THE CUP OF EXPERIENCE : Neville Goddard – 27th Oct 1967
All things exist in the human imagination, and I mean that literally. No one can know of imagination who has not tasted the cup of experience!
In the Psalms we are told that in the hand of the Lord there is a cup that is bubbling over with wine which has been well mixed. And John asks: “Shall I not drink of the cup of salvation which the Father has given me, and call upon his name?” When we read these words, we wonder what it is all about. Well, let me share with you a vision of mine of about thirty years ago.
This night I found myself in an infinite field of beautiful sunflowers. Each flower had a human face and each was perfect. If one smiled, all smiled. If one bent over, all bent over. What one did, they all did. As I stood there observing this fantastic display of beauty, I knew that I – singled out as I was – expressed a greater liberty and freedom than all of these human flowers put together. And when I returned to my body on the bed, I knew that in some strange way I was separated from that which I once had formed a part. Then I understood these words from the 8th chapter of Romans:
“We were made subject unto futility, not by our own will, but by the will of him who subjected us in hope that we will be set free from this bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the sons of God.”
You and I here in this world are detached from that field of beauty, that chorus where everyone moves in unison. But we are separated, completely incarnated, which is essential to individuality. This incarnation involves separation from the Father, death, and descent into hell. You may not know it, but this world is hell. Here we are separated from the Father, and there is a fear in the heart of man that he may never again see the Father, who from all eternity was built into himself. But may I assure you, having realized the Father, that your fear need not continue. You will find the Father and when you do you will find him as yourself.
You are separated from the Father for a divine purpose. And without instantly assuming this garment of flesh and blood, thereby becoming completely incarnated, you would never find him. Instead you would forever remain a part of the field of sunflowers. I can’t describe the beauty of each flower, each a beautiful human face moving in perfect harmony. But now you are no longer part of the chorus but completely individualized, you will tend forever towards greater and greater individualization. You were subjected to this world and completely incarnated in it for a divine purpose. That purpose is to create within yourself the Spirit of Jesus, which is continual forgiveness of sin.
Believe me when I tell you that God is love, for I stood in his presence and he embraced me. But do you know that love, divided from imagination, is eternal death? I’ll show you why.
I have a friend who is unemployed, without funds, and burdened beyond measure. I can’t deny I love him, and when I think of him my memory tells me how poor he is, that he is unemployed, without funds and burdened. I will keep him in that state forever, through love, unless I know how to use my imagination.
So, no one can ever know imagination who has not tasted the cup of experience. Entering this world we love our mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children, and friends, but do not know how to change them from what they are into what they ought to be, unless we drink the cup of experience and practice the great secret of imagining.
That is why I say: love divided from imagination is eternal death.
Imagination is God’s great gift. He is love, yes. He is infinite power and wisdom, but his creative power is imagination. Giving you his creative power, he gives you his Son Christ, defined in the second chapter of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians as “The power of God and the wisdom of God.” And because of this great gift, when you see one that you love dearly as unemployed, without funds and in great need, embarrassed and unclothed, you can represent him to yourself as gainfully employed, beautifully clothed, happy, and debt-free.
Then as you persist in exercising your imagination concerning your friend, the world will remold itself and shape him in the likeness of one who is gainfully employed, debt-free and happy. All this is possible because of God’s great gift to you.
Remember the story of the prodigal son? The first son did not leave his Father, but the second – asking to be given what was his – went into the world and wasted all. When the second one, having experienced the world of death, remembered his Father, he turned around and the Father gave him the robe, the ring and prepared a fatted calf for a merry reception in honor of his son who had returned.
When the first son complained, the Father said: “Son, you are always with me. You never detached yourself but have always remained here and all that is mine is yours.” Because of this the first son knew nothing of the power of imagination. Everything was his, but he didn’t know how to appropriate it. Tonight you could have a billion dollars in the bank and die of starvation if you didn’t know it was there. All that the Father has is yours, but you will never know it until you use your imagination to appropriate it.
You and I have departed from the Father. It was his will to subject us to this world of futility. He did it in the hope that we would be set free from this world of decay where everything dies – and obtain the glorious liberty of the sons of God – those who exercise their power of imagination lovingly.
Now, the parable of the prodigal son is followed by the story of the unjust steward. (You will find these stories in the 15th and 16th chapters of the Book of Luke). Now, parables are wonderful stories told in the hope that man will discover their fictitious nature and extract its meaning. In this story the unjust steward is commended for his actions. (The original meaning of the word “steward” is “the keeper of the pig” and the pig is the universal symbol of the savior of the world.) In other words, when the steward (the keeper of the pig) tells you his story, will you eat it? Will you believe what he has experienced? Millions of people today will not accept the story of salvation, so they refuse the pig as food. But –
“Unless you eat my body and drink my blood you have no life in you.”
In the story, the unjust steward is accused of not keeping a proper record and is called to give an accounting. Summoning his master’s debtors one by one, the steward said to the first: “How much do you owe my master?” He said: “A hundred measures of oil.” And he said to him, “Take your bill, sit down quickly and write fifty.” Then he said to another: “And how much do you owe?” He replied: “A hundred measures of wheat.” He said to him: “Take your bill and quickly write eighty.” Going through the entire list, the steward falsified each record. And when the master heard what his servant was doing, he commended him highly for his action.
Now, you cannot conceive of anyone commending a dishonest employee, so what is the parable telling you? That there is a record being kept in you.
Who is keeping it? – Your memory.
You know what you saw today, what you heard, what the mail brought, and how you felt because of the recording being in you. Perhaps someone called to tell you they were having marital problems. Now, you are called upon to falsify the record. Having heard their message of distress must you live with it?
No – not if you are an unjust steward!
Called upon to give an accounting of your day at its end, have you falsified the records? Or are you going to let the curtain fall upon this day without changing the record regarding the person in distress? Told to sit down quickly and modify the conversation – if not 100%, then 50%, then 20% – but change your memory of the conversation, for although we are detached, we are one in the human imagination.
I see it all so clearly now. After thirty odd years I still see that scene more vividly than I see the flowers my mother grew. Being passionately fond of flowers, every day mother would take her parasol and walk in her garden. But my vision of the sunflowers transcends any memory of my mother’s lovely garden. Every sunflower a face, and every face so distinct. Like a chorus, when one moved, all moved in the same direction. No one violated the unseen or unheard order. If one smiled, they all smiled.
As I watched I realized I was freer than all of them put together. Then I knew that this division had to take place. We had to be made subject unto futility, for separation from the Father involves death. We had to die to what we were and descend into the world of hell in order to create in us the Spirit of Jesus, which is the continual forgiveness of sin.
Forever justifying our world – claiming he slapped me first, or she pushed me – we speak with the voice of hell, the voice of self-justification. But in heaven it is all forgiveness of sin, because all things exist in heaven, the human imagination! Nothing happens on the outside that did not first take place in you, so you must forgive by changing the cause.
If you try to justify or condemn, you live in the state of hell, for everything is taking place in you.
Now seemingly separated from the Father, don’t despair; for he was built in you from eternity. And you will find him when David stands before you and calls you “Father.” He will not be a David, but the David, the eternal David who was put into the mind of man before that the world was.
Although it doesn’t seem possible, you and I were detached from that infinite field of beauty by an act of love. We were made subject unto futility, not by our own will but by the will of him who intended to give himself to us. But in order to do it we had to be individualized by complete incarnation, complete insulation where we think we are human. Being a member of a family, having friends, and living in a world of people, you are insulated and completely separated. This incarnation is essential to your individuality, and when you begin to awake you awaken to the realization that you are he who subjected yourself, for you become the very being the world calls God the Father. This is the great story as I understand it from my visions, which have paralleled scripture.
So tonight I ask you to exercise your own wonderful human imagination. Since your friends are only yourself Out-pictured, put them in a glorious light. Don’t justify their actions by saying: “It serves them right”, because all things exist in you.
There is no one out there, but all in you!
So if you fail a thousand times, saying:
“How often Lord must I forgive my brother who sinned against me?” the answer will come:
“Seventy times seven.”
May I tell you: you can’t say “sin” in any other way than as recorded in the 51st Psalm, the 4th verse:
“Against thee, O Lord, thee only have I sinned and done that which is evil in thy sight; therefore thy justification is in order.”
Who is this being in whom I have sinned? His name is I AM! How have I sinned against thee and thee only?
By seeing someone in my world that is in need and allowing them to remain there, for I cannot sin against another as I am the one seeing it.
So I must change and represent him to myself as someone I desire to see. And I must persist in that belief until he conforms to the image I have created. That is what you are called upon to do, for you were made subject unto vanity and live alone in your world, so if you desire it to change, you alone must change it and live in the state of the desired change.
I know this from experience, because the night that I was lifted up to the state of perfection I came upon this infinite sea of human imperfection, and as I glided by all were made perfect in harmony with that state to which I was lifted.
So you must lift yourself to the state you desire your world to reflect, because everything in it is yourself made visible. The whole vast world is projecting God, and God’s name is I am. Believe my visions, for they have never betrayed me. I may betray my vision by not accepting its message, but when I was lifted up, I was shown that everyone I encounter is myself. And when I represent that seeming other to myself as I would like him to be, to the degree I persist in that assumption, he conforms to that state.
Now, in the Lord’s hand there is a cup with foaming wine, all mixed. Shall I not take the cup which the Father has given to me? Tonight I can truly say I have drunk the cup to the very dregs. I have played the white, the black, the yellow, the pink, the gray, the honored, and the dishonored. I have played them all, this I know. Everyone will play all the characters expressed in the world but let me assure you who are here that no man comes unto me save my Father calls him. You are here because you have reached the end of the road and I have called you to play your part as the Lord God Jehovah.
Start now to mold every being in your world into the form of love. But love, divided from imagination, is eternal death.
If you do not know you are dealing with a state, you can love someone dearly yet keep him forever in an unlovely state. But you can take him out by the use of your imagination.
We are here in this world of experience for a divine purpose: to know imagination. The world is dead but you can begin now to overcome the last enemy of the world – the enemy of death – by imagining your friend is noble, wanted, and loved, and watch him become it.
Save your friend from the state of poverty and you are saving yourself! Don’t be concerned as to how and when it will happen; it will happen, for the world is yours and all within it. The first son did not know this because he wasn’t detached. He was never separated from the Father so he didn’t know that all that his Father possessed was his to appropriate. Yet you who separated yourself from God were dead and are now alive. You were lost and are now found.
Like the seed, you have to be detached from the Father and fall into the ground to be made alive; for unless a seed falls into the ground it remains alone, but if it falls into the ground and dies it brings forth much. The creative power of your human imagination is the seed which falls into your fleshly body (the red earth called Adam). Hearing the word and applying its truth, your seed is made alive and begins to awake, and you realize who you really are.
You are infinite love, but without the power of imagination, love itself is eternal death. Start now to change your world to conform to your acts of love, but you cannot do it without imagination. Begin with self.
Change your world and prove God’s power is within you. Then you will know what it is to drink the cup which the Father has given you. It was God’s infinite love that detached and allowed you to fall, for this separation is a fall and yet a beginning of a new creation. Just as the seed falls from man and a new creation begins, you fell and began a new creation, for God came with you as your human imagination.
Tonight ask yourself: “Who am I? Where am I?”
If you do not like your answers, assume you are the person you would like to be, living where you would like to live. Persist in this assumption and – although denied by your senses and reason – if you persist your desires will harden into fact. Start now to take God’s gift of his creative power and create!
God detached and dropped you in love, for God is love. And when he did, he buried the gift of his creative power – called Jesus Christ – in you. So now, like him, you can create, and as you do, your creation comes to life. Then you know that you no longer have to argue with the world but can instantly change it to conform to the ideal that is in your being.
We left that enormous field of perfection to be incarnated, isolated, and feel separated from everything, in order to be individualized. This incarnation involves separation from the Father, death, and descent into hell. From that moment on, you seek the Father – the cause of all that is going on in your world – and despair, fearing you will never find Him who was built into you from all eternity. Then one day you will find David, the only one who can reveal you to yourself. When David appears and calls you Father, you will be looking right into the eyes of the one who was put into the mind of man, yet so that man could not find out what God had done from the beginning until the end.
You are detached and subjected unto futility in order to obtain the glorious liberty of the sons of the resurrection, being sons of God. But you cannot be a Son of God until you are resurrected, born from above, and encounter the great David who stands before you and calls you Father.
Now let us go into the silence.