Neville Goddard Lectures

Neville Goddard Lectures: “Jeremiah’s Discovery”

JEREMIAH’S DISCOVERY
by Neville Goddard 11/17/69
T he body of scripture is the Word of God, which every child born of woman must hear, assimilate, understand, and fully accept. This belief will cause the Word to erupt within him, and as he experiences God’s Word, he discovers who he really is.

The Book of John begins: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God: all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made. He was in the world, the world was made by him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home and his own people received him not.”

Now in the Book of Jeremiah he tells us: “Thy words were found and I ate them, and thy words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” What was it that Jeremiah ate? The Word. And what is the Word? What did Jeremiah discover to be the truth concerning God? He discovered that God was the human imagination.

Blake tells this story in a simple way in his “Songs of Innocence” as.

THE LAMB
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee?
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.

Although this appears to be a nursery rhyme, Blake is telling a most profound truth: “I a child, and thou a lamb, we are called by his name.” In this poem, Blake is repeating the same story as recorded in the 15th chapter, the 16th verse of Jeremiah, telling us all that the human imagination is the God of scripture. Listen carefully to this statement by Blake: “Babel (the world with its multiple tongues) mocks saying there is no God or Son of God. That thou, O Human Imagination, O Divine Body, art all a delusion.

But I know thee, O Lord when thou ariseth upon my weary eyes even in this dungeon, this iron mill. For thou also sufferest with me although I behold thee not.” Then the Divine Voice replied: “Fear not! Lo, I am with thee always. Only believe in me that I have power to raise from death Thy brother who Sleepeth in Albion: fear not, O trembling shade.”

The prophet Jeremiah (which means “Jehovah will rise”) is telling us in his 15th chapter that we are called the Lord God of hosts. Man is destined to discover that he is the Lord God of hosts, even though he now wears a garment of flesh and is restrained.

Restricted by all the weaknesses and limitations of the flesh, the body you wear decays – but it is not you. It is a mask that you, the Lord God of hosts, is wearing. One day you will know this from experience; and then – no matter what the world will say – you will know the truth, and in that knowing you will be set free.

I have experienced scripture. Even though I continue to wear this garment, which is slowly wearing out and must one day be discarded, I will no longer be restored into another garment similar to this one as I will depart this sphere altogether to become one with the body which was mine before that the world was; and wherever that body is, there is heaven.
There is no realm called heaven. You are in heaven by reason of the fact that you wear the body which has awakened within you. It is the imaginative body, and wherever it goes is heaven. Not a thing can remain imperfect in its presence. If you go into hell, instantly (not over a period of time, but instantly) hell is transformed into heaven.

Now, what did Jeremiah mean when he said: “Thy words were found and I ate them”? How can one eat words? One year when I was in Barbados, I visited a mental institution with my brother, Lawrence, who was the doctor there. As we walked down the hall I could hardly believe my eyes, as I saw men tear pages out of the Bible and eat them. They were taking Jeremiah’s statement literally.

But the prophets were inspired and wrote what they heard and saw; yet our early church fathers added to their words in order to conform to the church’s traditions and conventions, completely changing the picture. Let me give you a couple of examples.

The 3rd chapter of the Book of John tells of a conversation between one called Nicodemus – a master of what is considered right concerning God – and one who had experienced God and claimed: “When you see me you see the Father, for I am the Father.” It is he who makes this statement: “Unless you are born from above you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” Then Nicodemus questioned: “How can one who is old once more enter into his mother’s womb and be born?” The answer is recorded in the 5th verse as: “Truly, truly I say unto you, unless you are born of water and the spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Here we find the words “water and” are not in the original script. They have been added by the early fathers of the church to support their tradition of baptising a child with water.

In the 8th verse, the Lord continues, saying: “The wind blows where it wills and you hear the sound of it, but you cannot tell whence it comes and whether it goes, so it is with everyone who is born of the spirit.” Here the word “water” is not used, and the spirit is likened to the wind. So, as the spirit (wind) moves where it wills, you will hear its sound, but you will not be able to tell whence it comes or whither it goes. This is true with everyone who is born of the spirit.

My mother came to this country when my little boy was two and a half years old, and one of the first questions she asked was if he had been baptised. When she learned he had not, she was shocked, and said: “Suppose he dies. Then he can’t go to heaven.” Mother was struck by the words “water and spirit,” and to her it meant baptism by water; but water hasn’t a thing to do with it. The word was added, as it brings in quite a good income. Although the fathers do not charge for the little ceremony, it is expected that something be given for the event. This is one of the many little indulgences of our churches.

I know, however, from having been born from above, that the wind is correct and the water is false. I heard the wind. It was in my head, but seemed to come from without. I knew not whence it came and whether it went. So it is with everyone who is born of the spirit, and it hasn’t a thing to do with water. Although water and blood are symbols of birth, the statement in the 34th verse of the 19th chapter of John: “When his side was pierced out came water and blood” the word “water” was added.

Remember, the body of scripture is the Word and the Word is God. The Word is to be eaten by assimilation, and what cannot be assimilated (like the physical world) must be rejected or eliminated. Starting with the 51st verse of the 6th chapter of John, eliminate the second half of the 51st verse right through the 58th verse, then go into the 59th: “I am the bread that came down from heaven. He who eats my body will live forever. This he said in the synagogue.” In between these nine verses you will find the words which support the holy communion, all added by the early fathers to support the traditions of the church.

I have mentioned only a few verses, but I could take you through the entire Bible and show you many places where the words were changed to make them conform to the traditions of the church.

When my mother insisted that my son be baptised, I took him down to an Episcopal minister, where he put a little water on his head. The only thing that happened during that ceremony was that my son got his head wet. It certainly did nothing for him spiritually. But, in spite of the warnings mentioned at the end of Proverbs: “Let no one add to or take from the word of the prophecies of this book,” and Revelation, regarding the adding to or taking away from the words of the book, our early fathers did not heed them.

Rather they tried to make the words conform to their traditions and conventions. The Book of John has many mighty I AM statements: “I Am the light of the world; I AM the bread of life; I AM the door: I AM the way,” but at no time did he ever say, “I AM the convention, or I AM the tradition;” yet, to support the traditions of the church, the early fathers added to the word of God.

I tell you: behind the mask you wear is the only God. Divine Imagination reproduced himself in you as your human imagination; and because Divine Imagination contains all, everything is contained in the human imagination. One day you will awaken to this fact and discover that the world is yourself pushed out, just as the world is God pushed out. As this knowledge awakens in you, you begin to expand in the bosom of Divine Imagination, for you – human imagination and God, Divine Imagination – are one creator.

You are eating the body of God as you hear the word. Now assimilate it by dwelling upon it. Nehemiah tells us: “They read from the word of God with interpretation and gave the meaning so the people understood that which was read.” As you dwell upon God’s word its meaning will be revealed to you from within.

The New Testament is only the fulfillment of the Old. Identifying the word with the bread of life, John is telling us he has fulfilled the statement in Jeremiah: “Your words were found and I ate them and they became a joy to me and the delight of my heart, for I am called by thy name, O Lord, God of hosts.”

Unable to pay rent, buy clothes, or feed your family because of the limitations of the body you now wear, you may find it difficult to believe that you are the Lord God of hosts – but you are. No one imposed this limitation on you; you did it all by yourself. You have the power to lay it down and the power to lift it up again.

You did it in order to expand your power and your wisdom, for your journey is one of constant expansion and you could not expand unless you first contracted. You have to reach the limit of contraction and opacity called Man, before you can break the shell to discover your true identity which is contained within that shell (body) you have been wearing. Then you – the God who created the world – will begin to expand beyond what you were when you decided to contract in order to expand. Everyone will succeed. Not one will fail!

Today you may be satisfied with your earnings and the place in which you live in your contracted form; but one day you will eat (experience) the word of God and expand to the awareness of knowing, “I am He.” This will happen only when the hunger for such an experience comes upon you, as told us in the Book of Amos: “I will send a famine upon the land. It will not be a hunger for bread, or a thirst for water, but for the hearing of the word of God.”

The average person is not interested in hearing revealed truth. Yesterday I read a sermon in the paper where the minister said that religion should be rooted in reason. What nonsense! Religion is revealed truth. How could the story of the birth from above be explained logically? How could one like Nicodemus, born from the womb of woman and approaching the grave, be born from above logically?

The world thinks “above” is out there – but it is within. You came “out” by being born from below. Only by being born from “within” can you enter the kingdom of heaven. That withinness is from above, and that aboveness is the skull of Man. That’s where the spiritual birth takes place and there is no water present.

If it pleases your family to have the little child baptised, do it; but baptism with water hasn’t a thing to do with entering heaven, for this world does not terminate at the point where your senses cease to register it. When someone dies here, it is because they have departed from the body they are now wearing, but they are still in a terrestrial world just like this one. Everyone is instantly restored to a terrestrial life until they are born from within (from above); then they are restored no more, for they are sons of God who now know themselves to be one with God.

Jeremiah discovered that Jehovah was his own wonderful human imagination. I know this to be true, for he has risen in me, and I now wear the garment in which he rose. It was mine before that the world was.

Then I took it off to come into this garment of flesh. While wearing it, all impossibilities are dissolved, as the touch of exaltation which arises in me imparts to my nature; and wherever I go, clothed in that form, is heaven.

Blake identified the human imagination with the divine body of the Lord Jesus Christ, saying: “Babel mocks saying there is no God or son of God, but thou, O human imagination, O divine body art all a delusion, but I know thee, O Lord.”

Knowing exactly what he had experienced and how he traveled across the bridge of incident which led him back into this mundane state called the waking world, he knew – when he opened his weary eyes – that he had returned. But in that realm, whatever he imagined happened; and he knew the power of the creator. He knew that all things were made by imagination, and without imagination was not anything made that was made.

If you awake in a dream and know exactly who is imagining it, you can control your dream. The same thing is true in this world. Become aware that it, too, is a dream. Awake! Remember who is imagining it, and control your day. Then one day you will completely awake to find yourself in that body which is the Lord Jesus Christ, to know that everything is your imagination pushed out. The restriction you imposed upon yourself when you came here was for the purpose of expansion, for you could not expand until you first reached the limit of contraction and opacity called man.

There are those who tonight will deny my words, but I know the truth of which I speak. When my mother told me of the word of God I believed her; but now I know the word of God from experience. My knowledge is not rooted in reason; it is revealed truth, and when truth is revealed, it is because God has unveiled himself in the individual. Truth cannot be proved logically. It must be experienced to be known; and when it is shared, some will believe and some will deny it. So when you read Blake’s “Songs of Innocence,” remember: Blake is telling a profound truth in the language of the child that it may be kept alive. Because it is so beautifully told, his words will live forever:
“Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee?
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.”

In this simple poem Blake is sharing Jeremiah’s experience as recorded in his 15th chapter, the 16th verse. The lamb is a symbol. We took our own life when we entered this world, as we are the universal humanity which Blake calls Albion. We all fell into individuality and diversity. As the one Man gathers himself together, we will all rise, one by one, back into the same one Man who is God the Father. Everyone will be gathered, for the body will not be complete until all are redeemed.

You and I are the gods contained in the one God. The Hebrew word “Elohim” is sometimes translated singular and other times plural, as in the great confession of faith of the Hebrew: “Hear O Israel, the Lord (singular) our God (plural), the Lord (singular) is One” One Lord became numberless gods who are now being gathered back into the one Lord.

It is my hope that I can take from you the things that have been added to scripture, because they confuse the mind. Forget the word “water.” You are not born of water and the spirit. Yours is a spiritual birth, and no physical baptism has anything to do with it. If it pleases the family, baptise your child; but don’t think that because someone put a little water on its head that it had a spiritual experience, because it did not.

Everyone will, however, experience the real baptism, when he will stand in the presence of the Risen Lord, to be embraced into his body of love. Then he is sent to experience God’s Word, for “My Word cannot return unto me void, but must accomplish that for which I sent
it, and prosper in the thing for which it was sent,” and God’s Word is Himself.

Penetrating your brain and annexing your body, God – now believing himself to be you – is going through the afflictions of the world as you until he awakens, in you.

Then you will see the world as nothing more than yourself pushed out. And if you don’t like what you see, you change it within yourself by changing your attitude towards it. As your attitude changes, so does your world, for everything is within you.

Then, one day, you will awaken to enter into and become one with the garment that was yours before the world was – to be one of the watchers from above, contemplating the world of death and eagerly awaiting the return of all your brothers. You and I were before that the world was. We still are, but we do not recognise one another. And when this world ceases to be, we will all be enhanced by reason of the experience of coming here and conquering death.

What I am telling you, I know from experience. I am not speculating or theorising. In the world of Caesar I am weak and limited; but I know what I have experienced and I cannot deny them.

I know exactly what I had for dinner this night. I cannot deny the food I ate, any more than I can deny the visions I have had revealing my true nature – and I know that everyone is going to have them. When, I do not know. The day and hour remain the secret of the Father in you, for he will not awaken until he has accomplished his purpose. Having sent himself into the world clothed as you, when he awakens, you are the Lord God Almighty – but still restricted until you take off this fleshly garment of the actor, hang it up, and depart this stage forever.

But while we are here, we are given a law whereby, through its operation, we may know who God is. The law is simple. It is stated many ways, one of which is: “As a man sows, so shall he reap.” As you imagine you are the man (the woman) you would like to be, you are sowing that imaginal thought in your mind.

To the degree that you are faithful to that assumption, you will reap its fruit in your world; but first you must know what you want. You may not desire the wealth of a Rockefeller or the fame of a Richard Burton. I certainly have no desire for that kind of money or fame; but if someone tells me they really want it, I will pray for him that he has it.

Everything here is fading and will one day vanish; but the immortal you who does not function in this world, will live forever. Everything you have ever accomplished here will disappear, leaving not a trace behind; but the being of whom I speak is perfect, and functions in a realm of perfection.

There can be no blind, no deaf, no halt, no limitation whatsoever in that realm; rather, as you glide by, everything is transformed into the perfection that you know yourself to be. That is heaven. Heaven is not a locality but a body, a character, which – as it moves in the universe – it transforms everything into the perfection it knows itself to be. That then becomes the realm for the time, until it is left for anyone else to occupy, as it moves on to perfection elsewhere.

When you read the Book of John, don’t think of eating the body of a physical man or the pages of the Bible but the Word of God, which – having heard it with interpretation – you eat it by dwelling upon it through the act of assimilation. You cannot grasp it all at once.

Certain portions you may not be able to digest, so reject it for a while. Eventually you will eat the entire loaf as my friend saw it, as alive, pouring forth blood. The beautiful imagery she saw in her vision is telling her that she has completely accepted the truth, and knows that all things spring from her own wonderful human imagination. She has eaten my body and drunk my blood through her acceptance.

Now she knows she doesn’t have to go to church to have a little wafer and drink a sip of wine to eat the body of God. Rather, she knows she is doing it by accepting the fact that imagining creates reality. She may falter in proving it in the testing, but she has completely accepted it. That’s why the symbol came to her in a vision which she can always fall back upon.

Now she knows that she cannot pass the buck by blaming her husband or her children, but must turn to self and say: “No man takes my power from me, I lay it down myself. And no one comes to me save my Father calls him, for he and I are one.”

Someone may be a rascal and take from you what is yours; but when you know that imagining creates reality, you will acknowledge that no one could come into your life unless you called him. And he could not have taken from you unless you – by your attitude towards life – had allowed it.

The world is yourself pushed out, and you either control it or you don’t. That’s the story of scripture. There is no other God other than your own wonderful human imagination. If, when you speak of Jesus Christ, you mentally bow your head (if not physically) do the same thing when you think of your imagination, for that is he. Imagination is the Word of God who is God Himself. The world was created, is supported, and sustained, by your own wonderful human imagination. Change your imagining! Believe the change into being and you will live in a wonderful world of life.

Now let us go into the silence.