Neville Goddard, better known as just Neville, was one
of the quietly dramatic and supremely influential teachers in the New
Thought field for many years...In a simple, yet somehow elegant one-hour
lecture, Neville was able to clarify the nature of God and God's
relationship to every person. He spoke of God in intimate terms as though
he knew God very well, which he did.
Joseph Murphy, a writer and lecturer, who studied with
Neville in New York City, said of him: "Neville may eventually be
recognized as one of the world’s great mystics,"
Born on Barbados in the British West Indies, Neville
was the fourth child in a family of nine boys and one girl. One day some
of them were playing near an old wind-swept hut by the sea. A seer lived
in the hut and told them their fortunes, The older sons would go into the
professions, into medicine, into business. The predictions for them came
true. The Goddard family is one of the most prominent and influential
families on the island.
"Do not touch the fourth one," the seer said,
pointing to Neville, "he has a special mission to perform in the
world – from God." And to Neville, "You will journey to a
distant land and spend your life there." This prediction also came
true. As a young man he went to America and worked in some of the
department stores in New York City. Later, he worked in the theatre with
Under unusual circumstances, he met a black Jew, named
Abdullah, who lectured on Christianity. Neville went to hear him, somewhat
under protest, to satisfy the constant urging of a friend, "Whose
judgment I did not respect,” Neville said, "because he made such
poor financial investments."
Neville said he was seated in the auditorium waiting
for the lecture to begin, when the speaker - who had never met Neville
came down the aisle from the rear of the auditorium to the stage.
"You are late, Neville!" Abdullah said,
"six months' late! I have been told to expect you." From this
introduction, Neville studied with Abdullah seven days a week for seven
"Abdullah taught me Hebrew, he taught me The
Kabbalah, and he taught me more about real Christianity than anyone I ever
met," Neville declared.
Neville originally came to the United States to study
drama at the age of seventeen. In 1932 he gave up the theater to devote
his attention to his studies in mysticism when he began his lecture career
in New York City. After traveling throughout the country, he eventually
made his home in Los Angeles where, in the late 1950’s, he gave a series
of talks on television, and for many years, lectured regularly to capacity
audiences at the Wilshire Ebell Theater. In the 1960's and early ‘70s,
he confined most of his lectures to Los Angeles, New York, and San
Neville once said that if he was stranded on an island
and was allowed one book, he would choose, The Bible, without hesitation.
If he could squeeze in more, he would add Charles Fillmore’s
Metaphysical Dictionary of Bible names, William Blake, (“... Why stand
we here trembling around, Calling on God for help, and not ourselves, in
whom God dwells?”) and Nicoll’s Commentaries. These were the books he
recommended at his lectures.
In his lectures and books, Neville dealt solely with
The Law until the year 1959, "For I did not know of The Promise until
I began to experience it and have it unfold within me beginning that
summer and continuing during the next three-and-one-half years. And this
is Scriptural," he would say, "read it in the of Book of Daniel
where it is referred to as ‘a time, times, and a half.' It comes to 1260
days in your experience of it."
In his use of The Law, he related how he made a sea
voyage from New York to see his family in Barbados during the Depression,
without any money of his own. He related how, by the use of imaginal
power, he was honorably discharged from military service to continue his
lectures during World War 11. He gave his audiences in San Francisco in
the 1950's and ‘60s accounts of how others had made use of The Law. He
discussed it on television in the Los Angeles area, "Learn how to use
your imaginal power, lovingly, on behalf of others, for Man is moving into
a world where everything is subject to his imaginal power," he
In the latter part of the 1960's and early ‘70's
Neville gave more emphasis to The Promise after he had experienced it. The
use of imaginal power can change circumstances, but it is all temporary,
“– and will vanish like smoke,” he asserted with another sweep of
his hand. "Oh. – you can use it to make a fortune, to become known
in the world – all these things are done – but your true purpose here
is to fulfill Scripture," so he subordinated it and became as eager
to hear accounts by those who had experienced The Promise, and sharing
such accounts, as he had of those with The Law.
In the last years of his life he said, "I know my
time is short. I have finished the work I have been sent to do and I am
now eager to depart. I know I will not appear in this three-dimensional
world again for The Promise has been fulfilled in me. As for where I go, I
will know you there as I have known you here, for we are all brothers,
infinitely in love with each other."
This discovery Neville called God’s “Promise."
There is nothing any person can do to earn it. It is sheer Grace and comes
in its own good time.
If you do not experience it in this life, then what?
"You pass through a door -- that's all that death
is," Neville said, "and -- you are restored to life instantly in
a world like this -- just this world," he was fond of saying to his
audiences with a sweep of his hand, "and you go on there with the
same problems you had here with no loss of identity – not old, not
blind, not crippled, if you depart this life that way, but young. They
grow, and they marry, and they die there, too, with all the fear of death
that we have here. And if they die there without experiencing The Promise,
they are restored to life again and again in a place beat suited to the
work yet to be done on them. And it continues until 'Christ be formed in
you' and as 'sons of The Resurrection' you leave this world of death never
to enter it gain."
"You are born once through the womb of woman, once
from above," Neville insists you don't go through any womb again.
What about the fear many have of eternal hell and
damnation? In response to this often asked question, Neville replied with
a quote from Scriptures, "’Not one shall be lost in all my holy
mountain.’ You are God and how could God eternally condemn
Until we awaken and make this discovery, we are
privileged to use a Law, given by God, to "cushion the blows of
life.” The Law, stated succinctly is this, In Neville's words:
"Imagining creates reality,"
Neville spoke without notes and followed his lectures
with questions and answers. When he was asked if he had tapes of his
lectures for sale, he replied, "I have no tapes. Others here are
making tapes for their own use, Perfectly all right. But I have no
There are many tapes of his lectures In Los Angeles and
San Francisco circulating, thanks to the loyalty and dedication of many of
Neville's students and friends who have preserved much of What he said.
His books are also in print.
Neville departed from the Earth plane on October 1,
1972, in Los Angeles.
Although Neville’s career peaked in the late 1950’s
and early 60’s, his message continues to find a place in the hearts of
spiritual readers throughout the world today.