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luigirovatti's avatar

A friend of mine consulted a spiritual book, "Conversation with God" by Neale Donald Walsch. I controlled the book to see if it was reliable for him. It has a contradiction. Could you explain it?

Asked by luigirovatti (272points) February 26th, 2016

I only read book 1 (readable online, just to know). In the beginning, at Chapter 3, God says: “If the soul is very clear that staying does not serve its higher agenda (...) the soul is going to leave, and nothing will stop it—nor should anything try to.” But later, in Chapter 12, it says: “The spirit will never, ever, force its desire on the present, conscious, physical part of you.” Could you explain it to me?

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12 Answers

Seek's avatar

The entire book is utter nonsense made up by someone trying to make a buck on the gullible.

This review brought to you by the letters B and S, and the James Randi Educational Foundation.

zenvelo's avatar

1. What do you mean you “controlled” the book? Are you capable of keeping the book under your power?

2. Does God say that, or does the author?

3. Why do you consider those statements at a contradiction to each other? They seem congruent to me.

luigirovatti's avatar

1) I mean checked it.
2) I don’t care much.
3) First it is said that “nothing will stop” the soul, then it says that it “will never, ever, force its desire” on the “physical part” of it. Does it seem a contradiction?

rojo's avatar

Chapter 3 – The soul controls itself. It goes where it wants, when it wants, without hindrance.
Chapter 12 – The spirit will not force any other part to do its bidding.

I assume that you are saying the soul and the spirit are one and the same and that they/it is separate and distinct from the physical part. The first statement says it is independent, the second that will not it will not force itself where it is not wanted. The first that it will go where it will, the second that they/it will not make the body to accompany it.

Think in terms of a couple. They are together because they want to be. If Partner A decides to leave there is nothing that Partner B can do to stop it but when Partner A leaves it will not stuff Partner B into the trunk of the car and take it with it.

I see no contradiction.

luigirovatti's avatar

If the soul leaves, the body dies, so how can the body not be “stuffed into the trunk of the car”?

luigirovatti's avatar

I mean, how can the body act of his own will?

rojo's avatar

You assume that the body can function without a soul or spirit but evidently the author disagrees with you and believes that it can. It appears that the brain and soul/spirit are two different entities.

NerdyKeith's avatar

A lot of these books by theologians cannot really be trusted and tend to be extremely biased.

rojo's avatar

Sorry, too late to edit but the above should have read:

You assume that the body cannot function without a soul or spirit but evidently the author disagrees with you and believes that it can. It appears that the brain and soul/spirit are two different entities.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Contradiction in religion?

I just CAN’T believe it!

Zaku's avatar

I haven’t read the book, so I hardly can tell what the author actually means. However, reading religious texts as if they are science texts, or taking them literally, is usually a mistake. They tend to be parable, metaphorical, etc. You’re to consider how it lands, but for the real religious texts, this means a lifetime of contemplation, not a “here’s the formula, now apply it literally”.

But as an example out of context how I relate to / translate these is:

“If the soul is very clear that staying does not serve its higher agenda (...) the soul is going to leave, and nothing will stop it—nor should anything try to.”

It seems to me that the soul “staying” could mean either death, or more likely and more commonly, the soul fading into subconsciousness as ego concerns take over the consciousness, which is what happens to most teens and adults. Tell your genius child they will never be able to be a dancer or artist in the world, and that genius in them fades away and hides and is forgotten by the ego which wants to survive, and they go on to be an empty unfulfilled banker and die of cancer or heart disease 30 years later.

“The spirit will never, ever, force its desire on the present, conscious, physical part of you.”

The spirit is not the same thing as your conscious or your physical body. I’m not sure exactly what the author is getting at here, but I don’t see it as a contradiction to the first statement. I suppose if you read the first sentence as saying the soul can get so bummed out that it kills the body, then you might take that as “forc[ing] its desire” on the body, but I don’t think so. The body and soul and consciousness all coexist. If one of them gets sick and dies, I wouldn’t call that “forcing its desire”, but rather it dying off and possibly (or not) taking the others with it, not because it wants to, but because it’s dying. But it seems to me what generally happens is when the spirit has a desire, and the conscious and physical parts of you have other agendas, you just get some input in the form on ennui or sadness or lack of enthusiasm or something, but it doesn’t force you to stop doing your dumb homework, or not eat. And what usually happens when the soul refuses to stick around for the situation, is the soul, or really parts of it, stick around but hide out. There’s a whole ancient trans-cultural shamanic practice generally called “soul retrieval” which aims to rouse and welcome back those parts.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

The contradiction is resolved by the word “If…” in the first statement.

As well, one sentence says “soul”, the other says “spirit”. They are not the same.

Many spirits build a soul. Just like many thoughts build a mind.

The spirit of greed, anger, charity, hope… Is the same thing as thoughts of greed, anger, charity, hope. Same concepts presented by two different disciplines.

Ultimately, the mind/soul is the end result of however many thought/spirits we retain. Just like a school house is the ultimate result of however many bricks it retains. We’re only supposed to keep the ones needed to complete the desired end result. The leftovers are considered junk, like a virus cluttering the operating system.

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