"We Are All One"
Interview with Neale Donald Walsch
Educator, Lecturer & Best-selling author of “Conversations
By Dennis Hughes, Share Guide Publisher
Neale Donald Walsch lives with his wife, Nancy, at a retreat site they have
founded in the woodlands of southern Oregon. Together they have formed
ReCreation, an organization whose goal is to give people back to themselves.
Walsch is continually touring the country, answering requests for lectures, and
hosting workshops to support and spread the messages contained in the book
trilogy entitled "Conversations with God".
I’d like to start off by asking, what do you mean by the new spirituality? And
how do you think that it applies to the times in which we live?
I think the new spirituality will be a spirituality that’s not based on a
particular dogma. And that steps away from the old spiritual paradigm that we
have created on this planet, which comes from a thought that there is such a
thing as being better. The sad part about our past is that religions, ironically
enough, are responsible for creating the most destructive idea that has ever
been visited upon the human race: the idea that there is such a thing as
"better." I question that the word better has any real value as it’s used by
many religions–and then subsequently by other institutions in our society.
explain. The basis of most organized religions is that they have–their founder
or founders have–received a direct revelation from God. The most recent of which
is Joseph Smith of the Book of Mormon, as recently as 1867. But many religions
traditionally claim that their founders’ experience of the word of God is the
one true experience. And everyone else’s experience of the word of God is at
best a mistake, and at worst a blasphemy. And from this construct has arisen a
concept that "We are better than them." The Roman Catholics teach that unless
you’re a Roman Catholic you do not go to heaven. There’s an old joke about the
man who went to heaven and found three doors and Peter said he could go to any
one of three doors to spend eternity: room A, room B or room C. In room A were
all the world’s Jews. In room B were all the world’s Protestants and Peter
wouldn’t show him room C. And the man said "Why can’t I take a look at room C
before I make my final choice?" And Peter said "Because in Room C are all the
world’s Catholics. And they think they’re the only ones up here." Beyond the
Catholic exclusionary paradigm is a larger one which is the Christian one.
Christians claim that if you don’t believe in Christ, you can’t get to heaven.
Well that eliminates two thirds of the world’s population!
Yes, that’s a sad thing right there.
And so one either has to believe in a God who’s terribly prejudiced, or
disbelieve the teachings of such exclusionary theologies. Religions have taught
us that "we are better than they." And because we are, somehow, better than
they, we get to go to heaven and they don’t. Christians will tell you outright
that they believe that. They may not use the word better. But they certainly
believe that they’ll go to heaven and Jews will not.
Sort of a team thing.
Yes. And this thought of betterness has crept into every area of society, where
in fact, it becomes insidious. It begins with our children when they are very
young. And indeed as you just mentioned they find themselves on teams.
divisive for the unity of humanity.
Yes. It becomes "our neighborhood is better than your neighborhood." It becomes
"our family is better than your family." It graduates to "our state is better
than your state," and "our nation is better than your nation." And it circles
all the way around to where it started: "Our God is better than your God." And
because we believe that our ethnic group, our society, our political party, our
God, is better than your God, we kill each other. The new spirituality will
bring about what I’m calling the "end of better." And that is in fact what is
called for in the next of the series of books that I’ve been writing. I’m
calling my book series the "with God series." And this next "with God" book is
Friendship with God, which comes out in November. This books challenges us to
bring about the end of "better" on this planet.
I was told to challenge every minister, every priest, every spiritual teacher,
every world leader, every politician, everyone that has a constituency of any
kind, to stand before their constituencies and utter the one sentence that no
religion, no political party, and no nation on the face of the earth will dare
utter: "Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way." That single
sentence would change the experience of the world. That is the new spirituality,
to answer your question directly. That will be the guiding principle. The new
spirituality will step away from dogma, will step away from "We’re right and
you’re wrong." And it will step into an inclusionary kind of understanding, that
allows us to honor and to celebrate each other’s points of view without finding
them mutually exclusive.
This reminds me of the "unity in diversity" phrase. We don’t want to be
homogenous as a race. We each like our own tribal culture, but it doesn’t have
to be competitive teams. It can just be our individual offerings.
Yes. And so that’ll be the first characteristic of the new spirituality. The
second characteristic of the new spirituality is that it will produce an
experience in human encounters in which we become a living demonstration of the
basic spiritual teaching "We are all one." And everything that violates or
mitigates against that teaching will not be part of the new spirituality. The
new spirituality will also base itself on a third very large spiritual
understanding, which is that life is eternal. Most religious people claim to
believe that, but very few people actually live as if that were true. In fact we
make most of our decisions and most of our choices as if we’re not all one, and
life is not eternal. As told in Friendship with God, if we simply decided to
believe and act as if first, we’re all one, and second, life is eternal, it
would render virtually everything we’ve done all our lives pointless. Because
our choices are largely based on survival. But if life is eternal, life is not a
question. And if we’re all one, we need to stop our competition with each other.
Most of the decisions we make are about survival and winning. If we win, someone
else loses. But if someone else loses, we lose. Which is a point we’re not
getting. The new spirituality will make this just painfully obvious. It’ll
become obvious that we’ve really been working against ourselves. As the new
spirituality begins to become the pervasive spirituality of the planet, we’ll
find that we have abandoned our philosophy of contradictions in which we say
we’re all one but continue to try to win. And in which we say that life is
eternal but continue to struggle to survive.
What stage do you think we’re at in the dawning of this new spirituality?
Well, I think that things happen individually first, and then collectively. It’s
not the other way around. And I think that individually we’re moving very
rapidly toward these understandings. You’ll find individuals agreeing on this,
but when they get into collective societies and larger groups they find it
difficult to achieve group agreement.
Right. In Barbara Marx Hubbard’s book "Conscious Evolution", she mentions
the phrase "cultural creatives." The number she quoted was 44 million, which
means there’s a very large group of Americans waking up.
But there’s not that many who are actively working with changing the system yet.
That’s right. That’s why Marianne Williamson and I have formed an organization
called the Global Renaissance Alliance. Barbara Marx Hubbard is on the Board of
Directors, along with Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer and James Redfield, and a
host of others. All of these folks have joyfully joined with us to provide an
arena within which our "cultural creatives" can identify themselves. And unify
their energies, focusing them in particular directions to produce particular
There’s an awful lot of talk about the new millennium. Do you think that the new
spirituality will be affected much by the millennium itself? And what do you
think about this whole millennium business?
As we move into the 21st century, there’s what the Bible calls a "quickening of
the spirit." And I think in metaphysical terms, I would call that increasing the
speed of the vibration of life. And we’re seeing a higher level of consciousness
and many more opportunities for people to challenge their present ways of
thinking and move into a grander and larger experience of who they really are.
And I think that’s a result of just a general increase in speed of the vibration
of life itself.
Do you think that the new spirituality is something that is developing, as we
increase vibration and head toward the year 2000?
Yes. We’ve seen in the last half century an incredible shift. This is just an
extraordinary time to be alive. A great many people experience the movement from
one century to the next, but a minuscule number of people experience the
movement from one millennium to the next. It’s a very small and select slice of
all the people who have ever been born. I believe we’ve come back during this
time, those of us who are here now, specifically to experience it. And to cause
a "quickening of the spirit."
"Life Is Eternal"
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