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Seedtime and Harvest

Chapter 9

A MYSTICAL VIEW

“And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.
But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”
… Mark 4:33, 34

This collection of parables which is called the bible is a revelation of Truth expressed in symbolism to reveal the Laws and purposes of the mind of man. As we become aware of deeper meanings in the parables than those which are usually assigned to them, we are apprehending them mystically.

For example, let us take a mystical view of the advice given to the disciples in Matthew 10:10. We read that as the disciples were ready to teach and practice the great laws of mind which had been revealed to them, they were told not to provide shoes for the journey. A disciple is one who disciplines his mind that he may consciously function and act on higher and higher levels of of consciousness. The shoe was chosen as a symbol of vicarious atonement or the spirit of “let-me-do-it-for-you”, because the shoe protects the wearer and shields him from impurities by taking them upon himself. The aim of the disciple is always to lead himself and others from the bondage of dependency into the liberty of the Sons of God. Hence the advice, take no shoes. Accept no intermediary between yourself and God. Turn from all who would offer to do for you what you should do, and could, do far better yourself.

“Earth’s crammed with Heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes.”
… Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my breathren,
Ye have done it unto me.”
… Matthew 25:40

Every time you exercise your imagination on behalf of another, be it good, bad or indifferent, you have literally done that to Christ, for Christ is awakened Human Imagination. Through the wise and loving use of imagination, man clothes and feeds Christ, and through ignorant and fearful misuse of imagination, man disrobes and scourges Christ.

“let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against your neighbor” … Zechariah 8:17, is sound but negative advice. A man may stop misusing his imagination on the advice of a friend; he may be negatively served by the experience of others and learn not to imagine, but that is not enough. Such lack of use of the creative power of imagination could never clothe and feed Christ. The purple robe of the Son of God is woven, not by not imagining evil, but by imaging the good; by the active, voluntary and loving use of imagination.

“Whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
…Philippians 4:8

“King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon. He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of
purple, the midst thereof being
paved with love…”
… Song of Solomon 3: 9, 10

The first thing we notice is “King Solomon made himself”. That is what every man must eventually do – make himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon. By chariot, the writer of this allegory means Mind, in which stands the spirit of Wisdom – Solomon – controlling the four functions of Mind that he may build a world of Love and Truth.

“And Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father.” “What tributaries follow him to Rome to grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?” If man does not make himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon, then his will be like Queen Mab’s: “She is the fairies’ midwife; … her chariot is an empty hazelnut.”

The wood of Lebanon was the mystic’s symbol of incorruptibility. To a mystic, It is obvious what King Solomon made himself. Silver typified knowledge, gold symbolized wisdom, and purple – clothed or covered the incorruptible Mind with the red of Love and the blue of Truth.

“And they clothed him with purple.”
… Mark 15:17

Incarnate, incorruptible four-fold wisdom, clothed in purple – Love and Truth – the purpose of man’s experience on earth.

Love is the sage’s stone;
It takes gold from the clod;
It turns naught into aught,
Transforms me into God.”
… Angelus Silesius

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Seedtime and Harvest

Chapter 7

BE YE WISE AS SERPENTS

". . .be ye therefore wise as serpents, and
harmless as doves."
- Matthew 10:16

The serpent's ability to form its skin by ossifying a portion of itself, and its skill in shedding each skin as it outgrew it, caused man to regard this reptile as a symbol of the power of endless growth and self-reproduction. Man is told, therefore, to be "wise as the serpent" and learn how to shed his skin - his environment - which is his solidified self; man must learn how to "loose him, and let him go" . . . how to "put off the old man" . . .how to die to the old and yet know, like the serpent, that he "shall not surely die".

Man has not learned as yet that all that is outside his physical body is also a part of himself, that his world and all the conditions of his life are but the outpicturing of his state of consciousness.

When he knows this truth, he will stop the futile struggle of self-contention and, like the serpent, let the old go and grow a new environment.

"Man is immortal; therefore he must
die endlessly. For life is a creative idea;
it can only find itself in changing forms."
- Tagore

In ancient times, serpents were also associated with the guardianship of treasure or wealth. The injunction to be "wise as serpents" is the advice to man to awaken the power of his subtilized body - his imagination - that he, like the serpent, may grow and outgrow, die and yet not die, for from such deaths and resurrections alone, shedding the old and putting on the new, shall come fulfillment of his dreams and the finding of his treaures. As "the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made" - Genesis 3:1 - even so, imagination is more subtile than any creature of the heavens which the Lord God had created. Imagination is the creature that:

". . .was made subject to vanity, not willingly,
but by reason of him who hath subjected the
same in hope. . .For we are saved by hope:
but hope that is seen is not hope: for what
a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it?
But if we hope for that we see not, then do
we have patience wait for it."
- Romans 8:20, 24, 25

Although the outer, or "natural", man of the senses is interlocked with his environment, the inner, or spiritual, man of imagination is not thus interlocked. If the interlocking were complete, the charge to be "wise as serpents" would be in vain. Were we completely interlocked with our environment, we could not withdraw our attention from the evidence of the senses and feel ourselves into the situation of our fulfilled desire, in hope that that unseen state would solidify as our new environment. But:

"There is a natural body, and there is
a spiritual body."
- I Corinthians 15:44

The spiritual body of imagination is not interlocked with man's environment. The spiritual body can withdraw from the outer man of sense and environment and imagine itself to be what it wants to be. And if it remains faithful to the vision, imagination will build for man a new environment in which to live. This is what is meant by the statement:

". . .I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto
myself; that where I am, there ye may
be also."
- John 14:2, 3

The place that is prepared for you need not be a place in space. It can be health, wealth, companionship, anything that you desire in this world. Now, how is the place prepared?

You must first construct as life-like a representation as possible of what you would see and hear and do if you were physically present and physically moving about in that "place." Then, with your physical body immobilized, you must imagine that you are actually in that "place" and are seeing and hearing and doing all that you would see and hear and do if you were there physically. This you must do over and over again until it takes on the tones of reality. When it feels natural, the "place" has been prepared as the new environment for your outer or physical self. Now you may open your physical eyes and return to your former state. The "place" is prepared, and where you have been in imagination, there you shall be in the body also.

How this imagined state is realized physically is not the concern of you, the natural or outer man.

The spiritual body, on its return from the imagined state to its former physical state, created an invisible bridge of incident to link the two states. Although the curious feeling that you were actually there and that the state was real is gone, as soon as you open your eyes upon the old familiar environment, nevertheless, you are haunted with the sense of a double identity - with the knowledge that "there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." When you, the natural man, have had this experience you will go automatically across the bridge of events which leads to the physical realization of your invisibly prepared place.

This concept - that man is dual and that the inner man of imagination can dwell in future states and return to the present moment with a bridge of events to link the two - clashes violently with the widely accepted view about the human personality and the cause and nature of phenomena. Such a concept demands a revolution in current ideas about the human personality, and about space, time and matter. The concept that man, consciously or unconsciously, determines the conditions of life by imagining himself into these mental states, leads to the conclusion that this supposedly solid world is a construction of Mind - a concept which, at first, common sense rejects. However, we should remember that most of the concepts which common sense at first rejected, man was afterward forced to accept. These never-ending reversals of judgment which experience has forced upon man led Professor Whitehead to write: "Heaven knows what seeming nonsense may not tomorrow be demonstrated truth."

The creative power in man sleeps and needs to be awakened.

"Awake thou that sleepest, and arise
from the dead."
- Ephesians 5:14

Wake from the sleep that tells you the outer world is the cause of the conditions of your life. Rise from the dead past and create a new environment.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of
God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth
in you?"
- I Corinthians 3:16

The Spirit of God in you is your imagination, but it sleeps and needs to be awakened, in order to lift you off the bar of the senses where you have so long lain stranded.

The boundless possibilities open to you as you become "wise as serpents" is beyond measure.

You will select the ideal conditions you want to experience and the ideal environment you want to live in. Experiencing these states in imagination until they have sensory vividness, you will externalize them as surely as the serpent now externalizes its skin.

After you have outgrown them, then, you will cast them off as easily as "the snake throws her enamell'd skin". The more abundant life - the whole purpose of Creation - cannot be saved through death and resurrection.

God desired form, so He became man: and it is not enough for us to recognize His spirit at work in creation, we must see His work in form and say that it is good, even though we outgrow the form, forever and ever.

"He leads
Through widening chambers of delight to where
Throbs rapture near an end that aye recedes,
Because His touch is Infinite and lends
A yonder to all ends."

* * * *

"And, I, if I be lifted up from the earth,
will draw all men unto me." - John 12:32

If I be lifted up from the evidence of the senses to the state of consciousness I desire to realize and remain in that state until it feels natural. I will form that state around me and all men will see it.

But how to persuade man this is true - that imaginative life is the only living; that assuming the feeling of the wish fulfilled is the way to the more abundant life and not the compensation of the escapist - that is the problem.

To see as "though widening chambers of delight" what living in the realms of imagination means, to appreciate and enjoy the world, one must live imaginatively; one must dream and occupy his dream, then grow and outgrow the dream, forever and ever.

The unimaginative man, who will not lose his life on one level that he may find it on a higher level, is nothing but a Lot's wife - a pillar of self-satisfied salt. On the other hand, those who refuse form as being unspiritual and who reject incarnation as separate from God are ignorant of the great mystery: "Great is the mystery, God was manifest in the flesh."

Your life expresses one thing, and one thing only, your state of consciousness.

Everything is dependent upon that.

As you, through the medium of imagination, assume a state of consciousness, that state begins to clothe itself in form, It solidifies around you as the serpent's skin ossifies around it. But you must be faithful to the state. You must not go from state to state, but, rather, wait patiently in the one invisible state until it takes on form and becomes an objective fact.

Patience is necessary, but patience will be easy after your first success in shedding the old and growing the new, for we are able to wait according as we have been rewarded by understanding in the past.

Understanding is the secret of patience.

What natural joy and spontaneous delight lie in seeing the world - not with, but as Blake says - through the eye! Imagine that you are seeing what you want to see, and remain faithful to your vision. Your imagination will make for itself a corresponding form in which to live.

All things are made by imagination's power. Nothing begins except in the imagination of man.

"From within out" is the law of the universe.

"As within, so without." Man turns outward in his search for truth, but the essential thing is to look within.

"Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, what e'er you may believe.
There is an inmost center in us all,
Where truth abides in fullness .. . and to know,
Rather consist in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without."
- Browning: "Paracelsus"

I think you will be interested in an instance of how a young woman shed the skin of resentment and put on a far different kind of skin. The parents of this woman had separated when she was six years old and she had lived with her mother. She rarely saw her father. But once a year he sent her a five dollar check for Christmas. Following her marriage, he did increase the Christmas gift to ten dollars.

After one of my lectures, she was dwelling on my statement that man's suspicion of another is only a measure of his own deceitfulness, and she recognized that she had been harboring resentment towards her father for years. That night she resolved to let go her resentment and put a fond reaction in its place. In her imagination, she felt she was embracing her father in the warmest way. She did it over and over again until she caught the spirit of her imaginary act, and then she fell asleep in a very contented mood.

The following day she happened to pass through the fur department of one of our large stores in California. For some time she had been toying with the idea of having a new fur scarf, but felt she could not afford it. This time her eye was caught by a stone marten scarf, and she picked it up and tried it on. After feeling it and seeing herself in it, reluctantly she took off the scarf and returned it to the salesman, telling herself she really could not afford it. As she was leaving the department, she stopped and thought, "Neville tells we can have whatever we desire if we will only capture the feeling of already having it." In her imagination, she put the scarf back on, felt the reality of it, and went about her shopping, all the while enjoying the imagined wearing of it.

This young woman never associated these two imaginary acts. In fact, she had almost forgotten what she had done until, a few weeks later, on Mother's Day, the doorbell rang unexpectedly.

There was her father. As she embraced him, she remembered her first imaginary action. As she opened the package he had brought her - the first gift in these many years - she remembered her second imaginary action, for the box contained a beautiful stone marten scarf.

"Ye are gods; and all of you are children
of the most High."- Psalms 82:6

". . .be ye therefore wise as serpents, and
harmless as doves."
- Matthew 10:16

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Seedtime and Harvest

Chapter 6

"TIME, TIMES, AND AN HALF"

"And one said to the man clothed in linen,
which was upon the waters of the river,
How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
And I heard the man clothed in linen, which
was upon the waters of the river, when he held
up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven,
and swear by him that liveth forever that it shall
be for a time, times, and an half."
- Daniel 12:6, 7

At one of my lectures given in Los Angeles on the subject of the hidden meaning behind the stories of the Bible, someone asked me to interpret the above quotation from the Book of Daniel. After I confessed I did not know the meaning of that particular passage, a lady in the audience said to herself, "If the mind behaves according to the assumption with which it starts, then I will find the true answer to that question and tell it to Neville." And this is what she told me.

"Last night the question was asked: 'What is the meaning of "time, times, and an half" as recorded in Daniel 12:7?' Before going to sleep last night I said to myself, 'Now there is a simple answer to this question, so I will assume that I know it and while I am sleeping my greater self will find the answer and reveal it to my lesser self in dream or vision.'"

"Around five A.M. I awakened. It was too early to rise, so remaining in bed I quickly fell into that half dreamy state between waking and sleeping, and while in that state a picture came into my mind of an old lady. She was sitting in a rocking chair and rocking back and forth, back and forth. Then a voice which sounded like your voice said to me: 'Do it over and over and over again until it takes on the tones of reality.'"

"I jumped out of bed and re-read the Twelfth Chapter of Daniel, and this is the intuitive answer I received. Taking the sixth and seventh verses, for they constituted last night's question, I felt that if the garments with which Biblical characters are clothed correspond to their level of consciousness, as you teach, then linen must represent a very high level of consciousness indeed, for the 'man clothed in linen' was standing 'upon the waters of the river' and if, as you teach, water symbolizes a high level of psychological truth, then the individual who could walk upon it must truly represent an exalted state of consciousness. I therefore felt that what he had to say must indeed be very significant. Now the question asked of him was 'How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?' And his answer was, 'A time, times, and an half.' Remembering my vision of the old lady rocking back and forth, and your voice telling me to 'do it over and over and over again until it takes on the tones of reality', and remembering that this vision and your instruction came to me in response to my assumption that I knew the answer, I intuitively felt that the question asked the 'man clothed in linen' meant how long shall it be until the wonderful dreams that I am dreaming become a reality. And his answer is, 'Do it over and over and over again until it takes on the tones of reality'. 'A time' means to perform the imaginary action which implies the fulfillment of the wish;

'Times' mean to repeat the imaginary action over and over again, and 'an half' means the moment of falling asleep while performing the imaginary action, for such a moment usually arrives before the pre-determined action is completed and, therefore, can be said to be a half, or part, of a time."

To get such inner understanding of the Scriptures by the simple assumption that she did know the answer, was a wonderful experience for this woman. However, to know the true meaning of "time, times, and an half" she must apply her understanding in her daily life. We are never at a loss in an opportunity to test this understanding, either for ourselves or for another.

A number of years ago, a widow living in the same apartment house as we, came to see me about her cat. The cat was her constant companion and dear to her heart. He was, however, eight years old, very ill and in great pain. He had not eaten for days and would not move from under her bed. Two veterinarians had seen the cat and advised the woman that the cat could not be cured, and that he should be put to sleep immediately. I suggested that that night, before retiring, she create in her imagination some action that would indicate the cat was its former healthy self. I advised her to do it over and over again until it took on the tones of reality.

This, she promised to do. However, either from lack of faith in my advice or from lack of faith in her own ability to carry out the imaginary action, she asked her niece to spend the night with her.

This request was made so that if the cat were not well by morning, the niece could take it to the veterinarian's and she, the owner, would not have to face such a dreaded task herself. That night, she settled herself in an easy chair and began to imagine the cat was romping beside her, scratching at the furniture and doing many things she would not normally have allowed. Each time she found that her mind had wandered from its pre-determined task to see a normal, healthy, frisky cat, she brought her attention back to the room and started her imaginary action over again. This she did over and over again until, finally, in a feeling of relief, she dropped off to sleep, still seated in her chair.

At about four o'clock in the morning, she was awakened by the cry of her cat. He was standing by her chair. After attracting her attention, he led her to the kitchen where he begged for food. She fixed him a little warm milk which he quickly drank, and cried for more.

That cat lived comfortably for five more years, when, without pain or illness, he died naturally in his sleep.

"How long shall it be to the end of these
wonders?. . . A time, times, and an half.
In a dream in a vision of the night, when
deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings
upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of
men, and sealeth their instructions."
- Job 33:15, 16

Seedtime and Harvest

Chapter 4

THE SCALE OF BEING

"And he dreamed, and behold a ladder
set up on the earth, and the top of it
reached to heaven: and behold the
angels of God ascending and descending
on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it. . ."
- Genesis 28:12, 13

In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep fell upon Jacob, his inner eye was opened and he beheld the world as a series of ascending and descending levels of awareness. It was a revelation of the deepest insight into the mysteries of the world. Jacob saw a vertical scale of ascending and descending values, or states of consciousness. This gave meaning to everything in the outer world, for without such a scale of values there would be no meaning to life.

At every moment of time, man stands upon the eternal scale of meaning. There is no object or event that has ever taken place or is taking place now that is without significance. The significance of an object or event for the individual is a direct index to the level of his consciousness.

You are holding this book, for example. On one level of consciousness, it is an object in space.

On a higher level, it is a series of letters on paper, arranged according to certain rules. On a still higher level, it is an expression of meaning.

Looking outwardly, you see the book first, but actually, the meaning comes first. It occupies a higher grade of significance than the letter arrangement on paper or the book as an object in space. Meaning determined the arrangement of letters; the arrangement of letters only expresses the meaning. The meaning is invisible and above the level of the visible arrangement of letters. If there had been no meaning to be expressed, no book would have been written and published.

"And, behold, the Lord stood above it."

The Lord and meaning are one - the Creator, the cause of the phenomena of life.

"In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word
was God." - John 1:1

In the beginning was the intention - the meaning - and the intention was with the intender, and the intention was the intender. The objects and events in time and space occupy a lower level of significance than the level of meaning which produced them. All things were made by meaning, and without meaning was not anything made that was made. The fact that everything seen can be regarded as the effect, on a lower level of significance, of an unseen higher order of significance is a very important one to grasp.

Our usual mode of procedure is to attempt to explain the higher levels of significance - why things happen - in terms of the lower - what and how things happen. For example, let us take an actual accident and try to explain it.

Most of us live on the level of what happened - the accident was an event in space - one automobile struck another and practically demolished it. Some of us live on the higher level of "how" the accident happened - it was a rainy night, the roads were slippery and the second car skidded into the first. On rare occasions, a few of us reach the highest or causal level of "why" such an accident occurs. Then we become aware of the invisible, the state of consciousness which produced the visible event.

In this case, the ruined car was driven by a widow, who, though she felt she could not afford to, greatly desired to change her environment. Having heard that, by the proper use of her imagination, she could do and be all she wished to be, this widow had been imagining herself actually living in the city of her desire. At the same time, she was living in a consciousness of loss, both personal and financial. Therefore, she brought upon herself an event which was seemingly another loss, but the sum of money the insurance company paid her allowed her to make the desired change in her life.

When we see the "why" behind the seeming accident, the state of consciousness that produced the accident, we are led to the conclusion that there is no accident. Everything in life has its in-visible meaning.

The man who learns of an accident, the man who knows "how" it happened, and the man who knows "why" it happened are on three different levels of awareness in regard to that accident. On the ascending scale, each higher level carries us a step in advance towards the truth of the accident.

We should strive constantly to lift ourselves to the higher level of meaning, the meaning that is always invisible and above the physical event. But, remember, the meaning or cause of the phenomena of life can be found only within the consciousness of man.

Man is so engrossed in the visible side of the drama of life - the side of "what" has happened, and "how" it happened - that he rarely rises to the invisible side of "why" it happened. He refuses to accept the Prophet's warning that:

"Things which are seen were not made of
things that do appear."
- Hebrews 11:3

His descriptions of "what" has happened and "how" it happened are true in terms of his corresponding level of thought, but when he asks "why" it happened, all physical explanations break down and he is forced to seek the "why", or meaning of it, on the invisible and higher level. The mechanical analysis of events deals only with external relationships of things. Such a course will never reach the level which holds the secret of why the events happen. Man must recognize that the lower and visible sides flow from the invisible and higher level of meaning.

Intuition is needed to lift us up to the level of meaning - to the level of why things happen. Let us follow the advice of the Hebrew prophet of old and "lift up our eyes unto the hills" within ourselves, and observe what is taking place there. See what ideas we have accepted as true, what states we have consented to, what dreams, what desires - and, above all, what intentions. It is from these hills that all things come to reveal our stature - our height - on the vertical scale of meaning. If we lift our eyes to "the Thee in Me who works behind the Veil", we will see the meaning of the phenomena of life.

Events appear on the screen of space to express the different levels of consciousness of man. A change in the level of his consciousness automatically results in a change of the phenomena of his life. To attempt to change conditions before he changes the level of consciousness from whence they came, is to struggle in vain. Man redeems the world as he ascends the vertical scale of meaning.

We saw, in the analogy of the book, that as consciousness was lifted up to the level where man could see meaning expressed in the arrangement of its letters, it also included the knowledge that the letters were arranged according to certain rules, and that such arrangements, when printed on paper and bound together, formed a book. What is true of the book is true of every event in the world.

"They shall not hurt or destroy in all
my holy mountain: for the earth shall
be full of the knowledge of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea."
- Isaiah 11:9

Nothing is to be discarded; all is to be redeemed. Our lives, ascending the vertical scale of meaning towards an ever increasing awareness - an awareness of things of higher significance - are the process whereby this redemption is brought to pass.

As man arranges letters into words, and words into sentences to express meaning, in like manner, life arranges circumstances, conditions and events to express the unseen meanings or attitudes of men. Nothing is without significance. But man, not knowing the higher level of inner meaning, looks out upon a moving panorama of events and sees no meaning to life. There is always a level of meaning determining events and their essential relationship to our lives.

Here is a story that will enable us to seize the good in things seeming evil; to withhold judgment, and to act aright amid unsolved problems.

Just a few years ago, our country was shocked by a seeming injustice in our midst. The story was told on radio and television, as well as in the newspapers. You may recall the incident. The body of a young American soldier killed in Korea was returned to his home for burial. Just before the service, his wife was asked a routine question: Was her husband a Caucasian? When she replied that he was an Indian, burial was refused. This refusal was in accordance with the laws of that community, but it aroused the entire nation. We felt incensed that anyone who had been killed in the service of his country should be denied burial anywhere in his country. The story reached the attention of the President of the United States, and he offered burial with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. After the service, the wife told reporters that her husband had always dreamed of dying a hero, and having a hero's burial service with full military honors.

When, we in America, had to explain why progressive, intelligent people like ourselves, not only enacted but supported such laws in our great land of the free and the brave, we were hard put for an explanation. We, as observers, had seen only "what" happened, and "how" it happened. We failed to see "why" it happened.

That burial had to be refused if that lad was to realize his dream. We tried to explain the drama in terms of the lower level of "how" it happened, which explanation could not satisfy the one who had asked "why" it happened.

The true answer, viewed from the level of higher meaning, would be such a reversal of our common habits of thinking that it would be instantly rejected. The truth is that future states are causative of present facts - the Indian boy dreaming of a hero's death, with full military honors, was like Lady Macbeth transported "beyond this ignorant present", and could "feel now the future in the instant."

". . . and by it he being dead yet
speaketh."
- Hebrews 11:4

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Seedtime and Harvest

Chapter 2

THE FOUR MIGHTY ONES

"And a river went out of Eden
to water the garden; and from
thence it was parted, and became
into four heads."
. . . Genesis 2:10

"And every one had four faces: . . ."
. . . Ezekiel 10:14

"I see four men loose, walking
in the midst of the fire, and they
have no hurt; and the form of
the fourth is like the Son of
God."
. . . Daniel 3:25

"Four Mighty Ones are in every man." . . . Blake

The "Four Mighty Ones" constitute the selfhood of man, or God in man. There are "Four Mighty Ones" in every man, but these "Four Mighty Ones" are not four separate beings, separated one from the other as are the fingers of his hand.

The "Four Mighty Ones" are four different aspects of his mind, and differ from one another in function and character without being four separate selves inhabiting one man's body.

The "Four Mighty Ones" may be equated with the four Hebrew characters: [Yodh, He, Waw, He, from right to left] which form the four-lettered mystery-name of the Creative Power ["Yahweh" or even occasionally as "Jehovah"] from and combining within itself the past, present and future forms of the verb "to be."

The Tetragrammaton is revered as the symbol of the Creative Power in man - I AM - the creative four functions in man reaching forth to realize in actual material phenomena qualities latent in Itself.

We can best understand the "Four Mighty Ones" by comparing them to the four most important characters in the production of a play.

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women
merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays
many parts . . ."
- As You Like It Act II, Scene VII

The producer, the author, the director and the actor are the four most important characters in the production of a play.

In the drama of life, the producer's function is to suggest the theme of a play. This he does in the form of a wish, such as, "I wish I were successful"; "I wish I could take a trip"; "I wish I were married:, and so on. But to appear on the world's stage, these general themes must somehow be specified and worked out in detail. It is not enough to say, "I wish I were successful" - that is too vague. Successful at what?

However, the first "Mighty One" only suggests a theme.

The dramatization of the theme is left to the originality of the second "Might One", the author.

In dramatizing the theme, the author writes only the last scene of the play - but this scene he writes in detail.

The scene must dramatize the wish fulfilled. He mentally constructs as life-like a scene as possible of what he would experience had he realized his wish. When the scene is clearly visualized, the author's work is done.

The third "Mighty One" in the production of life's play is the director. The director's tasks are to see that the actor remains faithful to the script and to rehearse him over and over again until he is natural in the part.

This function may be likened to a controlled and consciously directed attention - an attention focused exclusively on the action which implies that the wish is already realized.

"The form of the Fourth is like the Son of God" - human imagination, the actor.

This fourth "Mighty One" performs within himself, in imagination, the pre-determined action which implies the fulfillment of the wish. This function does not visualize or observe the action. This function actually enacts the drama, and does it over and over again until it takes on the tones of reality.

Without the dramatized vision of fulfilled desire, the theme remains a mere theme and sleeps forever in the vast chambers of unborn themes. Nor without the co-operant attention, obedient to the dramatized vision of fulfilled desire, will the vision perceived attain objective reality.

The "Four Mighty Ones" are the four quarters of the human soul. The first is Jehovah's King, who suggests the theme; the second is Jehovah's servant, who faithfully works out the theme in a dramatic vision; the third is Jehovah's man, who was attentive and obedient to the vision of fulfilled desire, who brings the wandering imagination back to the script "seventy times seven". The "Form of the Fourth" is Jehovah himself, who enacts the dramatized theme on the stage of the mind.

"Let this mind be in you, which
was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be
equal with God: . . ."
- Philippians 2:5,6

The drama of life is a joint effort of the four quarters of the human soul.

"All that you behold, tho' it appears without,
it is within, in your imagination, of which this
world of mortality is but a shadow."
- Blake

All that we behold is a visual construction contrived to express a theme - a theme which has been dramatized, rehearsed and performed elsewhere. What we are witnessing on the stage of the world is an optical construction devised to express the themes which have been dramatized, rehearsed and performed in the imagination of men.

The "Four Mighty Ones" constitute the Selfhood of man, or God in man: and all that man beholds, tho' it appears without, are but shadows cast upon the screen of space - optical constructions contrived by Selfhood to inform him in regard to the themes which he has conceived, dramatized, rehearsed and performed within himself.

"The creature was made subject unto vanity" that he may become conscious of Selfhood and its functions, for with consciousness of Selfhood and its functions, he can act to a purpose; he can have a consciously self-determined history.

Without consciousness, he acts unconsciously, and cries to an objective God to save him from his own creation.

"O Lord, how long shall I cry, and
Thou wilt not hear! Even cry out
unto Thee of violence, and
Thou wilt not save!"
- Habakkuk 1:2

When man discovers that life is a play which he, himself, is consciously or unconsciously writing, he will cease from the blind, self-torture of executing judgment upon others.

Instead, he will rewrite the play to conform to his ideal, for he will realize that all changes in the play must come from the cooperation of the "Four Mighty Ones" within himself. They alone can alter the script and produce the change.

All the men and women in his world are merely players and are as helpless to change his play as are the players on the screen of the theatre to change the picture. The desired change must be conceived, dramatized, rehearsed and performed in the theatre of his mind.

When the fourth function, the imagination, has completed its task of rehearsing the revised version of the play until it is natural, then the curtain will rise upon this so seemingly solid world and the "Mighty Four" will cast a shadow of the real play upon the screen of space.

Men and women will automatically play their parts to bring about the fulfillment of the dramatized theme. The players, by reason of their various parts in the world's drama, become relevant to the individual's dramatized theme and, because relevant, are drawn into his drama. They will play their parts, faithfully believing all the while that it was they themselves who initiated the parts they play. This they do because:

"Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, . . .
I in them, and thou in me."
- John 17:21, 23

I am involved in mankind. We are one. We are all playing the four parts of producer, author, director and actor in the drama of life. Some of us are doing it consciously, others unconsciously. It is necessary that we do it consciously. Only in this way can we be certain of a perfect ending to our play. Then we shall understand why we must become conscious of the four functions of the one God within ourselves that we may have the companionship of God as His Sons.

"Man should not stay a man:
Hs aim should higher be.
For God will only gods
Accept as company."
- Angelus Silesius

In January of 1946, I took my wife and little daughter to Barbados in the British West Indies for a holiday. Not knowing there were any difficulties in getting a return passage, I had not booked ours before leaving New York. Upon our arrival in Barbados I discovered that there were only two ships serving the islands, one from Boston and one from New York. I was told there was no available space on either ship before September. As I had commitments in New York for the first week in May, I put my name on the long waiting list for the April sailing.

A few days later, the ship from New York was anchored in the harbor. I observed it very carefully, and decided that this was the ship we should take. I returned to my hotel and determined on an inner action that would be mine were we actually sailing on that ship. I settled down in an easy chair in my bedroom, to lose myself in this imaginative action.

In Barbados, we take a motor launch or rowboat out into the deep harbor when we embark on a large steamer. I knew I must catch the feeling that we were sailing on that ship. I chose the inner action of stepping from the tender and climbing up the gangplank of the steamer. The first time I tried, my attention wandered after I had reached the top of the gangplank. I brought myself back down, and tried again and again. I do not recall how many times I carried out this action in my imagination until I reached the deck and looked back at the port with the feeling of sweet sadness at departing. I was happy to be returning to my home in New York, but nostalgic in saying goodbye to the lovely island and our family and friends. I do recall that in one of my many attempts at walking up the gangplank in the feeling that I was sailing, I fell asleep. After I awoke, I went about the usual social activities of the day and evening.

The following morning, I received a call from the steamship company requesting me to come down to their office and pick up our tickets for the April sailing. I was curious to know why Barbados had been chosen to receive the cancellation and why I, at the end of the long waiting list, was to have the reservation, but all that the agent could tell me was that a cable had been received that morning from New York, offering passage for three. I was not the first the agent had called, but for reasons she could not explain,those she had called said that now they found it inconvenient to sail in April. We sailed on April 20th and arrived in New York on the morning of May the first.

In the production of my play - the sailing on a boat that would bring me to New York by the first of May - I played the four most important characters in my drama. As the producer, I decided to sail on a specific ship at a certain time. Playing the part of the author, I wrote the script - I visualized the inner action which conformed to the outer action I would take if my desire were realized. As the director, I rehearsed myself, the actor, in that imagined action of climbing the gangplank until that action felt completely natural.

This being done, events and people moved swiftly to conform, in the outer world, to the play I had constructed and enacted in my imagination.

"I saw the mystic vision flow
And live in men and woods and streams.
Until I could no longer know
The stream of life from my own dreams."
- George William Russell (AE)

I told this story to an audience of mine in San Francisco, and a lady in the audience told me how she had unconsciously used the same technique, when she was a young girl.

The incident occurred on Christmas Eve. She was feeling very sad and tired and sorry for herself. Her father, whom she adored, had died suddenly. Not only did she feel this loss at the Christmas season, but necessity had forced her to give up her planned college years and go to work. This rainy Christmas Eve she was riding home on a San Diego street car. The car was filled with gay chatter of happy young people home for the holidays. To hide her tears from those round about her, she stood on the open part at the front of the car and turned her face into the skies to mingle her tears with the rain. With her eyes closed, and holding the rail of the car firmly, this is what she said to herself: "This is not the salt of the tears that I taste, but the salt of the sea in the wind. This is not San Diego, this is the South Pacific and I am sailing into the Bay of Samoa". And looking up, in her imagination, she constructed what she imagined to be the Southern Cross. She lost herself in this contemplation so that all faded round about her. Suddenly she was at the end of the line, and home.

Two weeks later, she received word from a lawyer in Chicago that he was holding three thousand dollars in American bonds for her. Several years before, an aunt of hers had gone to Europe, with instructions that these bonds be turned over to her niece if she did not return to the United States.
The lawyer had just received word of the aunt's death, and was now carrying out her instructions.

A month later, this girl sailed for the islands in the South Pacific. It was night when she entered the Bay of Samoa. Looking down, she could see the white foam like a "bone in the lady's mouth" as the ship ploughed through the waves, and brought the salt of the sea in the wind. An officer on duty said to her: "There is the Southern Cross", and looking up, she saw the Southern Cross as she had imagined it.

In the intervening years, she had many opportunities to use her imagination constructively, but as she had done this unconsciously, she did not realize there was a Law behind it all. Now that she understands, she, too, is consciously playing her four major roles in the daily drama of her life, producing plays for the good of others as well as herself.

"Then the soldiers, when they had
crucified Jesus, took his garments,
and made four parts, to every soldier
a part; and also his coat; now the coat
was without seam, woven from the
top throughout."

- John 19:23

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Seedtime and Harvest

Neville Goddard

THE END OF A GOLDEN STRING

"I Give you the end of a golden string;
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven's gate,
Built in Jerusalem's wall."
. . . Blake

Chapter 1

In the following essays I have tried to indicate certain ways of approach to the understanding of the Bible and the realization of your dreams.

"That ye be not slothful, but followers
of them who through faith and
patience inherit the promises."
. . . Hebrews 6:12

Many who enjoy the old familiar verses of Scripture are discouraged when they themselves try to read the Bible as they would any other book because, quite excusably, they do not understand that the Bible is written in the language of symbolism. Not knowing that all of its characters are personifications of the laws and functions of mind; that the Bible is psychology rather than history, they puzzle their brains over it for awhile and then give up. It is all too mystifying. To understand the significance of its imagery, the reader of the Bible must be imaginatively awake.

According to the Scriptures, we sleep with Adam and wake with Christ. That is, we sleep collectively and wake individually.

"And the Lord God caused a deep
sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept."
. . . Genesis 2:21

If Adam, or generic man, is in a deep sleep, then his experiences as recorded in the Scriptures must be a dream. Only he who is awake can tell his dream, and only he would understand the symbolism of dreams can interpret the dream.

"And they said one to another,
Did not our heart burn within us,
while He talked with us by the way,
and while He opened to us the
Scriptures?"
. . . Luke 24:32

The Bible is a revelation of the laws and functions of Mind expressed in the language of that twilight realm into which we go when we sleep. Because the symbolical language of this twilight realm is much the same for all men, the recent explorers of this realm - human imagination - call it the "collective unconscious."

The purpose of this book, however, is not to give you a complete definition of Biblical symbols or exhaustive interpretations of its stories.

All I hope to have done is to have indicated the way in which you are most likely to succeed in realizing your desires.

"What things soever ye desire" can be obtained only through the conscious, voluntary exercise of imagination in direct obedience to the laws of Mind.

Somewhere within this realm of imagination there is a mood, a feeling of the wish fulfilled which, if appropriated, means success to you.

This realm, this Eden - your imagination - is vaster than you know and repays exploration.

"I Give you the end of a golden string;" You must wind it into a ball.

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