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Excerpted from Illuminata by Marianne Williamson. Copyright © 1994 by Marianne Williamson. Excerpted by permission of Riverhead Books, a division 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.

"We are a ragmuffin group in many ways, but great revolutions have begun with less."

Marianne Williamson, Illuminata, Part 4

Like Cinderella, who retained one glass slipper even after the spell broke, which then gave her entrance back into the magic, we have retained our cultural talismans and waited three decades for reentrance to a state of collective hope. We had a glimpse of an expanded reality, however drug-based that glimpse might have been at the time. Much as we receive the mark of a rubber stamp on our hands when we enter a place of entertainment, indicating that we donít have to reenter but we can, an entire generation now looks at that stamp on our hands and wonders if maybe we had it figured out right back then after all. We were marked, chemically altered by those days, and however far we might have run from them, they have never stopped haunting us. We are beckoned by the music, the philosophies, the pictures. No one who was not there then can imagine the way our souls were branded. And they were branded for a reason: Now that we have begun to awaken from the sleep of two ultramaterialistic decades, the branding on our souls, our hands, sparks our memory. We are staring into space. We are jarred by what we know.

And we are not the only generation waking. Everyone on earth at this time is permeated with the vibrations of a dosing chapter in a historical cycle. Small electrical shocks pulse through our nervous systems. We are coded with the knowledge that at this point we must change our course. Memories come from the future as well as the past. The twentysomething generation has a complementary metaphysics to that of the baby boomers, harking as we did to sounds the world canít hear. Generations are like keys on a piano; baby boomers and twentysomethings are a musical perfect third.

We are a ragmuffin group in many ways, but great revolutions have begun with less.

There is a feeling in the air now, a sense, however faint, of renewed magic. The nineties seem to be revving up for something. We have arrived full circle at the point where we began this journey in the sixties, but this time, those who carry the torch are sober. We began, in those days, a collective quest for an enlightened perspective, and now, perhaps, we might actually find it. Our sobriety is more total than mere recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. A genuinely sober life is one in which moderation is embraced as a higher good, for the valuable part it plays in the creation and right use of energy. Weíre letting go our addictions to many things: to people, to sex, to worldly illusions.

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