I tell you that he is speaking of this immortal being in everything that was made. Even the suit you are wearing. Someone has to first imagine it. The thing first imagined is the invisible image and then it becomes externalized as a hat or a suit or a house. Today a friend called me concerning a personal problem. She said, “You said your father has objective vision. He could see the images of his imagining as real as the forms of Nature.” I knew this is true. The whole vast world that he built for his ten children, he built out of his wonderful imagination. He would sit alone and conjure before him men and women and see situations as he wanted to see them. And then he would arrest that state just before sleep and he controlled it completely. And when he later returned to his offices and these things came to pass, he was not surprised. Others set the deals in motion that he had already seen in his mind’s eye. This lady called to tell me about her sister’s husband. Her father had opposed the marriage and had said that this man would never be any good, and he had set forth in detail just what he would do. He said, “He will father your child but he will not support it. He will live in a bar and he will always be worthless.” This man has fulfilled that prophesy in every detail. Her father was a powerful figure in the theater and disliked his son-in-law and prophesied his future and it has come true in detail. I told this lady a story about a prophesy of my father’s years ago.
In 1919 at the turn of the year, I can see my father at the head of the table and all of us children sitting there and he said to my mother, “There will be a war in 20 years, Wilsey. It will be in the fall. Germany will again be at war with England. Japan will be in it, and Russia and Italy. America will be our great ally.” My mother looked around the table at her sons and said, “My boys will be of the age to go to that war. What are you talking about? He said, “It will be true and already all the ships are discussing it.” He was a ship’s chandler and talked with many people. My father did not know that this power he had of imagining as God. He could take a man or woman or a community and see them so vividly in imagining in his own living room that they became objective to him, and afterwards find them coming to his office to propose what he had inwardly set in motion. But he did not identify that power that creates his world with this supreme power that he called God. “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, his eternal power, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” My father saw everything as made. He discussed a program with a man and afterward the man comes to him and proposes the deal that my father had already closed in his Imagination. But he did not identify it with God. “They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man . . . and served the creature rather than the Creator.”
Everyone here . . your invisible presence is God, but if you imagine money into being and you make a million, suddenly you worship the million, not the power that made it possible. You enter a certain social circle and then you forget that you brought it into being by imagining and now you think this group is what is all-important. So man forgets and exchanges the glory of the immortal God for the image of a mortal man or something that vanishes. For everything visible will vanish; but you will not vanish. Even this great land will one day be washed by the sea but you will not be. That which brought things into being cannot cease to be. So we are warned.
I told this lady about my father and she said. “Your father did that in 1919, but I will go back to 1919, and my father said, “I do not want to buy a paper because I can see the headlines and they say WAR!” He was so determined and convinced that he would not buy one for weeks, and when he did finally buy it, the headline said, WAR! Then the lady asked if her father’s attitude towards the sister’s husband had determined what happened, and whether she should continue helping her sister who was always in need. Yes, it determined what happened. But now it could be changed radically. Give to the sister if she needs help. But then I told her that this power is all imagining and it is one tissue with our own wonderful Imagination. There is only ONE. We do not differ in nature or substance from IT but only in degree of intensity. If we could imagine anything in the world and not swerve and not turn and give all glory to this power called God, nothing could keep it from coming into being.
God speaks to man through the language of dreams, but I do not have to go to sleep to dream. I can imagine something for you and desire it with all my heart. If I imagine something for another, that is God speaking to me. I do not have to see a face. There is such difference between what the churches call God and what the mystic knows is God. Blake speaks of Christianity in the last chapter of his great work “Jerusalem.” He breaks it into four chapters, like the four rivers, etc., and he tells us:
“I give you the end of a golden string, Only wind it into a ball: It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate, Built in Jerusalem’s wall.”
And then he defines Christianity. Articles of Faith? He completely discounts them. He says, “I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty of both body and mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination. Imagination, the real and eternal World of which this Vegetable Universe is but a faint shadow, and in which we shall live in our eternal or Imaginative Bodies when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more.”
No other Christianity than the right to exercise the divine arts of Imagination. So I say to you, “I would like so and so. I am too close to the picture, so would you now exercise the divine art and hear so and so for me?” And you say to me, “Will you hear something for me? Imagine you have told me that what you want is now so, and give all the glory to the power that creates in this world.” I have personally done this unnumbered times. It is the only Christianity in the world. It has nothing to do with any church. The only Christianity is the liberty to exercise the divine arts of Imagination. Can I do it? Who is doing it? God is doing it! I do not have to make any form. The supreme power of the universe is one with human Imagination.
If we go back to the Old Testament and take the word “maker,” it means Imagination. “Your maker is your husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name,” The word “Potter” means Imagination. “I went down to the potter’s house and he was working at his wheel, and the vessel in his hand was spoiled, but he worked it into another vessel such as seemed good to him.” If I would only take that and use the word “Imagination,” but the translator could not bring himself to use it. What is in my mental hand that I am making? If it is not good and I do not revise it, then I am turning my wheel and recreating that same picture, but if I am a wise potter I will change it and hear you tell me that you now have what you desire. I will make a new vessel. Who is doing it? The potter . . and that is Imagination. All day long I think the same thing over and over. I am working at the wheel of recurrence. Everyone here can be the man or woman they want to be. I know it from my own family. Have you ever noticed how if you go into a business and take all the facts and estimate just how things will come out, how often they come about as you said. Who did it? You are not a prophet, but you are imagining, and the state then comes true. Not a thing is brought into being by any power outside itself. It is sustained by the activity of the one who brought it into being. So, if I brought in poverty it can only remain as long as I am conscious of being poor. The moment I cease to imagine that I AM poor then things begin to change.
There was a play on Broadway called, “The Millionairess,” and a critic wrote sarcastically that Kathryn Hepburn was trying to impress us with the fact that all a pauper needs to become rich is the arrogance of wealth. He was wiser than he knew! The arrogance of wealth is all he needs to stop being a pauper. You walk in a state and it is an activity of mind and to the degree you can sustain it, to that degree you will create it. The whole world is nothing but God and God is Imagining and man is Imagination and “We dwell in him and he in us, and we are one.”
Now you try it. You take something tonight. If you are too close to your own picture, do it for someone else and see that one as he would like to be seen by himself and then remain faithful to it. He may never know you did it for him, but that doesn’t matter. When the thing happens so naturally that he will never think that what you did was responsible. He has exchanged the glory of God for an image resembling mortal man. He will say he met a certain person and they influenced someone else, or recommended him, and that brought it all to pass. These things get the credit and he forgets immortal God.
I have told you the story before of a friend who came to me because he desperately needed a larger income, etc., to care for the educational needs of his family. His present bank position held no hope of advancement. I taught him what to do and while I was absent in Barbados he did it and when I returned, he told me he had secured this fabulous position with the Rockefeller Foundation, where he still is. But as time went on, he is so literal minded, that he began to forget how it came about and now he gives full credit to the man who spoke to him in church and finally asked him to come into the Foundation. This man is now a powerful person in my friend’s mind and is the cause of his good fortune. He has transferred the glory that belongs to God to the image of a man.
No matter what you are doing, can you see clearly what you want to do and carry on a conversation inwardly with a friend which will imply that which you desire is now a fact? Then do it. For on higher levels of Imagining inner activity is revealed by inner conversation. If man would listen to what he is inwardly saying, he would know what he is setting in motion. As man walks the street if he would pause and say “what am I saying now?” he would find that 99% are justifying failure. But we are told, “You are without excuse for you have seen him and his work, yet you deny it.” When you hear the word God or Jesus Christ you think of some being external to your own imagining, but there is none for Imagining is God. That is what lights every being in the world, and as you imagine, so you will become. So no matter what your present limitations are, you can start now to dream the most noble dream, and you can walk through this door tonight as though it is true knowing that your Imagining is God. There is no fiction. You can write your own novel and realize it. Even someone in a dungeon may be imagining and who knows what he may call forth. If I were in a dungeon I would move the world if necessary to get out. A body may be physically confined, but you cannot confine God. Man only sees the proximate cause; the real cause of something you cannot see; for the invisible power is what is creating. Who knows who may convulse the world. It may even be a woman “treading” in the wine press.
Everyone here, you can be what you want to be, no matter what your dream is, if you are willing to let God do it, God being your own Imagining. You walk completely suspended above appearances and you will become what you desire. This is the only Christianity I know . . the freedom to exercise this divine art of Imagining. Now you try it. If you are here for the first time I challenge you to disprove it. Everyone has the same power. Because one has a million does not make him any more a creator than you are. Be careful what you are imagining for what you are Imagining you will create, though it may convulse the world. I hope you have the Revised Version of the Bible for it is from what I have quoted tonight. It is more accurate in meaning if not as orally beautiful as the King James Version.
You will find in Romans that recreation for it all, for after Acts Paul lays the foundation and he states, “I AM a child of Abraham and one of the tribe of Benjamin. But he sees it now not as the code but the spirit, and he sees circumcision no longer as only a physical act. He realizes that he is now a true Christian. He did not go to any church. He sees now the spirit of the law and not the letter. You cannot be born a Christian! It is a way of life that you adopt. You could be born in the Vatican with the Pope as your father and you would not be a Christian. You can only be a Christian when you see the reality and adopt it as a way of life. The law was given to man but they break through from the letter of the law and find the spirit of it and live by it, and that is Christianity. There are many religions based on many ‘isms” but that is not Christianity. It is the liberty of body and mind to exercise the divine arts of Imagination.
This lady can change the picture for her sister’s husband. She can imagine that he is now generous, because now he has so much that he wants to give to her as she gave to him, and she can break the spell cast on him. I know my mother when she darned our socks dreamed for each of us of a future of which she would be proud. Everyone of us is living a noble life and I know she dreamed it for all of us. She never spared her shoe, wham! If you did something wrong. She left the world with her dream fixed in her mind and it came true. We can dream for ourselves or for our neighbors and that dream is the voice of God, for God speaks to man through the medium of a dream.
Let us go into the Silence.