Our thoughts create the world, and they do so in the most literal sense: that is, in its essence, Neville Goddard’s law, so well expressed in his first book, At Your Command, published in 1939. By the way, you can DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK FOR FREE by clicking the cover at right.
Now I am going to tell you about what is, maybe, the decisive episode in Neville Goddard’s biography; the event that led him to become one of the most authoritative voices among the last century’s charismatic purveyors of the philosophy generally called New Thought. And I said “voices” not by chance, since the words of Neville Goddard indeed retain their power to electrify more than thirty years following his death, through his warm, sonorous, confident tone which is preserved and circulated on tapes made during his lifetime. You can listen to his voice in many and many recordings on the web, for example, this one from Youtube.
He wrote ten books under the lone pen-name Neville, and was a popular lecturer on metaphysical themes from the late 1930s until his death in 1972. He possessed a self-educated and rare sharp intellect, which made Neville able to catch the absolute logic of creative-mind principles as perhaps no other master of his era.
Neville’s way of thought is resumed and exalted today by baseball major-league pitcher Barry Zito, and is often mentioned by Dr Wayne Dyer; some say, also, that Neville influenced the ideas of Carlos Castaneda, Aldous Huxley, and others. And yet little is known about this teacher who exerted so unusual an attraction on the American spiritual scene of the mid 20th century.
Early Neville Goddard’s biography
Neville Lancelot Goddard was born in 1905 in Barbados (then British-protectorate) to an Anglican family of nine sons and one daughter. At various times Neville depicted his own English childhood home as comfortable, but not wealthy.
Attracted by theatre, at the age of seventeen, he resolved coming to New York to study acting. His training was so good that he could achieve a successful career as a vaudeville dancer and stage actor; still, a success which was not followed by prosperity. Neville described himself, in those years, as often living hand-to-mouth, working for a time as an elevator operator and a shipping clerk.
As sometimes it happens in such cases, Neville had his own crisis. While his passion and ambition for the stage began to fade, his mind was opening to a remarkable range of spiritual ideas, which led him to meet some self-styled occult groups, and afterwards his life-transforming mentor, an Ethiopian-born rabbi named Abdullah. Neville says, in his lectures, that their initial meeting had an air of kismet (the will of Allah for Islam):
When I first met my friend Abdullah back in 1931 I entered a room where he was speaking and when the speech was ended he came over, extended his hand and said: “Neville, you are six months late.” I had never seen the man before, so I said: “I am six months late? How do you know me?” and he replied: “The Brothers told me that you were coming and you are six months late.”
Under the guidance of Abdullah, Neville studied Hebrew, Scripture, and Kabbalah for five years, planting the seeds of the philosophy of mental creativity that he would develop. But the blooming was not immediate; again, Neville had his psychic crisis.
During the winter of 1933, while he was living in a rented room on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, he was quite depressed: his pockets were empty and his theatrical career had stalled. He later said that, at the time, after twelve years in America, he felt himself to be a failure. The money earned in one year was not enough for one month. Young Neville longed to spend Christmas with his family in Barbados, but he couldn’t afford to travel.
Then it happened Neville’s first encounter with creative thought. Abdullah, knowing its crisis, told him:
Live as though you are there, and that you shall be.
Whilst wandering the streets of New York City, Neville adopted the feeling that he was really and truly at home on his native island. As he later remembered:
Abdullah taught me the importance of remaining faithful to an idea and not compromising. I wavered, but I remained faithful to the assumption that I was in Barbados and had travelled first class.
His faith was rewarded: on a December morning, before the last ship for Barbados was to depart New York that year, Neville received a letter from a long out-of-touch brother: inside the envelope, there were $50 and a ticket to sail. Apparently, the experiment had worked.
In this way Neville discovered what would eventually become the hallmark of his teaching: in order to attain your goal, you must definitely assume the feeling, the disposition and the attitude that your goal has already been attained. he would later write:
It is not what you want that you attract, you attract what you believe to be true.
You attract what you believe to be true
This episode of Neville’s early life is enlightening and instructive: reality is literally “at your command”. Focus on what you want, intensely believe it true, and it will come true. Incredible? Try it yourself, and you will see. But try it earnestly and with all your strength.