ABDULLAH THE ETHIOPIAN MYSTIC

Little is known about one of the most powerful mystics of the modern era.  We have his first name, Abdullah, and his description from one of his most well known students, author and lecturer, Neville Goddard, “He was as black as the ace of spades, my old friend Abdullah, with his turbaned head.” What we do know about Abdullah is that he mentored authors/lecturers Neville Goddard and Dr. Joseph Murphy.  Abdullah was an Ethiopian rabbi who lectured on Esoteric Christianity.  In order to properly understand the impact Abdullah’s philosophy had on the world we have to look at the works of his students and people indirectly influenced by his teachings.

 

 

 
Perhaps Abdullah looked like this?
 
or this?

Who was this mysterious mystic who left behind few clues as to who he was other than descriptions from his students?  He taught that no matter what the circumstances going on in the world you ultimately have control over your reality.  This Ethiopian man, whom Neville described as black as the ace of spades was able to do as he pleased in the middle of Jim Crow era America.  Abdullah would visit the opera and sit in the front row without any disturbance whatsoever.  This was in the middle of segregation!  People from all walks of life, doctors, scientists, bankers, would seek an audience with the eccentric old Ethiopian.

It’s highly possible that Abdullah was an indigenous wisdom keeper in the same tradition as the master Abd El Hakim Awyan, mentor of author Stephen S. Mehler, who wrote the book The Land of Osiris to take Hakim’s teachings public.  Mehler and Hakim helped popularize the phrase Kemetology, based off of the ancient name of Kemet, from modern day Egypt.
 
The Great Wisdom Keeper Hakim
Indigenous wisdom keepers such as Abdullah and Hakim represent an unbroken chain of keepers of ancient knowledge literally dating back thousands of years.  These adepts started going public with their teaching around the beginning of the 19th century.  Their teachings have been kept secret as oral traditions for thousands of years.  Only initiates of the ancient mystery schools had access to this knowledge base.  This is why the spread of the Kabbalah (esoteric Judaism), Sufism (esoteric Islam), and the Gnostic scriptures (esoteric Christianity) all started to penetrate the Western World around the same period.
 
Adepts such as Hakim for example could recall oral traditions and histories for tribes all over the world dating back over 65,000 years.  Around the same period in time (early 19th century) these adepts started taking on new pupils.  This was new because they have thousand year old traditions of only revealing this info to initiates.  Initiation was a lifelong practice that starts in childhood or adolescence at the latest.  There was an increased urgency to release this information to the world because of a coming shift or new age in humanity.
 
 
 
 
It’s no coincidence that Noble Drew Ali (USA), Aleister Crowley (UK), and Rudolph Hess (Germany), three people who were heavily involved in the occult, all lived in Egypt at the same time.  Noble Drew Ali of North Carolina for example, traveled throughout the Middle East and Africa.  He claimed to have met with high priests of Egyptian magic, been initiated into the mystery schools, and given secret teachings that later became the Holy Seven Circle Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America.  Aleister Crowley claimed that he “received” the text The Book of The Law from a divine source while he was staying in Egypt.  Crowley believed he was charged with the task of informing humanity that it was entering the Aeon of Horus.
 
All three men alleged to have received instruction while in Egypt and returned to the Western World with ancient wisdom to share with their colleagues.
 
Around this period adepts in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East began teaching Westerners visiting their homelands as well as traveling throughout the Western Hemisphere and Europe teaching this ancient knowledge to people who showed sincere interests in learning.  There is a belief among the adepts that the entire world is entering a new age of enlightenment.  They believe the knowledge has to be revealed now as humanity is undergoing a transformation where man will ultimately realize his true self.
 
The only info we have about Abdullah is from his students Neville and Dr. Joseph Murphy.  Both men held him in high regard.  Judging from the far reaching effect that Neville and Murphy had on people around the world its obvious that Abdullah was a master metaphysician.
 
 
Adullah taught the true meaning of the scripture.  He lifted the veil and let it be known that the Bible, Koran, and all other scriptures are actually to be interpreted as psychological dramas that apply to all people verses actual historical events.  Adbullah taught that the true Christ/God lies within and instructed on how to access the higher self.
 
When Neville Goddard first met Abdullah it was under protest.  Neville was urged to attend Abdullah’s lecture by a friend who in his eyes had questionable judgment.  His interest into metaphysics had already been peaked by some books that an acquaintance had given Neville on the power of thought.  After running out of excuses not to attend the lectures of the eccentric Ethiopian priest Neville finally caved in and went to hear Abdullah.  In Neville’s own words:
 
 
 
 
“When I first met my friend Abdullah back in 1931 I entered a room where he was speaking and when the speech was ended he came over, extended his hand and said: “Neville, you are six months late.” I had never seen the man before, so I said: “I am six months late? How do you know me?” and he replied: “The brothers told me that you were coming and you are six months late.”
 
Abdullah appeared mysteriously and left behind little details of who he was besides these accounts from his pupils.  That was more than likely by design.  However whenever you look at the works of Neville or Murphy you are looking at Abdullah.  His reach goes even further than students he taught directly as teachers such as Rev. Ike and Bob Proctor from the movie The Secret have all been immensely influenced by Neville’s work.
 
 
 
Neville studied with Abdullah seven days a week for five or seven years learning Hebrew, the Kabbalah, and the hidden symbolic meaning of Scripture.  This new outlook on life helped Neville gain a deeper understanding on the mystical spiritual world and develop a new approach to the problems facing man.  It was Abdullah who showed Neville how to employ the law of consciousness and how to comprehend the Bible psychologically. As Neville started to see the world as a picture world, projected from within, his faith in himself grew.
 

“Live as though you are there,” Abdullah told Neville, “and that you shall be.”


Neville realized what would ultimately become characteristic of his philosophy: It was essential to assume the feeling that one’s goal has been accomplished already.
 “It is not what you want that you attract,” he would later write; “you attract what you believe to be true.”
 
Or as Rev Ike put it,
“The feeling gets the blessing!”
One day Neville went to Abdullah and told him that he was homesick and wanted badly to go visit his family in Barbados.  He did not have enough money to travel.

“Live as though you are there,” Abdullah told him, “and that you shall be.”

Neville struggled to comply with this way of thinking however Abdullah held firm to the belief that Neville went to Barbados and had traveled first class.  Neville explained best in his lecture Thinking Fourth Dimensionally:

It was the year 1933, I was unemployed and had no place to go except a little room on 75th Street. I went straight to my old friend Abdullah and said to him “Ab, the strangest feeling is possessing me.
For the first time in 12 years I want to go to Barbados.”

If you want to go Neville, you have gone.” he replied.

That was very strange language to me. I am in New York City on 72nd Street and he tells me I have gone to Barbados. I said to him, “What do you mean, I have gone, Abdullah ?”

He said, “Do you really want to go? “

I answered “yes.”

He then said to me, “As you walk through this door now you are not walking on 72nd Street, you are walking on palm lined streets, coconut lined streets; this is Barbados. Do not ask me how you are going to go. You are in Barbados. You do not say ‘how’ when you ‘are there’. You are there. Now you walk as though you were there.”

I went out of his place in a daze. I am in Barbados. I have no money, I have no job, I am not even well clothed, and yet I am in Barbados.

He was not the kind of a person with whom you would argue, not Abdullah. Two weeks later I was no nearer my goal than on the day I first told him I wanted to go to Barbados. I said to him, “Ab, I trust you implicitly but here is one time I cannot see how it is going to work. I have not one penny towards my journey, I began to explain.”

You know what he did. He was as black as the ace of spades, my old friend Abdullah, with his turbaned head. As I sat in his living room he rose from his chair and went towards his study and slammed the door, which was not an invitation to follow him. As he went through the door he said to me, “I have said all that I have to say.”

On the 3rd of December I stood before Abdullah and told him again I was no nearer my trip. He repeated his statement, “You are in Barbados.”

The very last ship sailing for Barbados that would take me there for the reason I wanted to go, which was to be there for Christmas, sailed at noon on December 6th, the old Nerissa.

On the morning of December 4th, having no job, having no place to go, I slept late. When I got up there was an air mail letter from Barbados under my door. As I opened the letter a little piece of paper flickered to the floor. I picked it up and it was a draft for $50.00.

The letter was from my brother Victor and it read, “I am not asking you to come, Neville, this is a command. We have never had a Christmas when all the members of our family were present at the same time. This Christmas it could be done if you would come. “

My oldest brother Cecil left home before the youngest was born and then we started to move away from home at different times so never in the history of our family were we ever all together at the same time.

The letter continued, “You are not working, I know there is no reason why you cannot come, so you must be here before Christmas. The enclosed $50.00 is to buy a few shirts or a pair of shoes you may need for the trip. You will not need tips; use the bar if you are drinking. I will meet the ship and pay all your tips and your incurred expenses. I have cabled Furness, Withy & Co. in New York City and told them to issue you a ticket when you appear at their office. The $50.00 is simply to buy some little essentials. You may sign as you want aboard the ship. I will meet it and take care of all obligations.”

Abullah firmly believed in the ability of man to create his own reality.  He did not see any circumstances as out of one’s control.  Abdullah’s teachingscan be better understood by this excerpt from Neville’s lecture Changing the Feeling of “I”:
the place where I spoke, in that audience was a gentleman who sought an audience before the meeting. And we went across the street into the little park there, and he said to me that he had an insoluble problem. I said, “There is no such thing as an insoluble problem. “But”, he said, “you do not know my problem. It’s not a state of health, I assure you; it is look at the skin that I wear” . I said, “What’s wrong with it; it looks lovely to me”. He said, “Look at the pigment of my skin. I, by the accident of birth, am now discriminated against. The opportunities for progress in this world are denied me just because of the accident of birth, that I was born a colored man.
Opportunities for advancement in every field, neighborhoods that I would like to live in and raise a family I couldn’t move in, where I would like to open up a business I couldn’t move into that area.”
 
Then I told him an experience of mine in New York City. If I were called upon to
name a man that I would consider my teacher, I would name Abdullah. I studied with that gentleman for five years. He had the same color skin, the same pigment as this gentleman. He would never allow anyone to refer to him as a colored man. He was very proud of being a negro didn’t want any modification of what God had made him. He turned to me and he said, “Have you ever seen a picture of the Sphinx?” I said, “Yes”.
 
He said, “It embodies the four fixed quarters of the universe. You have the lion, the eagle the bull and man. And here is man that is the head. The crown of that creature called the Sphinx, which still defies man’s knowledge to unriddle it, was crowned with a human head. And look carefully at the head, Neville, and you will see whoever modeled that head must have been a negro. Whoever modeled it had the face of a negro and if that still defies man’s ability to unravel it, I am very proud that I am a negro.” I have seen scientists, doctors, lawyers, bankers, from every walk of life seek an audience with old Abdullah, and everyone Who came thought themselves honored to be admitted to his home and to receive an interview. If he was ever invited out, and he was, he was always the honored guest. He said, “Neville, you must first start with self. Find self,
don’t be ashamed ever of the being you are. Discover it and start the changing of that self”.
 
Well, I told this gentleman exactly what Abdullah had taught me, that there was no cause outside of the arrangement of his own mind. If he was discriminated against, it was not because of the pigment of his skin, though he showed me signs as large as all outdoors denying him access to a certain area. The sign is there only because in the minds of some men such patterns are formed and they draw unto themselves what now they would condemn; that there is no power outside the mind of man to do anything to man, and he by the arrangement of his own mind, by consenting to these restrictions in his cradle and being conditioned slowly through his youth, waking into manhood believing himself set upon would have to be set upon, but “no man cometh unto me save I call him”.
 
So then someone comes to condemn or to praise. They couldn’t come unless I call them. Not a man called Neville, but that secret being that is not called Neville. The secret being that is the sum total of all of my beliefs, all of the things that I consent to, that form a pattern of structure, that secret being draws unto itself things in harmony with itself. Well, that man went away and wrestled with himself. He couldn’t believe everything I told him, not that night, but last Sunday morning in the lobby, he came forward and we renewed the friendship. He took me next door to show me the fruit of this teaching.
 
He said, “Neville, it took me almost three years to really overcome that fixed idea that I, by the accident of birth, would be a secondary citizen, but I overcame .it. Now here is my office on Wilshire Boulevard. I picked this one not because it was the only one offered; four equally wonderful spots were offered me. I took this one because it had greater telephone facilities, but the others were equally good. Now here is my office.
 
Now you couldn’t judge my income from this office, lovely as it is. Everything is nice about it, but, Neville, this year I will net a quarter of a million dollars”. Well in America that is still a fabulous sum of money. It would be staggering in any other part of the world, but even in fabulous America a man to net a quarter of a million is really up in the very highest of brackets. And that was the man that a few years ago told me the
whole vast world was against him by reason of the accident of birth. He knows now he is what he is by virtue of the state of consciousness with which he is identified, and the choice is his to go back to the restrictions of his childhood when he believed the story or to continue in the freedom that he has found.
 
So you and I can be anything in this world we desire to be if we will clearly define our aim in life and constantly occupy that aim. It must be habitual. The concept we hold of self that is noble must not be put on just for a moment and taken off when we leave this church. We feel free here; we feel that we have something in common, that’s why we are here, but are we going to wear the noble concept we now hold of self when we go through the door and enter that bus, or are we going to return to the restrictions that were ours prior to coming here? The choice is ours and the hardest lesson to learn is that there is no one in this world that can be drawn into your world unless you, and you alone, call him.
 
You can start now from scratch and choose the being you want to be. You aren’t going to change the pigment of your skin but you will find your accent or the pigment of skin or your so-called racial background will not be a hindrance, for if a man is ever hindered it can only be the state of consciousness in which he abides that hinders him. Man is freed or constrained by reason of the state of mind in which he persists. If you persist in it, well, then I will say, “persist in it”, but I warn you no one cares and that is an awful blow when a man discovers that no one, no one but himself really cares. So we find ourselves weeping with ourselves in the hope of getting others to weep with us. And what an awful shock when the day arrives we discover that no one really ever cared. They will give us some little listening ear for a moment just as they were passing by, but they really didn’t care.

-Neville

Abdullah’s students, Neville and Dr. Murphy, went on to write books that have sold in the millions as well as deliver lectures all over the world.  His influence has been far reaching and powerful.  This master metaphysician preferred to stay out of the limelight however his impact on the New Thought movement cannot be denied.  We are forever grateful for the work he put forth

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