The I AM Explained (Neville Goddard): How Consciousness Creates Reality

In this article, we will talk about the “I AM” and why it’s so important when it comes to manifestation. This is very often talked about by many spiritual teachers, including Neville Goddard.

First of all, what does the term “I AM” mean in this context, and why is it so important in manifestation?

The I AM is awareness/consciousness in its fundamental state. The I AM is awareness/consciousness in its pure form. In regards to manifestation, the I AM is important because it is the infinite power, infinite intelligence, and the fundamental reality. To manifest a goal, intention, or desire, you must learn how to work with the I AM or pure awareness within you.

The concept of the I AM is based on the idea that consciousness is fundamental to reality. While I will mostly draw on Neville Goddard and my own experience with this, I will also draw on some of the teachings by other similar teachers.

To learn how to manifest, you need to learn how to wield the first cause power. And this power is your own I AM-ness – your own awareness or consciousness.

Finding the I AM-ness within you may sound a bit weird, but it really just means experiencing your awareness. As you gradually go within and meditate you will begin to realize that there’s a constant I AM-ness within you, existing independently of your own mind and thoughts. While this sounds strange at first it’s not actually that hard to do; it’s only that most people never even think about it or even consider its significance.

What Is the “I AM”?

”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.”

Neville Goddard, Power of Awareness

The I AM is pure, unconditioned, undifferentiated Consciousness/Awareness. Some teachers on manifestation and spirituality called it spirit, but they both are the same.

”Consciousness is the one and only reality, not figuratively but actually.”

Neville Goddard, Feeling is The Secret

The I AM is the first cause, the creator of all things. It is the only reality, and the physical world we see around us is merely a projection by this fundamental consciousness.

The I AM is the pure awareness or consciousness within you. It is the Is-ness or the being-ness that you are. It is the ”thing” that is aware of your various experiences, and it is also the creator of them. If you keep asking yourself, who is the observer within me? You will begin to sense the awareness within you that you cannot really analyze.

There is only ONE I AM. The awareness within you and the awareness within me are not two separate awarenesses. Instead, it’s the ONE aware-NESS being aware of two different states, and yet it’s still the same awareness doing the observing.

When we are manifesting a desire, we are working with the I AM in its pure undifferentiated state. In this state, and from your conscious mind’s perspective, the I AM is an infinite intelligence able to respond to your thoughts. When consciously manifesting, you are deliberately giving direction to the infinite intelligence within you, pointing it toward a particular purpose or desire.

The I AM is the infinite intelligence, infinite power, infinite love, infinite wisdom, infinite knowledge, infinite personality, etc. It is the source of all things.

The I AM is God. Reading the Bible, you can basically substitute the word ”God” for ”I AM” or ”Awareness.” This is why you are told to look within and why Neville tells you that ”you are God,” or that ”God is within you;” it is because the I AM, or your true self, is God.

This is a pretty abstract concept to understand. In fact, the only real way for you to understand it properly is to experience your I AM-ness for yourself, and it’s really not that hard to do. We will look at how to do this a bit further on.

Consciousness Is The Fundamental Reality

The idea that consciousness is the fundamental reality is a bit difficult to grasp in the beginning. It means that everything we perceive as tangible – the physical world around us, the people we interact with, the emotions we feel, and even the thoughts we think – are all manifestations or products of the underlying, universal consciousness.

To simplify this concept, I want to use the analogy of a video game. In a video game, we run around imaginative environments, engage with interesting characters, and perform various actions. All these elements appear very real within the context of the game, but obviously, they’re merely constructs emerging from hardware and the code of the computer.

In this analogy, the physical world is the video game, full of diverse experiences and interactions, providing us with a fully immersive experience. In a sense, it is our own personal reality. Just as the characters, scenarios, and environments in a video game are brought to life by the underlying code and hardware, the physical world, in all its vastness and complexity, is a manifestation of the underlying consciousness, the “computer” that generates your reality.

The universal consciousness – the I AM – crafts our existence. It’s the pure, undifferentiated awareness that exists beyond the confines of time, space, and matter. Going into the undifferentiated awareness, we are, in a sense going into “developer mode.” From here, we can dictate what is to be in the “game.” By going to the first cause of reality we can manifest whatever we want.

How To Experience The I AM In Meditation

”Finding” the I AM is not that difficult. It is a process of letting go of your conscious mind, which is done by detaching from the thoughts that float across your mind. As you let go of all conscious activity, the I AM within you automatically rises. This is not an intellectual process and should not be overcomplicated.

The important thing is not to use effort when doing this. The more effort you use, the more your reawaken the critical factor of your mind.

In this section, I will give you a definite meditation technique for experiencing the I AM. It is based on the technique found the Neville Goddard’s book At Your Command.

1) Go Into A Relaxed State of Consciousness

Sit down, close your eyes, relax, and withdraw your attention from the external world. I personally like doing progressive muscle relaxation where I focus on a specific part of my body and then relax it, but it’s really up to you.

You can also focus on your breath or do a countdown from a large number. The point is to point your attention within.

2) Going Further

Silently say, “I Am” without conditioning it. Feel yourself to be faceless and formless. Let yourself be without conditioning yourself to be anything or judging what it is that you are.

When thoughts flow by, observe them. Ask yourself, “What is doing the observing.” Do not get angry if your mind identifies with a stream of thought. Simply just notice that it happened and go back into pure awareness. all this is making a separation between awareness itself (the observer) and what your experience (the observed).

At some point, you will feel that you are in the presence of pure awareness. It’s hard to describe, and the only way to understand this is to experience it. It isn’t an overwhelming feeling; rather, it’s a feeling that you are awareness.

It’s important that this is enjoyable. It shouldn’t be a chore or be strenuous.

This is the “I AM state.” A state of pure awareness.

From here, you can either begin to manifest something, or you can simply just let yourself dwell in this state. Habitually going into meditation and dwelling in this state without trying to achieve anything in particular, is really useful.

Just because you aren’t aware of anything special or significant going on when in this state, it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. There could very well be changes happening within you without you noticing.

Why Experiencing The I AM Is Important In Manifesting

To understand the I AM, you need to experience it. Finding the I AM is basically finding the hidden power within you.

When manifesting a desire, no matter what particular manifesting technique you may use, you always utilize the unconditioned awareness by prompting it into action. Your desire has to be triggered in the infinite awareness, whether it’s through visualizing, scripting, affirming, acting as if, or whatever manifestation technique your may like.

When you find your own awareness, you have found the power that you are knowingly or unknowingly you are working with that causes the phenomena of your life. Remember, you are manifesting all the time, and you are always interacting with your own I AM, whether you realize it or not.

The key when consciously manifesting something is to deliberately trigger a new idea in the subconscious mind (or awareness). When a new idea is assimilated, the I AM will, through its own means and intelligence, realize the new idea both in your own individual mind and in your external world.

In my experience, when you understand that the power is actually your own true self and that is is found within you, it becomes a lot easier to trigger new ideas and cause the manifestation of new results in your life.

The I AM Is The Subconscious Mind

An interesting thing that most people seem to miss is that the I AM is your subconscious mind.

“The subconscious is what a man is. The conscious is what a man knows.”

Neville Goddard, Prayer: The Art Of Believing (Book)

The conscious mind is the ”aware of,” and the subconscious mind is the ”awareness.” Oddly enough, the ”aware of” and the ”awareness” can feel like two completely separate minds.

The reason it’s called ”Sub”-conscious is that it’s always ”below” what you are aware of.

You cannot be aware of what is awareness is made of, so to speak, as this is a paradox. Awareness cannot be aware of itself directly. The only way for awareness to perceive itself is by projecting an image or reflection of itself, but even then, this image is observed by the infinite awareness.

A rough analogy to illustrate this concept is that it can feel a bit like looking into a black hole. We know there’s something, but we cannot directly look within it due to its inherent nature.

The Formula Of The I AM

This is the formula by which the I AM goes from its unconditioned, undifferentiated state into an individual being and then how the individual evolves to realize its true nature.

  1. The I AM exists in its unconditioned state – the I AM
  2. The I AM makes a contraction of itself, creating the individual.
    The pinnacle of the individual is the will, and it is only aware of a limited portion of reality from which the sensory perceptions are constructed. The I AM has adopted a self-concept.
  3. The individual realizes that within itself is the I AM, the “beingness” that is the true self – “I AM that I AM.”
    The individual has now realized that it is not ego only but also the universal being behind that ego.

When you say, “I AM strong,” “I AM secure,” “I AM loved,” etc., you are arranging the one I AM into particular action, ultimately causing that corresponding manifestation in the world of your experience.

How To Use The I AM When Manifesting

Let’s now look at how to deliberately incorporate the I AM when manifesting something.

Understanding the I AM and experiencing it in meditation is great and all, but understanding the I AM is not just an interesting philosophical idea. In fact, it has very real and practical implications for your manifesting capability. It’s important to remember that the I AM is the power and the only reality, and the power you have to learn to work with when you are consciously manifesting.

First, it’s important to remember that the fundamental reality is consciousness – the I AM – which is your true self. Therefore, to change the results that are manifested, you need to change your “self.” As said earlier, finding your “self” will make consciously manifesting a lot easier as you now understand where the power is located.

Changing your “self” means giving it new ideas to operate on. And this is done through imagination. In short, Imagination is basically the I AM itself – it is the creative power of the I AM.

This is how you deliberately incorporate the I AM when manifesting something:

1) Go Into A Relaxed State of Consciousness

Sit down, close your eyes, relax, and withdraw your attention from the external world.

While a meditative state of consciousness is not always necessary for manifesting, I find that most people that do not do this fail to make big changes in their lives.

A relaxed state of consciousness causes pure awareness to rise to the surface. Awareness is always there, and when you let go of your mind and thoughts, it automatically rises to the surface.

It’s important to remember that awareness is already there. I have personally made the mistake of trying to create the power in my mind myself, and this is a mistake as you will be operating within the confines of your individual mind. Therefore, it’s essential that you let go and let things happen on their own. There is a power within you whether you think it’s there or not.

You will become better at this through practice, but even a slight degree of meditation is better than nothing.

2) Convey The Desire To The I AM

Once you are in a relaxed state of consciousness, you will feel that you are in the presence of your own being-ness. Depending on the goal you want to achieve – whether it’s something specific or just general improvement in life – you can use visualization, affirmations, or simply just immersing yourself in positive emotions.

(Neville himself used a visualization technique today where he also emphasized the importance of going into a state akin to sleep.)

The important thing is to hold the idea with the least effort. If you use effort, you are operating within your limited awareness, and the purpose is to convey the idea to the unconditioned awareness within you.

Let yourself get lost in the idea so that there is no room for doubt. You cannot hold two thoughts at the same time. If your mind is permeated with the idea of the accomplishment of your desire, there is no room for doubt. Hold the idea to the exclusion of all others. Your state of mind should not be, “I want this to happen, but It cannot happen.” It should be a certainty; “This will happen” or “This has already happened.”

Remember, since you are in a meditative state, the pathway to your inner I AM-ness is unobstructed, and it is responsive to your thoughts.

3) (Optional) Affirm That Desire Is Deeply Ingrained

Since the I AM is a responsive intelligence, you can say something akin to: “This has now been deeply ingrained in Awareness, and it will overpower any unwanted belief that opposes it. When I go back to my ordinary waking state, the desire will occur independently of my conscious activity. No amount of doubt and worry will stop it.”

The purpose of this statement is to make sure that the desire stays in awareness without being immediately dispatched.

When you are back to your normal, alert state of consciousness, you don’t really need to do anything.

A new idea has been ingrained in your subconscious, and this idea will automatically begin to manifest itself both in your individual thoughts, feelings, and behavior and in the seemingly random events that happen in your external world.

All of this will culminate in the accomplishment of your desire. The key is to remember that the power that is doing the work is the subconscious – the pure awareness – and everything will play second fiddle to it.


The I AM, the infinite awareness, is the hidden power within you. It is your true self and the cause of all the phenomena of your life. It is the power you are working with when you are manifesting something.

The only real way of understanding the I AM is by going into meditation. When you are in the I AM state; you are free to impress a new idea on it. The idea, having been accepted, will automatically begin to manifest itself through you and in your external reality.

The key is to actually put this into practice. It is the only way to get any results at all! It’s okay not to do this perfectly every time, but it is important that you keep trying. You can’t let yourself get stuck due to the fear that “It won’t work” or the misconception that you must do it perfectly — two things that so often keep us stuck.

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.

Recent Posts