14 Jun Neville Goddard Lectures: “His Eternal Play”
Tonight’s subject is “His Eternal Play.” I call it a play because the end is predetermined, like a play. Paul speaks of it as a race, a game. He’s concentrating on the second act. He said, “I fought the good fight, I have finished the race. The time for my departure has come. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Tim.4:6). So he calls it a game; but a game has an uncertain end. Not a play—I call it a play only because the end is predetermined.
We start from innocence, we plod into experience, and we emerge as Imagination. These are the three stages. Blake placed them in his Songs of Innocence in this lovely dancing child on a cloud; then the Songs of Experience the child under the cloud; and then The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, where the child is above the cloud dancing in eternity. So he did synthesize these two states. But, we call it a play. I do not mean like an ordinary play where every word is committed and that you are fated. No, I do not mean it in that sense. We do not hide under the cloud of fate. And so, evil which you and I encounter—I’m not denying that we do encounter evil—but evil is not a condition imposed upon man by some malevolent deity. Rather it is a state of experience through which the soul of man passes in order that knowing good and evil he might achieve a more noble state, a condition that we call Imagination or liberty. For he said, the whole vast creation groans, waiting for the liberation, or the unveiling, of the sons of God; that we were not eager to enter this arena. For, “The creature was made subject unto futility, not willingly but by the will of him who subjected him in hope; that the creature may obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:20). So there’s a purpose behind it all; so we are inserted into it.
Now the play is given to us in the Old Testament. From beginning to end, the thirty-nine books, that maps the play. The New Testament interprets the play for us. Without the New Testament it would have no meaning to the Old. But the Old is the play. We open the book to read it, bear in mind that this is a vision, as we are told in the scripture. This is a vision when Elias speaks of the vision of Isaiah, Obadiah the vision of Obadiah, Nebo the vision of him. And when you don’t use the word vision, you use the word “the word of the Lord came unto” and then you name the prophet. Well, “the word of the Lord” is the same as vision. “For if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision; I will speak with him in a dream” (Num. 12:6). So the whole from beginning to end is the vision.
But this is a vision unmodified by the conceptual mind. If you’ve ever had a vision, you know what I mean. You stand as a participant in the action. You may be the star in the drama when the vision begins within you, or you may be simply playing a minor role. But if you are playing a starring role, still the conceptual mind is suspended; it doesn’t interfere and ask questions, you ask no questions. The most impossible thing is taking place before you and it seems not only possible, the most natural thing in the world that this thing should be as it unfolds within you. So the vision, really, is truth and this truth is completely untouched by the conceptual mind. It’s completely set aside. For this experience belongs to a region that is deeper and more vital than that which the intellect inhabits; and because of this it is also indestructible by intellectual arguments and criticisms. You could bring all the criticisms in the world to one who has had the experience and he remains unmoved. You can’t shake him, because he has had the experience. So the New Testament is beginning to experience that foretold in the Old, and this is the picture of the great drama. Now it doesn’t mean that you and I inserted against our will for this divine end, which is God, that we must one time play an evil part and another time play a good part. No, that is what we are inserted into…all these are eternal states. So when I open my Bible I must always remember that the persons Moses and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the rest are not there meant as persons as we are persons but they signify the eternal states of the soul—the states revealed to man in a series of divine revelations as they are now written for us in the Bible. So I’m not speaking of Moses as a person, Abraham as a person, Isaac as a person, or any other character in that scripture. They are all personifications of the eternal states through which you and I pass. As we begin the journey, at first it’s innocence. You start from innocence, fall into experience, and emerge as a liberated being, as all Imagination, one with God.
Now, who is playing the part? “God only acts and is in all existing beings or men,” all (Blake). God and God alone is playing the part. A man today who is simply so very poor he doesn’t know where to turn, he cannot feed himself…you say, “Who are you?” He will tell you his name possibly. He’ll say, “I am”…and he names it. And, “How do you feel, how are things going?” and he will say, “I am very poor.” Before he said very poor he said “I am.” You ask the man who is now rolling in wealth, “How are things going?” “Well, I’m very, very wealthy.” Well, he preceded his very, very wealthy claim by “I am.” The other did the same with his “very, very poor” claim. The same God, not two gods, there’s only one God in this world. And that one God is given to man, and he reveals his name to man in the Book of Exodus as “I AM…it is my name forever…to be known by all generations” (3:14). There is no other name. So, knowing that God is playing all the parts, then I slowly begin to become discreet in my selection of the part that I will play. So no matter where I find myself in this world I now bear in mind I am only moving through infinite states. It is entirely up to me to select the states that I will play.
Now, let me share with you two experiences of two ladies who were here this past week. One lady, last Thursday night, left me a long typewritten letter, which I read when I got home. She said, On the 6th of February you spoke on a certain subject and you brought in Jung, Carl Jung, and you told an experience of Jung where he was contemplating the death of a friend whose funeral he had attended that day. And suddenly he felt the presence of the friend in his room and the friend is standing at the foot of his bed. But Jung being the brilliant mind that he is he said to himself, This is sheer fantasy. But he arrested that feeling and said, No, that would be sheer abomination on my part if this man is real. To say that my friend is not really standing there, it could be a horrible thing to do to him were it true that he is there. So said Jung to himself, I will now credit him with reality. The moment he credited the man with reality, the man became more and more real, and Jung could see him with the inner eye. He turned around and beckoned Jung to follow him to the door. Jung in his Imagination followed, followed through the garden, onto the street, and then several hundred yards away to the man’s home, where he entered with the man. The man went into his library, got up on a little stool, reached up to the second shelf from the top, and pointed out four books bound in red. Then he pointed to the second volume of the four, and then he vanished. The next day Jung was so curious he went to the lady’s home, asked the widow for permission to inspect the library. As he got in he saw the stool that he had seen in his vision, under the library. He stepped on it, and he saw the four books bound in red and then he went straight to the second volume, and it was The Legacy of the Dead. He said, “The contents meant nothing to me, but the title was most significant in view of the experience that I had the night before with my friend who had gone from this world.” So here, The Legacy of the Dead…the man is trying to convince Jung in spite of his brilliant mind that we survive. He could make no further than that, that there is survival, not after unnumbered months waiting, for the man died the day before; he was buried the next day; and here the very day of the funeral the man appears to Jung. So all the so-called “you must wait three months, or three days, or three years” that meant nothing to an experience. The man experienced the presence of a man who could take him into his library and show him a book with a title that signified the reality of the experience; for here is The Legacy of the Dead. So the man had not ceased to be; he was the same man, there was no change in appearance, no change whatsoever.
So here, this struck the lady forcibly. She said, “You know, I’ve had many experiences like the one of Jung. It’s an odd feeling because I’m a single lady, living alone, and then to find suddenly a man standing in my room. And some day, maybe, it could be an actual fact, and wouldn’t I be surprised! Or maybe he’d be the more surprised,” said she. However, she said, many a time I sensed the presence of a man in the room, and I see them quite vividly. But now the one I want to talk about is the story in which you appeared. And then she started telling me this, she said, “Last year I looked all over for an apartment. I was dissatisfied with my apartment, but because I’m French background I resent paying high rents for an apartment. So I refused to pay these extravagantly high rents…it’s my French blood, she said. But I wanted a nice street and I knew the street I wanted, I knew the kind of apartment that I wanted, and what I wanted to pay for it. So I went out every weekend and looked, and got no results. I really labored. Then I said to myself, What am I doing? I go to the man, I listen to him, I have all his books. I shall now read and not go searching for any apartment. So I took your books and instead of going on Saturday, as I always did, with my paper all marked where I would go, I sat down and read the books.
Suddenly I read the books, all the way; every night for the week I read the books, and I didn’t go any place. On Friday night, one week later, I finished my book and I retired. Between three and four in the morning I sensed the presence of someone in my room, and I said, before I looked at the presence, I’m going to have that presence smile. He must have something good to tell me. I will not have anything other than something nice and good. So I looked over and here you are standing at my bed, the same you that is on the jacket of your book. And then you turned around and I recognized you and you walked to the far corner of my bedroom. At that moment, I distinctly heard my door click shut. It was a definite closing of something, my door, but something came to a conclusive end, that it was so definite in the way it closed. So, I turned, I felt that I turned my head from you to the door. And then when I looked back, I said to myself, Before I look back, now Neville is gone before he could tell me the message that he brought for me. But, fortunately, when I looked back you were there, you hadn’t moved at all. Then when you saw my eye you went to the far, to the very end. And then you went to a picture and from below the picture you seemed to take something, at least, I thought you did. But suddenly the whole area where you were became luminous. You were completely surrounded in light and everything was luminous. I could see you more vividly, the whole room was light. Then you took whatever you had in your hand and you went to a door, a big panel. It was so very difficult for you to move…you couldn’t move it. It seemed so very difficult, but you kept on struggling with the door that you tried to open or to move. I said to myself, ‘There is no door there…but there is a door. That picture is my picture, but it isn’t hanging there…and yet, there it is hanging there.’ Then you got my attention and you tried to show me how difficult this door was, then you vanished. This is on Saturday morning between three and four.
So the next day I didn’t go looking. Saturday evening came, I thought I would either read the books again, or else I would read an evening paper, the evening news. So I took the paper and I turned to the section where they are renting apartments. I saw one on the street I wanted, and everything about it in the ad seemed to be what I wanted. Normally I would have gone straight to the telephone and called the apartment, but I didn’t. The next day I called, and when the party said, You better come right over and see it, I said, No, I’ll be over tomorrow, on Monday, at noon…a thing I would never have done in the month that I looked. I seemed so completely complacent, as though I didn’t want it. It wasn’t that, something possessed me, and I didn’t go until Monday. At noon I saw it and I liked it, liked it immensely. The price was right and the street was the very street I selected. So I contracted for the place and I moved in two weeks later. And to my surprise, for the first time in all the apartments that I had ever rented there are two moving doors on a sliding something, she said, and it was most difficult to move them, in fact, impossible to move them. I said I must get someone to fix it or oil it or do something, because you can’t move the doors. Then, she said, I started hanging my pictures. Then I saw this area, and after I took a picture, the very picture, and hung it there next to this panel, and got in my bed that night, I said, Why that’s the picture…and there’s the panel door. And what Neville did under that picture…there is an electric switch that floods the room with light, right under the picture where she caught him. So she said to me, “Neville, would you throw some light on it, other than the light you threw in that room? Did that something have to happen?” No, but she called…she read the books all through the week, began to apply it, and as you are told in that same book of mine, the latest book, The Law and the Promise, quoting Butler, Samuel Butler: “Who writes a book which others read, while he is asleep in bed, what knows he of the thoughts his thoughts are read? Now, which is the he—the he that sleeps or the he that even this he cannot feel nor see?” So here, you think of someone…and I tell you and I mean it the whole vast world is within you. She trusts me implicitly. She reads my books. She likes my books. This thing that she saw is within her. It’s not contained here and only here. Every one of you, but everyone in this whole vast world, must be contained within you, but everyone. And so, the being that she saw standing in her room, I, the person called Neville, may I tell you, I’m totally unaware of having been present. I’ve been accused by many people of entering their rooms uninvited, but I’m totally unaware of it.
In New York City, many years ago, my friend, Alice Bentley—she’s now gone from this world—she was a darling soul. Ouspensky and Gurdjieff all used her studio at Carnegie Hall. And Ali was just one wonderful person. Her name was Alice Bentley; we called her Ali-Ben. Ali used to walk the streets of New York without shoes with this lovely shock of white hair, long flowing Indian robes, and she was quite the character. But, people like Ouspensky and Gurdjieff and all of them arrived, when they came here, it was Ali’s studio that they all used. And so one day, so this lady told me—she ran all the restaurants in the Wellington Hotel—and Ali told me the next day, after the event, she said, “Know what happened to me last night, Neville?” I hadn’t the slightest idea. Well, she said, “You appeared bodily in the room and called this lady’s name”—who was the manager of all the restaurants, and she lived at the hotel. I appeared in her room, so she said, and I said to her, “Ali needs money, and she must have it right away. I want you to go downstairs right now and take all the money you have in your purse and empty it right into Ali’s lap.” Well, she said, I spoke so convincingly that when I disappeared she thought this was some divine message; she went right downstairs to Ali, took all the money in her purse, and emptied it in Ali’s lap. Ali thanked her profusely for the most generous gift. Ali did need the money…she owed rent. But I, with my conceptual mind, restrained as I am, I never would have done that. Never would I have even suggested that she help Ali. That’s not my province in this world. But when truth begins to spring within man, unmodified by the conceptual mind, he can play any part. And so, when God sends his messenger into the world, it is unmodified by any conceptual mind, so he can be the perfect messenger to execute anything in this world. And so the God within her, praying for some light, some succor, something, and then all of a sudden she conjures one she trusts, and I became her messenger. And the suspended conceptual mind, I could stand boldly in the presence of a lady I didn’t know very well, the wee hours of the morning, and tell her that she has to go right down stairs and empty the contents of her purse into Ali’s lap. And so, that’s how this wonderful world works.
This is a play. So you don’t have to play the evil part. You don’t have to play the good part. But you are ushered in unwillingly into this fabulous world of experience that you may know good and evil, and then rise above it all into a far more noble state; and that state I call Imagination. I call it the liberating state, because when man arrives at that point he is Christ Jesus. So the end of the play is Christ Jesus. The end is when the name is on your forehead. And what name is placed upon the forehead? You’re told, “his name”…speaking now of the one who went through the battle, all the battles, and the Father’s name. Well, the Father’s name is I AM, and he who went through the battle is Jesus. So on your forehead is “I AM Jesus.” Who else do you think played it? Through the entire journey only God is playing all the parts. So “God only acts and is in all existing beings or men.”
So because God is one, whether you’re left poor or rich, God plays both parts. You don’t have to be poor. You can assume whatever you want in this world if you dare to trust God and hold God trustworthy, actually hold him trustworthy—he is trustworthy—knowing who he is: he’s your own wonderful I AM. So assume that I am…and I name what I want to be, and then thank God for it. Trust him completely in moving you through the necessary states to bring me to that state into which I have gone and given thanks for. But these are infinite states and they are eternal, they don’t come and go, and you can’t change one into the other. The poor man never changes poverty into wealth. He leaves, he departs from poverty, and he enters a state that is permanent called wealth. When he departs from wealth and reenters poverty, he does not change the rich man into the poor man. He departs from wealth and enters the state of poverty. They’re only states. And when we occupy the state we give it life and it becomes real within our world.
So anyone knowing this wonderful law can play the game. As Paul played it beautifully. He said, “I fought the good fight.” And so, you and I must accept destiny, completely accept it, because we did it unwittingly. But finding ourselves in it, accept destiny. And may I tell you, when you accept it, you accept the conflict. You joy in the conflict. Know what a conflict is? It’s not fighting against a man; it’s a mental fight, I overcome and overcome and overcome. And so I rejoice in the mental fight. So finding myself at a certain state, I go right into it. There is the conflict, and I rejoice now in the mental conflict. So I overcome it by simply assuming that I am what this now denies that I am. I dare to trust God and dare to hold him trustworthy. And so, I will assume that I—well, that’s his name, I am, and all things are possible to him—-so “I am”…and I name it. And then I thank him, I say “Amen” to that state; and then allow myself to be pushed through all the necessary states, knowing that God is trustworthy and I’m holding him to that state. And so, I live in it, and he pushes me into that state.
In the end, I know I’m going to come out. As he said, “A crown of righteousness is laid up for me…for I finished the fight.” Paul knew from the experiences which he recorded in Galatians that the fight was over, the race had been won. He kept, what?—the faith. Now Paul makes the statement: “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Cor.1:21). So, all the wisdom of the world with the conceptual mind cannot find God. He can rationalize from here to the end of time. It’s a mystery to be known only by revelation. God unveils himself in an experience, and then you know. But you can’t sit down, no matter how wise you are…so he says, “Since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God…” Well, what pleases God? We’re told in the 11th chapter of Hebrews, “Without faith it is impossible to please him,” can’t please him without faith (verse 6).
And so, I will dare to assume that a friend of mine tonight has made the most wonderful, I would say, killing (if you want to use that word) in business. Wonderful! No hurt to anyone, mutual benefit to all. He has signed a contract or done something wonderful, and he is thrilled beyond measure. So I would assume that for him. If he calls me tomorrow or writes me next week or next month, I would not accept one word that is in opposition to what I have assumed. I heard it. I am still hearing it. I will continue to hear it until that which I heard and am still hearing is perfectly realized by my friend. So if tomorrow I hear that he’s distressed, I will not tell God how to move him. He’ll move him through all kinds of things if I remain faithful and hold God trustworthy. I will hold him trustworthy and he’ll move my friend toward the fulfillment of that where I see him in my mind’s eye.
So that is part of the play. And Paul is right by calling it a conflict. He calls it a fight: “I fought the good fight.” And I will not quarrel with Paul. It is a play, but it’s also a game. But because the end is predetermined I cannot altogether call it the fight. Because the fight, like tonight’s fight, is most uncertain…as you heard the outcome. All the wise boys, all the wisdom of the world put it on one person because of a record, and the other fellow won. And so, this strange, strange…all the wisdom of the world means nothing in the eyes of God. The one fellow who won, did you see him on TV? He said, “Who is the greatest?” and he had his second say, “Cassius Clay.” “Who is the prettiest?” “Cassius Clay.” “Who is the biggest?” “Cassius Clay.” “Who is the wisest?” “Cassius Clay.” And he beat that into his mind’s eye, and he said, “I’ll take him before eight because I’m great.” He’s a poet. And all these things he weaved into his mind’s eye. While the other was simply brawn, he was going to go along on sheer brawn, and the other fellow wasn’t doing that at all.
Now we come back to another beautiful one told me last Friday night. This lady was here on Thursday, the 20th. She heard me once before when I quoted my friend Hallie(?) Smith at the Chinese Theatre. But, that was simply one Sunday morning when you have enormous crowds and so it was a quick meeting. I met her because I knew her mother and father so very well, it was a joy to meet her, but with the crowd moving you can’t talk to her. But she was here last Thursday for the first time. Her mother drove her home and they discussed the meeting. Her mother said to her, “Did you like it?” She said, “Very much.” “Do you believe it?” “I certainly do. That’s what I believe. I believe every word of it.” Well, the next morning they got on the phone again, again the conversation of the night before and the meeting. Because I was speaking of crossing the Jordan, that every moment of time man is at the Jordan; the facts stare him in the face and he’s got to get beyond the Jordan. The only one who gets beyond the Jordan is Joshua, and Joshua’s name is Jesus, and Jesus is Jehovah, and Jehovah is I AM. So I put myself beyond the Jordan, and assume that I am where I want to be, either spatially or in other states, like in a more noble state, that also you move into that state.
Well, she liked it. Then she said, “But Mother, I had the strangest dream last night.” This is now the early hours of Friday morning. “This is what I dreamt. I saw a living serpent, small one, but very much alive. I picked it up and put it in my handbag. And then I woke.” What a glorious dream! You see, the Bible recognizes only one source of dream: all visions and dreams proceed from God, all dreams. Now we go back to the great entrance into this world: from innocence, beyond the dream, into hell, the fires of experience, where man is called upon to embrace the fires and be consumed as its victim; and then rise from its ashes as Christ Jesus. But he has to completely embrace it, like the great moth, where the two moths went in search of their idol, the flame. They came back with uncertain intelligence—one thought it was hot, one thought it bright, but they did not agree as to what the flame represented. And a third, moved by sheer desire and true desire, rushed to the flame, and folded his wings beneath him, and plunged headlong into the sacred fire, until he became one color and one substance with the flame. “He only knew the flame who in it burned, and only he could tell who n’er to tell returned.” He so became absorbed in it he could not return anymore; he rose as Christ Jesus. Couldn’t discuss it on the level of the moth and the flame, he became the flame; and so, he rose as the flame, the light of the world.
And so, in this story, she heard it, she believed it. What did she believe?—that her own wonderful human Imagination is Christ Jesus. She heard that. She told her mother, “I believe that. I believe that that could save me from what I am, if I want to be saved from what I am…that if I really understood this, I could really apply it.” And that truly is the state of the world. One’s own wonderful human Imagination, that’s Christ Jesus, that’s God. So she so believed it that in the depths of her soul, unmodified by the conceptual mind, because in this world she wouldn’t dare touch a serpent, anymore than you would. She would run from it or try to kill it. But she picked it up and put it in her handbag.
Now in the beginning, the serpent leads man out of innocence into experience. The word that we call “fall” is He Vau He, in scripture the root of the verb “to be”, He Vau He. “To be” is, alright, the Self-Existing Being. The original meaning of that verb was “to fall, or to cause to fall.” Here, to cause to fall…the one who caused the fall also fell. He caused the fall, and he himself fell. So, God himself enters death’s door with those who enter, and remains with them through the whole furnace of experience, and shares with them all of their visions of eternity, until together they awake as one, and it’s God. So the serpent has always been the symbol of Christ Jesus.
So she heard it, she believes now that Christ Jesus is her own wonderful human Imagination, that when it’s said in Corinthians, “Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?” now she knows that this Jesus Christ in her is her own wonderful human Imagination. So she sees him now symbolized, something alive, not a dead Christ, a living Christ. She picks up a living serpent and puts the serpent in her handbag, where all valuables are kept. For, whether you believe it or not, a handbag is part of a Western woman’s equipment. She is undressed without one. I think that it’s a horrible thing that our tax experts should tax a lady’s handbag when you don’t tax a man’s pair of pants. It’s another part of her wearing apparel. She puts everything into it that she considers of value—her car keys, her house key, her little notebook, her charge accounts, everything. It’s part of the dress of the day. Without it some people feel undressed. So she has everything in it. Where she keeps her valuables she placed Christ. Now what she has to do is to prove she really believes it. But she does…from the depths of her soul she does. Now exercise him, because he only grows by exercise, and every time she exercises her Imagination lovingly on behalf of another, she is feeding Christ Jesus.
And that serpent will one day appear to her in the most glorious way. I’ll tell you exactly how he will appear. One day, when the temple of her body is torn from top to bottom and then she stands divided, looking at the two sections of one body, she will see at the base of what would have been her spine, coiled, this glorious golden liquid light, pulsing and moving. She will know it is her Self, and then she will fuse by that knowledge, for we become what we behold. She beholds it and she becomes it. Then she, as it, will move up that spinal column of hers, right into her skull that is Zion. And she will be it: the one who fell is the one who will ascend. “No one ascends into heaven but he who first descended” (John.3:13). It is it that descended, your great Savior; and he descended, and is dreaming in you all the strange things of the world. So he went right down into generation, the base of the spine; and there he dreams all the dreams of eternity, all the creative dreams, by any name, all the sexual dreams, everything he’s dreaming. It’s Christ Jesus.
And one day, he turns around and what was down into generation becomes regenerated. All the currents of the body are reversed as he moves up into his heavenly world, leaving everyone to perform all they’re performing and allowing all their dreams because he is doing it. And one day, you’ll know these words in that 96th plate of Jerusalem: “I behold my deadly dreams of six thousand years dazzling around thy skirts like a serpent of precious stones and gold. I know it is my Self, O my Divine Creator and Redeemer.” Right after he makes that bold confession, which he claims was dictated by the spirit of love, who was no one other than God, he then comes into the next line and he puts the words into God’s mouth, and calls God, Jesus. Jesus is made to say, “Fear not, Albion (speaking now of humanity): “unless I die thou canst not live; but if I die I shall arise again and thou with me.” So he comes down into generation from his heavenly state. He empties himself of his immortal form and takes upon himself the form of a slave, called man; and there he dreams with man until that moment in time when the fight is over, he’s overcome the battles, and now the crown of righteousness awaits him as he moves up into Zion.
So this is the most glorious play. If you know it’s a play and someone is playing an unlovely part, don’t condemn him, pull him out of it. He doesn’t have to play it if all eventually awaken as God. For eventually he’s going to awaken as God regardless of what part he played. So, the only predetermined state in the play is the end. But within the conflict of the second act, which is the act of experience, you can play any part in this world. And in the end, all will be forgiven, because God is playing all the parts and God forgives them. But all these are the eternal parts. So this is a message of man: This being, sound asleep, moving through eternal death (this world), and awakening to eternal life. The story of the little seed falling into the ground, and unless it falls into the ground and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it brings forth much. It’s the mystery of life through death.
So innocence…well, let me share with you a vision of mine. I once saw in this vision an infinite field of human flowers, beautiful flowers, big wonderful sunbursts, and every one with a human face. And when one moved, they all moved. If one smiled, they all smiled. If one frowned, they all frowned. They moved in concert, directed by some invisible hand. But they moved in concert. And I looking at them knew that I enjoyed more freedom than all of them put together; though I certainly was not as beautiful and certainly not in that state above the cloud or on the cloud, for I had gone down into generation. I was limited by the garment that I wore, the animal garment, subject to all of its weaknesses, subject to all its violence. And yet, in spite of these limitations of the human physical garment, which is an animal garment, I knew in my vision I enjoyed more freedom than all of them put together. They had not yet left the state of innocence and entered the world of experience. I was shown in my vision where I formerly was, one with that that moved in concert, and then unwillingly detached. For I did not volunteer, no one volunteers, because you are in a state of bliss, but it’s an innocent bliss. And then you pass through the world of experience, and when you emerge you are as free, free as all outdoors, because you are liberated, and you are God. And you fly, like that angel in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell above the clouds, into that wonderful world and you dance as a liberated being.
But in the other, you don’t, you move in concert. And you’re beautiful and untarnished, unwithered, everything is perfect, but you’re anchored, anchored to the ground. No flying around, no freedom whatsoever, but beautiful…waiting when that moment in time comes that God himself will subject you from that field of beauty into the world of experience. And you too will enter. And one day, like the little butterfly, or the little moth, you too will become so curious that you’ll plunge right into the sacred flame. And then you’ll be consumed as its victim, and you’ll rise from the ash, but no one will see you because you’re the flame. And you rise as the light of the world. So everyone will do it.
So I can share this vision with you. It’s perfectly marvelous, unmodified by my conceptual mind. Because, had I seen it with memory of what I’d gone through, I would know the flowers could not be that human. I would know the faces, living wonderful fresh faces, couldn’t be true. But you see, your reason is suspended when you have the vision, and it seems such a normal thing to see living childlike faces in a flower. And every one was a wonderful beautiful face, not one was unlovely, every one perfect, you couldn’t improve upon it, it was perfect. And yet I knew inwardly I had more freedom than all of them put together. For, I, reluctantly, unwillingly was subjected to this futility. And then, passing through the great furnaces of affliction, exercising the being, as I found him slowly, to find he is my own wonderful human Imagination. It was he who subjected me, he who I didn’t recognize. I sought him in everything but where he was. I sought him in the wind, in the earth, in the sunlight, in the lightning, and finally I heard him in the still small voice speaking from within: “That which I have done, I have done. Do nothing.” And I heard the voice; it came from within; and then I did nothing, and what I had assumed within nine days it happened to me. I did nothing, he simply brought it from the depths of my soul and it happened. He influenced the behavior of everyone who could be used to make real that which seemed so impossible, so unreal, when I dared to assume that I am. And so, it came from within.
My friend may look for him in everything in the world ’til one day he’s going to find him. And when you find him he’s just like you. So if anyone should ever say, “Look, here is Christ!” or “Look, there he is!” don’t believe him (Mark 13:21). Why? Because, although “It does not now appear what we shall be, we know that when he appears we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). Just like him, because he’s within you. So in that very twinkle of an eye he takes your lowly body and he changes it to be like his glorious body, to be of one form with that of the exalted Christ. Not something less than, one with the form of the exalted Christ, one with God.
So the play…it’s perfect as a play because the end is predetermined. As you’re told, he called us all to himself, and “Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to the 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” (Rom. 8:29). When you glorify in the Bible, you glorify with God: “I will not give my glory unto another.” He can only give it to himself, therefore, when man is glorified, God succeeded in his purpose and gave man himself. Therefore, he has the glory that is God, and rises as God. So you are predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, and the Father and Son are one when you rise.
But in this battle, in the conflict, you must accept destiny. Not your particular destiny…and say that the stars have consented unto your misfortune; they have not consented to your misfortune at all, nor have the teacup leaves, or the coffee beans, or the bones, or anything in the world. It is simply your choice. No matter where you are inserted begin to believe in God, and find him as your own wonderful human Imagination. Then become selective and get out of any place where you might have started life. And you can do it by holding God trustworthy. Go to sleep this night and try this. When you get flat on your back, before you lose consciousness, and your eyes are shut to the outer world, just think of this being that you would like to be. Don’t be embarrassed. If it is something…that you want more income and considerably more, don’t be embarrassed, don’t think you’re greedy. All things are possible to him, and he’s right with you as you are contemplating the man, the woman, that you would like to be. Contemplate yourself as that being. And then in the most simple way say “Thank you.” Just mean it. When you say “Thank you” it is always for something received, you know. I don’t say “Thank you” in the hope I’ll embarrass you into a gift. I say “Thank you” because you’ve given it. And so, I saw it clearly…I become what I behold…so I saw myself clearly as such a person, and then say “Thank you,” meaning I’m holding God trustworthy. Try it, and see if you can’t give me the most wonderful stories in the next few months, because beginning next week our series, five-eighths of it, is geared really to the law: How to use this law constructively to achieve definite goals in this world…so that we’ll take it then as the race. But I tell you the end is predetermined, the end is God.
Now let us go into the Silence.
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Q: Throughout the Bible we read that I AM, I AM, yet in Genesis it starts out “Let us make man in our image.”
A: That is a plural word, Elohim. The word I AM was not revealed to man as the name of God until the 3rd chapter of Exodus, you’ll find it in the 14th verse, the 3rd chapter of Exodus. Prior to that, God was known as The Almighty, Shaddai. He was known by other names. He still is Almighty, but as we go through the Bible he never drops the name I AM. But finally in the very end we find the name of Father given to him. In the 17th of John and all through the gospel of John, the greatest name that he has is Father, which name he also gives to us by giving us his Son to call us Father. It’s the one way he has of showing man he’s completed the gift of himself to man, because if he is a father then there is a son somewhere. When that son comes out and turns toward you and calls you Father, and there’s no uncertainty in your heart that he is your son, and you know he’s God’s son, you go back into the scripture to find that, here, he promised him, his sonship. He said, “Today thou art my son, today I have begotten thee” in the 2nd Psalm (verse 7). And so, when that same being appears in your world and calls you Father, then you know who you are. So, the word Elohim in the 1st chapter of Genesis is God’s creativity, it’s plural. We are really the Elohim. But the grand commandment is “Hear, O Israel, the Lord”—that is Yod He Vau He called Jehovah—“our God”—that is Elohim—“is one Jehovah.” So it takes all of us, the Elohim—it’s a compound unity, one made up of others—to form the grand I AM that is God. Is that clear?
Q: This series of lectures is the first time that I have attended, and so I’m still a bit confused about using the Imagination in the way in which I understand you are telling us to. And what I am trying to say is, how can you use this Imagination with all of the senses when you are unfamiliar with a certain surroundings that you need to contact? Am I making any sense?
A: Well, for instance, let us make it spatially first and put it into other states. You take a spatial state, now if you were going to San Francisco then you know…(recorded over).
Q: You made a statement that you were going to have a certain thought about a friend of yours, helping him to sign a contract or something, I don’t remember specifically. Do you mean to say…you also said, in conjunction with this, that if you would not hear any word that this friend had to say that is contrary to this positive thought. Do you mean to say that if your friend himself does not have this positive thought that by your mere thought can he get what he wants? Even though he himself does not…
A: Definitely, definitely! If I say it has to depend upon his acceptance, I am passing the buck. Because if all things by a law divine in one another’s being mingle, then I have influence and I do it wittingly or unwittingly anyway. I don’t ask my child’s permission to hear good news for her. I love her and I hear good news for her. So, when she writes home, as all children do, “Oh, this is going to be a very tough exam, I don’t know if I’ll pass or not. In fact, it’s in the lap of the gods and my teachers whether I even graduate!” I don’t hear anything. So the last report card came in, beautiful B+s, A-s, and she’s away up on the Dean’s list. Well, they can’t go any higher than the Dean’s list. And so, she’s an intelligent child, I know. She does make the effort. But I have never once waited for her to ask help. I love her. And so, eventually, you allow everyone, and ask no one’s permission to love them. You know that wonderful poem? “He drew a circle that shut me out, ‘Infidel! Scoundrel! A thing to flout!’ But love and I had the wit to win, and we drew a circle that took him in.” And so you take him in. You don’t ask permission to take him in. He can shut you out if he wants to live in a little place all by himself. Grant him that right too. But you don’t shut him out when he shuts you out. Eventually, ___(??). These little words in the epistle of John, “We love him because he first loved us.”