The Only Thing That Matters: An Interview with Author Neale Donald Walsch
Dec 03, 2012 03:50PM
By By Karen Moore
“You can’t get to where you’re not going.”
It’s not often that someone summarizes the problems of the world in eight words, but Neale Donald Walsch feels he has done it.
The author of seven New York Times best sellers, Walsch sat for an interview recently in his modest hilltop home in Ashland, Oregon. What is wrong with the world? he was asked. Why is humanity having so much trouble just making life work?
He didn’t hesitate with his reply.
“It’s really quite simple. We’re all going after the wrong thing.”
And that is?
“The whole world wants peace, prosperity, security, opportunity, joyful self-expression, happiness, and love. Everybody on the planet wants that. We want it so bad, we’re willing to kill each other for it. In fact, that’s exactly what we are doing.”
The reason we can’t get what we want, the writer says, that is these are the wrong objectives.
“In the first quarter of the 21st century, nine-tenths of the world’s people are still deprived of these things...and most of the one-tenth who are not are still not peaceful and happy, because they’re spending their time worrying about how to hold onto what they have, or trying to figure out a way to increase it.”
So the problem is greed?
No, Walsch says. “Greed is good. Greed is simply the intense and selfish desire for something. It is such desire that fuels the process of evolution. And the idea that selfishness is ‘bad’ is totally out of harmony with that process.
“The problem is that we are greedy for the wrong things. We are reaching for the wrong stuff. We’re heading in the wrong direction. We’re trying to get to one place, and we’re racing to another. We’re trying to get to a place of inner peace, quiet joy, global harmony, and deep, sweet happiness, and we’re thinking we can get there by scrambling for outer accouterment.
“We’ve been doing this scrambling now for thousands of years. But it’s not working, because you can’t get to where you’re not going. We’re yearning for, we’re greedy for, the wrong stuff.”
“When we change the focus of our greed, we will change the forces that work against us achieving what we say we want—and the whole world will change. When we change the idea that the so-called ‘Self’ includes only us, we will find that true selfishness serves all of humanity.
“This is the transformation for which the entire human race yearns, and which is now within our grasp at last, after thousands of years of searching and reaching for it.”
Walsch declares himself to be very sure that this dramatic shift in our objectives, in both our collective and individual lives, is our crucial next step, and that is the point he makes in his latest book, The Only Thing That Matters, just out from Hay House.
Perhaps best known for a series of books under the title Conversations with God that has sold millions worldwide and has been translated into 37 languages, Walsch says that his latest writing, too, has been informed by what he calls his “continuing dialogue” with Deity. While the information in his most recent books has not been presented in a conversational format, he asserts that it has all come from On High.
And no, he doesn’t even flinch when he says that.
“All of us are having conversations with God all the time,” he declares. “We’re simply calling them something else. Serendipity, inspiration, women’s intuition, a stroke of genius...we’ll use whatever words or catch phrases we can devise to avoid saying what is really happening, because we’ve made it culturally unacceptable to announce that God is talking directly to us. But that doesn’t alter what is happening,. It merely renames it.”
Leaning back in a butter-soft leather chair facing picture windows offering a view of mountains on every side, Walsch says he is comfortable producing books with titles such as The Only Thing That Matters and Conversations with God.
“Because it is ‘the only thing that matters’,” he smiles warmly, “and they are conversations with God. The worst thing an author can do, I should think, would be to tone down his words to meet someone else’s standards of acceptability.”
Walsch asserts that it is the “agenda of the soul” that God invites us to pay attention to, and that, were we to follow this agenda, every one of the other things we have been striving and struggling for “would come to us automatically.”
He smiles again. “Someone else said this much better than I ever could. He put it something like this: ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all else will be added unto you’.”
And just how does one do that?, he was asked.
“Ah, well,” he winks, “how much time do you have? Entire books have been written on that topic. Hundreds of them. And here’s one.” He holds up a copy of The Only Thing That Matters.
Yet if there are so many other books on the subject, why add another to the pile?
“I think we are more ready and able now than ever to hear this message—and to apply it,” Walsch assesses. “Our past has been a struggle to simply survive. That is, to just deal with the exigencies of every day life on the physical level. Yet now our species has evolved to the point where we can take care of most of that, globally, if we want to. We have the technology and the wherewithal to do that.
“We also are able to communicate with one another instantly. Billions of us can connect daily—which we could never do before. So now we can hear, feel, share, and accept God’s ancient message, and put it ‘on the ground’ much more rapidly and ubiquitously than ever before. All we need now is to hear that message in contemporary terms, so that we can understand it in ways that relate to our own experience.
“That’s what my writing is all about.”