Those who carried aloft the most eloquent visions of a possible America during the 1960s were literally shot and killed in front of the eyes of the young who so adored them. For my generation, carrying a brilliant dream of a noble collective future meant putting oneself in the line of fire. From President Kennedy, to his brother Bobby, to Dr. King, to the students at Kent State, the primary articulators of positive change, of dreams for our democracy in this stunning age, were permanently silenced–and the bullets that shot them psychically stuck us all. Millions of us became in many ways like the son of Robert Kennedy, who having watched his father murdered on television, got stoned and never recovered.
The invisible order that shot our heroes did not keep shooting, but began providing goods and services as quickly as possible to distract a grieving generation from our psychic pain. They not leave us out of their conception of what America should be; quite to the contrary, they used us as their fodder, luring us into their planned environment of endless material consumption. We have been relatively quiet about anything meaningful ever since. Our leaders assassinated, our ranks dispersed, our generation received loud instructions: go home now, scatter, go to your rooms, and enjoy yourselves with all the toys we sell you.
We received a loud, silent message from those assassinations, an unconscious imprint that has become what psychologists call a “sponsoring belief” for an entire generation: “You can do pretty much whatever you want within the private sector. You will still be free, of course–to buy the red one or the blue one. But leave the public sector alone.” And no one had to say what sentence comes next: “Or we might kill you, too.”
–From Marianne Williamson’s Healing the Soul of America
I used to think Marianne Williamson was a little “woo-woo” or “out there.” But as I read her books, they make so much sense. I’m surprised at how much “meat” (a.k.a. “seitan”) there is to chew when it comes to her arguments about bringing the spiritual into focus as she talks about current events. (And I can hear my devout atheist of a father saying, “What is ‘the spiritual’?”) Of course, there are many references to God that would have really freaked my father out. But her argument about not just having a little spiritual practice by yourself and instead coming together with others to change the world is incredibly exciting.