Interview with Marianne Williamson about A Course in Miracles

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When I was at a difficult turning point in my life, I was guided to my divine teacher, Marianne Williamson (New York Times bestselling author of A Return to Love). It is because of Marianne that I became a student of the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles. Her lectures and books demystified the principles of the Course so that I could apply the life-changing lessons in my own life. I am endlessly grateful for Marianne’s impact on me—and the world.

In this interview Marianne shares about her experience with A Course in Miracles and offers up advice to people who are new to the text. Enjoy my conversation with Marianne Williamson.

GB: What was going on in your life when you found ACIM?

MW: I wasn’t the happiest person, that’s for sure. Kind of muddling through my 20’s at the time. When I first saw the book, the language was way too intense for me. But when it appeared in my life a year later, I was drawn to it like to some mysterious force. Which it is, of course!

GB: For the reader who is new to ACIM, please help them understand the difference between what is real and what is an illusion.

MW: You know how sometimes you have a fight with someone and then when it’s finally over, one of you says, “I love you” and the other one says, “I love you too” and maybe you hug and feel all emotional…? That’s what it means. It means we have to go through all the he-said, she-said, you-said, I-said, all the craziness and arguing and triggering each other just to get to the point at the very end where there’s only forgiveness and understanding and you say “I love you” and they say “I love you” too.

The love is what’s left at the end because it’s the bedrock, fundamental reality that gets hidden all the time, but never really goes away. What happened before that was just mutual projection and hurt and anger and blame, but in the end it wasn’t real. It felt real, but it was just energy…issues…illusion, really.

Love is who we are, and when we deviate from that love we’re deviating from our ultimate, essential, eternal reality. Only God’s Thoughts — or love — is actually real. So when we separate ourselves from that love, we’re actually not thinking at all: we’re hallucinating. And that’s what illusion is. Feels real, even more real than love does sometimes. But the love is who we really are.

GB: What’s your process of surrendering your fears to the Holy Spirit?

MW: Pretty simple. “Dear God, I feel this or that fear, this or that anxiety, this or that anger, this or that judgment, this or that neediness, this or that whatever. Please take it from me. Amen.”

GB: Is there a workbook exercise that you love the most?

MW: Into His presence would I enter now. Though Creation’s gentleness is all I see runs a close second.

GB: What is your favorite prayer from ACIM?

MW: Where would You have me go? What would You have me do? What would You have me say, and to whom?

GB: Right on. That’s my favorite too!

GB: How do you work miracles?

MW: By changing your mind, using it differently. Recognizing where you’re thinking thoughts of fear, and replace them with thoughts of love. Simple actually, though God knows not always easy. What’s hard is getting over our resistance to doing it.

GB: How can we best apply the principles of ACIM in our daily lives?

MW: By starting each morning doing the workbook. My mother taught me that if you make chile with too much cayenne pepper, all you have to do is put a raw potato in it and that will suck up all the excess hot pepper. That’s how I feel about my workbook lesson each day: it helps to suck up my excess neurotic thinking.

GB: Tell us about your forthcoming course on A Return to Love.

MW: My book A RETURN TO LOVE is like “The Cliff Notes” of A COURSE IN MIRACLES. It takes the basic ideas of the Course and breaks them down into “Principles” and “Practice.” Here’s the idea, then here’s the practical application. Here’s the idea, then here’s the practice.

It was mind-blowing for me reading the Course in the 1970’s. And it’s mind-blowing for me reading it today. When you really allow yourself to think about the ideas, and even try just a little bit to apply them in your lives, then nothing is ever really the same again. It really is a miracle. It really is.

I’ll be doing a video each week for six weeks that will present a spiritual curriculum on shifting our perceptions from fear to love. There will be six live question and answer sessions during which I’ll respond to questions posed by people taking the seminar. And we’ll have a private online community where students will be able to share their experiences with others taking the course – and I’ll play an active role here too. All videos and Q & A calls will remain available on our private course page enabling participants to review the material as often as they’d like. I think it will be fun for all of us. You can check out the details here.

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  1. I’m new to A Course In Miracles as I am in Day 4,in Gabrielle’s Book, May Cause Miracles. I have already seen shifts in my life and I can’t wait to continue on the path of LOVE! Thank you!

  2. Love this! Love you both! Gabby…you led me to ACIM two years ago! I am still working through the workbook, days I forget, but always come right back to it! After reading Add More ING, I walked into Barnes & Noble and ACIM literally jumped off the shelf in the entry way! I knew I was meant to read it. I then started reading more of Marianne’s work, including Return to Love. So powerful and life changing. My life has opened up and changed so much over the past two years. Major shifts happening this year! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  3. Love this! Love you both! Gabby…you led me to ACIM two years ago! I am still working through the workbook, days I forget, but always come right back to it! After reading Add More ING, I walked into Barnes & Noble and ACIM literally jumped off the shelf in the entry way! I knew I was meant to read it. I then started reading more of Marianne’s work, including Return to Love. So powerful and life changing. My life has opened up and changed so much over the past two years. Major shifts happening this year! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  4. I just watched you on Oprah’s SSS…I was so stunned. I felt as if you were speaking directly to me, expressing my own thoughts. I am so inspired by your words. Just to know there are leaders like you, whom we can be inspired by and learn from; that is in our generation and can understand what we are wanting and craving out of life, is relieving and exciting. I cannot wait to read your book, and Marianne’s as well. I wish you the best and continued success. Thank you.

  5. Gabby, I saw you speak at NYU this summer and you were simply glorious! You inspired me and I just finished reading A Return to Love, and Marianne, your writing is truly God’s gift to you and to all of us. Thank you both for not only telling, but showing us all a new (but, of course, not new at all) way to live and be.

  6. You and Marianne are some of my favorite teachers of the course! The course has changed my life and continues to! I wake up each morning thrilled to sit down and work on another lesson. 🙂

  7. Wonderful interview! I am on Day 25 of May Cause Miracles and miracles are happening already…thank you so much Gabby!! Today is Friday the 13th, and in A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson (amazing!), she says this was originally not a “bad luck” day, but a day when women would gather and connect spiritually. I hope all us women can reignite that idea and support each other in our journey through life! Xoxo

    1. We don’t connect spiritually. That is pure fantasy. We are ALREADY connected spiritually – it can’t be otherwise. The problem is we are distracted by our egos which tell us that spirituality is a means of “growth” or a way of feeling better about ourselves. Love – which is WHAT WE ARE is PERFECT. What is it then that you feel you are growing into? Perfection is NOT a matter of degrees. It’s here waiting for you to RECOGNIZE it, not “acquire” it. Only the ego seeks to acquire ANYTHING.

  8. Hi there Gabby
    Yesterday I was into week one of the Course in Miracles and the daily shifts in perception and experiences have been amazing. I’m a teacher and one of the students that I had a few issues with a few weeks ago, wrote a little note for me in class yesterday saying that she ‘adores me and that I’m one of her favorite teachers’. I don’t pay so much attention to the fact that she ‘adores’ me but the simple fact that she has opened up her heart and doesn’t see me as a rival any longer, has made ALL the difference. I have actually been thinking and sending HEAPS of positive vibes towards that particular girl (which I think is suffering a lot and projecting all her insecurities and fears on to others). It’s amazing how a shift in perception in yourself can be felt by others as well. I am grateful for the time and energy you have taken to write this book and to make it available to the world. Many thanks and lots of love, Therese

    1. While I am thrilled to read of your positive experiences (we ALL benefit from each one’s happiness), none of this has any relevance to what the Course teaches. The Course is NOT teaching you to calm your ego mind (the only mind we know unless we are awakened). It is asking you to CHANGED your mind. Changing your mind means there is no longer any PERSONAL identity.

  9. Love is NOT “who” you are! Who you are is total BS. Love is WHAT you are and WHERE you are. The important thing, which the Course emphasizes, is to know WHERE you are. Because there – and ONLY there – is where Love IS.

    1. I know its my ego which is questioning why you feel the need to correct what everybody else is commenting. Perhaps you should take a look back at the parts about forgiving others(not seeing there perceptual errors). I know I need to. Love Marianne

  10. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is
    added I get three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that
    service? Thanks!

  11. A Course in Miracles is a vibrant non-dual program to heal and awaken the mind. For me, after decades of seeking, it was the answer to the deepest call of my heart. It brought clarity to the seeming discrepancies between it and the Judeo-Christian theology I was born into, and is a very clear and practical program for undoing all the blocks to awakening to your true identity—to Oneness.

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