Book Review: “Hearing God in Conversation – How to Recognize His Voice Everywhere, 2016 by Samuel C. Williamson.

Reviewed by Bob Pajer

“God is always speaking to us, and he wants us to hear him. The first time I heard him in my bedroom—and I really did hear him—I wasn’t looking to hear from God. I thought he was a hoax. But he spoke anyway because he longs—God himself longs!—for conversations with his family and friends.” So Samuel C. Williamson speaks to his readers in “Hearing God in Conversation. How to recognize His voice everywhere.” 2016 Kregel Publications.

Despite the “we” connotation, I share with Williamson the idea God wants a relationship with all His children.  That is of course as I understand God, dualistically.  Meaning I can’t really see or hear God, but I do get a sense of God’s presence in my mind, a presence that applies to everyone: of all colors, cultures, ethnicity, nationality, those who are in trouble, those who suffer, all who hunger, all who have made decisions that have taken a violent twist, those who believe they have a path to God (and others who don’t), all who thirst for Oneness with Him, all who don’t…….everyone.  God’s world, unlike the dream we dream as a world, is inclusive.  God loves His creation no matter what I see as the world. God weeps for His children and their insanity of leaving their home in Him — all thoughts in a separated dualistic world.  In truth, “God is, and we cease to speak.” (A Course in Miracles.”, ACIM.)  I think the “we” means we and God cease to speak, for speaking is a lesser and very limited form of communication.  God has better ideas.

The problem in hearing God’s voice is that He can’t speak to us. Not because He does not want to communicate, but because He doesn’t speak. Speaking is our thing, not God’s. Communion is God’s connection to us, and it is silent. We can’t bring God into our world, the one we make up to keep God out. Or, to try to get Him to come down hear and make nice. God is God and we are a part of His mind, where communication is perfect. We have chosen separation from God and there’s no way to connect with Him in a world that has made this choice.  And God cannot lower His power to meet join us where we only seem to be.

God is, and we cease to speak. My relationship with God is silence. Like the rests in music, which are equal to the sound in music. Take the rests out of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, perhaps the greatest musical work given to us, and there is just chaos. God’s creation needs silence, as a part of communication. We, His children, decided not to speak with him ever again, in separation and continue this way as long as we think we can have our way of specialness in a made up world of insanity.  Alas, God has other plans of course. God suffers our decision not to communicate with Him and lets us rest, like sleep off a bad hangover.

All dualistic statements, put forth, hopefully, to help us return to our original state of mind, which is non-dualism, pure consciousness, holy perception, and Oneness, where neither ends of this false dichotomy  mean anything at all.

The key to separation from God is duality. We even breath duality here: in and out. Nothing in this world is non-dual. However, what we think here, while dual thinking, can open our minds to non-duality, and our state of Oneness with our creator, a state that has always been, has never not been, and will always be.  We only dream otherwise. And God’s plan for salvation through the Holy Spirit is the only non-duality there is on earth, or in our dream of where we are. God will never come to us, we must go to Him. According to His plan. The Holy Trinity is set up for exactly that and nothing else.  In a Oneness beyond our imagination, in a dualistic insane thought system, lead by the ego, we think otherwise, but it does not matter.  The Holy Spirit’s role is solely one:  to bring us home. Again, us being everyone.  No need to worry, there is no way to exclude yourself, nor anyone else.  Because this is God’s will, it will be done. “Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”  Noting that Jesus says in his prayer, simply, “in earth”, not “as it is in earth.”  Because it isn’t.

We are in a state of mind, whereas if you are breathing in this world, you are dreaming a dream of separation. That is a real bummer for the only connection there is in the universe: we to God in unity with Christ and, while we seem to be here, the Holy Spirit, who does speak to us. In fact, He does whatever he decides, in order to get our attention, for which the Holy Trinity was formed, as God’s Answer to our decision to do something we, in reality can’t do, separate from our Source.  Jesus said, John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—“ Which means I believe, Jesus knew we haven’t direct contact with God, but we have for as long as we need it, His Voice, His Redeemer, Corrector in the Holy Spirit. Who speaks to us according to God’s plan, but through Christ in our own hearts. And by our own means we will hear His voice through Christ and know it is His Voice. The important point is that Voice is already in us. Christ and God are One, in all of us — every person on earth, and that is Jesus’ message made clear, we are, above all,  to love one another to hear it. To see one another as remaining how God created all of us, as a Son/Daughtership of God, Christ. We are all His Children in Him. Everyone an integral part of All. We will all return to Him, as we get our unified act together.  Which, again, Jesus means in his prayer, “in earth as it is in heaven”, a dual thought in itself, but praying for non-duality.

If we are not listening and being vigilant of the works of the Holy Spirit it is difficult for us to think we have communication with God. That is why the Holy Spirit focuses on our only function in this world, forgiveness, seeing the world of the Holy Spirit in each other. The dangers of thinking, wondering if we are hearing God, are well put in Williamson’s book. I believe if we hear truth we cannot not know it is truth, for truth is true. For all. God does communicate with us. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us, “Revelation is intensely personal and cannot be meaningfully translated. (My italics.)  That is why any attempt to describe it in words is impossible. Revelation induces only experience. Miracles, on the other hand, induce action……….Revelation is literally unspeakable because it is an experience of unspeakable love.” I believe these are Jesus’ words. And he is laying out the roles of each part of the Trinity, that is One.  Jesus is in charge of miracles.  The Holy Spirit is in charge of communication between God and the Son. Should you believe you are on the receiving end of revelation, enjoy the experience. But I think we should all know we are “out of communication” with God, a blank spot in, as we perceive it, creation being the most intimate of realities, God’s love for His children.

Separation from God is impossible.   But , if we think we got it, so powerful is the Mind of God, where we find we can think what we want. Yet Life teaches us the consequences of our thinking, from which no thought goes by without an effect. Every instant of wrong-mindedness is corrected by the Holy Spirit, through our relationships in this world that we have chosen to stake out a life.  Suffering often is a part of correction, not by God’s choice, however, but by ours.

In 1987, I remember the day and moment when I awakened to a clear message from somewhere. I was just beginning my conscious intent to find a spiritual path. I had begun hanging around with a bunch of people who had everything I wanted:  compassion, faith, hopefulness, and goodness — and they were all happy, it seemed as apart of living a forgiving way of life.  Sin was not a part of their lives, although mistakes were dealt with by amends, change. At times they laughed irreverently, as though God had a sense of humor. They never took themselves too seriously it seemed, but they were clearly serious about Jesus’ teaching, although they never referred to that as such. They were truly about the Father’s work in their lives. I saw them cry with grief. But even that turned grief into love. There are no big deals , they would say. One said to me one day, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” Lovely, I thought. Their forgiveness practice was more about overlooking mistakes,  while holding a steely glare at what you are: God’s perfect child, within God’s plan for salvation, in the light because darkness cannot be. I simply wanted what they had and just had to figure out how to get it for myself. They were all beyond what I had known as religion. I came to know they all had a common way with a spiritual goal: a spiritual program which with their own concept of God, and above all they walked the talk. And should they miss that, they could always choose again. And I watched them do exactly that. And everyone was welcome, even if you had your last meal with as a bottle of whiskey and something out of the trash can on the street. Above all, however, as I stated earlier, they were all happy, an experience of happiness that would follow them into their darkest moments. In their words, “life can deal you a card at anytime, which you alone would have to deal with, but you will never be asked to deal with it alone.” Or, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Or, simply if something’s not right, you will know, and you can choose again.” “Everyone is welcome.”

So in order to follow them, to have what they had, I decided to embark on a spiritual program. The first thing that came to me was, “read the Bible, Bob” So I bought the whole Bible on tape.  To follow through with my plan I made a vow to listen to one tape a night before sleeping. Starting with Genesis, I liked the “And it was good” part. Then it came to Adam and Eve, and what I heard was the so called fall of man — what I think now to be the fall of God as well.   Man and God have fallen together in Genesis, at least according to man. Man into disobedience, God into anger and condemnation. The latter to the point of kicking this poor naked man and his wife out of the garden, place two angry angels at the gate, and tell man you are no longer wanted here. I stopped reading and sadly said to myself, “You (?) have got to do better than that to have me go on with my intent to read the Bible and become spiritual.” And I went to sleep. I did not think about who I might be addressing my comment to.

When I awakened (good word to describe what happened) I hear a voice  sort of not a voice. Perhaps my voice saying some things. I was not sure I wanted to listen. But it seemed to keep talking and I did not seem to be able to turn it off. Deeply personal and very pointed at Bob. The voice told the following story to me as I lay there still half asleep. It was an intense moment but peaceful. In the best way I can tell you, as I don’t remember the words exactly, it went on to tell me this:

Adam, where are you? God was really saying, in the phrase, “Where are you?, knowing of course exactly where Adam was, in your relationship to Me?  Now Adam was still in the middle of God’s gift of Creation. He had it all, yet there was nothing to have. Having did not mean anything but Being. God gives all, I pondered later. There’s nothing to have. There’s nothing to search for, there’s nothing to become. We are. As He is. There are no words. Just an outpouring of love, which we cannot, and will never understand in a dual world. So already the ego god is right on the edge of becoming real.   for us. Adam is in God’s heart. Adam now makes our mistake, the mistake we make everyday we breath here. Fear enters his mind upon a decision to hide something from someone. He could have said, “God I messed up. Made a mistake. Temptation was too much for me. Sorry, but I know I don’t have to tell you that because You don’t condemn.  And perhaps laughed a bit at the silly idea that God would now stop loving him. Instead he hides some more, God finds him again and Adam makes the one fatal mistake he never had to make but thought he did because he changed his mind about God. This, now new god suspects his guilt. Calls it out and Adam gets really scared now and blames his wife. (At this very moment couples therapy started as a real business) As guilt entered his mind it did a few things we live with today. What I did, God will not forgive. God now becomes what he is not, and so does everyone else, all very suitable to the ego: a condemning and punishing something out there that is going to find us and kill us. If we’re lucky because the pain of separation is so great it is almost beyond most of us who feel separation. Adam of course senses all this and his blame of his wife is meant somehow deep down in his expanding ego, the answer. Blame the other person. I am never really lost until I blame someone else. Its enough I blame my self, but when I put it on another of God’s children, there are serious consequences to come, which we minimize, or don’t see at all. We think we think apart from God and everyone else. That is what dualism is. And there were consequences. Without a merciful God we are lost. We become God.

Fortunately God always loves his children, there is nothing we can do to change that in any way. God will simply not change His mind about us.

Not all of this was unfolding in that moment upon awakening in 1987, but most of it. I had to think it many times and have many, many more experiences to connect the dots and fill in what I was being taught. Butt the Holy Spirit, who I’ve learned with always answer, if I ask. That is His job, open to everyone.

So the story has come to mean to me, that this happened in God’s child’s mind, as it unfolded God changed for this human being. And it changed because Adam forgot to laugh. You can’t change God, although Adam got scared, as we do. If you do try, you will seem to change yourself, and all of your relationships as well. We cannot think of God one way and our brothers and sisters another way. Jesus message is simple yet always unequivocal. Practical and not esoteric. It is the message I saw in my friends. Adam thought that God would punish him so he brought God down to our level and made him into a punishing being who would take away our eternal connection to Him. A frightening thought and a mistake. I believe it is being corrected, but not by us. God put Adam asleep, it says in the Bible, and he was never awakened there. We I’m sure will hear somehow come to know how this will take place, as we let go and let God. The Holy Sprit is with for this purpose. As Jesus tells us.

Was it God who spoke to me that morning in 1987. Well, God is in everything. However, its easier for me to see it as one moment when I asked for something, something very beautiful. Although I did not know the beauty of it until I seemed to hear it. The Holy Spirit will answer every call to beauty and truth here. That is His function. He knows everything about us. Don’t ask me how that can be so, but it is. And he knows everything in God’s Mind, because we are there. All are called to this in their own personal way.

Our author has a beautiful message he tells us in his own way. Whenever I hear a brother say he’s listening to God, I have the deepest respect for the thought. No matter how he tells it.

I don’t agree with how it came, I do agree with Williamson’s message on the other hand, but not all of it. I doubt its God speaking with regard to Christianity. God is not a Christian. He is everyone. If we listen carefully, God is in every Yoga class, (see Appendix B, p. 208.) as well as St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, WA and His message is always the same, forgiveness is your only function in the world you made and it is your only way home to me. I think God would also tell us, we haven’t done anything that will change His mind about His children in their dreams. The end of suffering is not a loss and when we all awaken we’ll just know dreams aren’t real. Not that we don’t suffer, but that is not of God. We could choose otherwise, but don’t. Perhaps He would also say, you are exactly as I created you and the only thing you have ever done that matters is love, for that is the only truth, even in your made up world. Love matters. God would say if he spoke, I will keep your eternal home safe for you. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, as these cannot be hidden, and you will  choose to find your way to dwelling in my house forever.”
Review by Bob Pajer ©

I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

I am grateful today to open up my heart to God’s love.

My life and will in His care have offered me a glimpse of the wonder of His grace. What need have I to cling to specialness?  : the urge to wander alone in the dust of past pain, the struggles of bony fingers clinging to death and dying. Now are the thirst for His Word, already on my lips loose me from the terrifying fear of aloneness? He is here. He has come as I asked. What suffering can but seem to say “I suffer at your hand, brother, for I will to be apart from our Father.” Let me say instead, “Yes. There is one who has all power, you, as you rest in His Oneness. Today let us rest together in gratitude we have never been separate, but rather in the unity of His holy will.

Should we chose to listen, music touches the soul, awakens us to what is now, where God is and we cease to speak.

…”thou shalt not want.”

For a long time I took this to mean sacrifice, something I seemed to want but I should not have. If I were to get “it”God would be angry and punish me. Actually the Psalmist is telling me “thou can’t  …” want.  That have already been given all by All .  Everything God is, I am, save one thing:  I’m not God.

God asks no sacrifice.  He/She only asks that I remember who I am  and be happy, as He created me.  “I am as God created me.” I shall not want, for I have everything    And everything is All, forever. I need to look out at the world and say this very truth to everyone.  Love comes easy.  Grievances not so.

However, God never lets us off the hook with our nonsense. What I want in the world I made God interprets gently and sees to the steps I must take to change course. What I want I don’t need, can’t have, or would discard if I got it. It is that way with wants.  It is why I “shall not want.” The everything forever is all described for us in the rest of the psalm.





Decisions Follow Beliefs

Should we think that Buddhists don’t believe in God we also must think about whether we Christans believe in God, as we so fervently proclaim. For we have made, not a God who is by nature One And Every Being: in whom we are and as Love. In fact God is Our Love as It is and forever encompassed in His. But in our dream here we believe in His Love not at all, if we consider Its eternal existence. The God we Christians form is but a mirror of who we think we are: false. Just the thing the Commandments guard wisely against. Only a God of Love would make what we do in this world in the name of God impossible. Put false gods in front of this belief and God sort of disappears. A false God is a separation. We can’t keep some of God and expect a part of Him. For when we try that, everything becomes false and a we enter a dream like state where everything becomes an illusion. Our separateness is an illusory dream, a seeming decided self, while God remains indivisible. Our natural state is oneness, unity, with the Christ within us. Where Christ is God is.

The world we made in a dualistic thought system that is is a separated world, in fact a world that can’t exist, except in our minds. No matter how we may try, this ego thought system, or false god, has no meaning, nor does it ever intend to ever restore our unity with God. It does not know how, nor does it ever want to know. God has other plans, however. She recovers Her children through the work of the Holy Spirit, Who know us and completely knows God.

“The contemplative’s inner stance is not one of being swept downriver along with everything else. The contemplative’s repose is not a passive state but an engaged, silent receptivity, ‘an ever moving repose,’ as St. Maximus the Confessor calls it. [2] Like a riverbed, which is constantly receiving and letting go in the very same moment. Vigilant receptivity and nonclinging release are one and the same for this riverbed awareness as it constantly receives all coming from upstream while at the very same moment releasing all downstream. [3] from Richard Rohr. Sep. 4, 2016.

1] Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 2013), 23.
[2] St. Maximus the Confessor, Quaestionis ad Thalassium 64, in Patrologia Graeca 90.760A, Martin Laird’s translation. See also Augustine, Confessions 1.4 (trans. Chadwick, 5).
[3] Martin Laird, A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation (Oxford University Press: 2011), 79.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media: 2014), 191-192.

Somatostatin, each note in a musical piece ends the very moment the next begins seeming serially, yet always in the previous and next moment together. Thus music provides a wonderful reflection of the flow that holds the rhythm of Gods world together. Nothing stops. There is no ending.

Love has no opposite. Oneness is its time and place. “Now” is its expression of peace, the peace of God. I need not go anywhere. As I am there. Forgiveness reflects in this moment. I need not search any longer, or farther. Be here now, I’m told. “Forgiveness is the only way to God here.” Certainly Jesus’ only teaching.

Bob Pajer

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The Reflections of God

I am here in this world for one reason. That reason is salvation through forgiveness. I would not be here except for the problem of separation from my Source, which in itself is an illusion. For God is indivisible. All other things that seem to happen here are only part of this same notion: I decided to separate from God. No matter this isn’t possible. That it can seem so is real to me. I can make dreams seem real because my mind is forever joined in the only Power in the universe: God’s mind with all minds through Christ mind. Christ and God are One. We, everyone here, hides from Christ, otherwise we would not be here, although He does not hide from us. The decision to separate is ours and can be set right at any moment, since it is ours. In our illusion of separation, there is no way to God, however, other than forgiveness, here in this world. Forgiveness, itself an illusion is the only reflection of God’s love, here. All human suffering stems from not accepting it, for it is God’s gift to His son (daughter) through the Holy Spirit. It’s acceptance is our way to seeing God, the “pure of heart” in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

How does it feel to be separated from Source? First of all, I carry a truckload of guilt about it — guilt is entirely from my decision to separate and the continuing thought I have actually done it. Separating was the original “sin” Christians believe occurred as we turned away from God into separation and the illusion of ego. It was corrected the instant it occurred, corrected by the Holy Spirit, Who continues to awaken us to its correction.

I believe everyone who takes a breath in this world carries the same guilt. There are myriad ways in which we mask and package our guilt, and just one way to remove it: through accepting God’s plan for salvation, forgiveness. Guilt is the only block there is to God’s love and our partnership with God as co-creators with Him. God’s plan is grand in scope and yet simple: (1) unmask it by shifting our minds, now in bondage to self, to admitting we harbor guilt and when we see it in ourselves, give it up, I. e., giving it over to God, over and over, in its many forms, anger, fear, shame, grudge, resentment of any kind can be met with forgiveness: when we think we see an attack coming from a brother or sister, acknowledge it as a mistake, a separation from God, but don’t react by your own wrong teaching of yourself or the other person. Don’t teach anger is real by joining in with a counter-attack. No attack is real unless we make it so by attacking, which will always be an attack on one’s self. It is only bodies that seem to be affected by an attack in any form. I do not mean to diminish the body’s importance to us. However, bodies are ego wrappings which are not our True Self, which is of God and cannot be harmed. “I cannot be harmed”, refers to our Self, the Spirit of which we are apart which is in Truth eternal. All of our fear rises from our belief we have separated from our Source. Yet we need a body to prove this is so to “protect” ourselves from the consequences of all separation thinking. That it is temporary? Well, we’re working on that. While God has other ideas. Treat the body with the greatest respect you can give to a holy gift of God, which is, no matter what we think it’s for, our Our Father’s time honored device He uses to communicate with His children. God would never leave us bereft of His gift of Life He so freely bestows on us. Yet, we can lie to ourselves. So, the ego would have us believe the body represents its finest hour, all bedecked with the glamour of a secret purpose it will never fulfill, not knowing what it is itself. God, on the other hand, simply uses it for the only holy purpose there is in this world, re-establishing communication with and among His children, who think they have left Him. Our ego’s reaction is always the same in thousands of hidden forms, repeating the same thing over and over and believing in a different searched for and sort after result. Insanity,of course, for what could possibly better than what God gives so freely? Even if whatever that may be would be possible.

We are all equally children of God. We all experience the same harvesting of guilt (sin) and yet all have the same interest, salvation: the coming home to God just as He created us. God is Love and He created us in His Love, which never ceases to shine upon us. Although we can keep it from shinning through us. (ACIM)

Our second concern in God’s plan for salvation is simply giving up our mistakes and wrong mindedness. To give up something doesn’t mean to stop it. We alone can’t. We are capable of doing anything God can do save one thing. We cannot be Him. We cannot create ourselves, nor parent ourselves: We can try, however and that is called rightfully, “playing God.” Or, trying to be insane. Which it makes logical sense to think that is what separation from God is.

Ego madness, nor any form of ego, can correct itself. Although it insists it can. And make us believe it. So our third concern is “Let go, and let God.” Or, be still and know that I am God. Peace, good brothers and sisters.
Copyrighted 2016.
Bob Pajer.

Choosing the Moment There Can Only Be — Now

Today has had its moments. I get to choose which are eternal — where God dwells. A humble thought? Yes. Although it may seem just the opposite, it is not. I think I’m separated from God and fear I have no power. Yet, I can’t separate from Him and I do have Power. His Power, as I am in His Mind. My ego, nevertheless, will always insist otherwise. It will tell me I exist as a separated entity and, therefore, I need to accept all limitation accordingly and fight like hell to substantiate lack in this world. This is the voice of the ego-self that tells me I’m separate and have only the power I think I have, which is based on my past and my projection of my future grounded upon it. It is a projection machine for what can never exist. Given such beliefs I am powerless to accept God’s love in this moment. I am doomed to fostering theses beliefs in myself and others.

How do I get to choose this moment given this condition? God has given us grace beyond all expectations. First of all, beliefs aren’t facts. I can believe all kinds of nonsensical things. But I can also believe in a Power greater than my-self, part of me that is my belief in a false self. My faith tells me its a fact. There is only One who has all power. My disputes about this fact cover an unbelievable array of ego thought forms, all cover ups for its core belief: self inflicted fear due to a lack of faith. And, faith in a thing that doesn’t exist: the existence of my ego, which is just a fearful thought.

So how I can choose to set the day as I want it? Upon two choices leading to just what I want: One, don’t do any thinking alone. Humbly ask. Or, just ask. And second, see only this Power in everyone else, just as I see it in my Self. If I’m unhappy, stop and say that isn’t because I’m human, but because I am not seeing God in everyone, acknowledging the fact a person may not be seeing this way, but in this instant I can for him or her. And accept once again the Truth: God sees all His children this way, everyone. When I join with Him in this one thing, I am happy and have exactly the day I want. When I make the mistake of choosing otherwise, I can stop and choose again. Why not? I can think whatever I want. Try it. For the world will change before your eyes.