Tetragrammaton with Rick Rubin - Marianne Williamson

Episode Date: May 1, 2024

Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, speaker, political activist, and spiritual thought leader. She is the author of 15 books, including 5 New York Times Best Sellers (A Return to Love, A Woma...n's Worth, Illuminata, The Healing of America, and Illuminated Prayers), and the highly-anticipated forthcoming book presenting a new way of thinking about Jesus’ role and relevance in our everyday lives, The Mystic Jesus: The Mind of Love. A leader in the fields of spirituality and new thought, Williamson has been inspiring audiences around the world for more than four decades. Beyond her writing and speaking, Williamson is the founder Project Angel Food, a non-profit organization that provides meals and nutrition counseling to individuals living with serious illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, kidney failure, and diabetes. Since it was created in 1989 during the height of the AIDS crisis, Project Angel Food has provided more than 1 million meals each year to men, women, and children who don’t have the means to shop or cook for themselves. Williamson is running for the Democratic nomination in the 2024 presidential election. ------ Thank you to the sponsors that fuel our podcast and our team: Squarespace https://squarespace.com/tetra ------ LMNT Electrolytes https://drinklmnt.com/tetra ------ House of Macadamias https://www.houseofmacadamias.com/tetra

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 Tetragrammaton. So we see in the middle of our mind a little ball of golden light, and we watch this light as it begins to grow larger and larger until now it covers the entire inner vision of our mind. And we see for ourselves within this light a beautiful, sacred temple of some kind, whatever image appears to us. And the temple is surrounded by a forest, and within the forest there is a body of water. And turning our inner eye once again to the temple itself, we see that it too is filled
Starting point is 00:01:12 with this brilliant golden light. And now we see that which we think of as the all-powerful, creative source, God of our understanding, source of wisdom, creativity and blessing. Whatever we see, whether it is a being or an intensification of the light, whatever we see is perfect. And here we are. And we are joined here by one another. That is the blessing, the oneness, the light, and the peace. We dedicate ourselves that this light might so permeate our being
Starting point is 00:02:22 that we might carry it forward, extend it out into the world with every thought and with every action. So may it be. Amen. Amen. Beautiful image. Thank you. You're welcome. I love it. Tell me about prayer. The Course in Miracles says that prayer is the medium of miracles, because a miracle is a thought of such pure love that it becomes a portal into a realm of possibility that would not otherwise occur. And that the reason such possibilities do not otherwise occur from the perspective of The Course in Miracles is that the world as we know it is dominated by a thought system
Starting point is 00:03:19 based on lovelessness. And The Course in Miracles says that love is to fear what light is to darkness. So when the mind is at one with love, which is the ultimate state of prayer, the ultimate state of prayer is not an entreaty of any kind, but a gentle melting in. Like when you have a child, a wife, a lover, those moments,
Starting point is 00:03:50 it often will even say, this is heaven, because it actually is the experience of total oneness with another being. And in total oneness with another being, there's a line in Les Mis, to love another person is to see the face of God. So when we are in that space, possibilities open and it becomes a divine intercession from a thought system beyond our own. Otherwise, we are trained from the time we're born to think within this limited mental prison based on fear, judgment, attack, separation. And because all thought creates form on some level, our body's senses register the reality that we ourselves made manifest, and we say, well, this is just what it is, this is reality. It's reality with a little r.
Starting point is 00:04:49 But prayer, meditation, any kind of practice of that sort opens the minds like opening a door to that space beyond, and to me, that's what prayer is. Do you think the reason we live in fear and feel disconnected has more to do with the society we live in or is it something else, our disconnect? Well, The Course in Miracles would say that it all began millions of years ago in time as we know it, but in reality, it never happened at all. Because only love is ultimately real, and what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.
Starting point is 00:05:34 So when we're thinking without love, we're actually not thinking at all, we're hallucinating. And that's what at the deepest level this entire three-dimensional reality is. This is why Buddha called it Maya or illusion. Einstein said time and space are illusions of consciousness, albeit persistent ones. We thinking that way then manifest a society which bolsters the way we're thinking. So it's an endless loop of malfunction. It's because of the society, yes, but then we maintain the illusions of the society.
Starting point is 00:06:13 And I see an interesting intergenerational thing going on. I'm 71, so I remember the countercultural revolution, 60s, 70s. We had a glimpse. And then there's generations right after us, never even had a glimpse. They're very hard to convince. Then you have this younger generation. Chin-Zs weren't even born in the 20th century,
Starting point is 00:06:38 or if they were born there, they just were there to learn to walk. Their natural propensity is not within the 20th century mindset that is so mechanistic that it perpetuates the illusion of separation because it's a mindset that is overly focused on the external. On the external, you're over there, I'm over here. On the spiritual, there's no place where you stop and I start. 21st century mindset, far more holistic,
Starting point is 00:07:06 integrative body, mind and spirit. I find in my work such an interesting intergenerational connection between those of us who remember and those of us who yearn. Tell me about the first glimpses in the 60s. Tell me about that time for you. I don't know how old you are, but there was a fundamental questioning of everything.
Starting point is 00:07:24 That's where it begins. It begins when you shift from we can tweak it a little and make it better to, no, mm-mm, fundamental break, which in a way to me is the creative act of consciousness. It's like giving birth. That which was will be no more. There was a time when I didn't have a child. Now I do have a child. It's a new life.
Starting point is 00:07:52 That is the ultimate, to me, creative act. America was born from that. It's the most traditionally American thing to say, no, we're not gonna do that anymore. Today, that's seen as almost dangerous. What's dangerous is holding on to things that do not work, that are dysfunctional and worse, and yet we're continuing down this path
Starting point is 00:08:14 for no other reason than that people are afraid of change. What we should be afraid of is not changing. So the 60s and the 70s were about, no, we're changing it completely. Knowing that there's newness in that, you know, also must come with wisdom, must come with responsibility, must come with emotional, spiritual, psychological, and intellectual sobriety, or it's just chaos.
Starting point is 00:08:42 And so where we're living now, as I see it, the tumult of this moment is you can feel the underlying tension and anxiety. It's happening out there. And it's going to blow. It's going to blow. It will either blow in the direction of Abraham Abraham Lincoln called that a new birth of freedom, expansiveness of consciousness in society and opportunity, economic health, healing,
Starting point is 00:09:13 agriculture. What's possible is so brilliant. It's gonna either blow in that direction, and our job, I think, is to create a conduit for that. Or it's going to blow in the direction of unbelievable chaos. Violence, neo-authoritarianism, possibly worse, genuine dystopia, but it's going to blow. It's like a volcano that's coming up.
Starting point is 00:09:39 And what's dangerous about this moment in my experience and what I've come to believe and to see is that the conduits, the vessels through which we were brought up to believe positive change could emerge have been corrupted. That's what makes this moment, I believe, so critical and why we better get very serious very fast. Tell me about your spiritual life before finding the Course. I think everybody's on a spiritual path. Most people just don't know it. But I did have, because I had a grandfather
Starting point is 00:10:19 who was a very religious Jew. And I remember when I would be at temple with him and how he would be when the ark would open and he would genuflect and there would be tears in his eyes. I actually wrote about this in my book, Return to Love, that I didn't know if I was crying just because he was or because I too felt the fervor, but I always did. And then in the home I grew up in, God was just a given. Cultural Jews, conservative Jews, that's not politically conservative,
Starting point is 00:10:55 but conservative Judaism. But I felt I was always very drawn to anything about the higher mind. But for me, I wasn't any more attracted or any less attracted if it was Eastern or Western. It could be the tarot cards, the I Ching, or it could be Heidegger and Hegel. It was all fascinating to me. And also going back to like when I was in college in the 70s. We would read Ram Dass and Alan Watts in the morning and go to Vietnam War and there were protests
Starting point is 00:11:30 in the afternoon. There wasn't a sense of stay in your lane. There were no lanes. It was a cultural revolution, sexual revolution, musical revolution, political revolution. When it came to the actual spiritual, even though I kept reading and even though I kept doing everything I could, I was finding a huge disconnect
Starting point is 00:11:53 between what I had come to abstractly understand and my ability to practice in my life. The image I used to get was there's this big cathedral, and I'm trying to climb up the stairs, and there are these big stone steps, and I'm on my hands and knees, and I have bloodied knees, and I have bloodied elbows, and I'm just trying so hard. And then I get up to this huge cathedral,
Starting point is 00:12:19 clearly looking for God here, and there's huge wooden and metal doors, and it's locked, and I can't get in. And then in my 20s, I saw A Course in Miracles. Now I think there's one truth written in many different ways, and nobody has a monopoly on it. A Course in Miracles doesn't have a monopoly on it.
Starting point is 00:12:37 But for whatever reason, that is the book that unlocked the key for me. Not that I hadn't read that elsewhere, it was just for whatever reason, that was when the aha came that unlocked the door. It's the person right in front of you. I didn't know that. I'd be looking like, excuse me, Rick, I'm looking for God. Please don't talk to me, you know, I'm very busy, I'm looking for God. Rather than realizing the Course says, Heaven is entered two by two, Heaven being the awareness of oneness. How do I know it's you?
Starting point is 00:13:05 Because you're standing there. And once that key was opened for me, now that doesn't mean it's easy to practice or that I practice it 24-7, but I'm certainly advanced enough to know when I'm not at peace, that's where the problem lies. Tell me the story of Return to Love. Was that your first book?
Starting point is 00:13:30 Well, I was in my 20s, and I was at a cocktail party in New York City. And there was this big blue book sitting on a coffee table. And I picked it up, and the book didn't have a author on the cover. Well, today isn't that odd, but in those days, it was sort of unheard of, this was in the 1970s. And I opened up the book, and the first page said,
Starting point is 00:13:52 this is a course in miracles, it is a required course. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum, but only that you can choose which part to take at any given time. I thought that was so amazing. What do you mean it's a required course? What book tells you it's a required course? So I remember turning it over to see, who wrote this thing?
Starting point is 00:14:13 Nobody. So then I start leafing through the pages, and I see all this, what I think of at the time as Christian terminology. Now, I had read in college a lot of Christian theology. St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and all kinds of things which I found fascinating. But this was a cocktail party in my personal life and I'm Jewish and I thought, oh, about this.
Starting point is 00:14:36 So I was intrigued but I thought it was sort of crossing a line sort of, so I put it back down. And the young man whose apartment it was said That book is published from an apartment at the bearers foot apartments on What is it 79th and Central Park West right across from the Natural History Museum on Central Park West sale So I didn't forget that and I didn't think about it. I was at the party with my boyfriend. I think he had looked at it too. Nothing else went down. Except I would be on that bus on Central Park West, and about two or three times I saw people
Starting point is 00:15:17 reading it. And one person who I saw reading it was the ex-boyfriend of a woman. I had been my roommate when I'd lived there before and she hadn't gotten along with him and I thought, well, isn't that interesting? So it would sort of come up in my consciousness. A year later, a year after that party, on that same bus, Central Park West, which would always pass the Beresford Apartments,
Starting point is 00:15:38 and I had bronchitis and I used to have bronchitis every winter when I lived in New York at that time. And I was on the way to the doctor and something in me said, when I pass the Beresford, I'm going to get those books. I went to the doctor, I went back to my apartment and they were sitting on my dining room table. I just glanced up at my boyfriend and he said, I thought it was time. We hadn't talked about it for a year. The whole year we had never discussed it, I thought it was time.
Starting point is 00:16:03 Then as a matter of fact, we went the next day and we't talked about it for a year, the whole year we had never discussed. I thought it was time. Then as a matter of fact, we went the next day to the bookstore on West 72nd where he had gotten them because we were going to get another copy. And he went to the bookshelf where it had been. They weren't there. This was in the days of cash registers and little boxes with index cards. And the person at the counter said that they didn't have that book and they never had. So somebody had just put them on the shelf or whatever. Then I became a passionate student.
Starting point is 00:16:36 And once, you know, at that point I was in such pain, I didn't care what the language was. And then when you start reading the book, you see it's not the Christian language. It is a Christ-centered philosophy, a psychological mind training in the relinquishment of a thought system based on fear and the acceptance instead of a thought system based on love. But the Christian terminology is used
Starting point is 00:17:04 in very non-traditional psychotherapeutic ways. So the Course in Miracles talks about the teachers of God, which just means those who demonstrate love, to teachers to demonstrate, and God is love. Come, as it says, from all religions and no religions. So being a student of the Course in Miracles has never made me feel in any way less Jewish. As a matter of fact, it was interesting for me because a lot of the people I knew who
Starting point is 00:17:29 were Christian, I had this naive assumption once I started reading this book, I had just never been taught any of these terms. My mother would just say, we don't read that book, darling, we read the other one. I had this naive belief at that time, oh God, this is so amazing. My Christian friends must talk about this all the time. And I guess they just don't talk about it in front of me because I'm Jewish. And I found that was,
Starting point is 00:17:52 when I started talking this stuff in front of them, they were like, oh my God, what's happening to you? We had a term at that time called Jesus freak. They thought I'd become a Jesus freak. And I learned interestingly enough that for someone like myself, these terms were new. For many people, I knew it was a much more difficult thing.
Starting point is 00:18:09 I mean, the kind of ambivalence that they had around some of these concepts. I was learning new concepts. They were unlearning old concepts. So that was interesting. And then I became so enamored of the books. And then I would just teach little courses and have study groups. And then I started lecturing at a place called
Starting point is 00:18:30 the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles. And when I first started, you never saw anyone there under the age of 50 or 55. And they were all students of a man named Manley Hall. Not long after I started giving these little talks, the AIDS crisis burst forth full-blown in Los Angeles and elsewhere. And so gay men, at that time,
Starting point is 00:18:57 it wasn't like Western Methodism wasn't trying, because it was, but they just kept coming up empty. It was kind of like COVID. There was no cure. And organized religions had to go through a lot was, but they just kept coming up empty. It was kind of like COVID. There was no cure. And organized religions had to go through a lot of their own homophobic stuff. There was an eerie silence. And so I was at that time 31 years old, one of them. I'd been in the same clubs. I'd been clubbing in the same places, you know, no different than they, same age, talking about
Starting point is 00:19:26 a God who loves you no matter what, and how with enough love for one another, we would all get through it. And so in a very real way, gay men in Los Angeles and then later in New York really gave me my career, because then it was suggested to me that I write a book. And there was a man named Jerry Jampolsky. I know who he is. I read his book. Yeah, yeah.
Starting point is 00:19:46 Love is Letting Go of Fear. Yes, beautiful book. He was a real friend and mentor and he'd been there from the very beginning, you know. And he said to me one night, I was lecturing in San Francisco because I used to lecture Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings in LA and then during the week, every other week go to New York and the week that wasn't New York go somewhere. So this was San Francisco.
Starting point is 00:20:09 And I had dinner with Jerry. And Jerry said, you know, you should write a book. I said, well, I don't know how to write a book. He said, well, it's all in those little cassette tapes. I said, yeah, well, I don't know how to get it from a cassette onto the page. And he said, let's just join in consciousness right now that there is someone out there who knows, the Course of Miracles, by the way, says nothing is more powerful than an agreement
Starting point is 00:20:37 between two people. So he said, let's just agree that there's someone out there who would know how to get it from your tapes to the page. That was a Thursday night. One week after that Thursday night with Jerry, I was in New York and I'd given a lecture and I saw a man at the end of the line and I had a real sense I had destiny with him. And when he got up, he introduced himself to me as a literary agent named Al Lohman.
Starting point is 00:21:05 He said, if you thought of writing a book. I said, well, people have said that, but I don't feel pregnant with a book. I don't know. He said, well, it's in your cassette tapes. I said, I don't know how to get it from the tapes to the page. He said, well, I can help you do that. And he did. And then when the book came out, Oprah, there was a movie at that time.
Starting point is 00:21:24 Do you remember a movie called Crash? No. It was a really good film, and it was something about a miracle at the end. And so Oprah was planning to do a show on it. It was just what she told me later. And they were talking about, well, who are we going to have? We're going to be the guests. And she said, well, it's that miracle stuff at the end. Somebody said, well, there's a book on your desk over there that just came in. It's called A Return to Love, Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. I'll take it. I'll read it this weekend. And then she had me on. This was before her book club. She said it was the best book she'd
Starting point is 00:22:00 ever read. She gave away a thousand copies. So she really gave me my career in a very real way. So much of today's life happens on the web. Squarespace is your home base for building your dream presence in an online world. Designing a website is easy, using one of Squarespace's best-in-class templates. With the built-in style kit, you can change fonts, imagery, margins, and menus, so your design will be perfectly tailored to your needs. Discover unbreakable creativity with Fluid Engine, a highly intuitive drag-and-drop editor. No coding or technical experiences required.
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Starting point is 00:23:19 already managing a successful brand, Squarespace makes it easy to create and customize a beautiful website. Visit squarespace.com slash Tetra and get started today. Were you traveling from place to place because you wanted to spread the message? Is that what it was? Tell me. I was like an idiot savant.
Starting point is 00:23:46 I like, and then we started Project Angel Food. It really is like, I mean, I don't want to like put myself down and call me an idiot savant, but it was like, it was like I'd say to you, if you asked me, I'd say, yeah. When the memo came to get serious, I sense that might be true of you to some extent. When the memo came to be more serious adulting,
Starting point is 00:24:05 I never got that memo. You know? Yeah. Never got the memo. Yeah. Luckily. Yeah, exactly. Luckily.
Starting point is 00:24:13 And so it all just opened up. Yeah. You know, that's what beginner's luck is. You don't know what there is to be afraid of. You know, oh, I'm not supposed to. Yeah. You know what I mean? But the idea of like crossing the country
Starting point is 00:24:24 on a regular basis to do it, that's a wild idea. The fact that you could even afford the ticket and then you stayed with somebody. I just thought it was the coolest thing in the world and wow. Were you feeling like you were spreading gospel in some way? Is that what it was about? No, I would never have thought of it.
Starting point is 00:24:42 Tell me how you describe it. It was what I love to do. I remember when I first went to that Beresford apartment to get that book. Yes. And I met a couple, Judy Scutch and Bob Scutch, who were married at the time. Oh, yeah.
Starting point is 00:24:57 I never met anyone who ever met them. Oh, yeah, and Ken Wapnick and Jerry, that whole generation, sure. Well, actually, the first day I met Bob and Judy was getting into the elevator to go talk about the Course in Miracles in Houston, which is where I was born and raised. And I remember thinking, oh, what a cool thing
Starting point is 00:25:17 to be able to do with your life. You just go around the country and you just get to talk about A Course in Miracle. And then when I had moved to LA, what happened was, and this always interested me too, a woman who did not like me gave me my career. It was at a place called the Philosophical Reader Society that was headed at that time by a woman named Pat Irvin. She was an interesting mix of right-wing politics and serious metaphysics.
Starting point is 00:25:46 She was never nice to me. I was working in the office. I was very nice. One day she told me, I'm told, like she was not happy about it, but she was told to ask me if I wanted to give lectures on A Course in Miracles. And so I would drive my old silver automobile every day from Los Feliz to Woodland Hills where I was staying with a friend and I just fine-tooth combed the book. I've been reading it for five years at that time and then started giving those lectures.
Starting point is 00:26:16 I feel like a return to love really shed more light on A Course in Miracles than maybe even the course itself did. Well I wouldn't say say it shares more light than The Course in Miracles, but I would think of it jokingly as the Cliff Notes. So what I do think it did was it opened up the space for a lot of people. And I've come to believe and I see the same thing about my role in politics. I'm a popularizer. I read or I see and I do the deep digging and then I come back and I say to everybody, this is what it says.
Starting point is 00:26:47 This is what it is. Oh, really? Yeah, I found your book much more digestible than the course. But did you actually start doing the workbook? Yes. Because the course is this huge buffet, and I'm a little piece of rye bread at the beginning, but it brought you to the buffet table.
Starting point is 00:27:04 Yes. How has your relationship to the buffet table. Yes. How has your relationship to the Course changed over the years? Not an iota. It works if I work it. My life works if I practice what I preach. You know, there are objective discernible laws of internal phenomena, just like there are
Starting point is 00:27:20 objective discernible laws of external phenomena. It's like saying, how has your relationship to the law of gravity changed over the years? Doesn't change. No, it doesn't. I know that if I drop this, it will fall on the floor. You're not going to say, oh, she's so faithful. No, I just know how gravity works. So my relationship to the principles has not changed. My ability or willingness, the Course would say, it's not your ability, Williamson, it's your willingness to practice what I know to be true.
Starting point is 00:27:51 That's fluctuated. At times been a rocky road because, you know, the Course in Miracles talks about how every experience is a lesson, faithfully rehearsed until you get it. And I sense that I'm not the only one at this time finding the lessons coming fast and furious, because the universe is intentional.
Starting point is 00:28:17 And I once had an experience that was very dangerous. And when I registered the danger, it was like every cell in my body woke up. It felt like actually being on a psychedelic, it felt like every cell in every finger was awakened in a state of alertness. And I feel that's how the planet is now. There's a wake up, wake up, wake up.
Starting point is 00:28:46 You know in the Talmud it says over every blade of grass there is an angel bent over whispering grow, grow, grow. Right now it's almost like now. So I'm feeling that and the lessons are much more challenging than anything I've ever had in my life, actually. But I don't sense that I'm alone in that. I think everyone is feeling like, oh my God, this is it. When you went to meet the, would we call them the writers of the book? Oh, Helen Shuclin and Bill Thetford.
Starting point is 00:29:16 Yeah. I met Bill Thetford. I never met Helen Shuclin. I worked at the office with Bob Scutch, who is still with us. I had a little apartment on Central Park South in New York. I worked at the office with Bob Scutch, who is still with us. I had a little apartment on Central Park South in New York. When she came, which was maybe she would come to be with me for lunch or something, like
Starting point is 00:29:33 every two weeks or so, he would make me leave. She had a thing about not meeting the students of the course or anything. So he would make me leave, so I never got to meet her. Bill Thetford, however, went out to Tiburon, which is where Jerry lived and where the Skutches moved and all that stuff, with Judy Skutche and Bob Woodson and stuff. And so I did get to meet Bill Thetford. What was the group of people like? Tell me about all of them. They were wonderful. Then there was Wapnik, Ken Wapnik. And Ken was different.
Starting point is 00:30:08 But Bob and Judy, Judy was divine. When I think of how Judy was to me. So here I am with the characteristic overzealousness of the new student. And I would say the kinds of things to her that we've all heard people say, oh, I have this great idea, and we should blah, blah, blah. And I remember how she would always just go,
Starting point is 00:30:24 wow, that sounds great. And I remember how she would always just go, wow, that sounds great. I always felt taken seriously by her, even when there was nothing to take serious. And I've always remembered that because she role modeled something so profound for me. Then there was stuff with my book, when my book came out with Wapnik,
Starting point is 00:30:39 and it was not very nice, but that was just Tim. And Bill, this is my favorite story about Bill. But I wasn't there for this, That was not very nice, but that was just Tim. And Bill, this is my favorite story about Bill. But I wasn't there for this, but it's a kind of famous story within the Course in Miracles world. He did a, I don't know if it was daily or weekly Course in Miracles study group in Tiburon. And one day, he hadn't gotten there yet.
Starting point is 00:31:02 To me, by the way, this is such a perfect demonstration of the course. So he hadn't gotten there yet, and they were talking about a particular page or a particular paragraph. I don't know what it was. And one group of people said it means this, and another group of people says it means that. So the story goes that he walked into the room,
Starting point is 00:31:18 and everybody said, oh, Bill, we're so glad you're here. We're so glad you're here. We're on page 86 of the text or whatever it was. And it says this, and it says that, and nobody can decide if they think it means this and that means that. It's really causing some attention, and we're so glad that you're here because we really need you to tell us, Bill, what do you think it means? And his response was, whoa, I'd rip out that page if I were you. Amazing. Amazing.
Starting point is 00:31:43 Did he meet Buddha on the road, kill him? Yeah, amazing. God himself would not have you use God to separate yourself from each other if ever there's a trick of the ego. Yeah. Tell me about Manly P. Hull. Well, I didn't know him.
Starting point is 00:31:58 But you met him. He was the big boss. I did meet him and he was giving talks. I don't know if it was Sunday morning. He was a very, very big man, you know. And I was working at the Philosophical Society where there was this big book, The Secret History of the United States, which I was really enamored by.
Starting point is 00:32:16 But in those days, you know, it's like I was the girl in the office at Foundation for Inner Peace, and I was the girl in the office at Los Feliz. He was the great man, and I didn't have any personal interaction. I think I got him coffee a couple of times, you know, but I remember just being there and because it was a book publishing, which I assume it still is.
Starting point is 00:32:36 There was this amazing library room and cataloging all of his things, but that book particularly, you know, but it was just for me, it was so many things. It was the Seth books. Did you ever read the Seth books? I never have. Oh, wow. Nature, personal reality. You know, the Course in Miracles is, I've never met anyone for whom the Course in Miracles
Starting point is 00:32:56 is the introductory material to the world of metaphysics. So all of those things were important to me. And then when I went to the Course, so much was understandable, would not have been had I not read all those other things first. And the metaphysical beginnings of this country, I mean, they were all, you know, they were Freemasons and Benjamin Franklin was a Rosicrucian. Look at the dollar bill, the great seal of the United States
Starting point is 00:33:18 is the great pyramid of Giza with the top stone returned and the eye of Horus, the novus order, the quorum, new order of the ages. So those guys knew things. Do you have a spiritual practice? Course in Miracles. I also do TM, but I'm not religious. Well, you're not religious with any of them, but I'm not ritualistic or anything with TM,
Starting point is 00:33:37 whereas I am with the Course in Miracles workbook every morning. From the time you started lecturing, have you ever stopped? At this point in my life, I have more discipline. The Course would talk about it in terms of discipline. I'm more disciplined right now than at any other time because there is no serious religious or spiritual tradition
Starting point is 00:33:58 that does not emphasize the power of the morning. When you wake up in the morning is when you first take in the consciousness that will dominate the day. Particularly today, we are assaulted by so much ultimately meaningless and unimportant material, assaulting us. So if you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is Twitter,
Starting point is 00:34:21 or a news site, Instagram or TikTok. There's no mystery why you're depressed by noon. But if you ground yourself in the morning in what is ultimately true, then I'm not saying you'll never fall off the spiritual wagon, but getting yourself back on is much easier. Aren't you a meditator? I am. Well, isn't that true? Absolutely. So at this point, as you know, there's no should about it. It's just if you don't fill your house with light at the beginning of the day, darkness will settle in. Those thoughts are going to go somewhere. They're going to
Starting point is 00:35:01 go into extension, love, creativity, or into neurosis and pathology and fear. You know, these books are not written with a, you should believe this. They're written with a, just thought you might like to know. This is how consciousness operates. Yeah, you can participate or not. Yeah, yeah. Mm-hmm.
Starting point is 00:35:19 But the last thing it is is kooky. I'll tell you, what's kooky is what's the insanity that is dominating the world today. You talk about light in the morning. I think of it literally getting out into the sun to start the day changes everything. Nature, this all evolved over millions and millions of years. So everything, it's a perfect ecosystem.
Starting point is 00:35:40 Nature, what it does for us, just looking at that. Tell me about where you grew up. Houston. What was life like? I had a very magical father, and a very wonderful mother, but a traditional mother. My father was like a cross between William Kunstler and Zorba the Greek.
Starting point is 00:35:58 He was amazing. He took us to Vietnam to show us what war was. Wow. Mm-hmm. Yeah. My father was-hmm. Yeah. My father was one of those warriors. I don't make them like that anymore. And describe the area.
Starting point is 00:36:09 Was it rural or suburban? Suburban, Houston, various externally 50s housewife type stuff. But my parents traveled all over the world all the time and took us during the summers. So I traveled all over the world all the time and took us during the summers. So I traveled all over the world as a child and people would say to my father, why are you doing this?
Starting point is 00:36:33 Your kids will never remember all this. And he would say, it'll get under their skin. And he was right. There's just so much propaganda, American propaganda, particularly militaristic propaganda. I was never vulnerable to. Because if when you're a little kid, you get that people are the same everywhere, later you don't even have to explain it.
Starting point is 00:36:55 It's like they experienced it. L-M-N-T. Element Electrolytes. Have you ever felt dehydrated after an intense workout or a long day in the sun? Do you want to maximize your endurance and feel your best? Add Element Electrolytes to your daily routine. Perform better and sleep deeper. Improve your cognitive function. Experience an increase in steady energy with fewer headaches and fewer muscle cramps. Element Electrolytes.
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Starting point is 00:38:14 keto-friendly, and great tasting. Minerals are the stuff of life. So visit drinklmnt.com slash tetra and stay salty with Element Electrolyte. Tell me about the law of divine compensation. Well, it's just the idea that God is this ocean of love, right? And it's all that is, and we are ideas in the mind of God. So when you think a loveless thought, you deviate from the truth in you.
Starting point is 00:38:56 The universe works like a GPS. That you take a wrong turn, immediately your path is recalibrated. If you atone, get it, and the law of divine compensation is you swerved, in the next moment you have the opportunity to get it right. And the other aspect of that, that book is about money and particularly the idea of divine compensation. You know, I particularly the idea of divine compensation. I think the purpose of money is so that you won't have to think about money.
Starting point is 00:39:30 So I think everything, like you were talking about the sunlight, I think the universe is set up to support us when we are in aligned with the truth of who we are. And we are taught ideas about money that have to do with such struggle and worldliness. And if you think of it in terms of divine compensation, I felt that way even when Return to Love came out. Because I wrote Return to Love while I was doing all the AIDS work. And every single day there was a support group
Starting point is 00:39:58 and the things I was doing at that time and the last thing that ever was part of any of that was money. And then when Return to Love came out and it was more money than I'd ever seen, it was the fifth largest book that year, selling book. I felt in my gut that that was the universal payment for the work I'd done for years without ever thinking about money. I never made as much money as I made before I even knew what bestseller meant.
Starting point is 00:40:25 Right? Yeah. I remember once watching an interview with Richard Gere talking about Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. And he was talking about what a brilliant performance she gave. He says, because she doesn't know yet. Nobody's told her what you're supposed to be able to do and not do. And then he said, she'll learn.
Starting point is 00:40:44 Yeah. know yet. Nobody's told her what you're supposed to be able to do and not do. And then he said, she'll learn. It's that beginner's luck, which is also Zen Buddhist, empty mind concepts, Zen mind, empty mind. And you have that line at the beginning of your book, the state you get in, in which it occurs naturally. It's not about what gets created in that state. It's about the space that you inhabit where the next best thing is inevitable. The universe is naturally creative. Yes. Everything, every relationship, every podcast, every book, it's all a creative act if you are allowing yourself to be a portal for that which is good and holy and true. And we're taught the resistance to that
Starting point is 00:41:27 of the ego mind, the non-loving mind. Tell me about the new book. My new book? Yeah. Well, about five years ago, Harper, one had asked me, there was an editor, they're a wonderful man named Mickey Magdalen. We said, do you know the biggest demographic out there?
Starting point is 00:41:46 And I'd known this a lot. I mean, I think the success of my career as a lecturer and an author has been in large part based about this because a lot of people when they turned away from organized religion did not mean to be turning away from God. They felt they ended up throwing away the baby with the bathwater.
Starting point is 00:42:02 But he said, it's interesting how many people come into bookstores and they want a book about Jesus, but not necessarily a book about Christianity. So would you be interested in writing a book about Jesus separate from Christianity per se? And I said, well, definitely I'm your girl, as a student of A Course in Miracles. So I contracted to write that book,
Starting point is 00:42:27 and I was very nervous about it. Certainly it seems like the most important topic you could possibly take on. Better not get this one wrong. And then I had this idea that I should run for president. So I said to the publisher, if we got one little problem we've got to deal with, they said, what? I said, I'm going to run for president.
Starting point is 00:42:50 They went, oh, really? I said, yeah. They said, well, what would you like to do? I said, well, everybody runs for president. I mean, almost everybody, nine, 10, so we could actually write a book, a campaign book. So I wrote, they said, okay. So I wrote this book called Politics of Love.
Starting point is 00:43:05 That was much more where my mind was at that time. And then later I ran for president. And then when that was over, they said, hello, how about that Jesus book now? It's called The Mystic Jesus, The Mind of Love. And I hope it's good. It's published in May, so I haven't yet had the experience of anyone, you know, you probably know this about your
Starting point is 00:43:31 own book. You know in the first 15 minutes. It's like when you meet a person. You know if it's hot immediately. You know, you can get the feeling of things people say. And it was an honor to have a chance to write it and it's about a Jesus which cannot be monopolized by any institution or specific religious set of dogma or doctrine, universal Christ. You know, when in the early days there
Starting point is 00:44:03 were the Gnostic, I don't know if you've ever read the wonderful book by Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospel, which was really a book that blew my mind, about the ecclesiastic Christians and then the Gnostics. So you could think of The Course in Miracles as Gnostic, the mystical tradition. One sees the church as the kind of broker and external doctrine and dogma and institution. And then the mystic tradition is much more direct, the loss of the heart and the direct experience of the divine. So that's what the book is about. There was a historical Jesus. Jesus was the Christ. So the idea metaphysically and spiritually is whether you call it the Shekinah
Starting point is 00:44:46 as in Judaism or the Buddha mind or the Christ, the idea that this divine essence where our connection with God is one of complete unity exists in all of us. Through meditation, through prayer, through forgiveness, through love, it is both received and given. And that when that occurs, life works. There's a line in the book, I thought we had a deal. Yeah. You want me to tell that story? Please tell it to me. Jesus at the cocktail party.
Starting point is 00:45:19 So I had, in about 1980, 79, 80, I had an experience that today would be called a nervous breakdown. And I had already started doing the course. As a matter of fact, I was living in Houston and I could not stop crying. And my mother had a friend who was an art therapist. An art therapist? Named Buzz, Buzz Cohen. So my mother was a very traditional woman.
Starting point is 00:45:50 For instance, if you said to my mother, you should maybe go to therapy. Why, I'm not crazy. I mean, that's the old fashioned way of talking. So I cannot stop crying. I'm definitely in the middle of a breakdown. And my mother comes into my room and she says, Buzz tells me that you're in trouble. I'm definitely in the middle of a breakdown. And my mother comes into my room and she says,
Starting point is 00:46:05 Buzz tells me that you're in trouble. And I went, yeah, mommy, yeah. And she said, Anne, that we need to help you. And I said, you think? And she said, and Buzz says that you should go see someone. And I said, that would be lovely. And she said, but I don't want any of this California stuff. She had this thing.
Starting point is 00:46:27 You know, this California stuff you do. I mean, I've been doing the Course in Miracles in New York, but to her, it was California type stuff. She said, I want you to see a doctor, a medical psychiatrist, a Jewish psychiatrist. And I said, okay, Mommy, just anyone. Okay. So she comes back, she says, Buzz tells me that there's this man, and his name was Dr. Mark Valverde in Houston, and he's the one you'll go see. So I went to see him, and I sat down at the very beginning. Now this is 1980 in Houston, Texas. And I went into his office
Starting point is 00:47:02 and one of the first things I said, I know that I'm in trouble and I know that I need to see someone, but I just want you to know that I'm a student of a book called The Course in Miracles. And if you're going to tell me that that's just kooky crazy stuff and that I need a real psychiatric help, but that's not it, then this is not going to work. And he leaned over his desk and he said to me, I just completed the workbook. Amazing.
Starting point is 00:47:28 So during that time, which I do think of him as having saved my life, I must say, I will feel such gratitude to that man forever. But during that time, I'd wake up in the middle of the night and I would feel this presence at the end of my bed. It was a shadowy figure. It wasn't like, oh my God, someone's in the room. Very tall, very skinny. Sitting perpendicular, not looking at me, but present. I would always sense it there. I began to sense this presence. The course, the longer you study it, the deeper your understanding of it.
Starting point is 00:48:06 You never outgrow it. But you know, the Course isn't trying to get you to believe in Jesus, not even trying to get you to believe in God. It's just trying to get us to believe in one another. And as far as Jesus is concerned, the Word, you know, it says you do not have to believe in me for this material to have any meaning for you. But if you do, there's a little more I can do for you, something like that.
Starting point is 00:48:26 And as I walked through that horrifying period of my life, I did begin to feel that it's as though I was accompanied by a presence. And I had said to God during that period of time, when I was in deep trouble psychologically, I remember saying, if you will put my life back together, I will give the rest of my life to you. Because it was like Humpty Dumpty might not ever
Starting point is 00:48:54 be put back together again. And I felt like the psychiatrist, like my skull exploded. And I felt like he treated it like a priceless vase, Greek vase, and he painstakingly, we're going to put your skull back together. I felt when my skull got put back together, something was in there that had not been there before.
Starting point is 00:49:13 And I said to God, you know, we all have conversations in our own heart, something about if you, because I knew I was in trouble, and I could see the looks on the faces of my family, the fear in their eyes. I'd become a pathetic person. Nobody knew what to do with me in a family system like mine. I remember my cousin of mine told me a few years ago, my father said to her during that time, which I didn't even know, I don't know what to do with an afflicted child.
Starting point is 00:49:39 But I could see in people's eyes, it was really scary for me. I didn't stop crying. I mean, I needed help, and I got help. And the spiritual was not at odds with the psychiatric. So I said to God something about, if you will help me, I will give you the rest of my life. And then at one point I said to, you know, this presence, I wasn't thinking of it in terms of, you know, the Course doesn't have this rigid grandiosity
Starting point is 00:50:06 stuff with it. But this sense of, I wanted to go back to life and I didn't really want to be thinking about God all the time because during that time, the belief that God would help me was what enabled me to take my next breath. And then it was like, thank you very much. I'm fine. And I know there are a lot of people of you to help now. And thank you so much. Bye. It was like I know there are a lot of people of you to help now, and thank you so much.
Starting point is 00:50:25 Bye. It was like I was about to blow them off or something. And then I went to this cocktail party. It was in Houston, and it was at a big house in River Oaks. And there were these rooms, and you just went from room to room. And I saw these three men. And they were all in either tuxedos.
Starting point is 00:50:44 It was a very fancy cocktail party. And I must have had a spontaneous hallucination, a daydream, but I know the mystics would call it a spontaneous, you know, mystical experience. You can call it whatever you want. Three men and I look and one of them turns at me in this waking dream, whatever, that was clear who he was, and he looked at me,
Starting point is 00:51:09 and with no emotion whatsoever, he said, I thought we had a deal. And that was it for me in my life. It was a moment to find everything that would come to pass. from farmers. Macadamias, a rare source of omega-7 linked to collagen regeneration, enhanced weight management, and better fat metabolism. Macadamias, are healthy and brain boosting fats. Macadamias, paleo-friendly, keto and plant-based. Macadamias, no wheat, no dairy, no gluten, no GMOs, no preservatives, no palm oil, no added sugar.
Starting point is 00:52:18 House of macadamias, thigh roasted with Namibian sea salt, cracked black pepper, and chocolate dips. Snack bars come in chocolate, coconut white chocolate, and blueberry white chocolate. Visit houseofmacadamias.com slash tetra. Do you think the reason you were in the debilitated condition was you're unusually sensitive? No. I'm human. And it was a tragic experience that would have thrown anyone into some level of disrepair.
Starting point is 00:53:07 But I think we're all sensitive. You know, I love the line in the Course that all of the children of God are special and none of the children of God are special. I don't ascribe to any of this, some of us are empaths. That's just grandiosity. All of us are going through what's happening in this world right now. And I think spiritual superiority is one of the shadows to avoid.
Starting point is 00:53:32 They call it a mental health crisis. It's a spiritual crisis, but clearly it has a grip of this society. And this is once again why one of the reasons I ran for president and have run for president, am running still technically, is because you have 70% of Americans who live with chronic economic anxiety. The majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
Starting point is 00:53:57 The majority of Americans cannot absorb a $1,000 unexpected expenditure. Now, I remember the 70s. During the 70s, the average American couple could afford a house and could afford a car and could afford a yearly vacation. And one parent could stay home with the kids if they wanted. And they could afford to send their kids to college.
Starting point is 00:54:18 And one salary could support a family of four. That was called a thriving middle class. So the level of economic despair. For the majority of Americans, there is no wiggle room. And I meet these people all the time. So what the system says to people such as myself, clergy, counselors, et cetera, can you help them survive the pain of this injustice?
Starting point is 00:54:46 And my response is, why don't we just end the injustice? When the AIDS crisis happened in the 1980s, what would happen for me and then what continued to happen in my life is that, you know, the joke used to be most people don't call Mary Anne because things are going well. So I had what I think of as really a privilege of being with people sometimes in their darkest hours. The test results came back. It's cancer, or it's AIDS, or your child is on heroin,
Starting point is 00:55:17 or someone you love just died suddenly, or whatever it is. But at that time, when my career began, and I think this was true not just in my career, it was true of America, a time of crisis was the exception. It wasn't the rule. And around the year 2000, I began to meet more and more people whose conditions in life were such that the crisis was the rule, not the exception. It wasn't just that the test results came back
Starting point is 00:55:45 and you had cancer, it was that you don't have any health insurance. And we've now developed as a society, it's perma-crisis. It's a permanent state of crisis. Whereas I'd always felt that my working with people on a personal growth, spiritual consciousness level was the way I could be of greatest help. I began to realize, especially when I went to Michigan
Starting point is 00:56:06 in the late 1990s, how many of the problems that people experience in this country are due, at least in part, to bad public policy. So I began to realize that at a certain point, we need to do more than just try to help people survive difficulties. We need to remove some of those difficulties. There's a line in the new book, I'm determined to see this differently.
Starting point is 00:56:29 Tell me about that. The Course in Miracles says that's the most powerful, it's like the most powerful affirmation, I am willing to see this differently. So we are not always in control of what's happened, but where we are 100% responsible is where we stand in the midst of what's happening, how we choose to hold what's happening. Are you going to see it as an opportunity for a miracle? You're going to see it as an opportunity to look within yourself, who am I not forgiving? Or are you going to play this the way you might have played it in the past and things
Starting point is 00:57:03 didn't work so well. Every situation is part of what The Course in Miracles calls a highly individualized curriculum. If you played it well last time, are you playing it even better today? And if you didn't play it well last time, could you play it better today? Was your heart closed? Were you standing in victim? Were you not giving everything? Were you not thinking about the other person? Well, guess what? The situation's back. Your choice. So I am willing to see this differently is a recognition of the primacy of your consciousness
Starting point is 00:57:31 in any situation, because every thought, the Course says, creates form on some level. And the altar is inside your mind. So what you put on the altar is then altered. If I put our relationship, let's say, on the altar, it's a way of saying, may my thoughts about you, may my thoughts about me, and may our thoughts about us and our purpose here be lifted to the highest place above the low-level thought forms that dominate the world, which will constantly tempt us to separate ourselves from each other, to withhold love from each other, to judge and to attack and to separate.
Starting point is 00:58:09 Let's talk about miracles in general. In our culture, miracles are things that can't happen. In the Course, miracles are natural and always occurring. It's a perception of love. And as I said before, when we are in a state of love, infinite possibilities are open. As you just said, and that's a line in the Course, miracles are natural.
Starting point is 00:58:31 When they do not occur, something has gone wrong. Did you read C.S. Lewis's book on miracles? I think by the time I read that book, I was already into it all, you know what I mean? I mean, to me, he had much more effect on my childhood, the language and the wardrobe and all that. He opened up the space of the mystical for me. In the line with, right? Amazing.
Starting point is 00:58:53 Yeah. So I would say he was very formative, but by the time I was an adult reading that, he had already taken me to where I needed to be. You know what I'm saying? Yeah. Tell me about your relationship to Leonardo's painting of Jesus.
Starting point is 00:59:04 That was an amazing experience. So I was living in New York City, taken me to where I needed to be. You know what I'm saying? Yeah. Tell me about your relationship to Leonardo's painting of Jesus. That was an amazing experience. So I was living in New York. It was about the time like six years ago, or I'd read in the paper about this painting that they had found, and finally all the experts had said, yes, it's actually a Leonardo. And it's a picture of Jesus very dressed
Starting point is 00:59:23 and very anachronistically in these Renaissance robes and he's holding an orb. And I just read about it just from a place of, wow, they found a new Leonardo. Wow, cool. You know, it's nothing more than that. And my friend Maria had a friend who worked at Christie's. I was living in New York and I was living in Midtown. And she said, you know, have you heard about this land art? I said, yeah, I was reading about it. She said, well, it's actually at Christie's, which was just a few blocks from where I lived. And she said, my friend works there and I want to go see it. She said, we could go.
Starting point is 00:59:54 Would you be interested in seeing it? Yeah, I think that would be cool. And we went and it was at the end of the time before it was being taken away. So by the time we went there, there were only like five or six people in line. The room was practically empty. And then we came up to the picture. And I've traveled to the great museums of the world. I've seen so many great religious paintings.
Starting point is 01:00:15 When I looked at this picture, I had this experience. And it was like I was transported. And I saw these two words. And somehow I saw that these two words were what he is. And the words were tender and power. So tenderness, like I think the way I wrote it in the book, like a billion babies' kisses. Like just think of any tender moment possible, all of it, that that's what He is. And power so great that it's the power to manage universes. I got that consciousness and of course,
Starting point is 01:01:05 you know the Course says you're an idea in the mind of God, so it's that infinite tenderness and infinite power. And it was extraordinary. And I don't know if I was there for a minute, I mean it was two minutes, I don't know. And then they came and they took the painting away. And I started reading on the internet, I was really curious who bought it. It was a mystery buyer.
Starting point is 01:01:29 And later in the day, it was announced to have bought it. And it was MBS. That trans in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. It was before the Khashoggi murder, but we already knew who he was. And he is apparently building a Louvre of the Middle East and this will be star treasure. And at first I was so like, oh, how awful that he of all people would get it. And then how awful that he of all people would get it. And then I realized, no, how perfect.
Starting point is 01:02:07 Who needs it more? And then when I was writing the book, my friend Andrea Kagan, who helps me with editing often, she's a literary muse for me. When I was talking about that, we were writing and I was writing that part, she said, oh, I had a very similar experience. So really, she said it was at the Vatican.
Starting point is 01:02:30 I don't know how long ago it was, apparently years ago. She said, I had that same experience where I looked at a picture of him and I was transported into a place beyond it. She said that what she saw was all the people in the world. She said he is all people in the world. But the way she described it was very similar in terms of deliverance to a level of perception.
Starting point is 01:02:58 Tell me more about putting the book together. Well, you know, I've written 16 books at this point. I think writing is very difficult. I'm one of those people, I don't know what yours was. If you're not pregnant, you're not pregnant. If it's not there, it's not there, and then it gets there. Is that how you felt? With that one, I was particularly,
Starting point is 01:03:15 there was a man named Robert Perry, and his wife, Emily Bennington, who know a lot about the Course in Miracles, and Robert has written books, and so has she. And I asked him for his help with his perception of Jesus in the Course and some of the lines written in first person, like, I am the atonement. Excuse me? Excuse me? I remember reading that, that first time I saw it, like, what? Who is this again? And then I called Andrea. Who is this again? And then I called Andrea.
Starting point is 01:03:45 I work well with the literary babysitter. Yeah. You know, just, could we sit and talk this through and all you can do, like you know you've written, but you just hope it's of value to someone. Absolutely. Who would you say is Jesus today? Well, I think he is to everyone who he is to them.
Starting point is 01:04:05 You know, my book is about the mystic Jesus. Obviously, there was a historical Jesus. And there are people who are experts in the life of the historical Jesus. You can go to Israel. And I even talk in that book about my experience at the Church of the Sepulchre. You know, I respect all that.
Starting point is 01:04:24 But I'm Jewish. I didn't write a book about Christianity. I didn't write a book about the Christian Jesus, that's not what this book is. And I don't think that everyone feels called to Jesus. I don't think everyone feels called to God. The Course in Miracles says, some people conspire with God who do not yet believe in Him. The issue is love.
Starting point is 01:04:46 Loving people or doing the work of what I think of as God, whether they believe in God or not. The Course in Miracles says belief is ultimately meaningless. Experience is what matters. The experience of our loving one another, our being a space, a possibility for one another. So the Course in Miracles says Jesus is someone who lived on the earth but thought only the thoughts of heaven, and he therefore became one with the mind of God. And I think of him, and I think I use this image in the book, in a lot of books he's
Starting point is 01:05:17 called an evolutionary elder brother. And the Course says he's not the only one who has actualized the full human potential, which is oneness with the divine. Whether it's the Christian cross or the Jewish star of David, they're both symbols for an intersection, the vertical and the horizontal, the axis with God and the axis of the world. And I think of him, and I think that's the image I used in this book, I think I used it in Return to Love as well, if you are sketching and Picasso walks in and Picasso says, well, you know, if you want me to look at your sketches and work with you a little, would you say
Starting point is 01:05:53 no? If you're a musician and Beethoven walked in, he said, you want me to listen to a few bars? Would you say no? I think of him the highest art of living. He has actualized it, and I think He has been given the authority by God to help others who so choose. And I don't think there's any should to it. Yeah.
Starting point is 01:06:16 And when He said, No man cometh unto the Father but through me, I think but through unconditional love. And unconditional love has nothing to do with your belief. That's what I believe. Tell me about the workbook. Well, the Course in Miracles says the workbook is the crux of the Course.
Starting point is 01:06:35 So the Course in Miracles says enlightenment begins as abstract understanding, and then it makes a journey without distance from the head to the heart. So if you've read the Course in Miracles as many times as I have, if simply abstract knowing of the principles is enough to make you an enlightened master, I'd be an enlightened master. I'm not, however, because it has to do with application. So the workbook is 365 days of meditation exercises, and it's a very specific curriculum.
Starting point is 01:07:11 And the first half of the year has to do with dismantling a thought system based on fear, and the second half has to do with substituting for that a thought system based on love. I think of it much like going to the gym. You are reworking your muscles. You are strengthening your muscles and reforming your physical body. The same is true with your attitudinal muscles. It's like with meditation. If I do physical exercise, it's to strengthen me so that I can run across the yard.
Starting point is 01:07:41 Spiritual exercise is so that I can remain non-reactive and still. Your external muscles are about movement. Your internal muscles are about stillness, right? And non-reactivity and being a magnet and all of that rather than the dynamism of physical movement. So you never get to look in the mirror and say, I really like where I am. I don't have to exercise anymore. And you never get with spiritual exercise, say, oh, like where I am. I don't have to exercise anymore. And you never get with spiritual exercise,
Starting point is 01:08:07 say, oh, I'm there now. I'm cool. I don't need to do it anymore. And once again, it's not a should. It's just I'm aware from experience what a mess I can make of things if I don't, particularly in the morning, ground myself in peace and inner peace. What may fall within the sphere of Tetragrammaton?
Starting point is 01:08:39 Counterculture, Tetragrammaton. Sacred geometry, Tetragrammaton. The Avant-Garde. Tetragramatin. Generative Art. Tetragramatin. The Tarot. Tetragramatin. Out of Print Music.
Starting point is 01:08:50 Tetragramatin. Biodynamics. Tetragramatin. Graphic Design. Tetragramatin. Mythology. And Magic. Tetragramatin.
Starting point is 01:08:58 Obscure Film. Tetragramatin. Beach Culture. Tetragramatin. Esoteric Lectures. Tetragramatin. Off the Grid Living. Tetragramatin. Tetragim. Esoteric lectures, tetragrammatim. Off-the-grid living, tetragrammatim.
Starting point is 01:09:10 Alt, spirituality, tetragrammatim. The canon of fine objects, tetragrammatim. Muscle cars, tetragrammatim. Ancient wisdom for a new age. Upon entering, experience the artwork of the day. Take a breath and see where you are drawn. Is it true to say that the Course is internal work and that the external changes happen because our perception changes? Well, but your perception leads to behavioral change and all thought. Everybody subconsciously knows everything.
Starting point is 01:10:02 So I think differently. If you are looking at me and I just get a patronizing vibe, condescending vibe, it's how other people feel. So if I haven't changed my thought, or let's say if I do change my thought, your perception of me will be different. What you say to me will be different. How you behave towards me will be different. So yes, it's about internal
Starting point is 01:10:25 change, but all internal change has external consequences because all that's going on out there is a screen. If you go to a movie and you don't like the plot, you don't get to go to the screen, it's coming from the projector. And once you realize that, you realize my external life is not going to change unless and until I change my perceptions. And we are the projectors. Absolutely. And all that's just the manifestation. Describe miracle-mindedness.
Starting point is 01:10:53 Miracle-mindedness is the thinking grounded in a thought system based on love. Now, I look at my little granddaughter. She's almost 11 months. And I see how she is granddaughter, she's almost 11 months. And I see how she is like when she's lying in her father's arms. With her mother too, but it's different. I've noticed this particularly with her father. She's in such bliss, and she's in bliss with her mother too, but it's a different thing I notice. And what I notice about her body is there's nothing in her little consciousness yet that has perceived danger.
Starting point is 01:11:31 That is the natural state, right? But no matter how much her parents love her, and they do, you get to a point in life where you cannot completely protect them from some of the machinations of the world, part of the heartbreak of parenting really, and the art of parenting and all of that. So she will be inundated by that, no matter how much she is loved. And the Course in Miracles says that enlightenment is not a learning, it's an unlearning.
Starting point is 01:12:02 Miracle mindedness is the mental habit that you develop of perceiving with love. For instance, the Course in Miracles says, no matter what someone says to you, you can perceive it one of two ways. You can perceive it as an attack, a judgment, and you're going to attack back, the wheel of suffering, as Buddha would say. But the Course says everything someone says to you is either love or a call for love. Either way, the appropriate response is love. If you say something loving to me, it's very easy for me to see the appropriate responses, a loving response. But if you say something unloving to me, the Course in Miracles would say, something
Starting point is 01:12:47 in your life, could have been a childhood, could have been an adult, whenever it was, something broke and you went into a place where you don't see how to be loving and get your needs met. It's almost like a muscle cramp. And so instead of loving you, that person is attacking you or judging you or blaming you. They have fallen asleep to who they are and in their sleep state, not knowing who they are, they don't see who you are either. But you don't have to fall asleep with them because somebody's personality behind that is the truth of who they are. So you can choose.
Starting point is 01:13:25 Miracle-mindedness means your choice to extend your perception beyond what they just said or did to what your heart knows to be true. So you are going to stay alive and awake to who they are, even when they have clearly fallen asleep to who they are and who you are. As you remain awake to who they are, that awakens them. That's miracle-mindedness. Now, the issue is a lot easier said than done. And that goes back to the whole concept of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, whatever you call it.
Starting point is 01:13:59 In the Orangia book, it's called The Thought Adjuster, where you can say, and I've said it many times in my life, okay, I get that she's a perfect child of God, but she just came across like a perfect bitch to me. Now I am willing to see her innocence, but I need some help here because I can't do it by myself. Now, I told a story, I think in Return to Love, one of the most dramatic examples of this. It was during the 1980s, and the reason I remember it was during the 1980s was because
Starting point is 01:14:30 I had on these acrylic fingernails. I was lecturing in LA, and there was a woman who came to my lectures on Saturday morning, and she did acrylics. So I would go to her house, and she'd put my acrylic fingernails on. One day I'm there and she has the three girlfriends and they're talking and there was this one woman and every time she spoke it was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. It felt so affected to me. And would you please get me that? I just thought, oh my God, who is this gentleman? And I just was raging in judgment about the way she was
Starting point is 01:15:13 talking. Meanwhile, I'm not stupid. I get the irony. This girl holding my hand at the moment doing the acrylics comes to my lectures all about being so loving and enlightenment. You know, I get the irony if she only knew. So I say a little prayer. I am willing to see this differently. Within probably sooner than five minutes, one of the girls says to the girl who was speaking that way, are they ever going to let your father out of prison. And I'm hearing them talk. Her father, it had been one of those cases, like worst type of things you've ever, that you see on TV.
Starting point is 01:15:51 This man held this girl and her little brother in a dungeon their entire childhood. Like one of the worst you've ever heard of, right? Now, they're just talking. She didn't know how to talk. She gets out, she's a teenager, and had to learn how to talk. So five minutes before, what had elicited me,
Starting point is 01:16:16 such judgment, now elicited in me such compassion, and I'm so impressed. And it's the same girl saying the same things the same way. I had changed. Yeah. Your story changed about her. Right. Right. It was all in my mind. Yeah. My judgment. Yeah.
Starting point is 01:16:38 But I had prayed I'm willing to see this differently. Now, this is how the Course in Miracles would sit. That would have happened whether I had said the prayer or not. But with the prayer, I opened myself to understanding what was going on here. And that's where we miss a lot of miracles. Miracles are always happening. I think there's a metaphysical principle also.
Starting point is 01:16:59 Whatever you need is right there. I missed a couple of profound, within a worldly sense, professional opportunities. Why? It was so easy, it didn't occur to me what it was. It's like we were so taught to think it has to come to a struggle. When really the greatest creativity
Starting point is 01:17:22 and the greatest comes through, just love and play. When really the greatest creativity and the greatest comes through, just love and play. And in two cases, how could you miss that? Well, part of it was a lack of moral sophistication, but it was more than that. It was not realizing to be open to every moment, this could be it. Yeah.
Starting point is 01:17:39 And now you have a story about what could have been, and maybe you're being protected from something that would have been terrible. You don't know. I kind of don't think so. However, you don't know. I think riding the forward to the power of now would have been fine. I think doing that project with Hope would have been fine.
Starting point is 01:17:59 But there is something else about that from A Course in Miracles perspective. If there was a miracle that could have happened, and either you, through your lovelessness, or someone else through their lovelessness blocked the way, The Course in Miracles says, the miracle is held in trust for you by the Holy Spirit until you are ready to receive it. Wow. That's beautiful. So when you have either forgiven the other person for blocking it or forgiven yourself for blocking it, and usually in life it's both, although in those cases it was totally me, it'll happen in another form. It happens in another place.
Starting point is 01:18:36 It happens to other people. So I think that's beautiful. The Holy Spirit being what the Course in Miracles calls the eternal connecting link between God and his separated sons. Beautiful. I love that story. That in that moment, the Course says, we were talking about about happened millions of years ago, and that millions of years ago in time,
Starting point is 01:18:57 we had that first thought of separation from love. So the Course says, love, being God, has the answer to every problem the moment the problem occurs. So if you started thinking a non-loving thought, God couldn't force you back because love doesn't force. But the Course says God placed within your mind a place of consciousness that will be there forever, because once God creates something, it can't be uncreated, which will guide you back should you choose.
Starting point is 01:19:26 As a matter of fact, when we're talking about Jesus, and in fact, they didn't put this in the book. I wish I had, but I'm fortunate enough to have another printing. I want to put this in because this is so fabulous. I can't believe I hadn't thought of it. He says, I am not an ego-oriented teacher. I look forward to the day when you won't have to ask me to help you get to the loving thought.
Starting point is 01:19:50 Because sometimes the evidence of the world is so great, you can't get there yourself. He said, when we get there, and this is so incredible, because the Holy Spirit was created by God, it cannot be uncreated. He says, at that point when you don't need me to help you anymore, I will remain there as your friend. So beautiful. Do you think the physical Jesus who walked on the planet, the mystical Jesus
Starting point is 01:20:16 of your book, and the Christian Jesus of the Bible are all the same character. I'm not an expert on the Bible, and I think that there are people who would have a fascinating take on the answer to that question, and I'm not that person. Cool. Have you ever had any conversations with any Christian scholars about Jesus comparing notes? I've had conversations with Christian scholars about the Course in Miracles, yes. What's their take? They're not a monolith. I mean, there are many Christian scholars. I don't mean to generalize. Organized institutions, including religions, tend to calcify and an arrogance sets in.
Starting point is 01:21:01 And particularly, not with all, but with some dispensations of Christianity, everything that's going to be said has already been said. So we don't want to hear about your book that came out in the 1970s. I see. You mentioned the morning being a powerful time. Yes. Are there other times of the day that are special for any reason, before sleep? Well, I think the Course in Miracles talks about morning and sleep.
Starting point is 01:21:22 Doesn't TM talk about maybe late in the afternoon? Yeah, before dinner usually is recommended for the second meditation. Well, also in the Seth books it talks about how your life, when you're awake and asleep, they are two distinctly separate. There are times during the middle of the night with the negative ions, et cetera, when you should be awake, and there are times in late afternoon when you should be asleep. Basically, what it describes is kind of the Mediterranean cultures with the siestas. He says, you're awake for too long at one time.
Starting point is 01:21:55 And we fill in on our bodies. And then in the middle of the night, and I thought that is exactly, even though he doesn't say it, it's like that Mediterranean culture. And I know a lot of us, I know I'm not the only person who wakes up at 415 and some of the most creative times and the hours and the quiet. He says your waking hours should be more dreamlike and your dreams should be more wakeful. Wow, that's beautiful. That's great. What can we do to build our spiritual muscles? Meditation, prayer, practice. I think there's a path for everyone.
Starting point is 01:22:28 And you know your path when you find it. I've always said in my lectures, there are three groups of people here. One of you is hearing what I'm saying and going, yeah, but she's right. I do it and she's absolutely right. My path is this or that. but she's right. I do it and she's absolutely right. My path is this or that. She's right.
Starting point is 01:22:47 The other second group is saying, she's right. And I do know what my path is and I should do it in a more disciplined way. Remember the word disciple and discipline came from the same root. And then there's another group that's saying, I am open, it sounds right. I just don't know what it would be.
Starting point is 01:23:04 To you I say, be alert because books are going to fall at your feet in the next few days. Thank you.

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