Colleen Wainwright's Reviews > A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
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really liked it
bookshelves: self-help, relationships, nonfiction, spirituality

[Wherein I out myself as a believer] I picked up this book after attending one of Marianne Williamson's weekly lectures here in Los Angeles. I'd found the talk itself unfocused and difficult to track, but I'd been blown away by the Q&A period afterward: it's rare to witness a speaker that good at speaking off the cuff, especially to different (and thorny, and wide-ranging) personal issues; girlfriend was in the zone completely, channeling the bejangles out of some kind of benevolent spirit—and one with a delightful sense of humor to match its deep compassion.

I tore through the book, both because it's written simply and because so much of it made sense: that God (or "God", if you're not there yet) is love; that you will always feel better living in love than in fear; that lying and obfuscation are the enemies of happiness, and so on. I must have been halfway through before I realized that the stories it contained seemed familiar because they were—I'd read them in this very book, back in December of 2011, just after a miracle you'd have thought would humble me, but a good two months away from finally giving in. I am my stubborn mother's willful daughter, to be sure.

I have not read A Course in Miracles, but if this book accurately translates its principles (and there's no reason to think it doesn't), ACIM is a mixture of Eastern (Hindu, Buddhist) and Western (Judeo-Christian) philosophies, heavy on the Western/Christian. (And a lot of the language she uses to translate is straight out of 12-step, which, again, leads right back to Christianity.) Which is to say that there's nothing in here that's particularly revelatory, and plenty that is sensible. I'm not sure that as a philosophy, ACIM would survive deep scrutiny—and there are plenty of skeptical and Christian sites on the web that state just that. But except for the last dozen pages or so, which get into some pretty trippy ACIM interpretations of Christian symbolism, it provides a sturdy enough framework for spiritual growth, with dozens of lovely prayers and metaphors for hewing to a path of love.
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Reading Progress

December 23, 2011 – Shelved
December 23, 2011 – Shelved as: self-help
December 23, 2011 – Shelved as: relationships
December 23, 2011 – Shelved as: spirituality
December 23, 2011 – Shelved as: nonfiction
Started Reading
February 13, 2013 – Finished Reading

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