Neville Goddard Lecture, Is Christ Your Imagination?

Is Christ Your Imagination

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Tonight’s subject is in the form of a question: “Is Christ your Imagination?” When we ask the question we expect the answer in terms of our current background of thought, and quite often that is not adequate to frame the answer. Now, I am asking the question, and in order to answer myself I should really clarify the terms, “imagination” and “Christ” I think there will be no problem tonight if I define – say – “imagination.” I think you will agree with me when I define “Christ.” If I say to that, that imagination is the power of performing mental images, you wouldn’t quarrel with that. Sitting here tonight, you can think of anything and see it mentally. You may not see it as graphically as you see it in its present form in the room at the moment, but you could see it vividly in the mind’s eye and discriminate. Think of a tree, a horse, and you know the difference between one and the other, and they are two separate objects in your mind’s eye. Well, that is the power of imagination. When it comes to Christ – and there are hundreds of millions in the world that call themselves Christians – the very use of the word instantly conjures in the mind’s eye a person. They think of Christ as a person, and no two have the same mental picture of this person. I know, many, many years ago in New York City this French artist went to the library on 42nd street and brought up 46 different pictures of Christ and screened them with his little lantern. No two were alike, and each artist claimed that this was an inspired picture as it was presented to him, and he painted the picture. There were blond and blue-eyed pictures, dark swarthy skin; there were those with a very black skin – all 46 pictures were projected as so-called originals. So, man has been conditioned to believe that Christ is a person. So I ask the question: “Is Christ your imagination?” Can I personify the imagination? I will.

Let us go back to the Bible. What does the Bible say of Christ? In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (I will just give you the highlights) he defines Christ as: “The power and the wisdom of God.” (1:23, 24) In John 1 (which brings Christology to its height, as far as the Bible goes – there is no single book that takes the secret of Christ and brings it to this height as you will find in the Gospel of John) – in the Gospel of John, speaking now of this presence that was with God, his meaning, his power: “By Him all things were made and without Him was not anything made that was made.” It is the power and yet it is wisdom. So here is a creative power. If I take that now and analyze myself in another world, the sign goes to the end of the second letter to the Corinthians. He calls upon all of us who would read that letter: “Test yourself. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in thee?” Here we are told: “All things were made by Him.” He is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Every attribute of God is personified. So his power is personified, and may I confess I have seen that power – and it is a man. I have seen that wisdom – and it is a man. And when you stand in the presence of that personified aspect of infinite being, you know you are standing in the presence of infinite might. It is not just power, it is almighty-ness, and you stand in the presence – and yet it is a man. So here he calls it the power and the wisdom.Now he asks me, and you who read his letter, to test ourselves: “Test yourself, do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in thee.” (2 Corinthians 13:5) And he made all these things – well then, let us put him to the test in us. I say he is our imagination, that is the power, the creative power of the universe. Look around. Do you know anything in the world of man that man has created – from the clothes that he wears to the homes that he inhabits – that wasn’t first imagined? Do you know of anything in this world that is now proved as fact, as a concrete reality, that wasn’t first imagined – only imagined, and then it externalized? Yes, using hands, using implements of the world, but it first began as an image, and an image is simply the product of this reforming image-making faculty in man, which is man’s imagination.

Now, if “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made,” I can’t come to any other conclusion than the fact that Christ of scripture is my imagination. Now who is Jesus? If Christ is the power and the wisdom of God, and God sunk himself in us, that was his sacrifice. He actually became us that we may live; for were it not for this sacrifice of God, to actually limit himself to the state called “man,” man would – like the earth – wear out like a garment. As we are told in Isaiah 51:6: “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will do likewise; but my salvation will be for ever and my deliverance will never be ended.” That word “salvation” means Jesus. The word “Jesus” is “Jehovah saves.” That is salvation. That is forever. Were it not that God became man that man may become God, to save man and lift him up to immortality, because the promise is: “The earth will wear out like a garment.”
Our scientists tell us today that the sun is melting in radiation. If it took unnumbered billions of years, if it started a process of melting, no matter how long it takes it has an end, and with its end we have our end as part of the system. So we, walking the earth, always have an end.

To stop that process of bringing man to an end: “My salvation will be for ever and my deliverance will never have an end.” So, God became man that man may become God. In becoming man (as God is the only creative power in the world) what in me creates? My imagination. I may not have the talent to put it on paper, I may not have the ability to execute it the way artists can, but I can imagine it. I can imagine a book and the joy of having a book. I can imagine a picture. Without being an artist I can dream. I cannot conceive of a picture that a man can paint on canvas that is more alive than my dream, yet I can’t put a thing on canvas. But I go to sleep and I can dream. And what is doing it, if not my imagination? And here when I lose the conscious faculty, this restricted area, I can actually dream. Dream as no artist in the world conveys; put color upon it, put motion upon it, and have the most wonderful drama – and that is my imagination. But this is not the only power and wisdom of God. In the greatest of all the New Testament, which is John, John does not emphasize the power. He states in the beginning – yes, he declares might as power – but the emphasis is not on power; it is on redemption and revelation. Revelation in John’s gospel is an act of God in self-revealing. So, in the first chapter he tells us what this power will do for us. First of all there are two endings to John. Let us take the real ending, which is the 20th chapter, the first ending, and whoever the writer is who calls himself John: “Now Jesus did many other signs that are not written in this book

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

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