Let’s Read: Believe It In
In this post, I will be analyzing a lecture titled Believe It In from 1969. You can find it and download it here. As always, I invite you to read the entire lecture by yourself as well.
A Couple of Powerful Reminders
Neville starts this lecture by saying that:
“The objective reality of this world is solely produced by the human imagination, in which all things exist.”
This is an important reminder to all of us, especially those among us that tend to forget this from time to time and resort to telling ourselves the old stories. Once we start testing the Law, that is when we realize just how malleable the reality is and how easily things can change when we persist in our imaginal acts. However, it is quite normal to “forget” this at times and get caught up in circumstances. If this is still happening to you, you have nothing to worry about because it is a part of your habitual thinking and as you continue applying the Law, you will notice that, after a while, you will start resorting to different thoughts automatically. Thoughts that are in line with the first sentence of this lecture will become the thoughts that you will resort to. Powerful reminders such as this one will become a part of your thinking. It’s only a matter of applying the Law consistently and persistently until our own experiences become the best proof.
Or, as Neville puts it:
“Your life is nothing more than the outpicturing of your imaginal activity, for your imagination fulfills itself in what your life becomes.”
Changing Your Imaginal Activity
“Claim what you want to be aware of here and now, and – although your reasonable mind denies it and your senses deny it – if you will assume it, with feeling, your inward activity, established and perpetuated, will objectify itself in the outside world – which is nothing more than your imaginal activity, objectified. To attempt to change the circumstances of your life before you change its imaginal activity, is to labor in vain.”
I know some of you have been here from the beginning and saw me explain this in many posts before but I also know that some beginners to Neville’s work actually take the word “feeling” to mean “emotion” so in the following paragraph, I will explain what he actually means. If you are familiar with Neville’s teachings, you can skip to the paragraph after.
Neville isn’t talking about emotions. He is talking about the feeling of naturalness. In some other lectures, some of which I’ve covered so far as well, he actually tells us to ask ourselves what would the feeling be like if we were now the people that we want to be? When you ask yourself that question, do not imagine yourself separate from that person or state. Imagine yourself being that person, being in that state. If you imagine yourself as separate from that person, or rather the state that you wish to be in, you may feel excited, even giddy. However, if you actually imagine yourself already being in that state, then you would very likely feel calm, confident, secure, relaxed, proud or even neutral. You would simply have the knowing that you have what you desire. To me personally, this feeling can be described as confidence/knowing that what I want is mine. Even if I know, consciously, that I still have a bridge of incidents to walk over, I am not moved by the circumstances.
But another very important thing that Neville tells us in this lecture is that we cannot expect to see a change before we change our own imaginal acts. Now, I have mentioned this several times before. We are creatures of habits. Our habitual thinking patterns come from the current programming of our subconscious mind. In order to change these, we have to impress our subconscious mind with something different, with the programming that is more desirable to us. We do this through SATS and lullaby technique. There are, of course, other techniques, but these seem to be the easiest because, as Neville says in Feeling is the Secret, sleep and prayer are the gateways to our subconscious mind. If we persistently use these techniques, our automatic imaginal acts/thoughts will change.
Sure, they may not change right away. Some of the old habitual thoughts may still come up from time to time but the difference will be that we will feel like these habitual thoughts no longer relate to us. In a way, we will be detached from them. They will not affect us and we will not react to them. For example, if somebody was manifesting a higher income and they suddenly got laid off, because of their new programming they would simply see this new circumstance as a bridge of incidents. Their faith in their imaginal act would prevail. Of course, if that person is a beginner, this may actually set them back and that is perfectly understandable. Until you have tested the Law and manifested some things, until you have that proof that this works, you won’t have that kind of faith but that is why persistence is so important.
This also applies to other people. In Neville’s words:
“…if you want someone to change, you must change your imaginal activity, for it is the one and only cause of your life. And you can believe anything in if you will not accept the facts your senses dictate; for nothing is impossible to imagine, and imagining – persisted in and believed – will create its own reality.”
If you wish to see the change in somebody else’s behaviour, you must first change your own imaginal acts. For example, that teacher that is always bothering you? The one that seems to be fair to everyone but you? Once you change your imaginal act, so that you imagine them as fair and kind, that is when their behaviour towards you will change.
To further explain the example I just gave you, in accordance with the quote that I gave you as well – the imaginal act during which you see this teacher as somebody who is fair and kind is the act of you not accepting the facts that your senses dictate. Your senses are telling you that this person is mean, unfair, maybe even rude. This is where we have to understand that the outside reality, the World of Caesar, the 3D world, the physical reality, whatever you wish to call it, is just the effect. The cause is always spiritual. That means that the cause of their behaviour are our own imaginal acts. We are the ones continuously imagining them as rude, unfair and mean. Once we change that, once we deny what our senses dictate, and persist in that new imaginal act, that is when the world will change as well. Their behaviour will change. We will no longer be robbing them of the opportunity to be nice to us but we will also no longer be robbing ourselves of the opportunity to have a pleasant experience with this teacher.
What our senses are showing us is always the consequence of the imaginal acts. We are taught to look at the World of Caesar and base our reasoning on the current appearance of things. What Neville is teaching is radically different: your imaginal act is the cause. You wouldn’t be seeing what you are seeing if it wasn’t for your imaginal acts. The imaginal act precedes what you are seeing in the World of Caesar. Remind yourself of that anytime you feel like blaming things on somebody or something else.
But being aware of it isn’t enough. As Neville says:
“This doesn’t mean that, just because you heard my vision you are going to enjoy wealth; you must apply what you heard, and remember when.”
Just to explain the last part of that quote before I go further into explaining it, he is referring the “I remember when” technique. Using this particular phrase helps us put the current circumstances into the past, so to speak. It helps us view them from the state of the wish fulfilled. In that state, the state of wanting something seems like a distant past. This particular technique helped me get rid of a third party a long time ago and you may read about it here.
However, the point of Neville’s words here is that knowing about the Law isn’t enough. You have to apply it. You have to put it to the test. Use the techniques that he had shared with us. In one of the podcast episodes, I shared an example that most of us can relate to: we all know how to lose weight but if we actually want to lose it, we have to put that formula to work.
The same thing applies when it comes to this wonderful Law but there is another dimension to it: whether you apply it or not, it will still work in your life. You will still be seeing your imaginal acts outpictured. It’s just that if you don’t apply it consciously, if you don’t control the imaginal acts, these imaginal acts may actually turn into circumstances that you do not wish to experience.
“When I say all things exist in the human imagination, I mean infinite states; for everything possible for you to experience now, exists in you as a state of which you are its operant power. Only you can make a state become alive. You must enter a state and animate it in order for it to outpicture itself in your world.”
Now, I have had people ask me if this or that is possible. Anything is possible because, as we just saw from Neville’s words, infinite states exist and they are just waiting for us to animate them by entering them and feeling their reality until they become our new dwelling place. Persistent imagination is the key. You do not do it once and then give up.
You also do not try a thousand different techniques but each one you try once and then claim it doesn’t work. Persistence isn’t only about continuing to stick to the imaginal act that you wish to experience. It’s also about choosing one technique and sticking to it. But you have to test it! It isn’t enough to know the formula. You have to put it to the test.
“Now, if imagination works this way, and it proves itself in the testing time and time again, what does it matter what the world thinks? It costs you nothing to try it, and what a change in life it will produce for you. Try it, for you will prove it in performance.”
Cause of the Phenomena of Life
I mentioned this already, but before we recognize that the cause of the things that we are experiencing in this life is spiritual, we will automatically blame it on the outside. And it will seem so logical to our conscious/rational minds!
We are now going to return to the example with the teacher. For a minute, put yourself in the place of somebody who has felt that their teacher treated them unfairly. A person that feels that way may think, “Of course she gave me a bad grade once again! She is always so unfair to me. She prefers other students over me. She has favourites. She doesn’t like me and I will never be able to do my tasks to her satisfaction.” To this person, it seems so logical that they are being given a bad grade for good work because they think that their teacher is unfair. But here is what Neville has to say about that:
“Aware of what your senses and reason dictate, you may believe that you are limited, unwanted, ignored, and mistreated; and your world confirms your belief in your imaginal activity. And if you do not know that your awareness is causing this mistreatment, you will blame everyone but yourself; yet I tell you the only cause of the phenomena of life is an imaginal activity. There is no other cause.”
Sometimes people have a hard time taking responsibility for things that have gone wrong in their lives before they knew about Neville’s teachings or the Law. Some may even call it victim blaming. The point of these teachings isn’t to blame the victim. It is to give back the power to those who feel they have been wronged. Whether or not there was a particular imaginal act that preceded it is irrelevant.
We don’t start by digging through the past. We start by applying this knowledge in the present moment, by changing our lives from this moment on and not by looking for reasons for why something happened.
“I say to everyone: the whole vast world is now in your human imagination, and you can bring any desire out of it by believing it into being.”
It is very easy to get caught up in this but repeating the old story won’t do us any good. In this particular lecture, Neville says:
“Man insists on talking about his problems. He seems to enjoy recounting them and cannot believe that all he needs to do is state his desire clearly. If you believe that imagination creates reality, you will never allow yourself to dwell on your problems, for you will realize that as you do you perpetuate them all the more.”
The word that Neville uses here is “believe” and I do want to talk about that for a minute. I have seen people who come across these teachings and start forcing themselves to be positive because they think that this is what he means. They think that not repeating the old story means that you literally have to ignore what is right in front of you. This is something that I have discussed in this episode of the podcast and I won’t go into too much detail here but it’s never about closing your eyes before the current circumstances. It’s about taking the importance away from them.
I, myself, am guilty of putting myself in such a position when I was new to this whole thing. I thought that all my thoughts have to be perfectly aligned with where I want to be. But the truth is, for most beginners, this is almost impossible. When you’ve spent 20-30-40 years of your life basing your judgment on the outside world and not disciplining your mind, not realizing that the cause of the phenomena of life are your own imaginal acts, it is hard to suddenly shift and become able to control every thought that you have. Luckily for us, this is not what believing means.
People sometimes say that they will believe something when they see it. With the Law, we know that we will see it when we believe it. But we don’t just magically shift into the state of believing. If it takes work to get there, then we do the work. And once we start seeing consistent results, that is when most of us will be able to control our thoughts in that manner. It doesn’t mean you will be able to control every thought you have. It simply means that you will be more aware of what kind of thoughts you are entertaining. For example, if you have consistently manifested health for other people and somebody falls sick, you will not do your SATS but at the same time think, “Will this really work?” You will do them knowing that they will work, knowing that your imaginal act will become a fact because you have seen it materialize before.
And trust me, it is perfectly alright to have doubts and questions when you first start this. To build further on the example I just gave you, the first time you try and heal somebody through SATS, you will indeed be doubting it. I guess, in a way, it could seem that you will believe it when you see it. But when we think about it a bit more, belief was still there, except it wasn’t the belief in the imaginal act or the technique but more like this trust that this is what is going to make things better, that this is what is going to change the seeming other’s state.
One way of telling what state you are currently dwelling in is by paying attention to your thoughts. Usually, when the subconscious mind has been reprogrammed, our thoughts change. Maybe not completely at first but they will change. Personally, I can tell that something has shifted when I stop identifying with the thoughts that I used to identify with. They start feeling less relevant.
“Start now to become aware of what you are thinking, for as you think, you imagine. Only then can you steer a true course to your definite end. If you lose sight of that end, however, you can and will be moved by seeming others. But if you keep your mind centered in the awareness of dwelling in your destination, you cannot fail.”
The Simplicity of the Law
“The law is simple: ‘As you sow, so shall you reap.'”
The Law is simple, although it may not always be easy to apply. The thing that you sow are your imaginal acts. The thing that you will reap are manifestations in the World of Caesar.
To end this post, I leave you with this quote from the lecture. It is a quote which may appear to simplify SATS and the Law but if you have been studying Neville’s work for a while, then this simplicity may make things click for you:
“Commit your spirit to your imaginal act, relax and fall asleep knowing its redemption is assured. Then when you least expect it, God will prove to you that he has redeemed you by awakening in you, as you.”