Neville Goddard Lecture, Changing the Feeling of I

Changing The Feeling of “I”

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For the benefit of those who were not present last Sunday, just let me give you a quick summary of the thought expressed here. We claimed that the world was a manifestation of consciousness, that the individual’s environment, circumstances and conditions of life were only the out picturing of the particular state of consciousness in which that individual abides. Therefore, the individual sees whatever he is by virtue of the state of consciousness from which he views the world. Any attempt to change the outer world before he changes the inner structure of his mind, is to labor in vain. Everything happens by order. Those who help or hinder us, whether they know it or not, are the servants of that law, which constantly shapes outward circumstances in harmony with our inner nature. We asked you last Sunday to distinguish between the individual identity and the state they occupy. The individual identity is the Son of God. It is that I speak of you or to you, or speak of myself, I mean really our imagination. That is permanent. It fuses with state and believes itself to be the state with which it is fused, but at every moment of time it is free to choose the state with which it will be identified. And that brings us to today’s subject, “Changing the Feeling of I”, and I hope I will not get the same reaction that is recorded in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. For we are told that when this was given to the world they all left him, leaving just a handful behind. For when he told them there was no one to change but self, they said this is a hard, hard teaching. It’s a hard thing. Who can hear it? For he said, “No man cometh unto me save I call him.” And then it’s recorded when he repeated it three times they left him, never again to walk with him.

And he turned to the few who remained and asked them, “Would you also go?” And they answered and said, “To whom would we go ? You have the word of eternal life. ‘I In other words, it’s so much easier when I can blame another for my misfortune, but now that I am told that no man cometh unto me save I call him, that I am the sole architect of my fortunes and misfortunes, it’s a difficult saying, and so it’s recorded “It’s a hard saying. Who can hear it? Who can grasp it? And who will believe it?” And so he said, “And now I sanctify myself that they also be sanctified through the truth, for if this is the truth, then there is no one to change, no one to make whole, no one to purify but self.” And so we start with the “I” . Most of us are totally unaware of the self that we really cherish. We have never taken one good look at the self, so we don’t know this self, for the “I” has neither face, form nor figure, but it does mold itself into structure by all that it consents to, all that it believes, and few of us know really what we do believe. We have no idea of the unnumbered superstitions and prejudices that go to mold this inner, formless “I” into a form which is then projected as a man’s environment, as the conditions of life. So here, read it carefully when you go home, “No man cometh unto me save I call him. You didn’t choose me; I have chosen you. No man can take away my life; I lay it down myself . There is no power to take from me anything that is part of the inner arrangement of my mind. All that you gave me I have kept and none is lost save the son of perdition or the belief in God, and because nothing can be lost but the belief in loss, I will not now assume loss of anything you have given me that is good. And so I sanctify myself that they be sanctified through the truth”. And now, how do we go about changing the “I”. First of all, we must discover the “I” and we do this by an uncritical observation of self. This will reveal a self that will shock you.

 You will be altogether, I wouldn’t say afraid, but ashamed to admit you’ve ever known such a lowly creature. And had it been God Himself who drew near in this despicable form, you would have denied him a thousand times before a single cock would crow. You couldn’t believe that this is the self that you’ve carried around and protected and excused and justified. Then you start changing this self after, by an uncritical observation, you make the discovery of that self. For the acceptance of self is the essence of the moral problem of the world. It is the epitome of a true outlook on life, for it is the sole cause of everything you observe. Your description of the world is a confession of the self that you do not know. You describe another, you describe society, you describe anything, and your description of the thing you observe reveals to one who knows this law the being you really are. So you must first accept that self. When that self is accepted, then you can start to change. It’s so much easier to take the virtues of the Gospel and apply them as the word of life, to love the enemy, to bless those who curse us, and to feed the hungry. But when man discovers the being to be fed, the being to be clothed, the being to be sheltered, the greatest enemy of all is that self, then he is ashamed, completely ashamed that that is the being, for it was easier to share with another something that I possess, to take an extra coat and give it to another, but when I know the truth it’s not that. I start with the self, having discovered, and start with change of that self. Now, let me tell you a story. A few years ago in this city I was giving a series of lectures down near that lake – I can’t even recall the name of the lake but it was some Parkview Manor was the place where I spoke, and in that audience was a gentleman who sought an audience before the meeting. And we went across the street into the little park there, and he said to me that he had an insoluble problem. I said, “There is no such thing as an insoluble problem. “But”, he said, “you do not know my problem. It’s not a state of health, I assure you; it is look at the skin that I wear” .

I said, “What’s wrong with it; it looks lovely to me”. He said, “Look at the pigment of my skin. I, by the accident of birth, am now discriminated against. The opportunities for progress in this world are denied me just because of the accident of birth, that I was born a colored man. Opportunities for advancement in every field, neighborhoods that I would like to live in and raise a family I couldn’t move in, where I would like to open up a business I couldn’t move into that area.” Then I told him my own personal experience, that I came to this country. Well, I didn’t have that problem but I was a foreigner in the midst of all Americans. I didn’t find it difficult. “Yet”, as he reminded me, “but that’s not my problem, Neville. Others have come here speaking with an accent, but they haven’t my skin, and I was born an American” . Then I told him an experience of mine in New York City. If I were called upon to name a man that I would consider my teacher, I would name Abdullah. I studied with that gentleman for five years. He had the same color skin, the same pigment as this gentleman. He would never allow anyone to refer to him as a colored man. He was very proud of being a negro didn’t want any modification of what God had made him. He turned to me and he said, “Have you ever seen a picture of the Sphinx?”

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Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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