“When I gain entrance into your heart, you gain entrance into heaven. And your heaven can be on Earth. Everything can truly be “on earth as it is in heaven” when the time of separation is over and the time of unification is at hand.” — Communion with God
The time of unification is at hand. Those words reverberate with power. The speaker is…God. Neale Donald Walsch, known for his dialogue-filled conversations with God, steps aside and allows God to be the sole voice in the latest of his “…with God” series of books. In this new volume, entitled Communion with God, the written words of God detail step-by-step, chapter-by-chapter, 10 illusions that create separation between humankind and the ultimate reality of what is so. This book invites readers to see the illusions for what they are and to use each and every illusion to better realize the truth about who they are.
Neale Donald Walsch spoke with The EDGE from his busy office in Ashland, Ore., where is preparing to travel nationwide to let the public know just how vital this latest message from God truly is.
We have another “…with God” book — Communion with God. What inspired this new book? Is it part of a flow coming forth from you?
Neale Donald Walsch: I was told in Conversations with God – Book 3 that there would be two more books forthcoming, just when I thought really that the series had ended. They are Friendship with God and Communion with God.
I was told that our relationship with God is very much like our relationship with each other here on this planet. Our contact begins with a conversation. If the conversation goes well, we experience friendship with that other. And if the friendship serves both of us, then we eventually move into a place of communion — or oneness — with the other person. Many people call this love.
What God said to me is that our relationship with God is no different than our relationship with each other. And if we allowed ourselves to experience it, just as we allow ourselves to experience a relationship with another human being, we would be grandly enriched and wonderfully blessed — if not greatly surprised at how things really work.
I am to assist people in remembering this. I think my mission on this planet is to remind people and bring people to a renewed understanding — a remembering — of what their right relationship with God really is.
People have been trying to find right relationship with Deity from the beginning of time. My mission here, in this lifetime, is to be a catalyst in assisting people.
The Communion with God book is a book that speaks with one voice — the voice of God. There is no dialogue. There are no questions and answers. It is the book I was promised I would write when I moved from my experience of Friendship with God to my experience of really deep connection with God, almost oneness with God, speaking with one voice.
The point of the book is that we all speak with the voice of God — indeed we all do. We call it something else, because it’s difficult to accept that every word that we utter really is the word of God — in that we and God are one. In that God’s will for us is our will for us. In that we speak with creative authority with each word that we utter, producing our own reality in the very next moment — with our thoughts, words and deeds. This is indeed the message of the entire “…with God” series. And it is made very clear in Communion with God.
Communion with God speaks to the way in which we have constructed our lives in the relative reality that we call our life on planet Earth and in these physical bodies. Conversation with God and the entire “…with God” series differentiates between what you are, which it calls Ultimate Reality, and what you imagine yourself to be, which is our relative reality. Ultimate Reality is abbreviated by the initials UR. That is what you are — Ultimate Reality.
In the realm of the relative, we are living an illusion. And we are living it as magicians who have forgotten our own tricks. What Communion with God does is reminds the magician how the tricks are done. This is done not so the illusion is broken, but understood in terms of how it is being created — and used to continue to produce specific and desired results, just as a magician uses his illusions for precisely the same purpose.
Communion with God discusses the 10 illusions of humans and outlines how those illusions have been created, how they have affected our lives when we lived them as if they were real, and how we may discontinue living our illusions as if they were real, although not discontinue the illusions themselves. Without the illusions, it would not be possible to experience who we are in the realm of the relative.
It is the most revealing of all the “…with God” books in that it shares with deep insight a perspective on life that only those who are connected to Ultimate Reality can see. So it acts as a bridge for those who are still lost in the maya or are still caught up in the illusion and those who have stepped aside from the illusion and use it as all masters do. There are such masters who have walked on the planet throughout the ages, and there will always be those masters who show us the way — the way out of the illusion, out of the maze, and into the clearing once more.
That is what is happening now for many people. We are in a state of amazement, that is to say, we are caught in a maze — and it is an amazing experience, for sure. Yet, part of the amazement can be confusion and difficulty, pain and sorrow. And that need not be a part of the amazement, but it is for those who imagine there is no way out. Those who know there is a way out of the maze can enjoy being in the maze, knowing it is simply a process that can be enjoyed. We can smell the flowers. We can touch the vines. We can really enjoy being in there when we know it’s simply a matter of following the right path, and then we’re out of the maze. Mazes can be really frustrating when it appears there is no way out, which produces both the beauty and the anxiety of being in the maze.
Or that the maze is all there is.
Walsch: Exactly. Communion with God will be, without any doubt, the most important of all the “…with God” books. It will be seen in years ahead as the most profound statement of what is real that has been produced in these early days of the 21st century.
Oneness seems to be a difficult thing for six billion individuals to embrace.
Walsch: Yes, and there is a reason for that. And when we understand the reason, we can begin to use the illusion of our separation. The reason it’s difficult for us to embrace oneness is because if we embraced it all the time, we would not know what it was. So, we have to separate from the oneness, or allow ourselves to experience “other than oneness,” to know what oneness is.
The experience of oneness is a gift, but the illusion of separation is a gift, as well. Because it is only through the illusion of separation that we can experience the Ultimate Reality of our eternal union. When we understand that, it is possible for us to experience the Ultimate Reality, but to do so sporadically. We don’t have to do it all the time.
So it’s a flow, in and out.
Walsch: Yes, what frightens people about oneness is that they fear the loss of self and the loss of individual identity. Now, the good news is that we don’t have to lose individual identity in order to experience our true identity.
Do you think that’s the purpose for our coming to this planet, to do that?
Walsch: It’s the entire purpose of venturing into physical form, so that we might know the oneness and that which is not one.
Even as a snowflake falls from the heavens, it experiences itself as the most exquisite and individualized and non-duplicatable version of the All, only to melt once again into the oneness. It turns first into snow and then melts into water, and then turns into vapor to return once again into All That Is, and then reforms itself as another snowflake and falls once again.
So a snowflake falling from the heavens is all part of an eternal process of evolution by which it knows itself both as individual expressions of the Ultimate Magnificence, and then returns to the Ultimate Magnificence to reform itself again. So we are all simply Gods in formation — or God’s information!
Does understanding of the ideas in Communion with God require some level of spiritual maturity, or will everyone grasp it if so chosen?
Walsch: That statement is self-evident. Everyone experiences what they choose to experience, so the question answers itself. What we choose to experience, we do. If readers choose to grasp it, they will. Will everyone make that choice? That remains to be seen. The sooner that more of us makes the choice, the sooner more of us will experience Ultimate Reality, and that will change life on this planet.
Does someone need to be at a particular level to understand the material? The answer is no. I think anyone can come to the material and understand and grasp the material wholly.
Why is the grandest illusion the concept that need exists?
Walsch: Because without need, all of the other dominoes fall. Only the idea that we need something causes us to have any other experience in life that we have — both good and bad. If we didn’t need anything, we’d be static beings. We’d be, do and have nothing, which is the nature of the Ultimate Reality. The idea that need exists is the key that opens the door to relative experience.
It’s the idea of need run amok that is the problem. The illusion of need is an important illusion, because it’s used to create our entire experience.
Don’t you think it’s fearful for people to accept that what they’re living is an illusion?
Walsch: I don’t know. I would think it would be a liberation for most people.
Like you use the analogy of the magician, a lot of us haven’t known that we have created an illusion ourselves.
Walsch: You can’t really appreciate the dream until you wake up.
All of the “…with God” books speak of being, not doing. Do you think it takes effort to stand in place and truly be who you are?
Walsch: It does, until it doesn’t, anymore. So the answer is yes and no. It’s like saying, is it hard to learn your multiplication tables. It is, until it isn’t. It takes effort until it takes no effort at all, and then one realizes why it took such effort. It’s like swimming or riding a bicycle or anything one masters.
And part of your effort is to motivate people to begin the process, to consider making the effort?
Walsch: I’m not sure if that’s the purest reading of what I am doing. I’m not trying to motivate people to do anything, but rather, I’m simply placing the information in front of people and they can do what they choose. I’m not a motivator. I’m not here to convince anyone of anything. I’m simply here to clarify, and then from those clarifications, people can make do as they wish. I really have no preference in the matter, any more than God does.
But I do see myself as a clarifier so people can better understand the great mysteries of life.
And who they really are.
Walsch: Yes. If I were a motivator, then there’d be an outcome I would desire. That’s the difficulty in trying to motivate others. If you haven’t motivated them, it looks as if you haven’t done what you had come to do. It’s the first step on the road to pain and disappointment.
You encourage readers to spend time communing with God. Why?
Walsch: I don’t encourage readers to do that, I simply invite them. Encourage and invite are two different words. To encourage somebody would be to motivate them. I’m not really encouraging anybody to do anything. I’m simply clarifying for people what happens when you do certain things. If I say to you, if you take a bath once a week and a shower every day, you’ll feel clean and fresh. That’s not encouraging you to do so, but simply explaining that if you do so, this will be the result.
I’m not encouraging readers to experience communion with God, but I am allowing them to notice what happens if they do. And if people do allow themselves to experience communion with God, what they will experience is a new sense of themselves, a new place of peace and calmness, of beauty, and virtually uninterrupted tranquility. They will experience a new place of power — to control their own lives, to impact and affect their own lives, indeed to create their own lives in the way they would most like to see it be made manifest.
They will experience that it is entirely possible to recreate themselves anew, in each moment of love, in the next grandest version of the greatest vision they have ever held about who they are. They will experience that life is a process of continuing joy and wonder — and connect once again with the awesomeness and wonder of life. It’s what Rabbi Michael Lerner calls “emancipatory spirituality.” We are emancipated at last from the prison of our devise.
How do you return to who you are when you find yourself lost from that connection?
Walsch: First, I do what one teacher calls falling into stillness. It’s a falling back into the stillness of the moment. The first thing I do is breathe. I take four deep breaths. And then I move in my mind to a place I visited many times in meditation. It is a place of remembering the oneness, and re-experiencing that. The beauty of experiencing oneness is that once you experience the oneness with the Divine, it is truly unforgettable — perhaps the world’s only really unforgettable experience. It’s not something anyone ever forgets, or ever forgets how to experience again. You can return to the experience over and over again once you have had it. In fact, it’s almost instant once you think about it.
So I think what I do when I find myself falling away, if I should choose actively to return to peace and tranquility, is that I think about what I am thinking about. I think that is a very important life skill. To think about what you are thinking about.
To be present.
Walsch: To be aware of what you are thinking about and how you are thinking about it. Friendship with God talks about levels of awareness: to be aware, and then to be aware that you are aware, and then to be aware that you are aware that you are aware, and so forth. You move ever deeper into that hall of mirrors until you are completely aware of all that you are aware.
Rama Berch, who is director of the Master Yoga Academy (La Jolla, Calif.) once said, “I don’t allow my mind to think a thought without my permission.” That’s what I mean. When I have lost touch with peace and tranquility, it’s because I’ve allowed my mind to think thoughts that I have not given it permission to think. So I become aware of that. And I become aware that I am aware. I step back into that hall of mirrors, and I see myself seeing myself seeing myself, until I can step far enough away from the moment, and from the apparency of the moment, to see that it’s not real at all. What’s really real is the me that’s watching me watching me watching me.
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) is a lot like this. It’s a practical psychological tool that places the greatest spiritual truth into psychological terms. In Neurolinguistic Programming terms, this is called “reframing,” or stepping out of the frame of your experience — stepping far enough back from the picture in that moment so you can disassociate or disattach from it , to see yourself not as the picture, but as that which is watching or viewing the picture.
This concept is a strain that runs through all of the world’s great religions and philosophies. Of course, it is the basis of Buddhism.
How has the “…with God” series affected your life?
Walsch: I think I’m more at peace. I think I’m experiencing in every moment more at-one-ment, or as some would call atonement. And I feel almost strangely detached from all of the dramas of everyday life, and wonderfully united with all of the people having the dramas. I find myself amused much more with life, rather than abused by it. It’s interesting. I used to feel abused by life, and now I feel amused by it.
I don’t mean amused in the sense of looking down at life and laughing at it, but amused in the sense of living in the joy.
In the foreward of Communion with God, you say you have found your path but don’t appear to be getting close to your destination.
Walsch: That’s how I felt when I wrote that foreword, but I’m not sure I feel totally that way now. I feel I am getting closer to my destination every day.
What is the ultimate destination?
Walsch: I don’t think there is an ultimate destination, but some of the stopping places along the way are places where we experience greater and greater levels of mastery, greater and greater awareness of who we are, and greater and greater expressions and experiences of that in the physical form. That’s what we come here for. We come here to experience greater and greater levels of awareness of who we are, and to express that in larger and larger ways. That we might know who we really are in our own experience. I think that’s what I am doing.
It’s an interesting experience, and it’s fascinating to watch the world about me change when I change. In truth, the world is not changing at all, but I am looking at it from a different perspective.
How did you find your path?
Walsch: There’s a description of that from the very first narrative in Book One, and Friendship with God, in particular, answers that question in great detail. But I think the shortened answer is by living my life. As wonderful Warner Earhart says, life resolves itself in the process of life itself.
So the answer to your question is by living my life, and not being afraid to do so. Living fully and completely, with all of its dramas and all of its pains and all of its joys. By living it richly. And by not being afraid of it. I don’t think anyone who has known me can say is that I’ve been afraid of living my life. I’ve moved into the ups and the downs of it, the left and the right of it, the here and the there of it — fully.
I’ve not been afraid of it. I’ve not shied away from it. When I had my pain, I screamed out in pain. When I had my joy, I shouted in joy. When I had my sorrow, I cried out my sorrow. When I had my happiness, I sang my song in happiness for all to here. I’ve done all of it in center stage in a very big way that all who know me, and know of me, could hardly miss.
I think that’s how one finds the path — by living life fully. I love the line from Auntie Mame that the playwright Patrick Dennis wrote years ago: “Life is a banquet, and most poor people are starving to death.”
I believe it is in the afterward of this book that you write that the mission for you and your wife is “to give people back to themselves.”
Walsch: I think people have forgotten who they really are, and in that forgetfulness, they have stepped away from themselves. They have lost touch with who they really are. It is my great delight in life to give people back to themselves, by showing them again who they really are by demonstrating to them who I really am — and who we all are.
I think we give people back to themselves when we simply see them as they would like to see themselves in their own highest idea.
Show them what is possible?
Walsch: Show them what is true. It’s not a question of what is possible, but a question of what is so. When we show people what is possible, we merely give them hope, when we show them what is so, we give them knowledge. Knowledge and hope are two entirely different experiences.
What do you plan to present when you return to the Twin Cities?
Walsch: I guess I hope I will be able to bring some more clarity to what’s been written in the “…with God” books and to life itself. Wisdom and clarity is what I hope to present. Wisdom and clarity is who I am and who I choose to be.
Is it getting more clear for you every day?
Walsch: Yes. I feel when one is clear, one becomes clear. When one is wise, one becomes wise. When one is compassionate, one becomes compassion. When one is love, one becomes love — and ever more of it. A tree never stops growing. It simply becomes more and more tree. A tree has to learn nothing to become more tree. It simply becomes more of what it always was, is and always will be. Trees, if left untouched, will live for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They live a very long time. And they stand as immutable symbols of the process of life in all its glory. There is nothing to learn. A seedling needs to learn nothing, but merely give itself permission to express — each day, at the grandest level of what it was at the beginning. And we are very much like seedlings. There is nothing we have to learn. There is only grander and grander expression of you-ness, just like there is only grander and grander expression of tree-ness.
So I experience that the more I express of myself, the more of myself I experience myself as being. Just like a tree.
It’s important to give ourselves permission to express, not to be fearful.
Walsch: That’s the biggest challenge. It takes great courage, because the world stands ready to ridicule and to deny your highest idea of who you really are. This, of course, is why the world is in the condition that it is in, because we stand by to ridicule and deny everyone else’s grandest vision of themselves, thus limiting the collective creation of the entire human race.
If we gave everyone unlimited freedom to express the grandest thought they ever held about who they are, overnight the world would heal itself, and we will have created heaven on Earth.
What an incredible experience that would be.
Walsch: It would indeed. And yet, to some people that is very scary, because their thought is that with restraint, there is control. And if the restraints are removed, we would be uncontrollable, acting in ways that would not be for our highest benefit. However, exactly the opposite is true.
And that is what we all really want.
Walsch: That is all anyone wants. In one word — freedom. Love, in a word, is freedom. I give you the freedom to be, do or have what you choose. And you give me the same. And we will never have a conflict or a quarrel or a fight, particularly if we understand in the moment of our choosing that we are one. Then I could not ever choose anything that would damage or hurt you in any way. My awareness of our oneness would preclude the possibility of so choosing, in as much as I would understand that to hurt you would be to hurt me.
Yet, the 10 illusions of humans keep us from that place.
What is the next grand vision for yourself that you are creating?
Walsch: I think I will allow you to be surprised by that when it is created. I don’t want to take the fun of the surprise away from you by telling you ahead of time.
For more on Neale Donald Walsch, go to www.conversationswithgod.org