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A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles

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Overview

Back by popular demand — and newly updated by the author — the mega-bestselling spiritual guide in which Marianne Williamson shares her reflections on A Course in Miracles and her insights on the application of love in the search for inner peace.

Williamson reveals how we each can become a miracle worker by accepting God and by the expression of love in our daily lives. Whether psychic pain is in the area of relationships, career, or health, she shows us how love is a potent ...

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Overview

Back by popular demand — and newly updated by the author — the mega-bestselling spiritual guide in which Marianne Williamson shares her reflections on A Course in Miracles and her insights on the application of love in the search for inner peace.

Williamson reveals how we each can become a miracle worker by accepting God and by the expression of love in our daily lives. Whether psychic pain is in the area of relationships, career, or health, she shows us how love is a potent force, the key to inner peace, and how by practicing love we can make our own lives more fulfilling while creating a more peaceful and loving world for our children.

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Editorial Reviews

Deepak Chopra
“Marianne Williamson’s book is a classic. She reveals, with elegant simplicity, that love is not a mere sentiment of emotion, but the ultimate truth at the heart of creation.”
John Bradshaw
“With this gutsy book Marianne Williamson has single-handedly ushered in a powerful spiritual renewal. I wholeheartedly recommend your reading it.”
Wayne Dyer
“When I first read A Return to Love, I literally felt the excitement as I absorbed Marianne Williamson’s insights. Today, it is still a treasure to me, and Marianne is a light for the transformation of the world. You will love this book. I guarantee it.”
O Magazine
“What Marianne Williamson is getting at here is that fear hides our inner light, but that when we embrace love—which is how she defines God—we connect with who we are really meant to be. I have never been more moved by a book than I am by this one.”
Library Journal
Williamson is the great explainer of the strange and controversial text called A Course in Miracles and as such is perhaps the best representative of a new kind of post-Christian spirituality. This title is her memoiristic account of the application of the course to her own life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060927486
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,351
  • Product dimensions: 7.96 (w) x 5.24 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed lecturer and author with six New York Times bestsellers. Her books include A Return to Love, A Year of Miracles, The Age of Miracles, A Course in Weight Loss, and The Gift of Change. She has been a popular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and Charlie Rose.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



The Darkness


"The journey into darkness has been long and cruel, and you have gone deep into it."

What happened to my generation is that we never grew up. The problem isn't that we're lost or apathetic, narcissistic or materialistic. The problem is we're terrified.

A lot of us know we have what it takes-the looks, the education, the talent, the credentials. But in certain areas, we're paralyzed. We're not being stopped by something on the outside, but by something on the inside. Our oppression is internal. The government isn't holding us back, or hunger or poverty. We're not afraid we'll get sent to Siberia. We're just afraid, period. Our fear is free-floating. We're afraid this isn't the right relationship or we're afraid it is. We're afraid they won't like us or we're afraid they will. We're afraid of failure or we're afraid of success. We're afraid of dying young or we're afraid of growing old. We're more afraid of life than we are of death.

You'd think we'd have some compassion for ourselves, bound up in emotional chains the way we are, but we don't. We're just disgusted with ourselves, because we think we should be better by now. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking other people don't have as much fear as we do, which only makes us more afraid. Maybe they know something we don't know. Maybe we're missing a chromosome.

It's become popular these days to blame practically everything on our parents. We figure it's because of them that our self-esteem is so low. If only they'd been different, we'd be brimming with self-love. But if you take a close look at how our parents treated us, whatever abuse they gave us was often mild compared to the way we abuse ourselves today. It's true that your mother might have said repeatedly, "You'll never be able to do that, dear." But now you say to yourself, "You're a jerk. You never do it right. You blew it. I hate you." They might have been mean, but we're vicious.

Our generation has slipped into a barely camouflaged vortex of self-loathing. And we're always, even desperately, seeking a way out, through growth or through escape. Maybe this degree will do it, or this job, this seminar, this therapist, this relationship, this diet, or this project. But too often the medicine falls short of a cure, and the chains just keep getting thicker and tighter. The same soap operas develop with different people in different cities. We begin to realize that we ourselves are somehow the problem, but we don't know what to do about it. We're not powerful enough to overrule ourselves. We sabotage, abort everything: our careers, our relationships, even our children. We drink. We do drugs. We control. We obsess. We codepend. We overeat. We hide. We attack. The form of the dysfunction is irrelevant. We can find a lot of different ways to express how much we hate ourselves.

But express it we will. Emotional energy has got to go somewhere, and self-loathing is a powerful emotion. Turned inward, it becomes our personal hells: addiction, obsession, compulsion, depression, violent relationships, illness. Projected outward, it becomes our collective hells: violence, war, crime, oppression. But it's all the same thing: hell has many mansions, too.

I remember, years ago, having an image in my mind that frightened me terribly. I would see a sweet, innocent little girl in a perfect white organdy apron, pinned screaming with her back against a wall. A vicious, hysterical woman was repeatedly stabbing her through the heart with a knife. I suspected that both characters were me, that they lived as psychic forces inside my mind. With every passing year, I grew more scared of that woman with the knife. She was active in my system. She was totally out of control, and I felt like she wanted to kill me.

When I was most desperate, I looked for a lot of ways out of my personal hell. I read books about how our minds create our experience, how the brain is like a bio-computer that manufactures whatever we feed into it with our thoughts. "Think success and you'll get it," "Expect to fail and you will," I read. But no matter how much I worked at changing my thoughts, I kept going back to the painful ones. Temporary breakthroughs would occur: I would work on having a more positive attitude, get myself together and meet a new man or get a new job. But I would always revert to the patterns of self-betrayal: I'd eventually turn into a bitch with the man, or screw up at the job. I would lose ten pounds, and then put them back on in five minutes, terrified by how it felt to look beautiful. The only thing more frightening than not getting male attention, was getting lots of it. The groove of sabotage ran deep and automatic. Sure, I could change my thoughts, but not permanently. And there's only one despair worse than "God, I blew it." -- and that's, God, I blew it again."

My painful thoughts were my demons. Demons are insidious. Through various therapeutic techniques, I'd become very smart about my own neuroses, but that didn't necessarily exorcise them. The garbage didn't go away; it just became more sophisticated. I used to tell a person what my weaknesses were, using such conscious language that they would think, "Well, obviously she knows what her patterns are, so she won't do that again."

But oh yes, I would. Acknowledging my patterns was just a way of diverting someone's attention. Then I'd go into a rampage or other outrageous behavior so quickly and smoothly that no one, least of all myself,...

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Table of Contents

1 We Need a New Vision 1
2 Love and Awakening 9
3 Up Against the Walls 31
4 Soulwork and Sacred Combat 49
5 Overcoming the Enemy 63
6 Coemergent Realities 95
7 Chaos and New Birth 113
8 Lead into Gold 123
9 The Power of Truth-Telling 131
10 The Inner Marriage 161
11 Men in Relationship 181
12 Suchness and Magic 219
13 Disappointment, Devotion, and Growing Up 225
14 The Broken-Hearted Warrior and the Renewal of the World 233
Acknowledgments 241
Notes 243
Further Readings 254
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 75 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(46)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Life Changing!

    Where do I even begin with this review? This book has entirely changed my life, my perspective, my attitude, my feelings about myself and others, I could go on and on. This is something that I cannot stop talking about. Anyone who is lost, confused about religion, who feels poorly about themselves or others, depressed, or just doesn't feel like life is much "fun" anymore.....read this book! I can't even tell you what a load it takes off and how wonderful it is to learn that God LOVES you, is not out to punish you, and only has your happiness in mind. I can suddenly walk into a room and feel GREAT about myself knowing that I am a BEAUTIFUL, wonderful child of God. It is the most amazing thing I have ever felt! From this book I have learned what life is about, and what it's not about. After reading it, I bought an additional 10 copies and hand them out to anyone who seems interested. My hope is that everyone can find this love that Maryanne teaches so that they may be as incredibly happy with themselves and their lives as I am today!
    Thank you so much Maryanne, for changing my life!

    15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A very good introduction to A Course In Miracles; the source material for this book.

    I could listen to this lady talk forever. I have listened to several of her speeches; which all feel so spontaneous and from the heart. She is not the prefect representation of what she is speaking about. Rather, she is very much like all of us seeking; understanding and a new way to go about things. I would say she has a solid skill for inspiration and a powerful grasp of her source material, A Course In Miracles.

    Her book, A Return to Love is one of the best introductions to A Course In Miracles, that exist.

    If you get the chance, listen to her audio work... it is very inspiring!

    Warning: Although the Course In Miracles speaks with Christian terminology it is not specifically Christian. Rather it is quite mystic and beyond the grasp of those who take comfort in dogma and fundamentalism.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2009

    Best Book I have Ever Read---A Life Changer and Eye Opener

    This book is the best book that I have had the opportunity to read. Williamson gives simple solutions to change the world around us. Her basic principles are profound.

    My career, love life, and many other aspects have greatly improved. This book even helped me with my mother's death. After reading "A Return to Love," I feel more awakened and conscious. I can truly say that I now know my purpose. This is a must read for everyone.

    Marianne Williamson thank you for the gift. Your book has truly ministerred to me, my family, and friends.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2007

    Cotton Candy Spirituality

    Marianne Williamson is the unofficial public interpreter of A Course in Miracles, a book that claims its author (a New York psychologist) channeled Jesus Christ and the book is a continuation of the New Testament. A Course in Miracles is Williamson's reflections on the principles explored in the text. Very feel good and filled with many principles of the Course, A Return to Love, contains Marianne's own life as a classroom of applying the self-study program in spiritual psychotherapy. However, there is no back up to her claims or is Marianne herself living a life that reflects any stability in her personal relationships. A Return to Love was an intro into Christ consciousness outside of the Holy Bible. So ... read this and glean but like cotton candy will leave you empty .... for deep spiritual stuff go read the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2009

    If I could I would buy this book for everyone!

    I swear by this book. Even if you are not interested in the Course in Miracles it breaks down how we allow ourselves to surround ourselves with darkness and how our ego can be our own enemy. Great explanations and a wonderful way of getting back to love.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2000

    Great Book

    The book is great for those people reading the Course in Miracles. It makes the Course make sense

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    How to Live Without Responsibility

    Here Williamson tells people how tho feel good about themselves while absolving themselves of any real responsibiltity in their marital or other family relationships. The reader is repetitivly reminded to keep moving on "with love". If we all fully embraced her way of life, the divorce rate would be 100%, every child (like hers) would grow up in a broken home and we would all be happy about it because we would convince ourselves that we had "learned what we could" and moved on "with love".

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2001

    Everyone should read this book!!

    Love and Fear rules us, and until I read this book 6 years ago my life was a mess. Now I see life and others so clearly. I wish I could afford to keep a case of this book stocked in my closet to give to everyone I know. I have giving this book as a gift to several people and advise to anyone to give this book as a gift for any occasion.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2001

    Changed my life

    Fluffy? Feel good? Are you kidding....? This book has changed my life. It has turned my marriage around and made me realize that if I'm not showing divine LOVE in life, then my life isn't really amounting to much! Read it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    Sometimes I need to be reminded that there lies something powerful within me-- something that I can draw to the surface, and that will see me through anything. When I read certain books, I am reminded of such things. This book, along with several others, does just that. I do not claim that it has all the answers, as I believe we each have the answers within us, but books such as this one, Esamuel, Islands of the Soul: A Guide to Personal Truth and Happiness, as well as others, can be great sources of understanding and enlightenment for those who read with open minds and hearts.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2005

    A place to start

    I read this book many years ago and i bought the tapes so that i can listen to them whenever i need a 'pickmeup' or just some more insight. The book is quite simple, but it's also quite powerful. I thought i had everything together until the foundation of my life started crumbling beneath me and i realized/learned that i had to look at everything and everyone differently, with love and not fear. Easier said than done, but if you are ready for a change (a big one) and you are ready to take real responsibility for your life, then this is a great place to start. It may take some time, but it is truly worth it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2000

    True human exposure

    A very good book that allows the author to share her wounds with us, and this allows us to be truer to ourselves. It also gives us an insight on how to apply the principles of A Course in Miracles.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    Thoughtfully written

    It seems those "who have been there, done that" make the most insightful writers. Marianne Williamson always presents well in person, but even more so in the written word. A must read for those seeking personal enlightenment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    This book is a game changer! Our constant need to have more, co

    This book is a game changer! Our constant need to have more, control more & be more is getting most of us no where bu stressed and frustrated with life. Learning to allow God to be our guide is the only real answer to happiness and peace. This book has an amazing way of helping to shift your mindset in just the right direction. I have given it to so many people in hopes of them finding the indescribable peace that is available.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2013

    A wonderful way to live your life

    This is the "Course in Miracles" in layman's language. Everyone can understand it. This is how I live my life. When everyone can live in the state of love and not fear we will have peace on earth. I just ordered six more to give away.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    If you haven't read it... read it! This book is a life-changer! 

    If you haven't read it... read it! This book is a life-changer! 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2002

    Spiritual Classic

    A Return to Love is truly a gift. Marianne Williamson offers the principles of A Course in Miracles as a healing tool to the challenges of everyday life. This book is full of wisdom and insight that will prove to be a lifelong source of support. This work is truly a metaphysical classic.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2000

    Mesmerized

    I have not read the book. A friend bought me the tapes. I have received many gifts in my life but, this was such a unique gift and very thoughtful. It's easy to get caught up in everyday life and forget what we ourselves need to remember and listening to her does that for you. I recommend the tapes very highly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2014

    Self help book

    This book is by far the best book I've ever read!! Not only did I read it once or twice, oh no its more like sseven or eight times. I have had this book for quit sometime now. I believe about fifeteen years. I just love Marieanne. I try my best to see her whenever she comes into Detroit area. I have read the majority of her books. Don't ever feel you may not like the book...?...please do yourself a favor and read not only this one, but all of her other books as well!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Not for non-Christians

    I was undecided about purchasing this book as I do not care for religious dogma. However, the author makes assurances that although Christian language is used readers would not see it used narrowly, so I bought it. I don't know how Williamson defines inclusive, but this book is not it. It is more akin to when women are told they should just feel included when others say "mankind" and then the word will be inclusive. There are plenty of excellent books out there on spiritual topics that are, in fact, inclusive. This is not one of them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews

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