The Second Vision
[Neville Goddard 1959 lecture series]
We make the statement with Blake that, “All that you behold, though it appears to be without, it is within, in your imagination of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.” I mean that literally. The whole of humanity is contained in you, for that is the being you really are, and that is God. “And we exist in Him and He in us. The eternal body of the Imagination: that is, God Himself.”
Did you hear President Eisenhower speak just recently on his reaction to his recent trip? Then he came to what he felt was the very spirit of our land – the freedom of the individual. He said we have two great documents: one, the Declaration of Independence, the other is one that takes precedence over it, and that is the Bible. I wish he spoke for every one of us in the world, but even the majority who accept it as the Word of God do not understand it. It is a series of visions from beginning to end. The Old Testament shows what is taking place in the whole; the New Testament tells what is taking place in the single or individual man. The whole vast vision in both Old and New is actually taking place in the individual.
I told you of the experience that took place on July 21st in San Francisco, and that parallels the first vision in the books of Matthew and Luke. I actually gave birth to this Christ Child as it was enacted in me. I was its father. My reality is invisible, for I held in my hands what I formed as my own son, but I did not need a body. So, when God conceives of Himself, He conceives of man. So, you are God, conceiving Christ Jesus and forming out of your own being unaided by any other person in the world the only begotten Son of God.
The vision began to unfold in me and twenty-four days later came the second vision, and the second vision is the death of Herod. The child is taken into Egypt to save him from being killed at the command of Herod. Herod is compiled of two words; one means “Hero” and the other, “Edeos” means to fashion, or “a thing formed.” And the thing formed has to die, for the being you really are is God, which is spirit, without form or figure. But you display this body in every form in the world. So, the second vision came. Twenty-four days later, I am seated at a table with friends, and as I rose, my body dropped dead. And then came a manservant and tied it up with a rope as you tie up a piece of beef for the oven. You could see the flesh jump as the cord drew tight. And he said, “You were not sick; why did you die?” And I said, “There is a time to be born and a time to die; and a time to plant and a time to reap, and the time has come.” That is the death of Herod, or form. It is when you find that the “form” or “hero” that you thought so wonderful comes to an end. Then the Child comes out of hiding in Egypt. But now Herod’s son, Archelaus, rules in his place; and the word means “mighty political power.” For there is still the danger or the chance that one could sell his soul, become a part of some” ism” or some great organization for profit or for acclaim of men. But He goes to Nazareth to become a Nazarene. The word simply means, “to separate.” It does not mean humanity being separated into two camps – the sheep and the goats. It only means putting off form and putting on the lamb. It has nothing to do with this meat of an animal called a lamb that we eat. Blake wrote:
“Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost, thou know who made thee? Gave thee life, and bid thee feed by the stream and o’er the mead; Gave thee clothing, wooly, bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, making all the vales rejoice? Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost, thou know who made thee? Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee, Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee; He is called by thy name, for he calls himself, a lamb. He is meek, and he is mild; He became a little child. I a child, and thou a lamb, we called by his name. Little Lamb, God bless thee! Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Blake is not speaking of a little lamb of the field. What could it tell you if you asked it? Nothing. It is the symbol of the Christ Child that comes out of the mind of man. This is the symbol of the separation of the form from the lamb. How do I do it? By living completely by faith. If you do not live by faith you delay the coming of the Child, for it does not come by the passage of time, it comes out of the mind of man when that mind is prepared for the coming. I must learn to actually live in the reality of invisible states. No matter what it is, start with a job or a house that seems beyond your reach, and then live in the feeling that you have it. In the degree that you are faithful to these images you are preparing the way for the coming of the Child. I place my image in a garden (Eden), and then out of it comes a river and it parts into four sections. It is not actually water. If I wanted to realize my dream, what must I do to make it real so I can share it with this, my shadow world called man? I must know the taste and touch and sight and sound of what it would be if it were true. If I could see what I would see if my dream were true, and remain faithful to that imagery, I would make it real in the world of shadows. The only risk is that after it becomes real, man is likely to lose himself in the thing he created in the world of effects and deny his faithfulness to the image that produced it. So, then he goes sound asleep once more. So many people do that. It is nice to meet, now and then, someone who has not forgotten.
I have told you the story of this man before. He was a young lawyer of thirty, without funds, when a few years ago after coming to my lectures he decided to use his Imagination to obtain an immense objective. He desired to control a multimillion-dollar concern — the Berkeley Savings and Loan Company. At the time he had no connection with them, but within six months he was in control. He turned over the wheels of industry so fast that he doubled its assets. Now he has sold out control and gone into the building business. He has recently returned from Hawaii where he built four hotels. Now he is building the largest co-op on the west coast, the Comstock, named after the famous Comstock Lode. It is on San Francisco’s Nob Hill and is costing $8 ½ million. He is president of the company. He wrote me a letter and said, “I have a deep and abiding conviction in the power of my Imagination from listening to your lectures. If Imagination creates Reality and I walk in the direction of my image, then I will predict my future.” Now he is president of this company and building this 120-unit co-op, which will be the highest on Nob Hill. He has not forgotten. I wish I could say the same of others. They build big dreams and make them real and then forget how it was done. So, after Herod is dead, his son then rules in his place, and they say, “It would have happened anyway.”
So, the Child is taken to Nazareth to be separated. Many of you think that a Nazarene is one of some sect that does not cut his hair. It has nothing to do with that. It is one who is separated within himself and knows his own invisibility and his difference from the form that appears. Herod dies, and it means form or figure — the thing you can see, and then the child is taken to be separated from all states that are visible. He is Invisible Reality.
And then we are told you do not see Him for twelve years. It means more than a length of twelve years. It means the point at which one reaches emotional maturity, or imaginative puberty, where one can now create out of his own being. Then he reappears. And the first thing He does is to deny his earthy parents. “I am about my Father’s business, etc.” He turns his back on his earthly parents. “I and my Father are one.” And then He starts the work and goes through to the very end. There is only this short interval before he reappears. This did not take place, it is taking place in the mind of everyone as the way is prepared for His coming, and you prepare the way by living by faith. “Faith is the evidence of things not yet seen.” Faith means, “meaning.” “Things that are seen are not made from things that do appear.” Science thinks that things come from substance that does appear. They are taking over a million organic substances and an equal number of inorganic substances and are now reducing the whole to electricity – positive, and negative. They think the whole vast world comes out of this, but it does not; it comes out of your wonderful imagination.
Any change in your image will result in a change in the world. When man knows this, he is beginning to awaken, but until he is sure of that, he is still asleep. “Father, I thank thee thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes.” “Prudent” comes from a word which means, “those who pray and act piously.” Note the world around you and you will see these who act piously. But this is hidden from the scientists, the “wise men.” Would you tell a scientist his imagination is creating this world of confusion? He could not believe an attitude will bring about a change in the visible world. Is it not psychical? If a man can pre-determine an attitude, where is causation? Causation is within the Imagination of man, and man is God, spiritual man, that is. When you live by it, the visions begin to unfold, and you will see if the Bible is historically true or psychologically true.
Most of the eastern world says the Christian Bible is the opium of the people, and the western world says it is history. But it is a series of visions that will come only after the way is prepared. And that is by faith. But try to tell someone you are being born of your own being, and you rise from the floor and see your body lying on the bed, its head moving from side to side like someone coming out of an anesthetic. You will think it is wind that is causing the terrific vibration in the room. Then you look back where your body was and it will be gone, but in its place will be three wise men, and they too think vibration is caused by the wind, and one goes to investigate, and the others will say, “How could that be?” And you will take the child and hold it and know it is your self-begotten son and you will know that you have given birth to Christ Jesus. From then on you begin to awaken, and you find out who you really are, and you will know that you are God. You are not dependent on anything in the world, for you are making everything in the world. Everything is taking place in the mind of the single individual, for the whole vast world is contained in you.
I must tell you these things, no matter if you believe them or not. The birth of that child was mine, and I know who I am and who he is. This is a child born of a virgin. It is not a physical virgin. It comes out of the mind of man, and that is the womb of God. You are told in Hebrews 11, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” That is the preparation, and the event comes like a thief in the night, it does not come by observation. This has nothing to do with holiness. A physical Christ is blasphemy. Christ is spirit and is born from above, and not beneath. The physical comes from below, but “unless ye be born from above ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Christ is not of flesh but comes out of your hands and smiles into your face.
Until you know it, it seems stupid, but throughout eternity it is taking place. “For God enters death’s door (this body) with those who enter and lies down with those who sleep to enter in the dreams of eternity until they awaken.” But when the door is opened these twelve crystals begin to vibrate in what is called the pineal gland, these twelve translucencies through which the Christ spirit shines. And the whole thing gives just as if the child were being born in the physical sense, and then you can stand no more and you are pushed down to the floor. You cannot get any lower, so that symbolizes the manger. The wise men call it your child, for you are being individualized, and the name he calls will be your name, and in your hand will be placed the child, and you will know it. For the symbolism is true. Out of the brain of man comes the Christ Child. The three wise men are always present.
But you to whom it is happening do not know what has happened. You hear the wind, the “thermal” and it means the “spirit of the divine wind.” He does not precede you; he cannot come before you for it is God giving birth to his son. But man does not know what is happening for he cannot believe that he is God. Though you cannot believe it now, you have a wonderful experience in store. If not here, then it is beyond the veil. It does not matter. This is not from the study of any philosophy, but it is an actual mystical experience. The four Gospels are the beginning of the drama unfolding in the mind of man. You want a job? Could you drive your car into the parking lot and occupy that space which would be yours were you the vice president, or any position you wish to occupy? Then do it mentally and do it over and over until it seems natural. Then the shadow world will rearrange itself and make way for the car in a physical manner. But then don’t forget how it happened, for then you will go sound asleep again, and then it might take you a very long time to again live by faith.
When you have too much of the world in focus, you do not live by faith. How can you if you can write a check for anything you want? Jacob is the eternally beginning one and I am called on to bring Him, and I can only do it through faith. So today, no matter what you desire, if you know that Imagination creates Reality then you can bring about a change of attitude and following this change in this shadow world around you. When you react, actually you penetrate. But when I change something within myself, I am acting, and only God acts in existing beings and men. Satan is that aspect of mind that reacts to life instead of affecting life. So do not argue but decide what you want in place of what you have or see. Until I can change a thing I can tolerate it, for I know I can change it, for when I change within, it will have to change outwardly, no matter what it is. “All that you behold, though it seems to be without, it is within, in the Imagination, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.” The whole vast world is the world of Imagination. You will see those visions and you will know they are in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It has everything to do with your awakening. How soon the third vision will come after the death of Herod, I do not know. It’ll all depend on me and how I live by faith. And then comes another vision, and another, and they go through to the very end. The first man is clothed in this garment of skin, but the second man is waiting within everyone for birth.
If you would today transform your life, all you need are sound and sight and touch and taste. These are the four Rivers that flow out of Eden – these are the senses and you water your Eden by these, and if you are faithful to your image it will flow into what you call reality, but it is the shadow, only the idea is the real. Now let us go into the silence.