What God Wants

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Occasionally a book comes along that has the potential to change the world. I just finished reading such a book — a small book with a large message: “What God Wants: A Compelling Answer to Humanity’s Biggest Question” by Neale Donald Walsch.

If you are new to this author, he is the one who wrote the “Conversations with God” series. This new book is not written in that style of conversational dialogue, but it’s just as direct, clear, well thought out and spiritually moving.

The main premise of the book is summed up by the three words of the title, and the answer to this implied question has far-reaching consequences into all areas of life: religion, government, society, culture, evolution of consciousness, and the potential of mankind’s future on planet earth.

The book asks some mighty big “what if” questions. My paraphrase of the biggest question is, “What if the earth’s major belief systems, religions and cultures are based on an inaccurate assumption? What if the fundamental idea, upon which everything else is based . . . is simply incorrect?”

We have been trying to “fix” the effects of this error for centuries . . . millennia. As we look around the planet today, it’s obvious that humanity’s current lifestyle includes many aspects that are simply not working. We allow children to starve while we spend billions on “defense.” People are homeless while others live in mansions with dozens of empty rooms. We kill one another “in God’s name.” How can we let these things happen?

Obviously, we feel removed from the pain. As a race, we consider ourselves separate from one another rather than all a part of one greater reality — one life, one energy, one God — whatever name is preferred. If we truly understood the profound implications of the golden rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you), we would behave differently. If we are all the same — all one — and if we knew that, it would be the most natural thing in the world to treat everyone as we would have them treat us. That’s a no-brainer. Of course you are going to treat others that way, because deep down inside, we are all the same. We are all in this together and we are the same consciousness, the same being, the same sense of “I am.”

The only way to really fix our currently dysfunctional world is to re-examine the fundamental ideas themselves rather than the results of those ideas.

One of the main ideas Walsch suggests we re-examine is the concept we hold for God Itself. The vast majority of people worldwide believe in some kind of higher power, although the details vary widely. Still, there is much in common. In spite of the teachings of many of God’s messengers, most religions have evolved into teaching about a God who is external and separate from us. The doctrines suggest that this kind of external God needs humans to behave in a certain way, worship in a certain way, and devote their lives in a certain way in order to please and appease a historically volatile, wrathful and conditional God. This kind of God promises to love us if . . . (and that’s a big “if”) . . . if we do this, that, or the other in just a certain way to satisfy the mythology of the ancient scriptures.

This is a snapshot of a small, conditional God who has conditional love for us, often withheld because of His need for us to play the game of life by narrow rules. Why would the Almighty Creator need anything at all from us? That question is seldom asked from within the walls of current mythology — it is enough to allow it to remain unfathomable. The word “want” is defined as “to feel the lack of something.” What does God want? How could the creator of the entire universe feel the lack of anything?

From the book, “What God Wants” by Neale Donald Walsch: “Let’s pretend just for the moment that it’s true that God wants nothing from humanity. If that is so, then virtually all of life’s apple carts are upended. Ancient myths are upended. Cultural stories are upended. Ethnic customs are upended. Familial traditions are upended. Legal systems and educational systems are upended. Political, economic and social constructions of every kind are upended.

Could this be the reason that the idea of a God who wants something has been perpetrated?”

What if these ideas of separation and want evolved not from God, but from man’s own primitive and incomplete understanding of the Creator? What if these ideas represent unexamined habits of thought, handed down through the generations and have very little to do with truth? Instead, what if they are primarily about power and control over man by man? What if the mythology and doctrines of the major religions of the planet are based on an outdated concept of God that is simply incorrect? What if the “consume by” date has long-ago expired? Nobody noticed, so we are still swallowing it by habit even though it’s making us sick. Very sick.

Again from the book: “Consider the possibility that what you call ‘God’ might also be called, simply, ‘life.’ Consider the possibility that God not only created life, but that Gods IS life — and that life is God made manifest . . . It has not been widely taught because it does not serve the Top Down, Power Over paradigm created by the earliest power structures of humanity, religion not the least among them.”

The book asks (in so many words), “What if God is really Unconditional Love, the Alpha and the Omega, the All in All, and Omnipresent . . . just as his messengers have always said?” That would mean that God is literally everywhere, in everything. And that includes . . . inside us. If God is literally the one reality, the only thing there is, and we are all part of it, what would God possibly want or need from us? He already has everything . . . IS everything, and so he would need nothing from us to be complete.

She already is complete. (The idea of a separate male entity judging us from somewhere in the sky is another concept examined objectively, with one eyebrow raised.)

So, shifting our understanding allows us to see that such a God couldn’t possibly want or need anything from us. He/She already has/is everything that exists. This idea can have wonderfully enlightening ramifications.

For centuries, every major religion has tried to “educate” us that “My God is bigger than your god.” Your god is inferior and it’s my job to convince you that my way is better. If you don’t believe it, my people (the chosen ones) have a specially ordained mission from God (the real God) to kill your people. (In God’s name, of course . . . because WE are the good guys!)

What’s wrong with this picture? Is it working? As we look around the globe, the answer is a deeply painful, “No!” It has never worked and it’s still not working. Individuals want peace. Organizations want war. The individuals who comprise the organizations can’t be blamed. From the moment they arrived on the planet, they were “educated” — trained, conditioned, brainwashed and polluted with erroneous premises. You can’t arrive at a correct conclusion if you begin with an inaccurate premise. (That reminds me of the little church on the hill that so many are now struggling to recover from: Our Lady of the Inaccurate Conclusion.)

“Humanity’s collective reality — its cultural story, if you please — has been created over a period of many, many years through a three-step process:

1) People are given INFORMATION about God and about What God Wants from their elders — information that they widely embrace as true.

2) This information sponsors BELIEFS about Life and how it is, as well as how it ’should’ be.

3) These beliefs produce BEHAVIORS within the human family that create humanity’s on-the-ground experience.

Everything begins with the original information. Even those people who do not ‘believe in God’ are affected by the ideas ABOUT God held by those who do.” – Neale Donald Walsch, in “What God Wants: A Compelling Answer to Humanity’s Biggest Question.”

The book is full of startling statistics and goes into fascinating details about the ramifications of these ideas in all areas of life — God’s Word and God’s many messengers, the concept of Heaven and Hell, the current perceived inequality of the sexes, marriage, sex, love, free will, suffering, money, morality and death. Literally all areas of life are impacted by the fundamental ideas about our ideas of God. (One of my favorite scenes in the movie (DVD): “Conversations With God,” is when a member of the audience asks Neale Donald Walsch this question: “If God was to sum up everything he wanted us to know about him in one sentence, what would it be?” The answer came immediately: “You’ve got me all wrong.”)

This little book packs a powerful punch — hopefully we are mature enough and intelligent enough as a species to be able to set aside our pre-conceived notions and our ancient prejudices long enough to really hear and consider fresh, new ideas. Ideas like these are powerful — the most promising catalysts available for positive change worldwide.

“In your opinion, have our earthly theologies provided humanity with effective guidance in how to live together in peace and harmony?” — Neale Donald Walsch, in “What God Wants.”

What does God want from us anyway? This inspiring book provides page after page of compelling answers to humanity’s biggest questions.

The author makes it clear that the answer is not to trash our mythologies and institutions, but to expand them so that they are able to embrace bigger ideas. All institutions must incorporate change as our capacity to understand continues to grow. Religions are not famous for rapid acceptance of new ideas. What other discipline would survive if new ideas were kept at bay with such determination? If the medical community functioned in this way, Walsch says that would be like a “surgeon stepping into a modern-day operating room with a very sharp stone.” (Because the ancient texts on surgery decree that this is how it is to be done.)

As our consciousness grows, we need new tools and new ways of interacting with our world and our fellow man. We need new ways of understanding the Creative Power of the universe and how we can put it to work co-creating the life we choose.

All of the paths to God are valid and all of them provide a good fit for certain individuals who are ready to take the next step. Just because their next step is not the same as ours doesn’t mean it is wrong. All of the world’s religions and philosophies could benefit from the wise perspective offered in this book. When they are able to mature enough to incorporate the enlightened viewpoint so eloquently expressed by Walsch, everyone benefits. Variety is good.

When we finally experience the inner connectedness of all things and all life, we are no longer susceptible to the questionable agendas of those who would confuse us with shrewdly constructed mythology in order to hold power over us. When we understand that free will is the ultimate gift from an omnipotent, unconditionally loving Creator, we are finally free to live our lives in our own way, without fear of judgment . . . now or ever.

The ideas in this book have the potential to spark a quantum leap in consciousness and spiritual understanding. As more and more people become willing to consider new ideas and spiritual viewpoints, the quality of life on earth improves proportionally.

Of all the books I’ve read on spirituality and human potential, this is definitely one of the most hopeful, helpful and inspiring. It’s an easy read — quick and to the point. There’s plenty of background information supporting the ideas presented, but not so much that you get bogged down in detail. Instead, it’s compelling and fascinating. I personally enjoy the author’s casual, conversational style. I like his skill at wordplay like creative acronyms and clever phrases. That makes the material more accessible, in my opinion and helps lighten the mood while offering some of the most profound ideas ever offered.

I read this little book in two sittings and have been inspired ever since. It’s the kind of book that, upon finishing the last page, I immediately return to page one and start over. I find myself imagining what this world could be like if everyone could be exposed to this kind of common sense spirituality. This is the kind of book that you instantly want to share with everyone you care about.

This book is chock full of insightful, unusual, and advanced ideas on God, religion, spirituality, culture, history and man’s place in the overall scheme of things. It doesn’t matter if you agree with all these ideas or not. Just agreeing to consider them is likely to make a lasting impression and could help expand and deepen your belief systems forever.

The back cover asks, “When was the last time you read a dangerous book?” The inside flap warns, “Be careful. This book is dangerous. It explores with startling freshness the most important question you could ever ask, and offers with breathtaking courage the most extraordinary answer you could ever imagine.”

I appreciate the hopeful attitude that there are realistic options to the broken way of life so energetically illustrated on the evening news. This life-changing book asks a pivotal question in the spiritual journey of mankind: “What does God Want?”

This simple, yet profound question implies another: “Are we spiritually mature enough to hear the answer?”

Read this book. Maybe that’s What God Wants.

While reading, did you choose to hear the relaxing instrumental music linked at the beginning of this article? To learn more about it, click here.

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This is the end of the article entitled What God Wants published by Tupelo Kenyon on October 26, 2007 at 5:00 am | In Awareness, Belief Systems, Courage, Integrity, Relationships - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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