Out Of This World, Neville Goddard
NO ONE TO CHANGE BUT SELF
―And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. John 17:19
The ideal we serve and strive to attain could never be evolved from us were it not potentially involved in our nature.
It is now my purpose to retell and to emphasize an experience of mine printed by me two years ago. I believe these quotations from “THE SEARCH” will help us to understand the operation of the law of consciousness, and show us that we have no one to change but self.
―Once in an idle interval at sea I meditated on, ―the perfect state,‖ and wondered what I would be, were I of too pure eyes to behold inequity, if to me all things were pure and were I without condemnation. As I became lost in this fiery brooding, I found myself lifted above the dark environment of the senses. So intense was feeling I felt myself a being of fire dwelling in a body of air. Voices as from a heavenly chorus, with the exaltation of those who had been conquerors in a conflict with death were singing, ―He is risen – He is risen, and intuitively I knew they meant me.
Then I seemed to be walking in the night. I soon came upon a scene that might have been the ancient Pool of Bethesda for in this place lay a great multitude of impotent folk –blind, halt, withered – waiting not for the moving of the water as of tradition, but waiting for me. As I came near, without thought or effort on my part they were, one after the other, molded as by the Magician of the Beautiful. Eyes, hands, feet – all missing members – were drawn from some invisible reservoir and molded in harmony with that perfection which I felt springing within me. When all were made perfect, the chorus exulted, “It is finished. Then the scene dissolved and I awoke.
I know the vision was the result of my intense meditation upon the idea of perfection, for my meditations invariably bring about union with the state contemplated. I had been so completely absorbed within the idea that for a while I had become what I contemplated, and the high purpose with which I had for that moment identified myself drew the companionship of high things and fashioned the vision in harmony with my inner nature. The ideal with which we are united works by association of ideals to awaken a thousand moods to create a drama in keeping with the central idea.
My mystical experiences have convinced me that there is no way to bring about the outer perfection we seek other than by the transformation of ourselves.
In the divine economy nothing is lost. We cannot lose anything save by descent from the sphere where the thing has its natural life. There is no transforming power in death and, whether we are here or there, we fashion the world that surrounds us by the intensity of our imagination and feeling, and we illuminate or darken our lives by the concepts we hold of ourselves. Nothing is more important to us than our conception of ourselves, and especially is this true of our concept of the dimensionally great One within us.
Those who help or hinder us, whether they know it or not, are the servants of that law which shapes outward circumstances in harmony with our inner nature.
It is our conception of ourselves which frees or constrains us, though it may use material agencies to achieve its purpose.
Because life molds the outer world to reflect the inner arrangement of our minds, there is no way of bringing about the outer perfection we seek other than by the transformation of ourselves. No help cometh from without; the hills to which we lift our eyes are those of an inner range. It is thus to our own consciousness that we must turn as to the only reality, the only foundation on which all phenomena can be explained. We can rely absolutely on the justice of this law to give us only that which is of the nature of ourselves.
To attempt to change the world before we change our concept of ourselves is to struggle against the nature of things.
There can be no outer change until there is first an inner change. As within, so without. I am not advocating philosophical indifference when I suggest that we should imagine ourselves as already that which we want to be, living in a mental atmosphere of greatness, rather than using physical means and arguments to bring about the desired change.
Everything we do, unaccompanied by a change of consciousness, is but futile readjustment of surfaces.
However we toil or struggle, we can receive no more than our assumptions affirm. To protest against anything which happens to us is to protest against the law of our being and our rulership over our own destiny.
The circumstances of my life are too closely related to my conception of myself not to have been formed by my own spirit from some dimensionally larger storehouse of my being. If there is pain to me in these happenings, I should look within myself for the cause, for I am moved here and there and made to live in a world in harmony with my concept of myself.
Intense meditation brings about a union with the state contemplated, and during this union we see visions, have experiences and behave in keeping with our change of consciousness. This shows us that a transformation of consciousness will result in a change of environment and behavior.
All wars prove that violent emotions are extremely potent in precipitating mental rearrangements. Every great conflict has been followed by an era of materialism and greed in which the ideals for which the conflict ostensibly were waged are submerged.
This is inevitable because war evokes hate which impels a descent in consciousness from the plane of the ideal to the level where the conflict is waged.
If we could become as emotionally aroused over our ideals as we become over our dislikes, we would ascend to the plane of our ideal as easily as we now descend to the level or our hates.
Love and hate have a magical transforming power, and we grow through their exercise into the likeness of what we contemplate.
By intensity of hatred we create in ourselves the character we imagine in our enemies. Qualities die for want of attention, so the unlovely states might best be rubbed out by imaging ―beauty for ashes and joy for mourning [Isaiah 61:3] rather than by direct attacks on the state from which we would be free. ―Whatsoever things are lovely and of good report, think on these things [Philippians 4:8], for we become that with which we are en rapport.
There is nothing to change but our concept of self. As soon as we succeed in transforming self, our world will dissolve and reshape itself in harmony with that which our change affirms.