Last night I went to the opening key note speak of the 2010 Hay House ‘I Can Do It’ weekend conference in London. It was by Neale Donald Walsch, whose book, Conversations With God, I read this time seven years ago when I was living in Sydney. Listening to his talk was inspiring and enlivening and I want to share some of what I got out of it.
For those of you not familiar with his work, Neale was having a bit of a mid-life crises about 15 years ago and asked God/the universe/Source, why nothing was going right for him. What he didn’t expect was to hear an actual voice, outside of his head (though it later became in his head, he says) asking him whether he really wanted answers to all his questions. He said he did, and so began lengthy conversations with who Neal came to believe was God, who would tell him why he was here and what was the purpose of life. These conversations make up his three (it might be more now) books in the Conversations With God series.
We are all spiritual masters
So what did I learn from last night? Neale’s turning point came when God told him: ‘your life is not all about you’. To which Neale replied? Well who is it about then? And the answer was ‘everyone else’. In essence, Neale told us that once we realise our lives are not about us, not about fulfilling every little whim and fantasy we may have, and start to realise we are perfect as we are and to help others wake up to their own brilliance, then everything will automatically change for us for the better. He says we are all spiritual master, or can be, just like Buddha and Jesus. He went round saying to individuals “you are here in the room to heal the room” making each and every person aware of their importance in creating a better world. No one is better than anyone else; everyone can shine their light (though it did also make me think that as we live in a dualistic world, we can all also be the darkness, too; we all have good and bad within us).
Is The Secret wrong?
Neale also talked about The Secret, which has sold millions of copies, but which, he thinks, does humans a disservice by focusing purely on getting material abundance. He was featured on the DVD but only very briefly, he says, because he kept mentioning God so much and they had to edit it out! But his view is that God/Universe/Source, whatever you want to call is, is the energy behind why we can manifest abundance, and that should be credited! He says we can all tap into this pure energy and create the lives we want, but after we’ve got the man, the car, the job, the house, the kids, the pension plan, the holidays abroad, the better house, the better car, the right clothes, etc etc, then what? Why did The Secret not address the really big life issues that we can all change with this magnificent power of abundance, he asked? World hunger, repression of women, abuse of children and animals, etc. It’s not that he says we have to be all pious and abandon all our aspirations, and get rid of all our worldly possessions though; he says we can have great fun in the physicality of life, and that this very physically is the starting point on the journey. We need the physical world in order to learn. So he doesn’t advocate going and living like a monk or a nun on a mountain. But he says there is so much more to life than what most people get so pre-occupied with.
We are all one
Our task, he says, is to wake up to fact that we are all one. Those four little words, he says, are life changing. If we all acted like we are all one, then the above problems would begin to disappear as we would treat each other like brothers and sisters, not strangers.
He then told us a story about The Sun and the Little Soul, which in a nutshell, is about this little soul who wants to understand who he is, as being a small candle that makes up the sun, he cannot see himself clearly as he is part of the bigger whole. So God creates the darkness, so that he can see himself contrasted to it and understand who he is. And this is a metaphor for our lives: we are all light, all brilliant Divine beings but some of us, most of us, have forgotten this and are plagued by the ‘darkness’.
To summarise his message, Neale was telling us that we have all come here to change the world, and that if we get too caught up on trying to ‘fix’ our health, love lives, bank account, jobs etc, then we are missing a trick as there is a much bigger mission out there: for us to love ourselves exactly are we are, As God would, he says. And then to go and make others see the light in themselves. I felt so inspired when I left the talk that I went and told some strangers in a pub all about it! And it also reminded me not to let myself get so fixated on my so-called ‘problems’ and to relax and let go a bit more (it’s that F**K It! philosophy again!), and to instead focus on helping others live a great life.
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