Awakened Imagination

Neville Goddard 1954


As you have heard, this morning’s subject is “Awakened Imagination”. It is my theme for the entire series of

nineteen lectures. Everything is geared towards the awakening of the imagination. I doubt if there is any

subject on which clear thinking is more rare than the imagination. The word itself is made to serve all kinds of

ideas. many of themdirectly opposed to one another. But here this morning I hope to convince you that this is

the redeeming power in man. This is the power spoken of in the Bible as the Second Man. “the Lord from


This is the same power personified for us as a man called Christ Jesus.

In the ancient text it was called Jacob, and there are numberless names in the Bible all leading up and

culminating in the grand flower called Christ Jesus.

It may startle you to identify the central figure of the Gospels as human imagination, but I amquite sure before

the series is over, you will be convinced that this what the ancients intended that we should know, but man

has misread the Gospels as history and biography and cosmology, and so completely has gone asleep as to

the power within himself.

Now this morning I have brought you the means by which this mighty power in us may be awakened. I call it

the art of revision. I take my day and I review it inmymind’s eye. I start with the first incident in the morning.

I go through the day; when I come to any scene in my unfolding day that displeased me, or if it didn’t

displease me if it was not as perfect as I thought it could have been, I stop right there and I revise it. I

re-write it, and after I have re-written it so that it conforms to the ideal I wished I had experienced, then I

experience that inmy imagination as though I had experienced it in the flesh. I do it over and over until it takes

on the tone of reality, and experience convinces me that that moment that I have revised and relived will not

recede into my past. It will advance into my future to confront me as I have revised it. If I do not revise it,

these moments, because they never recede and they always advance, will advance to confront me

perpetuating that strange, unlovely incident. But if I refuse to allow the sun to descend uponmy wrath, so that

at the end of a day I never accept as final the facts of the day, no matter how factual they are, I never accept

them, and revising it I repeal the day and bring about corresponding changes inmy outer world.

Now, not only will this art of revision accomplishmy every objective, but as I begin to revise the day it fulfills

its great purpose and its great purpose is to awaken in me the being that men callChrist Jesus, that I call my

wonderful human imagination, and when it awakens it is the eye ofGod and it turns inward into the world of

thought and there I see that what formerly I believed to exist on the outside really exists within myself. No

matter what it is, I then discover that the whole of Creation is rooted in me and ends in me as I am rooted in

and end in God. And from that moment on I find my real purpose in life and my real purpose is simply to do

the will of Himthat sent me, and the will of Him that sent me is this –that of all that he has given me I shall

lose nothing but raise it up again.

And what did he give me? He gave me every experience inmy life. He gave me you. Every man, woman and

child that I meet is a gift to me from my Father, but they fell in me because of my attitude towards society,

because of my attitude towards myself. When I begin to awaken and the eye opens and I see the whole is

myselfmade visible, I thenmust fulfillmy real purpose, which is the will ofHimthat sent me, and the Will is to

raise up those that I allowed in my ignorance when I slept to descend within me. Then starts the real art of

revision; to be the man, regardless of your impressions of that man, regardless of the facts of the case that are

all staring you in the face, it is your duty when you become awakened to lift him up within yourself and you

will discover that he was never the cause of your displeasure. When you look at him and you are displeased,

look within and you will find the source of the displeasure. It did not originate there.

Now let me give you a case history to illustrate this point. I know a few of you were at the banquet and

maybe a few of you heard me last Thursday on T. V. but I doubt in this audience of say twenty-three or

twenty-four hundred of us, that more than say a hundred and fifty heard it, and even if you heard it you can

hear it time and time again for it is this, that if you hear it will cause you to act upon it because as I told you,

and I think I did last Sunday, but if I didn’t let me tell you now; if you attended the entire nineteen and you

became saturated with all that I have to tell you, so that you had all the knowledge you think it takes to

achieve your objectives, and you did not apply what you received, it would avail you nothing; but a little

knowledge which you carry out in action, you will find to be far more profitable thanmuch knowledge which

you neglect to carry out in action. So by repeating this case history this morning, though say a hundred or two

hundred of you have heard it, it will help you to remember youmust do something about it.

This past May in New York City, there sat a lady who had been coming for years and I made a simple

observation that people must become doers of the word and not mere hearers only. For if a man only hears it

and never applies what he hears he will never really prove or disprove what he has heard; and then I told the

story of a lady who had only heard me three or four times and how she transformed the life of another, and

this lady hearing what one who came only three times and this miracle took place in her life, she went home

determined that she would really apply what she had heard over the years, and this is what she did.

Two years before, after a violent quarrel, she was ordered out of her son’s home by her daughter-in-law. Her

son said “Mother, you need no proof from me that I love you: it’s obvious: I think I have proven that every

day of my life, but if that is Mary’s decision, and I regret it, it must be my decision, for I love Mary and we

live in the same house and it is our house: it is our little family, and I am sorry she feels this way about it, but

you know these little things that culminate in an explosion as took place today. If that is her decision, it is

mine”. That was two years ago. She went home and she realized that night after night for over two years she

had allowed the sun to descend upon her wrath. She thought of this wonderful family that she loved and felt

herself ostracized from it, expelled from the home of her son. She did nothing about revising it and yet I had

been talking revision to my New York audience for the past year.

This is what she did now. She knew the morning’s mail brought nothing. This was a Wednesday night. There

had been no correspondence in two years. She had sent her grandson at least a dozen gifts in the two years.

Not one was ever acknowledged. She knew they had been received for she had insured many of them; so

she sat down that night and mentally wrote herself two letters–one from her daughter-in-law, expressing a

great kindness for her, saying that she had beenmissed in the home and asking her when she was coming to

see them; then she wrote one from her grandson in which he said “Grandmother, I love you”. Then came a

little expression of thanks for the last birthday present, which was in April, and then came a feeling of sadness

rather because he hadn’t seen her and begging her to come and see himsoon.

These two short notes she memorized and then, as she was about to sleep, she took her imaginary hands and

held these letters and she read them mentally to herself until they woke in her the feeling of joy because she

had heard from her family; that she was wanted once more. She read these letters over and over feeling the

joy that was hers because she had received themand fell asleep in her project. For seven nights this lady read

these two letters. On the morning of the eighth day she received the letter: on the inside there were two

letters–one from her grandson and one fromher daughter-in-law. These letters were identicalwith the letters

she had mentally written to herself seven days before. Where was the estrangement? Where was the conflict?

Where was the source of the displeasure that was like a running sore over two years? When man’s eye is

opened he realizes all that he beholds, though it appears without, it is within–within one’s own imagination, of

which this world ofmortality is but a shadow.

She gave me permission to tell that story. When I told it, and we came to the period of questions and

answers, there was a strange reaction fromthat crowd. They wondered what joy life would hold for any of us

if we had to write our own letters; if we had to do everything to ourselves that seemingly is done in joy; that

seemingly is spontaneous coming fromanother; but I don’t want to write myself a love letter frommy wife, or

my sweetheart or my friend. I want that one to feel this way towards me and to express it unknown to me

that I may receive a surprise in life.

Well, I am not denying that sleeping man firmly believes that is the way things happen. When a man awakes

he realizes that everything he encounters is apart of himself, and what he does not now comprehend, he

knows, because the eye is opened, that it is related by affinity to some as yet unrealized force in his own

being; that he wrote it but he has forgotten it, that he slapped himself in the face but he has forgotten it; that

within himself he started the entire unfolding drama, and he looks out upon a world, and it seems strange to

him, because most of us in our sleep are totally unaware ofwhat we are doing fromwithin ourselves.

What that lady did, every man and woman in this audience today can do. It will not take you years to prove

it; what I tell you now may startle you; it may seem to be bordering on insanity for the insane believe in the

reality of subjective states and the sane man only believes in what the senses will allow, what they will dictate,

and I’mgoing to tell you when you begin to awake, you assert the supremacy of imagination and you put all

things in subjection to it. You never again bow before the dictates of facts and accept life on the basis of the

world without. To you Truth is not confined by facts but by the intensity of your imagination. So here we find

the embodiment of Truth, which I say is human imagination, standing in the world drama before the

embodiment of reason personified as Pontius Pilate. And he is given the authority to question truth and they

ask him, “What is the truth?” and Truth remains silent. He refuses to justify any action of his; he refuses to

justify anything that was done to him, for he knows no man cometh unto me save I call him: no man takes

awaymy life, I lay it downmyself.

You didn’t choose me, I have chosen you. For here is Truth seeing nothing hereafter in pure objectivity, but

seeing everything subjectively related to himself and he the source of all the actions that take place within his

world; so Truth remains absolutely silent and says nothing when reason questions him concerning the true

definition of Truth. Because when the eye opens it knows that what is an idea to sleeping man is a fact to the

awakened imagination, an objective fact, not an idea. I entertain the idea of a friend and I make some

wonderful concept of himinmymind’s eye and when I sleep it seems to be a wish, it seems to be the longing

of my heart, but purely subjective, just an idea. And the eye within me opens, and he stands before me

embodying the quality that I desired in my sleep to see himexpress. So what is an idea to sleepingman, the

unawakened imagination, is an objective reality to awakened imagination.

Now, this exercise calls for, I would say, the active, voluntary use of imagination as against the passive,

involuntary acceptance of appearances. We never accept as true and as final anything unless it conforms to

the ideal we desire to embody within our world, and we do exactly what the grandmother did. But now we

start it and we do it daily. You may get your results tomorrow; it may come the day after; it may come in a

week, but I assure you they will come.

You do not need some strange laboratory, like our scientists, to prove or disprove this theory. Here in 1905

a young man startled the scientific world with his equation that no one could even test. It is said not six men

lived who could understand his equation. It was 14 years later before Lord Rutherford could devise the

means to test that equation and he found that it was true, not 100%, because he did not have the means at his

hand to really give it a complete test. It was another 14 years before further tests could be made. And you

know the results of that equation that Einstein gave us in 1905. For todayman, not knowing the power of his

own imagination, stands startled at the results of that unlocking of energy. But he was the man who said, and I

put it in the first page ofmy new book–“Imagination is more important than knowledge”

That was Albert Einstein. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For ifman accepts as final the facts

that evidence bears witness to, he will never exercise this God-given means of redemption, which is his

imagination. Now I’mgoing to ask you to test this: you will not take the three weeks that I amhere to prove it

or disprove it, but the knowledge of it cannot prove itself, only the application of that knowledge can prove it

or disprove it. I know from experience you cannot disprove it. Take an objective, take a job, take some

conversation with your boss, take an increase in salary. You say well, the job doesn’t allow it, or maybe the

Union will not allow it. I don’t care what doesn’t allow it.

Yesterday morning’s mail brought me one, where, in San Francisco, this captain, a pilot, and he writes me

that I saw himbackstage after one of mymeetings, and there he said, “But Neville, you are up against a stone

wall. I am a trained pilot; I have gone all over the world, all over the seven seas; I’m a good pilot and I love

the sea, not a thing in this world I want to do but go to sea; yet they restrict me to certain waters because of

seniority. No matter what argument I give them the Union is adamant and they have closed the book on my

request.” I said, “I don’t care what they have done, you are transferring the power that rightfully belongs to

God, which is your own imagination, to the shadow you cast upon the screen of space.

“So here, we are in this room; need it remain a room? Can’t you use your imagination to call this abridge. This

is now a bridge and I am a guest on the bridge of your ship, and you are not in waters restricted by the

Union; you are in waters that you desire to sail your ship. Now close your eyes and feel the rhythm of the

ocean and feel with me and commune with me and tell me of your joy in first proving this principle. and

secondly in being at sea where you want to be. He is now in Vancouver on a ship bringing a load of lumber

down to Panama. He has a complete list that will take him through the year what this man has to do. He is

going into waters legitimately that the Union said he could not go. This doesn’t dispense with unions, but it

does not put anyone in our place- -no one, kings, queens, presidents, generals, we take no one and enthrone

him and put him beyond the power that rightfully belongs to God. So I will not violate the law but things will

open that I will never devise.

I will sit in the silence and within myself I will revise the picture. I will hear the very man who told me “No,

and that’s final” and hear him tell me yes, and a door opens. I don’t have to go and pull strings or pull any

wires whatsoever. I call upon this wonderful power within myself, which man has forgotten completely

because he personified it and called it another man, even though it is a glorious picture of a man but that is not

the man: the realman is not in some other world. When religion speaks, if it’s a real religion, it speaks not of

another world; it speaks of another man that is latent but unborn in every man that has attunement with

another world of meaning, so that man sat and he tuned in with another world of meaning and brought into

being a power that he allowed to go to sleep because he read the laws ofman too well. He accepted as final

the dictate of facts for they read him the by-laws, they read him the laws of the Union. And here today he is

flying the ocean as he wants to do it. The grandmother is no longer locked out from the home she loved, but

she is in communion, but she was locked out by herself for two years. And he was locked out by himself for

well over 18 months, and burning up day after day allowing the sun to descend upon his wrath when he had

the power within himself and the key to unlock every door in the world.

I say to each and everyone of you I wouldn’t take from you your outer comfort, your religion, for all these

things are like toys for sleeping man, but I come to awaken within you that which when it awakes it sees an

entirely different world. It sees a world that no man when he sleeps could ever see, and then he starts to raise

within himself every being that God gave him; and may I tell you God gave you everyman that walks the face

of the earth. He also gave it for this purpose that nothing is to be discarded. Everyone in the world must be

redeemed and your individual life is the process by which this redemption is brought to pass.

So we don’t discard because the thing is unpleasant, we revise it; revising it we repeal it, and as we repeal it it

projects itself on the screen of space bearing witness to the power within us, which is our wonderful human

imagination. And I say human advisedly–some would have me say the word divine. The very word itself

means nothing to man. He has pushed it off from himself completely and divorced himself from the thing that

he now bows before and calls by other names. I say human imagination. As Blake said “Rivers, mountains,

cities, villages all are human”. When the eye opens you see themin your own bosom, in your own wonderful

bosomthey all exist, they are rooted there. Don’t let themfall and remain fallen; lift themup for the will ofmy

Father is this, that of all that he has given me I should lose nothing but raise it up again, and I raise it up every

time I revise my concept of another and make him conformto the ideal image I myselfwould like to express

in this world. When I do unto him what I would love the world to do unto me, and see in me I amlifting him


And may I tell you what happens to that man when he does it? First of all, he is already turned around within

himself. He no longer sees the world in pure objectivity, but the whole world subjectively related to himself,

and hang it upon himself. As he lifts it up do you know he blooms within himself. When this eye ofmine was

first opened I beheld man as the prophet saw him. I saw him as a tree walking: some were only like little

antlers of a stag, others were majestic in their foliage, and all that were really awake were in full bloom. These

are the trees in the garden of God. As told us in the old ancient way of revision in the 61st chapter of the

Book of Isaiah—“Go and give beauty for ashes, go and give joy for mourning, give the spirit of praise for the

spirit of heaviness, that theymay become trees of righteousness, plantings to the glory ofGod.”

That is what everymanmust do, that’s revision. I see ash when the business is gone; you can’t redeem it, you

can’t lift it up, conditions are bad and the thing has turned to ash. Put beauty in its place; see customers,

healthy customers, healthy in finances, healthy in the attitude towards you, healthy in every sense of the word.

See them loving to shop with you if you are a shopkeeper; if you are a factory worker, don’t see anything

laying you off, lift it up, put beauty in the place of ash, for that would be ash if you were laid offwith a family

to feed. If someone is mourning, put joy in the place of mourning; if someone is heavy of spirit, put the spirit

of praise in place of the spirit of heaviness, and as you do this and revise the day you turn around, and turning

around you turn up, and all the energies that went down when you were sound asleep and really blind now

turn up and you become a tree of righteousness, a planting to the glory ofGod. For I have seen themwalking

this wonderful earth, which is really the Garden; we have shut ourselves out by our concept of self and we

have turned down.

As told us in the Book ofDaniel, we were once this glorious tree and it was felled to the very base, and what

formerly sheltered the nations and fed the nations and comforted the bird and gave some comfort to the

animals fromthe sun of the day, of the heat of the day; and suddenly some voice said fromwithin, “Let it lie,

let it remain as it is, but do not disturb the roots; I will water it with the dew of heaven and as I water it with

the dew of heaven it will once more grow again, but this time it will consciously grow, it will know what it

really is and who it is. In its past it was majestic but it had no conscious knowledge of its majesty, and I felled

it- -that was the descent of man. And now, he will once more spring from within himself and he will be a tree

walking, a glorious, wonderful tree.

Now to those who are sound asleep this may seem to you too startling: this may be just as startling as

Einstein’s equation was; that was startling too. But I tell you I’ve seen it and I see it–men are destined to be

trees in the garden of God. They are planted on earth for a purpose and they don’t always remainmen, they

are transformed as they turn in and turn up. This is the true meaning of the transfiguration. There is a complete

metamorphosis taking place like the grub into the butterfly. You don’t remain what you appear to be when

man is asleep, and there is no more glorious picture in the world than to see this living animated human being,

for every branch within him is represented by an extension of himself called another, and when he lifts the

other up that branch not only comes into leafage but it blossoms and the living human blossoms that blossom

upon the tree ofman who awakens.

So that’s my message for you this year; I’ll give it to you to stir into being that which sleeps in you, for the son

of God sleeps in man and the only purpose of being is to awaken him. So it is not to awaken this, nice as it

appears to be, but this man of sense-is only a casing: it is called the first man, but the first shall be last and the

last shall be first. So that which comes into being second, like Jacob coming second from his mother’s womb,

he takes precedence over his brother Esau who came first. Esau was the one like this, he was made of skin

and hair, and Jacob was made a smooth skinned lad, but that one that comes second suddenly becomes the

lord of all the nations and that one sleeps in everyman born ofwoman, and it is the duty of a teacher or a true

religion to awaken that man, not to talk of another world, not to make promises to be fulfilled beyond the

grave, but to tell him as he awakens now he is in heaven and the kingdom is come now, this day, on earth.

For as he awakens he revises his day and he repeals his day and projects a more beautiful picture onto the

screen of space.

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