How To Use Your Imagination

By Neville Goddard | 1955

The following text is a transcription of a lecture.

The purpose of this record is to show you how to use your imagination to achieve your every desire. Most men are totally unaware of the creative power of a imagination and invariably bow before the dictates of “facts” and accepts life on the basis of the world without. But when you discover this creative power within yourself, you will boldly assert the supremacy of imagination and put all things in subjection to it. When a man speaks of God-in-man, he is totally unaware that this power called God-in-man is man’s imagination. THIS is the creative power in man. There is nothing under heaven that is not plastic as potter’s clay to the touch of the shaping spirit of imagination.

Once a man said to me, “You know, Neville, I love to listen to you talk about imagination, but as I do so, I invariably touch the chair with my fingers and push my feet into the rug just to keep my sense of the reality and the profundity of things. Well, undoubtedly he is still touching the chair with his fingers and pushing his feet into the rug. 

Well, let me tell you of another one who didn’t touch with her fingers and didn’t push that foot of hers onto the board of the streetcar. It’s the story of a young girl just turned seventeen. It was Christmas Eve, and she is sad of heart, for that year she had lost her father in an accident, and she is returning home to what seemed to be an empty house. She was untrained to do anything, so got herself a job as a waitress. This night it’s quite late, Christmas Eve, it’s raining, the car is full of laughing boys and girls home for their Christmas vacation, and she couldn’t conceal the tears.

Luckily for her, as I said, it was raining, so she stuck her face into the heavens to mingle her tears with rain. And then holding the rail of the streetcar, this is what she did: she said, “This is not rain, why, this is spray from the ocean; and this is not the salt of tears that I taste, for this is the salt of the sea in the wind; and this is not San Diego, this is a ship, and I am coming into the Bay of Samoa.” And there she felt the reality of all that she had imagined.

Then came the end of the journey and all are out.

Ten days later this girl received a letter from a firm in Chicago saying that her aunt, several years before when she sailed for Europe, deposited with them three thousand dollars with instructions that if she did not return to America, this money should be paid to her niece. They had just received information of the aunt’s death and were now acting upon her instructions. One month later this girl sailed for Samoa. As she came into the bay it was late that night and there was salt of the sea in the wind. It wasn’t raining, but there was spray in the air. And she actually felt what she’d felt one month before, only this time she had realized her objective.

Now, this whole record is technique. I want to show you today how to put your wonderful imagination right into the feeling of your wish fulfilled and let it remain there and fall asleep in that state. And I promise you, from my own experience, you will realize the state in which you sleep – if you could actually feel yourself right into the situation of your fulfilled desire and continue therein until you fall asleep. As you feel yourself right into it, remain in it until you give it all the tones of reality, until you give it all the sensory vividness of reality. As you do it, in that state, quietly fall into sleep. And in a way you will never know – you could never consciously devise the means that would be employed – you will find yourself moving across a series of events leading you towards the objective realization of this state.

Now, here is a practical technique: The first thing you do, you must know exactly what you want in this world. When you know exactly what you want, make as life-like a representation as possible of what you would see, and what you would touch, and what you would do were you physically present and physically moving in such a state.

For example, suppose I wanted a home, but I had no money – but I still know what I want. I, without taking anything into consideration, I would make as life-like a representation of the home that I would like, with all the things in it that I would want. And then, this night, as I would go to bed, I would in a state, a drowsy, sleepy state, the state that borders upon sleep, I would imagine that I am actually in such a house, that were I to step off the bed, I would step upon the floor of that house, were I to leave this room, I would enter the room that is adjacent to my imagined room in that house. And while I am touching the furniture and feeling it to be solidly real, and while I am moving from one room to the other in my imaginary house, I would go to sound asleep in that state. And I know that in a way I could not consciously devise, I would realize my house. I have seen it work time and time again.

If I wanted promotion in my business I would ask myself, “What additional responsibilities would be mine were I to be given this great promotion? What would I do? What would I say? What would I see? How would I act? And then in my imagination I would begin to see and touch and do and act as I would outwardly see and touch and act were I in that position.

If I now desired the mate of my life, were I now in search of some wonderful girl or some wonderful man, what would I actually find myself doing that would imply that I have found my state? For instance, suppose now I was a lady, one thing I would definitely do, I would wear a wedding ring. I would take my imaginary hands and I would feel the ring that I would imagine to be there. And I would keep on feeling it and feeling it until it seemed to me to be solidly real. I would give it all the sensory vividness I am capable of giving anything. And while I am feeling my imaginary ring – which implies that I am married – I would sleep.

This story is told us in The Song of Songs, or A Song of Solomon:

It is said, “At night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth. I found him whom my soul loveth, and I would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother’s house, right into the chamber of her that conceived me.” If I would take that beautiful poem and put it into modern English, into practical language, it would be this: “While sitting in my chair I would feel myself right into the situation of my fulfilled desire, and having felt myself into that state I would not let it go. I would keep that mood alive, and in that mood I would sleep.” That is taking it “right into my mother’s chamber, into the chamber of her that conceived me.”

You know, people are totally unaware of this fantastic power of the imagination, but when man begins to discover this power within him, he never plays the part that he formerly played. He doesn’t turn back and become just a reflector of life; from here on in he is the affector of life. The secret of it is to center your imagination in the feeling of the wish fulfilled and remain therein. For in our capacity to live IN the feeling of the wish fulfilled lies our capacity to live the more abundant life. Most of us are afraid to imagine ourselves as important and noble individuals secure in our contribution to the world just because, at the very moment that we start our assumption, reason and our senses deny the truth of our assumption. We seem to be in the grip of an unconscious urge which makes us cling desperately to the world of familiar things and resist all that threatens to tear us away from our familiar and seemingly safe moorings.

Well, I appeal to you to try it. If you try it, you will discover this great wisdom of the ancients. For they told it to us in their own strange, wonderful, symbolical form. But unfortunately you and I misinterpreted their stories and took it for history, when they intended it as instruction to simply achieve our every objective. You see, imagination puts us inwardly in touch with the world of states. These states are existent, they are present now, but they are mere possibilities while we think OF them. But they become overpoweringly real when we think FROM them and dwell IN them.

You know, there is a wide difference between thinking OF what you want in this world and thinking FROM what you want. Let me tell you when I first heard of this strange and wonderful power of the imagination. It was in 1933 in New York City. An old friend of mine taught it to me.

He turned to the fourteenth of John, and this is what he read: “In my father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also.” He explained to me that this central character of the Gospels was human imagination; that ‘mansion’ was not a place in some heavenly house, but simply my desire. If I would make a living representation of the state desired and then enter that state and abide in that state, I would realize it.

At the time I wanted to make a trip to the island of Barbados in the West Indies, but I had no money. He explained to me that if I would that night, as I slept in New York City, assume that I was sleeping in my earthly father’s house in Barbados and go sound asleep in that state, that I would realize my trip. Well, I took him at his word and tried it. For one month, night after night as I fell asleep I assumed I was sleeping in my father’s home in Barbados. At the end of my month an invitation from my family came inviting me to spend the winter in Barbados. I sailed for Barbados the early part of December of that year.

From then on I knew I had found this savior in myself. The old man told me that it would never fail. Even after it happened I could hardly believe that it would not have happened anyway. That’s how strange this whole thing is. On reflection, it happens so naturally you begin to feel or to tell yourself, “Well, it would have happened anyway,” and you quickly recover from this wonderful experience of yours.

It never failed me if I would give the mood, the imagined mood, sensory vividness. I could tell you unnumbered case histories to show you how it works, but in essence it is simple: You simply know what you want. When you know what you want, you are thinking of it. That is not enough. You must now begin to think FROM it. Well, how could I think from it? I am sitting here, and I desire to be elsewhere. How could I, while sitting here physically, put myself in imagination at a point in space removed from this room and make that real to me?

Quite easily. My imagination puts me in touch inwardly with that state. I imagine that I am actually where I desire to be. How can I tell that I am there? There is one way to prove that I am there, for what a man sees when he describes his world is, as he describes it, relative to himself. So what the world looks like depends entirely upon where I stand when I make my observation. So, if as I describe my world it is related to that point in space I imagine that I am occupying, then I must be there. I am not there physically, no, but I AM there in my imagination, and my imagination is my real self! And where I go in imagination and make it real, there I shall go in the flesh, also. When in that state I fall asleep, it is done. I have never seen it fail. So this is the simple technique upon how to use your imagination to realize your every objective.

Here is a very healthy and productive exercise for the imagination, something that you should do daily: Daily relive the day as you wish you had lived it, revising the scenes to make them conform to your ideals. For instance, suppose today’s mail brought disappointing news. Revise the letter. Mentally rewrite it and make it conform to the news you wish you had received. Or, suppose you didn’t get the letter you wish you had received. Write yourself the letter and imagine that you received such a letter.

Let me tell you a story that took place in New York not very long ago. In my audience sat this lady who had heard me, oh, numerous times, and I was telling the story of revision – that man, not knowing the power of imagination, he goes to sleep at the end of his day, tired and exhausted, accepting as final all the events of the day. And I was trying to show that man should, at that moment before he sleeps, he should rewrite the entire day and make it conform to the day he wished he had experienced. 

Here is the way a lady wisely used this law of revision: It appears that two years ago she was ordered out of her daughter-in-law’s home. For two years there was no correspondence. She had sent her grandson at least two dozen presents in that interval, but not one was ever acknowledged. Having heard the story of revision, this is what she did: As she retired at night, she mentally constructed two letters, one she imagined coming from her grandson, and the other from her daughter-in-law. In these letters they expressed deep affection for her and wondered why she had not called to see them.

This she did for seven consecutive nights, holding in her imaginary hand the letter she imagined she had received and reading these letters over and over until it aroused within her the satisfaction of having heard. Then she slept. On the eighth day she received a letter from her daughter-in-law. On the inside there were two letters, one from her grandson and one from the daughter-in-law. They practically duplicated the imaginary letters that this grandmother had written to herself eight days before.

This art of revision can be used in any department of your life. Take the matter of health. Suppose you were ill. Bring before your mind’s eye the image of a friend. Put upon that face an expression which implies that he or she sees in you that which you want the whole world to see. Just imagine he is saying to you that he has never seen you look better, and you reply, “I have never felt better.” 

Suppose your foot was injured. Then do this: Construct mentally a drama which implies that you are walking – that you are doing all the things that you would do if the foot was normal, and do it over and over and over until it takes on the tones of reality. Whenever you do in your imagination that which you would like to do in the outer world, that you WILL do in the outer world.

The one requisite is to arouse your attention in a way, and to such intensity, that you become wholly absorbed in the revised action. You will experience an expansion and refinement of the senses by this imaginative exercise and, eventually, achieve vision in the inner world. The abundant life promised us is ours to enjoy now, but not until we have the sense of the creator as our imagination can we experience it. 

Persistent imagination, centered in the feeling of the wish fulfilled, is the secret of all successful operations. This alone is the means of fulfilling the intention.

Every stage of man’s progress is made by the conscious, voluntary exercise of the imagination. Then you will understand why all poets have stressed the importance of controlled, vivid imagination. 

Listen to this one by the great William Blake:

In your own bosom you bear your heaven and earth,

And all you behold, though it appears without,

It is within, in your imagination,

Of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.

William Blake

Try it, and you too will prove that your Imagination is the Creator.