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Marianne Williamson Interview:

On Forgiveness, Miracles, and Love as a Global Force

Marianne Williamson, #1 New York Times bestselling author and spiritual lecturer, spoke with Banyen on the themes of love, forgiveness, and miracles. Marianne Williamson is the author of several books including A Return to Love, Everyday Grace, and A Year of Miracles.

Banyen: Marianne Williamson, thank you for speaking with us today. What was the biggest turning point of your life?

Marianne Williamson: The biggest turning point in my life was my first reading The Course in Miracles. It wasn't that The Course In Miracles presents ideas I had never encountered, but The Course showed me a way I could make these ideas real in my actual day-to-day existence. For me that was revelatory.

Banyen: Has your approach to transformational work changed over the years since the time you first published A Return to Love in 1992?

Marianne Williamson: My approach hasn't changed at all because my approach is the effort to live according to some universal principles that are changeless. I hope, I like to think, that my ability to practice these principles on a more consistent and universal basis has improved, but the principles I believe in have not changed at all.

Banyen: What are you most grateful for in your life?

Marianne Williamson
: My daughter.

Banyen: You often refer to Miracles in your writing. What is a Miracle?

Marianne Williamson
: According to A Course In Miracles, a miracle is a shift in perceptions from fear to love. Once you realize that consciousness is the level of cause, and worldly experience is the level of effect, you realize that change at the level of thought is the most fundamental change there is.

Banyen: If you could offer one piece of advice to those seeking to live in their full potential, what would it be?

Marianne Williamson
: Try to forgive everyone for to whom you hold any grievance whatsoever. The Course In Miracles says we can have a grievance or we can have a miracle, but we cannot have both. Our thoughts of judgment and attack are thoughts that limit us much more than they limit the person towards whom we project those thoughts.

Banyen: What is it that makes forgiveness possible?

Marianne Williamson
: First of all, the forgiveness I am talking about is not the old fashioned traditional notion of forgiveness. Its not where you think someone else is a jerk but because you are "spiritual" now you forgive them. That's actually just judgment. The point of forgiveness I'm speaking about is a conscious choice to focus on what someone might have done right, rather than a focus on their mistakes. Each and everyone deep down are love, and love only. Our capacity to remember that about ourselves and about others is our capacity to pierce the veil of illusion that keeps humanity bound.

Banyen: Byron Katie has said "Forgiveness is realizing what you think happened, didn't".

Marianne Williamson
: Yes, from A Course In Miracles perspective that's exactly correct. According to A Course In Miracles everything that is not love is illusion. So often when we are being unforgiving, we're just reacting to someone's projection. There's no point reacting to it; it's just something that came out of someone's mind. And by reacting to it we fortify its reality. So yes, from A Course In Miracles perspective, what Byron said is absolutely true. The Course says love is real, all else is an illusion.

Banyen: The theme of your event in Vancouver (on October 4, 2015) is Love as a Global Force. Can you give any hint of what you might be touching on in the talk?

Marianne Williamson
: When you look at a group like ISIL you are confronted with what a powerful force hate can be. What a motivator it is to turn people toward genuinely evil ways. A conversation we need to be having I think is how love motivates and inspires people too, but it motivates and inspires them towards creativity and peace. Love is more powerful than hatred to be sure, but unfortunately we are living at a time when too many people are putting all of their efforts behind hate, and too few people are putting all of their efforts behind love. We need now to "turn love into a broad-scale social force for good" (to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr.). Love has implications, not just personally, but also socially, politically, and economically. We are living in revolutionary times, but this revolution must be holistic in nature. It must involve internal as well as external transformation.

To find out more about Marianne Williamson visit her website at

Interview ©  September 28, 2015
Banyen Books & Sound