There could hardly be
a better time to have a
Friendship with God
NEALE: Many people think that God is their friend, but they don’t know how to use that friendship. They see it as a distant relationship, not a close one.
GOD: Many more people do not even think of Me as a friend at all. That’s the sad part of it. Many people think of Me as a parent, not a friend — and a harsh, cruel, demanding, angry parent at that. A Father who will tolerate absolutely no failure in certain areas — such as, for instance, how to worship Me.
In the minds of these people, I not only demand your worship, I demand it in a specific way. It is not enough that you come to Me. You must come to Me by a particular path. Should you come to Me by another path — any other path — I will reject your love, ignore your entreaties, and, indeed, condemn you to hell.
NEALE: Even though my search for You was sincere, my intent pure, and my understandings the best I could reach.
GOD: Even though. Yes, even though. In the minds of these people, I am a stringent parent who will accept nothing less than absolute correctness in your understandings of Who I Am.
If you are not correct in the understandings at which you have arrived, I will punish you. You can be as pure in your intent as possible; you can be so filled with love for Me that you overflow. I will cast you into the fires of hell nonetheless, and you will suffer there forever, if you come to Me with the wrong name on your lips, the wrong ideas in your head.
NEALE: It is sad that so many people see You that way. This is not how a friend would behave at all.
GOD: No, it is not. And so the very idea of having a friendship with God, the kind of relationship you have with your best friend, who will accept anything given in love, forgive everything done in error — that kind of friendship — is unfathomable to them.
Then, among those who do see Me as their friend, you are right; most of them hold Me at a great distance. They do not have a working friendship with Me. It is, rather, a very distant relationship that they hope they can count on if they should ever have to. But it is not the day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute friendship that it could be.
NEALE: And You were starting to tell me what it would take to have that kind of friendship with You.
GOD: A change of mind and a change of heart. That is what it would take. A change of mind and a change of heart.
GOD: Yes. The courage to reject every notion, every idea, every teaching of a God who would reject you.
This will take enormous bravery, because the world has contrived to fill your head with those notions, ideas and teachings. You will have to adopt a New Thought about all of this, a thought that runs counter to virtually everything you’ve ever been told or heard about Me.
That’ll be tough. For some, that’ll be very tough. But it will be necessary, because you can’t have a friendship — not a real, not a close, not a working, give-and-take friendship — with someone you fear.
NEALE: So a big part of forging a friendship with God is forgetting our “fearship” with God.
Editor’s Note: If you would like to COMMENT on the above excerpt, please scroll down to the end of the red ancillary copy that appears just below, which has been placed here for First Time Readers…
If Conversations with God has touched your life in a positive way, you are one of millions of people around the world who have had such an experience. All of the readers of CWG have yearned to find a way to keep its healing messages alive in their life.
One of the best ways to do that is to read and re-read the material over and over again — and we have made it convenient and easy for you to do so. Come here often and enjoy selected excerpts from the Conversations with God cosmology, changed on a regular basis, so you can “dip in” to the 3,000 pages of material quickly and easily. We hope you have enjoyed the excerpt above, from Friendship with God.
Now, may we tell you about a very easy way that you can share these wonderful messages with others? Please keep reading…
If you believe that the messages in Conversations with God could inspire humanity to change its basic beliefs about God, about Life, and about Human Beings and their relationship to each other, leave those messages lying around.
Simply “forget” or “misplace” a copy of Conversations with God on a bench somewhere. At a bus stop, or a train station, or an airport—or actually on the bus, train, or plane. At a hairstyling salon, a doctor’s office, a chiropractor’s office, a park bench, or even just a bench on the street. Just leave a book lying around.
If everybody did this, the message of Conversations with God could “go viral” in a very short period of time. So you are invited to participate in the Book-On-A-Bench program and spread ideas that could create a new cultural story far and wide.
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ABOUT the author of Conversations with God…
Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before experiencing his now famous conversation with God. His Conversations with God series of books has been translated into 37 languages, touching millions and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.
Neale was born in Milwaukee to a Roman Catholic family that encouraged his quest for spiritual truth. Serving as his first spiritual mentor, Neale’s mother taught him not to be afraid of God, as she believed in having a personal relationship with the divine — and she taught Neale to do the same.
A nontraditional believer, Neale’s mother hardly ever went to church, and when he asked her why, she told Neale: “I don’t have to go to church — God comes to me. He’s with me and around me wherever I am.” This notion of God at an early age would later move Neale to transcend traditional views of organized religion.
By his late teens Neale’s involvement with spiritually-based teachings led him to begin dipping into a variety of spiritual texts, including the Bible, the Rig Veda, the Upanishads and Divine revelation according to Sri Ramakrishna. He noticed that when people became involved in organized religion they sometimes seemed less joyful and more angry, occasionally exhibiting behaviors of prejudice and separateness. Neale concluded that humanity’s collective experience of theology was not as positive as it was meant to be. It seemed to him that there was something missing in standard theological teachings; that they might contain very good lessons, he concluded, but that they might not be complete.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, but academic life could not hold his interest and he dropped out of college after two years to follow an interest in radio broadcasting that eventually led to a full-time position at the age of 19 at a small radio station far from his Milwaukee home, in Annapolis, Maryland.
Restless by nature and always seeking to expand his opportunities for self-expression, Neale in the years that followed became a radio station program director, a newspaper managing editor, public information officer for one of the nation’s largest public school systems, and, after moving to the West Coast, creator and owner of his own public relations and marketing firm. Moving from one career field to another, he could not seem to find occupational satisfaction, his relationship life was in constant turmoil, and his health was going rapidly downhill.
He had relocated in Oregon as part of a change-of-scenery strategy to find his way, but Fate was to provide more than a change of location. It produced a change in his entire life. One day a car driven by an elderly gentleman made a left turn directly into his path. Neale emerged from the auto accident with a broken neck. He was lucky to escape with his life.
Over a year of rehab threw him out of work. A failed marriage had already removed him from his home, and soon he couldn’t keep even the small apartment he’d rented. Within months he found himself on the street, homeless. It took him two weeks shy of a year to pull himself together and get back under shelter. He found a modest part-time job, once again in broadcasting, then worked his way into full time broadcasting, eventual landing a spot as a nationally syndicated radio talk show host.
He had seen the bottom of life living outside, gathering beer and soft drink cans in a park to collect the return deposit, but now his life seemed to be on the mend. Yet, once more, Neale felt an emptiness inside that he could not define, and the daily difficulties that everyone faces continued.
In 1992, following a period of deep despair, Neale awoke in the middle of a February night and wrote an anguished letter to God. “What does it take to make life work?” he angrily scratched across a yellow legal pad. “And what have I done to deserve a life of such continuing struggle?”
What followed has been well chronicled and widely discussed around the world. Neale says his questioning letter received a Divine answer. He tells us that he heard a voice just over his right shoulder—soft and warm, kind and loving, as he describes it—that offered a reply. Awestruck and inspired, he quickly scribbled the response onto a yellow legal pad he’d found on a coffee table before him.
More questions came, and as fast as they occurred to him, answers were given in the same gentle voice, which now seemed to have moved inside his head, but also seemed clearly beyond his normal thinking. Before he knew it, Neale found himself engaged in a two-way on-paper dialogue.
He continued this first “conversation” for hours, and had many more in the weeks that followed, always awakening in the middle of the night and being drawn back to his legal pad. Neale’s handwritten notes would later become the best-selling Conversations with God books. He says the process was “exactly like taking dictation,” and that the dialogue that was created in this way was published without alteration or editing. He also says that God is talking to all of us, all the time, and that he has come to understand that this experience is not unusual, nor does it make him in any way a special person or a unique messenger.
In addition to producing the With God series of books, Neale has published 18 other works, as well as many video and audio programs. Available throughout the world, seven of the Conversations with God books made the New York Times bestseller list, with Conversations with God: Book 1 occupying a place on that list for more than two-and-half years. Walsch’s books have sold more than 7.5 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 37 languages. Anecdotal evidence suggests that CWG is one of the most widely distributed hand-to-hand books ever published, with estimates that, on average, at least two people have read every copy purchased — meaning that something more than 15 million people worldwide have read the CWG messages.
The With God series has redefined God and shifted spiritual paradigms around the globe. In order to deal with the enormous response to his writings, Neale has created several global outreach projects dedicated to inspiring the world to help itself move from violence to peace, from confusion to clarity, and from anger to love revolving around their core messages.
The projects include: (1) the Conversations with God Foundation, an adult education outreach; (2) Humanity’s Team, a global spiritual activist outreach; (3) CWG for Parents, an outreach providing resources to those who wish to bring their children the messages of CWG; (4) the Changing Change Network, a CWG helping outreach to persons facing major life challenges; (5) The Global Conversation, an internet newspaper outreach relating the spiritual messages of CWG to the news of the day; and (6) CWG Connect, a multi-media communications outreach creating a worldwide CWG community featuring Video and Audio On-Demand services, together with ongoing personal interaction with the author of CWG. Access to all of these programs will be found at the gateway internet site: www.CWGPortal.com
Neale’s work has taken him from the steps of Machu Picchu in Peru to the steps of the Shinto shrines of Japan, from Red Square in Moscow to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
Everywhere he has gone—from South Africa to Norway, Croatia to The Netherlands, the streets of Zurich to the streets of Seoul—Neale has found a hunger among the people to find a new way to live; a way to co-exist, at last, in peace and harmony, with a reverence for Life Itself in all its forms, and for each other. And he has sought to help them develop a new, expanded understanding of God, of life, and of themselves that allows them to create and experience this.
Neale’s latest book, The Only Thing That Matters, was published in October, 2012. He lives in Ashland, Oregon and is married to the American poet Em Claire (www.emclairepoet.com).