01 Jan Neville Goddard Lectures: “The Friend of Sinners”
Tonight’s subject is “The Friend of Sinners.” I think you will find this a very interesting subject. It may be difficult, but you’ll find it interesting. We are told, “Call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” We’re told in the same book, the Bible, there is only one savior, and that savior is Jehovah. Before me no God was formed nor will there be any after me. I, I am the Lord and beside me there is no Savior. It is I who blot out your sins and remove your transgressions. You read this in the 43rd of Isaiah (verse 3). No other Savior. So he must be the one spoken of in the Old Testament as Jehovah, and he is. The word spells the same thing and means the same thing.
So let us tonight see it in a practical light. You and I are inclined to believe that if something is wrong with us it’s caused by something on the outside—maybe our circumstances of life, our surroundings, something, but something on the outside. And yet, the Bible teaches that all of our troubles spring from sin. But you’ve been taught to believe that sin is the violation of some moral code. The Bible doesn’t teach that. The Bible teaches that man sins for want of faith in “I am he.” “Unless you believe that I am he, you die in your sins” (John 8:24). That’s what we’re taught. So, it’s want of faith in “I am he” that is the cause and the only cause of sinning, and sin is the cause of every problem in the world. I don’t care what you name it, regardless of the nature of the problem it simply is it results from sinning.
Now let me share with you two stories that came to me this week, one from a lady, one from a gentleman. I have just seen the gentleman enter, I haven’t yet seen the lady…oh yes, she’s here. So we’ll take her story first. She said, “Having heard you I took thirteen goals, and by the application of this principle I achieved every goal in detail just as I had envisioned it.” But the story I want to share with you is this—she didn’t tell me what she took as goals, having heard me she took thirteen—she said, “Now I’m working on two. They seem more difficult because they are so long in standing, they go a way back in my life; and because of a conditioned mind maybe I find it more difficult to overcome the two. But the thirteen that I simply fixed, I quickly realized them in detail.” But, she said, “Recently I was sitting in the Silence, simply reflecting on my thoughts, and suddenly you appeared in my skull, lifelike, not a little thing, simply a lifelike figure. And you looked directly at me and you said to me, ‘May I tell you, you are looking at your problem instead of the wish fulfilled.’” And then she said, “It seemed so real to me because you stood in my head, but you were lifelike, that then I heard myself say in answer, ‘You are right!’ And so my meditation ended.”
Let that be a warning to you. If you don’t want some uninvited guest to come into your Silence and disturb your meditation, then be faithful to God’s word. If I use, today, the terminology that differs from scripture, it’s only because of the year 1964. I am not changing the word of scripture, for in scripture we are told, “Whatever you desire, when you ask it in prayer, believe you’ve received it and you will.” If I have taken that thought from the Book of Mark, the 11th chapter of Mark (verse 24), and I have put it into what is to me a more understandable, modern expression—“Assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled”—I haven’t changed the thought behind it.
And so, another thought comes to mind. We are told in scripture that no man understands or knows the things of another save the Spirit of that man who is in him. No man knows the things of another save the Spirit of that other who is in him. Well, I appeared in her, did I not? She saw me in her skull she said. These are the words, “You appeared in my skull, lifelike.” Are we two or one? Did I not know the secrets of her heart? Did I not see that she was actually looking at the problem rather than the wish fulfilled? And if no one knows the things of another save the Spirit of that other who is in him, then are we two? If she has not yet become aware of the fact that she is God the Father by reason of the Son who reveals it to her, and I have already become aware, it doesn’t mean that we are not the same Spirit. There’s only one Spirit, there’s only God. And so, I was in her in her skull. Is that not where he is crucified? Is it not there where he resurrects? Does he not awaken in the skull? Is it not out of the skull he comes to be born? Is it not from there all things take place?
I tell you, Christianity as the world should understand it is the story of simply awakening, then being born, and then ascending, just like a seed. A seed awakens in the ground, and it splits the ground when it awakens. It awakens in the ground and as it starts to come forward to be born it breaks the ground; it comes through granite. I’ve seen a little tiny seed come through the sidewalk. You see it all the time, not just a little crevice that is left between blocks but actually through the granite, through the cement. It will break it and come right through. And so, the seed is planted in the earth—the earth is man, man’s the earth—-and as it is planted and becomes alive it becomes awake, it begins to awake, and as it awakes it starts moving up. As it moves up it breaks that earth, and it is born. Then it starts ascending, moving towards the heavens as told us in the 4th chapter of the Book of Daniel (verses 10-12).
So here, she tells me the story that only recently, sitting in the Silence, reflecting upon her thoughts, suddenly I appear in her skull, lifelike, not some little miniature. And this lady is an artist, so when she speaks of being lifelike she speaks of a live model, because this lady is an artist who draws and paints from live objects. Yes, still-life too, but live objects. And here I appear as a live model. She knows the man and I look directly at her and I say to her, “May I tell you, you are looking at the problem instead of the wish fulfilled.” And to her the thing was so alive and real, she agreed, and heard herself answer, “You’re right!” So here is this story I share with you. We are one—the being in you is God; and you are God, I am God, everyone is God. You’ll find the whole vast world contained within yourself. But he who is awake in the entire unfolding picture will speak the words to you, because you and he are one; and you simply begin to listen as he tells you where you are going wrong—you’re not abiding by the word of God. For “sin” is simply disobedience, not obeying the word of God. Well, the word of God is: When you know what you want in this world, believe that you have it. If you don’t assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled, you are not abiding by the word of God. And so, in this moment, she is not asleep, she is sitting in meditation, she is fully aware of what she is doing, and while she is reflecting on her thoughts, suddenly this thing happens in her skull.
Now, another letter came, came today (he’s here tonight), he said, “Two months ago I sat and deliberately conceived a scene.” He said, “I’m very fond of flying in jets and so I conceived a scene of flying in a jet, but then I included my family, my little daughter, eight years old. And so I imagined that my wife and my daughter and I were simply animated, all excited because we were going to go someplace. Then with all the animation around and the excitement of going someplace, I then jumped from that little episode, one little scene, to the airport where at the terminal I am explaining to my daughter the excitement of flying on a jet. Then, from the terminal I am on the jet. I am only talking to my daughter, and I am speaking to Lynn and I am telling Lynn of the scenes below as we take off. As the jet takes off, I am explaining the entire structure below. And that’s it. Three little episodes: getting ready for a journey, then the terminal, and then the flight as we take off…that’s two months ago.
“A month later I said to my wife, ‘You know, April the 3rd is Dads’ and Daughters’ Day, and so I’m taking off with Lynn, just the two of us, and she and I will have the whole day together.’ My wife thought that was an excellent idea, to go off, just you and Lynn.” So came the 11th day of April, which is called Dads’ and Daughters’ Day (which I didn’t know until today) and so they got up early and they’re all dressed and they started off to have breakfast on the outside. No breakfast at home…this is going to be a whole day where they’d have fun on the outside. He said, “I hadn’t the foggiest idea what I would do with Lynn for the whole day. I knew I had plotted it and planned it, but I didn’t know what to do with her. I thought I could go to a movie after breakfast, and then we’d fly to the beach, and then we’d have lunch. And so, I started off with Lynn and I’m driving down the San Diego Freeway, and right on the freeway the most overpowering thought possesses me: go over to the airport and fly to San Diego. I couldn’t resist the impulse; it was something that completely controlled me. So off to the airport I went. My wife had a date that day with the hairdresser, so she went her way, and just Lynn and myself went to the airport.
“We flew to San Diego, then I took a taxi to the zoo, and she and I took in the entire zoo, everything the zoo had to show. Then from the zoo we walked a half mile up to the Fine Arts Hall. After having seen that, I was dead tired. My feet just wouldn’t move I was so tired and my feet were so sore. So having driven from the airport to the zoo by taxi I thought we’d get a taxi and go back to the airport. But no taxi in sight! So I turned to a lady and said, ‘Can I get a taxi?’ She said, ‘You wouldn’t find one…if you do see one it’s already occupied. But three blocks from here, three very long blocks, there is a booth; you may call for one.’ He said, I wouldn’t move three feet I was so tired! And so at that moment I had the impulse, I’ve got to do something, can’t stand here. So he said, Well, I turned to Lynn, I said, ‘You know, Lynn, let us now play the game we are getting into a taxi. Let us actually put ourselves right into a taxi and start for the airport.’ She said that she really loved these things and she delights in it, so she actually entered into the feeling of getting into a taxi. Together they did it. He said, ‘Within a minute a Yellow Cab came by, I hailed him, he stopped to say that he had a fare, there were four people waiting for him at some other point, but he would get in touch with the base and have a taxi for them in no time flat.’ In a matter of moments, he’d called in, and a taxi came, and off they went. But, before this taxi came he had the impulse, he was so tired and so sore of foot, he said, ‘Well, I’ve got to start towards the phone booth anyway,’ and the minute he entertained that thought, he said, no, he denied it completely, denied what the woman said about you can’t get a taxi, and did what he did.
Now, you’ve heard the word in scripture, you’ve heard it from the pulpit, you’ve heard it all over the world: antichrist. You’ve heard it, you must have heard antichrist. Well, in essence antichrist is only an idea or a person in history who denies the Christian mystery. The Christian mystery is simply “imagining creates reality”; and all that is told in the story concerning how Imagination is born, how he awakens, how Imagination awakens as the being in whom he awakens, how he’s born, how he discovers the fatherhood of God, and how he ascends on high. And so, at that very moment when he rejected the idea of walking up to put in that call, he rejected and turned his back upon the devil called antichrist. There is no other devil. Antichrist is only the individual or the idea that would deny the truth of the Christian mystery, this great story as told in the world. So that very moment he turns back and once more called upon the great mystery, and with his daughter they entered into the taxi. Then within a minute here comes the other taxi right straight towards them and said, “I have a fare waiting for me, they’re a foursome, and so I must go. But I will call the base and have a cab sent to you.”
So sin by definition is “missing the mark.” Anyone in this world who has a mark, an objective, a goal in this world who fails to realize it is sinning. And so sin…a man sins only for want of faith in I am he. So we are told in the 8th of John: “I have told you that you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” Before me no God was formed nor shall there be any God after me. I, I am he, and beside me there is no Savior. I, I am he who blots out your transgressions and remembers your sins no more. There is no other being. So you meet one in this world, you think you are saving another or helping another, there is no other. This whole vast world is yourself fragmented. The whole vast world is yourself completely fragmented.
Did she not see me in her skull? Now, the world will think that I am at home on my bed, and physically I was; but being awake to this great mystery I could speak the word to her, which was really not another, it’s myself; she and I are one. Now that she has made me aware of that which on this level I was not aware, the two things that she now finds difficult they are my problems, because she is my fragmented self. And seeing within me this being who now becomes aware of this inner self, I can now quite easily imagine that she has what—in her letter she told me that “don’t tell it from the platform, these are simply for you and you alone”—and so it’s easy now to hear that she has what now she desires, because, really, I am not doing it for another. There is no other. “Before me there was no God formed…nor shall there be any God after me” (Is.43:10). There is no such thing as a twosome in God. It’s fragmented into unnumbered parts, but all will be gathered together, and only one God. For he’ll become one, king over all the earth, and on that day his name is one, and the Lord is one, not two; and that is called in the scripture, Jesus, which means, really, I AM. So everyone is awakening to the being that really is, which is the only God. So call him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.
Now we are told, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and I have done that which is evil in thy sight, so you are just in your sentence, and that which you’ve done is justified” (verse 4). You read that in the 51st Psalm: “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.” Man thinks he sins against another; there is no other. He only sins against the being, I am. So he would like to see you in some better light and he doesn’t see you in some better light, “Against thee, and thee only, have I sinned.” Not you the one he wants to see in a better light, but against himself. He hasn’t yet learned the art of repentance. The earliest scripture, which is Mark, begins on the note, his first proclamation: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel” (1:15). Repent seems to be a prerequisite for any change in this world of ours, and repentance simply means “a radical change of attitude towards life.”
So I see you and you tell me what you would like to be, and if I simply become indifferent and I don’t persuade myself that you are the one that you have just voiced that you would like to be, it is my sin, because I am now sinning against myself. “Against thee, thee only have I sinned.” For I have just seen a fragmented portion of my being in want of something…and there’s only one God: “Before me no God was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” Alright, so he turned to me, that portion of myself, and said he would like a better job, he would like more money, he would like a measure of happiness that he’s never enjoyed. He’s made me aware of that aspect of myself of which I was not aware; because I dwell in him and he dwells in me, we are one. Well, if I now become indifferent and do nothing about it, just simply go my way, then I have sinned. At the moment of becoming aware of his need, I should represent him to myself as now the embodiment of that which he would like to be, and persuade myself of the reality of that imaginal act.
And to the degree that I am self-persuaded…like the gentleman who simply played three scenes… here, all in his Imagination, he’s now excited he’s going off on a jaunt with his daughter. He includes the wife only in the first scene of three, and she does, she leaves the house with them, but she has to go to the beauty parlor. But in the two scenes that follow he only has his daughter, Lynn. And so, in the second scene it’s the terminal where he’s all excited they’re getting ready to go. And then in the third scene, he’s in the plane, they’re airborne, and he’s describing the land below to a little girl eight years old. These are the three exciting scenes. He said in his letter, “The reason my wife didn’t join us, I didn’t include her in the second and the third scene. I had no reason for excluding her; I would have loved to have had her. But, strangely enough, since I have heard this story of Imagination, when she and I get together and start to discuss, she’s always trying to bring up to me the facts of life as against these things of Imagination.” Well, he said, “I do to her what I did to the lady at the Fine Arts building—-she told him what she said about the cab—-I didn’t hear her. And so, my wife talks to me about the facts and I don’t hear her. And I love her dearly, I’m passionately fond of my wife, I love her dearly, but I don’t hear her. She wants to convince me of the reality of the facts of life, and I will have none of it.
“I simply went on this thing…but strangely enough I was not only airborne, I was landed. I was in the zoo, I had almost completed the zoo, when suddenly it dawned on me what I had done the month before.” For this happened to him in actual fact on the 11th of April. It was a month before that he set the whole thing in motion…that’s how short our memories are. Between doing it and realizing it he had completely forgotten. He went right through the entire thing like an actor stepping on the stage; and he forgets. Well, he has to, to be a good actor, he must forget he’s acting and lose himself in the part. Well, so he was the author, he wrote the scene, he directed the scene, he became the actor in the scene; and then stepped upon the stage and completely forgot that he was the author and the director, and thought himself only an actor, and, well, very well rehearsed. So you and I play the same role in this world. You can be anything in this world that you want to be if you know who God is. And you can’t sin against another; you can only sin against God. And so, our sin is simply the lack of faith in I am he. You will believe in everyone else but “I am.” You will call this one, or write that one, or get in touch with someone else in the hope that they can do it; and the only being that can do it is “I am.” So you are told, “You will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.”
This is a mystery, a fantastic mystery. But the day will come that you will discover as the lady had by her story, discovered that I am not another. I stand here and talk to her (she’s here tonight), I talk to her. She’s a very gentle, tender lady, and she’ll wait and I’ll shake her hand, we go downstairs occasionally together, but she thinks I’m another. I hope tonight she knows I am not another. When you saw me in your skull, that’s where God awakes, that’s where he’s crucified. And so, he spoke to you using the mask of what you know to be Neville. He used the mask—-the mask is the personality, the persona is the mask—-and so he puts on the mask and tells you, “Yet this moment you are not really obedient to the law, because I see that you’re looking at the problem instead of the wish fulfilled.” And so, everyone must have an objective and see it clearly in his mind’s eye, and see it fulfilled. Then, from then on, regardless of all rumor, remain faithful to that end, the wish fulfilled. And he never sins then.
And so, he comes into the world to save man from sin, that’s all. He comes not to call those who are righteous to repentance—not the righteous, those who are complacent, but the sinners to repentance. And so I say, and I say time and again, religious faith must be tested. It must be tested. If it isn’t tested, it becomes some simple, oh well, emotionalism, “creedalism,” call it by a thousand names. It’s some liturgy where some outside ceremony takes place rather than putting it to the test. You must put it to the test. Religious faith must be tested as much as any other should be tested, such as my intelligence should be tested. If I go on a job, give me an aptitude test; test me to see if I’m qualified to fill the job. You’d do that. Well, religious faith should be tested in the same manner.
So we say “imagining creates reality,” that’s the foundation, and then try to show you in numberless aspects how it works. And then ask you to share with me what you did and how it worked with you, and then I can tell others what you did. Then we become richer this way, on the same principle, imagining is creating reality. Well, if I make that bold statement and you prove it, tell me how you proved it so that I can tell another. I have proved it time and time again. I live by it. I try to live by it, and if I forget what I do this morning in my imaginal act, I know regardless of my lack of memory it’s going to come anyway…that tomorrow it will come up. I may not even recognize my harvest, but I cannot encounter something that I did not bring into this world. Because, God is not mocked; be not afraid, be not ashamed. “God is not mocked; as you sow so shall you reap” (Gal. 6:7).
And so, you sit in the Silence and you plant it, and then it comes. It may take a day…in the gentleman’s case it took a month. In the lady’s case, there were thirteen case histories. She didn’t tell me the nature of the case history or the time interval between the actual doing and the actual reaping…she didn’t know. I hope some day she’ll share with me the thirteen that she simply mentioned as thirteen objectives that she realized in the most minute detail. The two that seemed at the moment to stick with her she confesses that they go back in time; and because they go back, and they’ve been over a period of years, they seem to be more of a problem. But may I tell her, it’s no more than the thirteen that you realized so easily if you’ll treat it in the same manner.
And so, the friend of sinners is called in scripture, Jesus. If I could only convince you that you are Jesus, you may not know it but you are Jesus. There is only Jesus in the world. God became man that man may become God; and there is no other God; there’s only one God. Jesus is God. He’s buried in you; and say “I am,” that’s Jesus. But you do not know it. But the day will come you will know it by a series of events that I have, night after night, told you. Because, when these begin to unfold within you it has come through the earth called man. One of her visions (which is a very lovely vision) she says, “Sitting in the Silence—-this has happened to me now three times—-the first time it happened I saw through my skull a crack.” Lovely vision! “And it was so exciting I wanted to…I knew something wonderful, more wonderful than anything I’ve ever experienced before was going to take place. I felt like pulling myself through it. And then the whole thing vanished. And the second time it happened, a crack, but this time in another part of my body; from my solar plexus right through to the heart, another crack. Then the third time, in the skull again but the crack deepened.” May I congratulate you! You are the earth. The word Adam means “red earth,” doesn’t mean anything else. And God became man, Adam, and then he planted himself in the earth called man; and while in this earth it grows, it stirs, and becomes alive. As it becomes alive it cracks the surface of the earth, and all of a sudden you will see through from below; there’ll be light. You will crack it and crack it and crack it, and finally you’ll come out. When you come out you are Christ Jesus. There is only Christ Jesus in the world. So everyone in this world is simply God awakening, God unfolding.
So to sin…you don’t sin because of any so-called violation of a moral code. You have an objective in this world and you fail to realize it, you’re sinning. You will change your objectives when you know we are only one. You will have no objective of hurting any being in this world when you know we are one. You’ll have no objective of getting the better of another when you know we are one. You don’t need to get the better of anyone in this world; there is no other. You simply have objectives. You need money? It need not be at the expense of others. You need a bigger home, a more secure future? Not at the expense of another! You simply have the objective in itself, and take your mind off the problem, and try not to solve it by thinking and rationalizing it, go to the solution of the problem. And then dwell on the wish fulfilled…not how you’re going to do it, where’s the money going to come from, how you’re going to get it—just dwell in the end. And the end is where we must all start from: “In the end is my beginning.”
I start in the end. That was shown me so vividly a couple of years ago where I saw this fantastic story. I was taken in Spirit into this palatial home, and here I saw this family, two generations and a third, they spoke of a third, but the third was the oldest, unseen by the eye of man. He had gone from the world, but he left a fortune that they now enjoyed. It was well invested, and they lived on this fortune. They would speak of this one who had made the fortune and they called him Grandfather. They said, “Grandfather used to say while standing on an empty lot, ‘I remember when,’ and then he would paint a word picture for this lot and paint it so vividly that those who listened to him saw the structure rise in their mind’s eye. He never thereafter thought of this place in any other way other than the end that he saw, so he would always say, ‘I remember when this was an empty lot.’ And to him, he’s standing on an empty lot but it was no longer an empty lot, it was simply the structure he desired. And you can do that with everything in this world. So I awoke, it was a little after three in the morning, and I took my yellow page and I wrote out my vision. Went back to bed and re-dreamed the dream, but this time I was Grandfather. I had so completely absorbed the message of the vision that I stood in the same mansion, and I told the others that I would stand here and I would remember when this was…and I painted building after building in my mind’s eye. I was that grandfather. This vision was revealed to me by the depths of my own soul. We are told in the 41st chapter of the Book of Genesis that if the dream is doubled it means that the thing is fixed by God and will shortly come to pass (verse 32).
So the dream need not be a dream where I am not in control of it. The dream could be as we sit here right now and enact it vividly, break it, and five minutes later, go into the same scene and enact it. That’s a waking dream. That’s affirmative. If it happens twice, we are told, in the 41st chapter of Genesis, it means that God has fixed it and it will shortly come to pass. So you do it twice, do it vividly in your mind’s eye, and let it happen. It will happen! For I saw it so clearly, that the secret of it all is to go to the end and live in the end, the wish fulfilled; and then if you break it, go back into that end, do it again. Then God has done it. But you say, “What God? I did it.” But you said, “But God did it.” Well, who did it when I say I did it? What’s his name? Well, his real name is I AM. Well, who is doing it? If you ask me in the midst of something I’m doing, wouldn’t you say to me, “What are you doing?” Would I not answer, “I am”…and then tell you what I’m doing? Well, I called upon his name when I did that: I am imagining that I am now…and I name the thing that I think I am. And so you ask me again, and would I not answer, “I am doing so and so”? But you said, “God did it.” Well, God’s name is I AM; he has no other name; and so, I am doing it.
Doing it in this light, see how it works. If it works, does it matter what the world will think? There is no other world than yourself-not-yet-gathered together. The whole vast world is yourself pushed out, because “All that you behold, tho’ it appears without, it is within, in your Imagination, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow”…a shadow reflecting the activity taking place in your own wonderful human Imagination (Blake, Jerusalem, Plt.71). And so, his only name is I AM. Put into a sound where you can call it, it is Jesus. And so when you are told, “At the sound of Jesus all knees should bow,” alright, bend within you to the power that is within you, which power you really are. Look upon it in that sense…that’s the only awe you should feel.
So the friend of sinners is seated here this night if you know how to forgive sin. It’s a challenge to every person in this world. When you meet someone in want, represent that one as he would like to be, and persuade yourself that he is. It tests your ability to enter into and partake of the nature of the opposite. For you see him in want, and you persuade yourself that he is affluent; and then you leave him, physically, but you do not leave that image of him that he is affluent, and you walk in that state. To the degree that you are self-persuaded that he is that which you have assumed that he is he will conform to it. Don’t try anything to make it so. Call no one to do it, ask no favor, leave him just as he is, because you dwell in him. As the lady brought out, she saw me in her skull. I am in her skull. Not in eternity can she throw me out, she can’t get rid of me; I am in her skull.
Because I awoke a few years ago, I am in the skull of every being in this world, but especially those who hear me. Those who hear me, I am awake in their skull, watching if they are faithful to the law, the law being: Assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled. For, “I came not to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill them.” So far, as far as the Promise goes, I have fulfilled it. As far as the law goes, I have not destroyed it. I’ve only changed the words to make it more, I would say, palatable in the year 1964. So if I told you that when you sit down to pray…maybe you don’t want to pray…that you must now believe that you have already received what you are asking for in prayer (Mark 11:24). And maybe like today in this world of ours they are trying to rub out the word God or the word prayer in our schools and in all government offices, I can still get around that. Without using the word God, without using the word prayer, I can say to the atheist, “When you know what you want, assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled.” Well, they can’t rub that out of school, because I’m not using the word God. Well, who is assuming it? He doesn’t know that God’s assuming it, because he will say to me, “Well, I’m assuming it” and I won’t tell him at that moment who “I am” is. That comes after. So I get around this objection to the use of the word God. Because, he is offended by the word God, and he’s offended by the word prayer, offended by the word religion, and so we get around it.
So “I’ve come not to destroy the law or the prophets, not to abolish them, but to fulfill them.” And so, you will never in eternity rub me out or get rid of me. If you shot this body now, you still can’t get rid of me, because I am in every being who walks the face of this world. So as John Dunne said, “I am involved in mankind; every man’s death is the death of me. Do not seem to ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for me.” Every man’s death has to be the death of me, and every man’s life must be my life, for I’m involved in mankind, as you are. We’re one, we aren’t two. So everyone is completely interwoven. So you ask favors of no one. When you hear an aspect of yourself in need, do it, just simply do it, because you’re doing it to yourself. “When you do it to the least among one of these, you do it unto me.” Get the mystery? “When was it you were hungry and I didn’t give you? When were you thirsty and I gave you no drink? When were you in need of shelter and I didn’t take you in? When were you in need of raiment and I didn’t give it to you? When you did not do it to the least among one of these, you did not do it unto me” (Matthew 25:35-40). And so, they are looking for one being to come that they could really fawn upon…no, every being in the world… you’re buried in every being in the world.
So I will say to this lady (who is here this night) I have heard it, having received your letter, and will continue to hear what I have heard until what I have heard you will echo. You will echo it because I am doing it unto myself; because, I, as you, do not want the two things that you mentioned in the letter.
Now let us go into the Silence.
___(??) attention to the book table. All the books ___(??) although mine are there and any other book there I have and love.
Now are there any questions, please? None?
Q: You described sinning as missing the mark, and it seems to me to be a lot of teaching in the Bible that encourages one to live to a moral code, a code of mercy, or ___(??) teaching of Christ. How would you reconcile this with your description?
A: Well, I would reconcile it…if you read the Sermon on the Mount, he said: “You’ve heard it said of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say unto you, anyone who looks lustfully upon a woman has already committed the act of adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27). He shows us the inwardness of the law. Until that moment and even until this day people look upon the law as something you do on the outside. That if you look lustfully on another and you restrain the impulse because you contemplated the consequences along with your lustful act, you might think, “Well, I didn’t commit it.” He’s telling you the very act was committed in the lust. And so, if you take the Sermon on the Mount…he takes the entire Torah and puts it into a new Torah: It’s not enough to restrain impulses on the outside. Because, I could restrain the impulse to steal because I not only would like what appears to be good there, but I don’t like the consequences. When I contemplate the consequences along with the act, I restrain the impulse; but he tells me it wasn’t good enough. And so the whole drama becomes a mental drama: The battle ground of God is the mind of man.
Q: He’s still laying down a code.
A: He’s laying down a code…it’s entirely up to you…I acquaint you with the law and then leave you the choice and its consequences. I can’t have any person in this world a puppet, an automaton. If you must be good, then you’re no earthly good to God. If you could make a mistake and suffer the consequences of your mistake, I could bring you out into the kingdom. But if you couldn’t make a mistake, not allowed to make one, and you had to be good based upon a certain code, well then, you can’t be used creatively. He said, “I have made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” (Proverbs 16:4). So, he uses everything, but he uses it creatively.
A thing we brought out last Tuesday night disturbed a few friends of mine, who called me on the phone, and they said they drove home to the Valley and they were discussing it. Because, I was simply quoting what a gentleman wrote me, and he said, “It came to me like a flash out of the blue that the purpose of life is to create” and then said he, “Man uses his creative power to achieve certain goals, while God uses goals to develop his creative power.” And he said, “This is an entirely different orientation: one is man creating, the other is God.” I agree with him one hundred percent. Yet I will encourage every man until he awakens as God to use his creative power to attain definite goals in this world—that I would encourage one hundred percent. But when we all awake, and it’s the one being once more unified, and once more integrated, we will, because we took before we became fragmented the most fantastic goal: to develop our creative power. And that goal that we use to develop our creative power was death. God took death and then turned it into sleep; and then after a process of a nightmarish dream awakened the dreamer which was himself. And by that process, by turning death into sleep and the sleep into God, he developed his creative power beyond what it was when he started this drama.
Because, the world will speak of God as absolute…I cannot conceive of an absolute. There would be no room for growth, no room for expansion. So I would say that translucence and expansion is forever and forever and forever. Truth, to me, is an ever-increasing illumination. And so, God took upon himself a certain limit of contraction which is death, a limit of opacity, of unbelief, absence of light, and then turned it by his mercy into sleep. And so, in the very beginning of Genesis we’re told, he took man which was dead and caused a deep and profound sleep to fall upon man (Gen. 2:21). There’s not anything in the Bible where man as the sleeper was awakened until Jesus Christ; and then we are told he is the first fruits of those that rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20). He said, “Awake, you sleepers and rise from the dead” (Eph. 5:14). And it’s all God, because God took upon himself that constricted state called man, and then turned it by his mercy into a sleeping dreaming being. And as a dreamer we can dream the most fantastic, nightmarish things in the world. And having dreamt it, he then in a terrific act he awakens the dreamer. The waking of the dreamer is resurrection; then the dreamer comes through and it is birth. Then the dreamer having been born, as you’re told, and the favor of the Lord was upon him…and he grew and grew in wisdom and understanding. He grows like the tree, the Tree of Life, forever and forever.
So I would say to everyone, use your talent. I hope you’ll use it lovingly, because, may I tell you, you can’t really hurt another, it’s only self. It’s your fragmented self the world over.
Q: In John 8, where it referred to “you will die in your sins” does this indicate then the word, in the place of the word “die,” you could put “sleep”? You will sleep in your sins?
A: You remain, yes, you continue missing the mark. Because, if sin is missing the mark, which it is by definition in the Bible, and then I don’t change by repentance—-for repentance is to change radically my attitude towards life—-but if I don’t bring about a change of attitude, I will continue in my present attitude and perpetuate the conditions of my life. So, I have told you, said he, that you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he. So if I don’t believe I am that which I am seeking, I continue to believe that I am that which is falling short of what I’m seeking. There’s only I AM in the world. There’s nothing but!