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Week of April 29th, 2021

Your Beautiful Life

"The important thing," said author Charles Du Bos, "is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become."

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Here's a link to my free weekly email newsletter, featuring the Free Will Astrology horoscopes, plus a bunch of other stuff. It arrives every Tuesday morning.

Read past issues of the newsletter.

Sign up here for your free subscription.

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Last week's newsletter got massively expunged by the Outlook mail program. I can't fathom what the apparently offensive reference was.

If you were one of the thousands of subscribers who had a giant company decide what you shouldn't see, you can find last week's newsletter, dated April 21, at my archives.


Unfortunately, this punishment has made me wary about publishing certain ideas and information in my newsletter. I haven't decided what to do about it.

But this week, for example, I withheld my thoughts about America's police problem—and even refrained from posting links to my writing about the subject, since last week it was a mere link that caused the expurgation. I will keep you posted.


If you so desire, you can read my posts abut American militarism and America's brutal police culture HERE



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If you'd like to check out the year-long preview horoscopes I wrote for you at the beginning of this year, they're here.

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Guidelines to celebrate "Loving the Luxurious Hole at the Heart of Luminous Nothingness," a three-hour jubilee to be performed once every season for as long as you live.

• Empty yourself out completely, and do it gladly.

• With blithe daring, lower your expectations all the way down to zero.

• Surrender every remnant of delusional hope you might be tempted to cling to.

• With a jaunty nonchalance, act as if you have nothing to lose.

• Open an enormous welcome in your heart for the messy, unpredictable mystery of life exactly as it is.

• Say yes to the confounding beauty of ambiguity and paradox.

• Free yourself to accept every person and every situation on their own terms.

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If your quest for spiritual enlightenment doesn't enhance your ability to witness and heal the suffering of your fellow humans, then it's fake enlightenment.

If your quest for spiritual enlightenment encourages you to imagine that expressing your personal freedom excuses you from caring for the health and well-being of your fellow humans, then it's fake enlightenment.

If your quest for spiritual enlightenment allows or encourages you to ignore racism, bigotry, plutocracy, misogyny, and LGBTQ-phobia, it's fake enlightenment.

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Below are excerpts from an interview with storyteller and mythologist Martin Shaw: WE NEED AN UNCOLONIZED IMAGINATION, a mythic intelligence. (The whole interview is here.)

Why? Because we are constantly being fed signs that frighten us, and then paralyze us, and then colonize us. And imagination, through myth, wants to give you symbols to raise you up.

People often prefer to dismiss myth, saying: it’s not true. But a way to think about myth is as something that never was and always is. Or as a beautiful lie that tells a much deeper truth.

But one way or another when we lose our mythic sensibility, the powers in this world that may not wish us well have a greater purchase on us, a greater hold.


Whatever we are facing now we need to have a root system embedded in weather patterns, the presences of animals, our dreams, and the ones who came before us.

Myth is insistent that when there is a crisis, genius lives on the margins not the centre.

If we are constantly using the language of politics to combat the language of politics at some point the soul grows weary and turns its head away because we are not allowing it into the conversation, and by denying soul we are ignoring what the Mexicans call the river beneath the river.

We’re not listening to the thoughts of the world. We’re only listening to our own neurosis and our own anxiety.


The days of conventional hero myths are not serving us. What is being called for now culturally is a word you find often in Ancient Greece: metis. Metis is a kind of divine cunning in service to wisdom.

We can’t be naïve in times like this, because we are in the presence of underworld forces that will do one of two things: they will either educate us, or annihilate us.

And in fairy tales whenever the movement is down – and the movement culturally is down right now – you have to get underworld smart, have underworld intelligence, underworld metis.

I have a strong feeling that a lot of what wants to emerge through many ancient stories is a kind of wily, tough, ingenious and romantic force that needs to come forward at this point in time.


If you don’t have ancestors you have ghosts. At the moment many of us are so impoverished and lacking in a cultural root system that what is around us are not ancestors supporting us but ghosts depleting us.


I notice that several times a day I go into what you could call a mild trance state. I’m not talking about ouija boards here! I’m just talking about falling under the influence of advertising, or various politically engineered neuroses that might be floating around.

But I recognize I have come into a kind of enchantment. And the way I recognize it is that I feel less than grounded. I feel I’m not in the realm of imagination, I’m in the realm of fantasy. So the imaginal is not present; the Earth as a lived, breathing, thinking being is not present.

What’s happening is I’m simply fretting – to use my mother’s language – I’m spinning my wheels. And so actually I think stories have a capacity to wake us up.


Gaston Bachelard says, "The Earth seeks to be admired by you."

So if you do nothing else, admire natural things. Learn to give them praise. Learn to speak their 12 secret names. You hear about the Inuit having all these different names for snow.

Well, I thought, what are the 12 secret names of those old-growth oaks that I see down near Greenwich docks? My advice really is what the Hindus call the "joyful participation in the sorrows of the world."

Read the entire interview with Martin Shaw.


I need the medicine Martin Shaw has to offer.

More from Martin Shaw.

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Great article on the subject here.


"So many indigenous people have said to me that the fundamental difference between Western and indigenous ways of being is that even the most open-minded westerners generally view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to the way the world really is. Trees and rocks and rivers really do have things to say to us."

—Derrick Jensen


"Our original instructions are to listen to the cloud floating by and the wind blowing by. That’s poetry and prose in English, but it is 'wakahan' in the Lakotan language. It means to consciously apply mystery to everything. Everything is alive and has its own consciousness."

—Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Lakota elder


"Animism is a way of approaching life that emphasizes relationships. Animists see the world as full of persons, both human and other-than-human, and prioritize living in respectful ways with these others. Animism is largely about ethics or core values that get expressed through practices, rituals, and traditions."

—Dr. Daniel Foor


Once again, scientists "discover" what many indigenous people have known forever: "Animals are busy having conversations all around us. Two-way "turn-taking" communication occurs across a wide range of species.

Here's some good info.

Here's some more good info.


"Modern post-industrial societies tend to produce un-sane populations -- multitudes of people who are unbalanced in their adaptation to the destructive stress of daily existence. One of the symptoms of this un-sanity is the loss of contact between the waking ego and the depths of the self, a contact that requires involvement in dream experiences and information.

"Cultures generally resist change, and modern materialist societies are no different in this respect. Devaluation of dreaming and other spiritually efficacious experiences is part of the foundation of 'false consciousness' required by capitalist/materialist political economies.

"Materialist cultures require that the focus of awareness be upon the material conditions of life and away from involvement with the inner being which is the only road to spiritual maturation."

—Charles D. Laughlin, Communing with the Gods: Consciousness, Culture and the Dreaming Brain


May sound and light
not rise up and appear as enemies,
may I know all sound as my own sound,
may I know all light as my own light,
may I spontaneously know all phenomena as myself,
may I realize original nature,
not fabricated by mind,
emptynaked awareness.

—John Giorno

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1. What is the most important thing you have never done?

2. How could you play a joke on your fears?

3. Identify the people in your life who have made you real to yourself.

4. Name a good old thing you would have to give up in order to get a great new thing.

5. What's the one feeling you want to feel more than any other during the next three years?

6. What inspires you to love?

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Keep two pieces of paper in your pockets at all times. One says "I am a speck of dust," and the other, "The world was created for me."

—Rabbi Bunim of P’shiskha

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You need regular doses of unreasonable beauty, sublime anomalies, beguiling ephemera, and inexplicable joys.

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Congratulations if you've been having any of the following symptoms:

• spontaneous eruptions of gratitude

• a declining fascination with conflict

• seemingly irrational urges that lead to interesting discoveries

• yearnings to peer more deeply into the eyes of people you care about

• a mounting inability to tolerate boring influences that resist transformation

• an increasing knack for recognizing and receiving the love that's available to you

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If you'd like to read a succinct summary of my philosophy of life — which can't be published here because it has forbidden words — go here.

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Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.

—singer-songwriter Laurie Anderson


Long live impudence! It's my guardian angel in this world.

—Albert Einstein



Long live the weeds that overwhelm
My narrow vegetable realm !—
The bitter rock, the barren soil
That force the son of man to toil;
All things unholy, marked by curse,
The ugly of the universe.
The rough, the wicked, and the wild
That keep the spirit undefiled.
With these I match my little wit
And earn the right to stand or sit.
Hope, look, create, or drink and die:
These shape the creature that is I.

—Theodore Roethke


Long live freedom and damn the ideologies.

—Robinson Jeffers


Long live also the forward march of the common people in all the lands towards their just and true inheritance, and towards the broader and fuller age.

—Winston Churchill


Long live all the magic we made.

—Taylor Swift


Long live diversity, long live the earth!

—Edward Abbey


Long live the rose that grew from concrete.

—Tupac Shakur


Long live the pioneers, rebels and mutineers.

—X Ambassadors


Long live your soul and may i see you do great in life.

—birthday card


Long live “fact journalism.”

—David Leonhardt


Vive la différence!

—French proverb


Live long and prosper.



Love the life you live. Live the life you love.

—Bob Marley


Long live wanting to live in this beautiful garden of life and knowing it as a beginner.

—Anah-Karelia Coates


Long live transfinite mountains, the hollow earth, time machines, fractal writing, aliens, dada, telepathy, flying saucers, warped space, teleportation, artificial reality, robots, pod people, hylozoism, endless shrinking, intelligent goo, antigravity, surrealism, software highs, two-dimensional time, gnarly computation, the art of photo composition, pleasure zappers, nanomachines, mind viruses, hyperspace, monsters from the deep and, of course, always and forever, the attack of the giant ants!

—science fiction author Rudy Rucker


Instead of complaining about impermanence, we should say, ‘Warm welcome and long live impermanence.’ We should be happy. When we can see the miracle of impermanence, our sadness and suffering will pass.

—Thich Nhat Hanh

Here's the whole passage of the Thich Nhat Hanh quote:
We are often sad and suffer a lot when things change, but change and impermanence have a positive side. Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. Life itself is possible.

If a grain of corn is not impermanent, it can never be transformed into a stalk of corn. If the stalk were not impermanent, it could never provide us with the ear of corn we eat.

If your daughter is not impermanent, she cannot grow up to become a woman. Then your grandchildren would never manifest.

So instead of complaining about impermanence, we should say, "Warm welcome and long live impermanence."

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Each morning is all mornings.

The oak tree's shadow is the messiah.

The elephant shrew and the supernova are equals.

The Honda Accord is as natural as the Grand Canyon.

The skin is a temporary boundary, and so is the planet's surface.

The swallowtail butterfly is a savant.

Logic is crazy love.

The bat-eared fox is a razor-backed musk turtle.

Jubilation is an ecologically sound strategy.

No one knows how to sing the end of time because there is no end of time.

The critically endangered white rhinoceros is a forgotten birthday.

The vulnerable arctic wolf is emancipated from sin.

Purity is a sacrilegious vortex of panic.

Listening is the apotheosis of arrogance.

Our serpent thoughts keep us linked to original mirth.

The bumble bee redeems our unfertilized prophecies.

—by me

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It's a favorable time to diminish the power of the past to obstruct you.

It's a favorable time to commit yourself to your high ideals and beautiful goals with such fervor and love that you render your past conditioning irrelevant.

It's a favorable time to diminish the power of any of your conditioned urges that are not in alignment with your soul's code.

It's a favorable time to commit yourself to your high ideals and beautiful goals with such fervor and love that you render your disruptive conditioned urges irrelevant.

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Psychological work focuses more on what has gone wrong: how we have been wounded in our relations with others and how to go about addressing that.

Spiritual work focuses more on what is intrinsically right: how we have infinite resources at the core of our nature that we can cultivate in order to live more expansively. If psychological work thins the clouds, spiritual work invokes the sun.

—psychotherapist John Welwood


To Welwood's ideas, I would add that the spirit is about rising above and seeking what's most noble, while the soul is about diving in and wrestling with exactly what is.

Both tasks are valuable. Neither realm is inherently better or more important. If you have a bias one way or the other, it's usually best to be conscientious about maintaining a balance.


I call the high and light aspects of my being spirit and the dark and heavy aspects soul.

Soul is at home in the deep, shaded valleys. Heavy torpid flowers saturated with black grow there. The rivers flow like warm syrup.

Spirit is a land of high, white peaks and glittering jewel -­ like lakes and flowers. Life is sparse and sounds travel great distances.

—Dalai Lama

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