(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Conversations with God (sometimes abbreviated as "CwG"
) is a sequence of nine books written by Neale Donald Walsch
. Each book is written as a dialogue in which Walsch asks questions and "God" answers. Walsch claims that these dialogues are truly inspired by God.
The first book of the Conversations with God series, "Conversations with God, Book 1: An Uncommon Dialogue," appeared on bookshelves in 1995, and quickly became a publishing phenomenon. Publishers Weekly reported this first book staying on the New York Times Best-Sellers List for 137 weeks (over two and a half years). The succeeding volumes in the trilogy also appeared prominently on the New York Times Best-Sellers List.
The author describes the inception of the books as follows:
at a low period in his life, Walsch wrote an angry, imaginary letter to God asking questions about why his life wasn't working. After writing down all of his questions, the author claimed in his interview with Larry King he heard a voice over his right shoulder say: "Do you really want an answer to all these questions or are you just venting?" Though when he turned around he saw no one there, Walsch felt answers to his questions filling his mind and decided to write them down. The ensuing "dialogue" became the Conversations with God books.
Basis of the dialog
Containing nearly 3000 pages of material in total, the series presents a vast number of ideas. The second and third books in the original trilogy deal with political and social issues.'CWG's basic messages
In Friendship with God (page 373), "God" presents four concepts which are central to the entire dialogue: 1. We are all One. 2. There's Enough. 3. There's Nothing We Have [an obligation] to Do. 4. Ours Is Not A Better Way, Ours Is Merely Another Way.
The first statement is understood to mean that existence is essentially nondual in nature. At the highest level there is no separation between anything and there is only one of us; there is only God, and everything is God.
The second statement, following from the first, means that we, in this seeming existence, lack nothing and if we choose to realize it, we have enough of whatever we think we need (or the means to create it) within us.
The third statement combines the first two to conclude that God, being all there is and is thus always sufficient unto Itself, has no need of anything and therefore has no requirements of humanity.
The final concept puts an end to our need to always be right. Given that we have and are everything, and there's nothing we have to do, there are an infinite number of ways to experience this, not just the one way we may have chosen so far.
According to the books, God recommends many economic and social changes if people want to make a more functional, adaptable, and sustainable world, recommends that more attention should focus on the environment. The conversations also teach that reincarnation and life on other planets exists.God's motive for creation
In Walsch's first dialogue, God notes that "knowing" and "experiencing" oneself are different things. That-which-Is, cannot know itself fully, as it stands. It cannot know itself as love, since no other object exists to love. It cannot know itself as giving since nothing else exists to give to. It cannot experience itself in myriad ways.
This present creation then, in Walsch's viewpoint, is established by and within God, so that sentience can exist which does not directly remember its true nature as God. Split into a billion billion forms of life can live, experience, and recreate its nature as God, rather than just "know" itself as the creator in theory. It is essentially a game, entered into by agreement, to remember who and what we are and enjoy and create, knowing that ultimately there is no finish line that some will not reach, no understanding that is not without value, no act that does not add meaning to the future or for others. In Walsch's view we have a common interest in keeping the game going, for there is nothing else to do except to experience our existence and then experience more of it, to uncover deeper layers of truth and understanding. There are no external rules, because all experience is subjective, and is chosen. But within this, there are ways that (it is stated and implied) people will gradually come to see their thoughts, words, actions are either working or they are not working. A thing is either functional or disfunctional. These rememberings take place over "time," and over hundreds and thousands of lifetimes.Nature of the dialogue
The voice of God states in Book 1 that words are not the truth, and thus readers must ultimately take what is being said and consult their own feelings to determine if they are in agreement with it. The voice says this is true of any other book or words we come across. Though the books bear the title Conversations with God and the author introduces the first book by stating he is "taking dictation" from God, the voice of God in the trilogy explains that the dialogue is God speaking to everyone all the time. The question is not to whom does God talk, but who listens. This is clarified by the statement that God can communicate with you in the next song you hear, the next breeze that caresses your ear, the next conversation you overhear. "All these devices are mine. All these avenues are open to me. I will speak to you if you invite me."
At the deepest level consciousness is and that there is only one "voice" regardless whether it is thought to belong to God, or an individual, or imagination. This leads to a statement of the Divine Dichotomy: that two contradictory truths can exist, neither making the other untrue. This is possible only in the realm of the relative, because, as was stated above, in the absolute all things are one thing, and there is nothing else.Parallels in other belief systems
In the dialogue many philosophical ideas are presented that had already been advanced earlier by major Eastern and Western thinkers, but Walsch presents the information in language for modern readers and does not specifically cite any of these philosophers. In fact, Walsch claims that he had never known most of these ideas before his revelatory experiences. Since the beginning of the series, and especially in the latter volumes, Walsch and "God" acknowledge that most of the concepts presented are previously known to humanity, but are profound enough to warrant being explored repeatedly, and put into this cohesive unified form. Since humanity is still mired in strife and conflict, there is value in their restatement. Fundamental parts of Walsch's writings are also mirrored within other well known spiritual writings and traditions:
* Souls reincarnate to eventually experience God-realization (Bhagavad-Gita/Hinduism
* Feelings are more important as a source of guidance than intellect (Rousseau
* We are not here to learn anything new but to remember what we already know (Plato
* Physical reality is an illusion (Hinduism/Buddhism's concept of maya
* God is everything. (Spinoza / Brahman
* God is self-experiential, in that it is the nature of the Universe to experience itself. (Hegel, and process theology as first outlined by Alfred North Whitehead)
* Good and evil do not exist (as absolutes, but can exist in a different context and for different reasons as Nietzsche
* Reality is a representation created by will. (Schopenhauer
* Nobody knowingly desires evil, even individuals such as Hitler. (Socrates
Contemporary writers whose philosophies agree with much of CwG includeRichard Bach author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Jane Roberts author of The Seth Material, popular psychologist and author Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle author of The Power of Now (Tolle refers to much of this work in his reference sections in his own book).Prophecies and predictions
The CwG books sometimes make hints and suggestions about future events. An example of this is The Impeachment of Bill Clinton in book 2 of the trilogy. This account was first published in May of 1997, "God" told Walsch in Chapter 19 (p.226) that there were going to be "tremendous powers attempting to remove President Bill Clinton from office." Less than a year later, in 1998, the Lewinsky scandal broke and resulted in calls for Clinton's impeachment and possible eviction from his position. Eventually President Clinton was officially impeached, the resulting vote to convict and remove him from office then failed to win sufficient votes.Bibliography and moviesThe CwG series
The following are the nine books in the Conversations with God series. Each of these books is a conversation between Neale Donald Walsch and "God" with the following two exceptions: "Communion with God" is written only by "God", and "Conversations with God for Teens" compiles questions for God written by teens.
1. Conversations with God Book 1 (1995)
2. Conversations with God Book 2 (1997)
3. Conversations with God Book 3 (1998)
4. Friendship with God (1999)
5. Communion with God (2000)
6. Conversations with God for Teens (2001)
7. The New Revelations (2002)
8. Tomorrow's God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (2003)
9. Home with God: In a Life That Never Ends (2006)
The first three books in the series are often called the CwG trilogy. Home with God tells us that it is the final book in the series.Other CwG books
In addition to the nine books of the CwG series, there are also a number of guidebooks, meditation books, and other books adapted from the CwG series. The following books do not have any new information from the voice of God, but were written by Neale Donald Walsch to assist with understanding and applying the messages:
* Guidebook: Conversations with God Book 1 (1997)
* Meditations from Conversations with God Book 1 (1997)
* Meditations from Conversations with God Book 2 (1997)
* Re-Minder Cards: Conversations with God Book 1 (1998)
* The Little Soul and the Sun (illustrated parable) (1998)
* Questions and Answers on Conversations with God (1999)
* The Wedding Vows from Conversations with God (2000)
* The Little Soul and the Earth (illustrated parable) (2005)
* The Complete Conversations with God (first 3 books, Gift Edition) (2006)
Neale Donald Walsch has written a number of other books as well, (on his own), including What God Wants, and Applications for Living.2006 movie
A Conversations with God movie dramatizing the author's experience opened in theatres across USA on October 27, 2006. Neale Donald Walsch is played by Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible, The Pink Panther) in the film.
The DVD version of the film will be available starting February 27, 2007.