Neville Goddard’s teachings attract a good deal of interest, and probably some criticism as well, because of his foundation belief that humans can manifest whatever life circumstance they chose through nothing more than mental focus. Goddard’s belief may resonate with readers familiar with the so-called Law of Attraction, which also claims that humans create external life circumstances through mental focus.
One significant difference between Neville Goddard’s teachings however and teachings typical of Law of Attraction is Goddard’s reliance upon the Christian Bible to support, and even prove, his case for intentional manifestation. But don’t judge too quickly that Neville — he was often referred to by only his first name — was a strong advocate for Christianity. Neville was absolutely not devout Christian in a typical sense.
For starters, Neville denied that the Bible presented some form of historical record. Neville claimed that the Bible was, in fact, figurative and not literal and that it didn’t describe actual events but rather an internal struggle taking place within all humans. What was the nature of this struggle? Humans connecting with their God nature.
Neville said each human is God personified — I Am (the name God provided Moses through the burning bush). Humans however are stuck in the false belief that they are only, essentially, physical forms and mind activity. Readers who have significantly explored spiritualism, including perusing the Blog for this website, will be familiar with the idea of man as God, yet asleep or with a stubborn case of amnesia.
Neville’s knowledge of Biblical scripture is, to my thinking, quite vast. Within his teachings he would pull out Biblical verses and tales to demonstrate two of his primary points: that the Bible is figurative and not literal; and that humans, actually being God, have no limitations to what they can create within the life experience. Consider Neville’s interpretation of the following scripture (this is taken from five lessons of Neville, which can be found Here):
Our third interpretation is the story of Isaac and his two sons: Esau and Jacob. The picture is drawn of a blind man being deceived by his second son into giving him the blessing which belonged to his first son. The story stresses the point that the deception was accomplished through the sense of touch. “And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him….And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.” Gen. 27:21, 30.
This story can be very helpful if you will re-enact it now. Again bear in mind that all the characters of the Bible are personifications of abstract ideas and must be fulfilled in the individual man. You are the blind father and both sons. Isaac is old and blind, and sensing the approach of death, calls his first son Esau a rough hairy boy, and sends him into the woods that he may bring in some venison.
The second son, Jacob, a smooth skin boy, overheard the request of his father. Desiring the birthright of his brother, Jacob, the smooth skinned son, slaughtered one of his father’s flock and skinned it. Then, dressed in the hairy skins of the kid he had slaughtered, he came through subtlety and betrayed his father into believing that he was Esau.
The father said, “Come close my son that I may feel you. I cannot see, but come that I may feel.” Note the stress that is placed upon feeling in this story. He came close and the father said to him, “The voice is Jacobs voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” And feeling this roughness, the reality of the son Esau, he pronounced the blessing and gave it to Jacob.
You are told in the story that as Isaac pronounced the blessing and Jacob had scarcely gone out from his presence, that his brother Esau came in from his hunting. This is an important verse. Do not become distressed in our practical approach to it, for as you sit here you, too, are Isaac.
This room in which you are seated is your present Esau. This is the rough or sensibly known world, known by reason of your bodily organs. All of your senses bear witness to the fact that you are here in this room. Everything tells you that you are here, but perhaps you do not want to be here.
You can apply this toward any objective. The room in which you are seated at any time — the environment in which you are placed, this is your rough or sensibly known world or son which is personified in the story as Esau. What you would like in place of what you have or are is your smooth skinned state or Jacob, the supplanter.
Here Neville is interpreting Biblical scripture to explain a primary tactic in manifestation according to the way Neville explained it, and the tactic is to imagine a preferred reality and to embrace this imagined reality regardless of what the rational mind claims and the five senses perceive.
Neville offers many Biblical examples to reinforce his teachings, and I find his interpretations of Biblical scripture to be fascinating and, yes, compelling. I’m sure not everyone will feel the same way, and some may even take offense to Neville’s interpretations. For those who have a sincere interest in manifestations though Neville’s teachings are, in my opinion, an exceptional resource.