Depending on where you’re at in terms of personal development, if you thought I was a sexist pig before today, the following will remove all doubt. Oh yeah, and fuck you too. LOL!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Depending on where you’re at in terms of personal development, if you thought I was a sexist pig before today, the following will remove all doubt. Oh yeah, and fuck you too. LOL!
Friday, June 17, 2011
Well, if you’ve been itching to meet yours truly or to kick my ass (or try, motherfucker) I will be hanging out tomorrow at New Jersey’s Palisades Interstate Park with some friends (quite a few from the internet). If you’re interested check out the Evite for details (click here). (I promise not to try to fuck you in the ass LOL!)
* * *
-=[ Flipping the Script]=-
A young lady had just begun menstruating, and was suffering from debilitating cramps. Unfortunately, massive doses of ibuprofen did nothing to relieve the distress, so she went to her acupuncturist, Dr. Lily Ming, to get relief.
Dr. Ming had her lie down on the table and proceeded to insert several needles in her belly and hand and ear. Then Dr. Ming did something our intrepid heroine was unfamiliar with: She light pounded on the nail of the young lady’s big toe with a silver hammer for a few minutes.
“Why are you doing that?” the young lady asked.
“It’s good for the uterus,” the doctor replied.
And sure enough, the young lady’s cramps dramatically decreased as the doctor thumped, and in the days to come they did not return.
After the session, as our young lady prepared to leave, the usually quiet and reserved Dr. Ming started up a conversation. Surprised, the young lady listened as the doctor made a series of revelations. By far the most surprising was Dr. Ming’s description of a traumatic event from her own childhood.
During the military occupation of her native Manchuria, a province of China, she was forced to witness Japanese soldiers torturing people she loved. Their primary act of atrocity was using hammers to drive bamboo shoots through their victims’ big toes.
The moral of the story you ask? (Okay, you didn’t ask, but I like to pretend you ask shit like that. ) Dr. Ming has accomplished the heroic feat of reversing the meaning of her most traumatic imprint. She has turned a symbol of pain into a symbol and tool for healing.
Dr. Ming is a power of example for me and challenges me to ask others and myself: what’s your excuse?
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Here's something I once wrote as a response to bullying.
* * *
-=[ Shame ]=-
We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinion, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.
-- George Bernard Shaw
The whole fifth grade class was laughing at him… including me.
His father stumbled into the middle of a spelling test arguing loudly with our teacher. His clothes were ragged and he was unkempt. He was there to make a case for his son, Kevin, who sat next to me. Kevin and I were the smartest kids in the class. Kevin was painfully shy and no one really liked him to begin with, so now everybody, including me, was laughing at him because his father was obviously a dope fiend and he showed up in the middle of a spelling test totally out of his mind. He was nodding out even as he argued his son’s case.
I don’t remember all the details, but I remember the shame. I can still remember vividly the shame on Kevin’s face, the humiliation in the knowledge that now everyone knew his deadly secret -- that his father was a “junkie.” I remember this because I remember my own shame too, because I felt hypocritical.
It’s so easy to join the mob, so easy to feel a part of the crowd at the expense of someone else. The mob mentality has no mercy. Just look at most of today’s headlines and you’ll bear witness to what the mob mentality, or the very human tendency to create scapegoats, can create.
The fact was that I knew too well that shame. My own father was an addict, and I remember when all my friends encircled me one day while chanting, “Your father’s a junkie, your father’s a junkie.” And I remember how I felt so ashamed, so humiliated, and so angry. I couldn’t resolve the anger and shame I felt about my father because I loved him so much and all those feelings were too overwhelming -- I didn’t know how to process all that. I just stood there in the middle of that circle tears of anger flowing until I lashed out at the first one to get close enough to me and I punched him in the nose. And that’s when the mob turned on me and I went home with a split lip and torn clothes.
Deep inside I hated my father for making me go through that, but I also adored him. He was so intelligent. I used to love to sit on his lap and put my ear to his chest and listen to the soft rumble of his voice as he taught me something or spoke. My father was like a God to me. And now I hated him and I hated myself for hating him because it felt so wrong.
I just didn’t know how to handle the inner conflict. So I guess somewhere, somehow, I internalized all those conflicting feelings and became ashamed of myself for everything: for my father, for my feelings, for my inability to fix it.
My father was a greatest storyteller and on some days, he would gather all the kids on our block and entertain us with stories. I guess it was a testament to his storytelling gift that he could keep us transfixed on that Lower East Side stoop and you could hear a pin drop. I was raised in a neighborhood where drug addicts were a common part of the urban landscape. As children we would place bets on how far a junkie would nod. Some junkies would nod so far, bent over by the waist, that you would swear they would tip over and fall. But they never did.
My father would nod when he told my friends stories. At first, we would sit there for what would seem minutes because invariably there was a punch line, a lesson, or a resolution to the story. At first, my friends wouldn’t say anything, but then my father’s nodding got worse and one day while arguing over a game or a rule, as boys are won’t to do, it came out: the outspoken truth that my father was a “junkie.” It was a hard lesson to learn at such a tender age.
Yet I sat there and laughed at Kevin just like everyone else did and even at that young age (5th grade), I knew it was wrong. I knew that I was being a phony because I didn’t want to feel that shame anymore, I wanted to be like the others, so I joined in on the cruelty. In making Kevin the scapegoat, the rest of us were saved from confronting our own shame. I wanted to reach out to Kevin, but he refused, perhaps sensing something worse: that I pitied him. Eventually I told Kevin my secret and while we never became close friends, in the fifth grade we stuck it out together. I did so even though even talking to Kevin made me an outsider, but that was OK, because I think it was at that time I decided I would always be an outsider. I reasoned that no one could really know me if I was an outsider, so fuck them.
And in that way, I began to build a wall of protection that kept others out so no one could ever know me -- a fortress surrounding my heart.
Shame is a prison. I don’t know for sure, if this was all the beginning, or the setting of the table for my own life, but the one thing I’m certainly of is that our secrets kill us, as surely as cigarettes or drugs. Secrets kill because embedded in our secrets lies our shame.
If you notice I’m not that particular about who reads my madness, but I am particular about making someone -- even a stranger -- feel excluded because I know that feeling intimately. It has haunted me for most of my life. Not many people can successfully accuse me of not having a sense of humor, but I abhor humor at the expense of another.
Even now, sometimes it’s easy for me to join in with the mob and feast on another’s soul so that I could feel better about myself. It’s the easiest thing because it trips that “You belong” mechanism. I've done it before and felt stupid after when the object of ridicule was kind to me.
But really: how many of us are laughing or forming cliques, or creating scapegoats because we too have secrets? How many of us can say we’re not turning away from our own shame at some level?
My name is Eddie and I'm in recovery from civilization...
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Today is the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Contrary to what you may (or may not) have heard, the parade isn’t a rape fest, or an organized crime spree. The following was posted by a Boricua* for the NY Post several years ago and it features the many highlights of what is still one of the largest (if not the largest) outdoor event in the U.S.
A little personal side note: one of my sister’s was a PR Parade Beauty queen (in the mid 70s).
* * *
“Grito de Lares” by Augusto Marin
El Grito de Lares: Several hundred women and men revolted against Spain for Puerto Rican independence on Sept. 23, 1868. The main leader was Ramón Betances. The insurrection failed because the upper class was apathetic, the rebels lacked adequate training and equipment, and because the Spanish authorities knew of the rebels' plans in advance.
-=[ Puerto Rican Parade ]=-
50 Greatest Moments
By Eneida del Valle
/ Posted: 5:00 AM, June 6, 2007
From beauty queens who marched in heels to politicians who sported fake smiles to win some votes, to the controversial 'Seinfeld' episode, the Puerto Rican Parade has made Big Apple history for over half a century.
March 1958: Leaders from the Puerto Rican community decide to break away from the Hispanic Day Parade and create the Puerto Rican Day Parade. According to an editorial in "El Diario," the main objective of the Hispanic Day Parade, which was mainly run by Puerto Ricans, is to unite all peoples of the Spanish language. The Puerto Rican Day Parade is founded by Victor Lopez, the march’s first president; coordinator Jose “Chuito” Caballero; Peter Ortiz; Luisa Quintero; Luis Amando Feliciano; Vicente Hernández; Angel M. Arroyo; Atanacio Rivera Feliciano; and Amalio Maisanave Ríos.
April 1958: The first Puerto Rican Day parade is held on Fifth Avenue on April 14 as 5,000 Boricuas march in front of a crowd of 125,000. It’s a huge success, receiving a hail of positive reviews from the media. The Herald Tribune says, “There are longer and larger parades but none encompass the spirit of the Puerto Rican Day Parade,” and the New York Times says, “The Puerto Ricans have taken over Fifth Avenue.” Then-New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner is quoted in the New York Times, as saying “The Puerto Ricans have demonstrated their civic and cultural contributions to the City of New York.” But what really got tongues wagging was when Gloria Burgos, the queen of the parade, and her court, walked all 34 blocks in high heels after the float she was supposed to appear on never showed up. Attendees included then-Governor of Puerto Rico Don Luis Muñoz Marin and Oscar González Suarez, Esq. as the Grand Marshall.
April 12, 1959: The second parade goes off -- but not without a hitch. Community leaders and the media form an alliance called Un Frente Unido por un Solo Desfile (A United Front for One Parade) in an effort to unite the Hispanic Day Parade and the Puerto Rican Day Parade, urging organizers for unity and harmony. But to no avail. The president of the parade, Mr. Victor Lopez, is quoted in El Diario de Nueva York as saying, “The parade will definitely not unite with any other Hispanic parade in New York City.” Despite the 40-degree weather, it’s attended by 160,000 people and more than 10,000 people make their way up Fifth Avenue. Then-New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller is in attendance.
April 1960 & 1961: Parade continues its success up Fifth Avenue with more than 165,000 in attendance both years.
June 1962: It’s official! The parade is held on June 10, the second Sunday in June and that date has not changed since. In order to have the legislators from the main island attend the parade – they’re all tied up until May 30 -- organizers decide to change the date to accommodate them and the route is extended from 44th-86th streets. Good thing they waited! The ‘62 parade is billed as the best, brightest, biggest and most expensive ever, costing $100,000 with 50 floats and 40 bands -- and half a million Boricuas in attendance. Yet it was former Mayor of San Juan Felisa Rincón who stole the show. Instead of staying with the rest of the politicians at the stage on 64th Street, she made the decision to ride in a convertible, causing an outpouring of love and support from the crowd.
1965: Described as the best organized parade yet, thousands of people start lining along the route to get a glimpse of what the media called “The most genuine representation of Boricuas in the United States.”
1967: For the first time in its history, the Puerto Rican Day Parade is broadcast on television the same evening, June 4 from 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. on channel 47 Telemundo, sponsored by Schaefer Beer.
1968: The parade goes commercial. Responding to a petition by various Puerto Rican organizations, Goya, Accent, Café Caribe and Sazón all donate floats to the parade and once again, the event is hailed a success.
1969: The parade marks its first political incident, as supporters of Castro and Puerto Rican Nationalists march in protest and try to disturb the festive sprit by yelling “Yankees Go Home!” But nothing can ruin the excitement of over 100,000 marchers and 350,000 spectators. The festivities continued with no further interruptions, highlighted by artists such as the great Rita Moreno.
1972: Hailed as one of the most diverse parades in years, this year the parade opened its doors not just to dignitaries and beauty queens but also to nationalist and militant groups. They are allowed to march peacefully in protest against the U.S. involvement in Puerto Rico.
1975: Once again the parade hits another peak when more than half a million people march up Fifth Avenue for the annual festivities. The parade is dedicated to singer, songwriter and composer Bobby Capó, who, to this day, is considered one of Puerto Rico’s best.
1977: With 350,000-plus in attendance, the parade is once again interrupted, but not by communist or nationalist groups. This time it’s former New York Congressman Herman Badillo. The police had to intervene when, without authorization from parade officials, he and his legion of organizers -- he was running for mayor -- decided to march. “El Diario La Prensa” quoted him as saying, “I march because I am one of the founders of the parade.” To avoid any further disruptions, coordinator Federico Pérez told police to let them march.
1980s: Throughout the ‘80s, the parade goes off without a hitch. It gets larger as more than 200,000 march and attendance nears the one million mark. The parade acquires more sponsors, such as Budweiser and Heineken, and many Puerto Rican legends, like Tito Puente, march. There are also flurries of parades throughout the boroughs and in New Jersey.
1990: One question was on the mind of every Boricua at the parade, should Puerto Ricans living in the United States be allowed to vote on the island’s future? The referendum on whether the island should become a state, stay a commonwealth or become independent was front-page news and on the minds of the politicians, such as then-Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and former New York Mayor David Dinkins. However, some onlookers boo the politicians, deciding the parade was no place for politics.
1995: It goes national! The Puerto Rican Day Parade becomes the National Puerto Rican Day Parade and delegates from 31 states join in. Salsa is the theme this year as singing sensations Tony Vega and Jerry Rivera join the march, along with the granddaddy of them all, Parade Godfather Gilberto Santa Rosa.
1996: The man who is known as the father of Puerto Rican culture, anthropologist, geologist and recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities award, Dr. Ricardo Alegría, is honored as the grand marshal of the parade. It is dedicated to the Korean War’s highly decorated 65th Infantry Regiment of Puerto Rico. It is also broadcast for the first time on English-language TV, New York's WPIX/Channel 11. Seventy floats and over 150,000 marchers take part. And close to 2 million come out to boo then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani (and cheer Geraldo Rivera).
1998: Oh yes they did! They went there. A week before the “Seinfeld” grand finale and a month before the parade, Boricuas everywhere were shocked when one of the most popular shows in TV history aired the infamous flag-burning episode. The episode is set around the Puerto Rican Day Parade where Seinfeld and his buddies are driving back to the city after a Mets game and get stuck in traffic. Kramer blurts out “every Puerto Rican in the world must be out here.” While lighting a cigar with a sparkler, he sets a Puerto Rican flag on fire when he throws the sparkler in the back seat. In an attempt to put out the flames, he starts stomping on it. A group of spectators see him and declare “Maybe we should stomp you like you stomp the flag!” He screams and runs off as they chase him. Jerry, who by then is in his apartment, makes it to the window in time to see the crowd destroy his car. All while Kramer says, “It's like this every day in Puerto Rico.” Because of the backlash, NBC promised to never air the “Puerto Rican Day Parade” episode again. Coincidentally, the parade for the first time is aired nationally on NBC. Still, organizers were able to attract more corporate sponsors as Hershey and Palmolive join. A heavy downpour would not keep folks away as they danced to the sounds of La India and Marc Anthony and enjoyed watching Julio Diaz, known for dancing around NYC subways with a foam woman attached to his waist.
1999: The first-ever Puerto Rican Day Parade is held in Queens.
2000: It’s a sad day for all, as the parade is dedicated to the memory of Boricua Great Tito Puente, whose unexpected death comes one month before the national event. And, in a shameful turn of events, the parade, not ever having a single incident of lawlessness, is marred by controversy as more than 50 women are assaulted in Central Park. The world watches as video is shown by various news organizations. As it turns out, most of the men arrested were not Latino or Puerto Rican. In total, 18 are arrested for the assaults. The police are accused of not doing enough to stop the attacks. Video showed police doing nothing while the women are groped and stripped.
2001: Although the assaults of the previous year loom over the parade, politicians such as former Mayor Guiliani, Senator Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer urge people to not hold the parade responsible for the previous year’s tragedy. Celebrities come out in droves, including boxing champ Tito Trinidad, Marc Anthony, former Ms. Universe Denise Quiñones and Puerto Rico’s first female governor, Sila M. Calderon. The focus of the parade was Vieques and thousands wore white ribbons in support of efforts to stop the bombing and remove the Navy from the island.
2002-2003: Even though a record-breaking 2.5 million Puerto Ricans attended the parade in 2003, the public and media won't forget what happened and the positive message to be proud of Puerto Rican heritage and its contributions to America seems lost.
2004: There’s controversy again as businesses and condos board up their exteriors along the route. Storeowners and tenants claim property will be destroyed by parade goers. The community is outraged and Mayor Bloomberg criticizes the move. The Post sponsors its first float, featuring reggaetón superstars Tego Calderon and Vico C.
2005: Reggaetón continues to rise in popularity. Daddy Yankee is the N.Y. Post's float star. At 96th Street, he has to be escorted out by police as thousands of screaming fans storm police barricades to get close to their idol.
2006: Rocking a guayabera, Mayor Bloomberg marches alongside the Latino mega-power couple Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. Rosie Perez, Jimmy Smits, Willie Colón and Don Omar, among others, march. Grand Marshal Marc Anthony and J-Lo sit in a convertible and are escorted by NYPD security 12-deep. The New York Post keeps it local, getting Yerba Buena to rock their float with traditional folkloric songs.
*Boricua: The term boricua has become synonymous with Puerto Rico's native heritage. The island's national anthem, for example, is La Borinqueña. The term comes from the Taíno (original inhabitants of Puerto Rico) word for the island: Boriken. You'll see and hear boricua everywhere in Puerto Rico and anywhere people of Puerto Rican descent gather: on restaurant menus, in songs, in everyday language.
; El Diario; El Imparcial; El Diario; La Prensa.
* * *
My name is Eddie and I’m a boricua in recovery from civilization…
Friday, June 10, 2011
Please leave Weiner’s dick alone. He’s not sick, nor is there any evidence that he committed any crime. The worst you can accuse himn of is using poor judgment for about a week (as he went around denying his masturbatory fantasies). Resign, you say? Why should he? Clinton didn’t, Craig didn’t, Vitter didn’t, and up until recently (when he realized he would be kicked out of the Senate) Ensign wasn’t thinking about resigning. Weiner shouldn’t.
Are you one of the dolts asking, “Why would he do this after he was married?” Lemme see... maybe because members of congress (like members of the human race) get horny sometimes? And sometimes male members of congress, like many members of the male (and female) sex, think with their genitals? And sometimes men -- even married men -- jerk off on internet porn? Weiner was horny and went online and flirted and spanked the monkey a few times. He created his own porn, his own interactive porn, like millions of other Americans have done, and continue to do, every fuckin’ day. And the Internet provided Wiener with the same thing it provides for tens of millions of other men (and women) in monogamous relationships: needed release and safe variety.
And yeah, bitchez, if you’re married, your man has a secret stash of porn hidden somewhere in the house, and he’s jerked off on an image of someone other than you. And it’s quite probable that he’s fucked you at least once while fantasizing about another woman. And any man that denies it is either a liar, or a sexually motivated serial killer.
* * *
-=[ The Games People Play ]=-
The one absolute in the study of human behavior is that people do things because they get something out of it. People's actions, however seemingly ridiculous, serve a purpose.
During a session, I once had a therapist tell me I had to learn how to parent myself. This may not sound particularly earth-shattering, but I had never even entertained that idea -- I never thought that could be possible. It was a liberating moment that also held some fear for me.
Modern research shows that the childish notion of being separate and apart is a myth. In fact, it’s a very destructive myth, just take a look at what we’re doing to our ecology and you quickly realize that this particularly American brand of “rugged individualism” (the “me” attitude) has dire consequences.
Along with the potential of being thoroughly destructive, we are all intimately connected -- though many of us feel isolated. Our neurology is a feedback loop. How infants interact with their mothers, for example, has a direct impact on the structural development of the brain. Infants need physical handling as much or more than food and those who are deprived fall into irreversible mental and physical decline.
Adults also need as much physical contact as children. Sensory deprivation for example, can lead to temporary psychosis in adults. But because close physical contact is not always available, we seek emotional fulfillment in other ways. Someone exploring the internet, for example, may seek emotional “strokes” from his or her friends’ list in the form of adoration or positive feedback. In the same way, a movie star may get his strokes from fan mail. A scientist may get hers from a positive commendation from a leading figure in the field.
In transactional analysis, this “stroke” is seen as the basic unit of social action. An exchange of strokes is a transaction and hence the phrase, “transactional analysis” describing the dynamics of social interaction.
Bear with me here, there’s a point to all this and one I feel you will find interesting.
For argument’s sake, let’s take this as a given -- that we have this psycho-biological need to receive strokes or intimate fulfillment. In this context, people consider any social participation -- even negative ones -- as better than none at all. This primal need for intimacy is also why people engage in games as a substitute for genuine connection.
In short, we play a game, defined as a series of transactions, to satisfy this inner hunger for intimacy, and it always involves a payoff.
Still with me?
Let me take this a step further. Most people will deny playing games because most of this happens beyond or outside their awareness. For them, it’s a normal way of interaction. Games are like playing poker in the sense that the better we can hide our inner motivation (essentially that we crave intimacy), the more likely we “win.” In a professional context the payoff could come in the form of a raise in income or a promotion; people speak of the “real estate game,” or “playing” the stock market. In the relationship world the payoff is usually some emotional gratification or an increase in control.
I had a participant, a former contract killer (a “soldier”), who once compared himself to a newborn infant in the following way:
“You ever see when they first bring babies home from the hospital? How sometimes they have to put mitts on babies because otherwise they will scratch themselves? Well, that’s how I feel sometimes. Like I can’t help but hurt myself or others and I need psychological mittens to save me from myself.”
Rewind back to the time with my former therapist and you can begin to see a model emerging. We all have within us different states or selves:
The attitudes and thinking of a parental figure (Parent)
An adult-like ability to rationalize and accept truth (Adult)
The attitudes and views of a child (Child)
In any given situation, we can emphasize any one of these inner selves, and sometimes shift from one to another quite easily. For example, we can take on a child’s sense of wonder, creativity, and curiosity, but also a child’s tantrums and inability to empathize. The point being that within each mode we can be productive or unproductive, effective or ineffective.
In playing a game, instead of maintaining intimacy to get what we want, we succumb to the temptation to act childishly coquettish, or take on the wise, rational aura of an adult.
Let the games begin!
Here are a few basic games people play. They may vary a little, but they’re basically variations on the same theme:
The most common game between people in a relationship is the one in which one complains that the other is an obstacle to doing what they really want in life. For example, a person who may not be aware of her fear of real intimacy may choose emotionally unavailable men and then complain of a lack of intimacy. The game then becomes, “If it weren’t for you, I would... ”
I believe people unconsciously choose partners because they want to be limited. I see this in much of the work I do around complaints. My experience has shown me that if you follow the breadcrumbs of your complaints, you will come face-to-face with your own bullshit. Playing the “If it weren’t for you, I would… ” game gives us the excuse for abdicating responsibility for our own lives, or looking at our fears.
Another common relationship game is when, in response to a solution-centered suggestion, the partner says “Yes, but... ” and then proceeds to find everything that could go wrong with the solution. In Child mode, this allows the person to gain sympathy from others for being inadequate to the challenge. In Adult mode, we would be more willing to explore and maybe even be open to the possibility or potential of the solution.
These games are like worn out loops of the same tape -- being played repeatedly throughout our relationships. It’s amazing how transparent the games appear on social networking sites, with all the trespassing of boundaries, the naked grab for attention, the openly desperate manipulation for sex. And the one common trait is that all involved deny playing the game! LOL!! Go look and you’ll find a long comment thread populated by game players, passing judgment on someone who’s been caught playing a game.
But these games are in actuality the scripts we inherit from our childhood and though they are limiting and self-destructive, they are also a form of psychological comfort food -- a way for us to absolve ourselves from looking at our own issues.
For many people, games have become so integral to their way of being that they feel compelled to create drama, or manipulate those they come into contact with, because they fear they won’t be as interesting otherwise. The more games they play, the more they expect others to play them too. A habitual game player will end up with a dysfunctional (even pathological) tendency to project or read too much of their own motivations and biases in others.
Monday, June 6, 2011
So, allow me to clarify some things: my real age is 56: I am 56 years-old today. I list my birthday as 6/06/06 because I like the perversity of the sixes (666). Yes, I am an “evil doer”: A heretical subversive socialist with anarchist leanings (and a predilection for fucking women in the ass).
Secondly, yes, I can be a drama queen... but shit! I was born on a Monday in New York City… How much more dramatic can it get?!!
I know it’s horrible to brag, but I’m rawking this 56 in the ass and life is fuckin’ good! I would tell you how I’m spending my day, but then I would have to kill you.
* * *
-=[ Genuine Happiness ]=-
If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.
-- Tallulah Bankhead
I love this quote because it captures my general philosophy. I’ve lived a full life, been to places most people never even dream of, and along the way experienced extreme joy and pain, happiness and a lot of unnecessary suffering. But if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change one thing. Life is perfectly unfolding no matter how imperfectly I may perceive that fact.
I wouldn’t change one thing… mostly because I am genuinely happy today and all the shit that came before is responsible for my life, who I am, and where I’m at as well as where I’m headed. Most people wouldn’t understand what I say by happiness and it’s hard to explain in words. I think it’s because many people seem to be very unhappy.
I’m not talking about mere contentment. I’m talking about an invincible joy at the very core of my being. Some people get me confused: I’m not some blissful idiot walking through life tip-toeing-through-the-fuckin-tulips. I went through a lot to get to where I am today. I have survived experiences you couldn’t even begin to wrap your mind around to get to this present moment. I get angry, happy, horny (a lot), sad, frustrated and all the petty bullshit we all go through. I experience all that as well. But all that shit? Can’t touch this -- can’t come near what I have.
It’s yours too, you know. If you stopped chasing the clouds and looked at the sky for one moment, you would get a glimpse.
Life doesn’t suck, you suck. I’m sorry to break the news, but your pain isn’t all that exceptional. I know, I know: I don’t understand your terminal uniqueness (no one does) and all this doesn’t apply to you, because your situation is special, but come back to me when you begin to awaken from the grip of an ego-centered life. I will cede only one thing to you today: yes, there’s a possibility your life is difficult and full of pain and uncertainty today, but someone somewhere has it worse. This fact doesn’t invalidate your pain, but it should help you put it in perspective.
Let’s move forward…
I’m the worst guy for your pity party and I make my own mother cry, so what chance do you stand?!!
There’s a birthday gift for you in here today, but first you need to answer: here’s two perspectives, which one is right?
Perspective #1: My life really sucks right about now. My job -- the project I have dedicated ten years of my life -- is being phased out. Funding will be cut, and as of the end of June, I will most likely not be working. In any case, I’ve been mired in a professional rut for at least the past four years. I’ve been settling for less and not challenging a whole slew of skill sets -- especially my writing. On the personal front, I don’t have a real girlfriend and I’m horrible at relationships. Actually, I really suck at relationships. I don’t even own a goldfish! I’m tired of this city; my friends are lazy and unmotivated. My life sucks! LIFE SUCKS! Woe is I!
Perspective #2: I possess skills and earn good money for work I’m extremely passionate about. I get to make a difference (regardless how small) in the world. I have the respect of colleagues and I am known for my work and my ethics. I get up in the morning and I feel a creative sense of direction and purpose in my life. For some time now, I have come to the gradual awareness that it’s all coming together and I’m at my peak intellectually, mature and open emotionally, and enjoying my sexuality in ways I never dreamed. Most importantly, my happiness isn’t contingent on any person, place, or thing. In short, today I possess an embarrassment of riches, living a life only a few ever realize.
Which of the above is true? Quick!
Actually? Neither one!
Well, according to “me,” the second point of view is my reality, but even that is not even close to the embodied truth. The ultimate truth is like the clear blue sky. What is sometimes called “Big Sky Mind” in Zen. All that shit I listed above: they are like clouds that pass across the sky. Sometimes the clouds are dark and threatening and block the sky from my vision. Other times, the clouds are beautiful cumulus clouds creating cotton candy-type shapes in the sky. Sometimes, it rains and thunders, and still other times the sky is clear and blue. But the one thing that never changes is the sky itself. The sky stays the same. It never left or changed; I just perceive it that way.
I see too many people chasing clouds. People go on at great length about cloud formations, predicting the rain, or bemoaning the absence of sunshine. All this cloud analyzing is nothing more than mental masturbation and a huge waste of time. Worse, it causes you to suffer.
The sky is there. It just is. It will be there tomorrow and forever and a day. Life simply is.
If you’re not happy right now, this very moment, even in the midst of all the good or fucked up shit you’re going through, what makes you think you’ll be happy somewhere else, or with someone else? I will guarantee you will never be happy, no matter where you are, who you are with, or how much money or material possessions you amass. Life will send you some shit to fuck up your party and you’ll react just as you’re reacting right now. Why? Because at a fundamental level you’re not happy. You are too busy running from or grasping to something, someone, or some particular form of cloud formation.
If you want to be happy, to experience some measure of joy in your life, then start now. Recognize that the clouds don't change the sky, they only obstruct your perspective. Even if you are experiencing a tremendous amount of pain and suffering right now; even if you find yourself in the grips of fear and uncertainty, this sky is still there, just waiting for you to open you eyes. In other words, you can attain an invincible joy even in the midst of everything that's happening right now. Learn this: as fucked up as you think right now is (and your perception is up for questioning), you can still grab the fruit. You can take a bite of life -- that deliciousness of our most precious gift. Learn to do this. Otherwise get ready for more needless suffering.
That’s my birthday gift to you, my friends. This moment right now. This is it. Go for it...
Friday, June 3, 2011
My main computer is once again freaking out on me! Arrrggghhh!
* * *
-=[ Sex as Prayer ]=-
Free your ass, your mind will follow...
Most Christians would consider the joining of sex and spirituality a heresy. I say, take it up with the man you call your God. After all, according to dogma, He invented everything in six days (even He had to rest). LOL
Seriously, most of us compartmentalize our lives. For too many people sex is something they do in the darkened chambers of their shame.
I would submit that fucking is the highest form of prayer any couple (married or not) can offer to the Divine. As an expression of the Universal Principle, it creates unity and joy which are surely signs of a Divine presence. As an expression of the couple’s love for one another, it is the deepest affirmation that love is their work. With such power to elicit the presence of the Divine, I have to wonder why there is so little written or taught about sex as prayer. This is especially puzzling as I browse the aisles of bookstores brimming with books on centering prayer, charismatic prayer, holistic prayer, The Jesus prayer, blah blah blah…
Don’t answer that question, it’s a rhetorical device. The answer is found in the Church’s two-thousand-year anti-sex campaign. Christianity views the flesh as the domain of the devil -- as sinful -- and could never be integrated into Christian spirituality. On another, less evident level, the neglect of sex is an expression of a deep-rooted fear: the fear of mystery. Due to an irrational religious dogma that has lost much of its relevance, we intentionally exclude this mystery from our daily lives.
Essentially, we have chosen to live in fear and anxiety rather than face the mystery. We push sex into the dark recesses of our psyches where it then becomes deviant -- a dark and twisted power that controls our motivations even as we deny its existence. We do this at our own peril.
We will fight tooth and nail, for example, to cover a statue’s breasts, but stay mum when our children are subjected to watching literally tens of thousands of simulated murders and other acts of violence before they reach the age of seven. Tits are evil, but watching a human being gunned down senselessly is kewl.
The naked form is evil, but subjecting our children to endless stream of advertisements created by marketing experts for the sole purpose of making our children mindless consumers is OK.
Our escape from the mystery of sex has placed our lives in jeopardy. We think we fear loss of freedom, fear the terrorists, or fear unending war, but the reality we fear more than all enemies real or imagined, is the reality of sex and the surrender it demands.
It’s no wonder the most predominant characteristic of our age is impotence, Not that we are without power, but that we experience ourselves individually and collectively as powerless. The consequences of this powerless are seen everywhere. We have an abundance of food, yet millions go hungry. We are surrounded by multitudes and yet many of us go lonely. We have sex but only as a scratch for an ego itch -- sex without substance. And I’m not talking about casual vs. committed sex. Both forms of sex can be liberating -- sex is essentially a liberating force -- I know too many people in committed relationships who have “empty calorie” sex.
No, what we have is the old familiar and bitter fear which breeds more and more weapons of mass destruction. We are afraid. We fear love. We fear sex. We have forgotten how to dance.
If you want to know the way out, sexual union points the way. Why do you think that those who want to brings us back to the “good old days” (conservatives) try so desperately to control anything having to do with sex/ Why do you think religious institutions place so many restrictions on sex? The answers lies in the fact that sexual union is probably one of the most powerful mechanisms for personal liberation. The cliché of “free your mind, your ass will follow,” may have it backwards: perhaps the body is the territory of our liberation.
Sexual union invites us as lovers to go beyond a society and a self that views its accomplishments, its goals, its vision of reality, its technical achievements, as ends in themselves -- as idols. Sexual union offers a path in which we gain a perspective of what is lasting and what is temporary. Sexual union is mutual surrender to the mystery and the heart of human life and love. Sex is the reminder that we are not the center of the universe: The Divine is the center and that divinity lies within each of us and is strengthened and made real when we come together.