29 May Neville Goddard Lectures: “Step into the Picture (Who God Really Is)”
Neville Goddard 5-10-1971 –
We are told: “With God, all things are possible.” I think anyone who believes in God would say “yes” to that. But then we are told that: “God is Spirit, and the Spirit of God dwells in us.” I think any man who believes that should make every effort to find out who God really is who “dwells in us.” He is Spirit, and “the Spirit of God dwells in us.” This God creates all things. “By Him all things were made, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
So everything in the world, regardless of what it is, — for we are told: “I form the light, and I create darkness; I make the weal, and I create the woe. I am the Lord who do all these things.” Well surely, we should make every effort to find out who He is.
I firmly believe, from my own experiences, that this God of whom the Bible speaks is our own wonderful human imagination; that God and the human imagination are one; that all natural effects in the world, though they are created by the Spirit of God, are caused by Spirit. So, “every natural effect has a spiritual cause, and not a natural. A natural cause only seems; it is a delusion of our” — fading, I would say, “memory.” (Blake, from “Milton”) For here in this world I can’t quite remember when I imagined that which is now taking place in my world. I do not recall it. I can’t quite remember when I set it in notion.
But if this is Law, — and a Law that no man can break, — at some time, somewhere, I imagined what I am now encountering; that my present moment is not really receding into the past; it is advancing into the future to confront me, but I forgot it. And I now think it has a natural or physical cause, and it does not have a natural cause.
“Every natural effect has a spiritual cause,” or the Bible is completely wrong. For we are told: “By Him all things were made,” — without exception; “and without Him was not anything made that was made.” And: “He is Spirit,” and “the Spirit of God dwells in me.” Well, if He dwells in me, I have identified Him with my imagination. Only on this level, I do not remember having imagined it; but along the way, I must have if this is Principle.
Now let me share with you some of my experiences. We are in this room tonight, and the room — at this moment — is more real to us than anything in the world. It has a cubic reality, because we are in it. Think of your home; you know your home far better than you know this room, but your home — at this moment — is not as real as this room. This room now occupies reality to you, and everything else is shadowy as you think of it. Why is this real? Because you have entered it. You are in it. You occupy it.
This I know from experience. Sitting in a chair, suddenly I am seeing what reason tells me I should not see. I am seeing what seems to be the interior of a home. Or lying on my bed, I see the interior, — or it seems to be, — of a great hotel, an unoccupied suite ready for occupancy but not occupied. It was just as vivid as any painting of a great artist. An artist would give us the impression of a three-dimensional picture. We know, for reason tells us, that it is on a flat surface; it is simply depicting three dimensions, but it is all on a flat surface.
Well, while seated in the chair or lying on my bed, my consciousness follows vision, and I entered that room. I actually occupied it. I came back to where I was seated, on one occasion, –to where I was lying on my bed on another; and then I went back, and again it took on a cubic reality. I came back knowing exactly what I am doing, and knowing this whole thing makes no sense whatsoever to the rational mind, but I cannot deny what I am experiencing. Here I have the evidence, — no one to share it with, but I have the evidence. I came back, and then went back into the picture. At the moment I entered the picture, it took on cubic reality; and after doing it maybe a dozen times or more, I said to myself, “I am going to explore. This time I am going to go right into it and remain there and explore,” which I did.
So I stepped into the picture; and as it closed around me, from my bed it seemed to be thirty by twenty; but when I stepped into it, determined this time to keep going regardless of consequences, it closed around me, a third of what it seemed to be as I looked at it from the bed. So thirty by twenty became ten by seven. I found it to be a dressing room — a dressing room of a huge, wonderful suite ready for occupancy. No one was in it; I am the only occupant now. I came out by opening up a door. I didn’t go through it by some vapor; I actually opened the door, and to myself I was solidly real, just like the man who is talking to you now.
My hand could open a door, and the door was solid and it was real, and I went through the door. I entered the corridor. It was a nice, wide corridor dimly lit. At the end of the corridor, intersecting it was a brilliantly lit corridor. I walked down to the very end; and when I got to the end, here is this luminous, luminous, wonderful corridor.
I saw two ladies coming down the corridor. I knew exactly what I was doing. I knew how it began; it began by seeing what seemed to me just a vision, like a painting. I knew that I left my bed, my consciousness following vision, and entered the painting; and the painting took on cubic reality. I knew it: so I call that a “dream.” Knowing it began as a dream, I said to myself, “It has still to be a dream. But I am dreaming now awake. I am not dreaming sleeping; I am fully awake, and it is a dream.”
And I said to the ladies as they came by, “Ladies, this is all a dream.” They did exactly what any nice ladies would do — a stranger standing in a corridor and saying to them, “This whole thing is a dream.” They thought they were looking at a mad man. So they got as far removed from me as they could, and got right next to the wall. But the wall was as solidly real as that wall (indicating) They couldn’t go through it any more than I could.
While looking at them, — and they are frightened to death, — they walked quickly by; and then I saw something hanging, like a chandelier. It reminded me of an object that I had seen about six months before in a friend’s home, and he said to me, “You can hardly tell that this thing is suspended. If you look closely, there is an almost invisible thread that connects it to the ceiling.” So I looked, and I did see that very little, thin thread connecting this to the ceiling. Then I was convinced, — “Well, it is a dream. This is a memory image of what I saw in my friend’s home.”
So again, I said to the ladies, “Look, this must be all gossamer.” But as I held it, it was solidly real. It was just as solid as this (indicating). That surprised me. They kept on moving, and they moved rapidly towards the end; and here I am, holding this thing in my hand. I took my hand off and I said to myself, “Now you know it began as a dream, Neville, and this still has to be a dream. All ends run true to origins, and the origin of this experience of yours was a dream. So this must be a dream.” But it is not a dream. I am just as awake as I am now, talking to you, as I was talking to those ladies.
When they got to the end, they looked back at this mad person. In their eyes, I was mad, and they simply disappeared by stepping down a few steps into what undoubtedly was the great reception room, the foyer of a huge, big hotel.
Then I said to myself, “You know, — how are you going to get back? How are you going to get back? There is no road leading beck to that bed on which you left a body. You have unfinished business. You have a wife and an uneducated daughter who has the ambition to go to college, and she’s now only in high school; and you have left inadequate funds to take care of your obligations to your wife and daughter. You’ve got to get back.”
How to get back? I couldn’t go through that door that led from the suite of rooms into the corridor and find any exit from there back to where I lived in Beverly Hills. What on earth am I going to do? I knew– reason told me that if I don’t get back within a very short time, they will find that body on the bed and they will have to examine it, and they will declare it a heart attack or something; but they have got to find a physical cause for it. And here, I am looking at something entirely different. It will “die” all right if I don’t get back. I must get back. Then I remembered a similar experience that happened years before when feeling brought me back.
Feeling awoke me in a dream. I found myself on a beach. It wasn’t Barbados. It was more like the Pacific Islands. I have not been there, but I had been born in the tropics; so I knew exactly what they must look like. But it was not the West Indies; it was the East Indies. And here, I know I am dreaming. I thought to myself, “1 wonder if I held a physical object and forced myself to wake, if I would wake?” So, I tried it. I held onto a pile driven into the beach there — a solid mass of cement. As I held it, I said, “I am not going to let go; I am going to awake right here.” So I held it; and as I held it, I said, “Come on, awake: You know you are dreaming.” And I felt myself come to, as a person comes to when they are waking in the morning. I awoke and there I am, completely awake, wading in the water, holding onto this object. Then I went towards the beach, and a strange, peculiar animal approached me, and it scared me. I got back through fright, and I awoke in that water through feeling.
Now, I am not afraid of what I am doing. My only concern is to get back and take care of my obligations in life, which is my wife and my daughter. Now, how to get back? I am not afraid. I said, “I can’t frighten myself, because I am not afraid.” But I thought feeling would do it. So I closed my eyes, and I imagined that my head was on a pillow, and that I could feel the pillow; and then after a little while when I opened my eyes, I am still standing in the corridor. I tried it again; and then by the third time, as I tried it, I could feel something under my head. I allowed that to remain; then suddenly I could feel it.
I tried to open my eyes, and I couldn’t this time. Instead of standing as I am now, perpendicular, I feel I am lying horizontally. So I felt, “Well, I must be back now,” but I couldn’t move my body. The body was cataleptic and I am frozen like this. Then in about, — oh, maybe, twenty seconds or so, I could move this little finger. I couldn’t open my eyes. In a little while I could move from the elbow down; and then, with tremendous effort, I could move the arm, and I pushed it out to feel the warm body of my wife. Then I knew I was back, but I hadn’t yet been able to open the eyes.
Then, with a tremendous effort, 1 could open the lid, and see the familiar objects in the room that I had left behind me. Then I knew what makes everything real in this world: “The Spirit of God dwells in me,” and He is my own wonderful human imagination. I walked into a thing that I could only see lying upon my bed. Entering that state, it took on a cubic reality. God made this world real by entering it. As we are told, He is not only translucent — I would say, in a translucent manner; we are told, He is above all. He is also through all, and He is in all. If He is through all, He is Omnipresent. If He is in all, He is immanent. Then I am told, He dwells in me. He is in me, He is in you, He is in everyone.
Am I now confined to this little place here at the podium? I am not. I proved that that night. I have proved it unnumbered times since. I am not actually confined to where this body is. I dwell in it; and He who dwells in it is the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God is my imagination.
I have proven to my own satisfaction that my imagination can travel. I don’t have to stand here and think of my home. I can stand here and penetrate my home, leaving the body here as I did on the bed; and penetrating the home, the home becomes a cubic reality, as it will tonight when I take this body home and enter my door. The house is a cubic reality. But must I wait until I get home tonight in this body to give it that? Can I not now, knowing Who God is, — God is Spirit, and He is now encased in this little garment of flesh; but He is Spirit, and I have discovered He is my own wonderful human imagination.
So when man “dies,” he cannot die; only the garment that he “wears” can die. But that Being that he really is, is all imagination. And as He enters, wherever He enters, it takes on cubic reality. That I have proven. The Immortal You cannot die. It did not begin. So when you leave this world, because you are all imagination, — the very moment that you depart, you are in some state; but, you being there, you give it cubic reality. That world is just as real as this world. It’s terrestrial, just as this world is; and no one in this world can “die.” Everything dwells in your own wonderful human imagination.
The purpose, now, is to awaken that Being in you, so He is fully conscious at all times. That is the purpose of life. He who came down and took upon Himself the weaknesses and the limitations of this garment and confined Himself to it, is destined to awaken while He walks this earth. And by “this earth,” I mean this earth to the senses; but it does not end where my senses cease to register it. It doesn’t terminate at the point called “death,” because the Being in it goes on, and He is still in the world. But His entrance into that state gives it a cubic reality just like this room now because we are in it.
Now we come down to a practical use of this Law. Because this is so, your dream now is shadowy. You would like to be other than what you are. I think everyone does in this world. It’s a form of growing and growing; and we grow, and we outgrow. So you would like to be it. But to those who are not in their dream, it’s shadowy — a mere possibility. But to those who enter into the dream, it seems the only substance.
A man who is now poor and embarrassed because of his poverty — he can still dream, and dream of wealth, dream of security; but it’s a shadowy state. It is something that seems to him almost impossible if he is going to use reason. He will say, “How is this thing possible? Because I have no background either intellectually or financially or socially to even hope to achieve that sort of thing.” But if he knows who He really is — the Spirit of God who creates all things dwells in him, and that he can detach that Indwelling Being from the body that he “wears,” and actually enter his dream, — the dream will take on reality. And, if he persists in it, it will objectify itself in this world.
I know that from many problems that I have had. When I was told that I could not do this or I could not do that; having remembered experiences that were all mystical, I applied them to practical things, and they work just as well in the practical state. I entered into my dream. It was a dream.
When I was in the Army, I couldn’t get out; but I wanted to get out, and I wanted to get out honorably. I did not wish to be dishonorably discharged. I wanted to go through this world as a very honest — I would say, clean, wholesome American citizen, and not when asked the question, “Were you ever in the Army?” and then they say, “Were you honorably discharged?” and have to say, “No, I was dishonorably discharged.” I didn’t want that on my record. So, I would not run away from the Army. I wanted out of it, and to get out of it before the end of the war, and to get out of it honorably; so I took the same lesson that I had learned, and I applied it to that.
So while in the Army, I assumed that I am in my home in New York City two thousand miles away. I was in Camp Pope, Louisiana; and I had an apartment in New York City in Washington Square. So going to bed physically at Camp Pope, I went to bed in imagination in my home in New York City, — not there on furlough, not there on some little escape, but there honorably discharged. Then I got off my imaginary bed, walked all through my apartment and saw everything that I would see if I were there. It took on cubic reality.
When I awoke the next morning, I was still in Camp Pope, Louisiana; but that night a strange thing happened to me. It was 4:15 in the morning, and here a sheet came before my eyes, and on this sheet a hand appeared from here down holding a pen, and the pen wrote: “That which I have done, I have done. Do nothing.” First of all, the voice said that, but the pen scratched out my disapproval, for I applied for a discharge, and my Colonel disapproved it. He said, “Disallowed,’ and signed it “Colonel Theodore Bilboe, Jr.” That was his name, which is on a record. You can look it up, for he was the one who disallowed my application for discharge. And the hand simply scratched it out, and over that it wrote in: “Approved,” — this hand holding a pen. Then the voice said to me: “That which I have done, I have done. Do nothing.” What did he do? He scratched out the Colonel’s disapproval, and he wrote in, “Approved.” And then I awoke.
Ten days later I was honorably discharged by that same Colonel, and he shook my hand; and as I left that base, he said, “I will see you after the war is over.”
I said, “All right, Colonel. Thank you very much.” And that very night I was on a train back to my place in New York City.
That’s how it works. I know from my own personal experience. I am sharing with you what I have experienced, both in the world of Caesar and in the world that is transcendent, something entirely different; so when I speak of being “born from above,” I am not theorizing. I am telling you exactly what happened to me.
When I speak of meeting the Son of God who calls me, “Father,” I am telling you exactly what happened to me. When I tell you I ascended into Heaven like a fiery serpent, as told in Scripture, that’s exactly what happened to me, When the dove descended upon my hand, and then smothered me with love, kissing me all over my face, my neck, my head, I know exactly what happened, because it happened to me. So I am only sharing with you, not theory, not speculation, but only what I know from my own experiences.
So tonight, the most impossible thing in the world — and who is not confronted with it? I am, — an almost impossible thing that I have to actually deny the evidence of my senses and apply my Principle towards that event. I know it could not have happened — nothing happens by natural causes. Nothing in this world happens by a natural cause; it’s all spiritual. And you may say –and the world will say — it happened because you did so-and-so over a period of time and that is the cause of your present physical ailment. It isn’t so at all
You admire someone intensely, and try to duplicate their every act in this world, and you wish you were just like them; and they depart this world by a similar experience, and never once did the physical things that you are accused of having done that are the cause of what is happening to you. Never for one moment did it ever occur to her, the one she admired, to actually do for one moment what this one, suffering from the identical thing, is now suffering. And the world will say you are suffering from it because of a physical cause. Had you not done for 40 years what you have done, it could not happen; but yet her own loving mother that she worshiped beyond anyone in this world, and tried so much to emulate, never once in her life smoked a cigarette. She would take an occasional little drink — an occasional a little drink, but very sweet, very weak; and died of the very thing that she now is suffering from. There was no one in this world that she worshiped more than her mother.
That imaginal act in the beginning of time — and the whole thing came forward, and now she is fulfilling completely her ideal to be just like her mother. And the world will tell me that the thing that is happening to her is caused by a physical state. It isn’t so at all. I could duplicate that and multiply it by the unnumbered number, if man only had a memory that could retain the imaginal acts of the past.
“Every natural effect has a spiritual cause, and not a natural. A natural cause only seems. It is a delusion of the perishing vegetable memory.” (Blake, from “Milton”)
If man could only bear in mind that every simple little imaginal act sends a quiver through Omniscience, right through Omnipotence, and right through Immanence so the whole thing is like a huge, big computer, — your imaginal act instantly is added to the sum total of it all; and instantly the whole. thing is changed, and the world is reflecting every imaginal act in this world of man, and keeping it all perfectly recorded, so that there is no such thing as a natural cause. It is all a spiritual cause.
“All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
And where does He dwell? He dwells in us, for He is Spirit, and “the Spirit of God dwells in us.” He dwells in us, and I have, by experiment, discovered what that Spirit is; and I tell you from my own experience, the Spirit of God and the human imagination are one. They are not two.
So when you depart this world, your reality — which is the Spirit of God – is your own wonderful human imagination; and that gives cubic reality to everything in this world if you enter it. Now, the secret is to enter it. Can I enter the state of my wish fulfilled? Those other states were simply experiments. Can I enter the state of the wish fulfilled? I have done it. On several occasions I have. When it seemed essential, I did it. If someone asked of me, I tried my best to do it. And how do I do it? By feeling.
As we are told in the 17th chapter of Acts: “Happy is the man that feels after Him and finds Him,” — he is speaking now of God, — “for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.”
He has just got through speaking to the Athenians. He said, “Oh, men of Athens, I see that you are very religious; but I notice over your temple an inscription to the Unknown God. Now, the one you worship as unknown, I will reveal to you, for He is not a God afar off. He is near, that you may feel after Him and find Him; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” So the God of Whom I speak is never so far off as even to be near, for nearness implies separation. No matter how near he is, that’s not the God. He can’t be near because I AM He. “Be still and know that I AM God.” That is what you are told in the 46th Psalm, the 10th verse.
“Be still,” — why? That you may know “I AM He.” I am God. So the fundamental sin of Scripture is the lack of faith in “I AM He.” As you are told, “You will die in your sins,” — that is, you will die missing the mark, — “unless you believe I AM He.”
“And before that the world was, I AM.” “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
So “I AM” can’t he near; that’s the core of my being. I can say, “I am a man,” and that’s something near. “I have a hand”; that is near. “I am rich”; that is near. “I am poor”; that is near. But before I can say anything, I must first establish the sense of being, and that is I AM. So I must first be, before I can be anything in this world. And so, the lack of faith in that reality is the fundamental sin.
So here I share with you what I have discovered. I have discovered that your own wonderful human imagination is the Spirit of God, and that you can enter any state in this world, and on entrance, it ceases to be a flat surface, depicting reality. It is reality. Why? Because you are the reality who dwells in it. Wherever you are, things are real. If you are not in it, then they are not real. They go to their flat surfaces.
And all things exist in the human imagination. We are called upon to select that state in which we will dwell — the state that we will enter and make real in our world. And I do it by simply feeling. What would the feeling be like, were it true?
How would I feel, were it true? And how would I see the world, were it true? Then I feel myself into that state, and try to give it all the tones of reality, all the sensory vividness that I can. If I can give it sensory vividness and the tones of reality, even though I do not see it, it will work; but sometimes it becomes so vivid and so intense, you do see it. The whole thing opens. Your eye opens, and the whole thing is real; and then you are in an entirely different world — the world of your dreams, for because you entered it, it is real.
But whether the eye opens or not, it will still work, may I tell you? This is the Law spoken of in Scripture; and because no Creator in the world exists but God, — He is the only one, — He has to create good and evil. If there is good and evil, God does it. If there is darkness and light, God did it.
He said, “I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal, and none can deliver out of my hands.” We think a “devil” kills and God makes alive; that the devil wounds and God heals. It’s God who kills and God who wounds, and God who makes alive and God who heals. There is only God. Read it in the 32nd chapter of Deuteronomy.
“I, even I, am He, and there is no God beside me. I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; and none can deliver out of my hands.” And the God spoken of in that chapter is seated here in everyone who is seated, for that one in you is the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God is your own wonderful human imagination. So blame no one in this world for anything that befalls you.
It’s too late to share with you an experience of mine last Sunday morning, but I will on Friday. I asked for it. I woke at 1:30 and thinking of many things concerning my dear wife, I asked for some wonderful experience now, and then fell asleep. And it came in the most glorious manner while I was waking at 6:15. I ran straight to my yellow pad and wrote the whole thing down. It was the most vivid experience in answer. Because I wove myself into an experience, it had to take place. What experience it would be, I left it in the depths of my own Being to decide that. But give me some wonderful experience this night in answer to something; and then came the most glorious experience. And then I wrote the whole thing down. It’s too long to tell tonight. I will tell you on Friday if you are here. Or whether you are here or not, I will tell it on Friday.
Let us go into the Silence.
Now, are there any questions, please?
A Lady: What is the difference in the reality factor between the body on the bed and what they call astral projection? Is there a difference?
Neville: Well I have had out-of-body experiences of what the world would call astral projection, but they are not anything like this. I am convinced that the Thing-That-You-Really-Are is dreaming what you believe yourself to be. One day you will awake; and you and the dreamer of you will be one. I have seen myself out of this body many times, but it is not that of which I speak today.
Any other questions, please?
Another Lady: If you have time, I would like to hear again the story that you told about an experience you had in the past where you tried to get through a wall, and you couldn’t get through it.
Neville: That was really an astral projection. I was living in my hotel room in New York City; and I felt this peculiar force in my head, and I moved out in a circular motion — or rather, a spiral motion, and I found myself on the beach. I didn’t know anyone, but I knew I had just left a body on the bed in New York City. I was more curious about how that thing happened than about the people on the beach. They meant nothing to me. So I inwardly wished to return and duplicate it, but this time not to go to the beach, but to actually come down in the room and observe the body out of which I had just spun. So I had no sooner wished it then I came back into the body; and I am in the body, and I am not in the body.
But now the same motion is taking place, the same intensity; but this time, as I whirled out in a spiral motion, I willed myself to come back into that room and not go elsewhere. I wanted to see exactly how this thing works. So I came into the hotel room, and there was the body on the bed. The face is covered with a cloud. There are breaks in the cloud; and through the breaks in the cloud I can see my face, but only through breaks in the cloud. And here I am looking at this “thing,” — I call it a “thing” because the Reality is looking at it. That which I always believed to be my reality, my self that I shave in the morning, that I bathe in the morning and I feed all through the day, — that’s only an envelope. I am the Being looking at it.
Well I figured: Now, if I am now out, I am Spirit; therefore I could easily go through the wall. And so, I ran towards the wall and ran at it and bumped my head. I came back and was thinking to myself, that’s crazy. Spirit, — there is the thing that should bump its head, not me. I ran again, and I bumped my head again. I came back and this time I said, “Now, there must be some way that it can be done because I am Spirit.”
I imagined myself out of that room, and instantly I was where I imagined myself. The mere fact that I saw the wall as a barrier, it was a harrier to me; and so, trying to go through it, I was going against my own rational mind, and so I bumped it. But when I stood in the room, not going through any wall or any door, I simply imagined myself elsewhere, and I was elsewhere.
So that’s how I learned that lesson, — with a good bump. Now that was an involuntary projection. I have had many voluntary ones. But I am not talking of that. That is behind me now. That is like child’s play. I am speaking of God in us, who is called in Scripture “Jesus Christ,” for the divine body of God is your own wonderful human imagination, which is one with God, who is Jesus Christ. That’s the Lord.
And may I tell you, in the end, although all these bumps and these horrors of the world, in the end, He is Infinite Love. He appears at first as power — destructive violence; but in the end, it was Love behind it all — just sheer Love — nothing but Love in the end. And that is God.