Neville Goddard Lectures: “Imagination My Slave” (1967)

By Neville Goddard – 02-13-1967

I would like to make this series as productive and as helpful as the fall series. For I feel in the fall series that we reached a very high watermark. Not only in what we’ve accomplished in the world of Caesar but in the spiritual life. Everything here is geared toward a center and that center is God and where are we in relationship to God.So, we accomplish not only the changes we desire in this outer world, but the real change between the surface mind of ours and the deeper self, which is God. And to accomplish that, I must ask you to do what we did last fall: to share with me your dreams and your visions, and your experiences as you apply this law to accomplish changes in this outer world. That makes it far more real, more wonderful. And if you will share with me, things, we’ll all be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

If you have the faith enough to apply it . . when you come up against it, then tell me what happened, so I can then, from the platform tell others. It will encourage those who are present to try it and, therefore, increase their faith. So share with me your dreams. For God is speaking to man through the medium of dreams and when I chose the word God, here, let me make it quite clear. When I use the word Lord, God, Jehovah, Jesus, Christ, I AM, Imagination, to me they are synonymous and interchangeable.

I do not have a God stuck off in space that differs from the one I speak of as I AM. When I speak of Imagination, I speak of God; I speak of Jehovah; I speak of Jesus; I speak of Christ. So, these terms, to me, are synonymous and interchangeable. When I say that Jesus Christ is my deeper self, I could say Imagination is my deeper self and yet my slave for purposes of his own. I personify Imagination for I am a person, and my real being is all Imagination.

Therefore, Imagination, to me, is a person. But this deeper self, and for purposes of his own, he is my slave. So I say he waits upon me, upon you, he waits upon all of us . . swiftly, impersonally, without any effort whatsoever. When our will is evil or when it is good; it makes no difference to the deep of myself. I am in a state and I am thinking unlovely thoughts; but he waits upon me just as quickly. And he will conjure for me images of evil out of the nowhere. Let me change the state and feel myself in a state of love, of good, and the same presence will conjure for me, instantly, images of love.

So he waits upon me so quickly; so swiftly. No matter what I am on the surface of this being, he conjures and radiates through me, upon the screen of space, all that I am imagining. So I say the entire outer world is solely produced through imagining. If my outer world is produced solely through imagining, then I cannot change the outer world without changing the imagining.

How long will it take? As long as it takes me to change the state I’m imagining. So I imagine I am this, that, or the other. I don’t like what I’m seeing and I hate to admit it’s caused by what I’m imagining. If it is caused by imagining, it will take no longer to change it than it takes me to change what I am imagining. Is it true? I ask you to test it. See if it works… if there is evidence for it, does it really matter what the world thinks? If tonight you test it, and it proves itself in performance, will it really matter what anyone in this world thinks about this concept? Not if it proves itself in performance. So I ask you to test it.

Tonight I will share with you one man’s experience. One of his many responsibilities in his present job is publishing a magazine. It’s very high quality in workmanship and it’s brought out in four colors. Before the last issue was to be prepared he became bored and tired with it and did nothing about the content of the magazine. Two weeks before the date of publication, here he was without anything and he had to start from scratch to get the magazine out in two weeks . . practically impossible.

Sitting in his office he said, although it didn’t mean anything to him, if it came out or not, it means so much to so many people, especially his boss, he was being extremely selfish. Something happened in him and he became completely fired with bringing it out. He said it seemed that stories, art, articles . . everything . . just came through the walls. He wrote three short pieces himself with so much enthusiasm. He then edited all the articles, stories, all the things to be used and then the men who had never worked on this publication before were assigned to get the whole thing out. Photographers were taken off their jobs and sent out on assignments and his printers, typographers and everyone else concerned worked three shifts of the two weeks left and they brought it out.

How did it start? Before he started, this is what he did. He knew he couldn’t bring out a magazine in four colors in two weeks without any stories, articles, editorial comment, etc., so he created a scene in which he saw his boss holding the issue, with the date sign on it. His boss had an expression on his face that implied complete satisfaction with what he was seeing. Then he heard his boss tell him it was the best issue they had ever published.

During that two-week interval, when his mind would falter, he went back to that one picture of his boss and heard him praise him for the work he had done. He held to the end. The end is where we begin. The end is my beginning. We’re always imagining ahead of our efforts. We go to the end . . no matter what it is we want . . we go to the end. And it calls everything in this world to fulfill itself.

Came the day when the magazine was published. His boss praised him like he’d never praised him before. He said it was the best issue they had ever brought out . . just as he had imagined it. And as he had imagined it, it happened in the outer world as fact. When the magazine was out and mailed he went by his boss’s office and his boss was happy but skeptical. His boss said he felt they had mailed it out a few days too early . . two weeks to bring out a four-color magazine and his boss felt it was mailed a few days too soon!

The above story and the following stories are related. His dry cleaner, whom he likes very much, lost the trousers to his best and most expensive suit. He was beside himself and although the cleaner searched his plant three times, he couldn’t find the pants. The cleaner told him to make out a claim but he didn’t want money, he wanted his pants.

On the next day, driving to and from his work, he felt the fabric of those trousers on his leg. He also felt it with his imaginary fingers. The next day the dry cleaner called his wife to tell her he had found the pants pinned to a suit that was ready for delivery to another person. So the pants were returned.

So here is the picture and listen to it carefully and apply it to what you will hear this night. It was the Christmas season, and he felt very generous and extravagant; he bought dozens of presents and made out dozens of checks. One day a merchant called his wife to tell her a check she had given him had bounced. She called and told him, and he was beside himself. He knew he had hundreds of dollars more than was necessary in his account. He knew there must have been a mistake. But when he checked his bank statement, which had come a few days before, his face was red and he was humiliated. He had made an enormous error in subtraction and there were no funds.

There was no place for him to turn and the next paycheck was weeks off. Where could he turn to get the money immediately? He wrestled with the problem long after bedtime. He thought of going to his bank the next day, and explain what happened; and then he knew he must have some imaginary image that he could believe. HE MUST HAVE AN IMAGINARY IMAGE HE COULD BELIEVE IN… an imaginal act he could believe in.

He said he could believe in imagining that God was bringing it to pass in the best way for everyone involved; those whom he had unwittingly deceived; those whom he had planned to send presents to and now could not; for everyone involved, everything would be all right.

So he fell asleep in the assumption that God was bringing about the best solution for everyone involved.

The next morning when he got up and started toward the bank, he wasn’t altogether sure, so he went back to that assumption that God is bringing about the best solution for everyone. He went to the bank and the cashier sent him to a Vice President who listened to his story and told him he should see the Assistant Manager, who asked him nothing. He just looked him over and asked when he thought he could aright this situation. He told the manager the date of his paycheck and he said, all right, all the checks will be taken care of. He didn’t ask him how many checks were yet to be taken care of!

Two days later he received an extra bonus from his boss almost ten times the amount of money due for his checks and one of the reasons was because of the outstanding work he had done on the magazine. And when he received the check he was wearing the suit . . lost pants and all!

The next day he went to the bank and made a deposit and he was wearing the suit, and he thought it would be only decent to stop and thank the Assistant Manager for his kindness. He recognized on his face a certain sadness. The Manager said it was because they had not been able to do anything for him as no new checks had come in for them to take care of.

At the end of the letter he said I must tell you imagining creates reality. There is nothing I can do or say to you but “thanks”. And it seems so inadequate.

May I tell him, and you, there is nothing you can do for me more than to share with me such experiences. Nothing you can do would please me more. If he had sent me a check, I would have spent it. I have spent everything I have ever earned or what was given me except what my father gave me. And if that were not the family estate I would have spent it long ago.

But I can’t spend experiences. I can only share them. I can tell my friends in New York, in Barbados, in San Francisco. This is like the stories in the Bible. This is taking God’s principle and proving it. For his imagination is God. Your imagination is God. Let me repeat it. God, Jehovah, the Lord God, Jesus, Christ, I AM, Imagination, they are all interchangeable.

So I say that imagining is like the creative power in me. “The great creative power of the universe is like imagining in me and underlies all of my faculties, including my perception. But it streams into my surface mind least disguised in the form of productive fancy.”

So when he sat there and there was no magazine, no articles . . not a thing . . and he felt embarrassed and selfish, and that he was letting down all those people who depended on him, he took the end. That’s productive fancy. He saw his boss reading the magazine and heard him say it was the best issue yet. He found a scene in which he could believe and all the articles and stories, and art came pouring in. Everything moved forward to the fulfillment of that state.

So, I tell you, imagining does create reality. If you would find God, stop thinking of a little term. You know what he is. He’s your own human imagination and he’s speaking to you moment after moment through desire. He is speaking in the depths of your soul, through dreams and through visions, and you can tell through your dreams and visions what level you are on relative to God. Everything is relative to God. It isn’t relative to anything on the outside world for all that is shadows. It’s all relative to God.

So where do I stand relative to him? Everything, the most insignificant dream to the outer world, has profound significance to you to whom it is spoken and to God who speaks it to you. And the God in you is your own self. Let me repeat: Jesus Christ is my deeper self and yet my slave. He is the one enslaved in me for purposes of his own and he waits upon me as impartially and as swiftly when my ideas and my thoughts, and my desires are evil as when they are good. He will conjure for me in the twinkling of an eye, ideas of good and evil by the call of my desire. Also, let me wish something and instantly the idea is accomplished. They’ll say it came out of your wonderful Imagination. I say that is Jehovah, if you prefer, rather than Jesus Christ. I tell you it is the LORD God. It is your own wonderful human Imagination. That is God. And when you learn to fall in love with it, because he’s enslaved himself . . poured himself . . in you, for you aren’t really two, you are an extension of himself being called back level by level by level until finally you are one; you aren’t two.

So we are called back from an expulsion. It was a self-expulsion, and we are now called back through these infinite levels of awareness and he reveals to us, through the medium of dreams, the level on which we stand. I take scriptures and find out where I stand by a simple dream. Study scripture.

Paul said, “Learn from us to live by scripture”. Is it there? Does it parallel your dream in any way? It doesn’t have to be exactly the same thing. He’s always talking to you and calling you back to himself through layer after layer until finally you reach home. You and He are one.

So this man had to have something, not only to imagine, but something he could believe. I can imagine anything. You can imagine anything. Is there something you can’t imagine? Don’t tell me. I can tell you the most fantastic story in the world and you can understand me, but you may not believe me. Therefore it means nothing. So he said he must find something he can imagine that he can believe in. He wanted a scene that would cause no embarrassment to anyone. He could believe in God. He could believe that God is bringing to pass now, in the best possible way for everyone involved, a solution to the situation. He knew God would do it in the best way possible. And so he went about his business the next day in the state that God would do it. He didn’t question how, he knew God would do it. And in the end he received a check that was ten times the amount he needed to liquidate all the checks he had passed.

So I say, go to the end. The end is where we begin. You can go on casting shadows and trying to change shadows, and you’ll go on forever and ever and you will never change that which is in the shadow. But simply remove the object, which is a state of consciousness, out of the shadow into another desirable light, and remain in it until it casts a shadow.

The shadow will not take long. You are the light of the world. “I AM the light of the world.” Do you think another one is speaking? God is speaking. When I say God is speaking I mean your Imagination. Your Imagination is the light of the world. He takes the light to illumine the state and the world outside is only a reflection. It’s an act bearing witness to the state in which I have moved. I move into a state. I remain in that state and cast my shadow on the screen of space. When you say, suppose he does this, or that, you are giving all your power, which rightly belongs to you, to the shadow world where it does not belong.

So it’s entirely up to you. If you test it tonight it will prove itself in the testing. So please share with me your letter. Paul asks that those who heard it, those who receive the letter, to share with him, that all of them might be encouraged by each other’s faith. So, if man has faith enough to try it, though tomorrow morning is the deadline, based upon Caesar’s world, you can try it tonight and move into a different state so that if you have a prospective meeting with someone in the morning, a meeting in which the other person would ordinarily say “if you don’t do this or that or else”, then in the morning that person may not feel well, or maybe he had to go somewhere else, or maybe he’s just forgotten. A thousand and one things could happen to prevent that unpleasant meeting. But everything must happen based upon what you are doing.

You are the causative power. But bear in mind that because you are the causative power, it doesn’t work by itself. It works only because you are the operant power.

The next lecture will be Remembrance of Things Future. This is Ecclesiastes one hundred percent, as few in this world will accept it. Remembrance of Things Future: to show you who you really are. I tell you that you are God. I’m not here to flatter you. You and I are one. God is one and here, fragmented on the surface of his dream. And then we are called back to the core. All are called back, and we are one. For we come back one by one by one. The entire outer world is solely produced by imagining. “All that you behold, though it appears without, it is within, in your Imagination, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.”

And if it is a shadow, then let me find that which is causing the shadow. And the cause of the shadow is your imaginal activity. What are we imagining, that is the cause of the shadow that we think so objectively real and is so completely independent of our conception of it. All these things seem so completely independent of our conception of it and they are all cast by our own imaginal activity.

So you get into a state of wealth or health or the state of being wanted, etc; any state, and while you remain in the state, they can do their best to rub out the shadows you are casting but they cannot rub out the cause of it all and it always reproduces itself. The whole vast world is reproducing itself, based upon the state that you occupy.

So they can’t rub anything out that you are doing by rubbing out things that you do. No matter what they are doing in the outer world, it is what you are doing within yourself.

Man is all Imagination, and God is man and exists in us and we in him. The eternal body of man is the Imagination and that is God himself, the divine body of Jesus. And we, on the surface, are his master. All are the members of this one divine body and only this one body, all gathered into the unity in the one body, which is God. Call it God or Jehovah, or Jesus Christ or I AM. You can say I AM or Imagination in a group like this that understands and get behind names and surfaces. But in the outer world I wouldn’t use it because they wouldn’t understand.

And so, if you would use the word Jehovah or Jesus, it jumps up there! But it’s not living in space. It doesn’t appear in time, away up there thousands of years ago in time. But it jumps if you use the word Jehovah or Jesus. But if you use the word I AM, it can’t jump. There’s no place you can go. You can’t go outside the present moment. And if you actually show people what you mean by it, that I AM is the creative power and you create by imagining, then it’s got to be here. You just can’t get outside this present moment of time when you use these terms. But you can only use them in a group like this.

I am completely awake and have been sent to tell you what I am now telling you. I’m not talking to another being, I’m only talking to myself; all are wonderful aspects of myself. All. All being withdrawn out of me. All coming back through infinite levels of awareness to the one being that I AM.

What is the most practical in this world is the most profoundly spiritual. Tie them together and reverse them. What is the most profoundly spiritual is the most practical. So he is a practical person, yet the world would call him a dreamer… sitting there doing nothing, a four-color magazine to be done and only two weeks before the deadline. Then everything is thrown in his face and he’s working three shifts, and everything is at his disposal . . everything is completed and the magazine is mailed “a few days too early”.

But just imagine the terrific intensity on his part that he gets a bonus check that is ten times the amount of money he had drawn against his checking account.

So I ask you to continue sharing with me your experiences and your dreams. That is the only way you can say thanks.

(eville mentions here that in future lectures he will tell the visions of Bob Cruther and his wife and he will explain the depth of meaning in Jan’s dream. He says that there is so much more to it than she is aware of.)

Question: A woman, from time to time, works with psychologically disturbed children. To them their world is real. How can she correlate their real world of theirs with the real world she creates for herself and not be one of them?

Answer: No man comes unto me except I call him. And he can only call his own. He can’t call another. So here is a disturbance in my world in something that is detached from me, asking for help. I’m going to change my world. I’m going to change that shadow. But it really is reflecting some disturbance in me so I’m going to change it. No matter what the outside world thinks, there are more fashions in the world of medicine than there are in the world of clothes. The most highly flung concept of the imbalanced, or unbalanced, people is simply changeable because it is only a theory. The whole thing is in the eye of the beholder. They come to you for help. Don’t try to instantly find out what is causing it. Rearrange the whole thing.

Suppose an individual now sees the world in what we would call a natural way. Persuade yourself that they do and if you can believe it, that person will conform to the image. You don’t treat the shadow from the outside; you treat it from the inside.

If the child is born blind, who sinned? No one. Neither the child nor his parents but that the will of God be made manifest. No one did wrong. People cannot understand that. They cannot understand that God is love, infinite love, and he can’t hurt another for there is no other . . only himself.

So, in this case, it will not only depend on the imaginal act, but on one’s ability to believe in the reality of the imaginal act. The potency of the imaginal act is its implication, not the imaginal act. Its potency is its implication. What does it imply? Create a scene implying the child is normal and believe it.

Neville tells the story of the teacher in New York with a problem child who was to be expelled from school. The teacher applied the principal of imagining against almost impossible odds and the situation was completely changed. The child graduated; she was not expelled and all the unpleasantness that was there before, disappeared.

If you take the people in this world, including all the doctors, physicians, vegetarians, those who drink excessively and eat excessively . . they all have the same length of time to continue. Few men take care to live well, many to live long. Yet it is within the power of any man to live well; but it is not within the power of any man to live long.