Brandon's Notepad

May 22, 2013

Conversations With God, Book 1, Chapter 2

Home > My Research > Eastern Philosophy & New Age > Conversations With God > Book 1, Chapter 2


Overview

Building upon Chapter 1, a lengthy primer on New Age thought written to appeal to a Christian audience, Walsch employs logic in the second chapter to dismantle the reader’s faith (trust, or belief) in organized religion, traditional Christianity in particular. His logical constructs, however, are based on his own system, so the underlying assumption is that Walsch’s God is real, and that he is what he claims to be. It is popular in modern times to claim to be spiritual but not religious, and if this text hasn’t contributed directly to the popularity of this idea, it certainly benefits from it.

Summary

Walsch begins by expressing concern about the revelation he is receiving, that it doesn’t feel like it ought to feel, even stating explicitly that the words he is transcribing sound like blasphemy (i.e. grossly irreverent). God’s explanation is that these feelings are more or less the product of conditioning. People perpetuate a vision of God that is very narrow. This prevents them from seeing God in everything (i.e. pantheism), and thus, they miss much of his message. “What gave you the idea that God is only ‘reverent’?” God challenges. (p. 60)

Being all things, God is both one thing (e.g. hot, left) and its opposite (cold, right) simultaneously, giving preference to neither. “Everything is ‘acceptable’ in the sight of God,” he explains, “for how can God not accept that which is? To reject such a thing is to deny that it exists…and that is impossible.” (p. 61) As was explained in the first chapter, this negates a belief in sin altogether, for how can one disobey or act out against God if God has no absolute rules or expectations? Please recall that, according to Walsch’s God, the only purpose is to help God re-member through experience: “Evil is that which you call evil. Yet even that I love, for it is only through that which you call evil that you can know good…it is all relative. […] I do not love ‘good’ more than I love ‘bad’. Hitler went to Heaven. When you understand this, you will understand God.” (p. 61) Our values are not right or wrong, but only judgments prescribed by others in whom we trust. These values should only be retained as long as they are useful. (p. 66)

One primary purpose of this chapter is to shake that trust by instilling fear in the mind of the reader, paranoia that all of society has purposefully deceived you.

“Everything your heart experiences about God tells you that God is good. Everything your teachers teach you about God tells you that God is bad. Your heart tells you God is to be loved without fear. Your teachers tell you God is to be feared, for He is a vengeful God. You are to live in fear of God’s wrath [and] tremble in His presence. Your whole life through you are to fear the judgment of the Lord.” (p. 64)

In contrast, Walsch’s God does not want obedience at all, nor does he want worship or service, for these are the needs of men, not a deity.

The only sin is to choose not to experience, to accept the experience of others as our own and be satisfied with that, to deny our own experience in favor of what we’ve been told to think. He states that our happiness is the gauge of sin: “Only you can say of your life — ‘This is my creation (son), in which I am well pleased.'” (p. 62) This is a no-holds-barred approach to morality.

Walsch’s God promises that when one achieves total knowing (i.e. enlightenment, nirvana), one takes on the Five Attitudes of God (p. 65):

  • Joyful
  • Loving
  • Accepting
  • Blessing
  • Grateful

Being perfectly happy with the Self one has created, one has reached perfection.

At the end of the chapter, Walsch states that writing this dialogue makes him feel presumptuous, maybe a little crazy. His God attempts to extinguish these feelings by reminding him that the authors of the Bible were also mere men. In this discussion, Walsch’s God makes several misleading statements about Christianity:

  • He claims that, “Most of the New Testament writers never met or saw Jesus in their lives. They lived many years after Jesus left the Earth [and] wouldn’t have known [him] if they walked into him on the street.” (p. 67) Of the eight known authors, five were his Apostles (Matthew, John, Peter, James, Jude), and one met Jesus in a vision (Paul), leaving two who were associates of the Apostles and may or may not have actually known Jesus in the flesh (Mark and Luke).
  • He goes on to imply how the “churches” edited the writings of the original authors (both NT and OT) because the “Jesus Story” had power, and that a “High Council” approved the official version, which only contained revelations that weren’t “unhealthy” or “premature”. (p. 67) It is true that the OT books were originally passed on as oral tradition, and that some of the texts went through the redaction process. It is also true that the canon of Scripture was sealed (and confirmed as such) by the decision of several ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church. And it is also true that some texts were hidden away (apocrypha) because they were not considered inspired or were altogether heretical (e.g. the Gnostic Gospels — which is undoubtedly the specific texts Walsch would prefer in his Bible). However, there is no evidence that the (one) Church was trying to harness power. There is much more evidence based on extant copies that the Church was indeed fulfilling its mission to preserve Scripture. There is also little or no direct information regarding the selection process for establishing the canon (especially the NT), save that the selected Scriptures themselves do not conflict with each other when understood in the context of the Church’s teaching and the writings of the Early Church Fathers.
  • His God ensures that Walsch’s writings (the dialogue in which he is engaged) are indeed holy scripture, but that they are unlikely to be considered as such, because the language used is too casual and not (yet) outdated. It would not meet the expectations that people hold of what holy scripture is supposed to sound like.
  • To hear God reply to prayers, one must consider oneself worthy or deserving of dialogue with God. There is a fine line here between having faith and putting oneself on par with God.

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