Neville Goddard Lecture, The Tree Of Life

The Tree Of Life

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Our evangelists, the unknown authors of the gospels, knew that people understood best what they could see in picture form, so they told God’s plan of redemption in the form of a tale that it could be seen and not forgotten. They knew the risk they ran. They knew that those who could see the picture mentally could easily mistake the personification which conveyed the truth for a person and the vehicle which conveyed the instruction for the instruction, yet they took the greatest of all truths and embodied it in a tale, that it may enter lowly doors. It was Paul who said: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?” I tell you: the entire Christian and Jewish world has ended with the flesh.

They are unable to think of Jesus Christ as a pattern of redemption, but only as a man of flesh who is unique and different from themselves. Paul is urging all to see the Spirit, the pattern which is contained in every child born of woman and to remember that spiritual pattern called Jesus Christ. I tell you: belief can cause that pattern to be fertilized, then the time element will enter for its development and no one can stop its fulfillment. Just as the egg in a woman does not unfold until it is fertilized, so is this spiritual seed in man. After fertilization a built-in time begins, and the savior in man (which is a pattern) begins to bloom. Man has been taught to believe that Jesus Christ is a man external to himself, but Jesus Christ is contained within man as a pattern. He is God’s vision of man and that vision is forever. It was God who said: “Write the vision, make it plain upon canvas so he may run who reads it. For the vision has its own appointed hour; it ripens, it will flower. If it be slow wait, for it is sure and it will not be late.” The pattern is perfect, and from the moment of fertilization a built-in time schedule begins, and thirty years later the tree of life comes into bloom. I have experienced this pattern. It is not unique to the thing called Neville, but is a pattern which is contained in every child born of woman. It has bloomed in me in its fullness and now I know that Jesus Christ is God’s eternal plan for man’s redemption.

When I share my experiences I do not make any claim to be better than or above others, I simply reveal how the tree of life has bloomed in me. That is all. Now, the story is told that he took twelve up to Jerusalem, and said: “All that is written of me by the prophets must be fulfilled.” Although they heard his words they did not understand them, for they could not grasp what the prophets had said. Only the Risen Christ can interpret scripture. Only his finger can trace these ambiguous statements and give them their heavenly meaning. Reason can give you many meanings, but the real meaning can only be betrayed by the Risen Christ because he has experienced it. Only one who has been born from above can reveal the truth of the statement: “You must be born from above.” I have heard unnumbered arguments about that statement. Some claim it means a radical change in one�s behavior, as those who were once violent become quiet,tender, and considerate. But I tell you: it hasn’t a thing to do with that. The event is literally true. You are actually born from above. This I know from experience. In the 50th Psalm the Lord speaks, saying: “The world and all within it is mine. The cattle on a thousand hills are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, I would simply slay and eat.” And in the 17th chapter of John he says: “All mine are thine and thine are mine.” If all that God the Father possesses is yours, must you confine this thought only to things of this world? Could you not go beyond this world and enter his nature? What is the nature of He who owns the world and all within it? Is it not Fatherhood? If all that He is, is yours to know, and He is God the Father – then you must know that you are God the Father. And to know that you are a Father you must have a child to bear witness to that fact, and God’s child is yours. God gave himself to you one hundred per cent, saying: “All mine are thine and thine are mine.” Only one who has experienced this can compel such an ambiguous statement to yield its heavenly meaning. Only when the tree of life begins to bud and bear its fruit in you, will you know who you really are. Why are you weak? Why are you limited in this little garment of flesh?

Because of God’s incarnation. He is not pretending he is in a human body. God had to empty himself of all that is he. Though he was rich he became poor, that by his poverty you may become rich. His incarnation is a complete embodiment wherein He took on all of the limitations of human knowledge. Incarnating myself in a little time slot called 1905, I took upon myself all of the beliefs that are related to that time. Born a Caucasian under the British flag I adopted the American flag. These are my restrictions. The beliefs I inherited as a Britisher and adopted as an American were woven together within this time slot, and they are all limited. In order to make them real I had to make it a complete incarnation. If I did not it would not be a real incarnation and only a masquerade, and God is not masquerading in this world. You completely emptied yourself of your true identity to take upon yourself the limitations and restrictions of this world. And while you are here, God’s pattern unfolds from within and you discover that you are He. Jesus Christ is personified in scripture as a man, but you are that man. You are the one who will experience the story of the gospel. Man cannot understand truth in its unvarnished, unveiled state, as I tell it to you. They can accept it only when it is embodied in a tale. And the one billion Christians and Jews of the world, not understanding the great principle, worship its personification. They would not believe me if tomorrow I told them that Jesus Christ is a pattern. That he lived and lives as the only reality. But I tell you: Jesus Christ is the only thing worth living for, because unless he unfolds himself in you, you are as nothing. Only as he unfolds himself in you can the tree of life bear its fruit. It is my hope that the day is not far off when you will be called by the Father in you and his vision of you will be fertilized.

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

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