Last week I promised that in this issue of the Bulletin we would take a look at just what I have learned through my conversations with God, my friendship with God, and my experience of communion with God. Let me begin that discourse that telling you that first, I have learned what the Holy Experience truly is. And I have learned how to move into that experience at will. I have not yet learned how to sustain it. I'm not even sure if I want to.
I'll explain that later. I know that, just hanging out there, it seems like an unusual thing to say, but all of this is what will be discussed here. And all of this discussion will, I hope, help you to move closer to your own experience, and to unveil your own truth, about these things.
I should like now to offer my personal definition of the Holy Experience, so that we can know just what it is, exactly, that I am going to be talking about. This definition kind of popped out of me unexpectedly a few years ago as I was responding to a question e-mailed to me by a man in Maine. Let me share with you that question and answer, and you'll see what I mean.
(The question at first seems to have nothing to do with the topic at hand. But wait. It was in the process of responding to the question that my definition of the Holy Experience popped out. See what you think.)
Hi Neale...I have been struggling recently with what "mission" means in a pluralistic world. Mission has had so many different objectives throughout history-- converting others to the "true" faith; extending God's kingdom; doing justice for the poor and marginalized, etc.
Our world seems very near-sighted when people consider their faith the "true" faith and others as condemned to Hell. Since all of us have a somewhat different conception of what "faith" means, what is each person's responsibility to other people-- both people of other faiths and people of no faith?
Should we try to show others what we consider "true", or should we only try to share with others, learn from them, and build reciprocal friendships? What does it mean to be a person of faith -- ie: Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or otherwise--in a pluralistic world?
Thanks for any comments or insights you may have, Neale! Matt, Natick, MA
Dear Matt...The only True Mission is the mission of the individual soul. Every other mission is an extension of that. The mission of the individual soul is to know itself as it truly is, in its own experience. I have learned that this is accomplished by creating itself as that. Life is not a process of discovery; it is a process of creation.
The hitch here is that in Ultimate Reality it is not possible to create anything, because everything that ever was, is now, and ever will be has already been created. So the Process of Creation turns out to be, after all, not actually Creation, but Perception. It is about seeing what has always been there, knowing what has always been true, and experiencing the Only Experience There Is. We call this, loosely: God. The challenge here is that one cannot experience The Only Experience There Is if it is, in fact, the "only experience" there is. This is because in the absence of That Which Is Not, That Which IS, is not.
Put simply, in the absence of darkness, the light is not. In the absence of cold, hot is not. In the absence of up, there is no such thing as down. None of these things can be experienced in anything other than relative terms. The same is true about God. And, for that matter, about the human soul. For the human soul IS God, in part. It is a holy and individuated aspect of That Which IS.
If there is nothing in the environment, if there is nothing in the vicinity, that is NOT That Which IS, then That Which IS cannot be known experientially. If there is nothing in existence that is NOT That Which IS (and by definition this would have to be true), then That Which IS cannot be experienced. Nor can any Part of It. It can be fully known, but it cannot be experienced. That is, it cannot be known in relative terms (which is what "experience" is), but only in absolute terms. This is what is true in the Realm of the Absolute.
Remember this always: EXPERIENCE IS THE KNOWING OF THE ABSOLUTE IN RELATIVE TERMS.
This remarkable discussion will continue here next week.
Love and Hugs,
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.