From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Illuminata comes a book about everyday peace, everyday purpose, everyday hope, everyday love, and everyday grace.
In these pages, author and lecturer Marianne Williamson acts as a guide back to the spiritual source, exploring the ways to nurture a thriving soul in a harsh world. The large and small difficulties of our days challenge us to open our hearts and minds. With an attitude of hope, a call to forgive, and a celebration of miracles, Williamson helps readers to find sacred footing on ordinary ground. For no matter what, there is always an opportunity to be happy. Everyone is entitled to the pleasures of everyday grace.
Although many people may perceive the achievement of mystical union with the divine as an arduous feat, requiring fasting, pilgrimage and mortification of the flesh, spirituality diva Williamson says "thirty minutes each morning" of "quality time with God" will do the trick. The author of Illuminata aims her book of nonsectarian religious consolation squarely at harried professionals who are frazzled by overscheduling and fret over the disasters they hear about on the news. The path to serenity lies in becoming a "modern mystic" who sees that "everything connects to everything" and that "every issue [is] a spiritual one," from dry-cleaning mishaps to the Middle East peace process (which will be resolved when Israelis and Palestinians understand their essential oneness). Readers can even spiritually transcend their wait at the Department of Motor Vehicles, because "every person in line is someone we can bless." In Williamson's rapturous, liturgical prose, oceanic bliss is conveniently tapped into with prayer and by beaming positive mental energy to a universe karmically primed to beam it back. Although Williamson's insistence on the magical oneness of our desires and our external reality may strike some as wishful thinking, her message will continue to bring peace of mind to her many fans.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 04, 2004
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Excerpt from Everyday Grace by Marianne Williamson
Reclaiming Our Magic
My father used to speak of the Byzantine Rule, which is that nothing is as it appears to be. I have always had a sense that something is missing in this world-that at the very least there is something important we're not discussing.
I believe that hunger for a "lost dimension" of experience is a natural yearning in all of us, and it doesn't go away just because we ignore it. It is evidenced among other places in the millions of children and adults who obsessively read the Harry Potter books. It is said that fiction is where someone gets to tell the truth. We are a bunch of silly Muggles, and we really do miss out on the magic of existence. There's a collective knowing that a dimension of reality exists beyond the material plane, and that sense of knowing is causing a mystical resurgence on the planet today. It's not just children who are looking for a missing piece. It is a very mature outlook to question the nature of our reality.
We are like birds who have forgotten we have wings, kings and queens who have forgotten our royal heritage. We feel enslaved by conditions that should have no power to bind us, and powerless before forces over which we have been given dominion. No wonder our children are drawn to reading about a world in which people live a more magical existence than the one we offer them here.
I have watched my daughter bury herself, like so many other children, heart and soul in the Harry Potter books. I remember that when I was her age I had a similar fascination with books like A Wrinkle in Time, Half Magic, and the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. In a particularly passionate moment, my daughter once told me that the only time she was really happy was when she was reading Harry Potter. And, sadly, I understood what she meant. It was the only place she felt she could stay in touch with all the magic.
When I am honest with myself, I know that I cry deep inside, just as my daughter does, when I cannot find the magic. Emma has asked me several times, "Mommy, are the Harry Potter books true? Are there really magical places like that?" And I answer her as honestly as I can, which is to say that I answer "yes." But she is never satisfied when I talk about different realms of consciousness, when I tell her that the magic in Harry Potter is a magic that lives in all of us. She wants a simpler magic, which I understand. And I assume that one day she'll find her own path to the magic that lives and breathes inside her. No one can take the journey for anyone else-even parents for our children-as much as we might like to. But if and when my daughter makes her own mystical journey, she will learn that magic indeed is here in this world right now. It is literally all around us. Each of us has a mark on our forehead, just like Harry Potter, that speaks to the fact that all of us come from a very magical source.
Harry Potter is one boy in a long line of mythical heroes who have reminded the human race that we are so much more than we think we are, so much more powerful than we seem to know. Jesus said that we would someday do even greater works than He; should we not take Him at His word? And should not "someday" be today? It's time for us to start working miracles, if indeed we have the capacity within us to do so.
This book is for those who seek to work miracles. The search for the Holy Grail of miraculous power-humanity's instinctive understanding that we are meant to soar above the limitations of our physical world-has been going on for ages. Yet now the search has become a popular yearning not just among monks or adventurers in far-off places, but among many of us living very practical lives. We wish to cultivate the sacred in the midst of the great and small difficulties of our daily existence. We want spiritual principles to be more than beautiful abstractions; we want them to actually transform our lives.