Neale’s Story: Excerpted from Friendship With God

Neale’s Story: Excerpted from Friendship With God

Neale’s Story – Neale Donald Walsch is a modern-day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent most of his life thriving professionally yet searching for spiritual meaning before experiencing his now famous conversation with God. The Conversations with God series of books that emerged from those encounters has been translated into 37 languages, touching millions and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.

Neale’s Story

Neale has written 29 books on spirituality and its practical application in everyday life. Titles in the With God series include Conversations with God, Books 1-3; Friendship with God; Communion with God; The New Revelations; Tomorrow’s God; What God Wants; and Home with God. In that series, seven of the books reached the New York Times Bestseller List, CWG-Book 1 occupying that list for over two-and-a-half years. His most recent books are When Everything Changes Change Everything (2010), The Storm Before the Calm (2011), The Only Thing That Matters (2012), What God Said (2013), GOD’S MESSAGE TO THE WORLD: You’ve God Me All Wrong (2014), and Conversations with God: Awaken the Species (Book 4) (2017). His newest book is The God Solution, was published in December 2020 by Phoenix Books.

The Conversations with God dialogue was not written as a book. Unlike the material, I am now writing. I had no idea when the Dialogue began that it was ever going to see print. As far as I knew, I had a private process, never to be made privy to anyone. That process began on a night in February of 1992 when I was on the verge of falling into chronic depression. Nothing had been going right in my life. My relationship with my significant other was kaput, my career had hit a dead end, and even my health was failing.

Usually, in my life, it had been one thing or another. But now it was everything at once. The whole construction was collapsing, and I couldn’t seem to do anything to stop it. It wasn’t the first time that I’d stood by helplessly, watching what I had thought would be a permanent relationship dissolve right before my eyes. Nor was it was second. Nor the third or fourth. I was becoming furious about my inability to hold a relationship together, my apparent total lack of understanding about what it takes to do that, and the fact that nothing I tried seemed to work. I came to feel that I had not been given the equipment to play the game of Life, and I was furious.

My career wasn’t going any better. Things had pretty much dwindled to nothing, my over 30 years hovering around the broadcasting and journalism businesses reaping pitifully meager rewards. I was 49 years old with nothing to show for a half-century on the planet. Not surprisingly, my health had taken a downhill turn as well. I’d suffered a broken neck in a car accident a few years before and had never really been the same since. Before that in my life, I’d already experienced episodes of cardiac discomfort caused by chronic premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), as well as a partially collapsed right lung, a duodenal ulcer, the early onset (in my 30s) of arthritis, and a particularly severe case of fibromyositis that periodically produced a burning, aching sensation in every joint, bone and muscle in my body.

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

I’d also developed a spontaneous allergy to shellfish and later discovered that my occasional and sudden anaphylactic reactions – in which the body’s entire respiratory system rather inconveniently shuts down – were due to a host of other food allergies I’d had no notion about for 20 years. I felt at 48 as if my body was falling apart. And so it was that, on a February night in 1992, I awoke with anger in my heart. Tossing and turning as I tried to go back to sleep, I was a mountain of frustration. Finally, I threw back the covers and stomped out of the bedroom. I went where I always go in the middle of the night when I’m seeking wisdom – but there was nothing decent in the refrigerator, so I found myself on the couch instead.

There I sat, stewing in my own juice. Finally, in the moonlight streaming through the window, I saw a yellow legal pad on the coffee table in front of me. I picked it up, found a pen, flicked on a lamp, and began writing an angry letter to God. What does it take to make life WORK????? What have I done to deserve a life of such continuing   struggle? And what are the rules here? Somebody tell me the RULES! I’ll play, but first somebody has to tell me the rules. And after you tell me, don’t change them!!! On and on like that, I wrote, scribbling madly all over the pad, writing very large, as I do when I am angry, pressing down so hard that a person could hold a sheet five pages lower up to the light and see what I had written.

Finally, I’d emptied myself. The anger, frustration, and near-hysteria had dissipated, and I remember thinking, I’ve got to tell my friends about this. A yellow legal pad in the middle of the night might be, after all, the best therapy. I extended my arm to put the pen down, but it wouldn’t leave my hand. That’s amazing, I said to myself. A few minutes of intensive writing and your hand cramps up so badly, you can’t even let go of the pen. I waited for my muscles to relax, but I was struck instead with a feeling that there was something more I needed to write. I watched as I brought the pen back to the paper, fascinating myself even as I did it because I knew of nothing more that I wanted to write, yet here I was, acting as if there was more to be written. No sooner had the pen reached the pad than my mind filled with a thought. The thought was said to me, by a voice. It was the softest, kindest, most gentle voice I had ever heard, except that it wasn’t a voice. It was a…what I could only call a Voiceless Voice….or maybe, more like…like a feeling that had words all over it. The words that I “heard” in this way were:

Neale, do you really want answers to all of these questions, or are you just venting?

I remember thinking, I AM venting, but if you’ve got answers, I’d sure as hell like to know what they are. To which I received the reply:

You ARE “sure as hell” – about a lot of things. But wouldn’t you rather be “sure as heaven”?

And I found myself answering, What in the hell is that supposed to mean?

Thereafter came the most extraordinary thoughts, ideas, communications, call them what you will, that I’ve ever experienced. The thoughts were so stunning that I found me writing them down – and responding to them. The ideas being given to me (through me?) were answering my questions, but they also brought up other questions I’d never had before. So here I was, involved in an on-paper “dialogue.”

This went on for three hours, and then it was 7:30 in the morning, and the house was starting to come alive, so I put the pen and pad away. It was an interesting experience, but I didn’t make much more of it – until the next night when I have awakened out of a sound sleep at 4:20 in the morning as abruptly as if someone had come into the room and flipped the light switch. I sat up in bed, wondering what that was all about when I felt an urgent pull to get out of the bed and back to the yellow legal pad.

Still wondering what was going on and why, I stumbled around the house, found the pad, returned to my nesting place in the living room, and began writing again – picking up right where I had left off, asking questions, and receiving answers. I don’t think I know what made us write it all down or save the stuff I’d written to this day. I guess I thought I would be keeping a kind of journal or a special little diary. I had no idea that it would one day be published, let alone read from Tokyo to Tel Aviv, San Francisco to Sao Paolo.

It is true that at one point the Dialogue said, “this will one day become a book,” but I just snorted to myself, Yeah, you and a hundred other people are going to send your middle-of-the-night mental meanderings to a publisher, who is going to say, “Of course! Why we’ll publish this AT ONCE.” That first dialogue lasted for a year, with me being awakened in the darkness at least three nights a week. (There was a five-month “layoff” at one point when I never “got the call.” This was, I learned later, not because God had left my side, but because I had left God’s, falling back into the drama of my life and making myself “too busy” and my mind too cluttered to have a conversation with God.) One of the most frequently asked questions is, when did I decide, when did I know, that it was God I was talking to?

During the first several weeks of the experience, I didn’t know what to think about what was happening. At first, a part of me thought I was talking to myself. Then somewhere along the way, I wondered if it couldn’t be the so-called “higher self” I’d heard about from which I was drawing the answers to my questions. But finally, I had to let go of my self-judgments and fear of ridicule and call it exactly what it seemed to be: a conversation with God. This occurred the night I heard the statement, “There is no such thing as the Ten Commandments.” Nearly half of what ultimately became Book 1 had been written when this spectacular assertion was made. I’d been exploring the question of the path to God and which was the “right” one. Do we earn our way to heaven by “being good,” I wanted to know, or are we free to act as we wish without being punished by God?

“Which is it,” I asked, “traditional values, or make-it-up-as-you-go-along? Which is it? The Ten Commandments or the Seven Steps to Enlightenment?” When the reply was that the Ten Commandments don’t exist, I was flabbergasted. Even more flabbergasting, though, was the explanation. Oh, there had been ten statements all right, and they’d been given to Moses for sure, but these were not “commandments.” They were, I was told, “commitments” made by God to the human race; ways that we could know that we were on the path back to God.

This was unlike anything else I’d received in the Dialogue to that point. This was breakthrough information. I’d received some of what I’d received in the conversation until that moment I knew I might have heard before, from other teachers or other sources, or perhaps in a book somewhere. But the astonishing statements that came through about the Ten Commandments I knew I’d never heard before. Furthermore, these ideas violated everything I’d ever been taught or thought about the subject.

Years later, I received a letter from a theology professor at a major East Coast university saying this was the most original new perspective on the Ten Commandments to be published in 300 years and that while he wasn’t sure he agreed with CWG’s statements, they would provide his theology classes with rich material for serious debate and discussion for many terms to come. At the time, though, I didn’t need any letters from theology professors to let me know that what I’d received was very special – and came from an exceptional Source.

I began to experience that Source as God. Nothing has changed my mind about it since. In fact, the information which came through in the rest of the 800-page dialogue – including the extraordinary information about life among Highly Evolved Beings in the Universe in Book 3, and the outline for building a new society on Planet Earth in Book 2, has only made me more convinced than ever.

Also read How I Became a Writer by Mark David Gerson

Neale’s Story: Excerpted from Friendship With God

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