Who's Neville Goddard?
Neville Goddard was born on February 19, 1905, in St. Michael, Barbados. He was the fourth child in a family of nine boys and one girl.
At 18, he moved to the United States to study theater, met his first wife, fathered a son, and eventually became a Broadway performer. While on a theater tour in England, he met a man who introduced him to metaphysics. His attention quickly moved from entertainment and performing to mysticism and spirituality.
His first marriage didn’t work out and he became somewhat of a loner, focusing primarily on spirituality. In time, he met another woman, they married, and together had a daughter. This was a happy union that lasted for the rest of his life.
When the United States entered World War II, Neville was drafted into the U.S. Army but imagined himself being a civilian, husband, and father. Interestingly (but not surprisingly to those who understand his teachings) he was quickly relieved from duty, returned home, and continued his spiritual-based lecturing and writing.
Abdullah, an Ethiopian Rabbi, lectured on Esoteric Christianity in New York City during the 1920s and 30s; he taught thousands of students and personally mentored others, including Nevill and Dr. Joseph Murphy. After hearing testimonies about Abdullah from a friend, Neville attended a lecture. About this event, Neville said: “I recall the first night I met Abdullah. I had purposely delayed going to one of his meetings because a man whose judgment I did not trust had insisted on my attendance. At the end of the meeting Abdullah approached me and said, ‘Neville, you are six months late,’” claiming their encounter had been revealed to him, mystically, beforehand.
Abdullah prolonged his stay in New York solely to teach and mentor Neville; one might say it was "ordained from the Divine". As Abdullah’s student, Neville studied Hebrew, the Kabbalah, and the hidden symbolic meaning of the Scripture.
Lectures and Writings
As a published and popular author, Neville operated from New York City and regularly toured the United States giving lectures. Eventually, he made Los Angeles his a permanent home. By the 1950s, he had a large following established through his books, taught weekly at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, and began presenting on radio. From the early 1960s through 1972, he limited his lecture tours to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.
Neville’s early books and lectures focused on what he termed “The Law”. The Law expresses everyone's innate ability to create their physical realities through mental creativity, i.e., “imagination”. He also taught that we "dream" our lives into existence and, once realized, one understands that they are the Creator, in human form, with infinite possibilities.
Neville taught by example and used both his personal experiences and those of his students to explain and validate this concept. For example, his visit to Barbados from New York during the Great Depression without having any money. The gist of the story is that he traveled first-class, both to and from, and it cost him nothing. “The Law and the Promise” (196) includes many success stories, ranging from manifesting a new house, to relationships, a car, and travel, using his methods; however, teaching others how to attain materialistic items was not his goal.
Per Neville, “Learn how to use your imaginal power, lovingly, on behalf of others, for Man is moving into a world where everything is subject to his imaginal power”.
Focus: "The Law" and "The Promise"
Between the late 1930s to 1972, Neville had a singular vision: “Everything you experience, including other people, is the result of your feelings and assumptions. It is imperative to assume the feeling that one's goal has already been attained.” And, “It's not what you want that you attract; you attract what you believe to be true"; this is commonly referred to as "The Law".
He also taught that Christ was our very own Imagination and from the perspective that the Bible is a psychological allegory, not historical fact:
"It was never intended to teach history but rather to lead man in faith through the furnaces of affliction to the fulfillment of God’s promise, to rouse man from this profound sleep and awaken him as God."
In 1959, Neville introduced his audience to the idea of “The Promise”. From that point forward, he spoke on the primacy of "The Promise" to "The Law", which he described as an unconditional blessing of God not achieved by human effort, rather it is the fulfillment of Man’s destiny.
Neville transitioned on October 1, 1972, at the age of 67. His legacy remains fully intact, respected, and validated by those who study and practice his teachings. The beauty of what he shared is its simplicity, clarity and conciseness, and (as the ultimate test) its quantifiable effectiveness. In Neville’s words:
“You will never know the truth until you test it. Test it…and it proves itself in performance."