Secret of ImaginationNeville Goddard
I thought that this last week should be both practical and idealistic. So we will start on the practical side. He said, “Think not that I am come to abolish the law and the prophets. I have come, not to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
Now, the One speaking is now present within you. When He awakes, you will hear these words. You will find them to be your words. That One is your own wonderful human imagination. That One is God!
Imagination is the basis of all that is. What is now proved to be true, as far as we are concerned, was once only imagined. Think of something in the world that is now to you real that wasn’t first imagined. So, the secret of imagining is the secret of God. And so:
“The secret of imagining is the greatest of all problems, to the solution of which every one should aspire, because supreme power, supreme wisdom, supreme delight lie in the far-off solution of this mystery.” [Douglas Fawcett, author of “Zermatt Dialogues” and “Oberland Dialogues”]
I can acquaint you with it and then leave you to your choice and its risk, because everything in the world is created by this power. He said:
“I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. “(Deuteronomy 32:39)
“I create the light and make the darkness; I create woe and I make weal.” (Isaiah 45:7)
“I, even I, am He, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” (Deuteronomy 32:39)
That’s your own wonderful human imagination. Well, there are secrets to this power, and you and I might experiment. We try to discover the secret. As we discover the secret of imagining, we are discovering the secret of God. So, God and imagination – the human imagination – are synonymous terms. They are interchangeable.
So, when we read that “If we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained that which we requested of Him.”(1 John 5:15) If we know that He hears us in whatever we ask – no restraint. Now, you may sit down and commune with what you think to be another than yourself, but because there are billions of us in the world, and there is but one God in this fabulous universe, you might wonder if He hears you. But you have no doubt in your mind if you identify God with your own wonderful human imagination that He hears you!
Can you believe that your own wonderful human imagination is God? So, when you sit down, as told us in the 4th Psalm:
“Commune with your own hearts upon your beds, and be silent.” (Psalm 4:4)
He hears you if you commune with Self, because you believe that communion with Self was communion with God. Can you, now, assume that you are the one that you would like to be? Can you assume that one that you love is as you would like her – or would like him – to be? Can you really believe that you are answered? I do not expect tonight that after a certain conception the child will be born tomorrow.
“The vision has its own appointed hour, it ripens, it will flower; if it be long, then wait, for it is sure, and it will not be late.” (Habakkuk 2:3, Moffatt’s translation)
A little child takes nine months, a lamb five months, a chicken 21 days, the elephant – so they tell me – a year or more, a horse, a year anyway. So every conception has its own appointed hour; it ripens, it will flower. If it seems to you long, then wait. It is sure; it will not be late relative to its own nature. So, can I now commune and expect that my communion with Self is communion with God? Can I dare to assume that I am exactly what I want to be? Can I dare to assume that I am where I want to be, even though at the moment my reason denies it, my senses deny it? Will it work? Well, it costs you nothing. Try it! It doesn’t cost one penny to try it.
As you are told, “Come, buy wine; buy milk, without money, without price,” (Isaiah 55:1) – and take it. It doesn’t cost you one penny to dare to assume that you are where you would like to be, though at the moment reason denies that you are.
Now, I am telling you what I know from experience. When I didn’t have a nickel and desired a trip that would cost me well in excess of one thousand dollars, I dared to assume that I was where I would like to be, and I viewed the world from that assumption. Instead of thinking of it, I thought from it. Then I thought of where physically I was, and I saw that place in my imagination two thousand miles to the northwest of me. And I slept in that assumption. And then in a way that I did not consciously devise – I had no way of knowing how it would ever work, but in a way I did not know, it unfolded, and that assumption hardened into fact. On the strength of that, I tried it again and again, and when it worked, I began to teach it. I began to tell others that their imagination is the cause of the phenomena of life. This was long before I realized the Promise as we call it in Scripture. This was only the Law.
So, we are told:
“Blessed is the man who … delights in the Law of the Lord … In all that he does he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
He didn’t say if it was good for you; he left that entirely up to you to make the decision. You could choose something that may be horrible in time. You choose it without contemplating consequences. But he tells you your imaginal act is a fact.
Now, as He awakens within you, He reinterprets the Law. He can’t change the Law. He interprets the Law. Instead of abiding by the external traditions of our fathers, He tells us what the Law really is when He awakes within us.
“You have heard it said of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery’, but I say to you, anyone who looks lustfully upon a woman has already committed the act in his heart with her.” (Matthew 5:27, 28)
He tells us that the restraint of that impulse is not enough. The act was committed at the moment of the imaginal act. I may contemplate the consequences and be afraid – my reputation would be at stake if they catch me. But at that very moment of the imaginal act, that was the fact. That’s how he interprets the Law.
Well now, no one can stop you from imagining. No one can stop you from imagining that you are secure, but you may say I have no one in this world to whom I could turn who would leave me a penny, and I have no money. I am beyond the age where they would employ me. And you could give yourself a thousand reasons why it could not be. He is not asking for any reasons. Can you imagine? Well, who can stop you from imagining? That’s all that concerns the Awakened Man within you.
Can I dare imagine that I am what I want to be? Well, I can. I’ve done it unnumbered times. I’ve done it successfully for many that I love dearly and many that I do not know. I have failed often, too, but the failure is in me, it is not in the Law.
Imagination plus faith is the stuff out of which we make the world. We are told all things were made in this manner. “He calls a thing that is not seen as though it were seen, and the unseen becomes seen.” (Romans 4:17) And when I come to Him, I must believe that He exists,” and that He rewards those who believe in Him. I must have faith in the imaginal act.
If tonight I can stand here and simply quietly imagine a state and really believe that I am in communion with God when I did that and that my imaginal act is God’s act – it’s not something other than God – and go unconcerned as to the result, the results will follow me. For that imaginal act was causal at the moment that I did it. The effect when it appears – I may try to trace the effect to some physical cause and give all credit to a physical cause. I tell you: Every physical effect has an imaginal cause, and not a physical cause. A physical cause only seems; it is a delusion of our fading memory.1 We do not remember when we imagined it.
In this audience tonight – and he may not even remember when he did it – is my dentist. I went to him in great need of a lot of work, but I have had dentistry all over this country and in London and Barbados, but it all was horrible. I was always on the move. I was with the theater. Getting in town for a week, what could they do when I needed such work? They patched me up. So, I met him. He gave me a complete job because I was here – living here then.
“When one day a tooth gave way which was an anchor tooth, he said to me quite innocently, whether he remembers it or not, “When I saw your mouth and did this, I said to myself, ‘This tooth will last thirteen years.’
It was thirteen years. Had he only said 25, but he didn’t think I would live that long! So, thirteen years – out came that anchor tooth, and therefore a complete restructure of my entire mouth. He set it in motion. Whether he remembers or not, he said, “This is going to last thirteen years.” He didn’t tell me; he didn’t have to tell me. That was his imaginal act. I was only the victim of his creative power.
Now, I am telling you: Don’t take anything lightly. You are creating morning, noon and night. Your imaginal acts are God’s acts, because your imagination is God! And there is no other God.
“God [actually] became as we are” – became man – “that man may become God.” [Blake, from “There Is No Natural Religion”] And He has set up within Himself – in man – a series of events which He will now unfold within man, which the one in whom He unfolds will know He-Is-God. He Calls it “giving glory unto man.”
“I will not give my glory to another,” he said. “I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake I do it, for my own sake, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” (Isaiah 48:11)
God’s glory is God, as told us in the 33rd chapter of the book of Exodus. “I will make my glory to pass before you. “(Exodus 33:19) And “I will cover you until I have passed by, . . . (Exodus 33:22) so, “my glory” is equated with the “I” of God, for His name is I AM. He cannot give His Glory, which is Himself, to another. So, in becoming man, He puts man in the furnaces. But then read the story carefully: “He took upon Himself all of my infirmities and bore my diseases.” Who else suffers?
1 A paraphrase from “Milton” by Wm. Blake: “Every natural effect has a spiritual Cause, and not A natural, for a natural cause only seems; it is a Delusion …of the perishing vegetable memory.”
I will say, “But I suffer.” Well, that’s God. “But I am feeling it; He isn’t.” That is no “he”; His name is I AM. So, I feel the pain, I feel the infirmity. I feel the diseases. That’s God! So, the fool says in his heart:
“There is no God, nor Son of God That Thou, O Human Imagination,… art all A delusion; but I know Thee, O Lord, when Thou arisest upon My weary eyes, even in this dungeon, and this iron mill . . . Thou also sufferest with me, although I behold Thee not.” [Wm. Blake from “Jerusalem”]
I do not behold imagination as I behold an object in space. I am the Reality that is named “Imagination”, but I cannot actually see it as an object in space. I see the results of my imagining, but not the Being imagining it, for God is invisible.
Then the Voice replied, “Fear not! I am with you always.”
Can I ever get away from imagining? If I fall asleep now and I start dreaming, what is dreaming but imagining? When I awake, He is still with me, and I am still imagining. “…I am with you always.”
“…… I am with you always, Only believe in me, that I have power to raise from death Thy Brother who sleeps in Albion.” [Blake, from “Jerusalem”]
This comes, now, to the Promise that He made to all of us. His Promise is to give Himself to us, as though there were no others in the world – just you, because in giving Himself to you, there is no other. The whole vast world is “yourself pushed out.” Everything in the world is “yourself pushed out,” and you manipulate it by your imaginal acts – everything in the world.
Now, the first act begins with the Resurrection. It’s not outside of you, in spite of what you’ve been taught. The day will come; you will rise within yourself. And that’s the only God that was ever resurrected, Who will ever be resurrected. It’s not another; it’s you. And when you rise, there is no one on the outside. It’s all you. And you are rising in the only tomb in the world where God was ever buried, and that’s your own skull. God is buried in the human skull, and that’s where He rises. And when He rises, as foretold by His own words in Scripture, he is born. Resurrection begins the act. That same night, you come out of the tomb, which is your skull, and you are “born from above” – not from the womb of woman where the garment was born; you are “born from above” – born of God. “Born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13) In other words, you are Self-begotten!
God begets Himself. As told us in, the Epistle to the Hebrews: He is “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10), but the sons are numbered. Everyone born of woman is that “son of God,” as told us in the 32nd chapter of Deuteronomy: “He has set bounds to the peoples of earth according to the number of the sons of God.” (Deuteronomy 32:8)
But you will say, “But look, there are three billions in the world.” So, what’s that? “I will make them more numerous than the stars, more numerous than the sands of the beach” (Hebrews 11:12). Well, count them. You can’t count the stars. We estimate them to be trillions and trillions. These are the “sons of God” – bringing each that He chooses. He didn’t bring all together. He brought a certain number, and that certain number he calls the “second son.” The “second son” is represented by this fabulous number. The first son is still waiting to come out. He complains because the second son went berserk – went amuck and used his power unwisely. Then he came to his senses and returned to his Father, and the Father embraced him and gave him the authority of Himself. He gave him the ring, the robe, the fatted calf – everything for the one who went out and came back to the Father. For His gift is the gift of Himself to you who came out. “I chose you in me before the foundation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:4) That’s what we are told.
Let the first son complain. He will complain and complain: “I served you and you gave me nothing” – not even a kid. He said, “My son, all that I have is yours.” But the most fabulous gift in the world, or possession in the world, is without meaning unless there is a knowledge of it and a readiness to use it.
Going out as we did, we become aware of our possession, then we can use it. Unless we went out into the world and misused it as we have done, we could not become aware of this power that is our own creative power – our imagination.
I saw it so clearly one night. Here I am in this fabulous field of sunflowers – huge, lovely sunflowers. Each sunflower was a face – the human face, but they were all anchored in the earth. And I walked up and down among the sunflowers. They moved like an orchestra moves; they all moved in unison. If one smiled, they all smiled. If one didn’t smile, no one smiled. They simply followed like an orchestra. If one bent over, they all bent over. And everyone did what the whole did. They automatically did it. And I felt, though I was alone – I could walk up and down; they were anchored – they couldn’t do it. I felt that I was freer, limited as I was, than all of them put together, beautiful as they were – these sunflowers were human faces, but they had not gone out.
I was once a part of that infinite garden – not aware of what I possessed, and my Father chose me in Him “before the foundation of the world,” and I went out, to go through hell in this world, that I may become aware that “All Thine are mine.” To become aware that all that is God’s belonged to me, I had to go through the furnaces of affliction. And having gone through the furnaces, then He awakes within me; and He tells me how I will know He has awakened in me.
He set up in the beginning the result of the experiences of humanity, and that result is a son. And the son is called David. And when I find him, I will know he is my son, and I will know the 89th Psalm: “I have found David. He has cried unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my Salvation.” Well, I’ve found him, and he cried these words to me, and I knew exactly who he was; and I knew then Who-I-Am. Until then I did not know I was one with God! He is God’s Son – God’s only Son. Now he’s my son!
I tell you, you are going to find him, and he will be your son, and because he is my son, you and I are one. How can he be your son, and I know he’s my son, and you and I not be one father? So, we are told, “There is only one body, one spirit, one lord, one God and Father of all.” So, in the end, there will not be Greek and Jew, bond and free, male and female, but only – all one in God. And you will be that God! So, this is the Promise that He made.
Now when I read the Bible, I take all the related parts of the Promise and put them all together, for all these things put together will find their fulfillment in you. All His Promises find their “Yes” in Him, as you read it in 2nd Corinthians: “All the promises of God find their Yes” – their fulfillment – “in Him” (II Corinthians 1:20, R.S.V.). So there are 39 books, together they form one book; but the context, which means the meaning of it, you will find scattered over the 39. He pulls from this, from that, from the other, written over the centuries, and pulls it into one pattern, for Christ is the Pattern Man. That pattern is buried in man. It’s the only Christ in the world. When the pattern unfolds in man, it unfolds in man as the man in whom it unfolds. And then he knows Who-He-Is. And he has no doubt in his mind as to who he is. He is the Lord spoken of in Scripture. And that Lord is God the Father. And the whole thing unfolds within him. But he does not abolish the law that he gave; he explains the law as a psychological law and not a physical law.
But if I long after someone at that very moment the act was committed. I state it boldly. I state it boldly, as my dentist stated it boldly. It was committed. So, I went blindly on enjoying everything that he did. It was perfect. And suddenly comes a little bleeding thing, which no one could stop. Out comes the tooth. He set it in motion the day he said to himself – not to me: “It will last thirteen years.”
I checked it; it was thirteen years. So Blake said in his wonderful “Jerusalem”: “Oh, what have I said? What have I done, Oh, allpowerful human words?” For the word of man is the word of God! “And the word shall not return unto me void, but it must accomplish that which I purpose and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”(Isaiah 55:11)
But man forgets his word. Then it comes up and he looks for physical causes for it. Now he’ll start searching. Do you know what? Well, “Your system is run down,” You have fever? Did you have so-and-so? And you ask a thousand questions of the one: Did you have so-and-so? You said, No, no, no. No one thinks of that moment when the word went out. Well, the word goes forward, and it cannot return unto us void. It must accomplish that which we purposed and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
I can see my father now back in 1919. There were ten of us: nine boys and a girl. He was a ship chandler. He had a grocery story, a liquor store and a meat store – a regular little grocery, and he supplied ships, and the ships were bringing the boys back from the First World War, and they would tell him all kinds of stories.
At dinner he would say to my mother, “We will have another war in twenty years. In twenty years there will be another war. It is Germany, but this time, it’s going to be Germany and Japan.” He didn’t mention Italy, but it will be Germany and Japan. “We will then have America as our ally. France will be our ally.”
Mother would say, “Joseph, we have nine sons. In twenty years they all will be eligible to go to war.” We were all kids in 1919. I was 14 years old.
In 1939, on the 1st day of September war broke – exactly twenty years. What did my father know of any prophecy concerning this? He was only repeating what he had heard from the captains and the stewards and the chief officers as he did business with them. But they were his words! And he said it with conviction, because he believed these men knew what they were talking about.
And our headlines – day after day they are setting the picture in motion for tomorrow’s confusion. The men are paid enormous salaries to write scare headlines. All right, so he writes a scare headline, thinking: It only sells the papers; it isn’t going to hurt anyone. But we are going to fulfill them. We fulfill all of our words because God and man are one.
“Man is all imagination, and God is man, and exists in us, and we in Him.” [Blake, from “Annotations to Berkeley”]
“The eternal body of man is the imagination, and that is God Himself.” [Blake, from “The Laocoon”]
And God’s Word is man’s word, and it cannot return unto him void. It just can’t if he speaks it with conviction. So, imagination plus faith – these are the very stuff out of which we fashion our world.
So, can I tonight be alone and commune with my Self and be confident that He heard me? I know that I heard myself. Well, that Self is God!
“If we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know we have obtained” –– not are going to – “we have obtained that which we request of Him.” Read it in John’s Epistle – the 1st Epistle, the 5th chapter, the 15th verse. We have obtained it! Well, it must take a little interval. It may come tonight, depending on what seed you planted. One seed will grow overnight; other seeds will take a little longer. But each has “its own appointed hour.”
There is not a thing wrong in your noble dreams in this world. You want to be wealthy? What is wrong with it? You want to be anything – what’s wrong with it? Everything is possible.
A friend of mine called me last week. He is now appointed the head purchasing agent for the City of Culver. By law he is not qualified; he does not have the educational background. The law demands you must have a college degree. He doesn’t have anything outside of high school. They rearranged it to appoint him the head purchasing agent of Culver City. Why? He came here, he and his brother – I buried the brother a few years ago; he got this job, not dreaming for one moment he could ever transcend it. I said, “Don’t for one moment entertain that thought. The job is yours if you want it. Don’t push the other one out. He can go higher. You want to be the Purchasing Agent of the whole City of Culver? You are the Purchasing Agent. Sleep in it just as though it were true, and you hurt no one.”
Last week they rearranged the law and he was appointed Purchasing Agent, to take effect in July. Now everything was rearranged. Everything will be rearranged for you.
A friend of mine told me here that you aren’t allowed to speak at any state university unless you have a college degree. Well, he confessed that he did not have one, but he was invited by a Professor at U.C.L.A. to take his class – I think there were three or four classes – in the use of imagination in advertising, so here he went in without the degree, and he was given all the freedom that the Professor enjoyed. He gave either three or four lectures, instead of the Professor who went off for those three or four lectures. So, they suspended the rules.
They can suspend every rule. They are not supposed to do this, not supposed to do that. Ignore it! Ignore everything. My friend used to say to me, “You can’t smoke in here. Look, ‘No smoking.’” And he was a very wonderful lad. He said, “They didn’t say it positively.” And so he would go right through the gate to the airplane, and I would say, “Mort, you cannot smoke in here. You are not supposed to smoke.”
“It didn’t say ‘positively.’” And here’s Mort, going right through with his cigarette. No one stopped him. I’m not saying you should do it. He didn’t do it to brag. He simply believed in himself. He wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Now, you don’t have to hurt anyone. I tell you, your own wonderful human imagination is immortal! That’s the Man in you that cannot die. I meet them – those who are called dead, and I tell you, they aren’t dead. Nothing dies. Everything is restored. Everything is restored. But the day will come, you will go beyond restoration, and you will resurrect. And who is resurrecting? God. And God-in-you awakens, and you are God, because God is the Father of David. That is the way you know you are God.
“I will tell of the decree of the Lord. He has said unto me, Thou art my son, today I have begotten thee.”(Psalm 2:7)
These are the words of David, what is going to happen to you. Then you’ll know you are God! You have no other way of knowing that you are God unless God’s only son calls you “Father,” for “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. “(Luke 10:22)
So, “No one has seen God, but the only Son, who is in His bosom, has made Him known” (John 1:18). He comes out of you, and calls you “Father”! And then you know Who-You-Are.
And I am telling you, every one of you – because you and I “were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4) – chosen for the purpose of receiving the gift of God which is His Glory, for He gives me Himself. And in giving me Himself, if He is a father, He gives me His Son. You can’t give me yourself in part; give it to me in totality. So, if you are a father, then where is your son? Your son must be my son, and He gives me His Son.
So, “He so loved us He gave His only-begotten Son” (John 3:16). To whom? To you. To me. To every child born of woman. So, every one of us will become fully aware that we are God. And yet, I will knew you as Jim; I will know you as Jan, but I will also know that you are God. I will know you as Sol, and know you are God. I will know you as Bill, and know you are God. I will know every one of you, and the unnumbered billions that are not known to me here, in that day I’ll know them all, and still know them all as God, for there’s nothing but God!
When the curtain comes down on the final act, we are all God! We are then the Glory of God. So, we will finish the work. He said, “I have finished the work Thou gavest me to do. Now, glorify Thou me with Thine own Self, with the glory that I had with Thee before that the world was.” (John 17:4, 5) It’s returning now. Memory returns, and every man becomes God.
But now, do not fail to apply the Law. “Blessed is the man who … delights in the Law of the Lord … In all that he does he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1, 2, 3) You name it, and you can be it. You just name it, and if you dare to assume that you are it and view the world from that assumption instead of thinking of it, you will crystallize it. You will actually manifest it in this world.
That definition of imagination – I’ll go along with it to a certain point – up to a point that things present are sense perceived and called real; things absent are called imagination. But man being all imagination, man must be wherever he is in imagination. So, I need not be anchored to where my senses dictate. I can stand here and assume that I am elsewhere, and then if I assume that I am elsewhere, let me anchor myself there and view the world from it. If I view the world from it, I should see this place as I would see it if I were physically there. I can’t see it surrounding me or under me, for then I did not move in imagination. Therefore, if I move in imagination, then I must think of where I was physically and see it elsewhere. I can’t see it where I am in imagination and be moved, for all motion – well, I can tell myself that I have moved by a frame of reference. If I have moved relative to this room, let me look and see, Where am I now? I must have moved, for motion can be detected only by a change of position relative to another object. Where is the object?
I assume that I am now – and I name it. If I am elsewhere, let me think of this room. Well, I can’t see it as I now see it. If I see it as I now see it, then I didn’t move. I can only move if I see it differently.
Well now, if I move and now I am standing in my home, sitting in my chair in the living room, let me think of this club. I must see it away down on Catalina, and feel myself at home on Carol Street, and then think of the club, and it can’t be here. It must be way down on Catalina. Then I’ve moved. For man being all imagination, he must be wherever he is in imagination. If I practice this, it becomes easier and easier.
I just read a story of a very dear friend of mine who used to come to me – not to my meetings, but I would say once a month she came home for a personal appointment in New York City. She was killed last week in a car driven by her husband. And I can now see this perfectly lovely, gracious lady. She had a home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, and she had her apartment in New York City. Her name is possibly one of the most prominent names in America. The name is Roosevelt. She was of the Teddy Roosevelt branch. Her name was Grace. Her husband was Archibald.
Teddy was Governor of New York; he was Vice President of our Country; he was President of our Country – a very powerful, wonderful leader. He did not leave, as so many presidents leave, a fortune. He didn’t go in there to make a fortune. He went in there to lead the country. And he said, “I don’t consider public opinion. I perform what I think is best for our country. I feed them what they ought to know. I feed them what I think is best for our country.”
But he didn’t go in there to make a personal fortune, and he came out without a personal fortune. So she – in spite of her name – did not have a personal fortune. She had a home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, and a lovely apartment – beautifully furnished from things that her father-in-law had given her. If she did not rent her New York apartment for the summer, she could not open her home in Long Island. She could not afford it. Being a lovely home in a very wonderful, fashionable area of New York City, she always got a wonderful price paid in advance for the three or four months. Then came the end of a season where they aren’t looking for any homes, and she came to see me.
She said, “Neville, I am desperate. Unless I rent the place in New York City, we can’t open our home in Long Island.”
I said, “All right. It’s rented, and you are living in Long Island.”
“Oh but,” she said, “Neville, I can’t do that.”
I said, “Tonight you sleep in your home in Long Island.”
“But,” she said, “I can’t do that. How could I go and sleep there?”
I said, “You don’t do it physically. Tonight you sleep physically in New York City in your apartment, but in your imagination, which is the only reality, you sleep in your home in Long Island, and then you think of your place in New York. The reason why you see it across the East River is because you are physically sleeping in Long Island. And the reason you are sleeping there is because you rented it. Put them all together, that’s why you are there.”
She said to me, “If it rents, I’ll call you.”
I said, “There’s no if about it. The only if is if you do it. Then you’ll call me.”
I took her to the elevator. She went downstairs, went back to her place. The next day at 9:00 in the morning Mrs. Roosevelt is on the phone. She said, “Neville, this is Grace Roosevelt.”
I said, “How are you, Mrs. Roosevelt?”
She said, “I am calling you from Long Island where I slept last night physically. When I went home, no one came at all over the period that you rent places. But as I got home, soon after I got home, an agent called and asked if I could show the apartment. A single man came in. He liked the place. Money meant nothing to him. He wanted immediate possession, ‘but I mean immediate. I mean now!’”
“Well,” she said, “I can’t get out now. I have to call my husband at the office.”
“I don’t care what you do. I want immediate possession. And here is my check in advance. You can call the bank to see if the check is good.”
She got out that day! She called her husband to meet her, and off they vent to their home in Long Island.
Well, she was just killed last week, at the age of 73; I think it was. He was driving; he wasn’t injured, and the friend in the car was injured, but Grace was killed instantly. But at least, she learned the Law. She didn’t come to the meetings very often because she said in her capacity, she was a pillar of the Episcopal Church in New York City – also in Long Island; it would not be advisable to be seen in my meeting place. That would be slumming. But she always came to my home with any problem.
Once she had with her son. He came back from Egypt where he was in the State Department, and he came with a huge, big beard, and she said, “Neville, I am embarrassed.” It was long before people wore beards; today it would be the thing to do, but he came back long before the young fellows wore beards. It was a huge, big beard. She said, “Neville, I am so embarrassed, I just don’t want to walk down Fifth Avenue with him. I would make him walk ahead or walk behind me. I don’t want to be seen with him. What must I do? Because he gets annoyed and will do nothing that his father or I suggest.”
I said, “How would you feel if you kissed him and he had no beard? You would kiss your son, wouldn’t you?”
“Well then, put your hand on his face and he doesn’t have any beard, and then kiss him and feel that smooth skin that is your son’s face when he has no beard.”
“All right, I will do that.”
She didn’t tell me. I opened the morning paper one Monday-morning. There was a big fashionable social wedding, and here was Mrs. Roosevelt and her husband, and here is her son and here is the bride coming down the steps of the Episcopal Church, and he has no beard! So the next time she came to see me, I reminded her; I said, “You know, you came here the last time about the beard, and the beard is off.”
She said, “Do you know why?”
I said, “Yes, I know why, but you tell me why.”
“Well, the girl that he married refused to go through with it unless he shaved.” She saw the physical fact.
I said, “No, that wasn’t it. You promised me that you would kiss him and feel his smooth skin, and if you would feel the smooth skin, it would come off.”
She said, “I did do it, but the girl demanded it.”
So, she goes back to a physical causation, and it wasn’t so at all. There is no natural effect with a natural cause. Every natural effect has an imaginal cause, and the natural only seems. So she still is going to insist that the girl wanted the beard off, and that’s why he took it off. Well now, she knows better. She’s now in a world just like this. At least she learned the lesson of the Law. She didn’t learn the Promise, because when I spoke to her, I did not have the Promise. I had not realized it.
You know the Promise because it only happened to me twelve years ago this coming month. So, those who knew me before have not heard from me the Promise. Those who have known me since; they know the Promise.
So, I ask you tonight to please take it seriously. Watch your every imaginal act. And I will say to every one, “Don’t take anything lightly. Don’t voice an opinion that may be embarrassing or hurtful to yourself or to another, even though reason dictates it.” Because reason could dictate that this is the fact, for “I’ve seen so many similar cases that this is going to be so-and-so.” Your words are the words of God.
“Oh, what have I said? What have I done, Oh, all-powerful human words?” [Wm. Blake, from “Jerusalem”]
Now, let’s go into the Silence.