For more than 30 years, Marianne Williamson has been a pioneer of a worldwide spiritual movement. She has written four #1 New York Times Best Sellers and her teachings have influenced millions around the world to lead happier and more fulfilled lives. Newsweek magazine named Marianne as one of the “50 most influential baby boomers” and she has been a popular speaker at Google, Wisdom 2.0 and Sister Giant. Marianne has also regularly appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live and Good Morning America.
In 2014, Marianne ran for US Congress in an attempt to start a bold new conversation in politics. She is the founder of Project Angel Food that serves over 1,000 meals per day for people suffering with AIDS in Los Angeles. Marianne also co-founded the Peace Alliance and sits on the board of RESULTS that works to end hunger and poverty throughout the world.
What do you hope that people take away from your seminar if they are hearing you speak for the first time?
I think, information is power and the more we know the better we do, the more we know the more empowered we are. We heal one ‘ah ha!’ at a time – that’s why we read books – that’s why we go to seminars. Sometimes there’s a new piece of information and sometimes there is information that we already have, it just needs to be understood more deeply.
I think when it comes to spiritual principals a lot of us have already read the same books and listened to the same tapes. The issue is not so much the collection and accumulation of new data, as it is having greater access to this information. This is where, the rubber meets the road, not only in terms of our spiritual understanding but also in terms of our relationships.
Your lived experience is testament to the power of your healing. Do you think this knowledge has given you the power to help others who were perhaps more reluctant to change?
It’s not just that I have lived, it’s that I do live – and I have the privilege, because of my lecturing and my counselling, to hear people almost every day going through what they’re going through. So I think there’s nothing like actual experience to challenge you; “ok Marianne, you say you believe in forgiveness? What are you going to say to him right now?” There’s nothing like hearing what other people are going through – as much as I do – to keep me abreast of the pulse.
What I realise of course, is that we’re all going through the same things, more often than we realise. I rarely hear people talk about relationship issues that I either haven’t been through or I’m not going through myself.
It’s tragic to hear about stories concerning domestic abuse, but I also think that in many relationships – and probably in more relationships than not, to an extent – our failure to understand one another more deeply and in the context of intimate relationships, causes violence of some kind, even if it is not physical. There is so much emotional violence. I sometimes listen to couples and am astonished by the level of unkindness, the lack of courtesy, the lack of respect, that far too often occurs when people have either been together so long that they have begun to take each other for granted, or because people are simply so unschooled in the deeper psychological and spiritual dynamics of a relationship.
This causes emotional violence and psychological violence. Of course this is not just experienced by men and women – but even more importantly by children.
The level on which this causes all manner of societal dysfunction cannot be overestimated. So it is a privilege to not only hear peoples stories but to be able to share – to the best of my ability, what I have learnt as a student of the Course of Miracles but also as a woman who has had my own journey like everyone else.
You have so tirelessly committed yourself to your altruistic ventures, tell me more about the Peace Alliance and the Board of Results.
I have long been interested in the intersection between spiritual value and politics, because I see politics as a container for our collective journey. I think nations and species go through stages of development just like individuals do. So if you have some understanding of what helps an individual transform, than you have somewhat of a greater understanding of what can make a group or a system transform. There are elements involved in the creation of inner-peace and of outer-peace. There are the demands of love and challenges of love and invitations of love for the individual – and there are these demands for a group or a nation.
Particularly today, we are living at a time where simply addressing the issue of individual transformation, by choosing to ignore larger issues of societal dysfunction, is simply not an adequate problem-solving mentality. You can drink all the green juice you want and seek to eat gluten free and take probiotics and so forth – but if chemical companies are continuing to put GMO’s and pesticides into our food supply than these public issues will find their way to your private door.
A nuclear disaster is going to ruin anyones day – whether you think you’re interested in Nuclear issues or not. You look at the two greatest political lives of the century, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King – they were great political forces and voices and they inspired great political movement, but they spoke from what was primarily a spiritual base and I believe one of the reasons for why we are not finding the deeper questions, that as a society we need – is because we are not yet asking the deeper questions. That’s because we’re not asking ‘what are our values here? Are we not our brother’s keeper? Do we or do we not owe anything to each other? Because how you answer that question is true for how your life will unfold and that is as true for a nation as it is for a person.
Sun 28th June, 2015
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Sat 4th July, 2015
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Sun 5th July, 2015
The Concourse, Chatswood