Conversation about God – An Interview with Neale Donald Walsch
By Oliver Klatt
Oliver Klatt: Some weeks ago I saw the movie Conversations with God, and it touched me very much. One could say, following the story of the movie, that you are a kind of expert in being in relationship with God. And so I would like to ask you a few questions about God. First of all: What is God for you?
Neale Donald Walsch: I always answer that question in the same way. It's easier for me to say what God is not, and then what God is. And what I say is: There is nothing that God is not. So when you ask me what God is for me, I find myself wanting to say: Everything. Everything that is, that ever was, that ever will be. The summary of all that is, everything that is seen and everything that is unseen. I don't think that God is a person, a great big person in the sky. I think that God is the essence of life that shapes and forms itself in a thousand different ways, in a million lifetimes, that can be used and focused, and directed and experienced. I think it is the creative force of the universe. I think it is the raw material from which life emerges. In science there is something known as a stem cell. A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell which has not yet decided whether it's gonna be a cell of your brain or a cell of your heart or of your finger nail. But science is learning how to coax, how to manipulate, the raw material of life that we call stem cell to become any cell of the body. I think that God is the stem cell of the universe.
Oliver Klatt: How do you feel the presence of God?
Neale Donald Walsch: I feel the presence of God when I feel the essence of divinity in anything and everything around me. And I don't want to pretend to tell you that I always feel it because I don't. My consciousness is very often closed to that feeling–most of the time. I think that I close my consciousness for the same reason that all people do. I think we close our psychic field so that we can protect ourselves from the vast and unpredictable energies of the universe. But I think there are times when human beings open that field: when they're in love, when they're with another person that they resonate with, when they're having a wonderful experience of any kind. Sometimes, when you're just holding a flower in your hand or looking up at the night sky, something inside of us opens up; the shield is dropped for a moment, and we feel the essence of life in a different way that allows us to experience the presence of God as, I would call it, a functioning, physical reality and not just a mental construct or conceptualization. And that's how I feel God when I do. And there are two ways in which that happens to me: one, sometimes on command when I ask myself to open to this, to the energy that is in the space, in a larger way; and two, spontaneously, when I find myself in a situation which spontaneously opens me to the larger reality that exists all around. I experienced that on the train, coming over here...
Oliver Klatt: Aha...
Neale Donald Walsch: ...there was a young lady who offered us her seat because the three of us wanted to sit at a table together, and she was one person occupying a table for four. She was kind enough to get up and offer us the table, and I was so struck by her generosity. She didn't have to do that, and when I looked at her I was struck by her beauty because her beauty was awesome. She was just a very beautiful woman, inside and out, in her mind and in her body, with a very generous and sweet heart. She was a real sweetheart, ein Schatze... And so my whole psychic space opened up to her and to that experience, and I felt the presence of divinity in that moment. And it was gone in about ten minutes, because life goes on. I think we move in and out of these experiences for various reasons, either spontaneous reasons or intentional reasons. But the trick is to stay in that place as long as one can.
Oliver Klatt: Thank you for sharing this little story. I have another question: Did you ever experience God from a certain religious perspective?
Neale Donald Walsch: Yes. I grew up as a Roman Catholic, and as a very young boy I felt the presence of divinity in my life through the experiences that I had in connection with the Catholic church. I was an altar boy, I took catechism classes and religion classes, and I prayed a lot as a child. My family was very religious, and I really experienced God... (a hesitant pause)
Oliver Klatt: You really experienced God? ...
Neale Donald Walsch: I thought I did... I mean, a child experiences everything in a childish way... I thought I was experiencing a kind of warmth and a kind of embracing love that I described earlier...
Oliver Klatt: So would you say that this way of experiencing God had a lack of truth, at that time?
Neale Donald Walsch: I began to hear what I was being taught about God, by the priest and my parish, and my exterior teaching did not coincide, did not match up, with my interior reality. And as they were teaching me about that God I was thinking: Who are they talking about? This was not how I experienced God. So I gradually began to move away from the God of organized religion, as I experienced that this particular interpretation of Deity did not feel united with my interior reality.
Oliver Klatt: Would you agree when I say: God is in every living thing?
Neale Donald Walsch: Yes, of course, I just said that. There is nothing that is not God.
Oliver Klatt: Thank you for the interview.
Berlin, October 2007