Is what we have been told about What God Wants true?

We begin today a survey of some of the things many people have been told by their ancestors, by their parents, by their teachers and by other authority figures in their lives, about What God Wants.

It may be tough for some of you to get through this survey. Please do it anyway.

These passed-on messages have created the here-and-now views, ideas and experiences of millions of people who at least loosely adhere to, or live in cultures which have been deeply affected by, the doctrines of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the big three of the world’s organized religions.

Some of these teachings also became a part of other religions. The result of this is that a huge portion of the world’s people have been exposed to these ideas and deeply affected by them.

Let’s take the most obvious topics first.

GOD

Many humans have been told that What God Wants is for humans to understand that God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Giver of Life, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Wise Beyond Human Understanding.

God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the Unmoved Mover, separate from humanity, but the creator of it in His own image. Separate from life, but the Creator of it, as His gift to humanity.

Most humans have been told that God is a single God, a unified God, the Only God there is. The word Allah means, literally, the God. Some humans have been told that this One God is divided into Three Parts, one of which became human. Some humans have been told that there is more than one God. And some humans have been told that there is no God at all. The majority of humans in the Twenty-First Century believe in a God of some sort.

Most of those who do believe in God have been told that What God Wants is Love and Justice.

To fulfill the first mandate, God has granted each human being ample and repeated opportunity to be reconciled with Him.

To fulfill the second mandate, God, at the end of each human life, sits in Judgment of every human soul, deciding at this Reckoning whether the soul has earned everlasting reward in Heaven or everlasting damnation in Hell.

Most humans have been told that God is a jealous God, God is a vengeful God, God is an angry God who can be filled with wrath and who uses violence directly on human beings—and who invites and even commands human beings to do so on each other.

They’ve also been told that God is a caring God, a compassionate God, a merciful God, a loving God who wants nothing but the best for human beings. All that humans have to do is obey Him.

It’s easy for humans to know how to obey God because God has told humans exactly what to do and what not to do. It’s all there in Sacred Scripture. It can be found also in the words and in the teaching of God’s personal representative on earth.

These are the beliefs of much of humanity.

One result of this teaching: Many human beings are afraid of God. They also love God. So, many humans confuse fear and love, seeing them as connected in some way. Where God is concerned, we love to be afraid (we have made it a virtue to be “God fearing”), and we are afraid not to love (we are commanded to “Love the Lord thy God with all thy mind, all thy heart, and all thy soul”).

Humans fear what God will do to them if they do not obey Him. They have been told He will punish them with everlasting torment. Many human beings therefore rely heavily on their understanding of God’s word and God’s desires and what meets God’s approval when regulating their lives, interpreting situations or events, and making decisions.

When former U. S. President George W. Bush was asked if he ever sought the advice of his father, the first President Bush, he replied that he sought counsel from “a higher Father.” When the then new spiritual leader of Hamas, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, delivered a speech at Gaza’s Islamic University in March, 2004, he told those assembled that “God declared war” against America, Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Rantisi added, “The war of God continues against them and I can see the victory coming up from the land of Palestine by the hand of Hamas.” Two weeks later Rantisi was dead, killed by an Israeli rocket attack on his car.

Earlier it was said, “Humanity’s ideas about God produce humanity’s ideas about life and about people.”

This is painfully clear. This is painfully obvious.

God’s Word and  God’s Messenger

Many humans have been told that What God Wants is for God’s Word to be recognized as being contained in the Holy Scriptures and Sacred Texts, and for God’s Messenger to be honored and listened to and followed.

There are many Holy Scriptures and Sacred Texts, including the Adi Granth, the Bhagavad-gita, the Book of Mormon, the Hadith, the I Ching, the Kojiki, the Lun-yü, the Mahabharata, the Mathnawi, the New Testament, the Pali Canon, the Qur’an, the Tao-te Ching, the Talmud, the Torah, the Upanishad, the Veda, and the Yoga-sutras, to name a few. Many humans have been told that only one of these texts is the right one. The rest are wrong. If you choose the teachings of the “wrong” one, you’ll go to hell.

There are many Messengers, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Confucius, Siddartha Gautama (who has been called The Buddha), Jesus of Nazareth (who has been called The Savior), Muhammad (who has been called The Greatest Prophet), Patanjai (who has been called The Enlightened One), Baha’u’llah (who has been called the Blessed One), Jalal al-Din Rumi, (who has been called the Mystic), Paramahansa Yogananda (who has been called the Master), Joseph Smith (who has been called many things), and others. Many humans have been told that only one of these messengers is the right one. The rest are wrong. If you choose the message of the “wrong” one, you’ll go to hell.

One result of this teaching: Human beings have been trying to figure out which is the right text and who is the right messenger for thousands of years. The followers of certain messengers and the believers in certain texts have sought to convince the rest of the world that the messenger and text of their persuasion is the only one to which people should turn.

On many occasions throughout history these attempts at conversion have turned violent. There has scarcely been a day on this planet when a battle has not been fought or a human being not killed in the name of God, or for God’s Cause.

The Holy Scriptures of all major religions indicate that vanquishing, punishing and killing is something that God Himself has repeatedly done, and so vanquishing, punishing and killing in God’s name and in the name of God’s Messenger is acceptable and, in some circumstances, required.

This is, many of the world’s people believe, What God Wants.

Heaven and Hell

Many humans have been told that What God Wants is for people to live good lives, and for good people to go to Heaven or Paradise after their deaths, while bad people go to Hell, Gehenna, or Hades. Those in Heaven will live in unending bliss in reunion with God and those in Hell will live with other evildoers who have been damned to eternal torture. Where each individual soul goes will be decided at the Reckoning on Judgment Day.

Some humans have been told that hell is a temporary experience during which sinners are tormented by demons until the debt created by the evil of their lives has been paid, while others have been informed that hell is but a phase in a soul’s journey as it passes through many experiences of reincarnation.

One result of this teaching: Millions of people have structured their entire lives around the struggle to avoid “going to hell” and around the hope of “getting to heaven.” They have done extraordinary and sometimes shocking things to produce this outcome.

The concept of heaven and hell has shaped not only their behavior, but their entire understanding of life itself. It has also shaped human history.

Life

Many humans have been told that What God Wants is for life to be a school, a place of learning, a time of testing, a brief and precious opportunity to migrate the soul back to heaven, back to God, whence it came.

Many humans have also been told that it’s when life ends that the real joy begins. All of life should be considered a prelude, a forerunner, a platform upon which is built the soul’s experience of eternity.  Life should therefore be led with an eye toward the Afterlife, for what is earned now will be experienced forever.

Most humans also believe that What God Wants is for people to understand that life consists of what people can see, hear, taste, touch and smell—and nothing more.

One result of this teaching: Humans believe that life is not easy, nor is it supposed to be. It’s a constant struggle. In this struggle, anything other than what is perceived by the five senses is considered “supernatural” or “occult” and falls, therefore, into the category of “trafficking with the Devil” and “the work of Satan.”

Humans are struggling to get back to God, and into God’s good graces. They are struggling to get back home. This is what life is about. It’s about the struggle of the soul, living within the body, to get back home, to return to God, from Whom it has been separated.

Most people of religious persuasion focus heavily on Heaven and Hell. Those who believe that “getting to Heaven” is the ultimate Purpose of Life, and who truly and fervently believe that they can guarantee their entrance into Heaven by doing certain things while on earth, will, of course, seek to do those things.

They’ll make sure that their sins are confessed regularly, and that their absolutions are up to date, so that if they die suddenly their soul will be ready for Judgment Day. They’ll fast for hours, days, or weeks at a time, travel on pilgrimages to distant holy places, go to church or temple or mosque or synagogue every week without fail, tithe 10% of their income, eat or not eat certain foods, wear or not wear certain clothing, say or not say certain words, and engage in all manner of rites and rituals.

They’ll obey the rules of their religion, honor the customs of their faith tradition, and follow the instructions of their spiritual leaders in order to demonstrate to God that they are a worthy person, so that a place will be reserved for them in Paradise.

If they are distressed enough and oppressed enough and unhappy enough, some humans will even end their own lives and kill other people—including the totally innocent and the absolutely unsuspecting—for the promise of a reward in heaven.

(If that promised reward happens to be 72 black-eyed virgins with whom to spend all of eternity, and if the humans in question happen to be 18 to 30-year-old men with little future and a dust-laden, poverty stricken, injustice-filled present, the chances of their making such an extraordinarily destructive decision will increase tenfold.)

They’ll do this because they believe this is What God Wants.

But is it?

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Comments

IshaRa 10th June 2011 7:52 am

Hello Neale,

I've often wondered this too...looking at the situation as you have from the macro level it all seems surreal and rather absurd.

Perhaps if enough people from different cultures and areas of life start seriously asking this question, we might see a movement towards peaceful coexistence of humans here on Earth.

Love and Blessings,

IshaRa

kamilla 10th June 2011 11:07 pm

Dear Neale,
Thank you for your excellent and thought provoking teaching. May I ask you a question (I have been asking it for years with NO answer) ?
... If you have a gadget - be it a PC, car, watch or washing machine, and this gadget is consistently performing badly, inspite of all efforts and resources spend to correct it - whom do you blame? gadget itself? manufacturer or ... designer?? (we did NOT create ourselves after all... someone is reaponsible for the way we are)
and the second question much bothering me: can the goal (no matter how great) justify the means....?
with Light, Love, Joy.

johneblums 11th June 2011 8:58 am

GOD DOES NOT WANT NOR EXPECT ANYTHING FROM US. SUCH IDEAS ARE BASED ON HUMAN MISCONCEPTIONS WHCIH HAVE BECOME RELIGIOUS TENETS OR IDEOLOGIES.....STOP THINK LIKE PHYSICAL BEINGS, AND LOOK AT YOUR LIVES THROUGH YOUR HEAVEN'S EYES OF SPIRIT. THE YOU WILL KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE 'LAWS' OF GENESIS AS GOD-DESS ETERNALLY ENSURE TOTAL SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL FREEDOM FOR ALL HUMANETY AND CREATION: WITHOUT AND PROVISIOS OR CONDTIONS FOR CREATION IS THE 'EVOL'-'UTION' OF 'LOVE' AS MYRIAD ASPECTS OF DUALITY.THERE IS NOW RIGHT NOR WRONG IN THE EYES OF GOD-DESS, BUT ONLY IN OUR OWN LIMITED THOUGHTS AND OUR IGNORANCE ABOUT THE TRUE NATURE OF DIVINITY AND THEIR COSMIC CREATIONS.

THE PURPOSE OF MANY INCARNATIONS IS TO COME TO THE KNOWINGNESS OF SUCH AND TO REALISE THAT AT THE COMPLETION OF ALL THOSE INCARNATION WERE READY TO RETURN TO PARADISE AND TO PERSONALLY KNOW GOD-DESS .....WITH NOW MORE INCARNATIONS, UNLESS WE CHOSE TO BE SHEPHERDS AND WAYSHOWERS OF THE LAMBS WHO HAVE NOT YET REACHED THAT POINT OF EL-LUMENATION OR DESIRE.

jacknheather 11th June 2011 9:02 am

Two words, "slow down" just slow down, go outside, take a long deep breath of fresh air, look at the sky, when's the last time you looked at the sky for any period of time? Look at the trees, all the different greens, flowers of many different shapes and colors, sit in a lawn chair some starry night, watch as the stars rotate above you, is the finest of slide shows, go to a t-ball game, does your kid have to be a player to attend? Find that kid who's just looking all around, not a care in the world, try looking at the world through his eyes, you'd be amazed at how beautiful this place really is. Go to a lake, just sit, look around, sit quietly though, we mustn't forget we are guests here. Many opportunities exist on any given day, to just stop, give us a break from ourselves, so, the next time your're feeling a little frazzled, rundown from all the ups and downs of life, go lean against a tree, take a deep breath, it knows exactly what you need.

withlove 11th June 2011 11:49 am

Hi Neale. I was baptised in the Anglican church, schooled at a Catholic convent and for many years attended penticostal churches. When I asked questions in the church community (includng my family), about why I was told to do things for Fear of God, when at the same time being told that God is Love, I was told 'because the Bible said so' or because I would suffer some wrath for disobdience. My questions were always treated with disdain for questioning what I had been told.

I decided to distance myself from a church and pursue my spiritual path on my own, guided by my heart. I could never understand why I had to follow a preists/preachers/deacans translation of biblical scripture, which also differed from church to church, when the Bible said that God made us in his own image and obviously enabled us with a heart & brain to feel & think for ourselves.

It is still a daily battle, to undo the repetative teachings (bainwashing) from many years of attending Chuches. I continue to seek answers to my questions and would like to Thank you for providing many answers through your books.

Bob 12th June 2011 3:55 pm

It's good to see that more and more people are waking up. The true God is Perfect, Serene, and Complete, wants nothing and needs nothing.

We are all a part of that Perfect Light.

Beautiful!

Joy and Blessings!

Bob 14th June 2011 8:46 pm

Hmmm....Elyon, it's more like we created the plan, because we did. :)

But as illogical as some things seem to be within the world of spiritual discussion, this is actually an easy logic to follow:

If God is as described, that is: All powerful, all knowing, and all encompassing; totally and completely perfect in every way, even beyond our ability to imagine it, then what could such a being possibly want? The instant you begin to describe a being that wants something, then you are no longer talking about a perfect, all powerful, all knowing, etc., being. If you want something then, ergo, you are not in a state of perfection. If you want something, then you are not all powerful. The same with needing something or not knowing something or not being aware of something or being surprised or angry about something. The very instant you attribute any of these things to God, then you are not talking about the True God.

isatori 15th June 2011 7:53 am

First, my personal thoughts remain in that there is far too much misinterpretation within humanity regarding the nature of Gods will and His scripture. Because and through our own human imperfections, we perceive an imperfect God. To see Him any other way than love is a human choice.

And if we are to love all ways Neale ~ where then is the love for God as well? And His will?

Noah choose love and compassion through understanding Him. Through looking through Gods eyes and viewing the world, when all others chose not to. Much like in todays world.

Interesting...

isatori 15th June 2011 8:01 am

And if we are to love all ways ~ then why the distaste for "want"?

God should not want His people to love, as a Father would? Such a thing is not Godly?

I am unsure when this world became confused as to seeing the desire for love a wrongful thing.

And if we were already perfect ~ this would not be an issue. For love would have already overcame it ~ through loving even the "want and desires of God".

Further ~ very interesting.

Bob 15th June 2011 9:56 am

I did not say that we were not a part of God, Elyon. We are indeed. We are in fact the creators of what we experience around us. That is an illusion we have created for our adventure. And if you want to think of it as God's plan, that is up to you. But you are viewing God through the imperfection of human emotion, you are viewing God through your own wants and needs. This is the error that we all run into. It is difficult to not do this.

The True God is pure energy, pure Light and pure Love. We are a part of that Light, just as the sea spray whipped up by a storm is still a part of the ocean. We are still a part of God, and will eventually return to that perfection. But the True God does not need or want, or get angry or make plans. We are fully capable of doing that for ourselves while we make up stories to pretend we are not in charge.

Bob 15th June 2011 6:48 pm

Who is saying that we are imperfect? Our soul, what we truly are, cannot be imperfect, but we can design the illusion to reflect whatever we want, just to have the experience. Even then, if we open ourselves to the true pattern of Things, we will see that it is all perfect.

I must not be making myself clear, Elyon. I have already said that the True God cannot be imperfect. We are part of the True God. The beauty and perfection of what we call the soul, that part of the True God within us, reflects the perfection of the greater Light.

I have made my opinion of religions plain many times. But at the core of almost all religions there is a kernel of truth.

I am going to refrain from further comment on this particular string, because I do not want to be accused of hijacking it. :)

isatori 16th June 2011 7:07 am

You forget the most basic principles in life Elyon.

The great dichotomy of life (mortality) and eternal life (immortality).

In order to know good ~ we must experience its opposite of bad. And in order to be and come perfect ~ we must fully understand imperfection. And, in order to be and come a perfect love ~ we must first experience perfect love while in our imperfection. That we may know exactly who we are through the gift of experience ~ in order to give it to others when it is TRULY our turn to create the universes and all of existence.

Why is imperfection so imperfect in your eyes?

No One Is Perfect ~ with the exception of God. And what a blessed, beautiful thing such is. For when you call this world or any in it perfect ~ I beg to differ on a very largest and grandest scale. Children are still starving. People are still being killed. Our oceans are dying from pollution. And you call the people that run this earth "perfect"?

Indeed ~ what a great illusion you live in. Or maybe ~ disillusion.

isatori 16th June 2011 7:07 am

You forget the most basic principles in life Elyon.

The great dichotomy of life (mortality) and eternal life (immortality).

In order to know good ~ we must experience its opposite of bad. And in order to be and come perfect ~ we must fully understand imperfection. And, in order to be and come a perfect love ~ we must first experience perfect love while in our imperfection. That we may know exactly who we are through the gift of experience ~ in order to give it to others when it is TRULY our turn to create the universes and all of existence.

Why is imperfection so imperfect in your eyes?

No One Is Perfect ~ with the exception of God. And what a blessed, beautiful thing such is. For when you call this world or any in it perfect ~ I beg to differ on a very largest and grandest scale. Children are still starving. People are still being killed. Our oceans are dying from pollution. And you call the people that run this earth "perfect"?

Indeed ~ what a great illusion you live in. Or maybe ~ disillusion.

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Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.

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