Neville Goddard Lectures: “The Original Sin”

Neville Goddard Lectures: “The Original Sin”

By Neville Goddard (3/8/63)

Tonight’s subject is “The Original Sin.” Undoubtedly you’ve heard time and again that it’s some sex violation. It hasn’t a thing to do with sex. It’s ancient, yes, but not a thing to do with sex. The Bible is a mystery. You can only understand it as it is revealed to you or believe it when you are told it by one to whom it has been revealed. It’s not a book that you just pick up and read as you would a novel. As we know, there are sixty-six books and you would start at taking Genesis and go through Revelation, and say that’s the way that it’s done. Because that’s not the way the Bible really is presented.

All the attributes of mind are personified in the Bible, and you and I take them as persons, and they’re not persons. All the characters are simply personifications of attributes of mind, eternal states of consciousness. So we must find out the first state that appeared in the Bible. What is that first state? For it is against that state which is the ideal that man has sinned. Sin means “to miss the mark,” or I could disbelieve it or I am ignorant of it. And these are different levels of sinning: To know it and not to heed it is the most serious state; to hear of it and disbelieve it, that is a secondary state; never to have heard of it, that is not really a severe case. Yet all carry with it certain responsibilities. So we must search the Bible for this initial state that was presented to man. Man heard it but didn’t believe it; man heard it and believed it but didn’t quite find it; and man never heard of it.

So this initial state is personified as a little child. You will read it in the 8th chapter of the Book of Proverbs: “The Lord created me at the beginning of his way, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When he marked out the foundations of the earth, I was beside him like a little child, delighting, ever a delight before him, rejoicing in his inhabited world, delighting in the sons of men. He who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord; he who misses me injures himself; all who hate me love death.” Now that’s Proverbs 8:22-36. That’s the first state that is set up.

As we told you last Tuesday night, Jesus Christ is not a person. Jesus Christ is this eternal state, a state of salvation, and a series of mystical experiences in the depths of the soul. If man finds it, he passes through this series of experiences, which leads him to God. “For no man comes unto the Father save by me.” This is the state called Christ Jesus. But no man comes—“I am the way”; there is no other way. The earliest Christians were called the people of the Way—as told us in the 9th chapter of the Book of Acts and all through the Book of Acts, the people of the Way. For here is the way: “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

So here is a state personified as a little child, as told us in the 11th chapter of the Book of Isaiah: “And a little child shall lead them” (verse 6). Lead them where? Lead them to the Father. Everything is personified. Well, here is the personification of the initial state that was his eternal delight, delighting in his inhabited world, rejoicing ever before him, and delighting in the sons of men, hoping that the individual man would find him. If he found him, then would come the unfoldment within that man who found him of the series that would take him to the Father. There’s no other way to go to the Father than through that series that he laid down.

So here, the first state is the state ___(??), the original state. Man hears it, and he doesn’t believe it. Paul heard it and Paul didn’t believe it. But Paul then confessed in his first letter to Timothy: “Formerly, I blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him; but I received mercy because I ignorantly acted in unbelief.” I didn’t believe it. I heard it, but I just did not believe it. And so I received mercy. And so mercy is in all of us. If you don’t receive mercy, which completely sets you free from your horrible acts, as he confessed, well then, it is from the extreme state to the modified state because he never heard of it.

Now listen to this chapter, the 12th chapter of the Book of Luke, say from the 46th through the 48th verse. It’s the story of a master, and the master has made known his will to his servants. One servant knows his will, but he doesn’t do it. He doesn’t act upon what he knows the master desires, so when the master comes, he is severely beaten. Another servant does not know, but he does what is deserving of beating, but he is lightly used. You are not set free from the responsibility of falling into a state, any state in this world. So I am in the state of being poor, all right, I will reap the fruit of poverty. But I will not experience the beating in the state of poverty comparable to you who know how to use God’s law. If you dare to assume that you are unwanted, knowing that you are only in a state and knowing it, you deliberately allow yourself for unnumbered reasons to enter into a state where you feel unwanted, feel beaten, and feel poor, then you really will be beaten by the events and the circumstances of life. If you never heard it and you don’t know it, you cannot avoid reaping the fruit of the state, but it will be a light beating. It will be modified, as told you in that 48th verse of the 12th chapter of the Book of Luke. The forty-seventh tells you that if you know what the will of the Father is, the will of God, and you don’t do it, you will be severely beaten.

Now, what is the other aspect that Paul spoke of where he received mercy? You can exercise that. So someone doesn’t know it. Paul didn’t know it; he confessed he did not know it, and he received mercy. Like my friend in San Francisco, he meets a man who never heard this story; but he, my friend, heard it. The man is unemployed and wants a bill for a dinner. My friend made himself a pledge he would not give any panhandler a dollar at any time. He had an experience when he was a boy at fifteen, so true to form, he did not give the dollar. But now he knows this story; he can’t get away with it anymore by simply ignoring the request. The man wants food. The man wants a job. The man is in need. Well, he cannot ignore it and walk by knowing this. He is confronted now with a request. He has to stop right on that street and see that man gainfully employed, knowing in his heart that that imaginal act of his has its own appointed hour. It ripens; it will flower. If to the man, who doesn’t know this law, it seems late, it seems long, in getting the job, well then, he isn’t concerned. He did what he was called upon to do; and although it seems long, he will wait, confident that it will not be late, and it will simply come into complete flower in that man’s life. He knows it. So he was merciful and forgave the man. If he, knowing what he knows today, daring to teach this law to others, asking them to join with him in simply setting the world free, that he met a man because he had a good meal, the man didn’t, and instead of doing this, simply ignored it and walked by, went home to his own home where he’s sheltered, comforted, and has a full larder; he will be held responsible. He was not merciful.

So here is the story. The original sin is to hear this story. The story of salvation is set forth for us in the gospels. Follow the story of one called Christ Jesus. It’s not a person. Christ Jesus is simply God’s method of salvation. The first state he ever created was that state. He is ever before him as sheer delight, delighting in the sons of men, always rejoicing before God, for this is his only way of salvation. And so he created—he didn’t improvise after he created the world; before he brought forth anything in the world, he created the means of redemption; and the means of redemption is personified as a little child—“and a little child shall lead them”—to us, Jesus Christ. That is God’s eternal method of salvation. So read the story, and exactly what happened to him as a seeming person, that is going to happen to you.

Now, how? Believe it. First thing, you hear it, and then you either accept it or you reject it. I plead with you to accept it, just accept it, for we are told in that same 8th chapter of Proverbs, “He who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord; he who misses me injures himself; all who hate me love death” (verse 35). Love death? Yes, they love this world more than anything else in the world. And the world here that seems so alive to us, may I tell you, is the world of death. I’m speaking from experience; this is the world of death. So they’ll give anything to extend what they consider life by twenty-four hours. Promise them a month, oh, they’re thrilled. Promise them an extra year and that’s marvelous. And this is death.

For in my vision, when I saw the world not yet descended here, and all must come through death. For the mystery of life is life through death; the mystery of the grain of wheat is that it must fall into the earth and die before it can be made alive. If it doesn’t fall into the ground, then it remains alone; if it falls into the ground and dies, it brings forth much (John 12:24). So God falls into the ground. This is the ground, this flesh. The world of flesh is the element of death where God falls into death, into this ground, called a fleshly being. And so those who hate me, they love the flesh; they love death. And they will give anything to perpetuate if only for an hour, one more breath in the world of death. Those who hear it, they know the Spirit is the element of resurrection, and so they are not completely attached to the world of death. But those who hear it and do it have life. Those who hear it but would not do it are the ones condemned, severely beaten. Beaten only to get them back upon the track as it were and put through the furnaces of affliction, these fiery, fiery states. Those who have never heard of it are not completely free of the responsibility of falling into that state, but it is modified for them. It is lessened for them. They’re not as hurt as those who know it who did not do it.

So the original sin begins with hearing this story and either rejecting it or seeing it in a way. So I ask you not to reject it, for if you find him, you find life. The minute you find him the entire series awakens in you, and it’s the only way to the Father. So the only intermediary, really, is the Way, called in the Bible Christ Jesus, who is not a person. It’s the Way, a series of mystical experiences inwoven into the soul of man, that man, individually, finding it then begins to go through. He goes through these states automatically at stated intervals known only to God the Father. At the very end, he awakens, and he is one with the Father. That’s the purpose. God is bringing us not only into his world but bringing us into his world as himself. So in the end, there is no one but God. Because God’s purpose is to give us himself, as though there were no others in the world, just God and you, God and us. But in the end, not even God and you, or God and I, just God. But you, in that moment, will be he.

As told us, he leaves everything and cleaves to his emanation, his bride (Genesis 2:24). For we are his bride, as told us in the 54th chapter of the Book of Isaiah, “Your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name.” And a husband must leave everything and cleave to his wife until they become one flesh, one being. So in the end, they will not even be two, just you, and you will be he. So God is giving himself to me; he’s giving himself to you. And in the end, when he completely completes his purpose, there’s only God, and you are he.

So the original sin is to have heard this wonderful first state. Listen to it carefully: “The Lord created us at the beginning of his way, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago, I was set up at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When he laid the foundation of the earth, then I was beside him, like a little child, I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world, delighting in the sons of men.” Here was the Way personified, really personified, as a child. For everything in this world is God, and God is man; therefore, everything becomes man—everything’s personified. So the first state that is personified ___(??) God is a delightful child, and it’s the Way to bring man to himself as himself. It seems silly and it seems stupid, but not when you go into the depths of your soul and see this personification of all the attributes of mind.

Five years ago, when my daughter was in high school, it was my pleasure every morning to get up early and prepare breakfast for the two of us, then make a little lunch basket for her, and then bid her good-bye as she went off to school. Well, this morning, after she went off to school, I went back to my library where I’m reading my Bible because my wife slept late and we would meet at brunch. This morning, when she came out and we were having brunch, she said, “I had the strangest experience this morning. I woke, I was sitting up in bed, you were sitting on the bed, and then my hand was engaged with another hand. You turned—I couldn’t see the face who had the hand—but you turned, and you evidently recognized him. You seemed to know him quite intimately and you said to me, ‘Why, it is death.’ Then I said to you, ‘I don’t want to die.’” Then I said to her, “Are you afraid to die?” She said, “No, I’m not afraid to die, but I have unfinished business. I don’t want to die.” I said, “All right, if you are not afraid to die, all right.” Then the two hands disengaged, and as they disengaged, she then began… she thought she was sitting on the bed, she thought I was sitting on the bed next to her, and then she came to.

This was an experience in the depths of her soul where death was personified as the cold hand of death. Haven’t you heard it? Haven’t you heard of the king of terrors, the jaws of death? All poets use it. And here she had the experience of an actual hand, the hand of death, that I, sitting on the bed, in the depth of her soul, recognized him, and I knew him quite intimately. Being not afraid of death, I asked her, “Are you afraid of him?” She said, “No, I’m not afraid to die. But I don’t want to die. I have unfinished business.” At that moment, when she didn’t feel afraid of death, the two hands disengaged, and then she woke. ___(??). And I was not in the room; I was in my library reading my Bible.

So I tell you, all the states of the Bible that we call characters are simply personifications of these infinite attributes of the human mind, which is divine mind. So what we speak of as this little child that leads them—“a little child shall lead them… and I stood beside him as a little child… and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world, delighting in the sons of men.” Then comes that wonderful statement, “He who finds me finds life.” Here I am delighting among all the people of the world, trying to encourage everyone to find me. If you can only find me you’ll find life. He’s asking everyone to please believe him. How would I find him? Believe it. Believe what I’ve told you. Believe that he is really a series of mystical experiences, inwoven in the soul of man. Believe it. And if you believe it, maybe tonight you’ll find him. If you find him tonight, the first one, like a little petal on a flower, opens as an actual experience. Having opened up one, you know from actual personal experience it’s true. You’ll never then waver. Then, in the not distant future, a second petal will open, and all will open. As they open, they lead you to God, God the Father; and when you get there, you are he.

So the whole story is inwoven in man. Hasn’t a thing to do with your violation of any sexual ___(??), which would be implied if you read the story in a certain way. But it isn’t that at all. And may I tell you, that first so-called disobedience, which we find in the 3rd chapter of the Book of Genesis, that very first disobedience was God. As we are told in the 11th chapter, the 32nd verse of the Book of Romans, “And God consigned all men to disobedience that he may have mercy upon all.” So don’t think for one moment any Eve or any Adam disobeyed. It was God who disobeyed. God commanded himself, and the only way he could bring about this fabulous dream of his into its complete bloom was his play. God entered into every one of us. And God is the one who disobeyed. He knew in his heart he couldn’t die, but he also knew he would have the illusion of death in the world of flesh. And so God disobeyed his command of God. God became man that man may become God. And so he’s sunk in all of us as our own wonderful I-am-ness—that’s God.

And in it now they’re trying to find out the way back. There’s only one way back and that was in the beginning. He wrote that story in the very beginning. “God created me at the very beginning of his way, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago, I was set up at the first, before the beginning of the earth.” You mean the way of salvation? Yes. The way of salvation was the very first act of God. It wasn’t improvised. It wasn’t something thought of after the event; it was before anything was brought forth. And God is playing all the parts, and he’s written out completely in detail the means of salvation.

And the means of salvation? You’ll be born again—that’s the very first act, in the true sense of the word—and be born from above. Then will come another act. He will give you what he promised you. To prove how much he loves you, he will give you his Son. That’s the second act. Then you are a father. If you have a son, you are a father. Then will come a third act. In the third act, he will unveil himself in you, spiritual circumcision, and you will see the true head of creation; and you are it. You’ll know exactly who you are, and you are he. You’ll still be clothed in a garment of flesh; therefore, your ultimate inheritance is delayed, delayed until you take off this veil for the last time. But the veil has been split. You’ll wear it, but it’s split, so you aren’t as shut out from the vision of eternity as you were prior to the splitting of the veil.

And then all the stories told in the gospels concerning Christ Jesus begin to unfold in you, every one. Then you will know that Christ Jesus is not a person. Christ Jesus is the way, just as told us in the 14th chapter of the Book of John, “I am the way, I am the life, I am the resurrection… I am the way; no one cometh unto the Father save by me.” There is no possibility of coming to the Father. I have had unnumbered arguments across the country: “Well, after all, Neville, you were born and raised a Christian in the Hebrew-Christian faith.” They are one: Hebrew and the Christian faith are both interwoven because one is the fulfillment of the other. “But, after all, don’t tell me that the Buddhists haven’t the same thing and the Hindu’s haven’t the same thing and the others haven’t the same thing.” And may I tell you, as I stand before you, there’s only one way.

There’s only one way, and this series of events is the only way to the Father. You will be born from above; you will see his only begotten Son as your son; you’ll be torn in two from the top to the bottom; the dove will descend upon you and smother you with affection. All these things will happen to you just as it’s recorded it happened to him. That was only the personification of the Way. That’s not a person. He personifies the Way, from beginning to end. So everything claimed of him you will experience. When you experience it, you will tell it, tell it to the best of your ability, in the hope that they will believe it. Some will believe it, and some will not believe it.

But may I tell you, in our world where we live now, you have heard it and you have ___(??). Having heard it, you carry out full responsibility for all the states into which you fall. You’ll be beaten severely because you’ve heard it. If you never heard it, then the trial would not be as severe. Read it carefully when you go home, and here is the story. I think it’s the 18th of Matthew. A king calls his servants together. He wants all the accounts settled. One servant owes him ten thousand talents, and he didn’t have it, so the king ordered that the man, his wife and children be sold, and whatever they had, to settle the account. He fell on his knees and pleaded with the king for patience and for mercy. Then he would, if the king were patient, he would pay in time. The king heard his plea and forgave him, completely forgave him. Then the man went out and saw a man who owed him a hundred denarii, and he grabbed him by the throat and demanded immediate payment. The man couldn’t pay, and he had the man thrown into jail as a debtor. And when the king heard what the one he forgave did to another who only owed a hundred denarii, not ten thousand talents, then he treated him severely and threw him in until every last talent was paid (Matthew 18:23).

So they know to pray in this manner: Father, forgive us our debts as we forgive those… just ___(??) forgive the other. Father, forgive us in proportion to our ability to forgive the other who owes us. So when you meet anyone in this world, no matter who you ___(??) another, don’t pass by. Doesn’t cost you one nickel; it only costs you an imaginal act. It’ll take you just a second. So think of anyone that now needs something in this world but anyone in your world, and imagine that they are as you would like them to be but everyone and don’t you raise a finger to make it so. Believe in God. God is creative. That imaginal act of yours has a little interval of time between the imaginal act and its fulfillment. Like every vision in the world, “The vision has its own appointed hour; it ripens, it will flower. If it seems long, then wait; for it is sure and it will not be late” (Habakkuk 2:3).

So in your imaginal act concerning any person in this world, make it loving and make it altogether marvelous. And if you do it, then drop it. It’s done! Without the man’s knowledge or his consent, you did it for him. Forgive every being in the world, and as you forgive others, the Heavenly Father forgives you. And so you may not know it but at the moment that you did it, it is really done, although it hasn’t yet appeared within the world of effects, on this very, very low intensity. This is very low. But you believe it and try it.

But you have been exposed to it, and no one who has been exposed to it from that moment on is free of a severe beating. If you’re not exposed to it, the beating is light. If you are exposed to it and feel sorry for yourself, the beating is really severe. No man can afford to feel sorry for himself having heard that these are infinite states of consciousness into which the soul, moving to God, falls either knowingly or unknowingly. So if you feel sorry for yourself knowing that you are in a state, when you reach the fruit of that state, it really will be severe. So I ask you not to feel sorry for yourself, not to feel sorry, just simply move out of one state into another state and lose yourself in it just as though it were true. In the not distant future, you will reap the fruit of that state.

For listen to what he tells us. You know the tree by its fruit; the good tree bears good fruit, and the evil tree bears bad fruit. So if that is truly right, that this is the law of harvest, identical harvest, that I am in a state and I can’t reap the fruit of any state other than that state into which I have gone knowingly or unknowingly, so we try it, try it tonight. Take someone in this world of yours who you would like to help and see him or see her as you would like to see him, as you would like to see anyone, and believe in the reality of your imaginal act and that act will come to pass just as surely as I am standing here. But you are held responsible for it. You must do it.

So the original sin is to have heard this story of God’s plan of salvation: “I have prepared a way for my banished ones to return.” The first thing I did, said he, was to prepare the way. I didn’t banish them and then contrive a way, improvise a way; I prepared the way in the beginning. He planned everything that has come out and as it will be established. So he’s prepared the way, and the way is told us in the story of Jesus Christ. So we read it, and the churches encourage us to read it as the history of a man. No, the story of Jesus Christ is just like an actor on a stage. When he walks across the stage, he plays a part, and the audience either understands it or they don’t. If they don’t understand it, they aren’t held responsible. If they understand it and don’t believe in it, then the beating is severe. If they understand it and make the effort but still don’t find him, then read the second ___(??). First, “He who finds me has life and obtains the favor of the Lord; he who misses me injures himself (that’s not fatal, he injures himself); all who hate me love death.” They may hate the story having heard it, for they like the fleshpots. They’d like to be here more than any other place in the world.

May I tell you from experience that when I entered the world and saw people who had not yet descended this low—for this is the very limit of opacity, this is the limit of contraction—when I talked to them, they thought I was telling tall, tall stories. They couldn’t believe that I had just come from this world and that I would go back to this world because I came there consciously. So when I looked at them and saw them, I was told by one who was here years ago—I never met him here; he was a German, Heine, you know the works of Heine—and Heine said to me, “You know, Neville, they don’t speak of earth as earth, they call earth Woodland and they don’t believe that anyone who ever goes to Woodland could ever come back to what they call life.”

Because Woodland, this is the earth, is the limit of contraction, the limit of opacity, and so those who are here are in Woodland. It’s a tremendous accomplishment to be here because you can’t turn around and hear this story and find God until you come here. You must reach the limit of contraction before you can hear the story of salvation. While you are here, you hear it, hear it, and believe it. It’s a series of mystical experiences in the soul of man that leads you from wherever you are when you find him, to God, and arriving there, you are one with God. There’s nothing but God.

So all the characters of the Bible are personifications of the infinite states of mind, these states of consciousness. But the first state that he created was the “Way of salvation,” and he personified it for his own delight as a little child. And may I tell you, it is sheer delight when you see the little child. It’s infinitely beautiful, and it is the personification of this state. For it comes first and as you encounter it and have the experience of your own birth from above, here comes the child. It’s a babe. “And a little child shall lead them.” They speak of it as child, but the word translated child is really “a babe.” And the little babe shall lead them through the series of experiences up to the fulfillment of it all where he awakens as God.

So the very first thing that he created was the way of salvation, personified for us as a child, but told to us in the Bible as a person called Christ Jesus. But Christ Jesus is not a person but the way of salvation. “I am the way,” he’s made to say. But I do not know the way. Well, I am the way. The way to what?—well, the way to everything, but specifically to the Father. I am the way to the Father. “No one comes unto the Father but by me,” but no one. So you can’t get to the Father save you come in this manner and this is the way. He marked it out for you. This is how you come. So you believe the story. Believe in the story and you may this night find him. And “he who finds me finds life,” for “as the Father has life in himself so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” And then you have life in yourself. So tomorrow, arriving at the Father who has life in himself, and you are one with the Father, you have been ___(??) life in yourself. And then you can animate anything in the world, make anything become alive.

In the meanwhile, believe it. Believe it and I promise you it’s my sincere desire that before I leave this platform, whenever I will leave it in the future, that many of you, if not all of you, could tell me that you had the identical series of experiences because you’ve got to have them anyway. But I can’t think of any greater thrill to me than to hear you tell me that “it happened to me last night,” and tell me the story that I know you are going to tell me. Because everyone must have it and having it, then you’re on the way toward the Father; and when you arrive there, you are one with the Father. Because I am one with the Father, when you get there, you and I are one, and yet we do not lose our distinctive individuality. ___(??) the one, because it’s the same Father, so we have the same Son. And that’s how he set the whole thing up in the beginning. Before he did anything he set up this state.

Now take it on this level and think of a friend that you would like to help. There must be some friend who today knows they’d like to be gainfully employed. Regardless of what he made in the past, regardless of the figures you see on the paper’s headlines today, forget that! Everything is possible to God. I wouldn’t care if you doubled that unemployment figure by ten, it still doesn’t stop your imaginal act from working. But you take a friend, bring him into your mind’s eye, bring her into your mind’s eye, and see him and see her gainfully employed, making more than they’ve ever made before. Don’t raise a finger to make it so, but just imagine that it is so. Leave it just like that and believe in God. God is your own wonderful Imagination. God is your own wonderful I-am-ness that’s imagining. So believe it, believe in it. Know in your own being that it takes an interval called incubation between what you imagined and the fulfillment, the birth, of that state. So don’t be anxious in the interval. You imagined it. You’re still imagining it. You will continue to imagine it until what you have imagined is completely externalized in your world.

Try it now with someone. And don’t tell them what you have done. Don’t ask for any praise. Don’t tell any being in this world what you have done. Without their knowledge, without their consent, you be merciful. You are encouraged to be merciful. Let me remind you of that first chapter of Paul’s letter to Timothy: “I blasphemed, I persecuted, I insulted him; but I received mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). All right, now you are not going to act ignorantly in unbelief. Maybe he did. Maybe he thinks the whole thing is stupid. But don’t you argue with him. Maybe you tried to persuade him to come here. Maybe you tried to persuade him to read one of my books. Maybe he thought the whole thing stupid. But in spite of that, God is love. It doesn’t matter what he did or what he said. You now bring him into your mind’s eye and see him as gainfully employed. And don’t tell him what you did. Let no one know what you’re doing, and you remain faithful to what you have done. He will get the job, even if he doesn’t know that you did it. Doesn’t really matter. Try it.

Now let us go into the Silence. (Tape ends.)