Neale Donald Walsch on Integral Naked - From Heaven to Hell, And Back Again....
February 17, 2008 15:29
Conversatons Between Two Faces of God. Part 2. From Heaven to Hell, and Back Again....
This is a dialogue about one man’s remarkable journey from heaven to hell and back again, from the heights of aspiration to the depths of despair, from golden boy, to homeless transient, to one of God’s most well-known mouth pieces in the modern world—all in all an extraordinary story that you will certainly not want to miss!
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Who: Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger who’s nine Conversations With God books and sixteen additional books on a contemporary understanding of God have touched millions of lives around the globe. He is also the founder of Humanity’s Team, a spiritual movement dedicated to “a civil rights movement for the soul.”
Summary: Many people familiar with Neale’s prolific body of work know that his “Conversations with God” began after a series particularly difficult life events: a fire that destroyed all his belongings, the break-up of his marriage, and suffering a broken neck in a car crash—the combinations of which left him broke, homeless, and living out of a tent at the age of 50. What is less well known is everything that Neale experienced and accomplished before his subsequent career as a world-renowned writer and teacher. As Neale and Ken agree, the preceding five decades of life experience were absolutely essential to Neale’s ability to engage, explore, and interpret a barrage of crushing blows that eventually flowered into a spiritual revelation shared with millions.
Prior to being knocked flat on his back by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Neale lead a life of remarkable success and public renown. In his own words, he was a proverbial golden boy. Throughout his 20s, 30s, and into his 40s, it seemed that he had the “Midas touch,” as success and prosperity seemed to come naturally to him. He originally attended college in Milwaukee, only to leave a year and a half later due to a deep yearning he felt to really begin engaging and experiencing life, rather than just reading about it in a dated textbook. Shortly thereafter he found himself working in the broadcasting field, starting off as a radio announcer soon moved on to become a television news reporter, then went into written journalism where he was eventually given carte blanche to write about anything he wanted. His experience as a news reporter, he felt, was more than enough to compensate for anything he might have missed in college, and found the opportunity to make a living through simply asking questions, one of the most rewarding experiences of his life—as well as preparing him for some of the deeper soul-wrenching inquiries that would come to define his remarkable life in the decades to come.
Neale’s worldly success continued to snowball like this for decades, and the world felt in many ways to be his oyster. In the early nineties he decided to try to strike out on his own and do some work alone, when he was in his late forties. Equipped with the brazen self-confidence that nearly thirty years of consistent success brings, he stepped again into the world, eager to see what imminent success would follow—after all, with the world having been at his fingertips for so long, he never could have seen the other car coming. At least two tons of cold steel and inertia, barreling indifferently along a particular vector of time and space, intersecting perfectly with the trajectory of his entire life—how treacherous, the mathematics of fate….
The car accident was the pinnacle of a perfect storm of circumstance that nearly destroyed him—after decades of success, he suddenly found himself incapacitated, jobless, unable to lift more than a few pounds of weight, and with a rapidly dwindling savings account. It wasn’t too long before Neale found himself on the streets, just over fifty years old, collecting bottles and cans to turn in for five-cent deposits so that he could eat one meal per day at McDonalds. Life could not get any worse for him, and it wasn’t too long before he found himself struggling with the fear that he would never be able to bounce back from the cruel hand he was being dealt, haunted by images of the former “golden boy” who could do no wrong, dead and frozen on the side of the street. Thoroughly victimized by a broken system that should never have allowed him to plummet to these depths of deprivation, Neale was miraculously able to pull himself out of the hell he found himself, eventually finding part-time work at a local radio station.
Interestingly, it was only when he was finally able to climb out of the rubble of his former life that he became truly depressed, and moved into what he identifies as the real dark night of his soul. In other words, after escaping his exterior hell, he fell into his interior hell, and that was infinitely worse. And it was only by so bravely embracing the horrors that lurked within his personal dark night that he was able to finally pull himself together, eventually synthesizing his exterior experiences with his interior experiences, and experiencing a sense of wholeness and completion that he had always felt possible, but had never before known. It was then that he found himself pacing in his apartment at 4:15 in the morning, asking a simple question that would irrevocably change his entire relationship with himself and the world around him: “What does it take to make life work?” He wasn’t just asking himself, and he wasn’t being rhetorical—he wanted an answer from God, and wouldn’t have accepted anything else. But still, he was pretty shocked when God actually answered back....
We hope you enjoy this extraordinary dialogue!
"And the four words on my headstone will simply say: 'Now that was fun...!'"
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