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"God's Message to the World": An Interview with Neale Donald Walsch

by Mary A. Arsenault

What if everything we think we know about God and what God wants is wrong? In his latest book, God’s Message to the World: “You’ve Got Me All Wrong” NY Times bestselling author Neal Donald Walsch challenges seventeen beliefs about God, which are considered to be absolute truth by most religions. Presented in expository form, as opposed to Q&A, Walsch has extracted and condensed the major ideas from his Conversations With God (CWG) series into a relatively quick read which clearly outlines exactly what he believes our relationship with God involves. For fans of the CWG series, this book will take them into a deeper understanding of God and their participation in life. For new readers, this book will confront their fundamental beliefs about God, while offering them a new vision of what’s possible in their lives and for humanity as a whole.

Neale Donald Walsch is one of the major authors in the new spirituality movement. His life and work have helped create and sustain a worldwide spiritual renaissance, and he travels globally to bring the uplifting messages of his books to people everywhere. For more information on Neale Donald Walsch and his work visit www.NealeDonaldWalsch.com  

Wisdom: How would you describe your experience of communicating with God?

NDW: I call it inspired writing. It’sthe same experience that all people encounter when they are inspired to do anything. Inspiration comes from the word inspire - which means to breathe in. I simply allow myself to open to my awareness of the presence of God in my life. I find a place that’s quiet - generally very early in the morning between 4:30 and 7:30 - and give myself the luxury of isolation and quiet with no particular agenda. That’s not the only way to do it. People can have a conversation with God quite spontaneously - and we all do it.  I simply allow myself to be quiet and alone and focus on the presence of Divinity in my life. Then I ask a question or conduct a conversation. Often I will write it down and allow myselft o be with whatever occurs.

Wisdom: How can you validate that what you are perceiving is coming from God as opposed to yourself.

NDW: I asked myself that same question within the first five pages of my very first book. I said to God “How do I know it’s you?” and God said “My words are always the words that come from freedom, love and joy.” So if you feel more expansive, as opposed to more contracting, you can be assured that those messages are coming from the highest place within you, which I choose to call the seat of Divinity or Godliness.

Wisdom: In your latest book, instead of having a Q&A session with God, as in your Conversations With God (CWG) books, you address seventeen false beliefs about God in a more expository way. What prompted this change in style?

NDW: The CWG books were not intended to be expositions of what I thought about things. The first two books were just notes written to myself without the thought of them ever being published. Only with book three did I realize that it was going to be read by several million people. The latest book is a re-articulation of what has appeared in those original books. It is expository because I’ve chosen to focus very sharply and very directly on the ways in which we have simply misunderstood who and what God is, what God wants, what is our relationship with Diety, and for that matter, what is the purpose of our life. I’ve gotten many letters from people through the years asking “is there anyway I can just grasp some of the key points without having to read 3000 pages in nine books?” I thought that’s fair. A lot of people don’t have time to read nine books. So I’ve tried to condense the most important ideas of those books into two books. My last book What God Said summarizes in 1000 words the most important concepts from CWG. My latest book is my attempt to respond to the world  right now and what I see going on in it. Everywhere from Syria, to Iraq, to Ferguson, Missouri, and all across the planet there’s political, social and economic unheaval. I wanted to address what I believe is the main reason for these dyfunctional ways of being with each other on the earth. I’m told it is our fundamental beliefs about who we are, what life is about and primarily what our beliefs about God are, that powers the engine of our dysfunctional behaviors. To put it directly, we are using what we understand God to be as our moral authority for the most ungodly acts ever perpetrated, one upon the other, on this planet.

Wisdom: In your latest book you mention that while humanity has allowed new ideas in the growth of science, medicine, technology, etc., it has not allowed the same kind of ideological evolution within the area of religion. Why do you think this is the case?

NDW: I believe it’s the case because when we talk about our most sacred beliefs, we are talking about matters that have been handed down to us for generations. To question them, not only dishonors the belief itself, but also the people who gave it to us. We’re essentially saying “You’re wrong”. That’s very difficult for people to do. People are extremely reluctant to negate or criticize or make wrong their traditions and their ancestors. We’d rather stick with what we’ve been told by those who came before us, even if it’s not working, than give it up.

Wisdom: Do you think fear is also a major reason?

NDW: I think that’s the second reason. Even if we did have the courage to say to our parents, “You know what, I don’t think you’re right,” there’s the second level of fear. What if our current thoughts are wrong. We run from the unknown with great fear.  Even if it is demonstrably dysfunctional, at least it’s familiar. We’re a very young species. We’re in need of guidance and yardsticks and measuring devices and recommendations and insights and wisdom that come from outside of ourselves. We are a barely emerging species and our behaviors and interactions with each other need to be considered within that context. We are as children who know how to add and subtract and think that’s all we need to know about mathematics. But of course, there’s a great deal more. We are loathe to question the prior assumption.

Wisdom: Plus, many of the religions seem to have a built in fear-based “fail safe” mechanism, so to speak, to discourage people from leaving it, such as the threat of eternal damnation.

NDW: Of course, many religions actually teach that to even question it is apostasy and blasphemy, much less leaving the faith, which is punishable in come cultures by death. To this very day people are sentenced to death for leaving their religions. Obviously most of the traditions have some kind of built in fear based regulation, such as “not only are we telling you the truth, but if you don’t accept it you will be punished.”

Wisdom: With so many traditional religions, in their various forms, exerting tremendous power of one kind or another in the world today, it seems like it would take a catastrophe of epic proportions to eliminate these influences that currently run the gamut from the pervasive to the perverse. How do you envision the evolution of spiritual philosophy among civilization to occur?

NDW: Almost by osmosis. The day of the individual spiritual leader or guru has passed. I don’t think that one person is going to come along and shift the global consciousness, What I do think, however, is that the number of people who are awakening and embracing and experiencing a new and different level of consciousness is expanding exponentially. Like ink on a blotter or a grassroots brushfire, we are seeing this level of consciousness expanding rapidly and exponentially across the planet. Hundreds of thousands turn into millions, and millions turn into billions of people who are beginning to express and experience a higher level of awareness and are beginning to share their experiences with others. For instance, if you just take the five major news magazines in the world over the past five years and count the number of times the word God appears on the cover, as opposed to the number of times the same word appeared on the cover the previous five years, or even twenty, I believe that you’ll see that increased appearance as a measure of where our culture is going. And that’s not by accident. Magazine publishers understand what’s selling magazines. People’s interest in the whole topic of God is expanding exponentially. That is what is going to ultimately change the behaviors of the population of the earth in general. And it’s going to happen faster than we think. Over the next 30 years, I believe, we will see a new renaissance on the earth. The last renaissance took 300 years, but it did happen, and at the end everything changed. Politics and economics changed, the way we experienced art and culture changed, education changed - everything changed. By the end of that period very little was the same as it was before. I think we’re going to see the same thing now, but increasing in speed by a factor of ten.

Wisdom: Recently, Pope Francis made a statement saying that evolution and intelligent design were actually compatible theories whereas “God is not some kind of magician” that created everything, rather he set the whole evolutionary mechanism in motion with the big bang. The Catholic Church also within the past several years overturned the age-old belief of unbaptized babies going to Hell, instead of Heaven, if they die. Are these kinds of departures from long-held beliefs coming from someone as powerful as the Pope a step forward in the evolution of religion or just a side step?

NDW: Pope Francis, and the fact that a person expressing that point of view could even become Pope, let alone to be saying the things he’s been saying, is a perfect example of the new renaissance I’ve been talking about. In my view it’s clearly a step forward. He’s awakening the Roman Catholic congregation around the world to certain understandings, ideas and concepts that are in some cases quite divergent from tradition. He’s not the only one. If you look at what the Roman Catholic Church has done in the past fifteen years you’ll notice that two Popes previous to this made a declaration that Hell is not a place that exists, and the last pope, Pope Benedict, said that Limbo doesn’t exist either. Now that’s interesting because the Catholic Church taught about Limbo for hundreds of years, What we are seeing is a gradual but significant shift in all of the world’s major religions away from old concepts, old dogmas and old stories that new leaders are seeing simply don’t work and probably never worked. It’s a process of our own spiritual maturation. The human race is growing up 

Wisdom: Do you think the whole idea of a male “Father God” is a product of our immaturity as a species? In other words, as a child needs a parent, have we created the idea of a “Man in a Robe” God to fill this need?

NDW: I think we came up with a Father God not only for those reasons but because the people who were creating the messages of the world’s great religions happened to be male. Religion emerged as a societal expression of spirituality during a time of enormous male dominance on the planet. So I think there are two reasons for a male Father God. One, because it was men who were writing the stories, and two, as you say, it was realized that the human species being as young and immature as we are, needed a parental figure, someone to whom they felt they could turn in times of difficulty, sorrow, stress and challenge, someone who could bring them assistance and insight and wisdom, and then look to those spiritual leaders like a parental figure.

Wisdom: Many of the readers of Wisdom Magazine would agree with the idea of God that you express. However, along with this belief, there’s an idea that we’re here for a reason: to learn, for soul advancement, etc. According to your book, we’re not here to learn, but rather to “individuate” so that we can experience the bliss of reunion. Do I have that correct?

NDW: Not entirely. My book The Only Thing That Matters would bring you a different impression. We’re not here to learn anything - life is not a school. We haven’t been sent down here not knowing what we needed to know and hoping we could find a way to learn it in 50, 60 or 70 years. No benevolent, loving God would do that to any creature. The purpose of your life is not to learn, but to demonstrate what you already know and to remember what we’ve always known. So the process of our life is one of remembering so that we might express and experience and then recreate ourselves anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about who we are. So life is not just about getting back home or rejoining God, it’s about expressing and experiencing Divinity at the next highest level through our own physical impression on the earth. You could call that evolution, if you wish. We are involved in a particular objective which is for the soul to experience itself fully as who it really is. The time is coming when we will have to all ask ourselves “who am I really?” Am I basically a biological entity, that lives, breathes, dies and that’s it, or is it possible that I am a spiritual entity having a body and a mind. I am not my body, I am not my mind. I am a spiritual  entity having a body and mind. If we accept the second choice we need to ask the next question, which is Why? What is the point of physicalizing when I could have remained a spirit. The answer is because physicalization allows the spirit experiences and impressions that were not possible in the spiritual realm. God created a number of realms. The realm of spirituality, the realm of physicality, and the realm of pure being. In the realm of physicality we have created what I call the contextual field where things exist relative to other things. We have up and down, left and right, before and after, here and now, male and female - all of these contrasting experiences and expressions of life exist so that from that contextual field we can choose and declare, decide and experience who we really are. Without contrasting elements we couldn’t do that. For example, if I want to express myself as Light, I can’t do that if all there is is Light. Therefore I would have to join in the collaborative process that produces the contextual field that eventuates what I would call Darkness. Only when the darkness appears can I experience myself as the Light. When I understand that deeply at a spiritual level, I suddenly stop condemning the Darkness - rather I am grateful for it because I see that because it exists, I can experience who I really am. I am not the first to say this, Others have put it much more directly. “Raise not your fist to Heaven and curse the Darkness not. It is the Light unto the Darkness that you might know who you really are.”

Wisdom: If the purpose of us being here is for us to experience our Divinity, which is the grandest version of the greatest vision of ourselves, everyone couldn’t be that way or there would be no counterpoint by which we would know our Divinity.

NDW: That is correct and that’s why the universe is infinite. If every living sentient being in the universe were simultaneously expressing that, the expression would then become impossible because there’d be no contrasting contextual field. The genius of Diety is that it created a contextual field so enormous that the possibility of every single living element simultaneously expressing the fullness of Divinity would be virtually impossible. Yet even if that were true - if every single sentient being simultaneously expressed divinity in fullness - even that would contain the contrasting element of memory. That God has allowed us as sentient beings to remember a time when we were “not that”- when we did not act that way - serves as the counterpoint. Memory serves us on earth in precisely the same way that it serves the universe in its larger mission. We can remember a time when we didn’t know what we now know and we say “I’ll never do that again.” So we choose a different path based on our memory of what we were before.

Wisdom: Your concept of God seems to speak to the sensibilities of those who have achieved some level of enlightenment, where the ego has been subjugated; however, to a person who still thinks their ego is the CEO, these ideas can appear to give license to behaving any way one pleases to one’s own benefit, since there is no eternal judgment or penalty to be faced. Do you think humanity en masse, in its current, mostly ego-bound state, is truly ready to embrace and benefit from the concept of God that you present in your books?

NDW: Yes, because we’ve seen that the kinds of behaviors that are totally self-serving are simply no longer working. Enough of us have made the observation that all of the governmental systems, economic systems, spiritual systems we’ve put into place globally, don’t work to produce the outcome for which they were designed. In fact they produce exactly the opposite. The number of people who can see that is growing by the hours, mostly due to the internet. We are able to look at ourselves more deeply and keenly than ever before and say, “You know what, excuse me, it’s not working.” Behaviors that inure to our own individual benefit, simply do not work - not even for myself, since they spoil the world in which I live. So again, yes, we are ready. We are able to see right in front of our eyes that it’s just not working.

Wisdom: You stated in your latest book that our experience of  “time” is part of our physical existence but that there is basically no time in God’s realm. This seems to mean that at the level of God everything we’re going to do we’ve already done. How can free will exist under this circumstance?

NDW: We are standing in a space of infinite possibilities. I have lived the life of Neale Donald Walsch in over a thousand different ways and each of those ways present themselves over and over again. Like watching a DVD, I can choose what to look at. Some DVDs have alternate endings, which is a good analogy. Every single one of our moments has an alternate ending. I’m very clear that everything I’ve ever done or ever will do has already happened. Yet at the level of consciousness, I’m not aware of all those other outcomes. I get to freely choose which of those events I want to open myself to experiencing again right now. 

Wisdom: You are involved in something called Awakening Day. Can you explain what that is? 

NDW: One of the things I’m attempting to do right now is something I’m co-creating with hopefully at least a thousand other people around the world, called Awakening Day, which will be held on March 12, 2015.On Awakening Day we hope to echo what Martin Luther did in 1517 when he attached his 95 Thesis to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany, which created the reformation, which changed the world. It changed how people thought of God and it was the beginning of The Renaissance. We intend to echo that event by tacking to the doors of every church, temple, mosque, synagogue, house of worship, as well as under the windshield wipers of all the cars in all the shopping center parking lots on that day, a document that we are calling The New Human Manifesto that contains 1000 words that will change the world. No speeches, no talks, no discussions, no websites...Just simply distribute that piece of paper all over the world. It’s sudden appearance everywhere on the same day in every country will produce a quickening of the spirit - an awareness. “Uh oh, something’s afoot.  How could this piece of paper have appeared in every major city on the planet on the same day. Something’s happening. Maybe we should be reading it to see what it has to offer.” We’re not saying that ours is the better way, ours is merely another way. But for the majority of people in the world right now, there’s only one way. So to even suggest that there’s another way, to pose the great “What if?” as in “what if there is something we don’t know about God and life, the understanding of which would change everything?” is revolutionary. Awakening Day is part of what I call the Evolution Revolution. We have Evolution Revolution action groups forming around the world and we’re inviting people who have even the slightest interest to join us at www.EvolutionRevolution.net.The Manifesto is on the website and people are asked to print it out and distribute it on March 12, 2015, so that the distribution happens simultaneously everywhere on the same day, creating a wave which can’t be ignored.


Mary A. Arsenault is the publisher of Wisdom Magazine.Marsen3157@aol.com  











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