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Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens Paperback – February 28, 2000
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Patricia Holt San Francisco Chronicle A huge and wondrous surprise....The Healing of America somehow makes us proud to be Americans, because every hope for democracy seems newly within our grasp.
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Yoga Journal This stirring departure from Williamson's usual subject matter cuts to the heart of our dilemma and brings new energy to the search for solutions.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book spoke to me at first sight. However, I was expecting it to be a different kind of book, so I pushed it to the side, with good intentions. It sat on the shelf patiently whispering to me, and I would whisper back -"Yes, when the time is right, I'll pick you up." Well, THE TIME IS RIGHT!!! Wow, is it ever!!! Now I've read it, I want to trumpet it to all the world. For anyone sick at heart at the state of things in this country, and an ache in their soul to see a change in the status quo -- get this book. It is insightful, intelligent, significant, profound, and unforgettable. Pick it up, read it, and then tell at least ten friends about it who have a social conscience. Let's begin - NOW!
To me, much of religion in America has failed to transform the majority of the faithful in a spiritual way, to see through new eyes, the eyes of compassion and love, to see through the LIES of a ruthless capitalistic culture. Marianne Williamson does though make a most powerful point: "There is an important distinction to be made between a religiously based and spirituality based political impulse. While religion is a force that either creatively or noncreatively separates us, spirituality is a force that unites us by reminding us of our fundamental oneness. The religionization of American politics is dangerous, the spiritualization of our political consciousness is imperative". Yes, I certainly agree, but I question whether we will ever see radical social change in America without massive non violent public demonstrations.
As Franciscan Father Richard Rohr often says, religion in America has become a belonging system of individual personal piety, a sense of feeling superior, "us against them", rather than a system that seeks a deep personal spiritual transformation.
Marianne Williamson speaks of the essential spiritual dynamics of democracy itself. Democracy is all about the distinct spiritual act of discernment, a synthesis of thought, a higher public awareness by embracing opposing democratic viewpoints, and coming to a higher public consensus. Honest discernment of the issues is the key to democracy. But the problem is that the corporate mainstream media in America denies sufficient information and genuine critical analysis to make possible honest public discernment. In turn, a narcissist consumer culture destroys the human spirit, destroying the "caring of others", and thus destroying the spiritual dynamics of democracy itself, working for the common good.
In "Healing the Soul of America", Marianne Williamson speaks about democracy in a more direct way by pleading to the underlying spiritual meaning of the words in the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. To her these words to people of faith should be of sufficient motivation to work for a more just society, to participate in the power of national politics. But are the majority people of faith in America really ready to hear these words and act? At this present time I really doubt it because America remains a terribly confused and divided nation. Yes, I do see a shifting paradigm of national thought in America, but I beleive it is premature and yet to publicly declare itself.
The problem I find with so many "activist" spiritual writers is that it is easy to critique the American capitalistic culture and plead for a higher spiritual awareness, but it is another thing to bring about a new and honest national conversation. Marianne Williamson could have been more forceful about the brutal stranglehold the propaganda of corporate capitalism has over the American psychic that prevents an honest national conversation.
The sad fact is that this unholy system of corporate capitalism essentially "owns" the U.S. Congress. American democracy is now seriously broken. Thus to me, an imminent new spiritual awareness for substantial social change in America is difficult to imagine.
The national political conversation in America remains infantile, even ten years after Marianne Williamson optimistically wrote her book. Since then, in spite of the collapse and financial bailout of Wall Street, the public remains unconvinced of the diabolical evil of the "never enough profit" that emanates from the institutions of corporate capitalism. After all that has happened, our nation still cannot bring itself to accept universal health care in America, in fear of the idea of direct government, the "evil of socialism". This is "fixation of thought" on the illusional "sanctity" of American capitalism. Sadly, the capitalistic "powers that be" in the U.S. have very successfully manipulated the American people with fear.
I really feel current times have proven that Marianne Williamson views for inevitable spiritual transformation in America are rather optimistic and yet I do not deny in any way the powerful truth of her broad spiritual message.
As pointed out by Professor Robert Jenson in his book "Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim our Humanity", I believe the current American dilemma now demands the courageous few, those who see through new eyes, to come together to bring about radical social change. After the recent collapse and bailout of Wall Street, and a national willingness to reluctantly do so based solely on fear, I am more convinced than ever that radical civil action is absolutely necessary to shock Washington and jolt the American people out of a long sleep. The U.S. can not afford to wait any longer for a spiritual EVOLUTION, it now needs REVOLUTON. . This then for sure will force a new national conversation.
To me, the lessons of history have shown that radical social change against the oppression of an unjust status quo and entrenched corporate interests can only succeed through a higher public awareness made possible by massive non- violent civil disobedience and an engaged spirituality of creative nonviolence by the radical few. Yes, radical social change has always begun by the radical few.
In the meantime, America waits as a confused and divided nation