one.
So this is the only Eve of scripture. There never was another Eve.
Every being born in this world, male or female… that is Eve.
And the one who emanated it –that soul that emanated it– is the Man spoken of… it’s capitalized in the translation in scripture, in the second chapter of Genesis. That she came out of MAN and “man” is capitalized. Generic “man.”
So when I fell, I fell in one body.
And falling in one body, I entered my cave.
And I met my saviour in the grave.
And some find a female garment there.
And some a male, woven with care.
So I found a male garment. My wife found a female garment. But she is neither female and I am not male… we are MAN. For man in the resurrection is above the organization of sex. He is not a divided being. As we are told in Galatians:
In Christ is neither male nor female. Neither bond nor free. Neither Greek nor Jew. Neither black nor white.
We are simply above the whole organization in this world of eternal death.
So when Blake speaks to us in his greatest work, “Jerusalem,” he first states the theme. Having stated the theme, he tells us it is of “the sleep of Ulro.”
Well, “the sleep of Ulro” refers to life in this world as we know it. Right here, in this world. And this world seems to be of an ultimate endless state. There is no end to it. It goes on and on. It all just seems to us to have no purpose. For tonight, the richest man will die and leave it all behind him. And the poor man will die, he goes to the pauper’s grave, but at the end, given the same length of time, both turn into dust and bone. And you will dig out one grave and find you can’t tell who it is… it’s all nothing. It seems to have no purpose.
And yet man has to enter this world, regardless of what he seems to achieve in this world, for the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of the Lord. No matter how wise he seems to be, it is stupid in the eyes of God.
And the strength of man isn’t equal to the weakness of God.
So let them strut across the stage and see all the things that they see… and it still is nothing.
So it seems to be that here there is no end to futility. And there is no purpose. And yet man has to pass through it and awaken from it into eternal life.
So he starts his theme, and he lays the theme out. He’s writing about this: of the sleep of Ulro. And of the passage through eternal death, and of the awakening to eternal life.
Now he tells us, “This theme calls me night after night in sleep, and every morn awakes me at sunrise. Then I see the savior over me, spreading his beams of love, and dictating the words of this mild song.”
That’s how he starts it. Now he starts the dictation, and he swears, in his letter to his friend Butts, that the whole thing came by immediate dictation.
He said, “I did not write it. I can brag about it. I can praise it, because I dare not pretend to be anyone other than the secretary. The authors are in heaven.”
And it’s the grandest poem that this world contains, for the spirit of truth dictated it, morning after morning as he woke, it was dictating twelve, sometimes twenty and sometimes thirty lines at a time.
“And what now what seems to be the labor of a long life was produced without labor or study. And quite often against my will. But I had to take it down.”
And he would rise and take it down. And his wife Katherine would rise with him, and sit in the silence while William recorded, and sometimes she’d hold his hand as he recorded, because he was simply completely possessed by the spirit as it wrote through him. And he’s writing down this greatest of all poems: “Jerusalem.” And this is how he starts it:
Awake! awake O sleeper of the land of shadows, wake! Expand!
I am in you and you in me, Mutual in love divine.
That being in whom we were contained, that being who fell deliberately for a purpose: to expand beyond its glory. Because only by this contraction into the state called “death” could it expand. We have that told in the story of the parable of the seed.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much.”
Here we have, in this little story of the grain of wheat, it is set forth, the mystery of life through death.
If I want an extension of living, an extension of reality, an extension of existence, I must contract and die, and empty myself of my glory, which I had with the Lord before that the world was. And entering into one body, one body falls.
And the world tells it as a mistake.
It’s no mistake. It’s a plan.
God planned everything as it has come out and as it will be consummated.
And in the end, when the mask comes off, after you awake, you are enhanced beyond your wildest dream by reason of the passage through death. And you are awakening to eternal life.
And when we all awake, we are the ones who knew each other more intimately than anyone on earth could ever know.
How could I ever know– my wife and I think the same thoughts through the day. This very– there isn’t a day that I’ll voice something, she’s been thinking about it. She voices a thing, I’ve been thinking about it. But no matter how intimate our thoughts are, in the sharing, it can’t compare to the intimacy that is ours when these garments are taken off, and we are once more awakened into eternal life.
So “Awake, o sleeper”… but you can’t really awake by doing anything that you are taught to do. May I tell you?
They’ll tell you: “Don’t eat meat!” You’ll awaken.
“Don’t go to that church.” You’ll awaken.
“Don’t do so-and-so”… all the “don’ts.” You could do nothing and never awaken. You can do everything and not awaken.
But may I tell you, that seems extravagant, and it is, because all will awaken. But not by any effort on their part while they’re here. You will awaken at the moment in time that it was predetermined that you would awaken. Whether you be shining shoes at the time, or whether you be employing a million people.
Our government today undoubtedly has on its payroll millions of people, and the one who is given credit is our President. He is the head. And so, in a technical sense, he employs a million. And tonight the one shining his shoe could awaken and he falls sound asleep and continues to dream. But he cannot die. That’s the glorious part. This emanation –take it from me now, and in three days I’ll raise it up again.
So this body of mine… shoot it if you will. Cut off its head. It’s my emanation. And therefore I, believing myself to be it, I will find myself in the immediate present, wearing the same body, only it will be new. No parts will be missing… no bridgework, no fillings of my teeth, no grey hair, no need to wear glasses, and no need to wear any aid in this world. I’ll be a young man, twenty years old, just as I snuff out this and you call it “dead,” I’ll be wearing a garment same as before– in a world, terrestrial, just like this –and continue the journey until I awake.
But I can tell you: I have awakened.
And so when I take this off –whenever it is taken off– I will no longer be in this world. For this world does not terminate at the point where our senses cease to register it.
So when a man cannot follow those who are called “dead,” and he calls them “dead” only because of his limitation– he can’t follow it– but the one that you call “dead” isn’t dead to himself. He emanated the body that you knew –he emanates the same body. Same body! Beautiful! Enhanced beyond your wildest dreams. And he continues not even knowing that he’s gone through the door.
Death is no more than leaving one room for another. In this same fabulous terrestrial world that is called in the mysteries “eternal death.” And from which man will one day awaken into eternal life.
But having descended and entered the world of death, when he now awakens, he is expanded, and that was the purpose. There is no limit to expansion. God set a limit to contraction, to opacity, but not to translucence or expansion.
And so we descended, not because of anything that we ever did that was wrong. Not one thing was wrong.
And so if I emanate this body– which I did– destroy it when you will, I will, if I have not awakened, I’ll emanate the same body. And you cannot reach me. I may find myself tomorrow in a different section of time– not an extension of this, like 1969 or 1968… I may be in the year 3000. I may be in the year 1000. Whatever is best fitted for the work yet to be done in me in order to bring about the awakening and expansion into an extension of existence.
So here is what we are.
So just think of it. God made man in his own image, we are told. Male, female, made he them. And that’s the first chapter. The second changes it somewhat, and tells a different story, but it’s not a contradiction if you see it through imagination. Here he fashions him out of dust and breathes into his nostrils the breath of life, and he becomes a living soul.
But his destiny is to become a lifegiving spirit… not just a living soul in an animated body.
So the purpose of the fall of the sons of God is to transform them into an entirely different world: being lifegiving spirits. Animating bodies. Not being an animated body but animating the whole vast world around him. And closing it off at will, and starting it again.
And that is our destiny.
Now reason cannot grasp it, and every scholar, when he comes to this, the first thing– you can’t blame any man who has never had the vision. He said “It’s a myth!” Certainly it’s a myth. A rib out of my side? Take my body apart… no rib is missing. Take yours apart– unless you had one cut out for some operation on the lung. But if you have not lost a rib through operation, or as we suggest, with every man’s ribs, not one is missing. Yet we’re told in scripture one was taken out.
But the word “rib”– do you know what it means? The Hebrew word is tsela. It means “a portion” literally of a person. The authors translating… they wanted to write the word quarta in Hebrew; you write tsela.
We speak of the fourfold man. Four faces stood every man. It means “a side.”
Well, the side may not be this side, or that side, or that side, or this side. It’s a portion. It’s trying to say a portion of the soul emanates. That’s what it’s trying to tell man. But if you don’t see it that way, and tsela only means a rib– literally a little rib– well, then it’s translated “a curve.” So because it means “a curve,” well, the curve of a man’s structure would be the rib. Well, if you want to write “rib,” yes. If you want to write a pane of wood, the flooring on the ground, it’s the same as tsela. It could be a piece of wood.
But a piece, not the whole. A portion. And tsela is a portion of the soul that emanates. And when it emanates, then he from whom it emanates must leave everything and cleave to his emanation. And they become one flesh.
Well, you’ll cleave to your emanation so much so that you identify yourself with it. And so if I ask you “who are you?” you give me your name. But you first say “I AM;” then you put a name on it. And if I strike that thing that you say you are, and I hurt it, well, then you say “well, I am in pain.” You call it by the name of God, and say “God is in pain.” You didn’t say “God is in pain;” you said “I am”; well, that’s his name. (24:40)
Is Tsela Gods came down to earth?
So again let me repeat: I not only believe in God, because I stood in the presence of the risen God, but I believe that all men are Gods, and that collective man is God.
So when you hurt man, you hurt God.
And when you hurt man, you hurt yourself, because you are God. There is nothing but God. Only God in this world.
And may I tell you– and this is not from speculation– God is love. In spite of the horrors of the world, God is love.
For when you stand in his presence, you can’t feel anything but love. And when God embraces you, and you become one with God, you have never felt such ecstasy. Not in eternity. You can’t describe the joy, the ecstasy that is yours when you are embraced by the risen Lord.
And from then on you are incorporated into the body of God, as we are told in the sixth chapter of the book of Romans:
For he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Only one body, only one spirit, only one Lord, only one God and father of all.
And you are that.
So in the end, the one who commanded the fall for this fabulous purpose…you will awaken, and you were the one who commanded it! For he is father, and you will awaken right here in this world of death as the Father. And the only one that can reveal to you that you are the Father is God’s only begotten son, David, calling you “Father.” For David in the spirit calls Christ “Lord.” And the word Adonai is the name used for the Father. For in Hebrew they do not often use Jod hey vau hey because it’s a sacred name. And so they substitute Adonai for the word Jod hey vau hey.
And so David in the spirit calls Christ Adonai: “my Lord.” And the words “my Father.” For every son spoke of his father as “my Lord,” fulfilling scripture. For the second Psalm is: ”
And David said “I will tell of the decree of the Lord. He said unto me, ‘Thou art my son. Today I have begotten thee. ‘”
And this David– the David, the only David in Biblical fame– will stand before you and call you “Father.” And then you know who you are. And this comes after you have been awakened from above, born from above, and then comes the son calling you “Father.” And then the entire drama unfolds within you.
And you’ll know exactly who you are. That you are the one spoken of in scripture as the gods who gathered and we agreed then to dream in concert.
So that when you and I see a building, we may see it differently. You may see it through the eyes of one who’d like to own it. I may see it through the eyes of one who admire it, with no feeling of possession. But we do see the same building, only we see it differently. So when we descended, we agreed to dream in concert.
So while we walk this earth, we see the same streets, therefore we know the same number, and we can go wherever we want to go because we are dreaming in concert. But we are dreaming, my dears.
This whole vast world is the dream of the gods who descended. But because we agreed to dream in concert, there is no confusion.
Had we agreed to dream individually, and all play solo, this would be the wildest, maddest thing in the world. But we agreed to dream in concert.
Now, may I tell you… when I invite you to go all-out, and to imagine that you are now the man, the woman that you want to be, some will tell you “that will lead to madness.”
May I tell you it will not. The only thing that lead to madness would be to doubt it.
The minute doubt sets in, and you would like to believe it, but reason tells you it isn’t true, and you begin to doubt, then descends what the world will call a mental division, certain madness.
For doubt is the only devil in the world. That’s doubt.
If you could go all out and believe it, and regardless of what the whole vast rational world will tell you, you won’t go mad. The whole thing will become a part of your dream world. You’ll bring it into– and fit it in without any difficulty– into the world.
So someone born poor, very poor, he began to dream that he had wealth, and that he had fame. Well, at the moment, it would seem insane– his dream. But he persisted in his dream. But when the dream became true, and his fame was established, and his wealth established, it seemed perfectly natural to those not knowing his dream.
So everyone is dreaming.
But if you begin to doubt your dream, and still try to make it true, but doubting all the time, you’re heading towards a little breakup. But you will not break up if you go all out in your wonderful claim that you are what you desire to be. Because all things are possible to God. And the God spoken of is right where you are seated. That’s the God of whom the Bible speaks.
So when the gods came down in the likeness of men… here they are.
And some found a female garment there. And some a male, woven with care.
And so God himself enters death’s door– this door, of death. Always with those who enter. And lays down in the grave with them, in visions of eternity, until they awake and see Jesus. And the linen clothes lying there which the female had woven for them. They seem to be woven in the womb of a woman, and they were. No question about it. But they were simply emanations of a soul… woven in the womb of a woman between a cooperation of a male-female. But the soul emanating is neither male nor female. But he emanates a male garment or a female garment. And wears it in this world of death.
And take it off? Emanates it again. This time without the use of the womb of a woman. Doesn’t need it anymore. For we are told in the 9th chapter of Hebrews:
For as it was appointed for all men to die once, and then comes the judgment. So Christ was offered once for the sins of many, and then he will appear a second time not concerning sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Well, you’ve died already– forget the death! When you go before I go, it may be said of you that you died. I will hear the news that so-and-so died. You didn’t die at all. You already died. You only die once. When we fell, all in one body, that’s when we died. We left our heavenly home and the glory that was ours to come down and assume the limitations of the flesh, which is called that of a slave.
And so we’ve already died– if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. So the death is over! Only once do you die. So though you go through the gate and men call you dead, you aren’t dead! You simply emanate the same body, only it’s young. It’s new! Twenty years old, nothing missing. Unaccountably new–you can’t explain it. And may I tell you, the majority who go through don’t even know they’ve gone through, and take the young body for granted. Just as we take everything in this world for granted.
A miracle goes on all day long in my body. I eat tonight’s dinner, and it’s being converted, unknown to my conscious reasoning mind, into blood, to tissue, to bone. And no man on earth can make one drop of blood. Transplant a heart but he can’t grow one. Transplant all kinds of organs but he can’t grow one. He can’t make one drop of blood. They’ve been trying forever but they can’t make a drop of living blood. They can’t make one hair of the head.
So they say, “Now, this man would have lived three weeks if he didn’t have the transplant!” So they give him the transplant, and he lived 18 days. That’s the first one, in South Africa. And suppose the other one does live… he will not live one hour beyond his span of time.
As told us in the Sermon on the Mount: “Who by being anxious can add one hour to his span of life?”
Man goes blindly on believing that he can do these things. And all that it’s doing is publicizing the surgeons and the medical world. It isn’t doing a thing to this being that you really are, for you are not anything he thinks you are.
So I am dying… my poor old heart is gone, liver gone, all things gone, I should get out, and emanate something new, and wear it. And they’re going to put a new heart in me. They’re all hoping this night that someone will die suddenly (audience laughter) and then get their heart, so that the doctor can have the experiment. If they didn’t die suddenly leaving a good heart, they couldn’t use it, so let her be good and healthy when they die. Either kill her, or do something so they give the heart up. And they’re using that, and people are eating it up as though “Isn’t this marvelous? Isn’t this fantastic?” And the world goes blindly on in the world of sleep, not knowing who they are.
So I tell you, you are the Adam made in the image of God that is the son of God. And out of you came your Eve, and Eve is the body that you are wearing. And you cleave to it, and you cleave to it so tightly that finally you become one flesh, so whenever it is hurt, you are hurt. And that is the Adam and Eve of scripture. Therefore it is not a myth. It does come out of you, but certainly not out of this little bone on my side called a rib. For the word tsela means “a portion.” That’s what it means. So man has no body distinct from his soul. That called “body” is a portion of soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of soul in this age.
That’s all that it is. You are a living soul, destined to become a life-giving spirit. And as you fall, you emanate a body, because you have to have a body to function in this world. And you can automatically do it. The minute you’re called “dead,” you’re not dead at all; you’re alive, and a body emanated out of your own being. Young… new… not one part missing. Nothing missing. If you had an arm missing, the arm is not missing. If you had all your limbs off, as many today have all these off after the war… they’re not missing. The whole thing is replaced. And when they’re replaced he takes it for granted!
I know. I meet them. I can’t persuade them that they’ve died.
How can I tell a man who was alive, who’s talking to me, that you died?
He laughs at you. “But I tell you that you’re sound asleep!” Wouldn’t you laugh at me?
If I tell you “You’re not only sound asleep, but you’re dead”… well, now, you’d say, “Neville is mad. Don’t go and hear him. That man is mad. He has a demon.”
But I have comfort. That’s what they said of the risen Christ in the tenth chapter of the Book of John. “Why listen to him? He’s dead! He’s mad! He has a demon.” And he said to them– what did he say? “Why do you stone me? For what good work? For no good work, but for your blasphemy. For you, being a man, claim that you are God.” Well, he said, “Is it not written in your law ‘I said ye are Gods’?” If he calls you Gods to whom the word of God came, then why, when he who the father consecrated and sent into the world claims that he is the son of God, that you should say he blasphemed?
He doesn’t make a claim greater than the other. They don’t know they are the son of God. He’s only trying to awaken man that you are the sons who came down. He makes no claim that he is greater than. He said “I am going unto my father and your father. Go and tell my brethren. I am ascending unto my father and to your father… to my God and to your God.” He didn’t make a claim that his father differed from your father, or that his God differs from your God. But they couldn’t understand the mystery. They tried to get it right straight through the reasoning mind. And it isn’t– you can’t get it that way.
The whole thing is spoken to the imagination, which is God. 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 let us go into the silence.
Neville From My Notebook
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