Week of September 30th, 2021

Stay Alert for the Subtle Miracles

How can we outwit and escape the numbing trance that everyday routine seems to foster? What can we do to stay alert to the subtle miracles and intriguing mysteries and numinous beauty that surround us on all sides?

Some possibilities:

1. Make it a daily practice to refresh the ways we perceive the world. Can you imagine what it would be like to change how you use your eyes?

2. Scan for opportunities to play and for creatures that like to play. Test the hypothesis that playing is a prime strategy for liberation.

3. Assume that the entire world is a constantly changing source of oracular revelation that has meaning for us—perhaps a meaning we have never before realized or understood.

4. Experiment with what happens when we use empathy and intuition to imagine how animals and other people experience life.

5. Don't take things too seriously or too personally or too literally.

6. Expose ourselves to provocative myths and intriguing symbols. Seek out stories that bend and twist our beliefs. Be open to exploring events and phenomena that elude rational explanation.

7. Give our unconscious minds the message that we want to feel deeply.

8. Cultivate a willingness, eagerness, and receptivity to being surprised.

9. Others?


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THE MORE SPECIFIC YOUR GOALS, THE BETTER

"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

MORE.


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HEALTHY OBSESSIONS

I invite you to experiment with the theme "Healthy Obsessions." Not "Melodramatic Compulsions" or "Exhausting Crazes" or "Manias That Make You Seem Interesting to Casual Bystanders," but "Healthy Obsessions."

To do it well, you will have to take really good care of yourself as you concentrate extravagantly on tasks that fill you with zest and zeal. This may require you to rebel against the influences of role models, both in your actual life and in the movies you've seen, who act as if getting sick and imbalanced is an integral part of being true to one's genius.


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BLISSIPLINE

"Blissipline is the commitment to experiencing a little or a lot of bliss every day; the practice of expanding one's capacity for bliss and being open to receive it in any moment." A "blissiplinarian" is "someone who enforces pleasure and invites opportunities for more pleasure," while a "blissciple" is a person who aspires to master the art of blissipline."

—Rana Satori Stewart


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THE OXYMORONIC TAO

Both are true: Life is a bitch and then you die AND life is a conspiracy to shower you with blessings. Everything is totally fucked up AND everything is perfect just the way it is.

This anti-belief belief system could be considered Taoism 2.0. It's a fresh spiritual tradition that doesn't know it exists yet. It's not just the old Chinese-style Tao, but rather the Oxymoronic Tao -- a mutated, updated, Californicated version of the Tao: Tao with an attitude.

Not the calm, abstract, passive, world-weary, everything-is-everything Tao of the ancient sage Lao-Tse, but the fragrant, shimmering, electrifying Tao of the outrageous now, where each discrete glint of individuated beauty is discernible amidst the mass of confusion, rousing us to revelry and activism.

Not a Tao sitting in cool unflappable contemplation of the ultimate unity of the wound and the cure, but rather a Tao that foments an aggressive affirmative action program for artfully highlighting and rejoicing in the incongruous juxtapositions; a Tao that romances the contradictions with an exuberant experimentalism and whips up slathering throbs of ripe mojo.

The Oxymoronic Tao is a Tao that doesn't pacify and dial down our martial force. Rather, it supercharges us, hooking us up to the elemental power that flows wherever opposites unite.

Here's the bonus. With the Tao as our fuel, our vision opens to the reality that opposites are always uniting everywhere. It makes anything and everything we gaze upon turn into the philosopher's stone, the REAL grail, the pearl of great price, the treasure beyond measure.

The Oxymoronic Tao ushers us into a blissful abyss where we are pummeled and caressed by an erotic crush of screamingly tender contradictions.

Our fixations crack apart. Our egos ache. We swoon with the stark elation that comes from knowing how freaking interesting everything is.

We're shocked and healed, healed and shocked. Every terror is a source of wonder that rips us out of our ignorance. Every miracle blows our minds so mercilessly we can't help but cry out with a bewildered, primordial longing for more.

Here's what I will have to do to live full time in the Oxymoronic Tao: I will master the art of living in The Overt Real World and The Other Real World at the same time. I will love them both.

My state of awareness will be a synergetic blend of dreaming while awake and being awake in my dreams. I will be at home in a ceaseless lucid dream with my eyes wide open, the sun at midnight filling up half the sky and the full moon at noon in the other half.

When I fully inhabit the Oxymoronic Tao it will be because I've become adept at living outside of time, peering down lovingly at our special snatch of history with the liberated compassion that comes from being blended with the eleven-dimensional consciousness of the Gender-Fluid Logos—

even as I exult in the curious sensation of being ground up by the wheels of linear time . . . even as I exercise my skill for joyfully plucking the essential teaching from each perplexing, glorious, shattering, victorious moment . . . even as I thrill to the majestic spectacle of my body constantly transforming into a different version of itself, its atoms regularly exchanged for new ones in the cyclical interplay of apocalypse and rebirth.

That's not happening yet. My wild heart isn't quite mature enough. I have not achieved the knack of being torn apart and woven back together a hundred times a day, every day, by life's wrenching insistence on cramming delight and loss into every single perception. Three times a day, yes, and ten on good days, but not yet a hundred.

I do have an ever-growing tolerance for, even a budding attraction to, being seared by the way extravagant beauty and desolate longing are always arriving entwined.

But I'm not yet strong enough to surrender to being seared and pleasured ceaselessly. And I will need to be able to do that in order to come live and feel at home full time in the Oxymoronic Tao.

I'm more than halfway there, though. I know what it's like to be annihilated by the pouring-out-of-my-skin empathy I feel for you and all the other creatures I live among.

And I know what it's like to reel with rapture as I am rocked by the yelping, visceral thrill of my blood resonating with your blood, of my nerves reliving the memory that they are made of the same star dust yours is.

Someday I will be able to hum, ever-changing and ever-constant, in the grip of both those states simultaneously. Not just in rare fits of agonizing joy, but on an ongoing basis. As a constant meditation. As a daily spiritual practice.

In my lucid dreams, I am already there. I have achieved the triumphant crucifixion. I have procured the gift from the future. I have begun to incarnate the mutant archetype into my flesh and blood.

For now, I'll call the archetype the Oxymoronic Tao, although if I am true to its serpentine laws, I will no doubt have to change its name frequently in the coming years.

That's one of the secrets, I suspect, to making sure it will keep working for me, turning everything and everyone into the philosopher's stone, the grail, the pearl of great price, the treasure beyond measure.


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GAMES WORTH PLAYING

"What people really need and demand from life is not wealth, comfort or esteem but games worth playing."

—Robert de Ropp, The Master Game


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MANY TYPES OF CREATIVITY

"Creativity is conceived as a reproductive act with a tangible result -- a child, a book, a monument -- that has a physical life going beyond the life of its producer. Creativity, however, can be intangible in the form of a good life, or a beautiful act, or in other virtues of the soul such as freedom and openness, style and tact, humor, kindness."

—James Hillman


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DISABILITY LANGUAGE GUIDE

Labib Rahman writes: The words we use to describe individuals with disabilities matters.

According to the World Health Organization, the disability community is the largest minority group in the world: around 10% of the world's population, or 650 million people, live with a disability, making the disability community the largest minority group in the world.

Although there is not a monolithic language style preference shared across all the people who have a disability, it remains important to use respectful and inclusive language when communicating with or talking about people with disabilities.

MORE.


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YOUR MIND IS ALWAYS FREE

At every moment, your mind is free—free to reject any thoughts, impulses, and feelings that are barreling into it from who-knows-where. Free to leap to some fresh perspective, inspiring thought, or deep feeling.

It’s true! You can have deep feeling ten seconds from now if you want. All you have to do is turn your mind to a memory that stimulates deep feeling or to a future fantasy that stimulates deep feeling.


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GLIDING, FLOWING, SKIPPING, AND TWIRLING

Maybe you're better than you think you are at gliding, flowing, leaping, skipping, twirling, undulating, reverberating, galloping, and rub-a-dub-dubbing.

It's possible that with just a small attitude adjustment you could be an expert at rumbling, romping, rollicking, cavorting, and zip-a-dap-doodling.

If you really love your body and throw off some of the inhibitions you might have about celebrating your instinctual nature, you may drop to the low end of the scale in performing these activities: shuffling, drooping, mumbling, wallowing, pigeonholing, and pussyfooting.

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PLEASURE ACTIVISM: THE POLITICS OF FEELING GOOD

adrienne maree brown wrote the book Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good

Here's a review (which I didn't write, but I'm not sure who did):

How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience?

How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life?

Author and editor adrienne maree brown finds the answer in something she calls “pleasure activism,” a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work.

Drawing on the Black feminist tradition, she challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism.

More info.


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HOW CAN WE CONTRIBUTE TO STOPPING ECOCIDE?

M. H. Abrams writes: “Scientists have taken the lead to persuade us, by an appeal to facts, of the threat to the natural world. Is it enough to know the facts? Or will it take a revival and dissemination of the Romantic vision of nature to enable us, in Shelley’s phrase, ‘to imagine that which we know.’

"It's likely that only such a motive power—such an emotive power—will release the energies, the invention, and the will to make the sacrifices needed if we are to salvage this no-longer-quite-so-green earth while it is still fit to live on.”

—M. H. Abrams, from the essay “This Green Earth: The Vision of Nature in the Romantic Poets”

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How can we influence people to stop their desecration and extermination of nature? How can we motivate people to stop committing genocide against animal species? My suggestions:

1. Show people scientific data that shocks them into acknowledging how much harm human activity is inflicting.

2. Speak to people about the sin of bequeathing their descendants a damaged, impoverished planet.

3. Ask people to dissolve the unethical greed that leads them to consume so many of the earth's resources and produce too much waste.

4. Cultivate and express smart love for the interconnected web of life. Feel it deeply.

5. Celebrate the fact that there are other forms of consciousness and intelligence besides just the human kind. Cultivate loving relationships with them.

6. Embody the hypothesis that spending time in wild places enhances one's mental hygiene and physical health.

7. Value the feminine as much as the masculine.

8. Cultivate the art of empathy, and demonstrate how to make it flourish in everything you do.

9. Show what it means to think with your heart and feel with your head.

10. Stay in close touch with the Mysterium, the other real world that is the root of the material world.

11. Vow to bring the I-Thou dynamic to bear on all your relationships.

12. Be as curious about intimacy as you are about power.


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CONSPIRACY THEORIES

From the perspective of most modern conspiracy theorists, the conspiracies they imagine to be loose in the world have been dreamed up and are perpetrated by coordinated groups of evil people.

The pronoia conspiracy theory, on the other hand, is rooted in a hypothesis at the core of Western Hermetic Magick, which is what I have studied with love for years:

Here's the hypothesis: that life is divine play—an art project/game/ceremony designed by a loving Creator. This Creator, whose consciousness pervades every cubic centimeter of the universe, provides all necessary help and tools for us to be liberated from our suffering and realize our essential oneness with all beings in the process of developing, over millennia of incarnations, a unique and beautiful personal identity.


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WISH LIST

Overturn Citizen's United

You get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible.

Make large cuts in U.S. defense spending

Fight to attain freedom from our own unconscious obsessions and conditioned responses.

Work to substitute renewable energy sources for fossil fuels.

Meditate on the hypothesis that if there is any such thing as enlightenment, it arises from empathy, sympathy, compassion, tenderness, and a quest to be in intimate connection with and in service to other beings.

End filibuster abuse

Wrestle and negotiate with our own shadows, making preemptive strikes on our personal share of the world's evil, fighting the good fight to keep from spewing our darkness on those around us.

Universal single-payer health care and health insurance

Develop a strategy to avoid being enthralled with the hypnotic lure of painful emotions, past events, and worries about the future

Restore Glass–Steagal

Kill off the reflexes within us that resonate in harmony with consumerism, militarism, misogyny, authoritarianism, and superstition.

Keep abortion, safe, legal, and well-funded

realize that you carry with you at least one piece to someone else's puzzle.

Ensure equal opportunity for all genders and people of all sexual preference.

Put a premium on developing our emotional intelligence and empathy

End gerrymandering

Your wise and affectionate attention is your gift to other people and to animals

Expand the Supreme Court

Decrease your connection with anything that demeans your spirit, shrinks your lust for life, limits your freedom, neglects your soul, compromises your integrity, dishonors your reverence, inhibits your self-expressiveness, or alienates you from what you love.

Institute a wealth tax on the richest 1%

You break all trances that keep you ignorant of your own magic

Campaign finance reform, specifically stopping the "legalized" bribery known as lobbying and stopping the use of "matching funds" from US taxpayer money dollar for dollar for all monies contributed to the two major parties.

You cultivate your profound receptivity to subtle miracles, beguiling ephemera, marvelous breakthroughs

Ensure that all US citizens have automatic access to voting registration and the ability to vote in the manner of their choosing


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FUNDAMENTALIST MATERIALISM

Graham Hancock says: What if consciousness is fundamental? Too much of modern science is based on the philosophical position that matter is the fundamental basis of "reality" and consciousness is secondary.

Later this month a group of brilliant speakers will challenge the unproven assumptions underlying scientific materialism in an online summit. Link in comments below.

More about the Consciousness Unbound online summit.

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The superstition of materialism is the dominant ideology of a majority of people in the world. It's the specious doctrine that physical matter is the only reality and that nothing can be said to exist unless it's perceivable by a human being's five senses or detected by technologies that humans have created.

Materialism paradoxically preaches the value of being agnostic about all phenomena it does not recognize as real, even as it obsessively evades questions about its own fundamentalist assumptions.

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Militant atheists make the claim that religion has always been a primary cause of war. If humans weren't under the sway of "the God delusion," they fume, armed conflicts would be infrequent.

But military historian Eric Bergerud, author of four books about various wars, says that's absurd. He notes that while there have been a few religious wars, "most wars in history have been driven by the lust for power and loot."

In other words, the materialist delusion is far more lethal than the God delusion. People who believe there's nothing of value beyond what the five senses can perceive are often the most dangerous of all.


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