Illuminata, Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage
Random House, 1994
This book was written in the early 90’s when the year 2000 loomed large on the horizon and has the perspective that many religious/spiritual thinkers of the day had: that big changes were coming our way spiritually-speaking (or so my Person tells me). And while 20 years on now, it seems a little dated when referring to the Millennium, there is still a treasure trove of spiritual truth in this little book.
Part I: Thoughts – In this section there are 3 essays that focus on a spiritual renaissance, an illuminous mind and mystical power. All three essays are powerfully written giving insight into the mystery of spirituality and mysticism.
Part II: Prayers – This section contains many different types of prayers, practically one for every occasion. The value of written prayer is demonstrated in the prayers that my Person may need to use one day when words fail her. There are prayers for the soul, the body, relationships, work and creativity and the world.
Part III: Rites of Passage – As a modern society humans may have forgotten how important rites of passages are. This section helps them with that. There are written rites for birth, transitioning into man/womanhood, marriage, divorce, transitioning into an elder and into memory. The rites are well written and short, allowing for expansion as the participants require.
Part IV: Hallelujah! – The author’s take on the Rapture is odd and I’m not sure what to make of it. There are jewels of wisdom in there to be sure, but mainly, its’ just strange. But my favorite part is: “He is us. The whole thing. The big picture. The new, the old. The answer. The hope. And you don’t have to join a religion. You don’t have to believe in him. You don’t have to believe what I say. You can do whatever you want. But he is here. And he has power. And he has desire. To set you free.”
I read this book slowly, so as to savor every morsel and I can say without a doubt it will on my re-read shelf for a long time to come. The wisdom that can be gleaned cannot be done so with one reading. The author does get somewhat loquacious at times and she does use a lot of grand words but rather than drag the writing down into gimmick, it elevates it because her subject matter is elevated.
Rating: 5 paws for passing along the wisdom of the ages.
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Six of her eleven published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. Four of these have been #1 New York Times Best Sellers. A Return to Love is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.