13 Jul Neville Goddard Lecture: “Occupant or Inmate” (1966)
(This lecture was slightly abbreviated and originally typed by someone else. Tape?)
Tonight’s subject is Occupant or Inmate. An occupant dwells in; one who establishes title to unknown property by dwelling in it. An inmate is confined, as in a prison or asylum. An occupant is free to come and go; chances are he doesn’t really move and remains just where he is. The inmate feels he can’t move, feels he’s retrained by law. He doesn’t know he’s just as free as the occupant and vice versa. The occupant is free by our standards, the inmate is not free; but by this law both are free. Christ is what God means by man. If you know who Christ is, then Christ is what “man” means to God. “Christ in you is the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27); “Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26); “Christ is the very image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). So I say, Christ is what God means by man. If you know who Christ is…I tell you he is your own wonderful human Imagination…then that is what you should mean by God. So, you tie God and man together. God is man and man is God. God is infinite man and man confined to his senses is finite God.
So tonight I am going to try to show the difference between the two and how both really are free, though they don’t know it. In the beginning of John they asked him, “Where do you live?” He said, “Come and see, follow me” (1:38). Well, to follow him is to move, isn’t it? If you said to me, “Where do you dwell?” and I said, “Come and see, follow me,” and then I start and you follow me, aren’t you moving from where you are to where I’m going to take you? So here we find motion. Come with me, I’ll show you where I dwell. Where do we dwell? That state to which we constantly return constitutes our dwelling place. It is a state. For example, a lady called to say people don’t like her where she works. This same pattern has happened many times, one job after another…she knows they don’t like her. When I tell her, do you realize the whole vast world is all Imagination? No, not for a moment can she grasp it. The world of reality is the world of Imagination, and you imagine they are talking against you and don’t like you time after time? Then where are you dwelling?
Well, tonight I want to show you all how to move. Because if you move from one state where you are into any state in this world, that state is waiting for occupancy. And the great fallacy of the world is perpetual construction and deferred occupancy. I don’t occupy it. If I would only occupy the state I have constructed in my mind’s eye—wouldn’t it be wonderful to be and name it in my mind’s eye. But then I say, “Oh, it couldn’t be. I’m not born to it, I don’t have the social, educational, etc.” So because I believe I can’t, I remain in my present state. Now listen to these words, “Do not think that I came to bring peace upon the earth. I came not to bring peace, but a sword; to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother…and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Mat.10:34). No other enemies! These words are everlastingly true; you have no other enemies but those of your own household…my physical wife, son, etc.? No, they aren’t my household. My household is all within my own wonderful human Imagination. These are my intimates, and all my enemies are in my Imagination, personified in what I think is this one or that one whether it be when I go to work and think they are ganging up to get me out of this job though my record is good. I am my only enemy, for the whole vast world is within myself. If it really is so, and all the states are really waiting for occupancy, how do I move into another state?
(Neville repeats the dream in a letter from R. Crutcher regarding conflict. Enemies were shooting at him from a hill covered by vines. Neville appears to take him to the back of the house where the hill is now a field with men and women gaily harvesting the wheat. To the side was a mountain of harvested wheat. Neville says, “They are doing the same thing now they were doing a year ago!” Crutcher sensed in this some little amnesia, for he didn’t remember they were doing this a year ago and he asked Neville, “How long have I been here?” Neville replied, “Two years.” Two is conflict. The division of two is opposition; they must become one in agreement to have peace. Crutcher said, “Did I learn anything?” Neville answered, “Yes, how to move and discipline.” How to move! The first statement in Genesis: “And the Lord God moved…” and creation began. Without a motion there could be no creation. And God moved and something happened…as the Spirit of the Lord God moved upon the face of the deep. So how to move? A lady wrote, “The story of the harvest meant so much to me.” Her letter relates a dream. Upon going to bed, feeling insecure after a long illness she alone caused, she assumed “I am secure, really secure.” “There was a little child and an elderly woman. The little child was complaining that certain things were going to cost so much, $250,000. I told the little child, ‘What does that mean? That’s only a pittance against the multi-millions that you have!’ Then I said to them, ‘We will go into another place…we are going to move now.” It was dark outside and the old lady was reluctant to go. I said to both, ‘I have a light.’ At that moment the wall where we were contained parted and beyond it in another room appeared this wonderful fireplace, all blazing. Then a few days later this dream occurred, I was in a field of wheat and it was all harvested, but there were a few stalks, and I saw the grain in the stalks, and I knew from what I saw they were matured beyond reaping. Then I saw a buffalo and as the buffalo appeared I wasn’t afraid of it, I knew that he couldn’t see me. Then another and another buffalo, making three altogether.”
Now we are told not to harvest the whole thing, leave it. Don’t muzzle the ox that plows the field. You are told, if you harvest the field, do not return to take the grapes you didn’t bring in; leave it for the sojourner, the fatherless, the widow. If you have beaten the olive tree, do not beat it again…leave it for the sojourner, the fatherless, the widow. Don’t harvest to the end. Leave it for those who will come, for remember always you were once a slave in Egypt.
Now three in scripture is representative of resurrection: “On the third day the earth rose up out of the deep.” Eight is the perfect resurrection, but three is also significant of resurrection. And the buffalo, you can all it the ox, though it’s not in the Bible, but it is also used in symbolism as “the long arm of the law” and it reaches and sees and knows everything…to what extent you are willing to leave behind you the stalks and let the buffalo feed upon it. Let the stranger who is coming by feed upon it, the fatherless, the widow feed upon it, don’t take everything. My earthly father carried that story to such an extent he’d always leave a large portion on his plate, saying, “The servants have to eat too.” He had to leave it for the sojourner.
But here in her dream, she brought it back, she didn’t take the stalks, she left them for the fatherless, widow, sojourner, remembering “You were once a slave in Egypt.” So I can say to her, you are having biblical dreams, and when these dreams begin to appear within you, you are near the unfolding of God within you. For Christ is what God means by man, and Christ is what man, if he knows him, means by God. So he is stirring within you. And I can’t tell anyone when Christ begins to stir within him of this almost intolerable tension that takes place within us when the whole thing within us, called Imagination, begins to be stirred. What it means to man when it begins to be stirred! You can’t pass the buck anymore. You are either with me or against me. He who is not with me is against me. And you go all out, burn all bridges and completely abandon yourself to a state. You either sink or swim. You move from one state into another.
Another letter came and this is really a lovely one to show you how to move. I told you a few years ago when I met Blake—but perhaps it didn’t impress you, maybe he didn’t quite move you, all these things are true—and he showed me how to move, how to see infinite man as one, the whole vast humanity gathered into one body that was man—and he showed me exactly how to do it, and I did it. And then I saw it…I saw man. I saw the heart of that man like a flaming ruby as I approached it. It wasn’t just the heart, here was infinite humanity…all the nations of the world contained in that heart…and here is only one man. Well, he showed me how to see it.
The lady writes, “In my dream I came upon scene after scene, and every scene presented I revised, and before my eyes, the whole thing became what I had imagined, and I knew I was the cause of the change for it was changing as I saw it.” So she remembered the principle of revision in her dream and so what she heard has become a part of her picture, whether it be waking or sleeping it is part of her feeling. Through the night she was doing it and when she woke she was filled with joy concerning what had happened in the night. Sitting down dwelling upon what she had done, she began communing with self, and suddenly self took over and said, “Move into the state of love.” Then she felt the entire room receding, and “I felt myself falling backwards and down. As I feel this, I open my eyes and break it, returning. I regret I did that, but now I know how to move.”
That’s exactly what Blake told me. He said, “Let yourself go, Nev, fall backwards, just fall backwards and you will see what I have told you, the infinite man, one man, and you will see it contains the whole vast world of humanity. Now, let yourself fall.” I turned backwards and fell, as though I’m taking a deep dive as I have done from a high-diving board, backwards. This time I am falling through interstellar space. I’m not just diving into a pool, I am falling backwards into interstellar space, and when I came to a rest and looked, here is a heavenly being in the distance, one man. Then on approaching him the heart was aflame like a ruby blazing. I came closer and closer, and here it isn’t…it simply contains all humanity, all the nations, all races, every being in the world contained in the heart of one man. But I fell backwards.
So, how to move into any state from another? The story is fall backwards; let yourself go into another state—from one of not being wanted into one of being wanted. So when my friend said to me, “I have been here two years, but did I learn anything?” I said, “Yes, you learned how to move and discipline.” Well, the man knows how to move. And I would not have told him that in the depths of his soul, or he wouldn’t have conjured me in the depths of his soul, were it not true. For God speaks to man through the medium of dream. So I told him the conflict is over, that hill that shot at you is no longer an enemy. It is now a field, a harvest of golden wheat with all gaily harvesting…already a mountain of harvested wheat. Conflict is over because you have learned how to move.” For the one I am speaking of now has had the three outstanding events: the birth of the child; the discovery of David; and the splitting of the temple of his body from top to bottom, and ascent of himself up into his skull like a serpent. He now only awaits the descent of the dove. So he is the one that I took at the door and led him to the back of the house. The back of the house is where Moses led the sheep. He was the great shepherd and led the sheep to the back of the mountain when he saw the mountain. So Crutcher saw this, and when he walked into the house, it wasn’t what it was before, a simple drab thing but a palace.
So are we occupants or inmates? Am I an occupant? Then I should be able to move wherever I want to. But I usually go back to the same place night after night. But suppose tonight I desire to be other than what I am. Will I sleep as though I am what reason tells me I am, or will I sleep this night as though I am the man I would like to be? If I dare to fall into that state and sleep, and then carry it into dream so that it is the natural state, and then day after day that’s where I dwell in consciousness, well then, the whole vast world must take on the atmosphere of that state, it must. There is no power in the world that can stop it! I don’t have to ask anyone to help me. I simply fall into the state, but this time I do it knowingly, not unwittingly as we all do. So Blake could say, “I do not consider either the just or the wicked to be in a supreme state but to be every one of them states of the sleep the soul may fall into in its deadly dreams of good and evil” (Vis. of Last Judg., Pp.91-92). He uses the word fall advisedly. Blake never used a word in some loose way. He’d give certain words enlarged meanings but never a word loosely. In his Vision of the Last Judgment, “that they may fall into it” and falling into it if you fall—he told me this when he told me to see the only man containing all the races, all nations, all as one man—then he said, “Fall backwards—not just fall, but backwards. This lady said the room began to disappear and she found herself falling backwards and down.
Now, everyone can do it. No one is less than the other! Christ in you is the hope of glory, not the Christ in that one or that one, Christ in all man. Let me repeat: Christ is what God means by man. “Let us make man…” Are we not told in Galatians we bring forth Christ. Then in Timothy, how he remains with us in labor until Christ be formed in you. Is he not forming his perfect image, and that is Christ? So he is saying, let us make man…who is Christ…Christ is man. And when man knows who Christ is, that’s what he means when he speaks of God; for we are one. God became man that man may become God. We are not some little thing to be cast off, no, we’re not. We can be anything in this world that we want to be if we know how to move from one state into another.
Here in this past week, the November 18 issue of Time magazine, a statement from the official press reporter for the Vatican. Now they are changing a radical thing that has taken place for 1100 years. This is official: The teachings of the Catholic Church must be considered as certain; and whenever they change it is only a change from one state of certainty to another state of certainty. Well, aren’t you living in an Alice in Wonderland? For 1100 years ___(??) false to eat meat on Friday. May I tell you, truth cannot contradict itself! If it was not true then, it was never true. In 1st Corinthians, chapter 8, “Food will not commend you to God” (verse 8). You are no better if you eat or don’t eat. Here it’s a rule for 1100 years and now not expedient. When it was inaugurated 1100 years ago that doctrine was a certainty inspired by someone with whom possibly meat disagreed, but he spoke as though he had it from on high. Now the present one probably likes his meat on Friday so he’s going to change it. The Mad Hatter said, “Words mean what I want them to mean.” So he gives these meanings to words. But Truth can’t contradict itself. If it was true then, it would always be true.
So Christ defines himself as the Truth. Christ is your own wonderful human Imagination, that’s Christ, and with him all things are possible, all things. I don’t care what the world will tell you there is no reason for a man to feel insecure if he knows who Christ is. You’re only in a state when you feel insecure or secure, loved or unloved. These are only states that’s all that they are; and the occupant is the same being and that being is Christ. He takes upon himself all these things. When one knows it, he wears the universal garment. He wears it when he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s wearing the whole universe, just like a garment. But he has this individual choice to move from one state into the other and become the real occupant who can simply decide tonight I will not live here anymore and I’ll go elsewhere. I will go into a state of affluence, a state of being known, a state of this or that, and he’ll do it by just falling into it deliberately, not unwittingly. He’ll fall right into it…actually clothe himself with that state. And that is Christ. There is nothing in this world but God…and God is man.
God is man, and then he makes the statement speaking of Christ, that’s what God means by man; so he has made you in the image, and the image of God is Christ. Now the churches speak of Christ and make images of him. Does he look like you? Then that’s not Christ. All kinds of images are made…and now they’re suffering because some little thing was injured by the flood in Florence. I do love these lovely things that people have made, but do you think that little thing is Christ? Does it look like you when you look at it? Well, if anyone should ever say, look here or there he is, don’t believe it. If he doesn’t look just like you, you haven’t seen him. When you see Christ, you are looking right at yourself…there is nothing but you. One day you will see who you really are, and you will not lose your identity, but you will see a face so beautiful, such majesty, such greatness, such strength, every noble characteristic in the world embodied in that face, and you know it is your face. Something you could never on this level ever hope to attain, yet there it is, and you know exactly who you are looking at. You are looking at yourself and you know it could only be Christ himself. You are going to see it. I tell you from my own experience exactly what you are going to see. Everything here on earth is but a caricature of the being that you really are.
While we are here on earth wearing these masks that hide us, we can apply this marvelous principle, not only for ourselves but for everyone. So like the lady who calls me all the time that they don’t like her, when I hang up I still must do what she asks of me…to have them like her. “Lord, how long, how long?” “Seventy times seven,” until you do it. That’s all there is to it. Until you so put her into the state of being wanted and loved that she remains and occupies that state, you just keep on doing it. That’s what I’m told. Never give up and turn and discard it as something hopeless. It is not hopeless…only if you give up. How long, my Lord, must I do it? If some brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? “Seventy times seven.” Four hundred and ninety times? No, until I actually do it, that’s what he means. When I really succeed in putting him into the state where it is his dwelling place, he occupies it, and the world reflects it. He dwells in that state and the world sees him as that being and now he is happy in that state. Only then can you relax. He turned to you, didn’t he? Well, if he turned to you, is there another in the world? There can’t be another: God is one. So the one who turns to you, is it not yourself? Is it not yourself made visible? It is yourself extended, and you want that changed, all right, and you do it—if the phone rings forever—until that one occupies the state they desire.
Yes, we are human enough to say, oh, my Lord, when Lord, when will they remain in the state into which I have put them? So they get a job right after they have been fired, a marvelous job, and they all love me. You relax, and the phone rings a week later, “They’re all talking about me.” No matter what you say, “It is all in your Imagination,” they go right back into it. All you can do is not to complain…“Lord, how often? Seventy times seven”…keep on doing it…it’s good for you. You do it over and over and all of a sudden it jells, and then they remain in that state. It is yourself made visible and you can’t discard any being in this world. It is not your Father’s pleasure that one be lost, why?—because he’s in everyone. Because he’s in me, he can’t lose me. Were he not in me and only in you, then he could discard me…but he can’t because he dwells in me and you. Therefore, he can’t discard any being in the world. But because he’s one, then bear one another’s burdens. And everyone who is asking for help, do it even if they can’t see immediate results and it seems hopeless. There is nothing hopeless…it is only a state…everything is a state in this world. And when you see the state, you stand amazed. They are all human. Strangely enough every state I’ve ever seen is personified—hope, love, faith—all personified.
If I tell you this night…people speak of hell and heaven. If I told you that you and I are rooted in hell, and hell is the region of fear; we aspire to heaven and heaven is the realm of hope. Supposing I marry these two, synchronize them, they produce vision…simultaneous, same place at same time. Fear plus hope results in vision. Every child born in this world is rooted in fear, hell. That’s where we fell and while here we aspire to heaven and we flower upon earth. While I walk the earth, the drama unfolds within me. I flower upon earth while I’m in this garment of death, flesh and blood, for it dies. It is here that I rooted in hell, aspiring to heaven, flower, and unfold the entire drama of God within me. Then the garment is taken off and the whole thing removed, and I am no longer here. I walk in the world knowing I’m here, yet I can say I am in the world but not of it. I can say to all, be of good cheer, I’ve overcome the world. In the world you have tribulation for you are rooted in fear, hell, the region of fear; but you aspire to heaven, you have hope that the dream of God that he’ll make you into his image, you hope he will succeed. So you aspire to heaven, the realm of hope. While you are rooted in one, walking the earth aspiring to the other, you flower and it all unfolds within you. When fear and hope are blended, vision results…you will see.
So everything is states…the whole vast world. No one can brag…it doesn’t matter who he is, wise or fool, so what, only states. If the wise man falls into the state…Emerson died as an insane person. So when he died he was not in the state of extreme wisdom, and they all said, how can a man so great fall into that state? They don’t realize that when Imagination is stirred within man that enormous tensions take place in man. Sure he fell into a state of insanity, so what? He left behind him for us all the lovely things that he is. Only for a moment…when he went completely out in the last few days or months, so what does it matter? At sixty-two, I wouldn’t care what my exit looked like. I wouldn’t care and I wouldn’t know anybody if I did. To those who loved me dearly I hope they’d understand what I’m talking about and not really care; and think what I said prior to the so-called fall into another state where I blow the brain that what I said was wrong. Because at one moment you get to the point of exploding, and the whole thing is simply getting so much within you, you can’t stop it, and the body can’t take it. You’ve reached the point of complete flower and you have flowered in the world, but no one sees it. They can’t see the garment that I wear. What man looking at me knows the garment I wear? No mortal eye can see it, for I am wearing the garment of the risen Christ. I am one with Christ, and Christ is God. And there is nothing but God; there is nothing but Christ. When you are fused with that body, you are forever that body, yet you walk the earth until every little bud unfolds. And so you are rooted in hell, aspire to heaven and flower upon earth. Every little bud must unfold within you. What does it matter when the one unfolds what happens to the garment?
So tonight learn how to move. Move from one state into another state. And it takes no time, just the willingness to let go completely. You cannot serve two masters; you either believe me or you don’t. He who is with me then he is not against me. He said, you are either with me or against me. And so burn your bridges and completely abandon yourself to a state. It seems mad, doesn’t it? Sleep this night as though you were exactly the person you want to be. I have seen David…reason tells you it cannot be? Reason can’t answer these things at all. It is not a thing reason can answer at all concerning this wonderful story of Christ. It can’t. You go to the very depths in science and what do you meet? You confront mystery. They thought they were going to find and weigh and measure the whole universe. Then they got to the core and it opens out into another whole fabulous universe and they confront mystery again…can’t reach a core. They think they do and it becomes like an onion once more, layer after layer. You find it only within yourself. It comes only by revelation, only by vision. So don’t be afraid that you are fearful. Who isn’t fearful in this world? What man can tell me he hasn’t been afraid? We are rooted in fear because we’re rooted in hell. Are we not told Christ went down into hell? All right, he’s rooted in hell but aspires to heaven, and heaven is the realm of hope. So the three great virtues of the world: Faith, hope and love. The greatest is love, for when the whole thing flowers there’s nothing but love. In spite of all the horror in the world it is love guiding everything in the world. So in the end not one will be greater than the other, because there is no other, only one, all one.
So tonight try it. Try this simple little technique, a falling. You can feel it. Sit quietly, so you won’t physically fall and hurt yourself, get on the bed and try to get the feeling of falling backwards, knowing where you’re going to go. Don’t fall into just any state…you are going to fall into security. Let yourself go. Don’t open your eyes because you feel yourself falling, let yourself go. You won’t die, no, not really die. Weren’t you told that by the serpent, not really die? So you fall and fall right into a state and you’ll find it natural to get into it, natural to be in that state. And then from then on you’ll find yourself returning to it more constantly, and the state to which we most constantly return constitutes our dwelling place.
So “Where do you dwell Lord? Come and see.” And you move. If I say come and see, you’re going to move. Everything remains just as it is unless man moves. This world will remain completely what it is until I move. If I move the slightest little way and look at the same room, I see it from a different angle, so I see it differently. So don’t hail anyone as a great important person and don’t put anyone down. They are only in states, though they don’t know it. The majority knows nothing of what you’ve heard. But as you are told, “Thank you, Father, that you hid these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes; for such was thy gracious pleasure” (Mat.11:25). You aren’t going to find it in books or by scientific research. You hear it right from one who experienced it, and you either believe it or you don’t believe it. If you believe it, you can test it. As Lord Lindsay of Oxford University said to some ministers: “You ministers are making a mistake. In your pulpits you are arguing for Christianity and no one wants to hear your arguments. You ought to be witnessing, does this thing really work, then share it with the rest of us.” He was speaking on this level of moving from state to state, not the Promise. The Promise comes as the tree begins to flower. Flower on earth, that’s the Promise. But until the Promise unfolds, then share what you have discovered in this mystery. Share it with us so we can all enjoy it afterwards, all enjoy freedom, all the lovely things in the world.
Tonight I hope you have heard enough to want to test it. Test falling into the state desired, and remain in it long enough to make it natural. If you make it feel natural, it’s like you will go home tonight, it will seem natural to go home and you feel so relaxed when you do get home. It’s been home for several years, so you go in and take off your clothes, shoes, socks, and simply feel so good, so relaxed, and you’re at home. No matter what home is, it’s accompanied by a certain feeling. Now make something else that is a far more lovely place or more marvelous state so you feel comfortable in it. The average person, if you take them into some palatial place tonight wouldn’t feel at home. They’d feel ill at ease, because they aren’t accustomed to it. You can feel at ease in any place in the world and it is yours…it’s entirely up to you.
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Q: How do you get around the fear of height and falling?
A: Lie on your bed and know you are there. Then you can induce a sensation of falling while you can’t physically. If the garment is secure—you don’t want to fall and be injured—then in your Imagination have the feeling of falling into the most glorious state.
Reason will tell you your body is secure, it won’t fall, then let yourself go. What can go but your wonderful immortal, eternal Imagination, that’s all. Just let yourself go.