Neville Goddard: Consciousness Is The Only Reality - Lesson #1

Neville Goddard: Consciousness Is The Only Reality – Lesson #1

by Neville Goddard –

This is going to be a very practical Course. Therefore, I hope that everyone in this class has a very clear picture of what he desires, for I am convinced that you can realise your desires by the technique you will receive here this week in these five lessons.

That you may receive the full benefit of these instructions, let me state now that the Bible has no reference at all to any persons who ever existed or to any event that ever occurred upon earth.

The ancient story tellers were not writing history but an allegorical picture lesson of certain basic principles which they clothed in the garb of history, and they adapted these stories to the limited capacity of a most uncritical and credulous people.

Throughout the centuries we have mistakenly taken personifications for persons, allegory for history, the vehicle that conveyed the instruction for the instruction, and the gross first sense for the ultimate sense intended.

The difference between the form of the Bible and its substance is as great as the difference between a grain of corn and the life germ within that grain. As our assimilative organs discriminate between food that can be built into our system and food that must be discarded, so do our awakened intuitive faculties discover beneath allegory and parable, the psychological life-germ of the Bible; and, feeding on this, we, too, cast off the form which conveyed the message.

The argument against the historicity of the Bible is too lengthy; consequently, it is not suitable for inclusion in this practical psychological interpretation of its stories. Therefore, I will waste no time in trying to convince you that the Bible is not an historical fact.

Tonight I will take four stories and show you what the ancient story-tellers intended that you and I should see in these stories. The ancient teachers attached psychological truths to
phallic and solar allegories. They did not know as much of the physical structure of man as do modern scientists, neither did they know as much about the heavens as do our modern astronomers. But the little they did know they used wisely and they built phallic and solar frames to which they tied the great psychological truths that they had discovered.

In the Old Testament you will find much of the Phallic worship. Because it is not helpful, I am not going to emphasise it. I shall only show you how to interpret it.

Before we come to the first of the psychological dramas that you and I may use in a practical sense, let me state the two outstanding names of the Bible: the one you and I translate as GOD or JEHOVAH, and the one we call his son, which we have as JESUS.

The ancients spelled these names by using little symbols. The ancient tongue, called the Hebraic language, was not a tongue that you exploded with the breath. It was a mystical language never uttered by man. Those who understood it, understood it as rnathematicians understand symbols of higher mathematics. It is not something people used to convey thought as I now use the English language.

They said that God’s name was spelled, JOD HE VAU HE. I shall take these symbols and in our normal, down to earth language, explain them in this manner.

The first letter, JOD in the name GOD is a hand or a seed, not just a hand, but the hand of the director. If there is one organ of man that discriminates and sets him apart from the entire world of creation it is his hand. What we call a hand in the anthropoid ape is not a hand. It is used only for the purpose of conveying food to the mouth, or to swing from branch to branch. Man’s hand fashions, it molds. You cannot really express yourself without the hand. This is the builder’s hand, the hand of the director; it directs, and molds, and builds within your world.

The ancient story-tellers called the first letter JOD, the hand, or the absolute seed out of which the whole of creation will come.

To the second letter, HE, they gave the symbol of a window. A window is an eye — the window is to the house what the eye is to the body.

The third letter, VAU, they called a nail. A nail is used for the purpose of binding things together. The conjunction “and” in the Hebraic tongue is simply the third letter, or VAU. If I want to say ‘man and woman’, I put the VAU in the middle, it binds them together.

The fourth and last letter, HE, is another window or eye.

In this modern, down to earth language of ours, you can forget eyes and windows and hands and look at it in this manner. You are seated here now. This first letter, JOD, is your I AMness, your awareness. You are aware of being aware — that is the first letter. Out of this awareness all states of awareness come.

The second letter, HE, called an eye, is your imagination, your ability to perceive. You imagine or perceive something which seems to be other than Self. As though you were lost in reverie and contemplated mental states in a detached manner, making the thinker and his thoughts separate entities.

The third letter, VAU, is your ability to feel you are that which you desire to be. As you feel you are it, you become aware of being it. To walk as though you were what you want to be is to take your desire out of the imaginary world and put the VAU upon it. You have completed the drama of creation. I am aware of something. Then I become aware of actually being that of which I was aware.

The fourth and last letter in the name of God is another HE, another eye, meaning the visible objective world which constantly bears witness of that which I am conscious of being. You do nothing about the objective world; it always molds itself in harmony with that which you are conscious of being.

You are told this is the name by which all things are made, and without it there is nothing made that is made. The name is simply what you have now as you are seated here. You are conscious of being, aren’t you? Certainly you are. You are also conscious of something that is other than yourself: the room, the furniture, the people.

You may become selective now. Maybe you do not want to be other than what you are, or to own what you see. But you have the capacity to feel what it would be like were you now other than what you are. As you assume that you are that which you want to be, you have completed the name of God or the JOD HE VAU HE. The final result, the objectification of your assumption, is not your concern. It will come into View automatically as you assume the consciousness of being it.

Now let us turn to the Son’s name, for he gives the Son dominion over the world. You are that Son, you are the great Joshua, or Jesus, of the Bible. You know the name Joshua or Jehoshua we have Anglicised as Jesus.

The Son’s name is almost like the Father’s name. The first three letters of the Father’s name are the first three letters of the Son’s name, JOD HE VAU, then you add a SHIN and an AYIN, making the Son’s name read, JOD HE VAU SHIN AYIN’.

You have heard what the first three are: JOD HE VAU. JOD means that you are aware; HE means that you are aware of something; and VAU means that you became aware of being that of which you were aware. You have dominion because you have the ability to conceive and to become that which you conceive. That is the power of creation.

But why is a SHIN put in the name of the Son? Because of the infinite mercy of our Father. Mind you, the Father and the Son are one. But when the Father becomes conscious of being man he puts within the condition called man that which he did not give unto himself. He puts a SHIN for this purpose; a SHIN is symbolised as a tooth.

A tooth is that which consumes, that which devours. I must have within me the power to consume that which I now dislike. I, in my ignorance, brought to birth certain things I now dislike and would like to leave behind me. Were there not within me the flames that would consume it, I would be condemned forever to live in a world of all my mistakes. But there is a SHIN, or flame, within the name of the Son, which allows that Son to become detached from states He formerly expressed within the world. Man is incapable of seeing other than the contents of his own consciousness.

If I now become detached in consciousness from this room by turning my attention away from it, then, I am no longer conscious of it. There is something in me that devours it within me. It can only live within my objective world if I keep it alive within my consciousness.

It is the SHIN, or a tooth, in the Son’s name that gives him absolute dominion. Why could it not have been in the Father’s name? For this simple reason: Nothing can cease to be in the Father. Even the unlovely things cannot cease to be. If I once give it expression, forever and ever it remains locked within the dimensionally greater Self which is the Father. But I would not like to keep alive within my world all of my mistakes. So I, in my infinite mercy gave to myself, when I became man, the power to become detached from these things that I, in my ignorance, brought to birth in my world..

These are the two names which give you dominion. You have dominion if, as you walk the earth, you know that your consciousness is God, the one and only reality. You become aware of something you would like to express or possess. You have the ability to feel that you are and possess that which but a moment before was imaginary. The final result, the embodying of your assumption, is completely outside of the offices of a three-dimensional mind. It comes to birth in a way that no man knows.

If these two names are clear in your mind’s eye, you will see that they are your eternal names. As you sit here, you are this JOD HE VAU HE; you are the JOD HE VAU SHIN AYIN.

The stories of the Bible concern themselves exclusively with the power of imagination. They are really dramatisations of the technique of prayer, for prayer is the secret of changing the future. The Bible reveals the key by which man enters a dimensionally larger world for the purpose of changing the conditions of the lesser world in which he lives.

A prayer granted implies that something is done in consequence of the prayer, which otherwise would not have been done. Therefore, man is the spring of action, the directing mind, and the one who grants the prayer.

The stories of the Bible contain a powerful challenge to the thinking capacity of man. The underlying truth — that they are psychological dramas and not historical facts — demands reiteration, inasmuch as it is the only justification for the stories. With a little imagination we may easily trace the psychological sense in all the stories of the Bible.

” And God said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him” Gen. 1:26, 27.

Here in the first chapter of the Bible the ancient teachers laid the foundation that God and man are one, and that man has dominion over all the earth. If God and man are one, then God can never be so far off as even to be near, for nearness implies separation.

The question arises: What is God? God is man’s consciousness, his awareness, his I AMness. The drama of life is a psychological one in which we bring circumstances to pass by our attitudes rather than by our acts. The corner-stone on which all things are based is mans concept of himself. He acts as he does, and has the experiences that he does, because his concept of himself is what it is, and for no other reason. Had he a different concept of himself, he would act differently and have different experiences.

Man, by assuming the feeling of his wish fulfilled, alters his future in harmony with his assumption, for, assumptions though false, if sustained, will harden into fact.

The undisciplined mind finds it difficult to assume a state which is denied by the senses. But the ancient teachers discovered that sleep, or a state akin to sleep, aided man in making his assumption. Therefore, they dramatised the first creative act of man as one in which man was in a profound sleep. This not only sets the pattern for all future creative acts, but shows us that man has but one substance that is truly his to use in creating his world and that is himself.

” And the Lord God (man) caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman.” Gen. 2: 21, 22.

Before God fashions this woman for man he brings unto Adam the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air and has Adam name them. “Whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.”

If you will take a concordance or a Bible dictionary and look up the word thigh as used in this story you will see that it has nothing to do with the thigh. It is defined as the soft parts that are creative in a man, that hang upon the thigh of a man.

The ancient story-tellers used this phallic frame to reveal a great psychological truth. An angel is a messenger of God. You are God, as you have just discovered for your consciousness is God, and you have an idea, a message. You are wrestling with an idea, for you do not know that you are already that which you contemplate, neither do you believe you could become it. You would like to, but you do not believe you could.

Who wrestles with the angel? Jacob. And the word Jacob, by definition, means the supplanter.

You would like to transform yourself and become that which reason and your senses deny. As you wrestle with your ideal, trying to feel that you are it, this is what happens. When you actually feel that you are it, something goes out of you. You may use the words, “Who has touched me, for I perceive virtue has gone out of me? ”

You become for a moment, after a successful meditation, incapable of continuing in the act, as though it were a physical creative act. You are just as impotent after you have prayed successfully as you are after the physical creative act. When satisfaction is yours, you no longer hunger for it. If the hunger persists you did not explode the idea within you, you did not actually succeed in becoming conscious of being that which you wanted to be. There was still that thirst when you came out of the deep.

If I can feel that I am that which but a few seconds ago I knew I was not, but desired to be, then I am no longer hungry to be it. I am no longer thirsty because I feel satisfied in that state. Then something shrinks within me, not physically but in my feeling, in my consciousness, for that is the creativeness of man. He so shrinks in desire, he loses the desire to continue in this meditation. He does not halt physically, he simply has no desire to continue the meditative act.

” When you pray believe that you have received, and you shall receive.” When the physical creative act is completed, the sinew which is upon the hollow of man’s thigh shrinks, and man finds himself impotent or is halted. In like manner when a man prays successfully he believes that he is already that which he desired to be, therefore he cannot continue desiring to be that which he is already conscious of being. At the moment of satisfaction, physical and psychological, something goes out which in time bears witness to man’s creative power.


Our next. story is in the 38th chapter of the book of Genesis. Here is a King whose name is ]udah, the first three letters of whose name also begins JOD HE VAU. Tamar is his daughter-in-law.

The word Tarmar means a palm tree or the most beautiful, the most comely. She is gracious and beautiful to look on and is called a palm tree. A tall, stately palm tree blossoms even in the desert — wherever it is there is an oasis. When you see the palm tree in the desert, there will be found what you seek most in that parched land. There is nothing more desirable to a man moving across a desert than the sight of a palm tree.

In our case, to be practical, our objective is the palm tree. That is the stately, beautiful one that we seek. Whatever it is that you and I want, what we truly desire, is personified in the story as Tamar the beautiful.

We are told she dresses herself in the veils of a harlot and sits in the public place. Her father-in-law, King Judah, comes by; and he is so in love with this one who is veiled that he offers her a kid to be intimate with her.

She said, “What will you give me as a pledge that you will give me a kid? ”
Looking around he said, “What do you want me to give as a pledge? ”

She answered, “Give me your ring, give me your bracelets, and give me your staff. ”

Whereupon, he took from his hand the ring, and the bracelet, and gave them to her along with his sceptre. And he went in unto her and knew her, and she bore him a son.

That is the story; now for the interpretation. Man has one gift that is truly his to give, and that is himself. He has no other gift, as told you in the very first creative act of Adam begetting the woman out of himself. There was no other substance in the world but himself with which he could fashion the object of his desire. In like manner Judah had but one gift that was truly his to give — himself, as the ring, the bracelets and the staff symbolised, for these were the symbols of his kingship.

Man offers that which is not himself, but life demands that he give the one thing that symbolises himself. “Give me your ring, give me your bracelet, give me your sceptre.” These make the King. When he gives them he gives of himself.

You are the great King Judah. Before you can know your Tamar and make her bear your likeness in the world, you must go in unto her and give of self. Suppose I want security. I cannot get it by knowing people who have it. I cannot get it by pulling strings. I must become conscious of being secure.

Let us say I want to be healthy. Pills will not do it. Diet or climate will not do it. I must become conscious of being healthy by assuming the feeling of being healthy.

Perhaps I want to be lifted up in this world. Merely looking at kings and presidents and noble people and living in their reflection will not make me dignified. I must become conscious of being noble and dignified and walk as though I were that which I now want to be.

When I walk in that light I give of myself to the image that haunted my mind, and in time she bears me a child; which means I objectify a world in harmony with that which I am conscious of being.

You are King Judah and you are also Tamar. When you become conscious of being that which you want to be you are Tamar. Then you crystallise your desire within the world round about you.

No matter what stories you read in the Bible, no matter how many characters these ancient story-tellers introduced into the drama, there is one thing you and I must always bear in mind — they all take place within the mind of the individual man. All the characters live in the mind of the individual man.

As you read the story, make it fit the pattern of self. Know that your consciousness is the only reality. Then know what you want to be. Then assume the feeling of being that which you want to be, and remain faithful to your assumption, living and acting on your conviction. Always make it fit that pattern.


Our third interpretation is the story of Isaac and his two sons: Esau and Jacob. The picture is drawn of a blind man being deceived by his second son into giving him the blessing which belonged to his first son. The story stresses the point that the deception was accomplished through the sense of touch.

” And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him…. And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.” Gen. 27:21, 30.

This story can be very helpful if you will re-enact it now. Again bear in mind that all the characters of the Bible are personifications of abstract ideas and must be fulfilled in the individual man. You are the blind father and both sons.

Isaac is old and blind, and sensing the approach of death, calls his first son Esau a rough hairy boy, and sends him into the woods that he may bring in some venison.

The second son, Jacob, a smooth skin boy, overheard the request of his father. Desiring the birthright of his brother , Jacob, the smooth skinned son, slaughtered one of his father’s flock and skinned it. Then, dressed in the hairy skins of the kid he had slaughtered, he came through subtlety and betrayed his father into believing that he was Esau.

The father said, “Come close my son that I may feel you. I cannot see, but come that I may feel.” Note the stress that is placed upon feeling in this story.

He came close and the father said to him, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” And feeling this roughness, the reality of the son Esau, he pronounced the blessing and gave it to Jacob.

You are told in the story that as Isaac pronounced the blessing and Jacob had scarcely gone out from his presence, that his brother Esau came in from his hunting.

This is an important verse. Do not become distressed in our practical approach to it, for as you sit here you, too, are Isaac. This room in which you are seated is your present Esau. This is the rough or sensibly known world, known by reason of your bodily organs. All of your senses bear witness to the fact that you are here in this room. Everything tells you that you are here, but perhaps you do not want to be here.

You can apply this toward any objective. The room in which you are seated at any time — the environment in which you are placed, this is your rough or sensibly known world or son which is personified in the story as Esau. What you would like in place of what you have or are is your smooth skinned state or Jacob, the supplanter.

You do not send your visible world hunting, as so many people do, by denial. By saying it does not exist you make it all the more real. Instead, you simply remove your attention from the region of sensation which at this moment is the room round about you, and you concentrate your attention on that which you want to put in its place, that which you want to make real.

In concentrating on your objective, the secret is to bring it here. You must make elsewhere here and then now imagine that your objective is so close that you can feel it.

Suppose at this very moment I want a piano here in this room. To see a piano in my mind’s eye existing elsewhere does not do it. But to visualise it in this room as though it were here and to put my mental hand upon the piano and to feel it solidly real, is to take that subjective state personified as my second son Jacob and bring it so close that I can feel it.
Isaac is called a blind man. You are blind because you do not see your objective with your bodily organs, you cannot see it with your objective senses. You only perceive it with your mind, but you bring it so close that you can feel it as though it were solidly real now. When this is done and you lose yourself in its reality and feel it to be real, open your eyes.

When you open your eyes what happens? The room that you had shut out but a moment ago returns from the hunt. You no sooner gave the blessing — felt the imaginary state to be real — than the objective world, which seemingly was unreal, returns. It does not speak to you with words as recorded of Esau, but the very room round about you tells you by its presence that you have been self-deceived.

It tells you that when you lost yourself in contemplation, feeling that you were now what you wanted to be, feeling that you now possess what you desire to possess, that you were simply deceiving self. Look at this room. It denies that you are elsewhere.

If you know the law, you now say: “Even though your brother came through subtlety and betrayed me and took your birthright, I gave him your blessing and I cannot retract.”

In other words, you remain faithful to this subjective reality and you do not take back from it the power of birth. You gave it the right of birth and it is going to become objective within this world of yours. There is no room in this limited space of yours for two things to occupy the same space at the same time. By making the subjective real it resurrects itself within your world.

Take the idea that you want to embody, and assume that you are already it. Lose yourself in feeling this assumption is solidly real. As you give it this sense of reality, you have given it the blessing which belongs to the objective world, and you do not have to aid its birth any more than you have to aid the birth of a child or a seed you plant in the ground. The seed you plant grows unaided by a man, for it contains within itself all the power and all the plans necessary for self-expression.

You can this night re-enact the drama of Isaac blessing his second son and see what happens in the immediate future in your world. Your present environment vanishes, all the circumstances of life change and make way for the coming of that to which you have given your life. As you walk, knowing that you are what you wanted to be, you objectify it without the assistance of another.


The fourth story for tonight is taken from the last of the books attributed to Moses. If you need proof that Moses did not write it, read the story carefully. It is found in the 34th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy. Ask any priest or rabbi, ‘who is the author of this book?’, and they will tell you that Moses wrote it.

In the 34th chapter of Deuteronomy you will read of a man writing his own obituary , that is, Moses wrote this chapter. A man may sit down and write what he would like to have placed upon his tombstone, but here is a man who writes his own obituary. And then he dies and so completely rubs himself out that he defies posterity to find where he has buried himself.

” So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-poer: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” Deut. 34:5, 6,7.

You must this night — not tomorrow — learn the technique of writing your own obituary and so completely die to what you are that no man in this world can tell you where you buried the old man. If you are now ill and you become well, and I know you by reason of the fact that you are ill, where can you point and tell me you buried the sick one?

If you are impoverished and borrow from every friend you have, and then suddenly you roll in wealth, where did you bury the poor man? You so completely rub out poverty in your mind’s eye that there is nothing in this world you can point to and claim, that is where I left it. A complete transformationof consciousness rubs out all evidence that anything other than this ever existed in the world.

The most beautiful technique for the realising of man’s objective is given in the first verse of the 34th chapter of Deuteronomy:

” And Moses went up from the Plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan.

You read that verse and say, “So what? ” But take a concordance and look up the words. The first word, Moses, means to draw out, to rescue, to lift out, to fetch. In other words, Moses is the personification of the power in man that can draw out of man that which he seeks, for everything comes from within, not from without. You draw from within yourself that which you now want to express as something objective to yourself.

You are Moses coming out of the plains of Moab. The word Moab is a contraction of two Hebraic words, Mem and Ab, meaning mother-father. Your consciousness is the mother-father , there is no other cause in the world. Your I AMness, your awareness, is this Moab or mother-father. You are always drawing something out of it.

The next word is Nebo. In your concordance Nebo is defined as a prophecy. A prophecy is something subjective. If I say, “So-and-so will be, ” it is an image in the mind; it is not yet a fact. We must wait and either prove or disprove this prophecy.

In our language Nebo is your wish, your desire. It is called a mountain because it is something that appears difficult to ascend and is therefore seemingly impossible of realisation. A mountain is something bigger than you are, it towers over you. Nebo personifies that which you want to be in contrast to that which you are.

The word Pisgah, by definition, is to contemplate. Jericho is a fragrant odor. And Gilead means the hills of witnesses. The last word is Dan the Prophet.

Now put them all together in a practical sense and see what the ancients tried to tell us. As I stand here, having discovered that my consciousness is God, and that I can by simply feeling that I am what I want to be transform myself into the likeness of that which I am assuming I am; I know now that I am all that it takes to scale this mountain.

I define my objective. I do not call it Nebo, I call it my desire. Whatever I want, that is my Nebo, that is my great mountain that I am going to scale. I now begin to contemplate it, for I shall climb to the peak of Pisgah.

I must contemplate my objective in such a manner that I get the reaction that satisfies. lf I do not get the reaction that pleases then Jericho is not seen, for Jericho is a fragrant odor. When I feel that I am what I want to be I cannot suppress the joy that comes with that feeling.

I must always contemplate my objective until I get the feeling of satisfaction personified as Jericho. Then I do nothing to make it visible in my world; for the hills of Gilead, meaning men, women, children, the whole vast world round about me, come bearing witness. They come to testify that I am what I have assumed myself to be, and am sustaining within myself. When my world conforms to my assumption the prophecy is fulfilled.

If I now know what I want to be, and assume that I am it, and walk as though I were, I become it and becoming it I so completely die to my former concept of self that I cannot point to any place in this world and say: that is where my former self is buried. I so completely died that I defy posterity to ever find where I buried my old self.

There must be someone in this room who will so completely transform himself in this world that his close immediate circle of friends will not recognise him.

For ten years I was a dancer, dancing in Broadway shows, in vaudeville, night clubs, and in Europe. There was a time in my life when I thought I could not live without certain friends in my world. I would spread a table every night after the theatre and we would all dine well. I thought I could never live without them. Now I confess I could not live with them. We have nothing in common today. When we meet we do not purposely walk on the opposite side of the street, but it is almost a cold meeting because we have nothing to discuss. I so died to that life that as I meet these people they cannot even talk of the old times.

But there are people living today who are still living in that state, getting poorer and poorer. They always like to talk about the old times. They never buried that man at all, he is very much alive within their world.

Moses was 120 years, a full, wonderful age as 120 indicates. One plus two plus zero equals three, the numerical symbol of expression. I am fully conscious of my expression. My eyes are undimmed and the natural functions of my body are not abated. I am fully conscious of being what I do not want to be.

But knowing this law by which a man transforms himself, I assume that I am what I want to be and walk in the assumption that it is done. In becoming it, the old man dies and all that was related to tha