Here is a short introduction to this quote.
By Marianne Williamson
When we were born, we were programmed perfectly. We had a natural tendency to focus on love. Our imaginations were creative and flourishing, and we knew how to use them. We were connected to a world much richer than the one we connect to now, a world full of enchantment and a sense of the miraculous.
So what happened? Why is it that we reached a certain age, looked around, and the enchantment was gone?
Because we were taught to focus elsewhere. We were taught to think unnaturally. We were taught a very bad
philosophy, a way of looking at the world that contradicts who we are.
We were taught to think thoughts like competition, struggle, sickness, finite resources, limitation,
guilt, bad, death, scarcity, and loss. We began to think these things, and so we began to know them. We
were taught that things like grades, being good enough, money, and doing things the right way, are more
important than love. We were taught that we’re separate from other people, that we have to compete to get
ahead, that we’re not quite good enough the way we are. We were taught to see the world the way that
others had come to see it. It’s as though, as soon as we got here, we were given a sleeping pill. The
thinking of the world, which is not based on love, began pounding in our ears the moment we hit shore.
Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we have learned here. The spiritual journey is the
relinquishment or unlearning-of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts. Love is the
essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware
of it, to experience love in ourselves and others is the meaning of life.
Meaning doesn’t lie in things. Meaning lies in us. When we attach value to things that aren’t love-the
money, the car, the house, the prestige-we are loving things that can’t love us back. We are searching
for meaning in the meaningless. Money, of itself, means nothing. Material things, of themselves, mean
nothing. It’s not that they’re bad. It’s that they’re nothing.
We came here to co-create with God by extending Love. Life spent with any other purpose in mind is
meaningless, contrary to our nature, and ultimately painful. It’s as though we’ve been lost in a dark,
parallel universe where things are loved more than people. We overvalue what we perceive with our
physical senses, and undervalue what we know to be true in our hearts.
Love isn’t seen with the physical eyes or heard with physical ears. The physical senses can’t perceive
it; it’s perceived through another kind of vision. Metaphysicians call it the Third Eye, esoteric
Christians call it the vision of the Holy Spirit, and others call it the Higher Self. Regardless of what
it’s called, love requires a different kind of "seeing" than we’re used to-a different kind of knowing or
thinking. Love is the intuitive knowledge of our hearts. It’s a "world beyond" that we all secretly long
for. An ancient memory of this love haunts all of us all the time, and beckons us to return.
Love isn’t material. It’s energy. It’s the feeling in a room, a situation, a person. Money can’t buy it
Sex doesn’t guarantee it. It has nothing at all to do with the physical world, but it can be expressed
nonetheless. We experienced it as kindness, giving, mercy, compassion, peace, joy, acceptance,
non-judgment, joining, and intimacy.
Fear is our shared lovelessness, our individual and collective hells. It’s a world that seems to press on
us from within and without, giving constant false testimony to the meaninglessness of love. When fear is
expressed, we recognize it as anger, abuse, disease, pain, greed, addiction, selfishness, obsession,
corruption, violence, and war.
Love is within us. It cannot be destroyed, but can only be hidden. The world we knew as children is still
buried within our minds. I once read a delightful book called the Mists of Avalon. The mists of Avalon
are a mythical allusion to the tales of King Arthur. Avalon is a magical island that is hidden behind
huge impenetrable mists. Unless the mists part, there is no way to navigate your way to the island. But
unless you believe the island is there, the mists won’t part.
Avalon symbolizes a world beyond the world we see with our physical eyes. It represents a miraculous
sense of things, the enchanted realm that we knew as children. Our childlike self is the deepest level of
our being. It is who we really are and what is real doesn’t go away. The truth doesn’t stop being the
truth just because we’re not looking at it. Love merely becomes clouded over, or surrounded by mental
Avalon is the world we knew when we were still connected to our softness, our innocence, our spirit. It’s
actually the same world we see now, but informed by love, interpreted gently, with hope and faith and a
sense of wonder. It’s easily retrieved, because perception is a choice. The mists part when we believe
that Avalon is behind them.
And that’s what a miracle is: a parting of the mists, a shift in perception,
a return to love.