Let’s Read: The Art of Dying
The lecture that we will be reading and analysing in this article is the lecture called The Art of Dying. Let’s start it off with this quote from Neville:
“…you would see that no one can grow without outgrowing. But man is not willing to outgrow, [and] yet he wants other things than those he has. But if you remain in one state, you will forever have to suffer the consequences of not being in another state.”
The dying that Neville talks about in this lecture is dying to our current state. In some other lectures, he describes this dying as an act of shifting from the state of lack to the state of having, the state of the wish fulfilled.
We must take into account that we cannot serve two masters. This is why Neville tells us that we can’t exist in two states simultaneously. You can jump between one and the other. An example that we can often see is with people who are manifesting their specific person. When their specific person starts displaying hot and cold behavior, to me, that is a clear sign that they are not being faithful to their wish fulfilled. They haven’t settled for one state. They are jumping from one state to another. Instead of staying in the state of the wish fulfilled, they stay there temporarily and then return to the state of lack.
As Neville says, if we want to have consistent results, if we want for our wish to be fulfilled, we must die as the old man and be resurrected as the new man. We must let go of that old story and dedicate ourselves to the new story.
For example, if Mary successfully manifested her specific person Francis, at some point she undoubtedly shifted out of the state of lack. How did she do that? She chose a technique that resonated with her and used it persistently until having her desire felt natural to her. In this case, let’s say she chose to do the lullaby method every day until her thoughts aligned with having her desire and she was completely indifferent towards a failure. Her faith became so strong that she didn’t even entertain that idea anymore. That is when she knew that she “died” and was “resurrected”. In other words, she shifted her state.
“So I see my dream, and I must learn to die to what I AM in order to live what I want to be.”
This process may sound scary at first. Dying is something that most of us grew up fearing, for one reason or another. However, once we learn about the Law, we must understand that the shift from one state to another must be complete. This is why Neville equates this process to dying. You so completely shift into the new state that it looks like the old version of you literally died, it is nowhere to be found because you buried it. You have no need to be this person anymore. The new version of you, the one that has already received what that old version wanted, is much more fun, isn’t it?
With that being said, Neville also reminds us that:
“The present state cannot be carried into the new; it has to die as a consequence of the new made alive.”
All these doubts that you are having, all these thoughts that aren’t aligned with you being the version of yourself that you wish to be, they must all be left behind. This doesn’t come through force or effort, though. You can ease into it by frequently assuming that you are now the person that you wish to be. Feeling the feeling of the wish fulfilled will become like second nature. The way you can reach this feeling is by use of techniques, whether it’s SATS, affirmations, scripting or something you come up with on your own, do keep one thing on your mind: the best technique for you is the one that helps you get into that state as easily as possible.
And always remember:
“If he longs for something it means that he does not have it, else there could be no longing.”
I have already covered two different ways on how you can tell what state you are in, when analysing other lectures. This is the third way in which you can tell what state you are in. Do you still feel the longing for something?
If Mary wants to be with Francis, it means she doesn’t have him. She is not with him. This type of “wanting” is different than the one people sometimes confuse it with. Yes, you will still want your partner once you get together, in that you will want to spend time with them, you will want to share things with them, you will want to experience the next thing like marrying them or having children with them. But longing is definitely different from that. Longing implies that you do not have this person at all. If Mary is longing to be with Francis, then she feels like she still needs to manifest this relationship.
If you find yourself still in the state of longing, take Neville’s advice:
“I will contemplate the desired state until I get the feeling or reaction that satisfies. (…) I am filled with the emotion that implies the act is completed.”
Repeat the imaginal act until you feel the satisfaction.
Now, this is where Neville mentions another thing that I consider to be important. We have already learned that signs follow, they do not precede. The signs that this applies to are the signs that follow the imaginal act. However, there is another kind of signs. In the past, some of us needed a sign in order to start changing things in our lives in the first place. This is what Neville says about that:
“I do not wait for signs to appear; it is when I am most aware of my restrictions and feel the pressures, then is when I must learn to die. I must learn to let go of what my senses dictate and ‘go mad’ and yield to what is only a dream. But sustaining it and living in it, I die to what was physically real as I gradually lift up what was only the dream.”
We do not need any special sign “from above” to shift our state. Not being happy with where we are right now is the sign enough. Knowing the Law, we know that we can change the circumstances of our lives and we do not need to fulfill any prerequisites to be able to do that.
But the shift must be complete. Or as Neville says in this lecture:
“If you hold back within yourself, wonder, ‘What will I play as my last card if this doesn’t work?’ then you have not yielded, you have not nailed yourself to it.”
When you are a beginner, you may want to keep yourself safe, so to speak. You may want to try this out but you also want an alternative in case this doesn’t work. This implies doubt. Another thing that it implies is that you aren’t ready to take that full leap of faith. However, most of us sooner or later get to the point where we think, “Either this works and I get out of this situation or it doesn’t work and I am back at the start. I have nothing to lose.” That’s when we finally take that leap of faith. That being said, it doesn’t mean that you have to get to that point in order to be able to fully take the leap of faith. You don’t have to wait until you feel cornered and see no other way out. Actually, the sooner you do it, the faster you will get the results!
“It means dying mentally. Man dies to ill health, or poverty, or to disharmony, etc., but he does it by yielding to other states.”
So, do not be afraid to die to the things that do not serve you. Do not be afraid to leave behind the things that you do not want in your life. You know the Law and you know what you should be able to achieve with it. It is time to test it. Knowing is not enough. You have to put it to practice.
“…states remain and man passes through states, as through cities. If I do not pass through some state, but remain in it, I think [it] is the only reality. You cannot conceive of a state that is not, for the whole is finished; but man is awakening only by dying to state after state.”
Therefore, decide to die to what you no longer wish to be. Do not stay in states that you do not consider positive and think that you cannot get out of it. That would be like taking your own power away.
If Mary wants to be with Francis, she must die to the state of being abandoned. That version of herself should no longer exist in her mind. She should now live in the state of being loved and cared for. But if she continues to think from the state of being abandoned, it will seem to her like that is the only reality that exists out there.
Mary knows that there are unnumbered states but because she keeps entertaining this one, this is all she is seeing. This illusion is deceiving her into thinking that different states may be wishful thinking. As long as she doesn’t decide to change this and consciously starts thinking from a different state, she will be stuck in this state and argue that there are no other options. Mary remembers what she once read in Neville’s lecture The Art of Dying:
“All things are burned up when we cease to behold them.”
Knowing this to be the truth, Mary can now consciously shift into the state of being loved. The state of being abandoned will cease to exist in her reality because she will move her attention away from it. But she must do this fully. She must take the leap of faith and not look back because, as Neville says:
“If I am true to the likeness of what I behold, then I – the “old” man – cannot go into the new state.”
Therefore, she must completely abandon that old state of hers. She will no longer entertain the state of being unloved or abandoned. Those states are the states that she had moved on from.
Many of us find this shift to be somewhat “difficult” at first. A question is often asked, “Do I need to believe my affirmations before I shift” or, “Do I need to believe my scene is real?” Neville gives us the answer to that as well:
“It is so unnatural to feel myself to be the man I want to be and to actually get into that state and ride it without being thrown by reason, which tells me I am made. But if you know the Lord is your Imagination, you can ride it into Jerusalem.”
The reason, your logical mind, will try to fight back. These are the moments when you have to decide whether or not you want to believe the logical mind, which doesn’t see beyond the world of effect, or do you want to continue doing the imaginal work, which is the cause of all things that we observe in the world of Caesar. Always keep in mind that this is how this reality works: Your imagination is the cause. Your physical reality is the effect. The opposite does not apply.
It may feel unnatural. You may want to give up because you can’t make your logical mind shut up at first. However, the more you practice, the easier it becomes! Like with anything else in this world, practice makes a master.
It all comes down to this:
“I try to catch the feeling that would be mine if [I were] the man I [want] to be, but that involves a death. I must abandon myself to my dreams as if it were true, and – living in it – I lift it up and make it real.”
In this lecture, Neville gives us two great examples that I want to mention here. The first one is slightly more on the theoretical side. He says:
“Can you not see then how it is with your friend who always tells you the same things, even though you have not seen him for ten years? Everything is still recurring, nothing is new, but that makes him feel secure. Man does not want change; it frightens him.”
I am sure that there is at least one person in your life that hasn’t changed their state in months or even years. Think about it! Think about that one person that is always complaining about the same thing, again and again. Maybe it’s somebody who is constantly complaining about being unemployed or maybe it’s somebody who is constantly complaining about their partner not spending enough time with them. Maybe it’s somebody who is constantly arguing with their parents or somebody who just cannot seem to get enough money to pay their bills. Whoever this person is, we must keep two things in mind! First thing is, we can change their state by seeing them as the version of them that already has their desire. If it’s a friend that is unemployed, see them as employed. If it’s a friend that is complaining about their partner, see them as somebody who is in a happy, fulfilling relationship. If it’s somebody who is constantly arguing with their parents, see them as a person who has a healthy relationship with their parents. If it’s somebody who can’t pay their bills, see them as wealthy. The second thing is, they seemingly cannot leave this state because they keep thinking from it. They keep reacting to it. They are focusing on the problem instead of the solution. Now, combining the two things that I have mentioned would be a very good way to test the Law, so feel free to use it because not only will you prove to yourself that you can change another’s state but you will also prove to yourself that you do not have to stay in one state permanently, that different states really do exist and that focusing on the solution is the way to go about this.
Now, there is another thing that people sometimes ask us and that is, isn’t it selfish or even greedy to use the Law in such a way? Isn’t it “wrong” to affect other people’s lives, especially if they seem to want something else or enjoy their current damnation? Well, the answer is no. We must understand that no matter what, we are always affecting other people’s lives, whether we do it by keeping them in negative states or positive states. Knowing that, wouldn’t it be better to affect them from a positive state, then?
“Do not think you are greedy because you are demanding things or the changing of things. You are here to create as your Father creates. Want what you want and yield to it and create it. (…) You are the only one who can clothe it in reality. But it remains a state unless you yield to it.”
This brings us to the last part of this lecture which is dedicated to revision. Neville says:
“The past can be unmade. So a man has done this or that. Use your strange Imagination and ‘turn the great wheel backward until Troy unburns.’ It means to revise.”
I admit I am guilty of not using this great tool nearly as much as I should but I do know that it works. However, it is one thing to know that it works and another to apply it in our lives. We can be aware of the existence of work and yet never apply for a single job. In a case like that, we cannot expect to be paid or to get the same benefits as those that are employed. So, if you are one of the people who hasn’t been using revision that much, I invite you to read this article and see how revision can help you to die mentally to the old story.
That being said, I will end this post by sharing with you a story from this lecture that isn’t often shared in the Neville forums but it is absolutely fascinating, nonetheless. It’s a story about revision and how powerful it can be when used.
“I know a lady who burned her hand and then ‘unburned’ it. She poured boiling water on her hand. She lay on the couch and tried to undo mentally what had been done. It was difficult because of the pain but she kept trying. She redid the scene and poured the boiling water on the tea and brewed it and then she drank the tea. She did it over and over and finally in the act of thus making the tea she fell asleep. When she awoke some hours later, there was no trace of the burn. She wrote: ‘You would have thought I should go right to the hospital, but now there is not even a sign of the burn.'”