My dear friends…
If you have a loved one who, like you, has had their life touched in a positive way by conversations with God, and if you want to make this one of the most special christmases of their life…have I got a suggestion for you.Bring them with you (or send them on their own) to the ReCreation Foundation’s annual End of Year Spiritual Renewal Retreat.
This is our most popular program year after year - and it is understandable why. For one thing, it takes place in “Christmas Card Town, U.S.A.” - beautiful Ashland, Oregon - a mountain chalet of a place, tucked into Southern Oregon’s famous Rogue Valley.
For another, it ends on New Year’s Day…preceded by a New Year’s Eve Resolutions Ritual - a very special moment in the final moments of 2008 when each person publicly declares what they are going to make real in 2009 in their lives, and, specifically, in their personal and spiritual development.
It is a moving moment that has changed lives. We have done this retreat now for many years, and I am able to personally attest: It has changed lives.
I can think of no better way to celebrate and honor the holidays than to send yourself and/or a loved one to this extraordinary retreat. During the retreat, I will share with everyone in the room how I have experienced having Conversations with God…then I will give every person in the room a chance to have their own conversation.
This is an opportunity to connect with the Divine in a way that you may never have done before. To bring the experience of God-in-You into your life more profoundly and with more immediate awareness and impact that your normal day-to-day life may provide you an opportunity to create.
If there is anything going on in your life right now that you want to heal, any dilemma that you want to address, any problem you want to solve…and if you think that the messages of Conversations with God, applied in your life in a very practical way, right here, right now, could help you to do that…this is the program for you.
The group is always small enough for me to give very personal attention to individuals who have particular challenges they are facing, or deep questions they are asking, as they move though these days and times in their lives. I want you to know that if this description applies to you, you created this very moment out of your call to God for help.
Please avail yourself of this extraordinary opportunity. Let yourself have it. The cost is much lower than you would expect…and the reward could be much higher than you can imagine.
Just get on the phone right now and call Will Richardson, our retreat registrar (and the president of the Board of Trustees of our Foundation). He will be happy to tell you anything else you need to know about this Year End Spiritual Renewal Retreat. He can be reached at 1-352-442-2244.
And I will be here with you again next week, with a very special article by m.Claire - Be Still, and Know - together with a list of wonderful resources for persons facing immediate problems or the challenge of addiction in their lives.
Bless you on your path!
Applying The Messages of CwG
Reader’s Question: Dear Neale:..I have always believed that Jesus was a savior to all mankind. After reading CWG, I’m not sure. What is the truth as you know it? Craig, Williamstown, NJ.
Neale’s Response: Dear Craig, You’ve asked what many consider to be the central question of the century. The impact of Jesus’ life was so extraordinary, it will never be forgotten. That is because Jesus was-is-a savior to all mankind. As are you and I.
Now, the difference between you and me and Jesus is that he donned the mantle, wore the cloak, accepted the responsibility. Most of us have not. In that sense, Jesus is our savior. For he did with his life what very few of us have done with ours. He did what we all came here to do! And in so doing it, he “saved” us from the necessity of doing it at all, if we do not wish.
Let me explain. We have all come to save the world. Not from the “snares of the devil,” or from “everlasting damnation.” (As CWG teaches, there is so such thing as the devil, and damnation does not exist.) We have come to save the world from its own mistaken notion of itself.We are, right now, living in a world of our own creation, a non-truth, an experience which has nothing to do with ultimate reality, or with Who We Really Are. Jesus knew this. He also knew Who He Really Was. And he declared it, for all to hear. He declared something else as well. He said that what he did on the earth, we could do also.
Some people do not believe this. They cannot believe that they could be given-indeed, that they have been given-the same abilities as Jesus. Yet this level of faith is the key to experiencing those gifts. That is what Jesus taught. That was his central message. I think a careful reading of the following pages (CWG Book 1) would help provide clarity for you about this: pages 52, 55, 67, 86, 180 and 197.
I wrote a booklet, Recreating Yourself, which addresses much of this directly. In it, I make the point that it was Jesus himself who said, “According to your faith be it unto you.” It was Jesus himself who aid, “0 woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. ” And the woman’s daughter was made whole from that very hour. And it was Jesus himself who said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Still, if you cannot believe in yourself and in your own divine heritage (and because so many people cannot), Jesus, in an act of enormous love and compassion, invites you to believe in him.
“Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Isn’t that an extraordinary promise? So great and so complete was Jesus’ understanding of who he was, and of who you are (”I and my Father are one” he said, and later, “all ye are brethren”), that he knew deeply there was no limit to what you could do if you believed in yourself, or in him. Could there be a mistake about Jesus’ declarationshere?
Could there be a misinterpretation? No. His words are very clear. He wanted you to consider yourself one with the Father, exactly as he is one with God. So great was his love for all humankind, and so full was his compassion at heir suffering, that he called upon himself to rise to the highest level, to move to the grandest expression of his being, in order to present a livingexample to all human beings everywhere. And then he prayed that we would not only see the evidence of his oneness with the Father, but our own as well.
“And for their sakes I sanctify myself that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest e I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” You can’t be much clearer than that.
Conversations with God tells us that all of us are members of the Body of God, though we imagine ourselves to be separate, and not part of God at all.
Christ understood our difficulty in believing that we were part of God, part of God’s very body. Yet Christ did believe this of himself. It was therefore a simple matter (and a marvelous inspiration) for him to invite those who could not imagine themselves to be a part of God to imagine themselves to be a part of him. For he had already declared himself to be a part of God, and if we could simply believe that we were a part of Christ, we would by extension necessarily be a part of God.
Jesus must have emphasized this point many times, because the record of his teachings, and the commentaries upon them in the Bible contain countless references to this relationship. String just a few of these separate references together and you have an extraordinary revelation:
I and my Father are one. (John 10:30)
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. (John 17:22)
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one. (John 17:23)
That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:26)
So we, being many, are one body in Christ; and every one members one of another. (Romans 12:5)
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one. (1 Corinthians 3:8)
For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (1 Corinthians 10:17)
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or gentiles, whether we be bound or free; and have been all made to drink into one spirit for the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?(1 Corinthians 12-16)
But now are they many members, yet but one body. (1 Corinthians 12:20)
All of us are members of the Body of Christ. All of us are the Christed One. And if Christ is one with God, so, too, are we. We simply do not know it. Refuse to believe it. Cannot imagine it.
Yet it is not true that going through Jesus is required in order to be going with Jesus. Jesus never uttered such words, nor did he come close. That was not his message. His message was: If you cannot believe in me, if you do believe that I am who I say I am, what with all that I have done, then you will never, ver believe in yourself, in who you are, and your own experience of God will be virtually unattainable. Jesus said what he said, did what he did-performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead-even raised himself from the dead-that we might know Who He Was…and thus know also Who We Really Are. It is this second part of the equation which is most often left out of the traditional doctrine about Christ.
You see, Jesus is our savior, to the degree that he has saved us from the illusion of our own separation from God. Jesus is the Son of God, s are we all. As we teach in our workshops: You have come to the room to heal the room; you have come to the space to heal the space. There is no other reason for you to be here.
Best of the Blogs…
Each week we present in this space the best from past entries on the
worldwide CwG Blog. The blog can be accessed daily on the home page at www.beliefnet.com.
Wednesday August 20, 2008
Are human beings destined to forever suffer “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” as Hamlet put it, or do we have the power to “rise up against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them?”
I ask the question because last week a person posting here as “T” wrote me this…
Seriously, Neale. We can’t have everything we want. In fact, in my life, what I’ve discovered is that absolutely nothing I can do will ever change, fix, or improve some of the situations I’ve been very unhappy with for what is approaching two decades. I’m really tired of hearing that it’s all my fault, that if I just had faith or believed enough or thought positively enough or repeated enough affirmations or meditated or whateverwhateverwhatever, I could make things go the way I want them to go!
I promised here on Monday that I would offer some additional comment on “T’s” contribution. “T” is a member, if case you don’t know, of our Sunday School All Week, which is being conducted in this space from now until Christmas.
So “T”, first of all, thank you for your contribution — only the first portion of which I have quoted above. (More response to “T” in my next entry here!) Now, as to what you had to say, let’s look at it, shall we?
Seriously, Neale. We can’t have everything we want.
You’re absolutely right, and I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, I learned in my Conversations with God that you can’t have ANYTHING you want. Not one single thing. Why? Because, God said, the very act of “wanting” a thing…pushes it away from you.
You must understand one thing. You must grasp and embrace one fundamental Truth about Life if you are going to live a happy and fulfilling life, T. And before I go into that, let me explain what I mean by “happy” and “fulfilling.”
A “happy” life is a life that is marked by profound joy, peace, serenity, safety, security, wonder, excitement, warmth, laughter, and love.
(By the way, “peace” and “serenity” are not the same thing. Neither are “safety” and “security.” I invite you to ponder the nuance of their differences.
“Peace” is a state of being characterized by a complete lack of agitation, frustration, anger, resentment, judgment, disappointment or negativity of any kind at any level. “Serenity” is the state of being we enter when we know that our Peace can and will never end. It is the complete lack of anxiety, anxiousness, worry, or concern that Peace can or will be lost.
“Safety” is a state of being characterized by a sense of immunity to harm or hurt of damage of any kind at any level — mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual. “Security”is the state of being we enter when we know that our Safety can and will never end; that we are always safe, everywhere.
So once again….a “happy” life is a life that is marked by profound joy, peace, serenity, safety, security, wonder, excitement, warmth, laughter, and love.
A “fulfilling” life is a life that is marked by a sense of total self-expression; an awareness that we are doing what we came here to do, that we have no unfinished business in any moment, that through the placement of our talents and energies into the fabric of life we have come to Know Who We eally Are and to experience our authentic selves, thus revealing and living our True Identity — and expanding it).
Okay. Now, T, what I said a moment ago was that you must understand one thing. You must grasp and embrace one fundamental Truth about Life if you are going to live a happy and fulfilling life. Now…here is that one thing:
You must understand that you are the creator of your own experience.
If you do not understand this, if you do not believe this, then you can never have the experience of creating your own experience, precisely because you are doing just that.
Because you ARE creating your own experience in every moment, T, whether you wish to admit or not, you are creating the experience of not being able to create your experience because you say you cannot!
Everything you say becomes your lived reality, whether you say that it does or not. Are you getting this, T? You are in a hall of mirrors here. Everything in Life reflects back to you what you send to it. The image you see is the image you project.
Now, T, if you say “I WANT” something…whatever it is you said you “want,” you cannot have — because you’ve just said that you want it…and your words are creative. Your every word is an announcement to the Universe of the Next Reality That You Wish to Experience.
Are you getting this?
The statement “I WANT” only pushes the experience of what you “want” away from you. So you are right, T. You are absolutely right. We “can’t haveeverything we want.” That is correct. Indeed, it is profoundly correct.
(By the way, T, Conversations with God never said that we can have anything we want. In fact, it said exactly the opposite.)
Now, you then said…
In fact, in my life, what I’ve discovered is that absolutely nothing I can do will ever change, fix, or improve some of the situations I’ve been very unhappy with for what is approaching two decades.
I “get” that this is true for you, T, but I hope that you can understand that it is not true for everybody. In my life, in fact, the only way that any situation I’ve been unhappy with has ever been changed, fixed, or improved is if I change, fix, or improve it! Isn’t that interesting? We’ve had the exact opposite experience.
But in order for you to share my experience, in order for you to have an identical one, you needs must understand the difference between a “situation” and your “experience” of it. It is perhaps true that certain outward ircumstances, conditions, and “situations” cannot be changed (at least, not immediately). Yet that does not mean that your inward experience of them cannot change. It can. And when it does, you set into motion the most powerful force in the Universe (the Energy of Creation), — a force that can and will ultimately change your outward situation, circumstance, and condition.
Remember in Star Wars when Obi Wan Kenobi said to Luke Skywalker, “The Force be with you”…? This is what that was all about. That was not science fiction, T. That was Truth, masquerading as entertainment.
There IS a “force” in the Universe, T. Some people call that “force” God. Or Allah. Or Yehwey. Or Brahman. Or Pure Essence. Or the Essential Energy. Or The One Thing That Is.
By whatever name, that “force” may be used by anyone at any time.
It begins as an Inner Manifestation, and it ends as an Outer Reality. First you change your Inner World, then you begin to impact your Outer World. You change your Inner World by creating your inner experience of anything — and everything. You change your inner experience by declaring with it is; by deciding what it is; why choosing what it is. This is done by an act of sheer will. This act of sheer will has nothing to do with outward circumstances or conditions or events. It has to do with your inward response to them.
Nothing and no one can dictate to you what your inward response to anything is or should be. You, and you alone, decide this. You make your decision based on many things. Past experience? Prior ideas (usually given to you by somebody else)? Future fears and anxieties? Or, perhaps, your highest thought about Who You Are and What Is SO for You Here and Now.
This is the space of pure creation. You can call anything “good.” ANYTHING. And when you “call it good,” it IS Good. And it becomes good in the experience of others as well, sooner or later, because your thought of a thing eventually and inevitably affects that thing — and all other things that are affected by it.
This is basic metaphysics here. This is the alchemy of the Universe.
I’m really tired of hearing that it’s all my fault, that if I just had faith or believed enough or thought positively enough or repeated enough affirmations or meditated or whateverwhateverwhatever, I could make things go the way I want them to go!
This, too, T said to me. And T, I hear you. Loud and clear. So here’s what I’d invite you to do. Pick up a copy of Happier Than God. Do this now. Not tomorrow, not in a few days. Right now. Get online and pick up a copy. It can in your hands tomorrow. All of your questions will be answered there. All of your frustrations will be addressed.
Buy it now at