Neale Donald Walsch’s book series Conversations with God has developed from self-help topics to broader ones, concerning humanity as a whole.
Host: Hi. We're in conversation with Dr. Michael Laitman, Professor of Cybernetics, and Doctor of Ontology, Philosophy, and Kabbalah; the founder and President of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Institute. And joining us in conversation is Neale Donald Walsch.
Everybody knows Neale Donald Walsch. He's the writer of the best-selling series of books Conversations with God. These books have touched and changed the lives of millions of people around the world. Each one of the books in this series made the New York Times bestseller list and the first one actually stayed on that list for over two and a half years. It was made into a feature film because of the great interest and effect that the ideas in his books have had. Conversations with God has become kind of an inspirational movement for people. But the focus of the books has really changed as the series has developed, and they've moved from the development of the individual and things that would help an individual change things in their life, to broader sorts of interests, interests that concern communities and really ultimately the world as a whole - humanity. And it's that point of view that we would really like to have a discussion about.
Your latest book has a different name, it's When Everything Changes, Change Everything.
I think this book is supposed to help a person who finds huge life changes happening: how they can adapt to it, what sorts of things they need to do. But if we look at what's happening in the world, aren't we going through this kind of a change collectively, and what do we need to change considering this? What do you see happening, and what do you think, basically, we need to do in this period?
Neale Donald Walsch: Well that's a very large question; but I appreciate the enormity of the question, because the challenge is enormous that's facing us right now. I do believe that humanity has reached a crossroad. I hate to exaggerate that; I don't want it to sound sensational, but I think it's true. I think our species, the species of human being, is coming to a place where we are deciding about ourselves. We are making a huge decision about who are we; who do we really choose to be. How do we choose to relate to life itself; how do we choose to relate to all the different elements of life: the environment, the planet itself, and obviously to people? And even for that matter, one's notion of one's Maker, if one even holds such a notion. What is our right and correct, and most proficient and most efficient relationship, with all of that?
I don't think that we've come to grips with those questions. Those are the questions of the 21st century. In the previous days and times, we've been involved, not exclusively, but largely, in the process of individual survival: How do I get through the day, how do I get through the week, how do I get through the month? In the 21st century, we're learning now that we can no longer concentrate on individual survival strategies, that unless we begin to coalesce those strategies and learn how we can survive collectively, that no individual is going to survive in the long run. I don't want to be an alarmist, but I realize that we are facing a very critical time now. I consider the next thirty years to be crucial, the next thirty years, the next three decades. You're going to be sorry you asked me the question because I can talk for an hour about this. I really want to hear what Dr. Laitman has to say.
Michael Laitman: We're listening with thirst! It's beautiful; it's exactly what we wanted to hear actually.
Neale Donald Walsch: I want to say that at this critical point in time, we have to redefine what it means to be human. We have to choose a new identity - literally choose a new identity - and recreate ourselves anew as a humanity; recreate ourselves as a brand new kind of living organism, a brand new kind of species; and recreate the organism as a cluster, as a group, rather than as a scattering of single individuals. We have to change our thinking about who we are in relationship to each other.
Michael Laitman: I think that even before the crisis, both Neale and I understood that there was a crisis. We just couldn't talk to anyone because people didn't recognize the existence of a crisis; people didn't understand that the problem in education, in culture, in divorce rates, drugs, terrorism, that it's all a crisis. "Well, yes it happens, things happen... But now that it's touching our pockets, then yes, there's a crisis." But actually, the crisis is in everything we do in this world. The crisis is not financial, it's within us. Now people are willing to hear because it's touching their pockets, so we have a chance to tell them.
Neale Donald Walsch: But we have a window of opportunity, just as Michael recognizes, and that is an extraordinary turning point in human evolution. This is a window of opportunity right now. And the fact that people are hurting financially, which is creating an effect not only in their pocketbooks, but in their relationships: straining marriages, causing marriages to look at whether they want to go forward or not, straining families, straining all of our systems. That is causing human beings, who ordinarily don't think of such things, to sit up and say, "Wait a minute, maybe I've been chasing the wrong rabbit?"
Michael Laitman: We are truly in a new era. In the evolution of human egoism over the generations, we have come to a point where we can no longer satisfy ourselves. Naturally, we've given up on satisfying ourselves with all kinds of challenges, satisfactions, and fulfillments. We are in a crisis. As you said correctly, we are in a major crisis in everything humanity has done, in everything we've done over the millennia. In everything that we have evolved in ourselves, we've come to saturation. And today, we don't see how to go forward. Although the majority of people are still - well, in governments - thinking that we can solve it through money or power, or some kind of other means or tools. It's not going to help us. We have to correct the connection between us because we've suddenly discovered that we are in a connected, integral world, where all of its parts are connected. It's especially so with the human species, the highest of all the elements in nature. We have to be connected, all people. Our whole civilization has to find some kind of a solution, to bond, to unite, because by that we'll resolve all the problems. And without it, no problem will be solved.
We're like pieces of an organism that are not connected, and in that state the body cannot work; it collapses and dies. So here we're suddenly discovering humanity is parts of an organism that are not connected and are not in harmony, in mutual participation. Now the question is: How do we unite? By what? Where's the method? How do we come to that?
Neale Donald Walsch: Michael, with respect, I have a question to ask. I believe the issue is more fundamental. I believe the issue is how can we cause the largest number of people to understand that we are, in fact, all one, to understand our unity? Because unless people have a reason....
Michael Laitman: Yes, of course, this is the first condition, to explain to them that this is a problem.
Neale Donald Walsch: I think we need to find a way to provide people with a reason that the average man on the street can grasp and embrace, that would cause him to move away from the centuries-old idea of the individual and individualism, and move toward a different concept of what it means to be human in a collective society. Unless he has that reason, unless he has a fundamental reason to do that, it's going to very difficult to cause him to make that shift, in my view.
Michael Laitman: I think the solution is in people like you, like me, or others if we find more people like us, in us coming together, awakening, stirring up the media, governments, the education systems, but especially the media; and joining more people to us, people like scientists, biologists, evolutionary biologists primarily, and people who deal with human systems or social systems; and together with us, they will kind of support it from the perspective of science, or psychology, or biology. So we show humanity that this is the situation.
I've been speaking to a lot of people lately, including people in the field of finance. Economists too are already sensing that the problem is in the connection between people today, in a lack of trust, in a lack of the right connection between people.
Actually, what we need is to understand that the world is ready for it, only we have to help it organize correctly. I think that by tossing these things at the world and saying they don't understand; that's not good. We have to feel ourselves responsible for organizing the people, people who can create an impact; and we have to bring them all together into one big forum. And through the media, we can then explain to all the people that there's a problem of human connections and nothing else. And with a lack of connection, we create all the problems in nature, in human society, and in the whole of nature.
Neale Donald Walsch: I agree with you completely, and I think that the root cause of humanity's experience of disconnection, our experience of separateness - I'm going to say something very daring here, you may not agree with me; but from my observation - I believe that the root cause of that feeling of disconnection is in many respects organized religion. That is, I believe that religion teaches us that we are here, and that which we call God, Allah, Raman, Yahweh, Jehovah, whatever name we want to use, that we are here, and God is over there somewhere. So we have set up a paradigm of separation, what I call "separation theology." When we have separation theology....
Michael Laitman: Instead we need to explain to people that God is between us. If we arranged the right relationships, relationships of love between us, among us, we'll discover God. The Upper Force is among us if we relate to each other correctly. Do you agree with me?
Neale Donald Walsch: I absolutely agree with you. The separation theology that humanity has established through the years has created a separation cosmology. That is a cosmological way of looking at things that says everything is separate from everything else. And the separation cosmology has produced a separation sociology that is a way of socializing with each other that says: "I'm over here, and you're over there. And our interests will not meet unless they do. If they do, we'll try to cooperate. But if our interests do not meet, if we have separate interests, I may just have to harm you; I may, in fact, just have to kill you."
Michael Laitman: Yes, it's true because religion, sociology, and all those things were built by little, selfish people. There's a subtle but big problem here. We must not go against religions and against sociology. Instead, we have to do it in a way that people will understand from within themselves. You don't go directly from the explanation, but from within themselves they will understand that what is written in religions and what people think of religion is not the same; that it actually speaks of the connection between us. There's a very delicate problem here. Yes, it's very subtle. And here you need to tiptoe really, so you don't evoke resistance.
Host (directed at Neale Donald Walsch): This is a quote of yours, "You keep creating yourselves into the image of your next highest idea about yourself." That seems to me to be saying that if you want something to change or you want to go into a new direction, you necessarily have to take on the qualities, in a sense, or rehearse the qualities of that next place that you want to go. Isn't that a possible direction for humanity? Is it possible to show people, give them a different kind of an imagination, a different kind of media, a different dream? Could they be influenced that way?
Neale Donald Walsch: Books like Conversations with God became so popular; and were read by, I never would have imagined, seven and a half million people, in 37 languages, precisely because they offer the average person hope of a new idea, of a new relationship between each other and between ourselves and God.
Michael Laitman: We have to elevate humans, we have to raise them. We have to open their minds and open their hearts. If afterwards they discover that if they relate well and lovingly to others, this is really the Divine quality, because God is the law of nature that puts everything into harmony and unity, and love and mutual consideration. This is actually God. This is the Divine. So if a person gets into it, and begins to relate appropriately to everything outside of him, transcends his own ego, and connects and bonds with others, shares the pains of others and the connection with others, and is willing to turn himself into a means for fulfilling others; by that he becomes a part of the Divine.
Neale Donald Walsch: The problem facing humanity today is not a political problem; it's not a financial problem; it's not a military problem. It's obviously a spiritual problem. That is, it has to do with what we believe, what we fundamentally believe to be true about who we are, where we are, why we are where we are, and what are we doing on the Earth. What is the purpose of life itself? Is it possible that the word "Life" and the word "God" could be interchangeable? Is it possible that those two words are really referring to the self-same essence and being?
So what we need right now are leaders or models, just as Michael said, people who will stand up and not only help to write a cultural story, but help to model it in the way that they interact with each other. And this is critical, to find these kinds of models in the political arena, in the arena of commerce, business and industry, and obviously, of course, in religions. And I'm sorry to say, that my observation has been, not exclusively, but somewhat, that sometimes it is the leaders of our major religious movements on the planet who often have a difficult time coalescing and coming together.
Michael Laitman: They are the ones creating the resistance.
Neale Donald Walsch: Yes. Because they would have to give up so many of their fundamentalist beliefs in order to join together in a larger notion of what it means to be alive and who we really are. Nevertheless, there are some courageous models in that community as well. And if we can begin to bring that kind of leadership into spaces like this, using the media, as we are using the media right here, to reach thousands and thousands of people in a single moment; then we have a chance. And I think the chance is a good one to shift the cultural story of humanity; and to turn the pendulum; and to get that seesaw to go the other way. We are reaching a place of a critical mass. We are very close to it, by the way; we're very close to this.
Michael Laitman: And about what is appearing now in the world: Why is it crisis? Because the Divine force is appearing, the force of unity, and we are not connected according to this unity. And then there is a conflict between us and the Divine force that is appearing. So, if we, specifically those people who understand, if we start connecting to that force of unity, as we come closer in our connections, that Divine force will operate all over the world; and the whole world will accept it. The important thing is for us, those who want to understand, to create the right connections. This is because the fact that we don't have the right connection and the willingness to bond is what is causing all the harm in the world. And this is because ordinary people are not required to do anything. They don't understand where we are. We, who understand, and are inactive toward bonding, this is a problem. That's the source of all the evil and suffering in the world. We are the ones to blame. So, with all our might, we have to cause bonding between us, create it from us to the rest of the world.
Neale Donald Walsch: I don't think that the difficulty is one of desire. I think that the difficulty is one of process. In other words, I think that Michael and I could call a meeting and gather fifteen to twenty people. It's just as he said, gather together, not just in this country, but from other countries of the world, twenty, thirty or forty people, a small handful of people, together for some kind of a conclave, some kind of a meeting; we could probably do that in thirty days, if we really had to. But the question is, after the fifteen people sit down together in a room, then what? What is the process? What happens other than just issuing a joint declaration and carry it into the UN?
Michael Laitman: How many special people exist in the world? Maybe a few dozen. But if they unite, they become a power that you cannot ignore and you cannot subdue; and other people cannot not obey them. I think that if we sit together, among us, we'll create a power of bonding that will affect the whole world. Just by internally, in our minds and our hearts, doing it; and that power will act in the world more than any word or declaration. That's one, that's the first thing. And no one will be able to take that away from us. Two, we can then approach the media, United Nations, the Congress, the government. We can act. If you are talking about a big forum, the people hear about it; and each of us has a few million around us, millions of listeners and people who follow what we think and what we say. At the same time, when the crisis is escalating, and it is escalating, it's not easing, the problems are not going away; and at the same time we are talking about how you cannot resolve it except through the right kind of relationships, as we continue for a few months and a few more months; we will gather more and more people. It will be ongoing, like a group that in the end will reach a level of a spiritual government.
Neale Donald Walsch: But in order for us to create a spiritual government, we are going to have to create a new spiritual understanding, a new spiritual basis, where the governed will allow themselves to be governed by the spiritual laws that naturally govern the universe itself.
Michael Laitman: But the government is becoming dysfunctional anyway. What can I say? Look at the G8, G20, G40, whatever Gs you want to have; the poor guys don't know what to do. Look at the United Nations; we have many more problems along the way; and they all stand like little kids not knowing what to do. We don't actually need to be in the government. They can have the honor and the money, but what they need from us is advice on how to teach people. We're not even asking for anything. We're saying it through the media, through the education system; start creating the proper society around every person, so we change humans from within. We'll make them better people. By that, we won't be doing any harm to anyone; it won't be one at the expense of the other. What are we asking after all? On the contrary.
Neale Donald Walsch: You know what I'd love to do? I'll tell you what I would like to do. I would like to create a shadow government, an actual shadow world government, that did not have any authority or any power, but nevertheless met on the regular basis. And they move around from capital to capital, one six month period in New York, then in Moscow, then in whatever. What that shadow government would do, it would suggest and propose; and make it very clear what the solutions where to the five biggest problems facing the world today. Then it would invite the world's people to join in the plebiscite. Now, with the Internet this is quite easy of course; you can do it in a minute, to actually get all the corporations of the world to sponsor it, shame them into it, to sponsor a global plebiscite. How many of you agree on the following legislative proposals? Even though they don't have the force of law behind them, and on the spiritual basis of oneness.
Michael Laitman: We're not going to shame them. On the contrary, we're going to work kind of behind them, to let them be proud of it, to show how right they are, and how good they are. We don't need to shame them.
Neale Donald Walsh: It's easy for me to understand, Michael, why you are so widely respected, honored, and beloved. I'm seeing why because you speak with such gentle persistence, such soft persuasions, such sweet and loving words; and you refuse to go to a place of condemnation or judgment of anyone. I'm very clear that that is what has to happen. I'm not sure; maybe the next time we have our conversation you could help me to understand how I can get my personal energies to be less abrupt, less impatient, less judgmental. I know when I hear myself talking and when I hear you talk, right in this very conversation, I notice a remarkable difference in the energies with which we make the same points. You are going to win those discussions, those arguments; and I'm not going to, because I push people back, and you do not. So, perhaps I'm going to take some classes from you, and learn how to talk and how to communicate with people in a way that says, not only announces, but actually demonstrates, that we are all one. And I'm noticing that, that's why I'm sitting here, smiling. Wow, I could learn a lot from this gentleman.
Michael Laitman: Thank you.
Host: This is wonderful. I want to thank you so much for joining with us. And not only having a discussion, but also a demonstration of what it is that we need to do and what lies before us. I want to thank you for joining us.
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