In this podcast (#487) and blog, I talk to bestselling author, spiritual thought leader and 2024 U.S. presidential candidate Marianne Williamson about applying spiritual principles in a practical way, creating a vision of justice and love that can overcome hatred and fear, what we can do as a community to make the world a better place for ourselves and others, and so much more!
For over three decades, Marianne has been a leader in spiritual and religiously progressive circles. She is the author of 15 books, four of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers.
Williamson founded Project Angel Food, a non-profit organization that has delivered more than 14 million meals to ill and dying homebound patients since 1989. The group was created to help people suffering from the ravages of HIV/AIDS.
She has also worked throughout her career on poverty, anti-hunger and racial reconciliation issues. In 2004, she co-founded The Peace Alliance and supports the creation of a U.S. Department of Peace. Williamson also ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
Marianne knows firsthand how our current system is failing millions of Americans. She’s had a forty-year career facilitating personal and systems transformation, and has inspired millions of us to overcome in spite of the system. That’s why Marianne is fighting for an America where we can celebrate the places where we have been right and can admit to the places where we have been wrong—an America 2.0.
Marianne is passionate about applying spiritual principles in a practical way. As she notes, the past and future only exist in our minds. Only the present intersects with linear time; this is a place of power and infinite possibility, including the possibility to begin again. It is a place where the past can be healed and the future can be reprogrammed. If we do not use this power to change and heal, and if we bring the past into our present, we are programming the future to be just like it. We essentially doom ourselves to the constant recreation of the cycle, where it feels like nothing ever changes.
This is often called “the power of now”. When we embrace this power, we open ourselves up to the infinite possibilities for healing and change that the present offers us, enabling us to reprogram our future and change our lives and communities for the better.
This is why Marianne has centered her presidential candidacy around creating a vision of justice and love that can overcome hatred, injustice and fear. So many of us are drowning in information, yet are starving. The common view of the world is as a machine that needs to be tweaked, but this hasn’t worked out for humanity as a whole.
There are many aspects of our reality as human beings beyond just the material. When we think only the material aspect of our existence is real or important, we become disconnected from deeper layers of truth, reality, justice and love. We end up with a society that just treats the symptoms of the issues we all face, rather than getting to the root cause. For example, our current economic system, although it has benefited many people, only seeks to create more and more material wealth at the expense of the health, wellbeing and safety of human beings, animals and our planet. This has resulted in a society where money holds in its grip our government, healthcare, production of food, energy, foreign policy, and how we treat our children. It has created a new elite, leaving the majority of the people to suffer and fall apart under the stress of economic anxiety and tension, sucking meaning out of the human experience.
All of us have a responsibility to start where we are and with what we can do. We need to heed the call deep within ourselves to challenge this system and go against the current socio-political economic order. We need to be willing to speak in places and ways that we have been told not to speak. This is how we start reversing the inertia of our current system: by adding friction, not by just “going with the flow”. We need to be willing to stand up for change that is not just cosmetic or symptom-focused.
The biggest challenge we face is not how many people admit society is messed up; rather, it is how many people think we cannot change the current system. This is why faith, love and hope are so important: they help us imagine a world that looks different to the one we currently have. They enable us to consider and embrace the possibility that both ourselves and our communities can truly change for the better.
For more on spiritual leadership and changing ourselves and our communities for the better, listen to my podcast with Marianne (episode #487) and check out her amazing work. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
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2:22 Applying spiritual principles in a practical way
3:00 Using the power of the present to change the past & future
5:50 How we are failing our children & why we need to change the way we see children in our society
9:45 Creating a vision of justice & love to overcome fear, hatred & injustice
11:00, 30:20 How an overly materialistic view of the world & society has failed us
16:40 Why we need to change our current system of mental healthcare
18:16 How to quit the system & change our lives and communities
23:44, 34:10 The power of love & faith
40:13 Marianne’s presidential campaign
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