‘Conversations with God’ is not a single volume, but, by year 2000, a total of six. They constitute a precise record of the spiritual experiences of Neale Donald Walsch, who now resides in Oregon, USA. They began one evening in 1992, when Walsch, miserable and perplexed with personal frustrations, sat down and tried to compose his thoughts on an ordinary legal pad. He then started undergoing experiences having some characteristics of automatic writing, and ended up with an entire volume of dialogues, with the promise of much more to come. Although the experience was mysterious, with Walsch having considerable doubts at the very beginning, the source of the experiences is acknowledged by Walsch to be God.
As such, ‘Conversations with God’ joins the ranks of other material called channelled writing. In its subject matter, it is completely consistent with other channelled writings, and even specifically acknowledges, for example, ‘A Course in Miracles’ with such statements as ‘I put it there.’ Unlike other channelled writings, however, which have taken the form of long tracts of entirely dictated or ‘recited’ material, ‘Conversations with God’ is a definite collection of dialogues, with Walsch playing a very active part. As such, Walsch attached his own name to the books, unlike ‘A Course in Miracles’, which has no stated author.
Unlike other channelled material, which tends to dwell on single themes and follow the thread of a definite message to mankind, Walsch’s dialogues cover a large range of topics. For whatever question Walsh wished to ask, there always seemed to be an answer. Thus, such things as the existence of long vanished civilizations like Atlantis and intelligent life on other planets was discussed (with affirmative answers.) The ‘voice’, however, wished to follow certain broad patterns of organization, and thus, in the first three books, there is one volume that tends to concentrate on metaphysical questions, another on personal spiritual issues, and a third on broader social concerns.
The metaphysics of the material is more in line with great mystical traditions such as philosophic Taoism, Buddhism and Vedanta, rather than orthodox Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The physical world of sensory experience is held to be essentially illusory, and arose because the Godhead, being all that essentially is but wishing to experience itself, could only create an objective world through illusion. All of what ultimately exists is a fabrication of thought. If one wishes to exert change upon the world, begin with clarification of thought. Although, in the final analysis, ‘there is really only one of us,’ individual sentient beings have a secondary, contingent existence and are given complete freedom of choice in their thoughts and actions. God is to be thought of, not as an autocrat, separate from his creation, who controls everything and is angry with a fallen creation, but as an inward observer of what his creatures do, both the initiator of and a kind of ‘audience’ to an awesome cosmic drama.
One of the main threads of ‘Conversations with God’ is a critical analysis of organized traditional religious notions. Priests and preachers cannot be depended upon as authoritative spokespersons for genuine spirituality. Instead, one should look inward, to a fountainhead of higher authority, and feel no guilt in doing so. There are no divine punishments, but at the physical level of experience there are consequences, which can result in the experience of suffering. Although God does not arbitrarily interfere with his creation, he has been prepared to offer advice to his creatures and has always ‘spoken’ to his creatures. Unfortunately, few even know how to actually listen. Those who have listened well might become the ‘teachers’ of mankind. God, in fact, has sent many ‘teachers’ at many times in history to many cultures—most of whom have eeither been ignored if not put to death, and great spiritual teachings have tended to becomme distorted.
God is absolute, unconditional love, and such notions as the Devil, a Day of Judgment and Eternal Damnation are adamantly denied. Because the world is ultimately not a true reality, forgiveness is strongly promoted in the material, as it is in ‘A Course in Miracles.’ Immortality is affirmed because there never was a time when the ultimate nature of what we truly are did not exist nor will there ever be such a time. Thus, ‘even Hitler went to Heaven’ although we may find such teaching difficult to comprehend from our denigrated, mortal point of view. Death, in fact, is a return to a more purified form of spiritual existence, an existence that we ‘forget’ when we choose to experience existence in the form of an individualized human body.
As is true of any spiritual writing deemed unorthodox, conservative religious spokespersons have condemned ‘Conversations with God,’ suggesting that it is either a hoax or demonically inspired. However, those with more open minds have found the material to be extremely interesting, if not inspiring. One lady, an early aficionado of the material, thanked Walsch for revealing to the world a God that she at last could truly love.