Neville Goddard 1948 Lessons –
Class Instruction Lesson One
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Consciousness Is The Only Reality
This is going to be a very practical Course. Therefore, I hope that everyone in this class has a very clear picture of what he desires, for I am convinced that you can realize your desires by the technique you will receive here this week in these five lessons.
That you may receive the full benefit of these instructions, let me state now that the Bible has no reference at all to any persons who ever existed or to any event that ever occurred upon earth.
The ancient story tellers were not writing history but an allegorical picture lesson of certain basic principles which they clothed in the garb of history, and they adapted these stories to the limited capacity of a most uncritical and credulous people.
Throughout the centuries we have mistakenly taken personifications for persons, allegory for history, the vehicle that conveyed the instruction for the instruction, and the gross first sense for the ultimate sense intended.
The difference between the form of the Bible and its substance is as great as the difference between a grain of corn and the life germ within that grain. As our assimilative organs discriminate between food that can be built into our system and food that must be discarded, so do our awakened intuitive faculties discover beneath allegory and parable, the psychological life-germ of the Bible; and, feeding on this, we, too, cast off the form which conveyed the message.
The argument against the historicity of the Bible is too lengthy; consequently, it is not suitable for inclusion in this practical psychological interpretation of its stories.
Therefore, I will waste no time in trying to convince you that the Bible is not an historical fact.
Tonight I will take four stories and show you what the ancient story-tellers intended that you and I should see in these stories. The ancient teachers attached psychological truths to phallic and solar allegories. They did not know as much of the physical structure of man as do modern scientists, neither did they know as much about the heavens as do our modern astronomers. But the little they did know they used wisely and they built phallic and solar frames to which they tied the great psychological truths that they had discovered.
In the Old Testament you will find much of the Phallic worship. Because it is not helpful, I am not going to emphasize it. I shall only show you how to interpret it.
Before we come to the first of the psychological dramas that you and I may use in a practical sense, let me state the two outstanding names of the Bible: the one you and I translate as GOD or JEHOVAH, and the one we call his son, which we have as JESUS.
The ancients spelled these names by using little symbols.
The ancient tongue, called the Hebraic language, was not a tongue that you exploded with the breath. It was a mystical language never uttered by man. Those who understood it, understood it as mathematicians understand symbols of higher mathematics. It is not something people used to convey thought as I now use the English language.
You have the ability to feel that you are and possess that which but a moment before was imaginary. The final result, the embodying of your assumption, is completely outside of the offices of a three-dimensional mind. It comes to birth in a way that no man knows.If these two names are clear in your mind’s eye, you will see that they are your eternal names. As you sit here, you are this JOD HEVAU HE; you are the JOD HEVAU SHIN AYIN.The stories of the Bible concern themselves exclusively with the power of imagination. They are really dramatizations of the technique of prayer, for prayer is the secret of changing the future.The Bible reveals the key by which man enters a dimensionally larger world for the purpose of changing the conditions of the lesser world in which he lives. A prayer granted implies that something is done in consequence of the prayer, which otherwise would not have been done.Therefore, man is the spring of action, the directing mind, and the one who grants the prayer.The stories of the Bible contain a powerful challenge to the thinking capacity of man. The underlying truth–that they are psychological dramas and not historical facts – demands reiteration, inasmuch as it is the only justification for the stories.With a little imagination we may easily trace the psychological sense in all the stories of the Bible.“And God said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him” Gen. 1:26, 27.Here in the first chapter of the Bible the ancient teachers laid the foundation that God and man are one, and that man has dominion over all the earth. If God and man are one, then God can never be so far off as even to be near, for nearness implies separation.The question arises: What is God?God is man’s consciousness, his awareness, his I Amness.The drama of life is a psychological one in which we bring circumstances to pass by our attitudes rather than by our acts.The corner-stone on which all things are based is mans concept of himself. He acts as he does, and has the experiences that he does, because his concept of himself is what it is, and for no other reason. Had he a different concept of himself, he would act differently and have different experiences.
Man, by assuming the feeling of his wish fulfilled, alters his future in harmony with his assumption, for, assumptions though false, if sustained, will harden into fact.
The undisciplined mind finds it difficult to assume a state which is denied by the senses. But the ancient teachers discovered that sleep, or a state akin to sleep, aided man in making his assumption. Therefore, they dramatized the first creative act of man as one in which man was in a profound sleep. This not only sets the pattern for all future creative acts, but shows us that man has but one substance that is truly his to use in creating his world and that is himself.
Our next story is in the 38th chapter of the book of Genesis. Here is a King whose name is Judah, the first three letters of whose name also begins JOD HEVAU. Tamar is his daughter-in-law.The word Tamar means a palm tree or the most beautiful, the most comely. She is gracious and beautiful to look on and is called a palm tree. A tall, stately palm tree blossoms even in the desert — wherever it is there is an oasis. When you see the palm tree in the desert, there will be found what you seek most in that parched land. There is nothing more desirable to a man moving across a desert than the sight of a palm tree.In our case, to be practical, our objective is the palm tree. That is the stately, beautiful one that we seek. Whatever it is that you and I want, what we truly desire, is personified in the story as Tamar the beautiful.We are told she dresses herself in the veils of a harlot and sits in the public place. Her father-in-law, King Judah, comes by; and he is so in love with this one who is veiled that he offers her a kid to be intimate with her.She said, “What will you give me as a pledge that you will give me a kid? “ Looking around he said, “What do you want me to give as a pledge? “She answered, “Give me your ring, give me your bracelets, and give me your staff. “Whereupon, he took from his hand the ring, and the bracelet, and gave them to her along with his sceptre. And he went in unto her and knew her, and she bore him a son. That is the story; now for the interpretation.Man has one gift that is truly his to give, and that is himself. He has no other gift, as told you in the very first creative act of Adam begetting the woman out of himself. There was no other substance in the world but himself with which he could fashion the object of his desire. In like manner Judah had but one gift that was truly his to give – himself, as the ring, the bracelets and the staff symbolized, for these were the symbols of his kingship.Man offers that which is not himself, but life demands that he give the one thing that symbolizes himself. “Give me your ring, give me your bracelet, give me your sceptre.” These make the King. When he gives them he gives of himself.You are the great King Judah. Before you can know your Tamar and make her bear your likeness in the world, you must go in unto her and give of self.Suppose I want security. I cannot get it by knowing people who have it. I cannot get it by pulling strings. I must become conscious of being secure.Let us say I want to be healthy. Pills will not do it. Diet or climate will not do it. I must become conscious of being healthy by assuming the feeling of being healthy.Perhaps I want to be lifted up in this world. Merely looking at kings and presidents and noble people and living in their reflection will not make me dignified. I must become conscious of being noble and dignified and walk as though I were that which I now want to be.
When I walk in that light I give of myself to the image that haunted my mind, and in time she bears me a child; which means I objectify a world in harmony with that which I am conscious of being.You are King Judah and you are also Tamar. When you become conscious of being that which you want to be you are Tamar. Then you crystallize your desire within the world round about you.No matter what stories you read in the Bible, no matter how many characters these ancient story-tellers introduced into the drama, there is one thing you and I must always bear in mind – they all take place within the mind of the individual man. All the characters live in the mind of the individual man.As you read the story, make it fit the pattern of self. Know that your consciousness is the only reality. Then know what you want to be. Then assume the feeling of being that which you want to be, and remain faithful to your assumption, living and acting on your conviction. Always make it fit that pattern.Our third interpretation is the story of Isaac and his two sons: Esau and Jacob.The picture is drawn of a blind man being deceived by his second son into giving him the blessing which belonged to his first son. The story stresses the point that the deception was accomplished through the sense of touch.“And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him…. And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.” Gen. 27:21, 30.This story can be very helpful if you will re-enact it now.Again bear in mind that all the characters of the Bible are personifications of abstract ideas and must be fulfilled in the individual man. You are the blind father and both sons.Isaac is old and blind, and sensing the approach of death, calls his first son Esau a rough hairy boy, and sends him into the woods that he may bring in some venison.The second son, Jacob, a smooth skin boy, overheard the request of his father. Desiring the birthright of his brother , Jacob, the smooth skinned son, slaughtered one of his father’s flock and skinned it. Then, dressed in the hairy skins of the kid he had slaughtered, he came through subtlety and betrayed his father into believing that he was Esau.The father said, “Come close my son that I may feel you. I cannot see, but come that I may feel.” Note the stress that is placed upon feeling in this story.
He came close and the father said to him, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” And feeling this roughness, the reality of the son Esau, he pronounced the blessing and gave it to Jacob.
You are told in the story that as Isaac pronounced the blessing and Jacob had scarcely gone out from his presence, that his brother Esau came in from his hunting.
This is an important verse. Do not become distressed in our practical approach to it, for as you sit here you, too, are Isaac.This room in which you are seated is your present Esau.This is the rough or sensibly known world, known by reason of your bodily organs. All of your senses bear witness to the fact that you are here in this room. Everything tells you that you are here, but perhaps you do not want to be here.You can apply this toward any objective. The room in which you are seated at any time – the environment in which you are placed, this is your rough or sensibly known world or son which is personified in the story as Esau.What you would like in place of what you have or are is your smooth skinned state or Jacob, the supplanter. You do not send your visible world hunting, as so many people do, by denial. By saying it does not exist you make it all the more real.Instead, you simply remove your attention from the region of sensation which at this moment is the room round a bout you , and you concentrate your attention on that which you want to put in its place, that which you want to make real.In concentrating on your objective, the secret is to bring it here. You must make elsewhere here, and then now, imagine that your objective is so close that you can feel it.Suppose at this very moment I want a piano here in this room. To see a piano in my mind’s eye existing elsewhere does not do it. But to visualize it in this room as though it were here and to put my mental hand upon the piano and to feel it solidly real, is to take that subjective state personified as my second son Jacob and bring it so close that I can feel it.Isaac is called a blind man. You are blind because you do not see your objective with your bodily organs, you cannot see it with your objective senses. You only perceive it with your mind, but you bring it so close that you can feel it as though it were solidly real now. When this is done and you lose yourself in its reality and feel it to be real, open your eyes.When you open your eyes what happens? The room that you had shut out but a moment ago returns from the hunt. You no sooner gave the blessing – felt the imaginary state to be real – than the objective world, which seemingly was unreal, returns. It does not speak to you with words as recorded of Esau, but the very room round about you tells you by its presence that you have been self-deceived.It tells you that when you lost yourself in contemplation, feeling that you were now what you wanted to be, feeling that you now possess what you desire to possess, that you were simply deceiving self. Look at this room. It denies that you are elsewhere.If you know the law, you now say: “Even though your brother came through subtlety and betrayed me and took your birthright, I gave him your blessing and I cannot retract.”In other words, you remain faithful to this subjective reality and you do not take back from it the power of birth. You gave it the right of birth and it is going to become objective within this world of yours. There is no room in this limited space of yours for two things to occupy the same space at the same time. By making the subjective real it resurrects itself within your world.
There must be someone in this room who will so completely transform himself in this world that his close immediate circle of friends will not recognize him.For ten years I was a dancer, dancing in Broadway shows, in vaudeville, night clubs, and in Europe. There was a time in my life when I thought I could not live without certain friends in my world. I would spread a table every night after the theatre and we would all dine well. I thought I could never live without them. Now I confess I could not live with them. We have nothing in common today. When we meet we do not purposely walk on the opposite side of the street, but it is almost a cold meeting because we have nothing to discuss. I so died to that life that as I meet these people they cannot even talk of the old times.But there are people living today who are still living in that state, getting poorer and poorer. They always like to talk about the old times. They never buried that man at all, he is very much alive within their world.Moses was 120 years, a full, wonderful age as 120 indicates.One plus two plus zero equals three, the numerical symbol of expression. I am fully conscious of my expression. My eyes are undimmed and the natural functions of my body are not abated. I am fully conscious of being what I do not want to be.But knowing this law by which a man transforms himself, I assume that I am what I want to be and walk in the assumption that it is done. In becoming it, the old man dies and all that was related to that former concept of self dies with it.You cannot take any part of the old man into the new man. You cannot put new wine in old bottles or new patches on old garments. You must be a new being completely.As you assume that you are what you want to be, you do not need the assistance of another to make it so. Neither do you need the assistance of anyone to bury the old man for you. Let the dead bury the dead. Do not even look back, for no man having put his hand to the plow and then looking back is fit for the kingdom of heaven.Do not ask yourself how this thing is going to be. It does not matter if your reason denies it. It does not matter if all the world round about you denies it. You do not have to bury the old. “Let the dead bury the dead.” You will so bury the past by remaining faithful to your new concept of Self that you will defy the whole vast future to find where you buried it. To this day no man in all of Israel has discovered the sepulchre of Moses.These are the four stories I promised you tonight. You must apply them every day of your life. Even though the chair on which you are now seated seems hard and does not lend itself to meditation you can, by imagination, make it the most comfortable chair in the world.Let me now define the technique as I want you to employ it.I trust each one of you came here tonight with a clear picture of your desire.Do not say it is impossible. Do you want it? You do not have to use your moral code to realize it. It is altogether outside the reach of your code. Consciousness is the one and only reality. Therefore, we must form the object of our desire out of our own consciousness.
People have a habit of slighting the importance of simple things, and the suggestion to create a state akin to sleep in order to aid you in assuming that which reason and your senses deny, is one of the simple things you might slight.
However, this simple formula for changing the future, which was discovered by the ancient teachers and given to us in the Bible, can be proved by all.The first step in changing the future is Desire, that is, define your objective – know definitely what you want.Second: construct an event which you believe you would encounter FOLLOWING the fulfillment of your desire – an event which implies fulfillment of your desire – something which will have the action of Self predominant.The third step is to immobilize the physical body and induce a state akin to sleep. Then mentally f eel y ourself right into the proposed action, imagine all the while that you are actually performing the action HERE AND NOW. You must participate in the imaginary action, not merely stand back and look on, but FEEL that you are actually performing the action, so that the imaginary sensation is real to you.It is important always to remember that the proposed action must be one which FOLLOWS the fulfillment of your desire, one which implies fulfillment.For example, suppose you desired promotion in office. Then being congratulated would be an event you would encounter following the fulfillment of your desire.Having selected this action as the one you will experience in imagination to imply promotion in office, immobilize your physical body and induce a state bordering on sleep, a drowsy state, but one in which you are still able to control the direction of your thoughts, a state in which you are attentive without effort.Then visualize a friend standing before you. Put your imaginary hand into his. Feel it to be solid and real, and carry on an imaginary conversation with him in harmony with the FEELING OF HAVING BEEN PROMOTED.You do not visualize yourself at a distance in point of space and at a distance in point of time being congratulated on your good fortune.Instead, you MAKE elsewhere HERE and the future NOW.
The difference between FEELING yourself in action, here and now , and visualizing yourself in action, as though you were on a motion-picture screen, is the difference between success and failure.
The difference will be appreciated if you will now visualize yourself climbing a ladder. Then, with eyelids closed imagine that a ladder is right in front of you and FEEL YOURSELF ACTUALLY CLIMBING IT.
Experience has taught me to restrict the imaginary action which implies fulfillment of the desire, to condense the idea into a single act, and to re-enact it over and over again until it has the feeling of reality. Otherwise, your attention will wander off along an associational track, and hosts of associated images will be presented to your attention, and in a few seconds they will lead you hundreds of miles away from your objective in point of space and years away in point of time.
You ask, ‘If I get what I want will it not imply injury to another?’ There are ways you know not of, so do not be concerned.
Close your eyes now because we are going to be in a long silence. Soon you will become so lost in contemplation, feeling that you are what you want to be, that you will be totally unconscious of the fact that you are in this room with others.
You will receive a shock when you open your eyes and discover we are here. It should be a shock when you open your eyes and discover that you are not actually that which, a moment before, you felt you were, or felt you possessed.
Now we will go into the deep.
SILENCE PERIOD………(Imagining State)
I need not remind you that you are now that which you have assumed that you are. Do not discuss it with anyone, not even self.
You cannot take thought as to the HOW, when you know that you ARE already.
Your three-dimensional reasoning, which is a very limited reasoning indeed should not be brought into this drama. It does not know. What you have just felt to be true is true.
Let no man tell you that you should not have it.
!!!What you feel that you have, you will have!!!
And I promise you this much, after you have realized your objective, on reflection you will have to admit that this conscious reasoning mind of yours could never have devised the way.
You are that and have that which this very moment you appropriated. Do not discuss it. Do not look to someone for encouragement because the thing might not come. It has come. Go about your Father’s business doing everything normally and let these things happen in your world.