PROOF, THE LAW WORKS
Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, says, “I see that you observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid I have labored over you in vain.” Now here we are, this crowded week of observing these different days, and this is the season, and naturally it is the year. What did Paul give to the world? What he gave to the world is this: that the Spirit of God and the human imagination are one. He said, “We did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we may understand the gifts bestowed upon us by God.”
Here is the One that became the many, that the many may become the One, for “One must be All, and comprehend within himself all things, both small and great” (Blake, from “The Four Zoas”). Everything in the world – “All that I behold, though it appears without, it is within, within my imagination, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.” [Blake, from “Jerusalem”]
So, we are told that: I, if I be lifted up, I will lift all men and draw all men unto me. Now we are told he is lifted up, therefore all men are already redeemed! But they have to experience it within themselves. They are already redeemed, but in this world of mortality – this must be now, I would say, repeated within the individual, for he must contain and experience all within himself. There is only God in this world. “God only acts and is in existing beings or men.” [Blake, from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”]
Now let me share with you a story that was given to me last Friday night. This lady’s husband’s name is Ray. When I use the word Ray, I am speaking of her husband. She said, “Last year Ray said to me, ‘It’s going to cost a thousand dollars to put on a new roof. We need the roof, but it will cost a thousand dollars.’”
She didn’t say they could not afford it, she said, “I saw the new roof. Right then and there, I saw the new roof!” Then she said, “I was working at my sewing machine, it’s an old one, but it was adequate. It did the job, but I would like a new one,” she said, “and so I imagined a new one. Here is the old one, but I imagined a new one. Then I was putting away my tape recorder, and I felt, ‘How heavy this thing is! I would like a new, lightweight one.’ I put the old one away – the heavy one; but I thought I would like a new one that is light of weight. So, I put away the new one that was light of weight.”
Then she said, “Ray said to me ‘My new shoes hurt.’ He had just bought them and they were hurting. Well, I wanted him to have shoes that did not hurt. I did that in my imagination. All of this was last year. Then came the turn of the calendar year, and we had a robbery. No, they didn’t steal the roof, but they took the other movable objects, and this past week I got a settlement from the insurance company for two thousand and fifty-odd dollars. I now have my nice, new sewing machine. I have my nice, lightweight tape recorder. Ray’s shoes do not hurt. And there is money for the roof, with much, much, much left over. Now, who instigated the robbery?”
Now on Friday, you will hear, if you go to service, the Seven Words on the Cross: three taken from Luke, three from John, and one from Matthew and Mark, it’s the same one from Matthew and Mark, which is the fourth one: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” That is the one taken from these two Gospels. But the first one used on the Cross is from Luke, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Everything is moving under compulsion. No one sees the invisible causation. No one sees the invisible imaginal act that is putting pressure upon everyone who is bent in a certain direction to perform the needed act to produce the imaginal act that is completely unseen by the world.
Here, “Every natural effect has a spiritual cause, and not a natural. A natural cause only seems. It is a delusion of the fading, vegetable memory.” [Blake, from “Milton”]
Now, in her letter to me she said, “These things I remember. They were all last year, but I remember them.” In her case she is blessed that she can remember when Ray said to her, “It’s going to cost a thousand dollars to put on the new roof,” and “I saw the new roof, even though at the moment he thought he could not now afford a new roof. When I used my sewing machine, it was adequate, it was good, it did the job, but I would like a new one, and I saw a new one. And when I put away my tape recorder, it was all right, it was adequate, but it was heavy when I put it away. I thought, I’ve seen all these nice new, lightweight ones, and I would like a nice lightweight one, a good one.
“Now,” she said, “I have all of them. I have my nice new, lightweight recorder, my new machine, Ray’s shoes that do not hurt, and the roof will be a new one. The money is there and much left over.”
So, the first cry on the Cross, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” They are all asleep, moving under compulsion. And men and women unwittingly – most of them, some wittingly – are setting the whole thing in motion. And they simply move. So,
someone given to the feeling of getting something for nothing, he takes the recorder. If he sells it for anything, that’s profit. It cost him nothing.
No matter what it cost her, whatever he could get for it was sheer profit. If he goes out and finds something that he stole and he could move it quickly for $15 and one gets a bargain, he made $15. It cost him nothing; his investment was nothing. And there are those in the world who think that way. They are all passing through the furnaces.
So, the first word on the Cross – a “word on the cross” does not mean a single word; it’s a completed thought. So, the shortest word is: “I thirst,” but there are two words. The next one, from John, is, “It is finished” – there are three words. All right– still it is one word when you take the seven words.
So, the first word is from Luke, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” And then comes Luke’s second, then comes John’s first, then comes Matthew and Mark, then come two from John, and then Luke completes it, “Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”
This little punctuation mark has been pushed around in the second word on the cross, which is from Luke. And the thief turns to him and asks him to have mercy on him, and he said, “Behold, I say unto you, ‘Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.’” Well, you can alter the punctuation and put the comma after ‘today’, but no, leave it just as it is, “Behold, I say unto you, today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”
This is, now, Resurrection. “And I, when I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto me” – for all things are in my own wonderful human imagination; and I am all imagination. So, when I am lifted up, I draw all. At the very moment, I draw them all with me. But they individually must have the experience that I have had, but they are already redeemed because I took them up with me. Because, “All things exist in the human imagination,” and anyone who is resurrected – but he can’t be resurrected and leave behind him any part of himself, so, the whole world is raised up with him.
I am telling you from experience, the heavenly chorus sings when this thing takes place. They sing the fall – the actual fall into division, and the resurrection into unity. They sing it out, and then the regeneration through resurrection from the dead. They actually sing it out, and the words, “It is finished” – I heard it, but I didn’t sing it. The heavenly chorus sang it.
When I walked by and everyone was made perfect because I was perfect, and then at the very end, the chorus sang out, “It is finished,” that was the sixth word on the cross. And
the last One is when this garment comes off, and that is the 31st Psalm, the 5th verse, “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit.” Complete the verse: “Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, Faithful God.” That was the Promise in the beginning: I would fall into division and become fragmented, dwelling in all, that not a thing in this world could be apart from me because how could I be apart from something that I am going to influence? Because –
“All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle.” [Shelley]
If I am not penetrating you now, I couldn’t see you. You couldn’t hear me if I did not penetrate you and you penetrate me. So:
“All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle.”
So, when I am lifted up, I take with me my entire universe – my whole vast world – knowing that everyone that is now shattered in that world will have a repetition of the same experience. For, One fell into division, and then resurrected into Unity, bringing all back together into The One.
So, in her case, I can’t tell you how thankful I am that she shared it with me, that she could now actually feel that the robbery which seemed at the moment such a shock – she lost the tape recorder, she lost this – all the movable objects, and then came the settlement from the insurance company for two thousand and fifty-odd dollars, which replaced these with the new ones – all the light ones, and enough to put on a new roof, and then some still left over. So, “Father, forgive them.” Yes – the thieves are thieves – it’s your Self “pushed out” anyway.
Here someone tonight is accused for stealing maybe what? A little cup or a saucer. And yet the bank where I bank – the United California Bank – they are still looking for the internal thieves who stole fifty million dollars last year from their subsidiary in Basel, in Switzerland – fifty million dollars! And they know it is all on the inside, it can only be on the inside by trusted employees. They think they can bring it down to six – six trusted employees! They can’t quite put their fingers on it because in Switzerland they have all these strange hidden accounts. But they are missing fifty million dollars. So when someone goes into the bank and holds it up and gets a thousand dollars, and we balloon the whole thing – the other thing is “hush-hush.”
Here is a bank in Illinois a few months ago that lost close to seven million dollars, and they still can’t quite put their finger on how it happened on the inside. No one came in and robbed them. And we speak of the little shoplifting on the outside, and the poor little girl goes off to jail, or the little boy goes off to jail. I am not condoning it. If you could stop the embezzlement from the inside, your dividends would jump from their present little three percent or four percent to twenty percent, if you could only stop it from the inside. All things happen really in the true sense of the word, from the inside.
So, every so-called act in the outer world that seems a cause in itself – may I tell you, “Every natural effect has a spiritual, imaginal cause, and not a natural. A natural cause only seems. It’s a delusion” – of what? “– the fading memory.” Man can’t quite remember. Luckily, she remembered when Ray said, “We could use, and need, a new roof; but it would cost a thousand dollars, and so that is put into the future.” She remembered when he complained the new shoes were hurting. In her mind’s eye she revised it instantly, at the moment – the roof and the shoes. When she worked on her machine, she revised it. It was adequate, but she said, “I have a new machine – sewing machine.” And putting the heavy tape recorder away, she wanted a new one that was light of weight, and she revised it, and she got in her mind’s eye a lightweight, new tape recorder. Then she goes home one day to find the house had been robbed. She had carried insurance, so she brought in the insurance people, and here they paid her the two thousand dollars, which replaced all these things in a new way.
So, I tell you, the story is the greatest story ever told. There is no story like it. But Christianity needs forever and forever to be saved from secular history. It is not secular history. It’s the history of your own wonderful human imagination. God and your own imagination are one. They are one. You are an Immortal Being. You cannot die, because you are all imagination. When you actually know it from experience, then you can wipe your tears. Nothing can pass away.
You may not see them with the mortal eye, touch them with the mortal hand, but they are in a world just as real as this – just as real, continuing the journey until they reach that moment in time when they are resurrected, and then the scattered body begins to be collected and they are gathered together into one. So:
“…One must be All,
And comprehend within himself all things both great and small.” (Blake, from “The Four Zoas”)
And you are that one that actually fell, and then, in falling, you became fragmented. You became divided into the unnumbered parts, and each seems to be independent of you as you look out on it. You are only looking out on your Self “pushed out.” And your whole vast world must make real your unknowing imaginal acts, or your knowing imaginal acts.
I ask you to trust this teaching. Believe in your imaginal acts. You may not see it tonight or tomorrow; but believe in it. Actually assume the most glorious thing in the world for yourself or any aspect of yourself. Trust it. And that imaginal act, if it takes a thousand or ten thousand or a hundred thousand of your projected selves, will use them to make that thing become real in your world.
As she said in her letter to me, “You may call it imagination, or some may call it thought, but this I do know, having remembered what I did last year, I can say it does produce reality.”
And I’ve told you time and time again that –
IMAGINING CREATES REALITY
– that all the objective facts in the world are produced through imagination. There isn’t a thing that you can name in this world that wasn’t first imagined. But you can veto it the minute you imagine it. You can say, as she could have said, “We can’t afford it,” and stop it. She didn’t say, “We can’t afford the thousand dollars for the roof,” she saw the roof, and it was new. But she didn’t see the robbery. That’s the means.
Let us turn you now to the 55th chapter of Isaiah: “My ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than yours.” This is the chapter where you are told, “My word shall not return unto me void, but it must accomplish that which I purpose and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” So, “My ways are higher than your ways.” Don’t concern yourself with how it’s going to be done, for the same voice who spoke these words said this in the 32nd chapter of Deuteronomy, the 39th verse:
“I, even I, am He. I kill, and I make alive; I wound, I heal; I do all these things, and none can deliver out of my hands.”
He is playing all the parts. And if one is basically inclined to steal, he will use him to produce the necessary means to get the money to put on the roof. So she comes home, and there was a robbery. All the things have been replaced with new ones and better ones, as she desired them. At the moment, it seemed to be a shock, but she set the whole thing up in motion, for she’s the one who spoke those words, “I kill, and I make alive, I
wound, and I heal, and none can deliver out of my hands.” For the Spirit of God and the human imagination are one; and there is nothing but God, “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
And so, if all things are made by Him, is there a thief in the world? He’s playing that part! Is there a so-called hero in the world? He’s playing that part. A coward? He’s playing that part. He is playing every part in the world, and it all adds up to produce the unseen imaginal acts of men.
So, you are alone, and you think, “No one sees me and this means nothing. It’s only my imagination.” And you carry on your lovely imaginal act. And so, that’s it – not knowing that you are actually producing tomorrow’s effects in this world. And when it comes into the world, that natural effect has an unseen, invisible, imaginal act as cause, and not a natural cause. “A natural cause only seems, it is a delusion” – a delusion of what? Of your fading memory. You don’t remember when you did it. So, when confronted with your own harvest, you can’t quite believe it. You can’t remember when you did anything that could actually be like this.
I didn’t rob myself! I never thought for one moment of robbery to get the money. No, but I did see the whole thing done. And there are thieves in the world –all over the world, and they are all played by God! There is nothing but God.
“God only acts, and is, in existing beings or men.” [Blake, from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”]
Now, let me find that Actor, because God only acts, and He is in all existing beings or men. Well, I’m a man. I’ve got to find that Actor, for the thing that I see reflected in the mirror when I shave in the morning is a mask. That’s persona. Now, who is wearing that mask? I am. You simply say, “Neville,” and I turn around and say, “Yes? Here I am,” but who is the Being that is there? I am. That’s my real name. But the mask is called “Neville.” But I will say, “I am Neville.” So, the wearer of the mask called “Neville” responds. That Being in that mask, behind that mask, that no one sees is God!
And now the whole vast Christendom will celebrate this victory of God, that he actually died – literally died. But God’s first attribute is Mercy.
And God turned Death into Sleep; and then rose the sexes to work and to weep.” [Blake, paraphrased from “To Tirzah”]1
1 “But Mercy chang’d Death into Sleep; The Sexes to work and to weep.
And so all the sexes rose en masse when God died. He buried Himself in humanity and died, and then His first attribute – Mercy – turned it into sleep. That is what Blake meant when he said:
“Eternity exists, and all things in eternity, independent of creation, which was an act of mercy.” [From “A Vision of the Last Judgment”]
That was the merciful act: to turn death into sleep. And God is dreaming this dream.
One day He will awake. And when he awakes, he resurrects, and then he gathers into his own Being all his scattered beings. So, all are gathered together.
When I depart this time, may I tell you, I am taking everything in the universe with me. And “I, when I am lifted up, I will raise all unto me.” Read it in the 12th chapter of John. Not one can be left, because all things exist in the human imagination. But it’s not raised up until He who is scattered is awakened to Unity. And then He draws into His own Being all that was scattered.
So, they sing his fall into division, and his resurrection into unity – His fall into the generation of decay and death, and his regeneration into the resurrection from the dead. So, when he actually is raised from the dead, he gathers all into his own Being. And they are all with him. No matter where he goes, he has the whole vast world raised up. He hasn’t left one behind him. But everyone shattered in the world will have a reproduction of that drama in themselves.
So, what is now being dramatized as a memorial this week – for this is really a memorial, this is simply a great memory, a remembrance of what God has already accomplished. And so they are perpetuating it through Good Friday. Then comes the burial on Saturday. Then comes the Resurrection on Sunday. But the whole thing is done! It’s all done; only to be repeated in the individual, and then the individual who is seemingly scattered becomes the unit, and he draws his vast world unto himself, and he is resurrected.
So, the One becomes the many, and then the many become the One. So, whenever one is raised, he takes the whole vast world with him, even though it seems to be left behind, and every aspect that seemingly is behind becomes the unit, and then it raises up. So, one must be all.
That is the story of the Christian mystery: One must be all! So, the first cry on the Cross,
“Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” And they do not know what they do.
They go blindly on under compulsion, executing the unseen imaginal acts of humanity. And they move under compulsion.
I told the story, and I was severely criticized for it by a lady at a dinner party one night when Fred Bailes, who is now gone from this world, gave a party at the Ambassador Hotel. And I had told this story about two weeks before to one of his great – I would say – contributors who would come and always write a huge big check at the end of a year or the end of a month to keep that going. And she was most critical that night. I didn’t feel well that night at all. And she said, “You know, I can’t quite understand how you could take the platform before an audience of twenty-six hundred, a thousand who could not get in – they were all overflowing at the Fox Wilshire, and tell what you told about your wife” – this was my first wife.
I told a simple story to explain that everything in this world must be forgiven, no matter what it is. When I met the girl who now bears my name and who is the mother of my daughter – the very first time I met her, I knew she was going to be my wife. She didn’t know it, but I knew it. I said to myself, “She doesn’t know it, but she is going to be my wife.” We sailed for Barbados six months later, and she met my mother and met my family – met them all. They all loved her. That was back in 1936.
In New York City, because of the archaic law that is now past, you couldn’t get a divorce unless she was insane for seven years or for adultery, and that’s all. The orthodox Christian churches had sewed the whole thing up so that it made life miserable and made everything simply a burden to all. When I met her, I had just such an entangled background. And here it’s New York City, the most archaic city in the world concerning such laws.
I went to bed and slept as though I was happily married to the girl who now bears my name. I did not have any physical emotion with her: just that she was sleeping there, and I am here, and it’s blissful. I did that for one solid week. Then comes a telephone call from the court one morning, telling me that I must come down to this federal court on Tuesday morning. Well, I was groggy, it was early in the morning, and in those days I didn’t rise as early as I do now. And so, I just said, “All right,” and I hung up.
Well, on Tuesday morning that I am supposed to be there, I made no effort to go there. And about 9:30 the phone rang. It’s the court, and they said to me, “You are supposed to be here in court this morning. We meet at 10:00.”
And I said, “What on earth am I supposed to be in court for?”
They said, “Well, it happens that your wife is arrested, and we thought maybe you could throw some light on the reason for her arrest. That’s why we are asking you to come down.”
Well, I wasn’t shaved. I simply threw myself into some clothes, and off I went in a taxi down to the court. I got there just as they were bringing her in. A man whispered into – there were three judges – into one judge’s ear that I was in the audience. The judge asked me to take the stand. “You don’t have to swear, but will you please take the stand and throw some light on the behavior of your wife? She tells me you have been separated now for almost fourteen years.”
I said, “Yes.”
“I sit a religious reason why you have been separated?”
I said, “No, none whatsoever. We knew we were wrong the very first day we got married. We knew it was completely a failure right away.”
Then he read the case. She was picked up for shoplifting. They went to her home and found other things in her home.
He said, “What can you say for this?”
I said, “As far as I am concerned, I don’t think that really she is a shoplifter. As far as I am concerned, she just moved under compulsion. Take into consideration her age. She is eight years my senior, and she is passing through a certain emotional state. And do be lenient. We have a son who lives with me, and I don’t want anything to happen to his mother that would cast any shadow on his life. He is a wonderful boy. He is in my charge by law. He is in my home, lives with me, and I don’t want anything to happen to her that in any way would reflect upon my son.”
The judge said, “You know, in all my years on the bench, I have heard no plea by one for another who has every reason in this world to get her committed, because that in any other state would be enough for a divorce, and yet he pleads for her.”
He sentenced her to six months, and then, on my plea, he suspended it. She met me on the outside, and said, “Neville, that was a very decent thing to do. Give me my papers.” She knew I was looking for her. My dancing partner had told her I was looking for her to serve the papers and therefore to be scarce and move out of New York City
efore to be scarce and move out of New York City
But she had to commit the act, and they had to call me and ask me to throw light upon that. How could I condemn her? Who was the actual cause of her shoplifting? I! I slept as though I were blissfully married to the girl who now bears my name, and I had to get the evidence. I had to get some reason to bring the action. And here, my wife actually gave me the papers.
I said, “I don’t have the papers with me.”
She said, “I am driving home to your place right now, and you can give me the papers.”
That is illegal to serve your own papers, but she drove up to my hotel where I was living. I went to my room and came down to the lobby and gave her the papers – did my own serving! Now that is an illegal thing in this world. Then I got my divorce in the City of New York, then I could marry the girl who now bears my name.
When I told that, I told it only to tell people of that one word, the first word on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” They are all moving under compulsion, and the unseen causation is hidden from the world. They do not know who is “treading in the winepress.” And I was “treading in the winepress” to be happily married to a girl who was not then engaged to me. I couldn’t be engaged to her under the circumstances. And then my wife behaved in such a manner that it made it real and natural for me to do what I did. How could I blame her?
So, the first word on the cross, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do” – they have to do what they do. I had to fall into division and fragment my being into the unnumbered parts called humanity, and then rise into unity, and gather all my scattered members together and rise as God Himself. That’s the story. It is God who fell, and God who rises.
So, I know from my own experience that nothing dies. Those who have not had the experience here – all right, they are restored in a world that is terrestrial just like this, and they continue their journey until that moment in time when they are resurrected. And Resurrection is resurrection into Unity. And the out pictured world – the whole vast universe – it’s himself “pushed out” – is gathered together then, and they move up. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth; I will draw all men unto me. See it? This is the mystery of which we speak here night after night.
You are not some tiny little thing just pushed out. You are the Whole. “One must be all.” And the day will come; you will find that you really are the All!
So, not one person in the universe could be outside of you when you are resurrected, because as you are raised up, you raise all with you. And each will have the experience of being raised up, and all eventually will be The One. And in that day, “they shall be one, his name one,” as we are told in Zechariah. But Blake tells it so beautifully in his “Dream of Nine Nights,” called Valla or the “Four Zoas,” And then he tells the story of the falling into division, and when they are all gathered together, this one man they call Jesus – and they in him and he in them – live in perfect harmony in Eden, the Land of Life.
Well, you are the Lord Jesus Christ, whose resurrection they are going to celebrate this coming Sunday. You tell that to the priests, and they will slap you, or tell that to any minister – because they are sound asleep. They do not know who the Lord Jesus Christ is: I tell you, the Lord Jesus Christ is buried in you, and He is your own wonderful human imagination. That’s the Lord Jesus Christ. And when He is raised in you, you will raise all in this universe within you. That is the story.
So, I want to thank my friend for sharing with me her experience, and being big enough to remember. If man could only remember his imaginal acts! She remembered when the roof needed repairs or a new one, and the cost was excessively high for them at the moment. She remembered her husband complaining about the pain the new shoes caused, the weight of the tape recorder, and then working on the machine – the sewing machine, and it was adequate – it was good, but she would like a new one, and then came out of the Nowhere a robbery and took all these movable objects, and then came the insurance that sent the check for two thousand-odd dollars that replaced all the movable objects and paid for the new roof with much, much over.
So, she can actually say, “Forgive them, Father” –those who took it. Did they not do her a favor? And yet, they are thieves in their own eyes, and thieves in the eyes of society, and they are. Do you know who played the part? God! And do you know who actually made them do what they did? The lady who wrote me the letter.
Now she knows the words in that 32nd chapter of Deuteronomy, “I, even I, am He, and there is no God beside me. I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.”
So, no matter what happens, if we only had the memory we could trace it to a forgotten imaginal act on our part!
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