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- Book Three p 182

 

 

 

Bulletin #629

 

January 23, 2015

Is God on our side?
A lot of people think so!



A Note from Neale...

 

My dear friends...

Let us continue in our series of explorations that I have titled “Getting to Know God.”

One of the most common ideas about God is that God is on our side. God is in our corner. God grants us favors because we are in God’s favor.

Humans have told themselves that when they go to war, God is on their side. When they kill thousands of people in acts of terrorism, God is on their side. When they struggle to make their religion the dominant religion across the face of the earth, God is on their side.

When they create a new country, God is on their side. When they attempt to tear apart an old country, God is on their side. When they launch a social, political, or economic revolution, God is on their side.

And especially when they seek to defend themselves, God is on their side—which is why all attack is called a defense.

Have you ever noticed that? Nobody ever says they are attacking anybody. All attacks are called defensive, and are thusly justified.

God is on our side in positive matters, too. We’ve told ourselves that we were successful in an election campaign because God is on our side.

We landed that huge contract because God is on our side. We got to the wedding on time, even though there was a huge traffic jam, because God is on our side.

Wait, it gets even more trivial than that. We kicked the winning goal in the World Cup because God is on our side.

We hit the home run in the bottom of the ninth because God is on our side. (We round first and head to second pointing a victorious index finger to the sky to let everyone know that God is responsible for the feat.

We drop to one knee and make the Sign of the Cross after catching a touchdown pass to make it clear that we praise and thank God for our success.)

God cares who wins the game. That’s the message, loud and clear. God cares.

God cares whether the pass in the end zone is complete or incomplete. God cares whether you hit a home run or strike out.

God cares whether you get the most votes or do not. God is on your side, not the other side. If God were on the other side, they would win. If God were on everyone’s side, it would be a draw.

Every game would end a tie. Every effort would be a stalemate. Fortunately, it isn’t that way. God wants YOUR side to win the war. God wants YOUR idea to make thousands of dollars. God wants YOUR parking space to be there waiting for you.

Yes, the message is clear. And each of us can say it without seeing any contradiction. God is on our side.

Now comes The Great What If . . .

What if God is not on anybody’s “side”? What if God does not care who “wins,” who “loses,” who’s “right,” who’s “wrong,” who “succeeds,” who “fails,” or who does or does not do anything at all?

Would it make a difference? Does it matter? In the overall scheme of things, would it have any significant impact in our planetary experience?

Yes, obviously it would. Right now, billions of people are sure that God is on their side—and there could be no more dangerous thought than that.

This idea has given rise to more actions that have caused more misery for more people than almost any other single notion.

The spiritual arrogance of the idea is ignored by most, who seem to want to sidestep the obvious conclusion that if God is on their side, then God, in fact, must not be on the other side.

This sets God up as a Deity who chooses winners and losers, declares ideas worthy or unworthy, labels decisions fair or unfair, pronounces countries good or evil, designates religions right or wrong, calls people saved or condemned, and holds all manner of preferences and priorities, proclivities and predilections, penchants and partialities.

And, of course, if God is on our side, then God’s preferences and priorities, proclivities and predilections, penchants and partialities all agree with ours.

But God has been telling us from the very beginning, and it is becoming more clear to us every day, that humanity’s Ancient Cultural Story about God being on our side is plainly and simply inaccurate.

It is okay now to remove this ancient teaching from our current story, and to stop telling this to ourselves and to our children.

It is important to understand that God was not made in the image and likeness of man. It is the other way around. Man is made in the image and likeness of God.

It would be wonderful if this could be placed on billboards around the world: God was not made in the image and likeness of Man. It is the other way around.

This means that human beings are divine, each having all the qualities of divinity within them. What it does not mean is that God has human qualities.

So God does not like the Los Angeles Dodgers better than the Atlanta Braves. And God does not want your country to win the World Cup more than God wants another country to win it.

God is not hoping that your nation is victorious in the war rather than the nation you are fighting. And God does not support the world’s revolutionaries more than God supports the world’s governments. And God does not align with the values of the Republican Party more than God aligns with the values of the Democratic Party.

It’s time for human beings to let go of their need to believe in a God of preferences.

First, we had to let go of our God of the brand name, now we add to that list our God of preferences.

Derailing some really fundamental ideas embraced by many people, it is time to accept the fact that God does not hold the thought that women should never be priests or members of the clergy, that gays should never be allowed to be married, or that non-Christians should never be allowed into heaven.

Difficult as it may be for some people to imagine, God does not prefer Baptists over Hindus, Catholics over Jews, Muslims over Mormons, or any religion over any other religion.

God does not even prefer those who believe in God over those who do not believe in God.

These are not God’s ideas. These are the ideas of human beings who think that these are God’s ideas.

We said it before and we’ll say it again: God is not a male human being writ large. God is the Supreme Intelligence and the Primal Energy underlying the universe . . . an intelligence and an energy without specific identity.

Is it really conceivable that God has a favorite color or a favorite number, a favorite team or a favorite player, a favorite nation or a favorite religion, a favorite gender or a favorite race?

Does it feel realistic that God holds particular political views, or economic views, or social views, or spiritual views?

And if so, which ones?

Wait. We don’t have to ask that. The people who hold particular views will tell you which ones. Theirs, of course.

Well . . . while this disrupts the whole story line of people and political parties and nations and religions wanting to insist that they are the lone upholders of moral values and the last bastions of spiritual rectitude on the earth, it is important that humanity come to clarity on the true nature of divinity and the factual aspects of Ultimate Reality.

None of the above means that life is against us. God is not on our side in the sense that God favors you over someone else, but life is always prepared to give us what we most fervently and feelingly believe we are going to receive.

Life proceeds out of your intentions for it. We have been told, “As you believe, so will it be done unto you,” and that is true. Belief is a strong and very powerful energy. It is a magnet. It attracts to us what we firmly expect it to.

Yet this is not because “God is on our side”; this is because God has given us a mechanism with which to manipulate and affect the raw energy that is All of Life.

Life affects life through the process of life itself.

The Essential Essence is an energy that has an impact upon Itself. One who learns how to use this energy in a positive fashion through thought, word, and action has stepped onto the road to mastery in living.

Yet never “pray” or use the power of thought, word, and action to bring you something to the detriment of another.

Always remember, there is only One of Us. If, therefore, you seek something for yourself to the detriment of another, you “win” with the right hand and “lose” with the left.

Even if you seem to have “won” in one instance, the experience of how you “lost” will visit you in the next.

When in any sort of situation where your desires are juxtaposed with another’s, say a prayer, or hold the thought, that the outcome that is produced will be the one that is best for all concerned.

This is true spiritual mastery, for it requires and demands nothing. . . but holds every outcome and experience as perfect.

In this awareness is found both freedom and peace.

With Love,



(A "P.S." To Weekly Bulletin readers...if you are not logging in regularly to CWGConnect, and if you find it beneficial to stay close to the CWG material, you may find it wonderful to remain deeply connected with the Conversations with God messages in this way. Just go to www.nealedonaldwalsch.com  and click on CWGConnect. It's an incredible resource, offering something new from CWG every single day, seven days a week.)

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Through the years the Weekly Bulletin and its articles written by Neale Donald Walsch have become a favorite in the email boxes of thousands of readers around the world. We are pleased to present in this space, in addition to Neale's newest articles, occasional selections from the very best of his past writings for this publication. We do not wish our scores of readers to miss any of these commentaries, showing us the way to apply CWG in our daily lives. Whether a new presentation or an encore printing, we trust that you will receive much value from these writings from the man who brought us Conversations with God.

 

Letters to Neale:


Dear Neale,

At the completion of your second book, you state that some of us may be uncomfortable with the ideas presented, and that they should not be accepted as “gospel." I have a real serious problem with that statement! If you cannot believe the word of God, what else is there? Doesn't that one sentence contradict everything you have written? God says one of our problems is that we don’t believe Him…HELP! I am confused!

Also, I took everything I read very seriously until I came upon page 42 of
CwG, Book 2, where God says, "The mistakes Hitler made did no harm or damage to those whose deaths he caused." Excuse me? After all, Hitler did cause many thousands to be unmercifully tortured, used for incredibly painful medical experiments, separated young children from their mothers. To me, that would be unbearable mental anguish. Perhaps had he chosen to immediately shoot everyone, one might be able to make an argument that it was merciful, but as we know, that most certainly was not the case.

And what about those who have lived after such suffering? Not to mention the fact that he significantly reduced specific populations (e.g., Jewish). Please help me to understand, because this has presented a barrier for me in continuing with the trilogy. I am obviously missing a very important lesson. I very much look forward to your response.

T.



Neale Responds

 

Thank you, T, for your heartfelt and sensitive letter. I deeply appreciate your willingness to engage the question, and to stick with the process of inquiry, rather than turning from it and running, as so many do, when something is encountered with which we disagree, or which we do not understand. So I want to honor you, because you are one of the spiritual warriors.

T, I have stated in all of my books that I am an imperfect filter. I do not pretend to be able to bring through the wisdom of God in perfect form. I hope only to be able to add to the discussion—to the "conversation," if you will—about God by sharing what I have come to understand about God through my own process, which I have described in my first book. This is important to understand, T. If you believe that I imagine myself to be a prophet of God, a man who speaks the Word of God without flaw or error, then you believe erroneously, my friend. I wish that my books were flawless, but it is not. I wish that the Bible was flawless, but it is not. I wish that the Talmud was flawless, but it is not. I wish that the Bhagavad Gita was flawless, but it is not. Here we go again, you see? There have been many books claiming to contain "the word of God." And they do, T, they do. But this "word" has been brought through the imperfect filters, the not fully developed minds, of men and women. We should not take any of it as "gospel," T. That is, we should not assume that any of it is infallible.

Oh, T, don't you see? The moment I make a claim that my book is infallible is the moment that I become dangerous. So don’t do it, T. And don’t even have a need to do it. Don’t try to make CwG the infallible Word of God. Yet, on the other hand, don’t lose faith in every single word of the book, simply because I acknowledge that some of the words may be imperfect. Rather, take from the text whatever feels good and valuable and true and real to you, T. And bless it for bringing you that.

Now, as to your comments on Hitler, T, I, of course, deeply understand your difficulty with the passage you have quoted. This is the most challenging passage in the entire CwG trilogy, and I, myself, have struggled to understand its deepest meaning.

I do not believe that God meant to say or to imply, T, that in the human sense the actions of Hitler caused no damage or hurt to anyone. I believe that God was speaking in the spiritual sense of all those souls involved. The trilogy makes the point elsewhere that there is not such a thing as death, and that, as divine beings, we cannot, any of us, be damaged or destroyed. It is within this context, T, that the statement which you have quoted should be considered.

I am very sensitive to the fact that many people have been offended by certain other statements in the Conversations with God trilogy surrounding this subject, particularly the assertion that "Hitler went to heaven."

I certainly understand why this comment, too, taken on its surface, could be deeply wounding. I believe that only those who have had the opportunity to study the trilogy thoroughly and to examine the entire cosmology from which the statement emerges could find it non-offensive. They may still disagree with its theology, but they would see clearly that no trivializing of the Holocaust takes place in the Conversations with God books.

While Conversations with God does say that Hitler went to heaven, it does not say that he, or anyone else, ever escapes the consequences of actions while on Earth. Indeed, the books make exactly the opposite point. They indicate clearly that all souls, after death, undergo a process in which they are allowed to experience every moment of the life they have just lived, but from the point of view of every person who was impacted by their decisions. In other words, they experience what they have caused others to experience.

The point of this, however, is not to bring a soul to "justice," but to bring it to awareness; not to provide punishment, but to provide insight. Thus, the experience does not last forever. It is not about eternal damnation, it is about the soul's evolution.

CwG makes the statement that there is no such thing in God's kingdom as eternal damnation. Hell, it says, does not exist as a place where we are sent to endure everlasting torture. Thus, Hitler could not have gone there. Yet one thing is very certain. It is a universal law, and CwG states it very succinctly: "Whatever you cause another to experience, you will one day experience."

In the CwG dialogue, it is made clear that this is part of a process by which souls become fully evolved—or, as we might put it, "go to Heaven."

The most important point the dialogue makes on this topic, however, is that the Hitler experience was only possible because of group consciousness. "Hitler could do nothing without the cooperation and support and willing submission of millions of people," the books say. "Hitler seized the moment, but he did not create it."

The dialogue says that "it is important to understand the lesson here. A group consciousness which speaks constantly of separation and superiority produces loss of compassion on a massive scale, and loss of compassion is inevitably followed by loss of conscience. A collective concept rooted in strict nationalism ignores the plights of others, yet makes everyone else responsible for yours, thus justifying retaliation, ‘rectification,’ and war."

The book goes on: "The horror of the Hitler experience was not only that he perpetuated it on the human race, but that the human race allowed him to. The astonishment is not only that a Hitler came along, but also that so many others went along. The shame is not only that Hitler killed millions of Jews, but also that millions of Jews had to be killed before Hitler was stopped."

Finally, Conversations with God says that "the purpose of the Hitler experience was to show humanity to itself." The dialogue makes the point that there is a little bit of Hitler in all of us, and it is only a matter of degree. It argues that "wiping out a people is wiping out a people, whether at Auschwitz or Wounded Knee." And, I might add here, Kosovo.

“Hitler was not sent to us, he was created by us. That is the lesson. The consciousness of separation, segregation, superiority—of 'we' versus 'they,' of 'us' and 'them'--is what creates the Hitler experience.”

The dialogue concludes: “Hitler thought he was doing good for his people. And his people thought so, too! That was the insanity of it. The largest part of the nation agreed with him." It observes, "If you float out a crazy idea, and ten million people agree with you, you might not think you're so crazy," and asks us, "who, then, to condemn?”

Some critics of Conversations with God have said that the books portray Jews as simply having been "liberated from their Earthly troubles" by the Holocaust, and that since return to the Creator is a joyful experience, there is nothing to complain about. This alludes somewhat to your earlier point, T, and I have heard this comment from others. Yet while the books do state that life is eternal, that death is nothing to fear, and that returning to God is joyful, I do not believe that any reasonable interpretation of the material could fairly portray God as condoning the killing of human beings—or brushing it off as if it were of no importance or consequence. The trilogy does not make light of the acts of Hitler, or seek to justify them. It seeks only to explain those acts, and the lessons that we can all learn—must all learn—if we are to create a better world.

I hope this helps you, T, understand some of the most difficult material in this trilogy. And I want to emphasize again, my friend, that I have only done my best to bring through some very challenging and complex truths. I am sure, I am certain, that I have failed to convey in every case the highest meaning, the deepest wisdom, the grandest truth. But I have never failed to try.

And so, my good friend, the exploring goes on. The questioning continues. The conversation with God never ends. Always we seek clarification. Always we seek correction when we have set the wrong course. Always we seek guidance in taking us all to where we say we want to go. And always God is there to guide us, to nurture us, to love us. Always.

And all ways.

with love,

NOTE: If you would like to write a Letter to the Editor of this Bulletin, simply send an e-mail to Neale@NealeDonaldWalsch.com, with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line. Neale occasionally uses messages from other sources in this column.

 

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