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Excerpted from Imagine by Marianne Williamson. Copyright 2001 by Marianne Williamson. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Separately, we face almost inevitable darkness, while together, we face unimaginable light."

  Marianne Williamson, Imagine, Part 4

No one who has written for this book is naive about America's problems. But each one of these authors has seen at least part of a way past those problems and found a way to articulate the path for others. They have obviously thought and felt deeply about their areas of expertise and responded deeply to their own imaginations. What emerges is a compendium of possibilities for a future whose underpinning is not anxiety but a deep and abiding peace.

My questions to all the authors were the following: In the realm of highest possibilities, what could America look like in 50 years? What kinds of changes would have to occur in order for that to happen? How can an individual or an institution best contribute to such change? What is the deeper story trying to emerge within this nation and the world?

No one who wrote an essay for this book has a lot of time on their hands. They responded to this book project -- which raises funds for a nonprofit organization dedicated to imagining and working toward a better world for our children and our children's children -- because they are prepared to live by their own bottom-line message: that separately, we face almost inevitable darkness, while together, we face unimaginable light.

 In their taking the time to contribute their own unique and inspiring visions, they not only describe the bridge to a better future, but they actually walk it and, in so doing, model for all of us what it will take to bring it forth.

These authors gave their essays as a gift. With gratitude on behalf of myself and the Global Renaissance Alliance, I dedicate this book to each of them. I feel honored to call them colleagues and blessed to call them my friends. May the collective vision they have created here inspire each of us in our walk through life.

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