August 7

How to Receive Revelation

August 7, 2014

Personal Growth

All day—pretty much every day—I answer questions, love people, and offer counsel of various kinds—in person, by email, in blogs, by phone, by video chat, in conference calls, and as I talk to people in person.

I suppose this could be considered an enormous responsibility. Thousands of people are asking me how they could improve their lives. But years ago I realized that by myself I really can’t help people much. I know too little. So how do I shoulder this responsibility day after day?

Oh, that’s an easy answer. I have access to an infinite and perfect source of love and knowledge. I call it God. Other people use different names. Doesn’t matter. God still lives. Of this I am utterly certain. How do I know? Years of listening and years of feeling His presence as I love people well beyond my own limited, human abilities. I tried loving and teaching my own way for decades, and the results were rather disappointing.

When I listen to the words and feelings that come from God, I call that experience revelation, to distinguish it from the human conversations I have with others and myself. How does revelation come? What is it like? Describing revelation can be difficult—much like describing the taste of a strawberry to someone who has never tasted fruit of any kind—but not impossible.

We tend to pay attention to the tangible, audible, and visible, which is understandable, because such input is immediately discernible to our senses, even quantifiable. But God requires us to use the soul-refining effort called faith, to listen to input not so obvious or quantifiable.

What is this input like? Before I found Real Love, I was profoundly unhappy: depressed, addicted to drugs, suicidal, and doing a terrible job as a husband and father. I finally admitted that nothing was working and that I didn’t know anything. I turned to God and said—call it prayer or whatever else makes you comfortable—“I don’t know anything. Teach me.”

And that’s when the flood began. I began to FEEL and SENSE what love was. I felt loved. I began to write descriptions of these feelings. How do I know that these were revelations? Because previously I had had no notion whatever what it felt like to feel unconditionally loved. My revelations of love were as though a strawberry had been placed in my mouth for the first time, prior to which I had never even HEARD of a strawberry. It was a feeling I could not have created with my own mind or senses.

And the revelations continued in different ways. I felt IMPRESSIONS of concepts and ideas. Words, sentences, and entire paragraphs simply entered my thoughts. We all know what this is like. We’ve all had thoughts simply occur to us without our seeking them. We’ve suddenly thought—with no logical progression —“I’d like to go on a cruise,” or “I can’t remember if I locked the door when I left the house this morning,” or “I haven’t talked to Fred (an old friend) in years. Maybe I should call him.”

I’m not saying that such random thoughts are all revelations, just that we all know the sensation of having such thoughts. But the thoughts I was having were far more profound than this. They were not random, but instead felt directive. I was being instructed, taught what was true and what to do with these truths. These impressions were tender, quiet, even sweet. There was nothing “woo-woo” about this. This was not what some call channeling. There was no audible voice. It did not involve my physical senses. But it was very real.

How do I know that these thoughts were not just my own creations? Because I was experiencing thoughts I had never known before, thoughts that I could not have cobbled together from past experience, thoughts that amazed me but always made sense. And after writing twenty books and millions of words in blogs, videos, and more, I’ve never had to go back and change a single one of the thoughts I identified as revelation. Never. That is remarkable to me. I could never have written all that—all those thoughts that later required no retraction—with my own limited intelligence.

How did I get to the point where I could receive revelation—or inspiration, an equally acceptable word? How could you do the same? Allow me to suggest four decisions that helped me with this process: (1) listen, (2) be humble, (3) prepare, and (4) avoid distractions.

1. Listen.

As I said earlier, after a lifetime of struggle, I finally turned to God and said, “I don’t know anything. Teach me.” I was sincere in this request. I fervently desired to be taught. I wanted to listen. As I completely opened up to be taught, the more strongly and clearly I felt these impressions.

2. Be humble.

Again, I said, “I don’t know anything. Teach me.” I was sincere in saying that I didn’t know anything. My life had become miserable and confused as a result of doing things MY way. If genuine happiness is the ultimate goal in life, it was not an exaggeration to say that I didn’t know anything—certainly not the truly important things. So why not listen? I listened with no resistance, no pride in my own knowledge, and a complete sense of being open to learning anything.

3. Prepare.

Receiving inspiration is not a mindless experience. I didn’t lie down and simply take some form of divine dictation. No, I actively pursued being in a state where I could receive the thoughts and feelings I needed. I wrote down what I “heard.” I put these thoughts together in ways that would make more sense to myself and others. I continued my life, working a job and raising children. As I worked and exercised, I carried a pen and index cards with me, writing down these thoughts. These were deeply satisfying days. I can still remember some of the places where certain concepts in Real Love came into my head as I was, for example, rollerblading on the streets or driving in the car or digging a ditch in the backyard.

4. Avoid distractions.

Imagine that you’re outside listening for the clear, flute-like call of the Wood Thrush, a small bird found in the Eastern United States. But then I pull up in my pickup truck, revving the supercharged engine while playing my specially installed stereo at a volume that would shake apples from tree branches. Under those conditions, would you be able to hear the thrush? Not at all, nor can you hear the quiet, sweet “voice” of inspiration while distracted by fear, anger, drugs, porn, or any number of behaviors and substances that can completely occupy our minds and hearts.

The more relaxed and undistracted we are, the more intently and effectively we can listen to the inspiration we need. In addition to avoiding distractions, therefore, we must create times and places where we can be dedicated to quiet listening.

We can also become more efficient in receiving inspiration when we understand how it tends to work. Rarely do we receive THE answer to a question or a problem. Instead we receive nudges in a particular direction. When we follow these whispers, we become aware of yet further inspiration, step by step, until we find ourselves a great distance down the road toward the knowledge or progress we seek.

The desirability of revelation can be simply illustrated. We are surrounded by a perfect river of infinite flow. We can each dig a well for ourselves and scrape for the muddy water at the bottom, or we can simply reach out to dip into the flow of the pure and infinitely available water all around us.

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