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Toward a New Understanding of God

Neale Donald Walsch

     Neale Donald Walsch believes humanity is on the verge of a spiritual awakening that will dramatically change our way of life.

An Interview with Neale Donald Walsch and an excerpt from his new book.

In the introduction to your book you say, "This book contains the most exciting news of the past 100 years." What's the news?

That humanity is going to create a new God for itself in the next 25 to 30 years, that this new God will result in the emergence of a new spirituality on the planet, and the new spirituality will in turn result in, at last, a movement toward that time of peace and harmony for all humankind, which has been so long predicted and so long awaited.

You're not just talking about a change at the level of individual consciousness, but something on a global scale?

I'm talking about the creation of a new God on the earth and by that I mean a new understanding of the only God who always was, is now and always will be-but an understanding so radically different, an enormous departure from our present understandings that for all practical intents and purposes, it will seem like a new God.

And that the creation of this new God by humanity will cause to emerge a new spirituality on the earth, across the planet.

Could you describe the difference between this new understanding of "tomorrow's God" and the understanding that we have right now?

[Our] biggest fallacies about God are:

1. God needs something.

2. God can fail to get what God needs.

3. God has separated you from God because you have not given God what God needs.

4. God still needs what God needs so badly that God now requires you, from your separated position, to provide it.

5. God will destroy you if you do not meet God's requirements.

[Whereas] this is what God is actually like:

1. Tomorrow's God does not require anyone to believe in God.

2. Tomorrow's God is without gender, size, shape, color, or any of the characteristics of an individual living being.

3. Tomorrow's God talks with everyone, all the time.

4. Tomorrow's God is separate from nothing, but is Everywhere Present, the All in All, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Sum Total of Everything that ever was, is now, and ever shall be.

5. Tomorrow's God is not a singular Super Being, but the extraordinary process called Life.

6. Tomorrow's God is ever changing.

7. Tomorrow's God is needless.

8. Tomorrow's God does not ask to be served, but is the Servant of all of Life.

9. Tomorrow's God will be unconditionally loving, nonjudgmental, noncondemning, and nonpunishing.

Taken collectively, those differences will produce a strikingly different form of spirituality, which in turn will produce a strikingly different form of life, a different way of being with each other.

What is the message you say is missing from the world's religions?

"The missing message" is that we are all one. That is, that we are one with God, no separation between us and God whatsoever. That message is not being sent to the world by the Islamic faith, by the Christian faith, or by the Jewish faith-the world's major exclusivist organized religions.

None of them say, "God and we are one." In fact they teach quite the opposite. Not only do they fail to bring that message, they actually teach a message which opposes that message.

What will make followers of these religions adopt this new spirituality in the next 20 or 30 years?

The leaders and the figureheads of the world's largest exclusivist organized religions will not suddenly wake up one morning and say, "You know, we've got it all wrong."

Or "We have been incomplete in our understandings, therefore we have to offer a new encyclical or a new proclamation." It will not happen that way. It will happen exactly the way political changes have occurred on this planet in the past 20 years that no one would have ever thought would occur.

It will happen from the ground up. Just as communism fell in Eastern Europe. Just as political changes have happened all over the world in the past 30 or 40 years. From the ground up, not from the top down.

And what I'm suggesting is that one of two things is going to happen. Either the religions themselves will find themselves shifting and changing, enlarging their belief system to include the missing message, or those religions that fail to do so will simply disappear.

Because the mass of the people who practice those religions and profess membership in them will not tolerate those religions continuing to ignore what is an obvious truth, which is the truth of our oneness, both with each other, with all of life and with God.

In your book, God says, "This book is meant to save the world." Save the world from what?

From its worst idea about itself. Save the world from the outcome that most of the world's people say they do not desire, which is the slow but sure destruction and disassembling of life as we know it.

Literal physical destruction?

Not simply physical destruction-psychological, emotional, and spiritually as well. The slow but sure disassembling of life as we know it at every level.

I'm not talking about the end of the world here. I'm not talking about the planet stopping to revolve or the world destroying itself in the sense that it will become uninhabitable.

I'm talking about life as we know it. That is, life may continue in 30 or 40 years but it won't be anything like the life that we now know. We will not have the freedoms, we will not have the enjoyments, we will not have the happiness. In fact, it will be worse than George Orwell's worst nightmare.

This is an opportunity for humanity to reinvent itself. I think most human beings can now see that we cannot continue in our present direction. I don't see that there are many human beings of any culture who would seriously question that. The question then before us seems to be a rather simple one: In what direction then should we be moving?

My theory is that an insufficient number of people are actually addressing that question. Which way should we move collectively as a human society? In the next 20 to 30 years, these changes will occur: Humanity will in fact create a new idea of divinity, a new idea of itself and a new idea about life. The only question is whether it will do it as a result of the next great calamity or as a preventative measure.

What will the world look like in 20 to 30 years?
First of all, our politics will change dramatically. From the politics of attack and condemn to a politics of collaborative creation.

So that we will say ours is not a better way; ours is merely another way: "My opponent, the person who is running against me in this election simply has a different point of view from me.

He is not a villain and I am not his victim nor are any of you; we simply have two different ideas on how to approach a problem." The political process will be utterly and totally transparent as well.

You say our educational system will also embrace this new spirituality. For those who value the separation of church and state, this might seem like a very controversial idea.

I don't think that the changes that will occur in education as the emergence of a new spirituality will violate the separation of church and state. The church is an "institution"-a word broadly used to mean organized religions which teach certain dogmas.

But we're talking about spirituality and state. And spirituality is nothing more than a fancy word meaning the highest and best beliefs that a culture holds. And if that isn't what education is about, then what is it about?

[I'm not suggesting] that the schools will become launching points for a particular religious dogma or message, but rather that education will be the place in which our highest collectively held values and the highest message-which is simply the message of the unity of all of life-is sent to our young people.

The beauty of the new spirituality is that it will not be doctrinal but experiential. And because it will be experiential it will allow people and in fact, entire cultures, to grow within it to create it and recreate it anew really, almost from moment to moment, but certainly from period to period as we experience what's true for us.

Saying Goodbye to 'Yesterday's God'
How our beliefs about the divine can transform the world.

By Neale Donald Walsch

Excerpted from Tomorrow's God by Neale Donald Walsch.
Copyright © 2004 by Neale Donald Walsch.
Reprinted by permission of Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

In the following excerpt, the author is having a "conversation" with God. God's voice is represented in bold type.

It is the perception of many people on this earth that your job-God's job-is to tell human beings what is best for them. You tell us what is best for us, and then it is up to us to do it, or else. This is a simplified restating of one of humanity's sacred beliefs.

That belief is a fallacy. That is not God's job and that is not God's purpose and that is not God's function.

Then you will continue to create your life as you now know it on your planet.

So? What's so bad about that?

Look around you. You like what you see? Then go ahead, continue to believe what you believe. But don't think things aren't going to change. It's not a question of "if," but "how." Everything is going to change. And, sooner or later, so will humanity's beliefs about God. That is when you will say good-bye to Yesterday's God.

When is this going to happen?

Actually, it's beginning to happen right now.

Really? Well, so much for that being what saves the world, because it's not changing anything.

Yes, it is. You're just not seeing the change. You're not aware of it. But as the changes increase, as they spread, you'll become more and more aware of them. Indeed, you'll become part of them.

When will this process be complete?

Never. The process of seeing and experiencing more and more of God is never-ending. That's the joy of it.

Well, when will it be complete enough for things to start getting better around here?

Soon. Very soon. If humanity is willing.

What does that mean?

It means that if humanity makes this choice, a movement, a radical shift, in humanity's understandings about God could occur rapidly. Easily within your lifetime. Within three decades. Perhaps even faster than that, once the first domino falls.
It is simply a question of reaching critical mass.

What will that take?

Not nearly what you might think. Some people assume that critical mass is one more than half, but it is not. Nor is it 25 percent of the whole, nor even 10 percent of the whole, nor even 5 percent of the whole. Critical mass is reached when 2 to 4 percent of the whole is affected.

Watch the surface of water as it's brought to a boil. The boiling point is not reached at the point when over half of the surface is bubbling, but long before. The effect of critical mass is exponential. That's what makes it so powerful. A few bubbles break the surface of the water...then, in a sudden rush, all of the water is boiling

So a relatively small number of us must make the choice to create that shift in our understandings about God. What could make humanity willing to make that choice?

One of two things. More hatred or more hope. Another world-shaking disaster born of rage and wrapped in violence and killing, or a global awakening produced in another way.

In what other way? Other than disaster and calamity, there doesn't seem to be a way for human beings to wake up.

Oh, but there is. There could be a worldwide movement to spread, not terror, but peace, joy, and love. There could be a massive grassroots undertaking, with people all across the globe mobilized at the community level to change the way things are.

Just as there are now terrorist cells, there could be spiritual activist teams all over the earth.
This would require leadership, of course.

And it would require great commitment on the part of those who follow these leaders. But it is possible. It can be done.

And the first step lies at the level of thought. Humanity's future depends on what humanity thinks about itself. It depends on what humanity thinks about God, and about Life.

From your thought springs your reality. From your ideas your future emerges. Thus, your beliefs create your behaviors, and your behaviors create your experience.

What you believe, therefore, becomes a most important thing.

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