Neville Goddard Lecture, The Pruning Shears of Revision

The Pruning Shears of Revision

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THE PRUNING SHEARS OF REVISION

This morning’s subject is “The Pruning Shears of Revision”. I firmly believe that if you will wisely and daily use the pruning shears of revision that you will find there is no objective beyond your ability to realize. And I mean that seriously, no objective beyond your ability to realize. When I was a boy of seven, a lady said to me, “I have had a vision concerning you. I’ll make it now very, very clear to you–I do not know what it is you are going to do, but I’ve been shown you will do something that through the centuries after you are gone man will not undo it. I can see it and through the centuries you will grow in stature long after you have gone. And then three men will be mentioned in hundreds of years to come and you will be one of the three when something is discussed that was done for man.” I feel that this morning’s subject that this could be it, that if I never said another word, and you heard it and believed it, and really used it, this would be the planting that would spread from us here that tomorrow could not undo.

For it is magic, this pruning shears of revision. It really is not only the achievement of objectives, but if you do it daily, it will awaken in you the spirit of Jesus, which is continual forgiveness of sin. In this teaching the sinner should always go free; you will never condemn him, for when the spirit is awake in you you will realize in him there is no condemnation, only forgiveness, and forgiveness is not as man of the world thinks when he omits the actual execution of his revenge. What we mean by forgiveness the identification of the other that we would forgive with the ideal that other wants to embody in the world. And so we do to him what we expect or would like the world to do to us. So whatever I myself would like to embody that is the vision that I must hold of every man that I meet in my world; that no man is to be discarded, every man is to be redeemed, and my life is the process whereby that redemption is brought about. And I do it by simply identifying the other with the ideal I want to externalize in my world. Now we will go back to the 2nd of Genesis. It is said “And God placed man in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Now when you read the story you think it happened thousands of years ago. I have come to tell you it is now. You are now in the garden of Eden and you think you are shut out or banished. You are in it, and the garden is your mind, but you need–like every gardener–you need pruning shears.

For you have slept, as you are told in that second chapter; having slept, weeds have appeared in the garden and the weeds are revealing themselves by the conditions and the circumstances of life. For your garden is always projecting itself on the screen of space, and you can see by looking carefully at your world what you allow to grow in the garden of God. But you have a mission, you have a purpose, it is not to amass a fortune–you can do it if you want to–it’s not to be famous, it is not to be some mighty power, but simply to tend the garden of God. That’s your purpose. You are placed in the garden to dress it and to keep it, that only the lovely things grow in the garden of God. Now every man in the world is rooted in you who look out and see that world. Every man is rooted in me; he ends in me as I am rooted in and end in God. Because he is rooted in me he cannot bear other than the nature the root allows. So he is in me and any changes desired in the outer world can be brought about only if I change the source of the thing I see growing in my world. “You see yonder fields? Don’t be surprised when you see sesamum: The sesamum was sesamum, The corn was corn, The silence and the darkness knew So is a man’s fate born” So don’t judge it, because you are the source of the thing that you are beholding. Now turn within and prune it by using these pruning shears of revision. Now this is how we do it. At the end of my day, I review the day; I don’t judge it, I simply review it. I look over the entire day, all the episodes, all the events, all the conversations, all the meetings, and then as I see it clearly in my mind’s eye, I rewrite it. I rewrite it and make it conform to the ideal day I wish I had experienced.

I take scene after scene and rewrite it, revise it, and having revised my day, then in my imagination I relive that day, the revised day, and I do it over and over in my imagination until this seeming imagined state begins to take on to me the tones of reality. It seems that it’s real, that I actually did experience it and I have found from experience that these revised days, if really lived, will change my tomorrows. When I meet people tomorrow that today disappointed me, they will not tomorrow, for in me I have changed the very nature of that being, and having changed him, he bears witness tomorrow of the change that took place within me. It is my duty to take this garden and really make it a garden by daily using the pruning shears of revision. I know from experience it will not only bring about these objectives, and bring about these changes, but the glorious thing is, it awakens in you, who use it, the spirit of Jesus, and you find yourself then not justifying but forgiving, and you will realize that freedom and forgiveness are indissolubly linked. You cannot be free and not forgive, for the one that you would bind and judge and condemn anchors you by your own judgment of him–for he is in you. And so by identifying him with the ideal you want to really realize you free yourself. You are told “Forgive and you shall be forgiven. Forgive not and then you shall not be forgiven”. It’s automatic; it can’t be otherwise for the whole springs from you who behold it. And as you begin to practice it the very spirit arouses itself within you and you know that you are he that others spoke about and thought lived 2000 years ago.

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

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