Neville Goddard Lecture, The State of Vision

The State of Vision

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“We have only to raise Imagination to the state of Vision and the thing is done.” (William Blake) Just imagine it! That is all you and I are required to do. No matter what it is we desire, we have only to raise imagination to the state of vision, and the thing is done! Now, when the prophets of old used the word vision in scripture, they meant all of the senses, either individually or in combination. The Book of Isaiah begins: “The visions of Isaiah, the son of Amoz. Hear, O heavens and give ear O earth; for the Lord has spoken.” And the Book of Obadiah states: “The visions of Obadiah. Thus sayeth the Lord God.” Here we find the visions are audio; but scripture records visions of sight, sound, scent, taste, and touch. The last chapter of the Book of Job reads: “I have heard of thee with the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee.” Imagination must be raised to the sense of sight in order to see. The sense of sound seems to be the most popular in scripture, yet in the story of Jacob it is the sense of touch. Isaac, Jacob’s father, was blind and could not see. His twin brother, Esau, was the first out of the womb. He was covered with hair and – because of his birth – had the right of inheritance by law. Jacob, who followed his brother, was a smooth-skinned lad, who deceived his father through the sense of touch. Killing one of his father’s flock, he wrapped the skin around his arm, and when his father touched him, he felt its reality and gave Jacob the right of birth. This is not a story of a man who was blind, or of two sons that came out of the womb of a woman. This drama unfolds from within. Esau is the world you know by your reason and senses.

The room you are now in is your Esau, while your subjective desire is your Jacob. Wearing garments of hair, Esau is the outer, objective world, which Jacob, your desire, is seeking to replace. As Isaac – the father – you have the power to give reality to your desired, subjective state. Invite it to come near, that you may feel it, to know whether it is as real as your outer world is. Isaac chose the sense of touch rather than that of sound, adding the sense of smell, saying: “You smell like Esau.” Using these two senses, Isaac granted Jacob the right to become an objective fact. So when Blake tells us that if we will raise imagination to the state of vision the thing is done, he is speaking of vision in any one, or a combination of the five senses. Perhaps the sense of hearing is most developed in you. If so, you can single out a voice and hear it with such clarity that you can become self-persuaded its words are true. Your sense of hearing can be developed to the degree that you can shut out all other senses and believe in what you are hearing. When the words take on the tones of reality and you are self-persuaded that it is so, the event has been impregnated upon you; and what do you do after impregnation? Nothing! You simply carry the knowledge that in its normal, natural time, that which you heard so clearly will be born.

No two eggs have the same interval of time between their fertilization and hatching out. I do not know how long it will take for your desire to become an objective fact. I only know that when imagination is raised to the state of vision – be it sight, sound, scent, taste or touch – the thing is done! I know a very fine artist (whose works are in national galleries) who was starving, and didn’t have a dime with which to buy food. One night she was so tired she couldn’t even walk to the YWCA to offer her services for a meal. Instead, she stretched out on her couch and said: “Lord, you said if I but believed, all things would be possible. Well, I believe that I am well fed.” In relating this story to me, this lady added this comment: “I didn’t actually hear the words audibly, but received an impression which was: ‘If you really believed as you claim, wouldn’t you prepare the table for the meal?’ With that, she began to set the table in her imagination. She put on her best tablecloth, her nicest plates, and even lit a candle, in preparation of the food to come. Then she fell asleep and began to dream. As she lifted the cover from a beautiful platter, she heard a ring which persisted until she awoke to realize it was her telephone. The caller was a friend of her mother’s whom she hadn’t seen for years. The lady said: “Suddenly I have the greatest longing for a meal you prepared for your mother and me several years ago. Would you please do it again tonight if I bring over the ingredients?” Now, although this lady had a kitchen in her apartment, she had no food in it, so when the friend went to the store she couldn’t buy a cup of flour or sugar, but stocked up on all the basics needed to prepare a meal. Within an hour she was in the artist’s home with the food, and a short time later they sat down to a delicious dinner, of which – when the meal was finished – there was enough left over for at least two more meals.

Although this lady is a great artist, she has developed the sense of touch. She fell asleep touching the plates and the silver, and awoke touching the cover to a platter filled with food. Her experience is dramatized in scripture as the story of Isaac. In order to understand scripture, it is necessary to see it with the eyes of the mystic. Blake asked: “Why is the Bible more entertaining and more instructive than any other book? Because it is addressed to the Imagination, which is spiritual sensation, and only immediately to the understanding, or reason.” When you touch something spiritually, you are receiving a sensation that your outer senses deny. And when you use your imagination, you are touching with the hands of Jacob, seeing with the eyes of Jacob, and hearing with Jacob’s ears. In the 115th Psalm, the psalmist tells us our Lord does everything we do. Then he compares the Lord to the gods of the world, saying: “Their gods are made of silver and gold. They have mouths but speak not, eyes but see not, ears but hear not, feet but walk not, hands but feel not. Those who make them are like them, and so is everyone who trusts in them.” Anyone who trusts some little thing a man made with his hands, that can’t talk, hear, walk or feel, has a false God and a false Jesus Christ. Made with human hands, it cannot utter a sound or hear your request. It cannot answer you, see, hear, or walk. It is merely something made with human hands; and those who trust in it are just like the thing made, because they are unwilling to exercise the inner man – called Jacob in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ in the New.

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

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