By Neale Donald Walsch.
There’s not a thing we can do about any of this
Dear Partners on the Quest…
As we gather with others to begin our conversations and to write our new future story, I wonder if we can agree on some common objectives. Here are mine. How do these line up with yours? For my part, I’m hoping that our new story will produce these outcomes…
- An acceptance, at last, of the true identity of all humans as an aspect and an individuation of Divinity.
- The embracing by more and more people—ultimately, millions—of the truth of the Oneness of all life and of humanity.
- An understanding of why we are here upon the earth; a clarity as to the soul’s agenda.
- An end to abject poverty, to death by starvation, and to mass exploitation of people and resources on the earth by those in positions of economic and/or political power.
- An end to the systematic environmental destruction of the planet.
- An end to the domination of our culture by an economic system rooted in competition above cooperation and in the continuing quest for economic growth.
- An end to the endless struggle for Bigger/Better/More.
- An end to all limitations and discriminations holding people back—whether in housing, in the workplace…or in bed.
- The providing, at last, of an opportunity—one that is truly equal—for all people to rise to the highest expression of Self.
- Not the putting into place of social adjustments for the sake of “social correction,” but as a living, on-the-ground demonstration of who we really are as a species.
The start of something big?
It’s important to say now that I’m not talking about our world embracing socialism. I’m not talking about the relinquishing of individual responsibility in favor of a system where the State takes care of everything.
Neither, however, am I talking about pure and simple capitalism, where it’s every person for him- or herself, the rule is survival of the fittest, and the slogan is “may the best one win” in an open marketplace of ruthless competition.
There ought to be a way to engender individual responsibility, make individual greatness possible, and guarantee collective well being, all at the same time.
Well, am I not brilliant to be the first person to muse about that….?
Okay, so we’ve been pondering all this for a few thousand years. Okay. But we keep avoiding, we keep assiduously avoiding, the only area within human experience where the solution can be found: our beliefs.
Currently we believe that we are separate from each other. We also believe that there is an insufficiency of what we need to be happy. As well, we believe that we are other than, and not an individuation of, God (if we believe in a God at all).
But what if we tampered with these notions? What if we experimented a bit with this idea of who we are? And what if we embraced and acted on the belief that we and all other humans are part of the same being, even as the hand and the foot are part of the same body?
Mystics and spiritual teachers have been proposing these ideas for eons, and I’ve talked about them here over and over. Now imagine how exciting it would be if we all adopted these beliefs, and applied them in both our Individual Life and our Collective Life.
If I believed that you and I are One, would I treat you any differently than if my basic understanding is that we are separate from one another? If our Collective Life—our politics and our economics—was based on the idea that all of humanity was One, that every person is part of the same family and that our fates are not simply intertwined, but interconnected, would that have any effect on our group decisions, economic and political?
What if we chose, as a species, to adopt the beingness of singularity and of compassion? If that were our constant choice of Who We Are, can you imagine any of our individual or group behaviors changing?
Why, such choices might just create a whole new way for humanity to experience itself. And that experience might just be so magnificent as to motivate…can I say it?…a revolution. The Last Revolution.
Finding a name for this
So what I’m talking about here is not socialism. And it is not capitalism. It is not about changing our outer economic and political systems, but our inner emotional and spiritual understandings. This, in turn, would lead, quite organically, to a shift in our outward behaviors.
No, this is not socialism; it is not capitalism; neither is it humanism, nor even spiritualism. It’s…
Hey, I had to coin a word. We’ve never an Overhaul of Humanity on such a scale before, based on such a huge internal shift, so there’s no word in the language for what we’re exploring here. It’s kind of a strange sounding word, but it says what I want it to say.
“Beingism” is not based on a set of political principles or economic strategies. Beingism is based upon us being individually responsible and collectively compassionate simultaneously—out of our understanding and embracing of who we are.
I think we need to be clear about something as we move through the years just ahead. There’s not a thing we can do about how the world is today. There’s nothing we can do about how our global society is dominated today by the economic sphere. There’s not a thing we can do about its injustices. There’s nothing we can do about the state of our politics and the world that it has created.
I know that there is nothing we can do because we’ve tried everything. We do this and we do that, we do this and we do that, do this and do that all over again—and all we wind up with is a great big pile of do-do.
So I think we need to get that through our collective noggins. There’s nothing we can do anymore.
What, then, you may ask, are all those “calls to action” in this book about? Ah, good question. My answer is that because our problems won’t be solved by us trying to “do something about them” does not mean that we can’t “be” something with regard to them.
We can. We can “be” caring, we can “be” compassionate, we can “be” generous, we can “be” tolerant and forgiving, we can “be” One With All Others—to offer just a few examples.
When what we are being changes, what we are doing will shift automatically. Our behaviors will adjust themselves.
Let me give you an example—a simple but vivid illustration—of how this works.
When you enter a funeral home, does your behavior change? Of course it does. Even from the car to the front door it starts to change. And once inside, its adjustment is complete and automatic, arising out of the state of being you have adopted; out of the unspoken inner decision you have made about who you are and how you choose to express that.
It is not necessary for those who run the funeral parlor to create rules and post signs about them. (“Speak softly.” “Please be kind to the bereaved.” “Do not steal the flowers.” “Kindly shake hands and give hugs to relatives of the deceased.”)
You know what’s appropriate and you just do it.
Now suppose you made just such an unspoken inner decision about who you are in a larger context? Supposing the entire species made such a decision about what it means to be human? Would it be necessary for those who run the world to create rules and post signs? (“Speak nicely to people.” “Please be kind to those who are suffering.” “Exploitation of those who do not have economic or political power equal to yours is prohibited.”)
No. Rules and signs would be obsolete. You would know what’s appropriate, given who you are, and you would just do it. Laws wouldn’t even be necessary. (Conversations with God tells us that laws are non-existent in highly evolved societies.)
The highest behavior arises out of beingness, not out of obedience. Humanity’s most wonderful responses always reflect what is desired, not what is required.
So coming from “being” does not mean the abandonment of “doing.” It means our doing is sponsored by a different Source.
When action is an expression of “being,” it becomes a powerful demonstration of who we are.
When action is undertaken for “action’s sake,” it rarely achieves anything lasting. When action emerges as the natural expression of what one is being, such action impacts and changes the world.
The power of being can impact the world
Let’s see how all this plays itself out in the real world.
The lady down the street (we’ll call her Delores) decides there is something she must do—something she believes we all must do—for the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying children of the world. She has picked up a pamphlet somewhere and she is on fire. She wants to do something. Life has been good to her. She wants—and this is very sincere—to give back.
Delores manages to talk a few friends into working with her and they hold bake sales and get their kids to have car washes and they do whatever they can to raise funds and provide help for the children she wants to help.
Delores is coming from “doing.” God bless her, she is “doing” some wonderful things. It will not, however, change much. She will touch some lives, and that is very special, and I want to thank Delores. She deserves our appreciative noticing.
Another lady is coming from being. She has embraced a notion of who she is that rises far above “doingness.” It is an idea that she has about herself, not about what she can do.
She feels deep compassion in her heart and chooses to step into the being of that. I am compassion, she says. I am God’s emissary, God’s deliverer of compassion and caring. I am that. This is Who I Am.
She may not have said this in so many words, but this is the place of Pure Being from which she emerges. This beingness moves through her, as her, every time she sees a poor, sick, orphaned, or dying child. And she sees many. She is right where they are. She moves among them and ministers to them. She undertakes this mission not because there is something she feels she must do, but because there is something she deeply chooses to be.
Out of this decision, she touches not just a few, but many. Others see what is happening, and they take up her work for her. Suddenly, with those others joining in, the reach of her efforts spreads around the world.
She becomes known globally as Mother Teresa.
No fair, you might say. She was a saint, for goodness sake. She had no husband or offspring. Delores couldn’t be expected to drop everything and run off to personally care for the children of Calcutta.
No, she couldn’t, and that wasn’t the point I was making. But I was hoping to illustrate the difference in energy produced by the root cause, or the basis, of action. One action emerges from a desire to do something, one emerges from the desire to be something. Beingness produces impact that doingness could only imagine. Beingness spreads the action like wildfire.
That is the point.
If we want to truly change the world, we cannot do it from the outside. Efforts to change our reality will include things we do, that’s certain. But when those efforts start inside of us, as a burning desire to express an aspect of divinity that we choose to be, they inevitably produce doingness that touches many, many people. Why, it may even reach around the world…
Hot dog! We finally get it
Let me tell you about the New Age Hot Dog Vendor on Coney Island. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He goes around saying to people, “I’m the New Age Hot Dog Vendor. Let me make you one with everything.”
People smile and say, “Okay, make me one with relish, lettuce, onions, pickles, mustard, and catsup.” He does, then hands it to them. Then he charges them a crazy amount, like seven dollars and seventy-seven cents, so that no one can hand him precisely what he wants. When they give him a ten dollar bill, or two fives, he thanks them, turns and wheels his cart away.
“Hey!” the people inevitable say, “where’s the change?”
“Change,” the vendor announces, “must come from within.”
The outside starts on the inside
All change in life, including change in our Collective Life, comes from within. And if our Individual Life is experienced as a dyad rather than a triad, we’re going to have trouble creating a Collective Life change. For it is what’s in humanity’s soul, not what’s in humanity’s wallet, that will purchase our freedom from humanity’s suffering.
I’m proposing in this conversation that humanity embrace itself, create itself, express itself, and experience itself based not upon principles guiding what we choose to do, but upon ideals guiding what we choose to be. Doing is an outside thing, being is an inside thing.
It is not my intention to propose a whole new social system, but rather, to place before humanity a possible basis for such a new system, creating—with co-authors from around the world—a proposal for a new set of beliefs, a new cultural story, from which a whole new way of being human, collectively and individually, may quite spontaneously emerge.
That cultural story will contain some new foundational principles to be sure. But mostly it will revolve around a reignited inner commitment to have life come from us, not to us.
I am going to suggest that this is the guiding principle of Beingism.
The idea here is to think about who we believe we are and who we choose to be before an event (such as the death of more children on the planet from starvation) happens, rather than after it has occurred. I have seen evidence that this can impact in a positive way the occurrence itself.
Indeed, by this simple but elegant method we can recreate ourselves anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about Who We Are, both as individuals and as a collective.
So, then, we are clear, yes? I am not proposing a whole new social order. I am proposing a whole new mental construct. It is changes in belief, not behavior, that I’m after. Provide the first and you’ll produce the second.
The difficulty with humanity’s previous attempts at reinventing itself is that we’ve always started with behaviors rather than with beliefs.
We continue to do so.
It is beliefs that allow 400 children to die every day of starvation on this planet. It is beliefs that cause one-third of the world’s people to be destitute. It is beliefs that sentence millions to live in domination.
In the past the call has been to reform the way we act, rather than the way we think. The urgency has been to shift our responses to life, rather than our basis for life. Yet there is only one way to meet the challenges facing humanity:
We must alter, not the way we conduct ourselves, but the way we construct ourselves.
What kind of society are we building? What kind of future are we assembling? How are we teaching our children to form themselves? Are we telling them who they really are, and building them up for the experience of that? Or are we focused not on the construction, but on the destruction, of our highest ideals about life and the highest thoughts we’ve ever had about ourselves?
I shall say again, and shout if from the rooftops: We must choose not what we will do, but what we will be. For all “doingness” proceeds from “beingness,” it is not the other way around. The devastation of humanity has been that we thought it was. We thought it was the other way around.
We have completely and totally mixed up the Be/Do/Have Paradigm, and this has been the single most damaging misunderstanding within the entire human experience.
Life’s most important choice
What you choose to be during the Overhaul of Humanity is the most important choice you will make. You will make it not once, but thousands of times. Your choice will affect your whole life. Both your Individual Life and your Collective Life.
You are deciding on a minute-to-minute basis what you choose to be. You can decide this ahead of time, you can decide this in the here-and-now, or you can decide this after any moment has passed.
You can decide this consciously or unconsciously, but you cannot sidestep the deciding. It is either happening automatically, as a response, or intentionally, as a creation, but it is happening—continuously.
Most people choose what they are going to be unconsciously. They do it without intention, without purpose, without awareness. Beingness is, for them, a reaction they’re experiencing, not an action they’re taking. This is because they think that what one is being results from what one is doing. They don’t understand that it’s the other way around.
Understanding all this thoroughly
The “Be-Do-Have Paradigm,” then, is in summary a way of looking at life. It’s nothing more or less than that. Yet this way of looking at life could change your life—and probably will.
It is precisely because what is true about this paradigm is that most people have it all backward, that when they finally get it straightened out and start looking at it frontward, everything in their life shifts 180-degrees.
Most people (I know I did) start out with the understanding that how life works is like this: Have-Do-Be. That is, when I have the right stuff, I can do the right things, and then I will get to be what I want to be.
When I have good grades I can do the thing called graduate and I can be the thing called employable…might be one example. Here’s another. When I have enough money I can do the thing called buy a house and I can be the thing called secure. Want one more? Here goes: When I have enough time I can do the thing called take a vacation and I can be the thing called rested and relaxed.
This is how my father, my school, my Old Cultural Story told me that life works. The only problem was, I was not getting to be the things I thought I was going to get to be after I had all the things I thought I needed to have and did all the things I thought I needed to do. Or, if I did get to be that, I only got to be it for a short while.
Soon after I got to be “happy” or “secure” or “contented,” “relaxed” or “companioned” or “successful,” I found myself once again unhappy, insecure, and discontented, not relaxed, not companioned, and not successful!
In fact, I wound up stressed, alone, and an utter failure, living as a Street Person for one solid year. No home, two pair of jeans, three shirts, that’s it. That’s it.
So of course it seemed to me as if I did all that I “had to do” for nothing. It felt like wasted effort, and believe me, I resented it.
Then I had the conversations with God experience, and everything changed. God told me that I ended up in the wrong place because I’d started out in the wrong place. What I needed to do was start where I wanted to wind up. I was told to begin at the end.
All creation starts from a place of being, God said, and I had the Process of Creation reversed. The trick in life is not to try to get to be “happy,” get to be “secure,” get to be content (or whatever), but to start out being happy, being secure, being content, and go from there in the living of our daily lives.
Actually, come from there. It is a question of where you are coming from. Remember many years ago when young people used to walk around saying, “Hey, where are you coming from with that, man…?” Well, we’re talking about exactly that. We’re talking about where you’re coming from. Because as we undertake the Overhaul of Humanity, where we’re all coming from is where we’re all going.
But really…can it work…?
Every audience I share this with “gets” all this as soon as I explain it. Eyebrows lift and smiles appear and the energy in the whole room lightens. (That’s what I call “enlightenment!”) But then somebody (thank goodness) is sure to ask, “How do you make this work if you don’t have what you need to have in order to be what you wish to be?”
That’s the entire room’s question, and it’s a fair one. Here’s the answer I always give:
“The idea that there is anything you need to ‘have’ in order to be what you seek to be is false. Beingness depends on nothing—except your decision. You get the decide what you are, and no one gets to tell you otherwise.
“If you say you’re happy, then you’re happy. If you say you’re secure, then you’re secure. If you say you’re content, then you’re content. Who gets to measure these things if it isn’t you?
“You are what you say you are, and your experience is what you say it is. It has nothing to do with what you have. Unless it does. That decision is yours. You can decide that it does or you can decide that it doesn’t.
Yet this much I can tell you. Coming from a state of being, rather than trying to get to a state of being, guarantees that the state of being is experienced instantly—for the simple reason that you are creating it arbitrarily.”
So again, to cement it in…when you come from a state of being, you need to “have” nothing in order to begin the process. That’s the beauty of it. You can have, literally, nothing. You simply select, like the Goddess and the God that you are, a State of Being, and then come from that place in everything you think, say, and do. You “act as if.”
So if you choose to “be” compassionate, or generous, or forgiving, or joyful, simply step into that. Because you’re then thinking, saying, and doing only what a person who is being those things thinks, says and does, you begin attracting the things that compassionate, generous, forgiving, joyful people have without effort.
The same is true of a society, or an entire species, that creates its reality in this way.
Like attracts like. This is a fundamental law of the Universe.
This is the Magnet of Creation. It attracts all the energies that create exterior and physical experience in the phenomenal world.
The Master Key
As we co-create our New Cultural Story I hope we decide that beingness is going to be its basic tenet, its foundational principle. Because who we are and who we choose to be is life’s critical decision, and most people go through their entire lives and never think in these terms. Yet our New Cultural Story could invite people (and, most important, teach children) to think in these terms all the time.
Just you? What about the world?
Now whenever I talk about being v. doing people tend to see this as a very personal, singular, individual thing. It will help them to negotiate the times ahead, no question. But what about the others?
Yet the changing of not only your own life can be effected with this tool, but of life on earth. If that were not true I would hardly spend this much time on it in a conversation about co-creating the Overhaul of Humanity by co-writing a New Cultural Story.
What I’m suggesting here is that the Conversation of the Century include not just discussions about economics, politics, and culture, but explorations of the basis of all life experience. That is the point of having those conversations revolve around the Seven Simple Questions. Once these questions are asked and answered, the stage will have been set, particularly with the last question, for the shift into beingism.
One could decide that one is going to become—not a socialist, not a communist, not a capitalist, not a humanist, and not a spiritualist, but a beingist.
As a beingist, each piece of legislation in the halls of our governments, each business decision in the board rooms of our corporations, each choice of words in the composing of our songs or the writing of our sermons or the making of our television programs or the creation of our movie scripts—yea, every single action we take in every one of the three spheres of human activity—would be preceded by a courageous suggestion and a searing question:
“Let’s take a look at what we are being here. Is this what we want to be?”
POINTS I HOPE YOU WILL REMEMBER…
* Humanity’s New Cultural Story is not a call for a move to socialism.
* The new human will make a shift from Doing to Being in the living of life.
* When what we do emerges from a place of pure being, it can have enormous impact in our world.
* Being can even be the source of all government actions, political choices, and economic decisions. When it is, the world will be transformed.
ACTION I HOPE YOU WILL TAKE…
* Enter into Beingness Training. Every day, every hour if you can manage it, ask yourself one question: What do I want to BE now? It may be more than one thing. But just try one at a time for a while.
* Choose a State of Being (Happy. Compassionate. Sensual. Wise. Caring. Creative. Considerate. Forgiving, etc.) in advance of each approaching moment, then move into that. Make it a decision based on nothing. Allow it to be a decision made out of choice. Pure choice.
* Know that your experience of how you are being does not have to be a reaction to what is going on, it can be a creation of what is going on.
* Discuss this process with the members of your discussion group. Invite them to engage in the Beingness Training.
10 Nov 2015.
© Neale Donald Walsch.
The Storm Before the Calm: Book 1 in the Conversations with Humanity Series – by Neale Donald Walsch. Paperback published 1 October 2011, Emnin Books, Oregon, USA; ISBN-13: 978-1401936921