By Neville Goddard | 1948
The following is a transcription of a lecture.
May I take just a minute to clarify what was said last night. A lady felt from what I said last night that I am anti one-nation. I do hope that I am not anti any nation, race or belief. If perchance I used a nation, it was only to illustrate a point.
What I tried to tell you was this — we become what we contemplate. For it is the nature of love, as it is the nature of hate, to change us into the likeness of that which we contemplate. Last night I simply read a news item to show you that when we think we can destroy our image by breaking the mirror, we are only fooling ourselves.
When, through war or revolution, we destroy titles which to us represent arrogance and greed, we become in time the embodiment of that which we thought we had destroyed. So today, the people who thought they destroyed the tyrants are themselves that which they thought they had destroyed.
That I may not be misunderstood, let me again lay the foundation of this principle. Consciousness is the one and only reality. We are incapable of seeing other than the contents of our own consciousness
Therefore, hate betrays us in the hour of victory and condemns us to be that which we condemn. All conquest results in an exchange of characteristics, so that conquerors become like the conquered foe. We hate others for the evil which is in ourselves. Races, nations, and religious groups have lived for centuries in intimate hostility, and it is the nature of hatred, as it is the nature of love, to change us into the likeness of that which we contemplate.
Nations act toward other nations as their own citizens act toward each other. When slavery exists in a state and that nation attacks another it is with intent to enslave. When there is a fierce economic competition between citizen and citizen, then in war with another nation the object of the war is to destroy the trade of the enemy. Wars of domination are brought about by the will of those who within a state are dominant over the fortunes of the rest.
We radiate the world that surrounds us by the intensity of our imagination and feeling. But in this third-dimensional world of ours, time beats slowly. And so we do not always observe the relationship of the visible world to our inner nature.
Now that is really what I meant. I thought I had said it, that I may not be misunderstood — that is my principle. You and I can contemplate an ideal and become it by falling in love with it.
On the other hand, we can contemplate something we heartily dislike, and by condemning it, we will become it. But because of the slowness of time in this three-dimensional world, when we do become what we contemplated, we have forgotten that formerly we set out to worship or destroy it.
Tonight’s lesson is the capstone of the Bible, so do give me your attention. The most important question asked in the Bible will be found in the 16th chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew.
As you know, all of the Bible stories are your stories; its characters live only in the mind of man. They have no reference at all to any person, who lived in time and space, or to any event that ever occurred upon earth.
The drama related in Matthew takes place in this manner Jesus turns to his disciples and asks them:
Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?Matt. 16:13
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.Matt. 16:14-18
Jesus turning to his disciples is man turning to his disciplined mind in self-contemplation. You ask yourself the question, “Whom do men say that I am?” In our language, “I wonder what men think of me?”
You answer, “Some say John come again, Some say Elias, others say Jeremiah, and still others a Prophet of old come again.”
It is very flattering to be told that you are, or that you resemble, the great men of the past, but enlightened reason is not enslaved by public opinion. It is only concerned with the truth. So it asks itself another question, “But whom say ye that I am?” In other words, “Who am I?”
If I am bold enough to assume that I am Christ Jesus, the answer will come back, “Thou are Christ Jesus.”
When I can assume it and feel it and boldly live it, I will say to myself, “Flesh and blood could not have told me this. But my Father which is in Heaven revealed it unto me.” Then I make this concept of Self the rock on which I establish my church, my world.
If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.John 8:24
Because consciousness is the only reality, I must assume that I am already that which I desire to be. If I do not believe that I am already what I want to be, then I remain as I am and die in this limitation.
Man is always looking for some prop on which to lean. He is always looking for some excuse to justify failure. This revelation gives man no excuse for failure. His concept of himself is the cause of all the circumstances of his life. All changes must first come from within himself; and if he does not change on the outside, it is because he has not changed within. But man does not like to feel that he is solely responsible for the conditions of his life.
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.John 6:66-68
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.
I may not like what I have just heard, that I must turn to my own consciousness as to the only reality, the only foundation on which all phenomena can be explained. It was easier living when I could blame another. It was much easier living when I could blame society for my ills, or point a finger across the sea and blame another nation. It was easier living when I could blame the weather for the way I feel.
But to tell me that I am the cause of all that happens to me, that I am forever molding my world in harmony with my inner nature, that is more than man is willing to accept. If this is true, to whom would I go? If these are the words of eternal life, I must return to them, even though they seem so difficult to digest.
When man fully understands this, he knows that public opinion does not matter, for men only tell him who he is. The behaviour of men constantly tell me who I have conceived myself to be.
If I accept this challenge and begin to live by it, I finally reach the point that is called the great prayer of the Bible. It is related in the 17th chapter of the Gospel of St. John:
I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.John 17:4
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.John 17:5
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition.John 17:12
It is impossible for anything to be lost. In this divine economy, nothing can be lost; it cannot even pass away. The little flower which has bloomed once, blooms forever. It is invisible to you here with your limited focus, but it blooms forever in the larger dimension of your being, and tomorrow you will encounter it.
All that thou gavest me I have kept in thy name, and none have I lost save the son of perdition. The son of perdition means simply the belief in loss. Son is a concept, an idea. Perdido is loss. I have only truly lost the concept of loss, for nothing can be lost.
I can descend from the sphere where the thing itself now lives, and as I descend in consciousness to a lower level within myself, it passes from my world. I say, “I have lost my health. I have lost my wealth. I have lost my standing in the community. I have lost faith. I have lost a thousand things.” But the things in themselves, having once been real in my world, can never cease to be. They never become unreal with the passage of time.
I, by my descent in consciousness to a lower level, cause these things to disappear from my sight and I say, “They have gone; they are finished as far as my world goes.” All I need do is to ascend to the level where they are eternal, and they once more objectify themselves and appear as realities within my world.
The crux of the whole 17th chapter of the Gospel of St. John is found in the 19th verse, “And for their sake I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”
Heretofore I thought I could change others through effort. Now I know I cannot change another unless I first change myself. To change another within my world I must first change my concept of that other; and to do it best I change my concept of self. For it was the concept I held of self that made me see others as I did.
Had I a noble, dignified concept of myself, I never could have seen the unlovely in others.
Instead of trying to change others through argument and force, let me but ascend in consciousness to a higher level and I will automatically change others by changing self.
There is no one to change but self; that self is simply your awareness, your consciousness; and the world in which it lives is determined by the concept you hold of self. It is to consciousness that we must turn as to the only reality. For there is no clear conception of the origin of phenomena except that consciousness is all and all is consciousness.
You need no helper to bring you what you seek. Do not for one second believe that I am advocating escape from reality when I ask you to simply assume you are now the man or the lady that you want to be.
If you and I could feel what it would be like were we now that which we want to be, and live in this mental atmosphere as though it were real, then, in a way we do not know, our assumption would harden into fact. This is all we need do in order to ascend to the level where our assumption is already an objective, concrete reality.
I need change no man, I sanctify myself and in so doing I sanctify others. To the pure, all things are pure.
There is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.Rom. 14:14
There is nothing in itself unclean, but you, by your concept of self, see things either clean or unclean.
I and my Father are one.John 10:30
If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.John 10:37, 38
But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
He made himself one with God and thought it not strange or robbery to do the works of God. You always bear fruit in harmony with what you are. It is the most natural thing in the world for a pear tree to bear pears, an apple tree to bear apples, and for man to mold the circumstances of his life in harmony with his inner nature.
I am the vine, ye are the branches.John 15:5.
A branch has no life save it be rooted in the vine. All I need do to change the fruit is to change the vine.
You have no life in my world save that I am conscious of you. You are rooted in me and, like fruit, you bear witness of the vine that I am. There is no reality in the world other than your consciousness. Although you may now seem to be what you do not want to be, all you need do to change it, and to prove the change by circumstances in your world, is to quietly assume that you are that which you now want to be, and in a way you do not know you will become it.
There is no other way to change this world. “I am the way.” My I AMness, my consciousness is the way by which I change my world. As I change my concept of self, I change my world. When men and women help or hinder us, they only play the part that we, by our concept of self, wrote for them, and they play it automatically. They must play the parts they are playing because we are what we are.
You will change the world only when you become the embodiment of that which you want the world to be. You have but one gift in this world that is truly yours to give and that is yourself. Unless you yourself are that which you want the world to be, you will never see it in this world.
Except ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.John 8:24
Do you know that no two in this room live in the same world. We are going home to different worlds tonight. We close our doors on entirely different worlds. We rise tomorrow and go to work, where we meet each other and meet others, but we live in different mental worlds, different physical worlds.
I can only give what I am, I have no other gift to give. If I want the world to be perfect, and who does not, I have failed only because I did not know that I could never see it perfect until I myself become perfect. If I am not perfect I cannot see perfection, but the day that I become it, I beautify my world because I see it through my own eyes.
Unto the pure all things are pure.Titus 1:15
No two here can tell me that you have heard the same message any one night. The one thing that you must do is hear what I say through that which you are. It must be filtered through your prejudices, your superstitions, and your concept of self. Whatever you are, it must come through that, and be colored by what you are.
If you are disturbed and you would like me to be something other than what I appear to be, then you must be that which you want me to be. We must become the thing that we want others to be or we will never see them be it.
Your consciousness, my consciousness, is the only true foundation in the world. This is that which is called Peter in the Bible, not a man, this faithfulness that cannot turn to anyone, that cannot be flattered when you are told by men you are John come again. That is very flattering to be told you are John the Baptist come again, or the great Prophet Elias, or Jeremiah.
Then I deafen my ears to this very flattering little bit of news men would give me and I ask myself, “But honestly who am I?”
If I can deny the limitations of my birth, my environment, and the belief that I am but an extension of my family tree, and feel within myself that I am Christ, and sustain this assumption until it takes a central place and forms the habitual center of my energy, I will do the works attributed to Jesus. Without thought or effort, I will mold a world in harmony with that perfection which I have assumed and feel springing within me.
When I open the eyes of the blind, unstop the ears of the deaf, give joy for mourning and beauty for ashes, then and only then, have I truly established this vine deep within. That is what I would automatically do were I truly conscious of being Christ. It is said of this presence, He proved that He was Christ by His works.
Our ordinary alterations of consciousness, as we pass from one state to another, are not transformations, because each of them is so rapidly succeeded by another in the reverse direction;
but whenever our assumption grows so stable as to definitely expel its rivals, then that central habitual concept defines our character and is a true transformation.
Jesus, or enlightened reason, saw nothing unclean in the woman taken in adultery. He said to her:
Hath no man condemned thee?John 8:10
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.John 8:11
No matter what is brought before the presence of beauty, it sees only beauty. Jesus was so completely identified with the lovely that He was incapable of seeing the unlovely.
When you and I really become conscious of being Christ, we too will straighten the arms of the withered, and resurrect the dead hopes of men. We will do all the things that we could not do when we felt ourselves limited by our family tree. It is a bold step and should not be taken lightly, because to do it is to die. John, the man of three dimensions is beheaded, or loses his three-dimensional focus that Jesus, the fourth-dimensional Self may live.
Any enlargement of our concept of Self involves a somewhat painful parting with strongly rooted hereditary conceptions. The ligaments are strong that hold us in the womb of conventional limitations. All that you formerly believed, you no longer believe. You know now that there is no power outside of your own consciousness. Therefore you cannot turn to anyone outside of self.
You have no ears for the suggestion that something else has power in it. You know the only reality is God, and God is your own consciousness. There is no other God. Therefore on this rock you build the everlasting church and boldly assume you are this Divine Being, self-begotten because you dared to appropriate that which was not given to you in your cradle, a concept of Self not formed in your mother’s womb, a concept of self conceived outside of the offices of man.
The story is beautifully told us in the Bible using the two sons of Abraham: one the blessed, Isaac, born outside of the offices of man and the other, Ishmael, born in bondage.
Sarah was much too old to beget a child, so her husband Abraham went in unto the bondservant Hagar, the pilgrim, and she conceived of the old man and bore him a son called Ishmael. Ishmael’s hand was against every man and every man’s hand against him.
Every child born of woman is born into bondage, born into all that his environment represents, regardless of whether it be the throne of England, the White House, or any great place in the world. Every child born of woman is personified as this Ishmael, the child of Hagar.
But asleep in every child is the blessed Isaac, who is born outside of the offices of man, and is born through faith alone. This second child has no earthly father. He is Self-begotten.
What is the second birth? I find myself man — I cannot go back into my mother’s womb, and yet I must be born a second time.
Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God.John 3:3
I quietly appropriate that which no man can give me, no woman can give me. I dare to assume that I am God. This must be of faith, this must be of promise. Then I become the blessed, I become Isaac.
As I begin to do the things that only this presence could do, I know that I am born out of the limitations of Ishmael, and I have become heir to the kingdom. Ishmael could not inherit anything, although his father was Abraham, or God. Ishmael did not have both parents of the godly; his mother was Hagar the bond-woman, and so he could not partake of his father’s estate.
You are Abraham and Sarah, and contained within your own consciousness there is one waiting for recognition. In the Old Testament it is called Isaac, and in the New Testament it is called Jesus, and it is born without the aid of man.
No man can tell you that you are Christ Jesus, no man can tell you and convince you that you are God. You must toy with the idea and wonder what it would be like to be God.
No clear conception of the origin of phenomena is possible except that consciousness is all and all is consciousness. Nothing can be evolved from man that was not potentially involved in his nature. The ideal we serve and hope to attain could never be evolved from us were it not potentially involved in our nature.
Let me now retell and emphasize an experience of mine printed by me two years ago under the title, THE SEARCH. I think it will help you to understand this law of consciousness, and show you that you have no one to change but self, for you are incapable of seeing other than the contents of your own consciousness.
Once in an idle interval at sea, I meditated on “the perfect state,” and wondered what I would be were I of too pure eyes to behold iniquity, if to me all things were pure and were I without condemnation. As I became lost in this fiery brooding, I found myself lifted above the dark environment of the senses. So intense was feeling, I felt myself a being of fire dwelling in a body of air. Voices, as from a heavenly chorus, with the exaltation of those who had been conquerors in a conflict with death, were singing, “He is risen -He is risen,” and intuitively I knew they meant me.
Then I seemed to be walking in the night. I soon came upon a scene that might have been the ancient Pool of Bethesda for in this place lay a great multitude of impotent folk — blind, halt, withered -waiting not for the moving of the water as of tradition, but waiting for me.
As I came near, without thought or effort on my part, they were one after the other, molded as by the Magician of the Beautiful. Eyes, hands, feet — all missing members — were drawn from some invisible reservoir and molded in harmony with that perfection which I felt springing within me. When all were made perfect the chorus exulted, “It is finished.”
I know this vision was the result of my intense meditation upon the idea of perfection, for my meditations invariably bring about union with the state contemplated. I had been so completely absorbed within the idea that for awhile I had become what I contemplated, and the high purpose with which I had for that moment identified myself drew the companionship of high things and fashioned the vision in harmony with my inner nature.
The ideal with which we are united works by association of ideas to awaken a thousand moods to create a drama in keeping with the central idea.
My mystical experiences have convinced me that there is no way to bring about the perfection we seek other than by the transformation of ourselves. As soon as we succeed in transforming ourselves, the world will melt magically before our eyes and reshape itself in harmony with that which our transformation affirms.
We fashion the world that surrounds us by the intensity of our imagination and feeling, and we illuminate or darken our lives by the concepts we hold of ourselves. Nothing is more important to us than our conception of ourselves, and especially is true of our concept of the deep, dimensionally greater One within us.
Those that help or hinder us, whether they know it or not, are the servants of that law which shapes outward circumstances in harmony with our inner nature. It is our conception of ourselves which frees or constrains us, though it may use material agencies to achieve its purpose.
Because life molds the outer world to reflect the inner arrangement of our minds, there is no way of bringing about the outer perfection we seek other than by the transformation of ourselves. No help cometh from without: the hills to which we lift our eyes are those of an inner range.
It is thus to our own consciousness that we must turn as to the only reality, the only foundation on which all phenomena can be explained. We can rely absolutely on the justice of this law to give us only that which is of the nature of ourselves.
To attempt to change the world before we change our concept of ourselves is to struggle against the nature of things. There can be no outer change until there is first an inner change.
As within, so without.
I am not advocating philosophical indifference when I suggest that we should imagine ourselves as already that which we want to be, living in a mental atmosphere of greatness, rather than using physical means and arguments to bring about the desired changes.
Everything we do, unaccompanied by a change of consciousness, is but futile readjustment of surfaces. However we toil or struggle, we can receive no more than our concepts of Self affirm. To protest against anything which happens to us is to protest against the law of our being and our ruler ship over our own destiny.
The circumstances of my life are too closely related to my conception of myself not to have been formed by my own spirit from some dimensionally larger storehouse of my being. If there is pain to me in these happenings, I should look within myself for the cause, for I am moved here and there and made to live in a world in harmony with my concept of myself.
If we would become as emotionally aroused over our ideals as we become over our dislikes, we would ascend to the plane of our ideal as easily as we now descend to the level of our hates.
Love and hate have a magical transforming power, and we grow through their exercise into the likeness of what we contemplate. By intensity of hatred we create in ourselves the character we imagine in our enemies. Qualities die for want of attention, so the unlovely states might best be rubbed out by imagining “‘beauty for ashes and joy for mourning” rather than by direct attacks on the state from which we would be free.
“Whatsoever things are lovely and of good report, think on these things,” for we become that with which we are en rapport.
There is nothing to change but our concept of self. As soon as we succeed in transforming self, our world will dissolve and reshape itself in harmony with that which our change affirms.
I, by descent in consciousness, have brought about the imperfection that I see. In the divine economy nothing is lost. We cannot lose anything save by descent in consciousness from the sphere where the thing has its natural life.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.John 17:5
As I ascend in consciousness the power and the glory that was mine return to me and I too will say “I have finished the work thou gavest me to do.” The work is to return from my descent in consciousness, from the level wherein I believed that I was a son of man, to the sphere where I know that I am one with my Father and my Father is God.
I know beyond all doubt that there is nothing for man to do but to change his own concept of himself to assume greatness and sustain this assumption. If we walk as though we were already the ideal we serve, we will rise to the level of our assumption, and find a world in harmony with our assumption. We will not have to lift a finger to make it so, for it is already so. It was always so.
You and I have descended in consciousness to the level where we now find ourselves and we see imperfection because we have descended! When we begin to ascend while here in this three-dimensional world, we find that we move in an entirely different environment, we have entirely different circles of friends, and an entirely different world while still living here. We know the great mystery of the statement, “I am in the world but not of it.”
Instead of changing things I would suggest to all to identify themselves with the ideal they contemplate. What would the feeling be like were you of too pure eyes to behold iniquity if to you all things were pure and you were without condemnation? Contemplate the ideal state and identify yourself with it and you will ascend to the sphere where you as Christ have your natural life.
You are still in that state where you were before the world was. The only thing that has fallen is your concept of self. You see the broken parts which really are not broken. You are seeing them through distorted eyes, as though you were in one of those peculiar amusement gallery’s where a man walks before a mirror and he is elongated, yet he is the same man. Or he looks into another mirror and he is all big and fat. These things are seen today because man is what he is.
Toy with the idea of perfection. Ask no man to help you, but let the prayer of the 17th chapter of the Gospel of St. John be your prayer. Appropriate the state that was yours before the world was.
Know the truth of the statement, “None have I lost save the son of perdition.” Nothing is lost in all my holy mountain. The only thing that you lose is the belief in loss or the son of perdition.
And for their sake I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.John 17:19
There is no one to change but self. All you need do to make men and women holy in this world is to make yourself holy. You are incapable of seeing anything that is unlovely when you establish within your own mind’s eye the fact that you are lovely.
It is far better to know this than to know anything else in the world. It takes courage, boundless courage, because many this night, after having heard this truth will still be inclined to blame others for their predicament. Man finds it so difficult to turn to himself, to his own consciousness as to the only reality. Listen to these words:
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.John 6:44
I and my Father are one.John 10:30
A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.John 3:27
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.John 10:17,18.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.
“You did not choose me, I have chosen you.” My concept of myself molds a world in harmony with itself and draws men to tell me constantly by their behaviour who I am.
The most important thing in this world to you is your concept of self. When you dislike your environment, the circumstances of life and the behaviour of men, ask yourself, “Who am I?” It is your answer to this question that is the cause of your dislikes.
If you do not condemn self, there will be no man in your world to condemn you. If you are living in the consciousness of your ideal you will see nothing to condemn. “To the pure all things are pure.”
Now I would like to spend a little time making as clear as I can what I personally do when I pray, what I do when I want to bring about changes in my world. You will find it interesting, and you will find that it works. No one here can tell me they cannot do it. It is so very simple all can do it. We are what we imagine we are.
This technique is not difficult to follow, but you must want to do it. You cannot approach it with the attitude of mind “Oh well I’ll try it.” You must want to do it, because the mainspring of action is desire.
Desire is the mainspring of all action. Now what do I want? I must define my objective. For example, suppose I wanted now to be elsewhere. This very moment I really desire to be elsewhere. I need not go through the door, I need not sit down. I need do nothing but stand just where I am and with my eyes closed, assume that I am actually standing where I desire to be. Then I remain in this state until it has the feeling of reality. Were I now elsewhere, I could not see the world as I now see it from here. The world changes in its relationship to me as I change my position in space.
So I stand right here, close my eyes, and imagine I am seeing what I would see were I there. I remain in it long enough to feel it to be real. I cannot touch the walls of this room from here, but when you close your eyes and become still you can imagine and feel that you touch it. You can stand where you are and imagine you are putting your hand on that wall. To prove you really are, put it there and slide it up and feel the wood. You can imagine you are doing it without getting off your seat. You can do it and you will actually feel it if you become still enough and intense enough
I stand where I am and I allow the world that I want to see and to enter physically to come before me as though I were there now. In other words, I bring elsewhere here by assuming that I am there.
Is that clear? I let it come up, I do not make it come up. I simply imagine I am there and then let it happen.
If I want a physical presence, I imagine he is standing here, and I touch him All through the Bible I find these suggestions, “He placed his hands upon them. He touched them.”
If you want to comfort someone, what is the automatic feeling? To put your hand on them, you cannot resist it. You meet a friend and the hand goes out automatically, you either shake hands or put your hand on his shoulder.
Suppose you were now to meet a friend that you have not seen for a year and he is a friend of whom you are very fond. What would you do? You would embrace him, wouldn’t you? Or you would put your hand upon him.
In your imagination bring him close enough to put your hand upon him and feel him to be solidly real. Restrict the action to just that. You will be amazed at what happens. From then on things begin to move. Your dimensionally greater self will inspire, in all, the ideas and actions necessary to bring you into physical contact. It works that way.
Every day I put myself into the drowsy state; it is a very easy thing to do. But habit is a strange thing in man’s world. It is not law, but habit acts as though it were the most compelling law in the world. We are creatures of habit.
If you create an interval every day into which you put yourself into the drowsy state, say at 3 o’clock in the afternoon — do you know at that moment every day you will feel drowsy? You try it for one week and see if I am not right.
You sit down for the purpose of creating a state akin to sleep, as though you were sleepy, but do not push the drowsiness too far, just far enough to relax and leave you in control of the direction of your thoughts. You try it for one week, and every day at that hour, no matter what you are doing, you will hardly be able to keep your eyes open. If you know the hour when you will be free, you can create it. I would not suggest that you do it lightly, because you will feel very, very sleepy and you may not want to.
I have another way of praying. In this case I always sit down and I find the most comfortable arm chair imaginable, or I lie flat on my back and relax completely. Make yourself comfortable. You must not be in any position where the body is distressed. Always put yourself into a position where you have the greatest ease. That is the first stage.
To know what you want is the start of prayer. Secondly you construct in your mind’s eye one single little event which implies that you have realized your desire. I always let my mind roam on many things that could follow the answered prayer and I single out one that is most likely to follow the fulfillment of my desire. One simple little thing like the shaking of a hand, embracing a person, the receiving of a letter, the writing of a check, or whatever would imply the fulfillment of your desire.
After you have decided on the action which implies that your desire has been realized, then sit in your nice comfortable chair or lie flat on your back, close your eyes for the simple reason it helps to induce this state that borders on sleep.
The minute you feel this lovely drowsy state, or the feeling of gathered togetherness, wherein you feel: “I could move if I wanted to, but I do not want to, I could open my eyes if I wanted to, but I do not want to.” When you get that feeling you can be quite sure that you are in the perfect state to pray successfully.
In this feeling, it is easy to touch anything in this world. You take the simple little restricted action which implies fulfillment of your prayer and you feel it or you enact it. Whatever it is, you enter into the action as though you were an actor in the part. You do not sit back and visualize yourself doing it. You do it.
With the body immobilized, you imagine that the greater you inside the physical body is coming out of it and that you are actually performing the proposed action. If you are going to walk, you imagine that you are walking. Do not see yourself walk, FEEL that you are walking.
If you are going to climb stairs, FEEL that you are climbing the stairs. Do not visualize yourself doing it, feel yourself doing it. If you are going to shake a man’s hand, do not visualize yourself shaking his hand, imagine your friend is standing before you and shake his hand. But leave your physical hands immobilized and imagine that your greater hand, which is your imaginary hand, is actually shaking his hand.
All you need do is to imagine that you are doing it. You are stretched out in time, and what you are doing, which seems to be a controlled day dream, is an actual act in the greater dimension of your being. You are actually encountering an event fourth-dimensionally before you encounter it here in the three-dimensions of space, and you do not have to raise a finger to bring that state to pass.
My third way of praying is simply to feel thankful. If I want something, either for myself or another, I immobilize the physical body, then I produce the state akin to sleep and in that state just feel happy, feel thankful, which thankfulness implies realization of what I want. I assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled and with my mind dominated by this single sensation, I go to sleep. I need do nothing to make it so, because it is so. My feeling of the wish fulfilled implies it is done.
All these techniques you can use and change them to fit your temperament. But I must emphasize the necessity of inducing the drowsy state where you can become attentive without effort.
A single sensation dominates the mind, if you pray successfully.
What would I feel like, now, were I what I want to be? When I know what the feeling would be like I then close my eyes and lose myself in that single sensation and my dimensionally greater Self then builds a bridge of incident to lead me from this present moment to the fulfillment of my mood. That is all you need do. But people have a habit of slighting the importance of simple things.
We are creatures of habit and we are slowly learning to relinquish our previous concepts, but the things we formerly lived by still in some way influence our behaviour. Here is a story from the Bible that illustrates my point.
It is recorded that Jesus told his disciples to go to the crossroads and there they would find a colt, a young colt not yet ridden by a man. To bring the colt to him and if any man ask, “Why do you take this colt?” say, “The Lord has need of it.”
They went to the crossroads and found the colt and did exactly as they were told. They brought the unbridled ass to Jesus and He rode it triumphantly into Jerusalem.
The story has nothing to do with a man riding on a little colt. You are Jesus of the story. The colt is the mood you are going to assume. That is the living animal not yet ridden by you. What would the feeling be like were you to realize your desire? A new feeling, like a young Colt, is a very difficult thing to ride unless you ride him with a disciplined mind. If I do not remain faithful to the mood, the young colt throws me off. Every time you become conscious that you are not faithful to this mood, you have been thrown from the colt.
Discipline your mind that you may remain faithful to a high mood and ride it triumphantly into Jerusalem, which is fulfillment, or the city of peace.
This story precedes the feast of the Passover. If we would pass from our present state into that of our ideal, we must assume that we are already that which we desire to be and remain faithful to our assumption, for we must keep a high mood if we would walk with the highest.
A fixed attitude of mind, a feeling that it is done will make it so. If I walk as though it were, but every once in a while I look to see if it really is, then I fall off my mood or colt.
If I would suspend judgment like Peter, I could walk on the water. Peter starts walking on the water, and then he begins to look unto his own understanding, and he begins to go down. The voice said, “Look up, Peter.” Peter looks up and he rises again and continues walking on the water.
Instead of looking down to see if this thing is really going to harden into fact, you simply know that it is already so; sustain that mood and you will ride the unbridled colt into the city of Jerusalem All of us must learn to ride the animal straight into Jerusalem unassisted by a man. You do not need another to help you.
The strange thing is that, as we keep the high mood and do not fall, others cushion the blows. They spread the palm leaves before me to cushion my journey. I do not have to be concerned. The shocks will be softened as I move into the fulfillment of my desire. My high mood awakens in others the ideas and actions which tend towards the embodiment of my mood. If you walk faithful to a high mood, there will be no opposition and no competition.
The test of a teacher, or a teaching, is to be found in the faithfulness of the taught. I am leaving here on Sunday night. Do remain faithful to this instruction. If you look for causes outside the consciousness of man, then I have not convinced you of the reality of consciousness.
If you look for excuses for failure, you will always find them, for you find what you seek. If you seek an excuse for failure, you will find it in the stars, in the numbers, in the tea cup, or most any place. The excuse will not be there, but you will find it to justify your failure.
Successful business and professional men and women know that this law works. You will not find it in gossip groups, but you will find it in courageous hearts.
Man’s eternal journey is for one purpose: to reveal the Father. He comes to make visible his Father. And his Father is made visible in all the lovely things of this world. All the things that are lovely, that are of good report, ride these things, and have no time for the unlovely in this world, regardless of what it is.
Remain faithful to the knowledge that your consciousness — your I AMness, your awareness of being aware of the only reality — it is the rock on which all phenomena can be explained. There is no explanation outside of that. I know of no clear conception of the origin of phenomena save that consciousness is all and all is consciousness.
That which you seek is already housed within you. Were it not now within you, eternity could not evolve it. No time stretch would be long enough to evolve what is not potentially involved in you.
You simply let it into being by assuming that it is already visible in your world, and remaining faithful to your assumption, it will harden into fact. Your Father has unnumbered ways of revealing your assumption. Fix this in your mind and always remember:
An assumption, though false, if sustained will harden into fact.
You and your Father are one and your Father is everything that was, is and will be. Therefore that which you seek you already are, it can never be so far off as even to be near, for nearness implies separation.
The great Pascal said:
You never would have sought me had you not already found me.
What you now desire you already have, and you seek it only because you have already found it. You found it in the form of desire. It is just as real in the form of desire as it is going to be to your bodily organs.
You are already that which you seek, and you have no one to change but Self in order to express it.