DR: In your book Illuminata you speak very movingly about America and its potential. What is the American dream to you?
MW: I believe that the human species has not even begun to reach its highest evolutionary potential. And I believe that the vision of our founding fathers was one in which the individual was given the greatest opportunity to unfold his or her potential, through the right to freedom and protection from tyranny of all kinds. When Jefferson spoke of the pursuit of happiness, and remember that you are talking about one of the great geniuses in history,for him the pursuit of happiness was the pursuit of knowledge, the pursuit of wisdom, the pursuit of art, the pursuit of all manner of creativity. Jefferson and others sought to create a society in which human beings could go about the business of achieving their highest and most noble potential.
DR: And that was where happiness was to be found.
MW: Absolutely. Unity in diversity is an extraordinary concept, particularly today, when so many people forget the importance of either one element or the other. There are people in America who would stress our unity at the expense of our diversity, and others who would celebrate our diversity at the expense of our unity. Unity in diversity is the American principle. I think of myself these days as an Americanist. Our original ideals should be re-embraced.
DR: Why do you feel that people seek transformation, and why do people resist transformation?
MW: We seek to transform because it is so obvious that civilization is moving deeper and deeper into its own shadow. We resist transformation because we tend to be more afraid of life than of death.
DR: Tell us about your work with severely ill people.
MW: I've always said to groups with life-challenging illnesses: I am not your physician. Your physician knows about your disease. I am a metaphysician. My work has to do with stimulating the forces of healing. I have simply come to think that the principles involved there apply to social systems as much as to the human body.
DR: What role do you feel that volunteerism should play in our society?
MW: First of all, I think that the concept of tithing is a significant spiritual principle that should apply to more than just money. I think there must be outflow in order to create inflow, and this has to do not only with money but with energy of any kind. Secondly, I think that community itself is the field of light which protects us from and casts out all darkness. Volunteerism is a way of rebuilding community.
DR: A friend of mine recently attended a wedding where the vows were taken from your book Illuminata. Do you receive word about people utilizing the book for other ceremonies?
MW: Absolutely. People have told me they've used it for memorial services, for blessings on the newborn, rites of the elder, and the divorce ceremony. The only one that I have not heard much feedback about is the rites of puberty, but I hope I will.
DR: You first became well known for your book A Return to Love, which is about A Course in Miracles. The Course seems to demand great discipline of its students. Do you feel that people must follow it rigorously to derive benefit from it?
MW: That's a tricky question, because it's none of my business what people do. On the one hand, like any other course, the more we practice, the more we receive from the practice. On the other hand, the Course contains such profound material that a single sentence can cast light on the day.