Courage, Human Nature, Learning, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Poetry, Quality of Life, Regret, Relationships, Resilience, Self, Self-Knowledge, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well

There are Ghosts in Every Heart

The air is warmer
Than the spring tonight,
Cooler than the summer.

A half-moon has risen
But I cannot recall
Whether it waxes or it wanes.

It is three in the morning and thunder
Is rolling off the mountains,
There is lightening to the North.

Continue reading “There are Ghosts in Every Heart”

Anupriya Kumari, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Death, Eudaimonia, Free Spirit, Goals, Human Nature, Ideas, Impermance, Josh, Life, Living, Meaning, Nature, Play, Purpose, Quality of Life, Self-Flourishing, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well, Well Being

The Meaning and Purpose of Defiance

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Paul offers his views on the meaning and purpose of life.

THE CRITICS EJACULATE! “The Grand Fraud of Blogging American, Paul Sunstone, excretes his opinions about the meaning and purpose of life in what can only be considered a shameless act of public urination.  Life is fully terrifying enough without the addition of his muddled and confused vision for embracing it.  I must insist upon the return of the guillotine.  I must insist upon the return of justice to our world.” — Aloyse Leblanc, Le Critique Passionné de Blog, “La Tribune Linville”, Linville, France.

Continue reading “The Meaning and Purpose of Defiance”

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

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.

Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Eudaimonia, Free Spirit, Life, Living, Love, Oppression, Quality of Life, Self-Flourishing, The Art of Living Well, Well Being

“Leave Me Wild or Die”

(About a 2 minute read)

I’ve got a promiscuous heart.  It’s a nymphomaniac.  It can’t stop itself from falling for people.  Long ago, I tried long and hard to love “an only one”.  The heart didn’t like that at all.  It went on strike after about two years.  It began making me die inside.

It’s a loyal heart.  Once it decides to love you, it sticks with you no matter what you do just like a bad family name in a small town.  It never falters in it’s love for more than the few minutes it takes you to forget one of my lectures on the epistemology of carnal knowledge.  If you abuse me, it will still love you.  It will only regret that now I myself have got to leave you.   It’s as promiscuous as a cruise ship full of cats, but it’s as loyal as a kennel full of dogs.

But it’s picky too.  Paradoxically, while it can’t just limit itself to an only one, it can be really picky about the dozen or so people it loves all at the same time.  Sometimes it won’t even love people I like, esteem, and admire.  People I would proudly be the first to pick as a roommate on a lonely two year rocket ride to Mars.  Sometimes I think my heart is the pickiest heart I’ve heard tell of apart from hearts too scared, too confused, or too stuck up to love anyone at all.

I’ve tried — years ago I tried — to turn my heart into a nice, weedless, walled garden.  It just came back to me with an ultimatum,  “Leave me wild or die”.

Adolescent Sexuality, Bad Ideas, Courage, Dan Cohen, Free Spirit, Friends, Guilt, Honesty, Horniness, Human Nature, Judgementalism, Learning, Life, Living, Loneliness, Love, Lovers, Lust, Quality of Life, Relationships, Seduction, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Sexualization, Shame, The Art of Living Well, Values, Well Being, Wisdom

Sleep With Your Friends, Not Your Fascinations!

(About a 7 minute read)

Guys, I apologize for a bossy post title, but I just could not resist the alliteration.  A good phrase has so often been my undoing in life.  Twice, for instance, I said, “Make it happen!”, at the worst possible moment.

“Make it happen” is one of my favorite phrases.  I stole if from my younger brother. My bro is superb at making even seemingly impossible things happen.  But twice, I’ve said it when I should have thought before I said it.  “Do you, Paul, accept this woman as your lawfully wedded wife…”.

“Make it happen!”

“I’ll take that as an ‘I do’. You may now kiss the wench.”

Continue reading “Sleep With Your Friends, Not Your Fascinations!”

Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Erotic Love, Human Nature, Jennifer, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Memes, Relationships, Sex, Sexuality, The Art of Living Well

Emotional Intimacy or Sexual Skillfulness?

(About a 2 minute read)

A very experienced man, Patrick, tells me that the most pleasurable sex he’s ever had in his life came about as a one-night stand with a perfect, but perfectly skilled, stranger.

Patrick has been married for at least a dozen years to the love of his life.

I myself cannot say quite the same thing as him about the best sex.  The best sex I have had came about within a committed relationship.  But I do think I can confirm that — in terms of pleasure — sexual skillfulness can go quite far towards making up for a relative lack of emotional intimacy.

Confirm that for me, if for no one else.

Put differently, the notion that emotional intimacy is absolutely key to sexual pleasure might be a myth — at least for some people.  For while intimacy certainly enhances sexual pleasure for most of us, so too does skillfulness for most of us.

Our culture does not recognize that fact.  We are so often told that almost everything depends on emotional intimacy and emotional intimacy alone.  But is our culture doing us a service there?

I recall another friend of mine, Jennifer, telling me she stayed in an abusive relationship for six or seven years because she had convinced herself that surely she must be in love with her abuser or otherwise the sex would not be as mind-blowing as it was.

Was she encouraged to think that way by our culture?  Or was that her own idea?  Or both?

Who really knows?

It would be nice to see some science on the subject.  A few surveys might give us an idea how most of us rank emotional intimacy relative to sexual skillfulness.  In the end, however, there is no substitute for figuring out your own answer to the question.

As for myself, I am greedy and want both.  Give me warm intimacy and cold ice cubes!