Ancient Wisdom: An Interview with the Author of "Conversations with God"

Let me ask about, perhaps, the "other side of that coin." You author these books, full of inspired writing, that are very popular. Yet you are still an individual soul, here to experience your life in the way your soul is driven. Do you feel that you are free to choose to live your life as your soul's desire? Or does the success of CWG restrict how you can live, and what choices you can make? Like could you run naked down the beach if you wanted to?

I think I am "free" to do whatever I'd like. We are all fundamentally free to do whatever it is we choose. But I don't think I am desirous of doing things—things that in a moment of abandon one might choose to do, like running naked down the beach!

I learned soon after the initial success of CWG, when paparazzi helicopters with cameras and long-lenses would fly over the back yard, that things had changed. They thought "here is that guy who thinks God talks to him ... let's just follow him for a year or two, and see how he lives his life," to see if they could write something interesting for the National Enquirer.

You learn quickly—or at least I did—that I have a duty of responsibility to the message itself. Therefore, am I free to do whatever I want? Absolutely. Do I choose to act in a way that would be outside of the "reasonable expectations" of people who have read the material? No, I do not.

I think that people who have read those books have a "reasonable expectation" that I should live and act in a way that is in as much accordance with those the teachings as I possibly can, as a human being, if I am going to invite others to do the same. Therefore I do not commit adultery, I do not run around and have affairs, I do not take drugs, I do not smoke pot on the street, I do not run naked on the beach. Not that there is anything wrong with being naked on the beach; it's just that it would offend the sensibilities of some people. Would I go to a nude beach, that was clearly marked "Nude Beach," and everyone understands what is happening there? Certainly I would.

When you live in a fishbowl—and I am talking about a tiny fishbowl here, not a Tom Cruise-level fishbowl—we're talking about a minor, minor author, of a book that became popular twenty years ago. Nevertheless, because of the nature of the book, and the claim that it was inspired by God, there are those who would like to watch every move I make, and catch me with one glass of wine too many on a Saturday night.

So I am careful, because I want to protect the message, and behave in a way that comports itself in accordance with the teachings that were brought through. I think I have a responsibility to do that. When 15 million people are reading what you're writing, I think you owe a level of responsibility to those readers.

You can't invite people to meet you in a place that they've been longing to go to, and then not be there yourself.

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6/12/2013 4:00:00 AM
  • Spirituality
  • evolution
  • New Thought
  • Leo Brunnick
    About Alonzo L. Gaskill
    Alonzo L. Gaskill is an author, editor, theologian, lecturer, and professor of World Religions. He holds degrees in philosophy, theology, and biblical studies. He has authored more than two-dozen books and numerous articles on various aspects of religion; with topics ranging from world religions and interfaith dialogue, to scriptural commentaries, texts on symbolism, sacred space, and ritual, and even devotional literature.