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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – from A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson (1952 – present) is a New York Times bestseller, a New-Age guru, and a spiritual activist. She has founded several outreach programs in the United States such as “Project Angel Food” and “Peace Alliance”. She was considered as one of the fifty most influential baby boomers following the success of her self-help books and seminars focusing on spiritual therapy. Furthermore, she is a strong advocate of women’s involvement politics that she herself ran for Congress last October 2013.
The quote above is an excerpt from her bestselling novel “A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles”. Published in 1992, her self-help book on spirituality is still biggest selling spiritual guide. It was a New York Times bestseller for 39 weeks in 1992.
The New Age Movement started in USA in the 1960s. It is an inclusive type of belief that focuses on spirituality, individuality, and unity. As illustrated by her quote, it focuses on a person’s role in alleviating the suffering of others. In her book, she emphasized the importance of recognizing oneself as a strong force of energy that can bring about change for the betterment of mankind.
A similar but more specific concept can be found in Malcolm X’s speech against black oppression: “The only way we’ll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world. We are blood brothers to the people of Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba — yes Cuba too.”