01 Jan Neville Goddard Lectures: “Jesus or Barabbas?”
___(??) John is my favorite, really. So in the 18th chapter of the gospel of John, Pilate is speaking to the Jews. And he turned to the Jews and he said, “You have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover; who would you have me release, the King of the Jews?” And, they cried out, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Then he adds, “Now Barabbas was a robber” (verse 39-40).
Now, we know nothing of any such amnesty as a custom. It is not attested outside of the gospel. You can’t find it as a custom at all; therefore, it’s a mystery. We have to start digging for the mystery, for it’s not a custom. And so we are told, just like an aside, Barabbas was a robber. So you have to start searching the scriptures to find out what is this robber, where is he? Now, listen to it carefully—-also in John, you’ll find this in the 10th chapter of the gospel of John—-“He who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens to him; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (verses 1-7). Then we are told, “They did not understand what he was saying to them, and so he said to them again, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.’” They didn’t understand him. Any attempt to acquire anything in this world without the consciousness of the thing that you would acquire makes you a thief and a robber. The consciousness of health produces health; the consciousness of wealth produces wealth. You could inherit this very night a million dollars. Without the consciousness of wealth you’d spend it, you’d waste it; in fact, it would vanish from you. You can’t hold it. You can only hold that which you are aware of being. So the story is a revelation to man.
Now you pass judgment: “Without me you can do nothing.” Honestly, nothing? That’s what we are told. “If you abide in me and I abide in you, then you will bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). So you pass judgment, will you accept it? May I tell you, you are not going to find him outside of yourself. Tonight, there are in this country of ours, well, hundreds…how many millions? One hundred ninety million they claim? Well, take the world…they claim a billion Christians are in the world. I hate to be harsh in my judgment, but I don’t imagine that an nth part of an nth part of one percent have accepted Jesus. They think they’ve accepted him, but they haven’t, because they have some image of a being on a wall, or some being in their mind’s eye that they turn to mentally as Jesus. And that’s not Jesus. Jesus is your own wonderful human Imagination. When you say “I am,” that’s he. Will you trust him? No, I trust another Jesus, well, then you don’t know Jesus. By him all things are made, and you can easily find him if you accept that claim: “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
Alright, here is a simple story told me this week. A man remembers the place in Denver where he slept, and by his own confession in his case history as I received it yesterday morning, he said he slept in a basement, next to a deep freeze. And so, he didn’t tell me why he wanted to return to Denver…just to experiment…and so in his Imagination he slept in the same basement next to the deep freeze. Just one night he assumed that he was there. Physically he was here, but in his Imagination he slept there. The next day was Sunday, so he called on a friend, and while at the man’s table the man turned to him, casually, and said, “By the way, how would you like to go to Denver? We’re going to Denver to visit my brother and how would you like to make the trip with us?” A gift! The very next day another party said to him, casually, “How would you like to go to Denver?” Of all the things in the world, two invitations to go to Denver! He, in Imagination, occupied a state and the state is Denver, and then in twenty-four hours, one invitation, in forty-eight hours, the second.
Who did it? “Apart from me you can do nothing”—well, hasn’t he found Jesus? Then who was Jesus? Wasn’t Jesus his own wonderful human Imagination? Well, who was doing it?—-apart from him you can do nothing. If I saw you reading a book, well, who’s doing it?—-Jesus. I am reading a book; apart from me you can’t read a book; apart from me you can do nothing. You can’t be anything other than through the consciousness of being it. And so, will we accept Jesus? It’s the only Jesus in the world. I don’t care what the world will tell me, that is Jesus. He creates everything in the world, and apart from him you can do nothing. “If you abide in me and I abide in you, then you’ll bear much fruit.” If you do not abide in me, then you’re severed from the vine, for “I AM the vine.”
So here, the trial takes place, and “You’ll have me release one, and who will you have me release, the King of the Jews?” They said, “No, Barabbas.” So they chose Barabbas, and Barabbas rules over them to this day. On one level you take it that way. On a deeper level, when you come to another portion of John, he said, “Now that you have found me, don’t let me go but let all these go.” And, therefore, if you don’t let me go, well, then you’ve released the robber from consciousness…on another level. But on the level that we treated here this night, man has chosen Barabbas and he would not accept as his leader, as his God, Jesus. No matter how many statues you have of Jesus, how many paintings you think you have of him, you’ve never really seen him until you see him; and when you see him you see yourself. That’s the grand I AM. And the day will come you’ll meet him—-you look right into the face of yourself, beautified, glorified beyond your wildest dream, and it’s self. That’s Jesus.
And so, you either accept him or you reject him. If you reject him, then you’ve made your choice and you’ve taken Barabbas, Barabbas the thief and the robber. Man tries morning, noon and night to become other than what he is conscious of being and he can’t do it. You could this night simply assume that you are the man, the woman that you want to be…just a mere assumption that you are it. Then looking into the face of others—mentally, of course—and let them see you as they would see you were it true—-do nothing to make it so but nothing—and it will become so. You will actually grow into the character that you’ve assumed that you are, whether it be a rich man, a poor man, a wise man, a fool, anything in this world. You choose it, you choose the man, the woman that you want to be, and dare to assume that you are it. If you dare to assume that you are it and sleep as though you were, well, then you will become it. And then you have found him.
How did I find him? Well, “By him all things were made and without him there’s nothing made that is made” (John 1:3). So if you become it, then you’ve found the maker of the thing that you become; and you’ve found Jesus. You’ve found him as your own wonderful, loving, human Imagination. And, may I tell you, I use the word loving advisedly, for when you meet him he’s infinite love. Everything in the world that you thought, well, inanimate and not alive, and certainly if it was alive, indifferent to all that’s taking place in the world, and one day you have an experience where it isn’t so at all: It’s all love. But everything in the world is love, and it’s all God, and God is your own wonderful I-am-ness.
So tonight, you pass judgment on it. You can accept it or reject it. I know you would find it difficult to have such confidence in this form of Jesus, in this reality that is Jesus. It’s so much easier to lean upon another, to get on that telephone and call a friend, have the friend do it for you, or call a teacher, or in between, the doctor, the dentist, someone else…but not self. And so, to actually assume full responsibility and take the whole thing upon self, and call that Jesus, it’s so much more difficult. But may I tell you, eventually you’re going to do it. Everyone will accept the only Jesus, and that’s the only Jesus. There is no other and there never was another, in spite of the one billion this night who believe in another.
And so, the one of whom I speak this night, you’ll find him if you look carefully and dig. You’ll find it. All was told in the gospels. So I ask you to believe in this Jesus. I’ve found him…would like to share it with you, share what I’ve found with you. As you’re told, he who sent me, I’m just like him. He who sees me sees him who sent me; and he who receives anyone I send receives me. He who receives me receives him who sent me. Then you get right back to the one who sent me. Well, how could I be sent by myself? I am sent by myself. I am then self-begotten? Yes, begotten by myself. And the being that I really am is the being that in my blindness I thought lived centuries ago and lived elsewhere, and he wasn’t there at all. I’m not saying it’s the easiest thing in this world to accept, but accept it you will one day if you have not already accepted it. My hope is that you will accept it, if you haven’t so far, accept it tonight. Let your judgment be: I will accept the King of the Jews. The King of the Jews?—well, who is he?—I AM. When you go into the world, “Go and tell them I AM has sent you” (Exod. 3:14).
So sit quietly and prove that I am he. When you do it, you’ll prove it and no power in the world can stop you from proving it. Having proved it you are free of all idols. But man has made of Jesus the grand I AM, have made of him an idol. You don’t believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved. Well, the word Lord is I AM. Believe in the I AM that is my I am and be saved…you and your household. But man when you use the word Jesus, he always thinks in terms of a man, living elsewhere, or who lived 2,000 years ago. He never thinks of Jesus as I AM…and that’s how you spell the name. It’s really Yod He Vau Shin Ayin. The Shin is put into it for a very good reason. Rather than Yod He Vau He, it’s Yod He Vau Shin Ayin. Shin is a consuming flame which enables every man in this world not only to create but to unmake what he’s made. He makes something. If he had to live with it forever, then he couldn’t unmake it. So a Shin is put into the name of the creative power of God. For Yod He Vau He is God, I AM; but I AM-in-action, which is imagining, a Shin is in the name. The Shin is a consuming flame—-its symbol is a tooth. A tooth crushes, it consumes. And so, I make something; I don’t like it now; I want to unmake it. Were it not that I contain within myself a Shin, I couldn’t unmake it, I couldn’t undo my mistakes. But I can undo all my mistakes when I know who made the mistake. I made it, I can unmake it. So a Shin is in my name. The last one is an eye, an Ayin, and that is an eye. I see clearly what I want to see, in spite of the facts of life, and if imagining creates reality, well, then I can create. I don’t have to limit my vision to the facts of life; for I make facts, I create facts. So he creates all the facts of the world by knowing who he is.
So I will now say, will you release Barabbas and hold onto Jesus, or will you now pick Barabbas and reject Jesus? That’s entirely up to you. No one in this world can force him on you, because, really, in one sense of the word, real spirituality is the gradual transition from a God of tradition to a God of experience. And so, when you have the experience you know that’s all there is to it. You don’t have to turn to anyone in the world to ask them, “Did it really work because I did so and so?” Ask no one, try again and see.
Now the same gentleman who told me the story of Denver, he writes of a lady. Because of an age condition she couldn’t get a job, couldn’t find a job because you’re beyond a certain age limit. So she turned to him and asked him to help. He said, “It only took forty-eight hours. I simply imagined that she told me that she had a job, a good job, and she liked the job. In forty-eight hours she was employed and now working for the Civil Service.” He said she said to him before he imagined, “Should I lie about my age?” He said, “No, don’t lie about your age, they’ll find out. They have ways of finding out. Tell them your age, just what you are. I don’t care what they tell you about your age, you tell them exactly how old you are.” In forty-eight hours she was working. Yet prior to that she was turned down, turned down, turned down. All that he did was simply he imagined that she told him that she had a marvelous job and she loved it, and they loved her, the entire office staff. That’s all that he did.
Well, “If apart from me you can do nothing”—and who is speaking?—Jesus—well, then who is Jesus? What did the man do? If I said to him, “What are you doing?” “I am imagining that she has a job.” Well, he told me Jesus is doing it, but he didn’t use the word Jesus as the world thinks…but he did, because Jesus is I AM. And so, in everyone Jesus is buried, but everyone. We carry him within us. Within our bodies, we are told, we carry the death of Jesus. That’s what we are told in Corinthians (2 Cor. 4:10): “In our bodies we carry the death of Jesus.” Because man is unaware of him, and that of which I am unaware doesn’t exist for me. A thing has no existence for a man save through the consciousness that he has of it. So the man is totally unaware that he is carrying the actual death of Jesus within him; that he bears on his body the marks of Jesus. He said, “Henceforth let no one trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” But if I don’t know it, well, then it doesn’t exist for me. I could read these words over and over, say, in Galatians (6:17), but if I don’t know it, if I haven’t had the experience that I actually bear on my body the marks of Jesus, well, then I don’t know it.
So, I can tell you, and maybe you yourself can read it, but you have to experience it. So we are gradually moving from a God of tradition which is the false concept of God to a God of experience where man experiences God; and then he knows. And then you find Jesus, and having found him, do not let him go. “Now that you’ve found me,” he said, “let these go, but don’t let me go.” This takes place in the garden prior to the trial. So they come out with staves to find one in the darkness of the night. They can’t see him because this is a dark night. He said, “Whom do you seek?” Well, “We seek Jesus.” “I am he.” These are the words; I’m quoting, “I am he.” Didn’t say I am Jesus…I am he. And so they all fell to the ground. Now, you can’t conceive of hundreds of people hearing a man from the dark say, “I am he,” and that all would fall to the ground, would they? The shock was so great when man discovers it he mentally falls to the ground. The whole thing is taking place in man. I can’t believe it, for Mother taught me that this was a little boy who was born unnaturally; God came into the world in this peculiar, marvelous way; and that he rose to manhood; then died for us; he was sacrificed on a wooden cross. That’s what she taught me and that’s what I believed. That’s what I was flogged for when I went to school, because I misquoted a passage of scripture, and so, beaten unmercifully by some sadist. But, that’s not the story.
And when I heard it, I heard it from the lips of one who was not born a Christian. I heard it from the lips of one who was not in the Caucasian race, he was a Negro. Here I actually heard the mystery, Christianity. But what a blow to me! Everything that I believed in tumbled within me. I represented that crowd seeking Jesus, and I thought I would hear from him something comparable to what I heard from my mother, and it wasn’t. The shock was so great; whatever I held within me that was dear all fell to the ground. I had to rebuild my world from ashes practically, and then gradually begin to believe in a true Jesus, and prove it. He said, “Come prove me and see. Come test me and see” (2 Cor. 13:5). So, how could I test him? Then you start to test him. For could I imagine that I am what at the moment reason denies, what anyone would deny that I could ever become, and dare to simply assume that I am it? Not that I’m going to become it, that I am already that being, and sleep as though I really am? And then, in a way that I could not devise, that I’d become that being? I actually mold myself into the very likeness of the being that I dared to assume that I am. Becoming it…then I’ve found him.
Then, when you began to discuss it, wise men tried to dethrone you. Two years ago, back in Barbados, my two nephews came out from Cambridge. They just recently graduated in medicine. We were discussing on the beach and one, Michael, said to me, “Uncle Neville, you don’t believe in Jesus?” I said, “Michael, I believe more in Jesus than one hundred million people who claim they believe in Jesus. Put all their beliefs together, it would not equal my belief in Jesus.” “But, Uncle Neville, you say that as a man that man wasn’t born from a woman called Mary.” I said, “But, Michael, I am Mary. I am Mary.” He said, “Uncle Neville, how could you be Mary?” “I am Mary, I am Mary and birth to Christ must give. I have to give birth to Christ; I am Mary. And so, I’ve found him. And I was actually blessed because I gave birth to him, actually became him. I didn’t give birth to something other than myself, Michael, I gave birth to myself. I actually gave birth to my own being. And then, when I gave birth to it, I discovered who I really am. For the one that called him, ___(??)of the great mystery, the same one called me Father. Therefore, who am I, Michael?”
He said, “What you’re telling me doesn’t make sense, Uncle Neville. You’re telling me, without using these words, you’re going all around the circle to try to tell me that you think you are he?” I said, “I don’t have to think it, Michael, I am he, but so are you. But you don’t know it yet. You don’t know it yet and you’re denying him, although you think that you have found him. And you think…you have six years at Cambridge, and your brother Roger he has six years at Cambridge; you married two lovely girls—one an ardent Catholic and one from Scotland, I dare say a good Presbyterian—-and the four of you really believe in Jesus and your Uncle Neville doesn’t believe in Jesus. But I have found Jesus, the living Jesus. Not something that died 2,000 years ago but something that is alive in all of us. But you’ve got to find him. And so, I will tell you about Jesus, if you will listen, and then you pass judgment. You either accept that Jesus or you reject him, it’s entirely up to you.” And we had these lovely discussions on the beach. But I left him unmoved, completely unmoved. He has to go through…he’s a doctor and he knows that you go into the lab and he makes up his little potions and he simply gets results today and maybe not tomorrow under similar conditions. One day he’s going to find Jesus, because everyone must find him. When he finds him, he believes in him. “Believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved, you and your household.” Take your whole household with you and save them by actually turning only to Jesus, and Jesus is your own wonderful, loving human Imagination…that’s Jesus.
So you find him, and when you find him you test him. As you test him and he proves himself in the testing, you try to share with others what you have found and hope they will listen. Listen to the words: “One was on his way from Jerusalem armed with letters to all the synagogues that if he found anyone along the way who were the people of The Way, he would bring them bound into Jerusalem. And on the way, looking for people who belonged to The Way, he heard a voice and the voice said, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?’ Who are you, Lord? And the voice answered, ‘Jesus’” (Acts 9:4). But Jesus in Hebrew is Joshua and Joshua is I AM. He heard it from the depths of his soul, the being from within himself. And they were the people of The Way…alright, go back and read the story. How is The Way defined in scripture? He said, “I am the way.” The way to what? The way to everything in the world but specifically to the Father: “I am the way; and no one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). You can’t possibly come to the Father save you come by me. And so, who are you?—-well, I AM.
The strange part about it, when you meet the one Son who calls you Father, his name in scripture was I AM…the name was Jesse. So you see you can’t come to the Father but by me. Well, who are you? I am, I am he. So “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life” revealed. I am everything, but I am the way to all things. And I am the truth. So if I am the truth, then truth need not be confined to facts. A true judgment need not conform to the external fact to which it relates. That’s a piano, I know, but I may desire something in the place of the piano. I must begin to see in my mind’s eye what I want to see there instead of a piano. If I persist in seeing it, I’m not going to go mad, someone’s going to come in here and say, “You know, we’re going to change this entire place.” And they think they initiated the desire to remove the piano and put the flower that I’m seeing there. They will take full credit for the change in this room when they are only executing the imaginal act of one who was persistent in that act, and just didn’t accept anything other than what he imagined. So they go forward and change the things to conform to someone imagining, and that one imagining has found his Christ. He’s found him and he isn’t going elsewhere.
So tonight the great trial is on, this whole week, and they’ll tell the story this coming Friday. I know many a wet eye will be in the churches this Friday, because I, myself, as a boy when they dramatized it as they did they always made me cry. So they dramatize the story, three hours this coming Friday, and if you are emotionally given to life, you will cry too the way they dramatize it. But that’s not the story. They should cry for the one billion who have rejected him and they think they have accepted him. They have not accepted Christ. If they accepted him, they wouldn’t make all the preparations to defend themselves as they do. They would simply know that he is love, infinite love. And the day will come you will have experiences that all who have found him have, and they will find everything speaking love, but everything…without the aid of mescaline, without the aid of any artificial, I would say, injection. You don’t have to.
One day you will actually look at this room, or look at the street, or look at any place, and suddenly the whole thing comes alive to you. The whole thing will come alive. Even though after the experience it goes back to its normal, you can never forget the experience—the whole thing was alive. When I say alive, it was communing and it was all love. The so-called inanimate things, all love. You and I were placed here, as Blake said, “Put on earth a little space that we may learn to bear the beams of love.” We can’t bear them yet. We are put here a little space to learn to bear the beams of love. For the day will come that you are one with the whole vast creative power of the universe, and you are it. You’ll see the whole thing was made out of love; there’s no other substance in the world. But while we’re in it, so much of it seems horrible.
So, I’m asking you today to go back and read it and bring in your own verdict. For you are the Pilate, and you are Jesus, and you’re Barabbas; and the drama takes place in you. So as you read the story let the whole thing take place in you. Will I ___(???) Barabbas as the world has done, or will I take now Jesus? And so, hold on to Jesus and then live by him morning, noon and night. Walk just as though you were he…don’t be embarrassed. Now, for what was he condemned? We’re told in the scriptures ask the question, what was it? He said, “Why do you stone me? For what good work do you stone me?” and they answered, “Not for any good work but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 10:32). Aren’t you a man? Well, that was what he was stoned for—blasphemy, because being a man he dared to make himself God. For he said, “I and my Father are one…and my Father is he whom you call God; only I know my Father and you know not your God; and my Father and I are one” (John 8:19; 10:30). So they took up stones to cast at him. Not stones from the street but all the facts of life. For they knew exactly where this man, who dared to claim that he is God, where he was born, they knew his entire environment, they knew the family life, everything about him. And he dared to make this bold claim, and so, for blasphemy he was stoned with the facts of life.
For he claimed he was not of this world. The day will come you’ll have an experience which is not in this world, an experience far more real than anything here. You will know you are not in this world. Your earthly father, yes you honor him, you love him, but you know he’s not your father. And you can’t point to anyone who is your father; you have no father. You’re like Melchizedek: you have no father, you have no mother, you have no ancestors, for you’re one with the cause that is the origin of all; therefore, you have no ancestor. Because, actually, the only one that could call you Father was the one that God said, “You are my son” (Psalm 2:7). If he called God Father and then he called you Father, and God has no ancestor, then who are you? You’re one with the origin that caused it all to come into being.
So isn’t that blasphemy? Isn’t that the most arrogant claim in the world, a simple, little you, man? These are the words, “I stone you for blasphemy, because you, being man, dare to claim that you are God.” Who else can claim it? And so, you don’t talk about it. This is all a mystery. It’s all written in our scripture for us that man, really, suddenly becomes aware that it’s all about himself. It’s not about someone else, it’s all about himself. He goes back and reads it. He can hardly believe it until the visions begin to appear within him, and one after the other confirms this impression that he is the one spoken of in scripture. And then the entire thing unfolds within him, word after word, and then he knows that the whole thing is true. But it’s true of everyone in this world. And so, go and tell it in the hope that they will accept it.
So when the one heard it, “Lord Jesus, have I been persecuting you?” and then the voice came from within him, “I am he.” So he then stood in the presence of a judge. This one, well, this judge was now a king, King Agrippa, and he said to him, “Why should it be thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?” He had the experience; for he tells us in the very first chapter of Galatians he had the experience. He said, “When it pleased God to reveal his Son in me, I conferred not with flesh and blood” (verse 16). So the Son was revealed in him. Doesn’t name the Son, but the Son revealed in him was David, and David called him Father. Then he knew the ancient scripture for the first time. He went out to persecute all the people belonging to The Way, for he didn’t quite know the definition of The Way was “I am the way.” So he thought there was some little ism gathered together, and then when he had it revealed to him—-for it pleased God to reveal his Son in me and when it pleased God to reveal his Son in me, I conferred not with flesh and blood. To whom would I go? So, you will have it, everyone will have it.
But in the meantime, believe me. Don’t believe in Neville, believe in Christ within yourself. Believe in your own wonderful I-am-ness. Believe there. Accept him one hundred percent as Lord. Believe in the Lord, the I AM, my I am…and be saved. Saved from what?—saved from anything that now is my problem. If I am unemployed and an employment is my solution to my problem, believe I am gainfully employed. If today I am unwell and a state of health is my solution to my problem, dare to claim, as told us in the Book of Joel: “Let the weak man say, ‘I am strong’” (3:10). While he’s weak, let him say, “I am strong” and let him persuade himself that that claim is true. Tomorrow or the next day, the not distant future, he begins to radiate the health that he dared to claim that is his. Well, he calls upon whose name? He called upon the name of God, because he was saying, “I am strong!” That’s what we are told in the Book of Joel. Let the weak man say, “I am strong”; let the poor man say, “I am rich”; let the unknown say, “I am known” if that’s what he wants in this world. And everything comes into his world because he’s called upon the only name that can respond and create in this world. There’s no other name under heaven by which man is saved save the name. Well, in the scripture, when you read it the name is Jesus. But get it into your mind the word Jesus actually means I AM, that’s what it means. So this night, when you go to bed let your prayer be simply an internal communion with self, and dare to clothe yourself in your assumption just as though it were fact and live in it just as though it’s true. May I tell you, it will become true.
So the choice is man’s—-Barabbas or Jesus—-just as simple as that. And the world has rejected Jesus even though a billion claim that they’ve accepted him. That’s why I told you the story of my two nephews…and I speak for all the family. I had my two brothers in New York this past November—-one is a doctor, the father of these two doctors, and the other one is the head of all the businesses. Well, we didn’t get into deep discussions, but at intervals we would. But Lawrence, the doctor, and Victor, the businessman, they can’t go along with me. Yet they wanted to see every church in New York City. I saw more churches this past November. I went to all churches, lovely feeling, all of them pealing out lovely organ music, everything was lovely about it. But I didn’t feel any different when I came out. But they loved to just sit in the silence and drink in something lovely, perfectly alright. But I went from church to church, Catholic churches, all the Protestant churches, every kind of church, and so they loved it. But we didn’t get into the deep discussion concerning what these things represented.
I took them to St. Thomas’ church, this glorious painting, these glass stained windows, beauties! On one side, looking north, tapestries, and I said to my brother Victor, “You see these tapestries?” “Yes.” I said, “You know, behind them are the most glorious stained glass windows, but the tapestry hides them.” He said, “Why?” I said, “Because a man who has built so many churches in this country, who gave them, his name was Rockefeller (this was the first one who made the billions) and he had a fight with the bishop of this church (this is St. Thomas’ church). His home came right up against the wall, the north wall of the church, St. Thomas’ church, so he built a spite wall, built it right up to the very top of St. Thomas’ church. Couldn’t stop him, it was his property, his money, his bricks, and the whole thing was blocked out so not one little ray of light could enter that church from the north. But when you look to the west…the glorious burst of light; when you look south…all these lovely lights coming through the stained glass windows. But here, they couldn’t have that blackness—because you saw the glass but not a thing coming through—so someone gave these beautiful tapestries. But it should all be nothing but sheer beautiful light coming through.
So here, he built a lovely church on Riverside Drive. Riverside Drive and 125th Street is this wonderful church that Rockefeller built. But he left a Will that no one can break, for the old boy has been gone for years. His son couldn’t break it and his grandsons can’t break it and their sons can’t break it. He so left that Will…that wall cannot be brought down; and so, all was done in the name of Jesus Christ, for he was a good Baptist. He gave millions and millions to the Baptists. He’s a good Baptist. The bishop is the head of the Episcopal church, St. Thomas’ on 53rd Street and the ___(??). So here I tell you, let us find the real Jesus. Victor didn’t find him in that church. And when I told the story to Vic, he said, “Well, I always thought much of that man. I admired him as a businessman, but now he’s gone all the way down in my estimation” because he saw what spite could do. Yet he died believing he was a believer in Jesus. Never found him.
But now don’t you die from this little sphere without finding him. If tonight you’re disturbed, you take it under submission, take it home with you, and sleep on it, and feel the nearness of Jesus as your own wonderful human Imagination. I can’t begin to tell you when you accept him in the true sense what begins to happen within you. You become alive, something in the head becomes alive, and you can feel it. May I tell you, long before the experience of the birth from above, I began to sense something alive in my skull, actually could feel a pulsing, a pulsation alive in the skull. You could feel it move up and move down, move all over. At night you go to bed…that lovely sensing something alive. I dare say you can call that spiritual pregnancy. And so, all of a sudden when I least expected it, the event happened as recorded; and not a thing changed, just as told in scripture. Well, if he is the only one who is born that way, and I know I was, then am I not he? And when you duplicate the same experience, are you not he? And if only Jesus is born that way, haven’t you found Jesus, because you’ve found him as your own I-am-ness. Because when you awake, you are awake; and you come out, it’s you coming out. Then three men come and take away the body, and the body’s all taken away, and three men are there. You know the three men of scripture and there they are. Every symbol is true and perfect. The wind that you are told in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Acts (verse 2) that same strange unearthly wind is present. So when you go through the experience, the identical experience, are you not he?
There’s only one—-that’s I am. You can say it in the depths of your soul, just say “I am”…that’s he. But now begin to believe it. And then you test him and he proves himself in the testing. What chance would you put it down to—a man sleeping only in Imagination in Denver just as a joke? But he sleeps there, next to the deep freeze in the basement, and then casually calls on a friend the next day, and the man turns to him without prompting and asks him if he’d like to make the trip to Denver, that he’s going to see his brother.; and then the very next day another invitation to go to Denver. How could you cast that aside as a mere coincidence? That’s not! You can try it tonight. I tell you, I tried it and I don’t ever do it any more just as a joke, because whenever I do it it’s going to work. When I least expect it I’m on my way to fulfill that journey…when I don’t want to make the journey. I am moved under compulsion, for outer moments are compelled; it’s the inner motion that is self-determined, that is causal. All the outer motions are all under compulsion. And so, I don’t want to do it now and make it real—and then tomorrow, when I don’t want to go be moved by compulsion, I had to go. So don’t treat it lightly, for he will hold you not responsible for it, and he doesn’t care because he’s doing it. Who’s doing it?—your own wonderful human Imagination.
Tonight you bring in your verdict. Don’t tell me, just sit there quietly and say, “I will accept that Jesus” or “I don’t accept it. I prefer the one that my mother taught about, the one that I have at home in a book, where I can look at the picture of something.” So if you want that Jesus, alright, I wouldn’t take him from you. Go on with that Jesus until you find the living Jesus. That’s why you’re told, “It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know when he appears we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). So always ask yourself, Do I look like him in my mind’s eye? No? Well, then he hasn’t yet appeared, because when he appears you’re going to be like him. You’re going to see exactly your own being magnified and beautified to the nth degree. That’s the being.
Now let us go into the Silence.
* * *
___(??) Jung’s book, a few copies I noticed tonight before I came on. And then my books are there. If there’s any other book you would like that’s not displayed, you ask them to get it for you and they’ll get it for you. On your way out stop and browse.
Now are there any questions, please? Yes, sir?
Q: In the third lecture you quoted, “And God became”…I’m trying to recall exactly what it was… “God became man and was no more?” or something of that nature.
A: No, I said, God became as we are that we may be as he is. God became man that man may become God. That is told us in the story: “He emptied himself and took upon himself the form of a slave.” That thought is told us in Philippians (2:7). And so, he empties himself. In other words, people will ask, as I have been asked, “How can you claim, how can you conceive of a cosmic Christ as personal, or a personal Christ as cosmic?” My answer to that is the 8th chapter of Romans, “The whole vast creation waits eagerly for the unveiling of the sons of God” (verse 19). And so, it’s really the plan and purpose of the whole creation.
God actually became you as you are seated there…or you couldn’t breathe. He will not in eternity leave you until his purpose is consummated; and then he can’t leave you because you’re going to be fused with him. When you are once fused with God no power in the world can “un-fuse” you, can’t be. You cleave to her…you are God’s emanation, my emanation, yet my bride, until the sleep of death is past. So the sleep begins in the second chapter: “And God caused a profound sleep to fall upon man” (Gen. 2:21). It’s himself. And he slept, and then came an emanation, called his wife, his bride—we call it Eve. You are Eve; you are the bride of the Lord. As told you in the 54th chapter of Isaiah, “Your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name” (verse 5). If you have a husband, then you are the Maker’s bride. Therefore the emanation is called the bride, and he cleaves to his emanation, his bride until they become one flesh, one being.
So that’s the purpose. You must leave everything…but you do not leave your emanation. He so fell in love with you—-it’s all love—-that he cleaves to you, his love, his beloved, until you become one. You’re going to be fused. So one day, you’ll be fused, and after you are fused you can’t be un-fused. Not in eternity could you ever be un-fused after the fusion. And you fuse always with love. But love, in the way I use it, includes everything—-all the powers, wisdom, might—-but love. And you’re fused with love. At the moment of fusion you’ve never known such joy, such delight, in your life, never. You cannot from then on be un-fused. You can truly say, “He who sees me sees him who sent me,” because we are fused. You may not like the way he looks, but it’s true nevertheless, because we can’t be un-fused anymore.
Q: What is the meaning, Neville, of the statement—-I don’t know if I have the exact words here, “No greater love hath he than he who lays down his life for his friend”?
A: No greater love hath any man…well, that’s told us in the Book of John, too. “He who would lay down his life for his friends…I call you hereafter not slaves but friends. No greater love has any man than a man lays down his life for his friend” (John 15:13). Well, you are that friend and God laid his life down for you. He actually became you. No one could cross the threshold that admits to conscious life unaided by that death of God. He actually became you, in the extreme sense, because he completely forgot who he was in becoming you. And then he awakens when the work is completed, and that is completed at fusion. Then after fusion comes the unfolding of these marvelous mystical experiences, all recorded in scripture, as a unique birth from above and an ascent in the form of a serpent. You waken to find that, really, the tomb that they’re all talking about this past year, the great religious procession into the Middle East to find it and they all claim they found it, isn’t there at all. The great tomb in which God himself entered that is death’s door was your skull. That’s Golgotha. One day you will awake and you awake to find yourself entombed. But you’ll come out without the help of anyone, no midwife, come right out, self-born out of that tomb.
So we’re going to celebrate it this coming Easter. That’s the beginning of it all, really. But resurrection apart from death has no meaning. It begins with that mightiest act, the awakening in the tomb, and then you come out. And everything is true. As you’re told, they’ve taken away my body…“they’ve taken away the Lord’s body and I do not know where they’ve laid it.” Well, then you took one little look and here is the body out of which you’ve just emerged. You’re attracted by the wind; you look back and in the twinkle of an eye it’s gone, the body’s gone. So the story is true, they remove the body. In that one little diversion the body is gone, but in its place sat three men. They come to bear witness, to see this event; for they were told and they came to testify to the truth of what the angels had said. But they can’t see you because you are Spirit, more real than they are. So they come to find the sign, that’s all. And then we are told, told, in spite of all the signs that he did among them, they still did not believe in him.
___(??) You could just take all of these stories that I have told, and I tell you it only happened because men and women used their Imaginations lovingly to do it. I’ve printed forty in one book; I could have printed a thousand. Had I printed one thousand and I stated quite clearly in every one this is done not by any little magic, this is done because this individual did this all in her Imagination or in his Imagination, so that the cause of everything you read here was all taken back to Imagination; so you read a thousand case histories, you will still say “I don’t believe it…it would have happened anyway.” If you printed a hundred thousand case histories, they’ll say, “No it couldn’t be.” So you’re told in the Book of John that in spite of… although he did so many great signs among them yet they did not believe in him. The number and character of the signs did not evoke faith. If you read the story of the Bible in the Book of John carefully, you will notice that the entire teaching of Jesus, as John tells it, rests upon faith and unbelief in him, one or the other. You either accept it or you don’t. But all the teachings of Jesus in the Book of John rest on faith or unbelief in him. Either he believes or he doesn’t believe.
Q: Would you repeat that a true judgment need not conform to…I didn’t get the last part of it.
A: I said a true judgment need not conform to the external fact to which it is related. That’s a piano, and so I tell you that’s a piano, then my judgment is in harmony with the fact. But if suddenly I am seeing a door there, then that must be hallucination or some idle thought of mine because it doesn’t conform to the facts. So I say a true judgment need not conform to the external fact to which it is related, because to me truth depends upon the intensity of imagining. If I can imagine intensely enough, someone will come in here and say that shouldn’t be here. Or, maybe, the club people will want it elsewhere for some other purpose and then put in its place what someone is imagining ought to be here.
Q: How do you ___(??) this imaginary ___(??)? For instance, you said that you have to live or feel the consciousness of what you want. But if you’re working on a problem of human relationships for an expression of love, and then you find yourself, unconsciously at first, just boiling because it’s going the wrong way but yet you’ve been trying to imagine?
A: Well, at least you’re honest about it. And so, if you admit that you know this thing ought to work—“I’ve been doing it but it hasn’t worked”—well, at least you are aware. Well, keep trying. He said, “Lord, how often must I forgive him?” He said, “Seventy times seven.” He thought only seven; he said, “Seven times Lord?” “I didn’t say seven; seventy times seven.” Well, seventy is the numerical value of the sixteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is an eye, an Ayin; and seven, numerical value of the seventh letter, which is a sword, a Zayin. So you see it until the eye becomes single. You don’t see anything else for that individual other than that. But it comes. Because it hasn’t worked as yet, you still don’t listen to him. When he comes he will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear, when he comes. So when he comes to your mind, then you’re not going to judge by what the eyes see or decide by what the ears hear, when he comes.
So this is the one the whole vast world is looking for. And you’re told he comes in the form of a little child and a little child shall lead them. This is from the 11th chapter of Isaiah. And so, when he comes, this one from the stem of Jesse, and Jesse is the father of David, so when he comes to confirm your fatherhood he isn’t going to judge what his eyes see or decide on what his ears hear. He will only see what he wants to see; he will only hear what he wants to hear. He will remain faithful to what he wants to hear and to what he has heard until what he has heard is externalized, for he’s creating reality. He’s inserted into a world, but he isn’t going to accept it as fatal, as final. He’s going to change it to make it conform to his ideal, to his dream. If we didn’t do that here, we’d still have a wilderness. But our forefathers, as Robert Frost so beautifully brought out, he said, “Our forefathers did not believe in the future, they believed it in.” He said, “There’s nothing more creative in man than to believe a thing in.” So if they believed the mere passage of time would change this fabulous continent, then they were simply believing, and let the thing be wilderness. But no, they didn’t believe the passage of time would make any change. They had to believe what they wanted in this world and believe it in. So they went to the end and believed in the end. Then men followed them, took their ideas, their dreams and brought it to pass. So nothing is more important for a man than to believe a thing in.
So your case, my dear, don’t give up. Keep up until finally it works. When it works, you’ve found him. And then you have the satisfaction and a comfort that no one in this world without such a Jesus could ever have, no one. Because, you see, wherever you are he’s there too, he’s present. He’s never too busy to take care of your wants, your needs. And so, wherever you go he goes with you: I’m with you always, even to the ends of this time, end of the age. “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mat. 28:20). I don’t see how you could tell it more plainly than you read it in the gospel of John.
Q: And also, he said, I’m closer than your hands and your ___(??).
A: Certainly, nothing is closer than the center of your being which is I AM. You can take out one lung, either one, and live, either kidney and live. Portions of every vital organ can be chopped away, and many vital organs. A spleen, you can take it out ___(??) and portions of those you say you must have, you still live. As far as the members go, chop the whole thing off and you still live. But you can’t chop off I AM. That’s center, that’s God, that’s Jesus.
Q: Neville, ___(??) and one of the things that worked so well with us that I’d love to hear you say it again, because it sparked and it ___(??) and that is when you explained about the inner conversations, laying the tracks, remember that?
A: Um huh. Well, there is one chap, Tom, who certainly is a living example because nothing would remove these things from his skin…(tape runs out).