30 May Neville Goddard Lectures: “Out of This World” Chapter 1 – Thinking Fourth Dimensionally
By Neville Goddard
“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe,” [John 14:29]
MANY persons, myself included, have observed events before they occurred; that is, before they occurred in this world of three dimensions. Since man can observe an event before it occurs in the three dimensions of space, life on earth must proceed according to plan, and this plan must exist elsewhere in another dimension and be slowly moving through our space. If the occurring events were not in this world when they were observed, then, to be perfectly logical, they must have been out of this world. And whatever is there to be seen before it occurs here must be “Predetermined” from the point of view of man awake in a three-dimensional world.
Thus the question arises: “Are we able to alter our future?”
My object in writing these pages is to indicate possibilities inherent in man, to show that man can alter his future; but, thus altered, it forms again a deterministic sequence starting from the point of interference—a future that will be consistent with the alteration. The most remarkable feature of man’s future is its flexibility. It is determined by his attitudes rather than by his acts.
The cornerstone on which all things are based is man’s concept of himself. He acts as he does and has the experiences that he does, because his concept of himself is what it is, and for no other reason. Had he a different concept of self, he would act differently. A change of concept of self automatically alters his future: and a change in any term of his future series of experiences reciprocally alters his concept of self.
Man’s assumptions which he regards as insignificant produce effects that are considerable; therefore man should revise his estimate of an assumption, and recognize its creative power.
All changes take place in consciousness. The future, although prepared in every detail in advance, has several outcomes. At every moment of our lives we have before us the choice of which of several futures we will choose. There are two actual outlooks on the world possessed by everyone. A natural focus and a spiritual focus. The ancient teachers called the one “the carnal mind,” the other “the mind of Christ.”We may differentiate them as ordinary waking consciousness—governed by our senses, and a controlled imagination—governed by desire. We recognize these two distinct centers of thought in the statement:
“The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned.”
The natural view confines reality to the moment called now. To the natural view, the past and future are purely imaginary. The spiritual view, on the other hand, sees the contents of time. It sees events as distinct and separated as objects in space. The past and future are a present whole to the spiritual view. What is mental and subjective to the natural man is concrete and objective to the spiritual man.
The habit of seeing only that which our senses permit, renders us totally blind to what we otherwise could see. To cultivate the faculty of seeing the invisible, we should often deliberately disentangle our minds from the evidence of the senses and focus our attention on an invisible state, mentally feeling it and sensing it until it has all the distinctness of reality. Earnest, concentrated thought focused in a particular direction shuts out other sensations and causes them to disappear.
We have but to concentrate on the state desired in order to see it. The habit of withdrawing attention from the region of sensation and concentrating it on the invisible develops our spiritual outlook and enables us to penetrate beyond the world of sense and to see that which is invisible.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen.”[Romans 1:20]
This vision is completely independent of the natural faculties. Open it and quicken it – Without it, these instructions are useless, for “the things of the spirit are spiritually discerned.” A little practice will convince us that we can, by controlling our imagination, reshape our future in harmony with our desire.
Desire is the mainspring of action.
We could not move a single finger unless we had a desire to move it. No matter what we do, we follow the desire which at the moment dominates our minds. When we break a habit, our desire to break it is greater than our desire to continue in the habit. The desires which impel us to action are those that hold our attention. A desire is but an awareness of something we lack or need to make our life more enjoyable. Desires always have some personal gain in view, the greater the anticipated gain, the more intense, is the desire. There is no absolutely unselfish desire. Where there is nothing to gain there is no desire, and consequently no action.
The spiritual man speaks to the natural man through the language of desire. The key to progress in life and to the fulfillment of dreams lies in ready obedience to its voice. Unhesitating obedience to its voice is an immediate assumption of the wish fulfilled. To desire a state is to have it. As Pascal has said:
“You would not have sought me had you not already found me.”
Man, by assuming the feeling of his wish fulfilled, and then living and acting on this conviction, alters the future in harmony with his assumption. Assumptions awaken what they affirm. As soon as man assumes the feeling of his wish fulfilled, his four-dimensional self finds ways for the attainment of this end, discovers methods for its realization. I know of no clearer definition of the means by which we realize our desires than to experience in imagination what we would experience in the flesh were we to achieve our goal. This experience of the end wills the means.
With its larger outlook the four-dimensional self then constructs the means necessary to realize the accepted end. The undisciplined mind finds it difficult to assume a state which is denied by the senses.
Here is a technique that makes it easy to encounter events before they occur – to “call things which are not seen as though they were.” People have a habit of slighting the importance of simple things; but this simple formula for changing the future was discovered after years of searching and experimenting.
The first step in changing the future is desire that is: define your objective—know definitely what you want.
Secondly: construct an event which you believe you would encounter following the fulfillment of your desire—an event which implies fulfillment of your desire—something that will have the action of self predominant.
Thirdly: immobilize the physical body and induce a condition akin to sleep—lie on a bed or relax in a chair and imagine that you are sleepy; then, with eyelids closed and your attention focused on the action you intend to experience, in imagination – mentally feel yourself right into the proposed action – imagining all the while that you are actually performing the action here and now. You must always participate in the imaginary action, not merely stand back and look on, but you must feel that you are actually performing the action so that the imaginary sensation is real to you.
It is important always to remember that the proposed action must be one which follows the fulfillment of your desire; and, also, you must feel yourself into the action until it has all the vividness and distinctness of reality.
For example: suppose you desired promotion in office.
Being congratulated would be an event you would encounter following the fulfillment of your desire. Having selected this action as the one you will experience in imagination, immobilize the physical body, and induce a state akin to sleep – a drowsy state – but one in which you are still able to control the direction of your thoughts – a state in which you are attentive without effort. Now, imagine that a friend is standing before you. Put your imaginary hand into his. First feel it to be solid and real, then carry on an imaginary conversation with him in harmony with the action. Do not visualize yourself at a distance in point of space and at a distance in point of time being congratulated on your good fortune. Instead, make elsewhere here, and the future now.
The future event is a reality now in a dimensionally larger world; and, oddly enough, now in a dimensionally larger world, is equivalent to here in the ordinary three-dimensional space of everyday life. The difference between feeling yourself in action, here and now, and visualizing yourself in action, as though you were on a motion-picture screen, is the difference between success and failure.
The difference will be appreciated if you will now visualize yourself climbing a ladder. Then with eyelids closed imagine that a ladder is right in front of you and feel you are actually climbing it.
Desire, physical immobility bordering on sleep, and imaginary action in which self feelingly predominates, here and now, are not only important factors in altering the future, but they are essential conditions in consciously projecting the spiritual self.
If, when the physical body is immobilized we become possessed of the idea to do some thing, and imagine that we are doing it here and now and keep the imaginary action feelingly going right up until sleep ensues – we are likely to awaken out of the physical body to find ourselves in a dimensionally larger world with a dimensionally larger focus and actually doing what we desired and imagined we were doing in the flesh. But whether we awaken there or not, we are actually performing the action in the fourth-dimensional world, and we will re-enact it in the future, here in the third-dimensional world.
Experience has taught me to restrict the imaginary action, to condense the idea which is to be the object of our meditation into a single act, and to re-enact it over and over again until it has the feeling of reality. Otherwise, the attention will wander off along an associational track, and hosts of associated images will be presented to our attention. In a few seconds they will lead us hundreds of miles away from our objective in point of space, and years away in point of time.
If we decide to climb a particular flight of stairs, because that is the likely event to follow the realization of our desire, then we must restrict the action to climbing that particular flight of stairs. Should our attention wander off, we must bring it back to its task of climbing that flight of stairs and keep on doing so until the imaginary action has all the solidity and distinctness of reality. The idea must be maintained in the field of presentation without any sensible effort on our part. We must, with the minimum of effort, permeate the mind with the feeling of the wish fulfilled.
Drowsiness facilitates change because it favors attention without effort, but it must not be pushed to the stage of sleep, in which we shall no longer be able to control the movements of our attention, but rather a moderate degree of drowsiness in which we are still able to direct our thoughts.
A most effective way to embody a desire is to assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled and then, in a relaxed and sleepy state, repeat over and over again, like a lullaby, any short phrase which implies fulfillment of our desire, such as “Thank you” as though we addressed a higher power for having done it for us. If, however, we seek a conscious projection into a dimensionally larger world, then we must keep the action going right up until sleep ensues. Experience in imagination, with all the distinctness of reality, what would be experienced in the flesh were you to achieve your goal; and you shall, in time, meet it in the flesh as you met it in your imagination.
Feed the mind with premises – that is, assertions presumed to be true, because assumptions, though unreal to the senses, if persisted in, until they have the feeling of reality, will harden into facts. To an assumption all means which promote its realization are good. It influences the behavior of all by inspiring in all the movements, the actions, and the words which tend towards its fulfillment.
To understand how man molds his future in harmony with his assumption we must know what we mean by a dimensionally larger world, for it is to a dimensionally larger world that we go to alter our future. The observation of an event before it occurs implies that the event is predetermined from the point of view of man in the three-dimensional world. Therefore, to change the conditions here in the three dimensions of space we must first change them in the four dimensions of space.
Man does not know exactly what is meant by a dimensionally larger world, and would no doubt deny the existence of a dimensionally larger self. He is quite familiar with the three dimensions of length, width and height, and he feels that if there were a fourth dimension, it should be just as obvious to him as the dimensions of length, width and height. A dimension is not a line; it is any way in which a thing can be measured that is entirely different from all other ways. That is, to measure a solid fourth-dimensionally, we simply measure it in any direction except that of its length, width and height. Is there another way of measuring an object other than those of its length, width and height?
Time measures my life without employing the three dimensions of length, width and height. There is no such thing as an instantaneous object. Its appearance and disappearance are measurable. It endures for a definite length of time. We can measure its life span without using the dimensions of length, width and height. Time is definitely a fourth way of measuring an object. The more dimensions an object has, the more substantial and real it becomes. A straight line, which lies entirely in one dimension, acquires shape, mass and substance by the addition of dimensions. What new quality would time, the fourth dimension, give which would make it just as vastly superior to solids as solids are to surfaces and surfaces are to lines?
Time is a medium for changes in experience because all changes take time. The new quality is changeability. Observe that if we bisect a solid, its cross-section will be a surface; by bisecting a surface, we obtain a line; and by bisecting a line, we get a point. This means that a point is but a cross-section of a line, which is, in turn, but a cross-section of a surface, which is, in turn, but a cross-section of a solid, which is, in turn, if carried to its logical conclusion, but a cross-section of a four-dimensional object.
We cannot avoid the inference that all three-dimensional objects are but cross-sections of four-dimensional bodies. Which means: when I meet you, I meet a cross-section of the four-dimensional you – the four-dimension self that is not seen. To see the four-dimensional self I must see every cross-section or moment of your life from birth to death and see them all as coexisting. My focus should take in the entire array of sensory impressions which you have experienced on earth plus those you might encounter. I should see them, not in the order in which they were experienced by you, but as a present whole. Because change is the characteristic of the fourth dimension, I should see them in a state of flux as a living, animated whole.
If we have all this clearly fixed in our minds, what does it mean to us in this three-dimensional world? It means that, if we can move along time’s length, we can see the future and alter it as we so desire.
This world, which we think so solidly real, is a shadow out of which and beyond which we may at any time pass. It is an abstraction from a more fundamental and dimensionally larger world – a more fundamental world abstracted from a still more fundamental and dimensionally larger world and so on to infinity. The absolute is unattainable by any means or analysis, no matter how many dimensions we add to the world.
Man can prove the existence of a dimensionally larger world simply by focusing his attention on an invisible state and imagining that he sees and feels it. If he remains concentrated in this state, his present environment will pass away, and he will awaken in a dimensionally larger world where the object of his contemplation will be seen as a concrete objective reality.
Intuitively I feel that, were he to abstract his thoughts from this dimensionally larger world and retreat still farther within his mind, he would again bring about an externalization of time. He would discover that every time he retreats into his inner mind and brings about an externalization of time, space becomes dimensionally larger. And he would, therefore, conclude that both time and space are serial, and that the drama of life is but the climbing of a multitudinous dimensional time block.
Scientists will one day explain why there is a Serial Universe. But in practice how we use this Serial Universe to change the future is more important. To change the future, we need only concern ourselves with two worlds in the infinite series, the world we know by reason of our bodily organs, and the world we perceive independently of our bodily organs.