Week of December 1st, 2022

Let's Count Your Numerous Blessings

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

Below is an excerpt.

The concept of pronoia proposes the hypothesis that life is a vast and intricate conspiracy designed to keep us well supplied with blessings. What kind of blessings?

Ten million dollars, a gorgeous physique, a perfect marriage, a luxurious home, and high status? Maybe.

But just as likely:
interesting surprises,
dizzying adventures,
gifts you hardly know what to do with,
challenges that dare you to free yourself from the debilitating aspects of your suffering,
and conundrums that dare you to get smarter.

Novelist William Vollman referred to the latter types of blessings when he said that "the most important and enjoyable thing in life is doing something that's a complicated, tricky problem for you that you don't know how to solve."

The Christian writer C. S. Lewis once said: "I thank God that He hasn't given me all the things I've prayed for, because as I look back now I realize it would have been disastrous to have received some of them."

Pronoia provides the boons and prods your soul needs, not necessarily those your ego craves.

Pronoia doesn't promise uninterrupted progress forever. It's not a slick commercial for a perfect summer daythat never ends.

Grace emerges in the ebb and flow, not just the flow. The waning reveals a different kind of blessing than the waxing.

But whether it's our time to ferment in the valley of shadows or rise up singing in the sun-splashed meadow, fresh power to transform ourselves is always on the way.

Our suffering won't last, nor will our triumph.

Without fail, life will deliver the creative energy we need to change into the new thing we must become.

Pronoia works because there is a Divine Being who comprises the entire universe.

When I say, "Life is a conspiracy to shower us with blessings," I understand that this Divine Being is the Chief Architect, Builder, and Manager of the conspiracy.

She oversees the evolution of 500 billion galaxies and every single thing in them, yet is also available as an intimate companion and daily advisor to each one of us humans.

Some lovers of pronoia don't like this part of my rap. They want pronoia to be free of anything that smacks of God. Atheism works better for them. That's OK with me. No hard feelings.

Other lovers of pronoia don't appreciate me referring to the Creator as "She." They either want to stick with the pronoun that has been used for hundreds of years, or else don't want any gender associations whatsoever. That's OK with me. No hard feelings.

The Maker of the conspiracy constantly tinkers, always keeping the big, 14-billion-year-long picture in mind and moving in the direction of ultimate blessings for all concerned.

But the Maker also loves getting help from us. To the degree that we co-conspire, the inevitable blessings ripen more lyrically and in greater fullness.

Pronoia asks us to be awake to the shifting conditions of the Wild Divine's ever-fresh creation. It encourages us to be quite happy about regularly divesting ourselves of the beliefs and theories that guided us yesterday so that we can see clearly what's right in front of us today.

As much as we might be dismayed by the actions of our political leaders pronoia says that toppling any particular junta, clique, or elite is irrelevant unless we overthrow the sour, puckered mass hallucinationthat is mistakenly called "reality" including the part of that hallucination we foster in ourselves.

The revolution begins at home. If you overthrow yourself again and again, you might earn the right to help overthrow the rest of us.

Pronoia will change your past if you let it. It's the language you study at night in your dreams, the open secret of how to live forever, the Last Judgment transformed into a daily gift.

Pronoia is a gnostic art: Everyone is potentially a visionary capable of revealing more of its mysteries.


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