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.

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!”

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?”

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.

Art, Enlightenment, Eudaimonia, Free Spirit, Human Nature, Life, Living, Meaning, Music, Passion, Purpose, Quality of Life, Religion, Satori, Self, Spiritual Alienation, Spirituality, Transformative Experience, Truth, Well Being, Wisdom

The Lyrics of “The River”, by John Andrew Hull (Manchester Orchestra)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul offers his personal interpretation of a few of the words to John Andrew Hull’s intimate, spiritual song, “The River”.

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THE CRITICS EXPLODE: “Quite obvious to this astute blog critic, Paul Sunstone’s allegedly ‘personal interpretations’ of ‘The River’ are anything but genuinely personal. Sunstone channels the Devil himself to offer his readers purely demonic views that he then shamelessly fobs off as his own. To his claim ‘The River’ is grounded in a ‘Timeless Truth of Human Nature’, I am forced to retort: Timeless Sunstone!” —  Merriweather Sterling, Blogs of the Day, “The Daily Burtie”, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, England, UK.

Continue reading “The Lyrics of “The River”, by John Andrew Hull (Manchester Orchestra)”

Advice, Alienation, Alienation From Self, Art, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Belief, Creativity, Cultural Traits, Culture, Education, Emotions, Ethics, Eudaimonia, Free Spirit, Goals, Happiness, Honesty, Human Nature, Ideas, Invention, Knowledge, Learning, Liars Lies and Lying, Life, Living, Love, Meaning, Memes, Mental and Emotional Health, Morality, Morals, New Idea, Oppression, Passion, Play, Poetry, Purpose, Quality of Life, Resilience, Self, Self-determination, Self-Flourishing, Self-Knowledge, Self-Realization, Society, Spiritual Alienation, Spirituality, Talents and Skills, Thinking, Truth, Values, Well Being, Wisdom

The Key in the Lock to the Door of Life

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul offers his views about the crucial and key role the pursuit of honesty plays in living a passionate, flourishing, and fulfilling life.

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THE CRITICS HEART’S MELT! “Down at the Hartsel Cafe and Salon last Tuesday morning Stella Bailey and Libby Sommer got into it over coffee in a dispute that turned so fierce at times Hartsel’s most famous local celebrity, Ernest the Moosehead, looked about to fall crashing down from his place of honor on the the North wall above the table reserved on Thursdays for the Liar’s Club.  I reckon no one in the whole of South Park Colorado honestly needs to be told the subject of the deafening uproar between the two normally soft-spoken and genteel ladies was none other than Mr. Wannabe Blogger, Paul “Fool” Sunstone. The ladies were trying to top each other in who could more objectively describe what an insufferable ass Sunstone is.  Libby’s final position was that any one of Sunstone’s blog posts was just about as confused and messy as an elk sucked into a jet aircraft engine firing up on the runway of internet blogging.  Stella snapped back that Sunstone’s post, “The Key in the Lock” transcended even a hamburgered elk for a confused mess, and could only be compared to the confused mess the infamous Fairplay Twister had made of Ivor Plumber’s strikingly original racoon-fur toupee. You’ll recall back in ’04, the Fairplay Twister came out of nowhere to inflict 16.4 million dollars of damage and in the process suck Ivor’s toupee right from his head. Suck it from his head in the very midst of one of his traditional Friday night courtships of Jane Basil, right along with a full half of her bodice. Ivor has ever since said, the memory of Jane’s exposed left bosom was the only thing that could ameliorate his profoundly felt sense of loss in the days ahead.  Jane has been even more vocal on the subject than Ivor. She maintains that, had the tornado taken her maiden aunt’s hand-me-down chastity belt instead of her bodice, she and Ivor would be right shacked up today. Now back to Libby and Stella.  In the coldly objective opinion of this blog critic, not one, but both ladies are right.  Right in the sense that Paul Sunstone forever and eternally tops his inner ass with each and every new post of his.  Sunstone has never taken so much as a single back-step in his relentless effort to destroy internet blogging once and for all.  ‘The Key in the Lock to the Door of Life’ is in no way, shape, or form a back-step.  Sunstone, the Contemptable Juggernaut of Confused Fools, ever remains true to his worthless self.  Sorrowfully yours, Gunning Gus.”  — Gus “Gunning Gus” Johnson, The Blog Critic’s Column, “Leper’s Gulch Gazette”, Leper’s Gulch, Colorado, USA.     Continue reading “The Key in the Lock to the Door of Life”

Advice, Anger, Bad Ideas, Buddhism, Clinging, Emotions, Human Nature, Judgementalism, Learning, Life, Living, People, Quality of Life, Terese, Teresums, Wisdom

How to Control Your Anger (Paul Sunstone’s Scandalously Alarming Advice on Anger Management)

(About an 11 minute read)

PAUL: Beat it, Teresums! I’m busy, busy, busy!  I have a post to write today for my voracious meat-eating blog audience, and all I have in front of me so far is the White Screen of Death.  No time for you.  Run off!  Go play with your sailors.  Go show them the real reason Sydney Harbor Sluts go “down under” on their sailors.

TERESUMS: Oh no you don’t, Paul! Not this time! I swore last Tuesday was the very last time in my life ever that I was going to let you shoo me away by lying about how busy you are!  Never again, Paul!

PAUL:  What? What are you talking about?

Continue reading “How to Control Your Anger (Paul Sunstone’s Scandalously Alarming Advice on Anger Management)”

Bad Ideas, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Friends, God(s), Human Nature, Ideas, Life, Living, Nontheism, Quality of Life, Religion, Wisdom

Late Night Thoughts: Moonless Nights, Theism and Nontheism, Age Segregation, Ancient Reputations, and More (October 1, 2018)

(About a 5 minute read)

I once read that on a moonless night, no more than about 5,000 stars are visible to the naked eye.  Yet, to us that number might as well be a million, given how poor our judgement of numerical quantities is.

Apparently, most of us cannot instantly, without counting, recognize the difference between such a small quantity as eight and nine items — let alone the difference between 5,000 and 1,000,000.

♦♦♦

Can you imagine what a paradise this earth would be for (especially) young men if women did not need to fear getting to know them?  Not only would it be easy to get a first date, but you could take her just about anywhere.

Continue reading “Late Night Thoughts: Moonless Nights, Theism and Nontheism, Age Segregation, Ancient Reputations, and More (October 1, 2018)”

Beauty, Buddhahood, Consciousness, Enlightenment, Free Spirit, Human Nature, Ideas, Life, Living, Love, Memes, Mysticism, Quality of Life, Religion, Self, Self-Integration, Sense of Relatedness, Spirituality, Transformative Experience, Unconditional Love, Wisdom

The Dance of the Cosmic Dancer

SUMMARY: The image of a cosmic dancer appeals to many people and is open to many interpretations, including the notion presented here that it represents the state of consciousness of a spiritually enlightened person.

(About a 7 minute read)

The great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, enjoyed attributing his own thoughts to others.  Thus, he interpreted Nietzsche’s “Cosmic Dancer” to be someone who dances between opinions and points of view, rather than resting heavily on any particular opinion or point of view.

Although Nietzsche himself never quite saw it the same way, Campbell’s image is an attractive one.  Not only is there truth to be found in an ability to see things from many points of view, but in both intellectual and spiritual terms, it is the very opposite of fanaticism.

Images have a way of taking on a life of their own.  What is created to symbolize one thing can soon come to symbolize many things.  Some long time ago, I posted on this blog one possible interpretation of the cosmic dancer image (You can find that post here, if you’re interested).  Since then, the post has gotten at least a few hits a month, mainly — if the search terms are any indication — from people looking for a definitive interpretation of the term “cosmic dancer”.

Continue reading “The Dance of the Cosmic Dancer”

Cultural Traits, Culture, Life, Living, Love, Memes, Passion, Quality of Life, Unconditional Love, Wisdom

The Sources of Wisdom

(About a 5 minute read)

Sophocles somewhere writes something along these lines:

Pain, drop by drop
Enters our soul
Until through
The awful grace of the gods
We attain wisdom.

The notion that the primary source of wisdom is pain — or suffering — is an ancient and often repeated one.  However, I have my doubts whether that is true — or even can be very true.

Continue reading “The Sources of Wisdom”

Human Nature, Life, Love, Poetry, Unconditional Love, Wisdom

The Great Goddess of Love

(About a 3 minute read)

My young friend, you tell me how your love for him
Has sprouted, will grow into an oak
Forever rooted firm; how you want him
To be your first and to be your last;
How you will never want another;
And how your heart makes all these rules
And not your head.

I know you’re in love, that I do not doubt,
But have you looked at love?

Have you made a study of her character
And her personality?

Have you dispassionately observed her ways?

The sapling you water and tend today
Is not the oak that you’ll in future find.
Today your love has few branches,
Shoots straight for his sun.
But soon she will branch-out:
That’s her nature, you know.
And her branches will grow thicker
Than your warm and tender thighs.
Much thicker even than your ideals.

No, I do not say you ever must leave him
(Though if someday you must, then you must),
But know that while her trunk is him,
She’s just as promiscuous as you today are not.

Yes, if you wish keep yourself body-loyal to him,
There’s no wrong in that,
But open your heart wide to love.

Love is the universal solvent, the cosmic subversive
Who can and will dissolve all the barriers
Of class and clan, of race and sex,
Of wealth and poverty, of religion and philosophy,
Of politics and personality, of character and ideology,
Of morality and ethics, of principle and indifference,
Of age and youth, of caste and nationality —
All the barriers
That we humans can and have erected against her.

She scarcely notes those things in passing.

Though a few of us love only once,
Most of us only tell ourselves we do.
And just as the sun shines
Equally upon fools and on sages,
She bestows her riches
Both to legal and illegal loves.

My young friend you are too young
To have seen with your still unclouded eyes
That she alone of all the gods
Is fully capable of renewing your life
When you have grown tired and jaded of it.

Love born in you is more than an emotion,
She’s an affirmation of all of life,
Of both the flower and the thorn,
Of both the lion and the deer,
Of both the breeze and the storm,
Of both the body and the spirit.
It is only through love we are renewed,
It is only through her we are reborn.

Yes, I know I am calling on you
To open your heart so wide the rain can come in
(And yes it will now and then),
And I know when it does you will suffer and ache,
But the best balm for wounds to love
Is to love again.

Let her raise up mighty branches in you!
Climb up among her leaves until your spirit
Is ecstatic with the height,
Until you can touch the clouds
And summon the lightning from them!