Neville and The Magic of Certainty


The idea of living in certainty – that’s to say certainty as a practical philosophy and a way of life – came to me in late September 2017. It was the result of a short period of emotional turmoil. A friendship with someone I admire greatly had come under strain and I was worried about not being able to make things right between my friend and me.

A radiant Neville Goddard

As is my habit, I turned to the teachings of Neville Goddard[1], affectionately known as Neville for those familiar with his work, knowing that between the pages of his books I would find a way to alleviate my stress. And then I revisited my own book Infinite Possibility (due from Tarcher Perigee in June 2018), confident of finding a strategy to repair my ailing friendship.

Over the course of a few days of study and positive imaginal activity, I noticed a change in my mood.  All was well once again.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that situations like these have a way of simply working themselves out but I encourage you to think differently.

I took no outward action. I didn’t attempt to smooth things over. I just replaced my anxious mood with a harmonious one and accepted with certainty that the relationship I cherished was better than it had ever been. A few days were all it took to confirm the change in my mood. The friendship that I was willing to give up on became stable, loving and mutually supportive. Without going into detail, I found a closeness and a trust that was stronger than before.

This event led me to think about the different ways in which this concept could be practically applied. Could one, by cultivating a feeling of certainty, guarantee specific outcomes in their lives?

Accepting such a theory, I concede, takes courage but I earnestly encourage you to put it to the test! And don’t be dismayed if you are skeptical. A skeptical mind is no deterrent in this work. Neville Goddard often spoke of the perfect reasonableness of unbelief. Faith, he writes, results from successful outcomes rather than taking his writings at face value. Neville also invited seekers, students, those with only fleeting interest to attempt to disprove the veracity of his claims, knowing that in so doing the truth of his statements would be proven beyond all doubt.

For anyone curious about the methods I refer to in this essay, read The Power of Awareness by Neville, especially chapter 8, Renunciation, and my own Infinite Possibility, especially Chapter 12, Fantasize with Focus. In that chapter I detail an exercise in guided “daydreaming.” This exercise invites the reader to relax into a constructed scene with specific characteristics of the process, outlined for clarity and direction.

Neville writes in Chapter 8 of The Power of Awareness:

 Now is the time to control your imagination and give beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He might be glorified. You give beauty for ashes when you concentrate your attention on things as you would like them to be rather than on things as they are. You give joy for mourning when you maintain a joyous attitude regardless of unfavorable circumstances. You give praise for the spirit of heaviness when you maintain a confident attitude instead of succumbing to despondency.

With this directive firmly in mind, I went on to immerse myself into a scene that depicted a peaceful and friendly atmosphere in place of one that was hostile and awkward. This I achieved by first becoming deeply relaxed and then in as gentle a manner as possible began to think about my friend. At times I invented scenarios. At other times I recalled events that had already taken place. The important thing was, bringing my attention to rest on a mood that confirmed that my relationship with my friend was wonderful. At the point of certainty, I felt at once a quiet, deep and penetrating relief, coupled with a sense of calm, there was no need to persist in the activity. I felt absolutely certain that everything was as I wanted it to be; and although this was later proven to be the case by the actions of my friend, I would have felt just as certain had nothing physical taken place.

Neville Goddard portrait by Tim Botta

As we settle our focus on the sights, sounds, odors, tastes, and textures of the physical world around us, specifically those directly related to a specific incident, we not only remember these sensations but re-experience them as well. With practice, this exercise can lead to the imagined experience being as vivid and real as when the incident first took place.

Try it and see. In as relaxed a physical condition as you can achieve (without falling asleep) take yourself back to some event and begin to focus on an object, a voice, a scent, whatever you wish. Hold your attention firmly but gently that’s to say not forcing yourself to stay focused but allowing your mind to drift if needs be, before bringing it back to its target. After a while you will find yourself able to hold focus without effort and will find yourself feeling as real whatever it is you are thinking about.

It is worth noting that the more absorbed you become in this particular activity the more vivid the sensations become!

Just how a change in mood produces a physical result is not something we need ever become concerned about. Understanding comes with experience, and by the time you have experience sufficient to allay any doubts, you will no longer be interested in the how.

And so take this concept and begin to apply it liberally to everything from relationships, to the type of individual you desire to be, to something you want to do, or to possess.

There is no limit to way in which it can be applied just as there is substitute for experimentation. Without experimentation you won’t gain experience and without experience it is impossible to know exactly how you feel when you attain particular psychological outcomes.

It is this knowing that gives birth to the magic of certainty with which you can live a life imbued with peace, authentic expression, success, and stability even in an increasingly uncertain world.

The possibilities are INFINITE!

[1] Neville Goddard is a famed mystic and New Thought philosopher, born in Barbados who lived and worked in New York and across the United States. He wrote under the pen name Neville and is affectionate known as Neville by followers of his teaching. Information about Neville’s  life, books and lectures can be found online via a Google search using his full name Neville Goddard.

Katherine Jegede is the author of Infinite Possibility (forthcoming), a humanitarian, and BBC science broadcaster.  She and her husband live in London. 

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One thought on “Neville and The Magic of Certainty

  1. Thank you Katherine. Your words inspire me as it almost mirrors my own journeying and re-discovering God within. i Am so Grateful to Neville for coming into my line of illumined sight. That “aha” moment when scripture that i thought I knew finally makes sense. Relief and Courage well up and I can allow myself to FEEL and understand the feeling of it.