In the spring of 1992—it was around Easter as I recall—an extraordinary phenomenon occurred in my life. God began talking with you. Through me.
Let me explain.
I was very unhappy during that period, personally, professionally, and emotionally, and my life was feeling like a failure on all levels. As I’d been in the habit for years of writing my thoughts down in letters (which I usually never delivered), I picked up my trusty yellow legal pad and began pouring out my feelings.
This time, rather than another letter to another person I imagined to be victimizing me, I thought I’d go straight to the source; straight to the greatest victimizer of them all. I decided to write a letter to God.
It was a spiteful, passionate letter, full of confusions, contortions, and condemnations. And a pile of angry questions.
Why wasn’t my life working? What would it take to get it to work? Why could I not find happiness in relationships? Was the experience of adequate money going to elude me forever? Finally—and most emphatically—What had I done to deserve a life of such continuing struggle?
To my surprise, as I scribbled out the last of my bitter, unanswerable questions and prepared to toss my pen aside, my hand remained poised over the paper, as if held there by some invisible force. Abruptly, the pen began moving on its own. I had no idea what I was about to write, but an idea seemed to be coming, so I decided to flow with it. Out came…
Do you really want an answer to all these questions, or are you just venting?
I blinked, and then my mind came up with a reply. I wrote that down, too.
Both. I’m venting, sure, but if these questions have answers, I’d sure as hell like to hear them!
You are “sure as hell”…about a lot of things. But wouldn’t it be nice to be “sure as Heaven”?
And I wrote:
What is that supposed to mean?
Before I knew it, I had begun a conversation…and I was not writing so much as taking dictation.
That dictation went on for three years, and at the time, I had no idea where it was going. The answers to the questions I was putting on paper never came to me until the question was completely written and I’d put my own thoughts away. Often the answers came faster than I could write, and I found myself scribbling to keep up. When I became confused, or lost the feeling that the words were coming from somewhere else, I put the pen down and walked away from the dialogue until I again felt inspired—sorry, that’s the only word which truly fits—to return to the yellow legal pad and start transcribing again.
These conversations are still going on as I write this. And much of it is found on the pages which follow…pages which contain an astounding dialogue which at first I disbelieved, then assumed to be of personal value, but which I now understand was meant for more than just me. It was meant for you and everyone else who has come to this material. For my questions are your questions.
I want you to get into this dialogue as soon as you can, because what’s really important here is not my story, but yours. It is your life story which brought you here. It is your personal experience to which this material has relevance. Otherwise you would not be here, with it, right now.
So let’s enter the dialogue with a question I had been asking for a very long time: How does God talk, and to whom? When I asked this question, here’s the answer I received:
I talk to everyone. All the time. The question is not to whom do I talk, but who listens?
Intrigued, I asked God to expand on this subject. Here’s what God said:
First, let’s exchange the word talk with the word communicate. It’s a much better word, a much fuller, more accurate one. When we try to speak to each other—Me to you, you to Me, we are immediately constricted by the unbelievable limitation of words. For this reason, I do not communicate by words alone. In fact, rarely do I do so. My most common form of communication is through feeling.
Feeling is the language of the soul.
If you want to know what’s true for you about something, look to how you’re feeling about it.
Feelings are sometimes difficult to discover—and often even more difficult to acknowledge. Yet hidden in your deepest feelings is your highest truth.
The trick is to get to those feelings. I will show you how. Again. If you wish.
I told God that I did wish, but that right now I wished even more for a complete and full answer to my first question. Here’s what God said:
I also communicate with thought. Thought and feelings are not the same, although they can occur at the same time. In communicating with thought, I often use images and pictures. For this reason, thoughts are more effective than mere words as tools of communication.
In addition to feelings and thoughts, I also use the vehicle of experience as a grand communicator.
And finally, when feelings and thoughts and experience all fail, I use words. Words are really the least effective communicator. They are most open to misinterpretation, most often misunderstood.
And why is that? It is because of what words are. Words are merely utterances: noises that stand for feelings, thoughts, and experience. They are symbols. Signs. Insignias. They are not Truth. They are not the real thing.
Words may help you understand something. Experience allows you to know. Yet there are some things you cannot experience. So I have given you other tools of knowing. And these are called feelings. And so too thoughts.
Now the supreme irony here is that you have all placed so much importance on the Word of God, and so little on the experience.
In fact, you place so little value on experience that when what you experience of God differs from what you’ve heard of God, you automatically discard the experience and own the words, when it should be just the other way around.
Your experience and your feelings about a thing represent what you factually and intuitively know about that thing. Words can only seek to symbolize what you know, and can often confuse what you know.
These, then, are the tools with which I communicate, yet they are not the methods, for not all feelings, not all thoughts, not all experience, and not all words are from Me.
Many words have been uttered by others, in My name. Many thoughts and many feelings have been sponsored by causes not of My direct creation. Many experiences result from these.
The challenge is one of discernment. The difficulty is knowing the difference between messages from God and data from other sources. Discrimination is a simple matter with the application of a basic rule:
Mine is always your Highest Thought, your Clearest Word, your Grandest Feeling. Anything less is from another source.
Now the task of differentiation becomes easy, for it should not be difficult even for the beginning student to identify the Highest, the Clearest, and the Grandest.
Yet will I give you these guidelines:
The Highest Thought is always that thought which contains joy. The Clearest Words are those words which contain truth. The Grandest Feeling is that feeling which you call love.
Joy, truth, love.
These three are interchangeable, and one always leads to the other. It matters not in which order they are placed.
Having with these guidelines determined which messages are Mine and which have come from another source, the only question remaining is whether My messages will be heeded.
Most of My messages are not. Some, because they seem too good to be true. Others, because they seem too difficult to follow. Many, because they are simply misunderstood. Most, because they are not received.
My most powerful messenger is experience, and even this you ignore. Especially this you ignore.
Your world would not be in its present condition were you to have simply listened to your experience. The result of your not listening to your experience is that you keep re-living it, over and over again. For My purpose will not be thwarted, nor My will be ignored. You will get the message. Sooner or later.
I will not force you to, however. I will never coerce you. For I have given you a free will—the power to do as you choose—and I will never take that away from you, ever.
And so I will continue sending you the same messages over and over again, throughout the millennia and to whatever corner of the universe you occupy. Endlessly will I send you My messages, until you have received them and held them close, calling them your own.
My messages will come in a hundred forms, at a thousand moments, across a million years. You cannot miss them if you truly listen. You cannot ignore them once truly heard. Thus will our communication begin in earnest. For in the past you have only talked to Me, praying to Me, interceding with Me, beseeching Me. Yet now can I talk back to you, even as I am doing here.
How can I know this communication is from God? How do I know this is not my own imagination?
What would be the difference? Do you not see that I could just as easily work through your imagination as anything else? I will bring you the exact right thoughts, words or feelings, at any given moment, suited precisely to the purpose at hand, using one device, or several.
You will know these words are from Me because you, of your own accord, have never spoken so clearly. Had you already spoken so clearly on these questions, you would not be asking them.
To whom does God communicate? Are there special people? Are there special times?
All people are special, and all moments are golden. There is no person and there is no time one more special than another. Many people choose to believe that God communicates in special ways and only with special people. This removes the mass of the people from responsibility for hearing My message, much less receiving it (which is another matter), and allows them to take someone else’s word for everything. You don’t have to listen to Me, for you’ve already decided that others have heard from Me on every subject, and you have them to listen to.
By listening to what other people think they heard Me say, you don’t have to think at all.
This is the biggest reason for most people turning from My messages on a personal level. If you acknowledge that you are receiving My messages directly, then you are responsible for interpreting them. It is far safer and much easier to accept the interpretation of others (even others who have lived 2,000 years ago) than seek to interpret the message you may very well be receiving in this moment now.
Yet I invite you to a new form of communication with God. A two-way communication. In truth, it is you who have invited Me. For I have come to you, in this form, right now, in answer to your call.
Why do some people, take Christ, for example, seem to hear more of Your communication than others?
Because some people are willing to actually listen. They are willing to hear, and they are willing to remain open to the communication even when it seems scary, or crazy, or downright wrong.
We should listen to God even when what’s being said seems wrong?
Especially when it seems wrong. If you think you are right about everything, who needs to talk with God?
Go ahead and act on all that you know. But notice that you’ve all been doing that since time began. And look at what shape the world is in. Clearly, you’ve missed something. Obviously, there is something you don’t understand. That which you do understand must seem right to you, because “right” is a term you use to designate something with which you agree. What you’ve missed will, therefore, appear at first to be “wrong.”
The only way to move forward on this is to ask yourself, “What would happen if everything I thought was ‘wrong’ was actually ‘right’?” Every great scientist knows about this. When what a scientist does is not working, a scientist sets aside all of the assumptions and starts over. All great discoveries have been made from a willingness, and ability, to not be right. And that’s what’s needed here.
You cannot know God until you’ve stopped telling yourself that you already know God. You cannot hear God until you stop thinking that you’ve already heard God.
I cannot tell you My Truth until you stop telling Me yours.
But my truth about God comes from You.
Who said so?
Leaders. Ministers. Rabbis. Priests. Books. The Bible, for heaven’s sake!
Those are not authoritative sources.
Then what is?
Listen to your feelings. Listen to your Highest Thoughts. Listen to your experience. Whenever any one of these differ from what you’ve been told by your teachers, or read in your books, forget the words. Words are the least reliable purveyor of Truth.
There is so much I want to say to You, so much I want to ask. I don’t know where to begin.
For instance, why is it that You do not reveal Yourself? If there really is a God, and You are It, why do You not reveal Yourself in a way we can all understand?
I have done so, over and over. I am doing so again right now.
No. I mean by a method of revelation that is incontrovertible; that cannot be denied.
Such as appearing right now before my eyes.
I am doing so right now.
Everywhere you look.
No, I mean in an incontrovertible way. In a way no man could deny.
What way would that be? In what form or shape would you have Me appear?
In the form or shape that you actually have.
That would be impossible, for I have no form or shape you understand. I could adopt a form or shape that you could understand, but then everyone would assume that what they have seen is the one and only form and shape of God, rather than a form or shape of God—one of many.
People believe I am what they see Me as, rather than what they do not see. But I am the Great Unseen, not what I cause Myself to be in any particular moment. In a sense, I am what I am not. It is from the am-notness that I come, and to it I always return.
Yet when I come in one particular form or another—a form in which I think people can understand Me—people assign Me that form forevermore.
And should I come in any other form, to any other people, the first say I did not appear to the second, because I did not look to the second as I did to the first, nor say the same things—so how could it have been Me?
You see, then, it matters not in what form or in what manner I reveal Myself—whatever manner I choose and whatever form I take, none will be incontrovertible.
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.
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.
But what if I am grateful to God in advance for something, and it never shows up? That could lead to disillusionment and 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 knows 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’t 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.
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.
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.
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.
[. . .]
Présentation de l'éditeur
Conversations with God, Book 1 was the start of Neale Donald Walsch's ongoing dialogue with God. The trilogy contains the most essential truths and lessons for spiritual seekers, and these books are the bestselling of all the author's works. Featuring a new foreword by the author, printed throughout in two colors, and inserted in a fully enclosed full-color box, this remarkable book will be a Christmas gift to treasure.