Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson is a spiritual teacher, author and lecturer. She has published ten books, including four New York Times #1 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 grass roots 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 Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose. In December 2006, a Newsweek magazine poll named her one of the fifty most influential baby boomers.
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In this stirring call to arms, the activist, spiritual leader, and New York Times bestselling author of the classic Return to Love confronts the cancerous politics of fear and divisiveness threatening the United States today, urging all spiritually aware Americans to return to—and act out of—our deepest value: love.

America’s story is one of great social achievement. From the Abolitionists who fought to outlaw slavery, to the Suffragettes who championed women’s right to vote, to the Civil Rights proponents who battled segregation and institutionalized white supremacy, to the proponents of the women’s movement and gay rights seeking equality for all, citizens for generations have risen up to fulfill the promise of our nation. Over the course of America’s history, these activists have both embodied and enacted the nation’s deepest values.

Today, America once again is in turmoil. A spiritual cancer of fear threatens to undo the progress we have achieved. Discord and hatred are dissolving our communal bonds and undermining the spirit of social responsibility—the duty we feel toward one another. In this powerful spiritual manifesto, Marianne Williamson offers a tonic for this cultural malignancy. She urges us to imitate the heroes of our past and live out our deepest spiritual commitment: where some have sown hatred, let us now sow love.

Williamson argues that we must do more than respond to external political issues. We must address the deeper, internal causes that have led to this current dysfunction. We need a new, whole-person politics of love that stems not just from the head but from the heart, not just from intellectual understanding but from a genuine affection for one another. By committing to love, we will make a meaningful contribution to the joyful, fierce and disruptive energies that are rising at this critical point in time. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, "we must think anew, and act anew . . . and then we shall save our country."

Marianne Williamson's bestselling A Return to Love ended with a prayer in which she asked God to help us "find our way home, from the pain to peace, from fear to love, from hell to Heaven." Now, in this stunning new collection of thoughts, prayers, and rites of passage, Marianne Williamson returns to prayer.

Prayer is practical, Williamson tells us. "To look to God is to look to the realm of consciousness that can deliver us from the pain of living." Illuminata brings prayer into our daily lives, with prayers on topics from releasing anger to finding forgiveness, from finding great love to achieving intimacy. There are prayers for couples, for parents, and for children; prayers to mend broken relationships and prayers to overcome obsessive and compulsive love. There are prayers to heal the soul, prayers to heal the body, and prayers for work and creativity.

Williamson also gives us prayers for the healing of America, including two prayers that have had powerful effects on audiences at her lectures: a prayer of amends on behalf of European Americans to African-Americans and one to Native Americans. How, Williamson asks, can we expect anyone to forgive when we have made no formal apology?

Another section includes rites of passage, ceremonies of light for the signal events in our lives: blessing of the newborn, coming of age, marriage, and death. There is also a ceremony of the elder, for moving into midlife, and a ceremony of divorce, in which a gentle transition is provided for both the couple and their children.

"Read my prayers or someone else's," Williamson says. "By all means, create your own." Illuminata is a way to bring prayer into practical use, creating a sweeter, more abundant life for yourself and the people you care for. "No conventional therapy," she says, "can release us from a deep and abiding psychic pain. Through prayer we find what we cannot find elsewhere: a peace that is not of this world."
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