25 May Neville Goddard Lectures: “The Foundation Stone – Imagination”
by Neville Goddard 12/1/59 –
We believe that man can create anything he desires. We believe the Universe is infinite response and the one who causes it is the individual perceiver. Nothing is independent of your perception of it. We are so interwoven we are part of the machine, but as we awake we detach ourselves from this machine and make life as we wish it to be. “For man is all Imagination and God is man and exists in us and we in him.” “The eternal body of man is the Imagination: that is God himself.” You can imagine and I can imagine, and if we can be faithful to the state imagined it must appear in our world. This is not new. This was given centuries ago, for we have it in the Bible; but people do not know how to read the Bible, so they got together and organised it into an “ism.” It is not an “ism,” but it is the great plan to free man. The Bible shows this plan in detail. We will turn to a few passages and show you what those who wrote it intended we should see.
Isaiah 28:16: “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: He who believes will not be in haste.'” Now, we are told in the Book of Psalms that the world rejected the stone. “The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.” “You cannot lay any other stone.” “On this stone you may build gold, silver, hay, or stubble and the day will reveal it.” I tell you that this stone is your Imagination, and it is called in the Bible: Christ Jesus, or God, or the Lord. It is your Imagination, which is one with the Divine Imagination which created, sustains, changes, and even destroys parts of the creation. This is the stone that is tested and it is a sure foundation, and he who believes in it will not be in haste. If I can but imagine and know that imagining creates reality I will not be impatient or lead a superficial life. When a man does not live in his Imagination he will become impatient of the outcome of what he desires, and finally he will become violent in his effort to get things.
Here is one who asks the question: “Who do men say that the Son of Man is?” Some said this and some that, but again he asked: “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13) “And Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in Heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.”
The churches tell you that it means a man called Peter. It is not an individual. The whole thing takes place in the mind of you the individual. You imagine a certain state and it is called Peter. If it were a man called Peter, you would not find what you find six verses later. For there he turns to the same character, Peter, and says to him: “Get behind me Satan: You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.” That is what every man in the world does. He gets a revelation and he realises the foundation stone is Imagining. He sees a friend who needs help and he imagines he has what he wants. If he believes it, he is not in haste. He is imagining what he wants and he is not violent, and he is not concerned, and he does not give suggestions to the friend as to what to do physically to bring his desire to pass. If the foundation stone is true, there is only one power to support it. If he knows that, he will not allow himself to be turned; he will remain faithful to his assumption. But we are told in the Bible story that the one who had been commended, Peter, turned and became violent, and then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me, Satan.” You turn back to the ways of men to get things to go as you want them to go. You pull all the wires and therefore you have turned from the only foundation in the world, and that is Christ Jesus, which is human Imagination. If you believe this you will not reject the stone.
” Stone” is “even” [in Hebrew] and it means to create, or build, or beget children. Here is a stone in “Zion” (which means a high pinnacle or a barren place). That is man, before the stone is sunk in him. He is the waste, the desert. Sunk in man as his Imagination is the only foundation stone, for [there is] no other foundation of the living God and he has sunk himself in me. Therefore, I am the son of the living God, for there is only one and I Am he. If I believe this, I will not be impatient. “He who believes it will not be in haste.” This is the Lord’s way. I ask you to test it. Bring before your mind’s eye what you want to see in this world. It may be business or a friend’s good fortune. It can be anything, for on this foundation you can put stubble, or wood, or hay. You are building with hay when you say of someone: “I know – he was no good.” They lived in that state concerning another and then it came to pass – and they say: “I always thought he was like that.” Some of us build strange things for another. We were imagining on the only foundation, but we have put stubble on it instead of gold or silver, and the day revealed it, and then we cannot relate what happens to anything we have done.
The Hebrew meaning of the “stone” is to beget children. All the events of my life are my children. Everyone can build on this one foundation. “I am laying in Zion a stone.” What stone? God is burying himself in everyone in the world. It is a true stone, a precious cornerstone, and one who believes will not be in haste. I have seen an imaginal act take two years to come forth, but when it appeared – what a giant! I have seen it come in an hour. But do not be in haste or think there is any other foundation and – like Peter – turn to another foundation, growing violent toward those who would lead Jesus to the cross. But Christ said: “I came to move toward the cross. Get behind me, Satan. You are a hindrance to me.”
If I am still in the machine, I think the good things come only by accident or chance. Let the wheel turn, for each must go through all the furnaces until he awakens and sees the whole universe as infinite response. The day will come when every person, at a certain degree of awakening, will freeze an activity within himself, and as it comes to a stop within him, that whole section is “dead.” The laws of nature are only free action, repeated until they become accepted as a law. Yet you will see leaves in mid-air not falling, and people moving in space will cease to move but will not fall, for as you stopped the action within yourself the whole thing stopped. And you will see the whole thing as Zion – the desert – and the only thing that makes it alive is the stone buried in it. But man becomes lost in the things he has made and gives to them the power. For example, through the use of his Imagination he brings money into his world; then he forgets that it was the activity of his mind that did this, and he sees in the money itself the power to get what he desires. But when he awakes he will no longer lose himself in his own creation.
I say to everyone here: there is only one stone. If tonight there is someone very ill who needs your help and you imagine the best for him and then you get news that he is worse tomorrow, do not be impatient, but remain faithful to the one stone laid in Zion. What more can you do after you have imagined? Someone writes to you about a problem. Imagine for them what they desire and then do not turn aside to do anything to make it come true. You remain faithful, and it will create the conditions necessary to bring fulfillment.
You can look at someone with deep concern and want a change. You do not voice it, but lock it in, and then forty-eight hours later there is initiated what you set in motion. And they wonder: “Could my problem be traced to so-and-so?” Just the very thing you had been thinking! You entertained their problem with deep concern, and then you will ask: “Did you influence me or did I influence you? When did you entertain this thought?” And they say: “Just now,” and then you say: “Forty-eight hours ago I entertained this thought, but I did not say it aloud.” That makes no difference. All things by a law divine in one another’s beings mingle. We all influence each other. We are all interpenetrated, and the more one is deeply concerned for another, the more he is penetrated by another.
I say the universe is infinite response, but it also gives back more than you imagine. It is pressed down and running over. Therefore, to be negative can be frightening. The good will come back a thousandfold, but so will the negative. But if I am optimistic and do not waver, I will bring that also pressed down and running over. It is something wonderful; it will come like a gusher. The world responds more than it takes, and it gives to the individual more than he imagines – good or bad.
I say to everyone that the greatest of books is the Bible, but people have organised it, and even say they have found the remains of Peter or some other Biblical character. Peter is not a man, but a state. You rise up to the crown of it all and that is Christ. States are permanent but I am not fixed; I am a living moving being. I can be praised for one state and then I see a morning headline, say, and move from that true foundation, and then the power rebukes me as Satan, for I reacted instead of acted. Would you like to be in the state called Peter, the one addressed in Matthew 16? How? Let me say, and mean it: “My Imagination is God and there is no other.” It is one with the supreme power and let me live in that state, and then I am being addressed: “You are blessed, Simon Bar-Jona.” It means the depth of my being is giving it to me. Can I do it? The day that you do it and remember you did it, at that moment you are relating that story. When Peter confessed: “Thou art the Christ,” that is the stone on which the whole thing rests, but when he got away from that and reacted, then he was called Satan, or the re-actor.
God is begetting sons by means of the stone. He buries himself in every man in the world, but he is rejected. I can tell you these things here, but if I told them across the airways I would be immediately turned off. People cannot believe they are responsible for their imaginal acts. They do not want to believe it. I cannot be free of the results of what I imagine. Go out determined to prove it, and having proved it, keep the stone alive. There is no other stone. “No other can any man lay, which is Christ Jesus,” But on this build anything – but build gold, do not build hay or stubble. I want everyone here to test it. Take someone who is really distressed, and if you believe in the foundation you will leave here tonight without any concern for them, even if you receive wires stating things are worse. It might take a week or a month, but that which you have imagined, if you remain faithful to the stone, will come.
I have seen a man looking at a building – which is an inanimate thing – and you would say it could not respond. How can he look at it and see his name on it when he does not have a nickel? But he did it. I know the man. [Neville’s brother] and in a way he could not have devised, the building became his. Let no one tell you that something cannot respond, but when we are still part of the machine, we cannot quite see that we are the cause of everything in our world, and we hope good fortune will smile on us. Then when you set something bad in motion, as the machine turns you cannot see what caused it, but when you become awake you can control the machine. It responds to the imaginal acts of the awakened man, for the awakened man is in control.
A thrill is in store for you when you can finally stop all activity and the whole thing will freeze. You will know what the so-called wise men say, but you will hear only these words: “I thank you Father that you have hid these things from the wise and pious and revealed them unto babes.” For you will know that it is the perceiver who is making everything alive. For you will find that nothing is independent of the mind of the perceiver. A truly awakened teacher could freeze certain sections for the edification of his students if he chose. By normal standards everything would die if you suspended activity; but it does not die, for there is nothing outside of your perception of it. Take your boss or an employee and represent them to yourself as you want them to be, and believe in the reality of the foundation stone, and then you will not make haste to bring it to pass. For Imagination is creating reality, and in a way no one knows it will be brought to pass if you remain faithful is to be brought up by his wife’s sister. This man had tried for seven years to get enough ahead to take a trip to St. Louis to see the child. He constantly tried to see himself getting a job with more money so he could make the trip. He was told that by the right use of this law he should only see himself with his child and let the way be left to God. Following this he was given a job that took him from Los Angeles to New Orleans. But that was not near St. Louis. He took the job and persisted in his dream, and in three months he was transferred to the St. Louis run and given a twenty-four hour layover there every week.
The best thing that ever happened to me was when I was fired from Macy’s during the depression. I might be captain of the elevators if I had stayed there. My father lost everything he owned, and that proved to be the beginning of the great dream he brought to pass. One person believed in him and he started on that, and when he made his exit last October, he had given to his community much that no one had ever given before. The blackest day of his life turned out to be the bright day of his life. No matter what you have done, forget it. You are God and God is untarnished, for he is all imagining.
Now, you start to imagine and make it something of which you can be proud. Make it big. If it is truly the stone being laid in Zion, do not turn to any argument of man. You be faithful, and whatever you put on the stone as an imaginal activity will come into your world. Of course, you may go back to the world of men, like Peter. He denied the stone three times but he did then return to it again. You may do that, but in the end you will learn, for in the depth of your being the words are being said: “Get behind me, Satan.” But I have seen people forget. I have seen them rise from nothing to great heights and then say: “It would have happened anyway.” They do not believe that their imaginal activity was the foundation on which they built that structure. There is only one stone and that is your wonderful Imagination.
This works better if you do not try to aid it on the outside, for it is not flesh and blood that revealed it to you. You got it from the Christ.
Now let us go into the silence.