Neville Goddard Lecture, The Art Of Dying

The Art Of Dying

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If you are with us for the first time, this is what we believe and teach here. We firmly believe that you, the individual, can realize your every dream, and the reason is that God and man are one. We believe that the difference is not in the mentality with which we operate, but only in the degrees of intensity of the operant power itself, and that we call human Imagination. Keats said: “You can take any one great and spiritual passage and it will serve as a starting point to lead you to the two-and-thirty palaces.” Take this simple one in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians: “I die daily,” or Blake’s statement in his letter to Crab Robinson: “Death is the best thing in life. There is nothing in life like death, but people take such a long time in dying. At least, their neighbors never see them rise from the grave.” If you understood Blake you would not think of death as the world thinks of death, but you would see that no one can grow without outgrowing. But man is not willing to outgrow, [and] yet he wants other things than those he has. But if you remain in one state, you will forever have to suffer the consequences of not being in another state. (From the “Hermetica”) If I remain in the state of poverty, I must suffer the consequences of not being in the state of wealth. So I must learn the art of dying. Paul says: “I die daily.” Blake says: “People take such a long time in dying.” Man does not outgrow his state of ill health or his old job or his environment. We must learn the art of dying, and this week is the great death and we are told that God dies that man may live. We say that the Imagination of God and man are one, no matter how far it goes. Universes are created and sustained by “the same power that sustains our environment.” We say the power is the same, but we recognize a vast difference between the power that sustains the universe and that which sustains an environment. The difference is only in the degree of intensity of the center of imagining. So, if we increase the intensity [in] the center of imagining, we will create greater and greater things. So I see my dream, and I must learn to die to what I AM in order to live to what I want to be. Now this is the mystical meaning of a death in the Bible – the death of Moses, a story familiar to all of us. We are told that Moses comes out of the land of Moab (Deuteronomy 34) and then scales the mountain of Nebo, goes to Pisgah, sees Gilead, and finally he looks into the promised land of Jericho. But the Lord tells him: “I will let you see the land, but you cannot go into it.” Then Moses dies. (The present state cannot be carried into the new; it has to die as a consequence of the new made alive.) “But his eye was not dim and his natural force was not abated.” And no one knows his burial place. First remember that all the characters of the Bible take place in the mind of man. I am Moses, you are Moses. It means to “lift up” or to “draw out of.” We are told in the very beginning of the story that he was pulled from the bulrushes. The word ["Moses" - in Hebrew, "Moshe"] spelled backwards in the ancient Hebrew means “the Name” [haShem] or “I AM.” So I am drawing out of my own being, or the I AM. Moses comes from “Mo ab.” This comes from two Hebrew words meaning “Mother-Father,” or “womb.”

Then he scales the mount of Nebo, which means “to prophesy,” or which represents the subjective state I long for. I will prophesy for you, or you for another. You single out a person’s longing. If he longs for something it means that he does not have it, else there could be no longing. But Moses climbs Nebo – that is, he participates in seeing the state longed for. I single out something that implies I am the man I want to be. I scale the mountain. Then comes Pisgah, which means, “to contemplate.” I contemplate what I want to be. Then he sees Jericho, which means “a fragrant odor.” I will contemplate the desired state until I get the feeling or reaction that satisfies. I have not only scaled Nebo but I have reached Pisgah and looked into Jericho. I am filled with the emotion that implies the act is completed. Then there is Gilead, which means, “hills of witnesses.” Then I, as Moses, die. I cannot go into the promised land, and no one can find where I am buried. What does it mean? If I am poverty-ridden and frightened and then you meet me and see me as free as a bird and happy, then I am not the man you knew who was frightened. Then where is that other man buried? For Moses is the power in man (generic man, male-female) to draw out of himself anything in this world he desires, and to so enact the drama that he dies to what he was, that he may live to what he is enacting. That is Moses – and no one can know where he is buried. But we are told: “His eye was not dim nor his natural force abated.” That is [to say], when I die, that is when I enact the drama. I do not wait for signs to appear; it is when I am most aware of my restrictions and feel the pressures, then is when I must learn to die. I must learn to let go of what my senses dictate and “go mad” and yield to what is only a dream. But sustaining it and living in it, I die to what was physically real as I gradually lift up what was only the dream. You knew only the frightened man and not the other one.

No one can tell where the other has gone. So this is how the art of dying is dramatized in the Bible as the death of a man. But it has nothing to do with any certain man, for the story of the Bible takes place in the mind of every man. I will crucify myself, for God crucified himself in me that I might live. But now I must nail myself upon the thing I desire and, remaining faithful to it, lift it up as God nailed himself upon me. (The present body) is believing himself a man called Neville, giving Neville the same power that is his (but keyed low) in the hope that I will lift up the power to bigger things in my world to which I can nail myself, and so lift them up. There is no possibility of man making his dream alive unless He nails himself to this cross that is man. We are living because God nailed himself to us. Now man, keyed low, yielding to other states and not to what the senses dictate, becomes one with the state and nails himself to it (fixes himself in the state through emotion and feeling) and then he will be lifted up. For crucifixion comes before resurrection. Crucifixion without resurrection would be unthinkable; it would be the utter triumph of tyranny. If I could yield myself to my dream and it would not become flesh, it would be complete tyranny over this wonderful concept of life. But you cannot fail if you yield. If you hold back within yourself, wondering “What will I play as my last card if this doesn’t work?” then you have not yielded, you have not nailed yourself to it. It is a complete yielding. It is the great cry “My God! My God! Why hast Thou forsaken me?” If you know that you’re God doing it, you can yield. But there must be complete abandonment as though it were true and then you make it a reality. The cost is that form of mental abandonment that Blake calls “madness.” But man is afraid; he dare not so abandon himself to a dream, and so never “dies.” So Blake was right when he said: “There is nothing like death: the best thing in life is death.”

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

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