In the early 1990s, Neale Donald Walsch was going through a difficult period in his life personally, professionally, and emotionally.
He lived as a homeless person for about a year, lost his job, got divorced and even had a car accident that left him with a broken neck.
He had the habit of putting his thoughts down on paper, and on Easter of 1992, feeling frustrated with his life, he decided to write an angry letter addressed to God.
In his letter, he asked God, “Why wasn’t my life working? Why could I not find happiness in relationships? What had I done to deserve a life of such continuing struggle”?
Surprisingly, once he finished writing down all of his questions, he heard a voice over his right shoulder say: "Do you really want an answer to all these questions, or are you just venting?"
When he turned around, he saw no one there. Then, almost as soon as he finished writing down his questions, the answers to them came in a flash and he duly noted them down.
The transcript of the dialogues between Walsch and the presence that identified itself as God was published in 1995 as Conversations with God (Book 1)
The book became a massive best-seller, selling over 10 million copies and remained on New York Times Bestseller List for 135 weeks.
Conversations with God(CWG) series is undoubtedly one of the most profound books I have ever read.
Reading these books is a unique experience, and it transmits a feeling of deep love and peace. Both my brother and mother, who’ve read the book after I recommended it to them, have also told me they’ve felt the same while reading it.
The CWG Book 1 and the other books in the series, discusses various subjects such as relationships, love, sex, education, money, health, birth, death, afterlife and so much more.
But for this post, I’d like to focus on what the book has to say about God and religion.
Over the past couple of millenniums, religion and 'holy' wars have ironically been the source of much conflict and bloodshed all over the planet.
As for myself, growing up as a catholic, I was raised with many fearful ideas about God that always unsettled me.
There were lots of religious teachings I felt were very contradictory, but for the longest time, I never questioned them because from a young age, you are told to simply accept them as the truth, even when it doesn’t make sense.
We are told that God is unconditional love and all-forgiving. But at the same time, we are also told that if we lead a life that does not please God, we will be punished and may burn in the everlasting fires of hell.
Reading the profound wisdom contained in these books liberated me from the fear-based religious teachings that disturbed me for most of my life. But it’s also done a lot more than that.
These books have touched my heart and made me cry tears of joy. I can say without a doubt, I am a better person because of reading them, and I feel so fortunate to have read them, especially as young as I did. The CWG series has also been one of the biggest sources of inspiration for my blog.
Given below, are passages taken from The Conversation with God book 1, in which God enlightens Walsch about the nature of God and religion.
I do not ask you to believe that these answers came directly from God.
Instead, all I ask is that you read these words with an open mind and let go of the need to instantly reject something that may not fit in with your religious conditioning and current understanding of the world.
“It was your parents who taught you that love is conditional—you have felt their conditions many times—and that is the experience you take into your own love relationships.
It is also the experience you bring to Me(God). From this experience, you draw your conclusions about Me. Within this framework, you speak your truth. “God is a loving God,” you say, “but if you break His commandments, He will punish you with eternal banishment and everlasting damnation.”
You have projected the role of “parent” onto God, and have thus come up with a God who judges and rewards or punishes, based on how good He feels about what you’ve been up to. But this is a simplistic view of God, based on your mythology. It has nothing to do with Who I Am. Having thus created an entire thought system about God based on human experience rather than spiritual truths, you then create an entire reality around love. It is a fear-based reality, rooted in the idea of a fearful, vengeful God.”
“Very few of the value judgments you have incorporated into your truth are judgments you, yourself, have made based on your own experience.
You do not await your own experience, you accept the experience of others as gospel (literally), and then, when you encounter the actual experience for the first time, you overlay what you think you already know onto the encounter.
If you did not do this, you might have a wholly different experience—one that might render your original teacher or source wrong.
In most cases, you don’t want to make your parents, your schools, your religions, your traditions, your holy scriptures wrong —so you deny your own experience in favour of what you have been told to think.
Everything your heart experiences about God tells you that God is good. Everything your teachers teach you about God tells you God is bad. Your heart tells you God is to be loved without fear. Your teachers tell you God is to be feared, for He is a vengeful God. You are to live in fear of God’s wrath, they say.
Above all, you are not to ask such logical questions as, “if God wanted strict obedience to His Laws, why did He create the possibility of those Laws being violated?” Ah, your teachers tell you—because God wanted you to have “free choice.”
Yet what kind of choice is free when to choose one thing over the other brings condemnation? How is “free will” free when it is not your will, but someone else’s, which must be done? Those who teach you this would make a hypocrite of God.
You are told that God is forgiveness, and compassion—yet if you do not ask for this forgiveness in the “right way,” if you do not “come to God” properly, your plea will not be heard, your cry will go unheeded.
Even this would not be so bad if there were only one proper way, but there are as many “proper ways” being taught as there are teachers to teach them.
Most of you, therefore, spend the bulk of your adult life searching for the “right” way to worship, to obey, and to serve God. The irony of all this is that I do not want your worship, I do not need your obedience, and it is not necessary for you to serve Me. These behaviours are the behaviours historically demanded of their subjects by monarchs—usually ego-maniacal, insecure, tyrannical monarchs at that.
They’re not Godly demands in any sense—and it seems remarkable that the world hasn’t by now concluded that the demands are counterfeit, having nothing to do with the needs or desires of Deity.
If you choose to believe in a God who somehow needs something—and has such hurt feelings if He doesn’t get it that He punishes those from whom He expected to receive it—then you choose to believe in a God much smaller than I. You truly are Children of a Lesser God. No, my children, please let Me assure you again, through this writing, that I am without needs. I require nothing."
“You are making a mockery of Me. You are saying that I, God, made inherently imperfect beings, then have demanded of them to be perfect, or face damnation.
You are saying that My Son–who you call the One Perfect One–has saved you from your own imperfection–the imperfection that I gave you. In other words, God’s Son has saved you from what His Father did.”
“You’ve even created religions that tell you that you are born in sin—that you are sinners at birth—in order to convince yourselves of your own evil. Yet if I told you you are born of God—that you are pure Gods and Goddesses at birth—pure love—you would reject me. All your life you have spent convincing yourself that you are bad. Not only that you are bad, but that the things you want are bad. Sex is bad, money is bad, joy is bad, power is bad, having a lot is bad—a lot of anything. Some of your religions have even got you believing that dancing is bad, music is bad, celebrating life is bad. Soon you’ll agree that smiling is bad, laughing is bad, loving is bad.”
"You have this idea that God shows up in only one way in life. That’s a very dangerous idea. It stops you from seeing God all over. If you think God looks only one way or sounds only one way or is only one way, you’re going to look right past Me night and day.
You’ll spend your whole life looking for God and not finding Her. Because you’re looking for a Him. I use this as an example. It has been said that if you don’t see God in the profane and the profound, you’re missing half the story. That is a great Truth.
Do you think that God cannot laugh? Do you imagine that God does not enjoy a good joke? Is it your knowing that God is without humor? I tell you, God invented humor.
Must you speak in hushed tones when you speak to Me? Are slang words or tough language outside My ken? I tell you, you can speak to Me as you would speak with your best friend.
Do you think there is a word I have not heard? A sight I have not seen? A sound I do not know? Is it your thought that I despise some of these, while I love the others? I tell you, I despise nothing. None of it is repulsive to Me. It is life, and life is the gift; the unspeakable treasure; the holy of holies."
This passage below is one of my favourite passages from the book.
“Time and time again, over and over has it been shown to you. Through all the ages and in every place. Through all your lifetimes and in every moment. The universe has used every contrivance to place this Truth before you. In song and story, in poetry and dance, in words and in motion—in pictures of motion, which you call motion pictures, and in collections of words, which you call books. From the highest mountain it has been shouted, in the lowest place its whisper has been heard. Love is the answer. Yet you have not listened.
Now you come to this book, asking God again what God has told you countless times in countless ways. Yet I will tell you again—here—in the context of this book. Will you listen now? Will you truly hear?
What do you think brought you to this material? Do you think I know not what I am doing? There are no coincidences in the universe. I have heard the crying of your heart. I have seen the searching of your soul. I know how deeply you have desired the Truth. In pain have you called out for it, and in joy. Unendingly have you beseeched Me. Show Myself. Explain Myself. Reveal Myself.
I am doing so here, in terms so plain, you cannot misunderstand. In language so simple, you cannot be confused. In vocabulary so common, you cannot get lost in the verbiage.
So go ahead now. Ask Me anything. Anything. I will contrive to bring you the answer. The whole universe will I use to do this. So be on the lookout. This book is far from my only tool.
You may ask a question, then put this book down. But watch. Listen. The words to the next song you hear. The information in the next article you read. The story line of the next movie you watch. The chance utterance of the next person you meet. Or the whisper of the next river, the next ocean, the next breeze that caresses your ear—all these devices are Mine; all these avenues are open to Me.
I will speak to you if you will listen. I will come to you if you will invite Me. I will show you then that I have always been there. All ways.”
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