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The title made me skeptical right away, so when I first heard of this book years ago I was reluctant to read it. However, after my friend Bryan prodded me a few times and assured me of its value, I decided to give it a shot.
I don't quite believe it when Walsch says that one day God just started writing through him. The book seems too purposeful and the "conversations" too setup for them to be spontaneous and genuine. That said, there are a still few good perspectives that I took from the book.
Walsch talks about how people pray for things they want. You hear it all the time, whether in real life or in movies. I think there's something powerful about saying your thoughts aloud. I don't "pray" in the religious sense, but even in the non-religious world there has been a movement towards "say your goals every morning" or "tell yourself you are beautiful every night". It was also highly espoused in another book I read, "Think and grow rich". Walsch argues that a prayer should not be an ask, but rather a prayer of gratitude. He says that as soon as you say, "I wish that..." you're affirming to yourself that you don't have that which you wish for. "I wish I was skinny" means "I know I'm not skinny", which he says is not helpful. Instead, if you say, "Thank you for my health" then you are acknowledging your health is in good shape. it's a subtle, but interesting paradigm shift I think - to go from asking to acknowledging, and I think it can have powerful implications on your motivations and outlook of life.
Another idea that Walsch speaks to is the idea of acceptance. As humans, we inevitably come across situations that are less than ideal, that we cannot do anything about. Instead of spending energy denying its existence, we'd be better off accepting it and seeing what experience or lesson we can draw from it. I think this can have a strong calming effect on people, not to mention the positive benefits of a tranquil mind when trying to think through a tough situation.
I also agree with the concept of relativity, whereby we cannot know love without hate, happiness without sadness, etc. Whether or not that is an "excuse" for God to allow pain and suffering in this world is another question, but I think it dove-tails with the promotion of acceptance. When something goes poorly and we find it hard to accept, perhaps it helps to be reminded that a bad experience is as much an ingredient in a good experience as the good thing itself.
Unfortunately, a significant portion of the book is still a little too crazy for me. Things like how we can simply think and AIDS will be cured, or that our bodies are actually made to last forever but we are screwing it up ourselves. Should a few crazy thoughts discount a person, or should those crazy thoughts simply discount those crazy thoughts, and that person's other ideas can still remain valid? I think the latter is healthier, for it promotes risk-taking in thinking, and risk-taking can reap amazing rewards. I'm glad I read this book, though I must say, it took much effort on my end to resist writing everything off based on a few wild comments.