What is the nature of God? If there is a God, what is Its True Nature? Is It a “personality” existing somewhere in another dimension, with desires, needs, intentions, preferences, dislikes, judgments, responses, joys, sorrows, and proclivities identical or similar to those of human beings?
If there is not a God, what is or was the First Source of Life as it is observed in the universe? How did all that we see in the cosmos begin? Is there a system of physical laws that can be used to produce intentioned, consistent, and predictable results in the process that we call human life? Is there anything to be said for what some have labeled the “power of positive thinking?”
Do our thoughts have anything to do with creating or producing our reality? Is there such a thing as collective consciousness? Is there such a thing as “consciousness” at all — collective or individual?
What is the point of human life? Does it have a point? Is it simply, and nothing more than, an expression of a biological entity that begins in utero and ends at death?
Is there life (that is, individual existence, consciousness and awareness of self) after death — and, for that matter, before birth? Is there such a thing as the “soul,” defined as a metaphysical individuality? If so, what is its function or purpose? If not, are humans simply two-part beings, comprised of Body and Mind and nothing more? Within that context, if we hold this to be true, what is the best, the most fruitful, the most fulfilling, the most joyful way to live our lives? Is there any reason to behave in a certain way, other than to avoid the punishments or consequences of civil law or the disapprobation of our friends, relatives, and peers?
What does it take to make life work? Is it possible that there is something we do not fully understand about God, about life, and about ourselves, the understanding of which would change everything? If so, what do you think it might be?
There are 21 questions here. I call them My 21 Inquiries. They are the kinds of questions that have called to me for answers all my life. I imagine that some of these questions are inquiries you have placed before your own mind as well, at one time or another. Perhaps you’ve answered them to your satisfaction. If so, you’re a fortunate person — no matter how you have answered them. Yet it feels to me that we must always remain with the questions as part of our journey. One never knows when one’s answers may change. And that change may change you.
I’m going to offer my current answers to My 21 Inquiries here in the weeks ahead. If you are a regular visitor here, you no doubt already know what my answers will be. I will nevertheless offer them, for ongoing discussion.
I’m sure you have observed, as have I, that current events worldwide are generating a great deal of stress among many people today, causing them to search for tools that might be used to come to grips with all that is happening on our planet.
Leaders on the world stage are loudly and belligerently threatening to destroy each other’s country, global warming is whipping up storms to a level we have rarely seen before, earthquakes are producing tragedies right and left, and social and political issues are dividing people more profoundly and disturbingly than ever. Add to this the shifting sands in many peoples’ personal lives, and it is small wonder that millions are yearning for emotional respite.
Whatever one thinks of the theology found in the Conversations with God series of books (the word “theology” is defined, by the way, as “the study of the nature of God and religious belief” — not “the TRUTH about God”), many of the spiritual tools offered in this extended dialogue have been found by not a few people (judging from the communications I receive on my Facebook page, at CWG Connect, in my email, and in person daily) to be beneficial in helping them find some measure of inner peace in this time of seemingly endless turmoil.
I have been asked many times if I could simply and easily summarize what I considered to be the most important messages of the Conversations with God oeuvre, for peoples’ easy reference. In the book What God Said I did just that, opening it with what I called “1,000 Words That Would Change the World.” The book then devotes one chapter to a deep exploration of each of its statements.
I am happy to reproduce that opening presentation below, for whatever value you might find in it:
Here, in 1,000 words, is all that the human race needs to know in order to live the life for which it has yearned and which, despite trying for thousands of years, it has yet to produce. Carry these messages to your world:
We are all One. All things are One Thing. There is only One Thing, and all things are part of the One Thing There Is. This means that you are Divine. You are not your body, you are not your mind, and you are not your soul. You are the unique combination of all three, which comprises the Totality Of You. You are an individuation of Divinity; an expression of God on Earth.
There’s enough. It is not necessary to compete for, much less fight over, your resources. All you have to do is share.
There’s nothing you have to do. There is much you will do, but nothing you are required to do. God wants nothing, needs nothing, demands nothing, commands nothing.
God talks to everyone, all the time. The question is not: To whom does God talk? The question is: Who listens?
There are Three Basic Principles of Life: Functionality, Adaptability, and Sustainability.
There is no such thing as Right and Wrong, there is only What Works and What Does Not Work, given what it is you are trying to do.
In the spiritual sense, there are no victims and no villains in the world, although in the human sense it appears that there surely are. Yet because you are Divine, nothing can happen against your will.
No one does anything inappropriate, given their model of the world.
There is no such place as hell, and eternal damnation does not exist.
Death does not exist. What you call “death” is merely a process of Re-Identification.
There is no such thing as Space and Time, there is only Here and Now.
Love is all there is.
You are the creator of your own reality, using the Three Tools of Creation: Thought, Word, and Action.
Your life has nothing to do with you. It is about everyone whose life you touch, and how you touch it.
The purpose of your life is to recreate yourself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are.
The moment you declare anything, everything unlike it will come into the space. This is The Law of Opposites, producing a Contextual Field within which that which you wish to express may be experienced.
There is no such thing as Absolute Truth. All truth is subjective. Within this framework there are five levels of truth telling: Tell your truth to yourself about yourself; Tell your truth to yourself about another; Tell your truth about yourself to another; Tell your truth about another to another; Tell your truth to everyone about everything.
The human race lives within a precise set of illusions. The Ten Illusions of Humans are: Need Exists, Failure Exists, Disunity Exists, Insufficiency Exists, Requirement Exists, Judgment Exists, Condemnation Exists, Conditionality Exists, Superiority Exists, Ignorance Exists. These illusions are meant to serve humanity, but it must learn how to use them.
The Three Core Concepts of Holistic Living are Honesty, Awareness, and Responsibility. Live according to these precepts and self-anger will disappear from your life.
Life functions within a Be-Do-Have paradigm. Most people have this backward, imagining that first one must “have” things in order to “do” things, thus to “be” what they wish to be. Reversing this process is the fastest way to experience mastery in living.
There are Three Levels of Awareness: Hope, Faith, and Knowing. Spiritual mastery is about living from the third level.
There are Five Fallacies about God that create crisis, violence, killing and war. First, the idea that God needs something. Second, the idea that God can fail to get what He needs. Third, the idea that God has separated you from Him because you have not given Him what He needs. Fourth, the idea that God still needs what He needs so badly that God now requires you, from your separated position, to give it to Him. Fifth, the idea that God will destroy you if you do not meet His requirements.
There are also Five Fallacies About Life that likewise create crisis, violence, killing and war. First, the idea that human beings are separate from each other. Second, the idea that there is not enough of what human beings need to be happy. Third, the idea that in order to get the stuff of which there is not enough, human beings must compete with each other. Fourth, the idea that some human beings are better than other human beings. Fifth, the idea that it is appropriate for human beings to resolve severe differences created by all the other fallacies by killing each other.
You think you are being terrorized by other people, but in truth you are being terrorized by your beliefs. Your experience of yourself and your world will shift dramatically if you adopt, collectively, the Five Steps to Peace:
Permit yourself to acknowledge that some of your old beliefs about God and about Life are no longer working.
Explore the possibility that there is something you do not fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which would change everything.
Announce that you are willing for new understandings of God and Life to now be brought forth, understandings that could produce a new way of life on this planet.
Courageously examine these new understandings and, if they align with your personal inner truth and knowing, enlarge your belief system to include them.
Express your life as a demonstration of your highest beliefs, rather than as a denial of them.
Let there be a New Gospel for all the people of Earth: “We are all one. Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way.”
The 1,000 words here, embraced and acted on, could change our world in a single generation.
I promised in my last entry here to offer my own answer to the question I posed about whether we are all chemical creatures or spiritual beings. I am aware that I have offered my response before, in writing and in several locations. I nevertheless encore that response here, for any who may have missed it.
I have — as you all know — no need for anyone to agree with me on this subject. I don’t offer this writing to convince, but merely to inform. I have absolutely zero need to convert anyone to my way of thinking, but I presume people have come to this website to find out more about what my way of thinking is, and I am happy to offer my views on spiritual matters, as the Conversations with God books seem to have generated some particular interest among some particular people. So, here goes…
My own answer to the question of True Identity: Chemical Creature or Spiritual Being? — I’ve decided that I am a spiritual being, a three-part being made up of body, mind, and soul. Each part of my tri-part being has a function and a purpose. As I come to understand each of those functions, each aspect of me begins to more efficiently serve its purpose in my life.
I am an Individuation of Divinity, an expression of God, a singularization of the singularity. There is no separation between me and God, nor is there any difference, except as to proportion. Put simply, God and I are one.
This brings up an interesting question. Am I rightly accused of heresy? Are people who believe that they are divine nothing but raving lunatics? Are they, worse yet, apostates?
I wondered. So I did a little research. I wanted to find out what religious and spiritual sources had to say on the subject. Here’s some of what I found . . . .
Isaiah 41:23—Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold together.
Psalm 82:6—I have said, ‘Gods ye are, And sons of the Most High—all of you.
John 10:34—Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, “I said, Ye are gods?”
The Indian philosopher Adi Shankara (788 CE – 820 CE), the one largely responsible for the initial expounding and consolidation of Advaita Vedanta, wrote in his famous work, Vivekachudamani: “Brahman is the only Truth, the spatio-temporal world is an illusion, and there is ultimately Brahman and individual self.”
Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswati Maharaj (April 25, 1922 – November 23, 2001), a Hindu saint: “God exists; there is only one God; the essence of man is God.”
According to Buddhism there ultimately is no such thing as a Self that is independent from the rest of the universe (the doctrine of anatta). Also, if I understand certain Buddhist schools of thought correctly, humans return to the earth in subsequent lifetimes in one of six forms, the last of which are called Devas . . . which is variously translated as Gods or Deities.
Meanwhile, the ancient Chinese discipline of Taoism speaks of embodiment and pragmatism, engaging practice to actualize the Natural Order within themselves. Taoists believe that man is a microcosm for the universe.
Hermeticism is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs or gnosis based primarily upon the Hellenistic Egyptian pseudepigraphical writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. Hermeticism teaches that there is a transcendent God, The All, or one “Cause,” of which we, and the entire universe, participate.
The concept was first laid out in The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, in the famous words: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.”
And in Sufism, an esoteric form of Islam, the teaching, There is no God but God was long ago changed to, There is nothing but God. Which would make me . . . well . . . God.
If you have some further interest in these kinds of things, you will find it fascinating to read the remarkable books of Huston Smith, a globally honored professor of religion. Among titles of his that I most often recommend: The World’s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions (1958, revised edition 1991, HarperOne), and Forgotten Truth: The Common Vision of the World’s Religions (1976, reprint edition 1992, HarperOne).
So . . . that is my response to the invitation that life is presenting me, and all of us, regarding the making of a choice about Who I Am. I believe myself to be an out-picturing of The Divine. As, I believe, are we all.
To reiterate my comments at the outset here, I have no need for anyone to agree with me on this. I don’t have a shred of evidence to prove or back up my belief. It is one of many beliefs I hold for which I have no supporting scientific data.
I believe, for instance, that my wife loves me, and without condition. I believe that my dog understands what I am “saying” to him when I simply look deeply into his eyes and he looks into mine. He inevitably responds as if we had shared words that he completely comprehends.
I believe that Good always comes to me in the end, however circuitous its route on occasion has been or may be. I believe in the “power of positive thinking” — and it has evidenced itself to me since I was a child. I believe that plants that are loved grow bigger, better, and faster than plants that are not actively “spoken to” or sent loving energies.
I know that some of this sounds silly. And I can back up none of this with indisputable scientific data of any kind.
It does not matter to me. I have enjoyed a rich and wondrous life. And I believe my beliefs have played an important part in making it so. I honor, with great respect, all those who disagree about what I’ve written here regarding the True Identity of humans. They could be “right,” and I could be “wrong.” Their words could be truth and my words could be false. They could be accurate and I could be mistaken.
I have been mistaken before. There was that time in 1958…
As I said in my last entry here, the Conversations with God books challenge every reader to make a simple choice. That choice has to do with how you see yourself in the Universe.
The dialogue makes it clear that you (and all of us) have two choices when it comes to how you think of yourself.
I noted in my most previous entry that I’ve outlined these two choices in earlier writings. I’m going to do so again now. And, as promised, I shall not apologize for the repetition. In my assessment, we need to hear this over and over again — and it would benefit us, I believe, to make a firm and final decision regarding our identity as sentient beings in the universe.
So let’s look at these two choices as I experience them.
Choice #1: You could conceive of yourself as a chemical creature, a “biological incident,” if you please. That is, the outcome of a biological process engaged in by two older biological processes called your mother and your father.
Choice #2: You could conceive of yourself as a spiritual being inhabiting a biological cellular mass—what we call a “body.”
A closer look at Choice #1: If you see yourself as a chemical creature, you would see yourself as having no more connection to the larger processes of life than any other chemical or biological life form.
Like all the others, you would be impacted by life, but could have very little impact on life. You certainly couldn’t create events, except in the most remote, indirect sense. You could create more life (all chemical creatures carry the biological capacity to recreate more of themselves), but you could not create what life does, or how it “shows up” in any given moment.
Further, as a chemical creature you would see yourself as having very limited ability to create an intentioned response to the events and conditions of life. You would see yourself as a creature of habit and instinct, with only those resources that your biology brings you.
You would see yourself as having more resources than a turtle, because your biology has gifted you with more. You would see yourself as having more resources than a butterfly, because your biology has gifted you with more.
Yet that is all you would see yourself as having in terms of resources.
You would see yourself as having to deal with life day-by-day pretty much as it comes, with perhaps a tiny bit of what seems like “control” based on advance planning, etc., but you would know that at any minute anything could go wrong— and often does.
A closer look at Choice #2: You could conceive of yourself as a spiritual being inhabiting a biological mass—what I call a “body.”
If you saw yourself as a spiritual being, you would see yourself as having powers and abilities far beyond those of a simple chemical creature; powers that transcend basic physicality and its laws.
You would understand that these powers and abilities give you collaborative control over the exterior elements of your individual and collective life and complete control over the interior elements—which means that you have total ability to create your own reality, because your reality has nothing to do with producing the exterior elements of your life and everything to do with how you respond to the elements that have been produced.
Also, as a spiritual being, you would know that you are here (on the earth, that is) for a spiritual reason. This is a highly focused purpose and has little to do directly with your occupation or career, your income or possessions or achievements or place in society, or any of the exterior conditions or circumstances of your life.
You would know that your purpose has to do with your interior life—and that how well you do in achieving your purpose may very often have an effect on your exterior life.
(For the interior life of each individual cumulatively produces the exterior life of the collective. That is, those people around you, and those people who are around those people who are around you. It is in this way that you, as a spiritual being, participate in the evolution of your species.)
In my next entry here I will offer you, from the For What It’s Worth Dept., an articulation of the choice I have made in response to CWG’s invitation. I’m sure you all know what my choice has been, but it might be fascinating to take a look at some recorded historical agreement on this subject.