William Blake, in his poem “The Four Zoas: a Dream of Nine Nights,” tells of God’s fall into division and his resurrection to unity – his fall into generation, decay, and death and his resurrection into the unity of the one Father. Associating his poem with the 6th chapter of Ephesians, the 12th verse, he states: “We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places.” So we see that the fall into division and the resurrection into unity is mental.
From beginning to end, the Bible speaks of a certain temple that is being constructed. And every day we are building our temple for the dwelling place of God the Father. In the 2nd chapter of the Book of Ephesians, we are told: “The whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it as a living structure of God in the Spirit.” In other words, as you bring your building and I bring mine, we are fitted together as living stones in the building of God.
Let me explain this with a story told me just this past week. This is an experience of a lady who is very much a lady and only recently had a little baby. She said: “In my dream I am three people. I am myself, yet I am a man. As myself, I long for a little green dog. Becoming another, I see my dog standing among others. He shines like the sun and because I have ordered him I know all I have to do is wait for his arrival.
“Now, in my dream I am always the sender. When something is to be told, I tell it to another (which is myself), then I become the other in order to retell the story to the third. Becoming the third, I then tell the second to tell the first. I know it doesn’t make sense on this level, but as the third person speaking, I hear the message as the second, and say to myself – the first: ‘The dog is yours now.’ And as the first I am so happy to hear the news.
“Again as the third person, I tell the second to say to the first: ‘Your building is finished. All you have to do is turn around to take it.’ Now as the first person, my little dog disappears and I am looking at my many new buildings being constructed. Then I remember that my building is finished and all I have to do is turn around and claim it – when my little baby cries and awakens me.”
On the surface her vision appears to be nothing, but it has tremendous significance. Her green dog shining like the sun is Caleb in scripture. Caleb is he who goes with Joshua into the Promised Land. In the story, Caleb – having faith in the God who promised Israel land – was sent by Moses along with other spies into Canaan. Upon returning, Caleb said: “Attack immediately” but the men who had gone with him were afraid; so only the two, Caleb and Joshua (the Hebraic form of the word “Jesus”), entered.
In her dream she is waiting for a little green dog. The word “green” in this dream means “pressing with sap; luscious; health.” Bursting with all that is mine, I will take you to lie down in green pastures. Full of faith in the God who promised land to Israel, Caleb is highly recommended, as only two can enter. Others had the dog and others will find him, for she is not the only one who enters the promised land. Now, who was waiting for his companion? God! As the third, the second is told and tells the first that the dog is now hers. Then the experience is repeated, as she once more becomes the sender (the teller), but she is never the receiver, for God only acts and is in existing beings or men.
Now, as the first person she realizes that the little dog has disappeared. Why? Because she has already entered the promised land. Seeing the fabulous construction going on, she is reminded that her building is finished and all she had to do is turn around and see it. There are two passages in scripture, one in the 12th chapter of Acts and the other in the 15th chapter of Luke, where the Greek word “heautou” is translated “he came to himself.” In the Book of Luke these words were spoken of the prodigal son. And in the Book of Acts, Peter was imprisoned and shackled in chains. His garments were sold and he was alone in the cell, when the angel of the Lord entered, touched him, and as he rose, it is said: “he came to himself.” Now, this word “heautou” could have been translated, “he turned around; it is fulfilled; it is finished; to be married.” And she heard the words: “All you need to do is turn around.” Turn around and you will behold the finished structure. As a living stone you have now contributed to the overall structure, which is the temple of the Living God. I know from my own experience, everyone contributes to that one Living Stone called the kingdom of heaven! You will be turned around by a force that is greater than anything known to man, but it will not happen until the end. You cannot physically turn around, nor can you force the mind to do it.
Now, Blake tells us: “God fell into division” and this lady divided herself into three. Now heading for the end of the journey, when the force that is holding you to this world is relieved, you will turn around to see the structure your Father built and you will know that you are He. Your temple is not built by another. “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Who is he? I am he who began the good work in you. “I have tried you in the furnaces of affliction. For my own sake I do it, for my own sake, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” Your journey is at its end, my dear. You saw the perfect vision. Your building is finished and all you have to do is turn around. This will come at the end, for if you should turn around you will vanish, for, like Paul, you have fought the good fight. Let no one tell you Paul was exaggerating; it is a fight, for we are contending not with flesh and blood.
At the present moment someone is treading the wine press of hate, and – unrestrained – the thought is sent on its wings of feeling. Perhaps sitting in a dungeon this night, someone is treading the wine press of war, and some little boy out in the field catches the idea and wanting to be a hero dreams of becoming a great general, commanding the destruction of the world. He is dreaming and you can’t stop his dream. So you are not warring against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, and heaven is within. In the inside of your mind these abominable, loathsome beings are carved. They are unseen forces impinging upon you morning, noon, and night.
But oh, what a thrill to get a letter of this nature! Her building is finished. She now knows that she only sends! She gave the order, saw herself as another, receiving, but when the message must be retold she once more became the teller. And when it is to be experienced, she will be the one who experiences it. So God only acts and is in existing beings or men, for God is playing all the parts.
In the end everyone brings his living temple to the house of God. Ephesians tells us how the structure is joined together and how the holy temple grows in the Spirit. It’s a spiritual temple, not one in this world. Scripture calls the church “the body of Christ”, but the word translated “church” is “communion of the assemblage of the redeemed.” It’s the assemblage of those whose building is finished. Playing the part of the receiver, we are the one being who is the builder. Finding Caleb, you (as Joshua, who is Jesus) are led into the Promised Land, as scripture is fulfilled. Having shone like the sun in order to lead you in, Caleb disappears leaving Jesus only. And who is Jesus? Your own wonderful human imagination!
Now let me share another story. Three years ago, in a dream, this lady saw a man who embodied everything she could ever desire. They fell in love and an engagement was announced. Then, thinking she was awake, she put on her nightgown and retired in the hope that he would join her. But as he entered the room the man shook his head and said: “Not yet, but I will return.” This month the same man returned and implied by his look that he had come to complete the promise of marriage. I can tell her that, although it hasn’t been accomplished, she had the perfect revelation of that which is coming to her. She now has the assurance that: “I will come again and receive you into myself, that where I am there, you shall be also.” This is all beautiful symbolism. This lady is not about to be married in this world of ours to a flesh and blood man of such magnitude. No, he is the symbol of the being spoken of in Isaiah: “Your maker is your husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name.” The promise is being kept in her. and one day she will turn around within herself and become that living temple of the Risen Lord.
I have seen the temple, and when I leave the garment relative to this age I will enter an entirely different age. And like Paul it is my desire to depart and be with Christ, but it is more important at the moment to remain and encourage you, even though you are fighting against principalities, powers of darkness, and all the horrors of the world. But I have seen the building being constructed for you, not by another, but by your deeper self, who is God the Father.
In 1952, while living in New York City, I had a thirst that only an experience of God could quench. “As the hart panteth after the waterways, so panteth my soul after thee, Oh God.” Then one night out of the blue I found myself fulfilling the 42nd Psalm: “These things I remember, as I pour out my soul. How I went with the throng and led them in procession to the house of God.”
That night I found myself leading an enormous procession toward the house of God. It was still in the distance, but as I led them a voice rang out: “And God walks with them.” A woman at my side questioned the voice, saying: “If God walks with us, where is he?” And the voice replied: “At your side.” Looking at me and seeing a man of flesh and blood, she said: “You mean Neville is God?” and the voice replied: “Yes, in the act of waking.” Then the voice spoke only to me, saying: “I laid myself down within you to sleep and as I slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed…” and suddenly I knew that he was dreaming he was me. At that moment memory returned, and I became six vortices, which I felt enter my hands, my feet, my head, and my side. That was when I knew the ecstasy of the crucifixion.
Paul, in his letter to the Romans, divided the tenses, saying: “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” The crucifixion is past. “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world.” If this is true, then the universal Christ gave us himself, for did he not say: “No man takes my life, I lay it down myself. I have the power to lay it down and the power to lift it up again.” And we are laid down with him, because he chose us in him before the foundation of the world. So, if you are united with him in a death like his, you will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. I know this is true, for he was resurrected in me, confirming the story of scripture. This is how the structure is enhanced and grows in God. And when the final curtain comes down and the temple is perfect, you will be God the Father and I will be God the Father, yet none of us will lose our identity!
Now I ask you to continue to test your creative power by practicing revision. If you hear something that is unlovely, don’t accept it, but instantly revise it. Hear the words that ought to have been spoken and persuade yourself, to the best of your ability, that it is so. What would it matter if you owned the world tonight and departed tomorrow to find yourself working as a fry cook, serving up flap cakes? Live your life fully while here, but remember you can’t take your money with you.
So, enjoy the things of this world and apply this wonderful law for yourself and others, for imagining truly does create reality. And remember: you are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and darkness of the rulers of this world and spiritual evil in heavenly places. And one day, you who have fallen into division will resurrect into unity!
Now let us go into the silence.