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”

Art, Honesty, Literature, Poetry, Quotes, Shreya Vikram, Wisdom, Writing

“Shy Writers Die.”

“Shy writers die.”  — Shreya Vikram (in an email to Paul Sunstone).

“The moment you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself.  That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”  — Neil Gaiman.

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?”

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.

Continue reading “Dreams Gained and Dreams Lost, Dreams Regained”

Communication, Conversation, Human Nature, Ideas, Life, Living, Marysa, Neuroscience, Psychology, Relationships, Science, Society, Terese, Teresums

Understanding Each Other

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Paul offers some thoughts on the foundation and basis for mutual human understanding in shared experiences.

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THE CRITICS GO NOVA! “Paul Sunstone has a ravenous appetite for stupidity.  There!  I said it!  I said his name.  My therapist tells me if I say his name often enough, I will accustom myself to it, I will numb myself, and I will no longer burst into uncontrollable giggle-snorting whenever…please excuse me. I am become disconcerted…”  — Arun Ghani, India’s Blogs and Beyond, “The Herald and News”, Hyderabad, India.

Continue reading “Understanding Each Other”

Andrea Dinardo, Anxiety, Emotions, Eudaimonia, Fear, Free Spirit, Happiness, Health, Human Nature, Life, Living, Meditation, Mental and Emotional Health, Nature, Quality of Life, Resilience, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well, Well Being, Wilderness

The Power of Nature to Combat Anxiety, Dread, and Fear

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul discusses how spending time in nature — and especially spending time meditating in nature — can combat anxiety, dread, and fear.

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THE CRITICS EXPLODE! “Paul Sunstone knows no more about nature than Rupert Snider, the Denver tourist, once knew about the ravenous hunger of bears fresh out of hibernation.  To the horror of his tour group, Snider tried to pet a black bear in the spring of ’98.  The last he saw of his arm up to the elbow was its being carried off in the mouth of a mamma bear on her way back to share it with her cubs.  To the horror of his readers, Paul Sunstone has written yet another one of is eternally ignorant nature posts. The world would be a better place if a bear could be persuaded to make off with both his typing fingers.”  — Gus “Gunning Gus” Johnson, The Blog Critic’s Column, “Leper’s Gulch Gazette”, Leper’s Gulch, Colorado, USA.

Continue reading “The Power of Nature to Combat Anxiety, Dread, and Fear”

Art, Authenticity, Beauty, Being True To Yourself, Blundering Criticisms, Critiques, Free Spirit, Life, Living, Nature, Observation, Outstanding Bloggers, People, Photography, Quality of Life, Robin, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well, Well Being, Writing

Walking With Robin

(About a 2 minute read)

“The morning sunlight, in the spring, bounces off the sconces on the pendulum lights [in my kitchen] and creates a star-like pattern on the ceiling.  It’s a signal that spring has arrived.” — Robin, Breezes at Dawn Blog [Brackets Paul’s].

Anyone wishing to find his or her own true voice — but who is uncertain what that means — would do well to study Robin’s posts on her blog, Breezes at Dawn.

Of course, it is nearly impossible today to express a wholly new idea, especially outside the sciences.  Those who do now and then manage to come up with something even approaching a wholly new idea tend to be keen observers, rather than creative alone.

Robin is quite obviously a keen observer (see above quote), but — offhand — I can’t recall her expressing any more original ideas than the rest of us.  What makes her voice her own are not the ideas she expresses, but the virtually unique and special way in which she expresses them.

In short, her style.

Continue reading “Walking With Robin”

Critiques, From Around the Net, Internet, Life, Outstanding Bloggers, Parihkit Dutta, Stolen From The Blogosphere

“Bahadur: The Expatriate” by Parakhit Dutta

(About a 2 minute read)

“This needs to be read by the world…” — Akarsh Jain

I see no reason to suppose that bloggers cannot now and then produce posts that have all the merits of world class literature.  I don’t even think you need to be a world class critic to point that out.

It is quite true that few, if any of us bloggers set out to intentionally produce something of universal and timeless value — something that ought to be on school and university reading lists for centuries.  After all, why should we?

Yet, what is to prevent someone from now and then doing it?  Doing it in all likelihood unintentionally.

I can think of only one objection to the notion that our lowly blogging community cannot now and then produce something the equal of any short work or essay produced by a Montesquieu, Cicero, Pritam, Emerson, Mengzi, or Orwell.

“No world class critic thinks we can.”

But I doubt there are many genuinely world class critics who themselves would make such an argument for in the end, that argument does not hold water.  It amounts to little more than saying “blogging has been overlooked by critics, therefore there is nothing to find in the blogosphere.”

So far as I can see, Parakhit Dutta’s Bahadur: The Expatriate is a universal and timeless work of literature.  Anyone, from any culture, at anytime in history could benefit — could have their lives enriched — by reading it.  Here’s an excerpt:

“…my uncle was someone who had never looked at Bahadur condescendingly, while everybody [else] treated him as though he were an eye-sore, a tiny, irritating thorn, that needs be plucked out at once! He was scolded, berated, shouted at and one hysterical woman had claimed that Bahadur had on purpose touched her, a grave sin for he was an untouchable. Men found pleasure in beating him up…”

I don’t know how you could fault that passage.  I don’t know what methods of accounting could possibly bottom line it as anything less that excellent.  Moreover, the entire rest of Parakhit’s post does not flag from the high standards of that excerpt.

Bahadur can be found here.


Off the top of my head tonight, I can suggest two other posts any interested person will want to read:

Jane Basil’s hilarious poem Promises

The Ederran’s reflections in Observing Surroundings

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”

Amanda Reilly Sayer, Art, Creative Thinking, Creativity, Eudaimonia, Free Spirit, From Around the Net, Fun, Happiness, Ideas, Life, Living, Outstanding Bloggers, Play, Quality of Life, Self-determination, Self-Flourishing, Talents and Skills, Well Being

In Which I Savage Amanda Reilly Sayer’s Most Recent Post

A kind man, a humane man, a fair and just man would sing to you, Dear Readers.  Sing nothing less or other than full-throated words of praise for Amanda Reilly Sayer’s most recent post.

By gods! He’d sing loud of Amanda Reilly Sayer, and of her post!  And he’d be doing it for you, Dear Readers, he’d be doing it for your own benefit.  He’d say, “Treat yourself today to what deep down you know you deserve now and then: A damn good post.”

That’s what a fair and just man would do — both for Amanda and for you.

Continue reading “In Which I Savage Amanda Reilly Sayer’s Most Recent Post”

Abuse, Abusive Relationships, Bad Ideas, Baffy, Emotional Abuse, Fairness, From Around the Net, Honesty, Human Nature, Humanism, Liars Lies and Lying, Oppression, Outstanding Bloggers, Physical Abuse, Psychological Abuse, Racism, Relationships, Self Identity, Self Image, Sexual Abuse, Society, Stolen From The Blogosphere, Values, Verbal Abuse, Village Idiots

I Shamelessly Stole From Baffled Mum Today

Baffled Mum’s post today, “Who Will Miss You?” is an outstanding illustration of why I like to steal things.

That’s my polite way of saying the idea for this post is stolen from a post of hers.

[Back story] Baffy — as she kindly allows me to call her — Baffy overheard some jerk rhetorically asking someone, “Who will miss you!”  Being foolishly in possession of a heart just as big as her mind (Which seems at least big enough to embrace most anything she wants it to embrace), Baffy posted a concise, surgically accurate response on her blog. Nailed him, she did!  Didn’t call him out by name, but nailed him right properly and good. [/back story]

Here’s my favorite Baffy quote of them all, “Who are we to judge the worth of people anyway?”

Yay!  You go, Baffy! Stick it to that dragon!  That dragon of unnecessary and unwarranted ranking of ourselves and others.

All I want to know is just which god slammed a ten-foot high judge’s bench under the exalted butts of possibly three-quarters or more of humanity?

Call me crazy if you must, but somehow, I doubt anything divine had a hand in placing those benches under those butts.  Somehow, I smell the profane stench of self-righteous self-appointment.  Just ain’t nothing sacred about them benches at all, so far as I can see.

I agree with everything Baffy said today.  Just I want to add this.  Each and every act of abuse the world sees moment to moment of each minute of the day is to me evidence of our co-equality when it comes to our most fundamental human worth.

Every act of abuse from the father’s too sharp criticism of his child to the dictator’s bloody genocide, is evidence of why we must treat each other as equals in basic human worth.

Abuse — it all adds up to a price, a cost, humanity simply hasn’t got it to pay off.

Bad Ideas, Consumerism, Cultural Traits, Culture, Human Nature, Ideas, Living, Marysa, Memes

Consumerism

(About a 3 minute read)

I suspect I look at consumerism in a rather unusual and somewhat off-angle way.  In other words, I’m most likely standing off to the side of most of us when I look at it, seeing it from an unusual angle.

Kind of reminds me of the “off-angle” view I had in middle school regarding the issue of girlfriends.  Most of the boys preferred their girlfriends to actually be breathing, I myself preferred Playboy center-folds. After all, the center-folds were the more approachable girls, the less daunting ones.

Have you ever bought anything merely or just for the fun of buying?

Myself, I think that’s a fairly universal human pleasure.  I think most of us now and then buy stuff solely — or at least mostly — for the pleasure we get from buying things.

To me, consumerism is the consumption of goods, services, and anything else primarily or solely for the pleasure we humans can take in acquiring things.

In practice, consumerism can be pure — we can buy something only and solely for the fun of acquiring it — but so far as I can see, consumerism is most often merely the main or primary reason we buy something.

If we buy mainly for some other reason than the pleasure of acquisition, it’s not consumerism to me.

So, three possibilities:

A Super-Soaker water gun bought for no other reason at the time of purchase than the fun of buying it consumerism.

A Super-Soaker bought mostly for the fun of buying it is still consumerism.

A Super-Soaker bought mainly for the necessary and just purpose of soaking Marysa Storm from head to foot before she even knows what’s coming is by no means consumerism — it is instead altogether fair and righteous shopping in the eyes of the gods.

I suspect most people think of consumerism as pretty close to, or even the same as, materialism.  “Not so!”, say I.

As I see it, droves of people consume “spiritual” things all the time.  I suppose in truth, they are not technically consuming things like love, friendship, Jesus, or gratuitous anger at the truly evil folks in our world who happen to disagree with their views on politics and the proper methods of wanking.  Yet, I’m pretty sure it’s possible to, say, seek love from other people mainly or even solely for the thrill of discovering someone loves you.

“Oh, look Ma! I just acquired a boyfriend!”  A few months later, if that, and the novelty has won off.  Time to consume another one.

Could it be that seeking “likes” on social media might at times be a form of consumerism, albeit an admittedly harmless one?  According to my def, “yes”.  Shocking, I know!  Please “like” this post if you disagree with me!  Teach me the errors of my way!

An economist sees consumerism in economic terms, a sociologist sees it in sociological terms, an anthropologist sees it in cultural terms, a spiritual person sees it in spiritual terms.  They’re all WRONG!  ALL WRONG! I win! I win!  Here, I believe I am channeling my inner psychologist to see it in psychological terms.  Or perhaps, even in philosophical terms.