Tag Archive: Marianne Williamson



Based on “A Course in Miracles,” bestselling author, Marianne Williamson gives a live talk every Monday in Los Angeles (also available via Livestream anywhere in the world) to teach the principles of “miracle mindedness.” During a talk in late July, she focused on trusting others.

“To the extent to which our thought system is based on fear, or non-miraculous thinking, we bind ourselves to the experience of the world of scarcity and death,” she said. “As we shift our thinking from fear to love, we literally shift into a place where a process of divine intercession — a thought system beyond our own, an actual celestial order of love and harmony — then enters into our experience of this world. Because we transform our thinking, we can transform the effect that thinking has caused.”

“A Course in Miracles” tells us we are perfect, and the core belief and thought within that miracle-minded thought system is the recognition of that perfections, Williamson shared with the audience. However, because the Course tells us we are all connected, meaning there is really only one of us existing in this world, we cannot recognize the perfection of our spiritual being unless we are willing to recognize it in another.

Quoting Lesson 181 from “A Course in Miracles,” Williamson read: “Trusting your brothers is essential to establishing and holding up your faith in your ability to transcend doubt and lack of sure conviction in yourself.”

Trust is a big issue for many people, but only if we trust others can we actually trust ourselves, because any thought we have about another is a thought about ourselves, she said.

“If I think lovingly about you, that is an act of self-care, because I myself will feel ultimately more nourished as I am willing to think more lovingly about you. If I think attack thoughts about you, ‘A Course in Miracles’ says, a sword is dropping over their head and in the realm of reality where there is not time and space, a sword is dropping on me as well.”

Additionally, if we hold the thought and belief that people cannot be trusted, the Course teaches we create what we defend against, so our subconscious mind will set things up in such a way that we will create it. People make mistakes, and we make mistakes, but the question is what we choose to focus on.

“A Course in Miracles” states: “Perception has a focus. It is this that gives consistency to what you see. Change but this focus, and what you behold will change accordingly. Your vision will shift, to give support to the intent which has replaced the one you held before.”

While the ego mind intends to focus on the guilt of another, the spirit within wants to focus on their innocence, Williamson said. We can make a choice to shift our perception in any moment.

“The ego will use your mistakes as evidence for why you deserve it and the spirit in me chooses to extend my perception beyond what the bodies eyes reveal to what the spiritual eye revels, which is the truth in you,” she explained. “I can choose what I intend to see, and when we choose to see the innocence in another person, the Course says this is an act of self-interest, and a gentle reinterpretation of the world. And when we gently reinterpret into miracle mindedness, we see all human behavior as either love, which obviously calls for love to be returned, or as a call for love. In the moment we behave like jerks, the spirit is saying ‘I’m trapped in here. Love me. Because if you condemn me in this place, I’m only going to be worse.’”

marianne-Faith in Sinlessness

Quoting from Lesson 181, Williamson said: “Remove your focus on your brother’s sins and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness. This faith in sinlessness receives its own sure support from what you see in others past their sins. For their mistakes if focused on are witnesses to sins in you. And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond.”

The Course views sins as errors or mistakes to be corrected. But if we limit our focus to the errors of others, we are also binding ourselves to our own errors, she said. Since the level of our errors is not truly who we are, we cannot feel comfortable I our own skin. The only way we can escape our own feelings of self-hatred is to be willing to have faith in the sinlessness of another.

“This is why ‘A Course in Miracles’ says heaven — which is an awareness of our oneness, and the inner peace that comes from that, not later but in this moment — is entered two by two,” she shared. “I cannot get into heaven unless I am willing to take you there with me. If I am binding you to your guilt, I cannot escape feeling the hell of feeling guilt myself.”

The course says we achieve so little because we have undisciplined minds. Just as we exercise our bodies and discipline our muscles, we must do the same for our minds, Williamson said. The ego can take over, or we can instruct our mind and say, “These attach thoughts only hurt me. I am willing to be miracle minded here.”

“Miracle mindedness in any moment is our willingness in any moment to align our thinking with the will of God. We have been trained to look at the world as ‘Do I want to serve the will of God, or do I want to be happy and I can get what I really need?’ and this is ego-oriented,” Williamson noted. “In any moment, when our goal is the perception of sinlessness, then our goal is to rest in heave — meaning our awareness of our oneness, meaning the place we can be happy, meaning the palce where people want to get along with us, meaning the celestial order where our highest good is already programmed.”

For more from Marianne Williamson, and to sign up for her Free Monday Night Livestream, visit http://www.marianne.com.


Published on Jan 10, 2017

Also see https://batgap.com/marianne-williamson/

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Marianne has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose & Bill Maher. Seven of her twelve published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. Four of these have been #1. The mega best seller A Return to Love is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.

Marianne is the founder of Sister Giant, an annual conference dedicated to forging a deeper conversation about what is happening in America today – and what we can do to change it. This year’s conference is coming up February 2-4 in Washington, DC. Speakers include Senator Bernie Sanders (keynote), Thom Hartmann, Jean Houston, Robert Thurman, and many more. The event will be livestreamed.

Marianne’s other books include: The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, and Making Miracles A Woman’s Worth Illuminata: A Return to Prayer Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for Living Your Best Life A Year of Miracles: Daily Devotions and Reflections, and her newest book, Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment, available now.

Marianne is a native of Houston, Texas. In 1989, she founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. To date, Project Angel Food has served over 10 million meals. Marianne also co-founded the Peace Alliance. And she serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, working to end the worst ravages of hunger and poverty throughout the world.

According to Time magazine, “Yoga, the Cabala and Marianne Williamson have been taken up by those seeking a relationship with God that is not strictly tethered to Christianity.”

Website: http://marianne.com

TEARS TO TRIUMPH VIEW HERE

An Interview with Marianne Williamson on the role of the feminine, meditation and engaged spirituality in today’s world by Etan Ilfeld…

Etan Ilfeld: I notice that you mention God a lot, but you always use the masculine – why is that?

Marianne Williamson: I actually wrote a book called a Woman’s Worth, and it’s all about the Goddess – but I write primarily on the principles of the Course In Miracles. There’s one Truth and it’s spoken in many different ways. I do believe that they’re all just kaleidoscopic visions of universal, spiritual themes. But as someone who does lecture and write on the Course in Miracles, that is the language of the course; the traditional Judeo-Christian ‘God’ is He, and as I am Jewish and was raised Jewish, God being a he was never a problem for me. I appreciate that this may be a problem for some people and by all means they should use the language that works for them. Nobody up there is going “oh my god, get the words right!”

EI: Alanis Morissette played God in the film Dogma…
MW: As the Course in Miracles says, words are, at best, symbols. Now, I will say this as far as God being ‘he’. In the eastern religions there’s the Yin and the Yang. Yin is the feminine, earth principle and Yang is the masculine, sky or spirit principle. Now we call ‘Mother Earth’ feminine all the time – I never hear a man say “Why do we call it Mother Earth? Why don’t we call it FATHER Mother Earth?!”. Instinctively we relate to the energies of the earth as female; it’s kind of like a male or female plug, it’s not a genital issue, but it is a profound sense that the masculine enters into the feminine. In the sense that God is Masculine, Humanity is she, and the idea of God entering your heart, which is the mystical Christic perspective, that you are penetrated and impregnated by God, and out of your humanity, which is feminine, there is born the Christ which is neither masculine nor feminine. And so, there are ways in which the beautiful interplay of the masculine and feminine is experienced, as long as we keep it out of our anthropomorphic gender, genital based filters.

EI: You described a pseudo-Buddhist piece of Graffiti you once saw: “Don’t just do something, sit there!” . The Ego always wants to do something, and it’s important to, as you put it, “quietly seek the peace of God”. So often we forget that knowing how to not-do, is an action, too.

MW: Well, living in the modern world, we are constantly barraged by a clutter of ultimately meaningless stimulus. That’s day in, day out. Our ancestors didn’t have to deal with that, and the human brain literally is not set for that. When you do physical exercise you are training your physical muscles so that you can move. When you do spiritual exercise, you are training your internal, attitudinal muscles so you can remain motionless and non-reactive. People have no impulse control, the whole world has shpilkes, where the nervous system is like a crystal vase, too much water is coming in and everyone’s nervous system is shattered! And that’s what meditation helps with.

A lot of the spiritual reclamation of the soul has to do with the cultivation of a quiet mind, a quiet environment. In Judaism and Christianity, there is an expression: ‘the small still voice for God’. The ego speaks first and speaks loudest. And meditation gives us the capacity to hear this small still voice, that will not impose itself upon you but is there. Through meditation, prayer, serious spiritual practice we become finely tuned intuitional instruments.

EI: I understand you’ve got a new book coming out soon. I’d love to hear what it’s about.
MW: The title is ‘Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment’. View Here There has developed in our culture a way we’ve put a cheap yellow smile, the happy face, all over everything. It has given us a distrust of unhappiness. And just as there are storms in nature, and they serve a function, there are storms in normal life. People die, divorce, heartbreak, grief, financial loss, financial ruin, recovery, losing your job… and these can lead to very dark nights of trhe soul. What I think of as a psycho-therapeutic-pharmacological-industrial complex has kind of appropriated depression for its own purposes over the last few years, and woe to the person who questions that. Many depressing periods in life are certainly, validly deemed spiritual crises. And some may say “but you’re not a doctor!” and to them I would say, “How can I look to your mindset to heal a crisis of the soul if you don’t even acknowledge that the soul exists I hear people say that they have an anxiety disorder – this whole nation has an anxiety disorder!

Unfettered global capitalism is insane. The way we treat the planet is insane. We now know you can’t talk about the mental and emotional problems of an adolescent outside the context of the full family system. I think that now we need to talk about how we can’t take about the nature of individual suffering outside the context of the social-political structures of the nation. I think the issue is for us to realise is that over the last 100 years we have taken suffering and made it so much the issue of the individual that this has kept us from recognising some of the larger social forces that are depressing all of us, and that then keeps us from changing those forces.

EI: A Course in Miracles talks a lot about how Love and Fear are powerful drivers – the drivers. There’s a sentence that talks about how military power might try to take on terrorism, but only love has the power to dismantle the hate from which terrorism emerges. Could you explain that?

MW: First of all if, in the years previous to 9/11 if more people had seen the American flag decal on schools, roads, hospitals, supporting what they knew to be genuinely democratic institutions, then I think there might not have been a 9/11. There is no way to overestimate the part that the invasion of Iraq played in the creation of ISIL. In terms of spirituality, we have atoning to do. I don’t think Germany would be doing as well as it is today socially and economically if they had not done full mea culpa, full atonement, including reparations after World War 2.

Nations atone – the same spiritual principles that rule the transformation of an individual apply to a nation, because the nation is just a group of individuals. So, I don’t expect Tony Blair or George Bush to get on TV sometime soon and atone, but I think that is what we can do. The energy that pervades a system when a critical mass of the population comes to a new way of thinking can not be overestimated. The geopolitical economic principles that rule our society are not based on love, they’re based on short term economic gain for huge multinational corporate forces. As long as that is our bottom line as opposed to genuine humanitarian concern for a real effort to assuage unnecessary human suffering on this planet, then that will continue. Only deep spiritual reflectiveness and activism can make it right.

About the author: Marianne Williamson is an American spiritual teacher, author and lecturer. She has published eleven books, including four New York Times number one bestsellers. She is the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area, and the co-founder of The Peace Alliance, a grassroots campaign supporting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace. She serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, which works to end poverty in the United States and around the world. Williamson is also the force behind Sister Giant, a series of seminars and teaching sessions that provides women with the information and tools needed to be political candidates. Through these seminars, she encourages women to run for office and align their politics with their spiritual values.

You can listen to the full interview on Watkins Books youtube channel.

Source: Watkins Magazine


About the Book

The internationally recognized teacher, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author of A Return to Love argues that our desire to avoid pain is actually detrimental to our lives, disconnecting us from our deepest emotions and preventing true healing and spiritual transcendence.

Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, world-renowned teacher, and one of the most important spiritual voices of our time. In Tears to Triumph, she argues that we—as a culture and as individuals—have learned to avoid facing pain. By doing so, we are neglecting the spiritual work of healing.

Instead of allowing ourselves to embrace our hurt, we numb it, medicate it, dismiss it, or otherwise divert our attention so that we never have to face it. In refusing to acknowledge our suffering, we actually prolong it and deny ourselves the opportunity for profound wisdom—ultimately limiting our personal growth and opportunity for enlightenment. Frozen by denial, we are left standing in the breech. Whole industries profit from this immobility, and while they have grown rich, we have become spiritually poorer.

As Marianne makes clear, true healing and transcendence can only come when we finally face our pain and wrestle with what it has to teach us. Written with warm compassion and profound wisdom, Tears to Triumph offers us a powerful way forward through the pain, to a deeper awareness of our feelings, our lives, and our true selves.

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and activist. Six of her ten published books have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books include A Return to Love, A Year of Miracles, The Law of Divine Compensation, The Gift of Change, The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman’s Worth, Illuminata, and A Course in Weight Loss. She has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Good Morning America, and Charlie Rose.

Marianne’s Talk Launching Her New Book, TEARS TO TRIUMPH

Marianne Williamson interview on her new book: Tears to Triumph

Published on Aug 24, 2016

Marianne Williamson talks to Alan Steinfeld of New Realities about her new book, Tears to Triumph. One of the keys points of the book and of the interview is that she feels that we—as a culture and as individuals—have learned to avoid facing pain. By doing so, we are neglecting the spiritual work of healing. Our desire to avoid pain is actually detrimental to our lives, disconnecting us from our deepest emotions and preventing true healing and spiritual transcendence. Cinematographers: Joe Nardelli, James Carman and George Mitas

Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, world-renowned teacher, and one of the most important spiritual voices of our time. For more about her work go to: http://wwwMarianne.com

Subscribe to NewRealities for the latest in Consciousness and Spirituality: http://www.youtube.com/user/NewRealit…

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Marianne Williamson is an American spiritual teacher, author and lecturer. She has published eleven books, including four New York Times number one bestsellers. She is the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area, and the co-founder of The Peace Alliance, a grassroots campaign supporting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace. She serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, which works to end poverty in the United States and around the world. Williamson is also the force behind Sister Giant, a series of seminars and teaching sessions that provides women with the information and tools needed to be political candidates. Through these seminars, she encourages women to run for office and align their politics with their spiritual values.

She has been a guest on television programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose and Real Time with Bill Maher. In December 2006, a Newsweek magazine poll named her one of the fifty most influential baby boomers. According to Time magazine, “Yoga, the Cabala and Marianne Williamson have been taken up by those seeking a relationship with God that is not strictly tethered to Christianity.” Williamson bases her teaching and writing on a set of books called A Course in Miracles, a self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy, based on universal spiritual themes.

The internationally recognized teacher, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author of A Return to Love argues that our desire to avoid pain is actually detrimental to our lives, disconnecting us from our deepest emotions and preventing true healing and spiritual transcendence.

Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, world-renowned teacher, and one of the most important spiritual voices of our time. In Tears to Triumph, she argues that we—as a culture and as individuals—have learned to avoid facing pain. By doing so, we are neglecting the spiritual work of healing.

Instead of allowing ourselves to embrace our hurt, we numb it, medicate it, dismiss it, or otherwise divert our attention so that we never have to face it. In refusing to acknowledge our suffering, we actually prolong it and deny ourselves the opportunity for profound wisdom—ultimately limiting our personal growth and opportunity for enlightenment. Frozen by denial, we are left standing in the breech. Whole industries profit from this immobility, and while they have grown rich, we have become spiritually poorer.

As Marianne makes clear, true healing and transcendence can only come when we finally face our pain and wrestle with what it has to teach us. Written with warm compassion and profound wisdom, Tears to Triumph offers us a powerful way forward through the pain, to a deeper awareness of our feelings, our lives, and our true selves.

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and activist. Six of her ten published books have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books include A Return to Love, A Year of Miracles, The Law of Divine Compensation, The Gift of Change, The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman’s Worth, Illuminata, and A Course in Weight Loss. She has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Good Morning America, and Charlie Rose.

TEARS TO TRIUMPH
—from the Preface, TEARS TO TRIUMPH

“This book is a spiritual reflection on human suffering, both its cause and its transcendence. Spirituality is not some pale-pink, gauzy, psychologically unsophisticated understanding of the world. Rather, it represents the most profound elucidation of how the mind operates and how it filters our experience. It recognizes the extraordinary depth of our most fundamental yearning—our yearning for love— and the extraordinary pain that we feel when we don’t find it.

There is an epidemic of depression in our world today, and a myriad of options for how to treat it. Just as there are natural remedies for disease within the body, there are natural remedies for disease within the mind. And by a “natural remedy” for depression I do not mean herbs or homeopathic remedies; I mean the practical application of love and forgiveness as a medicine for the soul.

As a society, we invite deep sadness by trivializing love. We have sold our souls for a mess of pottage. Human existence is not just a random episode, with no higher purpose than that all of us should get what we want. Seen that way, with no overlay of spirit, our lives seem to have no ultimate meaning. And the soul craves meaning the way the body craves oxygen. In the absence of a spiritual framework, we know the mechanics of life but stop short of understanding it. Failing to understand life, we misuse it. And misusing it, we cause suffering—for ourselves and for others.

Every great religious and spiritual philosophy speaks to the issue of human suffering. This book only touches the surface of the spiritual depth of insight available in the great religious and spiritual teachings of the world, but hopefully it gets to a point often obscured behind veils of dogma and misunderstanding.

Buddha’s spiritual journey began when he saw suffering for the first time; Moses was moved by the suffering of the Israelites; and Jesus suffered on the cross. But the point is not simply that Buddha saw suffering; the point is that he transcended it through his enlightenment. The point is not simply that the Israelites were enslaved; the point is that they were rescued and led to the Promised Land. The point is not simply that Jesus was crucified; the point is that he was resurrected. Human suffering was only the first part of an equation; what matters most is what happened after God showed His hand.

We too are suffering and observe suffering all around us; we too are enslaved by an internal pharaoh; and we too are dying on the cross of the world’s cruelty and lack of reverence. Whether it occurred thousands of years ago or is occurring today, suffering is suffering, oppression is oppression, and cruelty is cruelty. These things are not ancient realities that don’t exist anymore. They’re not gone.

And neither is God’s power to eradicate them. Spirit enlightened Buddha; Spirit delivered the Israelites; and Spirit resurrected Jesus. If we know our suffering is the same as theirs, it makes sense to seek a deeper understanding of their deliverance that we might more easily invoke our own. How arrogant we are, and how blind, to think that our suffering is the same as it’s always been, yet somehow we’ve improved on ways to deal with it. Are any of us under the impression that Buddha could have transcended suffering by making more money, getting a better job, or buying a better car? Or that the Israelites could have escaped slavery if they’d had another round of negotiations with Pharaoh or a private jet to take them to the Promised Land? Or that Jesus could have risen from the dead if only cryonics had been around then?

Humanity, over the past few hundred years, has lessened the incidence of some forms of suffering and increased the incidence of others. We’ve diminished the threat of polio, but increased the threat of nuclear disaster. We’ve diminished the dangers of travel, but increased the chances that our entire ecosystem will implode. And if we think we don’t do “rape and pillage” anymore, take a look at what’s going on around the world.

There is no worldly solution to the suffering, or self-destructiveness, of humanity today that can compare to the solutions offered by the great religions and spiritual philosophies of the world. Which is exactly why the ego mind has sought to co-opt them for its purposes. It has turned the power of peace into the power of the sword, both within the world and within our hearts.

Today’s search for spiritual sustenance is not confined to a particular teaching. There is no right or wrong when it comes to Buddhism, or Judaism, or Christianity, or Islam, or Hinduism. They are all kaleidoscopic facets of one essential diamond. Whether we relate personally to the story of Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, or Krishna; whether we understand truth more deeply when it is expressed by Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, or A Course in Miracles; the essential themes at the heart of all these teachings are universal. They apply to all people, and most significantly, to all times.

The great religious figures and teachings of the world are God’s gifts, a divine hand reaching down to touch the minds of those who are called to them. While the ego uses the outer aspects of these teachings to divide us—sometimes even as justification to destroy one another—their inner truths unite us by teaching us how to live with each other. On an internal level, the great religions of the world have always led to miracles. On an external level, they have as often led to violence and destruction. That must change, and will change, as more people come to recognize the mystical truths, the inner gold, that lie within them all. The greatest opportunity for humanity’s survival in the twenty-first century lies not in widening our external horizons, but in deepening our internal ones. That applies to us personally, and it applies to us collectively.

And we will be sad until we do. Our bodies, our relationships, our careers, our politics, will continue to be sources of suffering when they should rather be sources of joy. Hidden within all great spiritual teachings is the key to turning that around. Once we find the key, and turn the key, we are amazed by what lies hidden behind the door that’s been locked to God. We’re not without hope; we just haven’t been seeing it. We’re not without power; we just haven’t been claiming it. We’re not without love; we just haven’t been living it.

Seeing these things, our lives begin to change. Our minds are awakened. Miracles happen. And at last our hearts are glad.”

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY HERE and Watch A Free Bonus Video In this 30 minute video, I discuss more deeply the themes in the book and what inspired me to write it.

I hope this book brings comfort, healing, and new insight to your life.

All my best,
Marianne

NEW BOOK: TEARS TO TRIUMPH | Marianne Williamson

Both Eckhart Tolle and Marianne Williamson offer their perspective on the subject of good and bad and ultimately end up in the same place.

Just because “good” and “bad” are judgments of the mind, does NOT mean that no action should be taken for certain behaviors performed by delusioned beings.

Eckhart And Marianne Williamson discuss specifics about “Good” and/or “Bad” and boundary lines. .. Eckhart TV. I do not own this video, it is for educational purposes only.


Published on Nov 20, 2015
In this video, Deepak Chopra discusses the ‘separate self’ and why this isn’t who we really are.


Social scientist and author Brene Brown explains why gossip harms our relationships in ways you may not immediately recognize.


Spiritual adviser and author Marianne Williamson explains the most powerful thought you can have and why it will benefit all your relationships.


Published on Oct 19, 2015
Internationally acclaimed spiritual leader, Marianne Williamson, shares her insight on the creation of a beloved community through the use of political and ethical externalization.

This lecture was delivered at Harvard Divinity School on October 14, 2015.

Learn more about Harvard Divinity School and its mission to illuminate, engage, and serve at http://www.hds.harvard.edu.

Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

In this TEDx Talk, Marianne Williamson discusses how the ways we perceive the world we’re experiencing have tremendous influence on what we will then experience. She dives into some of the world’s greatest challenges and the concept of how our global society is experiencing a global mutation. The points she makes will motivate you to think of what we can do—and think—as a collective unit, to overcome society’s challenges, heal our spiritual malignancies, and thrive through this global shift.

After you watch this video, you’ll be inspired to step up to heal the planet and those who share it, and tune into your natural and spiritual intelligence.

I heard ISIL described earlier today as “an international association of sadists.” Whether one chooses to go that far or not, we clearly have a problem on our hands.

America is endangered, however, not just because there is a powerful, armed enemy arrayed against us; we are endangered also because our spiritual defenses are weak. Spiritually, we are unarmed. We need a “mantle of protection” that we do not now have.

America has undoubtedly been blessed, yet we have taken that blessing for granted in a way that has diminished its power. The blessing upon us was not due to some special dispensation from God, but to the fact that we claimed for ourselves the role of blessing unto the world. We set out to be a blessing, and as with all cause and effect, it was the blessing we were to others that magnetized so much blessing to us.

Over time, however, we have become much more concerned with enjoying our blessings than with adding to their storehouse. We have chosen the ways of war over the ways of peace, the ways of mean-spiritedness over the ways of compassion, the ways of separation over the ways of unity so many times, with such an accumulation of hard-hearted, mercenary policies, as to dim the light that so illumined our past.

We need now, more than anything, to shore up our blessings by once again assuming for ourselves the role God has assigned to all people and all nations: that we be the change, that we demonstrate love, that we not be selfish, that we be the keepers of His kingdom rather than hoarders within our own. We cannot ultimately protect our worldly kingdom unless we tend to God’s.

Some would argue that this would make us weak, that we cannot afford to put our defenses down. But spiritual defenselessness does not necessarily mean a lack of material defense. Indeed at this point, with elements such as ISIL active in the world today, questions as to what constitutes a just war are both relevant and appropriate. Still, no matter what we do — how much war we fight, or even how successful we are at it — until we come to understand the metaphysics of war and peace, we will doom not only ourselves, but also our children, to war without end. This will satisfy no one but those who make their fortunes upon it.

Whether we are sending guns or we are sending prayers, as a nation we must surround ourselves with a spiritual dome to stave off the arrows of hatred now coming our way. America needs enlightenment, not necessarily as a path to pacifism but as a path to power.

America has a lot of work to do, to reclaim the mantle of mercy and protection that has previously been as a light around us. We need that light, or we will not prevail. God has not shone upon us because we’re somehow special; He has shone upon us because we have shone. And now, we must atone for the dimming of our light. We need to atone for past mistakes – from slavery to wars of aggression; we need to admit our character defects – from racism to militarism; and we need to open our hearts to the poor among us – from immigrants to our own children. Only when we once again embrace a true vision of brotherhood, justice and democracy – not just in word, but in vibrant and vigorous deed – will we replenish our storehouse of blessings so needed now.

At times such as these, understanding the powers of the spirit is as important as understanding the powers of the world. The meek shall inherit the earth because, in the end, they are smarter.

A tale from Buddhist mythology speaks to the power of the spirit in matters of war:

“Mara, the evil one, had arrayed a huge army to defeat Siddhartha. But according to Sarthavaha, one of Siddhartha’s chroniclers, “Mere numbers do not make the strength of an army…If wisdom is the source of his power, a single hero can defeat countless soldiers.

He continued speaking to Siddhartha’s enemies, “You think he is mad because he meditates; you think he is craven because he is calm. It is you who are madmen, it is you who are cowards. You do not know his power; because of his great wisdom he will defeat you all. Were your numbers as infinite as the grains of sand on the banks of the Ganges, you would not disturb a single hair of his head. And you believe you can kill him! Oh, turn back! Do not try to harm him; bow before him in reverence. His reign has come….”

But Mara, the Evil One, vowed to defeat the hero. And before attacking him, he sought to frighten him. Mara’s army was a fearful sight. It bristled with pikes, with arrows and with swords; many carried enormous battle-axes and heavy clubs. Then the Evil One even summoned the rains. They fell with great violence, submerging cities and scarring the surface of the earth, but the hero never moved; not a single thread of his robe was wet.

Mara roused against him the fury of the winds. Fierce gales rushed toward him from the horizon, uprooting trees, devastating villages, shaking mountains, but the hero never moved; not a single fold of his robe was disturbed.

The Evil One made blazing rocks and hurled them at the hero. They sped through the air but changed when they came near the tree, and fell, not as rocks, but flowers.

Mara then commanded his army to loose their arrows at his enemy, but the arrows, also, turned into flowers. The army rushed at the hero, but the light he diffused acted as a shield to protect him; swords were shivered, battle-axes were dented by it, and whenever a weapon fell to the ground, it, too, at once changed into a flower.

Suddenly, filled with terror at the sight of these prodigies, the soldiers of the Evil One fled.

Mara wrung his hands in anguish, and he cried:

“What have I done that this man should defeat me? For they are not a few, those whose desires I have granted! I have often been kind and generous! Those cowards who are fleeing could bear witness to that.”

The troops that were still within hearing answered:

“Yes, you have been kind and generous. We will bear witness to that.”

“And he, what proof has he given of his generosity?” continued Mara. “What sacrifices has he made? Who will bear witness to his kindness?”

Whereupon a voice came out of the earth, and it said:

“I will bear witness to his generosity.”

Mara was struck dumb with astonishment. The voice continued:

“Yes, I, the Earth, I, the mother of all beings, will bear witness to his generosity. A hundred times, a thousand times, in the course of his previous existences, his hands, his eyes, his head, his whole body have been at the service of others. And in the course of this existence, which will be the last, he will destroy old age, sickness and death. As he excels you in strength, Mara, even so does he surpass you in generosity.”

And the Evil One saw a woman of great beauty emerge from the earth, up to her waist. She bowed before the hero, and clasping her hands, she said: “O most holy of men, I bear witness to your generosity.”

Then she disappeared.

And Mara, the Evil One, wept because he had been defeated.””*

So whether or not barbarians truly are at the gate — and no matter what we do about it — we must become an enlightened nation, or the problem that has now become all too familiar will remain with us and grow. The problem itself emerged from our minds; make no mistake about it, our misadventures contributed to the creation of the monstrous situation that we have on our hands. And it is in our minds as well – through the correction of our thinking and the purification of our hearts — that the problem will ultimately be solved. In the short term, it might be solved by armies. In the long term, it will only be solved by love.

* The Life of Buddha, by A. Ferdinand Herold, tr. by Paul C. Blum [1922]

Source: Marianne Williamson

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