Tonight is the Law. We are told in the book of Acts that:
“God is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
I would like to change that a little, and say to you that:
God is never so far off as even to be near, for nearness implies separation. And God and Man are one.
“Man is all imagination, and God is man, and exists in us and we in Him” [Wm. Blake, from “Annotations to Berkeley”]
“The Eternal Body of Man is the imagination, and that is God Himself.” [Wm. Blake, from “The Laocoon”]
So, He cannot even be near, for nearness implies separation.
On this level, you and I can go amuck, go berserk, exercising this same power that created the universe and sustains it. Your own wonderful human imagination is God. That’s God!
“By Him all things were made, and without Him was not anything made that was made,” (John 1:3) . . good, bad or indifferent.
Now tonight let me share with you some experiences to show you that it is all your own wonderful human imagination. You might have read last Saturday’s Los Angeles “Times.” On the front page in bold, bold type is the story of a plane. A story was told, and shown on TV, and very, very popular by Rod Serling, and here, a man was influenced to take that story and put it to his own personal gain. So, he threatened Qantas, the Australian Airline, with a hundred and seven passengers aboard that he would blow the plane up at a certain airport if they did not pay five hundred and sixty thousand dollars, which they did. They paid him, this extortionist, $560,000, based upon a so-called “Imaginary” plot by Rod Serling. When he realized what he had done, so he claims in the story, he asked his producers to withdraw the film from TV and not show it any more. They refused because of profit; it was written for profit, shown for profit, and will continue, regardless of Qantas or any other airport of unnumbered people that may suffer as a result of it. I did not see in his regret that he is going to give his income from the residuals to Qantas to repay the $560,000. No, he didn’t say that he would pay back what he would now make to the Australian airport; he is going to keep it and write another bunch of nonsense, because he doesn’t know what you know, that:
Imagining Creates Reality.
For, God-imagining creates, and God is man, so man-imagining creates. There is no separation between God and man. We are one.
“God became as we are, that we may be as He is” [Wm. Blake, from “There Is No Natural Religion”], allowing Himself on this level to make all the mistakes in the world, to go berserk and to imagine any stupid thing in the world.
Now, let me share with you a few stories. These stories by William Butler Yeats . . you can find them in his volume called “Good and Evil.” They first came out at the turn of the Century. It is part of his collective works, but this individual volume has been reprinted, I think, three or four times, and this is the chapter which he named “Magic.”
He said: “I was spending a vacation in Paris, and I got up early. I thought I would go out and get the morning paper before my host rose, and then I came through, and I saw the little maid laying the table for breakfast, and I told myself one of those long, stupid stories that one tells only to oneself.
“If something could happen which had not happened, I would have hurt my arm, and so I imagined myself with my arm in a sling. As I passed by, I had so completely imagined myself with my arm in a sling that I cast my imaginal act upon that sensitive child . . the little girl who was simply preparing the breakfast table. When I returned with my paper, my hostess met me at the door, and she was all in a dither, inquiring about my arm, for she said that the little girl, the maid, had told her that Mr. Yeats came down with his arm in a sling. Then I remembered what I had done. I simply imagined that had I done what I had not done, I would have hurt my arm, and my arm would now be in a sling, so I cast my imaginal act so intensely upon that maid that she saw it as an actual fact.
“Now,” he said, “just about the same time I thought intensely of a fellow student and a message I wanted to give him, but I did not wish it committed to paper. I wanted to tell it to him, but he was not present. Two days later I got a letter from this fellow student who was several hundred miles away, and just about the time that I had intensely thought of him and the message, I appeared, seemingly, in bodily form, as though in the flesh, in a large hotel where he was amidst a large crowd of people and he told me that he would like me to return after the crowd was gone, and then I vanished and returned that night at midnight and told him the message, which he told me in his letter.
“Now,” he said, “I have no conscious knowledge of the projection. I only know that I intensely thought of my fellow student and the message I wanted to convey, and there I appeared in the midst of a huge crowd in a hotel several hundred miles away, and he was telling me to return later after the crowd dispersed, which I did at midnight, and told him the message.
“Now,” he said, “I could tell you unnumbered stories of the power of imagination.” Then he tells the one of Joseph Blanco, which is a popular story and supposedly very, very true, of this student at Oxford University finding himself . . well, without funds, so he could not continue his studies, so the day that he left college because he could not afford to continue he found no job, and he joined himself to a bunch of gypsies . . traveling gypsies. And one day two students who knew him at college came upon him among the gypsies, and he made a sign not to be identified, and then came up afterwards, and he told them, “I’ll meet you at the inn, and then I will explain to you why you find me among this crowd.”
Well, they were curious and went to the inn, and when he came into the inn, he told them that they are not quite the vagabonds that people think they are. They have a secret that is not known at Oxford, “none of our professors know it. I know I never heard about it,” said he, “so no one knows it, but I will tell you what they have taught me. I have learned all that they have taught me so far, and I have improved upon it. Now to show you what I mean by it, I will leave you two fellows alone, and when I return I will tell you what you have discussed in my absence.”
So, when he came back, he told them in detail what they had discussed, everything they had discussed, and they were curious, and wondered why. He said, “You had no choice in the matter. I determined what you would discuss. My imagination led yours. Their story is all about imagination, and they, by the complete control of their own imagination, influence your behavior. That’s what I learned from them.”
Well, if God makes all things, then God must be the human imagination. If a man can so control his own imagination that he influences your behavior, and you think that you initiate what you do when it was the man in control of his own imagination that did it, then we understand what the poet meant:
“All things, by a law divine,
In one another’s being mingle.”
[Shelley, in “Love’s Philosophy”]
I see you. You see me. Were we not intermingled, I couldn’t perceive you. If I couldn’t penetrate your brain and you couldn’t penetrate mine, you wouldn’t see me. So:
“All things, by a law divine,
In one another’s being mingle.”
Imagination is that non-objective reality from which all objects pour forth, just like sudden fancy. Everything in the world comes out of one’s own wonderful human imagination, for that is God! And there is no other god.
I know in my own case, sitting in New York City in my apartment, with the urge to comfort my sister two thousand miles away across the water, simply stretched out on my bed . . I left the living room, went to my room, closed the door and asked my wife not to disturb me, and in that interval I assumed I was in Barbados and on the bed where her son was dying of cancer. There was no hope of recovery. He was riddled at the age of seventeen with cancer.
And to comfort her, I assumed I was her son, and actually felt myself to be there. I imagined that I saw my sister Daphne come through the door and look, and she saw her brother Neville rather than her son Bill, and she came over and she looked at me. I saw her, and then I awoke back in New York City. Eight days later . . this was before we had such a thing as airmail . . it came by slow freight, so eight days later I got a letter from my sister Daphne. She said, “Neville, I don’t understand it,” and she dated the letter the day that I did what I just told you. She said, “I went to the room to see Billie. As I entered the room, it was you! I came over, and I looked at what should be Billie, and I am looking at you! I came over, and I looked at what should be Billie, and I am looking at you! I rubbed my eyes; I did everything to bring about the normal vision, but I couldn’t see my son Bill. I am only seeing my brother Neville, and I couldn’t understand it.”
Now, she began to feel, through the superstitions of the world, because Billie was dying of cancer that the next one to go would be her brother Neville. That’s how she interpreted it. She didn’t know what I was doing in New York City. But what I did, did not help; he died. He died of cancer. But I succeeded in projecting myself two thousand miles away onto a bed I knew so well. It was my father’s room; it was my father and mother’s bedroom, and I knew that that was where Billie was sleeping, so I assumed I was on that bed actually in the place of Billie, so that when my sister saw me she would be encouraged to have faith, to have hope. But she was so disturbed because, no matter what she did . . she rubbed her eyes, closed them, opened them, closed them, opened them, and she is still seeing Neville; she can’t see her son.
Now, when you hear these stories from those who are not lying to you, you may not understand it, and reason will deny it. Well, if you have an experience, even though reason denies it, you can’t deny the experience! My sister cannot deny what she actually experienced, and I could not deny what I did, because when I came out that night into the living room, a friend called at the cocktail hour, and she said, “Neville, you always seem so light and gay, but tonight you seem so heavy of spirit.” So, I told her what I had just done.
Well, eight days later when the letter came, I gave it to that same woman who was home again at the cocktail hour, and showed her what my sister had written. So here, my wife and my friend were witnesses to what I had told them eight days in advance that I had done; then came the letter from my sister asking for some explanation of it.
So, I tell you, I know from experience that imagining creates reality. On this level, we are only learning. We are all students. We are simply in kindergarten, and we go berserk, as Rod Serling did, for he made a fortune writing this story, and it is still being shown all over on TV, and he will still get his residuals, and he will take his residuals and pile it into some IBM stock or some other stock. He hasn’t given it away. He’ll write more nonsense, for it’s all nonsense, but he doesn’t realize what he is piling up for himself.
“Be not deceived. God is not mocked.” (Galatians 6:7)
“As a man sows, so shall he reap.
See yonder fields! The sesamum
Was sesamum, and the corn was corn.
The Silence and the Darkness knew!
So is a man’s fate born.
” [The Light of Asia]
So, let no one think he is getting away with anything! Misuse your talent, and you will reap seeming rewards today in dollars and cents; tomorrow you will reap it in another kind of payment . . another kind of payment tomorrow. And dollars and cents cannot buy it. Dollars and cents cannot free you from it, either. You will go through the experience of having misused the talent that you received. The talent is the gift of God Himself. God actually became man, that man may become God.
So, this is the Law by which we live. Learn to use your imagination lovingly on behalf of everyone in this world; because you are going to reap the fruit of it, whether you use it lovingly or unlovingly, you are going to reap the fruit of it.
So I say to you tonight: God is not apart from man. He is never . . not in Eternity . . so far off as even to be near, because nearness implies separation. That statement from the 17th chapter of Acts would imply separation. He is not even separated . . He can’t even be near you, because He is your own “I.” When you say, “I,” that is God! When you say, “I AM,” that’s God . . His name forever and forever . . and there is no other god.
The minute you say, “Thou,” that’s a false god. If you address Him as, “You,” that’s a false god. The only God is “I AM.” “That is my name forever, and by this name I must be known throughout all generations.” (Exodus 3:15)
So, do not misuse it.
Now, you can set yourself a goal . . any goal, and if you really know exactly what things would be like if you had realized it, and then enter into that state, may I tell you? it will become to you objective. At the moment, it seems only a shadow . . just a shadow because you have not entered into the sketch. When you enter into the sketch, the sketch takes on a cubic reality, and becomes objective to you, not to another, but to you. Now, leave it alone. In time . . in its good time, it will flower and become what the world calls an objective reality. It was real the very moment that you entered it because you were the reality. “All things exist in the human imagination,” but all things. You name it, it exists in you, but it exists in you only as a shadow. It’s shadowy. But if you enter into the so-called shadow and clothe yourself with it, it ceases to be a sketch, and it becomes a cubic reality just like this room.
At this moment, your home that you know so well is only a shadow, and this room that you do not know very well . . it seems so real because you are in it. Now everything in this world . . so. . called natural effects –
“Every natural effect has an imaginal Cause, and not A natural. A natural cause only seems; it is a Delusion … of the fading memory.” [Blake, from “Milton”]
Our memory . . yes, it’s good. It’s adequate for sameness, but it is not perfect. I’ll show you.
When you go home tonight, take an ordinary magazine; take the cover, a landscape or a postcard, and look at it and know exactly what you are doing. You are looking at the postcard. Try to memorize it. Spend as much time as you want on it; spend an hour if you want. Try to memorize that card. And you think you know it. All right . . you know it.
Now, turn it over and try to reconstruct it from your memory of it, and be honest with yourself and see how far you are from what you were observing. Yet, when you turn it over, your memory picture of it is good enough for sameness. You know it’s the same card because it is good enough, but it is not good enough for the after-picture.
So, our memory is all right; it is good enough for the cause of sameness. So, that is why man does not remember what he has imagined. He forgets what he has imagined when he sets it in motion. When it confronts him as his harvest, he denies he had anything to do with it. He can’t remember what he did.
Now, every imaginative man in this world is forever casting . . I would say “glamors,” and influencing the entire world of the passive, unimaginative. They are forever falling under the influence of those who are vivid in their imagination. They are reaping it, and you will understand the cry on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” for some vivid imagination has compelled them to act as they act. So, forgive them . . the actors. Any condemnation goes to the author, not the actor. Man condemns the actor in the drama when really, if there is any condemnation, it is really the author, not the actor. And the author of the play is God! For God is your own wonderful human imagination.
This one that extorted $560,000 from Quantas . . he didn’t conceive it; he saw it on TV, and it gave him an idea, and he thought, “Maybe I can get away with it.” Well, who was the author of it? Rod Serling. He was the one who conceived it, and here was an actor who thought, “Here’s an idea to get a half-million dollars”, and he got it because there were a hundred and seven souls aboard that plane, and they couldn’t run the risk that it may not be true; that if at a certain altitude it would go off, then they had to pay that extortionist that $560,000 and save the lives of the hundred and seven souls aboard that plane. So, he got the money, and he was the actor. If they catch him, undoubtedly they will send him up for life, but who is the actual culprit? Serling. He wrote it, so he is making all kinds of money out of that scene that he wrote, and he continues to make it. He wrote a series that went for two or three years at prime time. It is now still selling at other times called “Twilight Zone” . . all out of his marvelous imagination. It doesn’t hurt anyone what he did to that one, but he has made a fortune using the talent. But in this, he misused his talent, and his regret does not alter the fact. But, in the end, no one gets away with any misuse of this talent. He pays for it in a way that money will never be able to compensate. That’s the story.
So, your own wonderful human imagination is God, and that God is creating all the phenomena of the world. As Disraeli said, “Man is not the creature of circumstance; circumstances are the creatures of men.” We are creating them. We are not the victims of circumstances; we are creating circumstances. “Man is not the creature of circumstances; circumstances are the creatures of men.” Benjamin Disraeli . . don’t discount him.
Here was a man . . an able, able man . . who said, “Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism.” He never denied that he was a Jew. His very name tells you who he is. Benjamin Disraeli, . . “D’” is “of’ Israel; Benjamin of Israel is what his real name is. He never denied he was an Israelite, but he knew that the Christian faith, if properly understood, was but the flower . . the fruit on the tree of Israel, the fulfillment of it, when God actually became man and flowered in man, and the whole vast wonderful imagination that is God awakened in a man, and he knew that he was God! And he tried to tell his world, and they denied it. That was not what they were looking for, when it was buried in every man, and in each man he was to awaken. And when he awakens, he is God, but before He awakens . . oh, does he go amuck! Does he make mistakes . . these horrible mistakes in the world? But the day will come, he will completely awaken within man, and when he does, He will be governed by Love, and nothing but Love. Until we are completely governed by Love, what horrors we create in this world!
So, the whole vast objective world is created by the imaginal acts of man. Everything now proven in the world was once only imagined. I don’t care what it is . . the simplest little thing, a chair, the dress you wear, the hat, the house . . everything was only imagined, and then executed. It began all in the imagination of man. So, everything that is in this world is nothing more than the imaginal acts of men “pushed out” . . good, bad or indifferent.
So, tonight you take me seriously, and know that you . . and you alone . . are responsible for the phenomena in your world. If you are passive and not alert, you can be influenced because:
“All things, by a law divine,
In one another’s being mingle.”
But it is still the one Being, and so you can be influenced. You and I . . I trust that you cannot be influenced to take pictures shown on TV and extort a half-million dollars . . I trust your ethical code is beyond that, but not everyone is beyond it.
You and I, I hope, are beyond such things, but there are unnumbered people who are not, and they will simply be influenced by the powerful imagination of a writer, a very successful writer, who . . if tonight he was invited by some university to speak on the art of writing . . could demand maybe two thousand or three thousand dollars for his appearance. And he knows nothing concerning the story of the Bible . . but nothing! Had he known it, he would not have done it.
So, you know it, and he doesn’t, so he makes his three thousand if he wants to take it. He doesn’t have to take it; he has so much money he doesn’t need it. But you have what he doesn’t have. You have awakened to the point of knowing how to use your imagination lovingly on behalf of others.
So, this is the law of Scripture. When we speak of the Law and the Promise, this is the Law: that your imaginal acts are creating facts in the world. Imagining creates reality.
So, watch carefully what you are imagining. When you return home tonight and you are about to go to sleep, see that your mind is filled with lovely things . . imaginal things . . and drop off into that state. “Do not let the sun go down upon your anger.” (Ephesians 4:26) Actually resolve it within yourself, and sleep as though things were as you would like them to be or make them lovely . . make them altogether marvelous in your world.
I tell it for your own good, because in the not-distant future . . not only the little crowd here; but the whole vast world will have departed. Those who are now claiming themselves to be “another generation” and demanding special service . . they will in the not-distant future be old people who will vanish from this world. It’s time that we all wake up and catch on to what really is causing the phenomena of the world. And the phenomena of the world are caused by the imaginal acts of men.
So, you take it seriously, and do not let one day come to its end without revising and changing the imaginal acts of the day. Make it conform to your dream, to your ideal, and live in it just as though it were true.
I am telling you from my own experience, the day will come that you will sit and you will think of something that isn’t present . . the world calls that imagination; if you see something that is present, they call that “sense perceived” . . that’s real. If you think of something that is not present, they call that imagination. But you will know how to enter that which is not present to your senses, and your entrance into it will give it cubic reality, and it will be just as real as the room in which you are seated. It will become objective to you. The whole vast world is just like that! But that will be transcended by the Being that is going to be awakened within you, for that Being who awakes within you is God Himself!
This is God keyed low to the human mind, and when He awakes, it is God at intensity, and there is nothing that is absent, for He is Omnipresent. So, He views everything from where He is. He doesn’t think of, because He is Omnipresent. And being Omnipresent, He sees every being as they are, and they are not what they appear to be outwardly to the world of sense. They are what they are in heart. He sees exactly what they are thinking, what they are feeling, what they are plotting, what they are planning. He sees all the intentions of the heart.
So, when someone tells you, “Well, why did it happen to him, and not to that one, when he is so prominent in the world? Look what he did. He built a hospital. He endowed it. He gave a fortune.” But God sees the heart. He doesn’t see the fortune he gave to build the hospital or even to endow it. He sees what no one on the surface sees; He sees the motive behind the gift. He sees everything behind it all. Because He is Omnipresent, He sees everything as it is.
So, when you are told, “He called all before Him and said, No, I reject him” . . this is to pick out the one called David. He rejected his brothers because he said, “Man judges after the appearance, and God sees only the heart.” So, “I reject him,” “I reject him,” “I reject him.” “Call the other one,” (I Samuel 16:7) and then came David. “Now there is a man after my own heart, who will do all my will.” (Acts 13:22)
So, now you realize, if you take it seriously, what is in store for all of us. The end is God. The origin of all is God. In the interval, we go berserk. We run amuck. But if you know what you could do, start doing it. Don’t wait. You can be the man . . you can be the woman . . that you would like to be, but wanting it is not going to do it. You must be it.
You can’t just say, I would like to be it; you must assume that you are it, and sleep in the assumption that you are it, for the assumption, though at the moment denied by your senses . . denied by everything round about you, if persisted in will harden into fact. So, you dare to assume that you are the man . . the woman . . that you want to be, and day after day live in that assumption as though it were true, and that assumption will become a reality in the world. Even if you go hungry, it doesn’t matter. No matter what happens, go hungry; but persist in the assumption, and that assumption will objectify itself and become a reality in your world.
Do not fall by the wayside for any little thing on the side. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am when I get your letters where, in your dreams, you are teaching the Law of Imagination! Someone in your dream has an argument, say, with a priest or a rabbi or a minister, and you are instructing them and telling them. Now, a dream, you know, is egocentric. It’s yourself “pushed out”, but yet here you are . . you actually are taking the symbols of authority and simply bringing them down to a certain level . . it is no longer your authority. You are instructing, now, and telling them . . which is yourself made visible . . what you have discovered concerning the cause of the phenomena of life. And when you have these dreams and you share them with me . . tell them as you do . . I can’t tell you my thrill.
So, everyone will, one day, awaken, and when he awakens he awakens in the only place where God ever awakens: he awakens in the skull of man, in Golgotha . . the human skull. And when he awakens, he comes out of that skull, and it is God that is born . . “born from above”, and then he goes through the normal series of time, and he arrives at that point where he becomes . . well, “of age.” He reaches the age of spiritual puberty, and then the earthly father disappears. For when he reaches the age of 12, Joseph disappears from the scene, and he is now a creator. He can actually create his own image. He creates because he has reached the age of spiritual puberty, so the earthly father ceases to be a part of the play when the lad in the temple reaches the age of twelve.
But he has foreshadowings of it, before and after. It is approximately 12; it didn’t say twelve. “When he was about twelve years of age, they sought him, and they wondered, ‘Why did you do this to us?’ And he said, ‘Do you not know I should be about my Father’s business?’” And he is talking to his father and his mother. “They did not understand him.” (Luke 2:49, 50) And then, Joseph disappears from the play. He is no longer brought back into the play, for he has become the Father. So, the Son becomes the Father. He now creates as God the Father.
But tonight I want it to be only on this level . . the level of . . well, the Law, where man, if he is in control of his own imagination, is in control of the phenomena of his life. He is not the victim of circumstances; circumstances are the creatures of himself. He creates them, if he knows what he is doing.
If he doesn’t know what he is doing and he is passive in this world, he can be influenced by the imagination of one who is in control of his imagination, for he doesn’t know what he is doing like Serling didn’t know. Had he known, he wouldn’t have done it. And to this day he doesn’t know. He only regrets what he did, but he doesn’t know that his imagining is creating reality. He sees the evidence before him, and still doesn’t know it.
I tell you: Imagining creates reality. So, be careful what you imagine, because you are setting in motion . . and because –
“All things, by a law divine,
In one another’s being mingle,”
. . you are influencing everyone, even though they do not see your picture or read your book. As Yeats again said:
“Having seen the operation of this law, we should never be certain it was not some woman treading the winepress who started that subtle change in men’s minds, or that the passion because of which so many countries were given to the sword did not begin in the mind of some shepherd boy, lighting up his eyes for a moment before it ran upon its way.”
Who knows who, this night, feels neglected, feels hurt, feels wrongfully accused, and who is sitting alone and “treading in the winepress,” who tomorrow will influence some catastrophe? Some shepherd boy dreaming of some heroic future and thinking only in terms of war that could bring him the crown of a hero . . he . . while tending his sheep . . is simply dreaming of being a hero, and using his talent, which is God . . using his imagination in some destructive manner, even though he tends the sheep.
So, I say to everyone, “Know what you are doing every moment of time because your imagining is creating reality.”
Now, let us go into the Silence.