【《與神對話》是怎麼寫成故事的】

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【《與神對話》是怎麼寫成故事的】(此文摘自《與神為友》第五章,作者尼爾‧沃許)
 
《與神對話》並非被當作一本書而被來寫的。不是像我現在正在寫的東西。當對話開始時,我根本沒想到有一天它會被印出來。就我所知,我是在進行一個私人對話的過程,沒有對外公開的個人資料。
 
那過程在一九九二年二月的一個夜晚開始,當時我正身陷憂鬱症的邊緣。我的人生中事事不順。我與「具重要意義的伴侶」之間的關係決裂了,我的事業陷入了死胡同,甚至我的健康也亮起了紅燈。
 
通常,在我的人生中,都是此事或彼事不順。但在那時候,卻是事事同時都不對勁。整個生活結構都在崩塌,而我卻彷彿毫無能力阻止它。
 
那並非我第一次無助地站在一邊,看著我以為會是永久的一個關係在我眼前瓦解。
 
那也不是第二次、第三次或第四次。
 
對於我無法維持住一個關係的無能,對於「那情況我能做什麼」我顯然完全缺乏了解,並對於「我試過的一切似乎都歸於枉然」我變得非常生氣。
 
我開始覺得對於「自己根本沒有玩這人生遊戲的本事」,感到非常憤怒。
 
我的事業也沒好到哪裡去。我幾乎快無事可做了,我在廣播界和新聞界之間搖擺不定已超過三十年,只收到可憐的微薄報酬。我已四十八歲,是個活在這地球已半個世紀卻一事無成的人。
 
可想而知,我的健康也在走下坡。幾年前在一場車禍中我頭椎受傷,一直都沒有完全康復。在那之前,我曾有過肺萎陷(collapsed lung),並且患過胃潰瘍、關節炎及嚴重的過敏。我感覺一個四十八歲的身體好像要垮了。因此在那個一九九二年二月的晚上,我心懷忿怒地從睡夢中醒來。
 
當我輾轉難眠試著入睡時,我的挫折感卻巨大如山。最後,我掀起被子,衝出了臥房。我走去當我半夜準備尋找智慧時一定會去的地方——但冰箱裡沒有像樣的食物,我只好坐在沙發上。
 
我坐在那裡,自作自受地生悶氣。
 
後來,在月光滲入的窗下,我看見面前的咖啡桌上有一本黃色的橫格便箋本。我拿起了它,找到一隻筆,打開了檯燈,並開始寫一封對神表達憤怒的信。
 
 
我得做什麼才能讓我的人生順遂?我到底做了什麼,活該要有如此不斷掙扎的一生?這世上的法則是什麼?什麼人可以來告訴我那些法則?我會照著做,但首先必須有人告訴我那些法則。並且在告訴我之後,不要又更改它們!!!
 
我繼續不停瘋狂潦草地寫滿了本子——像每次我生氣時那樣把字寫很大、下筆很重,重到一個人可以拿起五頁下的一頁對著光而看見我寫了什麼。
 
最後,我將自己的情緒一傾而空了。那怒氣、挫敗感和近乎歇斯底里的情緒全都消散了,而我記得我在想,我一定要告訴我的朋友關於此事。一本黃色便箋本在半夜,竟然可以成為最好的療癒。
 
我伸出手臂想放下筆,但它不肯離開我的手。我暗自覺得驚訝。隨之我的手劇烈地寫了幾分鐘,手痙攣得很厲害,竟然放不了筆了!
 
我等著我的肌肉放鬆,但反而被一種「我必須再寫些什麼」的感覺嚇了一跳。我眼看著我把筆再放到紙上,但縱使當我那樣做時,心中也自覺奇怪,因為我並不知我還有什麼要寫的。然而,我在這裡卻做出像是「我還有更多東西要寫」的樣子。
 
當我的筆一接觸紙面,我的腦袋立刻跳出一個思維。那思維是由一種聲音在對我說話(The thought was said to me, by a voice.)。那是一種我曾聽過最柔和、最慈愛、最溫和的聲音——除了它並不是一個聲音。它是……我只能稱之為一個無聲之聲……或者,更像……像一個被字句覆蓋的感覺(I could only call a voiceless voice…or maybe, more like…like a feeling that had words all over it.)。
 
就是以這樣的方式,我「聽到」的第一句話是:
 
尼爾,你是真的想要這所有問題的答案呢?還是,只是在發洩?
 
我記得我在想:「我的確是在發洩!但如果你有答案,我寧可下地獄也想聽聽看」。接著,我得到了以下的答覆。
 
你對許多事情都是「寧可下地獄」。但你何不選「寧可上天堂」呢?(You ARE “sure as hell”---about a lot of things. But wouldn’t you rather be “sure as heaven”?)
 
我發現自己在回答說:你他媽的是什麼意思?(What in the hell is that supposed to mean?) 
 
 
在這之後,就陸續來了一些我曾經驗過最殊勝的思維、想法、交流,隨你怎麼稱呼。那些思維是如此驚人,以致我不由自主地把它們一一寫下,並且也在回應它們。那些給予我(透過我)的想法,答覆了我提出的問題,但它們又再引發其他我前所未有的問題。因此我便在那裡進行了一段「筆和紙之間的對話」
 
那對話持續了三小時,然後突然就到了早上七點三十分,房子內開始有了動靜,所以我收拾起紙和筆。那是個有趣的經驗,但我並沒怎麼將它當一回事——直到第二天晚上,當我在凌晨四點二十分由酣眠中突然驚醒,就好像有人走進我房間,打開了燈一樣。我坐了起來,心中奇怪發生了什麼事,但那時我感覺一股急拉的力量把我推離床,並要我回到那黃色便箋本上。
 
當我仍搞不清怎麼回事以及為什麼時,我已蹣跚而行地找到那便箋本,轉身回到我客廳沙發的窩。我又開始寫了——緊接我上回擱筆的地方,問問題,並接收答覆。
 
直到今天,我還是不知道是什麼令我開始將它全寫下來,並保存了所有我寫的東西。我想當時我是想要寫個日誌,或一個特殊的小日記。我完全沒想到有一天它會被出版成書,更別說由東京到多倫多,由舊金山到聖保羅都有人讀它了。
 
的確,在對話進行的某個時候,那聲音曾說:「有一天這會變成一本書。」但我心裡想:「是啊,你和另外一百個人將把你們的午夜漫談寄給一個出版商,然後他會說:當然!我們立刻將它出版!」。而那第一部對話共持續了一年——我每個禮拜至少在半夜被叫醒三回。
 
 
我最常被問到的問題之一是,我何時才斷定、何時才知道在跟我談話的是神?剛開始的幾個禮拜,我真不知道對於正在發生的事該怎麼想。最先,我的一部分認為我只是在跟自己談話。然後,在途中某處,我心想那是否可能是由我聽說過的所謂「大我」(higher self)得出的我所提問的答案。但最後,我必須放下我的自我批判以及對嘲笑的恐懼,而稱它完全如它所似乎是的東西:一個與神的對話。
 
 
摘自《與神為友》第5章
 
 
 
 
 
The Conversations with God dialogue was not written as a book. Unlike the material I am now writing. I had no idea, when the dialogue began, that it was ever going to see print. As far as I knew, I was having a private process, to which no one else would ever be privy.
 
That process began on a night in February of 1992 when I was on the verge of falling into chronic depression. Nothing had been going right in my life. My relationship with my significant other was kaput, my career had hit a dead end, and even my health was failing.
 
Usually in my life it had been one thing or another, but now it was everything at once. The whole construction was collapsing, and I couldn't seem to do anything to stop it.
 
It wasn't the first time that I'd stood by helplessly, watching what I had thought would be a permanent relationship dissolve right before my eyes.
 
Nor was it the second, or third, or fourth.
 
I was becoming very angry about my inability to hold a relationship together, my apparent total lack of understanding about what it takes to do that, and the fact that nothing I tried seemed to work.
 
I was coming to feel that I had simply not been given the equipment to play the game of Life, and I was furious.
 
My career wasn't going any better. Things had pretty much dwindled to nothing, my over thirty years of hovering around the broadcasting and journalism businesses reaping pitifully meager rewards. I was forty-eight years old with nothing much to show  for a half century on the planet.
 
Not surprisingly, my health had taken a downhill turn as well. I'd suffered a broken neck in a car accident a few years before and hadn't ever fully recovered. Prior to that in my life, I'd had a collapsed lung and suffered from ulcers, arthritis, and severe allergies. I felt at forty-eight as if my body was falling apart. And so it was that on a February night in 1992, I awoke with anger in my heart.
 
Tossing and turning as I tried to go back to sleep, I was a mountain of frustration. Finally, I threw back the covers and stomped out of the bedroom. I went where I always go in the middle of the night when I'm seeking wisdom—but there was nothing decent in the refrigerator, so I found myself on the couch instead.
 
There I sat, stewing in my own juice.
 
Finally, in the moonlight streaming through the window, I saw a yellow legal pad on the coffee table in front of me. I picked it up, found a pen, flicked on a lamp, and began writing an angry letter to God.
 
What does it take to make life WORK???? What have I done to deserve a life of such continuing struggle? And what are the rules here? Somebody tell me the RULES! I'll play, but first somebody has to tell me the rules. And after you tell me, don't change them!!!!
 
On and on like that I wrote, scribbling madly all over the pad—writing very large, as I do when I am angry, pressing down so hard that a person could hold a sheet five pages lower up to the light and see what I had written.
 
Finally, I'd emptied myself out. The anger, frustration, and near-hysteria had dissipated, and I remember thinking, I've got to tell my friends about this. A yellow legal pad in the middle of the night might be the best therapy, after all.
 
I held out my arm to put down the pen, but it wouldn't leave my hand. That's amazing, I thought to myself. A few minutes of intensive writing and your hand cramps so badly, you can't even let go of the pen.
 
I waited for my muscles to relax but was struck instead with a feeling that there was something more I needed to write. I watched as I brought pen back to paper, fascinating myself even as I did it, because I knew of nothing more that I wanted to write. Yet here I was acting as if there was more to be written.
 
No sooner had the pen reached the pad than my mind filled with a thought. The thought was said to me, by a voice. It was the softest, kindest, most gentle voice I had ever heard. Except that it wasn’t a voice. It was a. . . what I could only call a voiceless voice or maybe, more like.., like a feeling that had words all over it.
 
The words that I "heard" in this way were:
 
Neale, do you really want answers to all of these questions, or are you just venting?
 
I remember thinking, I AM venting, but if you've got answers, I'd sure as hell like to know what they are. To which I received the reply:
 
You ARE "sure as hell"—about a lot of things. But wouldn't you rather be "sure as heaven"?
 
And I found myself answering, What in the hell is that supposed to mean?
 
Thereafter came the most extraordinary thoughts, ideas, communications, call them what you will, that I've ever experienced. The thoughts were so stunning that I found myself writing them down—and responding to them. The ideas being given to me (through me?) were answering my questions, but they were also bringing up other questions I'd never had before. So here I was, having a pen-and-paper "dialogue."
 
 

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