Lately, I have been reading a book called Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. It is an amazing book with so much articulation about the Lord, his intent of creating this universe, and the reason for duality and relativity in this world, among many other issues of great spiritual importance. Most of the ideas presented in this book are so coherent and persuasive that I feel most people reading this book would agree to some extent that this book truly is a product of an uncommon dialogue the author had with God, as it claims. One of the issues that I found most interesting is its illustration of God’s role in our affairs. It discusses comprehensively whether God interferes in our affairs or remains apathetic to them.
Mostly, people argue that God is the reason for all that happened, is happening and will happen. He is the cause of all thoughts, actions, circumstances and results. He creates the oceans, mountains, and islands, causes the sun to shine, wind to blow, and sets natural laws to govern the universe in a uninterrupted order as a part of his grand cosmic design. He is the one to bring about peace and happiness as well as calamities and disasters. He creates lives, and annihilates according to his rules and forces his will on us such that we act in a certain way. Few of us may consider that even the leaves of a tree do not move against his Will. Contrary to such belief, this book states that, “God is the observer, not the creator…. It’s not God’s function to create, or uncreate, the circumstances or conditions of our lives.” (1) We create our own destiny as the Lord has given us Free Will to act accordingly. He certainly created the process of our life; however, it would be an illusion to believe that he cares one way or the other what we do.
This book elaborates God’s role in our lives, giving a compelling argument. Parents do not care whether their kids play Hide and Seek, Ball Tag, Hot Potato or any other games when they go out to play but remain concerned about their safety and whereabouts. They care about whether the localities they allow them to play are friendly and safe. As parents, they always hope that their kids are not hurt and are always ready to help them if they get hurt. However, they will not care whether their kids play the same game or others the next day, even if they get hurt. They always suggest which games are dangerous for their kids to play, yet they cannot always protect them from getting hurt or doing dangerous things.
Similarly, this book infers that God neither cares about the actions we engage in nor interferes in their outcomes. He ensures favorable conditions and safe environments for us. It denies God playing an intrusive role and states that he does not care in which way we choose to live our lives but always prepares us in case we approach him and readily provides any assistance necessary. It also refutes the proposition that God did his part of creation and now does not have any interest in our affairs or remains absolutely apathetic to our grievances – similar to the concept of a “Deist God” put forward by Dr. Richard Dawkins in his book, The God Delusion. It argues instead that God is always available for his seekers and devotees.
I believe that the absolute denial of God’s role in our affairs invalidates our submission and prayers to him. I have personally met people who have frequently realized divine interferences and experienced his guidance. I have myself felt the presence of the Lord in my life at times when I implored his guidance. I do not think that he has all of our wishes and desires fulfilled, because doing so would invalidates the purpose behind the creation of this imperfect world. However, he readily guides those who genuinely beseech him and shows them the path to fulfilling lives. Having said that, I do not agree with the suggestion that God does everything and guides all our thoughts, intentions and actions. If such were the case, he certainly would have punished those denying his existence or those misguiding people to violence and terrorism in the name of God and religion. He could have make this world perfect if he wished, but doing so would hinder the whole purpose of creation i.e. to let his creations experience the world as it is, its dualities and relative experiences such that they would cherish their blissful being in his abode.
Moreover, it makes no sense whatsoever for God to regulate all our actions. If he wanted us to live a particular way or wanted to force us to abide by his rules, there certainly would be none who could defy his commandments or guidelines. There would be none of the suffering, killing and disasters that we witness everyday around the world. If he wished to make this world a heavenly place, there would be people of similar thoughts, desires and values, rather than a plurality. He certainly does not want us to act in a certain way. Rather, he guides us to paths that lead to Salvation and divine bliss through his messages he sent through messengers over the course of history.
Therefore, I believe that God interferes in our affairs and our lives, but not in the way we desire or expect. He lets us live in our own ways in accordance with our will, while ensuring favorable condition for us to do so. However, we live our lives the way we desire, and it is us who create the situations we find ourselves in with God playing no part in them.