Dreams, Signs, Symbols, Visions
Contributed by Natalie Stroud
Part 1 of 2
I’d like to talk a bit about visions, particularly as they are related to Neville Goddard’s Signs of the End. This is based on my personal exploration and experiences, and while this might not interest everyone, I am sharing it with those of you who are infinitely curious about the Promise, wondering if it’s a ‘real’ thing, and how it might show up individually.
Will it come exactly as Neville experienced it? Will it arrive via personal symbology, differing from Neville’s experience? Is it just something we experience because we believe it’s going to happen? Can we induce it? The answer to that last question is somewhat paradoxical. Here are a couple of things Neville said about the Promise, or Resurrection:
Even if you haven't had the experiences, you can construct a scene that would imply scripture has been fulfilled in you. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could say to your closest friend, or most bitter opponent, "There is no doubt in my mind that I have been born from above, for I have held that infant wrapped in swaddling clothes in my hands." How would you feel if that were true? What scene would you construct? Remember, all things exist...Imagine anything that would imply God's birth has already happened. Remain faithful to that scene, and when it happens there will be no uncertainty on your part.
He also says:
There are signs, but it comes suddenly upon you – no shadow to let you know it’s going to happen tonight or tomorrow. No, it comes like a thief in the night. You never know. No one knows the other; no one knows the day – only the Father, the One who is rising within you. But no one knows, other than He who is rising. He erupts within you suddenly, and you are He. (Signs of the End, 1968)
So, yes and no. As you put the law to the test, you become more confident in your true identity. Waking up to who you are seems to be a predecessor to experiencing the promise. But while no one knows when it will come, he can use the law to experience it in imagination.
I did not grow up with a religious background. I never read the Bible, and when asked, I described myself as “agnostic” and/or “spiritual”. I believed in oneness--that there was a force which we were all a part of, a force which lies back of everything and from which everything and everyone springs forth, but it wasn’t until Neville’s lectures and books came into my life that I really began to comprehend and feel this as truth on a deep level.
When visions came to me, mostly via dreams of the night, I did not relate them to stories of the Bible as Neville has. Now, however, having Neville’s own experiences as a reference, I can look back on a lifetime of signs and visions, and finally understand the story that has been playing out for me over this particular lifetime. I was separated and isolated and floating in a cesspool of misery. I was suicidal for the greater part of my life, searching for a way out of hell. Now I can see how each vision was a golden brick on a path leading directly to my salvation.
Because I have had no biblical reference to fall back on, when David has appeared to me in vision, he always comes as my little brother. Not my brother as he is now, 42 and bald, but as a blond-haired, blue-eyed angelic-looking boy. He comes to me in mystical dreams of the night, often terrifying dreams, but always I am his protector. I am his big sister, but I am also his mother and his father.
I cannot tell you how many times over my life I have had dreams of the Apocalypse, of the End Times. In every single one, I am protecting this child--we are among the sole survivors in a world torn apart. I have even led him to meet the “Wizard” on this throne in The of Land Oz. No matter what age I appear in the dream, he is always a young boy, anywhere from around 6 - 11 years of age. “I don’t care what pigment of skin you have this night – I tell you, you will find David, and he’s a blond, blue-eyed lad.” (Signs of the End) This is a testament to the fact that symbolism is a universal language, a language of the superconscious which anyone can tap into, and not relegated to the bible only.
Neville describes four major events, or visions, as signs of the end, or the Apocalypse. This Apocalypse is not something that happens on the outside, but it is the eternal story that every individual man must go through; it is resurrection and is promised to every man. “If it is in conflict with what you’ve been taught, I will not apologize. It doesn’t really matter. If you’ve been taught to believe that there will be an end, and the whole world will blow up, then that’s your problem at the moment. That is not my vision.” (The man had a great sense of scathing humor.) Very briefly, these four signs are:
- Birth from Above
- David calls you Father
- Curtain splits in Two/Rise of the Serpent
- Descent of the Dove
Below, I will quote directly from Neville’s lecture The Signs of the End (1968) to further describe how he personally experienced these visions, and I will later compare these to a few of my own (while doing my best not to bore you with excessive details). You, the reader, can do with that whatever you will; my only purpose here in sharing is to propose that signs and visions will come personally designed for and by the individual. I also hope it might help you to comprehend any visions you might have had or will have in the near future.
Now I tell you this: As persons differ, so will the experiences. Two people here have had that birth. In one case there was no witness; therefore his witness is scripture. In the other case, the lady had three witnesses: two brothers and a friend she thinks of as a brother. So, because we do differ in the kingdom, the visions will differ, but the pattern will remain the same. [Creation - Faith, 1968]
The story of Resurrection through the individual man called Neville Goddard begins in 1929 (I believe he was 24). He was called and embraced by infinite love, and then was ‘sent’ after being asked to sign a ledger. Thirty years later, in 1959, he is born from above. While I do not claim to have been sent, I also had a very interesting vision roughly thirty years ago.
Though I could not understand its significance back then, I have never forgotten it. I dreamt it was Christmas morning, and I suddenly discovered I was pregnant. Not only that, but I was about to give birth, right then and there. I was completely befuddled, because I had been with no man for years at this point, yet here I was giving birth, from home, with only my mother by my side. I was filled with delight while simultaneously being a bit terrified, wondering how I would raise this child alone.
Then, in November/December 2017, I began having some dreams which foreshadowed events that were about to happen to me. These dreams were about Prince, the musician, but he only served as a symbol (a little irony here that Prince named himself with only a symbol for a while). In one, he gave me his long, purple, velvet robe to wear. Christ is known as the Prince of Peace, and here he is giving me his robe. “...and then placed upon him the most mystical of all--the purple robe; so as they placed them up to the very final act was the placing of the purple robe upon the man who had awakened, who is now ready to ascend on high, to higher levels within himself.” (Three Propositions, 1958).
In another vision, he gave me a ticket to his show. Now, earthly Prince died in 2016, so this ticket was not to a live concert, but rather an invitation to a heavenly event. A little over a month later is when I began receiving visions that have some similarities to the events Neville talks about, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. These are the events which I believe my Prince visions foreshadowed, the concert for which I had been given a ticket.
We find that in the 11th chapter of the book of Revelation. When the witness comes into the world, he will prophesy for one thousand, two hundred and sixty days (Revelation 11: 3). But it begins, as we are told in that chapter, with the birth of the Child. “And she brought forth the child, and the child was caught up to the throne of God, and she fled into the wilderness [the desert], and all things were prepared for her by God for one thousand, two hundred and sixty days. The Old Testament does not tell us when the count begins, the New tells us when it begins. It begins with the birth of the Child. (Signs of the End)
The first sign: July 20th, 1959
“(A)t four o’clock in the morning a vibration is in my head that I have never felt before – the strangest vibration. Every bone in my head is rattling, and I entertained this thought. I thought, “Well, now, this is it,” meaning – this is my exit from this world […] It’s a skull, it’s my skull, but I awaken within it. I am fully standing in my skull, and I know I am sealed in. But I also have an innate knowledge and I know that if I could push the base of my skull, something would give, and I did [...] and here I am standing, and then the most unearthly wind – you can’t describe it, it’s a peculiar wind. You hear it, it sounds like a hurricane. It sounds like some peculiar storm [...] and the body is gone. It disappeared, but in its place sat my three elder brothers [...] They do not see me. I not only see them, I can read their thoughts. Their thoughts are objective to me. They are as objective as you are. Whatever they think, I can see it, I hear it and see it. But to them, I am invisible; I am not present [...Then Lawrence] announced, “It is Neville’s baby.” My brothers Cecil and Victor said, “How can Neville have a baby?” He doesn’t argue the point. He lifts the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes from the floor and places it on the bed. I am still invisible to them and I lift that infant wrapped in swaddling clothes – lift it up in my invisible hands…”
The second sign: December 6, 1959
“A vibration similar to this started, but strangely enough, it is not at the base of my skull – it’s at the top of my skull. It increases in intensity, and when it reaches the apex of intensity, I felt my head explode. As it exploded, here I am, seated in a modestly furnished room, and there, leaning against the side of an open door and looking out on a pastoral scene, is my son David of Biblical fame. There is David! [...] And there is no uncertainty as to the relationship between David and myself. It’s David, and I am his father, and he knows I am his father, and he also knows he is my son. I am looking at him, drinking him in. You’ve never seen such beauty – well, you can’t describe the beauty of David. And while I am feasting upon my son, a lad of about 12 or 13 – the whole thing dissolves.”
The third sign: April 8, 1960
“(A) bolt of lightning – out of the blue – it struck me, and split me in two from the top of my head to the base of my spine – and here I am, parted. Two halves of the being called Neville; his whole body is parted right down the entire spine – every little thing is split in two. At the base of my spine is a body of golden liquid, living light. I contemplate it. As I contemplated it, I fused with it, and then, like a serpent of spiral light, I actually moved up my entire body right into my skull. I went up like a spiral of lightning into my skull. My head vibrated as no one could conceive. It was just simply that everything shook as I got into that head. Every bone began to rattle.”
The final sign: January 1, 1963
“(A)n that morning, suddenly my head became luminous. There was no circumference; there was no limit – completely luminosity. And floating above me about twenty feet is a dove – a beautiful beige dove. But it’s floating; it is not flying. There is no motion of wings, no motion of the body – just floating as a duck would float on water. And here it is above me about twenty feet. Why I did it, I do not know, but automatically I raised my left hand and held this index finger. As I did this, the dove slowly descended upon my finger. I brought it to my face and it smothered me with kisses, all over my face, my neck, and my head.”
This is the basis of the 4 visions, or signs of the end, as he has experienced them. While these are not the only signs one encounters, he believes these 4 to be the most important. In Part Two, I will share with you a few of my own visions as they relate to the ones Neville had.
To be continued...
Natalie Stroud lives in the world of imagination (it's her reality), where anything is possible, and her senses are anything but common. Although her ideas about life might appear "crazy" to the majority, she considers herself to be a rather sane cat lady, lover of all animals, vegan cuisinartist, amateur-yet-passionate gardener, coiner of new words, and magician of domestic blissitude