Blake asked the question: “Why is it that the Bible is more entertaining and instructive than any other book? Is it not because it is addressed to the Imagination, which is spiritual sensation, and only immediately to the understanding, or reason?”
The one book, called the Bible, is composed of sixty-six books. Take this challenge. Read each book as though the depth of your soul is speaking to your surface mind. As though the ineffable Imagination is speaking to the human Imagination, and not to your immediate understanding or reasoning mind.
Let us examine this thought. In his 2nd letter to the Corinthians Paul says: “We walk by faith and not by sight.” When we walk by sight, we know our way by objects that the eye sees. But Paul tells us to order our life by objects seen only in the imagination. In other words, when you know where you want to go and what you want to be, you are told not to rearrange your physical structure, but to walk by faith, viewing only the rearranged structure of your mind. And if you will remain faithful to that state of consciousness, what is seen only in your imagination will objectify itself in your world.
Paul now adds another observation, saying: “This one thing I do. Forgetting what lies behind, I strain forward to what lies ahead.” Paul’s goal was the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, but you need not have such a goal. Your desire could be a successful business. Now, everything begins in the imagination, for man is all imagination and God is man. God and man differ only in the degree of imagination’s intensity. Now keyed low, man walks by sight or by faith in his human imagination. Walking by sight is easier, because buildings rarely move. But when you walk by faith, the objects in your mind’s eye must remain as stable as those of the physical eye.
My brother Victor wanted to be a successful business man, and he knew how to remain faithful to what he imagined. In 1924, when our family didn’t have a cent, Victor rearranged the name on a building (in his mind’s eye) to imply we owned it. This he did for two years, when – without any more money than when he started imagining – a casual acquaintance purchased the building for us without collateral for $50,000. Eight years ago we sold the building to a bank for $850,000, and there is no capital gains tax in Barbados!
Walking by faith, every day as Victor passed that building, he saw “J. C. Goddard and Sons” on the marquee in place of the existing name of “I. N. Roach & Company”. Sight told him the building belonged to another, but faith said the building was his. By simply rearranging the structure of his mind every day for two years, our family’s fortune changed.
Now, we are told: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen, so that what is seen was made out of things that do not appear.” (Hebrews 11) Only my brother Victor saw his mental act. Others saw the sign, “J. N. Roach & Company” – by sight, but Victor saw the words, “J.C. Goddard & Sons” – by faith.
Someone once asked Blake what he saw when he looked at the sun, and he replied, “I see a host of angels singing, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.”‘ We can all see the same tree but see it differently, just as we can the same man. One may see him in need, while another sees him gainfully employed, both using the same power. You have the power to either live by faith or by sight. If you live by sight, accepting everything that happens, you remain an automaton, unable to change the conditions and events in your world. Only as you begin to live by faith will your life change.
Paul tells us that no matter what he has done or did not do, he puts it behind him and stretches forward towards what lies ahead. Paul’s ideal was to be called to the highest point of God. I hope this is your ideal, too, but perhaps it is not. Maybe other things are pressing upon you, such as the need for money. If so, make that your objective, but use the same technique.
Put the past behind you. Do not look back and become like Lot’s wife who turned into a pillar of salt – which is a preservative. You always put what you want to preserve in brine. If you turn back and dwell upon the state you want to leave behind, you have placed it in brine and will become it once more. But if you will turn your back upon the past regardless of what you have or have not done, and stretch forward to what you want to be or do and remain faithful to your desire – nothing can stop you from achieving it. You will become the man you assume you are, if you persist in the assumption that you are already there!
Like Blake, I have found the Bible most entertaining, challenging, and instructive. It is not an easy book to read, however. If it were, it would not be worth my care, for as the ancients discovered, that which is not too explicit is fittest for instruction, as it rouses the faculties to act.
Take this simple statement in Hebrews: “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his son who reflects the glory of God and bears the stamp of his nature.”
The prophets, instruments through which God spoke, recorded their visions of what God intended, saying: “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows forth his handiwork.” (Psalms 18 & 19) But in the last days God speaks to us by his son, David. This is a fantastic revelation, for in the end God is going to reveal himself.
I could tell you until the ends of time that you are He, but only David can make you believe it. I’ll tell you why. Many people, like Bishop Pike, question the authority of scripture; but it will never be questioned after it is experienced.
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ is called “the word of God”. And in the Book of John he declares his word is truth. May I tell you: only when a truth is experienced can it be known. I know what I have experienced is true. You have heard my words and believe me, but you will not know their truth to the degree that I do until they are experienced.
I have told you how my brother walked by faith rather than by sight, and created a fabulous business in the islands. Sight told him he didn’t have a penny to his name. But in faith he began to alter his life by that which only his imagination could see. Your sight registers what is before you right now. If you do not like it, you have an “I” within that is Christ in you. He is the power of imagination which, through faith, can change your life.
As the operant power of your imagination, you can tell where you are going and what you are doing by watching your thoughts. If certain events in your past are unlovely and you remember them, you are ordering their experience. But if you turn your back on the past by forgetting what lies behind and stretch forward to what lies ahead, you will order your conversations aright and become what you behold. This truth will never be disproved, but you are its operant power and must live by it. You need nothing on the outside, but can start just where you are; but you must walk in the direction you set up in your imagination.
Ask yourself this simple question: What would it be like if it were true that I am now the person I want to be? Then reach for its feeling, its spiritual sensation. What is that? I’ll show you in a very simple way. Feel a piece of glass, now feel a baseball. Does the baseball feel like glass? Can you feel a tennis ball? Does it feel like a baseball or a piece of glass? Can you feel a piece of cloth, a violet, a piano? Do they all feel alike? Of course not. That’s spiritual sensation – a vivid way of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling reality.
A few years ago I gave a similar lecture in New York City and a lady in my audience decided to test me. While sitting in her chair she embraced a large bunch of roses. She smelled them, felt their velvety petals, and saw their beauty in her mind’s eye. Then, breaking the silence she left my meeting and returned to her hotel room at the Waldorf Astoria.
The next day the queen mother, Queen Elizabeth, was given a party at the Waldorf Astoria, with two thousand people in attendance. After the reception the maitre d’, not wanting to discard the flowers there, instructed his men to take three dozen roses up to this lady’s room. And when she came home that evening, all she could smell were those lovely roses. She had embraced and lost herself in the feeling of the possession of beautiful roses. She walked by faith and not by sight, and the next day her room was filled with the heavenly aroma of roses.
Now, perhaps because of its memory, you find yourself continuing to look back at what you were (and are) and not ahead into what you want to be. If you will order your conversations aright, right now, their truth will happen in the simplest way.
A seamstress and dress designer I know wanted more money. Using her imagination, she held an envelope in her hand and listened to the paper tear as she opened it. Shaking the contents out, she counted the money to the very penny. This she did for seven nights. On the eighth day, a lady called, offering her a job which paid her, to the penny, what she had imagined. Do you know – that lady could have counted out much more and she would have received it, but she was quite satisfied with the amount she had imagined.
Now, if there is evidence for a thing, does it matter what the world thinks? Could you ever take this lady’s experience from her? No! The truth, experienced by her parallels scripture, for all things are possible to one who believes. How did this lady believe what she was imagining? She did it by bringing forth all of her senses to bear upon this event. Using her sense of hearing, she heard the paper tear. Shaking the contents of the envelope, she heard the money fall on the table. She felt the envelope and saw the bills inside. Do you know, money has an odor unlike anything else? So you can smell money. She determined what she would do if she had the money and she did it.
Another lady went to Sterns Department Store in New York City, saying to herself: “Neville says I can have anything I want if I will imagine and believe in my imaginal act.” Having no money, this lady walked over to the hat department, took off her hat and tried on a new one. Walking around the area, she admired herself in front of all the mirrors, but when she returned, her hat was gone. When she described it to the sales lady, she learned that her hat had been sold! The section manager was called in, and he told her to take any hat she wanted, compliments of Sterns. She liked the one she had been wearing, so she left the store with her new hat on her head, and she hadn’t paid a dime for it.
Here is another story of a similar nature. This lady’s profession was that of being a lady of the evening. She attended all of my meetings, and one day she said to me; “You know, Neville, the strangest thing happened. You told me that I could have anything I wanted if I simply imagined it.
One day I saw a beautiful hat in the window of a department store on Broadway. It was $18, but I loved it so I imagined wearing the hat. As I walked up the street I kept looking at my reflection in the shop windows, seeing that hat on my head. Arriving home, I imagined placing the new hat in the closet instead of my old one. Every day, for the next week or ten days, as I put on my old hat, I imagined it was the new one. Then one day a friend called and asked me to come see her. While there, she brought out a hat box and said; ‘I must have been insane when I bought this hat. I wouldn’t wear it to a dog fight; yet strangely enough I feel it would look lovely on you.’ She opened the box and brought out, not a hat, but the hat, the very hat I had seen in the window and worn in my imagination.” Then she asked: “Neville, why didn’t God give me the money to buy the hat myself, instead of giving it to me in this manner?”
Knowing her profession, I said, “Ann, do you owe any rent?” and she replied, “Yes, two weeks.” “What do you pay, about $17.50 per week?” “Yes.” “So you owe $35. What price hats do you usually buy? Three or four dollar ones? Have you ever bought a $17 hat?” “Never.” “Then tell me honestly. If, when you were looking at the hat, you had seen a $100 bill on the ground, would you have brought the hat?” She said “No.” Then I said, “No matter how much money God might have given you, you still would not have bought the hat, so someone else had to buy it for you, and they did.”
I have bought clothes, brought them home, and wondered what possessed me to buy them. I did it because someone was treading in the winepress elsewhere. Someone imagined a suit of clothes, so I went to my tailor, chose the cloth, and paid for the suit. But when I brought it home, my wife wouldn’t let me bring it into the house. Then a friend who wanted something just like it contacted me and got the suit. He was treading the winepress while I paid for the suit.
Believe me, imagination is spiritual sensation. It is a vivid sight, a vivid sound. When Beethoven went deaf, all sound to the outer ear came to its end. Then Beethoven began to hear with the inner ear and wrote all of the beautiful music we so enjoy.
You can now think of someone you love and hear him speak. If you can’t hear him, use one of your other spiritual senses. A touch, a sound, a sight, or an odor will do. I know in New York City, years ago, as I walked through Harlem, I smelled the odor of cooking that instantly took me to Barbados. Although I was physically in Harlem, my sense of smell told me I was 2000 miles away in Barbados.
You can remember a sound, a touch, a sight, and put yourself any place. Like Paul, learn to walk by faith and not by sight. Forget what lies behind and stretch forward to what lies ahead. In the third chapter of Philippians, Paul names his desire as the calling of God in Christ Jesus, but it need not be yours.
I urge you to try this, for your life is forever. Nothing dies. The little rose that blooms once blooms forever, for nothing passes away. If a loved one ceases to be in this little sphere he doesn’t die, but is instantly restored to life to carry on his wonderful journey in this age until that moment in time when God speaks to him through his Son, who calls him Father. Only then will he know he is the author of his world. Then his journey will be over, and when he takes off his little garment it will be for the last time.
Paul tells us in Philippians; “I desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is better by far, but it is more necessary that I remain in the flesh on your account.” Paul longed to depart and be one with God the Father, but he knew it was necessary for him to remain in the flesh and continue his instruction, just as I do.
Take my words to heart and achieve your every desire. Learn to walk by faith and not by sight and, like Paul, turn your back upon everything you have ever accomplished and go forward – by faith – towards the goal you have set for yourself. Knowing what you would see if your goal were reached, how you would feel if you were there, what you would do now if it were true? Walk in that state and you will achieve it.
Now let us go into the silence.