Tami Simon: You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today, my guest is Reverend Deborah Johnson. Reverend Deborah is the founder and president of Inner Light Ministries, an omnifaith spiritual community of more than 1,500 people in northern California. Rev. Deborah, or as her congregation often calls her, Rev. D. (I often call her Rev. Deb), is a voice for compassion, equality, and reconciliation. Her primary focus has been on coalition building, conflict resolution, public policy development, and cultural sensitivity awareness.

With Sounds True, Rev. Deb has released a two-volume [series,] Letters from the Infinite. Volume 1 is called The Sacred Yes and volume 2 is called Your Deepest Intent. She has also released a four-CD audio program where she reads many of the letters, called The Sacred Yes.

In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Deborah and I spoke about the process of receiving these letters from the infinite. We also talked about what she means by the term “the sacred yes,” and the turning point in her own life when she accepted this unconditional “yes” in her life. We also talked about how we can purify our intent and the role of sincerity in spiritual unfolding. And finally, Rev. Deb gave us some ideas on how we ourselves can receive messages and writings and our own letters form the infinite. Here’s my conversation with Reverend Deborah Johnson.

Your books with Sounds True contain writings that you call Letters from the Infinite, and just to start, can you talk a little about these letters? Does that mean these are channelings, or how do you understand it?

Deborah Johnson: This is material that comes to me in the form of a letter, and that includes full punctuation. Typically, I will record the information as I’m hearing it and then transcribe it. What you see in the book series are transcriptions. The voice speaks to me in a first person voice and identifies itself as “I, the Mother/Father God, living creator of all things.” What I would say is that there is an intuitive voice within each and every one of us. I’m very linguistically order-oriented, so it’s not surprising that my guidance would come to me in that format. Some people might be more in tune to music or have a more kinesthetic approach, but the bottom line is that there is something that is “speaking” to us, always.

TS: You know, it’s interesting. My nickname for you is Rev. Deb, so I’ll just use that in our conversation if that’s OK with you. When you talk about something like an intuitive voice or the sense of our ego getting out of the way when we create music or paint or make love, I think people feel comfortable with that [in general], but [then] suddenly it’s the voice of—and I’m not going to be able to repeat what you said—the Mother/Father God of all things speaking directly to you. I think then there’s a response in many people of, “I feel a little uncomfortable with that.” I mean, God itself is talking through Rev. Deb? What’s going on here?

DJ: I too held such skepticism. I grew up in a very fundamentalist Pentecostal denomination and I used to witness these things. And my attitude was pretty much, “Yeah right, that’s pretty convenient that God happens to be backing up everything that you’re saying.” I started to experience the process initially through someone else, the Reverend June Gatlin out of Los Angeles in about 1988. And about seven years after that, I started hearing it for myself.

What I would generally say to people is just read it. There is something that will probably resonate with you in your soul. Does it really matter where it comes from? When I think of sacred texts, when I think about things that have survived the test of time, it doesn’t really make that much difference where it came from, or from whom, if it speaks to you in some sort of a meaningful way.

The reason why I refer to [them] as “letters from the infinite” is that this is a little bit different. The voice is speaking directly to us as humanity and points [to] our frailties and our strengths; [to] where our faulty constructs are. In some respects, this is almost like allowing my therapist’s notes to get out, because it will challenge me on what I’m thinking and the ways in which I’ve misperceived things. There’s just no way that I could have written this work about myself.

I remember in my first conversation with you—and I don’t know if you remember this or not—the book The Sacred Yes had been sitting on the desk of one of your associate editors and you flipped through it. It had been put out by a previous publisher, a start-up company. And I really keyed into the language that you used. You said that every author, every person who writes has a thumb print, and when you read this you couldn’t find my thumb print; you couldn’t find a person’s thumb print on this. Whatever that is that makes [the book] that pure in its vibration, I would say that anybody that picks up any of these letters will get a sense of that.

TS: You know, I don’t remember that comment, but that’s OK. There are so many things I’ve said, I can’t possibly remember. But I am curious, when a letter is emerging in you, so to speak, what does it feel like? What’s going on inside your body? What’s happening for you?

DJ: Well, there are, I’d say, two or three different scenarios. One is that it feels like a conversation has been going on and I just tune into it midstream. So we could be having this conversation and I could be driving my car [or] washing the dishes, and all of a sudden I’ll hear something like, “And as for the idea of divine circulation, that you were just speaking about yesterday,” and on and on and on. It’s like, “OK! Hello! All right, we’re obviously in the middle of a conversation here.” I will stop and do whatever I can to try to capture it.

On the flipside, there will be those moments, particularly [when I] first [awaken], where I just can’t seem to wake up. I’m in this sort of fog and it takes me a minute sometimes to realize, “Oh, that’s what’s going on. I’m not going to awaken until I do something with this message that’s coming through.”

The third variety [happens] in the middle of something where, let’s say it’s a meeting or a counseling session or almost anywhere really. There will be a message that will come through that is very, very critical and relevant to whatever is going on in that moment. And I’m quite lucid, I’m awake, I’m looking around, I hear everybody, and in those situations there’s usually an opportunity for whoever is in the room to ask questions. There is an exchange that occurs back and forth at that particular point in time.

TS: Do you ever—I imagine you would—have the feeling that, “I could really use a letter from the infinite right about now.” And then, does it happen? Does it not happen?

DJ: I’m getting better at that because I know that the information is always available. That if I’m not hearing it, it’s me, and it’s not a broadcast has stopped. I’m a little hesitant to put myself out there in the public at this point as, say, Esther Hicks does where she just shows up and she knows that she can be in that space. But I’m getting more and more to that point, and if I’m sincere in my searching—which I believe is what led me to be open to hearing this in the first place—I will usually get to some kind of feedback. Even if it’s not in the form of a letter, there will be a sign or something that goes on that gives me some kind of guidance.

TS: Now, you referred to Esther Hicks, so just to ask this question in a very direct way, would you say that what you’re doing is channeling? These are channeled writings. You’re channeling.

DJ: I struggle with that term. I think in the eyes of the general public, they would probably say yes. The reason why I tend to not refer to it in that way is that my understanding of channeling is usually that the person who’s channeling is channeling someone else, and in that moment they are sort of absent for the most part. It’s as though they are lending their consciousness, lending their body temple—or whatever it is that they’re bringing to bear here—to someone else to speak through them.

It really isn’t so much like that for me. I’m very lucid. I’m very present, and I’m very much a part of the conversation in that there are references to me. There are times when—for example, there was a message that came, and there was a small group of us, and it said, “There are 12 of you in the room.” I kind of peeked and I counted to see, and the next thing the voice said was, “Why did you count? I told you that there were 12.”

When I say it’s [present], it’s very present. In the moment, when I’m thinking something, the voice may say, “You thought I was going to say this, but that’s part of the problem. You know, your way of framing it in this way, that’s not what I was going to say. I was going to say this other thing.” So it isn’t like someone else is taking me over. I’m part of a mix, and in some respects, I’m a representative in these letters for humanity.

And that’s what the voice will say: “You and humanity,” or, “You with Western thought,” or, “You who come from this particular background or that particular background.” How it is that you frame things [is important]. The letters are always clearing out our consciousness and getting us back on track. They are sometimes very firm and stern, but never in a condemning or judgmental way, always in a loving, compassionate way that’s calling us back to our higher selves.

TS: You know, Rev. Deb, what I’m finding myself feeling is, I want to get into the actual content of the messages that you’ve received in Letters from the Infinite. As you’ve mentioned, there [are] so [many] helpful and useful teachings. And yet I [still] wonder—and I kind of can’t get off of this, but I will soon, don’t worry—[about] the reason that these books that Sounds True has published with you haven’t gotten more attention. That’s one of the questions I’ve asked myself, “Why haven’t these books gotten more attention? The content is so useful and so good.

[I wonder if part of the reason] is that there’s just something in people that recoils or can’t quite become comfortable with the idea that “God” is speaking. It’s OK if it’s your higher knowing and you’re doing automatic writing and if you just wrote the books with your own—you know, “Deborah Lynn Johnson wrote these books! I went into an interesting kind of relaxed state and these words came out.” But calling it God [is what] creates an obstacle for people, and I’m wondering what you think about that?

DJ: I think for some that’s probably the case. And what I would say to that is that so much, to me, [is] an indication of the depth of intimacy that people feel with the divine. When people feel within their own selves that they have this deep profound intimacy, not only do they get over it, but they’re so appreciative because they can feel the voice speaking directly to them.

For individuals who are skeptical about the whole idea of a divine or a process, it might be a little bit more challenging. What I can say, once again, is that even the biggest skeptic—and I have certainly come up against them—if they take the time and read even just a portion of either volume, usually whatever it is that comes up in that moment is exactly what they need. The letters range from things about our own individual journeys, our interpersonal relationships, our global governmental affairs, and society as a whole, as well as the things that are going on in our own individual [lives]. The three letters between the two volumes on marriage in particular, I think, are just exquisite given all of the debates that are going on right now about marriage equality.

I dare say that I think it’s been more my inability to have enough public exposure than I think it is rejection of the material. Because once exposed, once people hear of it—and I do quite a number of webinars or give opportunities where people can hear parts of the letters being quoted—they’re right there. It is a very rare occasion where somebody who actually hears it, in my experience, rejects it.

TS: Well, let’s get right into it. I think a good place to start would be with the title of each of the volumes and the teachings that underlie the title. So let’s start with The Sacred Yes. What is this idea behind the “yes” that makes it a “sacred yes”? What are you talking about?

DJ: Well, the sacred yes is a place of—may I quote?

TS: Yes, of course.

DJ: This is part of a prologue to the book and it’s from the letter “Begin with Yes.” It’s just a paragraph: “This is the Yes that whispers in your soul. This is the Yes that sings to you in the midnight hour. This is the Yes that cradles you when you are trembling in fear. This is the Yes opens its arms and embraces you when you are feeling disconnected from everything and everybody, including yourself. This is the Yes that sustains you when you don’t know where you’re going to get the strength to take the next step, let alone finish the journey. This is the Yes that you were looking for in all of your conversations with everybody else. I am the Yes! You turned to other people for these things and then get disappointed, when it was never theirs to give. Seek, and ye shall find, yes. But you have to look where it can be found to find it. Come to me. You will find it in you, in me! Yes!”

In our society, we tend to make yes a concurrent. It’s an agreement to something on the back end, and we want to know what it is that we’re giving our consent to before we in fact say yes. This sacred yes is on the front end, as it describes it in that particular letter, that it’s the foundation stone upon which everything is built. It is the lens. It is the framework. It’s in the beginning. It’s not on the back.

This yes is a place of full, whole-hearted consent to life, to divine order, to the great mystery of life and your being a significant player in the great unfolding of life. You are a journey. You’re on a journey and you’re a spiritual traveler. The sacred yes is the profound within you. It’s not about the circumstances. It’s not about the conditions. It’s about your sense of connection with the divine. When you have that, it sustains you no matter what’s going on. You are uplifted, inspired, and you manage to get rejuvenated even in the midst of things not being the way you would want them to be.

TS: I’m curious, do you have the experience for yourself that having this sacred yes in you again and again and again, that it now just happens naturally all of the time? Or do you ever find yourself in the “no” position towards life?

DJ: I know deep within my soul that it’s a friendly universe, and I trust that down in the depths of my soul. Do I get into a pity party sometimes? Sometimes I forget my spiritual identity. Sometimes I get in the mud just like everybody else, and wallow in the “woe is me.” But the more that I live in the sacred yes, the less tolerance I have to stay in that position for too long. It loses its appeal. I can’t muster up enough energy to make me really believe it. So there’s a self-correcting measure that happens, a habituation, once you start to live in that place of the sacred yes.

TS: You know, when you say that you feel and know deep in your soul the goodness of the universe, the goodness of divinity, that’s such a powerful thing for me to hear. Sometimes I wonder, how could you help somebody who maybe doesn’t know that in their soul? Who maybe feels the world is more neutral, like they’re not convinced that it’s bad, but they’re certainly not convinced it’s good either. They sort of have this viewpoint of maybe it’s neither.

DJ: Well, I first off try to make a distinction between the world and the universe. The world being the material world that there’s made up souls? That may not be all that friendly. The place where I usually start is with nature. The notion that there are competing energy forces, or there’s a force for bad or that there’s a force for evil—we really cannot find anything in nature that we would consider to be evil without it coming out of human consciousness. The only time that you ever find anything that is deliberately desecrating in any kind of way is when human beings have lost touch with their spiritual identity. There’s no power out there that wants deliberately to hurt you or harm you. [So] that’s one.

Two, when we look at nature, we see that it moves towards life and more life. That a little blade of grass, [even] if you put cement on top of it, if there is just the smallest crack it’s going to keep coming through. That there’s something that’s rejuvenating and self-sustaining that happens in nature—[if] you have a fire in the redwoods or a fire in the forest, and what do you know! There is new growth that’s going to happen the next year. We’re part of this sort of natural ecology and there’s nothing out there that wants ill of us. We are places and spaces in the universe that life happens through, just not to. There’s always the capacity for more—for more joy, for more song, for more dance, for more creativity. It just simply awaits our consent. There’s nothing withholding anything from us. It’s just, can we step up and say, “Yes, why not me”?

TS: And would you say there was a turning point in your life where you were able to say and recognize the sacred yes in a different kind of way than [you did] previously? Sort of like before the sacred yes, and after the sacred yes.

DJ: Yes. As I mentioned before, I grew up in a very—no, that’s not exactly true. My mother is a very devout evangelical, fundamentalist, charismatic Pentecostal. My father is a little more metaphysical in his orientation. They’ve been married 65 years. So I grew up in a household where there were these different theological perspectives. But since my mother had control over my religious upbringing, I grew up in the holiness, hellfire-and-brimstone kind of church. Now, for as long as I can remember I’ve been aware of the fact that I was gay, which is a bit problematic growing up in the kind of household that I grew up in.

TS: Yes, I can imagine.

DJ: So there was a voice within me that told me that I was OK, but I wasn’t exactly receiving any of these affirming messages. I can remember distinctly—I was about 15 or 16 years old and I had a girlfriend who I was with all through high school and college, we’re still friends now—making that decision that if there was a hell, then I was just going to have to go.

TS: [Laughs]

DJ: Because if I were to try to be anything else other than what I was, I would already be in hell here. So why be in hell here and there? If I’m going to have any chance at life, it’s to live life fully here and now. There was a moment when I had this peak awareness that there really wasn’t a devil. That there really wasn’t a hell for all eternity, and when my mind was released of that construct of control. There was a phenomenal new liberation.

There were two things that happened subsequent to that that sealed it for me. One was a book by Reverend Troy Perry, who was from a background very similar to mine, [and] who had been defrocked by the Pentecostal church for coming out as gay. The title of his first book is, The Lord Is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay. He started the Metropolitan Community Churches, which was the first “gay” denomination.

At about the same time the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf was also out. And there was a line towards the end of that play—the play is just exquisite and bears no resemblance to this movie that recently came out—when the women are coming together, where they say that there has to be a laying on of hands, that we need to heal each other. And one person said, “I found God in myself and I loved Her fiercely.” Tami, it was over. No devil! The Lord is my shepherd and he knows I’m gay! I found God in myself and loved her fiercely! Oh, Tami, it was over!

Between those two things, there was this great awakening in me [that] allowed me to stop cowering in fear about what was going to happen to me if I didn’t obey all of these tenets. [It allowed me to] just start saying, “What is my real purpose and meaning in life? Please reveal it to me.” It really is that kind of search that led to the letters.

My attitude has been that I don’t want to believe what everybody else has said about me. If there’s a God anywhere, and if there’s a plan for my life, and if I’m an abomination, I have to hear that from [God] because that’s not what I feel. If there’s value and meaning in my life, please tell me. Don’t have my life be somebody else’s interpretation of who or what I should be. Talk to me. I think I have perhaps wanted that more than the average bear—to really, really hear it.

TS: Now, this idea of this unconditional yes in us—this deep, what you call, sacred yes—what would you say to somebody who’s suffering from an illness of some kind and is finding it hard to find the sacred yes in that experience?

DJ: What I would say is that the help that they seek is within the very body that appears to be ill, and this is true for everything. [Their] health can’t be bought, can’t be borrowed. The doctors don’t have it. But your body’s a temple. Every cell and tissue and fiber of your body is infused with a wisdom and an intelligence.

I love the way that Lynne McTaggart puts it, the author of The Field. A lot of these movies and books, like The Living Matrix, they describe us as energy fields. She says that disease is just scrambled information. It’s a way in which signals and wires, so to speak, have gotten crossed, but we can uncross them, so to speak. There is a perfect pattern of health that’s still within us, and it’s really important that we don’t let the outer expression have the last word.

Our body temples, our selves, are constantly rejuvenating. The body that you have now is not the body you had two months ago. At any moment in time in this process of rejuvenation, there is the opportunity to get back on track, and it is extremely important that we bless, nurture, and love our bodies unconditionally. The thing that appears to be most out of alignment, whether it’s in your body temple or in our body politic, that’s what needs our love the most.

TS: Beautiful. OK, Rev. Deb, let’s move on to the title of the second volume in the series of Letters from the Infinite, Your Deepest Intent. Tell me a little bit about that phrase [and] what you mean by that.

DJ: Well, your intent is a place of integration. A lot of times people think of intent as a goal, but it’s not a goal. It is a place where it all comes together: our thinking, our emotions, our actions, our words, our deeds. It all comes into alignment and starts moving in a certain direction. Your intent is a vibratory field. It’s not just a goal. It is a convergence of your entire energy field, and what happens for most of us is that we are across purposes.

As human beings, we have a tremendous capacity to be able to think one thing, feel another thing, say something else, yet do something else. It’s that fragmented approach to being in life [that] diffuses our energy and prevents us from being able to really fulfill where it is that we want to go. It’s as though we have a foot on the gas and a foot on the brake at the same time. This place of intent is where it all pulls together. It is far more important that our intent be pure, and our goals be actualized. Because when you come from the place of a pure intent, then there is something in the universe that is responding to us and opening up doors. Through laws of attraction and all of the other things that we hear about, that’s making opportunities happen for us.

TS: How do you suggest somebody purify their intent?

DJ: Our intent takes many things into consideration. Not just what you want to do, but why do you want to do it? Why do you think that it’s necessary that it be done? What is it that you’re hoping is going to be accomplished on the back end? Who do you plan on involving and including in this? There are these basic kinds of questions, and when the answer to any of these questions is something that is defensive, self-serving, coming from a place of fear, or lack or limitation, then there’s some purification that needs to happen.

Let’s say, for example, if I’m going out in the marketplace and I’m looking for a job. If I’m looking for a job out of fear—fear of a lack of money, of losing my house—then that’s a very different vibration that I’m sending out then if I’m looking for a job saying, “I want to give myself fully. I have skills. I have talents. I want to be productive and creative in the right environment where I can make a difference.”

Now, it may be a factual situation. Perhaps I really am in deep financial need. Perhaps I am close to losing my house. But if the place that I’m coming from in looking for the job is from that place of desperation, that energy goes out before I do. If I’m coming from that place of, “Gee, I really want to make this contribution,” then the good that I seek is seeking me. I’m far more likely to attract individuals or become aware of situations where I really can accomplish that.

TS: You know, recently I’ve met a couple of different people who have said something like this to me. [They said,] “I’d like to share with you my personal mission statement.” And I think, “OK, that’s interesting.” They go ahead and they tell me their personal mission statement, and some part of me, while I’m listening, is thinking that this whole thing feels a little too concrete or something. Like they’re walking around with something they’ve written and put in their pocket. I’m just curious what you think about that.

DJ: Well, personally, I agree. This is where there often is a convolution that [sometimes] happens between what I would call some real basic spiritual principles and the human self-help movement. We will be using some of the same language but meaning completely different things. The purpose [of] a goal, or doing your mission statement, as far as I’m concerned, is merely for the purpose of getting you in motion, for the purpose of opening you up to greater possibilities.

It’s not about manifesting just that particular thing, because whatever it is that you’ve come up with in your mind, it’s too small. Whatever you’ve come up with in your mind, there is always something that’s bigger, greater, grander, smaller, cheaper, easier than what you had in mind. Sometimes we limit the Great Is with our plans because we’re too specific about what we think it’s supposed to be, or where it’s supposed to come from. And then we’re missing all of these other blessings that are there awaiting us.

If I can share with you a simple little story that made this so concrete for me that healed me of this. Years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles, I lived in an area that was very densely populated. It’s called the Miracle Mile, close to Wilshire Boulevard, and it didn’t have enough parking space. [So] I would have to park on these different streets and get up in the rain before seven o’clock and move my car and all this. And I was early into taking Science of the Mind classes at the time, and I was told that everything was energy, that we should bless things with the same energy that we use to condemn.

So I’m walking around pissed, saying, “Thank you, God, for my two parking spaces. Thank you, God, for my two parking spaces. Thank you, God, for my two parking spaces.” This must have gone on for like a year or so. Well, then I buy my first piece of property. It’s a condo in the Silver Lake area, and you know what I got? Two parking spaces. That’s it. Not a garage, or an overhang, or shade, or visitor’s parking. I got two parking spaces. It was at that moment when I realized, “Wow! You know, this stuff really does work. You really can ‘manifest’ whatever it is that you put your mind to.”

Because I was so narrow and so specific, I cut myself off. So now, instead of worrying so much about what it looks like, now I affirm the absolute quality. I affirm the absolute essence without having to put markers on it. It’s like the job situation that I was just talking about, where I was describing [the] qualities that I’d like some place [to have]—where it’s open and fun and I can be rewarded and well-compensated and work with people of like mind—without saying specifically that I want to be in this industry, in this job, in this town, on this street, making this amount of money with this company. You can get that [specific job], but that may not be your highest and best. There may be something out there for you that you haven’t even thought of. Keep yourself open to the possibilities.

TS: OK. I want to circle back to something that you briefly touched on that came up in the letters, which is what you’ve received related to marriage—interesting letters specifically on that topic—and how it might relate to questions of gay marriage today. I’m curious for you to comment on that.

DJ: Well, it relates directly. There are two letters on marriage that are in the first volume, The Sacred Yes. There is [also] one that is in your deepest intent. The reason why they relate so directly is that [they speak] very [specifically] about what a marriage is really about. How it really isn’t so much about the parties who are involved, but what it is that you’re doing in the marriage that makes it a marriage. It talks about marriage as a commitment. And what it is that it’s asking for—and [they say] it really explicitly. “I don’t really care that much about who you marry, I care about the quality [of the marriage].” And if these certain aspects and things aren’t in the relationship, well, then it really isn’t a real marriage. You don’t just dress up servitude by calling it a marriage if it really isn’t about equality or justice. They’re just so wonderful!

TS: Well, I pulled one quote out that I really liked, and I’ll throw this out and you can comment on it. “Our marriage to each other mirrors our marriage to divinity.” I thought that was beautiful. Tell me what that means to you.

DJ: Well, what it explains is that relationships are like a laboratory in [which] we learn with each other how to love. The letters are suggesting that we use our relationships with each other as an opportunity to express our sense of connectedness with the divine. Most spiritual traditions, for example, when they tell you to be of service to human kind, you’re not just helping people. You are also glorifying and magnifying the divine presence, whatever that is.

When we do something unto each other, we’ve done unto life itself. We have an opportunity in our relationships to be able to learn how to forgive, how to love unconditionally, and how to be of service to one another, how to care, how to show up, and how to really be in a commitment. It’s saying that if you were running and hiding from each other and mistreating each other, you can’t really be present for God. Part of the way that you can gain spiritual availability is to clean up how you do your relationship business.

TS: Now, I’m going to throw you this other line from the letters that I really liked, just to bring it out and have you comment on it. It was from The Sacred Yes and here’s the quote: “Courage is the ability to keep walking in the direction of your surrender.”

DJ: That is one of my all-time favorite lines. There are many, many notable quotables, but that’s one of my all time favorites. Yes, “courage is the ability to keep walking in the direction of your surrender.” Surrender in the spiritual sense does not mean defeat. Surrender is a yielding as if you were merging onto the freeway or something, where you just slow down a little bit and you let something else go in front of you, or go ahead of you.

The letters [often] point out that you don’t have to know where you’re going to know that you’re headed in the right direction. This place of surrender is a yielding to a sense of a divine order, of a right action. The serenity prayer, for example, sort of speaks of that: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things that I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This courage is not so much about might and power. What takes real courage is the ability to be able to yield. That’s the real courage: to trust in powers, energies, wisdom, and logic that [are] greater than our little brain can wrap its arms around.

What I would say about these letters that I think is very unique is that most of the time, when we speak of spiritual guidance, it’s on a very personal level. These letters, like the marriage letters, are speaking to us as a society as well. In fact, I dedicate your deepest intent to the United States of America, because there are so many letters in there at the macro level that are speaking to us as a society about what is our deep intent in the world. We have all of this might, we have all of this power, but what are we really doing with it? We say we want democracy, we say we want equality, but is that really what we’re doing?

[That’s] another reason why I think that the people who read these letters really appreciate them so much. It’s the practical application and the broad nature of the letters that attracts people to the letters. The letters address economics, politics, and conflict resolution, down to cultivating your own personal relationship with the divine. It goes from the micro to the macro.

TS: And this last point that I really want to bring forward dovetails exactly with what you’re saying about creating one’s own relationship with the divine. I’m curious, for somebody who’s listening and says, “I’m intrigued and would like to read these letters from the infinite, but equally I want to write my own letters from the infinite. I’m inspired here about the idea of finding this spiritual authority and spiritual voice inside of me.” What would you suggest to such a person who wants to open to receive that kind of knowing and writing?

DJ: Be still. Listen. Give yourself an opportunity to get away from the maddening noises, even if it’s just a quiet walk in the park. Turn of the cell phones and the computers and all of the rest of that, and let yourself really tune into what’s within. There are many different kinds of exercises and things that people can do, but I find one of the quickest ones, if you want to get into this particular mindset, is what I call the internal dialogue. With the internal dialogue, you are essentially creating a script between your higher self and the part of you that’s in there wallowing and having the pity party.

If you were to just take a piece of paper and literally write a script where you let that lower vibrational part of you start off with all of the complaints, whatever they are, just see what the response back is. Just listen for what the response back is, and if you do that process enough, you will find that there is something that is calling you up to a higher place; that there’s some kind of wisdom or vibration that you’re tapped into that is not stuck and trapped in the story. If we give ourselves the chance to let it speak to us, it will not fail you. You’ll begin to hear it.

TS: You said something interesting in our conversation earlier, Rev. Deb. You said that you thought it was your sincerity—I think is the word that you used—that really opened up this flow, if you will. Say what you mean by that—sincerity. What were you so sincere about?

DJ: I was sincere in the sense of a seeker with a deep longing. But not the kind of longing that is unrequited love, because if you long too much, you will convince yourself that you don’t have it. I really believed that it was possible, and part of that sincerity is tied in with the love. George Washington Carver, I think, said it best when he said, “Whatever you love enough reveals its secrets to you.”

I find that most people don’t really love life. They’re kind of afraid of life and they’re trying to hedge against it. They’re suspicious of it. They don’t really love God, or the divine. They don’t really love it. Once again, they’re afraid of it, they’re confused about it and angry and frustrated with it. But if you really love anything—if you really love mathematics, it will reveal its secrets to you. If you really love dogs, they’ll reveal their secrets to you. Or flowers. That’s what I mean by sincere.

[If you come from] a place of real openness, real wanting to know, not so much, “God, prove yourself to me based on my standards and how I want it to be.” The letters will tell me often, “I don’t keep anything from you. You can know anything if you’re willing to see through my eyes.” So that sincerity, part of it is laying aside how I think it should be or ought to be, and opening up wide to what [it] is.

Most of us can’t get the answers, sometimes, because we’re asking all of the wrong questions. We’re asking questions like, “What’s wrong here? When is this going to be over?” Those aren’t the right questions because there aren’t any answers to those kinds of questions. It keeps you moving the same Tinkertoys around. If we can broaden it and take the judgment off of life and just really show up with a deep love and appreciation for the mystery of life itself, we will find that the so-called secrets aren’t that secret at all. Love is just the decoder; our sincerity is just the decoder that allows us to see what otherwise we’ve been blind to.

TS: Thank you so much. I’ve been speaking with Reverend Deborah Lynn Johnson—as I like to call her, Rev. Deb, many people call her Rev. D—and Rev. D is the author of a series of Letters from the Infinite: Volume 1, The Sacred Yes and volume 2, Your Deepest Intent. She has also created with Sounds True a four-CD audio program where she reads many of the letters from The Sacred Yes. Rev. Deb, thanks for being with us on Insights at the Edge.

DJ: Thank you! I certainly enjoyed our time.

TS: SoundsTrue.com. Many voices, one journey. Thanks for listening.