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Week of May 20th, 2021

Let's Celebrate Emotional Intelligence

Invitation: Go inward and contact the wisest source you know—call it your higher self, your holy guardian angel, Goddess or God, the genius of nature, or your strongest intelligence. Then pose this inquiry: What do I need to become aware of that I wouldn't even know to ask about?

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Here's a link to my free weekly email newsletter, featuring the Free Will Astrology horoscopes, plus a celebratory array of tender rants, lyrical excitements, poetic philosophy, and joyous adventures in consciousness. It arrives every Tuesday morning by 7:30 am.

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Many people today believe that cynicism requires courage. Actually, cynicism is the height of cowardice. It is innocence and open-heartedness that requires the true courage—however often we are hurt as a result of it.

—Erica Jong

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Veterans of war who've been wounded by shrapnel often find that years later, some of the metal fragments eventually migrate to the surface and pop out of their skin.

The moral of the story: The body may take a long time to purify itself of toxins.

The same is true about your psyche. It might not be able to easily and quickly get rid of the poisons it has absorbed, but you should never give up hoping it will find a way.

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Novelist and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn departed this life in 1998, but she articulated a message that's important for us to hear.

She wrote, "People often say, with pride, 'I’m not interested in politics.' They might as well say, 'I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future or any future.'"

Gelhorn added, "If we mean to keep control over our world and lives, we must be interested in politics."

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It's a free country. We're free to desecrate nature and live without any thought for our fellow creatures and adamantly believe every borrowed idea that settled into our heads when we were coming of age or when we were full of anger.

We're free to scarf down pesticide-laden junk food and memorize Ford truck jingles and vote for old white straight male millionaires.

On the other hand, we're also free to go on jubilant picnics in the wilderness using sustainable dishware and cleaning up after ourselves.

We're free to formulate master plans to achieve our own precious dreams in ways that will also serve our fellow creatures and bestow blessings on our descendants.

We're free to radically revise our philosophy of life every once in a while to account for the ever-changing contours of our own destiny and the ever-evolving urgencies of our shared culture and history.

We're free—FREE!!!!—to care dearly about what foods we put in your body and keep expanding our acceptance of other humans exactly as they are and meditate daily on what we could do to refine and deepen the ways we express love.

I bring these thoughts to our attention because I hope to encourage us to become connoisseurs of freedom and masters of the art of liberation.

Hypothesis: To serve our emancipatory ambitions most effectively, we are primarily motivated by the desire to give our gifts and express our love.

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You're older than yourself. Your shadow feels a deep affection for you. You know how to mock charisma. You invent ever-new zodiacs. You never use your pain to show off. Genius! Prodigy!

You pray for things you don't want just to keep your sorcery clean and sweet. Feral paradises relax you. You never steal -- you only change the owners' names. You never hate, since that would kill all your jokes. Virtuoso! Maestro!

You know the best places not to hide. You ask trees questions. You burn black flags in the war of pot versus pan. You are the highest, most spiritual greed -- the mushroom light of gratitude. You know the violent tenderness when everything is named. Gifted! Unique!

Black is the only halo that fits you. Ruthless compassion is your favorite disguise. Joy without payment keeps you safe and dangerous at the same time, which is how you love it. Transition-Master! Eternal Transformer!

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I hope you can obtain the Avatar Elixir stashed in the golden obelisk in the underground fortress beneath the glass mountain. It will allow you to produce the "triple-helix" energy that will give you the power to cross freely back and forth through the gateway between universes.

Then wild creatures will seek out your influence. Rivers and winds will become your allies. The cells of your body will communicate with you clearly and joyfully. Every star in the sky will shine directly on you.

And if for some reason you're not able to get your hands on that Avatar Elixir, you may be able to achieve similar results by drinking a bottle of beer stashed in the lower left rear section of the beverage cooler at a convenience store within five miles of your home.

Magic might be wherever you think it is.

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Congratulations. Every cell in your perfect animal body is beginning to purr with luminous gratitude for the magnitude of the riches you endlessly receive.

You are becoming aware that each of your heart's beats originates as a gift of love directly from the Goddess herself.

Any residues of hatred that had been tainting your libido are leaving you for good.

You are becoming telepathically linked to the world's entire host of secret teachers, pacifist warriors, philosopher clowns, and bodhisattvas disguised as convenience store clerks.

In other words, you're on the verge of détente with your evil twin. And you're ready to submit to a multiple-choice test, which goes like this:

How does it make you feel when I urge you to confess profound secrets to people who are not particularly interested? Does it make you want to:

a. cultivate a healthy erotic desire for a person you'd normally never be attracted to in a million years;

b. imitate a hurricane in the act of extinguishing a forest fire;

c. visualize Buddha or Mother Teresa at the moment of orgasm;

d. steal something that's already yours.

The right answer, of course, is any answer you thought was correct. Congratulations. You're even smarter than you knew.

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“Everybody is dealing with how much of their own aliveness they can bear and how much they need to anesthetize themselves,” writes psychoanalytic author Adam Phillips.

How are you doing with that challenge?

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May you never be the reason why someone who loved to sing, doesn't anymore.

Or why someone who dressed so uniquely, now wears plain clothing.

Or why someone who always spoke so excitedly about their dreams, is now silent about them.

May you never be the reason someone gave up on a part of themselves because you were demotivating, non-appreciative, hypercritical, or even worse—sarcastic about it.

—Mostafa Ibrahim

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Although we are all born geniuses, the grind of day-to-day living tends to de-genius us. That's the bad news. The good news is that you have the power to re-genius yourself.

Here's a ritual you can use to jump-start the process.

Here's how the ritual begins:

The Greek philosopher Plato long ago recognized that in addition to eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing, and loving, every creature has an instinctual need to periodically leap up into the air for no other reason than because it feels so good.


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Cancer cells are constantly developing in our bodies. Luckily, our immune systems routinely kill them off. Similarly, our minds always harbor pockets of crazy-making misconceptions and faulty imprints. They usually don't rise up and render us insane thanks to the psychic versions of our immune systems.

How can you stay strong in your ability to fight off madness?

You know the drill: Eat healthy food, sleep well, get physical exercise, minimize stress, give and receive love. But as an aspiring pronoiac, you have at your disposal other actions that can provide powerful boosts to your psychic immune system. Here are examples:

Scheme to put yourself in the path of beautiful landscapes, buildings, art, and creatures.

Exercise your imagination regularly. Get in the habit of feeding your mind's eye with images that fill you with wonder and vitality.

Eliminate uhs, you knows, I means, and other junk words from your speech. Avoid saying things you don't really mean and haven't thought out. Stop yourself when tempted to make scornful assertions about people.

Every night before you fall asleep, review the day's activities in your mind's eye. As if watching a movie about yourself, try to be calmly objective as you observe your memories from the previous 16 hours. Be especially alert for moments when you strayed from your purpose and didn't live up to your highest standards.

With a companion, sit in front of a turned-off TV as you make up a pronoiac story that features tricky benevolence, scintillating harmony, and amusing redemption. Speak this tale aloud or write it down.

Take on an additional job title, beautifier. Put it on your business card and do something every day to cultivate your skill. If you're a people person, bring grace and intrigue into your conversations; ask unexpected questions that provoke original thoughts.

If you're an artist, leave samples of your finest work in public places. If you're a psychologist or sociologist, point out the institutions and relationships that are working really well. Whatever you do best, be alert for how you can refine it and offer it up to those who'll benefit from it.

If you're going through a phase when you feel you have nothing especially beautiful to offer, or if you think it would be self-indulgent to inject your own aesthetic into shared environments, turn for help to great artists and thinkers.

Sneak O'Keeffe or Chagall prints onto unadorned walls in public places, for instance. Memorize poems by Emily Dickinson and Hafiz, and slip them into your conversations when appropriate. Use Vivaldi's Stabat Mater in C Minor as your ring tone. Scrawl passages from Annie Dillard's Teaching a Stone to Talk on the walls of public lavatories.

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Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins died of typhoid fever after enduring years of health problems. He also had chronic melancholy and a mental illness that today we would call bipolar disorder. Yet his last words before he died were, "I am so happy, I am so happy. I loved my life."


"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."

—Agatha Christie

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Senator Ted Cruz tweeted: "The Green New Deal will destroy the American energy industry as we know it."

In response, Edward DeRuiter @edwardderuiter tweeted: "The electric lightbulb will destroy the American whale oil lamp industry as we know it."

Jim Vernier added: "The automobile will destroy the horse and buggy industry as we know it. Airplanes will destroy the steamship and steam train industries as we know them. Comets will destroy the dinosaur industry as we know it. Change will destroy the old thing as we know it — fact."

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It always makes me proud to love the world; hate’s so easy compared.

—Jack Kerouac


The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, the more spiritual the world is.

—Jack Kerouac

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Review in painstaking detail the history of your life,
honoring every moment as if you were conducting
a benevolent Judgment Day.

Forgive yourself of every mistake except one.

Create a royal crown for yourself
out of a shower cap, rubber bands, and light bulbs.

Think of the last place on Earth you'd ever want to visit,
and visualize yourself having fun there.

Steal lint from dryers in laundromats
and use it to make animal sculptures for someone you admire.

Fantasize you're the child of divine parents
who abandoned you when you were two days old,
but who will soon be coming back to reunite with you.

Meditate on how one of the symbols of plenitude in Nepal is a mongoose vomiting jewels.

Once a year on the night before your birthday,
say these words into a mirror: "It's bad luck to be superstitious."

Start a club whose purpose is to produce an archive
of controversial jokes and obscene limericks about beauty, truth, and love.

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