week of April 23, 2015
Everyone Is Your Teacher!My book
Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia is available at Amazon and Powells.
Or buy it as an ePub e-book.
Below are excerpts.
Here's a thought experiment you could try for the next 24 hours: Every time a negative or fearful thought rises up, substitute a thought, imagination, or memory that energizes you and makes you feel genuinely good.
It's only for one day. You can do it!
I invite you to say the following, and see how it feels:
Everyone is my teacher.
Everywhere I go, I am a student.
Every person I meet is in some way my superior.
I vow to shut up and listen on a frequent and regular basis.
"Having very broad and abstract goals may maintain and exacerbate depression. Goals that are not specific are more ambiguous and, therefore, harder to visualize. If goals are hard to visualize it may result in reduced expectation of realizing them which in turn results in lower motivation to try and achieve them."
- Researchers at the institute of Health, Psychology, and Society
From The Outlaw Catalog of Cagey Optimism, a list of positive emotions and states of being:
COMPASSIONATE DISCRIMINATION. Having astute judgment without being scornfully judgmental; seeing difficult truths about a situation or person without closing your heart or feeling superior. In the words of Alan Jones: having the ability "to smell a rat without allowing your ability to discern deception sour your vision of the glory and joy that is everyone's birthright."
INGENIOUS INTIMACY. Having an ability to consistently create deep connections with other human beings, and to use the lush, reverential excitement stimulated by such exchanges to further deepen the connections. A well-crafted talent for dissolving your sense of separateness and enjoying the innocent exultation that erupts in the wake of the dissolution.
SONGBIRD-INA-TREE. The cultivated awareness that daily life presents countless opportunities to be buoyed by moments of ordinary extraordinary beauty, and that these moments are most available if you perceive with your senses and not with your internal turmoil.
More from The Outlaw Catalog of Cagey Optimism, a list of positive emotions and states of being.
Each one of us is a blend of life and death. In the most literal sense, our bodies always contain old cells that are dying and new cells that are emerging as replacements.
From a more metaphorical perspective, our familiar ways of seeing and thinking and feeling are constantly atrophying, even as fresh modes emerge. Both losing and winning are woven into every day; sinking down and rising up; shrinking and expanding.
In any given phase of our lives, one or the other polarity is often more pronounced. But sometimes they are evenly balanced; the Seasons of Rot and of Regeneration happen at the same time.
Where are you at in the cycle right now?
"In the end, we'll all become stories."
- Margaret Atwood
I invite you to say this, or something like this: "I pledge to wake myself up, never hold back, have nothing to lose, go all the way, kiss the stormy sky, be the hero of my own story, ask for everything I need and give everything I have, take myself to the river when it's time to go to the river, and take myself to the mountaintop when it's time to go to the mountaintop."
How's your fight for freedom going? Are you making progress in liberating yourself from your unconscious obsessions, bad habits, and conditioned responses? Do you find that you're getting more skillful at minimizing your suffering? Are you turning out to be the hero of your own life?
I hereby appoint you a dissident bodhisattva in charge of overthrowing the sour and crippled mass hallucination that is mistakenly called "reality," and replacing it with an authentic reality built on the principles of insurrectionary beauty, ingenious love, reverent justice, rigorous equality, and rowdy bliss.
Any other principles you want to add?
I have an essay in a new book called Pluto: New Horizons for a Lost Horizon: Astronomy, Astrology, and Mythology
It's edited by one of my mentors, Richard Grossinger -- a person I consider one of the five smartest people in the world. It's published by North Atlantic Books, the visionary publisher that has published my last three books.
My essay is about the astrological, pychoological, and mythopoetic meaning of Pluto. Here's an excerpt:
Scientists no doubt had sound. rational reasons to exile Pluto from the traditional solar system and transfer its realm to the Kuiper Belt with the other dwarf worlds, but they were also under the influence of deeply unconscious forces too. The expulsion of Pluto marked a symbolic turning point in the triumphalism and triumph of scientism, the ascendency of a mode of thinking that values only what's visible, measurable, and categorizable. But Pluto is more than the rocky planetoid representing it: Pluto is an essential phase of human consciousness.
It is no accident that the ostracism comes at a time when the Plutonian realm itself is being devalued and rendered inessential. The overall downgrading of Pluto is a milestone in the modern attempt to depreciate the soul's mode of awareness and make it subsidiary to the deductive mind. To banish Pluto is to deny that living in the soul has any value to us.
“A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history. On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness ... will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions."
- Andrew Harvey
Below are more excerpts from my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia.
Here are some ways to get more respect:
1. Do your best in every single thing you do -- whether it's communicating precisely or upholding the highest possible standards at your job or taking excellent care of yourself.
2. Maintain impeccable levels of integrity in everything you do -- whether it's being scrupulously honest or thoroughly fair-minded or fiercely kind.
3. On the other hand, don't try so compulsively hard to do your best and cultivate integrity that you get self-conscious and obstruct the flow of your natural intelligence.
4. Make it your goal that no later than four years from now you will be doing what you love to do at least 51 percent of the time.
5. Give other people as much respect as you sincerely believe they deserve.
6. Give yourself more respect.
What nourishes you emotionally and spiritually?
I'm not talking about what entertains you or flatters you or takes your mind off your problems.
I'm referring to the influences that make you stronger and the people who see you for who you really are and the situations that teach you life-long lessons.
I mean the beauty that replenishes your psyche and the symbols that consistently restore your balance and the memories that keep feeding your ability to rise to each new challenge.
I invite you to take inventory of these precious assets. And then make a special point of nurturing them back.
More and more you're attuned to the amusing fact that the rot prepares the way for the splendor. The chaos becomes the source of the rejuvenation. The end of the world mutates into the beginning of the world.
Please accept the thunderous applause of my one hand clapping. The people who take everything personally and seriously may not recognize your ingenious work, but we connoisseurs of the liberated imagination do.
"Reality is frequently inaccurate."
- Douglas Adams
My book THE TELEVISIONARY ORACLE has been reprinted:
Here's the Kindle edition.
Praise for the book:
"I've seen the future of American literature, and its name is Rob Brezsny." - novelist Tom Robbins
"Like a mutant love-child of Jack Kerouac and Anais Nin, Rob Brezsny writes with devilish humor, spiritual audacity, and erotic intensity. The Televisionary Oracle is a kick-ass gnostic tale. Prepare to be astonished." - Jay Kinney, author, Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions
"The Televisionary Oracle's heroine, Rapunzel, is one of recent literature's sexiest female protagonists." - Weekly Alibi
"The Televisionary Oracle is a book so weird it might drive you stark raving sane." - Robert Anton Wilson
Hear a song from the soundtrack for The Televisionary Oracle.
Don't kill your television yet . . .
Here's a prescription that may help you make optimal use of your precious life energy:
Set an intention to clarify your intentions about the essential matters in your life. Say "I am clarifying my intentions about . . ."
"who I really am"
"whom and what I love"
"how I want to serve my fellow creatures and the planet Earth"
"the unripe qualities in myself that I am ripening"
"what I need to do next"
"the best way for me to make money"
"the moral principles I hold most strongly"
"the truth about my relationship to the Source"
"the best use of my creative energy"
Below is an excerpt from my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia.
I ME WED
I invite you to deepen and intensify your commitment to the most important person in your life -- you. One way to further that sacred cause is to get married to yourself. In my book, I've created a text you can refer to as you perform the wedding. Or you can use my text for inspiration as you create your own version.
Let's begin by telling a simple truth: You will probably never create a resilient, invigorating bond with the lush accomplice of your dreams until you master the art of loving yourself ingeniously. A wedding ritual that joins you to yourself could catalyze an uncanny shift in your personal mojo that would attract a fresh, hot consort into your life, or else awaken the sleeping potential of a simmering alliance you have now.
If you're feeling brave, try speaking the following words aloud:
"I am no longer looking for the perfect partner.
I am my own perfect partner."
Say it even stronger:
"I am no longer looking for the perfect partner
to salve all my wounds
and fix all my mix-ups
and bridge all my chasms.
I am no longer looking for the perfect partner
because I am my own perfect partner."
TO READ THE REST OF "I ME WED," go here.
Healing mantra for the day, from Marguerite Rigoglioso: "May I feel all I need to feel in order to heal; may I heal all I need to heal in order to feel."
One of my heroes, radical historian Howard Zinn, said that pessimism tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we relentlessly imagine the worst possible outcomes, if we concentrate on all the things that are falling apart and going wrong, it cripples our capacity to make constructive changes. "To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic," he wrote. "It gives us the energy to act."
More from Howard: "What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places–and there are so many–where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
"And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
"Optimism is a strategy for making a better future," says Noam Chomsky. "Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee there will be no hope."
Sometime in the next 24 hours, try saying this to someone (but only if you really mean it): "Thanks for making my life better."
Below are excerpts from my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia. You can hear my musical performance of it here.
You're a gorgeous mystery with a wild heart and a lofty purpose. But like all of us, you also have a dark side -- a part of your psyche that snarls and bites, that's unconscious and irrational, that is motivated by ill will or twisted passions or instinctual fears.
It's your own personal portion of the world's sickness: a mess of repressed longings, enervating wounds, ignorant delusions, and unripe powers. You'd prefer to ignore it because it's unflattering or uncomfortable or very different from what you imagine yourself to be.
If you acknowledge its existence at all (many of us don't), you might call it the devil, your evil twin, your inner monster, or your personal demon. Psychologist Carl Jung referred to it as the shadow. He regarded it as the lead that the authentic alchemists of the Middle Ages sought to transmute into gold.
I hope you can obtain the Avatar Elixir stashed in the golden obelisk in the underground fortress beneath the glass mountain. It will allow you to produce the "triple-helix" energy that will give you the power to cross freely back and forth through the gateway between universes.
Then the thunder and lightning will obey your commands. Rivers and comets will become your allies. Every star in the sky will shine directly on you. Animals will prove their love again and again. You will always know the truest words to say.
And if for some reason you're not able to get your hands on that Avatar Elixir, you may be able to achieve similar results by drinking a bottle of beer that's currently stashed in the lower left rear section of the beverage cooler at a convenience store within five miles of your home.
(Magic might be wherever you think it is.)
Dear Beauty and Truth Lab: After reading your inspiring rants about pronoia, I've come up with my own personal set of pronoiac vows:
1. I vow to Siamese-twin together my bad-ass, no-hype, wide-eyed self with my tricky, strategic, puzzle-loving self.
2. I vow to rage on like a dancing warrior in the urban wilderness, keeping peak experiences and total slaphappy victory at the top of my priority list, while at the same time I play hide-and-seek with the dark delicious secrets that fuel my soul's lust for wicked meaning.
3. I vow to deepen the collaborative efforts of my suck-out-the-marrow-and-spit-out-the-bones craziness and my listen-carefully-to-the-flow-of-the-underground-river caginess. —Double Intense Pronoiac
Dear Double Intense: If we could give you a reward for your elegant audacity, it might be a descendant of Muchalinda, the giant cobra with seven heads that protected the Buddha as he meditated during a hailstorm.
Below are more excerpts from my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia
This is a perfect moment.
It's a perfect moment for many reasons, but especially because you and I are waking up from our sleepwalking, thumb-sucking, dumb-clucking collusion with the masters of delusion and destruction.
Thanks to them, from whom the painful blessings flow, we are waking up.
Their wars and tortures,
their crimes against nature,
extinctions of species
and brand new diseases.
Their spying and lying
in the name of the father,
sterilizing seeds and
Molestations of God,
celebrations of shame,
stealing our dreams and
changing our names.
Their cunning commercials
and blood-sucking hustles,
their endless rehearsals
for the end of the world.
Thanks to them, from whom the painful blessings flow, we are waking up.
Their painful blessings are cracking open more and more gashes in the shrunken and crippled mass hallucination that is mistakenly called "reality." And through the fractures, ripe eternity is flooding in; news of the soul's true home is pouring in; our allies from the other side of the veil are swarming in, inspiring us to become smarter and wilder and kinder and trickier.
We are waking up . . .
As heaven and earth come together, as the dreamtime and daytime merge, we register the shockingly exhilarating fact that we are in charge -- you and I are in charge -- of creating a brand new world. Not in some distant time or faraway place, but right here and right now.
If you do not bring the genius within you, it will destroy you. But if you do bring forth the genius within you, it will free you.
As we stand on this brink, as we dance on this verge, we cannot let the ruling fools of the dying world sustain their curses. We have to rise up and fight their insane logic; defy, resist, and prevent their tragic magic; erupt with our sacred rage and supercharge it.
But overthrowing the living dead is not enough. Protesting the well-dressed monsters is not enough. We can't afford to be consumed with our anger; can't be obsessed and possessed by their danger.
Our mysterious bodies crave delight and fertility. Our ancient imaginations demand fresh tastes of infinity.
In the new world we're creating, we need lusty compassion and ecstatic duty, ingenious love and insurrectionary beauty. radical curiosity and reverent pranks, voracious listening and ferocious thanks.
I believe reality is a marvelous joke that is staged for my edification and amusement, and everyone is working very hard to make me happy.
In the New World we're creating,
We will ridicule the cult of doom and gloom.
We will embrace the cause of zoom and boom.
We will laugh at the stupidity of evil and hate;
we'll summon the brilliance to praise and create.
No matter how upside-down it all may appear,
we will have no fear
because we know this big secret:
Pronoia is real. All of creation is conspiring to shower us with blessings. Life is crazily in love with us--brazenly and innocently in love with us. The universe always gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.
Earth is crammed with heaven.
The winds and the tides are on our side, forever and ever, amen. The fire and the rain are scheming to steal our impossible pain. The sun and the moon and the stars remember our real names, and our ancestors pray for us while we're dreaming.
We have guardian angels and thousands of teachers
provocateurs with designs to unleash us
helpers and saviors we can't even imagine
brothers and sisters who want us to blossom
Thanks to them, from whom the blissful blessings flow, we are waking up.
The roads they pave us
the places they save us
the tomatoes they grow us
the rivers they flow us
Their mysterious stories
and morning glories
Their loaves and fishes
granting our wishes
The songs they sing us
The gifts they bring us
the secrets they show us
above and below us
Thanks to them, from whom the blissful blessings flow, we are waking up.
We are free
We are free
We are free
Listen to my musical performance of "This Is a Perfect Moment".
You can buy Pronoia at:
Barnes & Noble
Or you can get the e-book as an ePub edition directly from me. Send $12 to my Paypal account and I will email you a link to download the e-book.
Go directly to my Paypal account:
Or use my Paypal address, which is email@example.com.
My book Pronoia has received more than 200 five-star reviews on Amazon.com, but it has also gotten a few negative reviews. This is my favorite:
"I bought this book based on the reviews and was 100% disappointed. It reads like the ramblings of someone who is on drugs. It's so super-creative, I can't follow it. It's full of poems and quotes and bored me to tears. After 30 minutes of trying to find something interesting to read in it, I gave up. There are no chapters, no ideas, just lots and lots of endless ramblings about how lucky we are to have a sun and working appliances. It's like someone threw up doodles, poems and hallucinogenic thoughts. This book is now sitting in my Goodwill box where it will remain until my next drop off. Save your money."
"Do you change people first or do you change society? I believe this is a false dichotomy. You have to change both simultaneously. If you're changing only yourself and have no concern for changing the society, something goes awry. If you're changing only society but not changing yourself, something goes awry.
"Now, 'simultaneously' may be an overstatement, because I think there are periods when one has to concentrate on one or the other. And there are periods in a society, in a culture, when the emphasis is appropriate only on one or the other. What I'm trying to say is, never lose sight of either the internal world or the external world, the peace within and the peace based on justice outside."
- David Dellinger
Below are more excerpts from my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia
What are mirabilia? They're phenomena that inspire wonder, winsome curiosities, small marvels, eccentric enchantments. Here are a few:
* The National Center for Atmospheric Research reports that the average cloud is the same weight as 100 elephants.
* The average river requires a million years to move a grain of sand 100 miles.
* With every dawn, when first light penetrates the sea, many seahorse colonies perform a dance to the sun.
* A seven-year-old Minnesota boy received patent number 6,368,227 for a new method of swinging on a swing.
* Clown fish can alter their gender as their social status rises.
* In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata, the hero and heroine fall in love without ever gazing upon each other, simply by hearing tales about each other's good deeds.
* Twelve percent of the population believes that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife.
* The closest modern relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex may be the chicken.
* Kind people are more likely than mean people to yawn when someone near them does.
* Singing Gregorian chants can cure dyslexia.
* All the gold ever mined could be molded into a 60-foot bust of your mom.
* The moon smells like exploded firecrackers.
* The most frequently shoplifted book in America is the Bible.
* Black sheep have a better sense of smell than white sheep.
* There are about 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body. Every square inch of your body has an average of 32 million bacteria on it.
* French author and statesman André Malraux observed that Jesus Christ was the only anarchist who ever really succeeded.
* In his book The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead, physicist Frank J. Tipler offers what he says is scientific proof that every human being who has ever lived will be resurrected from the dead at the end of time.
Acquiring problems is a fundamental human need. It's as crucial to your well-being as getting food, air, water, sleep, and love. You define yourself -- indeed, you make yourself -- through the puzzling dilemmas you attract and solve. The most creative people on the planet are those who frame the biggest, hardest questions and then gather the resources necessary to find the answers.
You're an immortal freedom fighter who longs to liberate all sentient creatures from their suffering.
You're a fun-loving messiah who wants to help your fellow messiahs claim the ecstatic awareness that is their birthright.
You're a vortex of fluidic light that has temporarily taken on the form of a human being, suffering amnesia about your true origins. And why did you do that?
Read the rest of this essay.
The alchemists said the magic formula for enlightenment was Visita Inferiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem, or "Seek out the lower reaches of the earth, perfect them, and you will find the hidden stone"—the treasured philosopher's stone.
Jungian psychologists might describe the process this way: Engage in a relationship with the blind and sickly parts of yourself, perfect them, and you will awaken your hidden divinity.
Abraham Maslow's definition of real listening: to listen "without presupposing, classifying, improving, controverting, evaluating, approving or disapproving, without dueling what is being said, without rehearsing the rebuttal in advance, without free-associating to portions of what is being said so that succeeding portions are not heard at all."
Max Dashu runs the fantastic website "Restoring Women to Cultural Memory: The Suppressed Histories Archive." Check it out here. It's a compendium of stories about powerful women whose lives and work have been expunged from patriarchal versions of history.
Now she has created a new video that explores the rich cultural record of medicine women, seers, oracles, healers, trance-dancers, shapeshifters, and dreamers, around the world. Here's the trailer
“With his book PRONOIA -- an instant pop classic -- Rob Brezsny offers a positive, participatory, proactive vision of the workings of our inner and outer universe, which will only give us as much pleasure, love, and ecstasy as we are prepared to accept.” - Daniel Pinchbeck, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl
“I dig Rob Brezsny for his powerful yet playful insights, his poetry, and his humor . . . I salute him for his dedication to inspiration.”
- Jason Mraz, singer-songwriter
"This wild, wise, and subversive book is a must read for those who want to live a more imaginative and free life . . . Rob Brezsny is a Culture Hero." - Utne Reader
"The verbally acrobatic, mystically literate Brezsny lets fly a thousand zingers, each with the feel of having been carved with a poetic effort to express a hard reality instead of a platitude." - San Francisco Chronicle
"Rob Brezsny, the renegade wizard behind the syndicated 'Free Will Astrology' column, has dedicated himself to putting the 'pro' back into 'protest.' In his new book, Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia, he presents his own irreverent manifesto, mixing activism and optimism. It reads like the I Ching on Ecstasy and is as insightful and puzzling as a Zen koan." - Body + Soul
Below are more excerpts from Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia
Would you like to make yourself smarter and more beautiful? Are you interested in increasing your capacity for ecstasy and improving your health? Consider the possibility of celebrating regular Gratitude Fests.
During these orgies of appreciation, you could confer praise and respect on the creatures, both human and otherwise, that have played seminal roles in inspiring you to become yourself. You would devote yourself to invoking and expressing thanks.
Who teaches and helps you? Who sees you for who you really are? Who nudges you in the direction of your fuller destiny and awakens you to your signature truths? Who loves you brilliantly?
EVIL IS BORING
Who are the perpetrators of the genocide of the imagination? I call them the entertainment criminals.
They're the nihilistic creators and dramatis personae who spread the propaganda that trouble and strife and disintegration are more worthy of our attention than integrity and splendor and quantum leaps.
The entertainment criminals are the decadent fools who preach the bizarre doctrine that witty gloom is the mark of a deep thinker. They are the educated idiots who try to trick us into believing that optimism is solely for naive fools with no aptitude for critical thinking.
The visionary philosopher Buckminster Fuller said, "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only of how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."
To the entertainment criminals, Fuller's perspective is heretical. With the know-it-all certainty of religious fanatics, they imply with every word and image they produce that there is rarely such a thing as a beautiful solution.
I heard an interview with the German film actor Udo Kier. He specializes in playing villains. "Evil has no limit," he sneered, blustering like a naughty genius. "Good has a limit. It is simply not as interesting."
How many times have I heard that idiotic cliché? Most everyone everywhere seems to agree with Udo Kier. And I'm in a tiny minority in my belief that evil is boring. There seem to be few thinkers, communicators, and creators who share my curiosity about exploring the frontiers of righteous pleasure and amusing truth and boisterous integrity.
Some pretenders do make counterfeit attempts: Hollywood producers who produce sentimental fantasies with artificially happy endings, advertising executives who sell the pseudo-positivity of narcissistic comfort, and New Age gurus who ignore the darkness with their one-dimensional appeals to sweetness and light.
The word "imagination" gets little respect. For many people, it connotes "make-believe" and is primarily the domain of children and artists. But the truth is that your imagination is the engine of your destiny. It's the single most important tool you have in your daily campaign to be free. It's the source of every act of liberation you will ever need to pull off.
That's why it's so disturbing to know that all over the planet, the imagination is deeply wounded—paralyzed by the media's nonstop onslaught of toxic psychic waste. How can you generate images that energize you to create your highest good if your mind's eye is swarming with dazzling yet vacuous and fear-inducing stories crafted by the most monumental brainwashing juggernaut in the history of the world?
To get a sense of the growing devastation, I suggest you wander around a grade school playground at recess. You'll hear kids' conversations overflowing with the degrading narratives they've absorbed from their favorite sources of information and stimulation.
I call this ongoing tragedy the genocide of the imagination. Because of it, many people cannot access their greatest magical power. They have forsaken the sanctity of their sacred temples, allowing them to be defiled with soulless images and stories that are at odds with their deepest desires. As a result they live incoherent lives corroded by chronic anxiety.
If we hope to prevent the genocide of the imagination, we've got to perpetrate massive, mirthful attacks of pronoia. But we have to do it without acting like True Believers, because fanaticism is anathema to our cause. Our strategy is to be blithe and flexible as we learn not just to believe, but actually perceive the truth that life is a benevolent conspiracy designed to keep mutating our immortal souls until they're so far beyond perfection that perfection is irrelevant.
We will succeed. We will overthrow the doom and gloom fixation and make the cause of zoom and boom irresistible. Our parties will be better than theirs. Our jokes will be funnier, our jobs more enjoyable, our lovemaking more revelatory. We'll dream up tricks to create an environment in which it's more fun and interesting to talk about wise bliss than clever cynicism.
We will build shrines devoted to righteous pleasure and amusing truth and boisterous integrity in the ugliest places we know. We will unleash praise and gratitude without regard for the taboos we shatter thereby. And we will perform senseless acts of altruistic chutzpah everywhere we go.
Are you in quest of an Intimate Ally? A Soul Friend? A Wild Confidante?
Check out Matchmaker.com via Free Will Astrology's link.
Look for a Co-Pilot, Co-Conspirator, or Collaborator . . . an Agent to represent you or a Disciple to worship you . . . a Secret Sharer who'll listen better than anyone or an Amazing Accomplice with whom you can practice the Art of Liberation.
I invite you to meditate on the relentlessness of your yearning for love. Recognize the fact that your eternal longing will never leave you in peace. Accept that it will forever delight you, torment you, inspire you, and bewilder you -- whether you are alone or in the throes of a complicated relationship.
Understand that your desire for love will just keep coming and coming and coming, keeping you slightly off-balance and pushing you to constantly revise your ideas about who you are.
Now read this declaration from the poet Rilke and claim it as your own: "My blood is alive with many voices that tell me I am made of longing."
There are thousand of things in the world that provide you with only mediocre nourishment; the influences that deeply enrich you with their blessings are much smaller in number.
To say it another way: You derive a bare amount of inspiration and teaching from the great majority of people, songs, images, words, stories, environments, and sights; whereas you draw life-sustaining illumination and spirit-ennobling motivation from just a precious few.
I invite you to identify that special minority, and take aggressive steps to be in ongoing communion with it.
Feel free to steal all or parts of this personal ad for your own purposes:
SACRED AGENT SEEKS FREAKY CONSORT
Tired of both boringly nice goodie-goodies and menacing lunatics trying to pass off their pathologies as "sexy"? I'm the happy medium: a straddler of the mysterious edge where bliss and struggle overlap, where the difference between light and dark just ain't that simple. I feel too deeply to pretend that every question has a correct answer. I cry too easily and love too much.
And you? Are you smart enough to be guided by your sacred dreams of transgression? Are you free enough to surrender over and over again to the waters of life? If you've got the courage, I've got the secrets. I'll be your wild-eyed, smart-mouthed, spread-eagled muse if you'll be mine.
Here's another personal ad for you:
MY EYES REMIND YOU WHERE YOU CAME FROM.
Uncork me, angel. Unfurl me. Release me and restore me and unleash me. Not because I can't do it myself. Not because I'm just another narcissism-addict jonesing for a quick fix.
On the contrary. I'm the most self-sufficient self-starter I've ever met. It's from my position of strength that I aspire to whip up spectacular synergies in tandem with your holy rolling reverberations.
So keep in mind that I'm here to uncork you and unfurl you and release you and restore you and unleash you, too. That's the art of the game that stretches out before us in all directions. That's the beauty of the gritty reality that's disguised as a glittery fantasy. As you bless my risks and massage my unconsciousness and save my soul, I'll always vice your versa.
P.S. My last fortune cookie said, "You need nothing and want everything."
Visionary Activist Principles, by Caroline Casey:
0. Believe nothing, entertain possibilities. Therefore everything hereafter is offered playfully.
1. Imagination lays the tracks for reality to follow.
2. Better to create prophecy than live prediction. What makes us passive is toxic. Predictions make us passive, but prophecy is active co-creation with the Divine.
3. The invisible world would like to help, but spiritual etiquette requires that we ask. Help is always available; operators (and cooperators) are standing by.
4. The only way that the gods know we're asking for help is through ritual.
5. If something is a problem, make it bigger. If you cook rage into outrage, it takes it from personal tantrum yoga into the realm of useful action.
6. We only possess the power of an insight when we give it expression.
7. Creativity comes from paradox. We aspire to be disciplined wild people who are radical traditionalists.
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Traditionally, the Seven Deadly Sins—actions most likely to wound the soul—are pride, lust, gluttony, anger, envy, sloth, and covetousness. We have formulated a fresh set of soul-harmers, the Four Foolish Virtues. They are as follows:
1. being analytical to such extremes that you repress your intuition;
2. sacrificing your pleasure through a compulsive attachment to duty;
3. tolerating excessive stress because you assume it helps you accomplish more;
4. being so knowledgeable and opinionated that you neglect to be curious.
Any others you'd like to add?
Every act of genius, Carl Jung said, is an act "contra naturam": against nature. Indeed, every effort to achieve psychological integration requires a knack for breaking out of the trance of normal daily life -- to do what doesn't come natural.
The eighteenth-century mystic Jacob Boehme had a similar perspective. The great secret to becoming enlightened, he said, is "to walk in all things contrary to the world."
Qabalist teacher Paul Foster Case agreed. He said that living an ethical and spiritually intelligent life demands that we reverse the usual ways of thinking, speaking, and doing.
The way I see it, tending to my sanity and being in service to the world require me to be in a chronic state of rebellion.
But here's an important caveat: While the rebellion can and should be partially fueled by anger at the consensual mass hallucination that's mistakenly referred to as "reality," it must be primarily motivated by love and joy and the desire to bestow blessings. A healthy proportion, at least for me, seems to be 15% rage, indignation, and complaint, and 85% compassion, celebration, and lust for life.
Brainwash yourself before someone nasty beats you to it. Study the difference between wise suffering and dumb suffering until you get it right. Commit crimes that don't break any laws. Visualize Buddha at the moment of orgasm. Build illusions that make people feel so beautiful they can't stand to be near you.
Pretend to be crazy so you can get away with doing what's right. Sing anarchist lullabies to homosexual trees. Love your enemies in case your friends turn out to be jerks. Review in detail the history of your life, honoring every moment as if you were conducting a benevolent Judgment Day. Eat money. Drink the sun. Dream like a stone. Sing in the acid rain.
"Everyone carries with them at least one piece to someone else's puzzle." So wrote Lawrence Kushner in his book, Honey from the Rock.
In other words, you have in your possession certain clues to your loved ones' destinies -- secrets they haven't discovered themselves.
Wouldn't you love to hand over those clues -- to make a gift of the puzzle pieces that are most needed by the people you care about?
Search your depths for insights you've never communicated. Tell truths you haven't found a way to express before now. More than you know, you have the power to mobilize your companions' dreams.
Have you ever been loved? I bet you have been loved so much and so deeply that you have become blasé about the enormity of the grace it confers. So let me remind you: To be loved is a privilege and prize equivalent to being born. If you're smart, you pause regularly to bask in the astonishing knowledge that there are many people out there who care for you and want you to thrive and hold you in their thoughts with fondness.
Animals, too: You have been the recipient of their boundless affection. The spirits of allies who've left this world continue to send their tender regards, as well. Do you "believe" in angels and other divine beings? Whether or not you do, I can assure you that there are hordes of them beaming their uncanny consecrations your way. You are awash in torrents of love.
As tremendous a gift it is to get love, giving love is an equal boon. Many scientific studies demonstrate that whenever you bestow blessings on other people, you bless yourself. Expressing practical compassion not only strengthens your immune system and bolsters your health, but also promotes self-esteem, enhances longevity, and stimulates tranquility and even euphoria. As the scientists say, we humans are hardwired to benefit from altruism. (To read more about the subject, go here: tinyurl.com/lyyd46.)
What's your position on making love? Do you regard it as one of the nicer fringe benefits of being alive? Or are you more inclined to see it as a central proof of the primal magnanimity of the universe? I'm more aligned with the latter view.
Imagine yourself in the fluidic blaze of that intimate spectacle right now. Savor the fantasy of entwining bodies and hearts and minds with an appealing partner who has the power to enchant you. What better way do you know of to dwell in sacred space while immersed in your body's delight? To commune with the Divine Wow while having fun? To tap into your own deeper knowing while at the same time gazing into the mysterious light of a fellow creature?
The wildly disciplined, aggressively sensitive, ironically sincere, blasphemously reverent unbelievers shall inherit the earth by making sacred jokes through revolution.
The Beauty and Truth Lab's rapturists have formulated a batch of personal ads for you to borrow.
I invite you to act like a person who's in love. Even if you're not currently in the throes of passion for a special someone, pretend you are. Everywhere you go, exude that charismatic blend of shell-shocked contentment and blissful turmoil that comes over you when you're infatuated. Let everyone you meet soak up the delicious wisdom you exude. Dispense free blessings and extra slack like a rich saint high on natural endorphins.
Imagine that the merger of you and your best ally has created a third thing that hovers near you, protecting and guiding the two of you. Call this third thing an angel. Or call it the soul of your connection or the inspirational force of your relationship. Or call it the special work the two of you can accomplish together. And let this magical presence be the third point of your love triangle.
You understand that you can never own love, right? No matter how much someone adores you today, no matter how much you adore someone, you can't force that unique state of grace to keep its shape forever. It will inevitably evolve or mutate, perhaps into a different version of tender caring, but maybe not.
From there it will continue to change, into either yet another version of interesting affection, or who knows what else?
Are you making any progress in getting the hang of this tricky wisdom?
"For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining."
- James Hillman
Gertrude Stein defined love as "the skillful audacity required to share an inner life." It suggests that expressing the truth about who you are is not something that amateurs do very well. Practice and ingenuity are required.
It also implies that courage is an essential element of successful intimacy. You've got to be adventurous if you want to weave your life together with another's.
"You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day's wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallionly fellow vagabond, my tempter and star. I want you."
- George Bernard Shaw
Whenever I write about romance and togetherness, I attract a storm of complaints from readers who are solitary. "How dare you imply that everyone has or should have a partner!?" is a typical protest. "I'm quite content being alone!" is another.
Let it be known that I do not believe your happiness depends on having a spouse or lover. What I do suspect, though, is that your soul needs some sacred relationship in order to thrive, whether it's with a good friend, a beloved animal, a beautiful patch of earth, the Divine Wow, or anything that's not you.
Whenever I invite you to seek deeper, wilder communion, feel free to interpret it as a call to explore any kind of intimacy that draws you closer to the secret heart of the world.
I want to call your attention to one of the few NC-17-rated pieces in the book. It's called THE ORGASMIC ROOTS OF PRONOIA
NSFW! PROCEED WITH CAUTION! This material has graphic references to love, lust, tenderness, bliss, and rapture.
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