Neville Goddard Lectures: “Imagining Creates Reality” [First 1967]

Neville Goddard Lectures: “Imagining Creates Reality” [First 1967]

9/11/67

—(??) a very successful and productive series. I’m going to ask you to share your experiences with me that I, in turn, may share them with others. In this way we are mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

This principle works. If you are here for the first time, you may hear a certain phrase that may not seem familiar, but I assure you it has biblical support. I may change the word and it may sound unfamiliar, but I assure you, it’s all scripture. When I make the bold claim that imagining creates reality that is only scripture. You will not find it stated in that manner in scripture, but you will find these words, “All things are possible to him who believes.” You’ll find it in the 9th chapter of the Book of Mark. Then you read the 11th chapter, “Whatever you desire when you pray, believe that you have received it, and you will” (Mark 11:2). No limits are put upon the power of belief, none whatsoever. It doesn’t say it’s good for you. You be the judge. It doesn’t say that others will agree with your choice. It leaves it entirely up to you. Whatever you desire, not what others think you ought to desire.

Maybe it is not a wise choice on your part, but that’s not part of the principle. The principle is that all things are possible to him who believes. Therefore, the secret is how to believe. How could I be self-persuaded when reason denies it, when my senses deny it, when everything in the world denies it? Can I really persuade myself in the face of such denial? I must learn the art of such firm self-persuasion. For, if everything is mine if I want it and all depends only on my ability to become self-persuaded that it is true, then I must imagine as if it were true. Man’s progress has come from those who imagined as if it were true. Imagining as if it were true is the way to success.

Well now, how to do it? Blake said that he invited Isaiah and Ezekiel to dine with him, and he asked them concerning this strange power of persuasion. He said to Isaiah, “Does a firm persuasion that a thing is so, make it so?” Isaiah replied, “All poets believe that it does, and in ages of Imagination a firm persuasion removed mountains; but not many are capable of a firm persuasion of any thing” (Mar. Heaven/Hell, Plt.12). So how can we do that? For instance, if I should turn to a friend of mine and say to him, “You know, I saw John this morning, and he looked remarkably well, and I told him so, and he said to me, ‘I’ve never felt better!’ I was so happy for him, because I’ve never seen him look better, and he agreed with me, he’s never felt better.”

Now the one that I addressed knows John, knows him quite well, and then he turns to me and he tells me, “Well, you could not have seen John, for John is not even in the country, and John is very, very ill. In fact he’s in the hospital. Those who see him they despair, so how could you have seen John? Where did you see him?” I replied, “I saw him in my mind’s eye, that’s where I saw him. I saw him right in my Imagination. I was thinking of him, and having thought of him, I brought him before my mind’s eye and saw him as I would like to see him. And he seemed to be there. So, I told him and he agreed with me, that he had never felt better.”

My friend turns to me and he tells me, “Well now, that’s all false. That’s untrue.” I said, “Alright, it may be false based upon the facts of the moment, so I will say it may be false, but will you wish it true? Has it your vote to be so if it can? If I tell you of other cases, similar cases, and they all came to pass, will you now wish it true and not disturb me with your arguments and your facts?” And so maybe he will and maybe he will not, but he may leave me thinking I’m a little bit touched. For I say I saw the man this morning and I tell him where I saw him. I saw him in my Imagination, that’s where I saw him. I thought of him, therefore I saw him. I brought him before my mind’s eye and saw him as vividly as I am capable of seeing anyone, if I think only of him without some external form to support it… and I saw him.

Now, is it true? Well, let’s wait and see, wait and see if the facts of the moment will not dissolve and this so-called thing that is not a fact takes its place. Are we not told in scripture that God calls into existence the things that do not exist? They do not exist and he calls out of things that do not exist, he calls into existence things that you and I will see. But the source…they do not exist, then where are they? Here, as I thought of John I conjured him in my mind’s eye and I carried on a conversation with him. Now its power is its Implication, what does it imply? That John is well, that’s what it implies. Well, that is its power, its implication. Now leave it, for that has the power to externalize what it implies.

Now, can we support this with an actual case history? Here is a wonderful case history that greets me in New York this past spring. It was sent here and my daughter forwarded it in time for me to share it with those who were taking my lectures in New York City. This friend writes, “Soon after I heard you I was faced with quite a problem. I’m an advertiser, and our agency had this problem. Here was an enormous industry in our country and they wanted us to bring out an advertising campaign that would not only arrest the decline in sales but reverse the picture. So I said to myself, if imagining creates reality, all that I have to do is to proceed from that assumption. And so, I must simply bring out my ads based upon this, that all the desires of my client, which are only mere desires to him, I will treat them as end results, as facts existing now. So I simply constructed these ads and had them illustrated graphically as something that’s a fact, something’s taking place now.

“Well, here there are twenty-four men on the board of this enormous corporation, self-opinionated, egotistical, and power-seeking. Their self-image was one of integrity. How to get them to accept this campaign based, if you must be objective about it, upon a lie? The whole thing was a lie. Yet I knew if I got this thing rolling I could persuade all the, I would say, the prospects across the country to accept these end-results as facts. And so I brought in the artists and they had my concept clearly in mind. Then I made these bold statements and I documented them with art and statistics…yet every one was a lie.” He said, “It was amusing to sit in this meeting filled with arguments, these men trying to find proofs to persuade themselves to accept this campaign. How can they be persuaded to accept the campaign of this nature when every claim made by me was a lie? So I sat there and only saw the end, that’s all that I saw. I lived in the end, the end result. Well, they accepted the campaign and it was launched in the media that I had chosen. In three months time, we not only reversed the trend of the downward sales, but we broke every record locally, regionally and nationally. The net increase in the first three months of the campaign was seventy-five million dollars.

“Now they said, ‘Our competitors aren’t going to take it’ and they began to be afraid of what their competitors would do, seeing the success of this campaign.” Well, he said, “They must have become self-persuaded of their fears, because they did—some even used the copy without changing any part of it, here, they took the whole thing bodily”—again fulfilling scripture in the Book of Job, “And my fears have come upon me.” What they greatly feared they drew to themselves, because imagining creates reality. I can’t fear something and not imagine. How can I be afraid of anything and not set it in motion, when imagining is creating reality? So here, they were afraid of what their competitors would do and their competitors did it. They had to do it.

Now he said, “I have before me, rather I have on my desk, a five-page letter written to my boss from a vice president, who is also business manager and assistant to the chairman of the board of one of the world’s largest and richest oil companies. He congratulates my boss on his clever use of this principle in this most effective campaign. For they all knew about it. But, said he in the letter, “It is part of the core of our thinking in our business. My particular company thinks this way and the executive branch must act this way and think this way.” He said, “I also know many big companies from the inside and that is part of their principle. They may not phrase it in this way, that imagining creates reality, but they act upon it in that way.” He said, “I also know one politician, a very successful one, who was elected to office by the conscious use of this principle.” Then he goes on in his letter giving me other aspects of the principle as he has used it successfully.

He’s here tonight and I want to thank him for sharing that experience with me that I in turn could share it with you…when a man sits at his desk and using just his Imagination and constructs a campaign based purely upon a wish fulfilled. What did Shakespeare tell us in Anthony and Cleopatra? “It has been taught us from the primal state that that which is was wished until it were.” That which is was wished until it were. What’s the primal wish? “Let us make man in our image.” Isn’t that a wish?—and then he dwells in the end. The end is his image, which is Christ Jesus, seeing man not as he goes through life, but seeing him in the end—only holding in his mind’s eye the wish fulfilled, which is Christ Jesus. So in the eyes of God the Father everyone is seen in the end. Not as we appear to each other in this world of conflict, but in the very end he sees us as the perfect reflection of his own being and therefore himself.

So here, I ask you tonight to put this to the extreme test with anything in this world, I don’t care what it is. For, if all things are possible to the one who can believe, and you can believe, then why not put it to the test? So I invite you to try it. I’ve gone across the country…in New York City I have many wonderful case histories…go to little Barbados, just for a vacation for two months, and there I saw it among those who were successful. They don’t discuss it and give some biblical support secret…it’s there for all to read if they’ll read the scriptures and read to it correctly. They think it’s their own little secret. But it’s not a secret, it’s there for all to read if they’ll read the scriptures and read them correctly. And so, we search the scriptures to find these laws, and finding them then we share them.

So the foundation tonight is to go out and just simply imagine the end as if it were true. I don’t care what that end is. You be the judge. I am not here to sit in judgment concerning what you choose to be in this world. If you want wealth above anything in the world, maybe you do. Maybe you want fame, maybe you do. Maybe you want strength, marriage…I don’t know what it is. But whatever it is you need not discuss it with a neighbor. Be bold enough to say, “This is what I want” and then be big enough to accept it if it’s not quite the thing that you really wanted. Bring it into being…as Robert Frost told us a few years ago when he was interviewed by this reporter from Life magazine that “The Founding Fathers did not believe in the future, they believed it in!” And the whole vast world is waiting for some future date to bring them something that they do not now possess. And yet the Founding Fathers did not believe in the future, they believed it in. And he goes on to tell us, there’s nothing more creative in the world for man than to believe a thing in. How to believe it in? Well, that’s the secret. Well, you try it. I bring before my mind’s eye a scene which would imply the fulfillment of my dream. Then I toy with it, and try to lose myself in it as though it were true, and to the degree that I am self-persuaded to that degree it externalizes itself. This whole vast world of ours, this objective world as it seems to be, is solely produced by imagining.

Now we’re told in scripture that all things were made by God, all things, and without him was not anything made that was made (John 1:30). Well, I imagine something, and I wait patiently, and then in a way I could not devise it happens. If all things are made by him, well, if I’m really alert and not governed by human concepts of who God really is, I should discover him. If all things are made by God, and without him there was not anything made that was made, and I sit down quietly and imagine something that has no external fact to support it, but I believe in the reality of my imaginal act, and then I wait patiently, and then it comes into my objective world to be shared with others, well, haven’t I found God?

Isn’t Blake then correct in telling us that “Man is all Imagination. And God is man and exists in us and we in him” (Annot. to Berkeley, p.219)? That, “The eternal body of man is the Imagination, the Divine Body, Jesus, and we are his members” (Laocoon), that he actually dwells in us? And does not the scripture tell us, “Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless of course you fail to meet the test” (2Cor.13:5). If you test it and prove it, then you’ve found where he is. Well, you know exactly what you did. You didn’t pray to another, you didn’t ask another, you simply imagined the end, and dwelling in the end the end took on some external form and became a fact to be shared with others. Well, haven’t you found him? Didn’t you find where the source of the whole thing was? Well, if that is God, then you’ve found him. And so, Blake is right that God dwells in man as man’s own wonderful human Imagination.

But you will say, “But God is all love and I’m capable of imagining unlovely things.” Are we not told in scripture, “I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and none can deliver out of my hand”? (Deut.32:39). Are we not told that? Are there two Gods, someone who makes alive and one who kills? No. There’s only one God. That is the foundation of our faith: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God the Lord is one” (Deut.6:4). Not two. Well, if someone kills, it has to be the same God that makes alive. If someone injures, it must be the same God who heals. I heal; I kill; I make alive; I wound…the same God is speaking. Read it in Deuteronomy (32:40). And so, I find out that I must stand my own creations. So if I pick the unlovely, if I feel some intense emotion and it’s not a pleasant loving one and I bring it into my world, I’m stuck with it. But, at least, I know I did it, I know I brought it into my world. Well, be big enough to live with your own creations until you learn better and learn really how to bring only the lovely things into the world.

So here, I ask everyone to try it. It will not fail you. But remember we are the operant power, it doesn’t operate itself. You may hear this tonight and go out and just simply repeat like a parrot, imagining creates reality, and yet, it is not strong enough a conviction to cause you to act, because, if you really believed it, it would produce an action when you’re confronted with a problem, because instantly as you have a problem you know the solution. If you’re in debt, what is the solution but sums of money equal to your need? That’s the solution. How, is not your concern; the means, that’s not your concern. The end is your concern. The end is where you begin: In my end is my beginning.

And so, “What do you want?” is asked in scripture. “What wantest thou of me?” Don’t tell me how to do it, what do you want? And the one who said that “I could see, Master,” the other one said that “I may walk without a limp, Master,” the other one said…and they named it. As they named it, then he said, “According to your faith be it unto you.” Now, do you have the faith? Because Imagination and faith are the stuff out of which man fashions his world. We are told that “By faith we understand that the worlds were created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things that do not appear” (Heb.11:3). But then we are warned, “Without faith it is impossible to please him. And those who would draw near to God must first of all believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb.11:6).

Now I say to you, “Do you believe in God?” and the chances are everyone present will tell me, “Yes, I believe in God.” Then we ask the second question, “Have you ever seen him?” If you are brutally honest and you would answer correctly, everyone present who has not been raised from the dead, everyone who is not resurrected would answer in the negative and say, “No, I have not seen him.” But you believe in him? Well, can’t you not now believe in the reality of the unseen state that you’ve just imagined? You believe in God and you haven’t seen him.

The day will come, you will see him. You’ll look right into the face of the living God, the resurrected God, you will. You’ll be incorporated into his body. You will know the story in the Bible, “There is only one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all, who is through all, and who is in all” (Eph.4:4). Here, “above all”, the transcendency of God; yet he’s “through all”, the omnipresence of God. Where could you go and God be not? Where could you go? You’re in hell, God is there because you couldn’t breathe were God not within you. No matter where you make your home, that’s where he is because he is through all. And then, the imminence of God…just imagine the imminence of God: he is in all, through all, in all and above all…that’s God.

You can’t go any place where he’s not. You could be in church and there he is. You could be in a bar being drunk, that’s where he is too. How would you ___(??) drunk? Because, he’s your own wonderful human Imagination. Now, you may be shocked and say, “How could God be drunk?” Well then, there’s another God that can do something that the other God can’t do. Because, if one God, there’s only one, and suddenly this man is drunk, “Well, God wouldn’t do that,” well then, there’s some other Creator in the world that could do it. He can do something that God, your God, can’t do. You get drunk, and if the other God can’t get drunk, well then, that’s saying there’s more than one God. If you start with two, you’re going to have four, then you’re going to have eight, you’ll have sixteen multiple gods. Come back to only one God, only one. What’s his name? I AM. “Go and tell them I AM has sent you unto them…and that is my name forever, for all generations, forever” (Exod. 3:14). The name I AM? Yes, that’s the name. Well, don’t you say it all day long without actually giving it a voice? Aren’t you aware of being? To be aware of being is to be saying “I am,” no matter where you are. You may be aware of being poor, well, that’s what God is. You may become aware of being rich, well, that’s what God is. He’s everywhere.

And so you have the choice of becoming aware and persuading yourself ’til you reach that firm persuasion that could move mountains. And so that is your task, a daily task, to devote yourself every day to persuading yourself that you are the man, you are the woman, that you would like to be. And to the degree that you are self-persuaded that you are, to that degree you’ll become it, without the help of anyone in the world. Oh, others may aid the birth of that state, but they have to. The minute you are in the state if it takes a thousand people to aid the birth, a thousand people will come. You do it without asking them to do it. They would have to play the part, because you are what you are.

So here in this simple, simple principle, every man is set free. If I want the government to make me free or the government to support me, well, that’s entirely different. You won’t find Peter that way. You’ll find Peter when you accept the responsibility of being free. That in spite of the limitations of birth, you dare to assume that you are the man that you want to be and live in that assumption—though you have nothing in the cupboard—just as though it were true. And may I tell you it will become true. Things are going to happen. You’ll be singled out in a way you do not know and moved towards the fulfillment of that state that you dared to assume that you are.

Frost said, “What evidence had I that I could write a poem? I simply believe it. That’s all that I do, I just believe it.” Well, he was forty years old before anything that he ever wrote was published. And when Robert Frost died everyone hailed him as the outstanding poet of the Century, the grand old man. He said, “We are always believing ahead of our efforts.” But man will not believe that. He wants the evidence first before he dares to believe it. So the man is not well. Alright, when I see him look better then I will believe he’s going to recover, so I’ll wait for the evidence. And that’s what the whole vast world does. The business may be sick. When I see a trend, a little change towards a healthy recovery, then I’ll begin to believe it. Well, then you’ll wait forever. You must anticipate it, desire it, and then assume that it’s done, and imagine as if it were true.

You’re told in scripture, “Be imitators of God as dear children.” Well, find out how he did it. You’re told, he calls a thing that is not seen as though it were. That’s how he did it? Yes. You mean that God calls into existence the things that do not exist? That’s what scripture tells us. That’s how he did it. Then I will go do the same…I will call into my world the things that do not now exist. But I will call them as though they did and then duplicate my Father who sent me into this world to experiment. For this world is only an educative darkness, like a kindergarten, exercising the greatest power in the world. For you’re told in scripture, Jesus Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God…and by him all things were made.

But I’ve just discovered…and you must have discovered as the gentleman whose story I told tonight discovered…it was all in his Imagination. Yet he could turn these twenty-four men, who thought themselves so wise and so big, and in their own mind’s eye they were so honest, their self-image was one of integrity. How could they accept a campaign based upon a lie? But when they saw the money, oh, they loved it. Then they wanted to possess it and protect it and make it all theirs, their own industry’s idea. It wasn’t any industry’s idea. It was my friend, who is here tonight, who heard it right here in this room. And then taking his talent, he proceeded to put it to the test. If imagining creates reality, what am I doing arguing about this? I will simply take my client’s wish. He has a wish, he wants to arrest this trend, it’s going down in sales, not only arrest it, reverse it, send it up. He sent it up and it breaks all records, not only in the local field, in the regional field and the national field.

And now he tells me in his letter, “Of course, this campaign that was so successful, I wrote my own ticket then with my own firm.” Why shouldn’t he? You have a client that you can in the first three months of the campaign show an improved picture to the tune of $75 million. That’s net, that’s not gross. Well, certainly you write your own ticket if you can do that. But he has the same principle, so he can take any client now no matter what the product is that he’s selling on the same premise. It doesn’t really matter. And so, today they have all the credit for it, but they know in their hearts who did it. And so, undoubtedly they still have this client on their books. I presume so, I haven’t asked him.

But, I told this story in New York City. There was a chap in the audience—everyone had a recording machine—and he came forward, he said, “You must tell me not only the man’s name who gave you that letter, but his company’s name and the client’s name.” I said, “If I knew them I wouldn’t tell you. You haven’t heard me tonight at all. What does it matter what his name is, what the client’s name is and what the company’s name is? You haven’t heard the principle. You wouldn’t even know anything, if you heard me.” But, he said, “I am an advertiser too and I sell things.”

One thing he was selling,…he took all of my meetings down. There were twelve. Then he would go to these radio stations and sell the tape. Well, you go and sell the tape…I said, you’ll do it anyway, I know you’ll do it, so I’m not going to ask you not to do it. I’ll ask one thing of you…don’t change what I say. If I made mistakes or if what I said is in conflict with what you think I ought to have said, leave it just as it is. That’s all I ask of you…because you’re going to sell it anyway. That’s your business…go into to public meetings and taking down talks. They cost you only the price of admission and then go out and sell it. So you have ___(??) to do with me plus twelve, so you have thirteen. Now you can go and sell your thirteen and they can sell…as I talk on the word of God, you can break right into it and sell toothpaste, and then sell something else, some detergent or something, I really don’t care. But don’t alter what I’ve told you. Leave it just as it is on that tape. Whether I spoke grammatically correct or if I murdered the English tongue or not, you just leave it just as it is. Do not change my ideas. But, as to the man’s name, I will not give it to you. As to his company, I do not know it; I haven’t asked him. As to the client, I do not know, he didn’t say in his letter. But had he said all these things I would not tell you, because you haven’t heard me. If you heard me, you couldn’t ask these things. Go right out and simply see the goal, the end, that you want in this world, and apply this same principle towards that end. But the minute you ask these questions, you’re now going to try to pull little wires and do everything that man should not do when he hears this principle.

So we come down to the fundamentals: imagining creates reality. Because you can imagine, you can create the kind of a world in which you want to live. Coming down tonight…my friend brought me down, David…something came up, someone asked him at the university—and he teaches over at U.C.L.A.—about the war. They’re always having these campaigns against the war, for this, that and the other. He thought of a very wonderful answer to give those who are always against and against. He said, “You know, at one time in the history of man there was a first class, a kindergarten class, I’ll call it a first grade. Then came that moment in time they had to go on to something further, to a second. Well, because they graduated to a second, must we now completely rub out the first grade because they went on to a second? Can’t you see this whole thing like a school room and you who have had the experience of war, must they be deprived of the experience of war?”

You aren’t going to deprive man of war, not as long as man is what he is. You aren’t going to say, “Because I’ve had war and it’s horrible, we’re going to make and we’re going to force peace upon you and stuff it down their throats. They’ve got to have it. We’re all going to laugh or I’ll kill him.”

Can’t do it—not while man can imagine—until man actually is the embodiment of love and he’s not that until he’s incorporated into the body of God, for God’s body is love, the human form divine. And when you stand before him and he embraces you, you are completely fused with the body of love, forever and forever. There is no divorce from that body. But until that day comes, you are capable of violence. Are you not taught that in scripture? He takes the heart of a man and gives the man the heart of a beast, the mind of a beast. Read it in the 4th chapter of the Book of Daniel. And he does it to man, and lets seven times pass over man, until man learns that the Most High rules the kingdom of men, and gives it to whom he will (Dan.4:32). So you see in that one act the elective love of God.

You might think, certainly he should be called first. He has a lovely home and he gives to the poor, and he’s such a generous person, and he’s so wonderful, and he’s so highly educated, and he has a wonderful social background, well, he’s a member of all the fine clubs, everything, certainly he should have it first…but not the one who cleans his shoes. You mean the bootblack where he goes to get his hair cut, that he has been called and incorporated into the body of God, and the one whose shoes are being shined, who has all the money, and he hasn’t been called? Yes. He gives it to whom he will. He sees not the outward appearance of man, he sees only the heart (1Sam.16:7). And so, he calls us one by one to unite into a single man, who is God, one body, one Spirit, one hope.

So I ask everyone here tonight to go out and try it. You have all the tools: you can imagine and certainly you can desire. No one can tell me that he has no more desires. You can desire a glass of water tonight. You desire to go to sleep tonight. You desire ___(??). You desire…all day long you are desiring. So when the certain philosophies of the world who teach us how to kill out desire, to kill out desire you have to first start with the desire not to desire. So you start right there and you defeat it. And so, you can’t kill out desire. The normal functions of the body will demand that you desire, and so, you have that. So, what do you desire? You have the great tool called Imagination and that is God in man, the only creative power in the world. So you have that. What else do you want when all things are possible to God? You have the power, Imagination, and you have desire, you can desire.

Now, I will not ask you to name for me what you desire, but to yourself, be perfectly honest with yourself. If you want money, let no one tell you you shouldn’t have it. There are those today who have hundreds of millions and you know what they want more and more?—more of the same thing. There are those who really have hundreds of millions, and you could not interest them in philosophy or in the Bible or any religion. They want more money. Well, what’s wrong with that, if that’s what they want? God gave them the desire to want even more, and so let them have it. If you were in their company and they turned to you for advice, tell them about the principle. Tell them how they can have more by simply applying this wonderful principle and let them have more.

But, don’t you forget that you too are in this world to learn how to use your wonderful human Imagination, how to exercise it. It’s called in the Bible repentance. The word means “a radical change of mind.” So, I’m confronted with the facts, do a radical change of mind. Don’t like the facts, so change my attitude toward the facts, they don’t exist; and put in the place of the facts what ought to be there, and then persuade yourself that it’s so. Now, the world may tell you, “Well, that’s going insane. But we told you earlier it’s false.” Well, would you wish it true? Would you wish it? Well, if you wish it true, well then, let us have your vote for it, and see if it can’t become a fact in your world.

So tonight, when you leave here, determine to go out and not wait until you go to bed… as you ride home ride in the assumption that you are already the man, the woman, that you would like to be, and see how these things crystallize in your world. I know as I go through the world I meet men in all walks of life, and every one is simply the living example of this principle. They may not know it. They may be unwell, but they are the living example of it. Go home to Barbados, to my brother, and here he gets bigger and bigger and bigger in the world of finances by sleeping in his dreams. He can’t understand why I am not interested in finances. Because I don’t need it I have no interest in it. If I have enough to live and meet my obligations to society that’s all I need. I have no desire to have more, I really don’t, none whatsoever.

If I told this, you would think me insane. But, no, you have memory images, haven’t you? You are sixty-five years old and you go back in memory…maybe you can even go back to when you were poor. I can go back to when I was poor. But I don’t stop there. I can go back into the centuries and I’ll tell you that you don’t know one here, you know no one, yet you know many, who are very, very wealthy. But you know no one, may I tell you, who today enjoys the wealth that I have a vivid, vivid memory image of having possessed. I can relive that entire life of fabulous wealth, when I had so much that everything around me was decadent, because there wasn’t a thing that I desired that I could not realize by simply the money that I possessed. A full complement of servants, I can see them now, from the very top down. Your secretaries, in your home, I don’t mean in business. I didn’t have to go out to business. It was that sort of wealth. I have a vivid, vivid memory of the whole thing. I’ve gone back into it, for that did not cease to be. These are simply schoolrooms you enter. I’ve gone back into that state and relived it in the night, to find the same full complement of servants, and the same thing going over and over. When I see it compared to the little that I came into this world with, that I came in with nothing, I could not give up this. But I realized what happened to me in this interval when I started with nothing and, really, I wouldn’t call it much today. It’s enough, but I wouldn’t call it much by other standards, and yet I could not give up this. If to give it up I would also have to give up my conscious knowledge of standing in the presence of the risen Christ, of being incorporated into his body, of being born from above, being raised from the grave, seeing David, if all these things had to go, well then, there’s no wealth in the world that could actually cause me to give up what I have in this conscious knowledge of these experiences…not for all the wealth in the world. Yet, if someone wants wealth I’d be the first to encourage him to get it. And I’m telling him exactly how I would do it were I he with the same consuming desire, just what would it be like? And I would tell him. So now I ask you to try it.

Now, we go into the Silence for a moment before we take the questions. In the Silence we simply imagine some scene which if true would imply ___(??).

* * *

___(??) you’ll find that a more mystical night. Yet, we will have moments to incorporate in the evening some of the practical teachings of scripture.

Now, are there any questions, please?

Q: Is there a difference between an idea and a theory?

A: The difference between an idea and a theory? Well, first of all, an idea to me is almost barren until felt. So, Blake defined Imagination as spiritual sensation. For instance, I have an idea right now say of a baseball in my mind’s eye, but now, let me feel it. You say, “Well, you can’t feel it because it’s not present.” I’ll show you how you can feel it. Feel it, hold it in your hand and feel it. ___(??) feeling a baseball. Now imagine that you’re holding a tennis ball. Does it feel like the former ball? You can discriminate between the two, can’t you? Well, now with the same hand feel the hand of a child. Doesn’t feel like the ball. Feel the hand of your wife or your husband. That doesn’t feel like the child. Feel a piece of silk, a piece of mohair. If you can discriminate between these many seeming non-existing things, well then, although they seem not to exist they must exist, for you can discriminate. If you couldn’t do it, you’d think they were nothing.

I recall as a child when my father said to me, “Now if you do so and so, I’m going to give you a huge big golden nothing.” Well, the child’s mind, I thought—and the word “golden”—it’s going to be marvelous! When I did it and came for my reward, he said, “I gave it to you.” I said, “You didn’t give me anything.” He said, “I did. I promised you a big golden nothing”…then it dawned on me. But these must exist, they aren’t nothing, because if they were nothing then you could not discriminate. So they’re all ideas until felt. The minute you begin to feel them you give life to them, you give reality. So Blake said, “Imagination is spiritual sensation.” So you feel yourself right into the situation of the wish fulfilled, and give it all the sensory tones of reality, all sensory vividness, as much as you can, and then walk as though it were true. Wear it as you would a garment.

Any other questions, please?

Q: I want you to interpret “the will of God” where it says, “Thy will be done, not mine.”

A: How do you interpret the will of God, “Thy will be done, not mine.” God speaks to me through the language of desire. That’s his will to me. I may not abide by it, because I look out on a world and see facts denying the fulfillment of my desire, and therefore I deny that he has the power to give me what he first gave to me in the form of desire.

Now, when it comes to “thy will”…you’ve taken it out of context…but it’s good. Man has to pass through all the horrors of the world, as taught in scripture. “I have afflicted you. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another” (Is.48:10). So, “Whom God afflicts for secret ends, he afterwards comforts and heals and calls them friends.” But first, he puts me through the furnaces of affliction. That’s his will and no one is going to violate the will of God. If man thinks he’s going to avoid the hurts that come, say, with the passing of a loved one, unless you go as you’re born, then you will not know the contacts and the loves and the hates of life. But if you mature to my age, you must say goodbye to friends as they depart this sphere. And so, that’s a hurt, that’s an affliction.

And so everyone…you need not be afflicted in the sense of going to jail and being beaten, or having a disease, but you are afflicted in numberless ways. Tonight you sit up with your loved one and you laugh together, and tomorrow you wake, she doesn’t. Isn’t that an affliction? The will of God…accept it. These are the furnaces through which man goes. And after we are through the furnaces, we are pure gold. We are as holy as the Father is holy. We are made as perfect as the Father is perfect, but only by these purgings are we made perfect.

So, that’s the will of God. And if that be my Father’s will, give me the cup and I’ll finish it. I will ask, as he asked to take it from him, but not my will, thy will be done. Would I not bring back my brother Lawrence, who, last August, closed his eye and departed this sphere? Well, that’s the Father’s will. I know definitely that he is now gaining towards the awakening. Because, it’s to fulfill scripture in my book, for it was he who found the child the night that I was born from above. And it’s told in scripture, he who brings the child into the temple, then makes the statement, “Now let thy servant depart in peace, according to thy will; for mine eyes have seen the salvation of Israel” (Luke 2:30).

And so, it was the Father’s will then, and he departed. But where did he go? He is restored to life, a young man. I see him, a young handsome man, not more than twenty-three, and now he’s going to have the experience; for you’re just as solidly real in this sphere into which you go as you are here. And so the whole wonderful play is on. It’s a play, but within the framework of the play you and I are free in this kindergarten to have money or not to have it, to be known or not to be known, and all these little things that are like toys. All of these are toys. And then we come into the great___(??) that is predetermined and we’re moving towards the fulfillment of God’s will, which is “Let us make man in our image.” To accomplish that feat, which is a miraculous thing, he has to put us through the furnaces of affliction. But in the end, it will all be wiped away and not be remembered, just as though we suffered from total amnesia. All the tears are wiped away, everything belonging to this sphere which is for a purpose.

Q: If it’s God’s will for me to ___(??)

A: No. You didn’t understand me. Let me quote the words of Milton. Milton heard Satan affirming and declaring, “Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell.” So hell is not a place so much as it is a character, a state. You find yourself in hell, therefore, the state that you entered, yes, it’s hell. You are the occupant of that state, so you suffer as a result of entrance in the state. But no one can tell me finding himself in any state of business he doesn’t want, he can’t get out of it. Alright, you have a desire to get out of it, that’s God’s will. But if you say, “I can’t get out of it,” well then, remain in the state and stew, and he’ll stew with you, because he suffers with everyone who suffers. He allows everyone to feel beaten if they want to feel beaten. There are some people who would rather go outside and eat worms. Well, that’s the story of the little boy, he doesn’t like what the mother said to do and he’s going to threaten her, and if she doesn’t do what he wants to do, he’ll go into the backyard and eat worms. So she lets him. But he didn’t want to do that at all.

Q: This problem of using your Imagination seems to be pretty difficult to do. Often times before I go to sleep I try to imagine. Then I wake up in the morning and I fell asleep before I could ___(??).

A: Perfectly alright. The gentleman claims that he goes to bed at night and starts to imagine a certain state, he falls asleep. When he wakes in the morning he discovers that he just went to sleep and slept the night through without having fully entered the state. Well, how do you know that you didn’t fully enter it? You enter the state and you sleep. Time will prove that you did enter the state because it could not become a fact in your world had it not been entered and planted. So you were that power that entered the state and set it in motion.

Q: So that’s no problem?

A: No. No. No. What does a woman who has conceived do?—nothing. If she starts doing anything, she’s going to bring about a miscarriage. You start doing something you bring about a mental miscarriage. So just do it, conceive, and then in its own appointed hour it flowers. As told us in scripture, “Every vision has its own appointed hour; it ripens, it will flower. If it be slow, wait; for it is sure and it will not be late” (Hab. 2:3).

Thank you.

Summary