Recently I posted a series of questions that I suggested it would be fascinating to ask every person we met for the rest of our life. I promised that I would answer those questions myself — even though most of the visitors to this site already know how I would answer them — just for the record.
Here are more of my answers to those questions.
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?
I think these questions drive to the heart of the human condition. That is, I believe we experience our condition as humans differently — perhaps radically differently — depending upon our answers to these questions.
In my own mind, I want to go further. I find myself wanting to say that I believe humanity’s complete and total dysfunction…its appalling self-destructive behaviors…are all the product of what I perceive to be nonbeneficial or incomplete answers to these questions.
There is no question as to our dysfunction. There are those who like to point to the “progress” we have made as a species through the centuries and the millennia, but I’m sorry…I’m unimpressed.
As we read this today, one-quarter of the human species lives without toilets. Some 1.6 billion do not have electricity. Just under 1.7 billion have no access to clean water. And these are not simply inconveniences. Thousands die each day from preventable health issues, such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.
Wait. It’s worse. Over 650 children will die on this planet in the next hour because of starvation. Not because of some exotic or unfamiliar disease for which we have not yet found a cure. Because of not getting enough food to eat. This, on a planet where we throw away more unfinished dinners in the restaurants of Paris, Los Angeles, and Madrid than it would take to feed all of those 650 children for a week.
All of this raises some interesting questions: How is it possible for 7 billion members of a single species to all want the same thing—survival, safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, and love—and be unable to produce it, even after thousands of years of trying? Is it possible — just possible — that there is something we don’t fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which could change everything? Is it possible that there is something we don’t fully understand about ourselves and about who we are, the understanding of which would alter our lives forever for the better?
Now I know there are those who answer “no” to those last two questions. And I think this is part of our dysfunction. We refuse to believe that there might be some data “still out there” that could alter our entire perception of reality.
I am not among them. I am not willing to look at the world the way it is and “tsk-tsk”, or downplay, those statistics, pointing instead to whatever “progress” we have made, such as it is, in improving the human condition. We are still threatening each other with total obliteration. The only difference has been the lethality of our weapons. Whereas before it was sticks and stones, then rocks and arrows, then knives and bullets, now it is bombs that annihilate millions in ten seconds. Such has been humanity’s “progress” from its caveman days.
Well, I am not willing to look at that and call it “progress.” And I’m certainly not going to stare into the face of those stark global statistics and point instead to all the good that we have achieved. I am, instead, going to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw here: “The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That’s the essence of inhumanity.”
So out of my refusal to be indifferent to the progress we haven’t made, let me offer my answer to the questions above. First, my reply to those last two inquries…
Is it possible — just possible — that there is something we don’t fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which could change everything? Yes.
Is it possible that there is something we don’t fully understand about ourselves and about who we are, the understanding of which would alter our lives forever for the better?
Now, my answer to the questions with which I began this writing.
“What is the point of human life? Does it have a point?”
Yes. The point of human life is to recreate ourselves anew in each golden moment of Now in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about Who We Are.
Put another way, the purpose of life is evolution. That is both its Purpose and its Process.
“Is it simply, and nothing more than, an expression of a biological entity that begins in utero and ends at death?”
No. Life is much more than that. It is an eternal expression of a singular spiritual entity that has no beginning and no end.
“Is there life (that is, individual existence, consciousness and awareness of self) after death — and, for that matter, before birth?
Yes. There is no such thing as death. What we call death is merely a process of re-identification.
“Is there such a thing as the ‘soul,’ defined as a metaphysical individuality?”
Yes. The Soul is the individuation of the pure energy, or the Essential Essence of the Universe, that some of us call God.
“If so, what is its function or purpose?”
The function of the Soul is to provide a vehicle through which this Essential Essence expresses and experiences Itself in discrete and individual form.
I believe we are all on a journey here. I call it The Journey of the Soul. I believe that (to speak metaphorically) we come through the Door of Birth and leave through the Door of Death. I liken this to white light beamed through a prism. Beamed one way, we divide into three parts — Body, Mind, and Soul. Beamed the other way, we reintegrate into the Single Essence of the Soul, which is the pure energy of the Essential Essence, singularized.
It is my understanding that our journey is cyclical, or circular, with no beginning and no end, but with a purpose that is served by the very fact that it is circular. It is my awareness that the cyclical nature of life’s endless expression is what creates the possibility of its expansion through evolution.
When I look at the world as it is today I again think of wonderful Mr. George Bernard Shaw, show offered us this: “I hear you say ‘Why?’ Always ‘Why?’ You see things, and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream of things that never were, and say ‘Why Not’?”
And I think of William Shakespeare, who wrote: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Now I know…I know….what the rationalists and those who are deeply into Scienceism (the theology that Science has the only, and all, the answers) will say. “More ‘woo’,” they will say. While the religionists join them in declaring: “Blasphemy.”
But let’s get back to Mr. Shaw. It was he who observed: “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” He also said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
Finally, Mr. Shaw asked a question that actually brings pain to the heart: “Must, then, a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination?”
Do you want to see something that describes Who We Really Are with imagination? Watch this. Look what the geniuses at MindValley did with the messages of Conversations with God. I dare you to watch this and say, “Ho-hum…”
Recently I asked 21 questions to which I invited answers from visitors here. I also promised to offer my own answers. Here is my second installment in the keeping of that promise.
Questions: 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?
NDW Answer: Yes, yes, and yes.
I should really just stop there, but I feel such simple replies deserve a bit of explanation. So here goes…
I experience thoughts as energy. To be specific, I understand them to be energy transmissions. Energy projections. Energy transferrals. Energy exchanges.
It is my awareness that all of Life is energy. Nothing more, and nothing less. It is my further awareness that energy is not only the fundamental element of Life, but that it impacts upon itself. Energy affects energy through the processes of Energy Itself.
I see Life’s every expression as merely an exchange, or a transfer, of energy between the countless particles of energy that exist, each of which emit energy in the form of vibrations or oscillations that send out “waves,” not unlike a pond sends out ripples when its surface is shaken.
Our thoughts, then, are a shaking of the surface of the Universe. They send out ripples, which have their effect on the whole pond (to speak metaphorically). Or, if you please, on the quantum field (to speak scientifically).
My life has shown me that particular kinds of thoughts produce particular kinds of energy, which I would describe as generating particular kinds of ripples in the slipstream of collective consciousness. The Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale authored a book on this subject in 1952, titled The Power of Positive Thinking, and French psychologist and pharmacist Émile Coué described, years earlier, a process he called optimistic autosuggestion.
There has been much other writing and teaching offered on this subject, including a seminal book, As a Man Thinketh from James Allen (1903), The Law of Attraction from Esther and Jerry Hicks (2006), The Secret from Rhonda Byrne (2006), Psycho-cybernetics from Maxwell Maltz (1960), Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, first series (1841), Philosophical Conceptions and Practical Results from William James (1898), and others.
(I owe this list to author Mitch Horowitz, who declared that “positive thinking is at once the most widely embraced and the most frequently reviled philosophy in America” in this 2014 book, One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, which purports to answer the age-old question—Does it work?—and says that it shows that, yes, positive thinking can change the world.)
If my own life had not demonstrated to me the power and efficacy of thought (both positive and negative, by the way), I would never be making such a point of all this — in spite of the fact that Conversations with God does.
The dialogue’s 3,000 pages offer a virtual treatise on energy impacting energy, and on every sentient entity in the cosmos being a source of such impact, both individually and collectively. But I needed to try it in my own life, and see affirming and confirming results, before I was willing to embrace and adopt Focused and Intentioned Thought as a dynamic force and creative tool.
I have seen such results, over and over again. I see our world at large, as well, as striking evidence of the power of collective consciousness — and of the need to raise and shift that group consciousness if we ever want to see real change in humanity’s experience of itself.
My awareness and understanding of this was firmly corroborated and substantiated in Conversations with God-Book 4: Awaken the Species, the newest dialogue with Deity, release just last March. There is no question in my mind now that the thing we call “consciousness” exists. I think that is a three-syllable word referring to the collection of energy particles, magnetized by their similarity to each other, surrounding both individuals and collectives throughout the cosmos, and having a direct effect on the milieu in which those particles swim.
I could, of course, be wrong about all of this. It is merely my own understanding. The journey in life is about reaching one’s own understanding, coming to one’s own conclusions, acting on one’s own awareness, and expressing one’s own convictions. I’m sure I don’t have to advise you not to take my word for anything.
One of our most regular commenters here at The Global Conversation has said about my last post here: “I just read Neale’s post again, and I must again marvel that with little manipulation, it can fit right into a scientific paradigm. There is no talk of souls or afterlives or manipulating matter, reading minds, or the other typical woo nonsense.”
This gentleman, named Patrick Gannon, then adds:
“With just a little bit of work, this article can be an analogy for the quantum wave, of quantum fields, of which our universe is comprised. Energy affecting — other energy — those can be quantum fields interacting. Probably wishful thinking on my part, but is this a small step away from the woo?”
I would like to reflect on that commentary here.
Let me begin by saying that it should not be surprising that my understanding of God “can fit right into a scientific paradigm” with what Patrick calls “a little manipulation” — and what I would call “a little imagination” and “a little information.”
I’ve never for a moment thought that science and spirituality are mutually exclusive, or somehow at odds with each other.
What CWG has done for me is add to my thinking “a little information” that I did not previously have…and the dialogue does not restrict its information to that which humanity already fully understands, but invites me to stretch my imagination to include the possibility that there may be something about God and about Life that humanity do not yet fully understand…the understanding of which could change everything.
I think the only difference between what CWG is telling me about God and what science is telling us about the universe is that CWG (and, more broadly, the New Spirituality) is saying that the process of life has been (and continues to be) consciously created by a force and a source of wisdom, self-awareness, and purposeful intention that I would, in my own vocabulary, describe in one word as love.
I have come to conclude that the energy I feel as love is the Essential Essence, or the Pure, Undifferentiated Energy that some people (myself included, for shorthand) call God. I believe that this Essential Essence or Pure Energy moves with purpose and intention — the purpose and intention of each element which is capable of consciousness choice…and that the combined or collaborative purpose and intention of The Whole is what we might call God In Action.
I believe this Pure Energy exists in, as, and through everything — and, furthermore, that it can be affected and manipulated by itself. That is, by facets or particles of itself. I have long (echoing what I was told in CWG) stated that energy affects energy through the processes of energy itself. This is, others may note, quantum physics at its most fundamental level.
I have been talking for 20 years about the “contextual field”…and physics has been talking for many years of the “quantum field.”
CWG told me two decades ago that “there is no straight line in the universe,” and quantum theory confirms that the basic “shape” of the cosmos is curved.
CWG told me two decades ago that time, as we understand it, does not exist, and quantum physics makes it clear that there is no separation between what we call Time and Space, and that we are actually living in what a layman (or a spiritual author) might call the Eternal Moment of Now.
I think, in the end, that it would be ironic if the only real difference between Mr. Gannon and myself, in terms of our larger cosmological understandings, is the terminology we use to describe many of the exact same things. What he describes as “woo” is what I describe as that which we “don’t fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which would change everything.”
Mr. Gannon leaves me with the impression that he feels that if something cannot be proven and demonstrated scientifically, it is “woo,” and not worthy of our consideration.
I rather like the viewpoint of people such as Albert Einstein, who didn’t dismiss ideas simply because they could not (yet) be proven, but rather, said: “To sense that behind everything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense…I am a devoutly religious man.”
I would not describe myself as devoutly religious, but I would say that I am “a deeply spiritual man.” By this I mean to communicate that I believe there is a spiritual basis, presence, identity, and essence behind all of life that cannot yet be explained by humanity’s currently limited linear scientific logic or proof-driven model.
Or, as Shakespeare put it far more eloquently: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
There are simply not many who will say out loud what has been said in their hearts. People seem to find it much safer to keep their innermost metaphysical understandings or beliefs quietly hidden, following Shakespeare’s admonition, put into the voice of Hamlet: “Swear by my sword. Never to speak of this that you have heard.”
So what many of us “hear” within ourselves we keep to ourselves.
I, of course, have not done that. And I feel a quiet inner certainty that many of the major messages of Conversations with God will someday soon be revealed to have been not so far off the mark. Yet they are today called heresies by some. In moments when they are, I find comfort in the observation of George Bernard Shaw, who wryly noted: “All great truths begin as blasphemies.”
So Mr. Gannon’s scientific method may disavow the existence of the spiritual essence that I call “God,” but Einstein offered us this: “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe—a Spirit vastly superior to that of man.”
Okay. I call that God. Someone else may call it Something Else. But a rose by any other name…
I have become aware in my life of the existence of what I would call Intentioned Essence and Pliable, Usable, Directable Energy. This is what I call God, and I think that God can be (and, indeed, places Itself at our disposal to be) used to produce consistent and predictable results in many areas of our lives. But we have to believe this to be true for it to manifest as truth in our day-to-day experience. It turns out that believing is seeing, and this is how energy impacts upon itself.
The Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale called this The Power of Positive Thinking, and it has generated sufficient pre-desired outcomes in my life to leave me convinced of its efficacy and of its reality. Whether my personal experience meets someone else’s “scientific test” of proof beyond doubt or question is irrelevant to me.
Getting back to Mr. Einstein, I am particularly fond of what he said in a talk at Union Theological Seminary on the relationship between religion and science: “the situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
I am not nearly as comfortable with the word “religion” as I am with the word “spirituality,” because I experience most “religions” to be collections of doctrines and dogmas that must be accepted whole and without question by a religion’s adherents. Conversations with God, on the other hand, says to all its readers: Do not believe a word of this. Simply try it in your own life. If it resonates and works, use it. If it does not, throw it out immediately. In this, and in all matters, be your own authority.
Mr. Gannon likes to assert that CWG in a religion, but not a religion in the world says that. Nor do any of the contemporary writers and teachers within today’s religions say: “I could be wrong about all of this.” It would be refreshing if they did. It would be refreshing if they simply said, “Here is what we believe. Decide for yourself what is true for you. And know that you will be neither condemned nor rejected by us (and certainly not by God) should you not embrace these beliefs.”
Many of the messages of Conversations with God are difficult for many people to believe. And (to repeat), people should not believe them if they cannot. But just for review — to see whether there are any that you can embrace — here is a list of what I call Eleven Unbelievable Beliefs from Conversations with God:
- There is an Essential Essence in the universe, which some people call God
- This essence is Pure, Undifferentiated Energy, which is aware of Itself and which differentiates in variable physical and metaphysical forms.
- The purpose of its differentiations is to provide the Essential Essence with the full and complete experience of Itself.
- You are an Individuation of this Essential Essence, a spiritual entity comprised of three parts called, in human language, Body, Mind, and Soul. There is no separation between you and this Essence that has been called, by some, God. All things are One Thing. There is only One Thing, and all things are part of the One Thing there is, arising and existing in Individuated Expression. You are to God as a wave is to the ocean: In no way equal to it, yet in no way other than it, and in no way separated from it. There is no such thing as a Separate Thing, and no such thing as No Thing. What is called “empty space” is not “empty” at all, but a collection of energy particles and waves, the fluctuations and vibrations of which are too minute to be discernible or noticeable by the human mind, but which can be detected with instruments.
- That which some people call God wants and needs, requires and demands, nothing from you. Eternal punishment does not exist, but eternal life does. The Soul of you always was, is now, and always will be. Its eternal existence does not depend upon adherence to a set of “rules” or “regulations,” “requirements” or “commandments.” What has been called the Kingdom of God is not a meritocracy. It is simply a field of experience, a field of energy expressing, a Contextual Field providing opportunity for the endless experience of Itself by the Essential Essence. This field manifests in what has been called metaphysical and physical form — or what has been labeled, in some of humanity’s belief systems, Heaven and Earth.
- The purpose of Life is to recreate yourself anew in each Golden Moment of Now in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are.
- In most commonly used human terms, your life is not about you. That is, it is not about Local You, but about Universal You. It is about everyone whose life you touch, and the way in which you touch it. It is by this means that you recreate yourself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are, allowing Local You to experience yourself as Universal You.
- There is no such thing as “right” and “wrong,” and every such designation or definition is a human construction, subject to (and evidenced by) fundamental changes across periods of what you call “time.”
- Time itself does not exist in the way humans have defined it, any more than space exists as humans have defined it, but both exist as a Single Reality that could be called spacetime, producing an Eternal Experience of Always Here/Always Now.
- Forgiveness is the biggest obstacle to spiritual growth, because every act is an Act of Love, and therefore understandable, if not condoned. Understanding is not condoning. No one does anything inappropriate, given their model of the world.
- 98% of the world’s people are spending 98% of their time on things that don’t matter. That is, most people don’t know what they are doing here, who they really are, or what the purpose of life throughout the universe is. Most people aren’t even sure that life has a purpose — which is the biggest and most profoundly negatively impacting misunderstanding of our species.
Enjoy the discussion.
I said at the end of my last entry here that I would offer my answers to the above questions in the weeks ahead, so I’m going to get about starting that now.
The first of my 21 questions were these:
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?
My own understanding is that the aspect of life in the universe that many people call “God” is not a “person” in the classic sense; not a Human Being Writ Large. Rather, It is simply (and gloriously) the Essential Essence that permeates everything, the Prime Source of unlimited intelligence and the Prime Force of unlimited creation.
God is at once both The Creator and The Created, a Pure Energy that impacts upon Itself. It is First Cause. It is Every Effect. It is the seat of all wisdom, the wellspring of all desire, the fountainhead of all power, and the origin of all reality.
It is, in a single word, Love.
Its wisdom is activated, Its desire is fulfilled, Its power is evinced, and Its reality is fully, grandly, and gloriously made manifest through the experience and the expression of Love.
Does this Essential Essence we call “God” have a personality?
Yes, I believe It does.
God’s greatness and God’s magnificence is God’s formlessness. This does not mean, however, that God is not a “personality” to whom we may pray and with whom we may interact. It means, in fact, exactly the opposite.
It is God’s essential formlessness that allows God to assume any shape and any form in any moment that it serves the ends of Love for God to assume.
Thus, God can take on the energy of a father’s figure, a mother’s comfort, a friend’s loyalty, a confessor’s compassion, a peacemaker’s courage, a survivor’s strength, a teacher’s patience, a compatriot’s camaraderie, a lover’s intimacy, and a beloved’s constancy.
So we see that the fact that God is not, at Its basis, a bigger-than-life human being does not mean that we no longer have anyone to pray to, or to intercede with, or to form a personal relationship with. Quite to the contrary. God can be all things to all people, and if we want a personal God we can pray to, a parent-like God we can ask advice of, or a powerful God we can intercede with, God can and will fill all of those roles for us.
God is all things to all people because God is all things in all people.
God is life itself, which is the expression of Love in physical form. Every expression of life is an expression of Love. It may not appear that way through the eyes of limited perception, but it is surely, profoundly, and eternally true.
So I am saying here that the aspect of life that many people call God is energy, undifferentiated. And I am saying that it can differentiate in any form that serves the ends of love. Or, to put this another way, in any form that expresses Itself as Itself in its True Nature.
I think we are looking straight at a model of this kind of energetic phenomenon in today’s medical science…in what are called stem cells. We are told that stem cells are undifferentiated cells of a multicellular organism that are capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation.
The undifferentiated stem cells of the human body can differentiate (that is, take the form of) brain cells, heart cells, lung cells, or cells of any part of the human body.
I think of God, metaphorically, as the Stem Cell of the Universe. If something as magnificent as a stem cell can exist within the human body, what kind of manifestation of energy can exist in the cosmos?
I think that energy is an element of life that impacts upon other energy. And I have come to understand through my mental visits with Divinity (the source of wisdom and clarity, unconditional love and absolute understanding that exists within all of us) that God is a process. Divinity is an interaction — intelligent, creative, and useable by those who understand Its properties, Its purpose, and Its promise.
I could, of course, be wrong about all of this. I am hoping and trusting that my views as shared here will not be used as a platform for the launching of verbal tirades or insults, word-level assaults or assassinations of character, hurtful sarcasm or personal attacks on anyone else’s views or beliefs, religion or ethnicity, philosophy or understanding.
I have this idea that we are all adults here, and can have our discussions about these topics in a respectful and courteous, civil and well-mannered way.
Our differences do not have to produce division, and our contrasts need not generate conflicts. Let us enjoy these explorations together, to see where they take us, and to give us all a chance to demonstrate — whatever our other differences may be — that we all agree on one thing: it is both possible and preferable to disagree agreeably.