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: .

“Neville Trekking” is now live!

NEVILLE TREKKING: An online discussion group devoted to STAR TREK as viewed through the lens of Neville Goddard’s teachings, with a focus on six selected episodes that we’ll parse as a group between now and March.

“Truth embodied in a tale shall enter in at lowly doors.” ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“The curious question came to me as to how much of the ‘woo-woo’ stuff like the outpicturing of our imagination could be real, and that we’re not experiencing it already? STAR TREK helped me loosen my perspective, and eased me into Neville when I found him.” ~ A Neville Trekking group member

I realized, while watching reruns of STAR TREK recently, that, in many ways, STAR TREK “eased me into” the ideas that Neville discussed.

“Imagining creates reality, time is not linear, consciousness is the only reality”– I first encountered these ideas not via religion or a philosophy class, but from watching STAR TREK episodes like “Shore Leave” or “Spectre of the Gun” or “Elementary, Dear Data” or “The Emissary.”

So I thought it’d be fun to have a six-week online “class” in which we watch these episodes and others as a group and then discuss them in light of Neville’s teachings.

Links to free downloadable videos of the full episodes will be provided, along with clips of key scenes and (when available) scripts and novelizations, so you can “read” the episodes if you want, along with (of course) pertinent Neville writings and quotes, and other material about the show and ideas in the series.


The first twelve people who register will “pay what you want IF you want.” The registration fee is set to $0 for the first twelve people. Pay more if you want; that’s up to you.

Here’s the link!

This group is being held on the social media site Mewe. MeWe is a social media site that works the way Facebook used to work when we liked the way Facebook worked: no ads, no data mining. MeWe registration itself is free. All links and info are provided in a document you will receive when you register and “pay whatever” at Ko-fi.

Hope you’ll join the group and boldly go! –Max Shenk, moderator

Trekking with Neville: “The bullets are not real.”

Neville Goddard used to quote Alfred, Lord Tennyson: “Truth embodied in a tale shall enter in at lowly doors.”
For me, one of those “lowly doors” was STAR TREK. It was through STAR TREK, not religion or philosophy classes, that I was first really introduced to the ideas that are the foundations of Neville’s teachings
“Imagining creates reality, consciousness is the only reality, time is not linear, there are worlds within worlds within worlds”– all of these concepts came to me first through STAR TREK. The truth embodied in those tales “entered at lowly doors” and made me receptive to them as spiritual truths.
I first published this article in my ‘zine METANOIA (issue 2). It was one of the first times I really explored and considered the Neville-TREK connection.

Lately I’ve been filling my days and evenings bingewatching old episodes of Star Trek, and one of the best episodes was one which I hadn’t forgotten about, but, rather, remembered dismissively: “Spectre of the Gun.”

In it, the Enterprise encroaches on an alien race’s territory, and the aliens decide to punish the crew by transporting Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and Chekhov to a shoddy and superficial reproduction of Tombstone, Arizona, circa 1881, with the five crew members as the Clanton Gang, who, of course, died at the hands of Wyatt Earp in a gunfight at the OK Corral. The five try every rational means at their disposal to escape, without success. Finally, Chekhov, who was “Billy Clayborne,” is gunned down and killed by one of the Earp gang…

…except, as Spock points out, in the historical shootout at the OK Corral, Billy Clayborne survived!

The remaining four crew members then concoct a tranquilizer grenade to use against the Earp gang and thus escape their fate… but when they test the device and potion, the presumably failproof concoction doesn’t work.

Finally, the Tombstone clocks chime five PM– the deadline that the Earps imposed for the Clanton gang to leave town– and the four crew members are transported to the OK Corral, and while they await what seems to be their inevitable fate, Spock comes to a realization that he shares with the rest of the crew.

According to physical law, the tranquilizer should have worked, but it didn’t. According to the historical record, Chekhov (Billy Clayborn) should not have been killed, but he was. These inconsistencies, he says, cannot be ignored.

What, he asks his crewmates, killed Chekhov?

“A piece of lead in his body,” Dr. McCoy answers.

“No,” Spock replies. “His mind killed him.

“Physical reality,” Spock continues, “is consistent with universal laws. Where the laws do not operate, there is no reality. We judge reality by the response of our senses. Once we are convinced of the reality of a given situation, we abide by its rules. We judge the bullets to be solid, the guns to be real; therefore, they can kill.”

But since Chekhov should not have died, and the tranquilizer should have worked– “Anywhere else, it would have worked”– then, logically, Spock says, what the crew sees around them must be unreal.

Spock does a mindmeld with his three crewmates to plant in their minds the certainty that he feels– I know the bullets are not real; therefore, they cannot harm me--and when the Earps appear, they all unload their six-shooters and rifles into the Enterprise crewmen, who stand, unaffected, as the bullets blow holes in the wooden fencerails behind them.

Finally, when the bullets are spent, Kirk pummels Wyatt Earp, points his own sixshooter at Earp’s head, and then, remembering that the guns and bullets aren’t real, tosses it aside. With that, first the Earp gang and then the illusion of Tombstone vanish, and the four crewmen are back on the Enterprise…

…along with Chekhov: alive and in perfect health.

I’m doing a six-week online course/discussion called NEVILLE TREKKING, in which we’ll discuss six episodes of STAR TREK as filtered through the lens of Neville’s teachings.

The group will be conducted in a private group on the social media site MeWe (which is like Facebook used to be when Facebook worked).

The group will be LIVE on Sunday January 22, 2023.

Early registration is $18 until midnight EST Friday January 20, 2023, after which it is $24.

For more information or to register, go to or email me: .

For more information on my ‘zine Metanoia, including sample articles and ordering links, click here.

Citing Neville

Among other things, Neville Goddard was a gifted writer and speaker who knew how to communicate his mystical experiences and put them in context. For someone who never advanced past the third grade in public schools, his reading was wide and deep, but more than that, his understanding of those texts brought deeper meaning that many readers might have otherwise missed. He usually spoke extemporaneously, without notes, which meant that he seamlessly wove quotes from works by other authors into his lectures. He also knew the Bible from cover to cover and peppered his lectures with whatever scriptural passages fit the theme at hand, and more often than not, he could accurately cite the book, chapter, and verse of those passages.

Unfortunately, for non-scriptural references, Neville was less consistent and reliable. Occasionally Neville would cite the sources of non-scriptural works from which he quoted, but more often than not, he didn’t. Given that he spoke extemporaneously, and that he cited inconsistently, I believe that Neville wasn’t being intellectually dishonest, nor do I believe he was attempting to pass others’ works or thinking off as his own. Rather, I believe that the works he read were so ingrained in him and resonated so deeply that when they popped into his head on the platform, he’d just recite them. If he remembered to cite them, he would, but more often than not, a citation during a lecture would break the flow, and so he usually didn’t.

Whatever the reason, as a reader studying Neville’s work, it can be frustrating to encounter a quote or a passage that clearly isn’t Neville’s, and try to find a source for it. Often the internet is of little help. Anyone who’s ever tried to find a source for quotes attributed to, say, John Lennon knows how frustrating and fruitless a search for a source can be. Many of the reposted quotes on the internet attributed to “John Lennon” are things that the artist never said or wrote or sang. Yet they appear repeatedly online, without citation.

This is, sadly, typical of nearly every widely reposted quote you might find online. The unattributed quotes have been so widely reposted that they clot and clog search results, making it nearly impossible to find the original source. But, I’m finding, with a little work and diligence, I can usually find a source.

I’m currently annotating several Neville lectures for a Neville-themed print journal which will begin publication this winter (click here for more information on that) and, since the point of an annotated lecture is to provide citations and sources for a work, I’ve had to track down sources for many unattributed quotes. Sometimes Neville indirectly did the work for me: I’d recognize an uncited quote from its appearance in a different lecture where Neville cited, and the mystery would be easily solved. In other instances, he might not cite a specific work, but he’d give an author name (“As Fawcett said,” “As Blake put it,” etc), which was enough of a lead to track down the quote.

Here are two examples of “uncited” or “partially cited” quotes from a Neville lecture I’m transcribing and annotating (1971’s “Facts Have Overflowed the World”). If you’ve read or listened to Neville’s lectures, you’ll probably recognize both of these quotes. Consistent with Neville’s inconsistency, one of the quotes was cited and one wasn’t.

“Man is not the creature of circumstances; circumstances are the creatures of men.”
Neville correctly cited Benjamin Disraeli as the source, but didn’t cite the source work– he may have found the quote in an article or another book– and to this day, the quote is frequently recycled, with those recyclings following that pattern: it’s almost always correctly attributed to Disraeli (and not, thankfully, Lennon), but seldom with the title of the source work.
The quote is from Disraeli’s 1826-27 novel Vivian Grey, specifically Book VI, chapter 7 (originally published in 1827). It appears in a dialogue between the title character and another character named Beckendorff, and, as I’ve also noticed with single-verse scripture quotes, the longer passage from which the shorter quote is pulled gives it context and also goes more deeply into its meaning.
In the dialogue, Grey states that he is “not the master of my own conduct,” and that “I recognize in every contingency the pre-ordination of my fate… With great deference to you, I imagine that you mistake the effect for the cause; for surely temper is not the origin, but the result of those circumstances of which we are all the creatures.”
Beckendorff replies: “Sir, I deny it. Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter. I recognize no intervening influence between that of the established course of nature, and my own mind. Truth may be distorted– may be stifled– be suppressed. The invention of cunning deceits may, and in most cases does, prevent man from exercising his own powers. They have made him responsible to a realm of shadows, and a suitor in a court of shades. He is ever dreading authority which does not exist, and fearing the occurrence of penalties which there are none to enforce. But the mind that dares to extricate itself from these vulgar prejudices, that proves its loyalty to its Creator by devoting all its adoration to his glory– such a spirit as this becomes a master-mind, and that master-mind will invariably find that circumstances are its slaves.”
Vivian Grey was a controversial book when it was first published in five volumes in 1826-27. Disraeli revised later editions of the book, with some passages removed and others changed, but scans of the original edition are available free online, in five PDF volumes, from the Internet Archive:
Volume 1 –
Volume 2 –
Volume 3 –
Volume 4 –
Volume 5 –

“Man is all imagination, and God is man, and exists in us, and we in him. The eternal body of man is the imagination, and that is God himself.”
This is another quote that Neville frequently incorporated into his lectures, usually without citing the author (William Blake) or the work from which it was taken. Sometimes Neville would attribute it to Blake; sometimes, when he didn’t, whomever transcribed the lectures added an attribution in brackets.
A cursory online search reveals the source as “Blake’s Annotations to Berkeley’s Siris,” but that’s only partially correct: these two sentences are actually taken from two different Blake works.
The first sentence, as the online citation states, is from notes that Blake wrote in his copy of the book Siris by Bishop George Berkeley. On page 219 of the book, Berkeley wrote:
“Whence, according to Thestimus… it may be inferred that all beings are in the soul. For, saith he, the forms are the beings. By the form every thing is what it is. And, he adds, it is the soul that imparteth form to matter.”
Blake’s handwritten note accompanying this passage was:
“This is my Opinion but Forms must be apprehended by Sense or the Eye of Imagination (.) Man is all imagination God is man & exists in us & we in him(.)”
As for the second sentence (“The eternal body of man is the imagination, and that is God Himself”), while several other of Blake’s Siris annotations contain variations on the second sentence , the exact quote as Neville presents it here is from Blake’s work The Laocoōn.
An online version of Blake’s Annotations to Berkeley’s Siris is available 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 “Facts Have Overflowed the World” and at least two other annotated lectures, 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:

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.


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,


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… 


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?


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 ( 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.”