Integral friendly Marianne Williamson running for 2020 President: What do we know, think?


#1

I don’t know what to think yet, have been out of touch with her work, but listening to her interview on CNN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XsEfvaT9Fs, I heard more intelligence, forthrightness, depth, and moral nuance in 8 minutes than most political candidates provide in a year (if ever, usually not ever). She is running on the “need for a moral and spiritual awakening” in the U.S. and whether she gets very far or not, she certainly brings a very different and much needed voice and vision to the table, integral-friendly and inspirational. She also of course has policy positions, one of which is providing slavery reparations for African-Americans, similar to what was given to the Japanese who were placed in internment camps in this country.

Her announcement for President (43 minutes) is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIBNOro0vks. Many comments after both the CNN interview and the announcement, probably 98% of which were glowingly positive, from both males and females, people both familiar with her and her work, and those not. Negatives were that she talks too fast and is probably too intelligent and moral to be accepted by the typical voter; sad, and maybe true, but I personally don’t want to buy into that.

I’ll be watching, but I’m curious as to how others view her, her political history, this run.


#2

Hi @LaWanna
I hear Marianne Williamson’s name regularly in my Interfaith circles. I however am not familiar with her work. Thanks for the heads up in respect of her run for presidency. I watched the CNN interview and was blown away by her articulation of all the issues facing the US and foreign policy. She is definitely integral. We integrals need to get behind her campaign and do everything possible to get her into the Whitehouse. She is incredibly intelligent, conscious and spiritual. There have been discussions here about how to promote Integral. What if the US President was integral? @corey-devos can we send a message to Marianne pledging our support? Can we work with Marianne and resource her with integral knowledge to even further her grasp of complex world issues? Talk about a tipping point. I’m excited about this possibility. Thanks again Lawanna for the post. Wow wow wow. #infinitelove


#3

I am a little more familiar with her work. She basically comes from the “Course in Miracles” community. She basically stays true to the underlying themes, but adds to that perspectives based on “Universal Spiritual Principles”. None of this conflicts with Integral. And I have heard her use that word more than once in her talks (Which she has been doing since the 80s. I would not be surprised if she has read some of Kens work. It would be awesome for her to appear in a talk at Integral Life or have her talk with/about her thoughts on Ken’s work; or vice versa.


#4

I did a little more recall of what I knew of Marianne Williamson and also visited her website (https://marianne.com) where there is a link that takes you to her 2020 presidential run, which I also surveyed. Her positions on most current issues and then some (racial reconciliation measures with blacks and Native Americans; child poverty, for instance) are there, along with her background, which includes growing up in a family of social activists (her father was an immigration lawyer), then “chancing” into a career through her talks on “A Course in Miracles” (which tristin69 above mentioned).

With the publication of her 1997 book “Healing the Soul of America,” she began to turn her attention to community service and social/political activism. She has worked in the areas of poverty, HIV/AIDS support, feeding the ill (Project Angel Food), peace, (including founding the non-profit Peace Alliance to promote methods of governments doing peace-building work as prelude and alternative to “perpetual war,”). She also supports programs to encourage greater social/political activism of the citizenry, including producing the Sister Giant conferences since 2010 to encourage women in politics.

In 2014, she ran in a “jungle primary” in California’s 33rd congressional district (L.A. area) for a seat in Congress; she came in 4th out of 16 contenders. She was endorsed by numerous Californian and national politicians and others; piece of trivia: Alanis Morissette wrote and performed the campaign song. Another piece of trivia (or perhaps not): she is Oprah Winfrey’s spiritual advisor.

She endorsed and campaigned for Bernie Sanders in 2016, is of course running as a progressive Democrat. Her orientation to politics seems to be a healing one; she has stated instances where seasoned politicians often can’t effect necessary change, but she feels that a “sacred ceremonialist” or psychotherapist could. She views the Course in Miracles as “spiritual psychotherapy.”

She has written 12 books, four of them #1 on the NY Times best-sellers list.

So there’s a thumb-nail sketch, lots more at her website and all over the web. I’m pretty sure she’s connected with certain leaders in the integral community.


#5

Marianne just had a conversation with Andrew Yang (who I am backing) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhPIRsjHZiQ

Probably the most Integral political conversation I have ever heard. When was the last time two candidates running against each other sat down and had a chat, and encouraged viewers to donate to their opponent? Maybe times are really changing, lol. (people are also saying Yin/Yang 2020, rofl).


#6

A breath of fresh air, listening to these two as compared to other politicos. I could certainly get behind a Yin/Yang ticket, in that order–after all, Yang did say he doesn’t care about the ‘seating chart’ :slightly_smiling_face:, and while I’m sure Yin Williamson doesn’t either, it would be nice to see a skirt in the oval office who wasn’t catering to a suit. Of course, men too can wear skirts/robes/dresses, many do in this and other cultures throughout the world, and not just in the form of “holy vestments.” Some men, like actor and fashionista Jared Leto, actually wear them very well, but I digress…

While I had read about Yang, it was great to hear him talk here in detailed specifics about the near- and future effects automation will have on jobs, and to hear his plan for paying for UBI (having the tech sector essentially pay for much of it). He’s impressive on these issues and I’ll want to learn more about him on other issues.

I think Williamson’s emphasis on the need for addressing interiors (human despair, lonliness/alienation, amorality/immorality, consciousness in general, etc.) as part of a presidential campaign is a needed one. Which isn’t to say (I emphasize again) that she doesn’t have policy positions addressing issues in the exteriors.

Regardless, I hope they both make it at least as far as the Democratic debates. To do that, to repeat what they said in this conversation, they need 65,000 individual financial contributors each, or to reach 1% in the polls. Those don’t seem like extremely high bars, but we’ll see. Anyone interested can go to marianne2020.com and/or yang2020.com to give as little as a dollar and help them toward the 65,000 contributions…

Hawaiian Ryan, what does rofl mean? And why specifically are you backing Yang? I’m not backing anyone quite yet, just “fronting” a little for integral-friendly voices.


#7

Thanks for giving it a look, Lawanna – happy to see that their talk was well received here. I was so excited to post it here.

“rofl” means “Roll on floor laughing,” basically an alternative to “Lol.” I have been backing Yang since I first heard him go on Sam Harris last year. He is super intelligent, highly articulate, doesn’t buy into dualistic narratives of us vs. them, doesn’t create an enemy (its just about redesigning our economic systems to adapt to the coming changes), is nonpartisan for the most part – one of his slogans (other than “Humanity First”) is “Not Left, not Right, Forward,” backs policies that I am for (like UBI) and frames it in an Integral fashion (appealing to left-progressives, right-libertarians, and center), doesn’t talk/act like a typical politician, super open minded, with practical and highly researched solutions to every problem. I believe he is the most Integral-ish politician I have ever seen in my life. He has even started collaborating with Jonathan Haidt (who I also believe is Integral-ish). He says he’s a fan of Williamson’s work; I wouldn’t be shocked if he knows Wilber, too.

He went on Fox News some 5 times now, I’ll post it here – look at his conversation with Tucker Carlson, and look at the comments from Fox News viewers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzksqTu9UY4

Also his appearance on Fox here: again, read the comments! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x3Hx8i2FhA

Also, here he is on a New Hampshire news channel. Watch how he answers some of the peoples questions, very interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHbWUoe5FzU
(part 1 is good too, I particularly liked part 2).

edit: I was just talking to my girlfriend, and I asked her: “How do we know that someone is Integral?” She said: “Look at how people on both sides respond to him.” I’ll let people explore the comments section on Yang videos on Joe Rogan, Fox News, and other progressive channels :wink:

I am starting to believe. :slight_smile:


#8

Hi Hawaiian Ryan,
I watched the videos you referenced; Yang is impressive. Tucker Carlson is a fan, and reading the comments, most of the Fox viewers were too. So that does say something. What I liked about him, besides his grasp of the economic issues and his researched solutions, is that he seemed not just intelligent, but very clear in consciousness, with a healthy degree of detachment. He didn’t come across as trying to “sell” you anything, just straight-forwardly and also enthusiastically put forth his views, and there was little or no tone of apology or complaint in his speech. I thought this served him well when he answered the round-about question on abortion during the New Hampshire q&a. I want to know more and particularly about his views on foreign policy.

What I also learned on the Fox/Carlson piece is that he’s already qualified for the DNC debates in June, so that’s great! It will be interesting to see how he performs there, and how other candidates respond to him.

On the other hand, I watched a few more videos of Marianne Williamson, and there is a certain celebrity “foo-foo” quality to some of it that is a bit of a turn-off to me, but I wouldn’t hold that alone against her. In her talk to the Harvard Divinity School, she did do some brief tracing of the evolution of consciousness from the mythic stage on up (leaving out green, at least in the first part of it; I haven’t watched the whole thing yet).

She and Yang pair well. Yang was much more affable in the conversation with Marianne, I thought, than in the other interviews, perhaps simply due to comfort level and setting. He also engaged with her talk around feelings and such, which I personally still think is important if we’re ever going to move the needle and get people to acknowledge and deal more with interiors. Why not in a presidential campaign? He could probably do it well, without promoting sappiness and all kinds of emotional indulgence.

Thanks for the links and your views, and oh yes, for the definition of rofl–of course, I knew that…


#9

Hi Lawanna,

Thanks for taking the time to watch everything and respond, I hope you know that I really value your perspective and appreciate everything you post here on the forum – especially on subjects like these.

Excellent summary of Yang - I agree with everything you said. I would say that foreign policy is by far his greatest deficiency; to me his lack of experience in this area is obvious. His response on Joe Rogan about dealing with Russian bots was a little too hawkish for me, even though developmentally, it may be appropriate (although my Green sensitivities were nervous about his answer). But he is a wiz on domestic policy and just about everything else, and until someone better comes along, has my vote for now.

I’m curious about your take on Williamson – what exactly was too “foo foo” about her, and do you feel that this was magnified given that she is running for president (and not in her usual spiritual environment)? I have been thinking about politics and running for office, and trying to critique my own feelings/assumptions about what is appropriate in a presidential campaign, and what would come across as too “woo woo.” For example, if we were running for president and wanted to include interiors, how would these be presented or framed in a way that doesn’t come across as new age fluff (at the expense of real policy substance). Changing the metrics from GDP to other factors (such as interiors) may be a way to start valuing it on a collective level. Yang suggests that we begin to measure factors such as meaning and happiness like Bhutan (as well as mental health, drug addiction, and so on) and report it at the state of the union address, while moving away from relying on metrics like GDP, which obviously don’t capture interior factors. Perhaps this is an effective way to move the Overton window to embrace a more Integral perspective.


#10

Hey, Hawaiian Ryan, I learn from you too, value what you have to say. So there, some mutual admiration!

I’m a little short of time right now, so I’m going to break my reply to your post into parts. Let me right now just clarify what I meant by the celebrity “foo-foo” in regards to Williamson, and come back later in response to the rest of your post.

Some of the videos posted to her site are older, and in all fairness to her, some of them are interviews by news outlets who posed the questions and framed the interview according to their wants/needs, one has to assume, and one way some of this is framed is by reporting on the host of celebrities that are “followers” and supporters. Nothing wrong with that, celebrities need guidance too, but some of it is presented, in my opinion, with a flavor of stand-alone evidence of M.W.'s “worth.” A celebrity following does not in and of itself, in my mind, attest to the worth/value of anyone or their work.

More to the point, a parade of celebrities on one’s behalf is surface structure material, and while some people respond to this sort of thing, one hopes they are also getting the deeper message. From what I understand, Williamson’s work and vision are grounded in the Course in Miracles material, which in my experience with it, has a great deal of depth and truth. Plus, she also has a pretty extensive background in community service and social/political activism; it’s these things that I think are more important and relevant to her campaign, and as a matter of pure personal preference, I appreciate more of this and less of the former, which I perhaps was overly harsh in referring to as “foo-foo.”

That said, catch ya later!


#11

Hawaiian Ryan, to follow up on some of your post–

Re: your question “…if we were running for president and wanted to include interiors, how would these be presented or framed in a way that doesn’t come across as new age fluff (at the expense of real policy substance).”

Great question. In my opinion, one of the most effective ways might be under the umbrella of the Beauty, Goodness, Truth trio. These terms are broad enough to encompass all religions/traditions, races, genders, political persuasions; they can be applied in both personal and transpersonal ways; they speak to values and morals/ethics; and they have manifestations in the exteriors. Taken in whole, they cover all quadrants. While they have roots in some spiritual texts, they’re more elaborated in philosophy (which lessens the “woo-woo” or fluff factor), and of course, through the Integral lens. I imagine you’re quite aware of them, given your study of philosophy and integral, but if you want to refresh your knowledge and stoke your imagination, here’s an Integral Life resource: https://integrallife.com/good-true-beautiful.

Marianne Williamson seems to be addressing interiors through use of the Great Chain of Being (matter, body, mind, soul, spirit), and also drawing on her work with the Course in Miracles, and differentiating some of the teachings of the C in M from mainstream Christian religion. She has a healing/therapeutic orientation as part of her politics, so she emphasizes love and forgiveness, particularly as antidotes to fear, per C in M teachings. She is identifying the spiritual principles as well as the values behind her policies, one example being reparations for African- and Native Americans whom she (and NY Times columnist David Brooks (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/opinion/case-for-reparations.html) see as having suffered moral injury.

And yet, having said all that, I did notice in her conversation with Yang that she herself was noting that “establishment” politicians also use ‘love-language,’ and it seemed she was/is still searching for how to best express her views and vantage points in ways that have depth and uniqueness, in order to differentiate herself from that love-language pack.

I have no problem with Marianne Williamson’s language or approach, but I imagine plenty of others might gyrate hearing God and soul talk. I think the beauty-goodness-truth approach might speak to a wider swath of the population. It’s pertinent to people at any stage of development. It doesn’t favor any particular religion/spiritual tradition, and yet, can be applied to them all, including one’s own

And when is the last time in the dirty world of politics you heard use of the word ‘beauty’ when speaking of values, morals and such? I think in the right hands, it would be a powerful frame, while forwarding the integral message.


#12

Update: Marianne Williamson has qualified to participate in the June 26-27 DNC televised debates, Andrew Yang of course too, along with 11 others (plus 7-8 other candidates yet to be determined).


#13

Not sure if you saw this, but if you don’t have time for the whole interview just read the comments - I got a kick out of them :smiley:


#14

Yes, I’ve watched this and tons of other Marianne stuff. I was never particularly drawn to her in her role as spiritual teacher/leader, but as a political voice, yes, very much so. While her policy stances aren’t that different from many progressives, she frames it all in larger principles and a larger consciousness, which I think is highly useful.

Most of the comments that I read on this particular Rubin Report were really positive about her. Now the Chat, that’s a different story. I think the essence of those negative comments could be phrased as “Orb Lady is an evil witch high on something; she’ll probably choose as her Vice-President her cat.” Funny, funny, VP Meow. And what do you think is the male equivalent of ‘evil witch?’

How are you perceiving her candidacy at this point? And are you still a Yang enthusiast?


#15

Wow, the male equivalent of an evil male witch…never thought about that. Some kind of druid or shaman? lol.

I appreciate Marianne’s perspective and emphasis on things. She brings up issues that others don’t, and has her own fanbase which is nice to see. I haven’t followed her too closely because I’ve been so involved with other things but if she ever had a rally or something in Portland (which according to her website, she only has small gatherings/private dinners and so forth) I would be the first to attend.

Yes I’m still a YangGanger and volunteered at his rally in Portland. It was a pretty amazing spectacle – great crowd with people of all backgrounds – former alt-right and Trump voters, libertarians, business people, artists, social justice activists, lots of tech people… somehow all getting along and cheering on our candidate of choice. The energy was amazing.


#16

Not sure if you heard that she came out against medicare for all (this was a shock to me). Anyway Secular Talk has some interesting things to say about this exchange (also the comments are pretty funny). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z80-MSZapQQ


#17

Yes, I watched the debates and heard her say this, and know that she’s already walked it back some. Kulinski (at Secular Talk) really doesn’t like her, or Pete Buttigieg either, does he? Or maybe he just makes those adolescent obnoxious noises all the time.

Here’s a link in kind for you–“Marianne Williamson Knows How to Beat Trump”
https://www.nytimes.com/column/david-brooks. (Of course, it may be Pence the Dem will go up against…impeachment is looking more probable, and yes I know, conviction could be doubtful.)

The “Asian man who likes math” did better this time around, and sounds like he’s close to meeting the criteria for inclusion in the September debates. Marianne has quite a ways to go, so anyone reading this who wants to help ensure she makes it into the next debates can go to marianne2020.com and contribute as little as a buck.

I think she’s already a leader among the candidates, influencing them to pay more attention to the larger framework and a more all-encompassing message, instead of focusing solely on “wonky policy positions.” Many of the great cultural shifts/changes such as abolition, the civil rights movement, the voting rights act, for instance, have come about in large part due to spiritual/moral messaging. So she’s in that vein, I think.


#18

I appreciated the article, and particularly liked the phrase: “Trump is a cultural revolutionary, not a policy revolutionary. He operates and is subtly changing America at a much deeper level.” Personally, the LL quadrant moral inspiration/leadership angle is not my cup of tea – perhaps its a cultural difference, and as an Asian man (who hates math) I tend to gravitate more towards wonky policy details in the LR. I resonate more with Yang’s approach where “the policies are the values.” However, in the name of being Integral, I can greatly appreciate the angle Williamson is coming from and what you have espoused. Not sure if you are familiar with the work of communitarian philosopher Michael Sandel, but in one of his books, he describes (in a similar way to David Brooks) how the Democrats have lost the battle of moral messaging and public virtue in the 70’s, and that void was filled by Regan and eventually hijacked by the Republicans. Jonathan Haidt expounds a similar message, that many voters don’t vote in their economic interests but in moral interests, which was his main criticism of the book Whats the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank. So there is a tremendous hunger for such “moral capital,” and its important that the liberals re-embrace this message and not be seen solely as the party of handouts. @jdj and I have been talking about how the left can also reinvigorate issues of meaning and purpose and not shy away from such discussions, and may even be able to “steal back” Jordan Peterson fans and other more conservative leaning followers who have sought out these forgotten topics of purpose and moral virtue. Michael Brooks talks about this issue and even mentions our own Jeremy Johnson in high regard! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbmAlj7IC2A


#19

I can understand how moral messaging in the political arena would not be the preferred ‘cup of tea’ for some, given that most of that kind of messaging has come from the religious (and often fundamentalist) views of the amber-mythic level, and the ideologies of the Republican Tea Party. While I do not think Trump is the sole cause of the post-truth, polarized country, and certainly not racism and all the other isms and phobias, he is, in my opinion, both modeling and giving permission to people (both left and right) to let loose their worst impulses, and that does need to be countered. So far, Marianne is the one who seems to be addressing it most directly, whether you agree with her choice of words (“dark psychic forces”) to describe the Trump “phenomenon” and what could counteract that phenomena, or not. And I do think the values of other candidates such as Yang (who I find really likable) are indeed implied in some of their policies, but I don’t think it’s enough; I think many people need someone to connect the dots for them between the value or moral consideration, and the policy, in other words, between their inner self and happenings in or proposals for the exterior world.

My point being that, imo, both are needed, an appeal to interiors as well as change in the LR exteriors, with sufficient policy wonkiness, but not an overdoing of it, as it seems to me has been happening in the debates.

I read an interview with Tulsi Gabbard in which she said that her candidacy is driven by an awareness (gained through both her military experience and meditative experience in a Hindu tradition) that death could come at any moment. I think people need an education in Reality, and simple statements like that if delivered effectively and without excess drama can make people pause a moment and connect, if even for a single moment, to the inner self. Tim Ryan meditates and practices mindfulness; I’d like to hear him say on stage how that helps him. You know, why not bring some of this into the political arena? Pete Buttigieg does some of it with his Christian religion. If Democrats are going to regain some of the moral messaging, there’s enough of them, with quite diverse pathways, that they could be making good headway now.

Good for you and Jeremy, talking about ways for the left to address meaning and purpose. Maybe you all could share some of that here at the IL Community (and also, since I mentioned that, is it possible for some of you to post regularly as to when Zoom and Crossfire meetings are (or were), what the topics are, what’s being discussed on Discord? That would be helpful, and keep the IL Community more whole and more equally informed.) But back to meaning and purpose, the problem, again, is that most people, when it comes to purpose, think merely of purpose in terms of the exterior world. “What’s my purpose in life?” meaning what great thing am I to do? So we end up with people hustling to find their “do” avenue without much interest in their “be” or being-ness seat.


#20

I understand what you are saying, and it sounds like Marianne’s way of addressing these issues is meaningful and important for you. I think more candidates don’t emphasize the UL because, well, its political suicide, and I know you are well aware of all the mockery and vitriol Marianne has received. I know we discussed this topic in another thread, and perhaps its my youth and naivety (I’m 27 and only got into politics in 2014) but I’ve never seen a politician to be skillful enough in their wording/framing to not look like a doofus when bringing up these important issues of moral messaging and interiors (people say Bill Clinton did a good job of that but I was too young to see his campaign and I think his messaging was more Amber in tone). Maybe this is something we can work on developing together? I remember your idea about the good, true, and beautiful framing – I would be interested in something like that being developed further (I know Steve Mcintosh is working on an Integral political book, and he is quite the enthusiast of the big 3).

A little update on the group calls: I had to abandon crossfire due to health issues and work schedule changes – it was taken over by @Charles_Marxer but has discontinued due to lack of interest. On Discord we have been organizing “shoot the shit” calls spontaneously where I send out a message and people jump in to talk about any random topic (so far attended by me, @Coda, Matt, @LionLamb, @Damiano, and @jdj). @Heidi is back to leading Sunday Zoom chats so you can contact her if you are interested in those (I got busy on Sunday’s so I can’t make them consistently anymore). We had another group called “Campfire” on Fridays but I have no idea what happened to that (I fell out of the loop for a while due to health problems). But I’m glad you asked because I have been wanting to invite others who are not on Discord to our “shoot the shit” calls. Should I let you know when they are happening in some way? If you join the discord forum then you’ll get a message with the invite. I always use this link for the calls: https://us04web.zoom.us/s/964092435

I could also make a thread on the forum called “Shoot the shit” and invite anyone else to jump in; problem is that they spontaneous and happening right at that moment, so people on this forum will probably not see it in time. We also had a WhatsApp group going for a little while which people could also join to receive live updates on when these spontaneous calls happen. If you are interested in any of those, please let me know and we will make it work :slight_smile: