By Neville Goddard | October 6, 1969
The following is a transcription of a lecture.
THE objective reality of this world is solely produced by the human imagination, in which all things exist. Tonight I hope to show you how to subjectively appropriate that which already exists in you and turn it into an objective fact. Your life is nothing more than the out picturing of your imaginal activity, for your imagination fulfills itself in what your life becomes.
The last year that Robert Frost was with us, he was interviewed by Life Magazine and said: “Our founding fathers did not believe in the future, they believed it in.” This is true. Having broken with England, our founding fathers could have established their own royalty here by making one of them the king, thereby perpetuating a royal family. They could have chosen a form of dictatorship, but they agreed to imagine a form of government that had not been tried since the days of the Greeks. Democracy is the most difficult form of government in the world, yet our founding fathers agreed to believe it in. They knew it would take place, because they knew the power of belief – the power I hope to show you that you are, tonight.
To say: “I am going to be rich,” will not make it happen; you must believe riches in by claiming within yourself: “I am rich.” You must believe in the present tense because the active, creative power that you are is God. He is your awareness, and God alone acts and is. His name forever and ever is “I am”; therefore, he can’t say: “I will be rich” or “I was rich” but “I am rich!” Claim what you want to be aware of here and now, and — although your reasonable mind denies it and your senses deny it — if you will assume it, with feeling, your inward activity, established and perpetuated, will objectify itself in the outside world — which is nothing more than your imaginal activity, objectified. To attempt to change the circumstances of your life before you change its imaginal activity, is to labor in vain. This I know from experience. I had a friend who hated Roosevelt, yet wanted him to change. Every morning while shaving, my friend would tell Roosevelt off. He found great joy and satisfaction in this daily routine, yet could not understand why Roosevelt stayed the same. But I tell you, if you want someone to change, you must change your imaginal activity, for it is the one and only cause of your life. And you can believe anything in if you will not accept the facts your senses dictate; for nothing is impossible to imagine, and imagining — persisted in and believed — will create its own reality.
Now, all things exist in God, and he exists in you and you exist in him. Your eternal body is the human imagination, and that is God Himself. Your imagination is an actual body in which everything is contained. When you imagine, the thing itself comes out of that divine body, Jehovah. The story of Jesus is a wonderful mystery that cannot be solved until you discover, from experience, that he is your own wonderful human imagination.
We are told that God speaks to man in a dream and unveils himself in a vision. Now, vision is a waking dream like this room, while a dream occurs when you are not fully awake. A few years ago this vision was mine: I was taken in spirit into one of the early mansions on 5th Avenue in New York City at the turn of the century. As I entered, I saw that three generations were present and I heard the eldest man telling the others of their grandfather’s secret. These are his words: “Grandfather used to say, while standing on an empty lot: ‘I remember when this was an empty lot.’ Then he would paint a word picture of what he wanted to build there. He saw it vividly in his mind’s eye as he spoke, and in time it was established. He went through life in that manner, objectively realizing what he had first subjectively claimed.”
I tell you: everything in your outer world was first subjectively appropriated; I don’t care what it is. Desire can be your empty lot where you may stand remembering when that which you now have was only a desire. If I now say: “I remember when I lectured at the Woman’s Club in Los Angeles”, I am implying I am no longer there and am where I want to be. Remembering when you were poor, I have taken you out of poverty and placed you in comfort. I remember when you were sick by taking you out of sickness and placing you in the state of health. I remember when you were unknown — implies you are now known. By changing my memory image of you, I can now remember when you, with all your fame and fortune, were unknown and broke. That was the secret of grandfather’s success.
This is what I learned in vision. Do not put this thought aside because it came to me in vision. In the 12th chapter of the Book of Numbers, it is said that God speaks to man through the medium of dreams and makes himself known through vision. If God makes himself known to you through vision, and speaks to you in dream, what is more important than to remember your dreams and visions? You can’t compare the morning’s paper or any book you may read to your vision of the night, for that is an instruction from the depth of yourself.
God in you speaks to you in a dream, as he did to me when he took me on a trip in time to that beautifully staffed mansion at the turn of the century. As spirit, I was invisible to those present; but I heard more distinctly than they, and comprehended the words more graphically then they, because they had their millions; and who is going to tell one who already has millions how to get them? I entered their environment to hear their story, in order to share it with those who will hear and believe my words and then try it.
This doesn’t mean that, just because you heard my vision you are going to enjoy wealth; you must apply what you heard, and remember when. If you would say: “I remember when I couldn’t afford to spend $400 a month for rent,” you are implying you can well afford it now. The words: “I remember when it was a struggle to live on my monthly income,” implies you have transcended that limitation. You can put yourself into any state by remembering when. You can remember when your friend expressed her desire to be married. By remembering when she was single, you are persuading yourself that your friend is no longer in that state, as you have moved her from one state into another.
When I say all things exist in the human imagination, I mean infinite states; for everything possible for you to experience now exists in you as a state of which you are its operant power. Only you can make a state become alive. You must enter a state and animate it in order for it to outpicture itself in your world. You may then go back to sleep and think the objective fact is more real than its subjective state into which you have entered; but may I tell you: all states exist in the imagination. When a state is entered subjectively, it becomes objective in your vegetative world, where it will wax and wane and disappear; but its eternal form will remain forever and can be reanimated and brought back into being through the seed of contemplative thought. So I tell you: the most creative thing in you is to enter a state and believe it into being.
Now, causation is the assemblage of mental states, which occurring creates that which the assemblage implies. Let us say that I have two friends who would empathize with me (not sympathize) if they heard my good news. I put them together and listen (all in my imagination) as they talk about me and what has happened in my life. Being true friends, I hear their words of joy and see their happiness reflected on their faces. Then I allow myself to become visible to them and feel their handshake and embrace as I accept their congratulations as a fact. Now I have assembled a mental state, which occurring, created that which the assemblage implied; therefore I am its cause. As I walk, firmly believing in the reality of what I have done, and that imaginal act becomes a fact, I may question myself as to how it came about. Then, remembering my imaginal act I would say: “I did it.” If I did it, then did not God do it? Yes, because God and I are one “I AM”.
Are you going to continue to believe there is another on the outside, or are you going to believe the great confession of faith, which I would urge you to accept? It’s the great Sh’ma: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” If the Lord is one, he can’t be two. Therefore, if his name is I am and you say “I am,” you must be one with the Lord who brought the world into being.
Listen to these words: “By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that things that are seen were made out of things which do not appear.” Here we see that the word of God is an imaginal activity, which — joined by faith — created the world. And faith is nothing more than the subjective appropriation of an objective hope. Now, when you discuss your desire with me, you cannot see my imaginal act relative to you. If you tell me you need a job and I accept that thought, when I think of you I remember your need. But if I changed your words and heard you tell me you loved your job, I could remember when you needed one; for now my memory bank contains the fact that you have a job you like very much. And when we meet again you tell me that you have it, you are only bringing confirmation of my imaginal, creative act.
Now, if imagination works this way, and it proves itself in the testing time and time again, what does it matter what the world thinks? It costs you nothing to try it, and what a change in life it will produce for you. Try it, for you will prove it in performance.
This may be in conflict with what you believe God to be. Maybe you still want him to be someone on the outside, so that there are two of you and not one. That’s all right if you do, but I tell you: God became you, that there would not be you and God. He became you, that you may become God. If God became you, his name must be in you, and it is; for if I ask you anything, you must first be aware of the question before you can respond, and your awareness is God.
You may not be aware of who you are, where you are, or what you are; but you do know that you are. Aware of what your senses and reason dictate, you may believe that you are limited, unwanted, ignored, and mistreated; and your world confirms your belief in your imaginal activity. And if you do not know that your awareness is causing this mistreatment, you will blame everyone but yourself; yet I tell you the only cause of the phenomena of life is an imaginal activity. There is no other cause.
If you believe in the horrors of the world as they are given to you in the paper and on television, your belief causes the horrors to continue. Believing the news of a shortage, you will buy what you do not need, blindly accepting the pressure to perpetuate an imaginal activity that keeps you frightened. All through scripture you are told to let not your heart be troubled, be not afraid, and fear not. If fear could be eliminated, there would be no need for psychologists or psychiatrists. It’s a bunch of nonsense, anyway. Every day this branch of medicine changes their concepts and they are always in conflict as to what a man’s attitude towards life is.
I say to everyone: the whole vast world is now in your human imagination, and you can bring any desire out of it by believing it into being.
First, you must know what you want, then create an image that fulfills it. Would your friends know and talk about it? Imagine they are with you now, discussing your fulfilled desire. You could be at a cocktail or dinner party that is being given in your honor. Or maybe it’s a little get-together over tea. Create a scene in your mind’s eye and believe its reality in! That invisible state will produce the objective state you desire, for all objective reality is solely produced by imagination.
The clothes you are now wearing were first imagined. The chair in which you are seated, the room that surrounds you – there isn’t a thing here that wasn’t first imagined; so you can see that imagining creates reality. If you don’t believe it, you are lost in a world of confusion.
There is no fiction. What is fiction today will be a fact tomorrow. A book written as a fictional story today comes out of the imagination of the one who wrote it and will become a fact in the tomorrows. If you have a good memory or a good research system, you could find today’s facts. Not every fact is recorded, because not every thought is written; yet every person imagines. A man feeling wrongfully imprisoned and desiring to get even will disturb the world, because all things — by a law divine in one another’s being — mingle. You can’t stop the force that comes from one who is imagining, because behind the mask he wears, you and he are one. Start now to become aware of what you are thinking, for as you think, you imagine. Only then can you steer a true course to your definite end. If you lose sight of that end, however, you can and will be moved by seeming others. But if you keep your mind centered in the awareness of dwelling in your destination, you cannot fail.
The end of your journey is where your journey begins. When you tell me what you want, do not try to tell me the means necessary to get it, because neither you nor I know them. Just tell me what you want that I may hear you tell me that you have it. If you try to tell me how your desire is going to be fulfilled, I must first rub that thought out before I can replace it with what you want to be. Man insists on talking about his problems. He seems to enjoy recounting them and cannot believe that all he needs to do is state his desire clearly. If you believe that imagination creates reality, you will never allow yourself to dwell on your problems, for you will realize that as you do you perpetuate them all the more.
So I tell you: the greatest thing you can do is to believe a thing into existence, just as our founding fathers did. They had no current example of democracy. It existed in Greece centuries ago, but failed because the Greeks changed their imaginal activity. We could do that too. Don’t think for one second we have to continue as a democracy. We could be under dictatorship within twenty-four hours, for everything is possible. If you like democracy, you must be constantly watchful to keep its concepts alive within you. It’s the most difficult form of government. A man can voice an opinion and stage a protest here, but in other forms of government he cannot. If you want to enjoy the freedom of a democracy, you must keep it alive by being aware of it.
Now, if you keep this law, you don’t have to broadcast what you want; you simply assume that you have it. For — although your reasonable mind and outer senses deny it — if you persist in your assumption, your desire will become your reality. There is no limit to your power of belief, and all things are possible to him who believes. Just imagine what an enormous power that is. You don’t have to be nice, good, or wise; for anything is possible to you when you believe that what you are imagining is true. That is the way to success.
I believe any man who has been successful in his life’s venture has lived as though he were successful. Living in that state, he can name those who aided him in achieving his success; and he may deny that he was always aware of success, but his awareness compelled the aid he received.
To believe your desire into being is to exercise the wonderful creative power that you are. We are told in the very first Psalm: “Blessed is the man who delights in the law of the Lord. In all that he does, he prospers.” This law, as explained in the Sermon on the Mount, is psychological. “You have heard it said of old, thou shalt not commit adultery, but I say unto you, anyone who lusts after a woman has already committed the act of adultery with her in his heart.” Here we discover that it is not enough to restrain the impulse on the outside. Adultery is committed the moment the desire is thought!
Knowing what you want, gear yourself towards it, for the act was committed in the wanting. Faith must now be added, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Can you imagine a state and feel that your imaginal act is now a fact? It costs you nothing to imagine; in fact you are imagining every moment in time, but not consciously. But may I tell you: if you use your creative power by imagining a desire is already fulfilled, when you get it, the circumstances will seem so natural that it will be easy to deny your imagination had anything to do with it, and you could easily believe that it would have happened anyway. But if you do, you will have returned to sleep once again.
First of all, most of us do not even realize our own harvest when it confronts us. And if we do remember that we once imagined it, reason will tell us it would have happened anyway. Reason will remind you that you met a man (seemingly by accident) at a cocktail party who was interested in making money. When he heard your idea, he sent you to see his friend, and look what happened — so really, it would have happened anyway. Then, of course, it is easy to ignore the law, but “Blessed is the man who delights in the law of the Lord. In all that he does he prospers.”
Don’t forget the law while you are living in the world of Caesar, and apply it wisely; but remember you are not justified by its use. Justification comes through faith. You must have faith in the incredible story that God promised to bring himself out of you, as you! This is God’s promise to all, and all are asked to believe it.
It is not what you are, but what you trust God to do, that saves you. And to the degree that you trust God to save you, you will be saved. But he has given us a psychological law to cushion the inevitable blows of life. The law is simple: “As you sow, so shall you reap.” It is the law of like begets like. As you imagine, so shall your life become. Knowing what you want, assume the feeling that would be yours if you had it. Persist in that feeling, and in a way you do not know and could not devise, your desire will become a fact. Grandfather made his fortune by standing on an empty lot and saying to himself: “I remember when this was an empty lot.” Then he would paint a beautiful word picture of the structure he desired there. This is a wonderful technique. You can remember when you were unknown, penniless, and ill, or a failure. Remembering when you were, implies you are no longer that, and your power is in its implication.
Use the law and it will take you from success to success, as you conceive success to be. As far as I am concerned, success is to fulfill the promise, and you cannot do that through the law. The promise is fulfilled through faith. Are you holding true to the faith? Examine yourself to see if you are. I have told you an eternal story. Believe it, but do not change it. The story is this: God became you that you may become God. Use the law to cushion the blows while God keeps his promise; and then one day, when your journey is over, you will say: “Into thy hands I commit my spirit. Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.” That’s the cry on the cross. Commit your spirit to your imaginal act, relax, and fall asleep knowing its redemption is assured. Then when you least expect it, God will prove to you that he has redeemed you by awakening in you, as you. Then you will be born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
Now let us go into the silence.