Neville Goddard's 'The Power of Awareness'

By Ashley Houk,

The Tarcher Cornerstone Edition of The Power of Awareness, by Neville Goddard, was originally published in 1952. This edition also includes his follow up work, Awakened Imagination, which was published in 1954.

Neville Goddard was one of the leading metaphysical and spiritual writers of his time. With a career spanning over 50 years, Neville believed that within each of us lies a potential God. The Power of Awareness lays out his cosmic philosophy.

Initially presented is the idea that imagination is the creating force of the world we live in. Each of us has the power to create the kind of world we want, based solely on thoughts and feelings. In order to help seekers develop their innate abilities, Neville simplistically lays out a foundation to build upon. The prose is straightforward and paired easily with anecdotes of real life experiences.

In the beginning, The Power of Awareness seems to merge boundaries that often divide those of Christian faith and those of a more radical religious view. The belief that desires can be manifested by simply asking for them, or a sort of willing them into being, can be found in new age movements—in similarity with the tradition of prayer in more orthodox sects.

While its ability to use Biblical passages, alongside more universal thought themes, feels like an attempt at creating unity between differing faiths, as the book progresses it begins to lean more toward the mainstream. Chapter to chapter is redundant, given that the ultimate premise is set out in the synopsis, 100+ pages seem an unnecessary amount to elaborate.

One chapter in particular, was—for this reader—demeaning and very disheartening. Given that Neville’s view is that the Divine lives within each individual, and all that is necessary to maximize the full potential is use of the imagination, the chapter entitled “Righteousness” falls short. In order to become the person one wants to be is often due to a process of learning and experience, not merely deciding to be. Neville’s statement that “not to be the person you want to be is sinning,” gives readers little hope of attaining the goal.

To sum it up, Neville presents this: Believe in yourself, propagate self-confidence, and the actions necessary to make your desires a reality will become manifest. Simple as that.

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