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Every now then I meet a guest who leaves me speechless. This week’s guest, however, left me breathless.
Marianne Williamson is a spiritual teacher, author, and lecturer. She’s also one of the only people I know who has made Oprah Winfrey cry.
You might know Marianne from the famous quote that begins: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure…”
This quote is usually attributed to Nelson Mandela, but it is actually taken from Marianne’s book A Return To Love, which is one of four of her books that reached the New York Times bestseller list.
I think one of the reasons behind Marianne’s success as a spiritual teacher is how articulate she is about a range of issues, from politics, to history and religion.
In this episode she dropped science about the recent history of American politics, the killing of Robert Kennedy and the invasion of Iraq.
At the time we filmed this interview, the Paris attacks had only just happened, and Marianne said some moving things about the need for atonement and forgiveness after such horrifying events.
She actually ran for Congress in the last election, a period which she says was the most exciting and humbling of her life.
There are a lot of spiritual teachers out there, and they all say hopeful and inspiring things, but Marianne involves herself in the world. She makes the best effort possible to actually live the wisdom of her message.
In her writings, she is known for her thoughts on forgiveness. But Marianne doesn’t talk abstractly about issues of spiritual importance.
She insists she is like everyone else – reactive and easily hurt. Forgiveness for Marianne is not just a pretty idea. It is the fundamental work of being human.
Again, she turns the discussion to the events of our time, and she believes that we are going to have to evolve as individuals if we are going to rise to meet the challenges we face.
Marianne is a Texan, so she doesn’t hold back from going into difficult places.
There is a lot of tough talk in this interview, especially when we address the crimes of institutionalised religions, and the “legalised bribery” of our political systems.
But that is part of her gift to the world in my view. As Marianne herself says, dialogue, communication and difficult conversations are exactly what the world needs right now, and they are exactly what start the healing process.
If we are not prepared to go to the hard places in ourselves and our relationships, then we are not ready to evolve.
I ask Marianne about religion, and it is a big topic for her. She once held a ministry, but these days she has no truck with organised spirituality.
Her awakening happened with a book called A Course In Miracles. This sounds like quite an esoteric title, but a miracle for Marianne is an event that happens in real time.
There is no God, she tells me, if we are not being real. Spirituality is not about dogmas or scriptures. It is about cutting the BS.
That combination of highly articulate political thinker, and bad ass Texan preacher, will make a believer out of you let me tell you!
I found Marianne inspiring because her ideas really resonated with me.
London Real, as you know, is about creating dialogue, having the conversations you won’t hear anywhere else, whether it is the mainstream media or the ramblings you hear on new media platforms these days.
Why is being real so important? Because, as Marianne says, only the truth can create transformation.
Only being super-real and authentic, allows us to make lasting changes in ourselves and in the world.
Marianne quotes A Course In Miracles in this interview, saying that a miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.
Action is a big part of what Marianne believes it means to be a spiritual person. It’s not enough for us to say the right things. We all know what the right thing is, we’ve all read the right books, and watched the right TED Talks.
For Marianne, the great “journey with no distance” is aligning the heart and mind, living out our soul’s calling.
We can’t do this if we are constantly distracting ourselves, or hiding our light from the world.
Action is the key, for Marianne, but we must act from an authentic place, from the truth of our soul’s mission.
We owe it to the world to reconnect with ourselves, to dig deep and touch the “deepest waters of our soul,” as Marianne so beautifully puts it.
There is literally no conversation Marianne is not willing to have. I asked her questions about Ayahuasca, terrorism, Donald Trump (!) and even her feelings on death.
She is so opinionated and articulate about all these issues, and I swear you will get a takeaway from each every one of these discussions we had.
But I think behind all that is a fortitude and spiritual courage to both face her own limitations, and to push back the boundaries of what culture says we can and cannot talk about.
I hope that London Real can emulate Marianne Williamson. Transformation happens when we bring the light to the darkness of our fears, and that is what we are all about.
Let me know in the comments below about your transformational moment during this episode. I had so many, and I can’t wait to hear what you guys get from this great teacher and communicator.
[9:20] What is the relationship between Marrianne and London?
[10:00] Is London a spiritual place? What kind of energy do you feel?
[10:17] Spirituality is the path of the heart.
[10:44] Honoring your incarnation. We are all assigned.
[11:00] And we are all assigned to places.
[11:15] It’s where your heart calls you to serve there.
[11:40] My soul is in LA and a few other places.
[11:45] There is a global consciousness and an awareness that is still growing. We need to be global citizens.
[12:08] We can’t stay on just one continent.
[12:15] We are all becoming less geocentric and that’s a good thing.
[12:40] Travelling a lot. Is that because your message needs to be everywhere.
[13:10] Speaking at Harvard Divinity School
[14:25] American citizenship.
[14:45] Paris attack 2015 and the attack of Syria by the US.
[15:45] Weapons of mass destruction.
[16:00] Dealing with Baghdad in Iraq.
[16:41] American politics is only about treating the symptoms.
[17:26] Integrated factors.
[18:30] Taking on Hitler was obvious.
[19:00] Love. We did not factor in genuine moral questioning.
[20:30] How can US or UK atone?
[21:00] Things change the moment you have a different conversation.
[21:40] Nations can attone.
[21:55] Time and space are illusions of consciousness.
[22:00] Everytime two people agree on something.
[22:28] All minds are joined. Shift in perception.
[23:21] Paris attack and how Americans reacted?
[24:00] Name what you are forgiving.
[24:59] First issue is to forgive ourselves.
[25:05] You can’t bring the light to the darkness. You have to bring the darkness to light.
[25:25] Abraham Lincoln said that nations have to confess their sins and pray for forgiveness just like individuals do.
[25:42] Beyond this veil of illusion. Love will have the final say here.
[26:35] Children are being taught to hate.
[27:00] Insanity exist. Gandhi said that the problem in the world is that humanity is not in the right mind.
[27:33] They need to be spiritually quarantined.
[28:34] Forgiveness is understanding that there is other levels here that the mortal eyes can see.
[29:21] Franklin Roosevelt called the Nazi unworthy man not evil doers.
[30:00] Are you a black belt in forgiveness? The goal is black belt.
[31:30] What was it like growing up in Texas in the 50s.
[32:30] Product of being from Texas.
[33:26] How did you learn how to speak?
[34:20] I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’m a writer. I think of myself as a jazz philosopher.
[34:46] It’s not off the cuff.
[36:06] The talk at the Parliament of World Religion for the women plenary session.
[37:41] Being real.
[38:08] Religion and education should be a wakener.
[39:10] Pope Francis is a global spiritual leader.
[39:55] The Dalai Lama.
[40:30] Called to the conversation at the intersection between spirituality and politics.
[40:45] No plan will work unless we meditate.
[41:10] Asking for a divine intercession when praying to change our consciousness so that we do change at a level of cause.
[41:40] I always had a spiritual religious fervour.
[41:55] The most important tool that we have for personal and global transformation.
[42:19] Modernity is an assault to the mind.
[43:24] We make mistakes when we are moving too fast.
[44:00] Agreement in conversations.
[44:40] The vortex of religion and politics.*
[48:45] Running for congress.
[49:27] A legalised system of corruption and bribery in the US.
[51:50] Bernie Sanders
[53:00] You are only a failure if you didn’t learn from the mistakes.
[54:25] Donald Trump and his popularity.
[55:33] Genuine shakti
[57:20] Trump is an american character. He is oddly entertaining.
[58:00] Miracle. A course in miracles. Shift in perception from fear to love. All minds are joined.
[1:00:00] We are all connected. There is actually no place where you start and I stop.
[1:03:24] Carl Jung on archetypes in the collective unconscious.
[1:03:58] That’s why if I judge you I will be judged.
[1:04:12] Enlightenment is a shift from body enlightenment to spirit enlightenment.
[1:06:34] Practising what I preach.
[1:07:00] Ayahuasca, psychedelic experiences and the war on drugs.
[1:09:42] Bless more than blame. Letting us want what we want.
[1:10:10] Natural intelligence of each cells
[1:12:43] Respecting the desire. Desire as opposed to just appetite.
[1:14:04] Today is a good day to die.
[1:16:30] I feel like I have sung a song.
[1:16:52] Failure to deal with the topic of death robs the second half of your life of its meaning.
[1:17:28] Death is a blessing of part of human.
[1:17:52] 2020, Brian this is what I did in the last 5 years.
[1:18:30] What was it like meeting Oprah.
[1:19:25] Seeing things through the realness.
[1:21:23] Seeing beyond the illusion.
[1:22:19] Those who have achieved nothing has the same dreams as everyone else.
[1:22:31] 30 days of forgiveness. Pray for their happiness.
[1:23:28] On a spiritual level, what you give away is what you get to keep.
[1:24:25] Loving thought.
[1:25:21] Downloading the undeletable file.
[1:25:39] Higher awareness of our oneness.
[1:26:00] The miracle you could have had is held in trust for you until you are ready to receive it.
[1:27:39] Start receiving the miracles you have denied yourself.
[1:28:33] Quote misattributed to Nelson Mandela. Return To Love.
[1:32:26] Success Secret.
[1:33:04] Is there a mentor that was pivotal in your development?
[1:33:51] What was it like when Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King died.
[1:35:50] When you reach 50, you must say what you think otherwise your song stays with you.
[1:38:50] Obama’s presidency and his campaign.
[1:39:30] Advice to the 20 year old Marrianne.
[1:40:30] Best advice you ever received?
[1:41:00] Advice to the 20 year old.
Marianne Williamson’s Book Return To Love