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Excerpted from Everyday Grace by Marianne Williamson. Copyright 2002 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.

"Our task then is to harness the energies of love -- to actualize its enormous power in practical and meaningful ways."

  Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace, Part 5

The mystical realm arises from a different mode of perception than the one we are used to. The human race now stands on the brink of a historic transformation, with new eyes, new ears, new minds, and new hearts emerging from the cosmic drama of human evolution. As an embryo becomes a baby, we are becoming a new, more spiritualized version of ourselves. We are growing mystical wings as we evolve, as any species does, in the direction that supports our survival. We are moving now toward a universal compassion because, if we do not, we will cause our own extinction. To be a mystic is to choose rebirth, for ourselves and for the human race. We are participating in a collective quantum leap forward, in which our species will experience a fundamentally new chapter in our history.

Fundamental change is not a casual occurrence. We cannot casually commit to the process of spiritual transformation. It's not enough to say, "Oh, I think I'll be a mystic this year." Mysticism is not a trend. Our entire being is called to the task, for the journey from density to light involves every aspect of who we are. Whether we are angry at the dry cleaners because they've ruined our favorite sweater, upset with a friend who has broken a promise, or frightened at the diagnosis of cancer in the breast of a best friend; whether we're worried about the state of our marriage, looking for a new job, or anxious about nuclear bombs and terrorists in our midst, we see that everything we go through is a step along the path. We are taking the mystical journey as a way of transforming the world by transforming ourselves. Only by finding the love within us can we provide the love that will save the world.

Each of us carries, in the depths of our consciousness, a boxful of mystical tools. And central to our tool kit is the magical wand. A wand is not just silliness from children's literature. Fairy tales are rife with archetypal truths that teach not only children, but open-minded adults as well, deep and fundamental truths about the nature of our reality. A wand is a medium of power, not just for wizards, but also for you and me. A wand is essentially a principle, an intention, a focused thought. When focused thought is negative, it creates ill. And when focused thought is loving and enlightened, it creates miraculous breakthroughs. A mystical wand is the illumined power that emanates from the mind when it is married to the heart.

Most of us love, to be sure. Yet far too often our love is passive; we must be proactive in our love in order for it to change our lives. Spiritual laziness has no place on the path. First, we must outgrow the myth of neutrality. For in fact there is no neutral thought; all thought leads to love or to its absence. One who is not committed to love is surrendered to that which opposes it, opening up the door to fear as surely as one who consciously welcomes that fear.

There is so much love in the human heart, yet hatred threatens our planet. And why? Because hatred is currently more committed than love. In the words of philosopher Edmund Burke, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing." Indeed, the forces of fear in this world are more disciplined, more courageous in a perverse kind of way, than are the forces of love. For hatred, as we know all too well, has no problem announcing itself and its intentions to the world. Our response should not just be that we oppose hate; our response must be that we love the world. Then and only then will love truly triumph: when the children of God don't just feel our love, but express our love.

Our task then is to harness the energies of love -- to actualize its enormous power in practical and meaningful ways. Love too must announce its intentions to the world, with all the passion born of a compassionate heart. We are a species that has everything, yet what we lack is what only we can give: conviction. It is the conviction to love that gives birth to miracles.

In the words of the French philosopher Teilhard de Chardin, "One day, after we have mastered the winds and the waves, gravity and the tides, we will harness for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time in human history, mankind will have discovered fire."

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