Neville Goddard, popularly known simply as Neville, was born on 19 February 1905 in St. Michael, Barbados in the British West Indies, to Joseph Nathaniel Goddard, a merchant, and Wilhelmina Goddard. He was the fourth child in a family of nine boys and one girl. Not much is known about Neville Goddard before the age of 17, but in 1922 at the age of 17, he came to the United States on board the S.S. Vasari, where he began dancing.
Neville Goddard studied drama, and it was during this time that he met his first wife, Mildrid Mary Hughes, eight years his senior, whom he married in 1923 and had a son with in 1924 at the age of 19. Their son was named Joseph Neville Goddard, after his father and grandfather. Neville Goddard’s marriage to his first wife was short-lived, however, and he remained single for a time before meeting his second wife in the 1930s.
It was during a tour with his dance company in England that he developed an interest in metaphysics after he was given some books to read by a Scotsman whom he had struck conversations with earlier. His curiosity was peaked after his discussions, and reading the books the man gave him. He was so intrigued that when he returned to New York after his tour, he gave up his role in the entertainment industry so that he could devote all of his time and attention to the study of mystical and spiritual matters.
Neville Goddard met his second wife, and he immediately knew she was his wife. However, although he had been separated from his wife shortly after he turned 19 years old, Neville had never officially gotten a divorce from her, so his separation was not considered legal in New York. This proved to be a problem when, about 16 years after his separation, Neville fell in love again and wanted to marry this woman but could not do so because he was still legally married.
According to his claims, Neville decided to manifest his marriage to this girl, despite his issues with separation from his first wife, and it became his reality.
“I went to bed and slept as though I was happily married to the girl who now bears my name. I did not have any physical emotion with her: just that she was sleeping there, and I am here, and it’s blissful. I did that for one solid week.”
His manifestations were made into reality when his estranged wife was picked up for shoplifting, and he was called to court to testify on her behalf. Neville pleaded with the court, and she was sentenced to six months, which was later suspended on his plea, after which she asked for the papers and soon after, they were legally divorced.
Neville married Catherine Willa Van Schumus, his second wife in 1942, and they had a daughter named Victoria later that year.
In 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army at age 38, which he did not want, especially since he felt he was too old to become a soldier and had a wife and daughter at home to take care of. Through the power of imagination, as Neville told it in his March 24, 1972 lecture, he was honorably discharged after just a few weeks of training. One consequence of his brief Army training was that he received full United States citizenship, having been a British citizen up to this point.
Neville explained in his lecture on March 24 1972, the story of how through the power of manifestation he manifested his honorable discharge and got a citizenship out of it.
Neville was required under British Law, as a Barbadian, to join the army. He was 38 years old at the time, leaving his wife and baby back home in New York behind. Neville had no interest in being in the army, but he had no choice other than being dishonorably discharged, which he did not want.
Despite his expressed wishes to be discharged, his commander had no desire to do so and his word was law. Instead of accepting his fate, Neville would go to sleep each night, visualizing that he was in his own bed, walking around his apartment and touching his furniture. He believed in his mind that he was home and every morning, he would get dressed fully ready and eager to depart to leave the army.
Nine days after he started manifesting his desire, Neville’s commander called him in and asked him to sit. A command that was unheard of as soldiers were required to stand at attention.
The commander asked him, “Do you really want to leave?” and Neville said, yes, he did. After Neville had rejected all reasons given by the commander for him to stay, he got an honorable discharge. A consequence of his brief Army training was that he received full United States citizenship, having been a British citizen up to this point.
The Mystic Ethiopian – Abdullah
Abdullah, commonly known as the black Mystic from Ethiopia, was Neville Goddard’s spiritual leader. A brilliant Jewish rabbi who lectured on esoteric Christianity under whose mentorship Neville learned a lot, for five years. Neville credited much of what he learned in his spiritual journey to the man, telling stories of his time with him and how he had come to learn under him.
Their first meeting itself was extraordinary; filled with lots of spiritual enrichment for Neville. “When I first met Abdullah in 1931, I entered a room where he was speaking and when the speech ended, he came over to me and said,
“Neville, you are six months late.” I had never seen the man before, so I said: “I am six months late? How do you know me?” and he replied: “The brothers told me that you were coming, and you are six months late’’
Neville had explained the reason for his lateness in a meeting he had;
“I was late because the one who told me of Abdullah was a Catholic priest. I loved him dearly, but I thought he was almost a moron. His father, a rumrunner in the days of prohibition, left him two million dollars, which he proceeded to lose on Wall Street the first year. The only wonderful thing he did was to take the last $15,000 and give it to a Catholic organization to care for his mother the rest of her earthly days. So, having no respect for his judgment, when he told me about Abdullah I postponed going to hear him until one day I could find no excuse. When Ab called me by name I said: “I don’t know you” and he replied: “Oh yes you do, but you have forgotten. We were together in China thousands of years ago, but you promised to completely forget in order to play the part you must play now.”
Abdullah was a man who took great pride in the color of his skin and the culture of his heritage. He, through the power of manifestation, did not face any of the problems faced by the blacks at the time. He often sat in the front rows at theaters, mixed in with all sorts of people, despite it being a time of segregation.
Abdullah was a straightforward man, expressing himself exactly the way he felt. He had a charismatic method of teaching and sharing knowledge with his students and followers, a method Neville picked up and applied in his teachings.
Abdullah had the ability to attract people from all walks of life to attend his teachings. His wonderful philosophies coupled with his gifted spiritual abilities were part of the appeal that drew others to him. His impartation of scriptural knowledge was very easy to understand. He explained the scriptures, shedding light and explaining the secrets in the Bible that could confound the ordinary mind in a way that was easily understood and could be applied in their daily lives. Abdullah shared Bible secrets, unveiling truths that were otherwise hidden.
Live as Though You Were
An important teaching by Abdullah was about having total belief in the power of imagination. ‘’Live as though you are there.’’ Initially Neville was not able to grasp the concept fully. However, Abdullah’s patient method of imparting this teaching helped Neville in truly understanding it.
In 1933, during the great depression, Neville had complained to Abdullah about how he had not seen his family in almost 12 years and that he had a hungry desire to go home to Barbados. It was the first time Abdullah taught him to apply the principle of “Living as though you were”
“You are in Barbados,” Abdullah told him, “Yes. You are now in Barbados. And so… you see Barbados, and you see America from Barbados, and you can smell the tropical land of Barbados, see only the little homes of Barbados, and that’s all you do. You just simply sleep this night in Barbados.”
Although Neville thought it was insane, he practiced it anyway, going to bed that night with the thought that he had slept in his bed in Barbados. When after a week, nothing happened, he went to Abdullah to talk to him about it, but the older man would not say a word, slamming his door instead, as he went into his library.
After trying to discuss it about three times, he gave up because Abdullah would not answer him. It went on for some time until the fourth day of December when he received a letter from his brother, under his door. His brother, who he did not speak to much, had sent him a third-class ticket to return home but when he returned to Abdullah excitedly, the man was not excited about the first class ticket but instead questioned him on why he thought he would be returning home in third class. While he waited to board, he was told that someone in first class had canceled, and he had been moved upward to first class.
Neville learned that the most important thing was to believe in your imagined reality as though it had rally happened without any doubt. Belief is the key behind manifesting as well as living your reality. Once Neville learned that you manifest what you feel and believe is the truth and reality, through his own life experience guided by Abdullah, he proceeded to impart these teachings to others in the following years, helping many across the world manifest their desired reality.
Although they had started off as teacher and student, their relationship had become more than just that over time, leaning towards friendship and companionship, communing and sharing experiences that were often a learning process for Neville. For example, the first opera Neville had ever gone to was with Abdullah on a Good Friday. Their genuine fondness and conversations are what contributed so much to the consolidation of spiritual learnings in Neville.
They believed that humans are the creator of this world and are clothed in a human form moving through life. There are endless possibilities made available to us, opportunities that provide us with whatever we can possibly want and imagine. They believed that as long as a belief system is practiced and not a single moment is spent thinking that what you want has not happened, you will definitely get them.
Although Abdullah is commonly mentioned in line with Neville and some other notable persons, much of what we all know about Abdullah the mystical rabbi is through stories and mentioned by other spiritual leaders such as Joseph Murphy and many other people who met him. Although he was hardly known, his teachings have gained him a much-needed reputation, causing many people to wonder at the mystery of the man. The curiosity surrounding his person only stood to show how very important and relevant his teachings have come to be. Passed down from teacher to students and followers, his teachings on the path towards spiritual growth and awakening have been held dear through time.
After Abdullah had taught Neville for years, he closed his door to him.
The works of Neville Goddard
Neville Goddard had 10 published books, over 300 lectures, and over 150 taped audios that he produced over the years. He held lectures which were attended by many followers.
Here is a list of Neville Goddard’s books with the dates they were published;
At Your Command (1939)
Your Faith Is Your Fortune (1941)
Freedom for All—A Practical Application of the Bible (1942)
Feeling Is the Secret (1944)
Prayer—The Art of Believing (1946)
Out of This World (1949)
The Creative Use of Imagination (1952)
The Power of Awareness (1952)
Awakened Imagination (1954)
Seedtime and Harvest (1956)
The Law and the Promise (1961)
- Feeling Is the secret:
His most popular book, ‘Feeling is the secret’ teaches the reader how to shape your thoughts to match the reality that you desire to see in order to expand your mind’s limitations until they are effectively neutralized.
A book with very few pages and words that are easy to understand, ‘Feeling is the Secret’ describes how our thoughts and feelings affect who we become and what we achieve. When we have the power to change them, we gain the power to change our circumstances, our health, and our life’s purpose.
- The Power of Awareness:
The Power of Awareness presents summarizes Neville Goddard’s philosophy that we can control the world around us simply with a picture in the mind’s eye, created by our altering our thoughts and feelings.
- Prayer: The Art of Believing:
Prayer: The Art of Believing details Neville’s powerful meditation on the meaning and method of prayer. In this book, Neville Goddard teaches how to pray until you envision the life you want in your mind’s eye and manifest it.
Neville Goddard believed that imagination is the beginning of creation and that imagining what you desire and believing it to be true could make even the most impossible dreams, by human standards, become not just possible, but also easy to attain as long as you’re disciplined enough to believe and want it.
- Be What You Wish:
Be What You Wish holds the promise that we can have, be, and do whatever we desire.
Neville believed that humans hold the power to navigate the course of their lives and change it whether for better or for worse depending on what we desire or wish for. By affirming that our imaginations are the reality that we wish to see, we can effectively change the world and the future
He believed that as long as we strive hard to better ourselves, nothing would stop us from having everything we needed.
- The Wealth Mindset: Understanding the Mental Path to Wealth:
The Wealth Mindset was written by Neville to guide the reader on how to achieve success by first changing our mentality.
This book seeks to help break the mental bondage the world has created by limiting our view and attitude towards certain things. As it is with all his books, this book will reveal to you how to use the Law of Assumption to manifest wealth and financial abundance.
- Five Lessons: A Masterclass by Neville Goddard
Five Lessons is a collection of the 5 most important Neville Goddard teachings on manifesting with the Law of Assumption.
The five lessons include:
- Consciousness Is the Only Reality
- Assumptions Harden into Fact
- Thinking Fourth-Dimensionally
- No One to Change but Self
- Remain Faithful to Your Idea
- Awakened Imagination:
Awakened Imagination by Neville Goddard seeks to explore the power of imagination and how you can manifest what you want using the power of the mind.
Mastering the ability to imagine and focus on what you desire, without doubt, is what makes it possible to attract newer, better, more positive things into your life and the life of those around you.
- The Law and The Promise
In the book, The Law and The Promise, Neville strives to show through actual true stories, how imagining creates reality.
“The claim that imagining creates reality needs no more consideration than is allowed by science. It proves itself in performance.”
- Out Of This World:
Out Of This World explains the power of imagination and offers detailed visualization and mediation techniques that feel like they are out of this world.
This book serves to show how to tear the veil that keeps us limited to the three-dimensional world, teaching us what the fourth dimensional is all about.
The ability to think in the fourth dimension manifests a change in your future and helps to create a new understanding of the physical world.
Neville Goddard’s books all serve to teach the same thing; the power of the mind.
Neville Goddard’s belief in the Bible.
The answer to the question of whether Neville believed in the Bible is neither yes nor no. Neville believed that the characters in the Bible were stories created to hide the secrets that his books and teachings served to reveal to his followers. He believed the Bible in its entirety is parables written to us and not the lives of real people compiled to teach us.
Neville believed that our consciousness is the kingdom of heaven within us and that it is because we are Gods that we have the power to manifest our desires from the realm of thoughts into the physical. He believed that the Bible was written in parables by the “Ancients” because they did not want this knowledge ending up only in very few hands that will end up controlling the vast majority whilst preventing them from getting the knowledge that is rightfully theirs.
“Often I have been asked if I believe there was once a man called Jesus and I always answer “No.” I did believe it, but I no longer believe in the historicity of any character in the scripture, for I encounter them as personified states. I have entered the final state which is Jesus and in that state it was revealed to me that I am Jesus and Christ is my son… A Parabolic Revelation.”
Although he used the Bible, he did not use it to propagate a mysterious God we cannot see but used some passages to add credibility to his beliefs.
The Death of Neville Goddard
There are speculations concerning Neville Goddard’s death as there are two stories concerning his death. Neville also predicted his death and had very strong opinions on the topic, believing that until we experienced “The Promise” we would continue to return to the world over and over again.
Neville Goddard predicted his own death, speaking about how his human form would end in his 60s in 1972 at the age of 67. He has also been noted to have been eager to depart, claiming that he would not be concerned if he dropped dead right there since he would just be leaving this life for another one.
There are two stories concerning his death, one being that he died of a heart attack and the other, that he died of an aneurysm. His chauffeur confirmed that he was bleeding from his ears and nose and that it was an aneurysm.
His death solidified the belief of many in his teachings, because he had been able to predict his own death.