Love, Spirituality, Attachment, Meditation, Quality of Life, Human Nature, Life, Attached Love, Lovers, Living, Advice, Resilience, Well Being, Clinging, The Art of Living Well

The Good News and the Bad News About Love

(About a 1 minute read)

The bad news is that you cannot love without risking almost certain pain now and then.  Even the most skillful and conscientious lover will now and then inadvertently hurt you. Even the greatest loves will someday come to an end — and often tragically (that is, in the ancient sense of tragedy — due to a flaw in human nature).

The good news is most — but never all — of the suffering most of us experience when loving someone comes from clinging unnecessarily to someone in an attempt to preserve the pleasures or avoid the pains of loving them.  If you can see this, and see it very clearly, you will put an end to the clinging, and with it, most of the suffering.

You need not do anything else.  You need only see it.  Once seen, your mind will reflexively avoid clinging like it would reflexively avoid a snake in the grass.

That is not something you should believe.  No matter how strongly you believe that, belief will not bring about an end to the suffering.  You must see it, instead.  You must watch it happening.  You much watch the whole process of clinging producing suffering — and no one can watch it for you.  No one can change a thing merely by telling you about it.

The way to watch it is through meditation.   Not introspection. Not contemplation.  Meditation.

Just my two cents.

Advice, Life, Living, Love, The Art of Living Well

Tired of Life?

Tired of life?

Try falling in love with someone, then play an old favorite, worn out song while imagining how they themselves would hear it.

If that doesn’t work for you, you just might be doing it wrong.  Double-check to see if you actually are in love with them.  Sometimes that’s the problem, sometimes not.

About This Blog, Advice

The Art of Blogging For the Special Reader

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Paul offers three easy tips on how to build a special, loyal audience for those of us who are into blogging for one or another reason other than primarily to build up as large of an audience as possible.

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THE CRITICS GO CRAZY!  “The Grand Fraud American of Blogging, Paul Sunstone, now inflicts his madness upon the impressionable minds of incipient bloggers!  He seeks to corrupt, to ruin the virgins before they have even begun the blogging of their stories, their insights, their poetry!  He is a monster!  Only the guillotine properly answers his aggression.  The guillotine must be returned to the public service!”  — Aloyse Leblanc, Le Critique Passionné de Blog, “La Tribune Linville”, Linville, France.

Continue reading “The Art of Blogging For the Special Reader”

Absolutist Thinking, Advice, Alienation From Self, Attachment, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Belief, Clinging, Courage, Creative Thinking, Delusion, Free Spirit, Freedom, Honesty, Human Nature, Impermance, Intellectual Honesty, Life, Living, Obligations to Society, Oppression, Passion, Play, Resilience, Self, Skeptical Thinking, Society, Spiritual Alienation, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well, Thinking, Truth, Whining, Wisdom

The Wisdom of Uncertainty

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul zealously offers his opinion that to embrace uncertainty is necessary and key to living a passionate, spirited, and authentic life.

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THE CRITICS ENTHUSE!  Zut! The Grand Fraud American of Blogging once more crucifies our world’s conscience and decency by attempting to undermine all that is holy and sacred about life.  He urges us to reject the certainty of every principle that is certain, reject the certainty of every truth that is a rock. I will not lie about the pig.  He is an outlaw, a criminal, a villain.  It is up to our world to deal justice to Paul Sunstone.  At last, he must be guillotined.  The guillotine must be returned to the public service of our world!”  — Aloyse Leblanc, Le Critique Passionné de Blog, “La Tribune Linville”, Linville, France.

Continue reading “The Wisdom of Uncertainty”

Advice, Bad Ideas, Buddhahood, Consciousness, Enlightenment, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Mysticism, Pride, Quality of Life, Satori, Self, Self-Integration, Spirituality, Wisdom

Is Abolishing the Ego a Bad Idea?

(About a 2 minute read)

Quite often, people tell me they want to attain nirvana, mosksha, kenshō, or enlightenment by abolishing their ego or “lower self”.  But I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.  At least not on the face of it.

I think I can see where they are coming from though.  In popular speech, the “ego” is synonymous with our pride.  Pride is quite often a source of foolishness, and can easily enough be seen as wholly unnecessary.  After all, pride isn’t exactly the same thing as self-esteem.  To many people “pride” is excessive or unjustified self-esteem.

But I see the ego as much bigger than pride — and much more important, too.  To me, the ego is the psychological self.  The self we think of as “me” or “I”.  In other words, I use the word in it’s original Latin sense.  Moreover, I do not believe pride can be abolished without abolishing the ego.

As I understand things, it is impossible to wholly abolish the ego.  I profoundly agree with Joseph Campbell that the powers within us we deny or repress do not wither and die.  Instead, they become our demons.

So, I think efforts to abolish the ego end up creating monsters.

Beyond that, the ego — or psychological self — strikes me as quite useful to us.  In fact, I can’t see anyone surviving for long without it.  Near as I can figure it, the ego is key to at least a dozen functions that are themselves both useful and vitally important to our survival.

I won’t go into them here other than to mention those functions include foresight, planning, self-defense, and many forms of motivation.  In sum, I do not believe it wise or beneficial to abolish the ego.  Or even try.  Instead, one’s objective should be to tame it through wisdom and/or love.

Abusive Relationships, Advice, Free Spirit, Human Nature, Living, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-Knowledge, Spirituality, Verbal Abuse

Dealing With Malicious People

(About a 4 minute read)

As everyone knows, the world has its malicious people.  One of the challenges malicious people pose for nearly everyone — even other malicious people — is their dagger words can wound us.

Quite a lot has been written about how to blunt, turn, or even turn back those daggers.

One of my favorite turn-backs was Churchill’s rebuke of Lady Nancy Astor, who according to the story, was Churchill’s harshest society critic.  One evening at a party she is reputed to have told him:

“Winston, if you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”

To which he retorted:

“Nancy, if I were your husband, I’d drink it.”

Continue reading “Dealing With Malicious People”

Advice, Aesthetics, Art, Authenticity, Beauty, Being True To Yourself, Communication, Conversation, Human Nature, Ideas, Muses, Parihkit Dutta, Relationships

Good Muse, Bad Muse! The Use and Abuse of Muses

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul offers his opinion on the key importance and function of muses.  Bonus: Five tips on picking a good muse or avoiding a bad one.

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THE CRITICS GO NOVA! “Paul Sunstone’s definition of ‘art’ is far too broad to be useful.  It makes any effort at communication an art, including Parikhit Dutta’s habit while a young man of getting drunk on Friday nights at the Tarry-All Tip and Pour Bar, then signing his name in the snow outside in his own pee.  On the few nights up in the Tarry-All Mountains when there wasn’t any snow, Parikhit would simply stand swaying drunk for up to 45 minutes looking as pathetically lonely and lost as that moose that wandered into Downtown Colorado Springs back in the summer of ’01. Paul Sunstone’s ‘Good Muse, Bad Muse’ resembles nothing so much more than Parikhit Dutta’s very worse autographs  on his most drunken Friday nights.”  — Gus “Gunning Gus” Johnson, The Blog Critic’s Column, “Leper’s Gulch Gazette”, Leper’s Gulch, Colorado, USA.

Continue reading “Good Muse, Bad Muse! The Use and Abuse of Muses”