01 Mar Neville Goddard Lectures: The Law
Tonight will be on the law. A very dear friend of mine will be leaving in, oh, maybe two weeks for London, then off to Russia, then off to the Orient. She has asked me to confine my thoughts for the next three lectures while she’ll be here to the law. And so, she’s very dear to me, and so for the next three lectures it will be on the law. I’m quite sure you can apply it this night and prove it in the immediate present.
They really do not differ, God’s promise, God’s law. His promise, as we’re told in the 22nd chapter of Genesis, was made unto himself, for there was no one with whom he could swear, for he was all by himself (verse 16). The same thing happens with the law. I can’t turn to another and swear to the other that I will be faithful to my image; I do it unto myself only from a lower level. God’s promise is fulfilling itself whether you or I know it or not. So his Promise is moving forward towards fulfillment. On this level, we call it the law. And so he said the Promise is unconditioned, because on this level we have not a thing to do with it. But the law on this level we have everything to do with it, and so it’s all conditioned. Do I believe it?
It’s all based upon a story. In the beginning was the story…that’s how the whole thing begins…“In the beginning was the Word.” The word doesn’t mean a little word. A word in scripture means a thought that is complete, that is understood; it’s a story. So in the beginning was the story, and the human characters are bound to come, for where the story is, there the characters gather. Don’t be concerned, they will come. So I tell myself a story. What story?—-the story I want to be true about myself. I want to be this, that or the other person, and then I tell myself the story. I need not be concerned as to who will come into my world to play this part, they’ll all come. They must come, because wherever the story is, there the characters gather also. So I stand here this night and think of the man that I would like to be, and then I tell myself the story as though it were true, just as though it were true.
Now, I must be as faithful to that story as the story God told me in the beginning of time. For he told me that he would take me through a fabulous world in which there would be slavery, horrors, all things; but in the end, he would bring me out, and he and I would be one, we would not be two (Gen. 15:12). And I would be endowed with his creative power…that everything in this world that I desired I could create instantly. He told me that, but he didn’t pledge me to be faithful to it. He told me that that is his Promise to me.
Now, here in this world, I’m called upon to be imitators: I must be an imitator of God as a dear child. Just as he told me that story, he told me to imitate him, so I must imitate him in this world, and tell myself the most glorious story and be as faithful to that story as he is to the story that he told me. For he told me he would not leave me, and he told me how I would bring forward in this world evidence of the fact that he is my husband. He told me that, and it is entirely up to God to be faithful to his story that he told me. In this world I must now be faithful to the story I’m going to tell myself. For in the 22nd chapter of Genesis, he had no one with whom he could swear, so he swore by himself. So I should take no one into my confidence. I will swear by myself, and tell myself a story, and be as loyal to that unseen reality as he is loyal to that unseen reality that he told me.
Now, many years ago I would say 1948, in this city I met this perfectly lovely couple. He was a salesman, he sold drugs for an Eastern company, and he said to me, “Neville, I would like to do a bigger job than I am doing now.” I said, alright, what would you want? He said, “I would like a larger territory. I would like to be not just a salesman but to be employing salesmen. Have the territory for myself.” I said, alright, you really want that? “Yes!” Then let us now agree that you have it. So we constructed a scene which if true would imply that he had it. His wife agreed to it, she was all for it. So together we went into the Silence and saw him with his very large territory, where he was sales manager, employing, rather, he was given the right to employ and to fire, say, six or more salesmen in the area. In that year he was given that job and he became a sales manager in this area, and the area extended from San Diego up to this area.
A year later, he moved up into the very end of our continent. He moved across into the entire what is called the Western States. It also necessitated travelling, and he began to travel, which meant he was never at home. She blew her top. I reminded her of what we had agreed upon. It didn’t console her at all. He was now travelling all over and she was at home. He would come home on Friday night, off on Monday morning, seeing all these people. This very night he‘s in Rochester, New York. She called me yesterday: “He’ll be home tomorrow night late; he’s off again on Monday.” I said—I won’t mention her name because you may know her—“Don’t you know what you asked me years ago, what you and he agreed upon that we would do it? That here is a play, in the beginning was the play, it was the word, and all the human characters that are necessary to make that play real are bound to come. All you have to do is remain faithful to the play, that is it, and so they came, didn’t they? And now you are complaining. He has grown in stature, he has grown in his income, grown in everything. He’s maybe two years my senior. By the laws of that company he has to resign at the age of sixty-five. But I’m sixty so he must be sixty-two and so he has three more years to go, but he must resign. But he will resign at the price that he is making, and you’re standing in his way right now complaining because he’s out, and yet, when he was home seven days a week, you didn’t want that. You wanted something bigger for your husband, something better for your husband, and so we agreed upon it, didn’t we?”
Well, I can’t tell anyone in this world what’s going to happen after we construct the play. So we construct the play. In the beginning was the play…that is the story…and all the human characters are bound to come, because wherever the play is there all the characters gather. I don’t have to concern myself with anything in this world. I have a brother, my second brother, who actually conceived a play and he saw it in his mind’s eye so clearly. Didn’t have a nickel, we had none, but he saw a sign which if true would imply that we as a family owned that structure, and that we were conducting business in it. My brother today is, in a really true sense of the word, he’s a lonely man. Because he’s become so powerful in the business world, the people that he knew so intimately before are afraid of him. He goes home, he’s all alone. He’s coming up here this week on business. He represents millions and millions, and it’s touched him in his own strange way because he actually grew into his picture. He’s weaned himself from his entire social world, because he’s a powerful business man in his area. Our President today, let no one tell you with all this bravado he is a very happy man…he’s a lonely man. People are afraid of him. He’s grown into his vision of what he wanted.
Everyone can grow into their vision if they will only actually believe the story. God told me a story in the beginning of time, and that story was he would so become me that I would become God. But he didn’t impose it upon me that I had to believe it, he swore it unto himself. I didn’t have to believe it—that’s unconditioned. But while I am passing through the horrors of the world, I must imitate God as a dear child and impose upon myself the same kind of a story, and believe it. Not take anyone into my confidence, simply take myself and believe it. So I must imagine that I am the man that I want to be. I’m not saying let the two of us believe it, for I could pass the buck and say, well now, you didn’t keep your faith with me, you didn’t believe it. So I could always pass it to someone else. No, you can’t pass it to anyone else, it’s all to one’s self…either I believe it or I don’t. For God believed it and he brought it forth in me. I’m speaking from experience. He brought forth his child in me. He did it! He began the good work in me; he brought it to completion by the birth of the child in me (Phil. 1:6). Now I, as a man, must assume that I am the man that I want to be, and not turn to anyone for assistance and say, well now, you aren’t helping me, you aren’t agreeing with me, you aren’t joining with me. I don’t need anyone to join with me. I must imitate God as a dear child. If I imitate him, I do exactly what he did, and he did it without the help of anyone; for God is one, and so I am one. And so I simply start with the story…in the beginning was the story.
So tonight, I would say, what is the story? You tell me what you would want in this world, I don’t care what it is, just paint it. The lady that you want to be…or what you want your husband to be…or what you want your child to be, that’s perfectly alright, it’s you. Don’t take the child into your confidence and say, “Now you and I will agree” and then if the child does not become what you want the child to be, you can say to the child, “You didn’t keep your bargain.” No, it’s not another, it’s all self; there is no other. So don’t pass bucks to anyone in this world; it’s all unto one’s self. So this is the law she will take to London, this is the law she will take to Russia, the law she will take to the Orient as she goes on the 23rd, that there is no other. This is conditioned only upon one’s self: Will I believe it? Let me go back to a thought that came a few years ago from Robert Frost, he said, “The founding fathers did not believe in the future, they believed it in.” The greatest thing and the most creative thing in man is to believe a thing in.
Now, as I stand before you, we are told in scripture: “If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will speak to him in a dream, and make myself known unto him in a vision” (Num. 12:6). Well, a prophet is not a fortune teller, believe me. A prophet is not someone that you go to and say, “What is my tomorrow?” That’s no prophet. A prophet is one who interprets having heard the word of God. That’s all a prophet is. Jonah was no prophet in a modern sense of the word, for his prophecy of the disaster of Nineveh failed. Because he told them, “You do this or else” and they did what he told them, and there was no disaster. You’re told in the story he regretted that. But the Lord told him that’s exactly the message he had to send: If you repent, no disaster; if you don’t repent disaster. Well, they repented; there was no disaster. So a prophet in the true sense of the word simply hears the word of God, a message of God, and then communicates it to the world. Well, I have heard that word time and time again, and I try every time that I hear it to reach anyone I’m telling.
Well, here is one…and many of you present heard it a few years ago…one morning, early in the morning, I had this experience. I’m standing in an enormous mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City and three generations are supposed to be present. One is invisible—-he is spoken of as “Grandfather.” There are two generations, the second and the third, and the second generation is telling the story of Grandfather. The second one tells this story, “Grandfather used to say while standing on an empty lot, ‘I remember when this was an empty lot’ and then he would paint a word picture of his desire for that lot, and paint it so vividly they saw exactly the structure that would stand upon it. But to him it was standing upon it, and they saw it as something present standing upon it.” Well, they told that story in my presence. Then I woke and found myself on my bed…it was around three in the morning. I got out and wrote it out on a big yellow page, the entire story. It was too early to remain up, so I went back to bed and re-dreamed the dream. This time, as I went into the same structure, instead of hearing someone tell the story I’m telling the story. I so absorbed the message of the faith of Grandfather, I told them that I was standing on an empty lot, and standing on it I would remember when it was an empty lot. Then I painted for them the word picture of my desire for that lot in such graphic manner that they all saw it as I painted it in words.
Now, in the 41st chapter of the Book of Genesis, Pharaoh has a dream and no magician can interpret it. So he calls upon Joseph and Joseph is made to hear the dream. This is the dream: “I stood on the banks of the Nile and out of the Nile came seven very fat cows, sleek and fat. Then came seven lean, scrawny cows and they ate up the seven fat cows. And yet, it might have been as though they hadn’t eaten, for they were just as scrawny and as thin as they were before. Then came seven ears of corn on one stalk, lovely blooming, luscious; and then came seven thin, as though they were scorched by the wind, and they ate up the seven fat ones. I asked my magicians to interpret and no one could. Then Joseph said, ‘This is the meaning of the dream. It’s one dream, though you had two dreams, it’s one dream. The seven fat cows and the seven luscious ears of corn are one; the seven thin cows and the seven thin ears of corn are one. You will have seven years of great plenty, seven years, and then seven years of famine so great people will forget they ever had abundance in this world. With seven years of famine you will not even remember there was ever a moment of plenty in the world.’ Then he told me what he would do, how he would save a portion of every year for the next seven years, so he would have a cushion against the seven lean years of famine.”
Then, said he, and these are the words, “The doubling of the dream means that the thing has been fixed by God and God will shortly bring it to pass”…if the dream is doubled. Well, that night my dream was doubled. I awoke, I wrote it out, retired, and re-dreamed the dream. Having re-dreamed the entire dream it is fixed as a law of God. And God reveals himself to man; if he’s the prophet, he reveals himself in vision and tells him, Go and tell it to the world. “For if I say I will not mention it, or speak any more in his name then there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot” (Jer. 20:9). So I cannot contain within myself the vision, I must tell it. So the telling of it is this, you can stand here this night (this is the law) and say, “I remember when he or she or they were no one.” Wouldn’t that imply that they are someone else? You can look at someone in this world and say, “I remember when he had nothing.” Well, if I remember when he had nothing, I’m implying he has something today. I remember when he was unknown. If I remember when he was unknown, isn’t he now known?
God told me this story, this is a vision, this is God’s word, a vision is his word. In the beginning of the Book of Obadiah (“the servant of the Lord, the servant of Jehovah”), “This is the vision of Obadiah. Thus sayeth the Lord” (1:1). He equates the vision with the ___(??) of Jehovah. So the vision is God’s word, and God’s word cannot return void. It is a law, you cannot break it. So he equates vision with the word of Jehovah…and I had the vision of Jehovah. Because it was a double vision it was affirmed the thing is true. So I tell you what was told me. You take anyone in this world and bring them into your mind’s eye and say to yourself, “I remember when you didn’t have a nickel. I remember when you couldn’t get a job. I remember when you were embarrassed because you were uneducated…when you were unwanted.” I remember when…that’s the story. And when you see it in your mind’s eye that would imply that they are not that anymore, would it not?
Well, you try it this way, just try it. Call upon everyone to try it. This is the law. So she can take it to London; so she can take it to her wonderful Oriental world where she’s going to study; take it as she passes through Russia and tell them the story. If she meets anyone in Russia who cannot get beyond first base because of the conditions or the setup under which they live, they don’t have to be restricted by any restriction in this world if they know this law. If they know the law, it doesn’t matter under what system I live. I can be the man, the woman that I want to be, if I know God’s law. It doesn’t matter where I live. So if they say, Today millions of us live under Communism, where you can’t breathe for yourself, you’re told how to do it. But you don’t have to if you know God’s law.
Well, he revealed it to me. I found it so clearly. I became Grandfather, and standing on an empty lot I painted a word picture of my desire for that lot, and everyone saw it as something completed in the world. I didn’t construct it; I just painted it in words, and the whole thing… So I say, in the beginning was the story; and all the human characters are bound to come, for where the story is there the characters gather. I don’t care what the world will say. When my brother had nothing and he saw that sign, a man that he knew casually the very day of the sale of that lot, the most desirable lot, he came in and said, “Vic, are you going to buy it?” He said, “With what?” “Well, I have money and I’ll buy it for you. I need no collateral; if you have none, give me your signature and your father’s signature, and on that little piece of paper you promise that you will pay me six percent on the investment, and reduce it over ten years so at the end of ten years the principle has been repaid. And over the ten years you will pay six percent on any principle that is left. So you start right away.” Vic said, “Alright.”
And so here, a man out of nowhere, a human character comes in and buys it. We had no money and that day we owned the building, and that day we moved in. This fantastic story unfolded. And now, from that little beginning, he repaid it with his six percent interest. At the end of twenty-five years the man died, having put the money back into the business at four percent, because it was the best he could get. And then when he died he left my brother Victor—-he didn’t leave us as a family—-he left my brother Vic a hundred fifty thousand dollars in cash and many pieces of property, all kinds of things in the island, because he called him his best friend. That was Vic just simply telling himself a story. So, in the beginning was the story…as you’re told in John, “In the beginning was the word,” but the word “word” means “meaning.” Well, a story must have meaning or it isn’t a story. So, in the beginning was the word or the story, and the story was with God, and the story was God. He became the story.
So, imagining creates reality. That’s what I’m saying to my friend tonight. That is the foundation stone—imagining creates reality—and you start from there. And no power in this world can stop it, because you don’t need another to agree with you. Back to the 22nd chapter of Genesis, he swore by himself and asked us to imitate him as dear children. So he had no one when he swore to Abraham. He did not ask Abraham to join with him and make it possible; that was done. Now we in the world of Caesar, we don’t have to ask anyone to join with us to make it possible. We simply tell ourselves a story, and telling ourselves a story we believe in the reality of the unseen state. As we remain faithful to the unseen reality, it begins to call human characters into the world to externalize it. It all becomes projected and externalized within our world. This is the story of the law.
So everyone is free if you really believe in God’s wonderful law. The Promise I have told you night after night. It’s coming, no one can stop it, and no one will fail to realize it, because God didn’t take anyone into his confidence when he made the Promise. There was no one with whom he could swear and take into his confidence when he swore by himself. These are the words, “I swear unto myself this shall be” and so the Promise was made. The child is coming, whether you know it or not; and when the child comes you and He the begetter are one. Then you rise into an entirely different world completely subject to your imaginative power. But until we get there, we’re called upon to exercise the same power, keyed low on this level. And keyed low, we simply tell ourselves a story.
So there is nothing in this world that man can create more that is a greater thrill to him than to believe a thing in. Yes, our Founding Fathers did not believe in the future—-the mere passage of time isn’t going to do a thing—-they believed it in. He said, “What evidence had I that I could write a poem? I simply believed it.” That’s what the old man said, old Frost, “I simply believed it. There was no evidence that I could do it, but I believed it and I wrote it.” When he died, he was considered, along with Eliot, possibly the greatest in the century as a poet. And that’s what he said, “I simply believed it in.” There is no power in the world but simply believing. Well, were we not told that as the essence of belief in the 11th chapter, the 24th verse of the Book of Mark, “Whatever you desire, believe you have received it, and you will.” That’s the essence of it all: Whatever you desire, believe that you’ve received it and you will.
There’s a lady in this audience tonight, she wrote me the most wonderful letters, which I got last Tuesday, of these wonderful mystical experiences of hers. They’re fantastic, perfectly wonderful. But coming now to this level, she said, “Just before you left last May for the east, I told you that I was giving an exhibition of paintings at Disney in Burbank., the studio in Burbank. Soon after we agreed and you said to me, ‘All are sold, and it’s all based upon faith. They’re sold! Every one sold and all based upon faith.’ Well, you went east and soon thereafter they all began to be sold. Five months later because of the success of that exhibition, they called me for another display and I only had small, little paintings then, for I had sold the others. I only had little ones, but I sent them over, took them over. Within five days I sold six hundred dollars worth of my little paintings at this studio in Burbank, the Disney Studio, all upon what?—imagining.”
She’s an artist. Why should she work in her wonderful studio and not sell her work? Why should others not have the joy of looking at what she can create? I can’t paint, but I love paintings. In fact, I think my walls are too cluttered with the things that I have, all strung around, but every one thrills me. I can walk into them. I look at a painting at home, I can step right into it, ___(??) with it. I have one little lady who was always walking out of a picture…she never gets out because she’s always stuck there…but I go with her…walk right out of that painting of her, lovely old lady. My father-in-law who had the painting, he loved it, and because of his love I love it. I look at it, it’s a lovely thing, and I simply walk right into her and join her, walk with her right now. And so, all of these things are to exercise the Imagination. So all over my walls, and I don’t have so many walls, there’s always, in every little place, there’s an etching or a painting where it excites the mind. You look at it, contemplate it, and step right into it, become a part of it. There’s a beach scene; I sit on it. There’s another scene where there’s a lion on this desert area, sit next to him, feel him, and the whole thing becomes alive. The whole thing is alive because you are alive. You make everything alive in this world. These things shouldn’t be dead, these paintings, not if you really move into them…make them all alive.
So you take a play tonight…and I’m speaking for my friend and will be for the next two lectures all on the law. You tell your friends when you meet them that imagining creates reality—-don’t forget that—-and then you start from that premise. And so you conceive a lovely story, wonderful story, all about yourself or about someone that you love. Then you persuade yourself of the reality of this story. Don’t be concerned about the people who are going to play their parts to make it real; all the human characters will come right into it. They must come to it, for where this story is there they all gather, they must gather. So you simply concern yourself only with the story. “In the beginning was the word,” the story, and that story was with God, and the story was God. That’s the whole story…and then in this wonderful world of ours we unfold it…the whole thing comes to pass. Believe it! It is true, imagining does create reality.
And may I tell you what will happen? When this thing actually begins to become alive within you, and the child comes into this world, unknowingly the strangest things will happen to you that you do not understand. You’re exercising the most fantastic power in the world of which you are totally unaware, and will remain not completely unaware but unaware while you are still wearing this very heavy garment of flesh and blood. But you will do strange things, others will be aware of it, and you’ll have no knowledge that you did it. You know what you did, but you didn’t intend it that way. But peculiar things will happen in your world, strange things. I could tell you unnumbered things of which I am totally unaware that I was the cause of it, but I must have been, for it was all traced back to something that I did. But you’re blocked out from knowing the deliberate actions, you simply do it.
I will now not violate a confidence because it was not said to me not to tell it, but here is one simple little story. A man having had an experience of the nature that the speaker’s had and therefore the Messianic power is upon him now…can’t stop it. The Messianic power then becomes a part of you, makes you a free man to choose your own vocation. You can be a speaker as I am, or you could be a painter, a writer, a dress-designer, it’s entirely up to you to choose your vocation and the use you will make of this Messianic power. There’s no restriction on you after the birth of the child. There’s a power, a peculiar power that possesses you.
And so, you write one that you love dearly and they live away from here, thousands of miles away. You write a letter explaining a certain experience to one you really love, and you post it late, say, tonight. As you post it, you imagine you’re putting it on the desk of the one you love, just as you post it. The next day the phone rings and this one is asking you how this thing could have happened. “Because when you posted that letter, from the postmark on the outside and from your letter as you dated it, my office was closed. When I came to my office today the mail had not yet been delivered…and yet this letter was on my desk. How do you explain it?” And you have to confess being an honest person, I don’t know! I don’t know…I only know I posted it last night late. But as I did so, I put it on your desk, and before the mail was delivered. So the one who received it, the one to whom it was addressed asked the secretaries, “Do you know anything about this?” They all confessed, “No, we didn’t bring it in.” It wasn’t sent Special Delivery, it was sent ordinary Air Mail but posted late, sent to the East Coast…and here the letter is on the desk.
I can multiply that by the dozens. No one in this world could rationalize it, they can’t explain it. And he can’t explain it. He only now is coming and tasting of the power that is his from now on, the Messianic power. It’s almost the minute this event takes place in our life it is ours from then on, and no one can take it from us, forever and forever. But here we will do it unwittingly. Tomorrow we will do it reflectively, fully conscious of every act, and every act the outcome is predetermined. No doubts in the mind whatsoever. In this, it was done just unwittingly, but the power was there and the letter was on the desk. You tell that to anyone in this world, they’d say, “That’s insane! It just can’t be. There’s no possibility of that letter being posted late tonight to reach that destination in the east tomorrow before the mail is delivered, and before someone opens that door and enters the office.” But there was the letter. And I had the pleasure of reading the letter from the one who received it in complete amazement, asking for some explanation. So if it was told me, I believe him implicitly. But aside from the belief in him, which is one hundred percent, he confirmed it with a letter from the one who had received it, bewildered, can’t understand it. This is the power of which I speak which is the Messianic power.
So to come back to our premise tonight: Imagining creates reality. So what you imagine with faith—and if you remain as faithful to the imaginal act as God has and is remaining to his promise to you to make you himself—nothing is impossible.
Now let us go into the Silence.
I hope it was a noble story that you told yourself, and if you are faithful to that story you just told yourself, it will come to pass. Let no one tell you you need any help from any one in this world. That story that you told yourself, remain faithful to it.
Now are there any questions, please?
Q: Neville, that story in the letter reminds me of something I never told you, but when you sent me a card from New York, it arrived stamped but with no stamp on it. The post office had stamped it. And at the time we laughed and said, “Wouldn’t you know, nobody but Neville could get through the United States Post Office without a stamp.” We thought it was very funny. But now in light of this, it certainly fits this. I have that postcard, I think.
A: Well, Lucy, my dear, strange things happen after one brings forth the child, strange things. You can’t explain it even to the one who is bewildered, because you are as bewildered, because you are still veiled. This garment of flesh and blood is a veil, and we do not really come into our full inheritance until it’s taken off for the last time. While we are still wearing it, you have the power and you exercise the power. You are seen elsewhere, where you shouldn’t be there. You’re seen across water thousands of miles away, and you stand bodily present in the presence of one who knows you intimately, and talked to you, and yet you don’t know. It’s a peculiar power that possesses you and there you go. Well, this strange thing happens to all of us. And the minute it comes…but the day will come, you take it off for the last time and then it’s over. The power is yours to exercise consciously, reflectively.
A: Insincere people? Certainly, my dear, but you forgive everyone. People don’t know. If they knew, they wouldn’t be insincere, but they are because they don’t know. They really believe the grave is the end; and they talk about it not being the end, but they really have no confidence whatsoever. And so, because they don’t know it’s not the end, they’ll make every little effort to cushion themselves while they are still here. So forgive them, forgive everyone, they don’t know. But they are…but don’t…as Blake said, “You can see from what I’ve told you I do not consider either the just or the wicked to be in a supreme state, but to be every one of them states of the sleep into which the soul may fall in its deadly dreams of good and evil.” And so, people try to put on all these things…just forgive them. That is the story of life: Just forgive.
A: No, my dear. You see, God…as we’re told in the 16th chapter of Proverbs, “God has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” (verse 4). Last year or the year before, no, it was a year ago last November in New York City, my two brothers came up and they wanted to see Aida with a new interpretation of the opera, new costumes, new direction, new everything but the music. Music remained the same, but everything else was different. And it was a Saturday. Couldn’t get near the Metropolitan Opera, and they had huge, big ads in the papers that they were all taken. They had big posters on the outside “Every Seat Sold” and you couldn’t get near the place. Well, I don’t accept facts at all, I don’t! No matter what the world tells me, I don’t accept the fact. If imagining creates reality, I don’t accept facts. So I said to my brother, “We’ll go to lunch, but first we’ll go to the Met, and we’ll go straight to the box office and get seats for the next performance of Aida, which is Tuesday night.”
Well, this was on a Monday; the next day was the opera Aida. So we formed a long line and I got into a line, and it wasn’t moving fast enough for me, so I moved to the next line. There were only two windows serving. So this line began to move. When I got down almost to the window, almost down, the thing is moving rapidly—my two brothers remained in the back with my wife, because we’re going to lunch after—-a huge, big man, oh, must have been six-six, he stuck his hand over my head—-the man who was in front of me he was a little shorter than I am (I’m five eleven) he must have been five nine, and this fellow was probably six-six—-he stuck his hand over my head and diverted the teller’s attention. He asked him a question, and this man just simply took the four tickets given him and started towards the door having left this money in front of him.
When this man was almost to the street, this one thanked the teller profusely, and then turned towards the door. The teller then turned to see what he had there…the tickets were gone and he had just a few dollar bills, so he said, “What’s all this?” The man had only put out just a few dollars. Instead of putting twenty dollars for the two tickets, he had put, I think, four dollars. So he called to the man, and the man wouldn’t answer. So I turned around and I screamed in my heavy voice I put on that day, and I said, “SIR, YOU’RE WANTED HERE!” So he turned right around because he heard my voice and he came back. He came to the window and said, “What’s this all about?” and the man said, “You only gave me four dollars and you should have given me twenty dollars for the two tickets.” He said, “No I didn’t, I gave you twenty dollars.” I said, “Oh, no you didn’t! I was standing right behind you and I saw exactly what you did, you only gave him four dollars. I was here.” Well, he looked at me. Because he was so short he had to look up. I said, “That’s all that you did. I was standing here, you gave him four dollars. That’s all that you gave.” So he opened up his wallet and he had oodles of one dollar bills and he did have a twenty dollar bill tucked away in the side. So he asked the man, “Well, when you discover your mistake…when will you discover your mistake?” The man said, “I didn’t make any mistake.” He said, “But when you do discover it when will it be, tonight?” He said, “The end of the season.” He had an odd sense of humor. This fellow certainly had his sense of humor, “At the end of the season,” said he. So he took the twenty dollar bill out, reluctantly, and gave it to him, took his four dollars back, and walked out like a sheep. Then I stepped forward and said to the man, “May I have two seats in the very center of that thing that is a circle?” He said to me, “You mean the grand tier, sir.” I said, “That’s what it is. May I have it, just right in the center of the grand tier?” He said, “Yes, sir!” and he pulled two out and gave them to me for my twenty dollars.
Now you see had I stepped behind this fella who was basically a thief…God knew what he was…he played all the parts. So God made all things, even the wicked for the day of trouble. So he knew I wanted two seats, and he knew the work I’m doing in this world; he put me right behind this man. Well, this isn’t moving at all, this line is moving, so I, naturally, move into the moving line. He gets me right behind the one who intends to steal and he knows that I’m not going to allow him to steal if I could raise my voice and protect the teller from losing sixteen dollars. And so I protested the action of this man, and as I did, the man…so I saved him sixteen dollars, and so they always have a few seats for the VIPs, and so he gives ___(??). At the moment, though I’m not known in the world I was in his eye a VIP.