Neale Donald Walsch
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Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.
Neale was born in Milwaukee, WI to a Roman Catholic family that encouraged his quest for spiritual truth. Serving as his first spiritual mentor, Neale's mother taught him not to be afraid of God, as she believed in having a personal relationship with the divine-teaching Neale to do the same. A non-traditional believer, Neale's mother hardly ever went to church, and when he asked her why, she told Neale, "I don't have to go to church-God comes to me. He's with me and around me wherever I am." This view of God at an early age would later move Neale to transcend traditional views of organized religion.
Neale grew into an insatiably curious child whose comments about life seemed to possess a wisdom beyond his years, and caused relatives and family friends to often ask, "where does he come up with this stuff?" While attending a Catholic grade school, Neale would often pose questions in Catechism class that would extend past the traditional grade school curriculum. Finally, the parish priest invited Neale to his rectory to answer questions. This meeting turned into a once-a-week visit that blossomed into an open forum where Neale learned not to be afraid to ask questions about religion and spirituality-and also learned that his asking these types of questions did not mean that he would offend God.
By the age of 15, Neale's involvement with spiritually-based teachings led him to begin reading a variety of spiritual texts, including the Bible, the Rig Veda, the Upanishads and the Gospel according to Sri Ramakrishna. He noticed that when people got involved in religion they seemed less joyful and more angry, exhibiting behaviors of prejudice and separateness. Neale concluded that the collective experience of theology was not positive.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, but academic life could not hold his interest and he dropped out of college after two years to follow an interest in radio broadcasting that eventually led to a full-time position at the age of 19 at a small radio station far from his Milwaukee home, in Annapolis, Maryland.
Restless by nature and always seeking to expand his opportunities for self-expression, Neale in the years that followed became a radio station program director, a newspaper reporter and, ultimately, managing editor, public information officer for one of the nation's largest public school systems, and, after moving to the West Coast, creator and owner of his own public relations and marketing firm. Moving from one career field to another, he could not seem to find occupational satisfaction, his relationship life was in constant turmoil (he had married and divorced four times), and his health was going rapidly downhill.
He had relocated in Oregon as part of a change-of-scene strategy to find his way, but Fate was to provide more than a change of scene. It produced a change in his entire life. A car driven by an elderly gentleman made a left turn directly into his path, Neale emerging from the auto accident with a broken neck. He was lucky to escape with his life.
Over a year of rehab threw him out of work. A failed marriage had already removed him from his home, and soon he couldn't keep even the small apartment he'd rented. Within months he found himself on the street, homeless. It took him the better part of a year to pull himself together and get back under shelter. He found, at first, modest part time jobs, once again in broadcasting, then worked his way into full time employment and an eventual spot on a syndicated radio talk show host.
He had seen the bottom of life living outside, gathering beer and soda cans in the park to collect the return deposit, but now he seemed to be on a roll again. Yet, once again, Neale felt an emptiness in his life. In 1992, following a period of deep despair, Neale awoke in the middle of a February night and wrote an anguished letter to God. "What does it take," he angrily scratched across a yellow legal pad, "to make life work?"
Now well chronicled and widely talked about, it was this questioning letter that received a divine answer. Neale says that he heard a voice, soft and kind, warm and loving, that gave him an answer to this and other questions. Awestruck and inspired, he quickly scribbled these responses onto the tablet. More questions came, and, as fast as they occurred to him, answers were given in the same soft voice, which now seemed placed inside his head. Before he knew it, Neale found himself engaged in a two-way on-paper dialogue. He continued this first "conversation" for hours, and had many more in the weeks that followed, always awakening in the middle of the night and being drawn back to his legal pad. Neale's handwritten notes would later become the best-selling Conversations with God books. He says the process was "exactly like taking dictation," and that the dialogue created in this way was published without significant alteration or editing.
In addition to authoring the renowned With God series, Neale has published 12 other works, as well as a number of video and audio programs. Available throughout the world, each of the CwG dialogue books has made the New York Times Bestseller list, Conversations with God-Book 1 occupying that list for over two and half years.
The With God Series has redefined God and shifted spiritual paradigms around the globe. In order to deal with the enormous response to his writings, Neale and his wife, Nancy Fleming-Walsch, created the Conversations with God Foundation, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to inspiring the world to help itself move from violence to peace, from confusion to clarity, and from anger to love.
Neale's work has taken him from the steps of Macchu Picchu in Peru to the steps of the Shinto shrines of Japan, from Red Square in Moscow to St. Peters Square in Vatican City to Tiananmen Square in China. And everywhere he has gone-from South Africa to Norway, Croatia to The Netherlands, the streets of Zurich to the streets of Seoul, Neale has found a hunger among the people to find a new way to live, at last, in peace and harmony, and he has sought to bring people a new understanding of life and of God which would allow them to experience that.
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