The interview with Marianne was far reaching. We talked about everything from Donald Trump to religious history.
There is so much to study and listen to over and over again in this discussion, but here are three of the key lessons I learned from this great teacher and spiritual thinker.
- Politics And Spirituality Go Hand In Hand
- Miracles Can Happen
- Desire Not Appetite
1. Politics And Spirituality Go Hand In Hand
Marianne embodies the very best of American values – freedom, compassion and equality, and it is a crying shame she missed out on entering Congress.
She uses the analogy of health to describe contemporary politics.
Medical science has evolved to incorporate integrative approaches to disease.
We now understand that taking the knife to the cancer is not the only option. Preventative medicine should also play a part in human health.
For Marianne, it’s the same with politics. We can’t just rely on military might to enforce peace on earth. Barging into Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein had long term effects we are still paying the price for.
If we are going to recover our moral integrity in the west, Marianne believes we must take an integrative approach, and by that she means a spiritual approach.
We need to deepen our awareness of what has gone wrong, understand our mistakes at the their roots – the level of consciousness.
Marianne calls this atonement – taking a “fearless moral inventory” and making changes that come from a shift in how we approach politics.
It’s about tackling problems at the spiritual and psychological core, not just on the superficial level of policy and debate.2. Miracles Can Happen
Until I talked with Marianne, the word “miracle” always held a biblical resonance. I associated it with some of the more unbelievable aspects of organised religion.
But Marianne is a student of A Course In Miracles – a book which uses the word in a very specific, pragmatic way.
For Marianne, miracles are simply shifts in consciousness from fear to love. It kind of reminds me of Peter Sage’s wisdom around reframing negativity.
Marianne dropped some powerful science on what she believes it means to say “we are all one.”
Our minds are connected because our thoughts come from the same creative energy, the same quantum field.
She says that enlightenment is simply the shift from body-identification, to spirit-identification.
Looked at this way, it is difficult to think of any situation that can’t be understood to be a miracle in some way, and as an opportunity for growth, forgiveness and love.
That shift Marianne talks about is, she claims, what was is really meant by the Christian concept of “turn the other cheek.”
Basically, take another look, change your fundamental perception of the event in question.
When you reach a place of understanding, it is very hard not to feel compassion for those that attack you.
It’s not about being fluffy and esoteric. It’s just about being evolved and big enough to see the big picture.3. Desire Not Appetite
According to Marianne, we have lost our connection to our true selves.
The body-mind connection has been cut off, and so we live our lives caught up in the world, in the distractions and temptations of modern living.
Marianne explains the paradox of the fact that we spend so much time indulging ourselves materially, but never allow ourselves to live the life of our truest desires.
She recalls someone telling her when she was young that she was too hard on herself because she was too easy on herself.
Basically, we allow ourselves to be caught up in appetites, and we forget to live from our spiritual centre, and for that reason many of us are miserable.
The same people, according to Marianne, who won’t allow themselves to step into their heart’s truest desire, are often the same people who are easily caught up in every passing fancy.
The quote that made Marianne famous, about our deepest fear being our light, is related to this point.
It’s easier to get caught up in the day-to-day, superficial indulgences, than it is to make a commitment to ourselves to become who we really are.
Marianne has an enriching presence, and there’s something very precious about her wisdom. At the same time, her uncompromising, unapologetic energy commands respect and forces you to act on the wisdom.
As Marianne herself says, the hard work of spirituality starts when we put the rubber to the road.
I want to know what are the passing fancies and indulgences you use to avoid moving into your deepest desire for yourself? In what ways are you being too easy on yourself, so that you end up being too hard on yourself?
Let me know in the comments. I look forward to your stories.