My dear friends...
You cannot help but notice that all of my own answers to the questions from the prior three articles are based on the assertion that all human beings are manifestations of Divinity, expressing more and more of what Divinity is, and using “physicality” to do so. This assertion assumes that we are in no way separate from The Whole of what God is. If this assumption is incorrect, everything said in my replies above would be automatically invalidated.
Let us be clear. The assumption may, in fact, be inaccurate and incorrect...as may all of the messages and information in the Conversations with God series of books. I have made that clear from the very beginning.
I do not believe that these messages are inaccurate, but I openly acknowledge that they could be...and I openly encourage all people to act as their own authority in these matters, and take no one’s word for anything having to do with God and Ultimate Reality, but listen to your own innermost truth, and act on that.
This much I observe: Billions of people believe that God exists. Surveys have shown that an extremely high percentage of the world’s people embrace and accept the notion of a Higher Power. That is, they believe that something more is going on here than meets the eye. They believe that there is some Greater Force, some Essential Essence, some Larger Entity or Primal and Pure Energy at work here, some First Cause and Final Destination.
I agree with them. To me, the magnificence of Life’s Design, the unfathomable intricacy of its composition, the utter perfection of its design, is sufficient evidence of its origin and its arising. The physical reality in which we live—and I am speaking of the entire cosmos here, not just life on Earth—is just too wondrously sophisticated and perfectly complex to be the result of random chance or the outcome of an unplanned, unsystematic, undirected, erratic or accidental series of events or confluence of conditions and circumstances.
You don’t drop a deck of cards on the floor and find them lying there in perfect order by rank and suit and call it “coincidence.” Clearly, something larger is at play here. The question is, what is it? And what is Its purpose? What, if anything, is Its desire? What, if any, are Its requirements? What, if anything, does It need from us, want from us, demand from us, command of us, and reprimand us for if we do not meet Its requirements?
These are not small questions. Yea, we have been trying to answer them from the beginning of the first moments of our sentience as living beings on the Earth.
What we now call “self-consciousness” arose when we began to see or know ourselves individually. Perhaps it was seeing our reflection in a caveside pool that sparked this perception. We raised a hand to scratch our head and saw the “man in the pool” doing the same thing...and soon we began to conceive of “The Self.”
We had already noticed that “The Self” was “different” from others. And in our primitive minds, we confused “different than” with “separate from”—ignoring the evidence of our own hands, with fingers that were “different than,” but not “separate from,” each other, all belonging to and connected to the same body.
The next step in producing the perception of separation came, perhaps, as we sat around the campfire of our clan and found ourselves startled by a sudden flash of lightning in the night sky, followed by a booming clap of thunder.
We looked anxiously around the campfire and asked, with whatever facial and verbal expressions we’d developed, “Did you do that?” When everyone in the clan shook their head in a panicked “No!,” we came to a startling awareness: There is something Other Than Us.
This Something Other also seemed, as subsequent events appeared to prove, far more powerful than us. It could cause wind and rain and violent storms; heat and dry spells that lasted, it seemed, forever; a frightening shaking and even an opening of the very ground on which we walked. It could even start fires in the woods all by Itself.
It became clear to us that we needed to find a way to control this Something Other, or our lives would forever be at Its mercy. Yet we could not conceive of or imagine a way that we could do this. We tried everything. We knew we had to find a way to appease the gods.
We didn’t call the elements of life “gods,” of course. That word came along at a much later time. But we did think of this Something Other as an aspect of our existence that was both powerful and uncontrollable.
We experienced some members of our own clan in exactly the same way, for this was the Time of Brute Strength, when the biggest and the strongest and most brutish among us ran rampant through the collective life of the clan, and always got their way. We had learned, as a species, that physical strength was needed for survival, and so the strongest were accorded the highest place in the clan. Efforts were continually made to appease them. They were brought offerings of every kind, from nubile virgins to plentiful food to beautiful things from the richness of the earth.
Because the bodies of what we now call “males” seemed more suited than the bodies of “females” for the heavier, harder tasks (including most of the hunting and gathering of food), the male offspring in our clan quickly learned from observation that physical strength was a characteristic to be desired. They did everything they could to develop it—and to prove that they had it, even as they saw their elder males continually proving that they had it, and fighting among themselves to demonstrate who had the most of it.
Once, when the most brutish among us became more sullen and angry than usual because of an unending drought and the sacrifices it imposed on them and the whole clan, we joined others in our small group to do whatever we could think of to calm them, lest they take out their anger on us—which they had done before.
We threw a campside “party” for them, sang and did dances for them. Someone in the group tore a dying branch from a nearby tree and shook it as part of his dance, its dry leaves making a rhythmic sound matching his gyrations as he twirled around the fire.
As it happens, at that exact moment the skies opened up, and a sudden hard rain drenched the site. Everyone was shocked! And, given the limited intellectual development of the clan at that time, the Dance With The Branch was credited with having produced the water from the sky.
A way had been found to please and appease Something Other! A way had been found to get that Something Other to do what we had been hoping for! All of us were so excited! The “rain man” was elevated to a position of high status. Ritual, and a class within the clan of Those Who Performed It, was created.
The clan believed that the Dance of the Branch by the Rain Man created rain, and so it did in the future more often than not. And this was not by coincidence. Metaphysics being was it is, the formula worked! For the metaphysical process—whether modern or ancient—produces in physicality whatever it is fervently believed by a collective that it will produce.
In that first instance, it was no doubt the ongoing, fervent hope, the deeply earnest wish, of the clan that the drought would end which generated the result. But the coincidence of the rain falling at the exact moment the noisy dance was performed could not be ignored.
The narrative above is, of course, all of my imagining. It was an insight—call it an inspiration, if you choose—that I received at the time of my Conversations with God. The entire story could be inaccurate...but I believe that either this, or something very similar to this, is what occurred in the early life of human beings, and what produced our sense of separation, our sense of Something Other, and our sense that there might be, after all, a way of controlling—or at least influencing—that Something Other.
Earliest humans were dealing with the alchemy of the universe without knowing it. Thus was born what later became known as Religion.
As humanity became more sophisticated in its understandings, the species sought a more sophisticated way of seeking to “appease the gods”...and, much later, the single Higher Power that humans ultimately decided must surely exist.
We were right about that.
There is a Higher Power, which humans have referred to by various names throughout history—and to this very day. A person named Colin provided me some time ago with what he called a non-exhaustive list of gods that various human societies have believed in at one time or another.
That list includes: Adonai, ægir, Akshar, Alfar, Allah, Amaterasu, An, Angus, Anshar, Anu, Anubis, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apsu, Ares, Artemis, Ashur, Aten, Atum, Atehna, Ataegina, Attis, Azura Mazda, Bacchus, Balder, Bast, Bes, Belenos, Benzaiten, Beyla, Bil, Bishamonten, Bragi, Brama, Brigid, Byggvir, Ceres, Cupid, Cybele, Dagda, Dagr, Daikoku, Damkina. Dana, Demeter, Deus, Dionysus, Disir, Diana, Divinity, Divine Mother, Ea, Ebisu, Eir, El-Gabal, Ekankar, Elohim, Elves, Endovelicus, Enki, Enlil, Eos, Eostre, Epona, Ereshkigal, Eris, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Fukurokuju, Gaia, Ganesh, Geb, God, Hadad, Hades, Hapi, Hari, Hathor, Heget, Heimdall, Hekate, Hel, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Herne, Hestia, Hoenir, Holda, Horus, Hotei, Hretha, Idunn, Imhotep, Inanna, Inari, Indra, Inti, Invictus, Ishtar, Isis, Izanagi, Izanami, Janus, Jehovah, Jord, Juno, Jupiter, Jurojin, Khepry, Khnum, Kingu, Kishar, Kon, Krishna, Lofn, Loki, Lord, Lugh, Maahes, Ma’at, Mahesh, Maia, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Manitou, Marduk, Mars, Mathilde, Mercury, Menhit, Minerva, Mithras, Mitra, Mon, Mont, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Naunet, Nehalennia, Neith, Nephthys, Neptune, Nergal, Nerthus, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Njord, Norns, Nott, Nunurta, Nut, Odin, Ormuzd, Osiris, Pachacamac, Pan, Parameshwar, Plutus, Poseidon, Proserpina, Ptah, Purush, Purushottam, Quetzalcoatl, Ra, Radha Soami, Ram, Rama, Ran, Runesocesius, Saga, Saxnot, Selene, Sekhmnet, Set, Shamash, Shef, Shiva, Sif, Sin, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sobek, Sol, Susanoo, Syn, Tefnut, Tengu, Thor, Theos, Thoth, Thuno, Tiamat, Tir, Tlaloc, Tsukiyomi, Tyr, Ull, Uranus, Utu, Vali, Var, Varuna,Venus, Vesta, Vidar, Vishnu, Vor, Vulcan, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Zeus, Zaramama.
Whatever name we give It, it is (as I have noted earlier) indisputable that the largest number of human beings believe in a Higher Power. Yet our idea about God—that It is “Something Other”—is what I believe has been inaccurate. This idea is a carryover from the earliest story we told ourselves about The Power Greater Than Us. That first idea is what created what I have called a Separation Theology.
Love and Hugs,
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.