I tell you this: The purpose of life is not to please God. The purpose of life is to know, and to recreate, Who You Are.
- Book Two p 41
My dear Friends,
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It takes an enormous amount of courage to get through life. I never realized that it did, but it does. I mean, when I was young, it didn't seem to me that life required bravery, in particular. Determination, perhaps. Stick-to-it-iveness, perhaps. A lot of tolerance for older people who didn't understand anything at all, perhaps. But not necessarily a whole bunch of bravery.
I was wrong.
As soon as I found out what life was really all about -- which wasn't until I was 50 years old, by the way -- I understood very quickly that courage would be required. Yet even then, I don't think I was very clear about how much. Now I am.
What life is really all about is the journey of our soul. We are on an endless walk through time, moving from the Spiritual Realm to the Physical Realm and back again. This is a joyous journey, let me make it clear, and that is why we have created it and are taking it. The joy in the journey comes from experiencing and re-experiencing, creating and re-creating, knowing and knowing again, Who We Really Are. Midway between the Physical Realm and the Spiritual Realm is the Realm of Ultimate Reality. This is where we reunite with the Essential Essence in the moment of bliss that is described by some Eastern mystical traditions as "Nirvana."
All of this is described in beautiful detail in the extraordinary conclusion to the Conversations with God series of books: HOME WITH GOD in a Life That Never Ends. And now that I know exactly what is going on here, I can get on with my real reason for being on the earth. This doesn't mean that my day-to-day life has to change. I don't have to change jobs. I don't have to change locations. I don't have to change my marital status. I don't have to change anything in my life that is in my life right now. What I will change, quite voluntarily, is not what I am doing in my life, but how I am doing it.
If I understand that this physical life was created for me as a means of deciding and creating, becoming and experiencing Who I Really Am and Who I Now Choose to Be, then the way I move through every moment of my life will be quite different from the way it was before I understood this. Because, you see, in every moment of my life I will be inviting myself -- no, more than that...challenging myself -- to become the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever I held about who I am.
If I say that I am "he who is compassionate," it will not be enough for me to simply be as compassionate as I was yesterday. As I re-create myself anew in the next golden moment of now, I will reach for the next grandest expression of compassion. I cannot be satisfied with the way I was regarding compassion last month, or last year, or in the decade before this. If I say that I am "he who is loving," it will not be enough for me to simply be as loving as I was yesterday. As I re-create myself in the next golden moment of now, I will reach for the next grandest expression of love. I cannot be satisfied with the way I was regarding love last month, or last year, or in the decade before this. And so, too, with every aspect of divinity that I choose to express through me, as me.
It takes great courage to move to the next level. And it produces great joy when one gets there. Ask any Olympic skater. Ask any ballet dancer. Ask any writer who has just finished a book, or any athlete who has just made the team, or any actor who has just been added to the cast. Or ask anyone at all who has strived for and achieved anything of value in life -- such as, for instance, a beautiful lifelong committed relationship with another human being.
Moving through the rocky shoals of lifelong relationship, and keeping that relationship intact, requires great courage. It is one of the most courageous things that any person can do, and surely one of the most difficult. The same is true of one's commitment to any significant and meaningful endeavor. And imagine if we are talking about a lifelong relationship with God…and with the highest Self.
Many people move through the entirety of their lives and never have a truly meaningful and significant relationship with their own highest Self. Many people do not even know what that is. Many people are so caught up in a false story about who they are that they miss the opportunity altogether in this lifetime to create and develop the kind of relationship with God and Self that I am talking about here.
I don't mean that to be judgmental, it is simply and merely an observation. And I could be wrong. My observation may be inaccurate. But this much I can tell you. Those who do create and develop the kind of relationship with God and Self that I am talking about here have learned, as have I, that it takes sheer bravery to do so. That is because in the search for the higher Self, we inevitably encounter the lower self -- and that is never a pretty picture.
As I encounter my lower self -- which I promise you, I do every day, and sometimes in the most unexpected ways -- I must call up great compassion and great love. I must learn to give these gifts to myself. And that's not an easy thing to do. I find that I am the last person that I am willing to forgive. I have made some grievous errors in my life. I have done some very unkind things. I have inflicted enormous hurt on others. I have been unbelievably selfish and enormously insensitive and uncaring. And that is only the half of it.
And as I move through my life I am deeply aware of all that I have said above, of every moment in which I have come up short, of each instance in which I failed to simply be nice, much less be grand. And so now, as I move into the last third of my life, I find that it takes great courage to face myself, to face my past, and to face the commitment that I have made within. For that commitment calls me to a higher expression and a larger experience of my True Self. And I am confronted with that choice every moment of every day.
Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I am reminded of it. Every time I look into the face of those Beloved Others who populate my life, who I have created as my companions on this journey and the co-creators of my life script, I am reminded of it. Every time I pick up a really good spiritual book, or even read articles such as this (much less write them), I am reminded of it. Life reminds me of my commitment to life every moment of the life that I am living. That is the purpose of life -- and I have only in these most recent years understood that.
So today I embark on the journey once again, asking God for Her help, feeling that He will be with me every step along the way, and praying that I may this day move closer to the goal that I have set for myself: that I might forgive myself for my yesterdays, that I might love myself in my todays, and I might experience myself, at last, as Who I Really Am in my tomorrows.
One of my greatest joys is that I know I am not walking alone. All of you are walking with me. We are embarked on this journey together, and together, with compassion and love as our guide, we can lead each other back Home. That is our invitation, that is our opportunity, and that is our reason for encountering each other as we are in this very moment. When I understand that, this becomes the Holy Moment, and I honor it and experience it as sacred, both now and even forevermore.
And life is never again the same.
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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.
Dear Mr. Walsch... I am very concerned about a friend of mine who is going through a stressful, questioning time in her life. She has doubts about God and salvation. I have not read your book yet, but I plan to after the conversation I had with her last night. I have already checked it out of the library.
My friend has come up with some pretty radical ideas about God from reading your book and I don't know if I can really adequately address them. The most important concern I have is of course the fact that she told me she does not trust the Bible, but she equates your book to scripture. She believes that this book Conversations with God was inspired by God in the same way that Paul describes all scripture as being "God-breathed (inspired)."
Frankly this idea scares me a little. Since I have not read your book I will not make any assumptions, but is there anything in your book that would turn her away from scripture as authoritative? I have thumbed through your book and have not found any scripture references in there (that doesn't mean they aren't there, it just means I may not have seen them).
Another thing we discussed is Hell. She says that she does not believe there is a hell. While this may not be a huge issue, I think that there certainly is a consequence for our actions. Hell is a place, just as Heaven is a place! (They just aren't places we can get to in our physical bodies.)
She claims (because of what she has read in your book) that because God has given us free will, we can do what we want. These are dangerous assumptions, I'm sure you would agree. I just don't know what I can say to debunk some of these false assumptions which she has come to by reading this. I know you are a busy person, but I was wondering if you could give me some advice on how to handle this situation. Thank you for your time. God Bless!
In Christ Always,
Rob G., by e-mail.
Dear Rob... Thank you, my friend, for your very wonderful letter. You are raising the very kinds of questions that I believe humanity must raise right now, and you are doing so with sincerity and what I believe to be an honest willingness to explore.
Before I respond to your questions, Rob, I am going to say that I hope that the previous statement is true. For if you have an honest willingness to explore the issues you have raised, our discussion here could be very fruitful. "If, on the other hand, you believe that you already know all there is to know on these subjects and that no new thought or idea could possibly be valid, then our discussion will lead to the same kind of dead-end (and deadly end!) that humanity as a whole faces today.
The Five Steps to Peace
In my book, The New Revelations, God says:
"There are five things you can choose now if changing your world, and the self-destructive direction in which it is moving, is what you wish to achieve.
1. You can choose to acknowledge that some of your old beliefs about God and about Life are no longer working.
2. You can choose to acknowledge that there is something you do not understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which will change everything.
3. You can choose to be willing for a new understanding of God and Life to now be brought forth, an understanding that could produce a new way of life on your planet.
4. You can choose to be courageous enough to explore and examine this new understanding, and, if it aligns with your inner truth and knowing, to enlarge your belief system to include it.
5. You can choose to live your lives as demonstrations of your highest and grandest beliefs, rather than as denials of them.
These are the Five Steps to Peace, and if you take them, you can shift everything on your planet."
Are you ready to take these steps, Rob? Are you able to admit that maybe, must maybe, some of your old beliefs about God and about Life are no longer working? This is clearly what your friend has done-and I understand why it has upset you, because stepping away from some of the beliefs that we have held most dear can be very scary and very disorienting.
Yet I am reminded of the medical doctors who, not that many years ago, refused to accept that washing their hands before surgery could make any difference, much less save lives. They would not accept this radical new idea because it was just that: a radical new idea that challenged conventional understandings.
Now Rob, you have said that the idea that Conversations with God was inspired by God scares you, and the first thing that I want to say is, why? Why does that scare you? Was not the Declaration of Independence inspired by God? Was not the breathtaking painting my Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel inspired by God? Was not Mozart's music inspired by God? Cannot a book be inspired by God?
If so, must it be an old book? Could it not be a new book, written this very day? And if so, must it be only a book with which you agree? Can it not be a book that says things with which you do not agree?
These are questions I urge you to consider, Rob.
everything in the Bible literally true?
Now, continuing with your letter, Rob, you have asked if there is anything in my book that would turn your friend away from "scripture as authoritative." I will answer you honestly that yes, there is, if what you mean by "scripture as authoritative" is that every word and every syllable in the entire Bible is true, right, and correct and must not be questioned. If this is what you mean and this is what you believe, I invite you-indeed, I dare you-to read The New Revelations.
In that book you will see passage after passage of material from the Bible that I doubt that even the staunchest true believer in Christ would say is true and correct and should be accepted without question.
The problem in the world today, Rob, is not being created by people who are questioning the world's holy scriptures, but by those who are not.
Also, Rob, you expressed concern because your friend has now concluded that there is no such place as Hell. In your note to me you have said, ”Hell is a place, just as Heaven is a place!“
Well, Rob, I do not agree with you-and neither does the Pope. A few years ago the Pope held an audience in Rome in which he declared that there was no such place as Hell. He said that there was such a thing as an experience of hell, and that this experience could best be described as separation from God. The Pope also said that it was not God's job to punish, and that punishment (separation from God) is self-inflicted and self-imposed. I agree with the Pope.
Now you may not see the Pope as an authority in this matter, but I just wanted you to know that religious figures in some pretty high places seem to agree with Conversations with God in this regard. The point is that the statement that there is no such place as Hell is not such a radical idea, and you may wish to more openly explore it.
Finally, Rob, you say that your friend claims (because of what she has read in my book) that because God has given us free will, we can do what we want.
”These are dangerous assumptions, I'm sure you would agree,” you said.
I am sorry, Rob, but once again I do not agree. Even traditional religions teach the doctrine of Free Will, and say that this doctrine means exactly what it implies-that we can do exactly as we want. I believe that what you see as dangerous, Rob, is the idea that we can do exactly as we want without fear of punishment.
That, of course, is a radical idea, I will acknowledge. Yet that is what Conversations with God says. Communion with God makes it even plainer, listing the idea of "condemnation" and "punishment" as one of the Ten Illusions of Humans, and The New Revelations completes the message, announcing clearly that God has no reason to punish anyone, and does not do so.
I know that these ideas challenge the current notion of things held by a large number of people, and I have no need to try to convince anyone that this view of things is correct. All I wish to do is help humanity stop making everyone else wrong and stop killing each other when people do not accept the currently prevailing belief about things.
Rob, you say that you don't know how to "debunk" some of these false assumptions, and you've asked my advice. My answer is that I don't believe these assumptions to be false. Rather, I believe them to be ideas that could change the world, bringing an end to our insanity at last.
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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