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Week of March 31st, 2022

Feeling Good and Having Fun Can Be Spiritual Activities

Jubilant Pronoia Therapy

Experiments and exercises in becoming a sublimely kind, wildly intelligent, gracefully imaginative Master of lucid affection

1. Write the following on a piece of red paper and keep it under your pillow.

"I, [put your name here], do solemnly swear on this day, [put date here], that I will devote myself for a period of seven days to learning my most important desire. No other thought will be more uppermost in my mind. No other concern will divert me from tracking down every clue that might assist me in my drive to ascertain the one experience in this world that deserves my brilliant passion above all others."


2. Would you like to make yourself more magnetic to blessings? You could experiment with good luck charms or magic amulets—objects that you imagine might attract benevolence into your life.

How about a replica of Brísingamen, the magical necklace of the Norse goddess Freya? When she wore it, neither man nor god could resist her allure.

Or maybe a copy of the thyrsus, a wand wielded by Dionysus, the god of ecstasy? Or the bracelet of meteorite chunks I saw advertised as a luck-bringer in the back of a tabloid?

As fun as things like these might be, I believe there's a superior approach to the art of charging up your mojo. It's embodied by the metaphorical talisman that Tom Waits recommends in his song "Get Behind the Mule": Always keep a diamond in your mind.

Go get one of those diamonds.

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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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More of Jubilant Pronoia Therapy

3. "The really important kind of freedom," said David Foster Wallace, "involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day."

Is that an interesting kind of freedom to you? Can you imagine any scenario in which practicing it would crack you open and pour you into an ecstatic state?


4. Alice finds her way to Wonderland by falling down a rabbit hole. Dorothy rides to Oz on a tornado. In C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy stumbles into the magical land of Narnia via a portal in the back of a large clothes cabinet.

In the sequels to all these adventures, however, the heroines must find different ways to access their exotic dreamlands. Alice slips through a mirror next time. Dorothy uses a Magic Belt. Lucy leaps into a painting of a schooner that becomes real.

Take heed of these precedents. The next time a threshold opens into an alternative reality you've enjoyed in the past, it may not resemble the doorways you've used before.


5. Here's Caroline Myss' explanation of faith: "Faith is the power to stand up to the madness and chaos of the physical world while holding the position that nothing external has any authority over what heaven has in mind for you."

If you don't like the word "heaven" in Myss' statement, substitute a term that works for you, like "your higher self" or "your destiny" or "your soul's code."

Modify anything else in it that's not right for your needs, as well. When you're finished tinkering, I hope you'll have created a definition of faith that motivates you with as much primal power as you feel when you're in love.


6. Is the universe inherently friendly to humans? The answer's got to be either "yes, definitely" or "no, not really." It can't be in between. Whatever you may be inclined to believe, you've got to agree that there's no way to know which is true with absolute certainty.

So then isn't it stupid and self-destructive to live your life as if the universe is unfriendly? Doing so tends to cast a pall over everything. But if on the other hand you proceed on the hypothesis that the universe is friendly, you're inclined to interpret everything that occurs as a gift, however challenging it may be to figure out its purpose at first.

For three weeks, try living your life as if the latter theory were true.


7. I've written astrological oracles for much of my adult life. An early prototype of my work hatched in my previous incarnation as an 11th-century monastic scribe who made illuminated manuscripts. During my off-hours, I dabbled with planetary divination and created a parchment newsletter that got passed around the monastery.

In a later lifetime as a 16th-century Florentine alchemist, I further refined the form. The invention of the printing press meant my oracles could be seen by a larger audience, and as a result I got more feedback, which in turn helped me improve my service. The horoscopes I create today, then, have been in the making for a thousand years.

What about you? Is there anything you've been working on for many centuries? If your memory of your previous incarnations is fuzzy, make up a good story.


8. The outsourcing of fortune-telling is well underway. Psychics and astrologers from India have been showering me with email invitations to take advantage of their services.

"By the grace of the oceanic flames of goodness that by night simmer the roof of our temple and by day water the roots of our foolish wisdom," said one I query especially liked, "we have pledged to slave away our many reincarnations to cause the happy encroachment of bubbling karma on your masterful head. We will coax and guide the effects of various planets, comets, satellites, and dolmens, guaranteeing their flavor to fall on the living accidents of your love so as to ease your slippery upheaval to health."

In the course of your ecstatically pronoiac career, you will probably get puzzling offers of help like this. You may even be given gifts you can barely make sense of and blessings that are unlike anything you imagined you needed.

What might you do to receive them in the spirit in which they're offered? Here's one possibility: Cultivate living accidents of love so as to ease your slippery upheaval to health.


9. Computer programmer Garry Hamilton articulated the following "Game Rules." Give examples of how they have worked in your life.

1. If the game is rigged so you can't win, find another game or invent your own.

2. If you're not winning because you don't know the rules, learn the rules.

3. If you know the rules but aren't willing to follow them, there's either something wrong with the game or you need to change something in yourself.

4. Don't play the game in a half-baked way. Either get all the way in or all the way out.

5. It shouldn't be necessary for others to lose in order for you to win. If others have to lose, re-evaluate the game's goals.


10. Think about your relationship to human beings who haven't been born yet. What might you create for them to use? How can you make your life a gift to the future? Can you not only help preserve the wonders we live amidst, but actually enhance them?

Keep in mind this thought from Lewis Carroll: "It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward."


11. The Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi led many peaceful rebellions against oppressive governments, first in South Africa and later in British-controlled India.

At first he called his strategy "passive resistance," but later disavowed that term because it had negative implications.

He ultimately chose the Sanskrit word satyagraha, meaning "love force" or "truth force." "Truth (satya) implies love," he said, "and firmness (agraha) is a synonym for force. Satyagraha is thus the force which is born of truth and love."

Give an example of how you have employed satyagraha in the past, and another example of how you might invoke it in the future.


12. "When you die," says the Koran, "God will call upon you to account for all the permitted pleasures you did not enjoy while on earth."

The Talmud offers a similar idea: "A person will be called upon to account, on Judgment Day, for all the permitted pleasures he might have enjoyed but did not."

Are there any such pleasures in your life?


13. The modern English word "weird" is derived from the Old English term wyrd, meaning "destiny." By the late Middle Ages, wyrd had evolved into a concept similar to the Eastern notion of karma.

It implied that the momentum of past events plays a strong role in shaping the future, but that human willpower can nevertheless also have a hand in creating upcoming events.

In some uses, wyrd could even mean "the power to control destiny," as exemplified by the three Weird Sisters of Shakespeare's MacBeth.

Speculate about how the consequences of your past are impinging on your present situation. But also fantasize about how you might possess the ability to override them through the force of your intentions.

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Jason Hine reminds us: "Every part of your body is adorable and incredible, an actual love body. A thousand tiny deities the size of molecules are worshipping and protecting each tiny particle of your body.

"There is a religion in another world that worships your stomach, your lungs, the curve of your thigh or your pectoral muscles as sacraments of a god or goddess.

"Your lovebody is a luxuriant forest at sunset in which light coruscates through dewdrops and deliciously awakens a thousand joyful wild creatures."

—Jason Hine


PS: Jason Hine is a wonderful writer. Read more of his stuff.

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For the first time, my daughter Zoe Brezsny and I both appear on the same podcast. The show is "Plaster Cramp," an experimental archive of readings, descriptions, sounds, & other aural ephemera for the vision and reading impaired, created by Maliea Croy.

In this show, I do my spoken-word piece "Re-Genius Yourself," and Zoe does two pieces: “Light Beams for the Sky of a Transfer Corridor” and “See You in the Next World.”

Listen here.

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Robert Anton Wilson WROTE: "Philosopher Edmond Husserl said that 'all perception is a gamble.' Every type of bigotry, every type of racism, sexism, prejudice, every dogmatic ideology that allows people to kill other people with a clear conscience, every stupid cult, every superstition-ridden religion, every kind of ignorance in the world are all results from not realizing that our perceptions are gambles.

"We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it and we don’t even know we’re making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality.

"In philosophy, that’s called naive realism: 'what I perceive is reality.'

"Philosophers have refuted naive realism every century for the last 2500 years, starting with Buddha and Plato. And yet most people still act on the basis of naive realism."

—Robert Anton Wilson

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Everyone is my teacher.

Everywhere I go, I am a student.

Every person I meet is in some way my superior.

I vow to shut up and listen on a frequent and regular basis.

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Some of my readers complain when I quote a public figure they consider a bad person. For example, I once cited an interesting thought by Carlos Castaneda, and was subsequently besieged by complaints that he was a con man unworthy of our attention.

Once I cited philosopher Bertrand Russell, and a reader berated me: "Russell was a terrible father! How dare you give him any credence?"

Other barrages of gripes flooded in after I referenced those highly imperfect humans Dr. Seuss, George Sand, Mother Teresa, Pema Chödrön, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Here's how I respond to these grumbles: If I refuse to learn from people unless I agree with everything they have ever said and approve of everything they have ever done, I would never learn from anyone.

Furthermore, I don't necessarily agree with every nuance of every quote I cite. They may teach me, rile me up, and provoke me to think, but that doesn't mean I endorse them 100 percent.

What's more likely is that I question some aspect of their thought. But the key point is that I want to be available to learn from pretty much everybody.


Should we boycott the films of Leonardo DiCaprio of because he is prone to temper tantrums? Do we have good reason to burn our copies of William's Blake's visionary poetry after we find out he lived in filth? Does the scarcity of laughter in D. H. Lawrence's work give us license to condemn it and avoid it?

Should we shun Dr. Seuss, who had an affair with another woman while his wife was suffering from cancer?

Should we stop praising the life's work of Martin Luther King Jr. because he plagiarized parts of his doctoral thesis?

Should we renounce the Theory of Relativity because Einstein cheated on his wife and didn't treat her with kindness?

Should we ignore George Sand's novels because she cheated on her husband?

Should we refuse to read the work of Clarissa Pinkola Estés because her editors at Ballantine Books said she was insufferably arrogant?

Should we ignore all male writers and artists throughout history who expressed misogyny—like 95% of them?

I could name a thousand others, but will stop here.

What about you? Have you set up your life so that everyone is either on or off your good list?

If so, consider the possibility of cultivating a capacity to derive insight from people who aren't perfect. Have fun learning from people you partially agree with and partially disagree with.

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I am a unique character. But the paradox is that I would never have been able to become my singular self without the inspiration, help, influence, and love of hundreds of other unique characters.

I like to keep in mind that all humans and all animals and all spiritual beings are potentially my teachers. Many of them have been spectacular teachers who have shaped me in unpredictable and unexpected ways.

I will never be able to express all the gratitude I feel. But I try to express it nevertheless!

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One of my beloved astrology mentors has passed on to the next realm: Alan Oken.

I'm so grateful for his teachings! He helped shape my own approach: astrology for the soul more than astrology for the ego.

When I was a young aspiring astrologer, I practically memorized his intricate analyses of the planetary aspects.

For example: What does it mean when a person has Venus conjunct Neptune in Scorpio in the first house? He was so precise in speaking about the relatively soulful and the relatively egoistic expressions of that configuration.

Edie Weinstein described his essence well: grounded and cosmic at the same time.

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Andrew Harvey writes: "Mystical systems are addicted to transcending this reality. This addiction is part of the reason why the world is being destroyed. The monotheistic religions honor an off-planet God and would sacrifice this world and its attachments to the adoration of that God.

"But the God I know is both immanent and transcendent. This world is not an illusion, and the philosophies that say it is are half-baked half-truths.

"In an authentic mystical experience, the world does disappear and reveal itself as the dance of the divine consciousness.

"But then it reappears, and you see that everything you are looking at is God, and everything you’re touching is God.

"We are so addicted, either to materialism or to transcending material reality, that we don’t see God right in front of us, in the beggar, the starving child, the brokenhearted woman; in our friend; in the cat; in the flea. We miss it, and in missing it, we allow the world to be destroyed."

—Andrew Harvey, Radical Passion: Sacred Love and Wisdom in Action


Some people criticized Andrew Harvey's above statement for being too broad.

In response, I will say that of course it's too broad. Every statement ever made is too broad, because it can't possibly encompass all the nuances and exceptions of complicated, messy reality.

Furthermore, this passage is an excerpt from an entire book Harvey wrote about related subjects. He provides rich nuance there.

And indeed, there have been many examples of religious practitioners from all the monotheistic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, who have devoted loving, practical action to healing and fixing and helping this world.

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Thomas Merton wrote: "Those who attempt to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening their own self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others.

"They will communicate nothing but the contagion of their own obsessions, their aggressiveness, their ego-centered ambitions, their delusions about ends and means, their doctrinaire prejudices and ideas.

"We are living through the greatest crisis in the history of humanity; and this crisis is centered precisely in the country that has made a fetish out of action and has lost (or perhaps never had) the sense of contemplation. Far from being irrelevant, prayer, meditation and contemplation are of the utmost importance in America."

—Thomas Merton

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More by Andrew Harvey: "A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history.

"On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions.

"When, however, the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic and social institutions, a holy force—the power of wisdom and love in action—is born. This force I define as Sacred Activism."

—Andrew Harvey


Here's an interview with Andrew Harvey in which he talks about sacred activism.

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I am perfectly fine if you don't "believe" in God or Goddess—or, for that matter, if you don't "believe" in Vajrayogini or the Ojibwe creator spirit Nanabozho or the Hindu deities Shakti and Shiva or the Indigenous Australian creator god Baayama or the Yoruban gddess Yemaya.

It's perfectly fine with me if you don't need any spirit intelligences in your world and have zero interest in the supernal and transcendent.

But if you come to my sanctuary and confidently proclaim THERE IS NO GOD, I'm going to laugh at your arrogance.

And if you call me a stupid fool or a delusional idiot because I testify that I have a close intimate relationship with the Blooming HaHa (also known as the Goddess), I will gaze at you with perplexed disbelief.


Carl Sagan spoke like a true scientist when he said the following:

"An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence.

"Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no God exists.

"To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed.

"A wide range of intermediate positions seems admissable.

"Considering the enormous emotional energies with which the subject is invested, a questing, courageous, and open mind is, I think, the essential tool for narrowing the range of our collective ignorance on the subject of the existence of God."

Conversations with Carl Sagan

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I'll cavern you, and grotto you, and waterfall you, and wood you, and water you, and immense-rock you, and tremendous-sound you, and solitude you.

—John Keats in a letter to his friend John Hamilton Reynolds

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