Reviewed by Bob Pajer
“God is always speaking to us, and he wants us to hear him. The first time I heard him in my bedroom—and I really did hear him—I wasn’t looking to hear from God. I thought he was a hoax. But he spoke anyway because he longs—God himself longs!—for conversations with his family and friends.” So Samuel C. Williamson speaks to his readers in “Hearing God in Conversation. How to recognize His voice everywhere.” 2016 Kregel Publications.
Despite the “we” connotation, I share with Williamson the idea God wants a relationship with all His children. That is of course as I understand God, dualistically. Meaning I can’t really see or hear God, but I do get a sense of God’s presence in my mind, a presence that applies to everyone: of all colors, cultures, ethnicity, nationality, those who are in trouble, those who suffer, all who hunger, all who have made decisions that have taken a violent twist, those who believe they have a path to God (and others who don’t), all who thirst for Oneness with Him, all who don’t…….everyone. God’s world, unlike the dream we dream as a world, is inclusive. God loves His creation no matter what I see as the world. God weeps for His children and their insanity of leaving their home in Him — all thoughts in a separated dualistic world. In truth, “God is, and we cease to speak.” (A Course in Miracles.”, ACIM.) I think the “we” means we and God cease to speak, for speaking is a lesser and very limited form of communication. God has better ideas.
The problem in hearing God’s voice is that He can’t speak to us. Not because He does not want to communicate, but because He doesn’t speak. Speaking is our thing, not God’s. Communion is God’s connection to us, and it is silent. We can’t bring God into our world, the one we make up to keep God out. Or, to try to get Him to come down hear and make nice. God is God and we are a part of His mind, where communication is perfect. We have chosen separation from God and there’s no way to connect with Him in a world that has made this choice. And God cannot lower His power to meet join us where we only seem to be.
God is, and we cease to speak. My relationship with God is silence. Like the rests in music, which are equal to the sound in music. Take the rests out of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, perhaps the greatest musical work given to us, and there is just chaos. God’s creation needs silence, as a part of communication. We, His children, decided not to speak with him ever again, in separation and continue this way as long as we think we can have our way of specialness in a made up world of insanity. Alas, God has other plans of course. God suffers our decision not to communicate with Him and lets us rest, like sleep off a bad hangover.
All dualistic statements, put forth, hopefully, to help us return to our original state of mind, which is non-dualism, pure consciousness, holy perception, and Oneness, where neither ends of this false dichotomy mean anything at all.
The key to separation from God is duality. We even breath duality here: in and out. Nothing in this world is non-dual. However, what we think here, while dual thinking, can open our minds to non-duality, and our state of Oneness with our creator, a state that has always been, has never not been, and will always be. We only dream otherwise. And God’s plan for salvation through the Holy Spirit is the only non-duality there is on earth, or in our dream of where we are. God will never come to us, we must go to Him. According to His plan. The Holy Trinity is set up for exactly that and nothing else. In a Oneness beyond our imagination, in a dualistic insane thought system, lead by the ego, we think otherwise, but it does not matter. The Holy Spirit’s role is solely one: to bring us home. Again, us being everyone. No need to worry, there is no way to exclude yourself, nor anyone else. Because this is God’s will, it will be done. “Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.” Noting that Jesus says in his prayer, simply, “in earth”, not “as it is in earth.” Because it isn’t.
We are in a state of mind, whereas if you are breathing in this world, you are dreaming a dream of separation. That is a real bummer for the only connection there is in the universe: we to God in unity with Christ and, while we seem to be here, the Holy Spirit, who does speak to us. In fact, He does whatever he decides, in order to get our attention, for which the Holy Trinity was formed, as God’s Answer to our decision to do something we, in reality can’t do, separate from our Source. Jesus said, John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—“ Which means I believe, Jesus knew we haven’t direct contact with God, but we have for as long as we need it, His Voice, His Redeemer, Corrector in the Holy Spirit. Who speaks to us according to God’s plan, but through Christ in our own hearts. And by our own means we will hear His voice through Christ and know it is His Voice. The important point is that Voice is already in us. Christ and God are One, in all of us — every person on earth, and that is Jesus’ message made clear, we are, above all, to love one another to hear it. To see one another as remaining how God created all of us, as a Son/Daughtership of God, Christ. We are all His Children in Him. Everyone an integral part of All. We will all return to Him, as we get our unified act together. Which, again, Jesus means in his prayer, “in earth as it is in heaven”, a dual thought in itself, but praying for non-duality.
If we are not listening and being vigilant of the works of the Holy Spirit it is difficult for us to think we have communication with God. That is why the Holy Spirit focuses on our only function in this world, forgiveness, seeing the world of the Holy Spirit in each other. The dangers of thinking, wondering if we are hearing God, are well put in Williamson’s book. I believe if we hear truth we cannot not know it is truth, for truth is true. For all. God does communicate with us. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us, “Revelation is intensely personal and cannot be meaningfully translated. (My italics.) That is why any attempt to describe it in words is impossible. Revelation induces only experience. Miracles, on the other hand, induce action……….Revelation is literally unspeakable because it is an experience of unspeakable love.” I believe these are Jesus’ words. And he is laying out the roles of each part of the Trinity, that is One. Jesus is in charge of miracles. The Holy Spirit is in charge of communication between God and the Son. Should you believe you are on the receiving end of revelation, enjoy the experience. But I think we should all know we are “out of communication” with God, a blank spot in, as we perceive it, creation being the most intimate of realities, God’s love for His children.
Separation from God is impossible. But , if we think we got it, so powerful is the Mind of God, where we find we can think what we want. Yet Life teaches us the consequences of our thinking, from which no thought goes by without an effect. Every instant of wrong-mindedness is corrected by the Holy Spirit, through our relationships in this world that we have chosen to stake out a life. Suffering often is a part of correction, not by God’s choice, however, but by ours.
In 1987, I remember the day and moment when I awakened to a clear message from somewhere. I was just beginning my conscious intent to find a spiritual path. I had begun hanging around with a bunch of people who had everything I wanted: compassion, faith, hopefulness, and goodness — and they were all happy, it seemed as apart of living a forgiving way of life. Sin was not a part of their lives, although mistakes were dealt with by amends, change. At times they laughed irreverently, as though God had a sense of humor. They never took themselves too seriously it seemed, but they were clearly serious about Jesus’ teaching, although they never referred to that as such. They were truly about the Father’s work in their lives. I saw them cry with grief. But even that turned grief into love. There are no big deals , they would say. One said to me one day, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” Lovely, I thought. Their forgiveness practice was more about overlooking mistakes, while holding a steely glare at what you are: God’s perfect child, within God’s plan for salvation, in the light because darkness cannot be. I simply wanted what they had and just had to figure out how to get it for myself. They were all beyond what I had known as religion. I came to know they all had a common way with a spiritual goal: a spiritual program which with their own concept of God, and above all they walked the talk. And should they miss that, they could always choose again. And I watched them do exactly that. And everyone was welcome, even if you had your last meal with as a bottle of whiskey and something out of the trash can on the street. Above all, however, as I stated earlier, they were all happy, an experience of happiness that would follow them into their darkest moments. In their words, “life can deal you a card at anytime, which you alone would have to deal with, but you will never be asked to deal with it alone.” Or, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Or, simply if something’s not right, you will know, and you can choose again.” “Everyone is welcome.”
So in order to follow them, to have what they had, I decided to embark on a spiritual program. The first thing that came to me was, “read the Bible, Bob” So I bought the whole Bible on tape. To follow through with my plan I made a vow to listen to one tape a night before sleeping. Starting with Genesis, I liked the “And it was good” part. Then it came to Adam and Eve, and what I heard was the so called fall of man — what I think now to be the fall of God as well. Man and God have fallen together in Genesis, at least according to man. Man into disobedience, God into anger and condemnation. The latter to the point of kicking this poor naked man and his wife out of the garden, place two angry angels at the gate, and tell man you are no longer wanted here. I stopped reading and sadly said to myself, “You (?) have got to do better than that to have me go on with my intent to read the Bible and become spiritual.” And I went to sleep. I did not think about who I might be addressing my comment to.
When I awakened (good word to describe what happened) I hear a voice sort of not a voice. Perhaps my voice saying some things. I was not sure I wanted to listen. But it seemed to keep talking and I did not seem to be able to turn it off. Deeply personal and very pointed at Bob. The voice told the following story to me as I lay there still half asleep. It was an intense moment but peaceful. In the best way I can tell you, as I don’t remember the words exactly, it went on to tell me this:
Adam, where are you? God was really saying, in the phrase, “Where are you?, knowing of course exactly where Adam was, in your relationship to Me? Now Adam was still in the middle of God’s gift of Creation. He had it all, yet there was nothing to have. Having did not mean anything but Being. God gives all, I pondered later. There’s nothing to have. There’s nothing to search for, there’s nothing to become. We are. As He is. There are no words. Just an outpouring of love, which we cannot, and will never understand in a dual world. So already the ego god is right on the edge of becoming real. for us. Adam is in God’s heart. Adam now makes our mistake, the mistake we make everyday we breath here. Fear enters his mind upon a decision to hide something from someone. He could have said, “God I messed up. Made a mistake. Temptation was too much for me. Sorry, but I know I don’t have to tell you that because You don’t condemn. And perhaps laughed a bit at the silly idea that God would now stop loving him. Instead he hides some more, God finds him again and Adam makes the one fatal mistake he never had to make but thought he did because he changed his mind about God. This, now new god suspects his guilt. Calls it out and Adam gets really scared now and blames his wife. (At this very moment couples therapy started as a real business) As guilt entered his mind it did a few things we live with today. What I did, God will not forgive. God now becomes what he is not, and so does everyone else, all very suitable to the ego: a condemning and punishing something out there that is going to find us and kill us. If we’re lucky because the pain of separation is so great it is almost beyond most of us who feel separation. Adam of course senses all this and his blame of his wife is meant somehow deep down in his expanding ego, the answer. Blame the other person. I am never really lost until I blame someone else. Its enough I blame my self, but when I put it on another of God’s children, there are serious consequences to come, which we minimize, or don’t see at all. We think we think apart from God and everyone else. That is what dualism is. And there were consequences. Without a merciful God we are lost. We become God.
Fortunately God always loves his children, there is nothing we can do to change that in any way. God will simply not change His mind about us.
Not all of this was unfolding in that moment upon awakening in 1987, but most of it. I had to think it many times and have many, many more experiences to connect the dots and fill in what I was being taught. Butt the Holy Spirit, who I’ve learned with always answer, if I ask. That is His job, open to everyone.
So the story has come to mean to me, that this happened in God’s child’s mind, as it unfolded God changed for this human being. And it changed because Adam forgot to laugh. You can’t change God, although Adam got scared, as we do. If you do try, you will seem to change yourself, and all of your relationships as well. We cannot think of God one way and our brothers and sisters another way. Jesus message is simple yet always unequivocal. Practical and not esoteric. It is the message I saw in my friends. Adam thought that God would punish him so he brought God down to our level and made him into a punishing being who would take away our eternal connection to Him. A frightening thought and a mistake. I believe it is being corrected, but not by us. God put Adam asleep, it says in the Bible, and he was never awakened there. We I’m sure will hear somehow come to know how this will take place, as we let go and let God. The Holy Sprit is with for this purpose. As Jesus tells us.
Was it God who spoke to me that morning in 1987. Well, God is in everything. However, its easier for me to see it as one moment when I asked for something, something very beautiful. Although I did not know the beauty of it until I seemed to hear it. The Holy Spirit will answer every call to beauty and truth here. That is His function. He knows everything about us. Don’t ask me how that can be so, but it is. And he knows everything in God’s Mind, because we are there. All are called to this in their own personal way.
Our author has a beautiful message he tells us in his own way. Whenever I hear a brother say he’s listening to God, I have the deepest respect for the thought. No matter how he tells it.
I don’t agree with how it came, I do agree with Williamson’s message on the other hand, but not all of it. I doubt its God speaking with regard to Christianity. God is not a Christian. He is everyone. If we listen carefully, God is in every Yoga class, (see Appendix B, p. 208.) as well as St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, WA and His message is always the same, forgiveness is your only function in the world you made and it is your only way home to me. I think God would also tell us, we haven’t done anything that will change His mind about His children in their dreams. The end of suffering is not a loss and when we all awaken we’ll just know dreams aren’t real. Not that we don’t suffer, but that is not of God. We could choose otherwise, but don’t. Perhaps He would also say, you are exactly as I created you and the only thing you have ever done that matters is love, for that is the only truth, even in your made up world. Love matters. God would say if he spoke, I will keep your eternal home safe for you. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, as these cannot be hidden, and you will choose to find your way to dwelling in my house forever.”
Review by Bob Pajer ©
I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.