On Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God, and The New Revelations
© 2003 Joseph George Caldwell. All rights reserved. Posted at Internet web sites http://www.foundation.bw and http://www.foundationwebsite.org . May be copied or reposted for non-commercial use, with attribution. (12 April 2003, updated 28 April 2003)
Abstract. In his book, The New Revelations, Neale Donald Walsch asserts his belief that the current world may be solved only by spiritual means. I have a similar, but not identical belief: I believe that the world crisis can be and will be solved by spiritual means, but I would not go so far as to state that it may be solved only by spiritual means. Walsch and I also differ in our views concerning the nature of the crisis. The purpose of this article is to compare Walsch’s views in this matter to my own. The reason why this comparison is interesting is that Walsch arrived at his position and views in a way quite different from the way that I arrived at mine – by “revelation,” in contrast to “reason,” and yet some of the conclusions are similar.
Those of you who have read Can America Survive? and my other writings on the subject of the present and future state of the world know that I have always believed, and stated that I believed, that the solution to the crisis facing the world today (environmental destruction and mass species extinction caused by human overpopulation) will be spiritual in nature. In my early writings, I used the term “religious” more than “spiritual,” and I did not distinguish very much between religion and spirituality. Today, I do distinguish to a greater degree between the two terms, and I am more careful to use the more appropriate term, depending on the context.
I started writing Can America Survive? in 1993 or 1994, when I was working in Malawi, and I finished it, after long delays and two complete rewrites, in 1998. In 2000, my wife and I were vacationing in South Africa – Cape Town, the wine country, and the Garden Route. Near the end of our vacation, we rented a cottage near Cape Town and then a friend’s cottage on the Indian Ocean in the village of Plettenberg Bay. It was there, in those two cottages, that I wrote up a theology relating to overpopulation and planetary management (the Church of Nature).
While on vacation, my wife enjoys shopping, and there are quite a few interesting shops in Plettenberg Bay. I almost always accompany her when she shops in resorts that we visit, and at one point we were in a shop owned and operated by a retired businessman and his wife. He had previously owned a major South African store chain – I no longer remember the name – sold it, and retired to Plett Bay. While my wife looked at clothes, the man and I engaged in conversation. I told him of my interests and beliefs, and he told me that he had recently read a very interesting series of books that he was sure that I would enjoy. I copied down the author’s name and the title of the books – Neale Donald Walsch and Conversations with God, Books 1-3.
Now, I had never heard of the author or the books, but the storeowner seemed so enthusiastic about them that, after leaving his shop, I walked up the street to a local bookstore and purchased them. I did find them interesting, but they were similar to other New Age / New Spirituality material that I had read, and they certainly did not change my point of view relative to religion or spirituality, or anything else. They ended up somewhere on one of my bookshelves in Clearwater, Florida, and that is the last that I thought of either Neale Donald Walsch or his Conversations with God.
Until about a month ago. Each morning, I check the SynEarth Community of Minds website (http://solutions.synearth.net) to read the interesting articles that Dr. Timothy Wilken posts there. On February 14, he posted a short article about E. O. Wilson, the author of Sociobiology. Now, I had purchased that book when it first came out, and I am interested in Wilson’s views, and so I happened to print out the article. I usually do not do this, since the SynEarth articles are long and the printer that I have with me here at my home in Lusaka is a small inkjet printer that is “stressed” just to handle e-mails. I read the article, and at the end of it was another article, “Humanity’s Team,” by Neale Donald Walsch. Now, I read a lot of books, and I buy a lot of books, and the name did not ring a bell, even though I had read three of his books a few years ago. Nevertheless, I skimmed the first few paragraphs of the article, and I was interested to note that the author set forth the view that the world’s current serious problems would not be solved by economic or political or military means, but by spiritual means. Since Walsch’s view was similar in some respects to my own, I made a mental note of the author’s name, but, once again, that was that. At the time, I did not bother to read the entire article.
About a month ago, my wife left for a one-month visit with her daughters in Arizona. It was a spur-of-the-moment trip. We had just returned from a five-week vacation in South America, and neither of us was thinking in terms of another long airplane trip this soon. But one of her daughters was changing jobs and had some free time, and so it was an excellent time to go. It was a Thursday morning that we discussed this – her daughter had e-mailed us the day before that she had accepted the new job – and my wife was on the airplane to the US the next Monday morning (March 3, 2003).
Well, I did not have any personal projects under way at the time, so that following Saturday I visited the Manda Hill Shopping Mall to check out the bookstores for reading material (Lusaka, Zambia, has just one shopping mall, and it has the town’s two book stores). And there I saw, in the “personal development” section, a book by – you guessed it – Neale Donald Walsch. Now it was not one of the Conversations of God (CWG) titles (Books 1-3) that I had read earlier; it was a new title, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God, written in 2002. I purchased it, and read it that weekend.
Early the following week, I was in a health salon that sold “New Age” books, and I was surprised to see Books 2 and 3 of the CWG series. I purchased them and reread them over the next couple of days. I noted from the Introduction to these copies that the CWG books have sold incredibly well – millions of copies, translation into 24 languages, and many months on bestseller lists. (In case you are wondering how I can be so out-of-touch as to not be aware of CWG’s best-seller status, I shall mention that I have worked and lived overseas in third-world countries for much of the past ten years. I am not “up” on best-seller lists, and have little access to large bookstores or libraries. In Lilongwe, there was no bookstore. In Gaborone, one. In Lusaka, where I now live, there are two.)
As I mentioned, the purpose to this article is to relate Walsch’s views on the current world crisis to my own. I am doing this because I find it rather interesting that, although the methodologies employed to arrive at these views are quite different, some of the views are quite similar. Walsch’s approach is “revelatory.” He sits and waits (sometimes for years) for inspiration, and when he gets a thought, he writes it down. My approach is to use reason and logic and systems engineering. I am a scientist (a mathematical statistician, to be exact) and a systems engineer. My approach to solving a problem – either a client’s problem or a personal problem – is to make observations, describe and analyze the problem, develop a mathematical model of the situation (a simplified representation showing major entities and relationships, to assist understanding), synthesize alternative solutions, compare them, and select the solution that seems best overall. As you can see, these two approaches are quite different, yet they have reached conclusions that are in some respects similar. To me, this is interesting, and that is why I decided to write this article.
There is a little more to it, however, than just this. I am also a little struck by the fact that I had forgotten all about Walsch’s work (and his name), and noticed it coincidentally, simply because of my printing out an article about E. O. Wilson. I was also somewhat surprised to find Walsch’s books in the very small bookstores here in Lusaka. I had not remembered the name of his latest book, The New Revelations, from the SynEarth article (since I had not, at the time, read the complete article), and picked it up simply because the name Neale Donald Walsch nudged my memory. I was even more surprised, a couple of days later, to see his CWG books in the health salon. I have been in that store maybe a dozen times since arriving in Lusaka in February of 2002, and have purchased maybe fifty titles there, and never once noticed Walsch’s books there before.
Having completely forgotten Walsch’s name, and having left his books in Florida, I was somewhat surprised at seeing, all of a sudden, his name and books at every turn – in all three book sources that I visit here in Lusaka, and on the Internet as well! If you have read How to Know God by Deepak Chopra, you have read his chapter on “synchronicity.” If you have read James Redfield’s The Celestine Vision, you know how much stock New Agers put in coincidences. If you have read Walsch’s CWG, you will know of his view that nothing in the universe happens by accident – that there are no “coincidences,” in the “unusual random occurrence” sense of the word. I am rather surprised that, despite my definite tendency to forget all about Walsch and CWG, both are being set in front of me on a weekly and daily basis, to the point where I simply can’t ignore them – or forget them! So, I give up! Here are my views on Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God, and The New Revelations!
Before beginning, I will make an observation on “revelation.” I should point out that since, in the final analysis, all things come from God (by definition of God as Creator of all things), all knowledge is ultimately “by revelation.” Even for a scientist, such as Newton or Einstein, the ideas and inspiration come from the Creator. The difference is in how the revelation is viewed and used. In cases of Moses, or Mohammed, or John of Patmos, or Joseph Smith, or Neale Donald Walsch, the revelation is simply passed along from the receiver, as is, without further critical examination or analysis in the light of experience and reason. In the case of Newton or Maxwell or Edison or Einstein or Rudolf Steiner, the ideas and inspiration that are received are subjected to scrutiny and analysis, to establish their experimental or logical validity, and to use to lead to other ideas.
Since all ideas that enter the mind of man are ultimately from God (since we are his creation), perhaps a better terminology would be to refer to revelation in the usual sense as “naïve revelation,” or perhaps “complete revelation.” Naïve revelation is not very interesting. Revelation viewed as clues or hints to solving a problem is part of a very interesting and challenging game of discovery. It is said, for example, that Edison tested 10,000 ideas for an electric light bulb before finally developing a successful version. How boring that process would have been, had he simply been given the solution on the first try!
A naïve revelation may be accepted as true by some people, and not accepted by others. The decision to accept or reject the revelation is rather arbitrary – a matter of “belief” or “faith.” For those personally acquainted with the person who received and disclosed the revelation, that decision may be affected by such things as the charisma or reputation or sincerity of the receiver. For most people, the decision to accept a naïve revelation is an accident of birth (i.e., governed by the religion or culture into which you are born).
As I have noted in earlier writings, a serious problem in accepting “naïve revelation” at face value is the lack of external validity. The person receiving the revelation has no way of objectively determining whether the revelation is a product of his own mind, or a message from some errant spirit, or a “message from God” in the usual sense. Since God is creator of all things (by definition), it follows that all messages are ultimately from him. But that is not to say that they may be true or false, or deceptive or helpful, or malicious or benevolent, or useful or not useful. That assessment is to be determined by reason. From this point of view, it does not matter whether a proposition has been received via a spectacular vision from God (as in the case of Moses), or in the course of a daydream on a bus (as in the case of Einstein’s theory of relativity). Revelations are simply hypotheses, possibilities that may be considered and examined for usefulness.
To the receiver of a naïve revelation (or to anyone else, for that matter), the “truth” of the revelation is totally dependent on whether it is “direct from God” (as opposed to from some creation of God, such as an errant spirit or the “devil”), and, unfortunately, this can never be established. In times past, very few people admitted to having “revelations,” because doing so might have them branded as a heretic and burned at the stake. As Walsch observes, major religions do not allow ordinary followers to promote their own spiritual revelations. But nowadays, millions of people – especially “New Agers” – are having lots of “revelations.” Since so many people obtain messages from “channels” or from reading the Akashic Records, it is hard to put much stock in someone’s “revelations” anymore (since they are ubiquitous, and disclosed without risk). Prophecies from psychics are notoriously unreliable (e.g., Edgar Cayce’s prophecies were often just plain wrong), and predictions from oracles are notoriously misleading. Lacking face validity, revelations are of value only when subjected to critical evaluation.
It is noted that the Jews of Biblical times had an interesting method of establishing the credibility of a revelation, or more specifically, of a prophecy. They approached the task indirectly, by testing the predictive ability of the prophet. They would require the prophet to make, in the name of God, a significant prophecy that could be empirically verified. If the “test” prophecy failed to come true, the prophet was put to death. If the test prophecy came true, the prophet’s revelations were henceforth accepted as credible. Today, however, few people are willing to undergo such a test, so we are forced to rely on reason, logic, and experience to assess the likely worth of a revelation. The Biblical approach to revelation credibility assessment is an ad hominem approach: revelations are trusted or accepted only if they are received from tested sources. It should be recognized, however, that just because a prophet gets a “test case” right does not mean that his next revelation / prophecy may not be completely false. It is necessary to look at the revelation itself, not at the prophet, to establish its validity or usefulness.
Since philosophers (epistemologists) have never satisfactorily solved the problem of how we can know the truth in an absolute sense, the “truth” of revelations is rather irrelevant. Revelation about physical matters, such as Einstein’s theory of relativity, can be and are tested to determine their validity and usefulness. Revelations about spiritual (nonphysical) matters, however, deal with a realm that is subjective, not objective, and their truth (or spiritual source) cannot be resolved by objective means. All that can be determined about them is their usefulness, not their truth (or spiritual source). All that we may know or determine about spiritual revelations is their seeming reasonableness and their usefulness as a guide to living, in light of our experience and knowledge of the situation as we perceive it. To paraphrase General Douglas MacArthur’s famous remark about duty, “As God gives me the grace to know it.”
It does not matter whether a revelation about the physical universe, such as Einstein’s theory of relativity, was proposed (received and passed along) by Einstein or Moses or you or me. The theory stands on its own merits. Its validity is not established by an “ad hominem”-type argument concerning its source. All that matters is whether it stands up to tests of validity. For exactly the same reason, however, it does not matter whether a spiritual revelation is indeed “direct from God,” or from a “disembodied spirit” posing as God. Since it is impossible to tell the two apart, the source of the revelation can never be established, and therefore the apparent source is of no relevance in establishing the validity of the revelation. The value of the revelation is totally dependent on how it stands up to rational scrutiny. And this may be determined either by logical reasoning or practical experience or both.
By “practical experience” is meant experimental or experiential means. For example, in the case of Einstein’s theory of relativity, rational analysis is used to determine implications of the theory. If any of those implications proves false or leads to contradictions, then the theory is false (this is the “false contrapositive” method of establishing proof). In the case of Einstein’s theory, the implications are usually tested by observation or experimentation in the real world. In the case of a revelation concerning spiritual matters, methods of validation include discussion in the light of experience, or putting the tenets or implications of the revelation into practice, and observing the results. If the results are as desired, the revelation “works,” and its credibility is supported, even if its validity is not definitively established.
Now, since you are reading this article, you probably already know of Walsch and the CWG series (since both are mentioned in the title). But in case you don’t, I will give you a brief summary. If you have access to the Internet and you want a brief summary of Walsch’s views on humanity’s crisis, see http://solutions.synearth.net/2003/02/13 . Walsch also maintains a web site at http://www.cwg.org . If you are interested in this subject and have access to a bookstore, I suggest that you purchase the Conversations with God series, both Books 1-3 and The New Revelations. They are available in paperback, and are inexpensive. They are a quick, easy read, since they are in the form of a dialogue between Walsch and God. As you read the following several-page summary of Walsch’s work, keep in mind that the four books contain over a thousand pages, and so there is much detail that I am omitting.
At places in what follows I sometimes comment on Walsch’s views. In such cases, I make it clear what are his views and what is my commentary. Since Walsch’s views are based on revelation, not reason, I try to avoid criticizing them from a rational point of view. In cases in which his views seem at odds with his basic philosophy of “do whatever works to accomplish your objectives,” however, I do offer comments, observations and opinions. It should be kept in mind, however, that Walsch’s view and my view of what constitutes the world crisis are quite different, and so “what works” to achieve our respective objectives for solving that crisis will naturally differ. What criticism I make is generally relative to achieving my objectives, not Wasch’s. A naïve revelation is more or less a “take-it-or-leave-it” sort of thing. Naïve revelation almost always deals with subjective matters whose “truth” that cannot be established objectively, but the issue of “what works” to achieve a specified objective can certainly be addressed objectively.
In a nutshell, Walsch is an advocate of moral relativism (also called humanism, new spiritualism, New Age spiritualism, secularism, and other terms). Walsch’s view is that God created man – and all life – in order for him to enjoy (sense, realize, express, manifest – it is not clear what is the right word here) their experiences, in order to enjoy (etc.) the experience of being “not God.” The fundamental purpose of human life, and indeed of all life, is to experience and enjoy life to the fullest extent possible. “Celebrate! Play the game.” “Deny yourself nothing: self-denial is self-destruction.” “Need nothing, desire everything, choose what shows up.” As Jesus asserted, “I am come so that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Now, while we may truthfully, but rather vacuously, state that God created life for his own purposes, whatever they may be, we do not really know exactly why God created life in general, or human beings in particular. That is, we do not know the particular purpose or role or sequence of events that he may have had in mind. If we accept, as Walsch asserts, that nothing is against the will of God, it follows that he “wanted” to create life, or else he would not have done so. In this sense, he created man and life for his “pleasure,” i.e., for his own reasons, whatever they may have been. In simple terms, the purpose of life is to be lived, or experienced. From observation, it does not appear that life forms are endowed with capabilities that they do not ever use. It would appear, therefore, that the purpose of life is realized most fully when the life experience is realized to its fullest potential. That is Walsch’s view.
God created and is in complete control of the Universe, so nothing can be against his will. Nothing happens against the will of God. In other words, there is no sin. Actions are “right” or “wrong” only with respect to how useful they are in helping you accomplish a particular objective. An action that helps you accomplish a desired objective is “right,” one that does not is “wrong,” relative to accomplishing that objective. This way of determining the rightness or wrongness of an action – moral relativism – is contrasted with “moral absolutism,” in which actions are considered to be intrinsically right or wrong, independent of circumstances. For example, the Ten Commandments is an absolute moral code: under this code, it is wrong, for example, for people to commit murder, no matter what the circumstance. Jesus’ “Golden Rule” (love one another, love God, do unto others as you would have them do unto you) is a relative moral code, since it does not prescribe exactly what to do in all cases, but instead provides a guideline for judging the acceptability of a potential action.
Walsch’s three CWG books are long, and I will make no attempt to cover his material in detail. The essence of Walsch’s approach is to “know the truth, and then live it.” By “knowing the truth,” Walsch basically is referring to knowing yourself and what you want to do, and knowing what will be the likely consequences of a proposed action. By “and then live it,” Walsch is proposing that, as a guide to behavior, we do “what works.” The “rightness” or “wrongness” of an action is determined solely by whether it works to help us achieve our objectives.
I have some observations here. A major problem that one faces with this approach to life is that it is not possible to “know the truth.” For most of the significant situations and decisions that human beings face, it is not possible to know how things will turn out, and therefore it is not possible to know exactly what you really want. There are many dimensions to human feelings and emotions, and the problem of deciding what you want is formidable. Human beings are faced with incomplete and erroneous knowledge and stochastic outcomes. Even when a “correct” decision is made, the results may be unexpected and tragic (e.g., you have your child inoculated, and he dies of a reaction to the vaccine).
You may want very much, for example, to have an extramarital affair with someone, but if you do you risk losing your wife and family. The outcome involves risk, incomplete information and uncertainty; and costs and benefits. (This is the way Life has to be to make it an interesting Game: “The game would be over if you remembered (knew) everything.”) There is no way of “knowing the truth” of this situation or its outcome, and so it is very difficult to know what is the “right” thing to do. Avoiding risk is not satisfying, because then you deny yourself many of the tremendous rewards of life, including spiritual development.
As guidance in “knowing the truth,” Walsch advises one to let his feelings be his guide. “’Feeling good’ is your way of telling yourself that your last thought was truth, that your last word was wisdom, that your last action was love.”
The general approach to Walsch’s moral relativism is reasonable in concept: understand the problem or challenge that you are facing, synthesize alternative solutions (this is a creative activity), evaluate them with respect to your feelings and knowledge, and pick the one that seems best. The difficulty is in the implementation. The devil is in the details!
Under the concept of moral relativism, what “works” best for a single person or family may be quite different from what “works” best for a large organization or for the planet (in mathematical terms, a “local” optimum may differ from a “global” optimum). To judge whether something is good for the human race, Walsch advises to ask yourself the question, “What would happen if everyone did it?”
It should also be recognized that what “works” for one person or culture may be quite different from what “works” for another. For Moslem nations, for example, it “works” to stone adulterous females. In Christian nations, they are simply “forgiven,” and death by stoning would not “work” at all. This is one of the tremendous advantages of moral relativism over absolute morality. The moral code is adapted to the situation and circumstances of the time and place. The difference between relative and absolute morality is somewhat like the difference between English common law and Napoleonic (French) law. The former attempts to set forth general principles of justice, whereas the latter attempts to write down laws for treating each specific instance.
The moral-relativism approach places much more responsibility on the individual than the moral-absolutism approach. For this reason, the former approach nurtures spiritual development to a much greater degree than does the latter.
Walsch’s view is that God needs nothing and demands nothing. God’s law is no law: he requires nothing. Nothing matters. People should “need” nothing, and enjoy everything. Follow your heart, listen to your soul, and hear your self. “Betrayal of yourself in order not to betray another is betrayal nonetheless. It is the highest betrayal.” God does not want our worship, does not need our obedience, and it is not necessary to serve him or worship him or praise him, or even respect him or recognize him or accept him or acknowledge him.
“Self-interest is the highest interest. Everything you do, do for yourself. This is true because you and all others are One. What you do for another, you therefore do for you. What you fail to do for another, you fail to do for you. What is good for another is good for you, and what is bad for another is bad for you.”
It is not possible to destroy the spirit. Since survival (of the spirit) is guaranteed, the “basic instinct” of sentient beings is not survival, but fairness, oneness, and love. The basic instinct of all living things is to express uniqueness, not sameness. Change is the only constant. Impermanence is the only truth. The process of life is a process of re-creation. All of life is constantly re-creating itself anew in each moment of Now. In this process, identicality is impossible, since if a thing is identical, it has not changed at all. The Creator can only create, not duplicate. The Universe and everything in it exists in singular form.
Human beings are triune beings, made up of body, mind, and spirit. Upon physical death, the spiritual essence continues to exist, forever. The “soul,” or individualized manifestation of the Spirit, sees a “Life Review,” and has the option of remaining a disembodied spirit, returning to possess a new life, or merging/recombining with the rest of the Universe and ceasing to exist as a distinguishable entity. (These are my words and paraphrasing of Walsch’s exposition.) Regarding reincarnation: “You choose everything. Your parents, your country of birth. All the circumstances surrounding your reentry.”
Walsch’s “triune” paradigm of the nature of human beings (body, mind, spirit) is a traditional Christian paradigm, and somewhat simpler than that the long-established paradigms of Initiatic Science (e.g., physical body, etheric body, astral body, mental body, causal body, buddhic body, and atmic body). Walsch often does not distinguish between spirit and soul, but it is clear that the spirit, or “life force,” exists forever, whereas the “individualized” or “personalized” soul eventually dissolves, or melds together with the rest of the universal spirit. Life as we know it is God “physicalized.” No soul dies – ever, although it may change form. “The body never ‘dies,’ but merely changes form with the soul.”
Synonyms for God are Life, Love, Unlimited, Eternal, Free. Love has no requirements. All of the Universe, including God, is a single, interrelated entity. “God is all there is, all there ever was, and all there ever will be. There is nothing that is not God, and God is therefore wanting and needing nothing at all.” “There is only one of Us.” “Every soul that was ever created was created At Once. We are all here Now.” “There is no place where another soul ‘ends’ and our ‘begins.’ It’s all the same soul.” Unity is the truth; separatism is the illusion. Life has no beginning or end; it merely extends, creates new forms. All caused effect is ultimately experienced by the Self.
The mind makes decisions and choices from one of at least three interior levels: logic, intuition, and emotion. There are five natural emotions: grief, anger, envy, fear and love. Fear and guilt are enemies – the only enemies – of man. Love and awareness are friends.
Sexual gratification is an end in itself. “Procreation is the happy aftereffect, not the logical forethought, of most human sexual experience.” Nothing is disapproved of by God.
Evil, as is it commonly understood as something “against the will of God,” does not exist (since nothing is against the will of God). Hitler did nothing “wrong” in a moral sense – only in the sense that his actions did not help him achieve his objectives. Hitler “went to Heaven.” There is no devil. What we call “evil” exists so that we may have a context within which to experience good. Nothing is evil or sinful or disapproved of by God – not stealing, or lying, or murder, or suicide, or abortion, or homosexuality / sodomy, or miscegenation, or adultery, or drug addiction, or suppression of minorities or women, or slavery, or child abuse, or religious persecution, or treason, or violence, or war, or killing the last tiger, or genocide, or mass species extinction, or destroying a planet. Not the development or use of weapons of mass destruction. As Shakespeare remarked, “Nothing is evil, but thinking make it so.” The only issue to address in deciding whether to do any of these things is whether doing so helps you achieve your objectives – “what works.” You may rape and kill a child. You may destroy all life on the planet. But nothing is against God’s law, because God’s law is no law. God does not punish. God is Love. You may be hanged or stoned or drawn and quartered by your fellow man for these acts (if that “works” for them), but God does not disapprove of any of them. In fact, since God is everything and creator of all things, he has in fact placed the desires and objectives that you feel in your mind.
My commentary here: Although God does not disapprove of, or punish you for, anything you do, you may yourself sincerely regret an action, if it turns out to be “wrong.” If you kill someone, you may spend the rest of your life in prison. If mankind continues to destroy species at the rate of 30,000 per year, it will inhabit a desolate planet for the next five billion years. By our current actions, we create our future, and then we live with it forever. It is indeed difficult to determine what “works,” and although God may not punish you or remand you to eternal suffering, you may do that to yourself. Walsch believes in reincarnation (as do many religions, including Christianity, until the Catholic Church decided against it). If mankind destroys the biological diversity of the planet, you and others may return to a ruined planet for the next five billion years. That is your / mankind’s choice, that is the future that you / mankind created for yourself.
Walsch asserts that “nothing matters.” Well, that may apply to God, who may simply create a new world or a new universe (a few billion years from now) if this planet we inhabit is ruined. But it certainly does not apply to mankind or any other life form. If you cut off your hand, you will suffer pain and inconvenience the rest of your life. If you murder someone, you may face the gallows, or spend the rest of your life on the run or in prison. If you ruin the planet’s biosphere, you (your soul and the body of your future incarnations) and any others who incarnate here will inhabit a ruined planet. It definitely does matter to you whether you spend the rest of your present life in prison, and all future lives (incarnations) on Earth are on a ruined planet. The future that you create – and it is created for all time – may not affect your spirit very much, but it has a definite effect on your body, and a very long-term effect on your soul.
If, as the song says, we are “making memories,” you may be creating some very bad ones, which will last for all time. On the other hand, if, as Walsch asserts, you may reincarnate at will in any other planet and civilization, you may simply leave the devastation you created on Earth behind and move on to another planet in this galaxy or another and ruin it, too. Or, if God continues to place the “veil of forgetfulness” over us prior to each new incarnation, it does not matter how much we mess up our past (although our futures may become more and more difficult). In that case, all that matters is that he does not require us to come back to Earth, if we totally trash it. If we are all the same soul, as Walsch asserts, then the ruined planet that you create will be experienced by you. These are very serious choices, and to make the right one it is necessary to know the “truth” about reincarnation (and sin and punishment and many other things). But Walsch does not address that.
Many people reading the preceding paragraphs may be surprised concerning the implications of the New Spirituality / New Age approach to morality and behavior. But it is not really “New” at all. These concepts (moral relativism) have been around for a long time. What is really different now is two things. First, the New Age writers are proposing that everyone apply these concepts as a guide to behavior, and that they be applied at an individual level. This is consistent with the radical individualism and radical egalitarianism that is sweeping the planet (see Robert Bork for more on this). What New Agers are proposing is the radical empowerment of the individual, for him to decide on his own morality. And there are some serious problems with that. Not everyone is ready for this, and the world is certainly not ready for it at all.
The second thing that is different now is that, because of the interconnectedness of the world, billions of people are hearing this message of “do whatever works,” and because of the spread of liberal democracy, billions of people now have the freedom to give it a try. New Age knowledge is just the latest version of what was previously called “Occult Knowledge.” But previously, very few people – Initiates – were exposed to it. Now, everyone is.
It is very unfortunate that the New Spiritualists almost always speak in platitudes and generalities, and provide examples that fail to show just where moral relativism can lead. New Spiritualism / New Age writers use as examples social problems and social situations that barely “push the envelope” of human behavior. They use moral relativism to attempt to promote human rights and decency (e.g., to discourage racial and gender discrimination, or homophobia, or violence), and do not point out the serious problems that may arise if an individual applies the approach in general. I wrote a piece (a short story) a few weeks ago exploring what could happen if a happily married couple applied moral relativism to add more excitement to their declining sex life. The results can be very unexpected! (The piece was too “strong” and disturbing, and my wife asked me not to even consider publishing it.)
Walsch and other New Spirituality writers castigate organized religion and nationalism, but they do not realize that most people are not ready for moral relativism applied at the individual level. In fact, it is the fact that each person and each nation on the planet is operating independently – “doing his own thing” – that is destroying the biosphere and causing mass species extinction. Moral relativism may work fine for a large group, such as a community, or even a planet. But for most individuals, it is better that the results of the community’s applying moral relativism be translated into an absolute moral code for the individual. (Some may charge me with élitism here, but I have no problem with that – I do, however, have a problem with where radical individualism and radical egalitarianism and national sovereignty are leading – a destroyed planet.) Ordinary people may be able to handle the moral-relativism approach in simple situations, but it is simply too demanding – and too dangerous – for general use by individuals. And it is here where governments and organized religion can play a vital role. They have the resources and the collective intelligence and judgment to apply these concepts in a prudent fashion. Most individuals do not.
But I have digressed too long here…back to the presentation of Walsch’s views.
Nothing in this universe occurs by accident. There are no coincidences. Nothing occurs at random. Life is not a product of chance. What you think is what you get. What you choose, you experience. All possibilities exist and have already occurred. Now you get to select which one you choose to experience. You don’t always get what you ask, but you always get what you create.
What you think, you create. What you create, you become. What you become, you express. What you express, you experience. What you experience, you are. What you are, you think. This is the cycle of life, the Path, the Process, the Cosmic Wheel.
Motive is everything. Objectives determine outcomes. Life proceeds out of your intentions. Your true intention is revealed in your actions, and your actions are determined by your true intention. As with everything in life (and life itself), it is a circle.
My comments: Once again, since the future that you create today lasts forever, you should take care to ensure that it is one that you really want. Do not delude yourself concerning what you can create. You may be part of God, but you are not God. You may be able to create many things, such as a novel or works of art or music or a family or a career or wealth or your future, but you cannot create life or planets or even rocks. Once you destroy a species, it is gone forever, and you cannot create it again. And once you create your future – your memories, your past – you (and the rest of the universe, since We are all One) are stuck with it forever.
The basic principles of life are functionality, adaptability, and sustainability. All of life exhibits these principles.
The world is full of contradictions. Lack of contradictions is not a necessary ingredient in truth. (This is reminiscent of Gödel’s theorem that a mathematical system of logic may be complete (able to determine the truth of all propositions formulatable within it) or consistent, but not both.)
A major aspect of Walsch’s characterization of God is as a God of Love. This viewpoint is a lynchpin underlying the concept that, as a God of Love, he would never punish us for “transgressions,” or create us to condemn us to eternal suffering. This view of God, of course, is quite different from the Mosaic view of God (Jehovah, who was adapted from a volcano god) as a God of Wrath, who would punish anyone who disobeyed the Ten Commandments with eternal damnation. While that view of God and the absolute morality of the Ten Commandments may have been appropriate for ignorant desert nomads, it was not at all appropriate for “sophisticated” man in an urban social context. That is, of course, why Jesus rejected this approach, threw out the (absolute) Ten Commandments, and issued the (relative) Golden Rule.
At times, Walsch seems a little contradictory. In a discussion about Highly Evolved Beings (“HEBs”), for example, he notes that they lose interest in sex, and they eschew violence and war. From the extreme and endless satisfaction that human beings derive from sex and war, however, it is very evident that God enjoys – loves – these pleasures very much. Apparently God does not qualify as a Highly Evolved Being.
At one point, Walsch asserts that God would never punish us for anything. But on the other hand, if we always “get what we create,” and “we are all one,” and we create a ruined planet and a living hell on Earth, we are all stuck with it for the next five billion years. While five billion years on a ruined planet may not qualify as “eternal damnation,” it is in fact severe punishment, even though it may be (unwittingly?) self-imposed.
In my own scheme of things, I identify seven major aspects of human existence into which I classify, or to which I relate, all human interest and activity: sex, war, exploration / discovery, creation (which includes building, the arts, and development in all sorts of areas), hunting and games (including sports), socializing, and work. Some of these pursuits, while ecstatic (sex, war), cannot continue without cease – Walsch observes this about sex. During periods of non-sex, human beings engage in other activities, such as hunting, games, socialization or work. During periods of non-war, society engages in many other creative activities, such as infrastructure development and the arts. Spiritual development falls into all categories.
One of the challenging features of moral relativism is that it places a lot of responsibility on the individual (for making his own decisions about complex matters), and thereby nurtures his spiritual development. If (and when, in the context of reincarnation) someone is ready for this, it is an excellent and necessary approach to life. The other night I was watching The Odyssey on television (the recent version, starring Armand Assante). At one point, there is an interesting exchange between the goddess Athena and Telemachus, Odysseus’ son. He has asked her for help in locating his long-absent father, and Athena reminds him, “Remember Telemachus, that the gods will not do for man what man can do for himself.” The gods are ready to help man with absolute moral codes when that is all he can handle, and the gods will help man with moral relativism when he is ready for that, too. But not everyone is ready for this at the present stage of his development. (There was another interesting quote in the movie, when Odysseus has finally realized and accepted and acknowledged, after sixteen years of suffering imposed by Poseidon, that he (Odysseus) alone was not responsible for his achievements (e.g., winning the war against Troy). Poseidon tells him, “Without the gods, man is nothing!”)
The above paragraphs have summarized the major points of Walsch’s moral relativism, and have presented a number of quotes from the CWG series. It should be recognized that Walsch is by no means the first person to promote the moral relativism approach to morality and human behavior. It has been and remains a centerpiece of New Age writings, and has been reflected in the writings of New Spiritualism authors since Madame Blavatsky, Alice Bailey and Annie Besant (and by moral philosophers long before them). A recent writer on this topic is David Icke, in his book, And the Truth Shall Set You Free. While Walsch’s format (a dialogue with God) makes for interesting reading, the promotion of moral guidance and other subjective material as a revelation from God is not at all new (e.g., Moses), and has been employed through the ages.
Walsch spends no time in addressing deeper epistemological or metaphysical issues such as the nature of knowledge or truth, and how we can know or establish truth. Walsch provides no arguments to support his views. They are simply “revelations.” He simply states, for example, that reincarnation is a fact. Really? Why should we believe that? He simply states that we can choose all the circumstances surrounding our next incarnation. Why? With Walsch’s approach (naïve revelation) there are no arguments, no justification. Walsch does not present a shred of justification why anyone should accept any of his “revelations.” They are simply “thrown on the table” to view, such as a painting on the wall. He does not present a single reason why anyone should give any credence to his revelations or to the proposals he derives from his revelations.
Walsch’s philosophy is existentialism (def: A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts). But he never uses this term. He emphasizes that we should “know the truth,” but he spends virtually no time addressing the sticky issue of establishing what is the truth and how we can know it (e.g., meditation, logic). These are the issues addressed by epistemology. Existentialism and epistemology and metaphysics have been around for a long time, yet Walsch does not ever use any of these terms, and he does not attempt to address any of the issues within those realms. But those issues are of vital importance if we are to consider accepting any of what Walsch has to say. (There is a massive amount of material available on the topics of epistemology, metaphysics, and existentialism. On the Internet, for example, see Rudolf Steiner’s works, at http://www.elib.com/Steiner/Books/ , or links to works on metaphysics at http://www.cosmiclight.com/links/links2.htm (especially relating to Walsch’s assertion that we are perfect just as we are).
Perhaps I am being a little cynical here, but one has to wonder, since “knowing the truth” is so central to Walsch’s philosophy (“know the truth, and then live it”), why he never spends any time establishing how to do this. Since dealing with this problem is a major and long-established branch of human knowledge (epistemology), why does Walsch not even acknowledge it and refer to it? Is it because using those terms would “scare away” readers? Is it because he has no advice on how to “know the truth”? He calls his book, “The New Revelations,” but existentialism is not new at all (e.g., Sartre). Walsch states, “Motive is everything.” But what is Walsch’s motive? What is Walsch trying to accomplish? What are his objectives?
Having described Walsch’s basic philosophy, I will now discuss his philosophy as it relates more specifically to the environmental crisis facing the planet.
Each of Walsch’s CWG books deals with a realm of human existence. Book 1 deals mainly with interpersonal relationships, Book 2 with global problems, and Book 3 with “universal” issues. In Walsch’s words, Individual Truths, Global Truths, and Universal Truths. The New Revelations (TNR), which is book four of the series, deals specifically with the current crisis the world is facing (as Walsch sees that crisis).
It is apparent from reading CWG Books 1-3 and TNR that Walsch was oblivious to the gravity of the world’s environmental crisis when he wrote CWG Books 1 and 2. Book 2 (published in 1997) purportedly deals with global issues, yet Walsch never mentions the mass species extinction that is taking place and has been the major concern of ecologists and environmentalists and planetary biologists for several decades. At one place, he recognizes (two lines of text) the need to stop the systematic destruction of the Earth’s environment. He did not even mention the destruction of the world’s forests, which, apart from their role as habitat for millions of species, are the source of its oxygen and a primary determinant of weather. He did not even mention global warming, although he does make an incidental remark (in CWG3) that we are “placing dangerous things in our atmosphere.” In CWG3, which was published in 1998, he cites Thom Hartmann’s book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunshine, which was also published in 1998. This book provides an excellent description of the planet’s environmental crisis.
Prior to reading TNR, I imagined that Walsch had been inspired to rewrite CWG2 (“Global Issues”) after being sensitized to the gravity of the environmental issue by reading Hartmann’s book or something similar to it. But that is not the case. The “crisis” that Walsch addresses in TNR is not a “crisis” at all; it is simply current human social issues – violence, abject poverty, human misery, oppression of minorities and women, persecution of homosexuals, and the like. In fact, Walsch seems so fixated on “human rights” that one might easily infer that he is a spokesman for the United Nations! In any event, from the lack of attention that he gives the environmental problem, it is obvious that it is of no real concern to him, whereas other things, such as violence or oppression of homosexuals, are of great concern. This is really amazing, given that an act of violence does not affect mankind’s future choices, but the extermination of a species changes the future and mankind’s options for all time.
Walsch’s view is that the world’s problem is not an economic problem or a political problem or a military problem. It is a spiritual problem, and if it is to be solved it will have to be understood and addressed as such. Walsch believes that it is important to realize that what human society is doing at the present time is not working. But Walsch is clearly thinking only in terms of current social issues, not environmental or ecological ones. He is right that what human society is doing at the present time is not working. It is, in fact, destroying the very planet that we need for our continued existence – although Walsch does not address or even acknowledge this.
Walsch is not very explicit in identifying specifically and exactly what the “world crisis” is. One might conclude what it is from the list of things that a single world government would bring into being: “(1) An end to wars between nations and the settling of disputes by killing; (2) An end to abject poverty, death by starvation, and mass exploitation of people and resources by those of power; (3) An end to the systematic environmental destruction of the Earth; (4) An escape from the endless struggle for bigger, better, more; (5) An opportunity – truly equal – for all people to rise to the highest expression of Self; and (6) An end to all limitations and discriminations holding people back – whether in housing, in the workplace, or in the political system, or in personal sexual relationships.”
At times, one begins to wonder what Walsch really views the “world crisis” to be. It is very evident that he does not consider the environmental issue (environmental destruction, mass species extinction) to be a serious problem. From the large amount of text he devotes to violence, war, and oppression, we might conclude that he believes that that is the problem. But under his philosophy that “nothing matters,” none of these are problems. One might conclude that Walsch simply views that a “loss of spirituality” is the crisis facing humanity. This, of course, is a value judgment. The loss of 30,000 species each year is not – it is an objective fact.
A major point in TNR is that beliefs create behaviors. Walsch therefore asserts that humanity’s current beliefs are responsible for the current planetary crisis, and to solve that crisis it is necessary to abandon those beliefs (religious, philosophical, moral, social, etc.), and replace them with spiritual beliefs that are in line with solving the world’s problems. The world’s crisis will not be solved until humanity abandons the traditional “Right-Wrong” paradigm and adopts the “What Works – What Doesn’t Work” paradigm for deciding on courses of action.
Some of the points made in CWG1-3 and TNR that relate to resolving the world’s current crisis are the following.
Life goes on. “You could not put an end to it if you wanted to. Life will simply adapt to whatever conditions have been created, and continue. Yet if you want life to continue in its present form, if you want life to go on as it has been on Earth, you are going to have to create the adaptation that life now needs to make, rather than simply stand by and watch it occur.”
Evidently Walsch does not distinguish between the “life” of a human being and the “life” of the bacteria turning it into a putrid, rotting mass. Life is life.
“Share enough of the world’s total wealth and resources with all of the world’s people so that no one will want and need what someone else has, and everyone may live in dignity and remove themselves from fear. Create a system for the resolution of differences that eliminates the need for war – even the possibility of it.” Walsch views that the US is in fact such a system, and that a world government should be patterned after the structure of the US government. Really? Pattern world government after the system that chose Clarence Thomas over Robert Bork! Amazing! Walsch should reread Plato’s observations on the great flaws of democracy, e.g., pandering to mankind’s basest common desires, lack of respect for moral or political authority.
“If you are not satisfied with the consciousness of your group, seek to change it.” “Always in life you have before you three choices: (1) You may allow your uncontrolled thoughts to create The Moment; (2) You may allow your creative consciousness to create The Moment; and (3) You may allow the collective consciousness to create The Moment.”
Today’s education is not oriented toward topics that are useful in addressing the world’s crisis. He proposes that schools provide full-length courses in each of the following subjects: Understanding Power, Peaceful Conflict Resolution, Elements of Loving Relationships, Personhood and Self Creation, Body, Mind and Spirit: How They Function, Engaging Creativity, Celebrating Self, Valuing Others, Joyous Sexual Expression, Fairness, Tolerance, Diversities and Similarities, Ethical Economics, Creative Consciousness and Mind Power, Awareness and Wakefulness, Honesty and Responsibilty, Visibility and Transparency, and Science and Spirituality. The “core concepts” of the curriculum should be Awareness, Honesty and Responsibility.”
Walsch proposes a single world government and a single world monetary system (“eliminate money” – or more specifically the “invisibility” of money, and replace it with a single centrally controlled and visible system of credits and debits). He asserts that the United Nations Organization is powerless and useless. He emphasizes the need to share resources and eliminate war. He asserts that every human being has a right to survival. This is a seeming contradiction from his assertion at another point that survival is not a primary concern, since the spirit always survives, the soul lives forever, life (in one form or another) continues forever. He asserts that the primary issue for human beings is not survival, but fairness, oneness, and love.
Walsch’s view is that highly evolved beings live in small communities – “clusters” – not in large cities. “These clusters are not further organized into cities, states, or nations, but each interacts with the others on a co-equal basis. There are no governments as you know them, and no laws. There are councils, or conclaves. Usually of elders. And there are what could best be … translated … as “mutual agreements.” These have been reduced to a Triangular Code: Awareness, Honesty, Responsibility.” Highly evolved beings do not compete, and they share everything. They do not pollute the air, the water, or the land. An HEB is a steward, not an owner. In highly evolved cultures, it’s the species system that matters: all beings, and all species, in the system. It is clear here that Walsch is drawing from views presented in Hartmann’s The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, in which Hartmann discusses the loose structure of tribal social/political organization.
Walsch recognizes that violence and war may be a necessary means for transiting to a state of no violence and no war. “Yet understand that there may still be violence upon the Earth…. Sometimes the only way to avoid a war is to have a war. Sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to do in order to ensure that you won’t have to keep on doing it! Wherever Walsch encounters a seeming contradiction, he refers to it as a “Divine Dichotomy”; in this case, “sometimes the only way to ultimately Be a thing – in this case, ‘peaceful,’ may be, at first, to not be it.”
At one point, Walsch asserts, “Return to spirituality. Forget about religion.” “Religion would have you take its word for it. That is why all religions ultimately fail.” Walsch asserts that many of the beliefs of world religions about God are very wrong, and that organized religions prevent people from developing spiritually. “One of the biggest problems in the world today is organized religion. Organized religions are a problem. They are not a solution, they are a problem.” At another point, however, he emphasizes that religion can play a useful role. “While organized religions and nationalism have been the two main causes of turmoil on the Earth, it is also true that religions and nationalism and cultures and traditions all provide humans with a sense of identity and of community. In other words, there are some things that work and some things that do not work about religion and nationalism.”
To summarize, Walsch’s view is that the beliefs of major world religions, governments, and other social organizations are the root of the planet’s current problems, and that for the planet’s problems to be solved these beliefs must change. And what they must change to is the “new spiritualism” and the “What Works – What Doesn’t Work” paradigm for guiding human actions. “Return to spirituality. Forget about religion.”
While Walsch gives passing recognition to the problem of environmental destruction, it is very apparent that he does not recognize the profound difference between the nature of that problem and the other woes facing mankind. In TNR he focuses almost exclusively on violence and war as the major problems facing humanity. But violence and war and oppression are, in the long term, irrelevant. The human race can engage in massive and continuing wars for years, centuries, or millions of years, and, as long as mass species extinction does not take place, there are no long-term consequences. All options for the future are still open. The human species is free at any time to renounce violence and abandon war, or choose to do a million other things, and the planet is just as biologically diverse and wonderful as it ever was. The fact that millions of people are killed in a war, or the losers become slaves, does not make a whit of difference to mankind or to the planet in the long run. All of the people killed in a war or forced to serve as slaves will be dead 150 years later, and a new set of people will be inhabiting the planet. What matters – the only thing that matters – is that those new people have a full set of options for life. The fact that someone died 150 years earlier is totally irrelevant. The fact that he was killed in war or served as a slave all his life is totally irrelevant. What matters for the long term is that all options remain open for every new human being – and for his future incarnations – for all future time.
But as long as mankind continues to engage in mass species extinction, the future is drastically and permanently altered, and more so each and every day that it continues. Mass species extinction makes a significant and permanent difference in our future – in the future of every single individual. Violence and war and slavery, by themselves, do not. If a species is made extinct by man’s activities, it is removed from the biosphere forever, and the future of life on the planet is changed -- degraded – forever. Yet Walsch concentrates almost solely on war and violence and the “right” of every human being to survival, and ignores the significant, permanent, and long-range problem of mass species extinction. Future human beings, it would appear, in Walsch’s view of the world, do not have a right to enjoy a biologically diverse planet – just to survive on a barren, desolate one.
Multiyear global wars, such as World War I or World War II, have had virtually no impact on the biological diversity of the planet. From the viewpoint of the planet’s ecological health, and the opportunities available to future human beings, it is as if they never happened. The next five billion years will be exactly the same as if they had never happened, since they did not make significant and permanent changes to the biological diversity of the planet – their occurrence has not changed the options available for the millions of generations of human beings to come. The loss of 30,000 species per year, however, has a permanent and substantial effect. It changes things, affects the quality of live, and removes options on planet Earth for the next five billion years. All the war and violence and oppression and slavery in the world, as long as they do not result in species extinction, are irrelevant. They affect only the current generation of Earth’s inhabitants.
Walsch mentions genocide more than once. Some clarification is warranted on this topic (my comments here). The Israelites did not commit genocide in depopulating the Promised Land, and Europeans did not commit genocide in depopulating North and South America after 1492, and Hitler did not commit genocide, and genocide never occurred in Rwanda. But the people of today’s world, by their very existence, are indeed committing genocide – the extermination of 30,000 species per year. You, by being alive, are a participant in genocide. What are you going to do about it?
Walsch fails to make the “main thing” of life on planet Earth the “main thing” of his philosophy or books. He focuses on war as the major “problem” facing mankind. War is not the issue, and war is not a problem, and war is not a crisis. War is a fabulous game – the ultimate game, where the stakes are not only the life and death of the individual, but of whole nations and civilizations. War is fascinating and terrible and marvelous and terrifying and wonderful and glorious and irresistible and necessary. It is also irrelevant. Mass species extinction is the only significant problem facing mankind. Not violence or war or poverty or racial or gender oppression or religious intolerance. None of these will make any difference in the long run. Mass species extinction is the only thing that will make a permanent difference.
Those of you who know my writings know that I am unafraid of war, and that I consider it, along with peace, to be an essential part of human existence. But even I will admit that in today’s world, in which human overpopulation has perverted so many things, war has been perverted, too. In the age of the Greek hoplite citizen-soldier, war was the ultimate test of individual courage and mental and physical prowess. On the African savanna and on the Great Prairie of North America, war was the ultimate test of a man’s character and abilities. But in today’s world of weapons of mass destruction, much war is simply remote killing of large numbers of people, and it is totally absent the opportunity to express bravery and strategy and life-and-death struggle against very difficult odds. Even a woman or a child can press a button and annihilate a large city. It means nothing, and accomplishes no meaningful life experience or spiritual development. Large human numbers and industrial activity have perverted war, just as they have perverted everything else – agriculture, hunting, fishing, geographic discovery. Modern large-scale war is of no greater significance to human spiritual development than is a large sardine-processing operation.
Walsch makes a big thing out of equality of opportunity, yet it is obvious from his context that he is only concerned with equality of opportunity for his current Earth-mates. Mass species extinction denies all future generations the opportunities to enjoy and use the biologically diverse planet that we have today. It is clear that this is totally irrelevant to Walsch. In the words of Garret Hardin, Walsch has “discounted” the value of future generations of human beings and their quality of life to zero.
“You are standing even now at the edge of a Golden Age, the beginning of a Thousand Years of Peace, which could lead to a grander glory for the human species than your heart can now hold the knowing of. This can be your gift to the future. This can be your destiny. You need but choose it.”
I will assume that you are familiar with my views, as I have expressed them in the books and articles at the Foundation websites. Following are the major similarities and differences between Walsch’s views and mine.
Definition of the World’s Crisis. Walsch’s view is that the world’s crisis is a decline in spirituality, and that this has led to much violence, war, oppression, and intolerance. It is the collection of social issues in which mankind is involved that comprise his “crisis.” My view is that mass species extinction is the crisis. The mass species extinction is the direct result of the human population explosion, which has been enabled by access to fossil fuel.
Optimism. Both Walsch and I are very optimistic about the future. I have in fact used a “Golden Age” description of the future similar to that set forth by Walsch, above.
A Spiritual Solution. We agree that the world’s crisis will likely be solved by spiritual means. Walsch’s view is that the problem is a spiritual problem. That may be, but we are dealing with the same human species that lived on the planet for millions of years, and the spiritual development of that species has in fact risen, not declined. The significant change that occurred was that man discovered technology and fossil fuel. The human population began to rise about 1650, when we began to use coal. It has risen from a few hundred million, the level at which it stood for millennia. Man, as all species, reproduces to the maximum extent allowed by the available resources. With the tapping of fossil fuels, human population has soared from a couple of hundred million to over six billion. This human population explosion and the concomitant destruction of the planet are not the result of a decline in human spirituality.
Human spirituality did not instantly and mysteriously decline or change in the past few centuries. The human species is doing what all species do – it is reproducing to match the availability of space and food. And because of the discovery and use of fossil fuels, its numbers are exploding and causing a mass extinction of other species. What is different about the human species, however, and separates it from others is that human beings can recognize what is happening (i.e., the destruction of the biosphere), and they can mobilize to stop it. But they may not. The mass species extinction is the most serious problem ever to face man, and it may mean his extinction or condemnation to a ruined planet. This is a fascinating challenge! The imminent destruction of the planet is not the result of a decline in human spirituality – it is an incredible challenge and opportunity for the human race. It is a life-and-death struggle for the survival of our biosphere-home. The greatest crisis facing mankind is also its greatest challenge and opportunity.
My personal view is that a synarchic world government will solve the problem. Since synarchy was developed and is promoted by spiritualists, it is easy for me to concur that the solution to the world’s problems will be spiritual in nature. Furthermore, if, as in Walsch’s view, the “what works is OK and should be used” paradigm is subsumed into spirituality, then I certainly agree that the solution will be a spiritual one. It may also be that addressing the global crisis will cause a greater awareness of man’s spiritual nature.
The “What Works / What Doesn’t Work” Paradigm for Determining Courses of Action. This approach is in essence the same as the systems engineering approach that I employ.
One World Government. We both agree that a single world government is the only way to go, but the nature and form of that government are radically different in our two views. Walsch proposes a world government patterned along the lines of the US government – liberal, representative democracy. I propose a synarchic (Platonic-“Republic” city/state) planetary government of a “minimal-regret” global population of ten million people – a single-nation high-technology population of five million and a primitive population of five million that is geographically distributed over the globe. A synarchic government is authoritarian, not democratic. It is interesting to note, however, that the primitive population of five million will be a tribal population, exactly as described by Walsch and Hartmann for Highly Evolved Beings. It is the small single-nation synarchic global government that makes the global tribal-community social organization possible.
Economics. Walsch proposes an end to “invisible” money, replacing it with a global and visible system of debits and credits. He proposes limits on earnings and on accumulation and concentration of wealth. I propose to end economics as the basis for human society. Walsch’s views of the world government and economy are very consistent with the Christian “End Times” view, i.e., a single world government, single monetary system, a “Thousand Years of Peace.”
Equality of Opportunity. There is equality of opportunity within the high-technology population and within the primitive population, but not across them. The opportunities within these two societies are totally different. They are not comparable (i.e., like “oranges and apples”), and therefore cannot be said to be equal or unequal. Under a synarchic government, the rights of the individual are secondary to the rights of society, as is the case in all organized societies.
War and Peace. Both Walsch and I envision an end to large-scale, remote-killing war. With the implementation of a minimal-regret population, the primitive-population component will return to war as it always was – waged on a person-to-person level. My views on world peace are probably somewhat different from Walsch’s. I do not view ritualized conflict between primitive tribes as a problem, even when it results in death of individuals. Perhaps Walsch does not, either. I have no problem, either, however, with tribal war, such as the “genocide” as practiced by the Israelites in Biblical times and the Europeans in post-Columbian America, as a means of exploring and occupying better lands. It seems as if Walsch does not have a problem with tribal war, either, as long as it is not what he calls “genocide.” (As remarked earlier, the term “genocide” is often misused. Genocide means the extinction of a genus or species, not the extermination of a subspecies. Genocide is what the human race is doing in tropical rain forests. It is not genocide for one human tribe to annihilate another, since the species is not made extinct. Hitler did not attempt or practice genocide, and what happened in Rwanda was not genocide. If one tribe annihilates another (e.g., when God sent the Israelites to destroy all tribes living in the Promised Land), that is not genocide. A subspecies may have been made extinct, but the extinction of subspecies happens all the time in nature and is unavoidable and very natural. Under normal circumstances it has been estimated that about four species become extinct every year. What is unnatural and cannot continue is for 30,000 species to become extinct every year.)
Education. Our views on education are similar. I would place much more emphasis on social education, as does Walsch. There are a few subjects that I would add to Walsch’s list (given earlier), such as music and the martial arts – and competitive sports!
Theology. The theology of the Church of Nature is natural theology – a theology that might be arrived at by someone raised in a remote area, with no access to world history. The theology of the Church of Nature is similar in a number of respects to Walsch’s theology – God is everything, unitarian view of the universe, no sin, the purpose of life is to be experienced to the fullest. On some issues, such as reincarnation, however, the Church of Nature theology makes no assertion. The soul may continue to exist after death, or it may not. That is entirely God’s choice, not yours, as Walsch asserts. There is little evidence in this physical world to support a conclusion either way. Continued existence of individualized souls and personalities is not at all necessary to realize God’s purpose of enjoying the creation and expression of life, but it adds an interesting dimension to it. Walsch’s view is that the universe consists of only one spirit and soul – “we are all one” – “separateness is an illusion” – in which case it may be argued that the individual soul never existed in the first place. In this case, when someone “remembers” a past incarnation, he is simply getting to view “someone’s” past life, but it is no more “his” than anyone else’s.
Walsch’s “revelations” are presented by him without any reasons or arguments why we should accept them. As you can tell, I have little use for revelation that is not subjected to critical evaluation. (See Rudolf Steiner for more on this topic.) As a result, I would not endorse any of Walsch’s views, based on the exposition presented in his books.
While Walsch presents no arguments showing why any of his views should be accepted, I nevertheless find it interesting that some aspects of his views are similar to some of my views, and that, in addition to the rapid series of coincidences of seeing Walsch’s works, is what motivated me to write this article.
The major similarity in Walsch’s philosophy and mine is the concept of “what works” (what I call systems engineering). The major difference is our views of what constitutes the current world crisis. His view is that the crisis is the widespread violence, war, and oppression, and that this crisis has been caused by a decline in spirituality. My view is that the crisis is the global destruction of the environment and mass species extinction, and that it is being caused by mankind’s tapping of fossil fuels. I believe, as does Walsch, that the resolution of the problem will be determined by what people come to believe, and that the solution will be spiritual/religious in nature.
From the point of view of “what works” to solve the world’s crisis, it is emphasized that Walsch’s view of what constitutes the crisis and my view are quite different. For that reason, our assessment of “what works” to solve the “world crisis” will likely also be (and is) very different. Walsch wants to address current social issues that interest him, with no consideration to what happens to future generations of human being or other species. I want to stop the mass species extinction, so that all future generations of mankind and other species may have the same choices open to them that we (Earth’s current generation) have. What is required to accomplish these very different objectives is not at all the same.