By Neville Goddard | February 24, 1969
The following is a transcription of a lecture.
Peter tells us that Christ bears our sins in his body on the cross. And the prophet Isaiah said:
He takes our infirmities and bears our diseases.
Who is this being who bears our sins, our infirmities, and our diseases? Christ! Our wonderful human imagination! When you are in pain, or experiencing deep sorrow, your imagination is doing the suffering. If a friend tells you he is not feeling well, or is in great pain, and you tell him that his imagination – called Christ – is doing the suffering, your friend would not believe you, because he conceives Christ to be someone other than himself. But Christ is the human imagination, and until man discovers this for himself the Bible will make no sense to him whatsoever.
We are told:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and dwells in us.
That word is your “I Am”! And if the Word is God and dwells in you as your awareness, is not God doing the suffering when you say, I am suffering? Having just revealed God’s name, you are confessing that God is in pain; therefore, does He not bear all the sufferings of the world in his body while he is on the cross of mankind?
When I speak of the joy of awakening to the knowledge of who God really is, I would think everyone would be eager to experience that awareness; yet only an nth part will say, Yes!
A friend wrote, saying, “My husband applied for and received a temporary position as a carpenter, working for the Los Angeles school system. When he was let out he said, `They will call me back for another temporary period.’ I suggested that if he wanted to work there on a permanent basis he could, if he would imagine it. Instead he gave me all kinds of reasons why a permanent position was not possible.”
“Recently he was called back for another temporary position. When I reminded him of what he had imagined six months ago he did not want to recognise his harvest of the seed he had planted and became very angry. As he spoke, our souls made contact and I heard him say, `I am asleep and don’t you dare awaken me!’”
Her husband, like 99% of the people of the world, does not want to be awakened, feeling that if he awakens to a higher level, he will lose the pleasures of the flesh.
A friend, a very successful playwright with many famous stars as his clients, used to listen to my visions and my interpretations of scripture for a short time, then tell me he had heard enough. He didn’t want to go beyond the point of curiosity, to become interested and desire the spiritual world, because he was afraid he would lose his physical contact with life, and he was only interested in sex. He had money and everything money could buy, and he loved playing the field in the theatrical world.
He died a few years ago and is now restored to a body just like the one he had here, only young, full of vigor, eager to continue his sexual life. This man has not felt the famine which is sent. It is not a hunger for food or a thirst for water, but for the hearing of the word of God. And until that famine possesses you, God’s word will not hold your interest. I could go on the radio and TV or write articles for the newspapers regarding my experiences; but like the lady’s husband, they would say, “I am asleep and don’t you dare awaken me!”
Now, God and his word are one; so if God sent his word, then he sent himself declaring, “He who sees me, sees him who sent me; for I am the word which will not return unto me void, but must accomplish that which I purpose and prosper in the thing for which I was sent.”
The outer man is the external word, which comes first. The inner man is then sent to animate and eventually give life to the outer man by fulfilling the word. And when the outer man hungers for the word of God, everything said in scripture concerning God’s plan of self-redemption fulfills itself in him. He doesn’t redeem someone else, as there is no one else. We are the gods who came down, and God can only redeem himself by fulfilling scripture.
Now another lady shared this vision saying, “I am standing in the midst of an enormous crowd. Everyone around me is screaming, `He is crazy. He is mad. He is crazy. He is mad,’ over and over again. Walking quickly to discover who they are referring to, I see a man standing alone at the head of the crowd. Recognising him as the man I love, I run to him and cry, `I love you, I love you.’”
“Although the crowd surges upon him and beats him, I continue to express my love. Suddenly he places his hands upon my neck. I feel his thumbs press into my throat and feel as though I am going to die. Then the pressure is released. The man raises his hands, which become two white wings, which caress me with an indescribable love as I awake.”
That night this lady fulfilled the 40th, 48th, 51st, 52nd and 53rd [chapters] of Isaiah. I say to her, without any doubt in my heart, that she is very near salvation. Everything in her wonderful vision was made visible. She was the man and the crowd. She sent herself through hell because she loves herself, just as you and I do. In Blake’s lovely song, “A Little Boy Lost”, he said:
Nought loves another as itself,William Blake, “A Little Boy Lost”
Nor venerates another so.
Nor is it possible to thought
A Greater than itself to know.”
How can thought know a thought greater than itself? How could you love another more than yourself? It is impossible, for there is no other.
Love is the being playing every part. Love is the crowd, the tempters, and the one abused. Feel distress, and you are abusing Christ by saying “I am distressed”. Feel ashamed, limited, inadequate or afraid, and God is experiencing them all; for He is your awareness, believing himself to be ashamed, limited, inadequate, or afraid and dying in your sins.
Just as my friend heard the vision tell her to change the comma — for the statement should read, “Before Abraham, was I am” — here again we find that unless you believe your I AM is the one you have worshiped on the outside, you die in your sins. For your I AM was before Abraham.
It is Christ who bears all of your afflictions, your sorrows, and diseases. There is no record of a man who took upon himself a terminal disease while the one he took it from was set free. The implication is there, for – bearing our afflictions and weakness – God has the power to set man free. But Christ is not someone external to yourself. The Universal Christ is a diffusion of an individuality. You say I am; I say I am. We are the same I am, who is Christ, who is God, who is Jehovah – for there is nothing but I AM!
Christ, who is your very self, bears all of your afflictions, your weaknesses, and sins; but this is difficult for man to understand. Several years ago I gave a series of nineteen lectures in San Francisco attended by a lady and her lawyer son. At the end of the series, the lady questioned her son, saying: “Do you believe Neville?” And answering with his rational mind he said, “He sounds sincere. He may be sincerely wrong, but I’m sure he is sincere.”
At that time the son was living with his mother. Every night before retiring they would remind each other to put the law of identical harvest into practice. When I returned to San Francisco the next year, I learned that this man had formed an organisation which was in the process of building the largest and most modern co-op in the Bay Area, called the Comstock. This project was followed by building up the peninsula, and now this gentleman is worth millions.
Both mother and son used the law to achieve their every goal, yet she admitted she did not understand what I meant when I said Christ suffers for her. Although she could tell me,“I have a toothache,” she couldn’t grasp the fact that she is her imagination and therefore the cause of the toothache as well as the wonderful co-op.
If you are suffering, Christ is suffering, for his name is I AM, and there is no other Christ. God actually became flesh and dwells in you. Once you realise this you will never turn to another. This gentleman has made a fortune, yet he does not understand how it all came about, because the hunger is not upon him. Although it would not be necessary, he is not willing to give up his enormous earthly holdings to have the experiences which would result in regeneration.
You do not kill desire. You do not have yourself castrated. You are simply beyond the organisation of sex and your desire for earthly things ceases to be. Ninety-nine per cent of the people here desire worldly pleasures, while I speak of a pleasure that transcends this world – where one lives in a world of reality and creativity. But until that famine comes, you will continue to desire things that die in this world.
Now, another lady shared this experience, saying, “In my vision, I knew you had died, yet you had returned to lecture and teach as usual. You were wearing my earthly father’s face, yet I knew the bone structure to be yours. Everyone called you the Father, but not knowing my earthly father, they could not see his face, only yours. As I woke I knew that the face I touched on the surface would be that of my earthly father, but its structure would be that of the Father.”
There is only one Father. It is He who wears every mask. In this wonderful experience, she saw her earthly father wearing the frame of the Father, because the Father is a protean being and assumes every face. She saw the foundation, the bone structure of the man who told her salvation’s story, wearing the face of her earthly father.
We are told that when God took upon himself the sins of the world, he was a man of sorrow, despised and rejected by men. There is no description of the man in whom God awoke because he is never a sculptured, beautiful man on the outside, but a perfectly normal person.
This lady said that she is very fond of the Book of John, as it seems to be more loving than any other book in the Bible. I will go along with that. She felt that the answer to the experience I just spoke of would come to her from the Book of John. I suggest she read the 10th chapter of John. In it, Christ is called a man who has a devil and they question why listen to him. You, my dear, are that central figure, and you are also the crowd screaming at yourself; and you deny the existence of the Christ within, for there is no other. There is only God.
You can put God to the test, and if He proves himself in the testing then you will know God is your own wonderful human imagination. If you want the joy of marriage, a love affair, or a romance, you can test God by assuming the one you desire is with you now. And to the degree you persist in that assumption, it will be yours to experience. Do not be concerned as to how or when it will happen; simply persist in the assumption that it has happened, and when it does you will know who God is.
My wife woke too early to get up this morning, so she thought about what she wanted most, and that was for her husband and daughter to be blissfully happy. Thinking of what she could do to make it so, she realised that it was something they alone must decide. Then she fell asleep dwelling on their happiness and this is her dream: Seeing me lying on a couch she heard me say: “I don’t feel comfortable here,” and she replied: “I know – you don’t like to sleep on the first floor, but would rather be elevated and sleep above.”
Then the dream changed and she was putting a puzzle together with our daughter Vicki, who began to laugh as she picked up a piece of the puzzle and watched it fall into its perfect place. Looking at Vicki she said to herself: “I have never seen her look so pretty and be so blissfully happy.” Then she awoke. Her desire for happiness was answered in the depth of her being and must now come to the surface.
Jesus Christ is your own wonderful human imagination and his story is all about you. Told in the third person, it is written as though another is doing all the suffering for you; yet you know you are the one who is suffering. I tell you, that unless you believe your awareness of being is God you will continue to miss your mark, thereby remaining in sin.
I AM is the key to scripture. Called Jesus Christ in the New Testament, God the Father’s name is revealed in the Old Testament as I am. Having come into the world to fulfill the word, you cannot return empty but must accomplish that which you purposed and prosper in the thing for which you sent yourself. After inspiring the prophets to tell your story, you came not only to fulfill their prophecy, but to share your experiences to encourage others.
The Old Testament is a prophetic blueprint which you will fulfill, for you are the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Jesus Christ of the New. You may either accept this truth or reject it, but what I am telling you is true. Christ is not a little man, but the universally diffused individuality of which we are. So when one awakes and the second one follows, the third will awaken and eventually all of the universally diffused individuals will awaken in that one glorious body called the kingdom of heaven. Having come into and overcoming the world of death, we will be victorious over our challenge.
The men of science tell us that the universe is melting and will one day come to its end. I am not going to question this, but I do know that Imagination came into this world of death to overcome it. I also know that nothing dies, because we are the immortal Imagination who clothed himself in these garments of flesh which die, but we – their life-giving spirit – cannot die.
I cannot force anyone to want my experiences. My family in Barbados all live in comfort and know they earn much more than I do. They judge a man by what he has in this world and are not interested in who he is. They cannot understand why a man of my age continues to do what I am doing, when I could move to Barbados and live in clover with all expenses paid by the business. And I can’t persuade them to listen to me because the hunger is not upon them.
Until that hunger for the hearing of the word of God possesses you, you will continue to be possessed by the world. You may become the Pope, but that does not mean you hunger for the word of God. It may mean that you hunger for the power that rests in the office of the Pope, the hunger to be recognised and praised. But when the hunger to experience the word of God possesses you, you will know you – the Word – sent yourself. You will then understand the words: “He who sees me, sees him who sent me,” for you will fulfill God’s word.
There must be two witnesses: one external and one internal. The external witness is scripture, and you who have the spiritual experience are the internal witness. Knowing your experiences parallel the scriptures, you know that the Father in the depths of your own being watches to see that all the pieces are in place and the image of his declared purpose is perfect.
Having prophesied what must take place, God will fulfill it; and you – the image of the invisible God – will radiate his glory and become the express image of his person. Then you will be used as the bone structure on which every face will be placed to reveal to the one who has the experience, the meaning of being God the Father.
In my friend’s vision everyone referred to me as the Father. Her father was a father, but I am the Father upon which every father’s face is placed. She was aware that I had died and had returned, only to tell the story of God’s plan of salvation in order to redeem myself, for there is only God in the world.
Now let us go into the silence.