Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power Of Intimate Relationships
 
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Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power Of Intimate Relationships [Paperback]

by Marianne Williamson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Romance is one of the sacred temples that dot the landscape of life," writes Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love, The Healing of America). "We tend to lack humility toward love, to patronize it rather than bow before it, to put mundane considerations before the emotional need to hold someone in our arms." When we make routines and practicality more valuable than love, we deny ourselves the opportunity to experience true enchantment and a deeper connection with God. Ultimately, Williamson offers a compelling invitation to overcome fear of heartache and enter into the whirlwind mystery of romance. Chapters include topics such as "Removing the Ghosts," "Grace and Forgiveness," "Marriage, Monogamy, Safety and God," and "Bodies and Soul."

Some readers may find Williamson's theories about male-female dynamics validating, while others may find them offensive. For example, Williamson believes that males are natural-born hunters, which means men need the thrill of the hunt during courtship and beyond. "A man should never have to totally stop working to figure out his woman, not if the woman wants him to remain interested," she claims. In fact, she believes that a fascinating woman is like a "Mercedes" or "Jaguar"--she is "high maintenance and doesn't apologize for the fact." --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Musing about deeply passionate love in prose that's sometimes overwrought, spiritual thinker and bestselling author Williamson (Illuminata, etc.) pleads for a millennial movement toward "holy romance," based on deep spiritual connection between partners. Essentially addressing baby boomer women, she advocates a "new model of romance" and relationships containing "love, righteousness, compassion." Describing her blend of Christian-influenced belief tempered with goddess worship and myth as "mystical feminism," Williamson calls on women to help men find a similar cosmic rebirth. Cautioning women not to strategize or use manipulative tactics to gain a man's attentions (otherwise, he'll be the wrong one), she offers many insights, especially about forgiveness, healing and partnering. Williamson's views on monogamy, sexuality and male and female characteristics are provocative ("a woman should always be one step ahead of a man"). She often wraps her ideas in self-conscious, muddled prose, though her many fervent fans may not mind the overflowing images of mermaids, spaceships, angels and castles. Each chapter is accompanied by tender, candid entries from the author's journal and lovely prayers crafted for relationships. Women seeking the right relationship will find the book reassuring and ardent, if not always clear. Agent, Al Lowman. 14-city author tour; 20-city radio tour. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Williamson, who came to prominence as an interpreter of A Course in Miracles, has had a career filled with controversy. But in her newest book--a reflection on marriage, sex, and love--she speaks, uncontroversially, with independent authority. Her devoted readers will get great pleasure from this work; newcomers should find little that will surprise or offend. ("All joining of hearts is a joining in God," she says. "There is no love but God's.") This new work is recommended for collections where Williamson's work or New Age writing is in high demand.
-Graham Christian, formerly with Andover-Harvard Theological Lib., Cambridge, MA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Popular spiritual writer Williamson is in love, and if she can do it, so can you. At least that's what she seems to be saying in her latest inspirational opus, but the prose is so convoluted it's a little hard to tell for sure. That's too bad, because Williamson, best known for her A Return to Love (1991), which interpreted the legendary New Age text called Course in Miracles, is usually the most substantive writer among the current crop of spiritual gurus. Here, the book's format works against the message. Williamson begins each chapter with a piece of an ongoing conversation between her and a lover; these preludes quickly become imminently skippable. The meat of each chapter is given over to an exploration of different aspects of love, including romance, forgiveness, monogamy, and marriage. There are some interesting insights and nuggets of information here, but they get lost in a text that is overwritten and at times repetitous. The most affecting parts of the book are the sweet, simple prayers that punctuate each chapter. Williamson still has many fans, so despite this book's flaws, it is certain to attract considerable attention, given that the author is likely to be featured prominently on the talking-heads circuit. Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Sarah Ban Breathnach bestselling author of Simple Abundance and Something More Gives new meaning to the search for "heaven on earth."

Maryel McKinley Whole Life Times Marianne Williamson has produced another magical masterpiece....If you are ready for a healing, enlightening experience which will forever change the way you perceive and interrelate with others, this book may well be the catalyst.

About the Author

Often called "the voice of her generation," Marianne Williamson has been lecturing on spirituality since 1983. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers: A Return to Love; A Woman's Worth; Illuminata; The Healing of America; and Illuminated Prayers. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Marianne continues to inspire audiences on a global scale as she lectures internationally in the fields of spirituality and new thought.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One: The Enchanted Sea

I love the sea, the blue and the green and the wet and the cool. If I have to choose between the sea or you, I take you, but with sadness.

My favorite thing is to swim with you, to put the crown on my head and spray water in your face, to see you when you laugh like that, and pretend that I'm a little girl. I love to see that look on your face when you register that I'm not....I know, I know, they always ask that, "Who are you, exactly?"

I just laugh and then I dive down deep, to find more pearls on the ocean floor. I will bring them back to you, my love. I will always bring them back to you....


I used to have a thing about mermaids.

I felt I often met men who were lost at sea. I would meet them and lift them up, swim them home, and help them get their land legs back. But then I would have to go back into the ocean because I had only a fishtail. I envied the women with land legs, who got to greet these men upon their return and stay with them back on shore. I pitied myself all the lonely nights I spent swimming alone in a tempestuous sea, the stars above my only companions between rendezvous with drowning sailors.

When she was a very young child, I read The Little Mermaid to my daughter many times, and it was way too close to home. The mermaid Ariel got a different ending than I always did. At the end of the story she got to stay with Prince Eric in his world, and she didn't have to be a mermaid anymore. Something in me wanted that for myself. I would tell my Erics that I was going to do it their way, but then I found things so boring in their world. Yes, I wanted to be one of those land girls, but on another level I clearly didn't. I found I couldn't live without swimming, no matter how much I said otherwise. My tempestuous sea was a magical sea. And I didn't just enjoy the stars shining down on the ocean in the middle of the night; I finally realized I need them. If I had to choose between Eric and the sea, I was clearly more drawn to the sea. I saw that I wasn't made for Eric's world, and what I really wanted was a man who could swim without my help.

What I wanted was not a knight on a white horse. What I wanted was a knight on a dolphin, and ultimately that is what I found. For I learned some things about the Erics of the world. They are bored here, too. They want enchanted swims in the middle of the night, and are as open to the mermaid who swims them out to sea as to a mermaid who swims them back to land.

Forget The Little Mermaid. Splash is a better movie.

At the end of that one, the mermaid says to her love, "You know, I come from a much better place than this. There are just as many lights in my world and there is just as much excitement. There's as much going on down there as up here. In fact, in truth, it's a more civilized environment."

She had actually come, then, not just to be with him but to retrieve him. He flashed back to the moment when he'd met her. They had been children then, and their initial point of contact had not been earth, but sea. That was the point of their true and original connection, and its magic couldn't be exported to a sullied, weary, worldly environment. Enchantment is nontransferable. And so they both went back to sea. The mystic, and mystical lovers, learn this basic rule: Go where you're wanted. Go where you belong.

Mystical love, like mystical anything, exists in a different realm of consciousness than the one that dominates our daily lives. Emotional enchantment is conjured up, brought forth, and summoned from the underworld. It is not neurosis but mystical talent to know that and to know how to do it. In every woman, there is a latent priestess with the ability to invoke that realm. Mermaids are a kind of sexual muse, singing of a higher, more subtle, more magical dimension of life and love. In the enchanted romantic sea, we all have the power to heal and be healed. Our love, in that place, is a temple garden. Sex, in that place, is the door to the temple, and in that temple lies the power of God.

That sacred dimension of romance is what lovers long for now: the magical space of an enchanted intimacy. Many of us have been practicing its ways, unbeknownst to ourselves, for years. Some women have been practicing magic while others were doing housework. Some men have been practicing magic while others were practicing the worldly routines that rob their time and sap their life force. Some of us surrendered to the mystical waters that surround our earthly experience, and the surrender has at last turned out to be a blessing.

There was a time when the sea creatures landed on earth; now the creatures of the earth are heading back to sea. The enchanted lover -- a candidate for mastery of both earth and sea -- is rising up today in a creative swell. The reinvention of romantic love is our newest frontier, toward which our personal yearning is driving us in droves. There is another world beyond this one, which the mystically uninitiated simply cannot see. Their only response, were they to see a mermaid, would be to run some tests. Fishtails seem weird to them, but on the other hand, they don't see wings either.

In truth, they do not see at all. That is why they call love blind, for it is they who cannot see. There are some things that cannot be seen with earthly eyes.

Enchanted love is one of them....

If you will hold my hand, then I will hold my breath and cast my fate in the direction of my heart. I will put on hold my lesser dreams and reach for what is truly mine.

Say you will, and I will buy my ticket for this ride. It will not be cheap, nor always smooth. But I don't care. I don't care. I have finally come to that....


Our deepest human need is not material at all: Our deepest need is to be seen. We need adventure. We need meaning. We need identity. We need love. Someone who has seen us through loving eyes has awakened us from the ranks of the formerly dead. Most people bear the terminal stress of walking the world unseen, a mere number or cog in a lifeless machine. Mystical romance is a space of resurrection and repair. It does more than help us survive a soulless world; it helps us to transform it.

The problem with most intimate relationships is that they are not romantic. They do not involve a deeper knowing, and thus there is diminished possibility of sacred, transformative sharing. To be truly seen, in all our innocence and glory, is to be truly healed. What we salute in one another, we call forth in one another.

So many people say that they are looking for love, yet they are actually committed to never finding it. Many people would really rather not know of the scars and triumphs of the person who lies in their arms. Many people who say they are looking for love are merely looking for superficial comfort. Real love entails readiness to die to who we were, in order to be born again prepared for love, truly worthy of the romantic heights. Real love is comforting, to be sure, but not always at first. In becoming romantic artists, we must pierce the armor that hides our hearts, and that piercing is not comfortable. It is horrible and painful. It can take years of tears to melt the hardness that develops in this world, covering our tender, gentler, inner selves. Tears for every devastating loss. Tears for every humiliating failure. Tears for every repeated mistake. Those who allow those tears, even honor those tears, are not failures at love but rather its true initiates. First the pain, and then the power. First the heart breaks and then it soars.

Love will push every button, try every faith, challenge every strength, trigger every weakness, mock every value, and then leave you there to die. But once you begin to turn the corner, to leave love's bush league and enter the pros, there is no worldly activity that can match the joy of flying like an eagle through the skies of a lover's heart.

Do you remember when we were kids, reading about evolution? We were shown apes on the left side of a page, and a standing human being on the far right. That was how evolution was presented to us: as the rise of our species from ape to man.

But perhaps we should reconsider that picture. I think the standing human being belongs in the center of the page. Now, our arms are hanging down at our side, but what should happen next is that our arms move up slightly, in a position reminiscent of Jesus. It is a position that says simultaneously, "I am undefended" and "Come unto me." Can you imagine a picture of Jesus with his arms folded in front of him, striking a pose that suggests the attitude, "Don't even think about coming close to me"?

Our human arms will begin to lift, in a kind of Hallelujah posture, continuing to rise as a space on the back between the shoulder blades pops and our wings begin to sprout. At the far right of the page there will be a picture of an angel. For that is where we're headed now, as our evolutionary potential calls us to spring forward and become who we really are.

How will we get there? Quite simply, with each other. The highest purpose of intimacy is to call forth the beloved's soul.

Heaven is entered two-by-two. Enchanted intimacy is a temple of the Holy Spirit, where we are most quickly and most likely to be transformed by grace. We cannot remain who we used to be, once love has made it over our walls and begun to change our hearts.

The twentieth century is drawing to a close. We are exiting spiritual Dark Ages in which materialistic form and function were viewed as the primary reality of almost everything. Love hardly survived these times, though survive it did, in a fierce and miraculous way, often ravaged and torn by the mockery and denial of a loveless world. Magic was exiled to the margins of the mind, while true romance was diminished to the purview of fairy tales, and fairy tales, of course, were supposedly just for children. We applauded Romeo and Juliet, yet secretly supported the idiocy of th...
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