Neville Goddard Lectures: "Repentance: A Gift from God"

Neville Goddard Lectures: “Repentance: A Gift from God”

February 28, 1972

I think you will find tonight’s message a very practical one, something that all should really have and apply. The whole of life is just the appeasement of hunger, and the numberless states of consciousness from which the individual can think and view the world are purely a means of satisfying that hunger.

I say this because your state of consciousness is always being externalized. If you know how to move from your present state, if you dislike it, to the state you would like to externalize, then you have the secret. That is what I attempt tonight to tell you. For there are only states of consciousness pushed out—everything in this world—and all are contained within the individual.

Now, in the Bible we speak of prayer, and prayer to the world means begging—but not in the Bible. It’s thanksgiving; it’s praise. It’s not petition. We speak in the Bible of repentance, and the world thinks that it means to regret, to be remorseful. That’s not what the Bible teaches. Prayer and repentance are almost synonymous terms.

We are told to bear fruit that befits repentance. Then they say of the central character of the Scripture: “You and your disciples eat and drink with sinners.” And he replied, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Leave the righteous alone. They are so self-satisfied. They like themselves, so leave them alone. The word “sin” hasn’t a thing to do with breaking any moral code. The word “sin” means to miss the mark. That’s what it means. You have a goal in life and you haven’t achieved it, well then, you are sinning. You may have a billion dollars, and still are hungry for another. Well then, if you don’t have the other, you are sinning.

You may keep all the so-called codes of the world imposed upon you by the priesthoods of the world—that would mean nothing as far as the Scriptures go. To repent is simply a radical change of attitude. That is what repentance means. For if I radically change my attitude towards life, I will then view the world and see the world from that change of attitude. And that change is a change of consciousness, and that change will be externalized in my world.

Now, repentance is at once man’s responsibility and a gift of God. Now, let us show you what I mean by it. He said, “I and my Father are one, yet I go to my Father, for my Father is greater than I.” We are one, yet my Father is greater than I, so I go to my Father.

How do we arrive at this strange, peculiar statement and what does it mean? In the office of the sent, I am not inferior to my essential being, the sender; but only in the office of the sent I am restricted and must live by faith. Faith in what? Faith in the sender. It is myself, the Father, for I and my Father are one. But when I am sent into this world to experience death, and to experience the restriction of man, I am seemingly inferior to myself, the sender. So, when I repent, I go to the sender—I first do what I have to do. So, I say that repentance is at once a responsibility of man and a gift from God.

Well now, what is my responsibility? I want to change my world. Well then, I ask myself, “What would I see if it were changed? How would I see the world, if my world was exactly as I want it to be, how would I see it?” Well then, see it! In my mind’s eye, conjure a scene which would imply that it is true—live as though it were true—in my mind’s eye. I know I can’t make it so, but in the depth of my own being the Father—he has the power to make it so.

So now I go to my Father. How do I go to my Father? I first of all do what I am called upon to do—I enact a scene implying the fulfillment of my dream and then I turn it over completely in thanksgiving to him. It is myself, my essential being, but it transcends my reasoning mind. I do not know on this level how it can be done, but I do know that if I have faith in him—it is my own self—it will be done in my world. So, we are told in Scripture, without faith it is impossible to please him.

And those who would draw near to him must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who seek him. I must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who seek him.

Well, without faith it is impossible to please him. What is faith? The same chapter in Hebrews defines faith for us. “Faith is the assurance of things not seen, the evidence of things hoped for.” By faith, we understand that the very worlds were created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.

Well, in my world it hasn’t yet appeared. I say it all is contained within my imagination. So, I will enact a scene which would imply that it’s real. And then, within myself, I give thanks. Now, we are told the most wonderful prayer ever uttered we find in the book of John, the eleventh chapter. He stands at the gate of death. And he raises his eyes and says, “Thank you, Father, that thou hast heard me. I knew that you always hear me.” Well, I can’t deny that the depth of my own being is hearing what I am doing, what I am inwardly saying, so I can truly say, “Father, thank you.” He certainly heard what I said. Well, is it now supported by some statement of Scripture? Yes, again in John, but now in his letter, the first letter, and in this he said, “If we believe that he hears us in whatever we ask of him, we know that we have already obtained the request made of him.”

If I can simply assume that I am the man that I would like to be, well, certainly the depth of my being has seen that assumption, he has heard that assumption. Well, can I actually believe that that’s all I need do? Well, I have to confess that I can’t do it on this level. I am not wise enough on this level to devise the means necessary to externalize what I have assumed that I am.

Well, have you proved it, Neville? Unnumbered times. Unnumbered times. When I was completely shut out, on certain areas, imprisoned as it were, not in the federal prisons, but a state of imprisonment—to find yourself on an island, where you enjoyed four months of it, almost five months, but you have a commitment in America, and you have to get back; and then to be told that there is no possibility of return until the very earliest September. That would be the very earliest, and your commitment is in Milwaukee in the first week of May. What are you going to do then? No possibility—no ships are taking the passengers, and the list runs into thousands waiting all through the Indies, from Trinidad all the way up, all waiting, and you in the island of Barbados without making any provision for your return to America when you sailed for Barbados five months before.

So, what did I do? I simply sat in a chair in my hotel room and I assumed that I was on a little tender moving against the boat. Well, that was before the days of a deep-water harbor. Now we have a deep-water harbor. But then you took a small boat out to the ship waiting maybe a half mile to sea, and then you walked up a gangplank. So, I simply stepped up on the gangplank and walked up that gangplank in my mind’s eye. If my mind wandered, which it did, I brought it right back to that first step and walked up again. It wandered before I got to the top; I brought it back again, and I trained it as you would a horse. The mind is an unruly animal, so I trained it, and I walked up step after step. When I got to the top, I turned around and put my imaginary hands on the rail, and I could smell the salt of the sea in the air. I looked back with nostalgia at the little island of Barbados—a mixed emotion—I am happy that I am sailing for America, and sad I am leaving behind a very large, wonderful family of mine. And then, in that mood I simply dropped off for a moment in sleep. Just a little nap.

The next day, I was called by the very company who had said, “We have no possibility of getting you out of here before at the very earliest September.” And said there was a cancellation this day in America. And they offered to me in spite of the list of over a thousand people waiting.

It is not my concern why she or he or it canceled the passage. My prayer was answered. I did what I was called upon to do, for repentance is a radical change of attitude. She said, “You can’t get out.” Well, I said, “I’m out. I’m on a boat, and the boat is headed towards New York City.” That is all I wanted to do.

So, I did my responsibility, and the second part of repentance is a gift from God. God has the way of externalizing it. What caused the woman or the man or something to cancel the thing, I was told afterward, she was afraid. She was afraid for some reason not explained to make the trip. And so, one passage was opened up and I got that one room. Because there were only two beds in it, and my little girl was only three years old—she could sleep with her mother, and I could climb up one flight and sleep on the upper bunk, and then take my eleven days back to New York City.

So, I did what I was called upon to do—that’s my responsibility—to enact a scene which would imply the fulfillment of my desire, and then surrender completely to my Father, for he has the power to externalize it. I do not know how to do it on this level. I haven’t the wisdom, I haven’t anything on this level to do it, so my faith is faith in my Father. Faith in his power to externalize what I have done—all in imagination.

So, for me that is prayer, that is repentance. I didn’t sit down and feel for one moment that I had done something wrong and that’s why I couldn’t get out. No sense of repentance like remorse as the world teaches. That’s not repentance. Repentance is simply a radical change of attitude—that’s what the word means. Metanoia—but radical, right down to the root, and you change your attitude. If I change my attitude, I have changed my state of consciousness, and because all states of consciousness are being externalized in the world, then that state will externalize itself in my world in a way I do not know.

For we are told, “My ways are not your ways. My ways are past finding out. Just trust me.” So, without faith, you cannot please God, we are told. If I would come to him, I must first believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Well, I seek him in projecting for me that which I desire in this world. So, that is what I mean by prayer. Prayer is the attempted communion with God. That’s what prayer is. As we are told in the fourth Psalm, the fourth verse: “Commune with your own hearts on your beds, and then be silent.” Commune with whom? I do not need the mediation of any priest, any rabbi, or any heavenly being—I’m communing with myself. The depth of my own being is God the Father. That’s my essential being, and he is one with the surface mind called Neville. And in the capacity of the office of the sent called Neville, I am inferior to myself the sender, but the sender and the sent are one. You and God the Father are one.

But in the office of the sent you are like an ambassador—you do not speak with the same authority of the one who sent you to represent him. So, I represent myself in the world of death, but the sender is greater than I, and yet I and He are one. This is what I get from Scripture, and this is what I put into practice, and this is what I try to teach and tell everyone who will listen to me. You are God the Father. That’s who you really are, but you do not know it yet. The day is coming you when are going to know it, and you will only know it when his son appears before you. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Well, Jesus Christ, don’t look upon him as one in the sense, like a surname, “Jesus” and “Christ” being the surname, no. Look upon it like Father and Son. The Christ is the Messiah—that’s the son. “Jesus” is the same as “Jehovah”—that’s the Father. But we put them together and we say Jesus Christ. So, we could say, “I and my Father are one.” So here, look upon it simply as one, yes, but split for a purpose in this world. So, he sends himself. He sends his son. Who is his son? The one who is going to reveal him to you as God the Father. For no one has ever seen the Father, but his only begotten son, who is nearest and dearest to his heart, he has made him known. And so, who is that one? David. So, David comes into sight and here you know exactly who you are. The minute he appears, memory returns and you are God the Father. And his son who was with you before the world was made stands before you. So, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, as you read it in the thirteenth chapter of Hebrews. Same forever. This is contained in the mind of man.

That’s what we mean in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes—that “God has put eternity into the mind of man, yet so that man cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” What did he do? He put himself and his son into the very mind of man. And when man has completed a journey, well, then the secret is out—the son appears, and the minute the son appears, the identity of the individual appears—that he is God the Father—that this relationship was before that the world was.

So, everyone in this world is destined to awaken one day as God the Father, and the relationship is forever. You cannot change it. So, when you are called upon to repent, for the story begins, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the Gospel.” Believe the good news. Repent and all the priesthoods of the world tell you that you must now moan and carry on because you must repent of things that you did. The Bible doesn’t teach that at all. It doesn’t. Repent—change your attitude if you would change the world. To try to change circumstances before you change your state of consciousness is to struggle against the very nature of things. You can’t do it. How can you change a thing and still maintain it from the venue?

So tonight, without asking anyone’s permission—you’re not asking anyone to mediate for you to God—you go within and commune with your own heart: What would the world be like if it were true that I am already the man, the woman that I’d like to be? What would it be like? Well then, look at it and see it. If you don’t see a change, well then, there is no change. Man’s sense can detect motion in this world only by changes relative to something that is fixed. Well now, my present state is fixed, seemingly. Well then, I change my attitude towards the world. I let the world see me a changed man and I see in my world a change. Well, if I see a world that is changed relative to what it was, well then, I have changed.

If tonight I am financially embarrassed, what would it be like if I were not? If I were affluent? Would my friends know it? Would my wife know it? Yes, they would know it. Well then, let them know it. Where? By telling them audibly? No, you do it all in your imagination. For man is all imagination, and God is man and exists in us and we in Him. The eternal body of man is the imagination and that is God himself. That is the divine body that we speak of in Scripture as “Jesus.” And where does he live? He lives in you. So, Blake says so beautifully, “Why stand we here, trembling around/ Calling on God for help, and not ourselves, in whom God dwells.”* He dwells in us, so where would I go to find him? In a church? In a synagogue? In a so-called holy place? No, if I’m at the bar drinking a beer or a good scotch, that is where he is. He’s in me wherever I am—that’s where he is. And he is aware of what I am entertaining, and he is going to externalize what I am entertaining.

So, I change radically my state of mind and that radical change will externalize itself if I yield completely to him in faith that he has the ability to do it. It relieves me of all responsibility of devising the means that would be necessary to do it. I do not know—I’m not wise enough to know how it’s going to work—I only know it will work.

So, everyone, if he knows this secret, is free. He is set free by the knowledge of prayer. “Teach me how to pray.” Now, the Lord’s Prayer is not the technique. If you know the Lord’s Prayer, and it is recited week after week in all the churches of the world, but it is not as it is written in Scripture. A friend of mine who is now gone from this world gave me the literal translation of the Greek, when what we have in our Bible is a translation from the Latin, and the Latin has no aorist of the imperative passive mood, so they could not convey the sense of the evangelist. The imperative passive mood is a thing to be done absolutely and continuously. That, well, in other words: “Our Father in the heavens, Thy name must be being hallowed; Thy kingdom must be being restored; Thy will must be being done.” That’s how it is written. It is a play that is forever—without any reference to its duration, to its position in time, to its repetition—it’s to be taking place.

And that play is the play of the Father-Son in man. And at the very end when the individual here is drawn into that play, he realizes it. He actually reenacts within himself the eternal play, and when that whole thing is done within him, he is fulfilled—what he came to do.

For the only purpose in life really is simply to fulfill Scripture. But while we are here in this world of tears, world of death, then we have given ourselves a law by which we can cushion the blows, the inevitable blows. For you get into a state quite often unwittingly, and you do not know you are in the state until you see it externalized, and you do not like what is being externalized.

Don’t remain in it and wallow. Get out of it. Don’t condemn anyone for it. Don’t judge anyone, just get out of that state. You get out of the state by asking a very simple, simple question: “What would it be like if… ?” And then you imagine as if it were true. And that is the secret of prayer. “What would the world be like if it were true that I am now the man, the woman that I’d like to be?” And then I dare to assume that I am it.

Well then, I can say, “Father, thank you, for you certainly heard and you certainly saw what I did.” You cannot encompass me as the deeper self of my being, something that is my essential being, and tell me that you aren’t aware of what my surface mind is doing. It can’t be unaware of what my surface mind is doing.

I saw in yesterday’s paper that the second man to step upon the moon, his name was Aldrin, and when he came back from this fantastic thing, Armstrong stepped on first, and then Aldrin stepped on second, that he came near a nervous breakdown and sought psychiatric help. And all the stories he read about their journey he said they were so false, and they all said, “I wish it were true.” Not a thing Life magazine wrote about that journey was true.

Not what any magazine wrote was true through the eyes of those who had the experience, and then in the article, it quoted a thought of Jung, Carl Jung, and Jung said long before any man ever stepped on the moon, “It is far easier for man to visit Mars or the moon than to penetrate his own being.”

So, you step on the moon, and it’s a fantastic feat, but that’s nothing compared to penetrating your own being and finding the cause of the phenomena of life, to find the Father in you, for that is where he is. He’s not outside, and because he is not outside, he is never so far off as even to be near. For nearness implies separation.

So, I can say, “I and my Father are one.” So, if he is even “near,” it is not near enough. No matter how “near” it is, he has to be my essential being. For nearness implies separation, and he is not separated, because “I and My Father are one,” giving me freedom to choose a state that I will enter, wisely or unwisely, but he will externalize it and show me exactly what I did. But grant me the freedom to change it— don’t leave me in the state if I desire to get out of it. Yet many a person wallows in it, and wallows in it, morning, noon, and night, and they are totally unaware they are doing it. They will say, “Oh, yes,” and then five seconds later they are back in that state. I have had interviews with people who will say to me, “This is what I would like, but I must first tell you …” Don’t tell me anything! Tell me what you want—they are only states. They insist on wallowing in all the things of the past. Like the little old lady who insisted on confessing time and time again to the priest, and it was some little affair she had when she was a child, a young girl. And the priest said to her, “You know my dear, you have told me that over and over again,” And she said, “Yes, but I love to talk about it.” Well, that’s the story, we just love to talk about all the miseries in the world. I tell you, forget it. Know exactly what you want in this world, dare to assume that you are it, and then yield completely. Surrender to the depth of your own being, and he has a way that you do not know, and he will externalize it in your world.

So really, in a real sense, prayer is the subjective appropriation of the objective hope. What do you hope for? Well now, subjectively appropriate it. That subjective appropriation of the objective hope is the art of prayer. For the Father knows exactly what you are appropriating. He saw it. And he isn’t judging you; he is going to give it to you. He’s not going to ask anything, he’s going to give you exactly what you appropriated. So, I appropriated a trip when they told me you couldn’t move out of this island for months and months to come. And I kept my date in Milwaukee. I arrived in New York City in the first week of May and flew to Milwaukee, and there I kept my date. So, the same thing is true for everyone in this world.

I am not unique in the sense that I differ from any child born of woman. You are unique and I am unique in the sense that we can’t be duplicated. And that’s why everyone has to be redeemed, because if not all, then something is missing from the whole. So, I can say faithfully to everyone, “You are going to be redeemed.” You may go through hell before you wake up, but you still are going to be salvaged. You’re going to be saved, everyone, because the whole makes the one. That is God. But why wait? And why have more blocks and more knocks in this world, when you can actually learn what Scripture really means by “repentance?” And don’t go telling anyone that you commit a little sin, and now they must give you something to do that you may repent. Forget that nonsense. All that’s nonsense. I don’t care what you did, your Father doesn’t hold it against you; it is the state in which you were when you committed that act. And man judges the individual and not the state. If I must express myself, judge the state, but not the individual in that state—he was simply something that fell into it unwittingly.

So, Blake could say, “You see now from what I tell you, that I do not see either the just or the wicked to be in a supreme state, but to be every one of them states of the sleep in which the soul may fall into in its deadly dreams of good and evil.”* So, it falls into a state. So why condemn the man or the woman for the state into which it fell? Take it out of that state. All things are redeemable—take him out of the state. How do you take him out? Well, ask him what he would like. Maybe he doesn’t want to get out of the state. If he wants to get out of that state, you ask him, “What would you like?” Well then, in your own mind’s eye represent him to yourself as the man or the woman that they would like to be. And then yield completely to your Father, because he has the knowhow—he knows how to produce it in them.

A friend of mine went to San Francisco at my bidding. I taught him the Law, and as much as I could tell him of the other, part of the Promise, but the Law, just what I am talking about tonight. Before he gave one lecture in San Francisco, it was a new city—he’d never seen it before—and he was walking around in the street, and he had a little fox terrier, so he was carrying his little fox terrier up the street, and a man crossed, wobbling a bit, and asked him for money. He said he was unemployed and he would like a little handout. He’d evidently had quite a little bit to drink as he asked. My friend wasn’t judging that aspect at all. He didn’t care if he’d had all the liquor in the world. He said, “I must apply this principle.” And he said to the man, “I do not have any money to give you, but what I have I’ll give you.”

Well, the man couldn’t understand what he was talking about but thanked him and walked his way. My friend did not make one step beyond that point before he did what was his responsibility. He represented that man to himself as gainfully employed and no need of help from anyone—just gainfully employed, and then he went his way with his little dog. A week later, he’s walking down the street, the man crosses the street and comes up to him. He said, “I don’t imagine that you remember me.” My friend said, “Oh yes, I do.” Well, he said, “I want to thank you for not giving me help when I asked you a week ago, because had you given me help, I would be asking you for help tonight, too. But I got so mad with myself because you turned me down and I was in that position to ask for help, I went out the very next day and got myself a marvelous job, and I’m on the job now.”

All my friend did was he represented him to himself as gainfully employed. So, we are told that in the book of Acts, “Silver and gold have I none for thee, but such as I have give I unto you.” You can give any gift in your imagination, so give it! And then yield completely to the depth of your own being knowing that he has the power, the creative power to externalize it. And that is what my friend Freedom did.*

So, anyone can do it. You don’t have to graduate from some little “ism” in this world. If you want some little title, all right, get a title. We all are bought, anyway. You can put fifty dollars in the mail, send it off to India, and get a Ph.D. You want something higher than that, get something higher, but get whatever it is—all for fifty dollars. If you bargain with them, you’ll get it for ten dollars. No exams, no studies, nothing. Just a little piece of paper and these people will frame it and put it up on their wall. Well, if that is not the height of nonsense! And then a big convention will take place, and you will hear so many doctors being called doctor so-and-so and doctor so-and-so each paid ten dollars for that doctorship.

Get down to the basic facts: the greatest book in the world that never changes is the Bible. But it is the most misunderstood book in the world. For it is taught as secular history and it is not secular history. It’s divine history—it’s the history of salvation. And these characters are not persons as you are, these are eternal states of consciousness, but they are all personified when you tell the story. And we have taken the personifications for persons, and the vehicle that conveys the instruction for the instruction, and the gross percepts for the ultimate sense intended. And as long as we can teach it as secular history, we will never know the Bible. So, I tell you, whatever you did this day, and you dislike it, turn from it into another state. Don’t try to rub it out remaining in that state because you’re going to do it again. You’ll do the same thing over and over again while you remain in that state. You can pledge yourself from now to the end of time that “I will never do it again,” to find that maybe twenty-four hours later the impulse is there and you’ll do it again.

Get out of the state, and it is as though you never really did that—not in eternity. It isn’t part of you because it’s not part of the new state. But you are not a state, you are all imagination. Imagination is not a state. All these other things are states, but not imagination. That is the individual himself—that is God, your own wonderful human imagination. That is God. When you say I am that is God forever and forever and forever.

So, my name is in Him. Because my name is in Him, where should he turn if he wants to find God? But now, without faith in God, in your own wonderful human imagination, you cannot please Him. So, who would come to Him must first believe that He exists.

Well, I don’t have to ask you if you aren’t aware of being. You certainly are aware of being. Well, that’s saying, I am. So, you do know that you exist to that extent. You may believe that that dies with the physical body; I tell you, it doesn’t die with the physical body.

You have believed that a change of state is a change in the sense of death. No, it’s not. The individual moves on from state to state to state, but states remain permanent for all others to enter into that state. I leave this city of Los Angeles and go on elsewhere, but Los Angeles remains. But I the pilgrim, I move on. And the pilgrim is your own wonderful, human imagination. That is your immortal self who cannot die. You cannot go to eternal death in that which cannot die—that’s your immortal being. But you are going to remain in this world until you discover who you are.

And no one in the world can convince you to the extent that you must be convinced by the Son. When the Son appears, all arguments are over. The minute you see him you know exactly who you are, and you know that you are God the Father. It is through the son that man gains assurance that he is God. Not a thing in the world can convince him but that. I could tell you from now to the ends of time, but I can’t convince you to the point that you will be convinced when you see David. And when you see David, it’s the David, the psalmist, that sweet psalmist of the Old Testament—that’s David—that is the Messiah. He is the Christ, and Jesus is the Lord God Jehovah. That’s the mystery. You’re dealing with a mystery.

So, David in the spirit called him, “my Lord,” as a son always spoke of his father as “my Lord.” Always. You do not do it today, but when this was put into the written form, sons always referred to their father as “my Lord.” And so, David in the spirit, not in the flesh, called him “my Lord.” Therefore, he called him “my Father.”

And so, I hope you will take it seriously tonight and really live by it. It will not fail you, I tell you, it will not fail you. You can change your world and make it conform to your ideal state, to your dream. Tell it to those who will listen. Many will not listen, but it doesn’t really matter. If they do not listen, leave them alone. Don’t try to hit them over the head to make it so. But I’ll tell you, spiritual growth is the gradual, I would say, transition from a God of tradition to a God of experience. And so, you will gradually grow and grow and grow—and as you grow, you outgrow; you will outgrow these traditions. And then you will find the God of experience. Having found him, you aren’t going to let him go—you will know that all things are taking place within your own wonderful human imagination.

Now let us go into the silence

Neville Goddard Lectures: "Repentance: A Gift from God"
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Neville Goddard Lectures: "Repentance: A Gift from God"
Well now, what is my responsibility? I want to change my world. Well then, I ask myself, “What would I see if it were changed? How would I see the world, if my world was exactly as I want it to be, how would I see it?” Well then, see it! In my mind’s eye, conjure a scene which would imply that it is true—live as though it were true—in my mind’s eye. I know I can’t make it so, but in the depth of my own being the Father—he has the power to make it so.