Very few people will be able to believe what's in this book.

At least, at first. That may make it one of the most unbelievable books of all time.

This book answers the most important question in human history.

What does God want?

For many people that answer will be startling.

Even for those who aren't completely surprised, the answer will be dramatically different. It will not even come close to the ideas that people usually hear about God.

Humanity's ideas about God produce humanity's ideas about life and about people. Dramatically different ideas about God will produce dramatically different ideas about life and about people. If the world could use anything right now, that's it.

We stand today on the brink of a global cultural war. The opening volleys have already been exchanged. The really major clashes, the unthinkable Future World battles, may be yet to come.

Given the direction in which humanity appears to be moving, it may seem as though this larger conflict is inevitable. It isn't. There's something very powerful that can stop it: dramatically different ideas about God and dramatically different ideas about life and about people.

Such ideas, if accepted and adopted, will produce dramatically different ways of living and being. Values will change. Priorities will change. Power structures and power holders will change.

Some of those power holders do not want any of this to happen.

That may make this not only one of the most unbelievable books of all time, but also one of the most dangerous.

How long has it been since you've read a dangerous book?

You'll be in and out of this one in very little time. It's a short book. So it's not only dangerous, it's fast.

Fast and dangerous. That's often a fascinating combination. Maybe even a little exciting. Danger and excitement are two sides of the same coin. Which of the two you experience depends on whether you're racing toward something or away from it.

Which way are you racing with regard to change? Do you want things to remain pretty much the same, or do you want things to be different?

If you want things to stay the way they are, you could find this book dangerous. If you can't wait for things to change, you could find it exciting. Which do you want?

"Well," you might say, "that depends on what we're talking about here. Are we talking about my life? My job? My marriage? My relationship? My health? Or are we talking about my country? The world at large? The international political scene? The global challenges being faced by humanity?"

So let me help you with that. We're talking about all of it. Every bit of it. Not one thing or the other, but all of it. Because the information in this book could change all of it.

Change can be a dangerous thing to suggest, not only around people of power (to whom change is the ultimate threat) but also around ordinary people (for whom change is threatening simply because it leads to the unknown).

Former U.S. vice president Al Gore had it exactly right in a September 2004 interview in the New Yorker:

"In a world of disconcerting change, when large and complex forces threaten familiar and comfortable guideposts, the natural impulse is to grab hold of the tree trunk that seems to have the deepest roots and hold on for dear life and never question the possibility that it's not going to be the source of your salvation."

The final part of that sentence (italics mine) tells the tale of humanity's belief about God and life in fifteen words. Mr. Gore confirms this with his next statement. "And the deepest roots," he says, "are in philosophical and religious traditions that go way back."

Al Gore's insight leaves us all facing a thunderous question: Is the way forward to be found by going way back?

The answer is no.

And while, as the former vice president notes, we never question the possibility that our philosophical and religious traditions are not going to be the source of our salvation--presumably because we feel threatened by such questioning--could there be times when not to question those traditions presents an even larger threat?

The answer is yes. And this is one of those times.

The biggest danger in the world today is not the asking of questions but the assumption that we have all the answers; not the invitation to change but the tendency to run from change; not dramatically new ideas about God and about Life but the same old ideas.

If some of those old ideas continue to be embraced, life as the human race now knows it may not survive the first half of the twenty-first century. The way things are going, it may not even survive the first quarter.

I know, I know, that sounds like an exaggeration.

It's not.

Pick up the morning paper. Turn on CNN.

In the years immediately ahead the human race could make a dramatic upward jump in its evolutionary process, or it could fall back, staggering and stumbling and ultimately crumbling under the weight of its own past misunderstandings.

It's happened before.

It is what can occur when the technological advancement of a species races ahead of its moral, ethical, and spiritual development. Then what the universe has to deal with is children playing with matches.

These days, that's us.

The human race is in the childhood of its evolution. There's nothing wrong with that. Childhood can be a wonderful time. But it's also a time when great care must be taken.

If we watch what we are doing during our childhood--if, as author Robert Fulghum suggests, we look both ways before crossing, if we learn to share, if we hold hands and keep track of each other, if we walk and don't run, if we quit pushing and say we're sorry when we do, if we clean up our messes, and if we stop fighting with our brothers and sisters--we'll get to grow up, and our future can be spectacular.

I believe that's what will happen. I believe the future we're about to create is going to be so spectacular! But I also know it could turn out another way. And I know that if we don't start behaving, it very well might. Failure to acknowledge this is foolhardy. It's more than foolhardy. It's irresponsible. It's what a child would do.

Most people want to believe that humanity is indestructible, that our species cannot be eradicated or eliminated or negatively impacted in any truly widespread or nonreversible way by anyone or anything.

In view of recent world events, this seems to suggest that most people are willing to believe the unbelievable. And that brings up an interesting question. If people are willing to believe the unbelievable, why not believe what's in this book?

Many people will simply be afraid to believe what's in this book.

A dramatically different idea is going to be presented here just 12,108 words from now. So opposed to this idea is the established order that, in some countries, if you said aloud the things that are in this book, you could be killed.

Not by an angry mob. By the government.

You could be accused of committing a crime against the laws of the land, and sentenced to death. In other countries, while you might not be killed, you could be criticized, vilified, and ostracized. You could also be removed from any place of influence you might hold, and your views would almost certainly be marginalized.

Yes, that's how dangerous what is written here is.

Clearly, What God Wants is not unimportant information. It's so important, in fact, that the words are presented in initial caps and italic type wherever the term is used throughout this book. I wanted those words to stand out, so that they make a point in and of themselves.

You see, millions of people all over the world have been living their lives based on the information they have been given about What God Wants, and if the world's prior information on this topic is inaccurate, the world could be in big trouble.

Copyright (c) 2005 by Neale Donald Walsch

Author's Bio: 

This is an excerpt from the book, What God Wants: A Compelling Answer to Humanity'sBiggest Question - By Neale Donald Walsch. To purchase the book from, go directly to