What Really Matters?
And how will you recognize it?
Published: December 13, 2012
The real reason for existence.
As I look at life on our planet presently it feels to me that 98% of the world’s people are spending 98% of their time on things that don’t matter.
That’s a bold statement to make, I know. It’s almost an indictment. But as I look back at my own activities in the past, I see that this was true during most of my life, and only in these past few years has it changed. And I see most people across the globe living pretty much as I had been living...so I’m going to stick with my observation. In fact, I used this exact statement to open my latest book, The Only Thing That Matters.
It’s an attention getter, and I admit it: I’m trying to get people’s attention.
Why? Because I think the world is moving toward an important moment in time relating to the larger process of humanity's evolution, and everywhere I go I see people searching for larger answers to the larger questions that face all of us in life. Questions such as—trite as it may seem—what is this life really all about?
In my lectures these days I invite people to look at their own lives, and the day-to-day activities that fill them. Then I ask: How many of those activities have really mattered in terms of the true reason for your existence?
Most people say that this would depend on how one defines that true reason.
To which I answer: “Precisely.”
And that is why I wrote The Only Thing That Matters; that is exactly what the book explores. It also offers the observation that most people do not know what the true reason for their existence is—and that this is, of course, the core of the problem.
I make the point that this is not our fault. We’ve been told very little about the real reason for our existence—and of the little we have been told by our ancestors, by our families, by our religions and our cultures and our tribes, nearly all of it is inaccurate.
We have been told that to be happy in life we need to get the guy, get the girl, get the car, get the job, get the house, get the spouse, get the kids, get the better job, get the better house, get the promotion, get the grandkids, get the gray hair, get the office in the corner, get the retirement watch, get the illness, get the burial plot, and get the hell out.
We have been told that we need to obey God’s commands, do God’s will, follow God’s law, spread God’s word, and fear God’s wrath, for when we face God’s judgment we will be begging for God’s mercy—and, depending on our offenses, we may not get it, but rather, may find ourselves condemned to everlasting and unbearable torture in the fires of hell.
We have been told about the Survival of the Fittest and that To the Victor Go the Spoils, that Nice Guys Finish Last and that The One with the Most Toys Wins, that It’s Every Man for Himself and that The End Justifies the Means, that Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees and that We’re to Be Seen and Not Heard and that We Are Not to Color Outside the Lines and that We Made Our Bed and Now We Have to Lie in It.
We have been told that There Is Only One Way to Heaven and We’d Better Get It Right, that It’s Us Against Them, and that We Can’t Fight City Hall; that we should Never Raise Our Head Above the Crowd, that We Can’t Have Our Cake and Eat It, and that We should Never Count Our Chickens Before They Hatch.
And now, as if that isn’t enough, we’ve been told in most recent days and times that The End Is Near, Society’s Collapse Is Imminent, All Social Systems Are Falling Apart, and that soon our world will return to Cave Man Days.
Our Minds have been filled with many, many other messages that have created a day-to-day reality so far removed from our real reason for being on the Earth that it’s a wonder we find any joy or excitement in life at all—much less muster the energy to change any of the things that really do need to be changed on our planet if a wonderful future for humanity is to be assured.
Yet most of the things that are “wrong” with life on Earth in the 21st Century would right themselves by themselves if the majority of human beings simply refocused their attention on The Only Thing That Matters.
And what, exactly, is that?
It is the Agenda of the Soul. It is the Sacred Journey. It is the Divine Purpose. All of these are facets of the same diamond, and in the book I explore this gem with a jeweler’s eyepiece, peering deeply into not only its breathtaking beauty, but its awesome power as well.
The book makes it clear that we are on a journey here. And no, it is not the journey from birth to death. It is a journey from way before birth to long after death. Yet our here-and-now awareness of the purpose and destination of this journey can play an extraordinary effect on our day-to-day life—in some cases changing it forever, and in many ways maybe even changing the world by changing that part of the world we touch.
Lest one think that this is just another metaphysical treatise, however, with little practical application, I should note that what I strived for here is exactly the opposite. I believe that spirituality that has no practicality is bankrupt. I have no time for it. So, taking my cue from the Conversations with God series of books that were given to me, I looked at its core messages and sought to explain them in ways that would cause their wisdom to be immediately accessible.
Among the concepts that are rendered functional, and not merely left as points for esoteric discussion: The Body and the Mind never die. We all know that the Soul lives forever (even the world’s major religions can all agree on that), but the idea that our Bodies and our Minds are eternal as well opens us to an entirely new raison d'être and gives us an entirely new tool for the recreation of our behaviors.
And speaking of tools, the text offers five remarkable devices that offer us immediate assistance in serving, first, the Agenda of the Soul—which approach, the text declares, automatically brings into our lives all the things that the Body and the Mind have been struggling to create: peace, health, safety, security, opportunity, creative expression, pleasure, abundance, joy, happiness, and love.
The Only Thing That Matters invites 9-to-5, day-to-day, on-the-ground application of the spiritually revolutionary messages in Conversations with God. I have been waiting to produce this book for 15 years. Because of its daring, radical, and exciting approach to life, I wanted to try it first before I shared it, to see if it works.
Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways.