Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed lecturer, activist, and author of four #1 New York Times bestselling books. She has been one of America’s most well-known public voices for more than three decades. Seven of her twelve published books have been New York Times bestsellers, and Marianne has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Good Morning America, and Bill Maher. A quote from the mega-bestseller A Return to Love, “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’s other books include The Law of Divine Compensation, The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman’s Worth, Illuminata, Healing the Soul of America, A Course in Weight Loss, The Gift of Change, Enchanted Love, A Year of Miracles, and Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment. Her newest book, A Politics of Love: Handbook for a New American Revolution, will be published soon.
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 11 million meals. Marianne also co-founded the Peace Alliance.
An Interview with Marianne Williamson: The Politics of Love
Interview by Victor Fuhrman
When I grew up in the 1960’s and seventies, there was a sense of rebirth and renewal in our country. Many of us started looking upon one another and brother and sister and embraced the ideas of sharing, caring love and peace. We lived these ideals as best we could with the hope that future generations would equally embrace them. Somewhere along the way, we have strayed from that path. We have birthed a generation of divisiveness, ego-based actions, and fear. Is there a way that we can return to the spirit of embracing diversity, caring for one another and moving from fear to love?
My interviewee this week, Marianne Williamson, says there is. She joins us to discuss her new book, and her exploration of a possible run to become the next president of the United States. Welcome, Marianne.
MARIANNE WILLIAMSON: Thank you so much for having me.
VICTOR FUHRMAN: So wonderful for you to join us and share your plans. Share with our readers who are meeting you for the first time about your early life and path.
MARIANNE WILLIAMSON: Well, when you were talking in your introduction about the fact that you grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, so did I, and I was impacted just as you were by the flower child generation, the hippie scene. However, you know, a young man said to me about a year ago at one of my lectures, he said: “You know, you’re just an aging hippie.
Your generation was just about sex, drugs and rock and roll.” My response to him was: “That was just part of the day. The rest of the day we stopped a war, and what have you done, by the way?” This was a generation which talked about all the things you were talking about.
We would meet Ram Das and Alan Watts in the morning, but we would attend anti-war protests in the afternoon. I think many people today, younger people certainly, can’t imagine, perhaps, what it meant when there was a Draft. These wars were not just over there somewhere in a far-off part of the world, fought by volunteers. They were fought by brothers and cousins and sons and fathers. The issue of the war was far more urgent.
So that was what I grew up with. I grew up in time, as did you from what you were saying when there was very easy compatibility between what was a spiritual and philosophical expansion at that time and a very, very potent and urgent sense of political activism.
VICTOR FUHRMAN: Absolutely. A Course in Miracles is the foundation of much of your work. How were you called to study it, and what led you to lecture and speak on these materials?
MARIANNE WILLIAMSON: I first saw A Course in Miracles on someone’s coffee table in New York City in the 1970s, and I had already been ever since I was a teenager very much interested in philosophical, spiritual pursuits; anything that had to do with the higher mind.
I have always been equally drawn to Eastern and Western traditional and esoteric traditions. None of them have ever seemed in conflict with any others to me. I have a very natural embrace of this comparative religious and spiritual variety that makes up the great spiritual and religious traditions of the world.
However, until I found A Course in Miracles the issue of practicing these principles provided challenges that I had not been able to overcome. I’m not saying I’ve completely overcome them to this day. I’m not an enlightened Master, but when I read A Course in Miracles, it was the first time where I got a sense of how these great and higher principles of universal spiritual truth were applicable on a practical basis. Before that, I didn’t understand that the search for God and the search for communion with other human beings was the same search. I didn’t know that the spiritual path was my reaching out across the world that I had constructed in my mind that separated me from other human beings. So, A Course in Miracles meant so much to me. Now, the Course, you know, it does not claim to be for everyone, but if it’s for you, you know it.
So, for me, it was a very personal excitement, a very personal passion, and also at that time, the kind of career that I had did not exist. There was no career niche that now, you know, is a mainstream, cultural impulse: the non-denominational spiritual wise woman. That did not exist.
So, I had no ambition for a career goal based on this, and I think that was a blessing in my life. I just was so excited when after I had been studying the Course for five years I had moved to Los Angeles, and there’s a place still owned, of course, in LA called “The Philosophical Research Society.”
When I was working there, in their book publishing department, they had these lecture series. The woman who was the President at the time of PRS asked me if I’d like to start giving lectures on Saturday mornings based on A Course in Miracles. I’d been studying the Course for five years, and I was just so excited to have the opportunity to do it. I had no concept that it would be more than just a spin I did because I loved it. Not too long after that, the AIDS crisis blew up. Gay men in Los Angeles gave me what would be a career. So, at that time, this then-young woman was talking over in LA who was talking about a God who loved you no matter what, and who worked miracles, and so suddenly, my little talks began attracting more and more people and went from there.
VICTOR FUHRMAN: Did you ever imagine – you alluded to this – but did you ever imagine you would become a world leader in consciousness and spirituality? Was that ever your goal?
MARIANNE WILLIAMSON: Well, that niche didn’t exist. You could be a Clergy – you know, my Mother kept saying your Father, and I have discussed it, and we will send you to Rabbinical School – and I didn’t quite see myself becoming Clergy. The other path you could take could be an Academic, you could be a Professor in Comparative Religion, and I didn’t see that for myself either. There was no reason to think it would be anything other than sharing from my heart about these books that so excited me. That was 35 years ago, the essence of it all, and it is the essence of it all even today.
VICTOR FUHRMAN: We’re both grateful to you because we, both, in our later years followed an inter-faith path and were ordained here in New York, and were able to bring this beautiful message, to so many people who required that and needed to hear it.
Continue with the Interview with Marianne Williamson here: https://omtimes.com/2019/01/marianne-williamson-politics-love/2/