Home Inspiring Interviews The Age of Miracles: Marianne Williamson on Peace, Prayer and Politics

The Age of Miracles: Marianne Williamson on Peace, Prayer and Politics

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Holy spirit bird

By Victoria Mary Clarke

I was feeling hopeless, helpless, full of fear. My partner was being wheeled into hospital, shaking with pain. I asked the Universe to show me a higher, wiser perspective on the situation, and via Paul from Positive Life, it delivered her. On 4 February 1992, Oprah Winfrey told 14 million people that she had personally bought 1,000 copies of Marianne’s first book ‘A Return to Love’. All 70,000 copies sold out that day. Oprah said she had got 157 miracles, possibly the most miraculous endorsement imaginable. The book was based on the teachings of the ‘Course In Miracles’, which is believed by the author Helen Schucman to have been given to her by Jesus. Marianne has written eleven books and sold three million copies, she founded Project Angel Food in LA, and co-founded the Peace Alliance, which is campaigning for a US Department of Peace and she tours and lectures constantly. Sixteen years ago, I sat next to Marianne at a dinner. I was wildly jealous of her, she had everything I wanted, the Oprah endorsement, the NY Times bestseller.

I watched her speak at the launch of her new book, and my envy turned to awe. She glided on stage, slender, sexy and chic and OWNED the audience like a rock star. She spoke with gravitas and authority about the need for compassion and community in our governments. She was Presidential. Having told her about my partner’s plight, she said a prayer for his healing. I had been nervous, stuck in my head, busy thinking of clever questions. She immediately shifted me into my heart, which is exactly what she teaches people to do. In October 2013 she ran for Congress in California and came in fourth despite being endorsed by a host of celebrities including Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian. She believes Hillary will win the Presidency. She speaks with exceptional diction, in a husky voice with a slightly Texan twang. “But anything could happen.” Marianne was a Bernie Sanders supporter, initially. “I do believe the Democratic party unfairly tipped the election in Hillary Clinton’s favour. But once it happened, I immediately pivoted to Hillary because I think that Donald Trump represents a real threat to our democracy and a destabilising influence.’ Does the situation need a miracle? “I am prayerful and hopeful, but this campaign has revealed some of the darkest shadows in the American psyche. Every country and every person has a shadow side. Enlightenment is the complete dissolution of the shadow, but we don’t need enlightenment to have a civilised world. Civilisation is where the shadow is kept in check. Some of our worst impulses have been legitimised by this candidate, impulses that should never be taken seriously within the public realm.”

She does see an upside to the situation. “As much as it has exposed the divisions in the US, it has also exposed some unity. There is an increasing consensus on left and right that there are limits past which we will not go. My hope is that he will be defeated so roundly that the whole world will see that.” She describes her own campaign as an “exhilarating experience, but a brutal one.” “If I were a younger woman I would probably think of trying again in a few years time, but I feel that I scratched that itch and running for office is in the been there done that zone!” Speaking of wake up calls, her new book ‘Tears to Triumph’

is about the spiritual journey from suffering to enlightenment. Suffering as a wake up call? “It can be a wake up call, depending on how you contextualise it. One of the things I talk about in the book is the over prescription of anti-depressants in the US. If all you do is treat it with anti-depressants, it is a call to take a nap!” Personal suffering in a spiritual context is seen as a dark night of the soul, she says. “There are guideposts in all the great spiritual traditions that lead us out of the darkness and into the light of personal happiness and peace, and those guideposts include forgiveness, mercy and atonement.” “What we need is to figure out how to cultivate happiness,” she says. “Depression is the absence of happiness, happiness is not the absence of depression. You can’t see yourself as a victim and be happy, you can’t fail to take responsibility for your own life and be happy, you can’t fail to make amends and atone and be happy and you can’t withhold forgiveness and be happy. So the book is a reflection on the pathway out of human suffering and back to peace.”

When we think about what will make us happy, she says, we usually think of things that we can get, the car, the new job, the apartment. I find myself identifying with this, especially when I think of selling three million books! But of course this is not the answer to finding real happiness. “To seek enlightenment is the most powerful, the only way to find inner peace and happiness,” Marianne assures me. I asked her about the law of attraction, whether she thinks it works. “The idea that your thoughts create your experience is nothing new. It is true that thought is the level of cause and experience is the level of effect. But using your thoughts to get what you want is not the spiritual mountaintop. Hitler did that!” So you can get what you want, but what you really want is not what you think you want? “Yes. Love is the only right track. In ‘A Course In Miracles’, it talks about the difference between magic and miracles. Magic is when you use mental tools, you get the Universe to act as your errand boy. Miracles are where you ask the Universe how you might be of service to it, how you might serve love.”

She follows the teachings of the course every day. “I ask ‘How can Love use me today?’ That automatically lifts you into a zone where manifestation that serves all things good, true and beautiful for you and everyone else unfolds.” Even Marianne gets it wrong sometimes. “My life works really well when I practise what I preach, and when I don’t, things fall apart as much for me as for anyone else. On the mornings where I wake up and ask Love to use me today, send Love to anyone I am going to be with, go into a meeting and ask to be an instrument of peace, bless the people who are there. When I do that things work. When I don’t, things do not work!” Should we love Donald Trump? “Love does not mean you agree with everybody. But we don’t have to personally demonise anyone. Politics is too important to poison it with that toxic vibration. Terrible things can happen when politics becomes an instrument of hate.” I was curious about what her own daily life is like. “I am a normal person, I work out like everybody else, I do yoga, weights, try to eat well, like everybody else. My sign is Cancer, so I really crave the experience of home and when I am home I will spend an entire 24 hours in the delicious space of doing nothing, we all need that.”

She enjoys the work that she does, but not all aspects of it. “What gets stressful are the airplanes, the travel, the administrative details. But the work itself is a joy for me.” She will be giving a talk on ‘Embracing the Miraculous Mind’ at the upcoming Hay House ‘I Can Do It’ conference. “I am going to be talking about the principles of living a miraculous life. We all have a split mind , one part of the mind is in touch with the spiritual essence, and when we live with that realisation as our mental filter, life unfolds one way, and when we fall into the forgetfulness of the world, which denies our spiritual essence, and we think and act from that place, life unfolds completely differently. It is the difference between harmony and miracles and love versus chaos, anxiety and violence.”

The message that I took away from our meeting? That no matter how fearful we feel, there is always another perspective and there are people like Marianne holding giant signposts to lead us back to love and peace. But even they have to work at it!

1 Ask how you can be of service to love each day
2 Ideas grow stronger when shared
3 Practise a daily meditation
4 Check out A Course In Miracles
5 Take care of the present with inner peace and the future
will take care of itself


@victoriamary / victoriamaryclarke.com


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