25 May Neville Goddard Lectures: “There is No Fiction”
by Neville Goddard 6/7/68
Fiction is defined as an imaginary construction which is unreal – as opposed to truth, or reality. But what is real and what is imaginary when, in a spiritual sense, all existing things are imaginary?
Mark tells the parable of the fig tree, which – having been cursed – was found withered to its roots. Calling attention to this fact, awakened imagination said: “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart that what he has said will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you desire, when you pray believe you have received it and you will.” Mark 11.
Here is an imaginary act which has no support in fact. The tree was not withered at the time it was cursed, but when they returned the next day the imaginal act had been executed. So you see: this law is not limited to being constructive only. It can be used for good, bad, or indifferent purposes; for there are no limitations placed on the possibilities of prayer.
Now when you pray you must immerse yourself in the feeling of the wish fulfilled, for the word “pray” means, “Motion towards; accession to; at or in the vicinity of.” Point yourself towards the wish fulfilled and accept that invisible state as reality. Then go your way knowing the desire is now yours. You did it and you will not be surprised when it comes to pass.
When you first practice this technique you will be surprised when it happens; but when you learn how to completely accept the state assumed, you will know you do not have to do a thing to make it come to pass, as the assumption contains its own plan of fulfillment. You will know that this world is imaginal and that an assumption – with no external object to support its truth – will harden into fact when its truth is persisted in.
If an imaginal act produces an external fact to support it, then is not this world essentially imagined? If you dare to assume what your reason and senses deny and walk faithful to your assumption, believing in its reality – and its corresponding effect is produced, can this seemingly solid, real world be anything other than imaginal? Everything is imagined, for you are God – all imagination! God exists in you and you in Him. The world is all that you have imagined it to be, even though you cannot remember when or how you brought it into being.
You cannot feed the mind violence and not expect violence in the world. Although the networks will deny this, a friend at NBC-TV studio told me that when it was official that Kennedy was dead, he received an order from New York that for the next four days no violent films were to be shown. He said pandemonium took place in the studio, as they went through their files trying to find enough non-violent film to cover four days! Lucky for them, most of the time will be taken up with the giant coverage of the funeral in New York City.
One gentleman recently interviewed on television said that Senator Kennedy was always talking about being assassinated. That when the shots rang out, he instantly knew that Kennedy was dead. You cannot entertain thoughts of being assassinated without experiencing them. Who knows who, unseen by mortal eyes, was treading in the winepress, influencing that young boy’s mind!
Do not allow anyone to act as an intermediary between you and your God, for He is within you! God is never so far off as even to be near, for nearness implies separation. How can you be near God, when He became aware of being you? The moment He bestowed his spirit upon you, He gave you his consciousness, that you may – by that consciousness – understand the gift you have been given.
God gave me the gift of birth and Fatherhood. Without the gift of his spirit, I could not understand the gifts which have followed. How could I ever interpret the gift of belief or be awakened from my long sleep, if He who interprets all things had not first become me?
When Pharaohs butler and baker had dreams, they spoke to a slave, saying: “We had a dream.” Joseph then replied: “Does not the interpretation belong to God? Tell me the dream.” Now I ask you, is Joseph not claiming here that he is God?
The Book of Genesis begins: “In the beginning God” and ends “In a coffin in Egypt.” Who is in the coffin? Joseph! So in the beginning God, as Joseph, is placed in a coffin in Egypt.
Now, having said that interpretation belongs to God, Joseph then interpreted their dreams. Two years later, he interpreted Pharaohs dream and it came to pass, just as he said it would. If this story is true, is not the spirit of God upon man? Yes! Because God actually became as you are, that you may be as He is. Accept this literally, for it is true.
Imagination truly creates out of nothing! Thoughts call forth a thing that is not seen, as though it were happening. This is accomplished by an imaginal concept touched by feeling.
Hearing of the success of another and feeling their joy builds a structure which will project itself on the screen of space. Calling the projection reality, one may think it was created from the outside. But what happened had to happen as it did, for there are no accidents. Last night Kennedy could have used other exits but he had to use the one he did, for there is a time for every imaginal act to project itself, just as there is a time to be born and a time to die, a time to laugh and a time to cry.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth he described this world as a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. All realised ambitions are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing; for the real play takes place unseen by mortal eye and unheard of by mortal ear. The drama of life unfolds from within, for God the Father is molding you into his likeness. So set your hope fully upon this grace, this gift God gives of himself to you as he unfolds his image in you. All else is nothing more than sound and fury, meaning nothing!
Stalin’s daughter, writing about her life in Russia and her father’s death, told of a stroke which paralysed one side of his body. Although his eyes were open, she doubted he saw anyone in the room; yet the expression on his face was that of extreme hatred. One arm was extended as though cursing what he saw. No one will know what Stalin was seeing for, “No one knows the thoughts of a man but the spirit of man which is in him.” One can only speculate. Perhaps in that flashing moment he saw his dream of life crumble into ashes, and cursed the vision.
Now, in the eyes of millions Stalin was considered a very wise man, yet the Bible describes such a mind as a fool, saying: “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” Show me a man who believes there is no God and – although he may have many degrees and considered to be a very wise person – he is a fool of fools.
The Bible does not imply that the uneducated man is the fool, only he who says in his heart there is no God. Stalin’s world collapsed as the doors opened and he departed this little sphere. His world was real until that moment, and yet it was a world of fiction.
Everything here will collapse, but because this is a fictitious world you can have anything you want. Would you like to be known? To fulfill a great ambition? To be famous in the eyes of others? You can have them all, if you are willing to assume they are already yours. And, in spite of the evidence of your senses and the contradiction of your reason, if you walk and sleep in your assumption it will harden into fact. And after you have experienced them you will depart, leaving them all behind.
Your desire is brought into being by an imaginal act. It is sustained by an imaginal act, and when that imaginal act is withdrawn (or modified) your desire – fulfilled – will collapse and vanish. So I maintain there is no fiction!
A friend sent me a copy of the June issue of Harper’s Magazine, which tells of a trial of a captain in our Air Force. As a school project this captain wrote an essay entitled, “Captain Dale Norte Has Been Court-martialed,” in which he stated the place and the time it happened.
Years later while in the Air Force, Captain Dale Norte was court-martialed, sentenced to a year of hard labour, and discharged from the service. Captain Norte wrote his own court-martial and then fulfilled it – so what is fiction? You can write your own essay on success if that is your desire, and to the degree that you are self-persuaded it is true, you will give it life in your world.
The secret is to imagine to the point of self-persuasion. Can you believe what you are imagining? There are not two of you – you and Imagination! You are not reshaping a piece of pottery when you imagine, but yourself! You are moving into your desire. If you persist until you see exactly what you want to see, fix your position with the glue of feeling and remain there – it will be reflected on the screen of space, just as your world is now reflecting the fixed state from which you are viewing it.
There are two worlds: the outer world of effect and the inner world of causation. That inner world, in the depth of your soul, is where the true drama of life goes on. It is there that God is endowing you with life-giving power. Now a living soul, you are being transformed into a life-giving spirit!
On that day you will see this world from above, to discover it is dead and you are its animating power. Blake said: “Where man is not, nature is barren.” This is true, for nature cannot produce anything by itself. Man, a living soul, causes things to appear alive by his animating power.
Although you are now animating all that you behold, you are destined to become a life-giving spirit – to fashion things in your own image, bring them forth, and endow them with the power to create life.
Believe me, there is no fiction! Every thought you think will come to pass. You may think it is just a thought and will never become real, but it will.
Think you are a martyr, and you are. And you will continue to be one until you change your thinking. The Kennedys, believing they are martyrs, will have these blows repeated over and over again until they awaken from within. I don’t care how good your life seems to be at the moment, it is a dream from which you must – and will – awaken.
What do you love the most – your husband, wife, or child? It could even be some inanimate object that you treasure, yet one day you will have to tell it goodbye. Recently a lady showed me an enormous diamond ring she was wearing, saying she had paid $75,000 for it. Although she has children and grandchildren, this ring is so important to her, and she is so proud of it. Well, you could multiply this lady by millions who love objects that are dead, because they do not know that they are.
Since we are living in a world of Caesar live it to the fullest, but do not be in love with it. Do not be moved by its emotions, as one million people were today as they watched a closed box, not knowing for sure a body was in it.
Now, the Bible teaches that permissible lies are allowed. An assumption not based upon fact is a lie, is it not? We are told to emulate the story of the unjust steward who – when told he might lose his job – asked the one who owed one hundred measures of oil to give him fifty, another eighty, and still another sixty. And when he returned to his master the steward was commended for his wisdom.
This steward falsified the record, the facts of life which memory claimed to be correct. Perhaps memory says you only have ten dollars in the bank, the rent is due, and there are no prospects of more money on its way. Or that your friend is ill or out of a job. These are facts memory has recorded. You can falsify that record by a permissible lie, by seeing a thousand dollars in the bank and the rent as paid. By seeing one who is ill – as well, or one who is unemployed – as gainfully employed.
That which appears so real is based on fiction anyway, and fiction is fact in the sense that it is all imagination! You can lift anyone out of the state into which he has fallen and place him in another, be it a state of want, illness, or failure. There are infinite states into which man may fall.
If you will but believe that imagining creates reality, and there is no fiction, you can rewrite your life and give yourself and those within it beauty for ashes, gladness for mourning, and praise for faint-hearted. Believe in the reality of your unseen act, then watch it fulfill itself. If you have proof that imagining creates reality, it will not matter what others think. All that matters is that you try it and allow imagination to prove himself in performance.
I encourage you to live as fully and as graciously as you desire to, while you wait for God’s Son to reveal himself in you. But don’t think that because you do not live fully and well, you are better off in the eyes of your Father – for you are not. He is only interested in the work He is doing in you; and when it is completed, you will be born from within, for until that happens you cannot enter the kingdom of God.
On that day you will enter an entirely different age, where trees, fruit, beasts, and birds are unknown, yet not unperceived. It is a world beyond other seas, unknown and inconceivable to those who live in this world of death.
When I say everything is at your disposal, I mean everything is in your imagination, and you are its creative power. Living in this fabulous world, you can travel unknown seas by gondola and know fruit, trees, birds, and beasts unknown here on earth; and in that world you are in complete control.
While walking the earth, man is totally unaware of the food he is mentally eating. Thoughts of horror and anger, jealousy and hate, feed invisible monsters which produce heartaches and pain. There are those who want the spoiled fruit which is part of this age; but when you enter that age, you are in complete control of your power. You realise that everything is a thought and under your control.
We are told: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard and it has not entered into the heart of man the things already prepared by God for those who love him.” When you are one with your Father, you will awaken to find yourself in that age which has already been prepared for you. So set your heart fully upon that world which you will enter at the unveiling of Christ from within.
As you awaken, one after the other, no two will have a duplicate experience. The symbolism will be there however, as well as the time element. It is always five months between the vision of the birth and the revelation of God’s son.
In the story recorded in the 40th chapter of the Book of Genesis, Joseph gave different interpretations to the number three in both dreams. The baker had three baskets on his head, with birds eating the bread contained therein. Joseph interpreted the dream by saying: “In three days you will hang from a tree and the birds will eat upon your flesh,” and it came to pass as he interpreted it.
The butler saw a vine with three branches which budded, blossomed, and ripened into grapes. He put the grapes into a cup, crushed them, and gave the cup to Pharaoh. The most important thing here is the grape vessel. Anyone can poison wine, so the cup bearer must be a trusted servant. It is he who drinks the wine first, and if poisoned, he dies and not the master.
Joseph interpreted the dream saying that the butler (the cup bearer) would be restored in three days, and he was. Now if it takes the spirit of God to interpret all dreams and all dreams come from God, is not he who interprets the dream the awakened man called Jesus Christ?
Remember, regardless of what happened today or what the future looks like, there is no fiction. Imagination creates its own reality. You have the power to change your present and your future by writing a glorious tale about yourself and those you love. Make it a first-person, present tense experience or as something you have already accomplished, and then live in that state, for imaging does create reality.
The stories I have spoken of come from the eleventh chapter of the Book of Mark. This entire chapter supports my theory. I urge you to have faith in God! He is not on the outside. He is not even near, because God actually becomes you! You will know you are He, when God’s son, David, calls you Father. I can tell you that from now until the end of time God became you, but only when his son calls you Father, will you know who you really are.
In the meanwhile, believe me and test your creative power. You can bring anything out of nothing by conceiving a scene implying the fulfillment of a dream, and believing in its reality. Persist in your belief and your invisible dream will become a visible fact. That is falsifying the records – which is allowed.
We are called upon to emulate the unjust steward. The word steward originally meant “the keeper of the pig,” the symbol of Jesus Christ, the human imagination! You are the steward of your imagination. Feed it loving thoughts for yourself and others. If you feed on violence, you will become violent, for you become what you eat.
Born in the little island of Barbados, we kept ducks and chickens for our own consumption. If mother wanted a pair of ducks for a Sunday dinner, ten days prior she would tell one of her nine sons to put a brace of ducks aside.
Now, our ducks were raised in the yard and fed on fish, which was cheap and plentiful – and not on corn, which had to be imported and was very expensive. We could buy a bucket of fish scraps for a penny, so we fed the chickens and ducks fish; consequently they smelled of and tasted like fish.
But if they were separated ten days or two weeks before you wanted them for dinner, and stuffed with corn and food of that nature, the entire texture of their flesh changed. During that interval of time however, they could not be given even a little bit of fish. They had to have a complete, radical change of diet.
If mother’s command was not remembered until perhaps four days before the meal everyone knew it, because when the birds were plucked and the heat began to express the birds, the entire neighbourhood knew the Goddard’s were having fish for dinner, and no one could eat them. But if their diet was changed from fish to corn – and only corn for that interval of time – we had delicious ducks for dinner which tasted like ducks!
Now, although we are not ducks we do feed on ideas. Feed your mind a certain idea for one week and you will change its structure. Continue for two weeks and you will be well fed on lovely thoughts. You see, this is a fictitious world and you are its author. Nothing is impossible! It’s all fiction anyway, so live nobly and dream beautiful dreams; for you are all imagination, and your human imagination is the Lord God, Jesus – the Christ.
Now let us go into the silence.