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!

Andrea Dinardo, Carla, Eudaimonia, From Around the Net, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Outstanding Bloggers, Quality of Life, Resilience, Self-Flourishing, Stolen From The Blogosphere, The Art of Living Well, Well Being, Wisdom

Is the Difference Love?

Break yourself.
Or have someone else do it.
(It’s easy. You’re frail, you know.)

Throw yourself into the ocean.
(Don’t be afraid.
It’s like baptism.)

Grinding tides
…lullabies…
(with a bite)

Don’t fight.
(Surrender.)

Seasons scour, gales rend
Breakers crest,
And in the end

You are precious.
(A jewel.)

How to Make Sea Glass, by the gifted Carla, Carla’s Corner.


 

“At least 99.9% of everything good in my life has come to me through the door of pain.” — Dr. Andrea Dinardo, Thriving Under Pressure.


 

(About a 3 minute read)

It’s curious to me how much truth there is to the notion exquisitely expressed in Carla’s poem that we can come to be better people through adversity and suffering.

It is equally curious to me how much truth there is to the notion insightfully expressed by Andrea that most — or perhaps almost all — of the good things in our lives are in one way or another born of our pain and suffering.

I think both ideas might seem at first to be counter-intuitive.   Does not pain and suffering focus us on ourselves, make us self-centered — perhaps even bitter and cynical?   If so, how can it turn us into jewels?

Again, how can good things come of bad things?  How can blessings enter our lives through the door of pain and suffering?

Continue reading “Is the Difference Love?”

Failure, From Around the Net, Goals, Life, Living, Resilience, Success, The Art of Living Well

Failure and Resilience

(About a 2 minute read)

Bob was a university president and — with his wife, Edith — a frequent dinner guest at our table while I was in high school.  I recall one evening Bob used a word new to me. Vita.

“Oh, I mean a curriculum vitae, Paul.” Bob said as an aside in answer to my question.  He all too quickly hastened back to what he’d been talking about.  I could tell by his smile he was merely pretending that he had sufficiently explained to me what a vita was.

“Wait!  What’s a curriculum vitae?”

Bob looked at me in triumph that I had risen to his bait.  Then his expression suddenly changed to fake, drop-jaw shock.  “You don’t know…let’s be sure about this…you do not know what a curriculum vitae is?

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Free Spirit, Friends, Fun, Horniness, Humor, Life, Living, Play, Quality of Life, Relationships, Sex, Sexuality, The Art of Living Well

Geri. Sexuality and the Single Genius Secretary

(About a 6 minute read)

The first I noticed that Geri — our sales office secretary — might have a more than usually interesting sexuality was when she put Chicago’s “Daily Sex Tips Hotline” on every speakerphone in the office.

That’s to say, Geri went desk to desk, dialed the Hotline’s number into all of our phones one after the other, and punched the “speaker” button.  The whole office was soon singing, “Men often do not play nearly enough with their partner’s breasts and nipples…”.

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Alienation, Alienation From Self, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Eudaimonia, Free Spirit, Goals, Happiness, Human Nature, Life, Living, Meaning, Oppression, Outstanding Bloggers, Passion, Political and Social Alienation, Purpose, Quality of Life, Resilience, Self, Self-Flourishing, Shreya Vikram, Spiritual Alienation, Spirituality, Talents and Skills, The Art of Living Well, Well Being

Dreams Gained and Dreams Lost, Dreams Regained

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Paul offers his take on the difference between an enthusiasm for something and a passion for something, and on what the difference means to our dreams, ambitions, and visions of ourselves.

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THE CRITICS EXPLODE! “Paul Sunstone knows all about dreams.  He knows how to mangle and crush the dreams of his readers.  He is the terrifying juggernaut of blogging.” — Arun Ghani, India’s Blogs and Beyond, “The Herald and News”, Hyderabad, India.

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Abuse, Abusive Relationships, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Ethics, Eudaimonia, Fairness, Free Spirit, Friends, Happiness, Honesty, Human Nature, Humanism, Liars Lies and Lying, Life, Living, Lovers, Morality, Morals, Obligations to Society, Passion, Quality of Life, Relationships, Self, Self-Flourishing, Sex, Sexuality, Society, The Art of Living Well, Values, Well Being

The Morality of Putting People to Narrow Uses

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul offers his take on the morality of putting people to narrow uses, such as only being interesting in someone for sex, or only for their entertainment value.

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THE CRITICS GO NUCLEAR!  “Once again, Paul Sunstone has taken it upon himself to discuss morality.  Hence, once again he has taken it upon himself to load a high calibre rifle with a shotgun shell.  Typical Sunstone, he is oblivious to the fact the shell didn’t fit, and he is just as oblivious to the fact his notion of morality does not fit the moral requirements nor standards of human nature.  Sunstone is proposing a moral code for bacteria.” — Gus “Gunning Gus” Johnson, The Blog Critic’s Column, “Leper’s Gulch Gazette”, Leper’s Gulch, Colorado, USA.

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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”