Marianne Williamson

 

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer whose four books have been #1 New York Times best sellers – one of them, A Return to Love is considered a must-read of modern spirituality.

Life and Career

Marianne Williamson was born on July 8, 1952 in Houston, Texas. She attended Pomona College in Claremont, California for two years.

In the 1970s she owned a bookstore in Houston, where she envisioned and manifested a non-retail sanctuary, in which readers as well as writers regularly gathered together. According to an interview she gave to aiht.edu, by the early 1980s the Unity Church Course in Miracles had so enthralled her that she felt called to Los Angeles to start a “Miracles” lecture series.

Williamson jokes that the first miracle was her surviving in this unpaid ministry for two years before she gained a sufficient word-of-mouth following to command a living wage. 

She has lectured professionally since 1983.

Soon she became “a spiritual leader to the stars”, although she doesn’t reveal who her most famous clients are.

Marianne Williamson is the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program for homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area, and co-founder of The Peace Alliance, a  campaign that supports legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace. She is also behind a series of seminars and teaching sessions that seeks to provide women with the information and tools needed to run for political office, called Sister Giant.

Williamson lives in Michigan with her daughter, and she now ministers to a Detroit-area Unity Church congregation of 2,500-plus.

Teachings and Philosophy

Williamson is the teacher of the channeled text A Course in Miracleswhich is is a contemporary expression of New Thought. She describes the course as “a self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy”: everything we do is motivated either by love or by fear, and it takes diligent internal work, for us to actively transform our fearful thoughts into loving intent. But, as she says, “once we do, we manifest goodness in our personal life that permeates everywhere we go and affects everyone whose lives we touch…it can travel everywhere, throughout the world”.

The very first course of action is to heal ourselves, because our negative emotions only add to the chaos; we can’t become an instrument of peace if our own heart is judgmental and unforgiving.

She suggests that through meditation we can shift ourselves towards that empathetic insight that leads to the real outreach of a “warm and living, healing hand”. We first must master our own minds and dismiss the ego-driven brain by opening up and amplifying the “sacred heart”. She believes that meditation and group meditation are a way in which we can quickly alter brainwave patterns from negative to positive; and it’s done even faster by group meditation, because group energy contributes to our collective ability to converse at a deeper level.

She explains the three kinds of love:

The ancient Greeks identified three kinds of love. Eros, the romantic, hormonal stuff; Philia, the love for all who are similar to us; and Agape, the sweeping unconditional love for all. The latter is what we’re after, and workplaces, neighborhoods and nations are all big on Philia—I can relate to you because you dress like I do and have a similar educational and/or geographic background. Obviously, Eros isn’t going to transform humanity—it that were the case, I could’ve done so single-handedly by now, and so could we all.

Books

  • A Return to Love
  • Imagine What America Could Be in the 21st Century: Visions of a Better Future from Leading American Thinkers
  • Emma & Mommy Talk to God
  • Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens
  • A Woman’s Worth
  • Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power of Intimate Relationships
  • Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, And Making Miracles
  • Illuminata: A Return to Prayer
  • The Gift of Change
  • The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles

Quotes

Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called “All the Things That Could Go Wrong”.

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.

In the short video below Marianne Williamson talks about love and fear:

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