How to Heal Yourself—and the World Around You
Politics, ideally, is a context for the care of the public good. The word politics comes from an ancient Greek root politeia, meaning not “of the government,” but rather “gathering of citizens.” The source of power in America is not the government; the source of power is us. And millions of us, citizens of the United States, have begun to see life in a less mechanistic, more enlightened way. The consciousness revolution has already transformed both mainstream medicine and business: Harvard Medical School has hosted symposiums on the role of spirituality and healing in medicine, and highly paid corporate consultants call on business executives to turn their workplaces into “sanctuaries for the soul.” Government is the only major American institution that doesn’t yet seem to have heard that the world has unalterably changed.
There are new ideas on the world’s horizon, as different from the twentieth-century worldview as the twentieth century was different from the nineteenth century. We are ready to apply principles of healing and recovery, not just to our bodies, not just to our relationships, but to every aspect of life.
World conditions challenge us to look beyond the status quo for responses to the pain of our times. We look to powers within as well as to powers without. A new, spiritually based social activism is beginning to assert itself. It stems not from hating what is wrong and trying to fight it, but from loving what could be and making the commitment to bring it forth. A nonviolent political dynamic is once again emerging, and it is a beacon of light at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Its goal, as in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., is “the establishment of the beloved community.” Nothing less will heal our hearts and nothing less will heal the world.
It is a task of our generation to recreate the American politeia, to awaken from our culture of distraction and re-engage the process of democracy with soulfulness and hope. Yes, we see there are problems in the world. But we believe in a universal force that, when activated by the human heart, has the power to make all things right. Such is the divine authority of love: to renew the heart, renew the nations, and ultimately, renew the world.
From Healing the Soul of America. Copyright © 2000 by Marianne Williamson. Reprinted with permission by Simon & Schuster.