Week of October 6th, 2022

Always Beginning

Forever ready and eager to be surprised


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Listen to a spoken-word piece from the soundtrack for my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: "What If Your Desires Are Holy?"


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NEWS OF THE BEAUTIFUL TRUTHS

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My most recent book is Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia.

Below is an excerpt.

LET'S MAKE MORALITY FUN

Are you turned off by the authoritarian, libido-mistrusting perversity of the right-wing moral code, but equally reluctant to embrace the atheism embedded in the left wing's code of goodness?

Are you hungry for a value system rooted in beauty, love, pleasure, and liberation instead of order, control, politeness, and fear, but allergic to the sophistry of the New Age?

Are you apathetic toward the saccharine goodness evangelized by sentimental, superstitious fanatics, but equally bored by the intellectuals who worship at the empty-hearted shrine of scientific materialism?

It may be time for you to whip up your very own moral code. If you do, you might want to keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. A moral code becomes immoral unless it can thrive without a devil and enemy.

2. A moral code grows ugly unless it prescribes good-natured rebellion against automaton-like behavior offered in its support.

3. A moral code becomes murderous unless it's built on a love for the fact that EVERYTHING CHANGES ALL THE TIME, and unless it perpetually adjusts its reasons for being true.

4. A moral code will corrupt its users unless it ensures that their primary motivation for being good is because it's fun.

5. A moral code deadens the soul of everyone it touches unless it has a built-in sense of humor.


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Did you read my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia when it first came out?

Maybe you don't know that the revised and expanded version of Pronoia is quite different.

The revised and expanded version has over 63,500 new words and 73 new illustrations. That's 55% additional material beyond what the first edition had.

There are 2 extra chapters, 18 completely new pieces, plus 14 new Sacred Advertisements. Many of the original pieces of the book have been revised and expanded, as well. A central piece in the book, "Glory in the Highest," is 9 times longer than it was in the original.

It’s available here:

Amazon
or
Powells
or
Bookshop


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Here’s another excerpt from Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia.

CRIMES THAT DON'T BREAK ANY LAWS
(To read the entirety of this feature, go here)

We're psychically assaulted by dangerous images and sickening words every day. The media relentlessly blast us with their trendy doom and gloom fixation, generating an endless onslaught of messages about how bad life is and what a mess the future will bring. The entertainment industry force-feeds us insipidly paranoid scenarios that keep our fear reflexes chronically throbbing.

Is this acceptable to you? It's not to me.

Our eyes and ears are constantly scalded by blistering harangues to buy stuff we don't really need. The sacred temples of our imaginations are pounded ruthlessly by smart bombs whipped up by evil advertising geniuses in their Madison Avenue laboratories. Our ability to envision the astounding intricacy and richness of the web of life has gotten hijacked and hooked on decadent fantasies about new possessions that would allegedly make us happier.

I for one am no longer willing to absorb the dazzling psychic toxins that sting and sap and wound our lust for life. I reject the epidemic obsession with big bad nasty things and flashy trite empty-hearted things. I say it's time for us to rise up and fight back -- to reconsecrate and regenerate our imaginations. Here are my demands.

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DEMAND #1: I demand that Amnesty International launch a crusade against a grievously unacknowledged form of terrorism. I call this crime against humanity the genocide of the imagination.

DEMAND #2: I demand that you refuse to be entertained by bad news. I demand that you seek out and create stories that make you feel strong and joyous and enigmatic.

DEMAND #3: I demand that People magazine do a cover story on "The World's 50 Sexiest Perpetrators of Beauty, Truth, and Love."

DEMAND #4: I demand that you learn the difference between your own thoughts and those of the celebrities who have demonically possessed you.

DEMAND #5: I demand that you wear underpants on your head and dance naked in slow motion whenever you watch TV movies about tormented geniuses who supposedly create great art but treat everyone in their lives like crap.

DEMAND #6: I demand that the worshipers of cynicism who pretend to be clear-seeing news writers acknowledge that death rates from cancer are declining; that rising rates of intermarriage are helping to dissipate ethnic and religious strife worldwide; that Americans' IQ scores have been steadily rising for a long time; that the number of people living in poverty in the developing nations is declining dramatically; and that the miracle of your breathing transpires about 10 million times a year, even though you never have to will it to continue.

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I have more demands, but I want to make sure you know that your imagination and the imaginations of everyone you know are at risk. And who's responsible? Who are the perpetrators of the genocide of the imagination?


To read the rest of this piece,"CRIMES THAT DON'T BREAK ANY LAWS,"
go here


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PRONOIA'S VILLAINS

According to Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, Judas was actually a more exalted hero than Jesus. He unselfishly volunteered to perform the all­ important villain's role in the resurrection saga, knowing he'd be reviled forever. It was a dirty job that only a supremely egoless saint could have done. Jesus suffered, true, but enjoyed glory and adoration as a result.

Let's apply this way of thinking to the task of understanding the role that seemingly bad people play in pronoia.

Interesting narratives play an essential role in the universal conspiracy to give us exactly what we need. All of us crave drama. We love to be beguiled by twists of fate that unfold the stories of our lives in unpredictable ways. Just as Judas played a key role in advancing the tale of Christ's quest, villains and con men and clowns may be crucial to the entertainment value of our personal journeys.

Try this: Imagine the people you fear and dislike as pivotal characters in a fascinating and ultimately redemptive plot that will take years or even lifetimes for the Divine Wow to elaborate.

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There is another reason to love our enemies: They force us to become smarter. The riddles they thrust in front of us sharpen our wits and sculpt our souls.

Try this: Act as if your adversaries are great teachers. Thank them for how crucial they've been in your education.


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