Few people, who are not actual rock stars, can fill a two-thousand seat theater every Monday night consistently for over a decade. I say ‘actual”, because Marianne Williamson has Rock Star status for a lot of people around the world. Ever since her first book, “A Return to Love” which was a New York Times best-seller, she has mesmerized millions with her wisdom, spiritual teaching and practical advice, leading to a cult following. Since, she has written over a dozen books, lectured around the world, started life-changing charities, raised funds for countless organizations, spearheaded conventions, ran for Congress and helped tens of millions of people far beyond their spiritual growth and self-improvement.
Modesty aside, how would you describe yourself?
Woman, mother, American.
You are considered one of the top 10 spiritual leaders of our time around the world. Does it ever become overwhelming for people to always come to you for answers?
I don’t think of people as “coming to me for answers,” so much as coming for me for better questions. And if they don’t know that when they ask, they know it once I answer.
Your teachings are based on the book, “A Course in Miracles.” What are a few key points about the book and its principles that people should know and/or are misunderstood?
Love is real, and everything else is a huge mortal illusion. We learn to navigate the realm of the illusion, or the three dimensions, by learning to discern between what’s real and what’s not. We don’t ignore the illusion, but we transform it through love.
For those who may not attend your lectures or watch the live-stream, what are a few things lacking or need improvement in today’s world from a spiritual perspective?
No one needs to watch my lectures to know the answer to that one! We’re living on this planet in a way that is contrary to who we are. We put blame before blessing, money before love, business before our children, greed before proper stewardship of our planet, and corporate gain before democracy. There are a few other things, but those are enough to take us down.
One of your many life-altering quotes I read all the time is from your first book, A Return to Love, which starts with, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” How does one tackle fear and proceed from a place of love in practical matters?
In any moment, we have a choice. And in every moment, we make that choice — either consciously or unconsciously. We can blame or we can bless, we can complain or we can rise to the occasion, we can play victim or we can manifest strength. It’s always up to us. Love casts out fear the way light casts out darkness. The problem is that we’re in the mental habit of choosing fear, playing small, judging others. Spiritual growth is a journey of changing our mental habits, choosing love and casting out fear.
Does anything keep you up at night?
Do I have to tell you his name?
Who are a few spiritual teachers that you turn to for answers and inspiration?
I started making a list but I got terrified I would leave someone out. I’ll just say all the people in the higher consciousness, personal growth movement who are out there now… I read and listen to them. But I also think that any great writer or poet is a spiritual teacher. Any wise person is a spiritual teacher. It’s amazing where you can sometimes get answers.
How do you reflect on your celebrity status?
I don’t reflect on my celebrity status. I don’t really think I have one, by the way. I just think of myself as well known in a particular subculture.
Tell me about your numerous followers, readers and fans.
I think of my audience — note that’s audience, not followers, by the way — the way I think of an AA Meeting. In Alcoholics Anonymous, a mogul is sitting next to a homeless person but in that room they’re both just alcoholics. I see my audience the same way. No matter who you are outside this room, here you’re seeking the wisdom of the heart just like the person sitting next to you. No matter the sex, age, nationality, politics, or whatever — in this room, we’re all just lovers of God and seekers of love and forgiveness. Spirituality is a great equalizer.
You founded Project Angel Food over twenty-five years ago, an organization that has served tens of thousands of people since 1983. What are a few of your other favorite causes and charities?
Anything that helps women and children around the world. Women for Women is a good one, but there are many. There is one recipe for world peace and it’s this: expand economic opportunities for women and educational opportunities for children.
For more information about Marianne Williamson, her books, lectures, live-streams, events and more, please visit www.marianne.com