Who Was Neville Goddard?


If you’ve never heard of Neville Goddard before, I’ve provided the following excellent  biography, written by Margaret Ruth Broome, who edited the book “The Miracle of Imagination”.  I’ve been reading Neville’s books and teachings for several years now and to me he “rings true”.  I think Neville (along with fellow Mind Science proponent Dr. Joseph Murphy) was way ahead of his time, especially with his assertion that the Bible should be viewed as an instruction book for living and not as a literal or historically accurate account. 

Over 60 years ago he  brilliantly and elegantly distilled the concept that “Imagination Creates Reality” – well before the dawn of The New Age and the media-driven hype of “The Secret”.  I’ve read countless metaphysical books by numerous authors: from self-proclaimed “gurus” and  mystics, to Medical Doctors and Theoretical Physicists, and I still find myself intrigued by Neville and his words. Words which repeatedly remind us that we don’t need to look to someone else to save us – we are, in fact, our own gurus. Instead of searching on the outside for answers to our questions, all we need do is look within since we’re all individualized expressions of Source.

In honor of his work, much of which is out of print and in the Public Domain, I’m posting more than 200 of his lectures here, absolutely free of charge, so you can experiment with his teachings and apply the ideas in your daily life. Share them with your friends and family and see what transpires. Although the lectures were spoken / written in the formal prose of his era, I think you’ll find Neville’s unique perspective on God and the Nature of Personal Reality to be like a breath of fresh air.

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to comment and share your own experiences!

It’s been almost twenty years since I sat in the auditorium of the Women’s Club in Los Angeles, California and watched a man in a gray pinstriped suit walk out on the stage and take his place behind the podium where many tape recorders were placed across the stage. A man would walk by, press the buttons of the many machines, sit down and the speaker would begin.

I have blessed my recorder many times for,  although I attended the hour long lectures for seven years, when I heard the words, “Now let us go into the silence,” I could not recall one word that had been said.

Neville always had the power to take me with him. (Perhaps because I was always eager and willing to go). I seemed to have no control, but would simply be transformed by his words and allow him to take me to experience sights and sounds I never before knew existed. Yet they were all so familiar that my heart sang the Hallelujah Chorus.

The hour was always over much too quickly and I would drive home trying to remember what I had heard, and wondering why I felt so heavy. Was it because I had been so free? It was always that way. Neville had that effect on me. I believed him with all my heart and soul. I still do.

Neville Goddard left us October 1, 1972. But where did he go? I can still see his smile (you know, the kind the cat gets when he has swallowed the canary) and hear him say, “Where can I go but within you!” That’s where I have found him. He is within me, as he is within you, not as a man of flesh and blood, born to the Goddard family and named Neville, but in our own consciousness.

But perhaps that is not the Neville you want to know about. Perhaps you need to know about the boy who was born on February 19, 1905, the fourth son of a family of nine boys and one girl. I will tell you what I know. You must remember, I am sharing with you my memory image of a man who was my teacher. A man I respected greatly and learned to love, with a love deeper than I knew I was capable of possessing. His name was Neville Goddard.

One March morning in the year 1905, a man climbed the stairs of a wooden frame house on the island of Barbados. He was on his way to see his sister and her new baby boy who had not yet been named. Suddenly he stopped. A voice, speaking loud and clear said, “His name is Neville.” Pondering these words, the man continued up the stairs and entered his sister’s room. And when he told her what he had heard she said, “Yes, I know. We shall call him Neville.”

Living in a family of nine boys, Neville learned at an early age how to share. The saying around the house was, “The first dressed is the best dressed,” for if the boys began to argue about who had on who’s tie, their father would end the argument by taking the tie and saying,

“The tie is mine. I paid for it. I am willing to share. Learn to do the same.” And they did.

The Goddard family was poor in material worth, but rich in love. His mother was a disciplinarian. His father a businessman. Neville used to tell us stories of his youth; about the sand crabs with their hind claws, and the old woman who lived alone on the sand dunes who could read the future. It was she who told one of Neville’s brothers that he would be a great businessman, another brother a doctor, but to leave the fourth one alone as he belonged to God.

The fourth one always enjoyed a good laugh. If he had a nickel, he spent it. He used to tell about paying a friend’s way into the movie with the promise that he would laugh out loud at the very saddest part. The friend always kept his promise and, therefore never got to see the end of a movie. Or, he would pay a man whose donkey was in heat, to wait at a corner for Neville and his brothers to arrive riding their big jack-drawn cart. I can still see Neville laugh as I write this…and remember.

What I am trying to tell you is that Neville was a human being, just as you are. Just as I am. Yet, in spite of all of his human frailties, Neville was conscious of being God the Father. But I am getting ahead of my story.

When Neville was still very young (in the fifth or sixth grade, I believe) he was to bring his Bible to school and recite a verse from it. Since the family only owned one Bible, and one of his brothers had already taken it to school, Neville arrived without a Bible. When he recited the verse, “Take up thy bed and walk,” the teacher corrected him saying the verse read, “Take up thy couch and walk.”

And when Neville could not produce his Bible, the teacher made him take off his shirt and pull down his trousers. Then he beat him unmercifully. Neville was taken out of that school to continue his education elsewhere, completing his high school years at the age of seventeen.

Yet there was a hunger in the young man, a hunger that could not be satisfied on the little island of Barbados. So, at the age of seventeen Neville left home for the mainland, arriving in New York in the year 1921. And there, as a young uneducated boy he began to seek his fortune.

Finding a job as an elevator operator for J.C. Penney Company, Neville worked for $15.00 per week until one day he was told that his services were no longer needed. With a recommendation in hand, Neville secured a job on Macy’s shipping dock for $13.00 a week. But this position was short lived as Neville soon became so angry he said to himself, “From this day forward I will not work for another. I will only work for myself.” And that is what he did.

Believing that if others could dance on the stage, he could too, Neville joined an established dancer and began his professional career. It was during this time he married. This union produced a son.

In 1925 Neville and his dancing partner sailed for England and traveled widely in that country. While there he was introduced to the world of psychical research which interested him greatly. Shortly after his return to America in 1926, his interest in mysticism increased as his interest in the theater decreased. And when the depression hit in 1929 and the theaters closed, so did Neville’s professional life as a dancer.

During this time Neville became interested in the Rosicrucian Society and met a man who was to influence his life. The man had thought he wanted to become a Catholic priest. While he was studying for the priesthood, his father, a wealthy businessman died and left an estate of thousands of dollars to his son. Quickly changing his mind about the priesthood, the young man proceeded to spend the money as fast as he could.

Having no respect for a man who would spend so lavishly when the country was in such need, Neville found excuses when asked to attend a class the young man had joined. But one day Neville ran out of excuses and attended the class of an eccentric Ethiopian rabbi named Abdullah.

When the class was dismissed Abdullah came over and, taking Neville’s hand said, “Where have you been? You are three months late! ” Taken aback Neville asked, “How did you know I was coming?” to which Abdullah replied, “The brothers told me.”

With Abdullah, Neville studied the Kabala, a Jewish form of mysticism, and obtained illuminating insights into the books of the Bible. He developed a new approach to the problem of man and his relationship with the pulsating world of spirit around him.

It was Abdullah who taught Neville how to use the law of consciousness and how to see the Bible psychologically. And as Neville began to see the world as a picture world, projected from within, his faith in himself grew.

In February of 1930 Neville began lecturing in New York City. First meeting in a small room of a public building where only a handful of people attended, as his speaking ability grew and he gained confidence in his message, so did his audience.

Neville’s first marriage was short lived and he remained a bachelor for several years until one day a young designer sat in his audience. As she listened, she said to herself, “This is the man I am going to marry.”

And when they shook hands at the end of the lecture, Neville held her hand and said to himself, “This is the woman I am going to marry,” and they did. It was a good marriage. They loved each other deeply, that was obvious, and from this union a daughter was born.

After the war was over, Neville began to travel, holding lectures in various large cities as far west as San Francisco. And then one day he knew it was time to leave New York City. He had hoped to move to San Francisco, as he loved this cosmopolitan city, but this was not to be.

He knew by then that his major work was to be done in Los Angeles so, packing up his wife and child, the Goddard family moved to Los Angeles in 1955. They returned to New York in the fall of 1956, coming back to Los Angeles in 1957.

I am at a loss for dates here, but I do know that during the early years of the 1950′s Neville had his own television program. He made two phonograph records during those years which are now available on (Audio CD) cassette tape. He also debated with teams of ministers, priests and rabbis on special television programs.

Neville taught the Law Of Consciousness in Los Angeles at the Fox Wilshire Theater on Sunday mornings to crowds so large the people were standing outside in throngs to hear his words. He also spent several weeks each year in San Francisco.

It was in San Francisco, on July 20, 1959 that Neville awoke to find himself sealed in a tomb. Removing a stone placed there, he came out of his skull just like a child comes out of its mother’s womb.

From that moment on Neville’s lectures changed. Having awakened from the dream of life, Neville’s outlook on the world changed. He knew, as the visions came upon him from that point on, that the garment he wore, and answered to its name, was simply a covering, hiding his true, immortal being who was God the Father. And he tried to tell all those who would listen that they were not the little mask they wore, but a being far greater than they could ever conceive themselves to be.

And from that day forward, until his departure on October 1, 1972 Neville, like Paul, expounded from morning till night, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince all about Jesus, both from the law of Moses and the prophets. And some believed, while others disbelieved.

Margaret Ruth Broome
From “The Miracle of Imagination”




19 thoughts on “Who Was Neville Goddard?

  1. I am curious how Neville followers relate all the archeological and historical documented sites, items, etc. discovered over the years, to Neville’s principle thought that the Bible is a psychological drama. (Noah’s Ark, the tomb of Jesus, etc., etc.)

    I too love and follow Neville, but my sister asked me this question and I could not answer it for her.

  2. I adore Neville Goddard. love his teachings. I would like to view his television shows if possible but can’t seem to find, are you able to help?


    • Hi Joy, sorry for the long delay in responding. I’ve been very busy this year and am just now finding some free time to get back to people. Glad you’re finding this site useful. I read somewhere that he did a TV show for a little while (possibly Late 1950s or Early 1960s?) but I don’t remember where I saw it mentioned. I know you can hear some of his lectures on YouTube, but unfortunately I don’t know how to locate video of his TV appearances? Maybe try a Google search and see what comes up? Take care.

  3. Pingback: The Seeker's Lamp | Audio: Mitch Horowitz on New Thought Pioneer, Neville Goddard

  4. Thank you so much for posting this insightful biography. Neville is a great Soul, and he has helped many to become more conscious. It is good to read about him as a person, too. Thank you!

    • Hey Jack, if you’re still out there, sorry for the long delay in responding. Been away for awhile. Someone else asked me the same question, but I don’t know what it was called – I remember reading something about it several years ago, but I’m not sure where? Maybe a Google search will turn up something? Take care.

  5. Today well browsing through You Tube I came across, a video posted of Neville Goddard, I then google searched to find out more about this man and came across your atticle, I truly believe that I been drawn to Neville Goddard’s work by something bigger than me. His work has the puzzle piece I have been looking for. Thus far I have only heard his teaching How to use your Imagination and I am completely blown away,

    Thank you so much

  6. Thank you very very much for sharing these treasures of Neville with us all for Free. You are blessed!!!

    I am fascinated by Neville and wished I lived in his era.

    Thanks again!!!!


    • Hey Rick, you’re welcome! Neville was a very interesting soul. I’ll be posting more NEVILLE lectures starting the 2nd week of October 2013. Take care.

  7. Thank you for some rare insights into Neville’s background. Many people have jumped onto the Neville band-wagon (in a bad way) but nothing can ever replace reading or hearing the voice of Neville. It makes me laugh how people try to sell / re-interpret his books and lectures and expect some form of payment. They obviously don’t understand the LAW.

    “Do not try to change people; they are only messengers telling you who you are. Revalue yourself and they will confirm the change.”

    — from Your Faith is Your Fortune, 1941

    • Hey there Simon, hope you’re doing well. I agree about the “bandwagon” and all the mass-marketed LOA BS out there. When I discovered NEVILLE several years ago I realized that most, if not all, of the slick New Age “gurus” were basically borrowing his ideas and repackaging them as their own, and then charging a premium for the info. I’m all for making money – I’ve been very blessed in my life to have and attract money – it serves a purpose in this Life – but in my opinion, this is Public Domain material and should be shared freely so all can benefit and grow. Just my 2 Cents. From what I know about him, NEVILLE always allowed the members of his audience to tape record his lectures and he adamantly refused to make copies or sell tapes to the public. He was a unique and interesting Soul, wasn’t he? Good luck to you.

  8. I first read uncle Neville’s articles in the Science of Mind magazines, but I ‘discovered’ his books in 1994 and may I say that his philosophy has changed my life for the better.

    • You may, Patricia Anne!!! :-) Glad to hear it! After first reading Neville several years ago, my curiosity was piqued and I started delving into the material and experimenting with his ideas. Has completely changed my life (for the better) and altered my perspective… Thanks for stopping by!

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