Neville Goddard Lectures: "Rearrange the Mind"

Neville Goddard Lectures: “Rearrange the Mind”

March 24, 1972

You should find tonight a very practical night, something that you an test—take it home tonight and prove it. You’ll take it from Scripture, but something first, I think with which you’re all familiar. If you took a piece of steel that’s magnetized, it does not differ in substance from the demagnetized piece of steel, only in the arrangement of its molecules. The rich man, the poor man, the beggar man, the thief are not different minds, but simply different arrangements of the same mind. There is only God in this world. So, when you say I am, and I say I am, it’s the same God, but we have arranged the structure of our minds differently. We have different concepts of self and that’s all. But not one is better because he is richer than the one who is poor. These are only different arrangements of the structure of the mind.

Now Scripture tells this and I’m quoting now, the book of James, the Epistle of James.

James is really a letter from Jacob. The word James and Jacob are identical. In Hebrew, Greek, and in the Arabic tongue, the same word. So, when they begin, James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, you can see it once. It’s simply a Christian revision of this Jewish letter; it’s the letter of Jacob and if you read it carefully, only twice do they insert, say, Jesus Christ our Lord, all the others, there are eleven other times, it is simply God. The Lord is God, not Christ. So here it is really the servant of the Lord speaking. And he is giving us some fantastic instruction and very practical instruction. Now, listen to it carefully. I am now going to quote from the very first chapter of the book of James: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, for he who is a hearer and not a doer is like a man who observes his natural face in the mirror then goes his way and at once forgets what he is like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the Law of Liberty, and perseveres, he will be blessed in his doing.”

Now, how do I look into the Law, the perfect Law, which sets me free, the Law of Liberty? I look into my mind. I’m now imprisoned. I’ve heard the sentence. I know exactly how long I’m supposed to serve. Now, I look into the Law of Liberty in my mind, and I assume that I am free. I’m set free. How? I am not concerned. Who brought it about? I am not concerned. I simply look into the perfect law, the Law of Liberty, and I dare to assume that I am free. If I dare to assume that I am free, I rearrange the structure of my mind, the same mind that heard the sentence that I accepted when I heard it. Now, I do not accept it. I look into the perfect law, the Law of Liberty. And if, as I’m told in Scripture, I persevere, then I will actually receive that which I am doing. I must not forget what I have done and sleep this night as though I am in prison; for if I am now set free, where would I sleep? Let me know exactly where would I sleep? Well, dare to assume that I am sleeping there now.

If I sleep in the assumption that I am free, I am not in jail. Even though the bars are there, I don’t see them, close my eyes against them. As Blake tells us, man’s perceptions are not bounded by organs of perception: he perceives more than sense, however acute, can discover. And so, reason or the ratio of all that we already know is not the same that it shall be when we know more. If I take this tonight and test it, and it proves itself in the testing until I have added to my knowledge. And so, I know more than before I tested it, and so when I find myself up against something that seems beyond solution, I have found something that can solve it. All I have to do is to rearrange the structure of my mind. So, I dare to assume that I am the man that I would be and sleep as though I am. That’s the rearrangement of that structure of the mind. I am the same being. I’m Neville. I know exactly those that I knew before, but now I know them differently. I know them now as a freed man, but I must not be a hearer of what I heard in Scripture. I must be a doer. I must do it.

So be not a doer, only, be a doer in the full sense of the word. So that I actually, I do it and persist, the word is persevere in Scripture: the first chapter, the 22nd to the 25th verses of the Epistle of James. So, I will simply do it. And though tomorrow, I am confronted with the obvious facts of life that I’m still in prison, it still doesn’t matter. I did it. I am doing it and I will continue to do it until that which I have done is perfectly externalized within my world. I am telling you this from experience. I know it. If you go to jail and you say five to ten years. All right, you know, five years, and maybe you get off in six for good behavior. But when you are drafted into the army, there is no date that you are promised where they’ll let you out. You are in for the duration. Well, I was drafted into the army with 17 million of us. Well, I didn’t ask the permission of anyone. I only consulted myself. I looked around, I knew what the world knew. It was something that had to be done. But I must be honest with myself, I didn’t want any part of it. But no part of it. Others would tell me, is that the act of a coward? I didn’t care what they said. Is that being a good citizen? I didn’t care what they said. As I just said earlier, what we now know, which is called reason—it’s a reasonable thing to do, we are at war, and we’re all Americans. And we should be going there because our country has declared war. Go in there and fight. And so, reason tells us that should be done. I was drafted. I did not oppose it. They drafted me. Took me down to Camp Polk, Louisiana, for my basic training. And while I was there, I didn’t want any part of it. And I dare to assume that I am out of it and made my normal natural application, as you have to do in the world of Caesar. Within twenty-four hours, it came back and it was simply rejected. It was signed disapproved and signed by my colonel. A very nice gentleman. His name was Colonel Theodore Bilbo, Jr. His father was the senator from Mississippi. I said nothing. My captain said, “For your sake, Goddard, I am very, very sorry. I know exactly how you feel. You want to be with your wife and your little girl. Your son is in Guadalcanal with the Marines and you are now almost thirty-eight. And so, I know, but I would like to go through this war with a man just like you at the side. So, I can’t say that I am sorry for myself. I’m sorry only for you.” I didn’t say one word to him, to the colonel. I didn’t oppose it. That was the decision of Caesar. Now, I looked into the perfect law, the Law of Liberty, and I persevered in that law. And I slept that night as though I slept in my own home in New York City on Washington Square, where I lived on the 7th floor. I lived on that floor and it was a very large apartment, with two bedrooms, a lovely, big living room, a dining room, a huge kitchen, and a foyer.

And I slept in that place just as though I were there, not in the army. I fell asleep in that state, having done all the normal things that would make me feel this arrangement is perfect. I rearranged the structure of my mind. Instead of seeing twenty-five men around me, sleeping upstairs and knowing that twenty- five were down below in the next area, I slept in my own bed with my wife in her bed and my little girl in her crib in the corner. I felt everything in that place just as though it’s taking place. And I rearranged the structure of my mind and fell sound asleep in that state. At four o’clock in the morning, here comes a sheet of paper before my eye and a hand from here down with a pen in its hand and the pen scratched out the word “disapproved” and it wrote in, in a bold script “approved.” And then I heard the word: that which I have done. I have done. Do nothing. And then I woke. It was too early to disturb the twenty-five other fellows sleeping there. But I waited until the very first moment that I could leave that room and went down to the latrine and shaved and bathed early and came up, filled with the glow that the whole thing was done. I walked in that assumption for the next nine days. Nine days later, the same colonel that disapproved of my request called me in.

He said, “Close the door, Goddard.” So, I closed the door. He said, “Take a seat.” He never asked me to take a seat in his presence before. I was a private. You always stood in his presence. He said, “Take a seat.” And then he gave me all the reasons in the world why I should still be in the army. He said, “Do you still want to get out?” I said, “Yes, sir.” He gave me another reason. “Do you still want to get out?” I said, “Yes, sir.” Another one. When he exhausted all the reasons why I should be in the army—and I’m still saying, “yes, sir”—he said, “all right, bring me another application and have your captain sign it,” which I did that day. I was honorably discharged and out of the army. I didn’t run away. I was honorably discharged.*

When vision breaks forth into speech, the presence of Deity is there and who can oppose God? “To that which I have done, I have done.” Do nothing. So, he thought he initiated the urge to let me go free. I looked into the perfect law, the Law of Liberty, and I persevered in that law and he played his part, for I rearranged the structure of my mind.

I was convinced I wanted out and I didn’t ask anyone’s permission. I did not discuss it with anyone as to why I should want out when 17 million men are being drafted plus numberless girls to make a tremendous effort against this monstrous thing that was in Europe. I still wanted out. I did not take anyone into my confidence as to why I wanted out. I had my thirteen-week basic training. And then when I came out, they gave me my citizenship papers and became, I could have been back in 1922, I could have been an American, but I just didn’t have the time or the urge to get around it, to become a citizen. So, I drifted on and drifted on and drifted on. And finally, after this little episode, that’s why I went into the army. I would still be drifting through and being a citizen of Britain. But now I am an American by adoption and they gave it to me because I did fulfill a thirteen-week training course in the American army. So, I tell you, I know from experience how true this statement in James is, read it carefully: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourself.”

For he, who is a hearer of the word is not a doer, he is like one who looks into the mirror and sees his natural face. And then he goes away and at once forgets what he looks like. But he who is a doer, he looks into the perfect law, the Law of Liberty and perseverance, and when he does that, he is blessed in his doing. That is acting, making the thing become alive within you. Now he tells us in the same chapter, “Faith without works is dead. As the body, apart from the spirit is dead.” So, faith without works is dead. He is not proposing that I substitute works for faith. Works are the evidence of whether the faith I profess is alive or dead. I say I believe the story of Scripture. Well then, if I believe it, then do it. He said, “Whatever you desire, believe you have received and you shall.” Well, if I really believe that I can’t say I believe by quoting the Apostles’ Creed, that’s not belief. Going to church and genuflecting before some manmade little cross, that’s not Scripture. Do you really believe the doctrines, the teachings of Scripture, not the traditions of men, not the rituals, not the outer ceremonies, but the teachings of Scripture? “When you pray, believe that you have received and you will.”

And “all things are possible to him who believes”—but do I believe that? Well, then believe it, if I really believe I am out of the army, what and where would I be? Well, I will be at home in my place a thousand miles away on Washington Square. If I look through the window, I will see the Holly Apartments. If I look to the left, I will see Washington Square. If I looked to the right, I will see Sixth Avenue. It’s now called the Avenue of the Americas. But then, and still is to me raised as I was there, it’s still Sixth Avenue to me. And there I will look at Sixth Avenue. Well, I did that that night. I saw Sixth Avenue. I saw Washington Square. And then I went through the entire apartment and touched these objects with my imaginary hands. Now, was that rational? The world will say that was the most irrational thing that one can do. Now, what is reason? The office of reason is simply, well, to extract conclusions from premises. Must my premises always be based upon the evidence of my senses? Must they always dictate what is rational to me? Well, having done this and proved it to be a fact, reason doesn’t mean to me, what it means to the world. For they would sleep in the army. And I wrote a friend of mine who was a Freudian and he practiced psychiatry in New York City. He was drafted. He was an Englishman, too. And he was drafted and he was off in Florida, a man my age. And so, when I got out, knowing exactly what I did, I wrote him a detailed letter telling him what I did and how to do it. No, he was a Freudian. And that was something that didn’t make sense to him. To him, the whole thing was centered in sex, not on this use of the imagination. I said, all right. He didn’t answer my letter. I got out in 1943 in the spring, in the month of April, or was it March? March or April of 1943. They drafted me November the 19th, 1942. And I got out in March 1943. When the war was over and all the other fellows were being discharged, he was discharged. And he said to me afterwards, “You know, Neville, I love to come to your lectures and to hear you because it’s interesting, it’s fairy. You turn my daily bread into the substance of fairy. But while I listen to you, you know, what I do, I put my feet right down on the carpet, and I hold onto the sides of the chair to keep my sense of the reality and the profundity of things.”

Well, he kept on holding his little cot in the army for another three years, because he couldn’t let go and put himself where he wanted to be. So, I am telling you how it’s done. I am telling you how it’s done from my own experience, that my perceptions are not necessarily bounded by organs of perception. I perceive more than sense, no matter how acute they are, could discover. My senses couldn’t discover what I am seeing. Only in my imagination could it be done. I am seeing the Holly Apartments. I am seeing Sixth Avenue. I am seeing Union Square. I am seeing the bed, my wife, my child. I hadn’t seen them in three months, but they are all there. I didn’t bring sex into it. No, I didn’t go to bed with her. There she was, the girl I love. She was in her own bed and I in my own bed, we have twin beds. And my little girl was then just over a year, not quite a year. She was born in June of 1942. And this was not yet June of 1943. So, she was not yet a year old. Here’s my sweet little child, Vicky, in her bed. And I walked through the entire thing and touched all the objects and felt them, so normal and so natural, came back to my bed and slept in it. If anyone was sensitive in that room, they would have seen me sleeping there. I was so natural to myself that they would have seen me actually sleeping there. And then the next day he had a change of mind, but he couldn’t act upon it. He was resisting that change, but that which I have done, I have done. Do nothing. So, he resisted it for nine days and then he called me in and told me to bring a new application, which I did. And that day I was out. So, I tell you how it works. This is the most practical law in the world. He looks into the perfect law, the Law of Liberty. Well, doesn’t that liberate you?

If you look into the Law of Liberty, then what are you now? The man, the woman you really want to be, but then you are in prison though you’re not behind bars. You are imprisoned by your present concept. You’re not behind bars. You’re going to go home tonight and sleep as the woman, as the man, you really want to be. So, you are in prison. Now look to the perfect law, the Law of Liberty, and persevere. Do not only be a hearer of what to do. Do it and you will be blessed in the doing. That’s what the Scripture teaches. Go home and read it. I am not misquoting. I am quoting accurately from the Epistle of James in the New Testament. And this is the story that I’m trying to tell everyone in the world. He said I am not in prison. No, you’re not in prison, not physically, but you are in prison. You may today, need money. And you say I’m still not like the fellows who are behind in Sing Sing. All right, you’re not behind jail doors, but you are still behind, behind in rent, behind in this and the dunning notes from all the places where you charge, you are behind bars. You can’t seem to find the necessary sum to pay them. All right. Look into the perfect Law of Liberty. That’s the perfect law.

Well, how do I do it? Rearrange the structure of your mind. That demagnetized piece of steel does not differ in substance from the magnetized, only the arrangement of its molecules. And then one lifts up enormous weights when it’s completely one-pointed; when all these molecules face one direction, it’s a powerhouse. The other is scattered. So let not the double-minded man think that he will, in any way, receive from the Lord; you’re told in the same first chapter, if the double-minded man comes, who is unstable in all his ways that he not think he’ll receive anything from the Lord. What can you give a man who does know what he wants? I’ve gone into a restaurant just to prove this principle, sat down, and said to the waiter, what would you like for a tip? And he’s embarrassed. I said to my friend, I’ll give him what he wants, within reason, I’m not going to give him any hundred dollar bills, but I’ll give him, if he said, give me a five dollar bill. I didn’t order that which warranted a five dollar bill. And he was embarrassed and embarrassed and embarrassed. And all he expected was exactly what he got. He just didn’t know. He just had no concept of putting something, of course, he didn’t know it, so how could he put it to the test?

So, I am telling you, you rearrange the structure of your mind. That’s all you do. It doesn’t differ from Einstein’s mind. It’s only one mind. There’s only one God. There’s only one Lord. Listen to it. One body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all, through all, and in all. If he’s in you that’s the same one with the one body, the one spirit. So, I’m not using a different mind. It’s the same mind but differently arranged. Go into one room and you see that someone doesn’t know what to do with their furniture. Bring someone in who knows how to set a room. Come back an hour later after she’s through with it and you’ll think you’re in an entirely different home. My wife used to pull that on me all the time. I’ll come home and think I just stepped into an entirely strange apartment and wondered if I’m really at home. And she was hiding some other place. She had completely rearranged the structure of the furniture. It looked like an entirely different home, but she has that sense of how to do it and so she did it.

So, with what you have, all you need is exactly what you have, for you have the mind of God. It’s not a different mind, the same mind. And you simply rearrange the mind by a mere assumption. What would the feeling be like were it true that I am now the man that I want to be, now the woman that I want to be? It’s added but persevere. You must persevere in it. If I call you now and you answer, one thing, well, will you respond an hour later to the same call? Then if you persevere, you will. If now, an hour later, you think of yourself as you now, when you dare to assume that you are now the man that you want to be. An hour later, are you still assuming that state? If you’re not, you’re not persevering. You are the hearer who looked into the mirror with his natural face, he saw it, then went his way and at once forgot what he looked like. So, if one hour from now you are not still assuming that you are the man that you want to be, you’ve forgotten. You are the hearer and not the doer. And he warns us of the vast difference between being a hearer and being a doer. The doer acts. God only acts and is in existing beings or men.

So, bear in mind that your wonderful world is not bounded by your senses. You perceive far, far more than your sense, no matter how acute it is, could discover. Your senses can’t discover but now you are capable of assuming that you are. Your senses dictate what reason will allow and your reason, your senses are bound together. Go beyond it for what you now know from experience. What you know from the past will not be what you will know when you know more than you now know. But having done it and proven it, I know more than I did when I was bounded by my senses. When I couldn’t get out of a certain island on time to meet a commitment in Milwaukee, I knew what I did in the army. I simply applied the identical thing and I got out.

There was a long, long waiting list. Thousands waiting for all the islands and only two little ships, not big ships, two small little ships, one carrying up more than sixty-odd passengers and one carrying one hundred and twenty and thousands waiting. And they only came once a month into the island. One, every thirty-two days, and one every three and a half weeks. How long would it take to get them all out? I didn’t ask anyone a favor. Didn’t ask my brother, who was a powerful businessman on the island. He criticized me for not arranging passage back to America when I left America. That’s the place where you should have done it. That’s the powerhouse of the world, New York City. That’s where all these things are done. And you dare to leave New York City when you could arrange a round trip and you come here on a one-way ticket? Well, I didn’t ask any favors from him or any favors from any member of the family.

I simply did exactly what I did in the army. And in twenty-four hours, I was called by the Alcoa Company and given my passage over thousands who were waiting. It isn’t my concern why she did it or why someone else didn’t get it in preference to me when my name was down at the very bottom. I wasn’t at the top. I’m at the bottom of the list. It isn’t my concern. I looked into the perfect law, the Law of Liberty, and I persevered. I sat in a chair in my hotel room and there I sat in the chair and assumed that I am next to the boat; I’m climbing up the gangplank. That’s before we had a deep-water harbor. So, we had to go out to sea, maybe a half-mile or a mile to sea on a little tender, and then take the gangplank and go up to the ship. So, I felt myself bobbing as you would on the ocean. And then moving up the gangplank, I could smell the rawness of the sea, got up to the top, and my mind wandered, I brought it back again and did it all over again. It wandered, brought it back to them again, and kept on doing it over and over until finally, I did it. I fell sound asleep sitting in the chair, in the act of doing.

Next day, Alcoa calls me and gives me my passage for my wife and my little girl. So, I’m telling you from experience, it doesn’t fail, but we must not simply be hearers of the word. We must be doers of the word. For if you are a hearer and not a doer, you deceive yourself, he tells you, for we are the operant power. This law doesn’t operate itself. It doesn’t care if you are good, bad, or indifferent. Look around the world, who would think that tonight someone serving a life sentence in our jail is the same mind that sits in the White House. Who would think the one who sits now in the Vatican, that mind of the Pope is the same mind of the one who is groveling on his belly, trying to kiss his hand?

So, on Sunday there’ll be Palm Sunday and they’ll do all these things on Palm Sunday; the holy palms, and then comes Good Friday, then comes Sunday and all this will go on and have all the show, fabulous show. And he who is being born on the backs of strong, strapping men does not differ from those who are his slaves, bearing him; the same mind, but they have rearranged their minds to be slaves. And he has arranged his mind to be the Father, to be papa, the great Pope, same mind. There is only one mind in the world. There aren’t two minds. That’s why I can tell you, I know that when he stands before you, he will know you as his Father and you’ll know him as your Son. And because I know him as my Son, are we not one mind? Are we not one being when the same being who called me Father will one day call you Father, are we not the same Father? The same mind, the same spirit, the same body without loss of identity. So, I’m telling you tonight, try it, try it every moment of time. You know, tonight what you want to be. I don’t care what you want to be, it’s simply a rearrangement of the mind. And you rearrange the mind, not through any study or any effort. It’s simply a mere assumption. What do I want to be?

Get it clear in my mind’s eye. Well, then assume that I am it.

Listen to the words in the book of Joel: “Let the weak man say, I am strong.” Let the weak man say I am strong. That’s in the book of Joel. Jehovah God, that’s what the word would mean, Joel. You’re called upon when you are down to assume that you are exactly what you want to be, not down, because you don’t want to be there. You want to be as free as the wind. Well, assume that you are. May I tell you in a way that no one knows you’ll become it, but you must persevere. And the word perseverance is true. If I don’t believe it, well then one second later, I’ve turned back to my former state and become once more Lot’s wife, the pillar of salt. Salt is a preservative in the old days, the only way to preserve something is to salt it. Not so long ago when I was a little boy, we caught fish, an enormous quantity of fish because we didn’t have these enormous fleets catching our fish. So, we had fish to burn, literally burn. If they didn’t get in before, say three o’clock in the afternoon, what did they have? They could either put it onto the dung heap and make dung out of it or clean it up and salt it. So, they cleaned it up and salted it. It would keep indefinitely for we had no refrigeration. So, you salted the fish and we could have salt flying fish if you wanted it that way.

But fish that were not consumed by sundown were discarded. Use it for bait the next day or use it in the dung heap to fertilize the fields with it. So salt is a preservative. So, when Lot’s wife was turned to salt, she turned back and went back to her former state. And that is all that it means. You looked back and became a pillar of salt. You turned back to the state you said you would leave behind you. And looking back, you were salted. You are preserved in it. So, turn away from what you really want to be. Turn back. You’re going to be salted in it.

So, I ask you to leave what you are unless you like what you are. There are portions of what you are today that you like, all right, wonderful. There are other portions that you do not like. Well, you don’t have to give up everything in your living room when rearrange the structure of it. Certain pieces you’ll keep. You may change its location, but you’ll keep it. The same thing is true with the structure of the mind. You’ll keep certain things and you let other things go. Take friends in your world who are not doing well, rearrange them in your mind’s eye and they’re doing well. So put that part of the structure in your mind’s eye. Rearrange the entire structure, and dare to assume that it’s true, and walk in that assumption. And that assumption though at the moment is denied by reason and denied by your senses, if you persevere in it, it will harden into fact.

This is the law of Scripture. That I came not to abolish but to fulfill the Jewish law and the Jewish prophets, for there was no other Scripture in the first century but the Jewish Scriptures. So, the word Jew is not placed before it to qualify it but the only Scripture that he knew. He came to fulfill the Jewish law. He reinterpreted the law psychologically and showed them exactly how it’s done. So go out and do not abolish anything, simply fulfill it, fulfill the law and fulfill the prophets. The prophets, when they’re fulfilled, that’s done by sheer grace. That comes, that comes by prophets. And no one’s going to stop it, may I tell you. But you could go on living in a state that you do not wish in this world, but in spite of that, you will still receive the Promise because it isn’t given to the one who is rich and denied the one who is poor, but why remain poor and bat your head out morning, noon, and night against the inevitable blows in this world. I hope you do not wish for money for the sake of money, but if you need money, well, then apply this law. What would the feeling be like if it were true that I was now free of this pressure, free of it? Dare to assume that you are and then persist in that assumption. And that assumption will harden into reality.

So, this is my lesson tonight. I think you found it a very practical one but I must remind you: you can either be the hearer of what you heard tonight and not the doer. It is my hope that you will be the doer of what you heard tonight. That when you leave here, you leave here in the assumption, not wait until you get home, leave here in the assumption that you are already the man, the woman that you want to be. And then between here and home, think of the man that you have assumed that you are and let that assumption spring in your mind constantly. You are that man. Go to bed in that assumption. Maybe this night, as it did with me in the army, something will come and a voice will speak. And when vision breaks forth into speech, the presence of Deity is assured. And maybe you will have confirmation that what you have dared to assume is. I know in my case it came that way. But it will come whether it breaks forth into speech or not. If you persist in the assumption

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Neville Goddard Lectures: "Rearrange the Mind"
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Neville Goddard Lectures: "Rearrange the Mind"
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But fish that were not consumed by sundown were discarded. Use it for bait the next day or use it in the dung heap to fertilize the fields with it. So salt is a preservative. So, when Lot’s wife was turned to salt, she turned back and went back to her former state. And that is all that it means. You looked back and became a pillar of salt. You turned back to the state you said you would leave behind you. And looking back, you were salted. You are preserved in it. So, turn away from what you really want to be. Turn back. You’re going to be salted in it. So, I ask you to leave what you are unless you like what you are. There are portions of what you are today that you like, all right, wonderful. There are other portions that you do not like. Well, you don’t have to give up everything in your living room when rearrange the structure of it. Certain pieces you’ll keep. You may change its location, but you’ll keep it. The same thing is true with the structure of the mind. You’ll keep certain things and you let other things go. Take friends in your world who are not doing well, rearrange them in your mind’s eye and they’re doing well. So put that part of the structure in your mind’s eye. Rearrange the entire structure, and dare to assume that it’s true, and walk in that assumption. And that assumption though at the moment is denied by reason and denied by your senses, if you persevere in it, it will harden into fact.