Week of August 11th, 2022

Would you like to make yourself even smarter and more beautiful?

GRATITUDE FEST

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?


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My book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiing to Shower You with Blessings has received more than 300 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."

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Other reviews:

“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

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“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

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"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

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"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

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"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


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EMPATHY EXAMS

"Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us -- a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain -- it's also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It's made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse.

"Sometimes we care for another because we know we should, or because it's asked for, but this doesn’t make our caring hollow. The act of choosing simply means we've committed ourselves to a set of behaviors greater than the sum of our individual inclinations: I will listen to his sadness, even when I'm deep in my own."

—Leslie Jamison

The Empathy Exams


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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.


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