Neville Goddard Lecture, The Mystery of Baptism

The Mystery of Baptism

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Baptism on this level is a symbolic representation of being raised to the realization of being God the Father. In his letter, Paul tells the Ephesians that there is only one baptism. This occurs prior to the realization of being God the Father. And in Paul’s letter to the Romans he states: “We are buried with Christ by a baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we also may walk in newness of life.” Baptism implies complete immersion. It is said that when Jesus rose out of the water the heavens opened, and the Spirit, in the form of a dove, descended upon him. Has it ever occurred to you that you are immersed in a body which is 90 per cent water? This is the great water in which God is buried and will remain until – now individualized as you – He will rise out of the water to see the heavens become transparent and the Spirit – in bodily form as a dove – descend with his gift of a new form, a new manner of existence, and a new unification, so that each – while preserving his individuality – becomes God the Father. In his great eulogy, Paul places baptism as sixth in order. Beginning with the one body, Paul speaks of the one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and finally the one God and Father of all. So this baptism takes place just before you become aware of being – not just God the Father, but the Father of all! Now it is said that when the heavens opened to complete translucency, Christ – now risen – not only saw the Spirit take on bodily form as a dove, but heard a voice speak directly to him. This event takes place in an individual’s soul, and is not seen or heard by anyone else! Jesus is the personification of redeemed humanity.

He represents all those who have fulfilled scripture. His story takes place in the soul of the individual who has the experience, and it is not shared by another on this level. “I have had a baptism to be baptized with, and now I am constrained until it is accomplished.” All scholars interpret this statement to mean the crucifixion, but it is not. The crucifixion began with a creative act, when the Spirit of God moved upon and was baptized into these bodies of water. At that moment we were united with Christ in a death like his. After incubation, we will all hatch out and be united with Him in a resurrection like his. Now inundated in a world of illusion, the Spirit is hovering, incubating, and one day will be raised out of this body of water. Then the heavens will open and the Spirit, in the form of a dove, will descend. Bear in mind that Jesus represents redeemed humanity. His is the one body into which every being is incorporated. Jesus is the one Spirit, the one and only hope of man, and the only Lord.He is the only faith by which one should live, and the one baptism culminating into becoming the one God and Father of all. This is baptism in the true sense of the word. In 1926 my mother came to see me in New York City, and was quite upset when she discovered my two-year-old son had not been baptized. She believed that if he died without being baptized he would not go to heaven, so we had him baptized for her sake. But we are told that unless you are born of water – which you are dwelling in right now, and the Spirit – which is a spiritual experience, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

When this vision possessed me, my head became transparent. Through its translucency I saw a dove floating above me, and I had fulfilled the story in Genesis. Man is not a fantasy of the earth and water, but the true ark of God, containing everything within him. The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. When Noah stretched forth his hand he received the dove and brought her in unto himself, and there she remained. In my own case, I came out of the water from which I was inundated. I extended my right hand and the dove lit upon it. Then I brought the dove to my face and it smothered me with love, as the voice of God – personified as a woman – said, “They avoid man because he gives off such an offensive odor; but his love is so great that he penetrated the ring of offense to demonstrate his love for you.” Just recently I was reading the dialogues of the pilgrims of Buddha (translated from the Sanskrit by Mr. Rhys Davids), where he said: “In the eyes of the gods, human beings are seen as disgusting, revolting, and are accounted as such.” I know in my own case the voice of God spoke similar words, but not in the same manner. And on this level they may not be wrong, when you think of the tremendous amount of advertising is placed upon deodorants. But I do not believe Buddha was speaking of human beings in that manner. We are here for a purpose. Ours was a deliberate descent, and not because of anything we did that was wrong. And when our incubation is over, we will once more rise from this world of death to be infinitely greater than we were prior to our descent. This water-body called man is the limit of our contraction and opacity, but there is no limit to our expansion and luminosity. Do you know that when a body weighing 300 pounds is cremated, the amount of ash which remains could be placed in a Campbell’s soup can – so where did the 300 pounds go? It evaporated, because it was all water! We are all individually wearing a garment of water. We are buried with Christ by baptism unto death. And just as Christ rose by the glory of the Father, we too will rise in newness of life.

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