Question and answers by Neville Goddard
1. Question: What is the meaning of the insignia on your book covers?
Answer: It is an eye imposed upon a heart which, in turn is imposed upon a tree laden with fruit, meaning that what you are conscious of, and accept as true, you are going to realize. As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.
2. Question: I would like to be married, but have not found the right man. How do I imagine a husband?
Answer: Forever in love with ideals, it is the ideal state that captures the mind. Do not confine the state of marriage to a certain man, but a full, rich and overflowing life. You desire to experience the joy of marriage. Do not modify your dream, but enhance it by making it lovelier. Then condense your desire into a single sensation, or act which implies its fulfillment.
In this western world a woman wears a wedding ring on the third finger of her left hand. Motherhood need not imply marriage; intimacy need not imply marriage, but a wedding ring does.
Relax in a comfortable arm chair, or lie flat on your back and induce a state akin to sleep. Then assume the feeling of being married. Imagine a wedding band on your finger. Touch it. Turn it around the finger. Pull it off over the knuckle. Keep the action going until the ring has the distinctness and feeling of reality. Become so lost in feeling the ring on your finger that when you open your eyes, you will be surprised that it is not there.
If you are a man who does not wear a ring, you could assume greater responsibility. How would you feel if you had a wife to care for? Assume the feeling of being a happily married man right now.
3. Question: What must I do to inspire creative thoughts such as those needed for writing?
Answer: What must you do? Assume the story has already been written and accepted by a great publishing house. Reduce the idea of being a writer to the sensation of satisfaction.
Repeat the phrase, "Isn't it wonderful!" or "Thank you, thank you, thank you," over and over again until you feel successful. Or, imagine a friend congratulating you. There are unnumbered ways of implying success, but always go to the end. Your acceptance of the end wills its fulfillment. Do not think about getting in the mood to write, but live and act as though you are now the author you desire to be. Assume you have the talent for writing. Think of the pattern you want displayed on the outside. If you write a book and no one is willing to buy it, there is no satisfaction. Act as though people are hungry for your work. Live as though you cannot produce stories, or books fast enough to meet the demand. Persist in this assumption and all that is necessary to achieve your goal will quickly burst into bloom and you will express it.
4. Question: How do I imagine larger audiences for my talks?
Answer: I can answer you best by sharing the technique used by a very able teacher I know. When this man first came to this country he began speaking in a small hall in New York City. Although only fifty or sixty people attended his Sunday morning meeting, and they sat in front, this teacher would stand at the podium and imagine a vast audience. Then he would say to the empty space, "Can you hear me back there?"
Today this man is speaking in Carnegie Hall in New York City to approximately 2500 people every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. He wanted to speak to crowds. He was not modest. He did not try to fool himself but built a crowd in his own consciousness, and crowds come. Stand before a large audience. Address this audience in your imagination. Feel you are on that stage and your feeling will provide the means.
5. Question: Is it possible to imagine several things at the same time, or should I confine my imagining to one desire?
Answer: Personally I like to confine my imaginal act to a single thought, but that does not mean I will stop there. During the course of a day I may imagine many things, but instead of imagining lots of small things, I would suggest that you imagine something so big it includes all the little things. Instead of imagining wealth, health and friends, imagine being ecstatic. You could not be ecstatic and be in pain. You could not be ecstatic and be threatened with a dispossession notice. You could not be ecstatic if you were not enjoying a full measure of friendship and love.
What would the feeling be like were you ecstatic without knowing what had happened to produce your ecstasy? Reduce the idea of ecstasy to the single sensation, "Isn't it wonderful!" Do not allow the conscious, reasoning mind to ask why, because if it does it will start to look for visible causes, and then the sensation will be lost. Rather, repeat over and over again, "Isn't it wonderful!" Suspend judgment as to what is wonderful. Catch the one sensation of the wonder of it all and things will happen to bear witness to the truth of this sensation. And I promise you, it will include all the little things.
6. Question: How often should I perform the imaginal act, a few days or several weeks?
Answer: In the Book of Genesis the story is told of Jacob wrestling with an angel. This story gives us the clue we are looking for; that when satisfaction is reached, impotence follows.
When the feeling of reality is yours, for the moment at least, you are mentally impotent. The desire to repeat the act of prayer is lost, having been replaced by the feeling of accomplishment. You cannot persist in wanting what you already have. If you assume you are what you desire to be to the point of ecstasy, you no longer want it. Your imaginal act is as much a creative act as a physical one wherein man halts, shrinks and is blessed, for as man creates his own likeness, so does your imaginal act transform itself into the likeness of your assumption. If, however, you do not reach the point of satisfaction, repeat the action over and over again until you feel as though you touched it and virtue went out of you.
7. Question: I have been taught not to ask for earthly things, only for spiritual growth, yet money and things are what I need.
Answer: You must be honest with yourself. All through scripture the question is asked, "What do you want of me?" Some wanted to see, others to eat, and still others wanted to be made straight, or "That my child live."
Your dimensionally larger self speaks to you through the language of desire. Do not deceive yourself. Knowing what you want, claim you already have it, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give it to you and remember, what you desire, that you have.
8. Question: When you have as assumed your desire, do you keep in mind the ever presence of this greater one protecting and giving you your assumption?
Answer: The acceptance of the end wills the means. Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled and your dimensionally greater self will determine the means. When you appropriate a state as though you had it, the activity of the day will divert your mind from all anxious thoughts so that you do not look for signs. You do not have to carry the feeling that some presence is going to do it for you, rather you know it is already done. Knowing it is already a fact, walk as though it were, and things will happen to make it so. You do not have to be concerned about some presence doing anything for you. The deeper, dimensionally greater you has already done it. All you do is move to the place where you encounter it.
Remember the story of the man who left the master and was on his way home when he met his servant who said, "Your son lives." And when he asked at what hour it was done the servant replied, "The seventh hour." The self-same hour that he assumed his desire, it was done for him, for it was at the seventh hour that the master said, "Your son lives." Your desire is already granted. Walk as though it were and, although time beats slowly in this dimension of your being, it will nevertheless bring you confirmation of your assumption. I ask you not to be impatient, though. If there is one thing you really have need of, it is patience.
9. Question: Isn't there a law that says you cannot get something for nothing? Must we not earn what we desire?
Answer: Creation is finished! It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. The parable of the prodigal son is your answer. In spite of man's waste, when he comes to his senses and remembers who he is, he feeds on the fatted calf of abundance and wears the robe and ring of authority. There is nothing to earn. Creation was finished in the foundation of time. You, as man, are God made visible for the purpose of displaying what is, not what is to be. Do not think you must work out your salvation by the sweat of your brow. It is not four months until the harvest, the fields are already white, simply thrust in the sickle.
10. Question: Does not the thought that creation is finished rob one of his initiative?
Answer: If you observe an event before it occurs, then the occurring event must be predetermined from the point of view of being awake in this three-dimensional world. Yet, you do not have to encounter what you observe. You can, by changing your concept of self, interfere with your future and mold it in harmony with your changed concept of self.
11. Question: Does not this ability to change the future deny that creation is finished?
Answer: No. You, by changing your concept of self, change your relationship to things. If you rearrange the words of a play to write a different one, you have not created new words, but simply had the joy of rearranging them. Your concept of self determines the order of events you encounter. They are in the foundation of the world, but not their order of arrangement.
12. Question: Why should one who works hard in metaphysics always seem to lack?
Answer: Because he has not really applied metaphysics. I am not speaking of a mamby-pamby approach to life, but a daily application of the law of consciousness. When you appropriate your good, there is no need for a man, or state, to act as a medium through which your good will come.
Living in a world of men, money is needed in my every day life. If I invite you to lunch tomorrow, I must pick up the check. When I leave the hotel, I must pay the bill. In order to take the train back to New York my railway fare must be paid. I need money and it has to be there. I am not going to say, "God knows best, and He knows I need money." Rather, I will appropriate the money as though it were!
We must live boldly! We must go through life as though we possessed what we want to possess. Do not think that because you helped another, someone outside of you saw your good works and will give you something to ease your burden. There is no one to do it for you. You, yourself must go boldly on appropriating what your Father has already given you.
13. Question: Can an uneducated person educate himself by assuming the feeling of being educated?
Answer: Yes. An aroused interest is awarded information from every side. You must sincerely desire to be well schooled. The desire to be well read, followed by the assumption that you are, makes you selective in your reading. As you progress in your education, you automatically become more selective, more discriminating in all that you do.
14. Question: My husband and I are taking the class together. Should we discuss our desires with each other?
Answer: There are two spiritual sayings which permeate the Bible. One is, "Go tell no man," and the other is "I have told you before it comes to pass that when it does come to pass you may believe." It takes spiritual boldness to tell another that your desire is fulfilled before it is seen on the outside. If you do not have that kind of boldness, then you had better keep quiet.
I personally enjoy telling my plans to my wife, because we both get such a thrill when they come into being. The first person a man wants to prove this law to is his wife. It is said that Mohammad is everlastingly great because his first disciple was his wife.
15. Question: Should my husband and I work on the same project or on separate ones?
Answer: That is entirely up to you. My wife and I have different interests, yet we have much in common. Do you recall the story I told of our return to the United States this spring? I felt it was my duty as a husband to get passage back to America, so I appropriated that to myself. I feel there are certain things that are on my wife's side of the contract, such as maintaining a clean, lovely home and finding the appropriate school for our daughter, so she takes care of those.
Quite often my wife will ask me to imagine for her, as though she has greater faith in my ability to do it than in her own. That flatters me because every man worthy of the name wants to feel that his family has faith in him. But I see nothing wrong in the communion between two who love one another.
16. Question: I would think that if you get too much into the sleepy state there would be a lack of feeling.
Answer: When I speak of feeling I do not mean emotion, but acceptance of the fact that the desire is fulfilled. Feeling grateful, fulfilled, or thankful, it is easy to say, "Thank You," "Isn't it wonderful!" or "It is finished." When you get into the state of thankfulness, you can either awaken knowing it is done, or fall asleep in the feeling of the wish fulfilled.
17. Question: Is love a product of your own consciousness?
Answer: All things exist in your consciousness, be they love or hate. Nothing comes from without. The hills to which you look for help are those of an inner range. Your feelings of love, hate or indifference all spring from your own consciousness. You are infinitely greater than you could ever conceive yourself to be. Never, in eternity will you reach the ultimate you. That is how wonderful you are. Love is not a product of you, you are love, for that is what God is and God's name is I am, the very name you call yourself before you make the claim as to the state you are now in.
18. Question: Suppose my wants cannot materialize for six months to a year, do I wait to imagine them?
Answer: When the desire is upon you, that is the time to accept your wish in its fullness. Perhaps there are reasons why the urge is given you at this time. Your three-dimensional being may think it cannot be now, but your fourth dimensional mind knows it already is, so the desire should be accepted by you as a physical fact now.
Suppose you wanted to build a house. The urge to have it is now, but it is going to take time for the trees to grow and the carpenter to build the house. Although the urge seems big, do not wait to adjust to it. Claim possession now and let it objectify itself in its own strange way. Do not say it will take six months or a year. The minute the desire comes upon you, assume it is already a fact! You and you alone have given your desire a time interval and time is relative when it comes to this world. Do not wait for anything to come to pass, accept it now as though it were and see what happens.
When you have a desire, the deeper you, who men call God, is speaking. He urges you, through the language of desire, to accept that which is not that which is to be! Desire is simply his communion with you, telling you that your desire is yours, now! Your acceptance of this fact is proved by your complete adjustment to it as though it were true.
19. Question: Why do some of us die young?
Answer: Our lives are not, in retrospect, measured by years but by the content of those years.
20. Question: What would you consider a full life?
Answer: A variety of experiences. The more varied they are, the richer is your life. At death you function in a dimensionally larger world, and play your part on a keyboard made up of a life time of human experiences. Therefore, the more varied your experiences, the finer is your instrument and the richer is your life.
21. Question: What about a child who dies at birth?
Answer: The child who is born, lives forever, as nothing dies. It may appear that the child who dies at birth has no keyboard of human experience but, as a poet once said:
"He drew a circle that shut me out, Infidel, scoundrel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win! We drew a circle that took him in."
The loved one has access to the sensory experiences of the lover. God is love; therefore, ultimately everyone has an instrument, the keyboard of which is the sensory impressions of all men.
22. Question: What is your technique of prayer?
Answer: It starts with desire, for desire is the mainspring of action. You must know and define your objective, then condense it into a sensation which implies fulfillment. When your desire is clearly defined, immobilize your physical body and experience, in your imagination, the action which implies its fulfillment. Repeat this act over and over again until it has the vividness and feeling of reality.
Or, condense your desire into a single phrase that implies fulfillment such as, "Thank you Father," "Isn't it wonderful," or "It is finished." Repeat that condensed phrase, or action in your imagination over and over again. Then either awaken from that state, or slip off into the deep. It does not matter, for the act is done when you completely accept it as being finished in that sleepy, drowsy state.
23. Question: Two people want the same position. One has it. The other had it and now wants it back.
Answer: Your Father (the dimensionally greater you) has ways and means you know not of. Accept his wisdom. Feel your desire is fulfilled, then allow your Father to give it to you. The present one may be promoted to a higher position, or marry a man of great wealth and give up her job. She may come into a great deal of money, or choose to move to another state.
Many people say they want to work, but I question that seriously. They want security and condition security on a job. But I really do not think the average girl truly wants to get up in the morning and go to work.
24. Question: What is the cause of disease and pain?
Answer: The physical body is an emotional filter. Many human ailments, hitherto considered purely physical, are now recognized as rooted in emotional disturbances.
Pain comes from lack of relaxation. When you sleep there is no pain. If you are under an anesthetic, there is no pain because you are relaxed, as it were. If you have pain it is because you are tense and trying to force something. You cannot force an idea into embodiment, you simply appropriate it. It is attention minus effort. Only practice will bring you to that point where you can be attentive and still be relaxed.
Attention is tension toward an end, and relaxation is just the opposite. Here are two completely opposite ideas that you must blend until you learn, through practice, how to be attentive, but not tense. The word "contention" means "attention minus effort." In the state of contention you are held by the idea without tension.
25. Question: No matter how much I try to be happy, underneath, I have a melancholy feeling of being left out. Why?
Answer: Because you feel you are not wanted. Were I you, I would assume I am wanted. You know the technique. The assumption that you are wanted may seem false when first assumed, but if you will feel wanted and respected, and persist in that assumption, you will be amazed how others will seek you out. They will begin to see qualities in you they had never seen before. I promise you. If you will but assume you are wanted, you will be.
26. Question If security came to me through the death of a loved one, did I bring about that death?
Answer: Do not think for one second that you brought about a death by assuming security. The greater you is not going to injure any one. It sees all and, knowing the length of life of all, it can inspire the other to give you that which can fulfill your assumption.
You did not kill the person who named you in his will. If, a few days after your complete acceptance of the idea of security, Uncle John made his exit from this three-dimensional plane and left you his estate, it is only because it was time for Uncle John to go. He did not die one second before his time, however. The greater you saw the life span of John and used him as the way to bring about the fulfillment of your feeling of security.
The acceptance of the end wills the means toward the fulfillment of that end. Do not be concerned with anything save the end. Always bear in mind that the responsibility to make it so is completely removed from your shoulders. It is yours because you accept it as so!
27. Question: I have more than one objective Would it be ineffective to concentrate on different objectives at different periods of concentration?
Answer: I like to take one consuming ambition, restrict it to a single short phrase, or act that implies fulfillment, but I do not limit my ambition. I only know that my real objective will include all the little ones.
28. Question: I find it difficult to change my concept of self. Why?
Answer: Because your desire to change has not been aroused. If you would fall in love with what you really want to be, you would become it. It takes an intense hunger to bring about a transformation of self.
"As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O Lord. "If you would become as thirsty for perfection as the little hart is for water that it braves the anger of the tiger in the forest, you would become perfect.
29. Question: I am contemplating a business venture. It means a great deal to me, but I cannot imagine how it can come into being.
Answer: You are relieved of that responsibility. You do not have to make it a reality, it already is! Although your concept of self seems so far removed from the venture you now contemplate, it exists now as a reality within you. Ask yourself how you would feel and what you would be doing if your business venture were a great success. Become identified with that character and feeling and you will be amazed how quickly you will realize your dream.
The only sacrifice you are called upon to make, is to give up your present concept of self and appropriate the desire you want to express.
30. Question: As a metaphysical student I have been taught to believe that race beliefs and universal assumptions affect me. Do you mean that only to the degree I give these universal beliefs power over me, am I influenced by them?
Answer: Yes. It is only your individual viewpoint, as your world is forever bearing witness to your present concept of self. If someone offends you, change your concept of self. That is the only way others change. Tonight's paper may be read by any six people in this room and no two will interpret the same story in the same way. One will be elated, the other depressed, another indifferent, and so on, yet it is the same story.
Universal assumptions, race beliefs, call them what you will, they are not important to you. What is important is your concept, not of another, but of yourself, for the concept you hold of yourself determines the concept you hold of others. Leave others alone. What are they to you? Follow your own desires.
The law is always in operation, always absolute. Your consciousness is the rock upon which all structures rest. Watch what you are aware of. You need not concern yourself with others because you are sustained by the absoluteness of this law. No man comes to you of his own accord, be he good, bad or indifferent. He did not choose you! You chose him! He was drawn to you because of what you are.
You cannot destroy the state another represents through force. Rather, leave him alone. What is he to you? Rise to a higher level of consciousness and you will find a new world awaiting you, and as you sanctify yourself, others are sanctified.
31. Question: Who wrote the Bible?
Answer: The Bible was written by intelligent men who used solar and phallic myths to reveal psychological truths. But we have mistaken their allegory for history and, therefore, have failed to see their true message.
It is strange, but when the Bible was launched upon the world, and acceptance seemed to be in sight, the great Alexandria Library was burnt to the ground, leaving no record as to how the Bible came into being. Few people can read other languages, so they cannot compare their beliefs with others. Our churches do not encourage us to compare. How many of the millions who accept the Bible as fact, ever question it? Believing it is the word of God, they blindly accept the words and thus lose the essence they contain. Having accepted the vehicle, they do not understand what the vehicle conveys.
32. Question: Do you use the Apocrypha?
Answer: Not in my teaching. I have several volumes of them at home. They are no greater than the sixty-six books of our present Bible. They are simply telling the same truth in a different way. For instance, the story is told of Jesus, as a young boy, watching children make birds out of mud. Holding the birds in their hands, they pretend the birds are flying. Jesus approaches and knocks the birds out of their hands. As they begin to cry, he picks up one of the broken birds and re-molds it. Holding it high, he breaths upon it and the bird takes wing.
Here is a story of one who came to break the idols in the minds of men, then show them how to use the same substance and re-mold it into a beautiful form and give it life. That is what this story is trying to convey. "I come, not to bring peace, but a sword." Truth slays all the little mud hens of the mind; slays illusions and then re-molds them into a new pattern which sets man free.
33. Question: If Jesus was a fictional character created by Biblical writers for the purpose of illustrating certain psychological dramas, how do you account for the fact that he and his philosophy are mentioned in the nonreligious and non-Christian history of those times? Were not Pontius Pilate and Herod real flesh and blood Roman officials in those days?
Answer: The story of Jesus is the identical story as that of the Hindu savior, Krishna. They are the same psychological characters. Both were supposed to have been born of virgin mothers . The rulers of the time sought to destroy them when they were children. Both healed the sick, resurrected the dead, taught the gospel of love and died a martyr's death for mankind. Hindus and Christians alike believe their savior to be God made man.
Today people quote Socrates, yet the only proof that Socrates ever existed is in the works of Plato. It is said that Socrates drank hemlock, but I ask you, who is Socrates? I once quoted a line from Shakespeare and a lady said to me, "But Hamlet said that." Hamlet never said it, Shakespeare wrote the lines and put the words in the mouth of a character he created and named Hamlet. St. Augustine once said, "That which is now called the Christian religion existed among the ancients. They began to call Christianity the true religion, yet it never existed."
34. Question: Do you use affirmations and denials?
Answer: Let us leave these schools of thought that use affirmations and denials. The best affirmation, and the only effective one is an assumption which, in itself implies denial of the former state.
The best denial is total indifference. Things wither and die through indifference. They are kept alive through attention. You do not deny a thing by saying it does not exist. Rather you put feeling into it by recognizing it, and what you recognize as true, is true to you, be it good, bad or indifferent.
35. Question: Is it possible for one to appear dead and still not be dead?
Answer: General Lee was supposed to have been born two years after his mother, believed to be dead, was buried alive. Lucky for her she was not embalmed or buried in the earth, but in a vault where someone heard her cry and released her. Two years later Mrs. Lee bore a son who became General Lee. That is part of this country's history.
36. Question: How could one who was deprived in his youth become a success in life?
Answer: We are creatures of habit, forming patterns of the mind which repeat themselves over and over again. Although habit acts like a compelling law which drives one to repeat the patterns, it is not a law, for you and I can change the patterns. Many successful men such as Henry Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie were deprived in their youth. Many of the great names in this country came from poor families, yet they left behind them great accomplishments in the political, artistic and financial world.
One evening a friend of mine attended a meeting for young advertising executives. The speaker of the evening said to these young men: "I have but one thing to say to you tonight,and that is to make yourself big and you cannot fail."
Taking an ordinary fish bowl, he filled it with two bags, one of English walnuts and the other of small beans. Mixing them with his hand, he began to shake the bowl and said, "This bowl is life. You cannot stop its shaking as life is a constant pulsing, living rhythm, but watch." And as they watched the big walnuts came to the top of the bowl as the little beans fell to the bottom.
Looking into the bowl the man asked, "Which one of you is complaining, asking why?" Then added, "Isn't it strange, the sound is coming from the bowl and not the outside. A bean is complaining that if he had had the same environment as the walnut he, too would do big things, but he never had the chance." Then he took a little bean from the bottom of the bowl and placed him on top saying, "I can move the bean through sheer force, but I cannot stop the bowl of life from shaking," and as he shook the bowl, the little bean once again slid to the bottom.
Hearing another voice of complaint he asked, "What's that I hear? You are saying that I should take one of those big fellows who thinks he is so big and put him on the bottom and see what happens to him? You believe he will be just as limited as you because he will be robbed of the opportunity of big things just as you are? Let's see."
Then the speaker took one of the big walnuts and pushed him right down to the bottom of the bowl saying, "I still can't stop the bowl from shaking," and as the men watched the big walnut came to the top again. Then the speaker added:
"Gentlemen, if you really want to be successful in life, make yourself big."
My friend took this message to heart and began to assume he was a successful businessman. Today he is truly a big man if you judge success by dollars. He now employs over a thousand people in the city of New York. Each one of you can do what he did. Assume you are what you want to be. Walk in that assumption and it will harden into fact.