Neville Goddard’s books

The question, asked in a Neville Goddard discussion group on Facebook, was:

…where can I get the Neville’s complete book list, I mean, not the online or free books, but the list of names, so then I can go and buy them. I’m a little bit confused, for exmple; the other day I discovered “relax more, try less” book, but I’m not sure if that’s really a Neville’s book. I want the real list, because I want to read them all. Thank you, very much.

This raises a couple good questions. The first one is: of the books out there “by Neville Goddard” — books where he’s credited as author– which are the ones that he actually wrote and published as books? And second, what about the other stuff: titles like Relax More, Try Less, which shows Neville as “co-author,” or, yes, my two Neville quote collections, Neville From My Notebook and More Neville From My Notebook, which are edited collections but not books “by Neville” in the true sense that he conceived them as books, wrote them, supervised the editing, and approved them for publication?

First: I don’t have a copy of Relax More, Try Less, but, unlike my two collections above, which gather verbatim quotes, it appears that the writer incorporated quotes and blurbs from Neville into his own work and then put Neville’s name on the book as a “co-author” to draw attention to it.

In other words: in spite of Neville being credited as co-author, Relax More, Try Less is NOT a book “by Neville Goddard.”

But the point of this blog post is not to list what ISN’T “by Neville Goddard.” So…

BOOKS WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED BY NEVILLE GODDARD

The twelve titles listed below are, as far as I can tell, the books that Neville Goddard wrote, vetted, and published during his lifetime.

At Your Command
Awakened Imagination
* Feeling is the Secret
* Freedom For All
* Out of This World
* Prayer: The Art of Believing
* Resurrection
* Seedtime and Harvest
* The Law and The Promise
The Power of Awareness
The Search
Your Faith is Your Fortune

Nearly all of these titles are available in both print and e-book, most of them published by DeVorss, which was Neville’s publisher during his lifetime. That’s important to me because when I read a DeVorss printing of a Neville title, I can tell that I’m reading either an original printing or a reprint made from plates (or repros of plates) that are the same as the galleys that Neville proofed and vetted when he first published them. To me, that’s as “authoritative” as you can get.

There’s an almost-omnibus collection called Neville Goddard: The Complete Reader that contains all of those titles except Resurrection.

There’s also a book called The Neville Reader that contains only the seven titles with an asterisk  * next to them above. The Neville Reader, I should note, is published by DeVorss.

Neville also occasionally mentioned, in his lectures, titles of pamphlets that he published, but I don’t know if those were excerpts from longer works or standalone short pieces. I think that The Search was a pamphlet originally; it was incorporated later into one of the books. Same, possibly, with Resurrection.

As far as I know, these are the only books that Neville published during his lifetime.

Lecture Transcripts

The internet is swimming with transcripts of Neville’s lectures. Many of these are available as free downloadable PDFs, and some of these transcripts are scans of original typewritten documents which may or may not date back to the time that the lectures were delivered.

I suspect that some of the transcripts that circulate online were not created verbatim from recordings or live lectures, but were created from someone’s notes taken during the lectures.

Still, these 200+ lecture transcripts are a valuable and free resource and complement Neville’s books as a reliable “primary source” for those who study his teachings.

Many of these lectures are available in print or e-book collections. I will only speak to those which I own and have read.

One of Neville’s “basic works” is the five 1948 “Core lectures,” along with accompanying question and answer session. These lectures were presented as a week-long class in 1948,  and they’ve been published in print and e-book form under numerous titles. (I have a copy entitled Five Lessons.)

The 1948 lectures are, I feel, as essential as any of those 11 books listed above.

Further, five years worth of Neville lecture transcripts (1964-68) were transcribed by Natalie Bernet and recently published in Kindle editions (and there are corresponding print editions which cost a bit more) and are available on Amazon. I love these collections because they reflect something I didn’t realize until I read the lectures in sequence: Neville lectured “in a season series” (January through April, May through August, September through December, etc), and since these lectures were presented in the same venues to mostly the same audiences, they were more like a class. A Thursday lecture would build on last Monday’s lecture and anticipate NEXT Monday’s. Thus, reading the lectures in sequence is like attending the whole series, instead of ducking in and out randomly.

Recorded (audio) lectures 

The recorded lectures are my favorite resource, since they’re recordings of Neville lecturing in his own voice. There were probably about 300 different Neville lectures available on audio cassette during the 1970s, recorded by audience members and sold via mail order. Each lecture runs between 40-50 minutes, and many of those lectures have additional question-and-answer segments at the end. 

As of this writing (spring 2019), there are around 130 different lecture recordings that have been digitized and are available, usually free, online from Youtube or other online video sites. Most of these recordings (and many of the PDF lectures) are from 1969-72, the last years of Neville’s life.

Since these digitized recordings aren’t professional productions, the quality can range from acceptable to maddening. There’s seldom any information (like date of lecture, venue, etc.) beyond the title, and sometimes even the titles are wrong! Further, the sound quality can vary widely, and this isn’t always a function of the source material (although some of the recordings are of poor quality). Some of the recordings were apparently digitized with an uncalibrated tape deck, so some of the recordings run too slow (Drunk Slurring Neville) or too fast (Neville on Helium). 

There are also a few audios that were digitized by someone who clearly didn’t know how to record sound on their computer: the listener can clearly hear ambient sounds from the room where the recording was digitized (meaning that whomever did the transfer didn’t know how to disable their computer’s built-in mic), or the sound of a mouse clicking as the digitizer multitasked, and other user-error glitches that have nothing to do with the quality of the source recording.

All these minor issues aside, the audio lectures are important because they’re the multimedia equivalents of the books: primary source materials. It’s hard to wonder whether Neville actually said something when you can hear a recording of him saying it in his own voice. That having been said…

The warning

The internet has been hugely important in introducing Neville’s teachings to a wider audience.

However, as I’ve hinted above, and as is demonstrated by the title mentioned in the initial post, someone delving into Neville’s works really needs to be wary of some of the material out there which purports to be “by Neville Goddard.”

Neville’s books and lectures are in the public domain– twenty years before Mystery Science Theater, he was encouraging people to make tapes and circulate them– and so those books and lectures (recordings and transcripts) are widely available free online.

However, be aware that some of these free versions may not be entirely reliable. As stated above, I suspect that many of the “transcripts” are not verbatim, but summaries taken from notes. They’re close, but are they close enough? Usually, yes. Occasionally, clearly not.

Then there are the books. Amazingly, some of the free online “editions” of  Neville’s books are “abridged.” 

Now granted: I’ve assembled two e-book collections of quotes pulled out of context from Neville’s books and lectures, but those collections were assembled from the perspective of someone who copied these passages into my journal, and I make that clear. The quotes may not be presented in their original context, but they’re presented verbatim. 

Abridgements present another problem. Didn’t Neville say, time after time, do not change what I am saying“? He didn’t want people to change, or add to or subtract from his words “to fit what they think I ought to have said.” 

With an abridged work, what was cut, and what were the criteria used in the editing process, and who did the “abridging”? 

Just be warned that while some of the books are available “free” online, as with anything “free” online, sometimes you get something less than what you might have paid for.

If you need to go the free route, try the Internet Archive or J-Stor or Google Books, which have free scans of Neville’s works available for download or even for online “loan” like a library. These books are often scans of authorized print editions held by public libraries.

Then there’s the audio and multimedia lectures. As stated above, there are over 130 digitized authentic Neville lectures, but there are also many, many videos and recordings on Youtube and presumably other platforms that present Neville’s books and lectures read by other readers!!! Sometimes this “other reader” is just a narrator with a nice voice; sometimes it’s someone who sounds like they don’t have a clue what they’re reading; and in a few regrettable cases, they’re robo readers (some online recording of a voice-to-text rendition). 

If you want to hear Neville read by Stephen Hawking, go for it. But what I’d advise is that you listen to as many “pure Neville” recordings as you can– his lectures delivered in his voice— and after a bit, you will find that you can’t read his written work without “hearing his voice” read it in your mind’s ear. Even the most well-meaning reader “gets it wrong.”

FInally, while you’d think that Neville’s original audio lectures would be nearly impossible to pervert or misrepresent… well, think again. 

The extreme example, which I will not link to here, was a ten minute YouTube video where the person took a nine second recording of Neville quoting, in his voice, Robert Milliken’s wealth affirmation– “I have a lavish, steady, dependable income, consistent with integrity and mutual benefit”– and looped it on repeat for over ten minutes, so that a person could play it and reap the subconscious benefits. If you can’t tell how absolutely and utterly opposed this is to everything that Neville taught, I can’t help you. But that’s just one example of how the waters get muddied by doubtlessly well-meaning people who really don’t grasp the essence of these teachings.

Maybe Neville would have said “Let them go on. Perfectly all right.” 

Probably not.

Note: With the exception of the video I linked, I have deliberately NOT posted any links to books, publishers or websites. I leave you with my recommendations to discover these teachings on your own.

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