This is the question and answer segment following Neville Goddard’s lecture Job: Your Biography. The lecture itself is a brilliant dissection of this book of the Bible, but in the Q&A following the lecture, Neville tied the message of the book into his assertions that imagining creates reality.
If Job is being tested by God, and should not question that test or justify his deeds, then how should he react? Neville answers the question definitively.
I’ve done my best transcribing this; however, it’s an old, poor quality source recording, so some words were simply unintelligible; I’ve noted those in parentheses. All notes are in parentheses in bold italics.
Also, the source audio ends abruptly, as does this transcript!
…Now I trust it is not in your future to be hurt– it’s my wish for you. But do remember what you heard tonight: that should you be hurt, don’t feel in any strange way that there’s a God of retribution. It’s only for your good that these things happen. As we are told in Job…
If I washed myself with snow and cleansed my hands with lye, then thou cast me into the pit and my own clothes abhor me. (Job 9:30)
So no matter how man tries to cleanse himself morally, and do all these things in order NOT to encounter the pit, if the pit is necessary to purify him, in order to be made perfect in the eyes of God, he will be thrown into the pit.
You see it every day, and you wonder “Why? I knew him. He was so altogether nice and kind and tender. I knew the family. Why should it happen to them?” But that’s the story of Job.
Now are there any questions, please?
Surely there’s a question…
(Unintelligible question from audience)
Very good question. The lady does not relate this to the way I express imagination.
I say: in the midst of the flames, use God’s law.
(Unintelligible comment from audience)
Certainly! If tonight I found myself COMPLETELY behind the eight ball because that is part of my training, then let me use God’s law, and exercise my talent to come out of that pit. I don’t accept it as final. I don’t even accept it as temporary. But I mustn’t blame myself when I find myself in the pit. That is told us so clearly in the gospel:
Do you think that when the tower fell and killed eighteen, they were greater sinners than the others in Jerusalem? I tell you not! But unless you repent, you shall have the same fate. (paraphrase of Luke 13:4-5)
“Repent” means “change your attitude.”
Everything is a (unintelligible word) for man to exercise his talents, to change his attitude.
You think that the five who were killed in Galilee, that they were worse sinners than the others? I tell you not. But unless you repent, you’ll have a similar fate. (paraphrase of Luke 13:2-3)
The word is “repent.” That’s the beginning of the whole teaching. “Repent” only means that word “metanoia:” a radical change of attitude towards life.
So when something happens to you, DON’T ACCEPT IT as final. Repent!
But he will encroach (?) on you morning, noon and night, and force you to exercise your talent.
(Earlier in the lecture, Neville told the story of an Army veteran who held hatred for blacks and Jews, until two incidents transformed him: the first, during the war, when a Jewish man rescued his unit while pinned down in a foxhole, and then the second after the war, when a black man saved his life during a work accident.)
He will (unintelligible), if it takes a war in New Guinea, and you on your belly, and bullets ricocheting off your hat, to prove to you that your prejudice was simply a mental error, and therefore one that you disliked and hated will be your savior.
So man’s purification comes by the death of his delusions, and He always will use the one you hate to be your good samaritan. Always. So the Jew, in one case, was a good samaritan; the Negro, in the other case, was his good samaritan. Both saved him on different occasions. If he has another hate today, God will put him in the state (?) and then he’ll be saved by one of his hates, and that one will be his good samaritan.
So I do not deny that I tell you: imagining creates reality. But don’t deny it when you go through hell.
I came down Mason (Mason Street in San Francisco) many years ago– I was living at the Fairmont (a hotel on Mason Street) and it was a wet day, and I came out with new shoes. Well, you know that thing called Mason… (audience laughter)… so here I am; I’m aware of my date; in fact, the lady’s in the audience now– I had a date with her for the :30 hour, and it was 10:30, and so I started down towards her shop on Fourth Avenue– I mean, on Fourth Street. Well, I was quite early, I’d started, and someone could have picked me right up this way and dropped me on my back– but it felt that way! And there I was, COMPLETELY on my back, walking down with my new shoes, and then two lads came by and they led me to the top of California (Street), and then I was in excruciating pain. I had a dinner date that night at the Fairmont– I had eighteen invited for dinner– and luckily I knew the housekeeper, and she thought she would pitch in and help me out by taking them through these fabulous apartments in the Fairmont after dinner, because I couldn’t stand any longer, and she said “I’ll take them through Mr. Kaiser’s place, and I’ll take them through this place,” and show them these fabulous suites in the hotel. She was very sweet about it. Because I couldn’t sit one moment longer than I did. I was in excruciating pain.
So I told the story from the platform. First reaction was: “Why should it happen to you?” As though I am not part of society! And I’m not part of the world? It happens to me as it happens to anyone! It could happen to President Kennedy! If he falls on his back– which he did; he’s always rocking in his chair. (audience laughter) Why should it happen to him? He’s the head of our country! Here is the top office in the land and he is filling it, but something happened to him, and he’s always rocking.
So don’t, in any way, justify it. Use your imagination to get out of it. I didn’t look and say “What have I done to warrant this? God shouldn’t do this to me! I’m doing his work!” Well, isn’t that stupid? Who ISN’T doing his work? The man who– I took my shoes today and he shined them for me– he’s doing God’s work. I didn’t shine them myself. And so he shined my shoes for me. He’s doing God’s work.
But everyone said, “Well, why did it happen to Neville?” Well, it happened to me, may I tell you? And I had that pain for–excruciating pain– but it FORCED me to use my imagination to get out of that pain. So why shouldn’t it happen to me? Why should it only happen to others? We’re all one.
So I say, this is not in contradiction with what I teach: Imagining creates reality. But the story is: repent, repent, repent. When you find yourself, don’t start digging and say “Well, what have I done?” as Job did. Job, in the most glorious– in the 30th chapter– 30th and 31st chapters of Job, he makes the most eloquent defense of his virtues. And all these virtues he brings up, and all the virtuous deeds. Well, that is a demonstration of the fact that he had not abandoned his belief in the dogma of retribution. And yet he’s asking for acquittal! How can he be acquitted if he believes in retribution? These things could not have happened if he believed that way. But in spite of these things, God puts them on him, and then: repent!
“Don’t ask me why I did it– repent! Don’t ACCEPT the sentence. Get out of it. Don’t accept ANY sentence! You get out of it by exercising your talent that I gave you, and then extricate yourself from that problem.”
For man has to awaken. But don’t accept it, and don’t look for some cause other than God’s vision of the need of that bit of gold: there’s still a little bit of ore with it, and it must be burnt away.
So it doesn’t deny the saying that “Imagining creates reality.” What I’m trying to get over tonight is: don’t judge people harshly when you meet someone who’s limited. If they’re limited, tell them of repentance. But don’t condemn them and say, “well, now, you’re only reaping the fruit of some horrible mistake in the past.” Don’t. Just say, no matter what you’ve ever done in the past, tell them how to escape from their present predicament. Because God is INFINITELY merciful. And he (Job) did not know of the God of mercy. He only knew the God of retribution, and God is a God of mercy. And God is the God of grace. And so he gives us, in the end– after we exercise the talent that he gave us, which is just to free ourselves from every limitation in the world.
Any other questions, please?
Well, you do.
Question: But you must have done something to reap all that…
You see that again? (audience laughter) That– man can’t get over that law of retribution. He can’t get over it. We are still in the Bible. The Bible is not something that is thousands of years old. The Bible is contemporary. Man is in the state of consciousness of getting even. Retribution. And He comes to forgive sin. Completely forgive everything. The last cry on the cross: “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” But man doesn’t WANT to forgive him. They’ll say, “Where is Stalin? I hope he’s burning! Where is Hitler? I hope he’s burning!” And to think, “well, he’s not,” well, millions would simply feel, “Well, that isn’t a good God. I don’t want a God that forgives sin. I don’t want a God of mercy. Not until He FIRST burns this one first!” (audience laughter) “Then after He burns him, then He can forgive sin! But not before.” And that’s the world. Well, he isn’t that kind of a God. He is a God of infinite mercy. And showing us the law.
If you have a piece of gold, and you want to mold it into a certain image, a living image, but the gold is not pure gold– there’s a little alloy with it, a little ore, and you can only really put it into a molten form by putting it in the fire. Wouldn’t that gold, if it really had sensitivity, be in pain when you put it in the fire? Would it? I mean, if you can endow the gold with a sensitive quality, would it not be hurt if you put it in the fire? All right. But you put it in the fire to bring it into a molten state, that it may separate itself from the dross. And when it’s completely pure, and in the molten state, then you can put it into any state you want, couldn’t you?
Well, that is man. When God took himself a handful of clay and hid in it the torment of eternity, (unintelligible) turmoil. Did not Job say, “And you made this clay of mine… made me out of clay. Are you going to once more turn me into dust?” Because to him it felt like being turned into dust. “You made me out of clay. Are you going to turn me into dust?” said Job. So when you go through the furnaces you think you are being turned into dust
(Source recording ends abruptly at this point.)