Excerpt from Marianne Williamson's Lecture "Potential and Possibility"
The message in this transcribed excerpt of a live lecture given by Marianne Williamson during the 2010 Christmas season remains relevant any time of year -- the choice we face in almost every moment of either "playing it deep or playing it shallow." Profound wisdom for us all.
This is the season. It’s begun now. And you know we talk here a lot about how we are always at choice. You can play something deep or you can play it shallow. And there is a pull towards a shallow experience of the Christmas season that is based on this, on consumerism. That on one hand, we recognize the downside, on the other hand, there is a lot of desperation around that. I’m not criticizing. I had a bookstore many years ago and so I know that people who are in retail really depend upon Christmas sales to pay their bills, and so I am not criticizing that. I understand that there are a lot of people’s jobs that are at stake.And people buying for Christmas at the same time that is in contest this year, in particularly with a diminished economy and economic movement. So there is a lot of stress from that contest. And if you marry all of that with the general superficial recognition of some of the deeper sacred truths, then you realize that sometimes the experience of the sacred, the experience of the deepest meaning of the season can be lost.
And so in this, as in all things, the issue for us is to be conscious in our own intention and in our own willingness, just as when we entered the sacred room in the prayer that we just said. We carve out for ourselves a space. And that is what the temple is. It is something inside. That is what the altar is. The altar is within our mind. And when we say that is completely up to us whether we play something deep or we play something shallow, what it means is we talk so often. You wake up in the morning and if you give your mind over to the shallowness of the world, if you give your mind over to radio, television, news papers, and superficial conversation, then your mind -- when it is most open to new impressions -- just goes on the trajectory, just follows the trajectory of the thinking of the world. And the thinking of the world, according to A Course in Miracles, is dominated by fear. So a thought system based on fear, in which the cornerstone is always the idea of someone’s guilt -- that consciousness dominates the world.
Now in the Christmas carol “Long lay the world, in sin and error pining, until he appeared and the soul felt its worth.” Sin is an archery term. It means you missed the mark. It is error. So is a world in which fear predominates. A world in which superficial values take precedence over our deeply human essence, principals, and values. That is a world, which as the Course of Miracles says, is 180 degrees away from the thinking of God. And within this world, there is scarcity, within this world there is death, within this world there is fear, as we have already mentioned, and within this world there is tremendous suffering.
- Linda Woznicki