Neville Goddard Lecture, Four Fold Vision

Four Fold Vision

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FOURFOLD VISION

William Blake once wrote these words to his friend, Thomas Butts: “Now I a fourfold vision see, And a fourfold vision is given to me: ‘Tis fourfold in my supreme delight And threefold in soft Beulah’s night And twofold always, may God us keep From single vision and Newton’s sleep!” Fourfold vision is to single vision as ordinary sight is to blindness. We all experience single and threefold vision. It’s twofold and fourfold vision that one must consciously work to achieve. A hardheaded, common-sensed, rational man sees with his single vision. To him, a man is a man, a tree is a tree, a rose is a rose, and a dog is a dog. The idea that imagination could create reality would be sheer nonsense to him, and he would think you mad if you tried to tell him so. Being rational, the single-vision man lives in a world where things are what they seem to be. In that world everything can be weighed and measured, a minute is sixty seconds, and a pound is sixteen ounces – no more or no less. Blake refers to that kind of man as Newton’s sleep, saying: “May God us keep from single vision and Newton’s sleep.” Twofold vision occurs when everything is seen as an image. I have stood before a fireplace and enjoyed its warmth and light. I have watched the flames leap up and subside, fall into embers, then turn into ash and – to all appearances – vanish. And I have said to myself: “My life is like a fire.” At that moment I achieved a simile. I didn’t stop there, however, but said: “Life is fire.

My life is fire.” Having achieved a metaphor, I dropped the “is” and said to myself, “Life and fire are similar. I will never again see one and not see the other, or feel one and not imagine the other.” At that moment I had achieved a symbol, a poetic image. Fire is now an image which reminds me of life. Verdi once said: “All things transient are but images.” Is there anything here that is not transient? I have a friend who recently discovered two love birds had nested near his window, with three eggs in their nest. My friend now has fourteen days of waiting for them to hatch out. They will come forth, much to his pleasure, wax, wane, and then vanish. They, like all things transient, are but symbols; and if you will but turn the object seen into its symbol, twofold vision will be yours. Mr. [William] Hayley, a man who thought himself a poet (although only a few of his pieces that Blake illustrated have survived) was a man of considerable wealth. He gave Blake a home with a beautiful garden, for him, his wife, and sister to live in. One day Blake found a drunken soldier stretched out in his garden. When the man refused to leave Blake took him by the elbows and marched him out of the garden. Now a garden does not just happen. Man must be present to transform a plot into a garden, which must be planted and cared for or it will go to seed. Blake saw the drunken soldier (one of the forces) as the symbol of his spiritual enemy, yet physical friend. You see, although Mr. Hayley had fed and sheltered Blake he wanted no part of his poetry or artistic work, so he was Blake’s spiritual enemy. Of him Blake wrote: “I can tolerate my physical enemy, but not my spiritual one, for he destroys my creative power.” Blake saw everything in his life as a symbol. To him the sun was not a round disk in the sky, but a host of angels singing: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.” Always thinking in symbols, twofold vision was always his. Threefold vision is yours when the images begin to dream, to have love affairs, marry, and beget. Your dreams of the day and night are threefold vision, which Blake calls “soft Beulah’s night”. Your moods are your dreams in daylight, forming a threefold vision.

Capture a mood which would imply the fulfillment of your desire, then become so intense in that threefold vision that you enter your fulfilled desire, and you will move into fourfold vision. Having entered this dream of life, man has forgotten where he laid himself down to sleep. Thoreau once said: “The truest life is to be in a dream, awake.” Once this world was only a dream, but man became so intense, he awoke in his dream and turned to single vision in place of reality. Now, this world has become the stream of reality. Knowing this, start to assemble images in your mind that, if true, would imply the fulfillment of your desire. Let the images play together, interweave, fall in love, and reach fulfillment. Let me illustrate by telling a story which a friend recently shared with me. For some time he had an objective problem which he did nothing about, imaginatively. Then one day while in his office, he constructed a scene which if true would imply that the problem had been solved and his desire fulfilled. He ran through the scene several times in his mind, then entered it to rehearse the voices and scenery there. Breaking his concentration, he finished work and returned to his home. That night he again entered the scene, and as it became alive he fell asleep and had this dream. He was a disembodied observer of a party given to congratulate a young man who had just come into a great fortune. Congratulating the young man he asked: “How did you accomplish this?” And the man replied in a most embarrassing way: “It was so easy. I simply did what I should have done a long time ago.” Upon hearing this statement, my friend entered into the spirit of that young man and felt his embarrassment and unworthiness. Then once again becoming the observer, he heard the young man say: “It was not a vicarious thrill. Entering the state, I actually experienced the sensation.” My friend seemed to be observing someone else – but there is no one else! Humanity is a single being, in spite of its millions of forms and figures.

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

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