Marianne Williamson

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Marianne Deborah Williamson (born 8 July 1952) is a spiritual activist, author, lecturer and founder of the Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation currently before Congress to establish a United States Department of Peace.

Quotations[edit]

A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles" (1992)[edit]

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
There is no more powerful motivation than to feel we’re being used in the creation of a world where love has healed all wounds.
We are no longer ambitious for ourselves, but are rather inspired by the vision of a healed world. Inspiration rearranges our energies. It sources within us a new power and direction.
  • Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
    • Ch. 7 : Work, §3 : Personal Power, p. 190 (p. 165 in some editions). This famous passage from her book is often erroneously attributed to Nelson Mandela. About the mis-attribution Williamson said, "Several years ago, this paragraph from A Return to Love began popping up everywhere, attributed to Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural address. As honored as I would be had President Mandela quoted my words, indeed he did not. I have no idea where that story came from, but I am gratified that the paragraph has come to mean so much to so many people."
    • Variant which appears in the film Coach Carter (2005): "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
    • Variant which appears in the film Akeelah and the Bee (2006), displayed in a picture frame on the wall, attributing it to Mandela: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
  • A miracle worker is an artist of the soul. There’s no higher art than living a good life. An artist informs the world of what’s available behind the masks we all wear. That’s what we’re all here to do. The reason so many of us are obsessed with becoming stars is because we’re not yet starring in our own lives. The cosmic spotlight isn’t pointed at you; it radiates from within you.
    • Ch. 7 : Work, §3 : Personal Power
  • If we wait for the world’s permission to shine, we will never receive it. The ego doesn’t give that permission. Only God does, and He has already done so. He has sent you here as His personal representative and is asking you to channel His love into the world. Are you waiting for a more important job? There isn’t one.
    • Ch. 7 : Work, §3 : Personal Power
  • How could Leonardo da Vinci not have painted? How could Shakespeare not have written? In Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke tells a young writer to write only if he has to. We are to do what there is a deep psychological and emotional imperative for us to do. That’s our point of power, the source of our brilliance. Our power is not rationally or willfully called forth. It’s a divine dispensation, an act of grace.
    • Ch. 7 : Work, §3 : Personal Power
  • The thought system that dominates our culture is laced with selfish values, and relinquishing those values is a lot easier said than done. The journey to a pure heart can be highly disorienting. For years we may have worked for power, money and prestige. Now all of a sudden we’ve learned that those are just the values of a dying world. We don’t know where to search for motivation anymore. If we’re not working in order to get rich, then why are we working at all? What are we supposed to do all day? Just sit home and watch TV?
    Not at all, but thinking so is a temporary phase many people go through — when the values of the old world no longer have a hold on us, but the values of the new don’t yet grab your soul. They will. There comes a time, not too long into the journey to God, when the realization that the world could work beautifully if we would give it the chance, begins to excite us. It becomes our new motivation. The news isn’t how bad things are. The news is how good they could be. And our own activity could be part of the unfolding of Heaven on earth. There is no more powerful motivation than to feel we’re being used in the creation of a world where love has healed all wounds.
    We are no longer ambitious for ourselves, but are rather inspired by the vision of a healed world. Inspiration rearranges our energies. It sources within us a new power and direction. We no longer feel like we’re trying to carry a football to the finish line, clutching it to our chest and surrounded by hostile forces. We feel instead as though angels are pushing us from behind and making straight our path as we go.
    • Ch. 7 : Work, §9 : Sales to Service
  • Purity of heart will not make us poor. The exaltation of poverty as a spiritual virtue is of the ego, not the spirit. A person acting from a motivation of contribution and service rises to such a level of moral authority, that worldly success is a natural result.
    Give all your gifts away in service to the world. If you want to paint, don’t wait for a grant. Paint a wall in your town that looks drab and uninviting. You never know who’s going to see that wall. Whatever it is you want to do, give it away in service to your community.
    • Ch. 7 : Work, §9 : Sales to Service

External links[edit]

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