24 Jun Neville Goddard Lectures: “The Two Sides Of This Teaching”
Tonight we’ll take the two sides of this teaching—that which is on this level and that which applies to the real purpose for being. On this level we see things happen like wars, revolutions, convulsions, and peace. No matter what happens in the world I say all things spring from other than the causes attributed to the real cause. War comes into being and we are told in the press, told on radio, told on TV, told all over the reason for the war, and that we do not really know, we cannot see the hidden cause. Yet the hidden cause is right here in the Imagination of man. So all things spring not from the ostensible causes to which they are attributed even though they seem quite adequate.
In the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly, which is April, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps David M. Shoup goes all out and makes this bold, bold claim. Now bear in mind his position…he was the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and he claims that there is an ambitious elite of high-ranking officers who are turning our country into a militaristic and aggressive nation. They prefer war to peace…only through war can they receive promotion and glory and all the distinctions that they want and to them serving in a peacetime Army is a dull, frustrating prospect. They plot and plan war to test their theories and their new instruments and they dream of war and it’s only war to them. He claims that is taking place in this elite, high-ranking officer corps in our country. Now, this is General David M. Shoup who is making this claim. He said, “Our civilians cannot understand it and cannot even believe that such men trained in our land to protect us would conceive of this and rush us into war for their own ambitions, glory and prestige. Nevertheless, that is taking place in our land.” You read it in the current issue of Atlantic Monthly, the April issue. There was a little summary of it in yesterday’s L. A. Times. You might have read that.
Where is this hidden state? The hidden state is in the Imagination of man. You can use it infernally, as they are, or you can use it as you should, towards the kingdom of heaven. You can sit down here and bring before your mind’s eye an individual who needs help, and represent that one to yourself as though they were all that you would like them to be and persuade yourself of the reality of that imaginal act, and then drop it, and they will conform to what you have done. Or you could take them into your mind’s eye and make a mess of them and they will conform to that. So you can use this creative power which is Christ in you infernally or in the most wonderful blessing way. It’s entirely up to you.
Well, when you hear these words coming from a man who was Commandant—you can’t go any higher in the Marine Corps—and here he was the General of all the Marines, this able body, and he tells us that today we have an ambitious elite of high-ranking officers preferring war to peace so that they may receive glory and prestige and promotion. And they plot and plan war, only war, for to them living in a peacetime state, performing their duty in peacetime is dull and frustrating and the most horrible prospect. He claims that our involvement in Vietnam is the result of their ambitions. He goes right out and states it. You and I are burdened with this enormous tax to continue this effort and here a small group is performing it.
Well, the poets have said this throughout the years, for the poets seem to be so far ahead, the poets and the prophets, for both seem to be inspired by the same voice. Yeats said, “I will never be certain that it was not some woman treading in the winepress who started that subtle change in men’s minds, or that the passion for which so many countries have been put to the sword did not begin in the mind of some shepherd boy, lighting up his eyes for a moment before it ran upon its way.” Who knows who is treading the winepress this night? What person in solitary confinement is not using this only power in the world, which is Imagination, infernally or in a state of blessing? I ask you to use it in a state of blessing for numberless reasons, for there is nothing in the world but yourself pushed out. And I know from my own experience that a man imagining intensely with feeling can influence myriads, and act through many men and speak through many voices. A single man unknown to the world can influence myriads and really act through unnumbered men in the world, as this little group is acting for their own little promotion and what they call glory. The day will come when all the thing is over. Those who are completely be-medaled like Stalin was and Hitler had no more room left for the medals he gave himself. You will find the costumes worn by murderers the most ludicrous costumes ever worn by God. God wears it yes; but here was a complete misunderstanding of the power of God, the power of Imagination.
So I ask every one here who hears me to believe it, for I am speaking from a level of having awakened from the dream of life. The entire story as told in scripture I have experienced and I know it is a true story from beginning to end. Everything said in the gospels is the pattern which one day must be repeated in everyone in the world. For every child born of woman has behind it and supporting it an ancestral self, a heavenly being…the one who said in scripture, “I will never forsake you, never in eternity.” For, the one born of woman is the emanation of that ancestral self who is the Son of God. And as we are told in scripture he has set bounds to the peoples of the world according to the number of the sons of God (Deut.32:8). So, behind everyone that is born there is that son of God, the immortal you, that ancestral you. He will never forsake you, not in eternity.
So remember how precious you are in his eyes. And he is the power of powers. Don’t misuse the power; use it only in love. No matter who you meet in this world, regardless of the pigment of skin, regardless of the nation behind him, or the so-called sex, remember behind that one is a brother of yours who is immortal as you are, an ancestral being, who has really no beginning, no end. And that one is taking him through the necessary experiences to make him one with himself, and eventually all return to that one.
Now here, we are told in scripture he turned to his disciples and he said, “There are some standing here who will not taste of death before they see the kingdom of God” (Luke9:27). Scholars claim the prophecy failed for they died and they did not see the kingdom of God. That is because they do not know what the kingdom of God is. Are we not told in the 17th of Luke “The kingdom of heaven is within you” (17:21). Who would see your entry into the kingdom of heaven but you? If you told them, it is not what they expect so they would deny it and they claim that completely. So they claim that they did not enter; yet the promise is made and the words of God will not be broken. They cannot be broken: “There are some standing here who will not taste of death before they see the kingdom of God.”
Well, to see the kingdom of God and to enter the kingdom of God is the same thing. You see it, you enter it, but it’s all within you. Well, how do I enter it? When the curtain is split, and then looking at the base of that split curtain, which is my body, I see the blood of my ancestral being who died for me, who became as I am. And I see that blood in which there is life, I fuse with it, and then like a bolt of fire, spiral fire, I enter heaven. For, the drama began in the holy sepulchre which is my skull, and there it ends. So I go up like a fiery serpent into my skull, and when I enter, it reverberates like thunder, as we are told in the 11th of Matthew: “The violent take it by force” (11:12).
Well, the word translated violent or violence simply means “life.” It means “to press oneself into, to find a place within” but it means “life,” for there is life in that blood. For, “life is in the blood” and that was the blood of God himself. Contemplating it I fuse with it. Then at that moment when I became it, I had life in myself. So, “As the Father has life in himself, he has granted the son also”…at that moment I was granted the right to have life in myself and to become one with my Father who emanated me, that ancestral being that I now am. And then you weave yourself like a spiral fire into the very holy sepulchre which began the entire drama.
So here, the statement is true “There are some standing here who will not taste of death before they see the kingdom of God,” and that is true. But who is going to know it?—only the one who experienced it. And it goes on and on and on forever. If you are looking for a kingdom on the outside, you will never find the kingdom, for you are told “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke17:21). If it is within me, how could I enter it on the outside? How could I ever enter into the kingdom of heaven other than entering it from within myself? And you do. Matthew speaks of this entrance as the Son of man entering it in the 16th chapter. They speak of this in the 9th chapter of Mark and the 9th of Luke, and they speak of it as the kingdom of God.
On the heels of this he then turns and picks three, Peter, John and James, and he takes them into a high mountain and his countenance is completely altered before them. Now you think that that is on the outside. No it’s not on the outside; this is also on the inside. But the evangelist took this appearance of resurrection and then went back and incorporated it into what is known. If you read the story on the outside, as Jesus’ external ministry…which is not at all as this is external…so I am telling you what has happened within me…so this is external imagery. So they bring it back and tell it as though something took place here…where I took three people on the outside…and you don’t do it that way.
Now, a lady wrote me that she found herself in a cave, and in that cave she saw three men etched in gold, and a woman holding an infant in her arms, and she is the observer of the entire thing. She is in a cave with one exit, but three men etched in gold and a woman holding an infant in her arms. She can’t be far from the experience as this is an adumbration, a perfect adumbration. The first appearance of the three we find in Genesis when Abraham sat in the door of the tent in the heat of the day, and three men suddenly appeared before him. Then we find in Peter’s 2nd letter, the first chapter, he remembered when three men were eye-witnesses to his majesty. Then he goes back to remember when Peter, James and John were called to witness to the majesty of the one that is about to be born. Always the three!
So she now finds herself in a cave. Well, the cave is the holy sepulchre; it’s your own skull where the entire drama began and where it comes to its climax and fulfillment. She sees now the three. She called them. She sees the woman with the child—that is only a sign of what is about to take place in her, her birth. But there must be these witnesses to her birth and there will be, for here comes first, she will wake within that drama and then as she wakes she will come out and the three will witness her birth, and the birth will be simply God. She, the emanation of her ancestral being, became awake; which is nothing more than the return now to her ancestral being which enhances that eternal Son of God. She is one with her ancestral being, but while in this world of Caesar we seem to be detached from it and lost.
So here, I say to every one of you, take this wonderful power that is yours, your own wonderful human Imagination and use it lovingly on behalf of everyone in the world. What does it matter if these officers who are dreaming tonight of war and still more war? We have enough today to kill the entire world and yet they put burdens upon our shoulders to make more…the overkill they call it…that they may get a little medal, that they may be promoted from their present state, maybe a captain to a general, and maybe a five-star general, maybe they’ll become president. So what! And then be buried in some wonderful place where others will come and see where, and then two generations from now no one will know that they ever existed. Go through the cemeteries of the world and see those who thought themselves so great and no one recalls who they were. You must be an historian or be interested in such things in this world to recall these names that in their own day thought themselves so important.
So, as it is said, what does it matter if you owned the world and lost your life? For the word spoken now as violence means “life” and it means “power.” You come into a power unknown by mortal man. And so all the atom bombs and the hydrogen bombs in the world will mean nothing compared to the power that you fall heir to. Can you imagine a power that can look out upon a world and still it? Of course, you will never have this power were you not guided by love. Suppose you had that power and you were not restrained by love. You could take a whole nation, still it, and face it toward the ocean, march it into the ocean and drown it. You could…but you will know power only to the extent that you have love. I tell you from experience. When I was taken into the divine society, it was love that first embraced me, then it was power that sent me, but love first embraced me. No power in this world could I ever exercise unless it was conditioned by love, for love first embraced me. For, just imagine such power, such almightiness not conditioned by love. So, all the power known to man on earth is as nothing compared to that power. Just imagine you can stop any being in the world, stop him in his tracks, and turn him around completely in a different direction, and he doesn’t even know there has been a change within him. He can’t complete his intention, because you’ve changed it having that power.
As you are told in that greatest of all dramas which we will re-enact in a week: “Do you not know that I have power to crucify you and power to set you free?” and he answered, “You have no power over me were it not given you from above” (Jn.19:10)…no power. Just imagine having that power from above! But he came to play a part and play it completely from beginning to end and re-enact the entire drama for man. Because everyone is going to re-enact the entire story of Jesus Christ and re-enact it within himself; and all you can do is tell it, because it takes place in heaven and heaven is within you (Luke17:21). Those who hear it either believe it or disbelieve it, and you have not a power to persuade them otherwise. They’ll either believe it or disbelieve it.
But those who do not believe in it, they sit in judgment and here they are dreaming war as this man Shoup said. Read it…if you haven’t the story it’s available…it’s the current issue. And you stand there as you read the six pages and you wonder what on earth is taking place? If a layman wrote it, all well and good; but this is not a layman, this is General David M. Shoup, Commandant of the Marine Corps. They can’t do a thing now, because he has resigned his post and he is now retired; and the money that he is bringing in today from his position as the highest general in the Corps must keep on coming. They can’t take it from him, so now he is free to tell exactly what he observed…that this ambitious elite of high-ranking officers in our country preferring war to peace is leading our country into a country of aggression and a militaristic state for their personal ambitions of promotion, glory and prestige. The very thought of performing their duty in peacetime to them is the most frustrating, dull and offensive thing imaginable. Now, he said, “Civilians can’t understand it, because we trust these men to protect us having paid them their salaries, paid them everything, and all that’s done to them. Who pays it but the civilian who works? For the country has no money…it comes out of the pockets of the workers, so everything they get comes out of those who work. And we think, well now, they’re going to protect us, that’s the purpose of training them…and that’s not their purpose at all. Their purpose is to shine and to use us as pawns, and to become more and more glorious in their own little mind’s eye.
But I tell you, you know the truth now. Your ancestral being, called the Son of God, actually shed his blood for you. I know it from my own experience. For, when this was torn in two from top to bottom and I saw that, I knew it to be the blood of God. Well, that God was my own wonderful ancestral self…an extension of that self that I am, not another. That would be a greater creative power in the world. I know from experience that the fairest body that he ever wore was the body of love; and I wore it with him when he embraced me and will return to that and wear that forever and forever, the body of love. We will not be two. I am simply an extension of himself and then brought back. And then we are more glorious yet one, more luminous, more translucent, more creative because we have a greater creative power by reason of this extension of himself where I play the part in the world. And while I am still with you, to tell you what you ought to do—to use your Imagination lovingly forever and forever on behalf of everyone in the world, and believe in the reality of your imaginal acts.
If there is one here tonight for the first time, may I tell you how it works. If you desire this night to change a friend who, say, is unemployed and you would like him to be gainfully employed, represent him to yourself in your mind’s eye as one who is gainfully employed. Then listen carefully as though you heard his voice. Become completely concentrated on the voice you know to be his voice. You know his hand clasp, well, use that too. You know what he looks like, well, use that sense too. And then every sense that you can possibly bring to bear upon this imaginal scene you bring it to bear upon it, and re-enact a scene which would imply the fulfillment of your desire for him. When you feel the thrill, that imaginal thrill, that intense thrill, drop it. Just drop it completely and let that seed…as told in scripture…the kingdom of heaven is like a little seed and it grows, like a mustard seed. Don’t pick it up, just leave it. It will grow and bloom and he will actually conform to what you imagined him to be. Try it! Before you judge it, just try it and you will see that it works.
And when it works you will know what this creative power in you truly is. It’s called in scripture Jesus Christ. In the first chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian, “Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1:24). Well now, you prove it by imagining, and you prove that you did create this change in his life, then you have proven the existence of Christ. Well, that is Christ in you, your own wonderful eternal being and he will never leave you and he will never forsake you. That’s what we are told in the 13th chapter of Hebrews, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (13:5). And so, there is that in you no matter what happens to you. If someone imagines the unlovely and you are swept into that state and go through hell, there is still that in you which will not leave you and will not forsake you.
If you know this principle, you can always detach yourself from that and get out of it. I was pulled into it and I got out of it. Without shooting one bullet, without doing anything, I got out of it. Well, the same thing that he writes today in the April issue could have been written in the first day of time, for the first great frightful act is Cain slew Abel. He slew his own brother. So the same thing is taking place over and over. Well, when man knows that he need not be pulled into that whirling, or call it by any other name, he can get out of it and detach himself from it by simply ignoring the laws of the moment as I did. They said “You can’t get out.” Alright, I can’t get out. And so I dared to assume that I was out and then I mentally acted as I would act were I out and persisted in this state for nine days. On the ninth day, the same one who denied me my freedom granted me my freedom, and I was simply sent out honorably discharged. So no matter how you are pulled into it, this Charybdis*, this whirling thing that pulls all things into it, you can get out of it.
So if today you find yourself in any state…there are people planning a Depression, do you know that? For personal gain! There are those who will sell short for personal gain. All kinds of things for one simple little moment in time, a little glory, that they may be put into the papers as a billionaire. They gloat over the thought that they are now a billionaire…and their name is called tonight and they leave it behind to those who don’t care whether they lived or not. Their nieces and nephews and all the others will simply spend it for them, and they will simply still be working over some other great fortune. They move into another world just like this. So when you are told that there are some standing here who will not taste of death, may I tell you, no man leaves this earth, no man—by man I mean generic man—‘til he awakens, because earth does not terminate at the point where my senses cease to register it. You drop tonight and you are still on this earth, in a body just like yours but young, vital, wonderful, everything that you would want as a young body. But the environment in which you find yourself is not that same place with the billion behind you. You may drop in this world tonight only one billion, to find yourself best qualified to shine shoes tomorrow in order to earn a living. It may be your lot tomorrow based upon your lot today for your ancestral being in you knows best what it will take to weave you into the likeness of himself, for you must be perfect as he is perfect. You will not be brought to an end until you actually can be superimposed upon his image and fit it. Then you are one, the two are one.
So, if I think…not knowing there must come an end in this little journey…that I will pile it up and pile it up to find that as I pile it up and multiply it, at the very end it totals the same that it was before. And I depart to find myself in a little environment, without loss of identity, so that no one actually leaves this earth ‘til he awakens. When he awakens he departs from this age which is in earth… for this earth stretches for a length of time long beyond the threescore and ten…just like this, terrestrial, with all the struggles we have here; we marry, we die, we labor, just like we do here. We go from one little section of time to a section of time to a section of time until we are in the eyes of our ancestral self as he is. And when we are we awake.
So here, the statement is true: “There are some standing here who will not taste of death until they see the kingdom of heaven.” The apostles who were called did not taste of death. Not a power in the world could have snapped them out in that section of time until they actually went up that spiral roadway into the sepulchre where they began. So every one of them actually did, but scholars don’t know that so they say the prophecy failed. The prophecy did not fail, because the kingdom of heaven is not on the outside that mortal eye can see it. The kingdom of heaven is within and if it is within I enter it from within. And when you are told that they pressed their way into it violently, I know that from experience. When I went up with such force I can’t tell you the pressing into this area of my head. If now the whole head represents the kingdom of heaven, that’s the area where I am pressed in…a little bit left of center…right here. I tried my very best to go beyond it. But you are told in the definition given to us in the Concordance “pressing oneself into.” And it’s life itself. It is so crowded. You press yourself right into it as the living jewel, and when you enter it is with a force unknown to man. It has to be a force of that power to get in, so we are told, “The violent take it by force.” Read it in the 11th chapter of the Book of Matthew: “The kingdom of heaven is taken by violence and the violent take it by force” (11:12).
The old age is behind us, which is the law and the prophets up until John the Baptist. They did violence to their own appetites hoping to get in. You don’t get in that way. You live a normal life in this world. Whatever your normal, natural outlets live a normal life. Make no violence against this body of yours, whether it be in diet or the suppressing of the normal urges of life. That will not get you in. When you are one with your eternal self so that you can be superimposed upon him and the same image, then you will find yourself split in two and the life of that being that kept you alive here as something on the outside you absorb it. Like a sponge absorbing it you become one with it, and now there’s life in you; and then you return and return with violence, and the whole thing reverberates just like thunder.
But on the side of Caesar, know that there are people in this world who dream violence and plot violence. You don’t try to counter them. You plot and plan things of love, things of affection, and they’ll pass by and they will not be able to draw you into their little circle. Oh, they’ll draw many because living as they do, plotting all day long through their ambitions to be glorified by men and to have some great distinction in the world. They even plot their funerals where they’ll be in some little caisson pulling into Arlington. To them that is a great accomplishment. See, they have nothing in their mind’s eye beyond this little section of time.
I tell you, you are an eternal being, you are immortal. Before the world was, you were. You were the Son of God long, long before the very universe came into being, and it was brought in as a theater for this great experiment. Then you radiated yourself; you are a ray of the being that you really are one with the radiating being. And he radiates it and he does not in eternity forsake you…it’s himself. He puts you through all the paces and fashions you into his own likeness. And then he receives unto himself all the experiences through which you have passed; and he is enhanced and glorified by these experiences. Oh, he is afflicted as you are afflicted, he suffers as you suffer, for then you come back and you are one. For, the being radiating is one with the ray that came out.
So here tonight, you take it seriously, and take a friend…maybe yourself for that matter…but take a friend who is in want and then represent him to yourself as one that you would like to see him express in this world. Persuade yourself that what you have imagined is true, believe in the reality of your imaginal act, and see him conform to it. He will…on this level he will.
The day will come the thought will be believed and that’s when you return to your ancestral self…no time between the imaginal act and the fact. That I know from experience. There are levels: a level here, then a dream level, and then a level that is difficult to describe, and then a level where you are completely awake, which I call “Spirit waking” where really the thought is the fact.
But you come to these barriers, and this is the lowest barrier, where that ray is completely concentrated and limited into these little garments of flesh. And here we became slaves; we are slaves to this mortal body. I must serve it morning, noon and night—feed it, clothe it, shelter it. And when I feed it I must assimilate what I give it and what I can’t assimilate I must eliminate. I must take care of these bodies. That is the slave. So every child born of woman is a slave, because he is a slave by reason of the body that he wears. And there is no slave in the world comparable to the slave in the body. So, if tonight I was a slave and someone held me as a slave and fed me and clothed me and did all these things, I would be called by the world his slave; yet he is as much the slave as I am because he, too, is slave to his body. And if he had a million like me, he cannot command us to perform the functions of his body; he has to perform them all for himself. He has to eat, assimilate and eliminate, and that is the greatest of all slavery in the world. No one can do it for him, no matter what power he has in the world. So everyone who comes into this world becomes a slave to the body that he wears. And you’re told in Philippians (2:7-8), he emptied himself of all that was his and became obedient unto death, even death upon the cross. When he came in he found himself a slave and was born in the likeness of man…that was the slave. He found himself born in the likeness of man and that was his slavery.
So I can’t conceive of any slavery in the world comparable to the slavery of the body. Just imagine, you have to wash it, shave it, bathe it, and do everything for it. And then it wears out and you’ve got to go and get a little help. You go and get glasses, you go to the dentist, and you get false teeth; and then an organ wears out and you go to a surgeon who cuts out that one and puts in another, and then you go…well, all these things…you patch it up from the beginning to the end, and still you are a slave of it up to the very end. Do you know of any greater form of slavery in the world? So luckily when we are in our teens and in our twenties we never think that it will ever get old, that it will ever wear out, and we brag and brag of our strength. Then all you have to do is to wait and watch him when he turns the little corner of time, and he may for a little while hide his weaknesses, but they become so obvious in time. Then he gets weaker and weaker, and the little body simply wears out, and he is still a slave ‘til the very end. Well, I can’t conceive of any grater slavery.
So, you try living this noble life, for I tell you, you are immortal. You cannot in eternity die, for he who radiated you will never in eternity forsake you. He couldn’t, for you and he are one. And when you return from the journey, you are one with the one who radiated you; and you were that being before he radiated you.
Now let us go into the Silence.
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Now, are there any questions, please? None? Well, if there aren’t any…and there should be on a night like this. Nevertheless, remember what I have told you and that I am speaking from experience: you are immortal. You didn’t begin in the womb of your mother and you will not end in this little state called the grave. You came out from your ancestral self and he is the Son of God, and all the sons of God together form God. We are the gods who came down (Acts14:11) and we are playing our parts, and we are the gods who will return, and all will form the one God. For, the one became many and then the many will return to the one. But while we are here, knowing that everyone can misuse this creative power, let them misuse it, but do not allow yourself to be pulled within that circle.
And just imagine that here a man who certainly should know what he is talking about comes out in public print and makes this statement. For, if I wrote it you could say I’m prejudiced, but not a man who is the highest that one could go in the Marine Corps, who after a whole career rising to the highest, the Commandant, to make that statement, and he knows whereof he speaks, that these men plot and plan, preferring war to peace for their own ambition which is to have glory and prestige and promotion in this world of ours, using unnumbered men, slaughter them if necessary, while they get the glory. And it doesn’t phase them at all. That’s what Gen. David M. Shoup said in the current issue of Atlantic Monthly. It would be a very good thing to read, but you don’t have to…I’ve given you the highlights
*Charybdis was a monster of obscure origins who manifested as a giant whirlpool. Every day, she swallowed up the waters of the sea three times, only to regurgitate them. Charybdis shared a narrow strait with the monster Scylla. Those who attempted to traverse the strait rarely lived to tell the tale: what Scylla did not pick off with her many heads, Charybdis would swallow up with her whirlpool.
Together with Scylla, Charybdis faced off against various heroes, including Jason, Aeneas, and (most famously) Odysseus. In the myth of the wanderings of Odysseus, it was Charybdis who destroyed his last ship, leaving Odysseus himself as the only survivor.