The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

God's Message To The World (Book Review)

What’s a review of a book titled God’s Message To The World1 got to do with a blog dedicated to community development and social justice?  The answer lies in a couple of paragraphs on p 2 of the book.  There, Walsch makes the following observations:
“Not one of the systems we have put into place to make life better on this planet is working.  Wait.  It’s worse.  Not only have the systems we have put into place failed to produce the outcomes for which they were intended – they are actually producing exactly the opposite.”
In the next couple of paragraphs he notes that our political systems are increasing disagreement, our economic systems are increasing the gap between rich and poor, and out ecological systems are increasing environmental degradation.  Furthermore, he notes, our health systems are increasing inequality of access, our educational systems are increasing the knowledge gap, and our social systems are increasing disparity, disharmony, and injustice.

At the heart of these failures, according to Walsch, is that “our spiritual systems are increasing righteousness, intolerance, anger, hatred, violence, and war.”

Why?  What is the fundamental reason for these failures?  The answer lies in the book’s subtitle.

Following the main title God’s Message To The World, is God’s message – You’ve Got Me All Wrong.  Walsch outlines seventeen understandings that we have got wrong about God.

Walsch is best known for his series of books titled Conversations With God, which have sold over 10 million copies worldwide and been translated into 37 languages.  God’s Message To The World is a condensation of many of the messages found in that series of books in Walsch’s own words. 

Before proceeding, for those readers who may be put off by the use of the word God, perhaps you might like to think of God as; the Essential Essence, the Prime Source. The Creator and The Created, First Cause, or Pure Energy.  In the end, God (in Walsch’s understanding) is “made manifest through the experience and the expression of Love.”

Indeed, one of the seventeen misunderstandings about God that our major religious systems teach is that God is a superhuman male being.  Walsch notes that God is not superhuman and certainly not male.

Other misunderstandings outlined by Walsch include:
  • God is the be feared,
  • God demands obedience,
  • God determines what is right and wrong,
  • God honours self-sacrifice, long-suffering, and martyrdom,
  • God is on our side,
  • God is separate from us.
Looking at this short list of just half-a-dozen (from the 17) teachings, it is easy to see how things would change immensely if they were seen for the misunderstandings that they are.  For example, if we no longer believed that God is on our side, and that God honours martyrdom and self-sacrifice, most of the war and violence in the world would cease.

The biggest mistake we have made about God is the final one in the above list – God is separate from us.  Irrespective of our religious belief, or even non-belief, most of our cultural beliefs separate us from God, gods, or the divine.  Furthermore, by extension, these beliefs separate us from each other, and separate us from nature and other sentient beings.  Think about it, this one belief may be the most important belief we need to challenge.  If we were to annul this belief, s Walsh says, “It would change everything about just about everything.”

In this book, Walsch tells us that:
“All things are One Thing.  There is only One Thing, and all things are part of the One Thing there is.”
After enunciating a number of different words we have given to this One Thing, Walsch easily states,
“The One Thing may also be called, simply: Life.” 
This blog has often noted the inter-connectedness of everything, often quoting Thich Nhat Hanh’s notion of inter-being.  This non-separation, this concept of non-other is certainly a theme in my book – Opportunities Emerging.2  A further theme that this blog, and my book, refer to is that the way we approach the world, and the way we attempt to bring about social justice, has less to do with what we do, and more to do with who we are.  In a word, more to do with our consciousness.  These two themes are addressed in a highly accessible, and engaging manner in Walsch’s book.

Read it and ask yourself – have we got God’s message to the world wrong?

1. Walsch, Neale Donald, God’s Message To The World: You’ve Got Me All Wrong.  Rainbow Ridge Books, Virginia, 2014.

2. meder, bruce, Opportunities Emerging: Social Change in a Complex World, Rainbow Juice Publishing, Coffs Harbour, Australia, 2017. 

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