Shining World

Conversations with God and Vedanta

Paolina: I recently came across Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. Although I have not read it, just started, and that has drawn me to another set of things and videos, I just wanted to ask you what you think about it, about the law of attraction, etc.

Sundari: Conversations with God is inspiring and helpful for many who are confused about religion and God, but it has no teaching. It does not explain the relationship between Isvara/Maya, the jiva and the world as consciousness; it does not even talk about consciousness as the self and your true nature. It has no karma yoga, no guna yoga and no jnana yoga, meaning no satya-mithya teaching. At best, it can help samsaris live better lives but it does not destroy duality or the belief that the joy is in the objects. Therefore it cannot remove suffering.

The “law of attraction” is just another lot of spiritual mumbo jumbo, like The Secret and other such nonsense. It is based on the idea that you can manipulate Isvara to get what you want. It is for doers who think they can gain something from the world. We know that the Field of Existence is a lawful universe, and Isvara is in charge of it. While we can take appropriate and timely action to maximize getting what we want, there are no guarantees, because Isvara takes care of the total before our individual likes and dislikes.

The whole point of self-inquiry is to render binding likes and dislikes non-binding, not ensuring you can indulge them. The whole concept is bogus because the truth is Isvara gives us what we need when we need it. Nobody is in control of the objects. And most importantly, Vedanta teaches that all objects are value-neutral – they cannot bring lasting happiness. The joy is only in you, the self. If you have not at least understood that there is nothing to gain in the world and have stopped chasing objects, you are not qualified for Vedanta. So forget about the law of attraction and concentrate on karma yoga and the qualifications required for self-inquiry. If you want to be free of limitation, that is.

 How does that operate with Vedanta? Is it just figuring out the laws that are operating in the realm of mithya, but not reaching beyond that? Is that how Walsch’s proposal is different from Vedanta?

Sundari: Conversations with God does explain how mithya works to some extent, although it does not have the teaching on dharma, which is a complex topic, or as I said above, it has no teaching on Isvara/Maya/Jiva/consciousness. It never gets out of mithya. It takes mithya to be real. On the whole, Conversations with God does not come close to Vedanta, which is many thousands of years old, is independent of any one person or person’s beliefs or opinions and is a valid means of knowledge for consciousness. It is the Science of Consciousness and the only teaching that can permanently remove ignorance of duality and end existential suffering, if you are qualified.

There is no harm in reading Conversations with God if that is where you are at. I read his books 20 years ago. Like I said, Walsch was inspiring but it never helped me to remove ignorance of my true nature. Only Vedanta could do that.

~ Love, Sundari

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