I sat down to interview Marianne Williamson recently to talk about her bid for Congress as well as all things spiritual. Marianne means a lot to many of us in recovery in Los Angeles because we go to her Monday night spiritual lectures as well as read her many books.
For those of you not familiar with Marianne, she is a spiritual teacher, lecturer and writer. Six of her books have been on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Oprah is a big fan of Marianne as she has appeared on many of Oprah’s shows. Her lectures/teachings are based on a set of books named, “A Course in Miracles.”
Speaking of miracles, the definition of a miracle is when the seemingly impossible becomes possible. One could say it was a miracle that Henry Waxman decided to retire thus making Marianne Williamson a much stronger contender for his vacated 33rd District, congressional seat.
Unfortunately, since the news of Waxman’s retirement, the race has become quite crowded. Two very strong candidates entered the race, Wendy Greuel and Ted Lieu. I asked Marianne what she thought she could bring to Congress that Wendy and Ted couldn’t. She told me, “They’re candidates of the political status quo which treats the symptoms not the disease.”
I believe Marianne is right, that our current political system treats the symptoms and not the disease. In the program if we do the steps, go to meetings and be of service then we treat the disease. If we’re not doing those things then we’re just treating the symptoms of alcoholism and not arresting the disease.
I feel our current political system really just treats the symptoms and doesn’t get to the core of the problem. Maybe that is why we have overcrowded prisons, school shootings and under-educated children.
What struck me during and before my interview with Marianne is how well versed she is in recovery speak. Before interviewing her I went online to look at her campaign site. In one very prominent clip she says, “A nation is as sick as its secrets.” That “sick as your secrets” quote is a slogan from the program.
What I believe Marianne is saying by using our slogan is that the nation or American politics has to get honest and stop keeping secrets that lead to immoral behavior. Can you imagine if American politics had to be rigorously honest, do an inventory, and then make amends?! Well, we’d have less of a “House of Cards” political system in favor of a more truthful and moral one.
In my opinion morality is one of the major issues in current politics. I feel that American politics has gotten away from its core purpose of helping and leading the people for the common good and has become a corrupt and greedy system. I asked Marianne if she thought money, property and prestige has diverted American politics from its primary purpose.
She told me, “American democracy has swerved from its ethical center.” But she has hope for the current state of affairs. She then said. “Humanity is waking up. We have always tended to self-correct. We had slavery but then we abolished it. The South was segregated but then there was the civil rights movement.”
During my interview with Marianne and when researching her she does say awakening quite frequently. We’re taught in the program that the best way to recover is to have a psychic shift, a spiritual awakening. Before our spiritual awakening, in our disease, we were crisis makers and in constant chaos.
I asked Marianne if she thought politics is in trouble and in need of a spiritual awakening. She told me. “Politics is in a crisis because it’s separated from our deep humanity. Politics should be a container for our deepest collective conversation. It has turned into a container for our most shallow conversation. We need to fix that.”
I believe what Marianne is saying is that politics as we know it is in a sad state of affairs. I feel Marianne is asking us all to do a collective “Set Aside Prayer” (Dear God please help me set aside everything I think I know about myself, my disease, the steps and you God so I may have an open mind and a new experience).
By asking voters to elect her to Congress, I believe Marianne is urging us to set aside everything we know about American politics so we can have a new experience. I know for myself when I do the “Set Aside Prayer” my preconceived judgment on the experience disappears and usually a miracle occurs.
Some say that it would be a miracle if Marianne wins the election. I’m not so sure of that. This is a woman well versed in miracles, if anyone could make one happen, it would be Marianne Williamson.