One of the most challenging messages ever from God…
One of the most controversial statements made in the Conversations with God dialogues was this pronouncement: “Nobody does anything inappropriate, given their model of the world” I was flabbergasted when I first heard this, and, of course, I asked God for an immediate explanation. “What can you possibly mean?”, I wanted to know. Here is the challenging exchange that followed…
GOD: I mean, no one ever sees their actions as “wrong.”
NEALE: But some peoples’ actions are wrong, whether they see them as that or not.
GOD: Perhaps this is a good time to bring up the Seventh New Revelation…
There is no such thing as Right and Wrong. There is only What Works and What Does Not Work, depending upon what it is that you seek to be, do or have.
NEALE: How can you say that? How can you say “there’s no such thing as right and wrong”?
GOD: Because it’s true. “Right” and “wrong” are figments of your imagination. They are judgments you are making, labels that you are creating as you go along. They are values that you are deciding upon, depending on what it is that you want, individually and as a society. When what you want changes, what you decide to call “right” and “wrong” changes. Your own history proves this.
NEALE: Nonsense. The basics don’t change.
GOD: They don’t?
GOD: Give me an example of a “basic” value that doesn’t change.
NEALE: Okay, killing. “Thou shalt not kill” doesn’t change. That’s a basic human value.
GOD: Unless what you want is to win a war.
NEALE: No fair. That’s self-defense. We have a right to defend ourselves.
GOD: Well, not all wars are wars of self-defense. Your planet has known such things as wars of aggression.
NEALE: Yes, but let’s not talk about them. That only complicates things.
GOD: I see.
NEALE: Our country never aggresses upon anyone. The only wars that we ever fight are wars of self-defense.
GOD: Your country only fights wars of self-defense?
NEALE: That’s right.
GOD: Of course it’s right.
NEALE: And what does that mean?
GOD: It means that you’ve just proven what I said before. There is not a country and there is not a group of people on earth that imagines itself to be an aggressor. Everyone who enters into war does so saying that they are defending something.
Do you see this now? I am making a repeated point of this because it is something you need to look at very closely.
On your planet there are no “attackers,” only “defenders.” You achieve this interesting paradox by simply calling all attack a defense. In this way you are able to change your basic values from moment to moment as it suits you, without seeming to change them at all.
You get to kill people with impunity to obtain what you want by simply saying that you had no choice. You had to defend yourself.
All attackers see their actions in this way. Indeed, you have seen your own attacks on others exactly this way. Not just in war, but in every situation of conflict in your life, from battlefields to bedrooms, command centers to board rooms. Nobody attacks, everybody defends.
Seeing another’s attack on you in this way can produce miracles. Yet you could never see another’s attacks in this way so long as you imagine that there is such a thing as “right” and “wrong.”
NEALE: This is very hard to swallow, I hope you know that. The idea of a world in which there is no such thing as right and wrong is very difficult to accept. It seems to me that we really do have some basic values here on this planet. Values shared by all people…or certainly, by most of them.
GOD: Well, don’t be shy. Give me another example.
NEALE: Okay, the prohibition against suicide. Most people consider that the taking of one’s own life is wrong. It is immoral.
GOD: Yes, on the question of ending one’s life, it is the current imaging of the majority of people on your planet that it is “not okay” to do that.
Similarily, many of you still insist that it is not okay to assist another who wishes to end his or her life.
In both cases you say this should be “against the law.” You have come to this conclusion, presumably, because of the ending of the life in question occurs relatively quickly. Actions which end a life over a somewhat longer period of time are not against the law, even though they achieve the same result.
Thus, if a person in your society kills himself with a gun, his family member lose insurance benefits. If he does so with cigarettes, they do not.
If your doctors assists you in your suicide it is called manslaughter, while if a tobacco company does, it is called commerce.
With you, it seems to be merely a question of time. The legality of self-destruction—the “rightness” or “wrongness” of it—seems to have much to do with how quickly the deed is done, as well as who is doing it. The faster the death, the more “wrong” is seems to be. The slower the death, the more it slips into “okayness.”
Interestingly, this is the exact opposite of what a truly humane society would conclude. By and reasonable definition of what you would call “humane,” the shorter the death, the better. Yet your society punishes those who would seek to do the humane thing, and rewards those who would do the insane.
It is insane to think that endless suffering is what God requires, and that a quick, humane ending to the suffering is “wrong.”
“Punish the humane, reward the insane.”
This is the motto which only a society of beings with limited understanding could embrace.
So you poison your system by inhaling carcinogens, you poison your system by eating food treated with chemicals that over the long run kill you, and you poison your system by breathing air which you have continually polluted. You poison your system in a hundred different ways over a thousand different moments, and you do this knowing these substances are no good for you. But because it takes a longer time to them to kill you, you commit suicide with impunity.
NEALE: What about stealing? It’s a basic human value that we don’t take from another that which is not ours.
GOD: Unless you think that another has no right to it, and you do.
NEALE: That’s not fair. If someone else has no right to something and we do, then, precisely because it is not theirs, but ours, we have a right to take it away from them.
GOD: Of course you do. According to your values, that is true. Particularly, your value called “ownership” (which we shall discuss later). Yet that is precisely my point. You are doing nothing here but proving my point.
My point is that your values change as your perceptions change. They change as your desires change, as the things you want change.
If you want something that another party thinks is theirs, and if you want it or imagine that you need it bad enough, you will justify yourself in taking it. Believe me. You have done this. You have done exactly this.
Values are a moveable feast. You cannot think of a single “basic human value” that has not been temporarily set aside, altered, or completely abandoned at one time or another by human beings who have simply changed their mind about what it is they wanted to be, do, or have in a particular moment.
If you think, therefore, that there is such a thing as absolute “right” and absolute “wrong,” you are deluding yourself.
NEALE: You mean, we are “wrong”?
GOD: That’s very clever, and it points up a major problem with your word “wrong.” It has for centuries been used in at least two different ways—to mean that which is “mistaken,” and to mean that which is “immoral.”
An action that is called “mistaken” is an action that does not produce a desired or predicted outcome.
An action that is called “immoral” is an action that violates some life code or larger law a society has put in place—or that a society imagines its Deity to have put in place.
The difficulty with morals, as I have just pointed out, is that they change from time to time and place to place, depending upon what it is a society or its members are trying to accomplish. Morality is, therefore, extremely subjective.
The difficulty with “mistakes” is that in religious societies or contexts they are often equated with moral failure, rather than simply operational failure. This makes it not merely inconvenient or unfortunate to have made a mistake, but sinful. In certain religious or morality-based cultures, normal human error can be considered an offense against God—punishable by severe and disproportionate sanctions or suffering.
We have already looked at some examples of this. Here are more:
- He that curseth his father or his mother shall be put to death.
- A blasphemer shall be stoned to death.
- A woman who fails to wear a covering over her entire body may be whipped and beaten.
- A person who steals shall have his hand cut off.
Those who do not agree with such stringent, inflexible standards, to say nothing of the disproportionate responses required by them, are considered apostates—and can be killed.
This circumstance creates all the conditions for large-scale conflict and war, for now an attack may be justified as a defense of the faith, an act authorized by—and, indeed, required by—God.
NEALE: That’s exactly what’s been happening on our planet. You’ve hit the nail right on the head. That’s what’s been going on in the world in these days and times.
GOD: It has been going on for centuries. Indeed, for millennia. That is why the Seventh New Revelation is so important, for it creates a context that separates “mistake” from “morality,” removing God from the picture.
Do you really think I ever cared whether you ate meat on Fridays, or wore a head-to-toe body covering because you were female, or stood on the appropriate side of the Wailing Wall?
NEALE: I heard that not long ago some women attempted to stand with the men on the “men’s side” of the Wailing Wall, one of the most sacred sites in all of Judaism. They wanted to make a point: that it is time to end this infantile separation of women from the men because of a thought that women are unworthy or, because of their menses, somehow “unclean.” The men—some of them rabbis—began shouting and cursing and spitting, and some even began scuffling with the women.
GOD: Is it truly your imagining that God is concerned with these things?
It does seem rather petty, even in the name of sacred tradition.
GOD: Perhaps especially so.
Editor’s Note: If you would like to COMMENT on the above excerpt from The New Revelations, please scroll down to the end of the green 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.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
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).