Feb 25 2014

Art and Artist

Back in September, I had the good fortune to attend a Death In June concert with my wife, in San Francisco. The show was visited by a few misguided AntiFa protesters – I’ve written about it here.

Don't make me get all batrachian on you...

Don’t make me get all batrachian on you…

Twice now, within the last few months, I’ve again had to deal with more self-appointed culture police. This time, the target is H.P. Lovecraft.

The argument usually goes like this: “How do you reconcile your love of Lovecraft with the fact that he was a horrible racist/sexist and the ‘he was a product of his times’ argument doesn’t count – GO!”

This is what’s known as a shit test. It is designed to provoke, and it is also designed to prevent any “correct” answers, because to defend Lovecraft makes you an equally reprehensible person. You should be ashamed for liking such things, because these are “enlightened” times!

Or something.

First and foremost, you should never have to defend art, music, or literature that appeals to you. I may not like what you like, and you may not like what I like. However, I find art that is forced to sanitize itself into some sort of all-inclusive tokenism just to make sure someone somewhere isn’t inadvertantly having their delicate sensibilities shattered by the Big Bad Insensitive Artist to be incredibly dull and boring. Did anyone really actually enjoy “We Are The World”?

Really?

Second, I’m sorry, but nobody has a monopoly on “transgressive” art (whatever that is). So, Douglas P., and H.P.L. are both entitled to use provocative symbols, and have beliefs that don’t sit well with today’s hand-wringers. I will also support your right to create films with topless women making out in university libraries, cracking eggs on each other’s heads, and dancing around chicken carcasses.

will laugh at that, however.

I also find Herrmann Nitsch to be rather fascinating. You should check him out.

I think these days we seem to be running into a convergence of conveniences.

  1. It is convenient to categorize thoughts, feelings, beliefs into two categories: “correct” and “incorrect”
  2. This enables us to instantly decide that anything, or anyone, that does not fall into one of our two convenient categories, must therefore belong to the other category.
  3. It is more convenient to hold people forever accountable for their brief forays into “incorrect” than it is to acknowledge that they are human, may have different beliefs from you, may grow, may change their minds, and may renounce their former beliefs.  Thus it is easier, to forever hold, say, Tony Wakeford, accountable for his brief participation in ultra-right wing political groups and therefore believe he is secretly leading an entire musical genre in promoting crypto-fascism (sometimes so crypto as to be unidentifiable even with a microscope), than it is to acknowledge his own repeated mea culpas. It is more convenient to simply label him and anyone ever seen in the same room with him as fascists. That way, you don’t have to worry about any of them, learn anything about any of them, or worry about tainting your precious little mind with the “dangerous” ideas that you read somewhere they are promoting. Effort is hard.
  4. It is convenient to just have all of the answers handed to you. When reality doesn’t fit your worldview, obviously reality is wrong. The rest of us just need to “do the research!” and we’ll be instantly enlightened as well.

I think some of this is pure laziness.  I think a good chunk of it (at least in the States) is the fault of the educational system. Kids are no longer being taught how to think, but rather provided with lists of things to memorize for The Test.

Before our son was born, my wife decided to take a philosophy of religion course at the local junior college. From what she told me, it sounded more like remedial high school English. The professor spent more time trying to teach the students how to write 5 paragraph themes than being able to effectively discuss philosophy or religion; the students kept demanding to know where the answers were in the book for their discussion topics.

Discussion Topics. Discuss. Philosophy. As in, “What do you think?”

As a former compiler of course and faculty evaluations at a different university, I was saddened by how many professors were getting low marks for “lecturing too much – wouldn’t tell us what was on the exam.”

With convenient categories, of course, comes the lack of a need to recognize complexity and nuance. Instead, you skim for a few indicators and red flags, and you instantly know all you need to know about an artist/author/person and there’s no need to investigate further once you’ve put them in their appropriate box: “Correct” or “Incorrect”

For the record, there’s a third category: “Problematic,” which is usually reserved for people who you want to like, but simply can’t, because they’re in the “Incorrect” box.  “Problematic” puts the categorizer in a bind, because on a level they acknowledge human complexity.  But, since everything has to be a zero-sum game, “Correct”/”Incorrect”, most people prefer to err on the side of caution, and go with “Incorrect”, lest they be tarnished by association, and also labelled “Incorrect.”

This dance is tiresome.

Russell Berman, in his preface to Ernst Jünger’s book On Pain (2008. Telos Press), agrees:

Although conventional political thinking still tries to police a neat separation between left and right, we should not be afraid to explore the gray zone in between without leaping prematurely or unnecessarily to an unwarranted assertion of identity (p. viii).

So, can you separate art and artist? Is it okay to like someone’s creative output, even though you think they may be a bit of an asshole?

There’s a simple solution.

The quick version: Don’t hate the Player, hate the Game.

The not-so-quick version: like what you like. Who, ultimately, gives a fuck?

If you are so caught up in worrying about what other people think of your tastes, then you have bigger issues than “is Dave Sim a misogynist, or might he have a few points?” Nobody has all the answers – especially in these “enlightened” times. If you feel that you suddenly aren’t “allowed” to like something, because the creator has unpopular opinions, or may have put their foot in their mouth in an interview somewhere and is currently being eaten alive by the Internet Outrage Machine, then I have to question the strength of your sense of self-identity.

As Robert Anton Wilson said to me, and I’m fond of repeating: “Read things you disagree with. Otherwise you aren’t exercising your mind.”

Embrace that which scares you and makes you uncomfortable.  That is what art is supposed to do.

This is also good practice for embracing other uncomfortable moments in life.

To quote Aleister Crowley:

There are only two courses open to logic; one can either accept the universe as it is, face every fact frankly and fearlessly, and make one’s soul immune to the influence of any invasion; or abolish the whole thing by administering soporifics to the spirit…The pious pretence that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing. Its overshadowing formlessness obsesses the mind. The way to beat an enemy is to define him clearly, to analyse and measure him. Once an idea is intelligently grasped, it ceases to threaten the mind with the terrors of the unknown.

Quit whining.

Own up to your tastes.

Tell me why you like the things you do, rather than apologize for them.

And enjoy (sidenote:  if you’re worried about your etheric body, wear a condom).

There are no brownie points.

Really.

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Feb 25 2014

Sing Omega

Today, I received something momentous and beautiful in the mail.

Goodies in the mail today!

Goodies in the mail today!

Sing Omega collects the lyrics (and more, and less) of David Tibet, from 1983-2013, in reverse chronological order, beginning with I Am the Last of All Field that Fell, and ending with Nature Unveiled  and LAShTAL.

This is a beautiful book.

Have I read all 550 pages in the 2.5 hours I’ve been home?  Of course not. But I know most of the book’s contents anyway, having been a fan of David’s band, Current 93, for quite some time now.

Around the time I discovered Coil (late 90s), I became aware of Current 93. Like Coil, the only way to find Current 93 (and Death In June, and Nurse With Wound, and sundry other bands that would eventually -for a while- fall under the “World Serpent” umbrella), was if you were at the right music store, at the right time, and happened to have a good chunk of money in your pocket. This made taking a chance on a band that you instinctually knew you would fall in love with at some point in your life, difficult, to say the least.

Occasionally, I’d run into a used CD.  My first actual Current 93 purchase was the EP, Crowleymass, which is, perhaps, not the best place to start. Later, a gifted copy of In Menstrual Night enlightened me a bit further as to what might be happening, even though there was still no reliable (and affordable) source for any other albums.

I still only knew Current 93’s reputation more than I knew the music.

It took moving to California, and the Bay Area for me to finally be able to investigate Current 93 (and the other bands I mentioned above) in a manner that allowed me to fall in love with each of them, as I had always known I would. The album that changed everything for me was All The Pretty Little Horses – simultaneously chilling, hypnotic, and possessing an unearthly aura of mystery; so beautiful, in fact, that I couldn’t stop listening to it.

I finally “got it.”

I’ve since amassed a rather extensive C93 library.

David Tibet’s songs – both musically and lyrically – are like nothing else you’ll ever hear. At times maddening, jaw-dropping, and transcendent, his songs are visionary, and completely support the term “apocalyptic folk” (in every sense of the term) that has been used to describe them. To listen to them is to immerse yourself in Christian esotericism the likes of which hasn’t surfaced in centuries – yet there is still a sense of play, innocence, and wonder. It is these wild juxtapositions (not to mention my genuine love of the music) that keeps me coming back for more.

Is that someone's signature on the Customs Declaration?

Is that someone’s signature on the Customs Declaration?

I’d always hoped that one day, I could pore over Tibet’s collected writings.

That day finally arrived.

The book does not disappoint.

If Thee Psychick Bible by Genesis P-Orridge is a textbook in magick and a manual of techniques, Sing Omega is pure gnostic revelation. If Tibet’s lyrics enrapture the listeners of his albums, the written versions are no less powerful. “Did I just hear that?!” can now not only be double-checked, but reviewed in context with other lines in each song, as well as with Tibet’s full body of work. Connections that may have eluded a listener, are now available for the reader to find.

Long Satan and Babylon went walking...

Long Satan and Babylon are walking…

The book itself is a hardcover, clothbound, with a ribbon bookmark sewn in. The book is 560 pages, contains not only lyrics for Current 93, but also previously unpublished poems, and lyrics written for other artists. The endpapers are facsimiles of Tibet’s handwritten lyrics for “The Invisible Church” from I Am the Last of All Field that Fell, and “I Looked to the Southside of the Door” from Birth Canal Blues.

As if all of this wasn’t full of enough awesome, there’s also an afterword by Thomas Ligotti.

The first edition is a print run of 930 copies, un-numbered.

You can get your copy for £41, directly from David Tibet.

I have no idea how long these will last.  I worried (unnecessarily, it turns out) that the week I had to wait between the day they went on sale, and the day I had the spare cash to order a copy would be my undoing. I don’t know if future editions are planned or not. If this plays out like Tibet’s other publishing endeavors, I suspect once these are gone, they’ll start commanding high prices on the secondary market.

This is a book to be enjoyed, picked up, perused, delved into, and referred back to, and savored. I had long hoped that a similar book would be published with Jhonn Balance’s writings – alas, it was not to be (yet?).

I am beyond grateful that Sing Omega has incarnated.

Given the prolific nature of Tibet’s musical output, I eagerly await the second volume.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention Current 93’s latest album, I Am the Last of All Field that Fell. This album continues the maturing of Tibet’s music that began with Black Ships Ate the Sky. It features a number of guest artists, including Norbert Kox, Nick Cave, and John Zorn(!) – this is beyond apocalyptic folk and neo-folk, and moves into an even more complex style of composition that only continues to innovate and challenge – and I mean that in the best way. The Black Ship sails onward to new but no less haunting waters. Even if you’re not familiar with Current 93, this is one well worth your time and money.

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Feb 23 2014

Run-Ins: “Not Today”

Published by under Run-Ins

I am one of those people that must seem incredibly approachable.

I’ve had any number of conversations over the years with complete strangers who feel compelled to tell me their life stories, That Weird Thing That Happened That One Time™, the Secrets of the Universe™, and/or various bits of cryptic information and what-the-fuckery.

I met God in a coffee shop once.  Really.  But I’m not going to tell that story tonight.

Instead (and I’ll tell it eventually, fear not), I’ll write about today’s encounter, while it’s still fresh in my mind.

We went to Santa Cruz today, which we are prone to doing on occasion.  There is a fairly decent used book store there, called Logos. Downstairs, they have a somewhat largish metaphysical section, as well as a decent selection of folklore, psychology, and dream-related texts.  They also have a great selection of art books upstairs, which is how I got a $125 collection of Gahan Wilson’s collected cartoons for Playboy for $31.98 today.

Anyway, as I was lugging around this particular slipcased-three-volume-hardcover-set-that-weighs-more-than-my-son, I met my son-who-weighs-less-than-these-books and my wife down by the metaphysical section.

One thing that has always made me smile is that they have a shelf labelled “Miscellaneous High Weirdness”  which usually has a nice selection of far-fringe and/or Peter Levenda books. While I was browsing through the “regular weirdness” portion, a random woman with teeth that would probably give Shane McGowan’s a run for the money and wearing a blue trench coat pointed out Levenda’s book Unholy Alliance and decided to tell us that the previous night she had just been sitting there, and the book had “literally leapt off the shelf and onto the floor.”

Not fallen.  “Leapt.”

I think I made polite acknowledgment, and maybe said something like “it must have been trying to get your attention,” which she then took as an invitation to corner me into conversation.

“You know which book is a really good one on this subject? The Nazis and the Occult by Dusty Sklar.”

“Yes,” I replied. “I’ve read it. I have a copy.”  <– this was my first mistake

“REALLY?!  I lost my copy. I can’t find it anywhere! Do you have an extra copy?”

“No, I don’t.  But it’s pretty easy to find.  I lost my original copy, too, but got my replacement at Half-Price Books in Fremont…”

From there, the conversation twisted around the topic of various other Nazi/Occult books (Sklar’s book is okay, but I tend to like Goodrick-Clarke’s book better, and for the record, while I’m willing to acknowledge a certain level of occult interest seems to have existed within the SS, for instance, I don’t know that the entire Third Reich was driven by The Dark Forces™ – I just enjoy reading the genre).

Then, somehow, we got on the topic of bookstores in Berkeley, and how she hears voices. (*ding!*)

The voices saved her life twice – most recently when she was (she claims) hit in the head with a crowbar while trying to break up a street fight (a male friend of hers was being attacked by a gang of women, and she was hit from behind).  It took her two years to heal, and get her cognitive functioning back.  The voice that saved her life had told her before she even left the house that “if you hit the ground, you won’t survive.” She didn’t know what it meant until she got involved in the fight.

Her friend who was under attack was fighting alcoholism, and from there the conversation shifted to harm-reduction models. I found out about all of this after I told her she should pick her fights more wisely. Okay, A+ for saving your buddy’s life, if that’s what happened.

After she got hit in the head, she told me, she saw a large white circle in her peripheral vision. It kept growing, and the voice told her that if it got past her vision, that would be it. “I thought it might be the ‘tunnel’ that everyone talks about with Near Death Experiences.”

"Not today"

“Not today”

So she told it to go away (very loudly in her head), and then, she lost consciousness.

I offered up Syrio Forel’s advice that “there is only one thing we say to Death: ‘not today’.”

She hasn’t read or seen Game of Thrones, but she liked the advice.

Somehow this morphed into a discussion on Sufi teaching stories, which was mercifully cut short when my wife (who had removed herself and our son from the conversation) called me on my cellphone to rescue me.

“Not today.”

Words to live by.

 

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Feb 13 2014

paths

I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that -in for a penny, in for a pound- I’ll probably never stop searching for meaning, for answers, for gnosis, and for ways to find them.

When I was an undergrad, and active in theater, I wound up writing an extensive paper on Jean Genet, focusing on his plays: The MaidsDeathwatchThe BalconyThe Blacks, and The Screens.  At the time, most of the authors I was reading could be summed up as “any combination of gay, criminal, and/or an addict” (Burroughs, Genet, and Charriere were all in heavy rotation, as well as others I’ve since forgotten about). I haven’t read Genet since the late 80s, but have recently reacquired a good chunk of his work. I’ll probably revisit him at some point in the future (currently reading Melmoth the Wanderer by Maturin, and loving it). My final paper on Genet for my second semester of History of the Theater was probably about 15-20 pages about Genet’s idea of “Theater as Ritual” which is an idea that resurfaced for me towards the end of my time in grad school.

Namely, in terms of Antero Alli’s ParaTheatrical Research.

I haven’t worked with Alli (though if I could go back in time, I would have considered this as a possible portion of my grad-school studies), but I’ve gotten to know him a little bit via Facebook. Interesting fellow. You really should check him and his work out.

In any event, I’m not writing about Alli, or Genet here, ultimately, but rather the quest – the need to touch that-which-cannot-be-named, to understand. One of my favorite quotes from Lon Milo DuQuette in The Magick of Thelema (1993) sums it up for me:

“The Magician does not necessarily want the burden of existence lifted from his shoulders; he wants to understand why he is carrying it and where.”

In fact, I used that quote as the opening salvo of my personal statement in grad school.

For a while, as I’ve written throughout this site, I was very interested in Crowley, the O.T.O., Thelema, variations on T.O.P.Y.,  and Chaos Magick.

These days, I find my interests to be much quieter.

One stream that I’ve become very interested is the traditional practices of my ancestors. My great-great maternal grandfather, Albert Hunter, was a Pennsylvania Dutch Pow-wow practitioner. I’ve also been quietly looking into Rune systems as well, and become interested in plant lore, and still have an immense love and respect for dreams and dreaming.

All of this, while working a 9-5 (okay, 8:30-4:30) job, and raising a two year old son.

In fact, part of the reason I’ve become interested in these traditions (and, honestly, I’d say they’re supplemental to my interests in “higher” magick, rather than replacing them), is to pass these traditions on to him. The day will come when he asks us “Mom, Dad, what do we believe?” and I want to have an answer for him.

A little while back, a group entered my awareness. I know none of the players involved, and the literature is prohibitively expensive. On the surface, however, their interests seem to be along the lines of where my own are right now. I have no idea how to make contact, or if I even want to make contact. My experiences with groups tend to inevitably end in disappointment.

That said, I hereby affirm my intention to at least read what literature of theirs that I can come by (and, let’s be honest, when your major texts are going for thousands of dollars on the secondary market, there are .PDFs to be had until other printings surface), and determine whether it continues to appear to be a good match.

One sign, I suppose, was that upon contemplating them last night, I was reminded of The Xenis Emputae Travelling Band. Last night, I loaded their discography onto my iPad, to listen to at work today. This morning, I found that Phil Legard (the main force behind XETB), posted a piece yesterday about a quasi-mystical horseman’s guild from the 19th century (fascinating reading, actually), specifically remarking about the use of a magickal “toad bone” to control the horses.

He provides references to a few works about the toad bone, including pieces by Andrew Chumbley.

Sometimes the universe winks back at you.

I should clarify that I would not call my current interests “Wicca” – I have no use for Gardner, nor his school.

Ultimately, I believe, we all need to find our own ways – our own paths, but they can and should be rooted in those of our ancestors.

If my son rejects all of this, I am totally fine with that.

If, however, he has an interest, then I want to be able to be the best resource and facilitator I can be.

But in the end, this is for me.

It is what I need to do.

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Jan 30 2014

Robert Van de Castle

Published by under Dreams

Robert Van de Castle

Robert Van de Castle

Robert Van de Castle passed away yesterday.

I didn’t know him as well as others did, but I do have memories of him.

Bob left his mark in two fields that are dear to me – parapsychology, and dream studies. Along with Calvin Hall, he pioneered the method of applying content analysis to dream reports. He also authored a classic introduction to dream studies, Our Dreaming Mind, which is an excellent overview to dreams, types of dreams, and the role they’ve played in history. If you want a good starter book on dream studies (beyond your usual reprints of Gustav Hindeman Miller’s 10,000 Dreams Interpreted, or the umpteenth book on “How to Tap into the Hidden Powers of Your Dreams!”), you could do much worse.

Our Dreaming Mind

Our Dreaming Mind

Bob was not without his foibles. But I will not drag him through the mud here, because despite those foibles, I respect the man and his work highly. I will say that though his personal life was not without turmoil, I understand because I have been through similar turmoil.

At the International Association for the Study of Dreams conference at Sonoma State University in 2007, I presented a paper on Visitation Dreams from The Dead. I don’t recall if Bob was in attendance at my presentation, but I do recall seeing him present. He was doing something involving light and/or sound, if I recall correctly, and some of it intersected with my own interests in the idea of consciousness seeming to be somehow connected to light and/or biophotons (see A Possible Non-Supernatural Quantum Model of Precognition, Parts 1-8, for instance) . After his presentation, I asked him if he might have some time to exchange ideas on a few of the points he brought up.

He didn’t know me at all, but he generously agreed to spend an hour talking to me later in the day, because, as he said, it was important to keep the research going, and to help encourage those of us who were newer to the field.  He didn’t have to talk to me, at all. He was old guard, an academic hero, and, as I found out, a kind and generous man.

I would have liked to have reconnected with him again. I’ve been out of the loop in the Dream Studies field, on self-imposed exile for nigh 6 years now.  I still have work to do there, and I’ve been slowly (slowly) trying to dip my toes back into the waters with a rather large research project/book.  It’s too early to really talk about any of it here.

But Bob, wherever you are, I want to thank you again for the time and effort you made to connect with me, and, obviously, your vital contributions to the field.  Please, visit a few of us in our dreams, and by all means, pinch a few angels for me. ;)

Godspeed.

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Jan 28 2014

An Evolving Checklist for the Next Generation

‘Old men like to offer good advice in order to console themselves for no longer being in a position to give bad examples’ (François de La Rochefoucauld)

My son just turned two years old not long ago.

He is starting to assert his independence, and while it is challenging at times, I couldn’t be happier for him. This has to be exciting for him, and sometimes I can almost see the little neural networks forming in his head.

I didn’t plan to be a father.  In fact, due to complications, he was born significantly earlier than we expected. I will probably write about this at some point (I still hit PTSD-induced blocks when trying to put it in writing), but for now, I’ve been reflecting on what values I want to instill in him. If I was to write my own version of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, to pass on to him, what would it look like?

I find myself in the uncomfortable place of dis-identifying as a Leftist. I certainly support the aims and goals that the Left aspires to (I’m not about to go join the Heritage Foundation, or suddenly vote Republican), but in practice, I see too many self-contradictions and things that either don’t work, or don’t add up. (See Destroying the Village in Order to Save It, for example).  In all honesty, as much as I am loathe to appear to endorse him or his actions, I think Ted Kaczynski has at least a few points in his Critiques of the Left section of The Unabomber Manifesto. Am I advocating that mailing pipe bombs is a good idea?  Hell no. But I think if the Left were to take a moment of honest self-appraisal, it would see that his comments – while biting – are not without accuracy at times.

If the Right lost the plot long ago (which, I think most of them have), and the Left seems hellbent on throwing the plot away (which I think most of them are intent on doing through endless self-flagellation), what do I tell my son is morally and ethically right?

Maybe I’m getting old (or, maybe I’ve been in California too long), but I’m becoming increasingly of the opinion that no one “side” has all the answers.  Trying to conform facts and reality to ideology is a waste of time.  This is something that both sides are guilty of. Yes, they are. Shut up. Additionally, I can no longer in good faith stand by and agree to any theory that posits that every single human interaction is based in oppression and domination. It is nihilistic, and does not take into account the beautiful complexity of life. As Dr. Candida Moss says,

 It turns disagreement into a struggle for survival with an innocent ‘us’ pitted against a hateful ‘them.’ This polarizing view of the world not only makes it impossible to have meaningful dialogue and collaboration, but it can also be used to legitimize violence against others in the name of “self-defense.”

This is a work in progress, but if my son were to approach me right now, and say “Hey Dad, what do you believe?” this is how I would answer.  This is what I would tell him is important in life.  I will be elaborating on each of these themes in coming posts, as I see fit. I don’t claim to be expert at any of these things. But that doesn’t mean he and I can’t learn together.

PRIDE:

Pride in who you are. Pride in where you come from. Who are your ancestors? What did they do so you could be here? Where did they come from? Why did they leave? Do not let anyone make you feel bad for being who you are. You are not responsible for the ills in the world. You are only responsible for the ills you perpetrate. There is no guilt by association – do not believe those who would condemn you because you look a certain way, believe certain things, or love who you are (see RESPECT, and also give others these same benefits). Do not perpetrate ill, unless a situation calls for it. These situations, while rare, do exist. Think twice, and carefully diagram the reasoning behind vengeance. Consider the cost/benefit ratio. Sleep on it. Sleep on it for seven days. If your heart still burns for vengeance, be careful in how you execute it. Ask yourself if the object of your vengeance could do a better job destroying themselves than you could. 99.9999999999999999% of the time, this is the case.

RESPECT:

Respect yourself. Respect others. Respect those who deserve respect, and don’t waste your time with those who do not. If they mistreat you, take appropriate action. Don’t start fights, but be prepared to finish them. Know when it is wiser to walk away. Everybody is entitled to one freebie. Just as you would be respected by others, offer the same respect to them; even if it is not immediately forthcoming from them. Be the bigger person, but also know when to cut your losses. Be prepared to let them go (see PROVISIONAL ALLIANCES). Respect the land, and its inhabitants. If you find yourself away from home, respect and honor the traditions of those you are visiting. Know your own history, and know the histories of others. You can never know enough history. The more you know, the easier it is to respect.

FAIRNESS:

Be fair in your dealings with others. Expect and demand fairness in return. There are no zero-sum games. Everyone has a chance to prove themselves. You do not get a ribbon, however, simply for showing up. Equality of opportunity – not outcome. Genuinely support the attempts of others. Know and respect your own limitations.

SELF-INQUIRY:

Be open to self-analysis. Could you have handled a bad situation differently? Is an apology in order? If so, make it. Just as you may have had to let people go, others may feel that they need to let you go. Ask yourself why that is. Be objective. Be critical. Be equally prepared to understand that it may be something you did, or it may be them. Sometimes what may seem like a loss may not be one after all.

RESPONSIBILITY:

Take ownership of your actions. Admit to mistakes, and take pride in accomplishments.

PROVISIONAL ALLIANCES:

Almost every alliance you form is ultimately temporary. Some will be permanent. It is my hope that you find true love with a partner of your choosing, and that love you provide him/her will be equally returned to you. You will know when you find this person. You will learn how to not be deceived. Know, too, that organizations, ideologies, and belief systems do not love you. They are using you. You can use them, too, and ally yourself with them (and certainly join up with them if you agree with them!) Ally yourself with them provisionally, however. Know when their usefulness has expired, and apply the same inquiry you apply to yourself, to them. If an organization, ideology, or belief system you subscribe to does not follow the criteria I’ve listed above, it doesn’t serve you. Actions speak louder than words. Hold any group you join to high standards.

EMBRACE PARADOX – QUESTION AUTHORITY:

Why? Because I said so.

“Never stop learning, and always do a little more than you have to.” – Adele Gutsch Hunter

“Always read things you disagree with – otherwise you are not exercising your mind.” – Robert Anton Wilson

 

 

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