Conversations With God
--an uncommon dialog--
by Neale Donald Walsch
Hampton Roads, 1995 / G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1996
From the cover:
Suppose you could ask God the most puzzling questions about existence--questions about love and faith, life and death, good and evil.
Suppose God provided clear, understandable answers.
It happened to Neale Donald Walsch. It can happen to you.
You are about to have a conversation...
the dialogue begins...
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.
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.
Conversations with God
[Note: NDW=Neale Donald Walsch, the writer of the book, interviewing God]
page 10, book 1:
NDW: But if You did something that would evidence the truth of who You are beyond doubt or question...
... there are still those who would say, it is of the devil, or simply someone's imagination. Or any cause other than Me.
If I revealed myself as God Almighty, King of Heaven and Earth, and moved mountains to prove it, there are those who would say, "it must have been Satan."
And such is as it should be. For God does not reveal Godself to Godself from or through outward observation, but through inward experience. And when inward experience has revealed Godself, outward observation is not necessary. And if outward observation is necessary, inward experience is not possible.
If, then, revelation is requested, it cannot be had, for the act of asking is a statement that it is not there; that nothing of God is now being revealed. Such a statement produces the experience. For your thought about something is creative, and your word is productive, and your thought and your word together are magnificently effective in giving birth to your reality. Therefore shall you experience that God is not now revealed, for if God were, you would not ask God to be.
NDW: Does that mean I cannot ask for anything I want? Are You saying that praying for something actually pushes it away from us?
This is a question which has been asked through the Ages-and has been answered whenever it has been asked. Yet you have not heard the answer, or will not believe it.
The question is answered again, in today's terms, and today's language, thusly:
You will not have that for which you ask, nor can you have anything you want. This is because your very request is a statement of lack, and your saying you want a thing only works to produce that precise experience wanting in your reality.
The correct prayer is therefore never a prayer of supplication, but a prayer of gratitude.
When you thank God in advance for that which you choose to experience in your reality, you, in effect, acknowledge that it is there ... in effect. Thankfulness is thus the most powerful statement to God; an affirmation that even before you ask, I have answered.
Therefore never supplicate. Appreciate.
NDW: But what if I am grateful to God in advance for something and it never shows up? That could lead to disillusionment bitterness.
Gratitude cannot be used as a tool with which to manipulate God; a device with which to fool the universe. You cannot lie to yourself. Your mind know the truth of your thoughts. If you are saying "Thank you God, for such and such," all the while being very clear that it isn't there in your present reality, you can' expect God to be less clear than you, and so produce it for you.
God knows what you know, and what you know is what appears as your reality.
NDW: But how then can I be truly grateful for something I know is not there?
Faith. if you have but the faith of a mustard seed, you shall move mountains. You come to know it is there because I said it is there; because I said that, even before you ask, I shall have answered; because I said, and have said to you in every conceivable way, through every teacher you can name, that whatsoever you shall choose, choosing it in My Name, so shall it be.
NDW: Yet so many people say that their prayers have gone unanswered.
No prayer-and a prayer is nothing more than a fervent statement of what is so--goes unanswered. Every prayer-every thought, every statement, every feeling--is creative. To the degree that it is fervently held as truth, to that degree will it be made manifest in your experience.
When it is said that a prayer has not been answered, what has in actuality happened is that the most fervently held thought, word, or feeling has become operative. Yet what you must know--and here is the secret--is that always it is the thought behind the thought--what might be called the Sponsoring Thought--that is the controlling thought.
If, therefore, you beg and supplicate, there seems a much smaller chance that you will experience what you think you are choosing, because the Sponsoring Thought behind every supplication is that you do not have now what you wish. That Sponsoring Thought becomes your reality.
The only Sponsoring Thought which could override this thought is the thought held in faith that God will grant whatever is asked, without fail. Some people have such faith, but very few.
The process of prayer becomes much easier when, rather than having to believe that God will always say "yes" to every request, one understands intuitively that the request itself is not necessary. Then the prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving. It is not a request at all, but a statement of gratitude for what is so.
NDW: When you say that a prayer is a statement of what is so, are you saying that God does nothing; that everything which happens after a prayer is a result of the prayer's action?
If you believe that God is some omnipotent being who hears all prayers, says "yes" to some, "no" to others, and "maybe, but not now" to the rest, you are mistaken. By what rule of thumb would God decide?
If you believe that God is the creator and decider of all things in your life, you are mistaken.
God is the observer, not the creator. And God stands ready to assist you in living your life, but not in the way you might expect.
It is not God's function to create, or uncreate, the circumstances or conditions of your life. God created you, in the image and likeness of God. You have created the rest, through the power God has given you. God created the process of life and life itself as you know it. Yet God gave you free choice, to do with life as you will.
In this sense, your will for you is God's will for you.
You are living your life the way you are living your life, and I have no preference in the matter.
This is the grand illusion in which you have engaged: that God cares one way or the other what you do.
I do not care what you do, and that is hard for you to hear. Yet do you care what your children do when you send them out to play? Is it a matter of consequence to you whether they play tag, or hide and seek, or pretend? No, it is not, because you know they are perfectly safe. You have placed them in an environment which you consider friendly and very okay.
Of course, you will always hope that they do not hurt themselves. And if they do, you will be right there to help them, heal them, allow them to feel safe again, to be happy again, to go and play again another day. But whether they choose hide and seek or pretend will not matter to you the next day, either.
You will tell them, of course, which games are dangerous to play. But you cannot stop your children from doing dangerous things. Not always. Not forever. Not in every moment from now until death. it is the wise parent who knows this. Yet the parent never stops caring about the outcome. It is this dichotomy--not caring deeply about the process, but caring deeply about the result--that comes close to describing the dichotomy of God.
Yet God, in a sense, does not even care about the outcome. Not the ultimate outcome. This is because the ultimate outcome is assured.
And this is the second great illusion of man: that the outcome of life is in doubt.
It is this doubt about ultimate outcome that has created your greatest enemy, which is fear. For if you doubt outcome, then you must doubt Creator-you must doubt God. And if you doubt God, you must live in fear and guilt all your life.
If you doubt God's intentions-and God's ability to produce this ultimate result-then how can you ever relax? How can you ever truly find peace?
Yet God has full power to match intentions with results. You cannot and will not believe in this (even though you claim that God is all-powerful), and so you have to create in your imagination a power equal to God, in order that you may find a way for God's will to be thwarted. And so you have created in your mythology the being you call "devil." You have even imagined a God at war with this being (thinking that God solves problems the way you do). Finally, you have actually imagined that God could lose this war.
All of this violates everything you say you know about God, but this doesn't matter. You live your illusion, and thus feel your fear, all out of your decision to doubt God
But what if you made a new decision? What the would be the result?
I tell you this: you would live as the Buddha did. Jesus did. As did every saint you have ever idolized
Yet, as with most of those saints, people would understand you. And when you tried to explain your sense of peace, your joy in life, your inner ecstasy, they would listen to your words, but not hear them. They would try to repeat your words, but would add to them.
They would wonder how you could have what the cannot find. And then they would grow jealous. So jealousy would turn to rage, and in their anger the would try to convince you that it is you who do not understand God.
And if they were unsuccessful at tearing you from your joy., they would seek to harm you, so enormous would be their rage. And when you told them it does not matter, that even death cannot interrupt your joy nor change your truth, they would surely kill you. Then, when they saw the peace with which you accepted death, they would call you saint, and love you again.
For it is the nature of people to love, then destroy then love again that which they value most.
NDW: But why? Why do we do that?
All human actions are motivated at their deepest level by one of two emotions--fear or love. in truth there are only two emotions--only two words in the language of the soul. These are the opposite ends of the great polarity which I created when I produced the universe, and your world, as you know it today.
These are the two points--the Alpha and the Omega--which allow the system you call "relativity" to
be. Without these two points, without these two ideas about things, no other idea could exist.
Every human thought, and every human action, is based in either love or fear. There is no other human motivation, and all other ideas are but derivatives of these two. They are simply different versions -- different twists on the same theme.
Think on this deeply and you will see that it is true. This is what I have called the Sponsoring Thought. It is either a thought of love or fear. This is the thought behind the thought behind the thought. it is the first thought. It is prime force. it is the raw energy that drives the engine of human experience.
And here is how human behavior produces repeat experience after repeat experience; it is why humans love, then destroy, then love again: always there is the swing from one emotion to the other. Love sponsors fear sponsors love sponsors fear...
... And the reason is found in the first lie-the lie which you hold as the truth about God-that God cannot be trusted; that God's love cannot be depended upon; that God's acceptance of you is conditional; that the ultimate outcome is thus in doubt. For if you cannot depend on God's love to always be there, on whose love can you depend? If God retreats and withdraws when you do not perform properly, will not mere mortals also?
... And so it is that in the moment you pledge your highest love, you greet your greatest fear.
For the first thing you worry about after saying "I love you" is whether you'll hear it back. And if you hear it back, then you begin immediately to worry that the love you have just found, you will lose. And so all action becomes a reaction--defense against loss-- even as you seek to defend yourself against the loss of God.
Yet if you knew Who You Are--that you are the most magnificent, the most remarkable, the most splendid being God has ever created-- you would never fear. For who could reject such wondrous magnificence? Not even God could find fault in such a being.
But you do not know Who You Are, and you think you are a great deal less. And where did you get the idea of how much less than magnificent you are? From the only people whose word you would take on everything, From your mother and your father.
These are the people who love you the most. When would they lie to you? Yet have they not told you that you are too much of this, and not enough of that? Have they not reminded you that you are to be seen and not heard? Have they not scolded you in some of the moments of your greatest exuberance? And, did they not encourage you to set aside some of your wildest imagining?
These are the messages you've received, and though they do not meet the criteria, and are thus not messages from God, they might as well have been, for they have come from the gods of your universe surely enough.
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.
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."
For have you not experienced the banishment of your own parents? Do you not know the pain of their damnation? How, then, could you imagine it to be any different with Me?
You have forgotten what it was like to be loved without condition. You do not remember the experience of the love of God. And so you try to imagine what God's love must be like, based on what you see of love in the world.
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. Its Sponsoring Thought is wrong, but to deny that thought would be to disrupt your whole theology. And though the new theology which would replace it would truly be your salvation, you cannot accept it, because the idea of a God Who is not to be feared, Who will not judge, and Who has no cause to punish is simply too magnificent to be embraced within even your grandest notion of Who and What God is.
This fear-based love reality dominates your experience of love; indeed, actually creates it. For not only do you see yourself receiving love which is conditional, you also watch yourself giving it in the same way, And even while you withhold and retreat and set your conditions, a part of you knows this is not what love really is. Still, you see powerless to change the way you dispense it. You've learned the hard way, you tell yourself, and you'll be damned if you're going to leave yourself vulnerable again. Yet the truth is, you'll be damned if you don't.
[By your own (mistaken) thoughts about love do you damn yourself never to experience it purely. So, too, do you damn yourself never to know Me as I really am. Until you do. For you shall not be able to deny Me forever, and the moment will come for our Reconciliation.]
Every action taken by human beings is based in love or fear, not simply those dealing with relationships. Decisions affecting business, industry, politics, religion, the education of your young, the social agenda of your nations, the economic goals of your society, choices involving war, peace, attack, defense, aggression, submission; determinations to covet or give away, to save or to share, to unite or to divide--every single free choice you ever undertake arises out of one of the only two possible thoughts there are: a thought of love or a thought of fear.
Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms.
Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals.
Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.
Every human thought, word, or deed is based in one emotion or the other. You have no choice about this, because there is nothing else from which to choose. But you have free choice about which of these to select.
NDW: You make it sound so easy, and yet in the moment of decision fear wins more often than not. Why is that?
You have been taught to live in fear. You have been told about the survival of the fittest and the victory of the strongest and the success of the cleverest. Precious little is said about the glory of the most loving. And so you strive to be the fittest, the strongest, the cleverest-- in one way or another --and if you see yourself as something less than this in any situation, you fear loss, for you have been told that to be less is to lose.
And so of course you choose the action fear sponsors, for that is what you have been taught. Yet I teach you this: when you choose the action love sponsors, then will you do more than survive, then will you do more than win, then will you do more than succeed. Then will you experience the full glory of Who You Really Are, and who you can be.
To do this you must turn aside the teachings of your well-meaning, but misinformed, worldly tutors, and hear the teachings of those whose wisdom comes from another source.
There are many such teachers among you, as always there have been, for I will not leave you without those who would show you, teach you, guide you, and remind you of these truths. Yet the greatest reminder is not anyone outside you, but the voice within you. This is the first tool that I use, because it is the most accessible.
The voice within is the loudest voice with which I speak, because it is the closest to you. It is the voice which tells you whether everything else is true or false, right or wrong, good or bad as you have defined it. It is the radar that sets the course, steers the ship, guides the journey if you but let it.
It is the voice which tells you right now whether the very words you are reading are words of love or words of fear. By this measure can you determine whether they are words to heed or words to ignore.
NDW: You said that when I always choose the action that love sponsors, then I will experience the full glory of who I am and who I can be. Will you expand on this please?
There is only one purpose for all of life, and that is for you and all that lives to experience fullest glory.
Everything else you say, think, or do is attendant to that function. There is nothing else for your soul to do, and nothing else your soul wants to do.
The wonder of this purpose is that it is never-ending. An ending is a limitation, and God's purpose is without such a boundary. Should there come a moment in which you experience yourself in your fullest glory, you will in that instant imagine an ever greater glory to fulfill. The more you are, the more you can become, and the more you can become, the more you can yet be.
The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation.
You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out Who You Are, seek to determine Who You Want to Be.
NDW: There are those who say that life is a school, that we are here to learn specific lessons, that once we "graduate" we can go on to larger pursuits, no longer shackled by the body. Is this correct?
It is another part of your mythology, based on human experience.
NDW: Life is not a school?
NDW: We are not here to learn lessons?
NDW: Then why are we here?
To remember, and re-create, Who You Are.
I have told you, over and over again. You do not believe Me. Yet that is well as it should be. For truly, if you do not create yourself as Who You Are, that you cannot be.
NDW: Okay, You've lost me. Let's go back to this school bit. I've heard teacher after teacher tell us that life is a school. I'm frankly shocked to hear You deny that.
School is a place you go if there is something you do not know that you want to know. It is not a place you go if you already know a thing and simply want to experience your knowingness.
Life (as you call it) is an opportunity for you to know experientially what you already know conceptually. You need learn nothing to do this. You need merely remember what you already know, and act on it.
NDW: Are you saying that I shouldn't feel bad about the starving children of Africa, the violence and injustice in America, the earthquake that kills hundreds in Brazil?
There are no "shoulds" or "shouldn'ts" in God's world. Do what you want to do. Do what reflects you, what re-presents you as a grander version of your Self. if you want to feel bad, feel bad.
But judge not, and neither condemn, for you know not why a thing occurs, nor to what end.
And remember you this: that which you condemn will condemn you, and that which you judge, you will one day become.
Rather, seek to change those things--or support others who are changing those things--which no longer reflect your highest sense of Who You Are.
Yet, bless all-for all is the creation of God, through life living, and that is the highest creation.
NDW: Could we just stop here for a moment and let me catch my breath? Did I hear you say there are no "shoulds" or "should nots" in God's world?
That is correct.
NDW: How can that be? If there are none in Your world, where would they be?
Indeed--where ... ?
NDW: I repeat the question. Where else would "shoulds" and "should nots" appear, if not in Your world?
In your imagination.
NDW: But those who have taught me all about the right wrongs, the dos and don'ts, the shoulds and shouldn'ts, told me all those rules were laid down by You-by God.
Then those who taught you were wrong. I have never set down a "right" or "wrong," a "do" or a "don't." To do so would be to strip you completely of your greatest gift-the opportunity to do as you please, an experience the results of that; the chance to create yourself anew in the image and likeness of Who You Really Are; the space to produce a reality of a high and higher you, based on your grandest idea of what is of which you are capable.
To say that something -- a thought, a word, an action --is "wrong" would be as much as to tell you no to do it. To tell you not to do it would be to prohibit you. To prohibit you would be to restrict you. To restrict you would be to deny the reality of Who You Really Are, as well as the opportunity for you to create an experience that truth.
There are those who say that I have given you free will, yet these same people claim that if you do not obey Me, I will send you to hell. What kind of free will is that Does this not make a mockery of God-to say nothing of any sort of true relationship between us?
Return to Links