Knowing it’s done

“Your vision is yours; not everyone can see it. A few people might see your vision now. Some might see it later. Many may never see it at all. Do not be swayed. Do not be deterred. Do not be downhearted. Stay focused on your vision and become one with it. Allow the vision to transform you into the global force for good that you are destined to be.”

~ James Weeks, “Across the King’s River”

I don’t type much about “manifesting” because it can tend to come out sounding “coach-y” or “lecture-y.” Also because while I intellectually “know” and understand the principles that Neville Goddard taught, on another level I struggle to transfer those principles into teachable EXPERIENCE.

But I did have this realization: if I have a desired end that I’ve felt as real and assumed is “done,” and it doesn’t seem to be coming forth, there is either one of two possible reasons.

One: either I didn’t fully MOVE into the state I desire or I slipped back into a state of consciousness that denies my end, in which case, as Neville would say, I need to persist (his word, used repeatedly) in my desired end, which basically means I need to know that it’s already done. Whatever I do or don’t do, let it be driven and permeated by my knowledge that my desired end is done.

Or…

Two: I moved in consciousness to a desired end, and I am now in what Neville called “the gestation period.” Neville repeatedly quoted James Moffatt’s translation of a verse from the Book of Habbukuk (2:3):

The vision has its own appointed hour
it ripens; it will flower
If it seems long, then wait
For it is sure and it will not be late.

As a Neville mentor of mine, Twenty Twenty, likes to say, “Everything is either an end or a bridge, and if it’s not an end you want, make it a bridge.” In other words, I need to proceed knowing that my desired end is already done, and that anything I do or don’t do is leading to that end. So, again, know that it’s done. Dwell in that knowing and let everything I do (or don’t do) be driven and permeated by that knowing.

No matter what the “reason,” there is only one solution: Know that it’s done.

Funny how that works.

As Lennon said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth…”

Dear Internet,

Could you please for the love of God STOP ATTRIBUTING QUOTES THAT ARE BLATANTLY NOT JOHN LENNON TO JOHN LENNON???

This one… and that one that says “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears”… and that one that says “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life”… NO! No matter what the attribution you find on Twitter or Reddit, Lennon did NOT say it, nor did he write it.

Lennon did quite a few things in his short time on the planet, but he never worked at Hallmark Cards, which sounds like the source for these and other”John Lennon” quotes I see online.

The problem is, the quotes have been reposted with misattribution so often that it’s next to impossible to track down the original sources.

But as Lennon himself said, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step… because as he also said, love means never having to say you’re sorry… so, as he so wisely put it, let a smile be your umbrella and don’t get a mouthful of rain– GAHHHH!!!

Make… it… stop…

You are the cause…

There is so much metaphysical stuff that I’ve read and cast aside because, upon deeper exploration, it just turned out to be secondary cause crap.

But I continue to receive my Vernon Howard emailed Secrets of Life daily newsletter, because, steeped as he was in dealing with people and their problems on THIS level, he got the BASIC, BASIC THING stated here, which is the foundation, I believe, of any spiritual practice. Certainly it’s proven to be the foundation of mine. The deeper I go into this, the more I see it to be true, like it or not. And the more I stray from it, the more mischief, to use a favorite word of Krishnamurti‘s, I encounter.

Note in particular the third paragraph here, which I’ve highlighted (I’d say “highlit,” but that always makes me think of the late great Philly disc jockey) here.

And click here for a link to Vernon’s website and his teachings and the SUBSCRIBE link for his daily emailed newsletter.

——————-

“Can’t you see yourself as a cause? You know what a cause is: a cause is something that starts something rolling. You throw a ball out in the field and that’s the cause that knocks down the blocks of wood or rolls along the grass, or whatever. The throwing of the ball is the starting of effects, of results. Now if you never thought of it before, start right now to think that you are the cause of the events in your own life, because you are.

“Now I know, I know you’re going to say that other people are; they snap at you and they don’t appreciate you and they don’t give you what you want. Does it ever occur to you that maybe you shouldn’t have that desire, that maybe it’s you instead of the world? If you’ve never thought that, let me tell you: you’d better start, because that’s the fact.

“Let me give you a beautiful thought. If you, your nature, is clear, so is your world. You want perfect evidence of that? You’re not clear now, are you? Everything is heavy and confused inside of you, strained, and so you say, ‘what a strained confused world I live in.’ You’re living in your own confusion, your own strain, and somehow because you don’t understand, you think that it exists out there. It does exist out there in the other person, but it doesn’t have to exist for you if you are free.

“You know, you can be like Daniel in the lion’s den. If you have real strength, real courage, real calmness inside of you, you can be in the lion’s den of the whole world and they can growl at you and they can claw at you, but they can’t hurt you.”

~ Vernon Howard, from the emailed “Secrets of Life” newsletter

Neville’s Concise Guide To Using The Law

This excerpt is from Neville Goddard’s lecture “Creating One New Man Instead of the Two” (11 April 1969). At this point in his life, Neville was lecturing almost exclusively on what he called “the Promise”– a series of mystical experiences that resulted in his awakening and knowing of himself as God, as paralleled in scripture– to the extent that, when he recognized several audience members whom he had not seen at his lectures in several years, he seemed almost apologetic. “They haven’t heard anything like this,” he said of The Promise, “and so you will tolerate me for a moment to go back and pick them up where we left them off. I left them with the law, not the Promise. For their sake, it is the same thing, only raised to a higher level.” It’s an excellent brief summary of the law in Neville’s own words.

This lecture transcript is included in the book of 1969 lectures entitled The Return of Glory, edited by Natalie Bernet.

————————————————————-

“For those who only knew the law, let me now pick it up for you; just the law.

“The law is very simple. There are infinite numbers of states, infinite numbers—the state of health, the state of sickness; the state of wealth, the state of poverty; the state of being known, the state of being unknown. They are only states. You’re always in a state. Every moment of time you are only in a state. The state to which you most often return constitutes your dwelling place. So we all have one state that we feel more at home in that state, and so we return to it moment after moment. That constitutes our dwelling place.

“But if it is not a pleasant state in which to live, we can always get out of it. But we remain in the state and try to get out of it through external means, and that is not what we teach. You don’t get out of it by trying to pull wires from the outside, manipulating things on the outside. You get out of these states simply by a mental adjustment within yourself. As you fell into the present state either deliberately or unwittingly—chances are you did it unwittingly—so you are in a state and you are the life of that state and the state becomes alive and grows like a tree and bears the fruit of that tree. But you don’t like the fruit that you are bearing—it may be the fruit of poverty, may be the fruit of distress, the fruit of all kinds of unlovely things. Well now, how do I detach myself from this unlovely harvest that I’m harvesting all the time?

“I do it by simply an adjustment in my own wonderful human Imagination. I ask myself what do I want instead of what I seem to have. When I name it, I ask myself, how would I see the world if things were as I desired them to be? How would I see them; what would the feeling be like if it were true? When I know exactly what the feeling would be like were it true, I try to catch that feeling. And to aid the feeling I imagine that I’m seeing people that I know well and I allow them to see me as they would see me if what I am feeling were true. I let them see me in my Imagination and when the whole thing is adjusted in my mind’s eye so that they see me as I would see them and it now produces in me the feeling I desire, then I sleep. I fall asleep in that assumption. That assumption is a state, that’s all that it is, it’s a state. Now, let me make that state as natural as I made the former state that I did not like. If I find myself returning to this new state constantly, all of a sudden it becomes natural. As going home tonight, it will seem natural to me to go home and undress and sleep in my familiar bed.

“If tonight I went to some other place, no matter how glorious it is, beautifully furnished and everything at my command, it wouldn’t seem natural. When I leave here to go to San Francisco or New York and go into those lovely hotels, certainly, I pay much more money in these hotels than I pay in rent where I live, but it’s not as comfortable and not as natural. So you go to a hotel and you pay twenty-two, twenty-three dollars a day. Well, I don’t pay that sort of money in my rent, but it doesn’t compare to my natural state where I am. I feel so natural when I go home tonight and just get into my bed, get into my place. Well now, you must make this state just as natural. At first it seems unnatural like buying a new suit or buying a hat: it doesn’t seem natural. So you walk down the street and no one knows you, but you have a new hat, and you really believe that every one who passes by is looking at your hat, that they can see a new hat, and they don’t care whether you are living or not. But you are aware of the fact that it is new and until it becomes an old hat in your mind’s eye you are conscious of the fact that you are wearing a new hat. Well, you’re conscious of the fact that you are wearing a new state until you make it natural. So the state to which you most constantly return constitutes your place of home. I call it your home.

“Now, most of us have this great weakness. We know what we want or we think we know what we want, and we construct it in our mind’s eye, but we never occupy it. We never move into it and make it natural. I call that perpetual construction, deferred occupancy. We don’t occupy it. I can have a lovely place where I think one day I am going to go, but I keep on postponing the day, postponing the day, and I don’t occupy it. ‘I wish so-and-so were’ and I name it. But if I wish so-and-so were as I would like them to be, that’s the state from which I view them. Well, I’ve had the state, I’ve built it, I’ve constructed it, but I don’t occupy it. Perpetual construction, all day long I have the state. ‘If she were only’ and I name it, but I don’t go into the state and view her from that state; I don’t occupy the state. So she remains in my mind’s eye in the unlovely state in which I see her.

“Now that’s the world in which we live. There are only states, an infinite number of states. You can’t think of a thing that you could not reduce to a state, but the life of the state is the individual when he occupies it, because his Imagination gives life to the state. You can’t give life to it from without, because God’s name is I AM. God’s name is not ‘you are’ or ‘they are;’ his eternal name is I AM– that’s the light of the world, that’s the life of the world. So, if I would make a state alive, I must be in it. So I can say I am here. If you are here, what are you seeing? Well, I am seeing her and she is lovely. Things are just as I’ve always desired them to be for her. So that’s how I’m seeing her right now: I’m in the state.

“Now make that state natural. Sleep in that state for her sake and then you’ll make that state and incorporate it into your own lovely state so that whenever you think of her you’re thinking of her from that state. You can take everyone, one after the other, and make it a natural thing for them until finally when you discuss them or refer to them or think of them, it is always from that state. Others may not see them in that light. It doesn’t really matter what they think. I’m quite sure if I took some survey concerning what people think of me in my small world, no two would agree. Some would say, well, he’s a charlatan, why, he’s a deceiver; others would say I think he’s the nearest thing to God that I’ve ever seen. You have all kinds. What a range, from the devil to God, and all about the same person based upon the state in which you are when you’re called upon to define me. And so, you define me based upon your state.

“So, everyone in this world could be what he would like to be if he knows this principle and applies it. We are the operant power; it doesn’t operate itself. I may know it from A to Z, but knowing it is one thing and doing it is another. Can I really do it? Well, I can do it– then do it. Don’t say knowledge is enough. Knowing it will not do it. I am the operant power…

“…Apply the law. Don’t for one second fail to do it, because while we are in the world of Caesar, we must master this principle and live knowing there are only states. There is no such thing as a good man or a bad man. He’s in a good state as he conceives it and the other one is in a bad state as he conceives it, but the occupant of the state is really God. And so as (William) Blake said in his Visions of the Last Judgment: ‘From this you will perceive I do not consider anyone either good or evil, just or unjust, but simply to be those who unknowingly fell into states.‘ They fell into states, identified themselves with the state, and then they were pronounced by others to be good or to be evil. They are only in states.

“So tonight, if you are unemployed or you find it difficult to get promotion in your present employment, or you are in need, remember all the solutions of your present state are still states. I hope I have made clear how you move into a state. You move into a state by knowing how you would see the world if things were as you desire them to be, and then you begin to see them in your mind’s eye as though it were true. And then you sleep in that assumption just as though it is true. That assumption, though at the moment is denied by your reason and your senses, if you persist in it and make it natural, will harden into fact.”

What is METANOIA, and why haven’t you asked me to send you a copy?

The picture above, as they used to say at print newspapers, is my “morgue”: all back issues of my print only ‘zine METANOIA.

I’ve had contact with a couple people who, when I asked if they wanted me to send it to them every couple weeks, seemed to balk, for whatever reason. These aren’t strangers; they’re people whom I consider friends, and yet they seemed hesitant– scared?– to just say “Yeah, send me a copy,” as if NEXT I’d be pestering them for payment, or expecting FEEDBACK of some kind, or they wanted me to send them a link (read again: PRINT ONLY. NO ONLINE!!) or who knows what else… 

No.

This is usually a single page or two pages, two columns, front and back.

So what is it?

The title of this is METANOIA; it means “a radical transformation.” I like the word and I try to embody it in my life and as a writer, so that’s the title I gave it.

I do it for these reasons:

* I am a writer, and writers write.

* Writing, though, is not just putting words on paper or screen. It’s honing a piece, editing it, getting it published, and connecting with readers.

* I’d reached a point, a few years back, where I was writing in my journal and online (mainly through my characters) but not PUBLISHING. 

* I also didn’t like that online writing was ephemeral, too easily ignored.

* I also love getting physical mail: letters, magazines, packages, cards, postcards. I like to hold a piece of paper in my hand that someone thought enough of to send me.

* I also know and have “met” via social media a lot of like-minded people who have given me of themselves in every way imaginable, and I wanted to give them something back. And “gold or silver I cannot offer thee, but that which I have, I will give you freely.” (Or something like that. 😉 ) And as a writer, what I have to give is my writing.

* With all this in mind, two years ago this week, as the first wave of the pandemic hit, I decided to publish this ‘zine.

It would be a writing discipline– I would write, finish, edit, and publish new writing every couple weeks and PUT IT OUT THERE for readers.

It would be print only– that way it wouldn’t get lost in the online weeds of links and blogs and websites– and I would mail those physical copies to people who expressed an interest in me or my writing, or vice versa. 

I didn’t stick strictly to the “every two weeks” schedule the past year or so, as health issues overtook me, but I’m back on that schedule. Issue 31 came out last week; issue 32 will come out NEXT week.

People have paid for it and that is appreciated and it helps me cover the necessary expenses of postage, paper, envelopes, toner, and stuff like this website, but if you want to read it and can’t pay or don’t want to, you’re under NO OBLIGATION to pay.

It’s not a burden on me. It is MY PLEASURE to create this and share it with you.

If you like ME and what I post on social media and on this website, or liked my books, or like my radio show, you will like METANOIA. Each issue contains, generally, an article on something that interests me, a metaphysical article of some kind, fiction pieces from my ongoing character fiction project on social media, a cartoon (yes, I draw that, too; see my posts on The Twins for samples), and whatever quotes I can fit in to fill space.

The topics these past two years have ranged from… let’s see… my uncle Ed, metaphysical lessons in STAR TREK, online shopping, Thoreau’s journal as his TRUE literary magnum opus, John Burns (the “hero of Gettysburg”), the Beatles’ LET IT BE remaster, 60s misogyny in the “good old days,” character development in M*A*S*H, dealing with “Writer’s block,” Penn State football, the silliness of record collecting, how online interactions can sometimes destroy friendships, parenting, French and American cultural norms and faux pas, my process of learning to play a seeming impossible song on the piano, PEANUTS and Charles Schulz and “canon” in story, the lives of blue jays, why I hate the phone, along with the writers and thinkers who stoke me: Neville Goddard, Krishnamurti, Thomas Merton, Henry Miller, Jacques Tati, Orson Welles, and Thoreau (did I mention Thoreau? He is my favorite and appears frequently, even if it’s just a quote).

The metaphysical stuff simply reflects my ongoing life work of reconciling the spiritual with the world. Isn’t that what most of us are trying to do?

Anything in that incomplete topic list that interests you?

Again:

It’s print only.

If you’d like to read a copy, here’s the complicated, convoluted process:

Send me your snail mail address and I will send you the latest issue.

That’s all.

If you want a back issue and saw a topic in the list above that interests you, mention that and I’ll send it along. If you want to go random, pick a number between 1 and 31 and I’ll send that back issue.

You are under no obligation to PAY or BUY anything. If you want to subscribe formally (several people have), it’s a buck an issue in the USA. If you want to donate via my ko-fi page, great. If you want to send stamps (as a couple people have), great.

If not any of the above, great.

You’re not even required to READ IT. One of the most bizarre exchanges I’ve had was with someone whom I’d quoted liberally in an issue, and I messaged him telling him and asking if he’d like a copy, since he was quoted in it, and if so just send me his snail mail address and I’d pop it in the mailbox for him. After five or six messages, he didn’t seem to get that I just wanted to give him this. Further, the tone of his replies made me feel like he saw this as ONE MORE ADDED OBLIGATION IN HIS ALREADY BUSY LIFE.

No. This is a gift, from me to you.

If you’re interested, email me (maxshenkwrites@gmail.com) or use the submit comment feature on this website, or, if you want to pay, you can either get a subscription by becoming a monthy donor or buy back issues.

That’s all there is to it. Honestly.

As my buddy Skip Heller said once about giving away his music on MP3s, a musician’s job is to make music, and a listener’s job is to listen.

As a writer, my job is to write. The reader’s job is to read.

Become a reader of METANOIA!

Rule One: Be Ted. Rule Two: Why aren’t you Ted?

Ted Williams c. 1971 as manager of the Washington Senators (from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED)

A friend of mine said that Ted Williams was an impatient disaster as a hitting coach because his unspoken first rule of hitting seemed to be:

1 – Have the eyesight and reflexes of Ted Williams.

This is how I feel reading the advice of a lot of METAPHYSICAL LIFE COACHES lately. I get where they’re coming from: we discover this teaching, it’s deep and lifechanging, and we want everyone to get it and improve their lives and be happy (and, yeah, perhaps benefit ourselves in some way too).

That’s cool, but we need to remember that if a player isn’t batting .400 right out of the gate, maybe it’s just because he’s not Ted Williams. Yet.

Maybe the words of my Goddard College MFA creative writing advisor Nicky Morris will be helpful, too:

“I find that when I really want to learn something, the best way to do it is to teach a class about it.”

“Distilled Neville”

(This article originally appeared in issue #16 of my newsletter Metanoia)

With Neville Goddard’s teachings, I find myself often trying to distill the message he put across into the simplest terms possible, so that when I feel “stuck,” I can find a quick and easy way out.

See what you think of this:

Our unconditioned awareness of being is God.

Neville: “When you say ‘I am,’ that’s God.”

Athanasius: “God became man that man might become God.” We are God, the Elohim: “a compound unity, one made up of many.”

This is why the two greatest commandments are said to be “Hear O Israel, the Lord, our God, the Lord is one” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

If we are all God, then there is no “other,” and the Golden Rule becomes not prescriptive (“Thou shalt do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), but DEscriptive (“When you do unto others, you are doing unto yourself.”)

When we condition our awareness of being (I AM) with feeling, it is a creative act.

We have been using this principle of creative imagining– bringing forth reality via our assumptions– our whole lives, only we weren’t aware of it.

Neville: “A man does not attract what he wants. He attracts what he is,” or what he feels to be true.

All things bring forth after their kind.

If I feel “I am rich, I am poor, I am healthy, I am ill, I am loved, I am unloved, I am worthy, I am unworthy,” or other things to be true, then they bring forth after their kind; they reproduce in my world.

Few people want to be poor, ill, unloved, or unworthy, but if they feel that they are, then their world will reflect this.

To quote William Blake: “What seems to be is, to those to whom it seems to be, and is productive of the most dreadful consequences, to those to whom it seems to be. But divine mercy steps beyond and redeems us in the body of Jesus.”

The “body of Jesus” is our capacity to create and redeem using our imaginative faculty, or, as the Apostle Paul said, “Jesus Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

The acts that Jesus performed in the Bible were more than just stories of one-off “miracles;” they were intructive parables meant to show us how to use our imaginative powers creatively to bring forth desired ends.

The “good news” of the Gospel is that this principle can be used deliberately. We don’t have to settle for “what seems to be.” We can create a better reality for ourselves and for others by imagining deliberately.

Quoting Blake again, “All that we behold, though it appears without, it is within, in our imagination, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.”

Neville: “An assumption– though false, though reason denies it and the evidence of my senses denies it– if persisted in will harden into fact.”

If my reality has come forth based on my assumptions –what I feel to be true– then it follows that if I assume (feel) that something is true– even though it’s denied by my senses– and I persist in that assumption, it should come forth in my world.

This is the test that the Apostle Paul called us to.

“Come test yourselves and see. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless, of course, you fail to meet the test.”  (2 Corinthians 13:5)

The method of testing and bringing forth a desired reality is via prayer.

Prayer is not supplication, wishing, or begging.

Prayer is the act of assuming that your desired end is already an accomplished fact.

Neville: “Go to the end. The end is where we begin.”

No matter what we desire, the end is always: How would I feel if my desire was an accomplished fact?

“When you pray, whatsoever you desire, believe that you have already received it and you will.” (Mark 11:24)

And: “But as for you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber and lock your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret shall himself reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6)

In order to bring forth a desired end, it’s not only necessary to assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled, but also to turn away completely from any undesired fact or reality.

Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt when she looked back. (Genesis 19:26) Salt is a preservative. By looking back at undesired facts, we “preserve” them in our world.

Neville: “Don’t accept it as permanent. Don’t even accept it as temporary. Use the law to get out of it.”

Finally: “When Job prayed for his friends, his captivity was lifted, and the Lord gave him twice as much as before.” (Job 42:10)

Since “there is no other,” since “the Lord our God is one,” and since the Golden Rule is descriptive and not prescriptive, the highest use of prayer and imaginative principles is to use them lovingly on behalf of others.

How’s that for a start?

This article originally appeared in issue #16 of my biweekly print-only ‘zine Metanoia.

Metanoia is my biweekly print-only ‘zine, usually two, sometimes four, pages.

To receive the latest issue of it, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to
Max Shenk
39 South Main St, rm 138
White River Junction, VT 05001

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Neville Goddard – CHANGING THE FEELING OF “I” – 1953 lecture transcript

This transcript of one of Neville’s 1953 lectures in Los Angeles is widely available for download as a PDF on various Neville-specific and general metaphysical sites. 

As with so many of the free “transcripts” that are circulating online, it appears that these are not verbatim transcripts (such as those which appear in the six volumes of 1963-1968 transcripts edited by Natalie Bernet and published as Kindle editions) but rather paraphrased documents transcribed from someone’s notes. 

Nonetheless, verbatim or not, the essence of Neville’s teaching comes through in these distilled documents.

As far as I can tell, this is the first lecture in a season series that year. 

I’ve edited and proofread the original document slightly, mainly correcting punctuation where it aided clarity.

Any verbal additions which I felt were necessary for clarity are inside parentheses. 


CHANGING THE FEELING OF “I”

For the benefit of those who were not present last Sunday, just let me give you a quick summary of the thought expressed here:

We claimed that the world was a manifestation of consciousness; that the individual’s environment, circumstances and conditions of life were only the outpicturing of the particular state of consciousness in which that individual abides. Therefore, the individual sees whatever he is by virtue of the state of consciousness from which he views the world. Any attempt to change the outer world before he changes the inner structure of his mind is to labor in vain. Everything happens by order. Those who help or hinder us, whether they know it or not, are the servants of that law, which constantly shapes outward circumstances in harmony with our inner nature.

We asked you last Sunday to distinguish between the individual identity and the state they occupy. The individual identity is the Son of God. It is that, (when) I speak of you or to you, or speak of myself, I mean really our imagination. That is permanent. It fuses with state and believes itself to be the state with which it is fused, but at every moment of time it is free to choose the state with which it will be identified.

And that brings us to today’s subject, “Changing the Feeling of I,” and I hope I will not get the same reaction that is recorded in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. For we are told that when this was given to the world they all left him, leaving just a handful behind. For when he told them there was no one to change but self, they said this is a hard, hard teaching. It’s a hard thing. Who can hear it? For he said, “No man cometh unto me save I call him.” And then it’s recorded when he repeated it three times they left him, never again to walk with him. And he turned to the few who remained and asked them, “Would you also go?” And they answered and said, “To whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life.”

In other words, it’s so much easier when I can blame another for my misfortune, but now that I am told that no man cometh unto me save I call him, that I am the sole architect of my fortunes and misfortunes, it’s a difficult saying, and so it’s recorded “It’s a hard saying. Who can hear it? Who can grasp it? And who will believe it?”

And so he said, “And now I sanctify myself that they also be sanctified through the truth, for if this is the truth, then there is no one to change, no one to make whole, no one to purify but self.”

And so we start with the “I.”

Most of us are totally unaware of the self that we really cherish. We have never taken one good look at the self, so we don’t know this self, for the “I” has neither face, form, nor figure, but it does mold itself into structure by all that it consents to, all that it believes, and few of us know really what we do believe. We have no idea of the unnumbered superstitions and prejudices that go to mold this inner, formless “I” into a form which is then projected as a man’s environment, as the conditions of life.

So here, read it carefully when you go home:

“No man cometh unto me save I call him. You didn’t choose me; I have chosen you. No man can take away my life; I lay it down myself. There is no power to take from me anything that is part of the inner arrangement of my mind. All that you gave me I have kept and none is lost save the son of perdition or the belief in God, and because nothing can be lost but the belief in loss, I will not now assume loss of anything you have given me that is good. And so I sanctify myself that they be sanctified through the truth.”

And now, how do we go about changing the “I”?

First of all, we must discover the “I” and we do this by an uncritical observation of self. This will reveal a self that will shock you. You will be altogether– I wouldn’t say “afraid,” but ashamed to admit you’ve ever known such a lowly creature. And had it been God Himself who drew near in this despicable form, you would have denied him a thousand times before a single cock would crow. You couldn’t believe that this is the self that you’ve carried around and protected and excused and justified.

Then you start changing this self after, by an uncritical observation, you make the discovery of that self. For the acceptance of self is the essence of the moral problem of the world. It is the epitome of a true outlook on life, for it is the sole cause of everything you observe.

Your description of the world is a confession of the self that you do not know. You describe another, you describe society, you describe anything, and your description of the thing you observe reveals to one who knows this law the being you really are. So you must first accept that self. When that self is accepted, then you can start to change.

It’s so much easier to take the virtues of the Gospel and apply them as the word of life, to love the enemy, to bless those who curse us, and to feed the hungry. But when man discovers the being to be fed, the being to be clothed, the being to be sheltered, the greatest enemy of all is that self, then he is ashamed, completely ashamed that that is the being, for it was easier to share with another something that I possess, to take an extra coat and give it to another, but when I know the truth it’s not that.

I start with the self, having discovered, and start with change of that self.

Now, let me tell you a story. A few years ago in this city I was giving a series of lectures down near that lake -I can’t even recall the name of the lake but it was some Parkview Manor was the place where I spoke, and in that audience was a gentleman who sought an audience before the meeting. And we went across the street into the little park there, and he said to me that he had an insoluble problem. I said, “There is no such thing as an insoluble problem.”

“But,” he said, “you do not know my problem. It’s not a state of health, I assure you; it is look at the skin that I wear.”

I said, “What’s wrong with it; it looks lovely to me.”

He said, “Look at the pigment of my skin. I, by the accident of birth, am now discriminated against. The opportunities for progress in this world are denied me just because of the accident of birth: that I was born a colored man. Opportunities for advancement in every field, neighborhoods that I would like to live in and raise a family I couldn’t move in, where I would like to open up a business I couldn’t move into that area.”

Then I told him my own personal experience: that I came to this country– well, I didn’t have that problem but I was a foreigner in the midst of all Americans. I didn’t find it difficult.

“Yet,” as he reminded me, “but that’s not my problem, Neville. Others have come here speaking with an accent, but they haven’t my skin, and I was born an American.”

Then I told him an experience of mine in New York City. If I were called upon to name a man that I would consider my teacher, I would name Abdullah. I studied with that gentleman for five years. He had the same color skin, the same pigment as this gentleman. He would never allow anyone to refer to him as a colored man. He was very proud of being a negro– (he) didn’t want any modification of what God had made him. He turned to me and he said, “Have you ever seen a picture of the Sphinx?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “It embodies the four fixed quarters of the universe. You have the lion, the eagle the bull and man. And here is man that is the head. The crown of that creature called the Sphinx, which still defies man’s knowledge to unriddle it, was crowned with a human head. And look carefully at the head, Neville, and you will see whoever modeled that head must have been a negro. Whoever modeled it had the face of a negro and if that still defies man’s ability to unravel it, I am very proud that I am a negro.”

I have seen scientists, doctors, lawyers, bankers, from every walk of life seek an audience with old Abdullah, and everyone who came thought themselves honored to be admitted to his home and to receive an interview. If he was ever invited out– and he was– he was always the honored guest.

He said, “Neville, you must first start with self. Find self, don’t be ashamed ever of the being you are. Discover it and start the changing of that self.”

Well, I told this gentleman exactly what Abdullah had taught me: that there was no cause outside of the arrangement of his own mind. If he was discriminated against, it was not because of the pigment of his skin, though he showed me signs as large as all outdoors denying him access to a certain area. The sign is there only because in the minds of some men such patterns are formed and they draw unto themselves what now they would condemn; that there is no power outside the mind of man to do anything to man; and he, by the arrangement of his own mind, by consenting to these restrictions in his cradle and being conditioned slowly through his youth, waking into manhood, believing himself set upon, would have to be set upon, but “no man cometh unto me save I call him.”

So then someone comes to condemn or to praise. They couldn’t come unless I call them. Not a man called Neville, but that secret being that is not called Neville. The secret being that is the sum total of all of my beliefs, all of the things that I consent to, that form a pattern of structure, that secret being draws unto itself things in harmony with itself.

Well, that man went away and wrestled with himself. He couldn’t believe everything I told him, not that night, but last Sunday morning in the lobby, he came forward and we renewed the friendship. He took me next door to show me the fruit of this teaching.

He said, “Neville, it took me almost three years to really overcome that fixed idea that I, by the accident of birth, would be a secondary citizen, but I overcame it. Now here is my office on Wilshire Boulevard. I picked this one not because it was the only one offered; four equally wonderful spots were offered me. I took this one because it had greater telephone facilities, but the others were equally good. Now here is my office. Now you couldn’t judge my income from this office, lovely as it is. Everything is nice about it, but, Neville, this year I will net a quarter of a million dollars.”

Well, in America that is still a fabulous sum of money. It would be staggering in any other part of the world, but even in fabulous America a man to net a quarter of a million is really up in the very highest of brackets. And that was the man that a few years ago told me the whole vast world was against him by reason of the accident of birth. He knows now he is what he is by virtue of the state of consciousness with which he is identified, and the choice is his to go back to the restrictions of his childhood when he believed the story, or to continue in the freedom that he has found.

So you and I can be anything in this world we desire to be if we will clearly define our aim in life and constantly occupy that aim. It must be habitual. The concept we hold of self that is noble must not be put on just for a moment and taken off when we leave this church. We feel free here; we feel that we have something in common; that’s why we are here; but are we going to wear the noble concept we now hold of self when we go through the door and enter that bus, or are we going to return to the restrictions that were ours prior to coming here?

The choice is ours and the hardest lesson to learn is that there is no one in this world that can be drawn into your world unless you, and you alone, call him.

So do not do what they did thousands of years ago, for that is the beginning of the secession of the great truth. So we are told they turned away from it, never again to walk with it, and the few who remained didn’t like it either, but where would they go if this is the word of eternal truth? Not that it’s true for this day and age, but if this is the law of being, and in all the dimensions of my being it holds good, if this is eternally true, then let me learn the lesson now, though I wrestle with myself as he did for three years.

So, the changing of the feeling of “I” is a selective thing because unnumbered states are infinite states, but the “I” is not the state. The “I” believes itself to be the state when it enters and fuses with it– so he was presented with a state and, without the faculty of discrimination in his youth, he fused with the state and believed these restrictions were true, and it took him three years to disentangle the “I” from these fixed ideas with which he had lived for so many years.

Now you may take only a moment or you, too, may take your three years. I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take you, but I’ll tell you this much. It can be measured by the feeling of naturalness. You can wear a feeling until it’s natural. The moment the feeling becomes natural, it will begin to bear fruit within your world.

So I told this story at a small gathering here in the city, and not very many asked questions about it, but three people asked: “But he must have had money before. He must have known the right people. He must in some way have had some substance to start it, because how can you go out to loan a hundred million dollars and call that a real fact of being that you have that to loan, and tell me you didn’t have someone who had it or you, yourself, didn’t have it?”

I did not ask the gentleman about the individual facts of the case. I went into the office, I saw it, I didn’t look at his books; he volunteered this information, and gave me the figure of a quarter of a million net for the year. I have not checked or in any way verified the statement; I believe it implicitly. But I will not go along with those who believe that, unless you have certain things to start with, you can’t apply this law. You can start now from scratch and choose the being you want to be. You aren’t going to change the pigment of your skin but you will find your accent or the pigment of skin or your so-called racial background will not be a hindrance, for if a man is ever hindered it can only be the state of consciousness in which he abides that hinders him.

Man is freed or constrained by reason of the state of mind in which he persists. If you persist in it… well, then I will say, “persist in it,” but I warn you no one cares, and that is an awful blow when a man discovers that no one– no one but himself– really cares. So we find ourselves weeping with ourselves in the hope of getting others to weep with us. And what an awful shock when the day arrives we discover that no one really ever cared. They will give us some little listening ear for a moment just as they were passing by, but they really didn’t care.

When we make that discovery we shake ourselves out of it and boldly appropriate the gift our Father gave us before that the world was.

So let me show you the gift. You’ve read your Lord’s Prayer possibly daily, but you read it as a prayer from a translation of a translation which does not reveal the sense of the evangelist.

The real translation you will find in Ferrar Fenton’s work, where, in the original, it is written in the imperative passive mood, which is like a standing order, a thing to be done absolutely and continuously.

So that you can look now upon your universe as one vast inter-knit machinery where all things happen: there isn’t a thing to become; all things are taking place, so it is written in this manner:

“Thy will must be being done. Thy kingdom must be being restored.”

It is the only way you could express it if you would express the imperative passive mood. But from the Latin– from which our translation was made– there is no first aorist of the imperative passive mood. So we have it in the way we have it, but it does not reveal the intent of the mysteries.

If you will see all things are now, you don’t become; you simply select the state that you would occupy. Occupying it, you seem to become, but it is already a fact, every aspect of that state in its most minute detail; it’s worked out and taking place. You, by occupying the state, seem to go through the action of unfolding that state, but the state is completely finished and taking place.

So now you can choose the being you want to be, and, by choosing a being other than what you are now expressing, you start the change of the feeling of “I.”

Now, how will I know that I have changed the feeling of “I”? By beginning first with an uncritical observation of my reactions to life and then noticing my reactions when I think I am identified with my choice. If I assume that I am the man that I want to be, let me observe my reactions. If they are as they were, I have not identified myself with my choice, for my reactions are automatic, and so, if I am changed, I would automatically change my reactions to life.

So the changing of the feeling of “I” results in a change of reaction, which change of reaction is a change of environment and behavior.

But let me warn you now. A little alteration of mood is not a transformation; it’s not a real change of consciousness. Because as I change my mood for the moment, it can quickly and rapidly be, I would say, replaced by another mood in the reverse direction.

When I say that “I was changed,” as that gentleman changed his mood, his basic mood, his state of consciousness, it means that having assumed that I am what the moment denied, what my reason denied, that I remain in that state long enough to make that state stable. So that all of my energies are flowing from that state.

I am no longer thinking of that state. I am thinking from that state.

So that wherever a state grows so stable as to definitely expel all of its rivals, then that central, habitual state of consciousness from which I think defines my character and is really a true transformation or change of consciousness. Whenever I reach that state of stability, watch my world mold itself then in harmony with this inner change. And men will come into my world, people will come to aid and they will think they are initiating the urge to help. They are playing only their part. They must do what they do because I have done what I did. Having moved from one state into the other, I have altered my relationship relative to the world round about, and that changed relationship compels a change in behavior relative to my world. So they have to act differently toward me.

So in changing the “I,” you start with desire, which we will unfold and elaborate on tomorrow night. For it starts with desire. Desire is the spring of action, for you must want to be other than what you are. We fail because we do not fall in love enough with an idea. We aren’t, I would say, moved enough to want to be other than what we are.

If I could get you to be completely in love with some state to the point where it haunted the mind, I could almost prophesy that you would in the not distant future externalize that state within your world. And the reason we fail (is that) we aren’t hungry enough to change. For either we do not know the law, or we haven’t the urge or the hunger to really bring about the change. For the changing of the feeling of “I” results in the change of reaction, which change of reaction results in a change of world.

If you like your world and you are complacent about it, you haven’t started on the road of the mysteries, for the very first beatitude appeals to one who is not complacent:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit.”

You must be poor in spirit, not complacent, not satisfied. The man who thinks that, by reason of birth, the religion that he inherited at birth, is good enough for me, that he is not dissatisfied– he is not, I would say, moved– that being is complacent and therefore he is not poor in spirit; he is very rich in spirit. Theirs is not the kingdom of God.

For if I could stir you, make you dissatisfied with self, then you will recognize that self and set about to change it. For the only field of activity for man is within himself and on himself. You do not work on the other. The day you change self, that day you change your world.

Now I see my time is going to its quick end. And so in the remaining minute I have left here let me not urge you, because if you come to the meeting tomorrow night not really hungry, you wouldn’t benefit, but I do hope that many of you are there. Even if you are stirred to the point of trying to, I would say, disprove what I told you, I would accept that challenge for in the attempt to disprove it, I know if you were sincere in your attempt, you would prove it.

So I hope many of you will come and take this feast with us. We are here in the city (Los Angeles) at the Ebell for 15 nights, Monday thru Friday, as Mr. Smith told you, for three consecutive weeks. If you can’t take all– and I do hope many of you will take all– then pick out the title s that appeal to you.

Tomorrow night to me is basic; it is the importance of defining an aim in this world, having a goal, for without an aim you are aimless. And you were warned in the Book, or I would say, in the Epistle of James that “the double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let not such a man believe that he shall receive anything of the Lord; for he is like a wave that is driven and tossed by the wind.” That man never reaches his goal. So you must have an aim, and tomorrow night we will show you the importance of defining desire. There are certain schools who teach you to kill out desire; we teach you to intensify desire and show you the reason for such teaching, show you what the Bible teaches about desire.

And now we will come to the help that many of you have asked for today.

Those who were not here on Sunday: let me remind you it is a very simple technique. As I told you on Sunday, any time that you exercise your imagination, and do it lovingly on behalf of another, you are mediating God to man.

So we sit quietly and we simply become imitators of our Father. And He called the world into being by being the thing he would call. And so we sit and we listen as though we heard someone congratulating us on having found what we seek. So we go to the end of the matter and we listen just as though we heard, and we look as though we saw, and we try in this manner to feel ourselves right into the situation of our answered prayer, and there we wait in the silence just for about two minutes, and so they will lower the lights to aid you. And let me remind you if you want to clear your throat, please do so. If you want to shift your position in the chair, do so. Feel as though you are alone at home, because if you don’t and you try not to disturb the neighbor, you will not be able to exercise your imagination on behalf of anyone.

So now I will take the chair and just simply listen attentively, just as though you heard. I’ll make you this promise: the day you are very still in mind and really become attentive, you will hear as coming from without what really you are whispering from within yourself.

 

What Job SHOULD have done (Neville Goddard)

This is the question and answer segment following Neville Goddard’s lecture Job: Your Biography. The lecture itself is a brilliant dissection of this book of the Bible, but in the Q&A following the lecture, Neville tied the message of the book into his assertions that imagining creates reality.

If Job is being tested by God, and should not question that test or justify his deeds, then how should he react? Neville answers the question definitively.

I’ve done my best transcribing this; however, it’s an old, poor quality source recording, so some words were simply unintelligible; I’ve noted those in parentheses. All notes are in parentheses in bold italics.

Also, the source audio ends abruptly, as does this transcript!  

You can listen to this entire lecture (one of my favorites!) via this YouTube video.


 

…Now I trust it is not in your future to be hurt– it’s my wish for you. But do remember what you heard tonight: that should you be hurt, don’t feel in any strange way that there’s a God of retribution. It’s only for your good that these things happen. As we are told in Job…

If I washed myself with snow and cleansed my hands with lye, then thou cast me into the pit and my own clothes abhor me. (Job 9:30)

So no matter how man tries to cleanse himself morally, and do all these things in order NOT to encounter the pit, if the pit is necessary to purify him, in order to be made perfect in the eyes of God, he will be thrown into the pit.

You see it every day, and you wonder “Why? I knew him. He was so altogether nice and kind and tender. I knew the family. Why should it happen to them?” But that’s the story of Job.

Now are there any questions, please?

Surely there’s a question…

(Unintelligible question from audience)

Very good question. The lady does not relate this to the way I express imagination.

I say: in the midst of the flames, use God’s law.

(Unintelligible comment from audience)

Certainly! If tonight I found myself COMPLETELY behind the eight ball because that is part of my training, then let me use God’s law, and exercise my talent to come out of that pit. I don’t accept it as final. I don’t even accept it as temporary. But I mustn’t blame myself when I find myself in the pit. That is told us so clearly in the gospel:

Do you think that when the tower fell and killed eighteen, they were greater sinners than the others in Jerusalem? I tell you not! But unless you repent, you shall have the same fate. (paraphrase of Luke 13:4-5)

“Repent” means “change your attitude.”

Everything is a (unintelligible word) for man to exercise his talents, to change his attitude.

You think that the five who were killed in Galilee, that they were worse sinners than the others? I tell you not. But unless you repent, you’ll have a similar fate. (paraphrase of Luke 13:2-3)

The word is “repent.” That’s the beginning of the whole teaching. “Repent” only means that word “metanoia:” a radical change of attitude towards life.

So when something happens to you, DON’T ACCEPT IT as final. Repent!

But he will encroach (?) on you morning, noon and night, and force you to exercise your talent.

(Earlier in the lecture, Neville told the story of an Army veteran who held hatred for blacks and Jews, until two incidents transformed him: the first, during the war, when a Jewish man rescued his unit while pinned down in a foxhole, and then the second after the war, when a black man saved his life during a work accident.)

He will (unintelligible), if it takes a war in New Guinea, and you on your belly, and bullets ricocheting off your hat, to prove to you that your prejudice was simply a mental error, and therefore one that you disliked and hated will be your savior.

So man’s purification comes by the death of his delusions, and He always will use the one you hate to be your good samaritan. Always. So the Jew, in one case, was a good samaritan; the Negro, in the other case, was his good samaritan. Both saved him on different occasions. If he has another hate today, God will put him in the state (?) and then he’ll be saved by one of his hates, and that one will be his good samaritan.

So I do not deny that I tell you: imagining creates reality. But don’t deny it when you go through hell.

I came down Mason (Mason Street in San Francisco) many years ago– I was living at the Fairmont (a hotel on Mason Street) and it was a wet day, and I came out with new shoes. Well, you know that thing called Mason… (audience laughter)… so here I am; I’m aware of my date; in fact, the lady’s in the audience now– I had a date with her for the :30 hour, and it was 10:30, and so I started down towards her shop on Fourth Avenue– I mean, on Fourth Street. Well, I was quite early, I’d started, and someone could have picked me right up this way and dropped me on my back– but it felt that way! And there I was, COMPLETELY on my back, walking down with my new shoes, and then two lads came by and they led me to the top of California (Street), and then I was in excruciating pain. I had a dinner date that night at the Fairmont– I had eighteen invited for dinner– and luckily I knew the housekeeper, and she thought she would pitch in and help me out by taking them through these fabulous apartments in the Fairmont after dinner, because I couldn’t stand any longer, and she said “I’ll take them through Mr. Kaiser’s place, and I’ll take them through this place,” and show them these fabulous suites in the hotel. She was very sweet about it. Because I couldn’t sit one moment longer than I did. I was in excruciating pain.

So I told the story from the platform. First reaction was: “Why should it happen to you?” As though I am not part of society! And I’m not part of the world? It happens to me as it happens to anyone! It could happen to President Kennedy! If he falls on his back– which he did; he’s always rocking in his chair. (audience laughter) Why should it happen to him? He’s the head of our country! Here is the top office in the land and he is filling it, but something happened to him, and he’s always rocking.

So don’t, in any way, justify it. Use your imagination to get out of it. I didn’t look and say “What have I done to warrant this? God shouldn’t do this to me! I’m doing his work!” Well, isn’t that stupid? Who ISN’T doing his work? The man who– I took my shoes today and he shined them for me– he’s doing God’s work. I didn’t shine them myself. And so he shined my shoes for me. He’s doing God’s work.

But everyone said, “Well, why did it happen to Neville?” Well, it happened to me, may I tell you? And I had that pain for–excruciating pain– but it FORCED me to use my imagination to get out of that pain. So why shouldn’t it happen to me? Why should it only happen to others? We’re all one.

So I say, this is not in contradiction with what I teach: Imagining creates reality. But the story is: repent, repent, repent. When you find yourself, don’t start digging and say “Well, what have I done?” as Job did. Job, in the most glorious– in the 30th chapter– 30th and 31st chapters of Job, he makes the most eloquent defense of his virtues. And all these virtues he brings up, and all the virtuous deeds. Well, that is a demonstration of the fact that he had not abandoned his belief in the dogma of retribution. And yet he’s asking for acquittal! How can he be acquitted if he believes in retribution? These things could not have happened if he believed that way. But in spite of these things, God puts them on him, and then: repent!

“Don’t ask me why I did it– repent! Don’t ACCEPT the sentence. Get out of it. Don’t accept ANY sentence! You get out of it by exercising your talent that I gave you, and then extricate yourself from that problem.”

For man has to awaken. But don’t accept it, and don’t look for some cause other than God’s vision of the need of that bit of gold: there’s still a little bit of ore with it, and it must be burnt away.

So it doesn’t deny the saying that “Imagining creates reality.” What I’m trying to get over tonight is: don’t judge people harshly when you meet someone who’s limited. If they’re limited, tell them of repentance. But don’t condemn them and say, “well, now, you’re only reaping the fruit of some horrible mistake in the past.” Don’t. Just say, no matter what you’ve ever done in the past, tell them how to escape from their present predicament. Because God is INFINITELY merciful. And he (Job) did not know of the God of mercy. He only knew the God of retribution, and God is a God of mercy. And God is the God of grace. And so he gives us, in the end– after we exercise the talent that he gave us, which is just to free ourselves from every limitation in the world.

Any other questions, please?

(unintelligible)

Well, you do.

Question: But you must have done something to reap all that…

You see that again? (audience laughter) That– man can’t get over that law of retribution. He can’t get over it. We are still in the Bible. The Bible is not something that is thousands of years old. The Bible is contemporary. Man is in the state of consciousness of getting even. Retribution. And He comes to forgive sin. Completely forgive everything. The last cry on the cross: “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” But man doesn’t WANT to forgive him. They’ll say, “Where is Stalin? I hope he’s burning! Where is Hitler? I hope he’s burning!” And to think, “well, he’s not,” well, millions would simply feel, “Well, that isn’t a good God. I don’t want a God that forgives sin. I don’t want a God of mercy. Not until He FIRST burns this one first!” (audience laughter) “Then after He burns him, then He can forgive sin! But not before.” And that’s the world. Well, he isn’t that kind of a God. He is a God of infinite mercy. And showing us the law.

If you have a piece of gold, and you want to mold it into a certain image, a living image, but the gold is not pure gold– there’s a little alloy with it, a little ore, and you can only really put it into a molten form by putting it in the fire. Wouldn’t that gold, if it really had sensitivity, be in pain when you put it in the fire? Would it? I mean, if you can endow the gold with a sensitive quality, would it not be hurt if you put it in the fire? All right. But you put it in the fire to bring it into a molten state, that it may separate itself from the dross. And when it’s completely pure, and in the molten state, then you can put it into any state you want, couldn’t you?

Well, that is man. When God took himself a handful of clay and hid in it the torment of eternity, (unintelligible) turmoil. Did not Job say, “And you made this clay of mine… made me out of clay. Are you going to once more turn me into dust?” Because to him it felt like being turned into dust. “You made me out of clay. Are you going to turn me into dust?” said Job. So when you go through the furnaces you think you are being turned into dust

(Source recording ends abruptly at this point.)