Citing Neville – “The gifts of mind and speech”

A series of occasional posts about the sources which Neville Goddard mined for his lectures and writings

“There are two gifts given to man; those gifts are mind and speech.”

Neville not only quoted this frequently, but used it as the basis of several lectures and writings, and as he so often did, sometimes he cited the source work, while other times he didn’t.

For example, in his 1954 lecture “The Coin Of Heaven” (one of several different lectures to which Neville gave the same title), he introduces the quote with “We are told,” as he would a passage from the Bible:

Now we are told there were “two gifts given to man at birth–it doesn’t mean this little birth when I left my mother’s womb but when I left the womb of my Father; that is the grand womb, the womb of creation when, before the world was: He created me and made me perfect and set me in this world for a purpose, educative purpose– but He gave me two gifts: He gave me His own mind and He gave me the gift of speech, the very thing He used to create a world. So He spoke the world into being and then gave me the gift by which he spoke the world into being; so He gave me mind and speech.

In other lectures, Neville gave the quote’s source as The Hermetica, as translated by Walter Scott– not the poet, as Neville may have implied or as some might believe, but a late 19th century English classical scholar.

The Hermetica is a broad term used for works ascribed to the legendary Greek figure Hermes Trismegistus, some of them composed as early as the second century AD (CE) and to which new sections were added as late as the middle ages. The specific work from which Neville quoted is called the Corpus Hermeticum, and dates from the third or fourth century AD (CE). Scott completed three volumes of translation before his death in 1925; one of them was published in 1924, the second two were published posthumously, and the fourth volume, completed by A.S. Ferguson, was published later.

The passage that Neville quoted is from a dialogue between Hermes and his student Tat, and appears in book XII, section 12 (Volume 1, page 231 of Scott’s translation):

Hermes. There is another thing to be considered, my son. There are two gifts which God has bestowed on man alone, and on no other mortal creature. These two are mind and speech; and the gift of mind and speech is equivalent to that of immortality. If a man uses these gifts rightly, he will differ in nothing from the immortals; or rather, he will differ from them only in this, that he is embodied upon earth; and when he quits the body, mind and speech will be his guides, and by them he will be brought into the troop of the gods and the souls that have attained to bliss.

Tat. But do not the other living creatures use speech, father?

Hermes. No, my son; they have voice, but not speech; and speech is very different from voice. All men have speech in common; but each kind of living creature has its special sort of voice.

Tat. But among men also, father, each nation has a different speech.

Hermes. Languages differ, my son, but mankind is one; and speech likewise is one. It is translated from tongue to tongue, and we find it to be the same in Egypt, Persia, and Greece… Speech then is an image of mind; and mind is an image of God.
That blessed God, the Agathos Daimon, said ‘soul is in body, mind is in soul, and God is in mind.’ The rarest part of matter then is air; the rarest part of air is soul; the rarest part of soul is mind; and the rarest part of mind is God. And God deals with all things, and permeates all things; mind deals with soul; soul deals with air; and air deals with gross matter.


Goddard, Neville. The Coin of Heaven. Transcription of a 1954 lecture. Retrieved from on 7 February 2023.

Scott, Walter (editor and translator). Hermetica Volume One: The ancient Greek and Latin writings which contain religious or philosophic writings ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus. London: Oxford, 1924. Retrieved from on 7 February 2023:

A free PDF scan of Scott’s translation of the Hermetica is available from, in three volumes:
Volume One:
Volume Two:
Volume Three:
I was unable to find an ebook copy of Volume Four online, although print editions are available.

More information about the Corpus Hermetica, including the 1906 translation by G.R.S. Mead, is available online here:

Biographical information about Walter Scott is here:

My Neville Goddard-themed print journal (as of this writing untitled) will be available sometime in February 2023. It will contain annotated transcripts of several lectures, including this 1954 lecture “The Coin of Heaven,” plus other articles about Neville’s work.
You can preorder a copy (which will be mailed upon publication) at this link: .

I’ve published an annotated e-book edition of Neville’s lecture “Awake O Sleeper,” which is available as a PDF ebook here: .

If you liked this blog post and wish to support me, the author, you can do so with a donation at my Ko-fi page: .

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