Excerpted from "Tomorrow's God" by Neale Donald Walsch. Copyright c 2004 by Neale Donald Walsch. Reprinted by permission of Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

In the following excerpt, the author is having a "conversation" with God. God's voice is represented in bold type.

It is the perception of many people on this earth that your job-God's job-is to tell human beings what is best for them. You tell us what is best for us, and then it is up to us to do it, or else. This is a simplified restating of one of humanity's sacred beliefs.

That belief is a fallacy. That is not God's job and that is not God's purpose and that is not God's function.

It is the job and purpose of the God that many of you have created in your imaginations, but not of the God Who Really Is. It is the function of Yesterday's God, but not of Tomorrow's God.

That's the second time you've used that phrase. What do you mean by "Tomorrow's God"?

The God in whom you will believe on some future tomorrow. The God in whom you will have faith in your future.

So we are going to get a new God!

Not a "new God," but a new understanding of the present God. An expanded concept, a deeper awareness.

But you agreed with me when we started this conversation that we needed a new God.

I was going with the words you were using, not wanting to get into semantics in our first brief exchange. I knew all along what I meant, and I knew all along that I would have a chance to explain it to you further.

So, what did you mean?

As I've just said, I meant not a "new" God, strictly speaking, but a new version of God. A larger version of God. This is the Same God Who Always Was, Is Now, and Always Will Be-it is simply not the God of your present understanding.

Your understanding has been incomplete. I am inviting you now to expand your awareness and come to a more complete understanding of who and what God is, and of what is true about Life. I am inviting you to create Tomorrow's God.

What if I don't want to let go of Yesterday's God? What if I'm really attached to those ideas and, by the way, happen to think they are the Right and True ideas about God?

Then you will continue to create your life as you now know it on your planet.

So? What's so bad about that?

Look around you. You like what you see? Then go ahead, continue to believe what you believe. But don't think things aren't going to change. It's not a question of "if," but "how." Everything is going to change. And, sooner or later, so will humanity's beliefs about God. That is when you will say good-bye to Yesterday's God.

When is this going to happen?

Actually, it's beginning to happen right now.

Really? Well, so much for that being what saves the world, because it's not changing anything.

Yes, it is. You're just not seeing the change. You're not aware of it. But as the changes increase, as they spread, you'll become more and more aware of them. Indeed, you'll become part of them.

When will this process be complete?

Never. The process of seeing and experiencing more and more of God is never-ending. That's the joy of it.

Well, when will it be complete enough for things to start getting better around here?

Soon. Very soon. If humanity is willing.

What does that mean?

It means that if humanity makes this choice, a movement, a radical shift, in humanity's understandings about God could occur rapidly. Easily within your lifetime. Within three decades. Perhaps even faster than that, once the first domino falls.

It is simply a question of reaching critical mass.

What will that take?

Not nearly what you might think. Some people assume that critical mass is one more than half, but it is not. Nor is it 25 percent of the whole, nor even 10 percent of the whole, nor even 5 percent of the whole. Critical mass is reached when 2 to 4 percent of the whole is affected.

Watch the surface of water as it's brought to a boil. The boiling point is not reached at the point when over half of the surface is bubbling, but long before. The effect of critical mass is exponential. That's what makes it so powerful. A few bubbles break the surface of the water...then, in a sudden rush, all of the water is boiling.

So a relatively small number of us must make the choice to create that shift in our understandings about God. What could make humanity willing to make that choice?

One of two things. More hatred or more hope. Another world-shaking disaster born of rage and wrapped in violence and killing, or a global awakening produced in another way.

In what other way? Other than disaster and calamity, there doesn't seem to be a way for human beings to wake up.

Oh, but there is. There could be a worldwide movement to spread, not terror, but peace, joy, and love. There could be a massive grassroots undertaking, with people all across the globe mobilized at the community level to change the way things are. Just as there are now terrorist cells, there could be spiritual activist teams all over the earth.

This would require leadership, of course. And it would require great commitment on the part of those who follow these leaders. But it is possible. It can be done.

And the first step lies at the level of thought. Humanity's future depends on what humanity thinks about itself. It depends on what humanity thinks about God, and about Life.

From your thought springs your reality. From your ideas your future emerges. Thus, your beliefs create your behaviors, and your behaviors create your experience.

What you believe, therefore, becomes a most important thing.

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