We want to give a special thanks to Marianne Williamson, author of The Gift of Change, for her answers to questions that many of us have about the world we find ourselves living in. Having watched some of her talks, we have noticed that she uses no notes and although she has a main topic, she lets members of the audience guide her by her connection with them. I heard her say once that, “Miracles arise from connection.” We are very fortunate to live in a community that knows the value of being connected.
Lotus Guide itself owes its very creation to the miracle of connecting with others. Thanks again to Marianne for her interest in our community and doing what she does best . . . connecting. – Lotus Guide
Choosing a New Way
from The Gift of Change , by Marianne Williamson
In the words of John Lennon, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Dreamers must give each other encouragement today, as one of the ways our dreaming is suppressed is by making us think we’re alone in dreaming.
Suggesting anything close to the idea that love might actually be the answer, we’re swatted down like a fly by our contemporary thought police. We’re told how naive we are, how silly we’re being, how unsophisticated our analysis of the world situation is. “She’s a nut! She’s New Age! He’s a moonbeam!” Yeah, right. But those who build weapons systems to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year and don’t see a fundamental problem with that are sane ? Those who propose building new and better nuclear bombs as the solution to global conflict are sane ? Those who play with war like it’s a little boy’s new set of Lego’s are sane ? The world has become like something out of Alice in Wonderland: the sane seem insane, and the insane seem sane. The entire world is completely upside down. But the good news is how many people know this; we’ve just been afraid to say it because we thought we were the only ones thinking it.
And we are not. A new commitment to love is rising up from the depths of our humanity, and its power is changing us on fundamental levels. Our mind has been opened to a liberating truth, and we feel this truth like an alchemical substance that bathes our cells and transforms our thinking. Though science couldn’t necessarily register the change, we can feel that we’re not the same. We have devoted our lives to a radical possibility: that love casts out all fear.
Externally, we don’t really change. We still look the same; dress the same, play the game as the world defines it. But something has shifted in the way we see things. We sense another reality beyond the veil. The world we see is not deep enough to sustain us; we know that now and we’ve stopped pretending that it will ever be. We are developing the eyes to see beyond the veil, and with that vision we will invoke a new world.
Every morning as we wake up, we bless the world. We pray to be servants today to something holy and true. We take a deep breath and surrender ourselves to God’s plan for our lives. And as we do, we experience miracles.
What’s most significant is this: we are depressed if we do not. For working miracles is the calling of our souls. We are literally dying to be born into the next stage of our spiritual development. The world’s fear is old and dying away, and that’s why it’s so angry. Love has scarcely taken its first breath on this earth, and that’s why it’s so tender. Who we were was not as important as we thought, and who we’re becoming is simply out of this world.
Lotus Guide: What is the core message of The Gift of Change ?
MW: We are living in times of extraordinary change, and we are undergoing corresponding internal changes as well. We can navigate these changes both internally and externally, by grounding ourselves in eternal principles. The way to stay on top of change is by holding to the things that do not change.
Lotus Guide: What inspired you to write The Gift of Change at this time? Did you experience certain changes in your life?
MW: Well, I’m 52 years old, so there is that, for sure! Also, all those I have contact with these days seem to be dealing with some issue in their lives that they had tried to push to the back of the closet as it were, hoping to get by without having to face that one. No more – whether it’s an individual or a group, what had been hidden is being brought to light. All of us have been cornered by our own neuroses in a way, and on the other side, what we need to do now is the miracle that will transform everything. We have it in us to become the people we need to be, to do the things we need to do, to make our world more safe and wonderful.
Lotus Guide: What attributes or tools do you feel enable a person to better cope with change?
MW: Never has there been a greater need for greater spiritual wisdom and maturity.
Lotus Guide: Do we experience the messages from A Course in Miracles differently at different life stages?
MW: Great spiritual teachings do not change, but we do. As we grow older and wiser, we can receive the teachings at deeper levels.
Lotus Guide: How did your experience of writing previous works such as A Return to Love and Everyday Grace shape your vision for The Gift of Change ?
MW: My hope, of course, is that I’m getting better and wiser. With every book, I have more of myself to pour onto the page. This new one holds a lot of my heart.
Lotus Guide: Your work has brought you recognition and celebrity. What are the challenges, and joys, of living in the spotlight as a spiritual writer and leader?
MW: Our society doesn’t always seem comfortable with women speaking their minds about spiritual matters, outside the context of organized religious doctrine. So I’ve taken some hits, but it’s all a part of the learning process. I’ve had some pretty mean stuff thrown my way, but I’ve also had extraordinary blessings. It’s like what I say in the book: It’s up to me what I choose to concentrate on!
Lotus Guide: Do you feel personal transformation is usually accompanied by suffering? What are your thoughts on the relationship of pain to change?
MW: In A Course of Miracles , it says that it’s not up to us what we learn, but only whether we learn through joy or through pain. I don’t think pain is a prerequisite for growth, but on the other hand, most of us choose very painful ways to learn. Choosing joy involves spiritual surrender, and sometimes we would rather hold on to the pain than surrender our egos.
Lotus Guide: You share personal stories in The Gift of Change about your spiritual journey to reconcile with changes. Do you feel there are specific people or experiences that continue to nurture you and help sustain your ability to transform?
MW: I am firmly ensconced now in middle age, and I realize more than ever that I have to choose how I want to live the rest of my life. Once you reach a certain age, you’re either slowly dying or slowly being reborn. I want to choose the latter.
Lotus Guide: What do you hope to leave your readers with?
MW: My best friend read the book and told me that he was changed just by reading it. I think it can deeply reconnect readers to the love of God in their lives, because I wrote it as a way to reconnect with Him myself. The fate of the world rests on this one thing: our capacity to actualize our spiritual potential, and quickly. If this book helps anyone to do that, I will feel deeply blessed and grateful.
Marianne Williamson’s new book is available at most bookstores and online.