Let’s Read: Changing the Feeling of “I”
We will be starting a series of posts that we named “Let’s Read”. The purpose of this series is not only to explain some of the quotes from lectures by giving you examples of what we have already learned and talked about before but also to inspire you (re)read the lectures that are available on this blog. I believe that all the answers that we are seeking for were already provided through Neville’s work. We will start with the lecture Changing the Feeling of I.
Throughout his work, Neville mentions many times that the only person that needs to change in order for the world to change is ourselves. The world doesn’t really have a choice but to change once we change the way we perceive things. He starts this lecture with a very important observation that will show up in following lectures as well.
“We claimed that the world was a manifestation of consciousness, that the individual’s environments, circumstances and conditions of life were only the outpicturing of the particular state of consciousness in which that individual abides. Therefore, the individual sees whatever he is by virtue of the state of consciousness from which he views the world. Any attempt to change the outer world before he changes the inner structure of his mind, is to labor in vain.”Neville Goddard
Most of us came across these teachings, or more general LOA teachings with a victim mindset. It is not always easy to take responsibility for our own perceptions, especially with years and years of thinking from the victim state. Most of us were raised to think that we are helpless when it comes to circumstances in which we were born. For example, we are taught that we can’t escape the caste into which we were born or have a nice life with no worries because our family’s finances can’t change and they will always stay the same. But these are all constructs of mind! They are states and we must not confuse the individual with the state that they occupy.
Your name may well be Janet Novakovich. That’s who you are as an individual. However, being poor or rich is not what makes you an individual. It’s only a state. And states can be changed.
Another very important thing that Neville mentions in this lecture is the following:
“Those who help or hinder us, whether they know it or not, are the servants of that law, which constantly shapes outwards circumstances with our inner nature.”Neville Goddard
Nobody else can control your state. Once you choose a state, everybody and everything becomes like a servant that is supposed to help you reach your goal.
As an example, let’s say you are manifesting a specific person. While you are doing that, you start focusing on a third party. The more you focus on this third party, the bigger their role becomes in your reality. If you take your attention away from the third party, they must go away. The entire point is that this third party isn’t acting of their own accord. Nobody in your world is trying to steal your desire. It’s you, yourself, that are creating the obstacles simply by acknowledging them. This may happen for various reasons: maybe you don’t feel good enough for your specific person so you are thinking they will find somebody else or maybe it’s something more specific like focusing on this particular person and thinking that they can’t wait to steal your specific person. Whichever it is, they have no choice but to play the role that you have given them.
This is why many will tell you that the first and probably most important step when it comes to manifesting is accepting responsibility for the circumstances in your life. This is not a kind of victim blaming or guilt tripping. It’s something that is supposed to make you feel empowered. It’s something that is supposed to free you. Surely, some of us will choose to look at it as victim blaming but why would we choose that for ourselves? We would only perpetuate the same old story even more. Taking the responsibility means that you free yourself of the limitations that you have placed on yourself. It means that you accept that the things that exist in your world right now were things that you aligned with in the past and kept them there by persistently accepting them and building your story by taking them into account, and that this also means that you are capable of changing them by focusing on the feeling of the wish fulfilled. Isn’t that freeing?
But, even Neville understood how hard it could be to take that first step.
“In other words, it’s so much easier when I can blame another for my misfortune, but now that I am told that no man cometh unto me save I call him, that I am the sole architect of my fortunes and misfortunes, it’s a difficult saying, and so it’s recorded. ‘It’s a hard saying. Who can hear it? Who can grasp it? And who will believe it?’ And so he said, ‘And now I sanctify myself that they also be sanctified through the truth, for if this is the truth, then there is no one to change, no one to make whole, no one to purify but self.”Neville Goddard
Acknowledging that the unwanted circumstances that we have aligned ourselves with are changeable is important as well. We are changing ourselves. We are changing our own assumptions. We don’t go out there and try to convince a person that they love us or that they have to raise our salary. We simply assume that this had already happened. If the world of Caesar slacks behind, we persistently see the reality from our new state. Then it must conform to our new assumption.
“We have no idea of the unnumbered superstitions and prejudices that go to mold this inner, formless ‘I’ into a form which is then projected as a man’s environment, as the conditions of life.”Neville Goddard
Most of us were totally unaware of assumptions that we’ve held on to until we came across teachers like Neville. Some of these assumptions date back to our childhoods and it’s not always easy to get rid of habits that we have had for years. But now that we know what is going on and how this world works, we can change those assumptions consciously. We can mold the “I” into what we want it to be, instead of just going along with what we’ve been taught throughout our lives.
But how do we know what is actually going on in our subconscious right now? How can we tell what conditions and limitations we have placed on ourselves so that we can free ourselves from them? Neville reveals one way of doing that:
“Your description of the world is a confession of the self that you do not know. You describe another, you describe society, you describe anything, and your description of the thing you observe reveals to one who knows this law the being you really are.”Neville Goddard
So, ask yourself, how would you describe your current reality? What state are you really dwelling in? Would you describe it in a way that implies that your wish has already been fulfilled or would you describe it by bringing up the old circumstances? What state of consciousness are you currently dwelling in?
Knowing our starting point is important. It is important because it allows us to change what we don’t like. One such thing that comes to mind is a belief in karma. I am talking about the idea of karma that exists in the Western philosophy. It comes down to the idea of punishment. If I describe my world as a place where “everybody always gets what their deserve”, in a vengeful manner, that is exactly what will happen. But! Then it must happen to me as well. Now, I am not saying throw your morals out the window and commit crimes because you cannot be punished unless you believe you can. But if you take away the idea of this punishment for a second, you enter a state in which people can get away with things that you perceive as wrong. Based on this example, we can see that two individuals could have a completely different starting point. Now, for the one who believes in this idea of punishment, it may feel wrong to pursue a specific person who is in a relationship. Right off the bat, they are placing a limitation on themselves. The one who believes that their desires come from their Godself and all they have to do is accept them as a done deal, this one will understand that are choosing from endless possibilities and that they cannot be punished for that.
As Abdullah told Neville:
“Neville, you must first start with self. Find self, don’t be ashamed ever of the being you are. Discover it and start the changing of that self.”Abdullah
This is why it is completely okay for you to acknowledge where you are right now. It is okay to admit that you have created a story that does not serve you. However, it is not recommended that you repeat it and dwell on it. Acknowledging it should come from the place of authority. It should come from the place of understanding that you can change these circumstances. Do not suppress your emotions. Release them.
In my personal experience, writing about the old story and emotions that they cause is the way to go. It allows me to release the story the quickest. When I write down my old story, I do it with the intention of releasing it and not looking back. You too can come up with a similar “ritual”. Acknowledge the story that you have created so far and then take the power away from it by creating a new story and completely dedicating yourself to it!
“So you and I can be anything in this world we desire to be if we will clearly define our aim in life and constantly occupy that aim. It must be habitual. The concept we hold of self that is noble must not be put on just for a moment and taken off when we leave this church.”Neville Goddard
The key to changing the story is the persistence. Persistently see things the way you want them to be instead of how they currently are. If you look at your life, I am sure that you will find stories that you have been telling yourself for years and never changed them. For example, let’s say you have been telling yourself a story about being poor and not being able to earn more your entire life. You are holding that story in place everytime you think from the state of being poor. If you desire to be rich, all you have to do is start thinking from the place of being rich. You can enter that state by consistently using techniques. Once you are in that new state, do not take it off at the end of your meditation session. Wear it. As Neville said in another lecture, it’s like wearing a new suit. It may not be comfortable at first but you grow used to it.
So, after taking responsibility and releasing the old story, the next step is to create a new story. This is where many of us start struggling. It is not always easy to stay faithful to the new story when the world of Caesar is still showing us the old story. This is where the persistence comes in. We shouldn’t give up after the first hurdle. We must wear this new feeling and we must do so until it becomes natural. In Neville’s words:
“It can be measured by the feeling of naturalness. You can wear a feeling until it’s natural. The moment the feeling becomes natural, it will begin to bear fruit within your world.”Neville Goddard
So, let’s assume Mary is manifesting a higher salary. She spends the Sunday basking in the feeling of the wish fulfilled and on Monday she goes back to work. Her boss doesn’t say anything about a raise. She gives up and goes back to her old story.
I am sure that if she came to you and ask you for advice, most of you would tell her that she didn’t persist enough. And well, you’d be right! Another thing we can note here is that she was kind of looking for the results in her physical reality. We all do that from time to time. The difference between those who get the results and those who do not is that those who do get the results do not react to that undesired reality. They probably don’t go looking for changes in the first place. They enjoy the feeling of the wish fulfilled until the thing comes to them. That’s not to say you can’t take any action. You can, if it feels natural. Nothing wrong with that. But you won’t question it!
Had Mary continued to observe the world from the state of the wish fulfilled, sooner or later it would have become natural. This little hiccup that happened that Monday would be irrelevant. In another lecture, Neville explains that we should return to the feeling of the wish fulfilled frequently. It doesn’t matter if we are in that state for 2 minutes or 2 days. Once a seeming obstacle comes up in the physical reality, that’s when we see if we’ve really changed. In this case, Mary didn’t really change, else she would continue on her mental diet. Yes, she may have reacted there for a second but it wouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. If she continued, what we call, “doing the work”, or in other words, occupying the state of the wish fulfilled despite the outer appearances, she would have gotten her raise. But… She went back to her old story and occupied that state again. She cannot expect to see the change in her outer world if she doesn’t first change her own state.
“Man is freed or constrained by reason of the state of mind in which he persist.”Neville Goddard
Let’s give Mary a happy ending because she deserves one! Let’s say she realized where she was going wrong. After this little incident on Monday, she came home and she firmly decided to dedicate herself to this new state that she enjoyed way more. From there on, she continues to dwell in that state whenever she remembers her desire and therefore, she is freeing herself from the shackles of the state of lack.
I will now backtrack a little bit and bring your attention to another quote in this lecture:
“I will not go along with those who believe that unless you have certain things to start with you can’t apply this law.”Neville Goddard
It would be very limiting to assume that the only way one can become wealthy is if their parents are already wealthy or if they marry rich. It would be limiting to assume that the only way one can advance in the corporate world is if they know somebody who works on the top of the “pyramid”. Without going into other examples of limitations that we sometimes place on ourselves, we must always keep in mind that the only limitations that exist are the ones that we impose on ourselves. So, forget about all of that. Forget the limitations that you perceive as real in the physical reality. The only thing that’s real is that your imagination creates reality and because of that, a peasant can become a king if he changes his state. Worrying about these seeming limitations is worrying about the how but the how is none of our concern. All we have to “worry” about is assuming this new state. Neville confirms that in the following quote:
“If you will see all things are now, you don’t become, you simply select the state that you would occupy. Occupying it you seem to become but it is already a fact, every aspect of that state in its most minute detail. It’s worked out and taking place. You by occupying the state seem to go through the action of unfolding that state, but the state is completely finished and taking place.”Neville Goddard
Now, Neville gives us another technique to help us determine whether or not we have really changed:
“If I assume that I am the man that I want to be, let me observe my reactions. If they are as they were, I have not identified myself with my choice, for my reactions are automatic and so if I am changed I would automatically change my reactions to life.”Neville Goddard
Observe your own reactions. When something happens that is contradictory to your desire, will you be like Mary on Monday morning from the previous example and go back to the old story, declare that this doesn’t work and give up? Or, will you be like Mary on Monday night and be stubborn about seeing the world the way you want it to be instead of the way it may be? Will you interpret the thing that happened in that same world as a proof that what you are doing isn’t working or will you stay faithful to your desired end and not react, instead declare that everything is working out perfectly? Both of these reactions come from different states but do not condemn that first reaction or that first state. Even if you react in the way that Mary reacted on Monday morning, it doesn’t mean you can’t manifest. It just means that you have to occupy the state of the wish fulfilled more frequently so that you start thinking from it naturally:
“I am no longer thinking of that state, I am thinking from that state. So that wherever a state grows so stable as to definitely expel all of its rivals, then that central, habitual state of consciousness from which I think defines my character and is really a true transformation or change of consciousness. Whenever I reach that state of stability, watch my world mold itself then in harmony with this inner change.”Neville Goddard
In this quote Neville tells us exactly what it means to change yourself and how you can confirm it. Now to share with you a personal experience when it comes to changing a state, once I change my state, what happens is that anything contradictory feels false. I become so confident about my manifestation that nothing can move me. For example, when I was manifesting a raise in my monthly income, I would still look at my daily income. I had to because it was right in my face. The difference was that in the past, before I entered the new state in which I already had the bigger income, I would see that I earned less than what I was expecting or less than I’d have to earn every day in order to reach my goal and sometimes I would think, “Oh snap! I’m not reaching my goal this month.” Well, that was the story that was holding me back and kept manifesting. I never revised what I said there. I kept falling back into that old state. Once I truly changed my state, even if my daily income was $5, I wasn’t moved by it. The way I thought about it changed. I no longer thought, “I will not reach my goal”. I thought, “Whatever, I am still reaching my goal, nothing can stop me.” That was when I started seeing a steady increase, and still am.
“Having moved from one state into the other, I have altered my relationship relative to the world round about, and that changed relationship compels a change in behavior relative to my world. So they have to act differently toward me.”Neville Goddard
If we follow the example I have just provided, then it becomes clear that what happened here was that, in that first case, potential clients that could have helped me reach my goal that month may have turned away or some of the existing clients may have stopped purchasing for that month. In that second case, they continued purchasing my services and I’ve reached my goal. This is, of course, the how in this situation but the point of it is to show you that the entire world responds to your state. And when you change your state, the world responds differently, corresponding to your new state.
But what happens when we fail to change our state, again and again? Neville answers that question as well:
“And the reason we fail, we aren’t hungry enough to change. For either we do not know the law or we haven’t the urge or the hunger to really bring about the change.”Neville Goddard
You see, in one of the Five Lessons, Neville mentions that the desire for change is the first step towards the change. When we want to change our habits, our desire to change those habits must be stronger than our desire to continue living with the same habits. The quote I provided you with says the same thing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If you think you failed, it doesn’t mean your desire is not real or that your desire is not valid. It is valid. It comes from your Godself. However, it cannot be externalized if you do not accept it. Therefore, if you really want something, you will persist in your assumption. You won’t take no for an answer. You will reject anything that isn’t in line with your wish fulfilled. You will stay faithful to your desired end by occupying the state of the wish fulfilled frequently, as many times as it takes in order for you to start thinking from that state.
Now, of course, some of us get caught up in trying to change the external world before we change ourselves. This is not the approach that we should have. We do not start with the mirror. If my eyeliner looks smudged when I look into the mirror, I don’t try to remove it from that reflection. I remove it from my actual eyelid.
“You do not work on the other. The day you change self, that day you change the world.”Neville Goddard
As Neville already mentioned in this same lecture, our description of the world is the confession of the self that we do not know. But that is where we start! We start with that confession and then we mold it so that it fits into the story that we wish to live in. Do not be frustrated with yourself if you are still reacting from that “old state”. That is perfectly alright. That is where you start.
However, when you decide to change, that decision must be final. No more wavering, no more jumping between the old story and the new story. You dedicate yourself either to the new story or to the old story. The choice is yours.
“And you were warned in the Book, or I would say, in the Epistle of James that ‘the double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let not such a man believe that he shall receive anything of the Lord; for he is like a wave that is driven and tossed by the wind.”Neville Goddard
A double minded man is the man who serves two masters. One moment he serves the old state, the other moment he serves the new state. He cannot expect to see the change, or at least not a permanent one, unless he dedicates himself to the new state.
To sum it all up…
“For the changing of the feeling of “I” results in the change of reaction, which change of reaction results in a change of world.”Neville Goddard