25 May Neville Goddard Lectures: “The Artist is God”
by Neville Goddard 5/19/69
God is the great artist, and there is no artistry so lovely as that which perfects itself in the making of its image. God has but one consuming objective and that is to make you into his image, that you may reflect and radiate his glory. On this level however God exists as the human imagination, for the human imagination is the divine body called the Lord Jesus.
On the highest level God’s great artistry is concentrated on the making of his image; on this level he – as you – can do the same. A friend may say he would like to be a doctor; another friend wants to be a successful businessman, or a dancer. Every desire is an image. As the artist, lowered to this level, you can form images of your friends. And if you persist in your assumption, in time your friends will radiate and reflect your artistry.
God is the great dreamer in man, bound in a deadly dream until he forms the image called Christ, in himself. Only when Christ is formed in man will he awaken from his dream of life. Now, on this level you can be bound in a dream, too. Perhaps you would like to be a great artist. That is your dream, your image. How would you feel right now if you were? Can you believe your assumption is true even though your reason and senses deny it? Can you persist in your imagination, as the highest level of your being persists in his image?
We are told: “When you pray, believe you have received it and you will.” Prayer is not a lot of empty words, but imagination braced in feeling. Every Sunday people go to church, say the Lord’s Prayer, and come out of the building just the same as they were when they went in. Their words were empty, as no prayer was answered. Now they are going to stop praying to their demoted mythological saints, for that is all saints are. The 115th Psalm describes these so-called saints, and tells us that those who believe in them are just as stupid as those who make and sell them.
While here in this world, I asked myself how I would go about being the artist who could make myself into the image of a successful minister of the word of God. I knew I would have to start on the highest level by assuming I had finished what I was starting to do, and I knew I would have to remain faithful to that end, that image. This I have done.
The most creative thing in us is to believe a thing into objective existence. Can you believe that something is already objective to you, even though your mortal eyes cannot see it? Can you walk, drenched in the feeling that it is an objective fact, until it becomes so? That’s how everything is brought into being, for all things exist in the human imagination, who is God himself. Imagination is the divine body called Jesus, the Lord. If you are willing to step out, asking no one if it is right or wrong, and dare to walk in the assumption your image is true, it will come to pass.
Let me share with you a simple story. A very dear friend of mine who lives in New York City was born in Russia of a very poor Jewish family. He knew what it was like to be frightened when he heard the Cossacks were coming, for they burned homes and caused pain for the sheer joy of frightening people. Joseph was the eldest of a family of five, a boy not more than nine or ten when his mother died, leaving his father to maintain his family alone. Little Joseph found a job taking money from a store to the bank and having it changed into smaller denominations. He had never known what it was like to wear shoes, but wrapped his feet in newspapers or whatever he could find to keep them warm. His clothes had always come from charity, but he – like all men – brought his innate knowledge with him when he came into this world.
So, one day, as he watched the cashier changing the money he brought, he noticed that the big copper coins, when rolled in paper, resembled the silver coins, even though their value was widely separated. Then he said to himself: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he made a mistake?” and in his imagination Joseph took the money rolled through the window to him in the assumption that the mistake was already made. He then walked back to the shop, filled with the sense of joy. Reason told him no mistake was made, but he thought of all the things he could buy if he had the money. He would buy a pair of slacks, a pair of shoes, and eat until it came out of his ears – a thing he had never experienced before. He had the satisfaction of walking those many blocks in the mood of having what he wanted.
The next day, when Joseph returned to the same teller, the man made the mistake. As Joseph left the bank he wrestled with himself, but his poverty and embarrassment were greater than his ethical code; so he went to another bank and changed the money into the correct denominations and kept the overage. That night he bought himself a pair of slacks, new shoes, and ate at a restaurant until he could eat no more. He told me that although he wrestled with his conscience all night, he could not justify his act; but he learned a lesson. He learned that Sir Anthony Eden was right when he said: “An assumption, though false, if persisted in will harden into fact.”
Sir Anthony did not need position or money, but he knew a law which undoubtedly he used through his years. Today my friend Joseph is a multi-millionaire. I am quite sure he is far, far richer in Caesar’s dollars and cents than Anthony Eden, for Joseph learned and lived by this knowledge. He never duns his customers. When they are long overdue in payment, Joseph sits alone and mentally writes a letter thanking the man for the receipt of his check – and within four days he receives it. If poverty would teach this lesson to everyone, all should be born equally poor. Joseph now lives in an apartment in New York City where he pays $12,000 a year in rent as well as $45,000 a year rent for his street business. He now has businesses in Paris, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, for he learned how to move. Leaving Russia at the age of sixteen, Joseph found a job driving a garbage truck in France, where – seemingly by accident – he met the great dancer, Anna Pavlova. She suggested he follow in his father’s footsteps and make undergarments for women, which he did and is now famous for.
I am asking you to do as Joseph did, for I am teaching you a principle, and leave you to your choice and its risk. I have told this story in the past and there has always been someone in the audience who has criticised me for telling it, claiming I am leading people astray. I have always had a suspicion, however, that those who are most vocal in their criticism are justifying their own behavior. I am not urging you to forget all these so-called codes, but to tell you that we all ate of the tree of good and evil, and have suffered ever since. I am not suggesting you go out and steal from anyone, or that Joseph should – as some have suggested – pay the money back. If he did, to whom would he send it, to Stalin? Well, Stalin stole the entire country, not just a few coins as Joseph did. No, Joseph has given tens of thousands of dollars to help friends and charities, not to justify his act as a child, but out of the goodness of his heart.
Tonight I give you a principle: God is the great artist, who – as your own wonderful human imagination – is perfecting his work through the ages in the making of his own image in you. Do you have an image? Name it. Now, are you willing to simply assume that you have it, and wait for its objectification? Every image has its own appointed hour to ripen and flower. If it be long, wait, for its appearance is sure and will not be late. Are you willing to wait for the happiness you now seek, or are you going to try to go on the outside and make it so? If you are willing to apply this principle and let it happen, you will become the successful businessman, doctor, minister, or whatever you desire to be. If you will assume your desire and live there as though it were true, no power on earth can stop it from becoming a fact, because you are God and your only opponent is yourself.
There is nothing but God, but man – not knowing this – creates opposition and calls it Satan or the devil, both of which are just as nonexistent as St. Christopher. Millions believe in them and give them power they do not possess. But I urge you to believe in nothing but God, who is your own wonderful human Imagination.
In time you will depart this world, certainly. This is a world of death, so why remain here forever? You will play your part here, while God forms his image in you. And when that image is complete, you will awaken to be born from above. Then the child will appear to signal your birth and fulfill the promise recorded in the Book of Isaiah: “Unto us a child is born.” Five months later, God’s son is given to you as a sign that the image is now perfect. When you look into the face of your son, David, you will see yourself as the eternal youth. You are now God the Father, and he is your Son who glorifies you. If you could see yourself matured, you would see the Ancient of Days, whose son is his image yet eternally young. That image is now being formed in you and in time will become objectified. So have faith, which is nothing more than the subjective appropriation of your objective hope. Set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you when the Christ Spirit stands before you and calls you Father.
In the 4th chapter of Galatians, Paul tells of Christ’s formation, and questions himself, saying: “I see you are worshiping days and months, seasons and years; I’m afraid I have labored over you in vain.” When I see a man I thought had outgrown these little concepts, turn back to images and days, months, seasons, and years, and call them holy – when there is no such thing in God’s kingdom – I feel like Paul, that my labour has been in vain. Every moment of time is holy and wherever you stand is holy. It may be a bar, but it is a holy place, because you are there. Others may say it is wrong, but I ask you: who is standing there? God, and wherever God is, is holy ground. This is true of every person in the world, but they do not know it.
They think they must leave those they love and rush off to church on Sunday morning, and if they don’t make it on time they have violated God’s wish. But God wishes you would stay home and love your family, and if that one day you could ease the burden of your wife with the children, do it. If you can’t do it as well as she does through the week, do it to the best of your ability. She will understand and be blessed for your trying to ease her burden for the moment. That is far better than rushing off to some church and praying to gods which do not exist. I am not telling you not to go to church; some people enjoy the comfort and the friendships found there. They enjoy the coffee hour after the meeting – perhaps more than the service. Many hope to meet a mate there, but that is not what I am talking about. I am telling you of the great artist. His name is I AM, for he is your own wonderful awareness of being.
On this level of Caesar, follow the same pattern the highest level of our awareness of being is doing. As the collective unity, together we had an image. Our image was to make man like us. Then we became enslaved in this deadly dream and now suffer amnesia.
But the Heavenly Man that we truly are will not break his pledge. He remains bound by his deadly dreams of good and evil until he forms his image in himself. Every state you choose to enter will be recorded and added up, while He remains faithful to that divine image; and when the image appears, you will see David – the anointed, Christed one.
I have found my anointed, my chosen one, my first-born, and he has called me Father. He has called me God, the Rock of his salvation. This is true, for I brought him into being. Now I can depart in peace, for I have done exactly what I promised myself to do in the beginning of time.
It has been taught us from the primal state, that he which is, was wish until he were. I wished to make man in my own image. I did not deviate from my wish but kept that vision before me constantly, no matter what I did in the lower levels of my being. I made it all add up, for all things work for good to him who loves the Lord, who is the individual’s highest being. Tonight, every wish of your heart is possible to attain. Let no one tell you what you ought to wish, for all things are yours to appropriate now.
A friend shared a series of her visions with me. She wants to be a composer and I will tell her right now: you can be as great as you wish to be. In one of her visions she found herself in the company of Chopin, who was showing her how to compose. They seemed to be walking above a body of water, and as she looked, the water was not only the subject but the inspiration of the composition. This young girl, now only in her teens, shared this fantastic vision with me. In another dream she was told to read the Book of Numbers. Well, it is in the 12th chapter of Numbers that we are told that God speaks to you in dreams and makes himself known in vision. When vision breaks out into speech, the presence of deity is affirmed. In her vision the spirit of Chopin was telling her (even though she did not see his face) how to compose.
You do not see the face right away. In fact, the real face you will not see until the son appears. Just prior to that you will see the Risen Lord and fuse with him. And when his son appears, you will see yourself, made young. David is the image of the being who fuses with you, only young. He – an eternal youth – is your son, who has always done your will.
In my friend’s vision she is with Chopin. Being by nature a pianist, what better instructor could she have? She is being spiritually instructed, for she is the spirit of Chopin, as in the depth of her soul they are one. Whatever your inspiration may be, you will draw to yourself that which you have assumed you want to be. If in your mind’s eye a certain person is great and you want to be as great as he is, you will draw him out of yourself to instruct you. You are only instructing yourself, however, for every vision takes place within the human imagination. “All that you behold, though it appears without, it is within your imagination of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.”
Choose an image you would like to express. Feel you are that image. So appropriate it that it must come forth in your world of shadows. Do that and you are praying, for prayer is your own wonderful human imagination, drenched with feeling. I could tell you story after story after story of those who have drenched themselves with the feeling of having their desire, and getting it. Feel the wedding ring, if that is your desire. Feel the thrill of applause, or the joy of a child in your arms. Anything is possible if you can feel it; but if you are going to use reason it will never happen, because failure becomes your image. You don’t realise it but there are two of you, and it is your deeper self that tells you it can’t happen. But no real belief can ever be suppressed for long, for your inward conviction must find some external objective habitation, and it will.
What is your deep conviction tonight? What is the true image you believe yourself to be? Is it that you are a failure or a success? If you believe the headlines of the paper you will be frightened, for they thrive on crisis. Do you know there are people who only write headlines? Good news is always put on the tenth page, but if the news is frightening it will find front page print. Our boys are on their way to the moon tonight. Their trip made the first page today, but if something violent happens tomorrow, the violent act will get the headlines and not our exciting trip to the moon. Ignore the headlines and remain faithful to your image. What do you really want? Don’t try to tell me that it is going to be difficult, because your very words block its fulfillment. Can you believe all things are possible to God? No one would have bet one nickel on me when I left the little island of Barbados at the age of seventeen, having voiced a desire to be a minister of the word of God.
Unschooled as I was (and still am, in the formal sense of the word) who would believe the word of God would be revealed to me? But my one consuming desire was to have a true vision, because I knew that a man becomes what he beholds. I didn’t want the vision to be false, even if it was given to me by some giant with many degrees, because I would be accepting the vision he follows. I wanted truth to be revealed to me, for if it is true that a man becomes what he beholds, then I wanted to behold truth, that I would become it – and I have.
When I tell you of David, I speak from revealed truth, and not from something I found in a book. Rabbis, ministers, and priests deny my words, because they are not what they were taught. They bring their own prefabricated misconceptions of scripture to scripture, and cannot understand the words of one who has witnessed the truth of God’s word.
I found the truth, as Paul did. It did not come from a man nor was I taught it by a man, but it came through a revelation, which was the unveiling of God within me. That unveiling occurred when I was confronted by and fused with the Risen Lord.
While you are here do not neglect Caesar’s world. You have to pay rent, buy food and clothing. Don’t let anyone tell you this is sordid; you must do it while you are here. You must render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. Forget the concept that Jesus got food from out of the air, for it is not true. The man in whom the pattern awoke laboured as you and I do; and if you think I am being foolish about it, read the first two verses of the 8th chapter of Luke, where it states that he was supported by three women “from their own substance.”
When Paul began to tell the visions as they unfolded in him, he said: “I earn my own bread.” He didn’t get any bread out of the atmosphere, but laboured as a man, while he tried to persuade everyone that they would awaken to discover they were God, and all that is said of Him in the gospel they would personally experience.
I am telling you what I know from experience. I am not theorising. I am not speculating. I hope you will so believe me, that when I depart this world, you will not forget my message. May I tell you: you may think you have wavered in the forming of that image you set out to do in the beginning, but you have not; for the depth of your being and my being are one, and that brotherhood has never once faltered. He agreed in the beginning to dream this dream of life, in concert. This we have done and will continue to do until the image is formed in each one of us.
Now let us go into the silence.