I've been studying the work of Nevile Goddard (1905-1972), a Barbadian-American mystic known simply as Neville.

Neville said that God is "your wonderful human imagination." As he often says in his books and lectures, what you assume, or believe to be true, manifests in the physical world in "ways past finding out."

That is a reference to Romans 11:33 (King James Version):

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

If your imagination is God, then your imagination has limitless depth, riches, wisdom, and knowledge. Your imagination makes things happen in ways your conscious, sensible, logical mind can never understand.

As Neville put it:

The world moves with motiveless necessity. By this is meant that it has no motive of its own, but is under the necessity of manifesting your concept, the arrangement of your mind, and your mind is always arranged in the image of all you believe and consent to as true.

If you assume that what you imagine is true, then it will become true in the outer world. We don't need to speculate on "how" it will happen. Neville has plenty of tales from his own life and of his students and readers in which the miraculous seemed to happen based on bizarre coincidences, unexpected changes of behavior in others, and other forms of "good luck."

Neville's teachings have helped countless people in the areas of health, wealth, relationships, and careers. When they changed their conceptions of themselves and their assumptions, the world began to reflect their happier outlook.

But Neville's philosophy has other far-reaching consequences. What if your assumptions are hateful or fearful? The same energy or "force" that works mysteriously (in ways past finding out) according to our positive assumptions will also work mysteriously to manifest our negative assumptions.

This is something I've thought about after watching The Unbinding, a documentary directed by Karl Pfeiffer and featuring paranormal investigators Greg and Dana Newkirk. Pfeiffer and the Newkirks had made the acclaimed TV mini-series Hellier (2019). The Unbinding features a separate investigation they undertook around the same time they were making Hellier.

The subject of The Unbinding is a small wooden statue found in the woods. The statue is apparently of a pagan goddess, but it was desecrated with nails in its eyes and a noose around its neck. It seemed to be the cause of frightening events in the house of the person who brought it home.

The Newkirks operate the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult. They collect "haunted" artifacts and agreed to receive the statue. The statue seemed to haunt them as well and may have caused a terrifying disturbance at a convention. The Newkirks intended to return it to where it was found, and the documentary follows them in that process.

The film also provides a plausible-to-probable theory of the statue's history. We can't, however, prove a motive for those who defaced it as we don't even know who they are. But I surmise that they had hostile intentions and that they were fearful of the artifact itself or of the goddess or spirit it represented. Perhaps they were a sect of religious fundamentalists waging a war on "idolatry" or "demons."

I thought of Neville because, if my surmise is correct, the statue became what the defacers assumed it was. Their negative energy became absorbed in the statue, which projected out all that it was suspected of being.

And this leads to another thought, expanding on something Greg Newkirk mentioned in the film. Are gods, spirits, and demons the product of our imagination? Do they have autonomous power only because we assume that they do?

Do some people, even atheists and skeptics, sometimes find themselves having strange "paranormal" events because someone else imagined a ghost or a Bigfoot or a UFO into existence?

One friend imagines the perfect job and gets it. Another friend assumes he'll find the perfect mate and finds her. Yet another who's been suffering from a long-term illness becomes healed after she changes her thoughts. All the good things your friends imagined become part of your own experience because you share in their joy.

Well, maybe you have another friend who believes in demons, and as a result, you have a frightening encounter with one. If your friend didn't assume demons were real, you wouldn't have experienced it. I wonder how much of the strange and frightening phenomena, how much "paranormal" activity, would disappear from the world if we just stopped believing in them.

According to Neville, I have all the power of God in my imagination and my assumptions. So I best not give away that power, nor assume that any other person, spirit, or deity has any power over me. The best thing is to assume the good things for myself and others.