Friday, March 07, 2008

The Age of Miracles by Marianne Williamson: book review

Williamson, M. (2008). The age of miracles: embracing the new midlife. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.

This book easy to read but less than filling, like potato chips. Willliamson uses the Course in Miracles, a putative channeling of the Christ voice, as the basis for her spiritual teaching. She is an effective story-teller who laces the work with tales of both the rich and famous and ordinary folk. Yet, in the end, the lessons can be reduced to simple homilies:

  • Never give up, never give up,never give up (Winston Churchill)
  • Seek and practice only love
  • Be forgiving
  • Find new interests
  • Be grateful
  • Pray, meditate
  • Take care of your body and mind

Williamson, like many teachers of spiritual wisdom, believes that a quantum shift in human consciousness is possible when enough people practice love and forgiveness. A tipping point will be reached such that people who are out-of-alignment with principles of peace, love, and harmony will now adopt and adapt to these practices. Human consciousness will evolve into a new reality that provides peace on earth -- a kind of return to the Garden of Eden.

Williamson does not present any ideas that she has not thoroughly gone over in previous books such as A Return to Love. In the early pages, I was attracted to her claim that midlife and old age can be a time when we again experience the sense of magic that many of us enjoy in childhood and youth, before the cares of everyday life overwhelms our innocence.

She argues that by practicing gratitude for our extended life spans, by implementing wisdom learned from our life journey, and by spiritually connecting with love and joy, we can return to that sense of the miraculous. It is a seductive message but one which, by the last pages of the book, contends with the realities of old age -- reduced income and physical limitations that can reduce the possibilities we have.

In sum, this book will be more attractive to someone who has felt enriched by reading Williamson's past works. A slight volume larded with prayers and anecdotes, it is upbeat in tone and a light confection of positive reflections with which to greet aging.

For more information about the book and Marianne Williamson, please visit her website.

1 comment:

MizMell said...

I'm a fan of Marianne Williamson since reading her book "A Woman's Worth" some time ago.I have thought about this book, but haven't purchased it yet. Thanks for the review.
It's difficult sometimes to remain optimistic, but we MUST. Her writing is always a breath of fresh air.