Monday, March 30, 2015

My conversation with God.

In the last few years, I have read a handful of books that have impacted me in a deeper way than I imagined they would. Freakonomics for example was something I could not put down, I kept nodding my head in agreement with every theory and also realized how my approach to economics in academia was fueled by the behavioral aspect of it.

Anthem, by Ayn Rand was another that opened my eyes to the power of I.

But nothing could have prepared me for the affirmation that came to my self while reading 'Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch'.

To preface as I always do, I am not a religious person, although I do identify as a Hindu. I read the Bhagwad Gita when I was in high school and realized quickly that a lot of the things that practicing Hindus do in the name of religion are not necessarily aligned with my interpretation of the book. I believe more strongly in spirituality which comes from inside and not by public display of God adoration. So while I believe in evolution I also think that there is some God like being out there who has a terrific sense of humor.

The long and short of this book is, that a man starts to pen down all his problems on a notepad and when he is done, his hands keep moving as if by the will of an unseen force, claiming to be the voice of god, answering all his questions. Getting past this little 'unnatural/abnormal/supernatural' effect is the hardest part of the book, because well, how often has god talked to you and this could easily be something the author conjured up to sell books and make money?

So say, you believe that this is indeed God talking to you, in your language breaking it down for you. Every last question you have had about health, career, money, love and relationships. While it's not a very long dialogue, it took me over a month to read it all because of how heavy some of the explanations are. Not necessarily meant to be absorbed in one reading, but to be used as a reference point. Again, I am not one to defile a book by making notes in the margin, but I wanted to highlight and underline every second sentence in the book either because it was absolutely enlightening or exactly as I rationalize an action in my head.

The book sort of validates a lot of actions that society has conditioned us to believe are 'wrong' but feel so good - but it does not for a minute let you use that as an excuse to be an asshole. Some of the statements towards the second half almost seem like a contradiction to what has been established in the first bit, but upon re-reading you understand they are actually perfectly complimentary.

Here are some of the quotes from 'god' that stood out for me,

About love -
~for it is the nature of people to love, then destroy, then love again that which they value most.
~you have been taught to to live in fear. you have been told about the survival of the fittest and the victory of the strongest and the success of the cleverest. Precious little is said about the glory of the most loving. And so, you strive to be the fittest, strongest, the cleverest-in one way or another- and it you see yourself as something less than this in any situation, you fear loss, for you have been told that to be less is to lose.
~From the highest mountain it has been shouted, in the lowest place its whisper has been heard. through corridors of all human experience has this truth ben echoed; love is the answer. Yet, you have not listened.
~there are no coincidences in the universe.

The power of thought - this is the big one, how your mind, body and soul work in tandem. Every thought you have produces energy, this is something I have always believed in and the book reinforces.
~your life proceeds out of your intentions for it.
~emotion is energy in motion
~be the cause of your experience.
~what you resist persists. what you look at disappears.
~passion is the love of turning being into action. it fuels the engine of creation. it changes concepts to experience.

About relationships - the answers to questions related to relationships are in particular very interesting.
~it is not in the action of another, but in your re-action, that your salvation will be found.
~treating others with love does not necessarily mean allowing others to do as they wish.
~People tend to see in themselves what we see in them. the grander our vision, the grander their willingness to access and display the part of them we have shown to them

About sex - and this is by far my favorite response from 'God'.
~If I didnt want you to play certain games, I wouldn't have given you the toys.
But don't misuse sex for power, or hidden purpose; for ego gratification or domination; for any purpose other than the purest joy and the highest ecstasy, given and shared - which is love.
~Sex is joy, and many of you have made sex everything else but.  Sex is sacred too, but joy and sacredness do mix, they are in fact the same thing, and many of you think they do not.
~Your attitudes about sex form a microcosm of your attitudes about life. Life should be a joy, a celebration, and it has become an experience of fear, anxiety, not enough-ness, envy, rage and tragedy The same can be said about sex. You have shamed sex, as you have shamed life, calling it evil and wicked, rather than the highest gift and the greatest pleasure.

About the so called heroism behind 'suffering in silence' - as well as denying yourself pleasures.
~the original wisdom surrounding suffering in silence has become so perverted that now many believe (and some religions actually teach) that suffering is good, and joy is bad. therefore if someone with cancer keeps it to himself, he is a saint but if some has robust sexuality and celebrates it openly, she is a sinner. (...) You don't like to think of women having robust sexuality, much less celebrate it openly. You would rather see a man dying without a whimper on the battlefield than a woman making love with a whimper in the street.


In conclusion - read it when you are ready for it. it has my highest recommendation, but I can see how it is not for everyone.

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