Test Your Self
Neville Goddard 09-25-1967
Faith is not complete until through experiment it becomes experience. God's promise cannot be tested. It cannot be earned, for it is given by grace. But your faith will be increased when you experiment, when you test God's law. It is easier to accept the Christian faith than to live by it, but you must live by it for your faith to grow'
In his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, Paul is speaking to the whole world when he says: "Examine yourselves to see if you are holding to the faith. Test yourselves' Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless of course you fail to meet the test. I hope you will discover that we have not failed."
Now, in the earliest gospel, the Gospel of Mark, we find these words: "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." The word "repent" means "a radical change of attitude (of thinking) towards anything that you either dislike or want to change." A radical change on your part will produce a corresponding change in your outer world. So now you are urged to examine yourself to see whether you are holding to the faith. Are you accepting as facts the headlines you see in the paper? The telephone call you just received' The morning's mail or the news on TV which suggest unlovely, horrible things to you? A friend calls, and pouring out all the bilge in the world tells you how bad things are and how they are destined to get worse. As you listen, their woes enter and are assumed by you.
Now, if you understand this law that imaging creates reality, you should, like a computer, choose what you are going to allow to enter. And when the conversation is finished and your friend's voice is still fresh and clear in your ear, hear her changed words, the changed tone of her voice, and feel the joy emitted there.
Let me now share three stories of a lady who is here tonight. She said: "I have found my telephone technique infallible. It never fails me. One day a friend called to tell me she wanted to take an examination to become a court reporter. Giving me nine reasons why she could never pass the test, I changed every one as I heard it, and when the conversation was finished I imagined an entirely different one. I heard her tell me she had passed the test with flying colors. My friend took the test, and although during the interval of six weeks she remained negative, I continued to believe she had passed. Then one day she called, saying: 'Do you remember when I took the test?' and I replied: 'Yes, and you passed.' Then she said: 'Yes, but aren't you surprised?' I have been trying to tell her that imagining creates reality, but she cannot understand how an imaginal act unseen by the human senses can be held onto and produce results, but I know it always does'"
Her letter continued in this manner: "My telephone technique never fails. I can give you dozen of stories of the results I have received through its use. Here is another. A friend, in her 50's desired to change her job for financial reasons. She wanted to return to the electronic plant where she formerly worked but felt that because of her age she would not be accepted. Ignoring all of the negative thoughts, I simply heard her excited voice tell me she had the job." One week later she called, saying: "They not only gave me the job with a large salary increase, but I am receiving credit for the ten years I worked there before, which will be added to my retirement."
Now in the third story, she said: "My friend's maid weighed 25 pounds more than she wanted to, and her doctor had told her she must lose this additional weight. Desiring to weigh 140 pounds, she told me how she had tried and tried but could not lose a pound. I ignored her comments regarding her past attempts and heard her tell me she had reached her goal. That she now weighs 140 pounds. Soon after that I left the city for two months, and when I returned the maid called again, saying: "I have been trying to contact you to tell you that I have lost weight. I couldn't find you when I weighed 140 but now I weigh 139'"
How the weight was lost my friend does not know; she only knows that she examines herself to see whether she is holding to her faith in imagining creating reality. She firmly believes in God's promise and knows that eventually Christ will awaken in her as her very self. But in the meantime, while she waits in faith for the fulfillment of that promise, she is exercising God's law. She now knows that whatever she desires, if she will but believe she already has received it, she will. So instead of making a false statement on the outside, saying: "I am Christian" and doing nothing about it, she lives by this principle on the inside and makes it a part of her life.
You are told: "Why call me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say?" Well, what did he say? That all things are possible to God, that no matter what you believe, it will come to pass. If you don't want unlovely things to happen in your world then you must watch what you are thinking in the course of a day. You need not wait until the day's end to change a thought to fulfill a desire. Why not do as my friend does and revise the conversation as you hear it? If the words are not what she wants to hear she does not listen, but puts on that same wire the thoughts she wants to hear come through. She hears what she desires to hear and believes it will come to pass.
Scripture tells of those who - calling themselves leaders - are blind guides, and when the blind lead the blind they all fall into a pit. Who are these blind leaders? Those who teach doctrine as the law of God. Those who teach the precepts of men, saying you can't eat this or wear that, are not the law of God, for in God's law everything is in order. Are we not told that food will not justify or get you to God, that you are no worse off if you do not eat and no better off if you do? I know and I am persuaded by the law of Christ Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself, but to any man to whom it is unclean, to him it is unclean. The uncleanliness is in his thinking and not in the thought itself.
If someone wants to wallow in self pity, let him. You are not asked to test the man but to test yourself. You are not asked to prove it to another, just yourself. See the world as nothing more than yourself pushed out and everything in it as aiding the birth of your imagination, for the behavior of the world relative to you determined by the concept you hold of yourself' It doesn't really matter what your individual personal life is, the whole vast world is yourself pushed out and everyone in it is there to aid the birth of all of your imaginal acts. Regardless of whether it takes one or one hundred thousand, everyone will play his part, and you don't have to ask his permission for your world is animated by your own wonderful human imagination.
So the first thing you are asked to do is examine yourselves to see if you are holding to the faith. If you are satisfied that you are, then test yourselves. Then he asked the question: "Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?" The average person would answer negatively, but I ask you: Is Jesus Christ in you as another? Do you think of him as a second person to be addressed as Lord or Christ? Do you not realize that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you?" If you can answer this last question in the affirmative, are you still going to test him as another?
God first reveals himself as God Almighty (El Shaddai) telling us in the 6th chapter of Exodus: "I made myself known unto Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known." The word "Lord" means "I am." God's name has now been revealed to you as "I am." Now, ask yourself this question: "Do I realize that I am the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in me? My awareness is the Spirit of God which dwells in me, God's temple." If you know your awareness, your I Amness, is Jesus Christ, you cannot think of him as a second person, as someone other than yourself, can you? I know it sounds arrogant but this is what Paul is trying to tell everyone.
Did this lady turn to anyone and ask him to take 25 pounds off her friend? No' She did it all within her wonderful human imagination. Scripture tells us: "All things are made by him and without him was not anything made that was made." Did 25 pounds come off? Yes' And if all things are made by him, who is he who removed the excess pounds? He is the Lord Christ Jesus, the human imagination'
At the end of his poem called "Reverie", Robert Browning said:
"From the first, Power was - I knew,
Life has made clear to me
That, strive but for closer view,
Love were as plain to see."
Life is God's power on display, but if you will look closer love will be plain to see' Many years ago I was taken in Spirit into the divine assembly where the gods hold judgment. There I encountered El Shaddai, God personified as Infinite Might' He was a man no larger than you are, but with the power to destroy the universe if he so desired. It was Power, who - after the recording angel checked my name - took me into the presence of Love. They are the same being, for you cannot separate God's power from Himself; but what a different face was infinite love' Wearing the human form divine, the Ancient of Days, all love, embraced me and made me one with his body and I still feel that presence today. My friends know me as Neville, my daughter as her father, my wife as her husband - but I no longer feel this body of flesh and blood. I feel only the body of love. But power came first, that I knew; but looking closer love can be plainly seen. These two beings cannot be separated. Love is Spirit and Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God - but God is love' He is the Father of all, and one day everyone will receive his gift of love'
In the meantime exercise your power. Have faith in the promise by exercising his law and proving it in performance, for faith is not complete until through experiment it becomes your experience' This lady knows what she has experienced. She knows the law works. She would never be interested in hearing of any special diet to become more spiritual, or any meditation to become aware of her so-called cosmic consciousness. But through exercise, through testing herself, God's law is becoming her experience, and one day the real gift, the gift of God Himself will be hers.
No one can earn God's gift. It could happen to all who are here this night, or to one. It is my desire that everyone will have the experience before I depart, but I am not to know the time that God the Father has fixed in his own accord. I do know that we reconstruct the temple one by one. All the things you and I do here will vanish like castles in the sand. But the Bible, which is the Word of God, is forever. It will never pass away. It is engraved on the Rock, the Rock that is Christ, the gospel contained in all.
Paul uses the word "rock" because of vision. I know, for back in the 30's while sitting in the silence not thinking of anything in particular, I closed my eyes in contemplation and saw a quartz, a solid rock (the symbol of death, the limit of contraction which God took upon himself.) As I watched, the rock fragmented itself. Then I saw all the tiny pieces gather together as if by some unseen hand and mold itself into a living statue sitting in a lotus position. Looking at this wonderful creature, I realized I was seeing myself. As I recognized Neville the whole thing began to glow, to become radiant, and when it reached the limit of intensity it exploded and I awoke sitting in my chair.
The symbolism is true. Engraved upon the Rock that is Christ is the eternal Word of God. Having put the eternal Word (the Rock) into the mind of Man, when he reaches the end of the race God's Word will be fulfilled as the being in which it is revealed, so the symbolism is true. I saw the Rock which is Christ fragmented. Every little piece was a part that I had played in the drama called life. The villain, the hero, the rich man, the poor man, the beggar, the thief - I have played them all, and having finished the race I have gathered my various selves together to form the being that comes to the end of the journey. And as I watched I saw it glow like the sun and when it reached the limit of intensity, it exploded. Scripture, from the beginning to the end, is all engraved on the Rock and placed within the mind of Man.
Tonight you can take this simple principle as recorded in the 13th chapter of 2 Corinthians and "Examine yourselves to see whether you are holding to the faith." When you are satisfied that you are, then test yourself. If the morning's mail brings bad news don't call the person and tell him he shouldn't have written the letter, but revise it. Change the letter completely. When you answer the telephone test yourself again and hear only what you want to hear. Do as my friend does, for her telephone technique never fails her.
As Fawcett said: "The secret of Imagining is the greatest of all problems to the solution of which the mystics aspire, for supreme Power, supreme Wisdom, supreme Delight, lie in the solution of this far-off mystery." I invite you all to share in the solution of this mystery. My friend has contributed her discovery. She calls it her telephone technique using revision. Now the Bible does not use the word revision. It uses the word "repent" which means "a radical change of attitude." I use the modern word revision because the word "repent" has grown barnacles. We think of a person repenting by getting down on his belly and moving forward like a worm towards someone to whom he repents. But when you revise (or repent) you don't confess to anyone. How can you confess any sin to anyone when you are told in the Book of Psalms: "Against thee and only thee have I sinned, O Lord." You cannot sin against another; you can only sin against yourself for your true self is God. I should go to someone just as foolish as I and say: "Father, I want to repent?" Never'
The priesthoods of the world give us man-made precepts and call them the doctrines of God. They are blind leaders of the blind. When the Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus, saying: "Your disciples are violating the precepts, the traditions of the elders by not washing their hand when they eat," Jesus replied: "Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the precepts of men? It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man (for that goes through his stomach and passes on), but what comes out of the mouth of man that defiles him." That which comes out of the heart defiles, not that which enters the belly. Call your man-made precepts as a something coming from God and you transgress his commandments. This is true everywhere. Man is forever condemning another for what he believes the other ought to do to obtain salvation. But salvation is yours. It is coming to you whether you live wisely or foolishly. No matter what you have done you are going to receive God's gift and not one will be lost.
So while you are here, why not use God's law and live wisely. I find it much easier to pay my bills than to run from creditors, so why not pay them when the law allows me to. I simply imagine having enough money in the bank to pay them' I find it easier to live in the feeling of plenty than to feel a sense of lack. Living this way doesn't make me better in the eyes of myself called God than the one who does not know this law, or - knowing it, does not apply it. It makes no difference in the end, because both of us will be the one being who is God the Father. You and I are not only brothers, we are God the Father, for He is a compound unity of one made up of others.
Everyone is predestined to know he is the One, but in the interval all are invited to take this wonderful law and apply it wisely toward definite objectives. Like the fellow who came into the bar, and when they wouldn't serve him a drink said: "You think I'm a bum, but I want you to know I am a very important person. I know what it is to be rich and I know what it is to be poor, and of the two I'd rather be rich." Now, I'm not telling you what to desire, but I am telling you that I know what it is like to be dispossessed because of lack of means to pay the rent. During that time I owned the world and didn't know it. Everything was mine but no one told me about it. The world is yours for the taking but if you do not know it you can go hungry for want of a dollar. No one will hold your money in deposit for you or go out on the street and tell you of your investment. Instead he will use it, and until you make the demand, he will not release it to you. You must claim it by appreciation. No one is going to force your desire upon you. Everything is yours for the taking. Appropriate your every desire by applying God's law, just as this lady did in her wonderful telephone technique.
Start examining yourself. Do you believe that imagining creates reality? If you do, then test yourself. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? Do you have the courage to claim; "I am He and besides me there is no other?" In the 8th chapter of John, the statement is made: "You will die in your sins unless you believe that I am He." This is not a statement of another telling you that you must believe he is God. No' You are forever talking to yourself' Limited by the five senses, "I" - Christ in you - will miss my goals in life unless "I" believe that "I AM" that which "I" formerly desired to be.
Ask yourself: "If I now believe that I am He that the world worships as the Lord, and all things are possible to me, then I must test myself and according to my faith in myself will it be done unto me." It is up to the individual to perform the action, for the evidence always follows the action. Act as though things are as you would like them to be. Persuade yourself that it is true and let the results follow. This is how you are called upon to operate in this world. It is not written in detail, but only sketches that you fill in with your life.
Now let us go into the silence.