09 Apr Neville Goddard Lectures: “Whom Do You Seek?”
Blame no one for what is happening to you. It is all because you are imagining what you are imagining. For you are now reaping what you have imagined and have forgotten that you imagined.
I hope tonight will be very, very practical. The most profound story really is. We know that the Bible is vision from beginning to end, all vision, the vision of the Lord God. No one will thwart it and we are all going to experience it. On this level, we can really apply it to the most practical vision in the world.
In two weeks the Western world will hear the story on Good Friday, just in two weeks. We are told a man was in the garden with those who believed him, his disciples, all gathered together, and an army came all armed to take him. They were looking for a certain person. Now it says, “And Jesus knowing all that was to befall him, all that was to come upon him, came forward and said, ‘Whom do you seek?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ He said to them, ‘I am.’” The pronoun “he” is not in the manuscript. He just said, “I am.” And they all withdrew and all fell to the ground. Then he came once more and he said, “Whom do you seek?” Again they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” He said, “I told you that I am; so if you seek me, let these men go.” Well, that is a story, a simple story. When man hears this, if he really hears it, he falls to the ground. Everything he ever entertained tumbles when he discovers the one he is seeking, the one that is the savior of his world is his own wonderful I-am-ness. Well, the word Jesus means “I am,” the same word that is interpreted in the Old Testament as the word Jehovah. “And the Lord said unto Moses”…well, the word Lord is I AM. “When they ask you, ‘What is his name?’ just say I AM. Just say ‘I AM has sent you’” (Ex. 3:14, 15). No other name. All through scripture we find the only name of God is I AM. So he turns to those who are seeking salvation, seeking to be saved, and he says, “I am,” and they fell. Every man falls when he’s been seeking on the outside to find the Savior and suddenly discovers it’s his own wonderful human Imagination…can’t believe it.
Well, let me share with you a story that I told. It’s recorded in one of my books, and it’s years ago, the year was 1950. The man is my brother-in-law. When I say brother-in-law, well, he is husband of my sister-in-law, my wife’s sister. He went to Harvard and graduated from Harvard School and then Harvard Business School. Came out and joined a bank, his first job. There for years he worked, and in banks promotion is slow. If someone dies, resigns, retires, or is fired, well then, there’s promotion…and that is the plan of a bank. He and his two brothers went to Harvard and his father went to Harvard, his wife went to Smith College, and here he is with inflation (there’s always inflation in this world) and with a fixed salary, what would he do in order to send his two children to college? He wanted a good prep-school—he went to a fine prep-school, his wife went to a fine prep-school, and they both went on to college, and here they are both well-qualified to hold the finest jobs in our world. What can he do for his two, a boy and a girl? He was a pillar and still is a pillar of the Episcopal Church of New York City. Because of his financial know-how, he is on the financial board, advising those who advise on this board how to take care of this portfolio. Yet he had no money outside of his salary…perfectly marvelous, wonderful fellow.
He turned to his minister. The minster could give him no hope. What could the minster advise him? He knew nothing of the art of prayer, knew nothing of the secret of Christ, yet he is the minister of this perfectly marvelous church on Fifth Avenue, one of the finest oldest churches in New York City, and my brother-in-law on the financial board and his wife on the altar guild, and they contribute out of their little all that they could to this church to maintain it…and all their time given to the church, yet, he could give no help, none whatsoever. He never approved of what I did. But one day, in sheer desperation, he came home, the month was December, the year 1950, and they both let their hair down, and told me how they felt, that they had this background of education and they had no money to put their children through prep-schools and through college, and what should they do?
I said, “I know you don’t approve of what I do, but I’ll tell you what I would do were I you. If I were you with the same problem, this is what I would do. I would go to sleep tonight as though I had the most wonderful contract or agreement to start on a job that gave me every opportunity in the world to express my talent. Now, you are an investment man, you know how to invest money. You don’t have it for yourself to invest but you do have others to invest, and you know how to invest. Well now, do you want that?” He said, “I want it more than anything in the world. That’s what I know. Give me a huge foundation or give me, say, a great college, a private college, like Columbia in New York City with its hundreds of millions or maybe a couple of billion. Harvard has two billion to invest. Princeton, Yale, these are private colleges and they’ve got to always take this portfolio and rearrange it.” He said, “I know how to do it.” I said, “All right, go to bed tonight and sleep as though you had an agreement this day with the most wonderful company or foundation to invest money, and keep on doing it night after night, and it will work.” I said to his wife, my wife’s sister, “Will you do it?” and she said, “I will.”
Then a few weeks later Bill and Vicki and I sailed for Barbados and we were gone a few months. When we came back, as is our custom every time we travel to New York City, when we came back the first night we got together for dinner at home. This night Sissy came first and she didn’t let on that anything had happened, and then half an hour later Sam came from the bank. So I began to make a round of martinis and then I brought them in and passed them around. He said, “Dearest, did you tell them?” She said, “No. It’s your story…you must tell them.” And then he tells the story: At this meeting of the bank a man who is on the board, who’s been on the board for years, when they came out of this meeting on Wall Street he said, “Sam, are you going up-town?” He was working at the bank on 44th Street and Fifth; this man was in Radio City just a few blocks beyond. He said, “Oh, I’ll take maybe a subway or take a cab.” He said, “Ride with me.” So his car came by and they got in. He said, “I’ve been thinking seriously for the last couple of months”—just within a matter of weeks after Sam began to apply this principle—“and I wondered if you would give up…and I’m asking a lot of you because you’ve got to give up seniority, you’ve got to give up all the things that have been accumulated for you, for retirement funds, all these insurances…but I’m going to ask you if you would leave the bank and join us and help me with my investments? The salary would be twice what you are now getting with a guarantee that every year you will have an increase, and you’ll get your same four weeks vacation, maybe five weeks every year. That will be yours. But we will start you off at twice your salary and an increase every year.”
Well, Sam was stunned beyond measure. He went home and discussed it with his wife, and they agreed that this was, well, the most marvelous opportunity. That individual represented the Rockefeller brothers. It wasn’t a foundation…the five brothers and their sister. Well, the fund is fantastic. On one day he was wrestling with one portfolio for 394 million dollars, one portfolio; the same day, a $4,000 portfolio for one of the children. She might have come home with a report card where she got a D instead of a G or something, and so they gave her a little $4,000. He had to take that and invest it just as carefully as he did the $394 million. That’s only one portfolio…that is not the portfolio of the family…that’s one. Here, he stepped into this picture—employing his own help, all the girls that he needed for secretaries, any research. He sat every morning between the hours of nine and one reading reports, financial reports. When he read all the reports and everything conceived in this world concerning the investment of money was funneled into his office and then he would bring in these recommendations to his boss, the one who had asked him to come and help him out. He never bought stock, he only suggested a change of portfolio, that here “based upon what I know from these reports, I suggest this modification or this change.” Then he’d go to lunch and come back, oh, an hour and a half later and continue his review of all these reports coming in. He was there for eight years. Then he was offered a junior partnership in a brokerage firm because of his know-how after his bank record and then the eight years in the Rockefeller’s own private funds.
So with this, I wrote a book after the story, which is The Power of Awareness and I told his story, because I knew it backwards from what he actually told me. As is my custom when I write a book I sent it off to my family in Barbados and my family in New York. I sent one to him because he’s my wife’s brother-in-law…family, so he got one. He never once mentioned the book and when I went to his home next time after he received the book, it was out of reach at the top of the shelf. He read it, he knew it was true, but being a pillar of the church with his orthodox concept of Jesus, he could not associate the Jesus he worshipped with what he did to get what he got. The next time that I went to his home, it was not only out of reach, it was out of sight, so you couldn’t find the book in his home. He is a Harvard graduate, and that he would turn to someone who never saw the inside of a college and ask for help concerning what he should do to achieve what he wanted, that is completely out of sight.
So here, “Whom do you seek?” and they said, “Jesus.” Well, Jesus means “Jehovah, the savior of the world,” the one of whom it is said “all things are created by him and without him there’s not a thing made that is made” (John 1:3). He found what made the job, but he could not believe that was Jesus. Not for one moment could he believe that what he actually discovered by actual thoughts was Jesus Christ, couldn’t. Now, we are close and dear friends, and when we go home to his home it’s always a very lovely evening, but not one word is ever mentioned concerning this. We have dinner, he invariably will ask for grace and they will give thinks to something outside of self for what they are about to receive and he does it just by rote. That is part of their training. They can’t help it. But the day will come, he will actually discover who Jesus is. He found him, but he doesn’t recognize him, and turned his back upon him; completely turned his back on the one and the only one that is Jesus Christ. There is no other Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is your own wonderful human Imagination, and there is no other. “He who is not with me is against me, and he who will not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23). And so, he is not with him. He is worshipping some little thing on the outside.
That’s how practical this story is. “Whom do you seek?” “Jesus.” “Jesus, well, I am.” When man hears that “I am” he falls to the ground. It is said that they went back and all fell to the ground, meaning the shock is so great that man cannot stand it. That his own wonderful human Imagination is the being he’s been seeking? Yes. And the day will come that you’ll find him. You find him in the most marvelous, in the most unique manner in the world…when Jesus’ son—that’s a shock to people too—stands before them. If I said Jehovah’s son, that doesn’t shock them because they expect that Jesus is Jehovah’s son. But Jesus is Jehovah, so if Jehovah had a son and Jesus is Jehovah himself, well then, where is the son? That son is David (Ps. 2:7). When David stands before you and calls you Father, and you know he is your son and you are his father, then the whole veil has been lifted.
Until then you can speak from now ’til the ends of time, and they will listen, but like my brother-in-law, would they accept it? So he’s going to play the game squarely and within a certain frame of reference, that no friend of his coming home would go to that library of his and casually remove a book and then go through the page and maybe find how he got the job with the Rockefellers. Then because of that eight year’s experience investing this fabulous fortune that he then became a junior partner in the brokerage house. He’s my age, same month, same year. So in two years he has to retire by the rules of the company. But he can live well. Yet in 1950 he didn’t know where the next thing was coming from to send the children off to school. By 1968, and he must retire in 1970, he’ll be able to live very well…and he’ll possibly go off to Europe. Because both children, one went to Harvard and graduated and the girl went to Smith and she graduated from Smith, so they both went through the same colleges that their parents went through.
So the whole thing was consummated as he wanted it. And it came through finding Jesus, but he didn’t recognize him. You see him and you don’t even recognize him, because you’re looking for something on the outside. If he comes on the outside, forget it, ignore it. No man on the outside is Jesus. If anyone ever comes to you saying look here, this is a holy man, that’s Jesus, forget it! That’s not Jesus at all. Jesus is Jehovah and Jehovah is unseen by human eye because he’s on the inside waiting to be recognized only through his son. Only his son can reveal to you who you really are. And when the son calls you Father, then you know who you are…the Lord God Jehovah. Jesus Christ that’s who you are. And only the son can do it, and no one but the son can reveal you. So I can tell you from now ’til the end of time, and I will tell you from now to the ends of my days in this world; for it has happened to me.
I am speaking from experience when I speak of my brother-in-law Sam. So here, this educated man…his wife is educated…he never mentions a word of this when we go to New York City. We see them many times in the course of my week’s visit when we go year after year, but we never mention one word. He will call upon me to say grace at table, which I never say at home, but I will say it. So if he wants grace, because they always say grace in the most profound manner, I’ll say grace for them. And that is it. They think now that is done, so you’ve done it, so forget it now. But this is something on the outside. Everything’s on the outside….where you live, the church you attend, your school, your college, all that is on the outside, and they do not know Jesus Christ. I tell you, Jesus Christ is your own wonderful human Imagination.
Now, I said to Sam, “Sam, did you do it?” He said, “Every night I did it. I came home night after night, regardless of how disillusioned and tired I was, I did it.” I said to Sissy, “Did you do it, Sissy?” She said, “As much as I could. Many a night I cried myself to sleep and I thought ‘What are we going to do to educate our children?’ And many a night I fell asleep crying, so I couldn’t do it.” But when I told Sam what I did, I knew the man’s honesty. He is just the embodiment of honesty based upon his concept of life—and I knew that he would not falter in the doing until he saw me. And if it hadn’t worked in that interval, well then, he would first have to tell me. And before he could break it, I was gone a few months in Barbados, so when I came back, in the interval it had happened.
Strangely enough the man who said “Ride with me uptown today,” he only entertained the idea after all these years on the same financial board after Sam began to apply this principle. He sat many times in the course of a year to consider a change in the portfolio of the church, and they sat together, brought in their opinions on what to do, how to change it. But this, two months after Sam began to apply it, he said, “I’ve been thinking about this for the last month or so.” I would say three weeks after Sam began to apply it he began to get the idea what he should do and invite Sam to come and join him to invest the Rockefeller’s hundreds and hundreds of millions. Hundreds of millions…it runs into the billions. Here, he saw what he did, he knew what he did, but he could not believe that was Jesus Christ.
So I tell you, “Whom do you seek?” I seek Jesus. Who is Jesus?—the savior, the savior of what?—of every being in this world. You mean he will save me from whatever I am now? Yes. If I am missing the mark in life, he has come to save me from missing the mark. For his name shall be called Jesus…he will save his people from their sins and sin means “missing the mark.” So he will save me from missing my mark in life? Yes. Well, who is he?—I AM. Can’t believe that, that’s an awful shock, and so they fall to the ground. Can you imagine a huge crowd coming in seeking a person, and when they discover that the being they are seeking is themselves, their own I-amness, they fall to the ground? Sure. The shock is so great everything tumbles in you. You fall, you can’t believe it, and when you rise, you still don’t believe it so you ask the same question. He asked, “Whom do you seek?” “Jesus.” “I’ve told you I am.”
Now if you seek me, if you’re really seeking me, let men go. You aren’t seeking a man. Tonight are we seeking a new president to lead us? We don’t need any leader; we need Jesus and Jesus is our own wonderful human Imagination, that’s the one. So it doesn’t matter who becomes our tomorrow’s president, really. When you think of the unnumbered who voted only a few years ago and with this enormous majority, and tonight they are disillusioned. So they sought a man. Don’t seek a man, seek Jesus. Jesus is not some little man of flesh and blood; he’s your own wonderful human Imagination. He’s Spirit, for flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. So if he is in heaven, then he cannot come here in flesh and blood. In flesh and blood as I walk he awakens within me, yes.
So that is the story that will be told on Good Friday, but not as you heard it this night. My brother-in-law will be there during the three-hour service at this famous church, ushering them all in for three hours. He’s done it since he joined the church. He was married in that church, the children were baptized in that church; my little girl was baptized in that church, and it’s all part of the family life. It’s a marvelous old, old church on 5th Avenue in New York City. He’ll be there on Good Friday and here he will take care of all those coming in for three hours, from twelve until three. And yet, he found him but didn’t recognize him. I brought him to Christ, introduced him to Christ, for “by him all things are made and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). I brought him to the only living Christ in the world and he proved himself in the testing, and yet he doesn’t believe in that Christ. He believes in the false Christ, something on the outside, where he’s still seeking on the outside, hoping someday he’ll meet him on the outside. And you don’t. You find him within.
Now that phrase which begins…for this is the 18th chapter of John, this is where it is, from the 4th to the 8th verses. First they play the garden scene and after they play the garden scene then it begins, “And Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him”; so that phrase “to befall him” in the King James Version it is “to come upon him,” and the phrase in Greek really means “a pressure from above.” That is, resting upon something is a pressure from above, mental or emotional that causes changes in the world. So as he said before Pilate, “You can do nothing to me were it not given to you from above.” So you are really not here in the true sense of the word. The being that is really externalized here is putting a pressure on and you are playing the part beautifully. When all the things are done that were predetermined that you should do, you awaken as the one who placed the pressure on you. So, “You have no power over me were it not given to you from above; therefore, he who actually delivered me into your hands, he has the greater sin” (John 19:11). So, I’m moving through a certain play until he who actually is pressing himself upon me, forcing me to do everything that I have ever done, and in the end forgiving me—“Forgive them, Father; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)—then when I awake I am he. You see how practical the story is.
Now here, let us go back. We have three manuscripts for the Old Testament, that is, what is called the Law of Moses. We only have initials to them, J, E and P. Although scholars will say that J means “the Jehovahist,” and the E the “Elohist,” and the P, simply, “the priest code or the priestly code.” That’s just what man has put to them, but we do not know who they are, just J, E and P. J and P begin just as you have it in the Bible as we have it: “In the beginning God.” E does not; E begins on the 15th chapter of Genesis and so it states, “After these things”—in other words, what is called the creation, the flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, after these things—and it begins only then with Abraham (verse 1). He finally finds one who will believe the most incredible story in the world.
So the E manuscript begins on the 15th chapter of Genesis, and in this it begins, “And the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. And the Lord said unto him, ‘Fear not, Abram, for I am your shield: great shall be your reward” (verse 1). Then comes a discussion between the two concerning a child; he wants a child to be his heir, and the promise is made that you shall have a child; your own child shall be your heir and not one born in slavery in your household. Then a great and deep sleep fell upon Abram, and as the sleep fell upon him a grave and great darkness came upon him. Then the Lord told him the entire story concerning the horrors that would take place with all of his descendants, but they would come out with great possessions after their journey.
Now in the New Testament is the same beginning, “And the Lord spoke unto Joseph in a dream.” Now there’s no record either in the Old or the New where they were awakened from the dream. The awakening is when God in man rises, when he awakens, and man who’s been searching for salvation all over on the outside awakens to find that he, himself, is the one who actually imposed the whole thing upon himself, that he is the Lord. So here, in this E manuscript it is only from Abraham on. So the whole thing unfolds within us: we are the drama of creation and everything takes place in us.
Now what I told you this night about my brother-in-law…you can this night if you have a similar problem or if you don’t have such a problem but you desire to transcend your present limitations in this world, I don’t care what it is. I knew when I asked him to do it, I knew his nature and if he promised me he’d do it, though it was not rational, and he’s a rational man, that he would do it until I got back. Then he could tell me it didn’t work and therefore he would stop it. But he would not stop it until I got back. But I knew by then it would be done anyway and so I was safe in taking my wife by airplane and flying off to Barbados. So we flew off and when we came back the whole thing was done. Because I knew he would not falter in the doing…he’s that kind of person.
So I will get anyone to take my word seriously and try it, but don’t falter. Tonight when you go to bed, what would the feeling be like if it were true? What would it be like if it were true? Well then, do it, and if you do it you will not fail. How it’s going to happen I do not know. In this case, the same man who invited him to come and join forces with him sat at that board year after year but never once entertained the thought that he wanted Sam to join with him. Yet all of a sudden he said, “You know, only a month or so ago I began to entertain the thought that I would like you to come with me if you will give up seniority and your retirement funds and all those plans and things that were made for you in the bank. I can’t give you that, but I’ll start you at twice the salary and give you a promotion every year.” Well, after eight years of such working in these fabulous ___(??) he was so qualified that any brokerage firm wanted Sam…and then given the opportunity one day of joining a brokerage firm with his background as a junior partner. Sam today can retire, and he would have to any way in two years. He’ll be able to live where he wants to…if he wants to live in Europe…I think that’s his plan at the moment…Spain, Italy, he likes the Italian area and he’s well qualified to do so. His two children went through the same colleges that their parents went through, Harvard and Smith, both have done remarkably well, both are married and are doing remarkably well in this world of Caesar.
But the lesson has been forgotten. Now he has money and he’s living in the world of Caesar and he’s simply investing money and it’s coming in. But the principle behind it all is completely forgotten, because he’d rather find a physical Jesus on the outside who will open his arms when he dies and welcome him. Well, he has a great surprise in store for him. There will be no one there to welcome him. He’ll find himself restored to life in a body same as before, young, new, unbelievably new, in an environment best suited for the work yet to be done to him until he really finds and believes in Jesus. The same is true of his wife, she too, and they may tomorrow find themselves separated by time, and not at all man and wife, but joined to others in a world just like this with the same struggle, and they have to go through the whole thing ’til he really finds Jesus Christ. Everyone is seeking for Jesus Christ. He has to find Jesus, because Jesus is Jehovah, and Jehovah is the Lord God, the savior of the world. When he finds him, his name is I AM. So, “When I go the people of Israel and they say, ‘Who sent you?’ just say, ‘I AM has sent you.’” That’s all…go and say I AM has sent you. Well, if I don’t this night believe that I am—this feeling of being my own wonderful human Imagination is the cause of the phenomena of my life—I am still in search of the cause of it. I must know this is the cause of the phenomena of my life. When I’m convinced of it, I begin to awaken, and the whole world confirms what I have discovered: That there never was another God. There is no other God. And then we see how practical this whole vision of God, from beginning to end, really is. Your own wonderful human Imagination is God…that is the Lord Jesus.
Now, try it. All I ask of anyone, as I asked of Sam, try it. Yet he tried it, proved it, but he could not believe that was Jesus. Yet he will read in the Book of John, “All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” You go back into the Book of Deuteronomy and he tells us that everything…“I kill” (same being), “I make alive; I wound and I heal” (32:39). The same being who wounds is the being that heals, because it’s only your own wonderful human Imagination that’s doing it to you.
So you see how practical and wonderful this whole principle is. Tonight, if you really want anything in this world, I don’t care what it is—for your own sake I hope it is without injury to another; you don’t have to injure anyone in this world to get it—you simply have to accept it and live as though you had it now. And when you get it, may I tell you, the story is don’t keep it to self share the good news with others. That’s what you’re told in scripture. Share it! “If I say I’ll not mention it or speak any more in his name, then there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am tired of holding it in, and I cannot” (Jer. 20:9). So don’t try and hold it back, tell it, to encourage everyone in this world. That’s how I read scripture. I must go and tell it, and if I’m not with him, I’m against him; if I would not gather with him, then I scatter. I must gather by taking everyone that I know and when they ask a question, I tell them. I tell everyone that I am a father.
A German fellow, and he’s not altogether bright, but I will tell him. Every time he asks me about his wife, I say, “G., so and so” and he listens. He calls himself a good Lutheran, and he’s proud of the fact that he has a part, in spite of his age, in the chorus, that’s his pride. But he asks me about his wife or his two sons who don’t get along with the wife… well, that’s the second wife and then I will simply say to him, “G., it’s all within you.” At first he can’t quite understand that, how would he be the cause of the confusion in his world? But every time I go I’m always bringing him back to a certain point. It may take me seventy times seven, but I never tire of taking him to it. And then the one who shines my shoes, H. is his name, and he is a devout Baptist. As far as he is concerned going to church on Sunday morning and having a huge crowd and then moving off and having all the food and the things that go with it, this is the most marvelous thing in the world to him, to be part of that group, and that’s religion. So when he asks me a question, I don’t hesitate, I try to tell him who Jesus Christ really is…hasn’t gotten through…alright, so it doesn’t get through. Take a drop of water and drop it on a piece of granite and it takes a little while to get through. And so, the water is truth and you drop it…every time you meet him you drop it and drop it and drop it. So the same, the one who shines my shoes and the one who cuts my hair, and every time I go it’s the same thing. The same old problems are brought up. I don’t despair. I repeat the same truth and tell them of Jesus Christ…that Christ is your own wonderful human Imagination.
That’s an awful shock. That is the most awful shock in the world, so they fall to the ground. Read the story in the 18th chapter of John. Can you conceive of an enormous crowd coming looking for someone who has ascended, and when the one answers “I am” they all fall. How could they fall if you take it literally? But it shows you what is happening to the mind of all the people in the world when they discover who the savior really is, that it’s their own wonderful human Imagination, well, their world collapses. Then they can’t blame anyone. They can’t point their finger at anyone in this world and accuse them of being the cause of their misfortune. Let the world do ___(??); you can’t do it after you discover who Jesus Christ really is. You can’t point anywhere and blame anyone for what is happening to you. So it’s all within me. What am I doing? It’s coming from above, and when the whole thing is done and I’ve played all the parts, he becomes me. Then the whole drama unfolds within me and I am he. Then you can tell it, tell it to everyone and never tire of telling it. So if it takes you unnumbered times to repeat it, repeat it, repeat it and repeat it. Blame no one for what is happening to you. It is all because you are imagining what you are imagining. For you are now reaping what you have imagined and have forgotten that you imagined.
Now let us go into the Silence.