Persistent Assumption . . 06-18-1968
Now, you and I look out on a world, and we think of the great men and women who are publicized in the world, and many of them are altogether wonderful. We speak of the great poets, the scientists, the businessmen . . all these fellows in the world, and we think, “Well now, there must be something different about them.”
Now, may I tell you? There’s not a thing different about them. I want to convince you this night, if I can, that this inspiration that we think the poet has, the scientist, the great businessman, is not an influx of a spirit that is different. It’s not different from the individual’s own wonderful human imagination, because there’s nothing greater. So, there is no greater influx of Spirit into a Blake, into a Shakespeare, into an Einstein, into you, than your own wonderful human imagination, for there is nothing greater. There is only one Spirit in man and the Universe!
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one”
There is not a greater spirit than your own wonderful human imagination.
In a little conversation that Blake had with his friend, Crabb Robinson, Robinson asked him what he thought of the divinity of Christ and he answered, “Christ is the only God, but so am I, and so are you. Now don’t forget it! When you think of Christ, you are making something bigger than yourself . . something greater than yourself. Blake said, “Christ is the only God, but so am I.” If Christ is the only God “and so am I,” I make myself one with him. Then he turns to Crabb Robinson and says, “So are you.” So don’t forget it.
If you forget this, you make yourself less than the One. You can’t be less than the One; there is only One. There is only God in this world! There is nothing but God, and God is your own wonderful human imagination. That is God.
Now tonight, let us put it to the extreme test. If God is the only Reality . . you can’t have two, not two gods . . and He is my own wonderful human imagination, and “All things are possible to God.” All right, how would I go about proving it? For I am called upon to test it!
“Test it.” I will dare to assume that I am the man that I would like to be. At the moment, reason denies it, my senses deny it; but I will dare to assume that I am it. Now, what am I told in Scripture that I should do? Well, listen to it carefully. These are stories told in Scripture of the necessity of persistence because we are “keyed low.” The same God . . the God that created the Universe and sustains it by His Creative Power . . is the God that is sitting here in these chairs tonight. But here for a divine purpose, the same God is “keyed low.”
So, would I bring about a change in my world? Then I am called upon in Scripture to be persistent, because I see this world, and everything that I have assumed is denied . . as I assume it . . by the things round about me. Now listen to these stories as told in Scripture.
A man came at the midnight hour to his friend, and he said, “A friend has called, ‘I have no bread. Would you just let me have three loaves of bread?’ and the one who opened the upstairs window said to him, ‘It is midnight, and my children are asleep in bed. I cannot come down and give you what you want.’”
And the story as told us in the book of Luke is this: he would not come down; but because of this man’s importunity, he came down and gave him all that he needed. Well, the word translated importunity means brazen impudence. He would not take “No” for an answer.
I don’t ask you, as an individual . . I don’t ask any outside god; as an individual, I am asking my Self to bring this thing to pass. That is what I am actually saying, because I am speaking to the only God. There is only God! And if God is my own wonderful human imagination, to whom am I going to turn when It doesn’t respond . . when I don’t take “No” for an answer?
So, within my own being, I am assuming that I have received exactly what I need. Now the story is that even though it was midnight, he was in bed with his children, still he came down and gave him what he needed. You do not take “No” for an answer, because there is no “other,” may I tell you? I don’t care whether you speak of a Shakespeare whom you think, “My god, isn’t he marvelous!” . . and he is; and the Blakes of the world, and they are marvelous; and the Einsteins, and they are marvelous. But the God of an Einstein does not differ from the God of your own wonderful human imagination. There is only God! There can’t be two.
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” He is not a dual God . . one God. So, your own wonderful human imagination is this God, and you are not less than any being in this world. But you have to be persistent.
When Benny came home last night, he said, “Neville, have you forgotten my vision? When I was talking to someone and you came into the picture, and this one said to you . . and he asked this very simple question! ‘Tell us the story of Jesus,’ and you automatically said, ‘The story of Jesus is persistent assumption.’”
Persistent assumption . . that’s the story, for “Jesus” means “salvation.” Well, if persistent assumption is the story of Jesus, I must dare to assume that I AM what I want to be. I must continue in the assumption that I AM it until that which I have assumed is objectively realized. That is the story of Jesus. For if I am one with anything in this world, and he is great and she is great, and I am not, and yet we are one, well, now . . what is this fragmented being when there is only one? I tell you, that One is your own wonderful human imagination, and don’t let anyone in this world tell you that an Einstein or a Shakespeare is greater because of some influx of a spirit of greater validity than their own wonderful human imagination, because there is no greater. Your imagination is God, and there is no other God. And there can be no other greater Being than your own wonderful human imagination.
Now you begin to imagine it. Well, now I will say, “I have assumed that I am the man that I want to be.” I am still assuming that I AM He, and I will continue to assume that I AM He until that which I have assumed is objectively realized, as told us in the 8th chapter of John:
“Unless you believe I AM He” . . now when you read it, you think as you are taught by the churches of the world, that another greater than yourself is speaking, it is not another greater than you speaking, telling you unless you believe He is . . it’s your Self speaking. There is only God, because God is One and you can’t get away from the Oneness: don’t think of “another.”
So, these words must be accepted in the first person, present tense, so “unless you believe that I AM He, you will die in your sins” . . you’ll miss the mark. I must believe that I am the man that I want to be. If I do not believe that I am that very being so that I can say, “Well, I AM He,” then I will continue what I formerly believed myself to be. This is the story of Scripture. So, we are all one . . everyone here. You and I are one, because there can’t be two. On this level, for a purpose, we are fragmented; but I am sent to tell you that we are not really many. We are one.
The word “Elohim” is a compound unity: one made up of others. So here it seems to be “others,” but you and I are not really two, three, four, or many. We are one, in the most intimate manner that you’ve ever known, without loss of identity!
So, I ask you this night to simply dwell upon it, and simply try it. Just try it. It will never in Eternity fail you.
Here is a letter that came to me this past week. She said in her letter, “I was awakened by the laughter of my husband. He was laughing . . the sweetest laughter I have ever heard . . just a laugh. I have never heard him laugh like this. So I awoke, and here he’s laughing a peculiar but wonderful laughter. And I said to myself, ‘Well, he’s undoubtedly dreaming something that is altogether wonderful.’
“And then the next morning he said to me, ‘I had the loveliest dream last night. I dreamt that you were telling me it’s so easy to believe that I AM God.’”
Now I am going to tell him, . . he is here tonight alone; she isn’t here . . tell her, and you too, read it: the 126th Psalm. There is your answer, only six verses. That was the laughter of God.
She said, “I heard a voice coming from within me saying, ‘You’ve just heard the laughter of God!’”
Well, read the 126th Psalm, when all returned to Zion . . those who were left. They all left, and then they all are brought back into Zion, and here, you hear the laughter of God.
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
2Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with shouts of joy;
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD had done great things for us; we are glad.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
Like the watercourses in the Negeb!
5 May those who sow in tears
Reap with shouts of joy!
6 He that goes forth weeping,
Bearing the seed for sowing,
Shall come home with shouts of joy,
Bringing his sheaves with him.
So, she heard him laugh in a way that she had never heard him before, and she had never heard this kind of a laughter. And she said to herself, “He’s undoubtedly having a wonderful dream.”
Then the next day he said to her, “I had a dream last night, and in my dream you were telling me that it is so easy to believe that I AM God!”
So, I tell you, you try it; this thing doesn’t fail. There is only God. You are not something less than God; there is only God. And you and I, on this level, for purposes beyond the wildest dream . . we are keyed low; but we are called upon to make the effort to rise from this level. And so, we do it in a business sense, in a scientific sense, in an artistic sense; and so we begin to express this talent, which is our own wonderful human imagination, which is God. There is nothing but God!
So, I am called upon to assume that I am what I want to be, for, “An assumption, though false, if persisted in will harden into fact” [Sir Anthony Eden].
And as Blake said, “If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise” [from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”].
There is nothing that is impossible to God. So, don’t say that something cannot be, . . I don’t care what it is. You may see someone in the world, and he is a fabulously wealthy person. Well, so what! Do you think for one second some influx of Spirit that differs from the Being that you are, possessed him to make it? No. He either did it wittingly or unwittingly; may I tell you? But you can do it knowingly. If he does it unknowingly, which is the self, and he loses it tonight, he may not know how to recover it. I am asking you . . without having anything . . to do it knowingly.
So, should you tomorrow fall into another state, and you remember the story, you simply come back and simply bring it back into your world as you want it, and simply multiply it, and live graciously, for there’s only one God, You can’t conceive of . . well, you can conceive of a second god, but it is a stupid concept because there is no other god. When the world thinks of numberless gods, they are stupid. There’s only one God, and that God is your own wonderful human imagination!
And the day will come that you will prove it. You will actually witness the One God! He sets Himself up at the very beginning, and this God has only one Son. And when you awaken and that Son calls you “Father” . . and therefore you are the father of the only Son of God . . well then, you know you are the only God! And then another one comes and another one comes; and eventually all come, and they see the same Son, and the same Son calls them “Father.” Therefore, everyone is the same God the Father! And there aren’t two of us.
There aren’t two. Forget all the pigments of skin. All this is part of the “play.” To put me into an olive skin and one in a black, black skin, and one in a white, white skin, and one in a red skin, it makes it appear as though we differ. And therefore, because we differ there must be different gods. And yet, all will have that same Son, and that one Son will call all of us . . regardless of sex . . “Father,” proving that we are only one God. And the purpose behind it all is simply to create an expansion of His creative power.
So here we are scattered . . fragmented into numberless parts. And then all are gathered together into one God, one Father. I am going to ask you all to try it . . really try it, because if you really prove it on this level, may I tell you, you will never forget it! And you will be sustained by this level, and then, all of a sudden, you will be “born from above.” I cannot tell you when, that is a secret hidden from us here.
If you tell me when you were “born from above,” then I can tell you all the other events that will follow and when it will happen. I can tell you that because I have recorded it. But the actual “birth from above” remains a secret. “It comes like a thief in the night,” but when it comes, you are “born from above,” and you are God! You actually are God!
Now to prove that you are, you can create . . create in this simple, simple way: What would it be like if it were true? Just what would it be like? How would I feel if . . and then you name it. How would I feel if she, or he, were as I would like them to be? So, you would like something lovely to happen to them, and then you feel it.
Now, can you persist in that assumption? I imagine it to be so. I am still imagining it to be so, and I will continue to imagine that these things are as I have imagined them to be until it is objectively realized. Can I do that? Well, if I can, they will conform to it. Must I get their permission? I don’t need their permission if we are one. That is what I want for them. I don’t need their consent if it is something I would like for myself.
Always ask yourself, “Would I like it for myself?” If they reject it . . and they can reject it; but I mean, take it on this level. If they should reject it, would I willingly accept it? If I gave you a million dollars and you wouldn’t take it, would I be willing to receive it again? I would. Well then, give it in that same way. And may I tell you? You can do it.
If you don’t have one nickel in the bank . . if you don’t have a bank account, you can do it, because there is no one but your Self. There is only God in this world. God is I AM. There is nothing but God!
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” . . the greatest prayer . . the greatest confession of faith that man could ever make. Read it in the 6th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy. I think it is the 4th verse. But oh! What a confession of faith!
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Not two, not a dozen . . just one.
Well, if He is One, what is One in this world? When I say, “I AM,” that’s one. If I say, “We are,” that is multiple. But I AM, and that is His name. Don’t forget it! Therefore, if I AM, even though, now, something is happening, I am not receiving from some superior being . . there is no superior being than my Self. The inspiration for anything I write . . if I sit down and write something that is all trivia or something that is altogether marvelous, it does not come from some other being who inspires me, because there is no greater Being. There cannot be another Being. So, when I sit down to write and I am in the mood, from my own Being it is coming out, and I am writing; but to say that some other Being is possessing me and they are taking over . . nonsense! No other Being: there can be no other Being.
So, the poet, the Shakespeares, the Blakes, the great writers of the world, or any writer in the world . . he doesn’t have any Being influencing him, moving in some peculiar spiritual influx that is greater than himself. It cannot be. There is no one greater than himself. So, when someone tells me, “I was under the influence of something other than myself, it came from the outside” . . forget it. There isn’t anyone; it’s all coming from the depth of your own Soul.
So, all of a sudden, you are an advertiser, and you are sitting and wondering, “Now what does my customer need?” And all of a sudden, from the depths of your own Soul it comes . . what you are going to say to promote that product. It isn’t some influx of a spirit other than your Self. It can’t be, because there is nothing greater than your Self. There is no other god; there is only one God.
So, you sit, and you are communing with Self, as told you in the Psalms: “Commune with your own Self.” (Psalm 4:4) Well, you can sit on a chair or on your bed and commune with your own Self and be at peace. And all of a sudden the thing begins to flow from within, because there is only one God. And everything unfolds from within you: there is nothing but God. And in the end, you and I and the whole vast world of billions will be re-gathered into one body . . and, oh, what a joy!
One fell purposely into this fragmented world, seeing “others”. . and fighting seeming “others” and the horror within one’s Self that a man’s enemies are “of his own household,” meaning himself. He is fighting with himself, not knowing that everything in this world is himself. All of a sudden he realizes, there is no other . . just himself! And then he knows it, and he tells everyone in this world, in the hope that he can convince himself, because it is himself he’s talking to, for there’s only one God . . only one Being.
And then as he rises within himself, he once more coalesces into the One Being, knowing in the depth of his Being that everyone is going to coalesce into the same Being, and oh what a joy when all are raised into the One Being that was that Being before the Fall, And the Fall was a deliberate fall for the expansion of its power.
I can only expand my creative power by falling into this limitation and overcoming it. There is no other way to do it. And as I fell, I fragmented my being. I saw it so clearly in my vision; and the Being that fragmented was my Self . . I saw it. I saw this whole rock fragmented. It all gathered together. When I looked, I am looking at my Self . . a glowing Being like the sun glowing. I’ve never known that I could . . this little thing talking to you now.
Here every part of the body at my age . . naturally it gets older and parts disappear from it, and yet, I am looking at this Being sitting in a lotus posture and this fantastic beauty. I could hardly believe I could ever in Eternity equal that beauty! And yet I am looking at my Self! And here, this is His meditative world fragmented, and then it is all put back together, and I am looking at my Self. I can’t tell you my thrill when I looked at it.
It was first a rock, and then the rock became fragmented. Then the rock was gathered together; but instead of being a rock, it’s now a being . . a human being sitting in the lotus posture, meditating. And it’s a glorious, beautiful being. I can’t describe the beauty of that man; I’m looking at my Self! How can I ever be described as a man called Neville with such beauty? And yet, I am looking at my Self. Such majesty! Such strength of character, such power . . all woven into one being sitting in the lotus posture. And it glows and glows like a sun, and when it reaches the intensity of Power, it explodes. And then I awake here sitting in my apartment on 75th Street in New York City. That’s why I am telling you what I know, what I’ve seen, what I have experienced. But that is true of everyone. You . . there is a Being in you that is meditating you. And the Being in you and the Being in me and the Being in all . . woven together . . form that Being that is the Ultimate God. And that Being is perfect. And may I tell you, I don’t care what you’ve gone through . . you could lose your eyes, lose your hands, lose your feet, be dishonored in this world, but that Being that is meditating you is the most glorious Being you could ever conceive. You have never known such beauty.
Oh, you can go to all the beauty parlors in the world, and they will bring you out and you will think, “Oh, isn’t that lovely!” May I tell you, it’s just like nothing compared to this Living Being that is meditating you. And that Living Being, and everyone’s Living Being all united into one Being, forms the God that fell and fragmented Itself. And each fragment was perfect, and each fragment was the Father of the One meditating that one.
So, I tell you, try it here on this level. There is nothing in this world but God. This greatest of all confessions: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” . . that there aren’t two of us . . not really, in the true sense of the word. But here, you take my word and test it here on this level in the world of Caesar. You want a better future? All right. Dare to take this statement and try it, but try it for this one week.
“I have assumed that I AM the one that I want to be. I AM still assuming that I AM it, and I will continue to assume that I AM it until that which I have assumed is objectively realized” . . and don’t give it any time on this level. Just bear down on it, and dare to sleep in that assumption just as though it were true. Don’t give it any time.
There is a time limit in what God, your own wonderful Father Who is in the depth of your own Being dreaming you . . He has that time limit; but on this level, there should not be lengths of time. You are told in Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
All right . . that will take its own good time. You will be brought to the same perfection of the Being who is dreaming you. It is God dreaming Himself into a greater expansion of Himself. That’s all that it is. You are the Dreamer and the dream! You are not “another.” You are the Dreamer and the dream. “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” You’ll find that in the 1st chapter, the 6th verse, of Philippians. So, you are the Dreamer, dreaming yourself into the image of your Self. That’s perfectly all right.
But while you are here, then take it in the world of Caesar and bring about these changes in your world for yourself and for those you love. Eventually you will love all, but if you don’t love all now, do it at least for those that you do love, and actually assume it, and dare to say to yourself, “I have assumed it. I AM still assuming it. I will continue to assume it until what I have assumed, and still am assuming, is perfectly realized.” For you are told, “Unless you believe that I AM He, you will die in your sins.” Is someone talking to me? No. I am saying to myself, “Unless I believe I AM the Being I want to be, I die in my sins. I miss the mark.” It’s not another talking to me; there is only one God. There can’t be two. And so, unless I believe I am that man that I want to be, then I remain as the man that I don’t want to be; and therefore I “die in my sins.” That is the story as told us in the 8th chapter of the book of John.
It’s not another being telling me I must believe in him. Believe in what? I am not called upon to believe in any other being, for any other being is a false god. There’s only one God. So, to believe in another . . I don’t care who the other appears to be . . to believe in someone who calls himself the head of some great religious body . . whether it be Roman Catholicism, whether it be called Protestantism, whether it be called Judaism . . and to believe that he is the great leader, why, that’s a false god. Unless I believe I AM He, I die in my sins. But I don’t say that unless I believe that someone is talking to me who tells me unless I believe that he is something . . nonsense! That’s all stupid. I don’t believe that anyone else is. I must believe that God actually became me, that I may become God!
And so, His name is I AM. So, unless I believe that I am the man that I want to be, then I remain not being that man, and therefore die in my frustration . . and die in my sins. You get it? Sure you do.
So here, I tell you, try it. It may seem difficult, but it will not be difficult if you dare to “go out on a limb” and try it. You are this Being! There is only God. There is nothing but God. Let no one tell you that he is better than you are. There is no one in this world greater than you are! And if anyone dares to tell you that he is, turn your back on him and walk away. I don’t care who he is . . or she is . . or they are. There is no one that is your superior, because you are God, and there is nothing but God in this world and God became you, that you may become God.
So, I admire the great, inspired poets. I do! I take Shakespeare and I read him and think, “Isn’t this marvelous?” I take Blake. I can’t quite follow the arguments of an Einstein . . no. But here are inspired men . . all of them: the Shakespeares, the Blakes, the Einsteins, and all the great painters in the world. But let no one tell you that these inspired men have some influx of Spirit that in any way whatsoever was greater than their own wonderful human imagination, because there is nothing greater than their own human imagination. It didn’t come from something outside of themselves; it was their own imagination awakening. “And that same imagination is yours, because there is only one Spirit. There aren’t two spirits.
So, the Spirit of Man is one with the Spirit of the Universe that sustains the whole vast world. That’s the One Spirit. So, let no one tell you for one moment there is another spirit. There is no other spirit. So, tonight when you go home . . in fact, before you go, start it right here . . and this lovely, wonderful feeling. And may I tell you, I can’t tell you what a joy it is to sleep in the assumption . . in the feeling . . that “I AM He.”
All right, what comes in the course of the night . . what does it matter? May I tell you, when you slip into the deep, you come hurtling through all kinds of things between the depths of unconsciousness from this level and then waking; and in that one short interval you can have numberless crazy little dreams between the hurtling back from unconsciousness to this level. And you give importance to the little dream, based upon the surface as you are coming through. But you do not know what depths you reach in what is unconscious relative to this level.
So, let no one frighten you. You are an Immortal Being. You cannot die. You just cannot die! And if someone today has arrived at a certain point where it is seemingly before you did, it doesn’t matter. He or she . . they are no better because they got there first. There is no “first.” Everyone is coming into that level and when all . . and if they don’t all come in, may I tell you, it isn’t finished. And when all come in, the whole race is over. And what a rejoicing among all who formed the one Body! We are that Body . . that one spirit, that one body, that one lord, that one God and Father of all. There is nothing but God the Father. And everyone will prove to himself by the vision he is God the Father, and he does not resent anyone else being God the Father. How could he?
When Benny came home on Saturday, I can’t tell you my thrill. Here is Benny . . and put us together. Let us put Benny on the stage right now. Our pigments are just as opposite as they can be, and we are the same Father of the same Child! I said, “Benny, tell me, what did he look like?” because we have fun together. It’s not because we have martinis together. That comes, regardless. It was not because of any martinis. And I said, “Benny, what did he look like?”
He said, “Neville, he was the sweetest blonde . . this blue-eyed, blonde, fair-skinned lad, and here is my Son, and he is calling me ‘Father,’ and I knew I’m his father. And I so loved him . . I didn’t care if the others left me, and left me with all these children. They are all my children anyway. I felt I was the father of all of them, but here was my Special One. Here was David!”
That’s the same David that is my Son. Well now, he is the father of my son. Well, if he’s the father of my son, are we not one? We are one! But on the surface, this strange, peculiar thing will be fighting each other because he is of a very, very dark skin and I am of an olive skin. Then people think, “Well, my god, they are different!” And it isn’t so! In the depths of our Soul, we are one, because God is one. God is not multiple, He is made up of the many, but God is one.
And when he tells me exactly how it happened, the thrill that is mine to see that he and I are one . . and he has the same child! That was the symbol of his “birth from above.”
So, may I tell you? Go on. On this level of Caesar, apply this principle. Cushion yourself against the normal blows of the world. It’s only natural. You want to be cushioned. You have a wife, a husband, children, friends who cannot cushion themselves because they don’t believe it. But you love them to the point where you want to cushion them, regardless of whether they believe it or not.
So, they don’t believe it. All right, then you cushion them anyway, because you love them. And you want to leave them enough money to give them a cushion. You aren’t going to stop the depth of their own being from giving them blows, but you did your part in so loving them that you want to leave them a cushion. If you want to leave them a cushion in the world of Caesar, you leave them a little money; that’s the cushion in this world.
So, what would it feel like if I could leave to those that I so love, say, a hundred thousand . . two hundred thousand? Now, what would it be like to depart this night just as though it meant nothing, and to leave them a quarter of a million, knowing that by tomorrow they may lose the whole thing? But that doesn’t really matter. You did your part. You cushioned them for a moment, because the depth of their own being . . which is your own depth . . will simply take them through certain experiences to awaken them to the point where they are the Father of the one and only begotten Son of God. For all are searching for that one Son, to reveal to them the Cause of the phenomena, and the Cause is the Father, for the Father is one’s Self.
Then one discovers, “Lord! I AM the only cause of the things that are happening to me in this world? There is not a thing in this world that has ever happened to me that I didn’t cause it!” Well, what a responsibility! You mean I caused all the nonsense? Yes, I did. I mean, all the stupid things that happen to me? The blows? Yes. Well, then I’ve got to stop this peculiar silliness in my world!
[End of recording.]
Now, let’s go into the Silence.