Time for a New Spirituality

The world is hungry for a new spiritual path, says 'Conversations With God' author Neale Donald Walsch.

Neale Donald WalschNeale Donald Walsch had his first "conversation with God" in 1992, when at a particularly low point in his life he scribbled down an angry letter to God -- and received what he believed was a divine answer. As questions occurred to him, more answers came to him and he wrote them all down in a process he describes as "exactly like dictation." His best-selling "Conversations With God" books have been translated into 27 different languages. He talked with Beliefnet about his 2002 book, "The New Revelations."

You say that human beings are facing "the sudden and eruptive disintegration of life as we know it." What is the nature of this crisis in the world?

You mean how it's manifesting itself? It's manifesting itself in continuing and enduring conflict on the Indi-Pakistani border, in 50 years of unending conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, in ongoing shooting in Ireland, in Afghanistan and in Iraq. It manifests itself in ways that are apparent and obvious by the picking up of any daily newspaper.

There have always been wars, and plagues, and horrible things happening throughout human history. Is all of this somehow coming to a head now?
The difference between then and now is that we have never before had the ability to wipe out the entire human race in one fell swoop. That is, our technologies have raced ahead of our ability to stop conflict. It is the great sadness of our species that we have not found a way to eliminate the conflict and to eliminate violence as a device to resolve our conflicts throughout the entire history of the human race. This demonstrates us to be a very very primitive species -- that across the span of thousands of years, we still use the equivalent of clubs to alter our behaviors with each other. But the problem right now is that the clubs have gotten very, very large.


And you believe that organized religion not only doesn't help to resolve this problem, doesn't offer us the solutions that we need -- but that it in fact contributes to the problem?
A particular kind of organized religion -- exclusivist, punitive organized religion. That is, organized religion that says, "Our way is the only way." Because exclusivist organized religions teach us, and indeed command us, to separate ourselves from each other as a means of getting back to God. Which is interesting since God is the ultimate unity in all of the universe. Nothing has done more to separate and divide human beings one from another than exclusivist organized religion. The 200 years of the Christian Crusades is a prime example of that. The flying of airplanes into buildings in New York city all the while shouting "Allah is great" is another extraordinary example of that. These are religious and cultural expressions of enormously mistaken beliefs. And until we approach the changing of these behaviors at the level of belief rather than at the level of behavior, we will never see the behaviors go away.

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Interview by Lisa Schneider
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