This internet location is offering on a monthly basis a preview look at an important book in the Conversations with God body of work. Titled What God Said, this text is an all-under-one-cover summary of the 25 Core Messages — the most important concepts and ideas from the 3,000 pages of the 9 CWG books. We hope you will enjoy these previews.
Chapter One of WHAT GOD SAID
“Okay, you claim to have talked directly with God, so tell us . . . what is God’s message to the world?”
The speaker was the world-famous host of one of America’s most popular national television morning shows, and he was asking me to answer the biggest question of all time.
“Can you bring it down to a sentence or two?” he added. “We have about thirty seconds.”
My mind raced. How could I say something in thirty seconds that would capture the essence of what Deity wants the world to know? Then, in one quick flash, I heard God’s answer in my head. I blinked and made an announcement that surprised even me.
“Actually, I can bring it down to five words.”
The host raised his eyebrows, showing a nanosecond of disbelief, then deadpanned to the camera: “All right then. Ladies and gentlemen, from a man who says he communes with The Divine, here is God’s message to the world . . . in five words.”
I knew that millions were watching in households around the globe. This was my chance to bring God’s most important communication to more people than I ever imagined I would, or could, in my lifetime. Looking straight into the lens I repeated the words I had just been given to say.
“You’ve got me all wrong.”
* * *
My name is Neale and I should explain.
I have talked with God.
Not just once, in a singular moment of epiphanic revelation, but many, many times.
So have you.
You may not think that you have, but you have. You’ve probably just called it something else. You may have called it a blinding flash of insight. Or a brilliant idea. Or an incredible hunch, a good guess, a stroke of genius, a coincidence, serendipity, or women’s intuition.
Whatever you called it, it’s all the same thing. It’s all a communication from a source of wisdom and insight within us that is the birthright of every person.
In my case I called my encounters with this source exactly what I experienced them to be: conversations with God.
Luckily, I wrote down all the exchanges that I had, so I’ve never forgotten them. The process started when, one day in February 1990, I sat down at 4:20 in the morning and wrote an angry letter to God, demanding to know why my life wasn’t working and how I could make it work.
What followed was an ongoing on-paper dialogue with Deity, in which I asked the most perplexing or frustrating questions of my life, and answers were given to me exactly as if I was being given dictation.
At one point I was told by God: “This will one day become a book,” and so, a few months later, I sent my first handwritten notes to a stenographer to have them transcribed, then I printed out the document and sent it to a publisher . . . almost as a dare.
I don’t know who I was daring . . . myself or God . . . but I knew that I wanted to “test” what I had been given, to see if it had any validity at all, to see if any of it was true.
I was fully aware, of course, that the chances of some publishing house actually printing and distributing a book from a person claiming to be talking directly to God were one in a million. It simply wasn’t going to happen.
So Now, the Expansion Begins
Now here I am after nine books in the Conversations with God series, and I’m doing what I have done every time I sat down to write a book. I’m asking myself: Why are you writing this book? What are you hoping to accomplish here? Is this book needed?
Let me answer my own questions so that you can get a sense of what’s ahead—and so that you can decide whether or not you want to take this journey.
- I am writing this book because I have been asked many, many times by many, many people to expand upon what God said in the three thousand pages that make up the Conversations with God books—and I want to do so in one tidy volume, so that God’s message for humanity could be made easily and rapidly accessible.
- What I hope to accomplish with these new, never-before-published expansions of the messages of Conversations with God is make them immediately usable in day-to-day life. I want the ideas to be functional and not just conceptual.
- This book is needed for two reasons: (1) Some 15 million people have read Conversations with God (the books in the series have been published in thirty-seven languages), and those readers asked me not only to expand the material but also to tell them which of the many messages are the most important. (2) The messages of Conversations with God can change the world if people know how to apply them, and the world is desperately in need of changing right now. Not in fifty years. Not in twenty-five years. Not in ten years. Right now.
The Problem Is Systemic
It’s time to be honest here: Nothing is working.
I mean, nothing.
Not a single major system that we have put into place on this planet is functioning correctly. Not our political, not our economic, not our environmental, not our education, not our social, and not our spiritual system. None of them are producing the outcomes that we say we want. In fact, it’s worse. They’re producing the outcomes that we say we don’t want.
And not just on a global scale. It gets down to the personal level. It gets right down to you and me. All but the tiniest percentage of the world’s people are caught up in struggle. Daily struggle. Struggle not merely to be happy, but to survive, to get by, to just stay afloat.
And now, it has gone past even that. Because now, even those people who are living the “good life” are not having a good time. Not even them. Personal happiness seems mysteriously and frustratingly elusive. And even when people achieve it, they can’t hold on to it.
Now that’s the greatest clue, that’s the biggest hint, that’s the surest sign that something’s amiss. When even those who should be happy by any reasonable measure are not, there’s got to be a serious systemic problem in a society’s culture. You can tell that a social formula is askew when even if the formula is working, it’s not; when even if everything’s going right, something’s desperately wrong.
That’s where we are today, and I think it’s time for a New Message to guide humanity. I think it’s time for a brand-new cultural story to be embraced by our species.
Now if you like your life exactly the way it is, and if you like your world precisely as it presents itself, you may disagree with me. Yet if for no other reason than that, you may want to read on. If you yearn to keep things the same, you should know all there is to know about changes that others (in this case, millions of others) are being invited to consider.
If you agree with me that it’s time for some major changes to be made, in the world at large and perhaps in your own life, you have come to exactly the right place.
The messages here were meant to change everything.
Hold On to Your Seat
For quickest reading and maximum impact, I have reduced the core messages of the nine Conversations with God books to a thousand words. Then, I’ve offered significant expansions of them.
Here, then, is the clearest articulation and the most practical application of what I consider to be the most important insights of Conversations with God.
Not every statement in the thousand-word summary that makes up chapter 2 may be perfectly understood upon first reading. They certainly weren’t for me. That’s precisely why I’ve expanded on them on the pages that follow.
After fifteen years of working to apply these messages in my life and, during that same decade and a half, searching to find the clearest, simplest way of explaining—in answer to thousands of questions from audiences around the world—what the messages say and how they can be applied, I assess that I am now ready to contribute this book.
So here we go. Oh, but now, hold on to your seat. Some of these ideas may be considered by many to be heretical, so this could be quite a ride. Yet I believe it is as George Bernard Shaw famously noted: “All great truths begin as blasphemies.”
— from the book What God Said by Neale Donald Walsch. (Berkley Books-Oct 2013- orders may be placed at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and other online bookstores. The book is being placed here, in previews, chapter by chapter.)