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Illuminata Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 15, 1994

4.8 out of 5 stars 356 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Prayer "...changes people at a cellular level, and with each one who changes, others are brought miraculously closer to enlightenment." Prayer thus can save the world. Marianne Williamson, celebrated author of A Return to Love, meditates on the nature of prayer and its collective power in this commentary, and offers actual prayers that address our hopes and struggles.

The first part of Illuminata expresses the inimitable Williamson conviction in the collective spiritual revolution at hand. "We seek to replace an old, oppressive order, not so much politically or socially, but within our minds where it lives and works," she writes with unbridled energy and urgency. Although her examples of individuals who exemplify this change can be daunting, still they offer vivid pictures of human courage and generosity. For instance, she cites the character played by Ben Kingsley in Schindler's List as exemplifying selfless acts of generosity in a tormented world. This suggests that her book is a kind of path through human spiritual evolution. Indeed, for Williamson, illumination is "...the spiritual tunnel through which the soul finds its way out of ego-bound darkness into mystical light."

We are reminded that the purpose of prayer is not to gain an object of desire, or relief from one's hounding problems, or even results that are particularly discernible. The purpose is to experience God. To that end, Williamson offers seven sections on prayers, making this a practical text as well as a spirited commentary. The reader will find a vast range of prayers--daily; celebratory; those that seek relief from depression and despair; prayers for ritual; and prayers that expand into the larger realm of social justice (such as "Amends to the Native American"), demonstrating Ms. Williamson's ongoing commitment to join the political and the spiritual.

From the Inside Flap

Marianne Williamson's bestselling A Return to Love ended with a prayer in which she asked God to help us "find our way home, from the pain to peace, from fear to love, from hell to Heaven." Now, in this stunning new collection of thoughts, prayers, and rites of passage, Marianne Williamson returns to prayer.

Prayer is practical, Williamson tells us. "To look to God is to look to the realm of consciousness that can deliver us from the pain of living." Illuminata brings prayer into our daily lives, with prayers on topics from releasing anger to finding forgiveness, from finding great love to achieving intimacy. There are prayers for couples, for parents, and for children; prayers to mend broken relationships and prayers to overcome obsessive and compulsive love. There are prayers to heal the soul, prayers to heal the body, and prayers for work and creativity.

Williamson also gives us prayers for the healing of America, including two prayers that have had powerful effects on audiences at her lectures: a prayer of amends on behalf of European Americans to African-Americans and one to Native Americans. How, Williamson asks, can we expect anyone to forgive when we have made no formal apology?

Another section includes rites of passage, ceremonies of light for the signal events in our lives: blessing of the newborn, coming of age, marriage, and death. There is also a ceremony of the elder, for moving into midlife, and a ceremony of divorce, in which a gentle transition is provided for both the couple and their children.

"Read my prayers or someone else's," Williamson says. "By all means, create your own." Illuminata is a way to bring prayer into practical use, creating a sweeter, more abundant life for yourself and the people you care for. "No conventional therapy," she says, "can release us from a deep and abiding psychic pain. Through prayer we find what we cannot find elsewhere: a peace that is not of this world."
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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (November 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679435506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679435501
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
She writes: "Ultimately, the choice to love each other is the only choice for a survivable future... every time we open our hearts, we create the space for a global alternative. The opening of the heart is an awesome personal politic, providing us with an internal strength greater than any worldly power. As we receive God's love and impart it to others, we are given the power to repair the world... Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one..."
It is as if Williamson understands, and I suspect she does, how tired my own heart grows at times as it travels its lifelong spiritual journey. Is striving to better oneself really worth it? Is it a good thing to be a good person in a dog-eat-dog society? Or is the harsh reality that the one who plays in mud, who is willing to step on another's back, who plays hard to get, who is a master of manipulation, who never blinks at putting oneself first, is inevitably the one who wins the prize? Perhaps. More times than I care to know. And still.... the lifelong struggle to better oneself is, yes, worth it. If only for that final moment when one faces one's own image in the mirror of self-judgement.
"Illuminata" is a book of prayers. There are prayers to begin the new day - and to end it. There are prayers for strength, for health, for happiness, for the renewal of faith, for forgiveness. There are prayers for friends, for family, for lovers. There are prayers to heal nations. There are prayers to overcome addictions, betrayal, emptiness, obsession, loss, greed. There are prayers to mark moments of routine, of tradition, of ritual, of ceremony.
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Format: Paperback
Several years ago while watching Oprah I discovered this amazing book. I bought the book and now have it safely by my bedside. I pick it up on a daily basis and read..somthing..I cannot believe how much this book has helped me in my daily life. I have also bought the book and given it to several of my friends as gifts because it truely has something for everybody in it. I have also read all the rest of Marianne's books which are also very good but this one is just too good for words. I have Fibromylgia and live in constent pain each and every day but this book always lets me know that there is hope. All I can say it Thank You Marianne and please keep writing and if you ever come to the state of Washington I would love to hear you speak.
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Format: Hardcover
The Illuminata brings prayer into our daily lives by engaging such topics as anger, forgiveness, relationships, and intimacy. It is mixed with insight and little prayer that lift and guide you to a point of insight or illumination. Unique is the concept of "rites of passage". Our modern society has lost the acknowledgment of birth, puberty, adulthood, marriage, death, and even divorce. This book deals with each of these passages in a way that heals and bonds us to those around us. It is a book for the next decade. It is a book to bring us back to ourselves
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By A Customer on October 10, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The prayers in this book are amazing. Ms. Williamson's words are placed in such a way that the prayers are so genuine, innocent and sincere. Truly they flow together. I'm not overtly religious, but this book is truly for everyone.
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By A Customer on July 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This wonderful book by Marianne Williamson, is full of prayers for every occasion you can think of. Besides these wonderful prayers, there's some uplifting, intelligent, and spiritual thoughts added by Ms. Williamson that add to the theme of the book.
If you're soul searching, if you're looking for that spiritual path, and if you enjoy the voice of Marianne Williamson, this is a book for you.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the very best prayer books that I have found in bookstores today. Marianne has written prayers for almost every life situation...from birth, death, marriage, divorce, end of relationship, a new job, etc. There are very few situations of change in my life that aren't addressed by one of her beautiful and moving verses. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a more "spiritual" and less "religious" prayer book.
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Format: Paperback
I was truly moved by Marianne Williamson's words. Her call to connect with our own hearts to pray, and to bring forth love in order to save humanity from destroying ourselves moved me, and I am sure will move you.

We are at a critical point, where many realize that we cannot fight external forces to bring peace to humanity, we have to BE the force by bringing forth love and truth from within our own selves.

No matter what your religion, spiritual preference, ideology, or beliefs, connect in whatever way you feel most comfortable, in whatever way you choose, to bring yourself the indwelling peace you wish to see in others. It is only by doing that that we will see peace on Earth.

The prayers in this book are truly beautiful, and as Marianne says "create your own" if you want to.
I Highly recommend this book for the positive, heartfelt and beautiful influence it will have in your life.

Barbara Rose, Ph.D. author of Know Yourself: A Woman's Guide to Wholeness, Radiance & Supreme Confidence and Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE
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