week of February 26, 2015
The PRONOIA E-BookMy book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia is a big, heavy physical object. It's 400 pages long. It's eight-and-a-half inches wide and eleven inches tall, and weighs almost three pounds.
Naturally, people have been bugging me to create an e-book version so they could take it with them as they travel. That's finally happening. It will soon be on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks. In the meantime, you can buy an ePub version 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I have seen the future of American literature and its name is Rob Brezsny." - Tom Robbins, author of Still Life with Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and many more
You can also, of course, buy a hard copy edition of the book. Here are three places to do that:
Barnes & Noble
“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 excerpts from Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia
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."
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.
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.
Once more, with feeling: I've gathered all of the Big-Picture Horoscopes I wrote for you, and bundled them in one place. Go here to read a compendium of your Long-Range Forecasts for 2015
If you like, you can also review the long-range, big-picture horoscopes I wrote for you back in January 2014. You can see whether my forecasts back then turned out to be accurate and helpful during the course of 2014. They're here.
More? If you'd like to go even further back to see how my oracles jibed with your actual destiny, here's a compendium of your Long-Range Forecasts for 2013.
One more blast from the past: the long-range horoscopes I offered at the beginning of 2012. They're here.
"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.
EXPLORE THE BIG PICTURE OF YOUR LIFE
I've gathered together all of the Big-Picture Horoscopes I wrote for you in the past few weeks, and bundled them in one place. Read
a compendium of your written long-range forecasts for 2015.
In addition to these, I've created EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPES that go even further in Exploring Your Long-Term Destiny in 2015.
What will be the story of your life in the coming months? What new influences will be headed your way? What fresh resources will you be able to draw on? How can you conspire with life to create the best possible future for yourself?
To listen to these three-part, in-depth reports, go here.
Register and/or log in through the main page, and then access the horoscopes by clicking on "Long Range Prediction." (Choose from Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)
If you'd like a boost of inspiration to fuel you in your quest for beauty and truth and love and meaning, tune in to my meditations on your Big-Picture outlook.
Each of the three-part reports is seven to nine minutes long. The cost is $6 per report. There are discounts for the purchase of multiple reports.
"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.
© 1995-2013 -- Rob Brezsny. All rights reserved