The Power of Awareness Explained: Analysis and Summary (Neville Goddard)

In this article, we’ll explore one of Neville Goddard’s most popular books, The Power of Awareness.

This book means a lot to me, as it was pretty much the beginning of my manifestation journey. It’s simple, practical, and offers all you need to know in order to get started with manifesting.

I will lay out the most important principles in the book. These principles will reveal how you can begin to achieve actual results with manifestation in your own life.

This is not a replacement for reading the book but rather a supplement in which I share my own viewpoint.

Overview of The Power of Awareness

These are the chapters in The Power of Awareness:

1: I Am
2: Consciousness
3: Power Of Assumption
4: Desire
5: The Truth That Sets You Free
6: Attention
7: Attitude
8: Renunciation
9: Preparing Your Place
10: Creation
11: Interference
12: Subjective Control
13: Acceptance
14: The Effortless Way
15: The Crown Of The Mysteries
16: Personal Impotence
17: All Things Are Possible
18: Be Ye Doers
19: Essentials
20: Righteousness
21: Free Will
22: Persistence
23: Case Histories
24: Failure
25: Faith
26: Destiny
27: Reverence
Show More Show Less

Despite the large number of chapters, it’s by no means a long book.

The Power of Awareness is in the public domain, which means you can read it for free online.

Read: The Power of Awareness PDF

In my view, it is not only Neville’s most comprehensive book, but it’s also a great introductory book for beginners.

Neville starts the book out by explaining that Consciousness is the “first-cause substance” of reality. Normally, we think that the physical world we see around us is ”reality,” but in fact, it’s nothing but a manifestation of Consciousness. Neville goes on to explain that you can, through ”assuming the feeling of the wish fulfilled,” rearrange your state of consciousness in order to cause the manifestation of a desire.

Throughout the book, he dives into numerous topics such as the ”creation is finished,” the role of attention, individual impotence, and attitude (and how you directly influence other people). He also presents a specific manifestation technique or exercise consisting of visualizing yourself into a mental scene taking place after the accomplishment of your desire.

In Chapter 23, Neville presents the reader with a couple of ”case histories” where students and people he’d known used the power of imagination to manifest particular goals and desires. In my view, this chapter alone makes the book worth the read.

The 9 Key Principles for Manifesting What You Want

I have taken the most important ideas from the book and condensed them into 9 key principles. Learning to use these principles gives you the power to wield your imagination and manifest whatever you desire.

If you’ve already read the book, this will hopefully make it click. If you haven’t read it yet, this will serve as a good introduction.

1. Consciousness Is Fundamental

At the heart of manifestation lies a simple truth: Consciousness is the fundamental reality. What we perceive as the physical world is, in fact, a direct manifestation of our consciousness. Neville explains this beautifully:

”The first cause–substance being consciousness, all its evolutions, fruits, and phenomena must remain consciousness. All that could be observed would be a higher or lower form or variation of the same thing. In other words, if your consciousness is the only reality, it must also be the only substance. Consequently, what appears to you as circumstances, conditions, and even material objects are really only the products of your own consciousness.”

Chapter 2

As he says in the quote, this means that the physical world is also a projection of Consciousness.

Normally, we think of the physical world, space, time, physical objects, and so on as reality, but in truth, these are all just manifestations of something deeper.

A good way to understand this is through the video game analogy. When you’re playing a game, the red car, the skyscraper, the terrain you see around may look real, but you know that they are all just images generated by a complicated set of electrical interactions in the computer. Within the game, the red car does not exist when you look away – it is no longer rendered. The “hardware” of reality is pure Consciousness, and the external world is the video game.

Neville also talks about the ”I AM” — the true self. When you say “I AM,” you are describing Awareness in its pure form.

”I AM is the self–definition of the absolute, the foundation on which everything rests. I AM is the first cause–substance. I AM is the self–definition of God.”

Chapter 1

The I AM is Awareness or Consciousness in its undivided state. Consciousness cannot be divided and is always constant and undifferentiated. You condition the “I AM” by saying things such as, “I AM rich” or “I AM poor.” No matter what kind of manifestations we may experience, this ONE undivided, unaltered Consciousness is always at the foundation of reality, existing in its first-cause state.

The ”I AM” is the true self. You are the infinite ”I AM” looking through the lens of an individual being.

”Who is this you? That it is you, John Jones or Mary Smith, is absurd. It is the consciousness which knows that you are John Jones or Mary Smith. It is your greater self, your deeper self, your infinite being.”

Chapter 27

When you’re manifesting something, you are working with this deeper part of you. The power is not you as in “John Jones” or “Mary Smith,” but the universal ”self,” your very own Beingness or Awareness.

When you want to manifest something, don’t try and change things on the outside. If you want “wealth,” you need to adopt a state of consciousness that affirms “wealth.” The state of consciousness is the cause, and ”wealth” is the effect.

If you have a desire or you’re faced with a problem, don’t force the intended results by meddling with the surfaces of the physical world; instead, go to the first cause. Learn to work with this unfathomable power within you.

”You must turn from the objective appearance of things to the subjective center of things, your consciousness”

Chapter 2

Another important point regarding Consciousness is that ”creation is finished.” Neville talks about this in Chapter 14 – Creation. The ”I AM” is a superset of all possible states of consciousness; it contains, within itself, an infinite number of states of consciousness.

”Because creation is finished, what you desire already exists. It is excluded from view because you can see only the contents of your own consciousness.”

Chapter 14

This means that when you’re manifesting a desire, you are not creating something new but rather calling a state of consciousness into manifestation. Your desire, therefore, already exists; it’s just not manifested in your three-dimensional world of space and time.

  • Consciousness is fundamental to our reality; what we perceive as physical is a manifestation of consciousness.
  • Your life reflects your current state of consciousness. Change your state of consciousness to get new results.

2. Imagination and Assumptions

Let’s now talk about how to get Consciousness to manifest stuff that you actually want. Right now, your life is the result of your current state of consciousness. Since consciousness is the ”true self,” changing your state of consciousness is basically done by changing your ”concept of self,” as Neville called it.

”That is, your concept of yourself, such as “I am strong,” “I am secure,” “I am loved,” determines the world in which you live. In other words, when you say, “I am a man, I am a father, I am an American,” you are not defining different I AMs; you are defining different concepts or arrangements of the one cause–substance the one I AM.”

Chapter 1

To get new results, you’ll need to adopt a new state of consciousness. If you want to be ”strong,” you need to need to assume in Imagination that you are “strong.”

”Your imagination is the instrument, the means, whereby your redemption from slavery, sickness, and poverty is affected.”

Chapter 3

Imagination (the “god-in-man” as Neville called it) is a term describing the same divine power within us that we also call Consciousness or the subconscious — the creative power within you. Manifesting is all about using your imagination correctly.

The word ”assumption,” as used by Neville, is used slightly differently from how we use it in our everyday life. Obviously, we all know that we falsely assume things all the time. But, when Neville talks about assumptions, he is talking about ideas deeply embedded in Consciousness dictating the results that you get.

To me, assumptions can best be thought of as thoughts that prompt the ”I AM” into a particular kind of action. Good assumptions, such as ”I am rich,” causes the production of these kinds of results.

So, to change your state of consciousness, you must assume a new concept of yourself. There is only one cause; the pure undivided ”I AM” within you.

By properly using your imagination, you can cause the manifestation of objects, experiences, qualities, results, circumstances, conditions, or any other “thing” that you desire to be or to attain in life.

  • Imagination: the creative power.
  • Assumptions such as “I am rich” or “I am poor” manifests correspondingly.

3. Occupancy of The State

Neville talked a lot about feeling. To manifest, you need to really immerse yourself into the state of consciousness, and this is done by ”assuming the feeling of the wish fulfilled.” Feel that your desire is a reality.

The word “feeling” can be a bit hard to grasp because it is not emotion only. Think of feeling as a form of spiritual sensation. You are moving your spiritual senses, navigating yourself through the unseen reality.

There is a distinction between being an onlooker as opposed to a partaker. When you feel yourself into the desired state, you are, at that moment infusing your being into it, becoming one with that state of consciousness.

This is not something you do with your intellect but something you do through your inner sense of feeling. If your desire is ”I want to be rich,” then, in imagination, assume the feeling of being rich. If you successfully adopt and embed this state in your being the corresponding manifestations must appear — that is the law.

  • Manifest by “infusing” yourself into the desired state of consciousness.
  • Feel yourself into the state of your wish fulfilled.

4. Attention — Permeate Your Consciousness

In Chapter 6, Neville talks about Attention. He says:

”you must deliberately focus your attention on the feeling of your wish fulfilled until that feeling fills the mind and crowds all other ideas out of consciousness”

Chapter 6

The key thing I want to emphasize here is that you are to focus your attention completely on the idea to the point that all other thoughts are excluded. When you are ”assuming the feeling of the wish fulfilled,” you must do so with only that thought in mind. You can really only think one thing at a time. You cannot “assume the wish fulfilled” and at the same time think,”Am I doing this correctly?”, ” Is this working?” or any other thought like that.

You must permeate your mind completely with the assumption to the point that there’s no room for any other thought.

Neville also makes a distinction between ”reverie” (or daydreaming) and assuming a new state of consciousness. Reverie is the result of ”uncontrolled imagination” (Chapter 19) and produces no results. When you assume a state of consciousness, you are putting all your focus and attention on one idea to the exclusion of all others. This is what leads to change.

  • Focus your attention fully on the feeling of your wish fulfilled.
  • Exclude all other thoughts to let your desired state fill your consciousness.

5. Effortlessness

This is the “The Law of Reversed Effort” — something that is very, very important when it comes to producing actual results with manifestation.

The idea is that you must use the least amount of effort to hold an assumption. This can feel counter-intuitive as we normally think that more willpower is better. In truth, when dealing with imagination, you must direct it with the least amount of effort possible.

”In the controlled state, a minimum of effort suffices to keep your consciousness filled with the feeling of the wish fulfilled”

Chapter 19

When you’re in the ”state akin to sleep,” and you imagine your assumption, focus on that assumption completely so that all other thoughts are crowded, and do so with the least amount of effort. It should be easy, effortless, enjoyable, and without a sense of strain.

  • Manifestation should be effortless; use minimal strain while focusing on your desire.
  • Effort means willpower. Direct imagination with the least amount of effort.

6. Going Into a State Akin to Sleep

Neville talks about “physical immobilization”, and basically entering a meditative state of consciousness. He called this a ”state akin to sleep.”

According to him, this efficiency in doing this is that ”it increases your power of concentration.” (Chapter 19)

I would also add that you sort of get closer to the source power itself, and thus have more access to it. It becomes more responsive to your thoughts, enabling you to make stronger impressions. When you go into meditation in this manner, the whole mental environment sort of changes.

In my experience, this really can be the key between success and failure when manifesting. If you don’t actually go within, it’s like your thoughts and intentions get blocked and only stay on the surface level of the mind.

To get into a state akin to sleep, simply just shut your eyes and relax your body. In my view, going into a “state akin to sleep” is the same as meditation.

While it does take practice, and you will get better over time, this should not be a hard thing to do. You don’t need to do it ”perfectly” or go extremely deep every time. Again, this, too, should adhere to the principle of least effort.

Personally, I like doing progressive muscle relaxation, but do what works best for you.

  • Enter a relaxed, meditative state.
  • This state brings you closer to the divine power within you, enabling you to impress your thoughts upon it.

7. Constructing an Imaginary Scene — Manifestation Technique

Let’s now talk about the manifestation technique Neville presented. It is basically a visualization technique where you imagine yourself to be in a scene that would potentially take place after the accomplishment of your desire.

In Chapter 23, case study 1, Neville talks about a man wanting to be honorably discharged from military service. This man, which he refers to in the third person, is actually Neville himself. This case study explains Neville’s method perfectly:

First, go into a relaxed state of consciousness

”He induced a state bordering on sleep, at the same time retaining control of the direction of his attention.”

Chapter 23

Then, imagine or visualize (from a first-person point of view) yourself in an imaginary scene implying that the assumption has been fulfilled. In this case, Neville wants out of the army camp in Louisiana, and to go back home, so he imagined being in his apartment in New York.

”In imagination he rose from the bed, walked from room to room touching various pieces of furniture. He then went to the window and with his hands resting on the sill looked out on the street on which his apartment faced. So vivid was all this in his imagination that he saw in detail the pavement, the railings, the trees and the familiar red brick of the building on the opposite side of the street. He then returned to his bed and felt himself drifting off to sleep”

Chapter 23

A good tip is not only to visualize but also to bring in your other senses.

The key thing is to immerse yourself in imagination to the point that it feels real. Remember, your attention should be completely occupied by the assumption. Don’t think ”Am I doing this correctly?”, ” Does this chair look real enough?”, or ” Will this work?”, or similar. Simply focus on being in your imaginary scene, feeling yourself to be there. If your attention is completely concentrated on the imaginary scene, as if you were actually there, you will get the best results.

It’s also important to choose a scene that would potentially take place AFTER the accomplishment of your desire. That is, if you want a job, imagine yourself already having that job, and perhaps having had that job for a few months. Don’t imagine the process leading up to you getting the job, or the moment where you get the job; imagine that you already have the job.

Don’t overcomplicate this. Again, minimal effort is key. If you’re constantly questioning whether you are doing it “correctly,” you are not assuming the feeling of the wish fulfilled.

Once you’ve been in your mental scene for a while, drift off into sleep (if you’re doing this at night). If you can’t fall asleep, simply just return to your regular state of consciousness, and let yourself fall asleep normally.

I also have an article on this particular manifestation technique. I highly encourage you to check it out. But again, don’t overcomplicate this! Just try your best.

  • Imagine a scene post-accomplishment of your desire.
  • Immerse yourself in this imaginal scene as if it were actually happening.

8. Personal Impotence

”Self surrender is essential, and by that is meant the confession of personal impotence.”

Chapter 16

An important thing to understand is that you cannot actually manifest your assumption. It’s the power itself that does this.

You can choose new assumptions, but you cannot lift a finger to make it happen or speed up. Your imagination automatically ”moves you across a bridge of incident to the physical realization of your imagined state.” (Chapter 13). The assumptions unfold automatically, without your aid. You, as well as everything else, will be moved like chess pieces, leading to the realization of the assumption. You will be impelled into action.

It’s wrong to think of consciousness as a mere blind force. Think of it as an infinite, undifferentiated intelligence, inherent in Consciousness itself, which, from your perspective, can be used for your individual purposes.

Likewise, in Chapter 21 – Free Will, he says, ” You have infinite free will in choosing your assumptions, but no power to determine conditions and events.” In a sense, you are “enslaved” by your assumptions.

Your outer reality flows from your state of consciousness. If you assume ”I am unloved,” you cannot act contrary to that idea, and you cannot help but to get that result. The only way to change this around is to replace it with the assumption that ”I am loved.”

  • Recognize that you don’t manifest through personal effort.
  • Your imagination moves you towards the realization of your desired state without without your aid.

9. “Be Ye Doers”

In Chapter 18 – Be Ye Doers, Neville emphasizes that you need to be a ”doer of the word, not a hearer only.” This means that you should put this into practice, or else you’ll just become an impractical dreamer. On an intellectual level, you may know the ins and outs of manifestation, but you haven’t truly learned if you don’t actually get any results from it.

”You must be doers of the law of assumption, for without application, the most profound understanding will not produce any desired result.”

Chapter 18
  • Apply these principles actively. Theoretical knowledge alone is not enough!

How To Apply ”The Power of Awareness”

A big mistake I personally made at the beginning was trying to understand and figure everything out. In truth, while knowledge is great and all, the most important thing is to try and to keep trying.

As a matter of fact, if you don’t keep the practical aspect simple and try and overthink it all, then you will get in your own way. Do not try and make the intellect and your willpower do the work of your Consciousness itself. This will only cause you to get in your own way.

In Chapter 19 – Essentials, Neville condensed the manifestation process into three steps:

  1. Desire
  2. Physical immobility
  3. The assumption of the wish fulfilled

The first step is to have a strong desire. He states that desire is the ”is the mainspring of action” (Chapter 19). If your desire is strong, you will have the necessary motivation for change.

Then, go into a ”state akin to sleep.” Let your body relax completely as if you were about to sleep. You need to be in a state of consciousness where your attention is withdrawn from without and where you can direct it with the minimum of effort.

Then, he says, ” Experience in your imagination what you would experience in reality had you achieved your goal” (Chapter 19). This is where you imagine your mental scene. Let yourself ”think from” it as if you were actually there. Feel yourself into the state, becoming one with it.

(Alternatively, if you feel that visualization is too hard or requires too much effort, simply just think or feel the assumption, perhaps in the form of an affirmation. In the same manner, concentrate completely on the idea so that it permeates your consciousness.)

Do this exercise every day at least once. Persistence is key. If you successfully adopt a new state of consciousness, you cannot help but receive that which the state of consciousness affirms.

Neville recommends that you drift off into sleep while holding the assumption. While this is indeed helpful, you can do without it. Some people, myself included, cannot visualize and fall asleep at the same time. Just try and retain the general “mood” of the assumption when falling asleep so that it’s still fresh in your mind.

Keep persisting with this exercise. It should be done on a consistent basis, but without feeling like a chore.

Do not try and make things happen with outer action. Of course, if you see an opening, go for it. But as we’ve discussed, imagination is the guiding force and will impel you and motivate you into doing your part of the play.

Also, here’s another key point; in Chapter 20 – Righteousness, Neville says that ”One of the greatest pitfalls in attempting to use the law of assumption is focusing your attention on things, on a new home, a better job, a bigger bank balance.” (Chapter 20)

While you may want a ”thing,” your job is not really to focus on the thing but rather to focus on adopting a new state of consciousness. Instead, assume ”the feeling of already being the person you want to be, of already having the thing you desire.” (Chapter 20)

How “The Power of Awareness” Turned My Life Around

What I like about Neville’s work is how he practicalizes manifestation. With many similar books, you end up not really knowing what to do. He speaks on a level that we can all understand and tells you straight up that you can have what you want.

His approach is that if you want something, then you should go for it. Even though he stated that it shouldn’t be used for injurious purposes, Neville never really judged anyone for their desire. When reading or listening to any of his books or lectures, I really feel that he truly and deeply wants the student to succeed in this.

While Neville does have some lectures that are hard to understand and perhaps less applicable, The Power of Awareness is, above all, practical and relatively simple to follow. Once you read it, you will have the inspiration to try manifestation out for yourself, and you will have a definite method of application. Neville even emphasizes putting in the work in Chapter 18 – Be Ye Doers, explaining that even “the most profound understanding” will not produce results.

The Power of Awareness was really what kick-started me into manifestation. I am not claiming that it was the sole reason for how I learned manifestation, but it definitely feels like it was the starting catalyst.

Final Thoughts

Above, we looked at what I believed to be the most important principles in The Power of Awareness, and I have given some advice on how to implement them. While I have tried to cover the book as extensively as possible, I highly recommend that you read it for yourself.

That being said, the important thing really is not how much you read but that you actually try this. It’s okay to fail; it’s the only way forward! Personally, I wasted so much time not really trying because I was scared that it wouldn’t work. And guess what? For a long time, I didn’t. But as I kept going, I gradually became better, and things actually began to change, not only in me but also as actual results and accomplishments in my reality.

I absolutely do not see why you shouldn’t be able to do this too! It’s really not as hard as it sounds, but, like any other skill, it does take practice and dedication. The Power of Awareness is a great starting point that will point you in the right path forward. But remember, only you can walk it.

Anyway, I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading!

Chris J.

Hi, I'm Chris. I have actively been practicing the art of manifestation for several years now, and have manifested many things in my own life. I have seen firsthand how powerful manifesting is, and how huge the result can be. On this website, I want to share my knowledge and experience from my many years of doing this and provide you with practical tips and techniques for the purpose of helping you manifest your desires and create the life that you want.

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