25 May Neville Goddard Lectures: “The Power of Awareness” (1953)
by Neville Goddard
I think you know how thrilled I am to be back here, for this is the one platform that grants me complete freedom. You know that. Dr. Bailes has never once restricted me or even suggested any condition. He gives me complete freedom of this platform, and for that I am really very happy, for I couldn’t be here unless he did.
Now I have brought you this year an entirely new series. I have named this first one “The Power of Awareness” because it is the foundation stone on which the entire structure rests.
Not a thing has happened in the past year to shake that foundation. Many things have happened, many revelations, many experiments, and yet the foundation remains intact.
For those not familiar with this foundation, we make the claim that consciousness is the one and only reality. So, if you call God the ultimate reality, that is the name we give to this ultimate reality. So we say Consciousness is God. We say consciousness in action is imagination. And if consciousness in action, or God in action, is the Son bearing witness of his Father, then we come to the conclusion that imagination is that son.
We have had nothing this year, as I tell you, to disturb that deep conviction. We look upon the world as, I would say, a manifestation of consciousness; and the whole vast conditions of men but revelations of individual states of consciousness. We distinguish between the individual identity and the state of consciousness that it occupies. You are an eternal being. The real you is the imaginative you, personified for us in our Gospel as Christ Jesus, but man doesn’t know it. But this is your real being. This being is your wonderful imagination.
When we speak of the revelation of state, we simply mean that the state in which the real you for a moment abides, objectifies itself as the condition and the circumstances of your life. If you are dissatisfied with the conditions of life, there is no possible way of changing them unless you first change the state from which you view the world; for the state from which a man observes the world determines the world that man describes. For the world that is described from observation must be, as thus described, relative to the describing observer.
In a very simple way, were I to ask you now “Where is San Diego?” and you answered “About, I would say, approximately 130 miles from here.” And then I ask another question, “Where is Santa Barbara?” and you replied “Approximately 100 miles from here.” Well, I do not have to be an Einstein to tell you where you are, for if you tell me where these two are, and one is a hundred miles from here relative to you, and the other is a hundred and thirty miles from here relative to you, I know you must be somewhere within the vicinity of this City 0f Los Angeles.
Now the same law holds good in any description you make of the world. If I ask you to describe your world socially, and I listen attentively to your description of the world, you are revealing your position in the social world to me. If I ask you to describe it intellectually, financially, spiritually, you may not know it, but the description that you offer of the world is revealing to me who listens – or to yourself if you are attentive – that particular state of consciousness from which you view the world. And you will continue to see the world as you now see it, unless you change your state of consciousness.
Now, there are certain words that in the course of long use gather very many strange connotations. And so, in the course of time, they cease to mean anything at all. Such a word is the “sub-conscious”. Such a word is, too, – and do not be shocked – such a word is “Christ Jesus”. No two have the same opinion of the word, the same definition or mood of the word. Let us now take a look at the word “sub-conscious” and see how it is defined for us. This is the definition as given to us in any good dictionary. It is that portion of mental state not directly within the focus of consciousness, but capable of being called into such focus by the proper stimulus.
Now that is the definition of this fabulous realm. Now let us look at the claim made for this realm. Our mental scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists of today refer to this region as the creative power in man; that everything in man’s world is determined by the activities of the subconscious mind; that man himself has absolutely no control over the activities of this region unless he first gets into a relationship with it. For here is a region that they call the sub-conscious; others call it the “unconscious”, and still others speak of it as the “collective unconscious”, but they claim for it a creative power that molds the outer world in harmony with the inner arrangement of its self. So they give it structure, they give it reality, they give it form, and they claim its structure determines the outer structure we observe and call the only reality: that any modification in the internal structure of this deep region results in corresponding changes in the outer objective world. But then they leave us at the mercy of IT, unless we can find the trick of entering into a relationship with it.
Now, let us turn to the Gospel. What is said of the central character of the Gospel – the one I refer to as Christ Jesus. It is said of this central figure that “All things were made by Him, and without Him there is nothing made that is made. All things, not a few things, all things – it includes all. I read my Gospel carefully and I find that from within out is the order of the Universe. In the 7th Chapter of Mark “Not what goes in defileth the man, but what proceeds out of the heart”, either for good or for evil. Not just the good comes out, but the evil can come out too. All things come from within out; what goes within cannot defile the man; only the thing that proceeds out of the heart of man can bless him or defile him; that there is some creative power in man that constantly molds the outer world in harmony with itself, and this Creative Power is described for us as Christ Jesus .
Now, let us take another look at what they teach us: that there is a method they use to pry into the deep of this region; that when a man is asleep, they use the method of dreams to pry into the deep. For the Bible tells us that from cover to cover. In a dream, when deep sleep falleth upon men, then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction. You are told that God speaks with his prophets chiefly in dreams. It was a dream that prompted them all to bring about their great revelation. Your are told that this wise man, the wisest of all, was promised riches and long life and great power, and behold, Solomon awoke, and it was a vision in the night! You are told the birth of the central figure was prophesied in a dream, and everything was but the dream.
Now we discover there is another way of looking into the deep, and the waking way of looking into the deep is through man’s imagination; that imagination is now the waking method used to pry into this great mysterious deep. For the ancients discovered that if they would ever discover really the ultimate reality, it could never be by any instrument made by man. In order to discover the ultimate reality, they would have to set Mind to observe itself, and then to accurately record those observations. For they concluded that no description of Mind made by any science known to man could be an adequate description of the Mind which made that science. So when today we are speaking of taking the imagination to look into the deep, it is looking at itself. You set imagination to observe self and then to accurately record those observations. And you must come to the conclusion, imagination is the central figure of the Gospel.
When you will read your Gospel with this in Mind, the whole thing becomes a luminous book. One simple little passage, take it from any passage – if this was an open meeting I would challenge you now to ask me anything concerning the central figure, and taking the simple little technique of identifying that figure with my own imagination, the answer will be automatic .
So here is one. “Peter, lovest thou me? Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. Then feed my sheep. And three times the same question is asked and three times a similar answer is given. And the last answer brought about a certain rebellion for it was asked three times. But now you take it as imagination asking itself, I have discovered my saviour, I discovered my shepherd, and what would be the sheep, for our minds are like rambling sheep, or our thoughts like rambling sheep that have no shepherd. Now that you have found me to be your shepherd, to be your saviour, your own wonderful imagination to be the central figure; Now, do you love Him? You answer “Yes!. Well, then feed my sheep. “Well, then did I not feed the sheep? At any moment when did I not feed the sheep? When you did not do it unto the least among one of these”. Any time you imagine any unlovely thought against another, you walked me in the mud. And then you said you loved me, but any time that your imagination was ever exercised on behalf of another, and it was not lovingly exercised, you did not feed me. You walked me in the mud.
And yet man goes blindly on believing he serves the Master; believing he truly understands Christ Jesus; that he understands and loves his Saviour. And morning, noon and night he imagines the unlovely things against his neighbour, not knowing at that very moment he was walking his Master in the gutter. And so we are told “I sought water, and you gave me not to drink. I sought food, and you gave me not. I sought shelter and you took me not in. I needed raiment and you clothed me not. But when did these things happen? I don’t recall ever turning you away. When you did not do it unto the least among one of these, you did not do it unto me. And then when did I do these things? Whenever you did it to the very least among one of these, you did it unto me. And the day will come when man will discover the least” spoken of is himself. When man discovers that the greatest of all the tyrants, the one who is the most impudent of all the offenders, the one who is the greatest of all the beggars is himself. Then he will discover that he stands in need of the alms of his own forgiveness and instead of railing against himself, he will start with self to ennoble his own thoughts, to lift himself up by imagining the best first of himself and then he will share that with the world round about him. For he will look out on a world and describe it relative to himself and he will not now see the unlovely things that formerly he saw. For this is what we mean by this foundation stone that so far has not been shaken.
A very wise man, Emerson, said that whenever a true theory appears it will be its own evidence. Its test is that it will explain the phenomena of life. I am convinced we have that true theory for this theory we give you here that your consciousness is the only reality and that the particular state of consciousness in which you abide is the sole cause of the phenomena of your life cannot be shaken. I ask you to test it, even if the test is motivated by the determination to disprove it. I will ask you to try it, for I know you will not disprove it. That this wonderful consciousness of yours is the ultimate reality, and you are free to choose the state into which you will go. But most of us have chosen, but unwisely. Not a thing is wrong with the state; the state is all right but it’s giving effect to it that makes it either right or wrong as far as we are concerned.
Now our theory, I assure you, has not been suddenly conjured out of the nowhere and the stories I have told you here for the last seven years, the case histories I have recorded in my last book, ‘The Power of Awareness”, were not fabricated to fit this theory. But this theory was slowly built up by careful observation of the facts. For when someone would come into my world and describe their world to me, they revealed the being that they really are. When I ask the simple question, “What do you want?” and they named it and they told me they really want it with all their heart, and then I asked them how would they see the same world had they realized their objective? Looking at the same world they began to describe it differently. I said, “Now, that is the description you must make of the world. You must weave that into your mind, for in so doing you move into the state where that world becomes real relative to that state.”
So if you now know the world you would see had you achieved your aim, then that is the world you must begin to see in the mind’s eye. And if in time that state becomes an objective fact, then the theory as you see was not made to fit it; it formed itself by a careful observation of these facts. So if I could repeat that time and time again, and each time by moving this permanent “I” into the desired state and let it occupy that state long enough to make it natural, at the moment of naturalness the state becomes visibly objective to them, then we have a true theory. For it does explain the phenomena of life.
So here, in this series we have brought you many revelations. One that I want to stress throughout the entire series is the wide difference between thinking from an end and thinking of an end. Right now I am thinking from Los Angeles; every part of this world, if I should think of it, I’m thinking of it. But I am thinking from Los Angeles, and the difference between the two, as you can see, one is reality and one is a dream not yet made real, because imagination is the central figure of the Bible, and no power in the world can stop his travel. He can go into any mansion and there abide. There is no power on the face of the earth that can stop me now from imagining myself into the state desired. So I begin to think from it. As I begin to think from it, all former states vanish and that is the great Son of God that can move into any mansion of his Father’s house and there occupy. If he ever goes in and occupies it, then I shall be there in the flesh also. So in this Father’s house of mine are the unnumbered states that are already existent and I, discovering who the son really is, and only the son can go into these mansions, so discovering the son to be my own imagination, I will dwell in imagination as though I dwell in the flesh, and then living in that state I will take my body also, that I may confirm that state. For dwelling in the state long enough clothes the state in flesh.
So here: every one of us, if you will accept it; can from this day on be as free as the wind. It’s entirely up to you to choose what mansion you will enter, for you are the only architect of your sufferings or your good fortune. There is no power outside that has caused anything to happen to you; it’s simply your choice, as I said earlier, your unwise choice. Knowing who you are now, and not being ashamed to lay claim to this bold, bold assumption that Christ in man is mans imagination, then you will stop calling on some external force for help. As the Prophets say, why stand we here calling on God for help and not on ourselves in whom He dwells, as our imagination. So why call elsewhere, when He dwells here where I stand as my imagination. For is there any power to stop me from imagining that I am the man I want to be? So that I actually clothe it with a feeling of reality? If I can so clothe this imagined state with all the vivid sensitiveness of reality, then I will ultimately actually clothe it in flesh, for that’s the Law, from within out.
If you are bold enough to take it, you will free yourself today. If you are still timid, may I suggest you go back and read the seventh chapter of the Book of Mark, where you must then still keep alive the traditions of men and ignore the Law of God. So men wash the cups, and wash the pots, and pay all outside obeisance to things known as the traditions of men, that they may be seen of men and be considered holy. But I bring, said He, the Law of God and no man seems to hear it. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of the living God and the spirit of God dwelleth in you?” Have you ever heard these words, Christ in you is the hope of glory; not some Christ without but Christ in you is. But if we aren’t bold enough to lay claim to it, for we are told “Ye have the mind of Christ not a mind that you are going to earn in time to come, you have it now, so lay claim to it, and begin to exercise this giant of the mind that is called the Son of God in the Bible, and you will see who your savior really is.
Now, may I give you a few of his titles, for these are all taken from the Bible. He is called the Redeemer; He is called the Saviour; He is called the Passover; He is called the Second Man; He is called The Desire of all Nations. Now take it and see how it fits your wonderful imagination. The man you don’t know to exist – that Second Man – is the imaginative you; the one you hold captive by accepting the evidence of sense and only that which reason dictates. If you will now free the Second Man, you will see how he is the Passover. He can pass now from this present state into any desired state in the world, for no power can stop you from dwelling in imagination where you desire to dwell. So, placing yourself there, you begin to think from it, and not constantly starve yourself by thinking of it. So I will go and prepare it, and preparing it I will dwell in it, and begin to think from it.
Now, I assure you, unnumbered similar stories have been told me in the past year by those who took me at my word and began to awaken Christ within, for He had been asleep while the senses dictated their every step, and then completely denying the evidence of sense and boldly imagining themselves to be what they desired to be, they have found their savior, and what man the world could turn them back to the traditions of man. They are free from all traditions of men, and so no man can appear before them and call himself the intermediary between man and God. So they are turned from all intermediaries, having found the only Redeemer and the Redeemer is the only intermediary between man and God. So then you know that any time that you exercise your imagination lovingly on behalf of another, you are literally mediating God to man. So you don’t need any of the traditions of men and keep them alive, hoping that you will be considered by some invisible power, some holy being.
So, let us turn back and freshen up again this word which has been so abused, which now is your imagination, which people, without defining, call the “subconscious” as though it was some appendage. People go around speaking of “my subconscious mind”, or “My unconscious mind”, not knowing what they are referring to.
Well, this fabulous series of mental states is your imagination. And may I tell you it has form, it has structure, just as real as the visible objective world; that the inner world is a world of reality. Call it by any name. I call it my wonderful imagination, and it assumes the form of all that I accept and consent to as true. It actually assumes the form of the sum total of all of my beliefs, and my beliefs need not be true. They need not come near the truth. My beliefs could be prejudices; they could be superstitions. It doesn’t care. It will take all the stripes of men and wear them. So it will assume the form of the sum total of all that man consents to in this world, and then mold the outer world in harmony with the inner arrangement of itself. Therefore, to change the outer world, I must modify or change, in some way alter, the structure of the inner or second man – the second man being my imagination.
So I set myself to observe myself and to watch how my imagination works. And here is something that will interest you. I observe it always moves according to habit; that it is a being of habit, and so if I get into the habit of thinking the unlovely thoughts, it becomes very natural, so I listen only to that which is critical of another. I listen only to that which is not full of praise, that which judges harshly, and so according to habit it moves along these pathways.
Now, if I don’t like the outer world, and I really believe it is caused by the structure of the inner or second man, I then must change his likeness, change his form, by observing how I react to all the unlovely, and how I am not interested in the praise of another, and then begin to feed my sheep, begin to change my thoughts, my feelings, my moods concerning others, and as I begin to change my reactions to people, I find I am changing the structure of the Son of God. And then I automatically produce corresponding changes in my outer world.
If you really like it, and you are bold enough to take it, I promise you a world that is undreamed of by our wise men for even sleep will no longer be the unconscious that it is to the majority of people in the world; that sleep becomes only a doorway into the world where this real you – the second man – really lives and moves and has its being. It is a dimensionally larger world, and you enter it quickly in meditation, or night after night in sleep, and you will find opportunities that would dwarf the wildest dream of men here.
So I ask you to really believe it, and try in the short interval of four weeks while we are here to so prove it that you can tell me of the things that have happened to you by putting into practice this Power of Awareness. Learn to become aware at any moment of time of your fulfilled desire. Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled and learn to become intensely aware of the state fulfilled, that you may look upon your world and describe it relative to your fulfilled desire. And learn then to sustain that mood. You will find in time through the habitual motion of your inner you, after a little while, because it always travels according to habit, it will move through habit into the feeling of the wish fulfilled, and the moment it is a natural wearing to itself, it starts to change the outer world to reflect the inner change of your mind.
Now, I hope you will take it, but there is no power in the world that can compel you to take it. You are as free as the wind to take it or not to take it. If you would rather persist in the belief that your Saviour lived years ago and died for you and through his death, external to yourself, you are saved; you are entitled to believe it.
As I told you earlier, because the inner you is molded in harmony with the sum total of all your beliefs, you will continue to have visible proof of the truth of that belief. For you will find millions believing with you, and you will believe that the numbers make it right, and so you will contribute to the whole vast traditions of men. If you want to come out and be apart and find your savior where you will only find Him, within yourself, by setting your imagination to observe itself, you must come to the same conclusion – that this ultimate reality that men call God, that the Ancients defined as I AM, is your own wonderful consciousness and that IT in action, or the Son, or Christ Jesus, is your imagination. And then, having discovered, you start really to feed the sheep and you will stop, as of now, this walking of your Saviour in the mud.
Now I see my time is up, and so at this moment I’ll take the chair and let us all join in exercising our imagination lovingly on behalf of another. Simply imagine that they are talking to you, and they are telling you what they wish they could tell you, and you listen as though you heard, and then you will put into practice that first verse of the fifth chapter of the Book of Ephesians: “Be ye imitators of God as dear children” – for how would I imitate my Father? “He calls things that are not now seen as though they were, and the unseen becomes seen”. That is the way my Father called things into being, and I am called upon to be an imitator of my Father as a dear child. For now I will call the imaginary voice. I will listen as though I heard what I want to hear. I will look as though I am seeing what I want to see, and if I persist in my listening and my looking, I will then be imitating my Father as a dear child, and he will not fool me. He will call into flesh, into objective reality, that which I have assumed that I have heard and I have seen.