25 May Neville Goddard Lectures: “The Lord, Our Potter”
by Neville Goddard 11/7/69 –
In the 64th chapter of the Book of Isaiah we read: “O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay. Thou art our potter; we are the work of thy hand.” When you hear the words Lord,
Father, and potter, do you think of another? I certainly hope not.
The word “Lord” is Jod He Vau He [pron. Yod Hey Vav Hey] which is defined as I AM. Your own wonderful I AMness is the Lord, your Father. And the word “potter” means “imagination; that which is shaping your world.” Imagination is the Lord, the potter, the shaper of your world, molding it into its present form.
” God is Man and exists in us and we in Him. The Eternal Body of Man is the Imagination which is God Himself.” (William. Blake)
Let me share a story I read in the October 26th magazine section of the New York Times. It was a letter written by one while in prison on an island in the Asian Sea. This gentleman was under house arrest, watched 24-hours a day, and only allowed to go for a short walk before dinner. Every morning at 9:00 and every evening at 6:00 he had to sign in at the police station before returning to his room.
Now, these are his words: “I began to imagine the tree in the village of Paula the day after my escape. I watched the man whose job it is to sit in the square and watch me as he drank his coffee. I smelled the fresh baked bread coming from the bakery and heard the cobbler opening his shop, and knew it was now 9:00. At 9:30 I would imagine an official speak to the man seated in the square, look up at my apartment intently as the man told him he had not seen me on my balcony that day.
At 10:00 the police would come to investigate and knock down the door. By 10:30 the news would scatter abroad and all would know that I had escaped. Throughout the day the villagers would pass in their silent way, secretly casting a knowing glance at each other, rejoicing in my freedom. Then I would imagine my friends gathering around their little short-wave radio, hearing the news of my escape. It seemed I felt the greatest thrill when I reached the scene where they all knew that I was free.”
At first this was only a day-dream, and then he began to believe in its reality. Oh yes, there were physical means by which he escaped, but they came into being as a result of his imaginal activity. I tell you, to attempt to change the circumstances of your life before you change your imaginal activity relative to it, is to struggle against the very nature of things; for this is a world of imagination, created by God – your reality and all imagination.
All things exist in Divine Imagination who is reproducing Himself in you, the human imagination; therefore, all things exist in you.
Now, you don’t have to be a prisoner physically to use this law. You could be imprisoned financially, socially, or intellectually. All you need is a keen desire to change. And you can, by doing the same thing this gentlemen did; by imagining the scene that would take place the day after your wedding; the day after you received your promotion; the day after you were financially set free to live graciously. Choose your day-after, and then imagine the scene that would take place. This gentleman started by letting the villagers know of his escape imaginatively.
Now, you have friends. They know your present position and the conditions that surround you. If they are not as you would like them to be, let your friends know – not verbally or outwardly – but in your imagination. See them seeing you as they would have to see you, the day after they know things are just as you want them to be. Then wait in confidence for ways to open that you could not devise. No one knows how or when it will happen, but it will. You will find yourself walking across some bridge of incident that you did not consciously devise, which takes you to your freedom – whatever that end may be.
I tell you, “Man is all Imagination and God is Man and exists in us and we in Him. The Eternal Body of Man is the Imagination and that is God Himself.” When this God awakes within you, His birth clothes you with everything said of Him in scripture. It is said that He is the light of the world; that He is love; that He is the power and the wisdom of the universe. May I tell you, when He awakes in you, you will be clothed with power, with wisdom, with light, and with love. And those whose eyes are opened into the inner, eternal world of thought will see you clothed as God.
But if the eye is not opened, they will see you only as the little garment that you wear, with all of its weaknesses and limitations. This you will continue to wear until that silver cord which ties you to it, is released. Only then will your heavenly inheritance be fully realised. But at night, while your garment of flesh sleeps here, you are detached, and move into the world of eternity where you are fully conscious of what you are doing. Then a quick series of events will pull you back to this waking surface of the mind, and you will tell your story in the hope that all who hear it will believe you. One day they will believe, for they will have an identical experience. No one can fail, for grace cannot be earned. It is a gift, given to all when God awakens in all, individualised as the one in whom he awakens.
This man started by simply imagining what the villagers would do if they knew he was free. Being a general under the leadership of the king, the legitimate ruler of the island of Greece, he was imprisoned when the opposition took over, as were many intelligent, brilliant minds of the day.
If they could only see the secret of his story, they too would be set free. Not by the same means I am sure, because God is infinite in his creative power. He has ways and means we know not of. It’s not the story of the means that is important, but the principle; for the means follow the principle.
He simply imagined a scene which would imply the fulfillment of his desire. He began to imagine seeing his friends gathered around the short-wave radio in secret, hearing the news of his escape. The man sat in the square and drank his coffee every day, just as the baker baked his bread and the cobbler opened his shop; but the knowledge of his escape was news – and not an everyday occurrence – for his friends to celebrate. But this day was different and that gave him the thrill of his life to imagine.
Start now to create the scene which, if true, would imply the fulfillment of your desire. If you will, there is no power that can stop its coming into being; because your Lord is your Father, who is your potter, and your desire is clay in His hand. So “Rise and go down to the potter’s house” said the Lord to the prophet Jeremiah, “and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house and there he was working at his wheel. Although the clay in his hand was spoiled, he didn’t discard it but reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
When someone comes into your world, don’t discard him by turning your back because he is ill, financially troubled, or not successful in his own eyes. Rather, see his desire as clay in your imaginal hands. Take that same vessel (person) and rework him into another state as it seems good to you to do.
If he is unemployed, rework him into a man who is gainfully employed and happier than he has ever been in his life. That’s all you do. What means will be applied toward his employment is not your concern. Your only desire is to be the perfect potter.
The individual came into your world as a spoiled vessel, not to be discarded, but to be reworked into another vessel as it seems good to you – the potter – to do. Read it in the 18th chapter, the 2nd through the 4th verses of the Book of Jeremiah. “Arise! Go down to the potter’s house and there I will let you hear my words. So I went down to the potter’s house and there he was working at his wheel, but the vessel in his hand which he was making of clay was spoiled, so he reworked it into another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to do.” And when you do, you will know who the potter is!
This law is true for anyone you may encounter. He need not be a blood relative. He may be someone a friend spoke of; but may I tell you: in the end we are all related, for we are all intermingled and really one. We are not as separate as the world thinks we are. I could not see you this moment if you did not penetrate my brain; so you are literally within me, even though you seemingly exist in the surrounding world independent of my perception.
Now, if you should change on the outside and I become aware of it, the corresponding change would take place within me relative to you. Your change could take place socially, intellectually, financially, or even in your physical appearance; but if I encounter the change, it penetrates me. My acceptance of it will cause me to modify the image of you that I hold.
Now, must I wait for the change to appear on the outside before I can change my image of you; or can I produce the change in me first, and then see a corresponding change on the outside? I can if I know that the potter is my own wonderful human imagination and is creating everything that is taking place in my world. “O Lord, thou art our Father, we are the clay. Thou art our potter, we are the works of thy hand.” The potter, the Lord, and the Father, are the same being; the same awareness; the same Imagination.
Believe my words! Trust your imagination! Having reproduced himself in you, all things now exist in your imagination. If you desire changes, produce them first on the inside. Penetrate that which exists in you, as that penetration will compel the outside to conform to the changes which you, the potter brought to pass. The only way to prove this is to try it. Imagine a scene which would take place after your desire has been fulfilled.
Do not concern yourself as to how it is going to happen; simply go to the end. The most creative thing in you is your power to imagine a thing into existence. We are told in the Book of Hebrews that, “The things which are seen are made out of things which do not appear.” No one can see your thoughts when you sit down to imagine. They are unseen by the outer world, but you know what you have done. Now, because imagination and faith are what creates and sustains your world, if you do not have faith in what you have imagined, it will not come to pass. It cannot, because imagination and faith are two sides of the same coin.
What I tell you I know from experience. I am not theorising or speculating. I have tested my creative power and have now awakened from the dream of life. I have had the same experiences as one called Jesus Christ in scripture. Now I can say with him, “I am the light of the world.” And those who have the incurrent eyes have seen me in my garment of light.
A friend of mine shared this experience with me last Monday night. She said, “My friend Sharon and I were with you as you prepared to go to the platform. You looked very pale and weak in your dark blue suit, so we bought you some chocolate pudding, chocolate ice cream, and a chocolate bar, to give you strength. As you stepped on the platform, the form we know disappeared and in its place you appeared as light. You were a giant of a man, towering over all, yet nothing but light. As I gazed into your face your light began to intensify and became so great that I awoke.” Then, as an afterthought she said, “The candy, pudding, and ice cream, we bought you cost $0.28.” So now I owe her $0.28.
She saw me become the light that filled the room; and she saw correctly, for I know this to be true. You see, her eyes were given to her by the one to whom I gave my eyes. Now she, too, can see the truth of which I speak; yet, in the giving a spiritual gift is not lost, but retained, to increase its power, its wisdom, and itself.
I am telling you the truth. I live in that world of light. One day I will drop this little thing she saw clothed in a dark blue suit, to be one with my heavenly Father who sent me. But before I go I must give her $0.28, for – like Socrates, who owed a cock, asked that after he had taken the hemlock his debt be paid – I do not want to leave here owing anyone.
I tell you, you are all imagination and not a prisoner of anything or anyone, rather you have imprisoned yourself. You have brought all of your experiences into being and you can change them now that you know who you are.
When you hear the word Lord, don’t think of another. The word is Yod Hey Vav Hey and means I AM, as do the words Father and potter. Your awareness of being is your I AM, your potter who molds your world. To him and him alone lies all of the responsibilities for what is done in your world.
Your own wonderful human imagination is the cause of the restrictions on the freedom that you enjoy today. There is no other cause but the Lord, who is the Father, who is the potter, and if he is your own wonderful human imagination, to whom can you turn to praise or blame for the circumstances of your life? The blind leaders of the blind blame society or the government for the causes of the phenomena of their life.
But I tell you, there is no other cause; for there is no one outside of self. Society, the government, your family, or friends, are all within you. Although they appear to be pushed out, there is not a thing that does not now exist in you; as Divine Imagination (the Lord God Almighty) has reproduced Himself in you – the human imagination; and Divine Imagination contains all things within Himself.
Do not look to another as the cause of your misfortune. If you are perceiving a thing, it is penetrating your brain; therefore it exists in you. That which you are perceiving appears to exist in the surrounding world independent of your perception of it, but don’t wait for it to change. If you desire a change in that which you are perceiving, you must produce the change in yourself. Ask no one to help you; simply persist in your new thoughts and let your changed thinking reproduce itself in your outside world, for it is only an outpicturing of the world of thought within you. Try it. You can change your world as this prisoner did. In his imagination he moved in time to the day after his escape. You can do the same. Would your friends know of your success the day after it was achieved? Would they get together to discuss it? Make their gathering the scene from which you start. What would they say? Would some of them be jealous? Some happy for you? Put them all together and eavesdrop on their conversation. Then believe in what you have heard. Persist and your success is assured.
Tonight I have felt impelled to talk about the law because people seem to forget, and since we are still in the world of Caesar, the law is important. The Book of Psalms begins: “Blessed is the man who delights on thy law, meditating day and night. In all that he does, he prospers.”
Although to me the promise is the one grand objective, for it is the true reality of all; while here in this world of Caesar, rent must be paid, clothes and food bought with Caesar’s coin, so the law is important. It will not fail you, I promise, but it does not operate itself. When you know what you want, don’t pray to any outside God, for the true God is within you. In fact, God is not even near, as nearness implies separation. God is your I am, and there is no place you can go and not be aware of being.
I know that I am not this garment I wear, for I have seen it on the bed when I am not in it; but I have never been anywhere where I am not aware that I am. That “I am” is the Lord – he who I could never be so far away from as even to be near; because nearness implies separation, and I can’t be separated from the Lord.
“O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay. Thou art our potter; we are the works of thy hand.” When I, all imagination, entered death’s door, I found a male garment waiting there. Blake said it so beautifully: “When weary man enters the grave he finds his Saviour in the cave. Some find a female garment there and some a male, woven with care.” I found a male garment, others find a female garment; but I – the finder – am Man, not male or female. And I- Man -am one with God; for I and my Savior are one. I and my Lord are one. I and God are one. And I and the potter are one.
Entering the cave which is the human skull, we find a garment woven by the female with care. Immortality occupies the garment you wear and walks in it, believing He is the restriction he wears – from the cradle to the grave – until He awakes. And on that day you will know who you really are; for you will know yourself to be the Lord God Jehovah who is Jesus Christ.
Now let us go into the silence.