"We believe that if 1000 people from all over the world join forces and use the power of exponential increase in numbers, the world could be changed forever, and we could launch at last the Thousand Years of Peace, about which so much has been written and prophesied." - introduction on The Group of 1,000 website
If nothing else, author and spiritual leader Neale Donald Walsch is passionate. His new mission, which he described recently during an in-depth press briefing during the Spiritual Cinema Festival-at-Sea, is to gather 1,000 people together from around the world who are committed to supporting, financing and doing what it takes to shift "the prevailing notion of humanity about itself."
Walsch says the problems of the world cannot be solved through political means.
"The problem facing the world today is a spiritual problem, and it can only be solved by spiritual means," he says.
"Give me 1,000 people spread out that way around the world," Walsch says, "and we’ll change the world in 10 years, just as Osama Bin Laden has done with his network of supporters, only holding a different idea of humanity. The Group of One Thousand is an attempt to rally people everywhere to an extraordinary, world-impacting undertaking on the part of humanity outside of government, outside of the economic system and the industrial system, outside of education even outside of traditional religion, operating within the framework of a new paradigm that actually creates itself as it goes. We started this in February. We already have 100 people and we have 900 to go."
As described in his vast series of books that began more than 10 years ago with Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Walsch proposes a recreation of not only how individuals think of themselves, but how they think of God and humanity as a whole.
Shift in consciousness
The Group of 1,000, Walsch explains, will support organizations that will help facilitate a shift in consciousness:
i The Group of 1000 will act as the prime source of spiritual, physical and financial support for the School of the New Spirituality, now in the formative stages of becoming a separate non-profit organization, that will do two things: create a School of Theology offering a degree-based program, including graduate degrees, for persons yearning to teach the New Spirituality; and create classrooms around the world in which those newly trained teachers will teach children and adults.
"The School of the New Spirituality," Walsch says, "will include schools and home-schooling packages in cities, towns and villages all over the world to teach young children a new idea about God, about life and about each other, so that when they’re 18, 20, and 22 years old, they’re not carrying knapsacks loaded with explosives into cities to blow themselves up, but they’re bringing a new thought into their adulthood and into the space of light."
i The Group of 1000 will act as the prime source of spiritual, physical and financial support for Humanity’s Team, a separate non-profit organization whose mission is to create community through a worldwide Civil Rights Movement for the Soul, freeing humanity at last from the oppression of its beliefs in a righteous, jealous, angry, demanding, exclusive, vindictive, vengeful and violent God, and offering people everywhere the freedom to follow their natural impulse to seek and experience the Divine without fear of being socially ostracized, legally punished or militarily attacked for the way in which they are doing it.
Humanity’s Team, an outgrowth of the Conversations with God cosmology, is supported by more than 10,000 people in 65 countries. Walsch says its work is to create an environment within which the new spirituality can emerge as a possibility on the planet.
i The Group of 1000 will act as the prime source of spiritual, physical and financial support for the ReCreation Foundation, a separate non-profit organization presenting spiritual renewal retreats around the world assisting people in recreating themselves anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever they held about Who They Are. The Life Education Program offers people training in the skills and understandings required to hold study groups, facilitate workshops and retreats, and present informal talks and public lectures on the New Spirituality, thereby multiplying the number of messengers of the New Spirituality in the world.
The ReCreation Foundation Inc., also known as The Conversations with God Foundation, was created in 1995 to provide retreats, activities and programs that allow people to change their own lives and the world at large.
One more time
The announcement of The Group of 1,000 was first made last October when Walsch found himself in the small city of Deventer in the Netherlands. It was the final lecture of a long European tour, and Walsch found himself unable to deliver the same speech one more time.
"There were 750 people or so in the audience and I had to hit the stage," he says. "When I got on the stage, I told the truth in the first 30 seconds.
"I just said, ‘I don’t want to give a lecture tonight. And if I do talk with you this evening, I absolutely do not want to give my stock road speech, because I’m just so done with that. My tongue won’t even form the words anymore. So how about if we just talk about something entirely different?’
Walsch spoke about Samuel P. Huntington’s book – The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (Simon & Schuster, 1998) – that predicted much of the violence we are seeing in the world today. Walsch also pondered aloud why terrorists are able to convince young children to blow themselves up.
"I said to the people in Deventer, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if somehow a worldwide system of schools could be created that would share with humanity a different point of view, a different point of view about God, a different point of view about life, a different point of view about ourselves and about each other? But, no such worldwide school system exists to promote the new spirituality, an idea that suggests that there is some way for humanity to honor its impulse toward the Divine without making each other wrong for the way in which they’re doing it.’
"And so I said, ‘That would of course require the creation of a global network of schools and a program of education, and that in turn would require an enormous amount of money and man hours and energy. And where would that come from?
" ‘I wonder where it came from with Osama, because there was a time, maybe 10 or 15 years ago when Osama was all there was. He was sitting there all by himself thinking about how unhappy he was with the way things were and how he wanted to change it. And then there were two. He talked to a friend and the friend agreed with him. And then there were four and eight and pretty soon there were thousands of people around the world forming a network, or if you please, terrorist cells around the world ready to move at his whim and command – to place into the space of our experience a different reality. Boy, if we could somehow pull together 1,000 people, we’ll change the world in 10 years. If Osama can do it, we can do it! Who wants to play?’"
The Dutch audience stood up en masse with an instant standing ovation. And that was the beginning of The Group of 1,000.
Walsch says he expects each member of the group to recruit more and more people over time, so that the exponential growth will create an unlimited possibility for good on the planet.
People who commits to the group are expected to give The Group of 1,000:
i Ten percent of their income every week for the rest of their life
i Ten hours a month of service and of volunteer energy service to the organizations that the group supports for the rest of their life
i Ten new enrollees in the group each year for rest of their life
"In two years, this group turns into the Group of 100,000, and in three years it turns into the Group of One Million, and in four years it turns into the Group of a Billion," Walsch says. "I want to create a group of people so huge and so strong that it has the financial and the spiritual and the physical power to shift the prevailing notion on the planet about itself.
"What we’re saying about the Group of 1,000 is that it has as its purpose to multiply individual intent to global proportion, the intent to multiply individual intent to globally impacting proportion."
Walsch said that he made a commitment to himself that Conversations with God would not simply be the latest "hot read, nor will it be yesterday’s ice cream."
"People around the world stand ready and are simply waiting, reaching out for some kind of tool, message or larger umbrella principle under which they can gather to undertake their own personal transformation and to transform the world entirely.
"…I’ve been telling people around the world to please indulge me in quoting John Kennedy, because my idea is not sexy and it’s not an immediate solution. It’s a long-term solution that will take 15 or 20 years. But as John Kennedy said, ‘All of these things will not be accomplished in the first 100 days, nor in the first 1,000 days, nor perhaps not even in my lifetime, but let us begin.’
"…And again to quote Kennedy, ‘Of those to whom much is given, much is asked.’"
For more information, visit www.thegroupof1000.com
Copyright 2006 Tim Miejan. All rights reserved.