Neville Goddard – CHANGING THE FEELING OF “I” – 1953 lecture transcript

This transcript of one of Neville’s 1953 lectures in Los Angeles is widely available for download as a PDF on various Neville-specific and general metaphysical sites. 

As with so many of the free “transcripts” that are circulating online, it appears that these are not verbatim transcripts (such as those which appear in the six volumes of 1963-1968 transcripts edited by Natalie Bernet and published as Kindle editions) but rather paraphrased documents transcribed from someone’s notes. 

Nonetheless, verbatim or not, the essence of Neville’s teaching comes through in these distilled documents.

As far as I can tell, this is the first lecture in a season series that year. 

I’ve edited and proofread the original document slightly, mainly correcting punctuation where it aided clarity.

Any verbal additions which I felt were necessary for clarity are inside parentheses. 


CHANGING THE FEELING OF “I”

For the benefit of those who were not present last Sunday, just let me give you a quick summary of the thought expressed here:

We claimed that the world was a manifestation of consciousness; that the individual’s environment, circumstances and conditions of life were only the outpicturing of the particular state of consciousness in which that individual abides. Therefore, the individual sees whatever he is by virtue of the state of consciousness from which he views the world. Any attempt to change the outer world before he changes the inner structure of his mind is to labor in vain. Everything happens by order. Those who help or hinder us, whether they know it or not, are the servants of that law, which constantly shapes outward circumstances in harmony with our inner nature.

We asked you last Sunday to distinguish between the individual identity and the state they occupy. The individual identity is the Son of God. It is that, (when) I speak of you or to you, or speak of myself, I mean really our imagination. That is permanent. It fuses with state and believes itself to be the state with which it is fused, but at every moment of time it is free to choose the state with which it will be identified.

And that brings us to today’s subject, “Changing the Feeling of I,” and I hope I will not get the same reaction that is recorded in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. For we are told that when this was given to the world they all left him, leaving just a handful behind. For when he told them there was no one to change but self, they said this is a hard, hard teaching. It’s a hard thing. Who can hear it? For he said, “No man cometh unto me save I call him.” And then it’s recorded when he repeated it three times they left him, never again to walk with him. And he turned to the few who remained and asked them, “Would you also go?” And they answered and said, “To whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life.”

In other words, it’s so much easier when I can blame another for my misfortune, but now that I am told that no man cometh unto me save I call him, that I am the sole architect of my fortunes and misfortunes, it’s a difficult saying, and so it’s recorded “It’s a hard saying. Who can hear it? Who can grasp it? And who will believe it?”

And so he said, “And now I sanctify myself that they also be sanctified through the truth, for if this is the truth, then there is no one to change, no one to make whole, no one to purify but self.”

And so we start with the “I.”

Most of us are totally unaware of the self that we really cherish. We have never taken one good look at the self, so we don’t know this self, for the “I” has neither face, form, nor figure, but it does mold itself into structure by all that it consents to, all that it believes, and few of us know really what we do believe. We have no idea of the unnumbered superstitions and prejudices that go to mold this inner, formless “I” into a form which is then projected as a man’s environment, as the conditions of life.

So here, read it carefully when you go home:

“No man cometh unto me save I call him. You didn’t choose me; I have chosen you. No man can take away my life; I lay it down myself. There is no power to take from me anything that is part of the inner arrangement of my mind. All that you gave me I have kept and none is lost save the son of perdition or the belief in God, and because nothing can be lost but the belief in loss, I will not now assume loss of anything you have given me that is good. And so I sanctify myself that they be sanctified through the truth.”

And now, how do we go about changing the “I”?

First of all, we must discover the “I” and we do this by an uncritical observation of self. This will reveal a self that will shock you. You will be altogether– I wouldn’t say “afraid,” but ashamed to admit you’ve ever known such a lowly creature. And had it been God Himself who drew near in this despicable form, you would have denied him a thousand times before a single cock would crow. You couldn’t believe that this is the self that you’ve carried around and protected and excused and justified.

Then you start changing this self after, by an uncritical observation, you make the discovery of that self. For the acceptance of self is the essence of the moral problem of the world. It is the epitome of a true outlook on life, for it is the sole cause of everything you observe.

Your description of the world is a confession of the self that you do not know. You describe another, you describe society, you describe anything, and your description of the thing you observe reveals to one who knows this law the being you really are. So you must first accept that self. When that self is accepted, then you can start to change.

It’s so much easier to take the virtues of the Gospel and apply them as the word of life, to love the enemy, to bless those who curse us, and to feed the hungry. But when man discovers the being to be fed, the being to be clothed, the being to be sheltered, the greatest enemy of all is that self, then he is ashamed, completely ashamed that that is the being, for it was easier to share with another something that I possess, to take an extra coat and give it to another, but when I know the truth it’s not that.

I start with the self, having discovered, and start with change of that self.

Now, let me tell you a story. A few years ago in this city I was giving a series of lectures down near that lake -I can’t even recall the name of the lake but it was some Parkview Manor was the place where I spoke, and in that audience was a gentleman who sought an audience before the meeting. And we went across the street into the little park there, and he said to me that he had an insoluble problem. I said, “There is no such thing as an insoluble problem.”

“But,” he said, “you do not know my problem. It’s not a state of health, I assure you; it is look at the skin that I wear.”

I said, “What’s wrong with it; it looks lovely to me.”

He said, “Look at the pigment of my skin. I, by the accident of birth, am now discriminated against. The opportunities for progress in this world are denied me just because of the accident of birth: that I was born a colored man. Opportunities for advancement in every field, neighborhoods that I would like to live in and raise a family I couldn’t move in, where I would like to open up a business I couldn’t move into that area.”

Then I told him my own personal experience: that I came to this country– well, I didn’t have that problem but I was a foreigner in the midst of all Americans. I didn’t find it difficult.

“Yet,” as he reminded me, “but that’s not my problem, Neville. Others have come here speaking with an accent, but they haven’t my skin, and I was born an American.”

Then I told him an experience of mine in New York City. If I were called upon to name a man that I would consider my teacher, I would name Abdullah. I studied with that gentleman for five years. He had the same color skin, the same pigment as this gentleman. He would never allow anyone to refer to him as a colored man. He was very proud of being a negro– (he) didn’t want any modification of what God had made him. He turned to me and he said, “Have you ever seen a picture of the Sphinx?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “It embodies the four fixed quarters of the universe. You have the lion, the eagle the bull and man. And here is man that is the head. The crown of that creature called the Sphinx, which still defies man’s knowledge to unriddle it, was crowned with a human head. And look carefully at the head, Neville, and you will see whoever modeled that head must have been a negro. Whoever modeled it had the face of a negro and if that still defies man’s ability to unravel it, I am very proud that I am a negro.”

I have seen scientists, doctors, lawyers, bankers, from every walk of life seek an audience with old Abdullah, and everyone who came thought themselves honored to be admitted to his home and to receive an interview. If he was ever invited out– and he was– he was always the honored guest.

He said, “Neville, you must first start with self. Find self, don’t be ashamed ever of the being you are. Discover it and start the changing of that self.”

Well, I told this gentleman exactly what Abdullah had taught me: that there was no cause outside of the arrangement of his own mind. If he was discriminated against, it was not because of the pigment of his skin, though he showed me signs as large as all outdoors denying him access to a certain area. The sign is there only because in the minds of some men such patterns are formed and they draw unto themselves what now they would condemn; that there is no power outside the mind of man to do anything to man; and he, by the arrangement of his own mind, by consenting to these restrictions in his cradle and being conditioned slowly through his youth, waking into manhood, believing himself set upon, would have to be set upon, but “no man cometh unto me save I call him.”

So then someone comes to condemn or to praise. They couldn’t come unless I call them. Not a man called Neville, but that secret being that is not called Neville. The secret being that is the sum total of all of my beliefs, all of the things that I consent to, that form a pattern of structure, that secret being draws unto itself things in harmony with itself.

Well, that man went away and wrestled with himself. He couldn’t believe everything I told him, not that night, but last Sunday morning in the lobby, he came forward and we renewed the friendship. He took me next door to show me the fruit of this teaching.

He said, “Neville, it took me almost three years to really overcome that fixed idea that I, by the accident of birth, would be a secondary citizen, but I overcame it. Now here is my office on Wilshire Boulevard. I picked this one not because it was the only one offered; four equally wonderful spots were offered me. I took this one because it had greater telephone facilities, but the others were equally good. Now here is my office. Now you couldn’t judge my income from this office, lovely as it is. Everything is nice about it, but, Neville, this year I will net a quarter of a million dollars.”

Well, in America that is still a fabulous sum of money. It would be staggering in any other part of the world, but even in fabulous America a man to net a quarter of a million is really up in the very highest of brackets. And that was the man that a few years ago told me the whole vast world was against him by reason of the accident of birth. He knows now he is what he is by virtue of the state of consciousness with which he is identified, and the choice is his to go back to the restrictions of his childhood when he believed the story, or to continue in the freedom that he has found.

So you and I can be anything in this world we desire to be if we will clearly define our aim in life and constantly occupy that aim. It must be habitual. The concept we hold of self that is noble must not be put on just for a moment and taken off when we leave this church. We feel free here; we feel that we have something in common; that’s why we are here; but are we going to wear the noble concept we now hold of self when we go through the door and enter that bus, or are we going to return to the restrictions that were ours prior to coming here?

The choice is ours and the hardest lesson to learn is that there is no one in this world that can be drawn into your world unless you, and you alone, call him.

So do not do what they did thousands of years ago, for that is the beginning of the secession of the great truth. So we are told they turned away from it, never again to walk with it, and the few who remained didn’t like it either, but where would they go if this is the word of eternal truth? Not that it’s true for this day and age, but if this is the law of being, and in all the dimensions of my being it holds good, if this is eternally true, then let me learn the lesson now, though I wrestle with myself as he did for three years.

So, the changing of the feeling of “I” is a selective thing because unnumbered states are infinite states, but the “I” is not the state. The “I” believes itself to be the state when it enters and fuses with it– so he was presented with a state and, without the faculty of discrimination in his youth, he fused with the state and believed these restrictions were true, and it took him three years to disentangle the “I” from these fixed ideas with which he had lived for so many years.

Now you may take only a moment or you, too, may take your three years. I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take you, but I’ll tell you this much. It can be measured by the feeling of naturalness. You can wear a feeling until it’s natural. The moment the feeling becomes natural, it will begin to bear fruit within your world.

So I told this story at a small gathering here in the city, and not very many asked questions about it, but three people asked: “But he must have had money before. He must have known the right people. He must in some way have had some substance to start it, because how can you go out to loan a hundred million dollars and call that a real fact of being that you have that to loan, and tell me you didn’t have someone who had it or you, yourself, didn’t have it?”

I did not ask the gentleman about the individual facts of the case. I went into the office, I saw it, I didn’t look at his books; he volunteered this information, and gave me the figure of a quarter of a million net for the year. I have not checked or in any way verified the statement; I believe it implicitly. But I will not go along with those who believe that, unless you have certain things to start with, you can’t apply this law. You can start now from scratch and choose the being you want to be. You aren’t going to change the pigment of your skin but you will find your accent or the pigment of skin or your so-called racial background will not be a hindrance, for if a man is ever hindered it can only be the state of consciousness in which he abides that hinders him.

Man is freed or constrained by reason of the state of mind in which he persists. If you persist in it… well, then I will say, “persist in it,” but I warn you no one cares, and that is an awful blow when a man discovers that no one– no one but himself– really cares. So we find ourselves weeping with ourselves in the hope of getting others to weep with us. And what an awful shock when the day arrives we discover that no one really ever cared. They will give us some little listening ear for a moment just as they were passing by, but they really didn’t care.

When we make that discovery we shake ourselves out of it and boldly appropriate the gift our Father gave us before that the world was.

So let me show you the gift. You’ve read your Lord’s Prayer possibly daily, but you read it as a prayer from a translation of a translation which does not reveal the sense of the evangelist.

The real translation you will find in Ferrar Fenton’s work, where, in the original, it is written in the imperative passive mood, which is like a standing order, a thing to be done absolutely and continuously.

So that you can look now upon your universe as one vast inter-knit machinery where all things happen: there isn’t a thing to become; all things are taking place, so it is written in this manner:

“Thy will must be being done. Thy kingdom must be being restored.”

It is the only way you could express it if you would express the imperative passive mood. But from the Latin– from which our translation was made– there is no first aorist of the imperative passive mood. So we have it in the way we have it, but it does not reveal the intent of the mysteries.

If you will see all things are now, you don’t become; you simply select the state that you would occupy. Occupying it, you seem to become, but it is already a fact, every aspect of that state in its most minute detail; it’s worked out and taking place. You, by occupying the state, seem to go through the action of unfolding that state, but the state is completely finished and taking place.

So now you can choose the being you want to be, and, by choosing a being other than what you are now expressing, you start the change of the feeling of “I.”

Now, how will I know that I have changed the feeling of “I”? By beginning first with an uncritical observation of my reactions to life and then noticing my reactions when I think I am identified with my choice. If I assume that I am the man that I want to be, let me observe my reactions. If they are as they were, I have not identified myself with my choice, for my reactions are automatic, and so, if I am changed, I would automatically change my reactions to life.

So the changing of the feeling of “I” results in a change of reaction, which change of reaction is a change of environment and behavior.

But let me warn you now. A little alteration of mood is not a transformation; it’s not a real change of consciousness. Because as I change my mood for the moment, it can quickly and rapidly be, I would say, replaced by another mood in the reverse direction.

When I say that “I was changed,” as that gentleman changed his mood, his basic mood, his state of consciousness, it means that having assumed that I am what the moment denied, what my reason denied, that I remain in that state long enough to make that state stable. So that all of my energies are flowing from that state.

I am no longer thinking of that state. I am thinking from that state.

So that wherever a state grows so stable as to definitely expel all of its rivals, then that central, habitual state of consciousness from which I think defines my character and is really a true transformation or change of consciousness. Whenever I reach that state of stability, watch my world mold itself then in harmony with this inner change. And men will come into my world, people will come to aid and they will think they are initiating the urge to help. They are playing only their part. They must do what they do because I have done what I did. Having moved from one state into the other, I have altered my relationship relative to the world round about, and that changed relationship compels a change in behavior relative to my world. So they have to act differently toward me.

So in changing the “I,” you start with desire, which we will unfold and elaborate on tomorrow night. For it starts with desire. Desire is the spring of action, for you must want to be other than what you are. We fail because we do not fall in love enough with an idea. We aren’t, I would say, moved enough to want to be other than what we are.

If I could get you to be completely in love with some state to the point where it haunted the mind, I could almost prophesy that you would in the not distant future externalize that state within your world. And the reason we fail (is that) we aren’t hungry enough to change. For either we do not know the law, or we haven’t the urge or the hunger to really bring about the change. For the changing of the feeling of “I” results in the change of reaction, which change of reaction results in a change of world.

If you like your world and you are complacent about it, you haven’t started on the road of the mysteries, for the very first beatitude appeals to one who is not complacent:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit.”

You must be poor in spirit, not complacent, not satisfied. The man who thinks that, by reason of birth, the religion that he inherited at birth, is good enough for me, that he is not dissatisfied– he is not, I would say, moved– that being is complacent and therefore he is not poor in spirit; he is very rich in spirit. Theirs is not the kingdom of God.

For if I could stir you, make you dissatisfied with self, then you will recognize that self and set about to change it. For the only field of activity for man is within himself and on himself. You do not work on the other. The day you change self, that day you change your world.

Now I see my time is going to its quick end. And so in the remaining minute I have left here let me not urge you, because if you come to the meeting tomorrow night not really hungry, you wouldn’t benefit, but I do hope that many of you are there. Even if you are stirred to the point of trying to, I would say, disprove what I told you, I would accept that challenge for in the attempt to disprove it, I know if you were sincere in your attempt, you would prove it.

So I hope many of you will come and take this feast with us. We are here in the city (Los Angeles) at the Ebell for 15 nights, Monday thru Friday, as Mr. Smith told you, for three consecutive weeks. If you can’t take all– and I do hope many of you will take all– then pick out the title s that appeal to you.

Tomorrow night to me is basic; it is the importance of defining an aim in this world, having a goal, for without an aim you are aimless. And you were warned in the Book, or I would say, in the Epistle of James that “the double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let not such a man believe that he shall receive anything of the Lord; for he is like a wave that is driven and tossed by the wind.” That man never reaches his goal. So you must have an aim, and tomorrow night we will show you the importance of defining desire. There are certain schools who teach you to kill out desire; we teach you to intensify desire and show you the reason for such teaching, show you what the Bible teaches about desire.

And now we will come to the help that many of you have asked for today.

Those who were not here on Sunday: let me remind you it is a very simple technique. As I told you on Sunday, any time that you exercise your imagination, and do it lovingly on behalf of another, you are mediating God to man.

So we sit quietly and we simply become imitators of our Father. And He called the world into being by being the thing he would call. And so we sit and we listen as though we heard someone congratulating us on having found what we seek. So we go to the end of the matter and we listen just as though we heard, and we look as though we saw, and we try in this manner to feel ourselves right into the situation of our answered prayer, and there we wait in the silence just for about two minutes, and so they will lower the lights to aid you. And let me remind you if you want to clear your throat, please do so. If you want to shift your position in the chair, do so. Feel as though you are alone at home, because if you don’t and you try not to disturb the neighbor, you will not be able to exercise your imagination on behalf of anyone.

So now I will take the chair and just simply listen attentively, just as though you heard. I’ll make you this promise: the day you are very still in mind and really become attentive, you will hear as coming from without what really you are whispering from within yourself.

 

What Job SHOULD have done (Neville Goddard)

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!  

You can listen to this entire lecture (one of my favorites!) via this YouTube video.


 

…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?

(unintelligible)

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.)

Job: Your Biography

An email to a friend:

Howdy! Hope all is well! I’m sorry I haven’t seen you… I’ve been STRICTLY adhering to my overnight schedule even during a week when we don’t have groups, like this one. It just makes it so much easier. The downside is, I get up between noon and 2 and it’s too late to catch you, darn it. But I can usually make it to PK Coffee by 2:30, which is where I am right now. It’s PACKED.


Subject line = not “Job” as in work, but “Job” as in “the book of the bible.” I’ve been delving into it recently: over the fall, I discovered a Neville Goddard lecture called JOB: YOUR BIOGRAPHY which really hit home and has become my favorite, and that spurred me to delve into it and read it, which blew me away so much that I bought a used copy of this EXHAUSTIVE study bible called THE INTERPRETER’S BIBLE, which is absolutely thick with commentary and expository/explanatory material. (See the photo of a typical page.)  

I think that right now, if I was teaching a writing class, I would do a unit on the Book of Job. By all accounts, it’s one of the great pieces of literature ever written, first of all. (Having not read all of them, and being someone who considers many episodes of STAR TREK to be “great literature,” I feel ill-suited to comment on that assertion.) Second of all, it has been parsed and misinterpreted and mistranslated and misunderstood almost since the day it was set to paper, so that would be fodder for research and discussion. (example: Neville talks about how “the patience of Job” is a complete misrepresentation of the work, “because Job was the most IMPATIENT person on the planet.”) Third, its provenance and history as a manuscript (two manuscripts, apparently written by two or more different authors: the prose prologue and epilogue, and the middle verse “dialogue”) is fascinating. Fourth, the use of language and symbols, and how so much in the manuscript is deliberate in ways that aren’t immediately evident on the surface. Numbers, for instance: all numbers in scripture had significance of some kind, so when, for instance, we’re told that something numbers seven, it may have a surface meaning, but the deeper spiritual meaning was one of “completion.” 

Those just for starters. Just delving into this work on my own has shown me how woefully inadequate a lot of my education has been. Or maybe not… if I hadn’t done what I’d done, I wouldn’t KNOW TO look at this work in the way that I am.

It’s stoking me in a lot of ways, but mainly, unexpectedly, as a writer, and that’s why I’d present it to writers. Right now I’m trying to figure out what direction I’m going to take with a lot of disparate works that are in embryonic stages. I can see at least three books coming out of a nebulous mass of very rough drafts and ideas that I’ve been toying with, and with one of them, anyway, JOB has given me the idea that I should try to write the book in blank verse, and be very deliberate, dreamlike, mystical, with the structure of the book. Without, you know, being full of shit.

All this is what I’d toss at you if I saw you in person, but since I’m sitting here at the cafe, I’m typing it.

Hope to see you and catch up soon! 🙂 m

“Justified States” – Neville Goddard lecture transcript

Here is a transcript of Neville Goddard’s April 1969 lecture Justified States. This is one of the hundred or so lectures that is widely available online as an audio recording, but I have yet to see a transcript of it, so I transcribed it, with the intention of eventually publishing it as an annotated transcript, with citations of scriptural and literary references. In the meantime, though, you can read along with the audio when you listen. Enjoy! –m


 

Tonight we will take both the Law and the Promise.

Just a little while on the Promise, that you may not be concerned. For I do know that so many people tell us that we must do this, that and the other, “or else.” Well, you forget it.
God planned everything as it has come out, and as it will be consummated.
It is your Father’s good pleasure to GIVE you the Kingdom. You do not EARN it; it’s not your “due”; it’s not a reward. It’s simply a GIFT… unmerited.

And therefore, you cannot lose it. This gift is irrevocable.

So no man can take it from you; no man can give it to you.

So let no one frighten you. It is yours and it’s coming on time.

And the gift is nothing less than God Himself.

When He gives you the Kingdom, He gives you Himself. For the Kingdom is not a realm. The Kingdom is a character. It’s a body. And that body is perfect. And wherever you are, clothed in that body, everything around you is perfect. No matter where you go… were you in the Petrified Forest, it would burst into foliage. Were you in the desert, it would simply blossom like the rose. Were you in the midst of all broken members of society, they would all be in harmony. If you came into a world where they were blind, lame, halt, withered, instantly, as you glide by, eyes that were missing would come out of the nowhere and fill the empty sockets. Arms that are missing, feet missing– everything will be made perfect because YOU are present.

That is God’s gift, which is the gift of Himself, which is His body.

One day you’ll be clothed with that body.

So set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ within you. That is the unfolding within you of God and His son.

And this is the hope that makes it wisdom to endure the burden of this long, dark night of time.

For as Paul said: “I consider the sufferings of this present time not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us.”

We are told we are justified by His grace.

Well, “justification” in scripture is divine acquittal.

You are completely acquitted– no matter what you have ever done, you are acquitted.

So when we are told: “Those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son; and those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified.”

So justification is simply divine acquittal, and glorification is the gift of God Himself to you, so that man then matures when he becomes his own father.

So we say, “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.” In giving us the Kingdom, He gives us Himself. In giving us Himself, man becomes his own father.

So let no one worry you; let no one in any way suggest that you’ve got to DO something to earn it– you cannot earn the Kingdom. You cannot earn this gift. This is a gift– unmerited– and it’s not your due. Were it your due, then it’s not a gift. It’s not given as a reward. You are made fit for the Kingdom, and your fitness for the Kingdom is the consequence, not the condition, of His gift. The minute He gives you Himself, you are fitted for the Kingdom, and you wear the body of God. And everything in your presence, while you wear it, is made perfect.

But, having given us the Promise– the Promise comes first in scripture– then, we are told, He gave us the Law: the Law to cushion us, while we, as pilgrims, walk through the furnaces.

And so we have a Law. Man is not aware of the Law. Even the wisest of men, they’re not aware of it.

I’ll go back now to 1949. I was in Milwaukee. And I gave a series of lectures on the Bible. And this couple, he was a physicist– the head physicist– of Allis Chalmers. They’re a huge, big manufacturing firm making these turbines, sometimes bigger than this interior. And he was the head of the chemical department, where they would send waters from all over the world who bought the turbine, and he would analyze the water to discover the problem that they faced; because the water, as it came through the stream, gathered the chemicals, and then the chemicals deposited itself within the turbine; and so they would send him samples of the water, and then he would analyze the water, and then send them the solution to their problem.

Well, being a trained chemist, and the head of the department, he didn’t take issue with me, but he said: “Neville, I can’t quite go along with you. Because as a chemist, it’s in conflict with my training. You tell me that I can go forward in time, that you can move backwards in time, that all things are, and everything is now, at this very moment. And yet you are telling me that you can make things change, and it is in conflict with my training.

“We have a law known,” said he, “and we call it ‘entropy.’ And ‘entropy’ means that the past is fixed and unalterable. You cannot change it. If that could be changed, it throws everything out of kilter in my lab. I must know the past is unalterable– like braiding a lady’s hair, and the braided part, that’s fixed. The rest is future, not yet braided. We are waiting to see how it will develop from the braided part. Because that is completely fixed and unalterable. And you tell me it is not; that the whole vast world exists now– past, present, and future– and that you can go into these sections of time, in a world that is finished. Well, I can’t go along with that.”

That’s perfectly all right. I’m not a chemist; I’m not a scientist, so I cannot argue the point with you. I only know my visions. And I teach vision as I have actually experienced it. And I can go into these spots. I have gone into these places and the past has not passed away. And it’s fixed, as you say, but I’m quite sure one could go back and revise that past, and change it.

And I can go forward into the future– that I do know– and set it up to walk across a bridge of incident; when I come to that point in time where I have entered, it takes on the color and the tone and the reality that I assumed it to be when I entered that state.
“Can’t be done.”

But he was a very honest man, as most of these fellows are; they’re trained to be honest. How else could they achieve what they do achieve in science unless they’re perfectly honest with themselves?

Well, in the month of November, I received a letter from him. And he sent me the science newsletter dated October the 15th. And it was all about the positron. And the one who wrote it was Professor Richard Feynman–he was then professor of physics at Cornell University. Twenty years later– only last year– they granted him the Nobel Prize in Physics for that paper. It took them twenty years to recognize what he said as theory back in 1949.

And if I can quote it, this is it: “The positron is a wrong-way electron. It’s ‘wrong way’ in every sense of the word. It moves backwards in time. It moves from where it hasn’t been and speeds to where it was an instant ago. Arriving there, it is bumped so hard its time-sense is reversed and it moves back to where it hasn’t been.”

Now that is not Neville speaking; that is Professor Feynman. For that he got the Nobel Prize last year.

He said: “It’s not only backwards in that sense, but even its charge is backwards. It’s a positron; it’s positive and not negative. And yet it is an electron.”

When they first observed it– or rather had it as theory– they did not want to admit it, but yet it fitted in with Einstein’s theory, mathematically, so they had to in some way accept it, but no one had ever photographed it. Then came someone who photographed it in their studies of the cosmic rays, and here it was the actual positron. It seemed as though two were developed at a certain point. And it wasn’t, said he. That one coming back, which was the positron, should, if it is bounced, it should be deflected and continue on its course, but deflected course. On the other hand, if it’s bounced so hard, it’s not deflected; it’s reversed, and moves forward in a normal manner to where it hasn’t been.

Well, I told him that I was sitting at home, and I would go into a section of time, even– this year, for instance. This is now only April. I put myself in Christmas. I would feel the stores are all dressed for Christmas. I could hear the music of Christmas, all the carols. I’d walk through Saks Fifth Avenue, in New York City, go into Best, go into the other, and I would feel all that I would feel if it were true that it’s Christmas– that it’s the month of Christmas. And then when I feel that it’s all Christmas, then I would feel that things are as I desire them to be back in the month, say, of March, or July, which was certainly not Christmas season. So take a hot, hot day in July, and I’m feeling it to be cold, and snow on the ground, and all the dressings for Christmas. And then I would open my eyes, and bounce back, and shock myself, because it seems so real to me that, when I came back, and opened my eyes upon July, and it’s hot, I thought, “Now, are you kidding yourself?” No; when I went forward in time quite normally, waiting out the days, the months to the month of December, things happened as I actually had assumed that they would. I went forward and determined– predetermined– what would happen.

Well, when he sent me this, he wrote a sweet, lovely letter saying, “Neville, I must confess: I didn’t see it; no one saw it until Professor Feynman in his lab discovered this. But he discovered it by theory. And you tell me you know it by vision. You’re not a scientist, and yet all that you said to me– which I could not believe, and even this moment it’s difficult for me to believe– here comes the great Professor, a theoretical physicist, and he is the one who wrote this paper.” For that he got the Nobel Prize last year. He worked on our atomic bomb; he worked on the hydrogen bomb. Then he asked the government to relieve him of the secrecy imposed upon him because of his position, and he came here to Cal Tech and taught at Cal Tech: Theoretical Physics. He said, “I want the freedom of imagination. I didn’t want to be confined with the secrets of government so that I could not express myself. Leave me alone”– all in theory. So he goes blindly on with his mathematics and his theory, bringing out these concepts, all theory.

Well, mine is not theory. I go into these states.

Now, look at it this way: see the whole vast world as infinite states. All states. If they are all states, and you are an immortal being– you are not a state; you are immortal– you enter a state and the state becomes alive.

Therefore, you are not to blame if you enter a state unwittingly, and it’s a horrible state.

Man, not knowing– yet you are in a state; they condemn you. But you have to express the contents of that state.

If you enter the state of poverty, you have to experience poverty. If you remain in it, you must go and drink that to the very last drop: the dregs of that cup. If you go into any state, and remain in that state, you are going to drink it to the very last drop. 

But you can get out of a state. You don’t have to remain in it if you know it’s a state.
If you don’t know it’s a state, you identify yourself with the state and think that you’re it.
Man has identified himself with this little body. And he thinks he is it. So the day comes he has to discard it because he’s worn it out. And he discards it; all his friends are crying to think he died. He can’t die. He is an immortal being who wore a garment of flesh–flesh and blood. That same being who goes into states: remaining in a state, and the state has to be expressed by him who resurrected the state. For I AM the resurrection and the life of that state.

Now, you can change an individual, with or without his consent, if you so desire.

Here is a story of a friend of mine [Freedom Barry]. I persuaded him to give up his job here [Los Angeles] — I knew he was a single man, and he would like to do what I am doing. So I said, “San Francisco is wide open. I only go there once a year for four weeks at a time.” Now I have reduced it to two weeks at a time. But I used to go, in the early years, four weeks. I said, “They need someone badly who knows this Law. You can’t teach The Promise because you do not know it. You can tell it, but from hearsay, because you have not experienced the Promise. But you do know the Law. And you are presentable; you are a gentleman; you go up there– I will not give you any money, but I will give you my mailing list of five hundred; it’s a live list, and you send out my list and when I go, I will tell her that I allowed to have my list, and I will get behind you in that manner, but not in any other way. You’ve got to go on faith.”

Well, he quit his job here– he has seniority of eight years in the place that he worked. He goes up to San Francisco, and he made arrangements to open. He had a little dog– lovely little dog– and he was walking this dog one afternoon before he opened, and a man came over and greeted him and said, “What a nice little dog you have.” And then after the usual greetings, he said, “Can you help me out? I haven’t eaten today. I’m out of work.” And my friend said, “No. I have no money. But I will do what I can, but I can’t give you any money.” The man couldn’t understand that– you can’t give me money; what else could you do?

My friend did not move one step after he said “no” to the request –the man went off. He remained there until he imagined that man in his presence gainfully employed, happy in the job, and standing on his own feet.

That was taking the story in the book of Acts: when a man came to John and Peter, and he could not stand on his own feet, and he was begging at the temple door. And Peter said, “Gold and silver have I not for thee, but such as I have, give I unto you. Rise and walk,” and he rose and walked. It doesn’t mean a cripple jumped up and walked. That’s an entire different structure that I do know is possible when you wear the garment of God. You couldn’t come into the presence of anyone as a cripple. The minute you came by, he ceases to be a cripple. If he has no feet, feet come and fill the sockets. If he’s blind, they [eyes] come in and fill the sockets, and he is not blind. And you do nothing to do it. No compassion– you simply are so perfect that nothing imperfect can remain in your presence.

But in this case, on this level, no one is going to actually jump up from the crippled state and start walking. But he takes a man who is crippled, who is standing on other peoples’ feet by begging from them.

Well, a month later, he was walking his dog and he saw this man and he crossed the street– the man crossed the street– and came over to him. He said, “I don’t suppose you remember me.”

He said, “Oh, yes I do. I remember you, just about a month ago, that you asked me for money.”

And he said, “Yes, and I want to thank you for not giving it to me,” and extended his hand to my friend. He said, “Had you given me the money, I today would be asking you for money. Because you did not give me, I was so embarrassed and so annoyed with myself that I put myself in that position, I went out the very next day and I got a job– a good job; it pays well. And it has promise of growth. And I am very happy in the job. So again: let me thank you for not giving me the money.”

He put the man on his own feet by representing him to himself as one gainfully employed.

That’s what I’m talking about when I tell you: they’re all states. He took him out of one state, and put him in another state. The man who is in the new state is the same man.

You are an immortal being. You are changing only when you fall into a state. And others who knew you well in one state think, “What has happened to him?” You either go up, or you go down– if they see a radical change, and they wonder, “What has happened to him? He is affluent, he is this, he is that,” or “What has happened to him? He used to be, and look at him now.” And not a thing changed with the immortal being who occupies the state, other than the state– he changed the state!

Man not knowing that, he condemns the state, when it’s not the being you’re looking at; you’re looking at the state.

So God forgives everyone– he justifies everyone, because he knows they’re only in states.

And the Lord created all these states. These are the states. Well, that is what Blake meant, when he said, “I do not consider either the just or the wicked to be in a supreme state, but to be every one of them states of the sleep which the soul may fall into in its deadly dreams of good and evil when it left paradise following the serpent.”

“Following the serpent:” when man left that heavenly state of innocence, and came into a world of experience, of educative darkness, and experienced generation. For here we are generating: multiplying in these garments to clothe the innocent one who has come down. So the whole drama is from innocence through experience to an awakened imagination. When the imagination completely awakes, that’s the divine body: Jesus. That’s God. And it takes all of this journey– we are the pilgrims moving through states.

So I tell you: master the art of moving from one state to another state. You are not the state; you never have been and you never will be. The state– if you are going to condemn, condemn the state. But why condemn anything? Move him out of a state into another state. Move yourself out of one state into another state.

So others say it can’t be done? Leave them alone. They’ll say it can’t be done. You go about your Father’s business, moving from state to state as you desire it.

Now it all starts with a hunger. It starts with a real desire on your part. And all these infinite states are simply to satisfy the hungers of men.

So you want to be good, as you understand “good” to be? You want to be wealthy, as you understand it? You want to be famous, as you understand it? All these are states. Go into the state before you are qualified. Go into the state and stay there. The state has all the things necessary to externalize itself. But you are the occupant power. You have to go into the state and dwell there.

Now: as I go into it, let me remain in it. If I come back, like the positron, I’m simply going to be turned right around– I’m not going to be deflected, and continue my journey in the same direction, only deflected; I’m going to be so shocked–and everyone is shocked. When I go into a state and it seems like this, seems so real. When I open my eyes: well, here I am, back here.

But that shock turns me around from my return to that motion forward now as an electron. I’m not a positron anymore. I was a positron when I actually started back in time, and when I reach this body, and the body is jolted when I open my eyes, then what I did there, I’m moving across a bridge of incident now– some series of events that leads me up to the fulfilment in what the world calls “reality.”

But it was real when I occupied it in my imagination. That’s when it was real.

We exist in these bodies. We live in our imaginations. For our imaginations– these are the only realities. Imagination is God. That is the divine body: Jesus.

I used to sit and simply try it in my living room. I couldn’t see the chair where I sat in the living room from the telephone in the hallway. I would sit at the telephone in my imagination, while my body was in the living room. And then I would assume I am at the telephone. Physically, I couldn’t see that body. And then suddenly, I would feel myself back on the chair. And what a shock. And then from the chair, I would put myself back at the telephone.

I would stand one the outside of the house and see it like this building– see it from the street, rather than from here– and assume while I’m standing here that I am looking at the building from the outside, and suddenly you are on the outside, and you’re looking at it from the outside.

Do it with your own home. Do it with anything in your room. And that gets you sort of in a state of moving. You become mobile, as it were. And it’s easy, then, to occupy any state. And they’re only states!

So when someone thinks themselves so important, it’s only a state, but that’s all right. That state, in itself, is important to them, and anyone occupying that state must do exactly what they would do.

If I were in the state of Hitler, I would do the same thing Hitler did, because it’s a state, and if I fall into it– knowingly or unknowingly– I’ve got to play that part.

So he [Blake] does not consider the just or the wicked to be in a supreme state, but to be every one of them states of the sleep which the soul falls into when it leaves paradise following the serpent; that serpent of generation.

So here: you can be what you want to be, if you know that all these are only states.
And in the end, you are justified. You’re completely exonerated. You are acquited; divinely acquited.

So let no one frighten you as to what you must do to earn the Kingdom. You do not earn the Kingdom. It’s your Father’s good pleasure to give it to you. And it’s a gift that is not your due. It’s not a reward for any good things you did. If you’re in a state and you think that the good things you are doing– it’s only the state. You moved into it– and I personally find it easier living in my world to be in good states. I find it easier to be kind than to be unkind. If I’m ever unkind, it hurts me more than anyone who receives my dart, as it were. An unkind remark hurts me more than the one who received it from me.

So I find it easier to be in that sort of a state.

But eventually, you will completely awake with the gift, and the gift is God himself, There’s nothing but God in this world; but nothing but God.

Someone called me up and asked me about devils: that she went down to this Christian Science practitioner, who now feels she is hounded with devils. Well, they teach [about] devils– how the devil does this, the devil does that– but that’s getting away from the first and great commandment, which is the great commandment: the Sh’ma, the confession of faith in the Hebraic world.

Hear O (Israel), the Lord, our God, the Lord is One.

The minute you get away from that, you have a devil: there’s another God, another creator, another something, and if you have two, you’re going to have four, you’re going to have eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on.

Always come back to that fundamental state: there is only God, and God is your own wonderful human imagination. When you say I AM, that’s God. There is no other, and never will be another God. He is going to unfold himself within you, and completely awaken, and when he awakens, you are God.

And then you’ll be clothed in that heavenly garment, and I’m telling you, it’s a heavenly garment. I can’t describe it other than to tell you when you’re in it, you’re not standing on the earth. You’re lifted off, as it were, and I can only describe it as air and fire.

And when you glide by, and the sea of humanity–imperfect– you do not raise one little finger to change them. No compassion. Because they cannot remain that way when you go by. And as you glide by, every one is made perfect. Every one. Not one is left out. Doesn’t matter what he did to lose his eyes, what he did to lose his arm, to lose his legs, to lose his tongue. It doesn’t matter what he did. In your presence, he cannot remain imperfect. And every one is made perfect. That is the Kingdom.

So it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. So set your hope fully upon this gift. And then you can endure the temporary ills of the world. Because we are moving through these things, and not every moment of time are we alert to these states, and we can fall into it by reading the newspaper; fall into it by hearing a news bulletin; fall into it by a little conversation with a friend; and there we slip innocently into a state.
But the state isn’t concerned: you animated it, you made it alive when you entered it. Because you are the only resurrecting power in the world. You are the resurrecting, living power of the world. And that power is your own wonderful human imagination.

So everyone here: put your mind at peace and don’t think for one moment by being “good” as the world calls “good”– by attending certain services and doing certain things and observing certain things– that there’s something on the outside watching you, and marking up some little thing in your favor.

No; you’re simply waiting for that appointed moment when He unveils Himself.

So you set your hope fully on the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ within you, which is the Lord and His son. That is Jesus Christ: the Lord and His Christ. And Christ is the son of God. And no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is the remembrance. Well, he doesn’t really bring about that remembrance until the Son appears, and when the Son appears, memory returns and you know who the Lord is, because you know who His son is. And you wear this little garment until– for a few more years. You take it off, and you are not in this world at all. You are in an entirely different world, where everything is perfect, because you are perfect.

And when you want to make yourself seen by another, you make that choice. They do not come in search of you and see you.

I’ll give you one little story: she doesn’t come here anymore. She may not be in the city, but she told me one night, quite innocently, she said, “You know, I found myself [asleep]– I was very, very conscious– and I said to these people around me, ‘Do you know of Neville?’ And they said ‘yes.'” And she said “Who is he?” And with that, she said, “I was whirled as though I was some meteor flying through space–thrown out, as it were, and woke scared to death.”

You do not see one who has been born from above until he chooses to show himself. He must manifest himself to you– you do not go looking for him. Because unless you are born from above, you cannot enter the Kingdom– even though it is His good pleasure to give you the Kingdom, it will come after your birth from above. Prior to that birth, He cannot give you the Kingdom. And one to whom he’s already given the Kingdom is not in the world– though for a little while he is in the world telling the story, telling it from experience, and not from theory.

So I’m telling you exactly what has happened to me. I share it with you. And it’s going to happen to you: every one of you.

So let no one, in any way, try to convince you that you must be a little better than what you are if you would get the Kingdom. The Kingdom is your gift.

And listen to the words, from the 11th chapter of Romans: “It is irrevocable.” The gift and the call of God are irrevocable. You cannot revoke it and no one can revoke it.

And your inheritance is not only God; we’re told in the 4th chapter of Romans, “You inherit the world.” The world is yours, and all within it. You don’t inherit some little portion of the world. You inherit God, and God owns the world, and the world is your inheritance.

So in the 16th Psalm, David is made to say, “The portion of my inheritance is the Lord.”
That’s his portion. He inherits the Lord. The son inherits the Father.

And so a man matures when he becomes his own Father.

This is the great mystery of scripture. And you will inherit the Father. For it is His will, and no one can break His will. It’s your Father’s good pleasure to give you.

So when you hear people bragging about how this one is better than the other one, forget it. They’re judging states. So that man is richer, because he’s [in] a state that is richer than the other one that is poor, but the occupant of the rich state does not differ from the occupant of the poor state. And the occupant of the state tonight that is in jail does not differ from the judge who sentenced him. One is not “better” than the other in the eyes of God. In the eyes of God, all are acquited.

That’s justification. We are justified by His grace, we are told. All are justified by His grace. And grace is an unearned, unmerited gift of God, and that grace is God’s last , his final gift, which is love in action, and God is love. It’s the gift of Himself. And that’s when He gives you Himself; there’s not a thing else to give. He gave you Himself, and the whole vast world is yours.

So we inherit the earth.

Now tonight, I hope you’ll start practicing. Won’t take you any time at all to try it. It costs you nothing. And it works wonders. You can sit here tonight, or you go home, put yourself in the state of affluence– what’s wrong with that? 

I know… well, back in the 1920s, 1930s– we had a deep [financial] Depression starting in 1929– and do you know that you could go to Tiffany, and buy, say, eight glasses– beautiful glasses for a wedding present– cost you, what? Not more than 75 cents. A beautiful glass. In a Tiffany box– the whole thing was a Tiffany box, beautifully done. You’d go into Macy’s, or Gimbels, and you’d buy something not comparable for a dollar, a dollar-twenty-five. But the majority would be seen dead in Tiffany. That was “style.” That was something beyond them. They wouldn’t even walk in– they felt embarrassed to walk in. Yet you could go into Tiffany– the jewels on the first floor; take the elevator to the third, where they had the lovely china, and lovely glassware on another floor– and get a beautiful gift wrapped like it’s from Tiffany– you didn’t have to send two dozen. Eight; that’s enough. Eight beautiful glasses. And people would not go in! They were embarrassed to be seen in Tiffany. I’m quite sure the same thing is true with their branch here [in Los Angeles]. And you could go to Tiffany and buy a lovely thing for very little, really. But people are trained: that means something that’s classy and that, that and the other, and if you’re in one state, you can’t argue them out of it! You’ve got to get out of that state to be able to go into a state.

And if you tell them, you know, at one time in your life, a twelve-dollar suit, that’s all you could afford, and all you thought you could ever afford. To get out of that state and pick something differently, and then you pay $250 for a suit easier than you could get $12 for the other suit! I know it happened in my own case. When I began to buy a suit for $250, it was easier for me to pay $250 than when I had to get up twelve dollars for a suit that, if it rained, I had to start running, or I couldn’t get out of it! (laughter)

Now that is life, and you simply move from one state into another state. And the same being– I am not another being. I answer to the same name. You say “Neville,” I answer; I answered then to the name “Neville.” And yet I moved from one state to another state to another state.

As you move from one state, what you couldn’t do in one state, you find it so easy to do in the other state.

I was in a state, for the longest while, where I couldn’t eat meat, fish, fowl, drink alcohol, smoke, sex–well, I did nothing. But nothing.

Then overnight– my friend Abdullah told me, “You’re going to come back from Barbados and you will have died, you know.”

I said, “I will die?”

He said, “I don’t mean that you’re going to die and be buried in Barbados, or be buried at sea, but you will have died. All the things you haven’t done in seven years, you’ll be doing before you get back.”

You know, he was true. And I couldn’t tell you how it happened. I couldn’t tell you how it happened. It just happened. In Barbados I lived for three months in my mother’s home, and still lived as I did in New York City. And on my trip north, in ten days, I was doing everything I hadn’t done in seven years. And I cannot tell you how it happened. I moved out from one state into another state, and it came to me as normal and as natural to do the things I did at sea as I did, in seven years, the things I didn’t do.

So I tell you: they’re only states. All states of consciousness. And if you recognize that, you can forgive every being in this world, no matter what he is, or what he plans to be, or what he has done. Because in the end, he is going to be justified. He is justified by the grace of God, as we are told. Everyone is justified by the grace of God. He is divinely acquited. And when God acquits him, who is going to judge him? And after justification comes glorification.

So He begins with those whom he foreknew. Well, He foreknew us. For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. And if He chose me in Him before the foundation of the world, then He knew me. And those whom He foreknew, well, then, He also predestined. He predestined them to be conformed to the image of His son: that which reflects His glory, and radiates His glory, and bears the express image of Himself. I am destined to be that: to be the express image of Himself. And those whom He then predestined, He called. Call my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth. Call them all, and He’s calling us one by one by one, for we are so altogether unique. He can’t call us in pairs. Call us one by one. And those whom He called, He also justified. And those whom He justified, He also glorified.

So you are destined to be glorified with God, as God. And it will not, in any way, be stopped by anyone.

So let no one frighten you. From the pulpits of the world, every Sunday morning, they try to scare the people to death. Set themselves up as the criterion of what people ought to be. In other words, look at me, they will say, and follow me.

I saw, in yesterday’s paper, this son of a very prominent evangelist across the country– he’s in Barbados, he’s in all the West Indies, he’s all over Europe– someone in Denmark wrote me three letters recently asking what I think of him. Well, I did not respond. I answered his first two letters, and then when he kept on trying to make this a conversation between us, and he mentioned this party, I did not answer. I never listened to the man; I’ve never read any of his works; but when I read in the paper yesterday, a picture of his son, who confessed that he was simply– he had sinned against his wife and his children– well, you know what he means. And then he sinned against God.

Then I went on to read that this man takes in, in tithes, thirty million dollars a year. In tithes.

He tells them how they’re serving God when they send him money, and taking in thirty million dollars tax free. It’s “religion.” Thirty million.

So now the son has now been removed from being the heir; the father is eighty years old, but he’s still in control of that thirty million a year tax free.

I wonder what he talks about?

So that is big business. When you go into that sort of money, that’s big business, and you have no room in your mind’s eye for any spirituality– none whatsoever!

And you can take that greatest of all books, and make a mess of it, interpreting it as something that is taking place here within the secular world. It isn’t secular at all! This story is profoundly– well, it’s all spirituality! It’s God’s plan of redemption. It hasn’t a thing to do with the secular world. And they’re telling you the future of America, the future of Russia, the future of China– it’s not in scripture! (RECORDING ENDS AT THIS POINT)

“Awake O Sleeper” – Annotated transcript now available

Now available: An annotated transcript of Neville Goddard’s lecture “Awake O Sleeper,” with notes on his sources and other explanatory material.

Cover

ABOUT THIS BOOK:

For someone who didn’t consider himself an erudite, educated person, Neville Goddard was, to say the least, both well-read and widely-read.

Moreover, he so deftly wove paraphrases and references from favorite books and authors into his lectures that those references sounded like original thoughts. But they were often simply unattributed quotes or paraphrases.

An example is the line “The vision has its own appointed hour; it ripens, it will flower. If it seems long, wait, for it is sure and will not be late.” This is a passage from scripture: Habakkuk 2:3. Neville frequently wove such scriptural passages into his lectures, and he often cited them verbally (“That’s the second chapter of the book of Habakkuk”).

But it was Neville’s uncited quotes and paraphrases that I sometimes had difficulty tracking down. Neville made them all sound like scripture, but very often they weren’t. Just doing the most cursory online keyword searches, I discovered that the unattributed references in his lectures were not only from the Bible, but from the works of writers as diverse as William Blake, W.B. Yeats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Shakespeare, Douglas Fawcett, Henry David Thoreau, Richard Feynman, and other lesser-known writers and thinkers.

I encountered this often enough in lectures that I started to feel that a “Neville Concordance,” providing sources for these disparate references and paraphrases, would be valuable to a reader.

Easier to use, though, would be annotated transcripts of his lectures, with the references cited in footnotes, so that a reader didn’t have to flip back and forth between multiple works onscreen or on the page.

Since I’d already transcribed “Awake O Sleeper,” I decided to annotate it with citations to those outside works.

That’s what this chapbook is: it’s the complete transcript of “Awake O Sleeper,” drawn from a source audio recording with two smaller sections from a second-party transcript (sections that were omitted from the beginning and end of my recording), with explanatory notes and sources, so that the reader and student of Neville’s teachings can see the sources from which he drew. Also included is the chapter “God’s Name,” from Neville’s book Freedom For All, which explains the significance of the Hebraic name Jod He Vau He (which he references during the lecture).

This is a 42 page PDF e-book, both readable on any device without loss of formatting AND printable if you want a hard copy!

Click here for more information and to order!

 

 

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.

Law of….?

100_2181[1]Here are some further insights from my journal, spurred by Neville Goddard quotes that I’m typing into the manuscript of the upcoming Still More Neville From My Notebook e-book I’m assembling.

First the Neville quote (from his lecture Test Yourselves)…

See the world as nothing more than yourself pushed out, and everything in it as aiding the birth of your imagination, for the behavior of the world relative to you (is) determined by the concept you hold of yourself! It doesn’t really matter what your individual personal life is; the whole vast world is yourself pushed out and everyone in it is there to aid the birth of all of your imaginal acts. Regardless of whether it takes one or one hundred thousand, everyone will play his part, and you don’t have to ask his permission, for your world is animated by your own wonderful human imagination.

…and now, from my journal:

I quote and parrot this line of Neville’s frequently, remind myself of it — everything I see is myself pushed out– but reading this longer passage, it struck me differently. Especially this line:

“The whole vast world is yourself pushed out and everyone in it is there to aid the birth of all of your imaginal acts.”

This is true especially for things that I ASSUME TO BE TRUE. 

When I assume a truth, I assume a state. In that sense, the law that Neville speaks of is really “the law of assumption.”

Neville often asked, “What do you think is the cause of the phenomena of life?” 

The answer is: we do not realize that by assuming a truth, we are assuming a state. And so we create the phenomena of our lives by giving life. And when that which we assume to be true springs forth, we say, “Look! See? That’s what I told you would happen!” We believe it’s true and thus re-create it, cementing it into place, so to speak.

That’s the cycle:

I believe X is true. X comes forth in my world, which I take as verification that X is true.

So Neville’s teaching really addresses, to me, the often unspoken question of “Why is my life the way it is?” As A. Ramana said, “Think your assumptions might have anything to do with that?”

What so many teachers and students of this stuff apparently pervert is that they practice law of ATTRACTION. When I see that something is “off” in my world, I want to fix it. I see LACK as an indication of need, in the sense that if I feel like I’m lacking, I believe that getting that which I lack will solve the problem. Or: if I feel that my lack is the cause of my unhappiness, then getting that which I lack will bring my happiness.

The tendency is to want to attract the opposite of that which I feel I’m suffering from. So if I’m poor, I think money will bring me happiness and solve my problem. If I’m ill, health will solve my problem. If I’m lonely, sex or love or companionship. Etc etc. Very shallow superficial examples. But they all sort of try to treat the effect by substituting another effect. And the underlying questions– why is my life the way it is? What is the cause of the phenomena of my life?– go unanswered, or only partially answered. Instead, we put our energy into attracting an antidote.

So law of ASSUMPTION implies that the law is working through what we ASSUME to be true. I can take that in a million different directions, but to me the greatest value is that it answers those two underlying questions.

 


Neville From My Notebook

and

More Neville From My Notebook

Cover 2Cover

Two collections of quotes, passages and lectures from the mystical teachings of Neville Goddard, available now as e-books.

Click here for more information and to order!