Week of August 18th, 2022

Shadow Blessings

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Listen to a song from the soundtrack for the book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: "Shadow Blessings"


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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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Here's another excerpt from Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia:

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 all­important 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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Consider one more possibility: that the people who seem to slow us down and hold us back are actually preventing things from happening too fast.

Imagine that the evolution of your life or our culture is like a pregnancy: It needs to reach its full term. Just as a child isn't ready to be born after five months of gestation, the New Earth we're creating has to ripen in its own time.

The recalcitrant reactionaries who resist the inevitable birth are simply making sure that the far-seeing revolutionaries don't conjure the future too suddenly. They serve the greater good.


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