By Neville Goddard | April 19, 1969
The following is a transcripture of a lecture.
All that you behold, though it appears without it is within, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.
If you will but enter a state in your imagination, and assume its truth, the outer world will respond to your assumption, for it is your shadow, forever bearing witness to your inner imaginal activity.
Test yourself, and if you prove this to your own satisfaction you will come to the same conclusion the apostles did in the 13th chapter of the Book of Acts. Then you, too, will say: “I have found in David, the son of Jesse, a man after my heart who will do all my will.” If the world responds to your imaginal activity, is the world not David doing your will? If the Lord claimed that David always does his will, and you, by a simple imaginal act, command the outer world to respond – are you not the Lord?
When you imagine something it is as though you struck a chord, and everything in sympathy with that chord responds to bear witness to the activity in you. If the world is the responding chord to what you are imagining, and David is a man after your own heart who will do all your will – is David not the outer world? This is not “will” as the world uses the word. You do not will something to be so, but imagine it and become inwardly convinced that it is so. And if, through your persistence, the world responds, you have not only found David, you have found the Lord as your own wonderful human imagination.
In Hebrew thought, history consists of all the generations of men and their experiences fused into one grand whole. This concentrated time, into which all the generations are fused and from which they spring, is called “eternity.” In Ecclesiastes we are told that “God put eternity into the mind of man but so that man cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Only in the end will you really know what God has put into your mind.
The Hebrew word, “olam,” [o-LAWM’] translated “eternity” or “the world” in Ecclesiastes, is quite often translated as “a youth; stripling; young man.” These are three titles given David, the son of Jesse. And the word “Jesse” means “any form of the verb “to be”, i.e. I AM. Is that not God’s name? When the time of your departure has come, you will see the world of humanity, not as a crowd of people, but as a single youth, a stripling, a young man; for eternity is personified as the youth called David. You will know this to be true only when you reach the end.
Now listen to these words found in the 20th chapter of John:
Peter went into the tomb, where he saw the linen clothes lying and the napkin which was on his head lying – not with the linen clothes – but rolled up in a place by itself.John 20
You may wonder why this is stated thus, but I tell you: the linen clothes and the napkin are very significant. Read the story carefully and you will discover the tomb where he was crucified and buried was called “the skull”. And Peter, when entering the tomb, saw the linen clothes and the napkin, but could not see the one who was put there.
This is not a secular story of a man who died wearing linen clothes with a napkin covering his face, and left the tomb three days later, leaving his clothes and napkin behind. No, scripture is vision fille with symbolism. The linen clothes symbolize your physical body, the garment you wear here which covers your true identity. This is not a story of one who has died, but of one who has risen from the dead!
In ancient times, the word “napkin” had a far wider range of meaning than it has today. We have a dinner napkin, a cocktail napkin, and also a sanitary napkin; but this napkin symbolizes the placenta, the afterbirth. The napkin appears, separate from the body, to tell you that a birth took place. This is the birth John insists is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew and Luke tell the story of the birth as a woman called Mary giving birth to a little child who was different, yet born as we were born. But when you read the story in John (the most profound of all the New Testament writers) you discover where the birth takes place, and who Mary really is. Mary is the skull, the womb God entered. Blake said: “God Himself entered death’s door with those who enter. And he layed down in the grave with them in visions of eternity until they awake and see Jesus and the linen clothes lying there which the female had woven for them.”
My mother wove this fleshly garment that I wear, and when I came forth it was from her womb; then the placenta followed. It had to be discharged, for it has no part of the earth. So it is with the napkin, telling you here that an unusual birth has taken place in the skull, where the drama began and ends!
No doubt unnumbered millions attended last Sunday’s services and heard that he has risen. Yes, he has risen, and so will you; for God actually became as you are, that you may rise to know yourself to be as He is. Having entered your skull, he now has visions of eternity. Visions of wars, famines, and convulsions, were first imagined, or they could not happen. When you imagine a state and find its response coming from without, you have discovered who God is, for all things are made by him. As he wills it so, so it is; but he must have one who will do all of his will.
If it takes five hundred different beings, male and female, to respond to your imaginal act, they will come and seem to you to be the influence through which your desire is made visible. You see, humanity is David, always doing your will; and when your time is fulfilled, the whole of humanity is fused into a single youth and personified as David. Strangely enough, he comes from within you and reveals you as his Father. Then, speaking from experience, you will say: “I have found David. He has cried unto me, ‘Thou art my Father.'” And you will know your journey is at its end. It takes all the generations of men and their experiences to bring you to the point of confronting the beauty of those experiences, fused into a single youth known as David.
Every child born of woman will eventually know that he is the God who created the universe and willed everything into being. Then he will forgive all, for he will know they were only doing his will. Then everyone summed up will appear to him as David, and he will say, “I have found my son David to be a man after my heart who does all my will.”
Now we come to these words: “I, Jesus, am the root and the offspring of David.”
Yes, the day will come when you will know you created, entered, and animated humanity, so that they could respond to your imaginal acts. And when you have played all the generations of men and had all of their experiences, you will come out of humanity knowing you are its offspring and its root, therefore its Father; yet you come forth from the Father as you promised yourself you would.
You are told: “When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your son after you, who will come forth from your body. I will be his father and he shall be my son.” Having created humanity, awareness came forth and buried itself in humanity; for a seed must fall into the ground and die before it is made alive. Unless it dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it brings forth much. God died to become humanity, which is made of the dust of the earth. His name is I AM. That is the seed which fell into the earth called Man (humanity); and every Man (be he male or female) says “I AM.” If I AM is imagining a certain state and the world responds (be it good, bad or indifferent) is the response not doing my will?
Whether the response comes from a single person or unnumbered people, they are David, for it is he who is always doing the will of I AM. Regardless of your present name, color, or race, you are David when you respond and make visible to me that which I have imagined. And when you find the cause of the response, you find it in yourself.
Test yourself, and you will discover that your imaginal act was the cause of the response of the world relative to you. Then you will have found the Father and the son and your journey will be at its end, for you will have set yourself free from secondary causes in this world of death. Then your journey will fuse itself into a single youth called David. You will recognize him as he is, just as described in the Book of Samuel. You will see eternity, which God buried in your mind; and you will be enhanced by reason of the experience of creating these bodies for the stage, entering them, and playing their various parts.
Your presence here tells me you have played them all, because no one comes unto me save my Father calls them, and I and my Father are one. Your consistent attendance and your interest in my words tell me you are at the end of the play. Having played the part of the well-known and the unknown, the wealthy and the poor, the disgraced and the proud, you have played everything, as it is all contained within you. Every conceivable part is now a reality in you, but you need not activate it. You can, however, enter a state and by the simple act of assumption, activate that state, and not one power in the world can stop its response. If it takes a dozen or thousands of men and women to respond to your assumption, they will, for humanity is David – a man after your heart who will do all your will.
Everyone necessary to fulfill your assumption must and will come to bear witness to that which you are entertaining, internally. Now, although Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin and knew Hebrew thought concerning history, he could not comprehend the idea of a second birth. It was he who asked: “How can a man who is old enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born again?” Then the answer came: “You, a master of Israel, yet you do not know; except you are born from above you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven called the new age.”
This is a drama of one being, expanding himself by first creating humanity, and then limiting himself to his creation. Humanity, although part of the structure of the universe, is dead. God, breathing upon it, possesses the body and Spirit, enters, and animates it. Now, in a body that is dead, God will go through the horrors of the journey, dreaming you and your experiences into being until he awakes where he began the dream – in Golgotha, his tomb, which is your skull. And when God awakes, you awake. As you emerge from it, you will look back to see that which you occupied for six thousand years. You will see the linen clothes which your mother wove in her womb, and you will leave the napkin which the body expels.
Then those who come to bear witness to your birth will see only the discarded body and that which symbolizes your birth from above. Having had the experience, I can tell you: you started your drama in the skull and you will end it there. The drama is all about God, for he created it all. It is God who is playing all the parts of the drama and in the end it is God who extracts himself and rises from his own dead state. That is the resurrection. If you think in terms of one little being called Jesus Christ, you miss the truth completely; for Jesus Christ is your own wonderful human imagination who is God himself. When you imagine a state, God has imagined it; and just as a sound brings a response, your world will respond by playing the part it must play to bring about fulfillment.
All you are required to do is remain faithful to the state you entered. Now, Paul makes this statement: “Remember Jesus Christ descended from David according to my gospel.” Having experienced scripture, Paul calls it “my gospel.” He does not deny the descent of Christ, yet he knows that David was created by him. Having buried himself in David, God died by forgetting himself. Then David appears as memory returns, and he extracts himself from that body to discover he is far more luminous than he was before he entered it; far more translucent, greater in power and wisdom than he formerly was; for God is truth and truth is an ever expanding illumination.
There is no limit to expansion and luminosity. There is only a limit to contraction and opacity. Resurrection is simply rising from the body of death in which you are now encased, and expansion is yours because of your willingness to come into this world of death and overcome it. So don’t look for any little napkin on the outside, for it is only a symbol of your spiritual birth. When the vision comes upon you, you will know what has happened and why John placed such importance to the napkin. It was John who emphasized birth from above, for only after that kind of birth can Fatherhood be discovered.
Afterbirth belongs to the body, but after the offspring comes out, the afterbirth is discharged. It is a sign of birth which can be seen; but no one can see you with the mortal eye, for yours is a spiritual birth. They will come and see the remnant you wore, but you they will not see. The day will come when you will experience the symbolism of scripture. Then you and I will once more be in that one body we occupied prior to our descent into these bodies of death. The body of the Risen Christ is not something that is finished, but is in the process of erection. Made up of the redeemed, everyone must rise to that experience, thereby making the body more glorious, more luminous, and far more wonderful, than it was prior to our descent into our own creation of death.
You did nothing wrong which caused you to enter a body of death called Man. You were in the beginning with God and were God. You never were some little worm, which – coming out of the slime – became a little bird and then something else, to evolve into man. No, all this is part of the structure of the universe. You were God when you descended into and animated man; and no one can descend into humanity other than a son of God (of which there is a definite number) and it takes all of his sons to form God.
The word “God” is plural. The word is “elohim,” which is a compound unity of one made up of others. It takes all of the sons of God to make up the I AM; therefore, there can’t be more in this world then there are God’s sons. Every child born of woman is alive because a son of God (his ancestral being) is in him, animating him and putting him through the paces until he detaches himself from that body which is his David, his beloved, just as the world is.
Someone sitting in a dungeon feeling abused can enter into an image of hate and cause disturbances in the world. Although he is completely unknown and buried in a dungeon, thereby unseen by the world, he can imagine with such intensity that many will be caught in its response. We are forever giving advice, when scripture has nothing to say about advice – be it good or bad. Scripture only tells us to go and tell them the good news that you are immortal, as they are. That you created the world and simply extracted yourself from it, just as they can. Don’t give them any advice as to what they should or should not do.
If your son wants to grow a beard, let him. If he doesn’t want to grow up, don’t try to give him all of your “good” advice; simply leave him alone, and in your own wonderful way, imagine you are free of that state, for the world belongs to you and it is always expressing your inner thoughts. See a situation as something on the outside, and you become entangled in its shadows – for everyone who responds to your imaginal act is a shadow. How can a shadow be causative in your world? The moment you give another the power of causation, you have transferred to him the power that rightfully belongs to you. Others are only shadows, bearing witness to the activities taking place in you. The world is a mirror, forever reflecting what you are doing within yourself. If you know this, you are set free and a series of events will unfold within you to reveal the story of salvation.
Then you are urged to tell your brothers, to encourage them, for everyone is your brother. Go and say to your brothers, “I am ascending unto my Father and your Father, unto my God and your God.” In the end we are one wonderful being. The body is now being slowly erected out of the redeemed, and everyone will be redeemed. If a brother is lost in the world of death, I will leave the ninety and nine to go in search for him. Everyone must be redeemed or the temple would be missing a stone; therefore everyone – even the Hitlers, the Stalins, all the so-called monsters of the world – will be redeemed, for they only respond to the fears and horrible thoughts men set in motion.
A friend wrote, saying that although she rarely buys a paper, she bought a Sunday paper a few weeks ago. In it she read a story of a woman who called herself a great medium. Believing that California was going to drop into the Pacific Ocean, she and her family were moving to Spokane. A few weeks later a friend came to call and brought a current paper. Glancing through it she found a story about the same woman who – although only 29 years old – upon arriving in Spokane she had a heart attack and died. All right. As far as the lady is concerned California did vanish. She is now in a world just like this, in a section of time best suited for the work yet to be done in her to bring her to the knowledge of who she really is.
This frightened little thing died so very young, yet while she was here she frightened so many in this state. Friends of my nephew moved to Arizona, not realizing that they were taking their beliefs and fears with them. You can go from here to the ends of the earth. You can make your bed in heaven or in hell; but you will still be aware because God is there, for you can’t get away from being God. You may not know that you are, but if you are afraid here you will be afraid there. Like Job, this lady’s fears came upon her. Being afraid, she created her own disaster. But at the end of Job we are told that it was God who wrought it, for only at the end of the journey do we realize who God really is.
Having heard of him with the hearing of the ear, when our eyes behold the truth from experience, we understand. Afraid, I prayed to an external God, and all of my fears came upon me. Then, seeing the symbol that reveals my Fatherhood, I said: “I have heard of thee with the hearing of the ear, but now my eye beholds thee.”
When God extracts himself from this fabulous experience, everything that he was is doubled. That is the story of Job. He did nothing that was wrong; Job simply imagined the wrong things. He blamed the devil, but the devil doesn’t exist outside of man.
Satan is the doubter. It is he who doubts the reality of your imaginal acts. If you can’t believe in the reality of your unseen imaginal act, you may turn to another and believe in him; but you are always imagining, for imagination is God, and imagination – imagining – is the power of the world. In the beginning you heard, but as your eyes see the result of your inner hearing, you believe; and in the end everything taken from you will return one hundred-fold.
Yesterday the world celebrated the resurrection, yet resurrection and birth from above are two sides of the same coin and take place the same night. The priesthoods of the world marked the time as the first Sunday after the full moon in Aries, but it does not have to be then. Resurrection can take place at any moment in time. It has taken place and is still taking place; for the temple is being rebuilt on a more glorious scale, for we are the living stones, forming the new Jerusalem. Believe me when I tell you that your own wonderful human imagination is Jesus Christ.
Imagination entered death’s door (your skull) and is dreaming the world in which you live. It is imagination who will emerge, and when he does, you are Jesus Christ. There never was another Christ and there is only one. When I awake, I am He. When you awake, you are He. And when all awake, we are all He, who together form the one Lord God and creator of it all. Don’t envy anyone or condemn anyone, for condemnation is judgment and judgment is a sympathy of your imagination. With what judgment you judge, you will be judged and fulfill!
You will always find people eager to question what you think of this one or that one. I am quite sure if we all traced our ancestry back far enough we would find hippies, murderers, and thieves recorded there. In the beginning no one was born a king; someone had to feel that position and take it by force. You don’t have to go back and change anyone or anything, but envy no one. If someone wants a thousand or a hundred thousand acres, let him have them.
If you would like to live in a lovely apartment, claim you do. You may think you can’t afford the one you want, but that thought is an imaginal act. I would suggest, instead of thinking you can’t afford it, to simply sleep in that apartment tonight mentally, accepting the fact that you have all the funds necessary to pay for it. Persist and the world will respond. You will get the money needed to live there.
The world does not cause, it only responds to your imaginal acts, for only God acts and God is in you as your own wonderful human imagination. Now, before you judge it, try it. If you do, you cannot fail, and when you prove imagination in the testing, share the good news with your brothers. Tell everyone you meet how the world works. You do not have to have a proper educational or social background to apply this principle; and you cannot fail, for an assumption, though false, if persisted in will harden into fact.
When you know what you want, assume you have it. Believe your assumption is true. Look at your world mentally and see your fulfilled desire. Do this and you are calling forth a response to your thoughts, and in the not distant future you will find yourself physically occupying the state imagined.
Now, after you realize your desire, don’t go back to sleep and hold on to this dream that is now solidly real, while trying to project a desire through secular means. We are warned against doing this in the parable of the rich fool, who said: “I have all that it takes, more than enough. I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones to store my grain and my goods. Then I will take my ease, eat, drink and be merry.”
But the Lord said to him: “Fool! This night your soul is required of you.” Don’t hold onto anything on the outside; hold on only in your imagination. If something is taken from you, it is because at one time you assumed its loss and for a moment wondered what you would do if it were. You forgot the thought, but its message had already been released to fulfill itself.
If you want to keep your possessions, you must hold onto them in your imagination and not build barns to house them.
Don’t forget (remember) the story of the birth as told in John. He does not describe it as Matthew or Luke do, but tells you this birth is essential in order to enter the new age. Then at the very end he gives you this beautiful symbolism of birth which comes through death, for it is only through death that one lives. A seed must fall into the ground and die before it is made alive. So God dies, saying: “Unless I die thou canst not live, but if I die I shall arise again and thou with me.” And God rose!
Now let us go into the silence.