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SUMMER 2013
M
any of you will be familiar with
author Neale Donald Walsch.
His “Conversations With God”
books were on the “New York Times”
bestseller list for weeks. His message
this time is a stark statistic: 98% of the
world’s people are spending 98% of
their time on things that don’t matter.
So his latest book is a guide to find,
“The Only Thing That Matters.”
He starts with the basic premise that
humans are three-part beings: Body,
Mind and Soul. Each of these aspects
of you has functions, but only one has
an agenda: The Soul. The Soul already
knows what really matters, so it’s a pro-
cess of remembering, not discovering.
The book is about providing tools
to help us access the wisdom of the
Soul, so that we can become more
AWARE and spend our time on things
that do matter. The tools may seem
self-evident, but Walsch describes
each in a very evocative manner:
1/Gratitude (not merely an emotion,
but a decision); 2/ Recontextualization
(big word, but it just means seeing
your life in a new way – “it’s about mak-
ing a life, not just living” – Refocusing);
3/ Compassion (especially for yourself );
and 4/Forgiveness (which involves a lot
of loving understanding).
In proceeding to the next stage of
your spiritual evolution, Walsch pro-
vides the following inspirational list:
“Each time – in every nanosecond –
that you are demonstrating Patience,
Caring, Tenderness, Clarity, Generosity,
Kindness,
Wisdom,
Acceptance,
Goodness and Charity fully, you are tak-
ing the Path of the Soul.”
As for your spiritual destination, Walsch
maintains that the Kingdom of Heaven
is not a physical location, it is a “state of
being” – a state in which there is noth-
ing left to be, do or have, in order to ex-
perience peace, total love and absolute
bliss.
The human basic instinct is not just
survival, as we’ve been taught, but
Divinity. That’s what compels some
people to run into a burning building
to save a crying baby, instead of run-
ning away from the flames.
I have difficulty getting my mind
around some of the abstract, meta-
physiological concepts in the book, i.e.
“We are all One,” but Walsch has organ-
ized his material in a unique manner to
make it accessible. He writes in a warm,
conversational style, occasionally stop-
ping to address the readers, “my Dear
Soul Friend” and to congratulate us
on staying with him to this point. He
includes some poetry by his wife, Em
Claire, which adds a lyrical cadence.
My favourite was “Coming Home” –
pg. 68. Punchy, thought-provoking lit-
tle nuggets of Soul Knowledge are pre-
sented in small shaded boxes through-
out the book, i.e. “Look at what you do
with your money. This is who you are.”
Walschmakes use of parables and even
old jokes to get his point across, i.e. The
Chicken and the Pig – Reflections on a
Ham and Egg Breakfast…partial dedi-
cation versus total commitment.
Because the Agenda of the Soul can-
not be completed in a lifetime, there
are fascinating insights into our per-
ceptions of death and reincarnation.
Sometimes, things happen to us which
we might consider to be setbacks.
Walsch suggests that we should con-
sider these as opportunities for spirit-
ual growth.
Two things to remember: 1/ Nothing
happens by accident. 2/ There’s no such
thing as coincidence.
“The Only Thing That Matters” is more
than just another self-help book. In it,
Neale Donald Walsch is actually pro-
posing another way of being
human.
By Neale Donald Walsch
EM Nin, $19.95, 231 pages
Willa McLean
is a
freelance writer who
lives in Brampton.
The Only Thing
That Matters
Book
review