13 Jul Neville Goddard Lecture: “The Secret of Praying” (1967)
By Neville Goddard 10/6/67
Tonight’s subject is “The Secret of Praying.” He who has learned how to pray has learned the greatest secret of a full and happy life. You’re told in scripture that his followers said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” He gave him a prayer (Luke 11:1). But that is not teaching man how to pray. So we’re told in other passages that he told it in the form of a parable, “And he told them a parable that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Then he told the story of persistency. “There was a judge and he neither feared God nor regarded man. In that city there was a widow and she came to him and asked him to exonerate her, that these enemies of hers were persistent. At first he did not respond, but then he said to himself, ‘Although I neither fear God nor regard man, yet I will exonerate her, because by her much coming she bothers me and she’ll wear me out’” (Luke 18:3).
And so all parable is like a dream. Every dream has a single jet of truth, so when you read the story we see the necessity of persistency in prayer until you master it. When you master it, the most effective prayer in the world is “Thank you, Father,” the most effective prayer in the world, after mastery. But until mastery then there is a technique. And persistency is like an art. You must practice any art in this world. First you must find a good method and try to find the best method. When you’ve found it, then it requires daily practice, any art in this world. If you don’t practice, well, then you become rusty. So find a good method first and then practice.
After you’ve practiced you’ll find it so easy that it’s automatic, all through the day. And it’s simply one of thanksgiving, “Thank you, Father!” For the most effective prayer recorded in scripture we’ll read in the 11th chapter of John, when he gave thanks to his Father: “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. For thou always hearest me” (verse 41). And here, something that is dead, something that is gone from the world, but nothing is dead if you know how to pray, but nothing, I don’t care what it is. Even those who are gone beyond and you cannot touch them, you cannot see them with mortal senses, you can, if you know how to give thanks, move from this body of darkness into the world of light and encounter them. You can. I am telling you from experience. So he who has learned how to pray has learned the greatest secret of a full and happy life.
Now, here tonight, we’ll take a technique of prayer and show you how it works. All the prophets orient themselves towards Jerusalem when they pray. Now, every name in scripture has a great significance. So what is Jerusalem? It first appears in the 33rd chapter of the Book of Genesis, under the name of Shalem. And here in this 33rd chapter, Jacob comes safely into the city of Shalem, which is in the land of Canaan, and he erected an altar. And then comes a Hebrew word, which simply means…the word is El-Elohe-Israel. So you find it capitalized in your Bible, and you find a footnote giving an interpretation of the word, which means “God, the God of Israel.” So he comes to that.
So the first appearance of the word is in that 33rd chapter of Genesis. So every prophet orients himself towards Jerusalem. Well, the word literally means “to direct; the true direction.” So I direct truly with the hand, Yod. Then comes the name, which is translated “to be safe in mind, body or estate.” I point out safely and then I realize it. So we find in the Book of Daniel, he orients himself through the open window and looks towards Jerusalem. We find in the Mohammedan world they always point towards what they call Mecca. But here, you point towards Jerusalem. Now I’m telling you Jerusalem is within you. This whole drama takes place within man; it’s not on the outside. I don’t prostrate myself and look toward some eastern point in space. I simply adjust myself mentally inwardly.
Now, how do I do it? Now, you listen carefully. It’s a simple technique, but it will take practice on your part to master it…yet it’s simple. When I have a desire…now that’s my desire, I know exactly what I want—I’m pointing directly at it—that’s my desire. I’m pointing…so, to point, the true direction. I’m thinking of it when I have desire. But now I must transform it from thinking of to thinking from. I stand here and all doors are open to me if I walk with my Imagination as my companion. My Imagination is really my companion. I speak of my Imagination until finally I know I am what I formerly called my Imagination. But in the beginning, man still speaks of my Imagination, it’s all your Imagination, it’s all so and so. So I could say…it’s like my hand, you can amputate my hand. You can’t amputate my Imagination. Amputate my arms, my legs, all kinds of parts of my body. You can’t amputate my Imagination, for you can’t step on me. That’s the eternal self. But to make it practical, I would say, that all doors are open in this world to the one who walks with Imagination as his companion.
I’ll show you what I mean. I stand here and I desire to go elsewhere. Name it. I say New York City. But time will not allow it, and maybe finances would not allow it, maybe my commitments will not allow it. But I do desire to go to New York City. While standing here I dare to assume that I am, right now, in New York City. That act of assumption is a departure from this body of darkness…the very act of assumption. I assume that I am in New York City. Well, were I in New York City I would think of those I know here and love here, wouldn’t I? Well then, if I think of them, where are they? Down the street, over here in the hills, or are they 3,000 miles away from where I am standing? If I am in New York City, then anyone I think of in this area that I know would have to be relative to where I’m assuming that I am. That’s my test. Have I really succeeded in moving towards New York City?
Now the word prayer means, literally, “motion towards, accession to, at or in the vicinity of.” These are the definitions you’ll find in your biblical concordance. So, motion is orienting myself towards, first of all…now, accession to, at or in the vicinity of. So, I’m in New York City. And were I in New York City, to locate myself and prove I am there, I would think of my world. This is part of my world. I know it. I have so many lovely friends here. I have friends north of here. I have friends south, friends east-south of New York City, friends in London. Well, I would see it, all the friends, and I would have to see them relative to New York City. If I am in New York City, well then, that’s how I would see everything in this world.
Now, let me have full confidence in the being who made this motion. Well, who made it? Well, I did it in Imagination. May I tell you that “Man is all Imagination, and God is man, and exists in us and we in him. The eternal body of man, that immortal body of man, is the Imagination, and that is God himself” (Blake). So I will take this toward anything, not just motion in space, motion in anything in this world that I desire for myself or for another. It doesn’t have to be confined to this person called self. I have a daughter, a son, wife, friends, it could be relative to their desires. If I heard them now tell me that they have what they want, well, how would I feel? How could I see them when I make a motion from where they desired the thing to where they now tell me that they have it? It’s a motion. All things are movement. The first creative act recorded in the scripture is motion, “And God moved upon the face of the waters.”
The whole thing is a motion. As a friend of mine, who is here tonight, when he had that fantastic vision. In it I appeared in his vision and after ___(??)—most of you have heard it, so I won’t repeat it—and he said, “Did I learn anything?” I said, “Yes, you learned how to move. You’ve been there in the year of conflict, two, two years.” Well, two doesn’t mean two years of twelve-month periods but during the form of conflict. Two is conflict, it’s divisions, opposites. So during that state you learned how to move. And then, the whole thing was transformed in his mind’s eye and what was a barn and a conflict and a war, and a shooting war, a horrible thing, turned itself into a castle. And then he was led graciously, safely into the castle and taken to his quarters…his eternal home. He learned how to move.
Well, prayer is motion towards. It’s learning how to move. So I stand here and I can move towards anything in my world. I moved toward a change on that bank balance. That’s motion. Any change is motion. I can’t see any change that does not alter include motion. I change this, that’s motion. I move from here to there, that’s motion. I go home tonight, that’s motion, and I change my position relative to where I was. And so, it’s all a matter of mastering this technique of moving, the first creative act in scripture. After he moved, then things began to rise out of the deep.
So here, the technique of prayer is mastering this inner motion, how to move. If I could only move this night from where I am, where I am seeing certain things in my world that I would like to change, to that position that I would occupy after they are changed. Well, after they are changed, how would I see it? Now, that’s the change in motion. So a change…not only a safe change bodily, mentally, and in my estate. I completely move towards the change relative to others in my world, because everything in my world is myself pushed out. So any regrets coming from without has to be listened to by me, I can’t ignore it, it’s myself, the whole vast world.
When man comes down into this world from a world of light, and actually confines himself and limits himself to this body, it becomes a spark from his infinite world of light. Then he remembers that he has to exercise it while he is here. He remembers the infinite world of light, but he is here. And while he is here he sees everything hatched within himself, because in the world of light all things were contained within himself. So how could he now see and hear when he is completely shut out, and see it as other than himself, when he knows that when in that world all things were contained within himself?
Now here he masters a technique, which is called in scripture prayer, which is the art of motion. It’s psychological motion. The whole thing is moving…how to move from where I am now. I see an argument, I hear an argument. Now how to move to the solution of that argument? A friend called this morning, in the wee hours of the morning, concerning a problem confronting her in New York City. I was sound asleep. I heard the phone, my wife answered. It must have been two in the morning, therefore, it must have been five o’clock there. She was greatly disturbed. She had just attended a meeting, a long, undoubtedly a long meeting through the night, and she was really disturbed and frightened concerning the outcome of this thing. Well, my wife tried in her best way to explain to her that she, of all people, should know how these things are done. But when you are completely moved, you turn to someone in whom you have faith, and then you call and ask for help. But all my wife could do at the moment, which is two in the morning, this morning, she told me would be to see her as she would be seen were she now telling me an entirely different story. So I move from one state into another state, and listen to the same lady talking to me telling me that the whole thing has been solved, that it’s been perfectly resolved.
Now, this past week, a friend of ours, who is here tonight, Benny, came home last Saturday afternoon and told me this wonderful story. He said in his dream he came upon a wonderful scene, like a garden scene, and what appeared to be a love area where lovers meet. He saw me standing looking through some of the lattice, sort of a framework, and he came up to me and began to tell me of all his desires, all the things he desired. I said to him, “Don’t desire, live it!” Then he woke and wrote it down and brought it to me. Well, that’s exactly what I mean to everyone. Desiring is thinking of; living it is thinking from. Don’t desire it, live it! I go to bed tonight desiring? No, go to bed living it. Sleep as though you were now the man that you formerly desired to be, just as though it were true.
Well, I tell you from my own personal experience that an assumption though false if persisted in will harden into fact. So in the beginning when we are learning, persistency is necessary. And so he tells the story of the man who comes at night and said, “A friend of mine came and could you give me three loaves of bread?” The man said that it is late, that the door is closed, my children are in bed with me, and I cannot come down and serve you. But, because of the man’s importunity he came down and gave him what he wanted. Well, importunity is the most, well, the most wonderful way of translating the word would be “brazen impudence.” Yes, it would be said repetition. He repeated and repeated the request and repeated the request, so ___(??), but I would say brazen impudence. A man comes over and over and over and he will not take no for an answer. And so that is one of the parables told us: he doesn’t take no for an answer. Then comes the widow, she will not take no for an answer. And these are the parables told to illustrate prayer.
So they aren’t words. Maybe the Lord’s Prayer is given us for a purpose, something to contemplate, and maybe the more you contemplate it the more you will come to believe we really are one. It begins with “Our Father.” Well, if it’s our Father, then we are brothers. We have to be brothers and sisters if we have a common Father, regardless of race, regardless of nations, regardless of anything. If I said “Our Father” we have to have a common brotherhood, regardless of all the races and nations of the world. So that is to get over into man’s way of thinking that we are really one if we have a common Father.
Eventually, we are going to be the Father and we’ll know it. But in the meanwhile, he gives us a technique in the form of a parable. And so, we are the one coming asking, asking for a change in life, asking for more income, asking for this, asking for that. Well, then it doesn’t work by tomorrow, it doesn’t work the next day, it doesn’t work the next month… but he said persist. And so, persistency will actually pay off, and prayers will be answered if man will persist. But to give up is like someone saying, “Well, I tried it and I can’t make it come out in a harmonious way.” And, so you want to play the piano? Well, go and start to play. But get a good method. And so you get a good method and you practice for a day and you can’t give a concert. Well, I mean, that’s just about praying. Learn how to pray, and so devote some time every day.
When I was with my old friend Abdullah…I would have an exercise. And daily I would sit in New York City where we lived in this apartment for fourteen years, almost fourteen. In the living room you could not see the hallway towards the telephone. I’m seated in my easy chair in the living room. I would assume that I was seated at the chair at the telephone. And so assume it that I would actually, in my mind’s eye, I couldn’t see the living room and that I couldn’t see myself seated there. I could see it in my mind’s eye only. I had to think, “Well, now, he’s in the chair.” I so made myself sit here at the telephone that I could not and I wouldn’t let myself see the chair. Then I would feel myself back into the chair. Then go back to the telephone, go back to the chair, and try this feeling of changing in motion.
May I tell you, it’s very, very helpful, you get loose as it were. And the day will come that you will think of something and then all of a sudden the very act of imagining will detach you from this dark garment and you will be exactly where you are imagining. So much so you will be seen by one who is there…you will actually be seen. I have had that experience, where I would imagine myself elsewhere and someone present at the time saw me. Then they were startled not to see me there physically, because they saw me as something physical.
See, man is all Imagination therefore he must be wherever he is in Imagination. So if I go and prepare this place, then I come back, and then I walk across some bridge of incidence, some series of events that will lead me up to that place where I placed myself. I put myself there then I bounce back here. But I’ve gone, having gone and done it, now I return here; and remain in confidence that in a way unknown to me this being that can do all things, that knows all things, will lead me, physically, across the bridge of incidence up to the point where I have placed myself in Imagination. So you can place yourself in Imagination as any person and dwell in that state as though it were true. Even though at the moment reason denies it and your senses deny it, you dwell in that state and sleep in it just as though it were true. This is the art of praying.
So it’s not some palaver where you go in and you sit down and you get on your knees. And then you may think this is a little bit dusty and so you just brush it off because you don’t want to soil your dress or soil your socks or soil something else. That’s how people pray in church. They go in, the first thing they do, they bend over and mumble. You see them…let us be perfectly honest about it. They go to church, maybe because it’s considered the thing to do, they drop on their knees or bend forward, and then there they mumble a few words, and up they get, and they think they’ve done what they should do. Hasn’t a thing to do with this fabulous world of reality.
A few years ago my wife had this wonderful vision. She found herself in a grove, and here in this wonderful grove of heavenly trees, in this clear passage, there was an altar at the very far end. There were people present and then two ladies entered, one from one side and one from the other. One came in from one side with a book and it was titled The Credence of Faith and the Forgiveness of Sins According to Judaism. She went up to the altar and she read it. Another one came on in, the same volume, The Credence of Faith and the Forgiveness of Sins According to Christianity. This lady went up and she read from a book, seemingly the same book but read differently. And my wife said in the vision until that moment she always thought it was infinitely more difficult to be a Jew than to be a Christian. Suddenly she realized that it was infinitely more difficult to be a Christian than to be a Jew, that the whole thing was psychological. Not a thing that you do on the outside matters at all. Everything is from within…it’s what man is doing from within. And then we find how hard it is to be a Christian.
So Browning begins his wonderful poem Easter Day, “How hard it is to be a Christian.” Chessman said, “Christianity has been tried, has not been tried and proved wanting, it has been tried and found difficult and therefore given up”…because I can’t pass the buck. If I think I’m a Christian I can’t pass the buck. I can’t blame anyone in this world, for the foundation of it is that we are one. I’m only drawing confirmation in the thing that I am doing within myself, that everyone who comes to me only bears witness of the mental activity within me. So they are only telling me what I am doing to myself and therefore to my world, for they only mirror me. And that is the most difficult thing in the world, to live that way. You mean, to accept that challenge that no matter what happens to me I did it to myself? No man comes to me save I call him? That is Christianity. “No man cometh unto me save my Father, who sent me, calls him.” But, “I and my Father are one” therefore I called him, if I and my Father are one. And I called him only to reveal to me the activity taking place in me. What am I doing? And so, I will then learn how to pray. For if I learn how to pray and master it, I can change my world, really change it, and make it conform to the ideal that I would like to experience in this world.
So, as I said to Benny ___(??), “Do not go on desiring it, live it!” Stop thinking of it and start thinking from it. To think from the wish fulfilled is to realize it, and to continue thinking of it, well, you keep on forever and forever. You’ll never realize what you’re thinking of; you only realize what you’re thinking from. So you put yourself into the state of the wish fulfilled and think from it…that’s praying. And in a way that no one knows—the conscious reasoning mind doesn’t know—it simply unfolds in your world, and becomes a fact.
So here, you can be the man you want to be. You can be the woman you want to be. You can be anything you want to be if you know how to pray. For all things are possible to him who believes. Therefore, it’s the art of believing: how to persuade myself. Well, this is a way of persuading yourself. Because, when you do it one day and a friend writes you from afar and tells you, “You know, I saw you at a certain hour in my room.” And then you allow the difference in time between…because we have differences in time. We are now three hours different from New York City and four from my little island of Barbados, and so we differ two more hours from Hawaii. So if someone sees me now in Hawaii and I look at my time, it’s almost nine, then I say they saw me at seven. So if they say in their letter, “At 7:00 tonight I saw you” and it was 9:00 here when I imagined that I was there, well then, it encourages me to know that I really am all Imagination.
Well, I’ve done it. And people have confirmed it in their letters. “I saw you” and they named the time, the day, and then they write. Therefore, I know I am truly all Imagination. This is not poetry. I know that Blake told it so beautifully, because the poets are the real inspiring ones of the world. In fact, the whole Bible when it’s really understood is all poetry. It’s all written, truly that whole Old Testament is written in poetry, but we haven’t yet mastered that ancient manuscript to put it in its proper form. But it’s all poetry. It’s the inspired Word of God. They give enlarged meanings to words, different meanings altogether to normal words. And so, you find it in this light.
So when I put myself on the bed and assume I am elsewhere, and that elsewhere is an hour difference in time, and then someone writes me that I saw you at a certain day, a certain hour, and it’s exactly what I told my wife when I did it. So that I didn’t have to think afterward that I did it, I went in and told her what I did. Then comes the letter confirming that this one to whom I tried to appear saw me. Well, am I not then all Imagination? So, in the act of imagining I departed from this dark cavern of the body and appeared where I imagined that I was, and viewed the world from there. And so, you are exactly what you are imagining, because that is God. God is all Imagination and you are all Imagination. Therefore, you can’t die. Man cannot go to eternal death in that which cannot die. Your immortal being is Imagination. I’ve proved it. You go all over in this wonderful, wonderful body. And one day you will know that you are the very central being spoken of in scripture, the one called Jesus Christ, the one called the Lord God Jehovah, that you are that being.
You are here for a purpose. While you here for this fantastic purpose, you still have to pay the price of Caesar. You have to live in the world of Caesar. And so, you can criticize our politicians from here to the end of time but you aren’t going to stop them raising taxes. All you have to do is make more, because they are going to tax you and tax you and tax you in spite of your protests. So all you have to do is learn the art of prayer and make more. I think of that story told of the late President Kennedy when his father who had made in his one generation something like $400 million; and he gave them all independence, tremendous independence, they all have it. He had nine children, each had a million settled on him. But he was complaining that his children were spending too much money and the late president said at this banquet, “Well, the only solution to this problem is Father has to make more.” I thought that was delightful. He made $400 million, he had nine children, so if he gave them each ten million apiece he’d still have far more than he could use. So eventually they’re going to get it anyway, so why not spend it and enjoy it. So they are all great spenders and he said, “Alright, Father has to make more. That’s the only solution to this problem because he’s conditioned us to spend and to make money.” Not to make it, but to spend it. Because all their lives they’ve had everything that money could buy. They’ve never known what it is, really, not the present generation.
But I’m not against that at all. If I had a billion dollars tonight and left it to my wife and my children so what? And if tomorrow they went out and spent it and threw it away what does it really matter? I do wish that they would know and understand this wonderful art of prayer. Then after they’ve thrown it away they could rebuild it…because many of them throw it away and can’t reproduce it. But if you know how to pray, then, again my friend who is here tonight and I quote a wonderful thing she said to me one day—we were driving toward the racetrack, and, of course, we’re all thinking in terms of, naturally, winning. You have fun if you’re going to win. And she said, “My father, when we were children, said to me, ‘You know, if you had but a dollar and it were necessary to spend it, do so as if it were a dried leaf and you the owner of boundless forests.’” Spend it, if it were necessary, as though you were the owner of boundless forests, and that but a dry leaf. So, if one really knows how to pray, let me spend it, and then by praying reproduce it. This whole vast world is brought into being by man’s imagining. Learn how to imagine. This is the great secret.
So as I told it to Benny, I tell it to you. If tonight you’re still desiring, stop it right now, and then occupy it, live it. What would it be like were it true? That’s living it. How would it feel? What would the feeling be like were it true that I am now that one that I would like to be? What would it be like? The minute you catch that mood you’re living it. You’re not just thinking of it, you’re thinking from it. And the great secret is thinking from, rather than thinking of. See, man is anchored here in this body. He’s always in a little state and he knows his bank balance and he knows this, he knows that, he knows the other…and all this is thinking from this state. Now, that’s a marvelous thing. But now having known this, how real things are “from,” well then, learn how to move and then think from. Because thinking from is very, very real. And so, I think from my present world. I know exactly where I live, my bank balance, my this, my that, and the other, and how real that thinking from makes it. Well now, can I move from this to another state and give to that other state the same sense of from-ness, the same sense of reality that I give to this? Yes. Try it. But if I do and it works, then I’ve found the secret. I’ve found how to always then be free, no matter what happens in my world.
So tonight, you take it to heart. Take it home and live by it and daily practice it. Practice it for yourself and for yourself-pushed-out called by another name. It’s all yourself anyway. Take anyone and just practice it. It’s an art and it must be practiced daily until that day comes when you find the most effective prayer is “Thank you, Father!” I can feel this being within me as my very self, and yet address it as love, an I-Thou relationship. There’s nothing strange in that. I can speak of it as Thou, and then know, at the same time, it is I. And so I can have this Thou-I relationship, and that is, saying “Thank you, Father.” So if I wanted something now, it comes from him because all desires spring from him. Then, as it comes, I would reach that point where I could say “Thank you, Father” without effort. I’m right in the mood. You gave me the urge? Well, “Thank you, Father, thank you for it!” as though it were true. And then walk by it ___(??), waiting in confidence that he gave it to me through the medium of desire; and now he will clothe it in bodily form and I will encounter it in the world of flesh.
Now, tonight, when you go home…and tomorrow and the next day and the next day…keep on trying it, practicing it. May I tell you, it won’t fail you. It won’t fail you. And then let everyone do what they want in this world. You read of someone that you love dearly or you respect and you hear some unkind things about them? Oh, forget it! What does it matter? What does it matter what they did or it is said that they did? It doesn’t really matter. I tell you, in the end, because they did it, you did it. Because, in the end there’s only God, and not one being could have played any part in this world that God didn’t play it, because there’s nothing but God.
So if I hear this night of any unlovely thing said of one, I can say I did it. Either did it deliberately or did it unwittingly, but I did it. Because there can’t be another if I am he. So don’t get in the mood of judging and criticizing and doing all these unlovely things. ___(??). Just leave them. You have desires and you want to live nobly in this world. Who doesn’t? May I tell you, it’s so much nicer to be noble. It’s so much nicer to be generous. It’s so much more wonderful just to love…infinitely lovelier in this world. Life is better. Love it. Let no one tell you that she or he, that is, they are not worthy. Forget it. It’s easier living in a loving, generous way.
And so, if others want to condemn, let them do it, but it’s still yourself, that aspect of yourself you haven’t quite overcome yet. But don’t you fall into that picture. And practice it over and over and over. Because, in the end, when the curtain comes down on this whole wonderful drama, the supreme actor will rise from it all and we are he. All of us play our parts, play them beautifully, but the actor who clothed himself in these forms is God. And we are the supreme actor.
Now let us go into the Silence.
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A: ___(??) is simply conditioned to what you did is true. If I really believe that someone is pregnant and I desire the fulfillment of that pregnancy, I do nothing but rejoice in the interval, and wait quite patiently. Because no two pregnancies have the same interval of time—a chicken twenty-one days, a lamb five months, man nine months, and so on—and so, every vision has its own appointed hour. So I’m not going to try and decide how soon it must come in my world. It could come tonight. Only, my sabbath is simply keeping that interval of time between the impregnation and its birth. Alright, so that’s the sabbath…it has nothing to do with a day of the year. The world thinks a Sunday or a Saturday or a Monday or some other day is the sabbath. ___(??). The sabbath is simply that interval that comes as part of the creative act. It’s after I have assumed the state I am faithful to it, that faithfulness is the sabbath.
Q: At the beginning of the prayer where it says the ___(??) orients himself toward Jerusalem, what does that mean?
A: He orients himself only towards…well, in the Book of Daniel…
Q: Does that mean the I…
A: If Jerusalem is within me, I’m trying to move and orient myself towards an inner conviction that what I desire I have. I’m orienting myself in spite of all the false gods. Because when Daniel oriented himself, when the king said you must pray to no other god but this king, and he prayed only to the God of Israel. The God of Israel is I AM, he has no other name. “Go to my people and say unto them I AM has sent you” (Ex. 3:14). So if I pray to the God of Israel, I can’t turn out, I can only turn inward. For the core of man has to be I AM. And so when he prays to the God of Israel and orients himself towards Jerusalem, he is simply orienting himself towards the inner conviction that what he desired he has. That he turns his back upon the lions. He doesn’t face them, he turns his back upon them, that they could destroy him. Then the doors are thrown open and he comes out free. He orients himself…it’s all within a man…beautiful symbolism, beautiful imagery.
The lions in the world…everything tries to destroy you, tries to tear you down. They remind you of your limitations of birth, remind you of this, remind you of that, remind you of all these things, and you turn your back upon everything that would in any way try to tear you down. Then you orient yourself towards Jerusalem. Jerusalem is within. As you’re told in Galatians, the Jerusalem from above is our mother…and she bears us into freedom (Gal. 4:26). And so, it is about it’s all within you. How would I feel were it true? Am I not doing that from within? But I’m trying to feel the true feeling that would be mine were it true. The minute I feel exactly what it would be like, I am in Jerusalem…and that is the city where the king lives. There are several names for it: the city of David, Zion, Salem, Jerusalem, all meaning the same thing “all from within.” And Zion means the city of David, which is the top of the water shaft, and the water shaft is your own wonderful spine. One day it will be split and you’ll move up that water shaft like lightning. And so, the whole drama is unfolding within man.
And so, when Blake makes this statement in his Jerusalem, it seems to be just taking liberties with words as poets are encouraged to do. But he mentions this, “All that you behold, though it appears without, it is within, in your Imagination of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.” It is all within, and everything is coming into my world because of what I’m doing. I’m doing it. You can tell by the uprising of certain moods within you that you’ll soon meet certain characters…and you do. They’re coming because they have to. They come by what you are doing, by that affinity.
A: Alright, good question. If you had never been to New York, how could you imagine that you are in New York when you’ve never seen it and you do not know? Well, even if you were not an American, I think every American of our age has seen pictures of New York on the screen, you’ve read about it in newspapers, so everyone has some kind of an idea of what New York is. But, anyone in the world knowing America and its breadth, and New York is on the eastern seaboard, well, it’s 3,000 miles away. Can you think in terms of 3,000 miles mentally? You can easily. You can think of New York now and know it’s 3,000 miles away. But you are in California. Well now, if you thought of California and it’s 3,000 miles away but to the west of you, rather than that New York is to the east of you, then you must be in New York. If I think of California and California is 3,000 miles away, that’s where all my friends live; I know their homes, their habits, their love, their affection, and they’re 3,000 miles away. Where, to the east of me?— no, to the west of me, for the sun has set here now and it’s only now beginning to set there. I can see the sun going down. If the sun is going down there and it’s already gone down here, then it’s to the west of me. And that’s where my friends live, it’s California, so I must be in N.Y. Is that clear?