Esau – Jacob – Israel
Neville Goddard 02-12-1963
We are told by Paul in II Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The word “righteousness” is described for us in the Encyclopedia Britannica as “right thinking.” We are also told there is a three-fold cord that is not quickly broken. It is built like the ark, on three levels: the physical level here, the psychological level, and the spiritual level. Tonight we are taking three characters of Scripture: Esau, Jacob, and Israel. I think I have broken this cord – in fact I am convinced of it, so I would like to share with you what I know of these levels. They are not persons as we are; they are states of consciousness through which the immortal soul passes on its way to God.
We read this story in the 25th chapter of Genesis. We are told that Rebecca was childless and that she and Isaac prayed to God that they may be blessed with a child, and God responded. That is what we are told all through the Bible, this response to prayer for a child. In this case they are twins. And the Lord said unto her: “Two nations are in your womb and two people born of you shall be divided; one shall be stronger than the other and the elder shall serve the younger.” Now here is a prophecy, before the children were brought into the world, which one would excel. Here is predestination – you cannot interpret it in any other way. They are brought into the world, they haven’t committed either good or evil, and yet one is predestined to excel. He is the younger – Jacob, the supplanter – and the first one, Esau, must serve him. But I tell you: these are states of consciousness. Or we can take them on different levels.
We are told in the same chapter of Genesis that the first son he gave me was red all over, like a hairy animal, so they called him Esau. His other name was Edom – like Adam – spelled in the same way [in Hebrew], the red earth, the red being. That’s the first one, who must now serve the younger. The second came out holding in his hand the heel of the first, and he was called Jacob, the supplanter.
We are told the first one was a hunter, a man of the fields, and the second one was a smooth-skinned lad who lived in a tent. So on this level it is the outer and the inner man. No matter how hairless you seem to be, just put a magnifying glass on the body and you will see the body is completely covered with hair (you may call it a fuzz but it is hair) and the most external thing in this world of man is hair; next will be skin. The second one has no hair, so, hairless – that is the inner man. Putting it now into our language so that you and I can understand it and apply it, the outer man is a man of sense. I am in this room right now and everything seems so real, more real than anything else in the world. I know this room by reason of my bodily organs. My senses allow it and my reason dictates it. This is fact; all this is real.
There is an inner man and he is skilled in arranging things so that they reach to desired ends, not based upon the evidence of the senses. The inner man, by standing here, could desire to be elsewhere and deny the evidence of my senses, denying reason, dare to assume I am where I would like to be, and rearrange the furniture of my mind. Instead of using this to tell me I am here, I use other furniture – objects of my mind. Here I rearrange it and remain faithful to that state until it takes on the tones of reality. And when it seems to be sensory vivid and I open my eyes upon it, I am shocked to find I am still here. That is the inner man, called Jacob, the supplanter – he takes the place of the outer man. He supplanted his brother twice. First he took his birthright, then he took his blessing; so these are the two in conflict and the whole story is one of conflict.
Eventually, after unnumbered ages, Jacob will be given the name of Israel, “a man after God’s own heart.” It seems to come soon, but it doesn’t really. No one knows the length of time between the awakening of these two states of consciousness and the fulfillment in the form of Israel. But you must read the Bible from all angles.
First Esau is Edom. In the story of Job the hero is an Edomite, all the characters are Edomites, and the whole play is laid in Edom. “Edom” means the “red earth”. We are told the first one to make a name for himself by subduing all the Edomites was named David. (Read it in 2 Samuel, 8. He is the first king of Israel chosen by Jehovah. Saul was chosen by the people, but rejected by Jehovah. Here is one, David, chosen by Jehovah – the first king of Israel. Israel means “a man after my own heart. “Behold an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile.” That is what he said when he saw Nathaniel, and only the pure in heart can see God. “I have found David, a man after my own heart, one who could subdue the Edomite.” That comes way beyond this initial story of the parents of the two boys. It is all in us.
I am told, as you are told tonight, that it is possible that I can assume I am the man I would like to be. If I dare to remain faithful to that assumption and not waver in it – and to the degree that I am loyal to that assumption – it will crystallize and become a fact. I need not appeal to any person in the world to help me. I can do it all by myself if I know of the existence of the Being in me who is skilled in arranging things so that it leads to a desired end. How would I arrange the furniture of the mind to reach the desired end, but name the end first – the end is where I begin. My end is my beginning.
This is a very simple story; it is a true story. A man – an engineer who had never earned twenty thousand a year, he had never earned beyond ten – I said to him: “Where would you work if you made your twenty thousand?” He said: “I have picked out the job – they don’t know it, but the building is on Madison Avenue. I know exactly the floor, I have ridden up in the elevator, I have gotten off at the floor and walked into the office. I know where I would sit were it true that I work there; where I will hang my hat and when I take off my coat where I will put it. I know exactly what I will do.” I said: “Al right, now stand in that elevator and go up, see it stop at the floor and get off, walk right into the place, take off your hat and jacket, and just simply be natural in the job.” Within two weeks he was on that job at twenty thousand a year.
He traveled all over the near east aiding in the building of dams and all kinds of these fantastic things he loved, after this last world war. One day he didn’t feel well, closed his eyes and made his exit from this world, but he had five years to exercise his Jacob. What does it matter when we go from this sphere? It doesn’t really matter. Before he made his exit he discovered David, and if there is evidence of a thing, what does it matter what you or I or anyone thinks about it or wish about it? But he proved it and lived by it for five years. I can multiply that by hundreds and hundreds of the exercising of Jacob.
Jacob comes second – bear this in mind. The whole vast world, three billion of us, we only know the existence of Esau. We know the man, he was born in a certain social structure, and that’s it. He had no financial, social, intellectual, or other support behind him, and life is rugged. That is Esau, that is Edom. And then comes this story and he is made aware of another one that will be brought forth, and that one’s name is Jacob, the supplanter. And you tell him what you would do were you he, and he tries it, and he does it, and quite often having done it once, he forgets it and he goes back and serves Esau.
Then comes that moment in time when he hits the third level of the ark, the spiritual level, and knows the thing is literally true on the third level. All these stories are literally true on the spiritual level. It is only the psychological level [where] there is something different. Like I stand here and assume I am elsewhere and I see the world as I would if I was standing there physically, then I open my eyes to find there isn’t any difference, and I am shocked I am not actually there. I have gone to prepare a place, having gone to prepare a place I returned here, but I will now move across a bridge of incidents – a little series of events, leading from where I am physically to where I am consciously. I try it again, and as I try it and it works I am becoming aware of Jacob.
What about Esau? Jacob wrestled all through the night of human darkness and ignorance with the Lord himself, but he couldn’t grant him what he asked for. He had to change his name before he could give him what he asked for. He changed it from Jacob, the deceiving one; for he deceived his father-in-law, his brother, his father – he deceived everyone. But even though he deceived them, he was God’s chosen vessel.
I deceive myself when I stand here and persuade myself that I am elsewhere. I deceive myself when I persuade myself you are what you would like to be. If I forget what you told me you are, and think only what you would like to be, and when I am self-persuaded you are such a person, I am self-deceived. So, Jacob is the deceiving one. He comes into the presence of his father; he has no hair, while his brother is covered all over with red hair. And with the aid of Rebecca – the mother, he takes two goats, slaughters the goats, takes the hair, the skin, covers his hands and the nape of his neck, and puts on the robe of his brother that he may deceive the father when he comes into the father’s presence. The father said: “Who are you?” He said: “I am your son, Esau.” He said: “Come closer, I can’t see you, come closer that I may feel you.” So he comes closer and the father feels him, and he said: “You feel like Esau but your voice sounds like Jacob.” He said: “I am your son Esau.”
He persuaded the father he was Esau and the father gave him the blessing that belonged to Esau. Then, when the father had completely acted, he could not now take it back, because God swears by himself and cannot take back his oath or change it. When he saw Esau coming from the hunt to discover his treachery, he said: “He is well-named, for twice he has taken from me,” supplanted me. So the father gave Jacob the blessing.
I clothe myself in imagery by rearranging the furniture of the mind, seeing myself and having you see me, as I would like to be seen by you. When I see you in my mind’s eye seeing me as you would see me were it true that I am what I am assuming that I am, then I am pre-clothed. Now to what degree can I fool myself? To what degree can I actually become all the characters and play now the part of Isaac and let myself be Isaac and believe what I am doing is real and true? Can I believe in the reality of that imaginal act? Yes, I’ve done it unnumbered times and it worked. Whenever I do it with persuasion to the point of acceptance, it worked, and I found my Jacob.
Now, there is another one. I have to find Israel. Israel is on the highest level, a man after God’s own heart. How do you find him? There is not a thing in this world you can do to find him; it is revealed. It just happens, and this is how it happened to me. One night I saw these two fantastic creatures; I saw Esau and he is just as he is described, covered from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet with red hair, just like a huge big ape. And here, Jacob – instead of being a man, Jacob is the most glorious female you could ever imagine. Here is an angel beyond angels, and here is Esau, this monster-thing thriving on violence, thriving on everything that is evil in this world, living on it.
And I thought when I saw the two of them that they existed independent of my perception of them. I didn’t know they did not. I did not know I had never severed the umbilical cord, that they are my children. I am the being spoken of as Rebecca, who gave birth to both of them, one, the embodiment of any unlovely thought I have ever entertained. Every time I have ever exercised my imagination unlovingly on behalf of another, it simply energized this unlovely creature. Every time I acted or reacted violently, I fed and energized Esau. And looking at Esau, I had a desire without turning to anyone to ask their help or to pledge myself in their presence, and I pledged myself that I would redeem this monster if it took me to eternity. Such a creature should not live in this world and I, in my ignorance, gave him birth – this monstrous thing that fed and lived on violence. In my blindness he would whisper in my ear throughout the 24-hour day, yes, even in my dreams and urge me to violence and urge me to react in the unlovely way.
Then I saw what he was. I still did not know at that moment that he was not independent of my perception of him. But I said I would redeem him. At that very moment that I said I would redeem him if it took me eternity, I discovered he was not an entity as you are; he was nothing more than an embodied force. Here was all my misused, misspent energy throughout eternity, for this monstrous thing before my eyes melted and left no trace of ever having been present; but as it melted, all the energy that it embodied came to me, it returned to me who gave it.
I have never felt such power in my life. Everything came back to me and this glorious creature that was the personification of all my noble acts, my lovely acts, my ever-loving thought, every state – she glowed, and this one melts before my eyes. So I tell you: you will meet both of them. They are present now. You can’t see them at the moment but they are present wherever you go, but I tell you of them after you exercise Jacob. Every time you persuade yourself of something loving, something lovely – even though reason at the moment denies it and your senses deny it, everything denies it – to that degree you are so persuaded, you are feeding this glorious creature and you are denying food to this monster. It isn’t his fault; we gave him birth. As the poet said: “Alas, two souls are housed within thy breast, one to heaven does aspire; the other to earth doth cling.” Two are housed in the breast of every being and that is part of the structure of this world. Everyone is bringing into the world these two and they are invisible until that moment in time when you wrestle the testing of God and your name is changed from Jacob, to Israel. Then you will know why David, the true king of Israel, was the first to make a name for himself by being the first to subdue the Edomites.
You will see the Edomite embodied in a single lad, and that being is a monster; his name is Esau. You will redeem him not by blows, as the historians tell you, for they tell you that he [i.e. David] slaughtered in one night 18,000 Edomites. No, he didn’t slaughter any 18,000 Edomites as individual units. He conquered the whole of Edom, while knowing the embodiment of all was Esau. And when he melted the whole of Esau, he was a man after God’s own heart. So, we are told: “I have found in David a man after my own heart, and he is mine forever, he is my son, I will go before him – I will be his father and he will be my son.” (Acts 13:24) And that one is being brought forth from the body; it is God’s only begotten, who becomes, in time, the father of that from which it emerged, in Christ Jesus. You are giving birth to Christ Jesus, that is, the father of David.
And David will call him: “My father, my Lord, and the rock of my salvation” (Psalm 89). Every being in the world because of this conflict within himself is practically molding and shaping within himself Christ Jesus.
Paul tells us: (Gal. 4:19) “My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!” And when Christ is born in you, it is because he comes from a heart which is the heart of God; and so, “I have found in David a man after my own heart.” The whole vast world on the outside – that is Edom, that is Esau, and the victory belongs to Jacob. It is prophesied: “There are two nations within your womb, and two people born of you shall be divided – one shall be stronger than the other and the elder shall serve the younger.” This is the elder that comes first, so reason tells you it can’t be and your senses confirm what reason dictates. But the prophecy is the victory belongs to the younger, it belongs to Jacob, and Jacob is your ability, your skill in rearranging things so as to determine or predetermine an outcome. How would I feel tonight were I . . . and you name it. What would I see were it true, then see it; and how would I feel were it true, well then, feel it. What would I say to my friends were it true, then say it, not audibly for this means in the psychological meaning. You say it inwardly, so you talk to yourself inwardly as though you spoke outwardly. You carry on these mental conversations from premise of fulfilled desire, you talk to all you friends on these premises – and that is Jacob. But do it lovingly. The more you do it lovingly the nearer you are to meeting God in that successful resting message.
And so, one day it’s going to happen. When it happens you will say exactly what he said. (Genesis) “I have seen God face to face and yet my life is preserved.” Here I stood in the presence of God and I didn’t know it. This is the house of the Lord and I didn’t know it. So he takes the stone on which he slept that night to mark the place of the house of God and he calls it Bethel, the house of the Lord, the house of God. And in this dream who did he see? He saw the contact between infinity and finite man, for here a ladder rested on earth and stretched to the heavens and above it all stood God; and he saw on that ladder, ascending and descending, God. The Bible translates the word Elohim -“angel”. It is not angel, it is Elohim. It was God rising and descending, and above it all stood the Lord. The Lord said to him: “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac.” If you read it as an historical document, Abraham was not his father, Isaac was his father. If you read it through the eyes of the spirit the voice is telling the truth: Abraham is the father of all above you. We all come out of Abraham. So, here I am the father – I, the Lord and God of Abraham, your father.
Now we go to the first verse of the book of Matthew, which is the book of genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham, all coming out of Abraham. All the prophecies are made to him. Then comes the most complex thing of the battle within man. No special event, because he is the Edomite of Edomites; his name is Job. The conflict within him, and Jehovah spoke to him and said: “Why should a mere man sin?” and he asks three very important questions: “Do you know the period of gestation of the wild goat? Do you know the habits of the wild ass? Can you domesticate the wild ox?” You read that and you wonder what it is all about, and what beautiful imagery.
In my vision I saw Christ as the ox, as the wild ass, as the wild goat. Was not the wild goat the substitute for Isaac the sacrifice of the sin of the world? And he found the wild goat. Can you tell me the period of gestation of the wild goat? How long will it take Christ in man to really come to earth? Can you domesticate the wild ox? How long does it take you to take that wonderful imagination of yours and actually tame it? Everything denies it, so you go wild in your reactions and you still remain the wild ox. Can you domesticate the wild goat? Do you know the habits of the wild ass? Are we not told, a stupid man will get understanding when the wild ass’s colt is for a man? And did he not ride the ass in the most triumphant ride in the world into Jerusalem? He came riding on an ass. He couldn’t if it was still wild, it had to be controlled, it had to be domesticated, broken in. So he comes riding on that which he had tamed, his own wonderful human Imagination.
Take that Imagination of yours – which is God in man – and no matter what the appearance seems to be, what would you like it to be? Well then, see it as though it were. Believe me, imagining creates reality. All things are created by him. I tell you I have proved to my own satisfaction that imagining creates reality. Therefore, if I know it and live by it, I have found him, and I too can ride triumphantly on this domesticated wild, wild beast. You want to ride it, but normally, for the wild ass was given first to man; and so Christ in man was wild, but man didn’t know it and he starts with the state of consciousness called Jacob. I have told you the story – I hope you believed it. Every time you try it, even if you fail, Jacob is being exercised. But, may I tell you: obviously you cannot fail, because it is predestined.
Jacob cannot fail. A cue is given to us as to who he is when we see the one of the twelve sons he loved most. He loved Joseph most of all, for Joseph was the comfort of his old age. Joseph was born of the woman he wanted most, but in his conflict he had to marry Leah. Then, after he had served another seven years – seven for Leah – he was tricked. As he had tricked the father-in-law, the father-in-law tricked him. Then he had to serve another seven years, this time to get Rachael; and out of Rachel comes Joseph and his last, Benjamin. But Joseph was his love, the joy of his old age, and Joseph was a dreamer. Listen to the words: “Behold this dreamer cometh, let us sell him, let us kill him.” He could not only dream, he could interpret dreams, for this faculty in man that dreams is man’s imagination, and any interpreter of dreams is man’s imagination. “Behold the dreamer cometh, let us kill him.” Judah says: “No”, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites as the caravan moves on toward Egypt.” So they sold him, the dreamer. That is what everyone does in this world. But the dreamer rose to the heights of wealth and saved them in their famine. So, the dreamer in man will save him – that’s Joseph. But what a long trail in time between the moment when they sold the dreamer into slavery to the one called David – who brings out the darkness, who brings out the Edomite, and makes for himself a name of names in all of Israel. So God said of him: “I have found a man after my own heart.”
The day will come when you will prove every word I have told you tonight. You will meet these souls just as I have described them. You will meet the most radiant Being, and you know who she is. It doesn’t make sense, but these two are not detached from you. They are all in you, and at that moment in time, they seem to be external to you, but the umbilical cord has not been severed. You will see the only embodied enemies. Instead of spending any time to correct that mistake, right before your very eyes it melted, but it doesn’t vanish. All the enemies are there to be changed by you. And you know the words: “Nothing is lost in all my holy mountain.” In all my wanderings I thought it was lost, and yet nothing is lost – it was embodied in a monstrous thing. But then it came back; all that I had accused as enemy wasn’t gone or lost, it returned.
It caused me frightful suffering in the interval that it first began to form within me, and I gave my whole body and my life over to my senses, to passion based upon this garment that was hairy from head to feet. Then I began to work on something entirely different, a Jacob that was smooth of skin that no one can see. He was the supplanter. I heard about him, I began to seek him and it worked; and then one day I saw that he was not forever an invisible state. He became a concrete reality. I saw him, and what beauty! And I saw Esau, but redeemed Esau. Jacob does not need redeeming. It will not fail you, but these are the three states through which the immortal soul must pass. You are doing it now anyway.
Everything you said within yourself is being fulfilled. If you say: “I don’t believe it,” it’s perfectly all right, that’s your privilege, but that is father to anything you did to these two. They are struggling now within your womb. For long before they come out and you see them the struggle is on, because she asked the question: “Why is this so, why do I live if this fight is so within me?” Then the answer: he tells us: “There are two nations” and the war is on, and one will serve the other. He tells exactly which will do which – the elder will serve the younger. The one that comes first – Esau, the elder – and he serves the younger.
Who is he? What is Jacob’s name? The supplanter. He looks at the world and he doesn’t like it. Like that vision I had on Fifth Avenue. Looking at an empty lot I would say: “I remember when it was an empty lot.” It still is an empty lot to my outer senses, but I am not interested in my outer senses. I would build a word picture as I desired this lot to be. I would say: “I remember when it was an empty lot,” and still to outer appearances it is an empty lot, but not to me or to those who had that so-called dream. [June 15, 1962] That is exercising the inner man, exercising Jacob.
The day will come when God, and only God, knows. He sees the heart just as he wants it and you are wrestling all alone with yourself. Then one day, he sees the heart, and the heart is owned by one called David, “A man after my own heart.” Suddenly he sees David, and David is his only begotten son. David reveals to him who he is: God the father. Everyone will one day find David, a man after God’s own heart and then he will reveal to you the one you have been seeking through all eternity! You are God the Father.
Now let us go into the silence.
Q. What does it mean: “I beheld Satan falling like lightning from Heaven?
A. That is when the disciples returned, glorifying God and telling what marvelous things they had seen with the teachings to all kinds of people, casting out the unlovely things in people. Then he rejoiced when he heard of the great works being done by those whom he had taught and he said: “I beheld Heaven.” Well, Satan is really the state. Satan is only the embodiment of unbelief. He saw the entire thing fall, because here they could have done nothing unless they believed. “According to your belief be it done unto you. Your faith has made you whole.” So when the seventy returned filled with good news of what they had done through the teaching, he saw unbelief tumble from Heaven, for Heaven is within you. Therefore, it is always the state within you that dictates policy – what you will believe, what you will not believe. Then, in that Heavenly state, unbelief is cast out.