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Week of September 9th, 2021

Bless Your Ego


Dawn Robertson wrote a thank-you note to her ego. She said:

Dear Beloved Ego,

I’m sorry the conscious and spiritual communities have given you such a bad rap.

Thank you for caring how others perceive me.

Thank you for letting me believe I can actually make a difference in the world - whether true or not.

Thank you for not letting me hide beyond humility to make myself small.

Thank you for the selfies and self promotion.

Thank you for pushing me to crave validation through my acts of service.

Thank you for allowing me to be a unique human who can be self interested at times.

Thank you for delightfully reminding me I have a story during the good times and the bad.

Thank you for the drive to be “successful” and allowing that marker to be fluid.

Thank you for pushing me to take myself more seriously.

Thank you for helping guide me to make decisions and revealing my fears.

Thank you for questioning the bullshit around me while others may following along sheeply.

Thank you for letting me be human and messy.

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Your future self has time-traveled into the past to enlist the spirits of your ancestors in a plot to unlock your sleeping genius.

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Somehow I have become immune to one of the most popular emotions of the modern world: malefic ecstasy; also known as exultant malaise; also known as blissful pessimism.

So many people get intense pleasure as they think and talk about horrific events. I don't know how I avoided that curse, but I did.

Care to join me?

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I invite you to conspire with me to perpetrate lucid dreams and intimate empathy and revolutionary fucks and plain old everyday miracles that will overthrow the psychopathic misogynist plutocratic militarism that desecrates the ecosphere?"

I invite you to conspire with me to puncture, fracture, and shred the iron curtain between The Ordinary Real World and The Other Real World? Will you collude and connive with me to thwart the genocide of the imagination? Do you promise to plot and scheme with me to defrock and excommunicate and depose the priests of fundamentalist materialism?

I invite you to be my ever-surprising long-lost friend from Foreverland, a prayer rebel helping me to stay apprised of the ever-present origin of the world, an honest trickster skilled at washing water and burning fire. I invite you to be an alphabet eater who takes really good care of the big secret, and a gamemaster of the cosmic lottery that pays off everyone who doesn't win as well as everyone who wins.

I invite you to be a reverent rascal and discerning intellect and mystical activist and emotional genius who inspires us to bestow an inexhaustible supply of rowdy blessings on every living thing we encounter, regardless of whether they bestow rowdy blessings on us?

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I'm all about the gradual, slow-simmering approach to just about everything.

My aspiration is to be reverential and devotional toward the cumulative effects of small minute-by-minute meditations in the midst of "ordinary" life and the manageable day-to-day self-transformations that are hard but not too hard.

When I was young I loved to cultivate senses-reeling ecstatic breakthrough, but now I'm more inclined to commune with the chronic, low-level ecstatic union that thrives on opening to every little experience I encounter. Neither is "better," of course. I'm just talking about what has been right for me in recent years.

I would love to practice tantra 24/7, worshiping and drawing inspiration from each small gift the daily rhythm brings.

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Dare to Be Boring Day is coming up soon. I invite you to celebrate it whenever you feel the urge. We all deserve a break from the oppressive demands to appear smart and to be entertaining.

On Dare to Be Boring Day, it will be socially unacceptable to demonstrate your wit and verve. Long­winded, rambling monologues full of obscure details will be mandatory. The more clichés and buzzwords you use, the better.

Tell worn-out stories your friends have already heard many times. Flesh out your disjointed sentences with awkward silences. Discuss at length your plans for switching laundry detergents, the collection of matchbooks you had as a child, and the time you almost traveled to the Walmart in another town, but didn't.

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I'm wishing you "A Trace of Grace" with the help of Azerbaijani mugam singer Alim Qasimov.

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My ability to become who I aspired to be would have been impossible without the right to legal abortion.

Earlier in my life, my women partners and I had abortions. I am fortunate we weren't forced to bring children into the world that we couldn't properly care for.

Ultimately, my wife and I chose exactly when we did want to bring a new human being into the world—when I had enough money and emotional maturity to do so.

Legal abortion made it possible for me to be a conscious, loving father for the one child I welcomed and helped to raise.

My life is successful, and an important factor contributing to that grace has been legal abortion.


A male reader said that he supports abortion, but found it mind-boggling that so many women are "careless," get pregnant, and need an abortion. Here's how I responded:

Does he not know about all the women who are bullied and manipulated by men into not practicing safe sex?

I've been married to one woman for years, but before that I encountered numerous women who thanked me profusely for offering to use condoms—because their experience had always been that the men they'd had sex with hated to use condoms and tried to coax them to not use them.

Another important point is that taking birth control pills can wreak havoc on a woman's body and even on her psyche. Some women have a torturous relationship with those drugs as a result.

Plus, with birth control pills, YOU HAVE TO TAKE A PILL EVERY SINGLE DAY. Missing one day could make it possible for you to get pregnant.


Condoms are mostly effective, but a lot of men don't like them, and resist using them. It's also true that condoms with spermicides, which are the most effective condoms, can be irritating to the vagina and also make women susceptible to infections.

Women who endure the painful procedure of having an IUD implanted may have heaver periods and more intense menstrual cramps. Their periods may be irregular, and they can bleed between periods.

.A diaphragm is at most 88% effective. A sponge is at most 88% effective, usually less. A cervical cap is between 71-86% effective. Spermicide is 71% effective. A birth control implant is 99% effective but can cost as much as $1,500.

An internal condom is 79% effective, and costs no more than $3. Outer condoms, worn by men, are just 85% effective—hardly a foolproof way to avoid pregnancy.

A birth control patch is 91% effective and has to be replaced weekly; can cost up to $150.

A birth control shot is 94% effective and cost up to $100 every three months.

A birth control vaginal ring is 91% effective and can cost up to $100 every month.

All the above comments are meant to address those people who wonder—without having done any research or talked to actual women—why abortion is even necessary given the fact that "there are so many birth control methods."


I appeal to men who might be reading this to be well-educated about how abortion rights are under attack in the U.S. Be well-educated about why it's so important for women and people with wombs to have the right to decide what happens with their own bodies.

Be well-educated about the various forms of birth control that are available, and about how most of them are imperfect and/or problematic in some way—which is why we need to have abortion to end pregnancies that weren't prevented by birth control.

If you have personally experienced an abortion with a partner, talk about that with your male friends. Also, talk with your male friends about the importance of us being more involved with abortion rights.


Read about the possible long-term side effects of hormonal birth control for women.


Lance Wilburn writes: To be clear: The irony of all of the abortion bills is the complete lack of male inclusion. Women do not magically become pregnant. There is a man attached to every abortion.

Why are men not being included in the Texas law's jail time for abortion? Because this isn't about abortion, it's about men controlling women.

It's an easy topic for white men to flex their power over to remind the womenfolk that they will always have to kneel to them.

If it were actually about abortion, we would be discussing early and continuing sex education, free birth control, healthcare for all, making childcare financially feasible, mandatory parental leave, increasing WIC, hard sentencing for rape, fixing the foster care system, and making adoption more accessible.

This is not about abortion. Don't fool yourself.

— Lance Wilburn


Planned Parenthood is the most helpful and inexpensive source of information about various birth control methods, but that organization is being harassed and defunded. So it's getting harder and harder for women to get access to its information.


Many women tell me that when they hear me talking about my experiences with abortion, it' the first time they have ever heard a man even talk about abortion, let alone advocate for it and describe his experiences with it. That's appalling to me. Men should be fully engaged in every aspect of these issues.


"If a fetus is a person at 6 weeks pregnant, is that when the child support starts? Is that also when you can't deport the mother because she's carrying a US citizen? Can I insure a 6 week fetus and collect if I miscarry? Just figuring if we're going there, we should go all in."

—Carliss Chatman Law Professor, Washington and Lee University


A good way to help is by Donating to abortion funds, organizations that help people pay for and access abortion care when they don’t have the financial means to afford it on their own. Abortion funds use donations to help cover the procedure costs, transportation, and a place to stay before, during, and after. These funds can also be used to cover time off from work, childcare costs, and other financial barriers people who need abortions may experience.

Planned Parenthood is an excellent organization to help.

Causes like Sister Song, Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, National AsianPacific American Women’s Forum, and Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), to name a few, are doing the vital work of centering on women of color, who are often the most endangered by abortion bans and restrictions to reproductive rights. Links to these groups here.

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“Before success comes in anyone's life, they are sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure.

“When defeat overtakes a person, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of people do.

“More than 500 of the most successful people this country has ever known told me their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.”

—Napoleon Hill

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I don't think I'm boring. I have an abundant curiosity and I love to learn new things. I've worked at many different jobs, have read widely, and enjoy interacting with a broad range of humans.

Yet now and then I've had temporary relationships with people who regarded me as uninteresting. They didn't see much of value in me.

I tend to believe it was mostly their fault—they couldn't see me for who I really am—but it may have also been the case that I lived down to their expectations. Their inclination to see me as unimportant and uninteresting may have influenced me to be dull.

I bring this up so as to encourage you to remove yourself from situations where you have trouble being and feeling your true self.

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Anne Lamott writes: When a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born—and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.

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If I ever produce a self-help manual called The Reverse Psychology of Getting Everything You Want, it will discuss the following paradoxes:

a. People are more willing to accommodate your longings if you're not greedy or grasping.

b. A good way to achieve your desires is to cultivate the feeling that you have already achieved them.

c. Whatever you're longing for has been changed by your pursuit of it. It's different from what it was when you felt the first pangs of desire. To make it yours, then, you'll have to modify your ideas about it.

d. Be careful what you wish for because if your wish does materialize it will require you to change in ways you didn't foresee.

Any others you can think if?

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Brainwash yourself before someone nasty beats you to it. Study the difference between wise suffering and dumb suffering until you get it right. Commit crimes that don't break any laws. Build illusions that make people feel so beautiful they shed their illusions.

Pretend to be crazy so you can get away with doing what's right. Sing anarchist lullabies to homosexual eagles. Love your enemies in case your friends turn out to be jerks. Review in detail the history of your life, honoring every moment as if you were conducting a benevolent Judgment Day.

Eat money. Fuck gravity. Drink the sun. Dream like a stone.

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You could become a master of renegade sacraments, dissident splendor, and secret freedom.

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I sense the world might be more dreamlike, metaphorical, and poetic than we currently believe—but just as irrational as sympathetic magic when looked at in a typically scientific way. I wouldn't be surprised if poetry—poetry in the broadest sense, in the sense of a world filled with metaphor, rhyme, and recurring patterns, shapes, and designs—is how the world works. The world isn't logical, it's a song.

—David Byrne


Western science and religion have differing views on how the universe was created, but they agree that it happened a long time ago.

The mystery schools of the West, on the other hand, assert that the universe is re-created anew in every moment through the divine erotic play of God and

They say that if we humans treat lovemaking as an experimental sacrament, we can attune ourselves to the union of the two primal deities and, in a sense, participate in the ongoing creation of the world.


Why is it so hard for Westerners of the last two centuries to feel the intimate presence of the divine intelligences? Every other culture in the history of the world has had a more vital connection with the realm of spirit.

According to poet Gary Snyder, California's Yana Indians explained it this way: The gods have retreated to the volcanic recesses of Mt. Lassen, passing the time playing gambling games with magic sticks.

They're simply waiting for such a time when human beings will "reform themselves and become 'real people' that spirits might want to associate with once again."


The degree in which a poet's imagination dominates reality is the exact measure of her importance and dignity.

—George Santayana


The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.

The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.

—John Muir


Guess what: God created beings not to act in a morality play but to experience what is unfathomable, to elicit what can become, to descend into the darkness of creation and reveal it to him, to mourn and celebrate enigma and possibility. The universe is a whirling dervish, not a hanging judge in robes.

—Richard Grossinger


Funny how people get upset that gender is a social construct. EVERYTHING is a social construct. Ask a frog what day of the fucking week it is.



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.



I often describe astrology as being "applied poetry" (as opposed to "applied science").

—Susan Mengel Abnos Lederer

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