It feels good to me to believe in God. It feels good to me to believe that someone “has my back,” that someone is “there for me,” that someone is supporting me, empowering me, uplifting me, protecting me, and embracing me. It feels good to me to feel that I am not alone in this Universe and not without help in this life and not without a Home to which to return when my time here is over. It feels good to me to believe in a God who loves me unconditionally and empowers me unlimitedly and accepts me unreservedly. It feels good to me to believe in a God who gives me Free Will to express and experience myself in the way that feels most authentic to me and most loving to me and most wonderful to me. It feels good to me to believe in a Higher Power; that there exists in the Universe an Essential Essence, a Pure Energy, that I may use to impact in a positive way the expression and the experience of my life. It feels good for me to believe that there is no separation or difference between this Essential Essence and me, and that it is, in fact, that of which I am comprised.
It feels bad to me to believe in a God who is separate from me, who is made of something I am not, who is watching my every move, noticing my every mistake, judging my every choice, and holding me to account for my every misdeed. It feels especially bad to me to believe in a God who may be approached in only one way, accessed by only one path, found and rejoined by only one method — and who condemns and punishes with everlasting torture and unremitting anguish anyone who comes to God in another way, by another path, using another method — no matter how pure their love for God or how sincere their search for God or how deep their desire for God may be.
This does not mean that those who do believe in a God who is and does these things are “wrong” for doing so. My comments above are in no way meant to imply that my beliefs are in any way better or more accurate, more sensible or more reasonable than anyone else’s beliefs. I want to make it very clear that all beliefs about God (including the belief that there is no God) are honored by me (and, I hope, by everyone), and that no one is intended to be disrespected by my statement above. To disagree is not to disrespect, and to offer one point of view that diverges from another is not to scorn, but to invite greater understanding.
The only aspect of spiritual practice that I cannot personally condone is any attempt by a believer or organization of believers in a particular doctrine to forcibly impose on another that doctrine or dogma which the believer holds dear. I consider every individual’s spiritual experience and truth to be the most personal and sacred aspect of their life, and I do and will not support any attempt to compel or coerce by any means—emotional or physical—any person to embrace or adhere to a particular teaching, canon, or creed.
Our differences do not have to create divisions, our contrasts do not have to create conflicts, and the variations in our beliefs do not have to create violence in our lives.
There is another way. But we will not find that way by searching for it. We will only find it by creating it. Let us, therefore, go forth into our world in peace and in love, knowing that if there is a God, surely this is God’s desire—and that if there is not a Higher Power, there can be no better way to live in the absence of one.
Happiness can be a reaction or a creation. That is one of the most important lessons I learned in my conversations with God. It is so important that I want to repeat it here, so that you never forget it.
Happiness can be a reaction or a creation.
Most people think that happiness is a reaction. Something happens in the exterior of our reality and we become happy. Only the Life Master knows that happiness does not have to be a reaction. It can be a creation. A decision. A choice.
The proof of this is that an identical event can occur in the lives of two people and those two people can have two entirely different experiences. The first can be deliriously happy while the second is utterly unhappy. What’s going on here? Why are their experiences so different? If happiness (or unhappiness) is a reaction, why aren’t they both reacting in the same way to the same stimuli?
But wait! Not only can two people have different experiences of the same event…one person can have different experiences of the same event at different times. That’s how complex this whole happiness business is!
The fact is that exterior circumstances or events do not have to have anything to do with happiness. We can make a decision to be happy or to be unhappy, regardless of exterior circumstances. The only question would be why we would make such a decision—and how we would do so. That is, would we do so consciously or unconsciously; from a place of awareness or lack of it?
Hard to believe, I know…
Much of this is difficult for many people to accept, and I am aware of that. “Hey!”, they say to me, “I just lost my job today. How can I not be unhappy about that?” Or, “Have you taken a look at the world and how it is? Are you telling me I am making a choice to be unhappy?”
Tough as this is to hear, the answer could be (and almost always is)…yes.
I have actually been in the presence of people who have not been unhappy even in the face of the world being the way it is. They were sad—in some cases terribly, terribly sad—but they were not unhappy. (See previous chapter) I have seen people who were not unhappy when they lost their jobs. They may have been sad, but they were not unhappy.
These are people who intuitively understand the difference between sadness and unhappiness, and who are clear that these two are not, and need not be, one and the same. They allow themselves to feel their sadness—indeed, sometimes to feel it deeply —yet they maintain their inner peace, their inner happiness, their equilibrium, in the midst of the most challenging circumstances.
What do they know that we do not know? What do they do that we do not do? How do they manage this?
Which brain are we using?
Most people think that happiness is a reaction. Something happens in the exterior of our reality and we become happy. Only the Life Master knows that happiness does not have to be a reaction. Masters know what I have told you here. They know that happiness can be a creation. It can be a decision, a choice.
A reaction is something that one chooses instinctively. A response is something that one chooses deliberatively. A creation is something that one chooses proactively. A reaction comes from the Reptilian Brain, a response comes from the Mammalian Brain, a creation comes from the Human Brain.
The brain of human beings developed in stages. The first stage of development was the Reptilian Brain. It reacts to exterior data taken in by the Body. It does not store the data (reptiles have no memory), it does not analyze the data (reptiles have no emotions), and it does not call the data forward and recommend alternative responses (reptiles do not ponder their decisions, nor are they ever “confused”).
Reptiles merely encounter data and react to them. Their reaction to exterior physical circumstances and conditions is instant and instinctive, based not on evaluation of prior experiences, but on cellular encoding. Therefore their reaction is also identical and predictable, given identical exterior stimuli. (The same cannot be said about humans!)
The Mammalian Brain is the second stage of brain development. Elephants are reputed to have a long memory. Lions can become angry. (A snake cannot.) That is because mammals store data and call it forward the next time similar data appears in their environment. Mammals then compare present data with past data, and if the comparison brings them unwelcome information, they become angry. Or scared. Or happy. Whatever the case may be.
Mammals respond, reptiles react. A response is a reaction tempered and influenced by past data.
The Human Brain is the third stage of brain development. Humans not only store data and bring data forward and compare data, humans also analyze data. That is, they think about what they think about. “Should I do this, or do that…?” A lion does not ask itself, “Should I roar now?”
Humans also reflect upon their decisions. A lion does not roar and then say to itself, “Gee, I wonder if I overreacted there. Do you think that roar was too loud? What will the other lions think…?” Humans do. Humans ask themselves these kinds of questions all the time.
This is humanity’s great gift. It is this ability to analyze data and create rather than react or respond that marks a more highly evolved species. It is this skill that gives humans their power; the power to create their own reality.
The process of reality creation
Human beings have options that other creatures of the earth do not, as far as we know. (I say “as far as we know” because there are some who believe that certain mammals—namely, whales and dolphins—might live in a more advanced civilization than we do). Humans can react to exterior conditions, they can respond to exterior situations, or they are create interior realities regardless of exterior circumstances.
If they choose to create their reality, they also have two ways of doing this: (A) by using the Mind; or, (B) by using the Mind and the Soul at the same time. This second method is what I have called The WECCE Technology, from the book When Everything Changes, Change Everything. The technology involves a joining of the Mind and the Soul in a collaborative process. It is using the brain at its highest level. It is using the Divine Brain.
Thus, humans have four options:
- They can react to exterior conditions
- They can respond to exterior situations
- They can create interior realities regardless of exterior circumstances…or…
- They can recreate themselves anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever they held about who they are.
HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE AWAY
So now we see that there are actually four stages of brain development. There is the Reptilian Brain, there is the Mammalian Brain, there is the Human Brain, and there is the Divine Brain. Using the Divine Brain, happiness is always one choice away.
It has been said that we live in a constant conflict between our human self and our divine self. Which self are you expressing most often?
Is your life a process of Reacting, Responding, Creating, or ReCreating your Self anew? What is, most often, true for you?
A FASCINATING EXERCISE YOU CAN DO:
- Can you think of a time when you just “reacted” to a certain situation and event? Most of us can. If you can, write out a brief description (a paragraph or two) about that experience. Your reaction, by the way, could have been Positive or Negative. Just let it be a time when the energy came out of you instantly, instinctively. You simply did what you did, said what you said, felt what you felt, without thinking. (You were happy or unhappy, quite instinctively.)
- Now, think of a time when you “responded” to a certain situation or event. You thought about what was going on in the moment, and you allowed the energy created by those thoughts to immediately flow through you as a result of your thoughts about it. (You were happy or unhappy, quite spontaneously.)
- Now, think of a time when you “created” your reality regardless of an exterior situation or circumstance. You thought about what was going on in the moment, and you analyzed that data and choose deliberately to experience yourself in a certain way, allowing the energy of that choice to flow through you as a result of your decision. (You were happy or unhappy, quite intentionally.)
- Finally, can you think of a time when you “created” your reality regardless of an exterior situation or circumstance, and regardless of your own prior thought about it or your limited mental analysis of it, but with, also, the benefit of your Soul’s Awareness of the Soul with regard to it? You thought about what was going on in the moment, and you analyzed that data and felt yourself experiencing an event in a certain way, then opened to a Larger Experience, moving into the space of the Soul and allowing the Soul’s Data to enlarge the Mind’s Data, and then watching the energy of that fullness flow through you as a result of your ascension into Beingness. (You were happy absolutely, because there was nothing else to be!)
- Now, be honest with yourself and tell yourself: On the average day, how many times do you react to exterior circumstances, how many times do you respond, how many times do you create your interior reality regardless of exterior circumstances, and how may times do you recreate yourself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about who you are? Give yourself a % for each of the categories, and look to see what this tells you about how you are living your life.
- React ___%
- Respond ___%
- Create ___%
- Recreate Anew ___%
(Please Note: The above is one of 36 lessons in the CWG Spiritual Mentoring Program. You may find more information about this program here: http://www.nealedonaldwalsch.com/SpiritualMentoring)
A few days ago I placed a question in this space. I invited visitors here to respond to this query: “What does God want?” Then I asked some other questions in which I repeated some statements that I have heard from others.
I asked, “Is it true, for instance, that every Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, and Baha’i’ is going straight to hell upon their death? Is it true that a 2-day-old baby will be denied entry into heaven and reunion with God if that baby is not baptized? Is it true that God says women should to be subservient to men, and that wives must obey their husbands? It is true that God wants people to love each other, but wants people of the same sex who love each other to never marry, or demonstrate their love for each other in a physical or sexual way, and that God will punish with everlasting damnation any person who does? It is true that God wants us to understand that God’s love can turn to wrath if we do not do what God wants?”
Nearly all of the people who people who commented below failed to address these specific questions. Many offered their conclusion, some in roundabout ways, that they did not think that God, as God really is, was accurately or widely understood by the majority of people. But I was intrigued by one response in particular, this from a reader posting as “Jethro”, who offered this: “When I was still a very young child, I heard that all religions other than the one I was in was doomed to hell. Other Christians were going to hell. So it applied to other denominations too, not just other religions. One of my first thoughts about people and God was believing that something must be misunderstood. I was a child and thought this. One thought that followed me into adulthood is, how can I be more compassionate than God? I don’t think I am, so there must be something wrong with the information I received.”
It will be a long time before I forget that question…if I ever do. I think Jethro drove right to the heart of the matter. As I look at some of the things that billions of people believe about what God wants, I now find myself asking this simple, pure question of a child: How can I be more compassionate than God?
Of course, there are billions of people who think that God does want every Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, and Bahá’í to go straight to hell upon their death. There are billions of people who think that God does want a 2-day-old baby to be denied entry into heaven and reunion with God if that baby is not baptized. There are billions of people who think that God does want women to be subservient to men, and wives to obey their husbands. There are billions of people who think that God does want people of the same sex who love each other and marry, or demonstrate their love for each other in a physical or sexual way, to be punished with everlasting damnation. And there are billions of people who think that God does want us to understand that God’s love can turn to wrath if we do not do what God wants.
And so it would appear that there are billions of people who are not “more compassionate than God,” but every bit as lacking in compassion as they believe God is.
They would not say that God is lacking in compassion, however. They would say that it is a sign of God’s compassion to treat people in this way, allowing them to know the laws, and be subjected to the conditions, of Perfect Justice in Heaven.
Justice, they say, is being rewarded or punished based on one’s behaviors in Earthly life—as those behaviors relate to what it is that God commands, demands, and wants.
And there are those who believe that one’s behaviors in Earthly life don’t matter — that even the worst human behaviors will be forgiven and forgotten if one comes to God through the right doorway, and that even the best of one’s behaviors will be totally, completely, and utterly ignored, accounting for nothing and meaning nothing, if one does not come to God through the right doorway.
Is this how it is in the Kingdom of Heaven? That is the question that has been facing humankind for thousands of years.
What do you think? What do you believe? What do you know in your heart to be true?
Editor’s Note: For the next several months this space will be used to explore, one-by-one, the messages, metaphysical principles, and spiritual meaning of the material found in the nearly 3,000 pages of the Conversations with God dialogues. This series of observations and interpretations is offered with my continuing disclaimer: I could be wrong about all of this.
CWG Explored/Installment #13: What God wants.
The idea that there is something that God wants has permeated human religions since the first religion was created. Which means, historians and archeologists tell us, for just about as long as humans have existed. We’ve found evidence of religion in areas populated no less than 10,000 years before the Christian era (BCE). Ideas about a Higher Power (or Powers, in the plural) have been around for probably a great deal longer.
The earliest humans felt that there was something that had to be done to ameliorate the gods. They assumed there must have been gods of some sort (they could not have used the term “god,” but they certainly understood the concept of power greater than they were), because there was so much about their world (hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, shooting stars, droughts, etc., etc.) over which they realized they had no control.
Yet these primitive beings often assumed that if they could amuse or “bribe” these higher powers in the same way they amused or bribed the strongest and meanest among them to get them to not BE so mean, they might be able to at least influence those powerful entities to also not be so mean.
And metaphysics being the science that it is, their belief that bribery, inducement, and subornation could produce favors from the Higher Powers (such as the end of a drought, or a good harvest) in many cases produced such results. Thus, religion (the idea that if you do something for God, God will do something for you) was born.
Primitive as this “I’ll trade you” arrangement may seem, it continues to be the principle and primary doctrine underpinning most of the world’s religions to this very day. It may be a bit of an oversimplification, but at their basis many religions teach that to “earn” an eternal reward (as opposed to condemnation followed by eternal punishment), there are certain things that God wants (read that “demands”) human beings to do.
The question is: Is this true? Do religions have it right?
It is true, for instance, that every Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, and Bahá’í is going straight to hell upon their death? Is this also true for every member of all the other faith communities in the world, except one? Is it true that God will trade your membership in this one religion for entry into Heaven, but if you don’t make the trade, you’re out — no matter how good or wonderful or caring or compassionate or generous or courageous you were in your life?
Is this what God wants?
Is it true that even if you gave up your life to save the life of another — and even if you suffered unbelievable torture in doing so (as a soldier who saved the rest of the members of his platoon by refusing to divulge to the enemy where they’re encamped) — you went straight to hell anyway after you died, so that you can suffer unending, unmitigated, and indescribable torture after death because you belonged to one of those other religions?
Is this what God wants?
Is it true that a 2-day-old baby will be denied entry into heaven and reunion with God if that baby is not baptized?
Is this what God wants?
Is it true that God says women should to be subservient to men, and that wives must obey their husbands?
Is this what God wants?
It is true that God wants people to love each other, but wants people of the same sex who love each other to never marry, or demonstrate their love for each other in a physical or sexual way, and that God will punish with everlasting damnation any person who does?
Is this what God wants?
It is true that God wants us to understand that God’s love can turn to wrath if we do not do what God wants?
Is this what God wants?
Is it possible that we could be wrong about all of this?
What do you think God wants?