Should we let go of our dreams?

Question: Dear Neale: My question has to do with creating one’s dreams. It is often said that one must “let go,” yet how do I let go of what I want to create in my life? My dreams never seem to be fulfilled without a lot of devotion. I’ve let go of many dreams, and it’s only led to a very disappointing experience of life. Also, how does one really know God—or chocolate, let’s say—with only a concept and not the experience? And similarly, how do I truly accept that the Universe is just and fair if I have no experience of it being so? I think trying to convince my self of these things is a form of self deception. M.H.,Chicago, IL.

Neale's Response: Dear M.H., Actually, it is life as most of us are living it which is a form of self-deception. In ultimate reality, nothing which you see is actually real, and that which is actually real you cannot see. That is why it is so very important to “judge not by appearances.” Let me go back to the top of your letter first, however, and see if we can’t work our way down to the bottom.

CWG may be a bt different from conventional wisdom in this regard, but CWG does not say anything about “letting go” of one’s dreams. Quite to the contrary, CWG makes it very clear that without a passion for something, there is very little to life. However, CWG says we would do well to let go of our expectations, and any need for particular results. You may think this is a contradiction in terms, and it may well appear that way until you look at it more closely.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s suppose that a person holds a dream of changing the entire world; of shifting our global consciousness about how we choose to live with each other; of altering the pattern of our world wide experience of God. Some people have always had such a dream, and have never “let go” of it, even when it looked as if the possibilities of that dream coming true were very remote. Yet while they have held fast to their dream, they long ago gave up any need for a particular result. Thus, it is the continuing dream which drives the engine of their on going experience, not the appearance or lack of an appearance of a particular out come.

Put an other way, these people always dream of this event, whether or not the event actually occurs. In this sense their work is never done, because even if they do wind up changing the world, they will always continue to dream of doing so. In other words, no matter how good things be come, they have an idea that things can always be made better! So the dream never ends, and the mission is never truly accomplished, because it is the dream which motivates these people, not its accomplishment! Mother Theresa was such a person. So was Martin Luther King.

There are many people like this is our world. There may be one living right next door to you. Or, perhaps, even in your house.

Incidentally, the way it is with these people is precisely the same way it is with God. God’s “dream,” if you please, is that we will all one day be completely realized. Yet the moment this happens, a new definition of what “completely realized” means will be created, because if we were completely realized, the game would be over! It is not in scoring that the game is experienced. Notice that once you score, you have run off the playing field. The game is in getting to the end zone, not in being there. Once a team reaches the end zone, every one goes back to the point where they began and, by mutual agreement, everything starts all over again!

This goes on until the clock runs out, the whistle blows, and the game is over. The only thing different about the game of life is that the clock never runs out. The whistle never blows. The point: to achieve happiness, serenity, and a feeling of peace about life, we would do well to be come detached from results, but it is of no benefit whatsoever to become detached from our dream of obtaining results. This is part of what CWG calls the divine dichotomy.

In his extraordinary publication, A Hand book to Higher Consciousness, the late Ken Keyes, Jr., put this principle into every day terms when he said that true emotional freedom is obtained only when we change our “needs” into “preferences,” thus eliminating our emotional “ addictions.” I consider Ken’s book to be one of the most helpful ever written, and I earnestly encourage you to find a copy and read it.

Now you also ask, how does one get to “know God” when God is only a concept and not an experience. CWG points out that most people only come to “know” about a thing when and if that particular thing is experienced. What enlightenment asks us to do, the book says, is to “know” a thing first, and thus experience it! For instance, if you know that life will always work out, it probably always will. If you know that the world is a friendly place, it will usually show up that way. If you know God, you will experience Him. And if you just know that your prayer will be answered, it will be. You would do well, M.H., to re-read the section of CWG dealing with “know ing” some thing before you experience it.

One way to get to “know” God is to take some time each day to meditate quietly. This may, of course, lead to nothing. And so, if you are attached to results you may soon become discouraged and disappointed. Only if you are detached, only if results are not the point of it all, will your meditation be serene. And it is in the serenity that God will be found.

A second way to get to know God is to cause another person to know God. The experience you encourage in another you encourage in your self. That is because there is no one else out there. So don’t spend your days and times wondering how you can come to know God. Spend your days and times wondering how you might be an instrument through whom others come to know God. For what you bring to others, you bring to yourself. And that is a great truth.



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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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