08 Jun Neville Goddard Lectures: “Binding and Loosing” – The 1964 Lectures
Tonight’s subject is “Binding and Loosing.” It may be an odd title, but you’ll find it a very practical one. When we open the Bible, we are in the midst of mystery. But I promise you, every one of you, everyone in the world will one day experience scripture for himself; and then and only then will he know how truly wonderful it really is. It’s all true. Don’t change it. Don’t attempt to change it. It’s altogether true when you experience scripture for yourself.
This segment is taken from the gospels…that is, not the gospels, but in the Book of John we are told: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (20:23). That is true, and one day you will experience that in depth. But tonight, on this level, we’ll show you how altogether marvelous it really is here before you experience that in depth. But I mean every sin is forgiven in depth, everything. But, on this level, you and I can forgive it.
But now we must search the scriptures. We’re told this is said to the disciples. And you might think you are not a disciple. May I tell you that you are if you are willing to accept the story of Jesus Christ as told you in the 9th chapter of the Book of Acts—that Saul went out to find all the disciples of The Way. The early Christians were not called Christians; they were called people of The Way; those who believed in a certain way of salvation. And he went out determined to find anyone that he could find of The Way, whether they be male or female, and bring them bound into Jerusalem to be condemned. Now here in the scriptures, if you read the story on the surface there was no woman made a disciple. But in the 9th chapter of the Book of Acts they are—anyone, regardless of sex, who accepts this way of life is a disciple. So I say to you, if you believe this story, the story of salvation, you are a disciple, and to you it is said, if you forgive a sin, it’s forgiven; if you retain a sin, it’s retained. What a responsibility!
But in the same book, the wonderful Bible, we are told, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. You’ll read that in the 9th chapter of the Book of Hebrews (verse 22). Now, these words are true. Then what does it mean? To this very day, in the year l964, there are those who believe on a certain day called the Day of Atonement that some living being must be destroyed for the salvation of those who will adhere to the law; and they keep it literally. I’m not taking it on that level; that’s the most external of all levels, where we do everything on the outside in the hope of appeasing some god. I take it on the next level, the psychological level, where you and I tonight can prove beyond all doubt the truth of this law. And it is true, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. If you take it literally, it would be the twenty-fourth chapter of the Book of Exodus, where something alive was slain, and then the blood was sprinkled on the altar and then sprinkled on those who were present. And then came the atonement, and you wonder what is this atonement? The English word “atone” originally meant “at one.” It’s an at-one. I must perform a certain act to become attuned or at-one with a state. But, how could I do it? I do it only by the shedding of blood.
Now we are told, when man really discovers it, it is the blood of Christ Jesus that must be shed. Well, how could I shed the blood of Christ Jesus? Yet I am told, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin; therefore, what is sin now? Sin is “missing the mark.” If I have a goal in life and I do not realize it, I am sinning. I don’t care what the world will tell me, it’s the one sin of scripture if I have a goal. .And I am told: “If I had not come unto them and spoken unto them, they would not have sin; but now that I have spoken unto them, they have no excuse for their sin” (John15:22). If someone did not come into my world and tell me that I am not adjusted to the environment into which I am born, I could transcend it. I am not the being that seemingly appeared in this world and that is it, I could transcend it. If I am told I could transcend my environment, and then I desire to transcend it and don’t, I am sinning. If someone didn’t come into my world and tell me I could transcend my environment, I wouldn’t know sin. But someone comes into my world and tells me I can transcend the being that I am; and at that moment he stirs me, and disturbs me, and makes me ambitious to transcend that which I am, and if I don’t realize the being that I would like to be, then he made me a sinner. So to whom did he come? He said, I did not come to the righteous, I came to the sinners. I came to make them sinners and then to redeem them. Those who are complacent, who are satisfied with what they are, I did not come to the righteous. “I came not to the righteous but to the sinners.” So he comes into the world and tells man a story.
But now, what is the blood of Christ that I have to shed? I’ll tell you: Christ is your own wonderful human Imagination. “Christ in you is the hope of glory” (Col.1:27). It is Christ in you that must be awakened from this death. So, if I would now shed his blood, how would I shed my own Imagination’s blood? Well, now I am in a certain state. I am aware that I am a certain man, and I desire to transcend it; I want to be other than the man that I am. I have to die to that man; therefore, blood is shed. I detach myself mentally from the man that I am now keeping alive and I become at-one with that state of consciousness, the new man, that I want to make real in this world. So we are told in Ephesians, “Be imitators of God as dear children” (5:1). And we are told in the same book, Ephesians, “He creates in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace” (2:15). He creates in himself one new man in place of the two and this way he makes peace. So if I am now disturbed because I’m not the man I want to be, there’s conflict, there’s war. The only way I can find peace is to create in myself the one new man. I must become the man that I want to be.
A very able, in fact, the greatest writer in the English language put it into the character called Hamlet, and tried through this story to instruct on it. We think because he’s a playwright, well, that was simply written for entertainment, that was written simply to entertain the world, don’t believe it! One of the greatest educators of all time you’ll find in Shakespeare. So, here he takes Hamlet and Hamlet is now made to tell his mother how to transcend herself. He said to her: “Assume a virtue, if you have it not. Refrain tonight; and that shall lend a kind of easiness to the next abstinence: the next more easy; for use can almost change the stamp of nature” (Act 3, Sc 4). And you try it. You can take it tonight and restrain tonight. Restrain what?—-the impulse to sleep in the consciousness of being thwarted, of being the man that you don’t want to be. And, just this one night restrain the impulse to fall asleep in that state. But don’t fall asleep in a vacuum; fall asleep now by assuming a virtue that you have not.
For she didn’t have the virtue of mercy when she actually aided in the destruction and death of her husband, through a passion that she wanted to, I would say, appease. And so, she certainly was not merciful, she was not one of pity, she was not one of love, and so, he asked her to assume a virtue if she had it not. What virtue? Well, he didn’t name it for her. He allowed her to select the virtue that she would like to assume, which currently she did not possess; and told her if tonight you would refrain the impulse to fall asleep in your last night’s concept, and this night fall asleep in the assumed virtue, just once, tomorrow night you’ll find it easier, and the next night still more easy. For I tell you that even if it doesn’t happen the next day, the next day you can always change the stamp of nature. So, if you came into this world stamped with the venom that is yours, the horror that is yours, the unmerciful picture that is yours, it can still change that stamp of nature if you’ll try it tonight. So he tried to persuade her to assume it.
So I will say to you tonight, if you want to be successful, if you want to be…I don’t care what it is, but you name it. I hope it is something lovely, something marvelous. If the whole vast world tells you that you could not do it, I have been sent to tell you that you can transcend your environment. You can transcend anything in this world that you seem to have at birth, or you seem to have today. You can transcend it by assuming the feeling of the wish fulfilled. I will tell you that Imagination will do nothing for us, nothing that we wish, until we have assumed the wish fulfilled. It will do nothing until we have assumed the wish fulfilled; and Imagination is Christ. And so, if I now give up my present concept of myself and dare to assume that I am the man that I want to be, have I not died to my former state? And that was the shedding of blood; that is the shedding of blood on the psychological state. I don’t go out and buy a turtle dove, or buy a bullock, or kill some little animal in this world in the hope of appeasing God. I shed the blood of Christ, and the blood of Christ is my own wonderful human Imagination; for God became man that man may become God. He actually became us!
So if I am told when I started the dream that whatever—anything in this world no matter what it is—if you forgive it, it is forgiven; if you retained it, it is retained. But am I not told I must not ask for your consent. I don’t ask for your permission to do it, and I need not tell you I am doing it. Maybe you are totally unaware that I am doing it. Therefore, if you are unaware that I am doing it, and I’m doing it without your knowledge or your permission, then is it not true that “All that I behold, though it appears without, it is within, in my Imagination, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow”? If I don’t need your permission to forgive you, and I need not tell you that I am actually forgiving you and I perform an inner act which results in an outer change in your world, are you not within me? If I do it. Well, is it done? May I tell you, I could tell you unnumbered stories to support that claim. It is true!
A lady called me yesterday morning to thank me for something she’d asked of me on the morning of the 29th of December when I spoke to Dr. Palmer. She asked me for a certain something, and it was, would I please release her from this problem. And so, in my Imagination I simply assumed that she had called and told me of the good fortune or the good news which she called yesterday morning. But then she shared with me a lovely piece of good news. She said, “You know, I can’t come to you at night any more, I don’t like to go out at night, but I do put into practice what I heard from you over the years. And a friend of mine called me up—she goes to Santa Barbara in the summer and goes to New Mexico in the winter. In New Mexico she lives in a trailer. She called me and told me that they told her that the trailer had changed hands, that is, the place where they’re all parked, and that she wanted to sell. So I said, ‘Alright, it’s done. You have the check in your hand and it’s all done.’ Then she called me back and told me that she had just heard from the people who were living there that there are seventeen trailers for sale, and because of the change in management, all things are going to pot, and that no one can get anything for a trailer today. I said, ‘I’m not asking you why you’re going to sell it; you want to sell it; and you sold it for the sum of money that you want.’ She went off to New Mexico and within one hour after she arrived—in spite of the seventeen trailers for sale—she sold her trailer at the price she had stated, not one penny less, not a penny more. Someone within one hour bought her trailer in that trailer camp.
And if that works once, and you can repeat it, and then repeat it, and repeat it, we have found the law of the forgiveness of sin. For sin is only missing the mark. And if no sin can be forgiven without the shedding of blood, I have found what the shedding of blood is. The shedding of blood is the Christ blood. Well, Christ is my Imagination. And I gave up that which I made alive. If I give up something I made alive, I shed its blood. I took myself out of one state and put it in another state. So I put it in one state called “the check is in your hand”; therefore, I took it from the state where you are trying to sell and put it into the state where you have sold. I take it from one state where you are not the man you want to be, and put it in the state where you are the man that you want to be. So, in making this transformation I die to one state; and in dying to this state I then fulfill the Book of Ephesians, “He creates in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace.” And so, he makes peace.