Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Book Review: Enchanted Love

One side effect of recovery from materialism that I've noticed is that life seems to take on a quality that can only be described as magical. The Course in Miracles says that is by design. Miracles are supposed to happen; we just need to get out of our own way.

But how does this relate to love? What most people think of as romantic love is better described as a combination of need and fear. The neediness and fear drive jealously and possessiveness. But when you get rid of that, what's left? The problem with unconditional love is it's inherently universal, and if everybody's somebody, then nobody's anybody.

Marianne Williamson, one of the most prominent authors who write about The Course, has the answer in her book Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power of Intimate Relationships. She says that romantic love is vital because "heaven is entered two by two." Any of us who have been in a serious relationship will know that it can show you the very worst aspects of your partner and your self. This is a good thing. According to the course (and most psychologists), the traits we dislike the most in other people are really parts of ourselves that we disown and project onto them. By bringing these traits to the surface, an intimate relationship gives us the opportunity to accept them, which is of course a prerequisite for real change.

I could go on and on about the book, so I'll close by saying that Ms. Williamson has obviously learned a lot about love, presumably the hard way. Her book can same you some time in creating the real thing for yourself. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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