Most helpful critical review
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For fans only
on December 23, 2003
Marianne Williamson, lecturer on metaphysics and spirituality, turns her attention to romantic love in Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power or Intimate Relationships. The book is in thirteen chapters with titles such as "The Enchanted Sea" and "Of Space Captains and Angels." It also contains poems and prayers by the author.
One of Ms. Wiliamson's earlier books, A Return to Love, explained some of the principles of A Course in Miracles as they relate to issues in daily life. A Return to Love was a very clear, well written book, that I have enjoyed reading at least five times over the past few years. Unfortunately I found Enchanted Love something of a disappointment. It lacks the organization around clear topics that one finds in A Return to Love. Enchanted Love contains some very good paragraphs, but the book often seems like a not very interesting assortment of preachy pronouncements. Although some of the author's statements are explained with examples, others are simply uttered, and one may well wonder "Is that really true?" or even "What does that mean?"
We are told, for example: "I once heard Pat Allen say that men produce into women's appetites. Men are by nature producers, and one of the things they produce into is female desire. From our sexual lives to our emotional lives, that is an archetypal pattern of great beauty and significance." I do not have the vaguest idea who Pat Allen is. I have never before heard the verb "produce" followed by the preposition "into." I cannot imagine what "produce into" means, but "producing into" certainly does not sound like a pattern of beauty to me. Perhap there are circles of people who know of Pat Allen and who speak of "producing into appetites." Who knows? I don't. One wonders what sort of editorial process the book went through.
Ms. Williamson writes, "Marrieds and singles are constantly sending telepathic communications to each other. There is a constant conversation everyone knows is there, but which few dare to verbalize." I was unaware of such constant telepathic communication. Is it really taking place?
Although some of the author's poems and prayers may serve as worthwhile meditations, some are quite banal. One poem, for example, contains the line "Your issues are more interesting now." Is that poetry, or merely the sort of psychobabble one may routinely hear at twelve-step meetings?
Fans of Ms. Williamson may find that the book contains some interesting material and food for thought. For those unacquainted with Ms. Williamson, I would recommend A Return to Love, but not Enchanted Love.