By Neale Donald Walsch.
The most daring thing that humanity could do right now
Sweet human family…
I’m not sure where this item originally came from, but someone sent it to me in an email and it articulates cleverly and perfectly what I’m saying here:
An important job had to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
I’ve come here to invite you to decide right now not to do “nothing.” Choose to do “something.”
I hope I am not being too redundant when I say that life will not be the same when the Overhaul of Humanity is complete, yet if we all do “something,” the changes will be for the better.
Some souls will have left our planet, that is true (and we deeply honor them for their sacrifice of this present life on behalf of us all), but most souls are going to stay on the earth in order to move evolution in this particular environment forward, and to assist in dealing with the aftermath of events—doing so in such a way that the changes will be for the better.
I don’t personally believe there is much question about whether you and I will do “something” rather than “nothing.” You are ready, and so am I, to take up our positions, to hold up our end, to do our part. And we are in the majority. All we need is to be given something to do. A lot of people just don’t know what they can do, and so they assume there’s nothing they can do. That’s just not true.
There’s plenty to talk about, and that’s all we really have to do. So it can be easy and fun. And here’s more good news: You won’t be alone.
We are here. All of us who are involved in this conversation. And in just a bit I’ll place on the table one possible way that we might leverage the fact that we are all here together.
Then we can all ask together, “Why?” Why are the conditions on our planet today the way they are? People are not asking why either because they have asked the question many times before to no benefit, or, worse yet, because they think they already have the answer.
Some of them think that the answer has to do with the political doctrine of other people. If only people would embrace their political doctrine, everything would work out.
Some of them think that the answer has to do with the religious doctrine of other people. If only people would embrace their religious doctrine, everything would work out.
Some of them think that the answer has to do with the economic doctrine of other people. If only people would embrace their economic doctrine, everything would work out.
All of them are wrong.
The reason our species remains unable to create for all of us on the earth the life that we say we want for all of us on the earth is that most of us are embracing doctrines that are simply not true.
This is what we need to stop doing. It is our cultural story that has to change.
You’ve used the phrase “cultural story” now a number of times. Help me understand exactly what you’re referring to. You’re talking about our religions, right?
Oh, much more than that.
A Cultural Story is a very large tale that we tell our children, and that they tell theirs, of “how it is,” of “who we are,” of “the way things work,” and of the purpose of it all.
It’s the story that was told to us—and that was told to those who told it to us. It’s the narration that we heard every day of our lives, in one form or another.
It is the Passed-Down Understanding.
It is the Inherited Hypothesis.
It is the Standard Supposition.
It is the Memory Myth.
It is a story that provides the foundation for our religions—as well as our political process, our economic system, and all of our social interaction. It influences our lives at every level: our courting and relationship rituals, our sexual mores, our mating and marriage models, our parenting approaches, our conditions of friendship…everything.
Precisely because this story is so pervasive, this is what we should be talking about. Yet it is what so many people will not talk about.
I think it’s because folks know that this is the real problem. Their story is the problem. Yet it is a story that is sacred to them, an oft-told tale to which they fiercely adhere and which they do not intend to relinquish or abandon. To do so would seem to them to be abandoning their ancestors, devaluing their traditions, dishonoring their history.
A wonderful minister whose church I attended nearly 20 years ago, Rev. Terry Cole-Whittaker, used to ask in her Sunday morning sermons, “Who would you have to make ‘wrong’ in order for you to be ‘right’?”
She hit the bull’s eye with that question.
People know that if they change their story—their group story or even their individual story—they will have changed their minds about virtually everything of any importance that any person of any importance in their life has ever said.
And they know that this will affect their sense of who they are, their idea of what is so, even their plans and strategies for where they are going.
Such massive change is very difficult for people. For many people. Perhaps for most people. Most would rather keep things as they are, even if things are not so good, than make a change, because change produces the unknown—and that which people do not know, they often fear.
It is fear that stops most folks from changing. They may not like things the way they are, but at least they know what that is. And so, conversations that clearly could lead to significant change have not been enthusiastically welcomed or well tolerated.
And to give a full answer, I think it’s about more than just fear of the unknown. I think that many people know that if they really sat down together and objectively examined what they are repeating by rote to their children, they would see the folly in it. In a lot of it they would see just how wrong they are, how off base they’ve been, how misguided and mistaken and how incomplete their awareness is.
Thus, humanity appears to be stuck…one conversation from paradise.
We’ll have to do what we’ve never done before
Imagine, a single conversation that could change everything. Many people—perhaps most people—might never have that conversation…unless they were gently encouraged to get into it. That’s where you come in.
But what could one conversation possible reveal or involve that could bring us to paradise?
Well, it would be one conversation, but with many people. I’m saying that if hundreds of people…let’s say thousands, many thousands…found themselves in the same conversation in their small social groups or church gatherings or family parties, whatever…or if many folks were suddenly talking about the same thing on social networking Internet sites, as an example…this single conversation, with many people in many times and places, could result in us ultimately—and relatively quickly, actually—creating paradise on earth.
The seed of this idea was planted when I was sitting around sharing a quiet conversation with a handful of people who’d come to Ashland, Oregon to spend five days with my wife and me at our house for an event that we call The Homecoming.
(Each year a different small group—six to ten people or so—gathers with us for five days, exploring life on a very personal level.)
It was during the August 2010 Homecoming that someone remarked about the sheer power of some questions I’d been posing during our discussions. I called them the Seven Simple Questions.
“The whole world should be invited to ask and answer these questions!”, someone exclaimed.
“Yes,” I agreed, “it sometimes seems to me that if we all just ran around asking these seven simple questions, we’d be just one generation from paradise.”
The ring of that phrase hit all of us at once. After a stunned silence in the room someone in the group, a man from Great Britain, said, “Neale, that’s something that should be said everywhere. You could start a global movement around that.”
And so we did. Those of us in that room did, right then and there. And when some of us came back together for a planning session a few months later, we decided that we were not one generation from paradise…we could easily be just one conversation from paradise.
We simply needed to encourage everyone to have a simple conversation with as many others as they could, asking those Seven Simple Questions.
Out of that idea we created what we called The Conversations Movement. That man from the U.K., a chap named Steve Minchin, became its volunteer worldwide coordinator. And that, my friends, is how things happen. That’s how things that change the world begin.
I have to admit, though, that as good as the whole idea was feeling, I found myself asking what you just asked right now…What could possibly be said in one conversation that would create such an impact that it could begin humanity’s march to Paradise? I mean, will asking seven questions be enough?
Upon deep reflection, here’s what I realized:
Yes. Because those particular questions stimulate explorations of new ideas about who we are, about the real purpose of life, about who and what God is, and about our true relationship with each other. And because the purpose of such a conversation would not be to marginalize, ridicule, or abandon old beliefs, but simply to invite the consideration of new ones.
Yet to extend, and to accept, such an invitation will take courage. Human beings have been willing to consider new ideas—even so-called “heretical” ideas—in virtually every important area of human endeavor…except the most critical area of all: our most important personal and collective beliefs.
In order to consider new beliefs we would have to do what we have routinely done in science, in medicine, and in technology, but have not had the courage to do in religion or in many matters of personal belief. We would have to be willing to question the prior assumption.
This would be the single most daring thing that humanity could do right now.
A formula that works
Change does not come easy in any field. As Max Planck, one of the fathers of quantum physics, once observed:
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
Or, as more whimsically paraphrased, “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
Still, at least Science eventually questions the basis on which a scientific conclusion was reached and, using this device, it one day comes up with even more answers, more brilliant solutions, more magnificent and miraculous outcomes.
Likewise, when Medicine comes up with an answer, those who engage in Medicine in any serious way eventually question the basis on which that conclusion was reached. And using this device, they come up with even more answers, more brilliant solutions, more magnificent and miraculous outcomes.
And so, too, is it in Technology.
This is a formula that works.
Yet with regard to the answers that we derive from Religion and from our other Cultural Beliefs, it doesn’t matter how many funerals there have been. It doesn’t matter how many generations have passed. Most people simply refuse to question the prior assumption. In fact, many have been known to declare that to do so is as act of apostasy.
This is the great tragedy of humanity. This is the greatest stumbling block of our species.
We have made breathtaking, almost unbelievable, advances in technology, medicine, and science precisely because those who practice these disciplines have ultimately avoided this stumbling block, even if it did take time.
Over decades and centuries they have been willing to make one key statement that most people who are officially associated with religious or cultural beliefs dare not make:
It is possible that all we think we know could be wrong.
At the very least it could be incomplete.
If humanity would engage in a global conversation about our religions, our beliefs, and our Cultural Story that began with this key statement, that conversation could result in new ideas that could produce new solutions that would make the advances we have seen in medicine, science, and technology look like child’s play.
We would create the life for which we have dreamed, the outcomes for which we were destined, the human experience for which we were designed.
Many people are actually producing this outcome for themselves individually right now, in the present moment. If they all simply started talking about it, they could spread this outcome to our entire species within one generation—one conversation at a time.
So yes, I think it would be wonderful for all of us talk.
Let me put it more urgently. I think we need to talk.
Not quarrel, not argue, not fight, not contradict or debate or dispute or wrangle, just converse—speaking with a gentle passion, listening with an open mind, sharing with a tolerant and tender heart, exploring with a generous spirit, and concluding with a willing invitation to not let the conversation end, but to talk and to share again, as part of an ongoing exchange that need never end.
Humanity can create, if it so chooses, a new Cultural Story—a fresh set of beliefs about who we are and why we are here and what is really “so” about each other and about life…and yes, even a new—or, to put it a better way, an enlarged—set of beliefs about God, so that Divinity may finally be rendered functional, and not merely doctrinal.
The role you were destined to play
We took a look earlier of the role that human beings have played in bringing about our present circumstance. I also spoke of the role we can play right now in bringing about a change in those circumstances more quickly. Now I want to say something daring about that.
It is a role I believe you have come here to play.
You have come here—to physical form, to this place called Earth, at this particular and critical time in history—to participate in the evolution of our species.
I realize that this may sound grandiose, yet I believe deeply that it’s true. This is not the only reason you are here, of course. You are here for reasons having to do with your own evolution, your own experience. Yet the more of the latter you achieve, the more of the former you desire, for you realize ultimately that they are one and the same.
But let’s talk about it. Let’s see what’s in your head about this.
Do you believe that you arrived here at this time by accident? Do you think that the events occurring all around you are somehow out of sequence? Do you imagine that things are happening that should not be happening?
Do you hold the idea that the timing of your life upon the earth during these crucial passages is a coincidence? Is it your thought that the impeccable synchronization of your arrival with the arrival of This Moment is by chance?
Let me know. Engage in this conversation. We’re talking about it now at www.TheGlobalConversation.com
Here is my own thought about it: No. That is not how life works. In life, nothing happens by chance. Life proceeds out of your intentions for it. Even your intentions before birth. You have a soul. You are much more than simply a body with a mind. And “life” for you extends far beyond the limits of your present physical incarnation.
It you do not believe this you may find it difficult to easily or comfortably embrace the idea that part of your journey on earth is to assist in the evolution of your species.
Such an agenda will feel huge, out of reach, beyond your ability. But it is not. You are very able to offer the gentle assistance life invites you to provide right now. And if you’re willing to offer it, you could truly—I am going to say it again—help to change the world.
POINTS I HOPE YOU WILL REMEMBER…
* If we all agree not to “do nothing” during the Overhaul of Humanity, coming changes will be for the better.
* Most people are embracing doctrines that are simply not true.
* Because our cultural story, which contains those doctrines, is so pervasive, we need to be talking about it
* We could be just one conversation from paradise—if enough of us had that conversation, and ignited it, with others.
* You are destined to play a role in the evolution of our species.
ACTION I HOPE YOU WILL TAKE…
* Decide to learn all that you can about our Old Cultural Story and what it’s been telling us, so that you can discuss it with others.
* Contribute to the writing of proposals for our New Cultural Story by going to the website at www.TheGlobalConversation.com.
* Begin conversations wherever you go in a gentle, congenial way about both the old story and the new—and especially about the Seven Simple Questions, which we will discuss here soon.
8 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