Mr Neville Goddard’s Teaching Legacy (2)
But beyond investing money into the learning of the law, there is a greater legacy in Neville’s teachings that we must grasp as excellent students. Little by little that I have come to know about the man Neville. His voice, his words are powerful. His countenance courageous and his heart loving and open to all. I often stare at a picture of Neville, looking into those eyes and seeing how alive they really are, how bold and penetrating they must have been. But none of these struck me as much as did what Neville represented. This is the very true legacy of Neville that we all as his students must come to embrace, if we would be students indeed and teachers indeed.
I believe that the first time I encountered this thrill I am about to describe was when I read something in Mitch Horowitz’s book, ‘The Ideal Realized,’ where he compiled some lectures and chapters of Neville. One chapter (Chariot of Fire) was his personal appraisal of Neville’s works, and somewhere he said this, ‘In my study of mystical systems… I must tell you the most impactful, elegant, simplest, and dramatically powerful figure I have come across is Neville Goddard.’ Well, I was overjoyed because Neville is my teacher, and a praise to him is by that bias a pleasure to me. But beyond my bias, here is a historian of mysticism who said the simplest and dramatically powerful figure he has come across in his research has been Neville.
Then I read another appraisal of Neville written when he was very much alive, although before Neville experienced the promise in 1959. An appraisal written by Israel Regardie in The Romance of Metaphysics. The chapter is elaborate, elongated and revealing of Neville’s background to teaching the law from Israel’s viewpoint, yes. However, I caught the thrill again when I realised that Israel had dedicated the entire section to New Thought. Please, follow me and see the picture. Israel wrote an entire section on New Thought as at 1942. There are only two chapters in this section. The first chapter is I.N.T.A, and dedicated to the history and practices of International New Thought Alliance. The second chapter is titled NEVILLE. Yes, my friends. An entire chapter on Neville with the symbolism that his views run parallel to I.N.T.A. Israel is saying Neville is NOT new thought, yet as powerful as the entire alliance, even more. For he highly recommended Neville’s teachings and practices, emphasizing also that the student must bear in mind to relax more if she would wisely use Neville’s teachings. At the time he wrote the chapter, Neville was 36 years of age. Yet, Israel said about him, ‘He is a dynamic, handsome and most charming personality. He has a winning smile — thoroughly and completely disarming. His presentation of truth is forceful and sincere. Charged with feeling, and reflecting his own integrity and purposefulness, he communicates himself readily from the pulpit… His method and content of teaching are entirely too good and provocative readily to appeal to so many and to such different varieties of people.’
I imagine sitting in the same room with Neville, telling him of a current success that I just experienced and telling him how I achieved it using my natural means, or how it happened through the aid of someone who favoured me in the room, or even through the aid of my years of training. If Neville would open his lips to talk to me as his student, he would forcefully yet kindly reassure me, ‘Adelere, I want you to remember and never forget that a natural cause only seems. Every event has a spiritual cause. There is only one means by which you have achieved your purpose, and he is your own wonderful human imagination. So, don’t give these shadows the power of causation. Don’t raise anything to the place of the One Lord, and don’t share his glory, YOUR glory with another. You assumed it and it comes to pass. Remember always, IMAGINING CREATES REALITY.’
If I had approached Neville with an almost impossible situation, I don’t know what to do or not to do. In that confusion, Neville would still reassure me, ‘Adelere, now what do you want? Could you imagine what would naturally happen that would imply your wish is fulfilled? Now, how does it feel that your wish is already fulfilled? If you would persist in this assumption and walk by raising your feeling to the state of fulfilment, in a way that you could not have consciously devised, you would realise your every desire. Remember, an assumption, though false, if persisted in will harden into fact.’
Neville didn’t say these words as mere words. Throughout his career as a teacher, he practiced them. He lived by them. Perhaps not always because we all could forget. He often gave the warning himself from Shakespeare’s words, ‘I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.’ (Order Your Conversations Aright lecture) Yet, Neville lived very much by his own words. He lived imaginatively, for himself and for others.
Then he lives by example so distinctly that he left this legacy: When you want anything, turn within immediately and feel its fulfilment persistently. But he left it as to make a mark that he is not meaning for us to do anything that is suggested in by mental scientists, new thought philosophers nor even spiritualists if it goes beyond this one thing: IMAGINE THAT YOU HAVE IT AND YOU WILL!
Personally, I found it difficult to let go of all other systems and embrace this as my way of life. Why, it has become a habit for me to make daily affirmations, proclaim various declarations, write an elaborate gratitude list, script my goals, etc. Wouldn’t it be difficult to let these practices go then? What is even more strange was that I couldn’t keep up with these diverse practices while simultaneously I was looking for more and more of them by more teachers. I was very slow to accepting Neville unlike I was to any other teacher because I did not see him encourage any of these practices, even though what he suggested — that I live imaginatively — is infinitely more intimate to me than these practices. I remember that I always tried to read his books only to see if he also said I could do gratitude lists, write and speak affirmations, script my goals, etc. I would be disappointed and even though I loved the power of his words, I wouldn’t read him for many more days at the beginning. If you are at this stage too, I encourage you also to let them go.
Not that they are not of value nor that you couldn’t do these practices. They are wonderful things to fill your day with if you are doing them because you WANT to, not because you NEED to. That was my challenge; I did them because I needed to, I needed to do my gratitude list so that I could have a quick escape from an hurtful relationship or to script so I could make up for my feeling of insecurity, to make affirmations so that maybe they would quickly attract good fortune my way. Yes, teachers of these ideas would say, ‘Do them not because they would get you something, just do them’ but would still say, ‘When you do them, they would get you something.’ Let me give you an example of my difficult with grasping this simple yet profound legacy of Neville.
I remember wanting Neville’s approval of guided meditation, especially with breathing. It was because the nine minutes section of Andrew’s lecture that I heard was emphatic on breathing that I was able to listen to it repeatedly from my first listening. When I heard Neville telling me to walk in the house I would like to live in, it meant to me as though Neville said I should script it down. Yes, the very first day I heard Neville’s voice, I scripted my house, not occupied my house mentally. I listened frequently to the ten minutes loop of ‘Thank you, Father’ on YouTube in his voice because it was my closest approval from Neville for writing my gratitude list. And I listened to Dr Robert Millikan’s loop of ‘I have a lavish, steady, dependable income, consistent with integrity and mutual benefits,’ repeatedly because that was a good money affirmation for me. But there was very scanty seeming approval from the man called Neville for any of these practices that I must decide whether to continue with my practices or to pay close attention to his words and do exactly what he suggested. I am grateful that I chose the latter.
Neville does not even want me, want us, to depend only on his words without actually DOING it by IMAGINING it. In Subjective Control chapter (in the Power of Awareness), he said these words whose instructions I want you to consider.
‘Attention may be either attracted from without or directed from within. The very lines of this page are attracting your attention from without. Your attention is directed from within when you deliberately choose what you will be preoccupied with mentally… Each day, set yourself the task of deliberately withdrawing your attention from the objective world and of focusing it subjectively.’
His books are practical and his lectures are powerful. Yet, Neville wants us to ACT on the premise of the LAW, that Imagining Creates Reality. So, Imagine! Actually IMAGINE and test it. In fact, Neville encouraged you to set aside moments of the day when you would do nothing but focus on your imaginal acts alone. Did you realise that SATS is one such moment?
Rather than script, mentally read the letter or the post that implies your wish is fulfilled.
Rather than repeating affirmations, mentally direct your inner conversations to speak that the wish has been fulfilled.
Rather than writing a gratitude list, mentally hold the attitude of sufficiency, of righteousness and of appreciation to Imagination.
Rather than an external practice, perform THE conclusive imaginal act that implies and strictly implies your wish is fulfilled.
Here is Neville’s ONLY teaching from 2nd February 1938 to 20th July 1959. The same teaching he encouraged everyone to practice while we all await the Promise from 1959 to 1972 when he left this age. So, for all 34 years that he taught and lived by it, he taught this one thing.
Knowing what you want, if you would imagine what it would be like that you have it and dare to assume that your imaginal act is true with the feeling of accomplishment or relief, that is dare to assume that your desire is fulfilled, you will have it and nothing can stop its realization.
So, the legacy is simply: Assume you are what you wish.