01 Jan Neville Goddard Lectures: “The New and Living Way”
Let me tell you, I think I do tell you from time to time, no matter what the title is, I am talking about only one thing, really, and that is your own wonderful human Imagination. And I call your human Imagination God. The eternal body of man is our Imagination. In scripture it is called Jesus. Man misunderstands it and limits it to a little being, one being who lived and died 2,000 years ago. But that’s not my concept of Jesus. My concept of Jesus is that of God, and my concept of God is that of the human Imagination. “Only the Imagination of man is vast enough to contain the immensity of space.”
And so, tonight, we ask the question concerning this new and living way: Can any man go forth where his Imagination has never gone before? I will answer that, no he can’t. Therefore, tell me the greatest story ever told, if you know it, so that I may walk with you in Imagination. For I cannot walk there with you through faith in Imagination, I can never get there; so you tell me if you know it from experience best of all. If hearsay and you believe it, that will do. But don’t mislead me. Tell me the story, the greatest story ever told. That is the story as read in the gospels, that’s the story. Read the story in the Bible, from beginning to end, but it comes to a flower in the gospels. If you tell me that story and I can respond to it and go with you, I am walking in Imagination with you, then I can go there. But no man in this world would ever go forth where his Imagination has not gone before, no one. So if you know the story, share it with me, and we can take it on many, many levels. So I’ll show you this new and living way.
A new book came off the press I think this week. I can’t recall the title. The author is Bill Donovan, the great attorney. He represented Colonel Abel, the master spy, a few years ago. He was the lawyer for the defense. Abel, as the testimony brought out, was the arch-spy for Russia. He was not a traitor; he was a spy in the true sense of the word. Prior to his trial the Rosenbergs were tried on less evidence and executed. Both paid the ultimate penalty, but they betrayed their country. This man Abel did not betray his country; he worked for his country against what his country considered the arch-enemy, America. But the testimony against him was mountainous, and Bill Donovan knew he was defending a man who was guilty as guilty could be, he knew that. But in the end, this was his plea. He turned to the court and asked the court not to execute the prisoner—-he was found guilty—-but to sentence him, well, maybe to life, which he received. Then this is what he said, “In the not distant future we of America may want to exchange him for one of equal importance in Russia…one of equal importance.”
It is said the courtroom burst into hysterical laughter at that peculiar plea, and a columnist dubbed him a Red or a Pink or some other name, because he dared to plead this case for this arch-enemy of this country. Well, he received a life sentence, Colonel Abel. Three years later it was Bill Donovan who was the one who negotiated the exchange, and he exchanged this arch-spy Colonel Abel for Lieutenant Powers, who was shot down over Russia. We would have given anything to get Powers alive and consciously alert to find out how he was shot down. For until then no one brought down our U-2 planes, and we were photographing the entire Russia from altitudes that we thought they could never reach. We weren’t quite sure but what it could be some mechanical defect and the plane simply faltered in the air and came down, but we didn’t know. He had all the orders to destroy the plane, destroy himself—he was paid well for it—to blow his brains out. He didn’t blow his brains out and the plane wasn’t destroyed, so what did the Russians do to bring him down? Was it from the ground? Was it a plane even higher than ours? What did they do? And we would have paid anything. Well, the price we paid was Colonel Abel.
Where is the origin of the entire drama? Isn’t that in Bill Donovan’s Imagination? When Bill Donovan pleaded this case with passion to the point where the whole court exploded in laughter, he still got his point over to the point where they took his plea under submission and brought in, well, a judgment based upon his recommendation: He asked for life rather than execution. And three years later we did have the man that Russia wanted badly, for he was their top spy, as we understand or thought. I hope he was the top spy! Well, we got all these things on him and they said the evidence was mountainous, so that Donovan could not possibly plead any innocence; everything was so obvious. But he could ask for mercy. The court granted mercy in the sense of not killing him. They put him away for life and three years later he was the instrument that negotiated between the two countries and exchanged Colonel Abel for Lieutenant Powers.
So I say this is a living way…a new and living way. I ask you to think carefully before you imagine anything. For the interval between your imaginal act and its fulfillment may be longer than you could remember, and because you can’t remember, you deny the harvest that is your own harvest. You planted it. Were it not that this book is out now, and even though the book is out (came out this week) I question seriously that Bill Donovan believes that his imaginal act was causative. He thought himself a very smart, wise lawyer, and he still is, but he doesn’t for one moment trace that plane coming down in Russia to anything he did in that court in New York City three years prior to the event. Man will not accept the testimony of Jesus. This is the testimony of Jesus: “You have heard it said that any man who lusts after a woman”…or that no man should lust after a woman…”but I say unto you, any one who lusts after a woman has already committed the act with her in his heart” (Mat. 5:27). Well, the word heart, the word mind, the word Imagination are one in this drama. He’s already done the act. By the very act of imagining that, he has performed that service, that act. He has committed it.
Now, take it down to every level in this world. And so, you put yourself into a court and you perform this imaginal act where you can see yourself actually exchanging this man for another man. And they want the other man so badly the country will be very happy they didn’t shoot him, that they had him to really offer as the prize for the one we needed badly. And so, I ask everyone here to watch carefully how you imagine anything. For all day long you are imagining things, and the interval between the imaginal act which is the sowing, and the reaping of that act may be longer than you can imagine what you did; and so you deny your own offspring, you deny your harvest. You can’t recognize any relationship between it and you. Now, if you can walk with me that far, we can take you beyond that.
And so, the testimony of Jesus must be heard and responded to; for faith is response to revelation rather than discovery of new knowledge. Yes, you can go into labs and find out about the most fantastic things and hear it told and love it. You see the explosion of it, you see the demonstration of it and you love it. But that is not the faith of which the Bible speaks. The Bible speaks of a faith that comes in response to revelation, and the most fantastic revelation in the world is the revelation of God, put into the story of Jesus Christ. Can one believe it? Now, churches have distorted it. They’ve told the most fantastic story that is not the story of Jesus Christ. It is not the story. The whole story is our own wonderful human Imagination.
So now, we go back this night to the title, taken from the 10th chapter of the Book of Hebrews. In this 10th chapter we are told that there is a new way, a living way. First of all, it starts off by inviting us to enter into the Holy of Holies, “the sanctuary, by the blood of Jesus, the new and living way, which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, by his flesh” (verse 19). That’s what we are told. We go into the very presence of the Holy of Holies, right into the presence of the Ancient of Days, by his blood. And this we do through a new and living way; not any dead sacrifices. We don’t kill animals; we don’t destroy anything and offer it in the hope that we could enter the Holy of Holies. No sacrifice, no external sacrifice at all. It’s all something new, a new and living way, by something that is the blood—the blood of whom?—the blood of Jesus. And he did this in a new way, through the curtain. Then he tells us, he identified the curtain with the flesh of Jesus.
Well, what is it? I can tell you that experience from experience. I am not theorizing, no man taught it to me, I never read it in a book outside of the Bible. But before I went back into the Bible and read it, I experienced it. So I can tell you this new and living way into the sanctuary, into the Holy of Holies, and yet by his blood. There will come a time after the series of events of which I have spoken time and time again. It is said when he gives up the Spirit, there was tearing of the temple; and the curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom; and the earth quaked; and all the stones were split, every rock was split. You read it and you wonder “What is it all about, something in the Near East?” For there were no Christian churches. The only temple he knew was the temple of the Jew; everything was the temple of the Jew. So what was this temple? The only curtain we know of was the curtain that hides the Torah. Behind the curtain is the Torah, the holy word of God, his law, and in some places he spoke of the ark behind that wonderful curtain. Now he identifies the curtain with his body, the author of Hebrews does: Through the curtain which is his flesh.
Well, I’ll tell you what happened. A bolt of lightning out of your skull will split you in two, from the top of your skull to the base of your spine, and every section of your spinal column will be actually split in two. And then you will look at the base of your spine and you will see living liquid molten gold; it’s alive, just gold but a living gold. You will know as you’ve known nothing before that I am it. As you look at it you know you are it. And then at that moment of knowing you fuse with it; and as this living blood of Jesus you go up in a serpentine manner into the Holy of Holies, which is your own wonderful skull. That’s the blood of Jesus and Jesus is God and God is your own wonderful human Imagination. The drama takes place in you.
Everything, listen to the story carefully, all the testimony of Jesus, for everything to which he testifies you are going to experience if you will accept it. You cannot walk beyond where you’ve gone in Imagination, and so when you hear the testimony, you’re response may be negative and you will not accept it. So I ask the question, “Can any man go forward where his Imagination has not gone before?” And the answer is no. So you listen carefully and then you respond. If you say, “I’ll walk with you, I’ll walk that far with you, but I can’t go any further. That is as far as I can go with you; beyond that, leave me right here. I’ll go back and hold onto these things that seem so much more real, and so I’ll hold onto the things around me. But I won’t go that far.” And so, listen to it. It’s the most fantastic story that man could ever hear, for it’s the story of God. It’s the story of you. How you awaken into the whole being that is God, for there’s only God. For in the end, the Lord is one and his name one; there aren’t two, just one, and you are that being. If you hear the story, respond to it positively, then you can walk as far as you’ve heard. If you haven’t heard the story, you can’t venture beyond what you’ve heard, for no man can go forth where he has not walked in Imagination before. And so when I hear a story or someone tells me something else, as I hear it I am walking with him in Imagination. Turn on the TV, I may deny it or accept it, but I walk with him in Imagination. And everything is one’s Imagination. There’s nothing but one’s Imagination.
So the story must be heard, and having heard it, it must be responded to, either negatively where you deny it and reject it, or you accept it. So it’s entirely up to us to accept it if we really want to walk as far as the story will take us, which is the new and living way, right through the curtain. And the curtain is one’s own wonderful—-it isn’t this [body]—I saw this split. But surely when I woke in the morning to find this body still knit together and no scar on it, it could not have been this. This is but the shadow world. So Blake in his wonderful Jerusalem: “I know of no other Christianity,” said he, “and no other gospel than the liberty both of body and mind to exercise the divine arts of Imagination. Imagination the real and eternal world into which we shall all go after the death of these vegetable, mortal bodies of ours.” Then he asked, “What are these gifts, these treasures of heaven that you and I must lay up for tomorrow, are they not all mental gifts—the arts, the literatures, all these lovely mental gifts of the world.” He said, the apostles knew of no other gospel, only the arts of Imagination.
Well, when a man could come out and he could bring about the…and the book is in print, you can buy it tomorrow…where he confesses his argument, and then you see the facts as they followed three years later. He himself did not relate the fact to an imaginal act. He was simply a shrewd, wonderful lawyer. But yet in scripture we are told…don’t…the whole thing is mental, causation is mental. It is not physical; the physical moves under compulsion. The self-determining motion is all mental, it’s all in us; it’s not on the outside. And try it. All you need do is just simply try it and find the new and living way. It’s all in us. You can take anything in this world…a gentleman (I don’t see him here tonight) he said to me last Friday night, “My brother said to me, ‘You mustn’t go or you should not go to Neville anymore,’ and the reason given is this, ‘You went to Neville for an increase in business. Now we have so much business that we haven’t time to fulfill it, so don’t go any more, wait awhile.’” These are his own words. He said, “I don’t write letters but this is my…you want a testimony? You want to prove to yourself and the people who listen to you that imagining creates reality? Well, my brother said to me, ‘Don’t go to Neville anymore; not yet anyway.’” Well, he isn’t here tonight and he comes here all the time, but he said, “We have so much business we haven’t really time to fulfill the business, and the purpose for going there in the first place was to get business, and now we have more than we can take care of.” So that was his letter, given to me verbally.
So I say you can’t fail because imagining is God and there’s nothing but God. Every imaginal act is a causative act. But you may not have done it with feeling; you may not have done it in a prayerful manner. And by prayerful I don’t mean any holy manner, because “to pray” is to move towards, to accede to, to get near the object of your affections, something that you really intend to have in this world. So the word prayer is defined as “motion towards, accession to, nearness at, at or in the vicinity of.” Well, if today…like the chap whose story we told last week, he wanted to prove this law—-he’s done it numberless times—-but he wanted to prove it, and he actually fell asleep in the assumption that he was in Denver in a bakery that he knew so well, next to the deep freeze. And the very next day, on Sunday, seated at a table, a friend of his said to him, “How would you like to go with us to Denver? I’m going to see my brother.” Well, how can you simply rub that out as coincidence? And the very next day, a second party invited him to go to Denver. He could have been invited to go to Alaska. He wasn’t going to Alaska—Denver, exactly where he wanted to go. And he slept in his Imagination in the assumption he was physically there.
Well, isn’t that praying? To pray is really “to want intensely.” In fact, a definition in my Concordance, my biblical Concordance, for “lusting after” is pray; and this is how it’s defined, “the superimposition of time, place or order with passion.” The superimposition of time, place or order with passion: to superimpose Denver upon Los Angeles so Los Angeles ceases to be in my Imagination and I’m really in Denver. And to see that I really have superimposed to the point of displacing Los Angeles, I think of Los Angeles, and then I think of Los Angeles in my Imagination as I would see it relative to Denver; and there I sleep. And so, I did it with intensity, I did it with feeling, I did it with passion. So I displaced Los Angeles as I put in its place this superimposed state called Denver. And that’s praying. He got it in twenty-four hours.
All I ask of anyone here is to try it, just try it, and you’ll see a new and living way. Eventually you’ll be able to take the whole story; and the whole story will lead you straight into the Holy of Holies where you’re in the presence of God. You will know God to be man. As Blake brought out so beautifully, “Thou art a man; God is no more. Thy own humanity learn to adore.” He is man. The world will say, “How can God be man? God is some impersonal force.” I tell you from experience God is man and you stand in his presence and he’s infinite love, in spite of all of the horrors of the world. And so, one day you will know the truth of that 13th Corinthians, the 1st Corinthians, that although you have all the gifts of the Spirit but have not love, you are nothing. And it’s just as simple as that. So you could take this wonderful law and go as far with me as earning billions and owning fortunes in this world, go as far as that in the use of the law, but you have not love, you have nothing, but I mean nothing. If you own the whole vast world and have not love, it is just as nothing. It’s as simple as that.
But the day will come, you will hear the story and you’ll go as far as you’ve heard—if your response to the story was positive, that you believed me; and one day right straight through the curtain into the presence of the Holy of Holies, into the sanctuary. And when you’re brought into the sanctuary, there is the Ancient of Days that is the embodiment of infinite love. It seems strange that such a being (man) that I could say of this man that he created the universe; and that only this man which is only Imagination personified is vast enough to contain the immensity of space; and that man’s Imagination manifests itself in the Imaginations of men. That you perform an imaginal act here and don’t concern yourself as to which individual in this world or how many in this world will be used as instruments to externalize what you’ve imagined. Leave it alone, because we are one and all things by a law divine in one another’s being mingle. So leave them alone. You simply remain loyal to your imaginal act, confident in this presence that you really are. When you say “I imagine,” that’s God.
Just wait. If you wait a day, as my friend Ward waited a day, and the invitation to Denver. This man Donovan, he waited three years for a man to be shot down over Russia. If I told him this night that you shot down Powers, were he bigger than I he’d slap me in the face. And yet he shot down Powers, using an extension of his arm called a Russian soldier…if it came from the ground. Or if it came from a Russian plane, he used that, for he imagined it. He was a very brilliant, and still is a brilliant, brilliant trial lawyer, and yet, he cannot believe for one moment that causation goes back to his own wonderful dramatic feeling (imaginal act) in that courtroom. And if there is no other cause, you can stand right here, just right here, and imagine yourself the lady, the gentleman that you want to be. And then looking into the faces of your friends, all in your Imagination, and allow them to see you as they must see you were it true that you have become the man, become the lady, that you want to be. Then trust that imaginal act implicitly. And that is holding God trustworthy.
You hold him trustworthy because he is faithful to his promise. He told me that if I lust after someone without the physical confirmation of the act, I’ve committed the act. I may lust and restrain the impulse. I may contemplate the act along with its consequences and feel that I might be discovered in the act, and so the consequences I want to avoid. But I am told in this story that’s not good enough. To actually imagine the act, regardless of the restraint on my part having considered the consequences, was not good enough: I performed the act. And so, you imagine the act of anything, that you’re wealthy, you imagine that you are wanted, you imagine that you are contributing to the world’s good, you imagine that you are a great…and you name it, and you actually feel that you are. You don’t think in terms of the consequences. That’s an act in itself, well, then you are going to get it. And when you get it it’s going to carry with itself certain obligations to society. You may not then enjoy the obligations that come with the birth of that imaginal act. Sometimes tremendous responsibility goes with wealth one has imagined, and they want the wealth without the responsibility. But it will come together if you are willing to completely accept the birth of what you really have created, recognize it as your own offspring, your own harvest, and take it.
Then you will know this new and living way. It comes straight through the curtain of the flesh. And in one moment of time, when you least expect it, you will realize the depth of this story, how true it is in depth. For your whole body will be shattered; and it’s not this, it’s that eternal you torn. Why? I can’t tell you. The moment I get it I’ll tell you. I only know what I’ve experienced. I only know that it parallels what I was told in scripture I would experience if I believed that I am he. For if this body that is torn is identified with the flesh of Jesus, and it was my body that was torn, wasn’t that the flesh of Jesus? And did he not say, “I am the way”? Well, I know exactly what happened to me. So I knew exactly what I’m told, that “I am the way.” So don’t divorce yourself from Jesus; don’t divorce yourself from God; don’t separate yourself from God. That the human Imagination…”the eternal body of man is the human Imagination and that is God himself, the divine body, Jesus” (Blake, Laocoon, P.776).
And so, take it all together, and don’t put them apart—-that’s Jesus, and I’m a little me, and that is God who is his father—don’t. That’s what the churches taught for 2,000 years. It hasn’t a thing to do with the great story, the story of God actually becoming man that man may become God; burying himself right into man and then transfusing, transforming man with himself by lifting man as his own being. And there is a path by which this is done, and this path is told us in the story of Jesus: his birth, his discovery of fatherhood, his ascension into heaven, all these, one after the other takes place in the Imagination of man. Well, when you feel it, it feels so physical. When I was severed in two, it felt like my body physically was severed in two. When I felt that infant, it was something physical in my hand. When I saw the witnesses to the event, they were physical. This is all man, there’s nothing but man in this world. Because why? God is man, and there’s nothing but God. And so, when you look into the vast world, the whole vast world is man and you are that man.
But how far will you go with me? I hope you’ll go all the way. I hope that you will take this story as I have told it in the Promise, and read it over and over, and go with it. Some will go no farther than the law. One chap (he never comes here any more) when I wrote the book I sent him a copy because his wife was so kind in helping with the typing. He got me on the phone and he said, “You know, Neville, you’ve written an excellent book up to the end of the law, and then it became a spoiled book by the addition of the Promise.” He can’t take the story; he’d have no part of it. You can’t discuss it with him. No matter how you try to show him, he will not listen for one second, but he will take all concerning the law. That’s why I’ve told you in the beginning by asking a question, “Can any man go forth where his Imagination has never walked before?” No! So this friend of whom I speak he can’t go forth, he can’t go beyond the law, because he will not listen and respond positively to the story as recorded in scripture. Yet he trusts me implicitly. He feels I’ve told the truth, but he feels it’s hallucination, because that’s the whole vast world. You go back and you show him that in the scripture long before you physically came into this world it was written there. Well, how can your experience parallel what was written there 3,000 years ago and what was told by the servants of the Lord, called prophets; that these things would happen to man when the fullness of the time had come, when everything had been ripened, ready for hatching out, then it would start to be hatched out? But he will not believe it.
So, there may be many here this night who can go no further than the law. And so because of that, we’ve got to bear that in mind and night after night, week after week, come down to a certain level where everyone can benefit from whatever is said from this platform. I tell you the same living way. Sitting here this night, you do not need the assistance of anyone to become the one that you want to be. All you need to do is to hear the story and respond positively to that story, and that is that your Imagination is the being spoken of in scripture as Jesus Christ. Will you believe it, that your Imagination is he, that’s Jesus Christ? And with him all things are possible and that by him all things were made, and without him was not anything made that was made, you believe that? You believe it of Jesus Christ? Some will say yes; others will say, no, I can’t believe it of him; I believe it of God. But they won’t believe that Jesus Christ is God…they can’t go that far.
Well, alright, go back…you believe it of God? If you say yes, alright, will you now believe that that God that you believe in, and by him all things were made? You say yes to that. Well, do you believe that that is your Imagination? If you hesitate there, well, then we can still go a little bit. Then come down, are some things possible to your Imagination? You may get a certain acceptance there, and you start from there, and try it in a little way, in some small wonderful little way. And then from then you start moving up and you go farther and farther and farther, and one day you’ll take the entire story and go the limit. Then you’ll find that the God spoken of in scripture in the very beginning when he reveals his name as I AM—and that’s my name forever, to be known forever by all generations—-then you will find out who he really is. You’ll repose on him then until the morning of the grave when the stone is rolled away, and you will know that he is your life. I AM life! “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life” (John 14:6).
So you repose on it, you sleep on it. You sleep every night on I AM, don’t you? Who goes to bed and who gets out of the bed? You say, “Well, I am getting out of bed, I’m going to bed.” Well, repose on it. For when you go to bed at night, you repose on God and you sleep on God. And the day will come, that morning of the grave when the grave is opened, and you awake. Who’s awakening? You say, “Well, I am awakening.” Well, that’s God, and so God will awaken that morning (Psalm 78:65). How many years I do not know? Blake claims 6,000 years in his own case. So how long you’ve been going in the journey, I don’t know. But you will repose on God and God is saying to you, I am your life, and I am the only way, and I am the truth, and there is no other way in the world. So you repose on him night after night. You wake in the morning, you’re still with him, and you go through life not knowing that you really are the being spoken of in scripture as the one called Christ Jesus.
And the day will come…and when you read it the whole thing becomes so luminous. Who would have thought that the blood of Jesus was this living pulsing golden light? Who would have thought that man is truly washed in the blood of the lamb? That he actually enters it and knows that blood of Jesus to be himself? And the life is in the blood, you’re told. So you go into the blood, and it’s you; and then like a serpent you ascend into the Holy of Holies, no loss of identity. You know that the story of the blood is true; the story of the temple being torn in two, that’s true; and the whole thing was true. But it is so unlike what the churches have told you in the past and still today tell you concerning this greatest of all stories. They’ve separated God from man and put him up there to be like something other than what you look like. And may I tell you, when you see him, you are like him. Whenever you meet him, you are like him. He actually became you and took upon himself your limitations, and raised you to be just like him, and you are like him. That’s the story.
So this new and living way…if you want to check it, you’ll read it in the 10th chapter of the Book of Hebrews. You understand these words of Paul from his 2nd Corinthians, the 5th chapter: “From now on we regard no one from the human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from the human point of view, we regard him thus no longer” (verse 16). And Paul means exactly what he has said. Don’t try any interpretation; he means exactly what he said in the 2nd Corinthians, the 5th chapter, “From now on we regard no one from the human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from the human point of view, we regard him thus no longer.” And so, no one on the outside would he ever judge by. He was looking for some Messiah to come in a peculiar way, some majestic way, and that’s not the way he comes. He comes from within. He may come in one that you would never judge. Because if you judge externally, you judge his situation in life, you will think he should come from this noble family or that intellectual ground.
Here, I heard only a few months ago where before Aldous Huxley made his exit from this world he called himself a humanist. He and his brother Julian and a raft of others, and they had this little ___(??). They claimed they should now limit this exploding population to the intellectual crowd. In other words, stop all production save through this one channel, which they would decide (the intellectuals) who would bring forth tomorrow’s intellectuals; therefore, they called it the humanist crowd. Can you imagine that?
And so, Paul discovered that you couldn’t judge anyone, because here you will see someone who is very poor, unknown, unwanted, and in the eyes of God he is so close to complete awakening that his value, compared to all that Aldous would think, well, you couldn’t compare them if you took his worth in the kingdom compared to those that man on this level would judge as worthy. So listen to the words: “You see John the Baptist? No one born of woman is greater than John the Baptist; yet I tell you the least in the kingdom is greater than he” (Mat. 11:11). And yet today we have cathedrals built to John the Baptist and we call him a saint. We call him Saint John the Baptist, and we have cathedrals, and here in the Holy Scripture, “The least in the kingdom is greater than he”—-stating quite openly he is not in the kingdom. Not that state of consciousness…that is the rough state, against everything, a complete against-ness of things. He didn’t eat meat, he didn’t drink wine, he was simply in the rough state. All his clothing, we are told, which is all through, representing how the mind is formed as it were. He was simply against everything in this world in the attempt to be a very holy man. And here comes one who did not abide by any of these outside things at all, and he said, “He who is the least in the kingdom is greater than John.” Yet we’ve gone blindly on “sainting” this one, “sainting” that one, and putting ourselves up to judge who has entered the kingdom.
Listen to the story carefully and if you’ve had the experience, doesn’t matter what the world will tell you. You only get in, in one way: “Except you be born from above you cannot in any wise enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3) and “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14), in the identical manner; and you’re lifted up by the blood of Jesus; and so you are saved. You are told, “I will enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, a new and living way, through the curtain, which he has opened” (Hebrews 10:19). The word opened literally means “inaugurated”—which he has inaugurated through the curtain that is his flesh. And so when you go through and your whole being has been cut in two, you know the flesh of Jesus. So you don’t separate yourself from Jesus, don’t separate yourself from God, you don’t separate yourself from this grand mystery…it’s all you.
But how far would you go, I can’t tell you. Listen to the story and you be the judge. If you respond positively, well, then you can go as far as you can respond. So now let me in closing again remind you by asking the same question we asked in the beginning, “Can any man”—I don’t care who he is, how wise, how foolish, how great, how little—“can any man go forth where his Imagination has never walked before?” No. So let your Imagination walk as far as it possibly can by hearing the story from one who has experienced it and walk with him. Because if you can walk with him—-it may not be tonight or tomorrow night—but if you can hear it and walk with him in faith that this is true, you will wait then patiently and in confidence that one day you will experience it. Then you will go as far as that. And the day will come, you will go to the very end and you will awake. And who are you?—-God. Seems incredible! You will awaken one day and you are he; and you will know the words “I am he.”
Now let us go into the Silence.
* * *
A: Did you hear the question? “It’s expedient that I go away.” If he doesn’t go, he cannot send the Comforter known in other verses as the Holy Spirit. Again let me say, do not divorce the Holy Spirit (one aspect) from God the Father or God the Son…they are one. It’s all one, in different functions. And so he said earlier—-not tonight but in previous lectures—-that infinite love in unthinkable origin is God the Father; infinite love in creative expression is God the Son (still infinite love); infinite love in eternal procession is God the Holy Spirit, the constant outpouring of the gifts and creativity of God but still infinite love, which is one basically. If I told you the story and dramatized it, and then I say to you see it mentally as a play, as told us in the 3rd chapter of Galatians (verse 1): “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by the working of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?” So “portray” is to represent vividly and as alive as you possibly can, whether you do it in drawing, in painting, in literature, in acting. For in this case it’s acting. So it was portrayed, a drama was put on the stage as it were, call it the world, where a man deliberately and consciously plays the part as told us in the Apochryphal gospels, called the Gospel According to Nicodemus. You can read it in the Apochryphal gospels that that drama was deliberately acted like a play on Broadway. Now, he said, you saw it portrayed, and you saw it, and you heard it, and you believed it. You saw the spirit behind the play, it had a message, now, are you looking for something material, a man, something in the flesh? Didn’t you see the spirit behind the play? That’s what he’s asking.
Now, suppose now you see this play and you believe this is God, and God is saying to you to whom he shows the drama: Now I must depart…I must actually depart from you, because I am in you. This presentation that you think is something other than yourself will now depart, for I am he. Well, everyone looking at it is saying “I am.” So he departs from something external and detached from those who are in the audience, and they now can’t see him; but he is nearer than he was when he was seen, nearer now than hands and feet. And wherever you go, I am there. If you take the wings of the morning and you fly to the ends of the earth, I am there. If you go into hell, I am there. Because, now that the physical picture has departed, the invisible reality which is your own life is present; and I am your life. So he departs; that Spirit of holiness will be upon you and in you, and is your life.
So the whole thing is dramatized. But having heard the story as something external to the one who heard it, he keeps on thinking it must be something other than this, it must be some being, and he wants to make an idol of the great mystery. And he does, he succeeds in making them. But it’s really all within us; it’s taking place in us. And I know it’s a frightening thing in some respects and disturbing, and then when it happens to the individual he’s startled. It seems the most fantastic thing in the world that it could happen to him. He knows the limitations of his flesh, he knows the limitations of his being, and he can’t believe that he could have been elected, for it’s all by election. And he cannot discover the secret of God’s elective love. That why, at this moment in time, he, of all, was selected and put through the paces of these fantastic mystical experiences, all recorded in scripture as having taken place here in the flesh. Then he discovers what the real flesh really is. That the curtain spoken of that was torn is the flesh of Jesus, that’s what we are told in the 10th chapter. And then he discovers that he was torn and it was his flesh, and that flesh is the flesh of Jesus; then he knows who Jesus is, and knows now who the blood is…what it is. And now it does make alive, and through that blood he entered the Holy of Holies. For you’re told, Let us enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus. Well, it was to him living, liquid, pulsing, golden light. He became it and then he did enter the Holy of Holies by it. He fused with the blood of Jesus. Now he sees an entirely different picture. He doesn’t see the personalized individual man called Jesus. Now he regards no man after the flesh. He doesn’t care where they’re born, how much money they have, how famous they are; that doesn’t impress him at all because he’s looking at no one after the flesh. He doesn’t know when they are veiled as they are in these little garments of flesh how worthy they are in the sight of God. So he isn’t judging anyone. Someone today could be tomorrow’s headline that maybe he died or maybe he got married or maybe he is unwell, and he’s so very prominent they’ve got to make a big headline out of it. But he isn’t going to judge anyone by such headlines because he doesn’t know behind that veil to what degree he is close to the awakening as he’s called by God. Some unknown ___(??) in the world, completely unknown, could be this very moment being called and elected by God. So God presents the play and departs.
Now in this wonderful Book of Hebrews, it’s the only book in the entire Bible that refers to Jesus as the apostle. He’s not called an apostle in any other book, and in this book no one else is called an apostle. The apostle, in this case, is one who not only is called and sent, he is the one who sends himself armed with the authority to speak in the name of the person who actually sent himself into being. For he always claims now “I am,” and he speaks in the name of God. So he’s actually armed with the authority to speak in the name of him who dispatched him; so he said, “When you see me, you see him who sent me.” And no other place in the scripture is he called an apostle, but here he’s called the apostle; and the high priest not after the rabbinical order but the high priest after the order of Melchizedek, one who has no father, no mother, therefore, God. No background, no genealogy, only God.
Any other questions, please?
Q: When Paul had this experience on the road to Damascus, wasn’t he fighting this story of The Way when it happened to him?
A: As you read the story in the Book of Acts he was. He was an ardent student of the Old Testament—-there was no other Testament—-and he abided by the law literally, by the letter of the law, so the story goes. He is blinded by the vision. He could not go back on the experience. What a man knows from experience he knows more thoroughly than he knows anything else in this world or than he can know that same truth in any other way. Paul was told it, but he didn’t know it to the extent that he knew it after he experienced it. And he was blinded, we are told; the blinding was so intense it produced a physical blindness in Paul. Then Ananias came and said he was sent by the very one who had blinded him to now untie the eye as it were. So he resisted it. I’m not saying that if you resist it this night that you may not in spite of your resistance, having heard the story and you’re fighting with it, that it gets the better of you. Because, in the story everything said was paralleled by something prophesied in the Old Testament to what he was seeing unfold before his eye in the drama. He would not relate it to anything of the Old Testament; but everything…he said, I’ve come only to fulfill scripture…and “scripture must be fulfilled in me” (Luke 22:37). And so beginning with Moses and all through the prophecies, all through the psalms, he interpreted to them, in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself. But they would not believe it. If I say to anyone—-I’ve said it time and again and I’ve gone out on a limb and told it in print—-that everything said in the gospel concerning this miraculous birth, I have experienced; the resurrection, I have experienced; the ascension, I have experienced; the descent of the dove, I have experienced. But I can’t prove it to anyone if you ask me for physical proof; for the drama does not take place here. And yet, it was all physical in the same sense that you felt it to be a physical drama as you were experiencing it. So the word translated “flesh” is truly flesh, without the skin, it’s so much but only the real flesh. That’s how real it is. So there’s not even a thing to touch to stop it from its sensitivity. Flesh minus the skin it’s so much the real flesh of a being. And I’ve had all of these experiences, but how can I prove to anyone? Therefore, you hear the story and you respond, you either say no to it or yea to it. “For all the promises of God find their yea in him.” You either say yes to it or you say no. And at a certain point you really don’t care. You tell it as best you can, as often as you can, but you really don’t care, you simply tell it. You’re called upon to tell it. You’ve been sent to tell it. You were called and sent, and you go and tell it as it happened to you. But the most difficult thing in this world is to change the meaning of an event after certain interpretations of that event become fixed in the public mind.
Well, today we have one billion who call themselves Christians and fifteen million who call themselves Jews who have heard the story differently, so they aren’t going to believe it. Especially when someone comes and he’s all dressed in robes of authority, and so these robes right away change the mind of the perceiver. And he sees the robe; he endows it with an authority that it doesn’t possess. And he sees the robe come and it frightens him because the robe believes, or, at least, it claims to believe it has the power to excommunicate him. That’s said in scripture too. He said, You know what they’ll do to you? They will kill you and they will excommunicate you, and this they will do because they know not the Father, nor me (John 16:1). He’s telling anyone who claims himself to have the right of excommunication he is doing it because he knows not the Father, nor me. Read it carefully. You read that in the Book of John. They will put you out of the synagogue; they will excommunicate you, and they will even kill you and think they do God a service. This they do because they know not the Father. They believe in God, fatherhood ignored. They haven’t had the experience of the fatherhood. They don’t know who the Father is, and to this day they still call Jesus the son.