Control Your Inner Conversations

Neville Goddard

26 April 1971


The whole manifested world goes to show us what use we have made of God’s gift. Receiving a

gift does not mean that we are going to use it wisely, but we have the gift. Everyone has the gift;

and the world simply reflects the use of that gift.

In “The Merchant of Venice,” Shakespeare puts these words into the mouth of Portia: “If to do

were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches and poor men’s

cottages princes’ palaces. It is a good divine who follows his own instructions. I can easier teach

twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching.”

So you and I have been given a gift. To what use have we put it? In a book written in the First

Century, written at the time of our Gospel, — it’s called the Hermetica, and this is a translation by

Walter Scott. It is a wonderful series of four volumes; and in this he says: “There are two gifts

that God has given to man alone, and to no other mortal creature, and these two gifts are Mind

and Speech. And the gifts of Mind and Speech are essential and identical with Immortality. If

they are used rightly, man will not differ in any respect from the immortals; and when he quits

the body, these two will be his guides and they will lead him into the troop of the gods and. to

the souls that have attained to bliss.”

Now he is not speaking of any outer speech, for you and I have had this experience, — I know I

have many times. You have gone to a party, and many people you do not know, you meet them

and the usual greetings: “Nice to know you,” “What a joy to know you,” “Pleased to meet you,”

and the usual clichés; and then you have drinks and your little hors d’oeuvre, and then the party

breaks up and they all separate. And you hear someone say, “What a creep,” “What a bore”; yet

they were so pleased to meet them: “What a joy to know you.” The outer words did not conform

whatsoever with what they were really thinking on the inside. And God sees, not the outer man;

He sees the inner Man.

It’s the inner speech that is frozen in the world round about us. This whole vast world is but

“frozen” inner speech. What are we saying on the inside? We may think that someone really

understands us. You go along believing that they understand you, and some simple little thing

happens and you realize they never really heard you. Not for one moment had they really heard

you. Some little disruption, and then the whole thing is over; and then they turn against you as

though you were the devil, when they formerly thought you were one who was “sent.” That is all

in Scripture.

Read the 7th chapter of the Book of John and the 8th chapter of John: “And some said, he is a

good man; and others said, no, he is leading people astray. Others said, why, he is mad, and he

has a. devil.”

When he fed them with the loaves and the fish, — oh, they loved it, — getting things in the world.

As long as they could have things and things and things, it was marvelous; and then he tells them

of something entirely different: that they would go through “furnaces”, but the end would justify

all the “furnaces” through which they would pass. The end would be God; they would awaken in

the end, and they would awaken as God the Father. He didn’t tell them of the nature of the

“furnaces.” He told them only of the end and that they would pass through “furnaces”; and

passing through, they faltered. They could tell exactly what they were really doing on the inside.

As we are told in the 50th Psalms: “If a man orders his conversations aright, I will show him the

salvation of God.”

If one could only control these inner conversations morning, noon and night, and carry them

right into the dream world, he would know what world he is creating. Stop for one moment and

ask yourself, what am I thinking now? You are carrying on a little tiny inner speech at every

moment of time. You may be in the presence of someone that the world thinks important, but

you don’t, and inwardly you are saying, “But only God hears it.” That’s what you are actually

saying. Outwardly you are pleased to meet him, and you are flattered with the contact; but

inwardly, what are you saying?

This is what I ask everyone to observe. Observe what you are actually doing on the inside, for

that is what God sees; and what you are doing on the inside, you are doing in little tiny speech

movements, and they are crystallizing in the manifested world round about you.

So, “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do,” — well, we all would be kings. We

all would be everything we want to be in this world. But we find it more difficult to do it than to

know what to do. So I could tell you from now until the ends of time, but only practice will do it

— just practice.

When a man1 looks and sees a building that seems beyond his wildest dream of ever acquiring it,

and he has reasons that he does not share with anyone but his mother, — she is the only one he

takes into his confidence; and she despairs because she knows that he could never achieve

ownership of that building, — it’s too big, too far beyond her dreams, or even ambition; but he

loves her and he shares only with her what he is doing, and he sees a sign implying that he does

own it, — well, as he looks at it he could not read the sign and not inwardly repeat it.

So inwardly he is saying, “It is my building,” as he reads his own name on that building. And

day after day, as he goes by, he “reads” his own name on the building, which implies that he has

it. And then, out of the “blue,” two years later they fail, and a stranger comes in and offers to put

the money up to buy it. He has no collateral, but that day he was owner of the building.

He then conducted the most fantastically marvelous, successful business in that firm for many,

many years; and then an offer came that offered him many, many times more than he paid for it.

He paid $50,000 for it of another person’s money and sold it without any capital gain for

$840,000. There was no capital gain. It was all done by inner speech, for you could not read

1 Victor Goddard

something without using your lips. No one sees it, but I read something, and inwardly I am

repeating what I am reading.

I saw that here on the bus a few months ago, going to Beverly Hills, and here is a man reading a

paper, and every word he read he was forming with his lips. I could watch him. Could I have

actually interpreted the motion of his lips, I could have told you exactly what he was reading, for

he formed every word. Well everyone is doing that, but not as obviously as he did it.

So you read something, and actually inwardly you are repeating the words. Well now, the whole

thing is in your imagination. That is all it was in him, only his imagination. That was God’s gift.

It is translated in the Hermetica as “Mind.” “And God has given to man, and to man alone, two

gifts, and to no other mortal creature. The gifts are Mind and Speech; and these are like the gifts

of Immortality, and by these gifts he does not differ in any respect from the Immortals. If he uses

them wisely,” — the whole world is his.

Are we not told that: “The world was created by the Word of God;” and “things that are seen

were made out of things that are not seen?”

So here, out of the nowhere, we create by inner speech through the use of what? Call it “mind” if

you will. I like the word “imagination.” To me, it inflames me. When I imagine a state — any

state, if I can only persuade myself of the reality of the state imagined, that’s the important thing;

to believe in the reality of the state imagined. But to know what to do is not the same as doing it.

So, “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do,” — well then, — “chapels had been

churches and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces.” And how many teachers in the world follow

their own instruction? And then he goes on to confess: “I can easier teach twenty what were

good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching.”

So I tell you, I am telling you exactly what I know from experience, whether it be the Law or the

Promise. But I am not telling you that everyone will apply it wisely. I am not telling you that in

the end there will not be a shake-down of those who only pretended to believe it. There are many

who came out of a traditional background. They will return to it, and they will genuflect before a

hand-made cross or a hand-made figure that hangs on the wall, and cross themselves for good

luck, and think that the speaker who taught them in the beginning has turned into a devil. They

will; but rejoice, because these signs must come. It’s part of Scripture.

And when they come into my world, I rejoice because the end is upon me. Just when they come,

— and they will come, — and they get thinner and thinner as they separate moving back, because

they cannot go forward into the top — unto the high places of the mountain. And then you know

exactly who understood you and who did not understand you.

Let me now make it quite clear: You have the gift. You can speak. Even if you were dumb, you

still speak — inwardly you speak, and you form these little speech movements within yourself.

Make them conform to your wish fulfilled.

Do what Robert Millikan did when he was a poor boy, and had nothing but a brilliant mind; a

great, great understanding of literature; but he had no money, and he was tired of his poverty.

And knowing how the mind works, he constructed a sentence that if true would imply he was no

longer poor. And his sentence is a beautiful sentence; “I have,” — not “am going to have”; “I

have a lavish, steady, dependable income, consistent with integrity and mutual benefit.”

That was the great Robert Millikan, who was the head of Cal-Tech, who gave us his discovery of

cosmic rays, who when he died could leave a fortune behind to these charities. I know that the

YMCA was one of them; they got a fortune from him. He already settled on his sons and made

them financially independent, but he had enough left over to give to his favorite charities, and

lived a full, wonderful, marvelous life, where everyone who met him benefited by the actual

meeting with that great man. And he started off from “scratch,” using this simple technique —

using the simple technique — using the gift of God that He gave to every person in this world:

Mind and Speech.

Whether you be a Frenchman or an American or any other nationality, you have speech and you

have a mind. Instead of accepting what you have already done with that gift, you simply ignore

it. You brought it into being. All this is solidified speech — the whole vast manifested world. And

you turn from it, and then reconstruct the sentence. Change it, as this one of whom I spoke2

changed the entire pattern. He was a poor boy, — the whole family poor, behind the 8-ball

financially — socially and in every sense of the word, behind that 8-ball; and he constructed a


As he read the so-called letters that implied that the family owned the building, he was repeating

within himself as he read it. And it took two years. He persisted, and at the end of two years the

family owned it; and from then on, you couldn’t stop them. And they are still growing and

expanding and expanding and expanding, because he never forgot how to apply the principle. So,

he was among those who didn’t come within it. He found it just as easy to do it as to know what

to do. And others can find it easy to know what to do but difficult to do it. I’ve seen it time and

time again.

I would say to them, “Do you not know what you are doing to yourself?”

“Yes, but just give me one little moment because I am so enjoying the feeling of getting even

with them.”

You “get even” with no one. There is no one else in the world.

As you are told: “I am the Lord, and beside Me there is no god.” Read it in the 45th chapter of

the Book of Isaiah, “I am the Lord, and beside Me there is no god.”

“Now you want the Word?” He said, “The Word is very near unto you.. It is in your mouth and

in your heart, that you can do it. See, I set before you this day life and good, blessings and

curses, death and evil. Choose life, that you and your descendants may live.”

2 Here Neville is referring to his eldest brother, Victor Goddard.

The whole thing is before you. You can choose death if you want it, because the Word is on your

tongue, it is in your mouth, it is in your heart. And you can do it now. You don’t have to ask who

will go up to Heaven and bring it down for me, or go into the depths and bring it up for me. It is

now nearer than you know; in your mouth and in your heart, that you can do it now. Well what

would you do now? What sentence would imply that you are now what you would like to be?

You know what to do. And I say, it’s not knowing what to do; it is the doing it.

Someone got the most marvelous revelation. I was there the morning that it happened. “Stop

spending your thoughts, your time and your money. Everything in life must be an investment,”3

And I so loved it, I incorporated that thought in the chapter, “The Coin of Heaven,” in my book,

“Awakened Imagination.” She would be the first to confess, although it came through her, and it

was her revelation from God to her, — shared with me, and I shared it through the written form

with those who read it in the book, — but she is the first to confess she never applied it.

There it is, but she never applied it. She was thrilled beyond measure that she was the medium

through which the Voice could come, and I can see her now rushing to the library and taking out

the dictionary to get the true definition of the two words: “spending” and “investing.” To

“spend” is to put off without hope of return; to waste. To “invest” is expecting a return on your

equity. There must be a return on equity when you invest.

Well, we are told: “Stop spending your thought, your time and your money.” Time must produce

some return. It is precious. Your thought is speech; it must be actually invested, not wasted. And

your money. Everything must be invested, and not wasted. And she’s the first to confess, “I

knew I never really applied it. I thought, well, now it came through, and I can go on this normal,

normal way”; but it doesn’t work that way.

“If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do,” — what a marvelous sentence. You’ll

find it if you have the works of Shakespeare in the first act, and second scene4, put on the lips of

Portia. And how difficult for a man who teaches to follow his own instruction. And he himself

confessed: “I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to

follow my own teaching,”

So I ask you to really apply it. Don’t think for one second that knowing what to do is going to do

anything for you. It’s the doing it that matters. So, if every moment of time you know what to do,

then do it. If you find yourself carrying on any negative conversation, break it, even though it

gives you pleasure, as it does many people; they find such fun in being critical. They think they

are alone and no one sees them; so it doesn’t matter. No one sees you? The only One that matters

sees you every moment of time, and that’s your Father. He sees into the very depths of your

Being, and He knows exactly what you are doing. And your world is built out of these inner


3 This revelation came through Neville’s wife Bill on April 12, 1953, and is related in “Awakened Imagination” on

page 107 and following.

4 The Merchant of Venice

So, today if you are not satisfied with the world in which you live, blame no one, but turn within

to these two gifts and use them wisely, for here we are told to order our life according to our


Then in Ephesians we are told, — it’s the 4th chapter: “Put off the old nature which belongs to the

former conversations, and put on the new nature.” The “new nature” is sometimes translated “the

new man,” and the “old nature” the “old man.” Well, if I equate the “old nature” with the

“former conversations,” I must equate the “new man” with the “new conversations.” So, He

identifies the inner speech with man’s nature. So now, what am I actually doing on the inside of

myself? And I am doing it morning, noon and night; I can’t stop it. If I stop for one moment, it

isn’t. You can’t stop it. You take it into your dreams, and you are still talking. You are really

talking at all moments of time.

So what are you saying at every moment of time? Watch it; be careful what you are saying,

because your whole vast world is this inner conversation “pushed out.” And you can change it

only by changing the conversation, because the conversation is equated with your nature.

So if you walk the street or you ride the bus, or you sit alone, you are still talking; at every

moment of time you are talking. And all you need to do to find out what you have been saying is

to look at your world. Your world reflects this inner speech. I have seen it every moment of time.

I am not going to tell you I have not faltered. I would not for one moment tell you that I am

always in control of the inner conversations.

The phone rings. This happens, and you’ve told them over and over, and your reaction may not

be quite the right one, but you reacted anyway. No one heard it, but you heard it, and your Father

heard it; and you are going to build your world based on exactly what you’ve done, So you

watch it morning, noon and night, because you are going to “play” this part,

The end of everyone’s world is Christ. Everyone is moving towards the fulfillment of being God

Himself — every one. And therefore the story of Christ as told in the Gospels, you are going to

play it, And when He awakes within you and unfolds within you and you are Christ, and you

know you are, you are going to find those who will eagerly take all that you have to say when

you give them the loaves and the fish; and then this is going to happen in your life: “Do not think

for one moment I came to bring peace upon earth. I came not to bring peace, but a sword to set a

man against his father and the daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her


This will happen. And then comes the conflict in the world, and he is accused of being the devil.

They say, “He has a devil. Why do you listen to him? He is mad.”

But then when you who have awakened from the dream of life hear these things, you rejoice,

because you know your end is near. Oh it has to take place to “separate the sheep from the

goats,” and let them go back into their world and genuflect and cross themselves for luck. And

then, those who can actually follow, they will follow, for “My own must come to me.”

So I hope that everyone here, not only listens, but believes what I have said, for I’ve told you

what I know from experience. God Himself came, and comes into human history in the person of

Jesus Christ — in you, in me, in everyone. But when He comes in you, He awakens as you. Read

the story then. All that is told in that story concerning Jesus Christ, you are going to experience.

So when you tell the story to those who will readily believe it when you “feed” them with the

loaves and the fish, based upon the Law, — how to get the building, how to get money, how to

become famous: and all that, — they love it. Then you turn and you emphasize the end, the

Promise and the Promise is: “Ye will be as God.” You don’t need buildings, because the whole

world is yours and all within it. But they can’t see that. They want more loaves and more fish;

and then something will happen because you didn’t come to bring peace upon earth, — you came

to bring a sword to separate the old from the new, and the conflict is on.

And then suddenly eruptions will take place within families, and they will turn — completely turn

against you; but you, knowing that you are the central figure of the Gospel, you rejoice.

You have nothing but pity for those who couldn’t follow beyond a certain point. That’s all that

you have. No criticism. No condemnation. Only pity that they couldn’t go a little bit further. But

it’s all part of the “play.”

So I tell you, you watch carefully what you are saying morning, noon and night. When you go to

bed at night, just watch your inner conversations, and see that the sun is not descending upon

your anger. Resolve it at that very moment, and make it conform to your wish fulfilled, and make

that “wish fulfilled” a. thing of love. What would it be like if it were true? Just what would it be

like? Then carry on a conversation from the premise of the wish fulfilled, all clothed in love, for

anyone that you think of; and watch how things happen in your world.

Your night, — may I tell you — if that is your last thought, it will dominate the dream of the night,

You are completely dominated, and your Father is speaking to you constantly through the

medium of dreams and through the medium of vision, and you will see the whole thing unfolding

within you; and you will know that you are the Lord Jesus Christ.

You don’t go out and scream it from the housetops. You know it, and you walk in the comfort of

being the Awakened Man, who is God. Let everyone say exactly what he wants to say about you,

and pay no attention to it, because they have to do it. When you come down to the end, they have

to do it. The separation must take place.

And you don’t justify it. Self-justification is the voice of hell. So you don’t justify anything, and

you don’t try to always be right. Another almost incurable disease of man is the necessity of

always being right. So you don’t make any effort to prove that you are right. You know what you

have experienced, and you can’t deny the experience; so you go your way, telling it just as it

comes to you. And it comes to you in the most glorious manner. It’s all in Scripture; so when

you come to the end, you aren’t disappointed and you aren’t surprised that those that you sent off

alive and free will now take up arms against you and call you insane, call you a devil, and would

disrupt their family life. You know exactly what you’ve done. You have only told the truth. And

when the Truth comes into the world, it comes not to bring peace but a sword. He is going to

separate you from that traditional background that enslaved you in the past, because real progress

in this world, — religious progress, — is a gradual transition from a god of tradition to a. God of

experience. You experience God: and the whole thing reflects it.

His Son calls you Father; and there is no uncertainty as to who he is and Who-You-Are. And

your whole memory returns. And here you stand before your everlasting Son, and he knows it

and you know it: and no person in the world could in any way dissuade you from knowing this.

You have experienced it. You can’t deny it.

So I am telling you what is in store for you. Use the gift wisely. Start now to use it. For if you

use it, you are told: “I will show you the salvation of God.” Read it in the very last verse of the

50th Psalm. They translate the word “conversations” as “manner of life,” and some the “way of

life”; but in the King James version it’s always translated “conversations.” Thirteen times that

phrase is used, and it is always “conversations.”

“Put off the former conversation, and then be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”

If you put it off — it’s equated with the “old man.” Now, as I put it off, I have to replace it with

something — a “new conversation”; so you are told in the Book of Joel: “Let the weak say, I am

strong.” You read that in the 3rd chapter, the 10th verse. “Let the weak say, I am strong,” for

there is no other God. “I am the Lord, and beside Me there is no god.” So, “I set before you,” —

and you make the choice. You can choose life or you can choose death. You can choose the good

or choose the evil, a blessing or a curse. It’s entirely up to man to choose anything. And look into

this manifested world, and you’ll see what we have chosen.

But every morning you see headlines — nothing but disaster, you see what man has chosen. He

seems either to want it or he is “fed” it, — one or the other. Look at the editorials. “We need that

in order to sell papers,” Or else, we ourselves are demanding it from Him, but you “feed” upon

it. Morning, noon and night we feast upon all this unloveliness and carry on these little internal

mental conversations with ourselves; but they don’t remain there. They balloon and objectify

themselves and become solidified as our manifested world.

So this whole manifested world goes to show us what use or misuse we have made of God’s gift.

And God’s gift is your Mind and your Speech; and it’s not your outer speech, for we know how

deceptive that is. You see it morning, noon and night.

A salesman goes in, and he is trained to deceive the buyer. The advertiser is trained to deceive

the buyer. And everything is on the outside. God sees only the inside. Man sees the outer

appearance and God sees the Inner Man. So when you watch your inner conversation, you are

actually watching the new nature. That is your nature. And if you don’t like it, change it. You

“put off the old man,” and then “put on the new man”; and “He will show you the salvation of

Gad.” Then the whole thing will unfold within you.

I tell you from my own experience, before the Promise was realized in me, seemingly I had this

conversation with my brother. Formerly I would argue mentally, — we were five thousand miles

apart, — and I needed money at that time; and when I found myself arguing with him, I broke it —

tore that entire record up. And whether he sent me a nickel or not, I loved him and praised him

and thanked him, and went about my business, not knowing where the next was coming from,

for I had spent a fortune by taking off one solid year and living at the same level that I had lived

in previous years, and spent money like water. Then came that moment I needed money. And

inwardly I carried on a conversation with him, and I thought that’s a stupid thing to do; so I

broke that record, and then I carried on the most glorious conversation with him, like two lovers,

because I do love him and he loves me, And. I changed that “old man” into the “new man,” by

changing my conversation with him, Do you know, in no time flat, — unasked, a very large

wonderful check came to me? And no request; I didn’t appeal at all.

I was “taking it out” on the one I loved because I myself had spent the money like a drunken

sailor. And then here inwardly I am arguing with my brother; and when I broke it and actually

carried on the most loving conversation with him — all about the family life and all these

marvelous things, suddenly out of the nowhere came a very large, wonderful check. And I didn’t

appeal for it,

So I am telling you from experience, I know it works this way. Yet, if you are in the mood to

argue, you so love the argument, — it costs you nothing; so you are having the time of your life.

But it doesn’t stop there; it’s going to balloon and crystallize and manifest itself in your world.

So, watch it. And do you know, it becomes a pleasant thing after a while to actually carry on

lovely conversations? It becomes very pleasant.

But if you are honest with yourself, you would say just what this darling of mine said to me, “I

never practice it. It came through, and I recorded it, and you used it, but I personally never

practiced it. Still inwardly I carried on the same old conversations that I always did.”

So I say to you now, as we are going up towards the end, believe me, I would not deceive you. I

have told you exactly what happened to me as to the Promise. I have told you exactly what I

have proven as to the Law; it will not fail you. You can take the Law and put it into practice

now. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Do it now, and know that if you carry on these conversations,

the promise of the 50th Psalm will take form. “He will show you the salvation of God.” And the

“salvation of God” is simply: You awaken as God. That’s how He shows it to you.

He came, and He comes into human history in the person of Jesus Christ; and there is only one

Jesus Christ. So when it happens, you are Jesus Christ. You don’t change your name. You are

still Mary. You are still Stan. You are .still John. But when it happens, you know Who-You-Are.

You don’t go and ask the judge to change your name to Jesus. You walk the streets still as

Stanley, still as Mary, still as Neville; but you know Who-You-Are. And then when things do

happen, because you know Who-You-Are, these things have to happen.

They must accuse you of being insane. They must accuse you of being deceitful and leading

people astray. It’s all part of Scripture. But you are not amazed; you only have pity and mercy

for those who could not go further than they are, and then they fall by the wayside. These are the

four on which the seed falls; the highway, among the thorns, among the rocks, and then on good

soil. And you can’t help it.

You can only scatter the seed and let it fall where it will. And it will fall on those four kinds of

soil. It always falls on four; and as it falls on the good, it will simply rise within them, and. they

will have the identical experience that you have had. When it falls on the highway, quickly other

ideas devour it. When it falls among the thorns, the cares of the world encroach upon it and

choke it. If it falls on the rock and the rock is not prepared to let the root go too deep, the sun

scorches it, and suddenly something comes up and it’s all gone. But when the soil has been

prepared, it goes deep, and it bears a hundredfold.

So, I tell you, the whole story is all about you. And one day you will know — actually know —

you are the Lord Jesus Christ. And you cannot avoid the story. It will happen to you too. Don’t

think for one moment that you are going to awaken knowing you are the Lord Jesus Christ and

not have those to whom you poured out your soul, who took the loaves and the fish, turn upon

you and accuse you of being mad, and therefore an evil one, and not anything should be done

with you, — turn from you completely. You’ll find it.

But then, being conscious of the fact that you have experienced the entire story, you can only go

back to the written Word of God and know it had to happen. It just had to happen. And when

these signs come, the end is not far.

Now let us go into the silence.

(audio lecture “MIND AND SPEECH”)

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