From the Archives: When to be Yourself

This week, August 12-16, I’ll be standing trial for fraud in Florida, and thus unable to bring you new words each day. In the meantime, please enjoy reposts of some of my best work. I’ll return Monday after these absurd charges have been rebuffed. Please do not hesitate to send me money in any amount, and it will help you more than it does me, and it shouldn’t need to be restated that the greater the amount, the greater the help to you will be.

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We are all unique individuals, and we should make each day a celebration of this fact by sharing our own unique perspective and contribution with our fellow human beings. One child may draw a beautiful illustration of a gray squirrel, demonstrating fine technique and artistic talent. Another may create a rough outline of the same animal, and make it purple, or orange, or with wheels. Creativity has no right or wrong answers.


Homeless Joe is a chronic deviant. He needs the spiritual guidance of THE POWER WORDS

  When we grow up, we bring our uniqueness to our careers. We find our place in the world and those things which we most excel at, allowing us to be of maximum value to fellow man. Is there such a thing as sharing too much of our inner selves? Absolutely.

  When going to get our morning coffee we may see a homeless man outside the convenience store, pleasing himself sexually. We guffaw, but is this person not merely living life on his own terms, free from judgment? Inarguably so, but what he’s doing to himself won’t help him find a job, or a shower, and it surely doesn’t help us.

  We might think we have nothing in common with the bearded, unwashed deviant, but don’t we so often engage in the same behavior? When we engage our coworkers in talk about what we think they should be eating, a flakey new spiritual movement, self-righteous talk about why their politics are invalid, or the merits of electronic-dance-music, aren’t we just practicing another form of masturbation? Even if these are special, important parts of ourselves, we need not spray them orgasmically onto the world.

Power Words:

Today I will have the courage to be myself, all the way up to the limit of unstable, insane behavior that alienates others and puts me in danger of scrutiny from authority.

Power Words for July the 30th: Truth

Concision is the soul of brevity, a paternal candidate for wit. Hence, a concise lesson today.

We have spoken about many facets of the human experience on earth, and the soul’s experience eternal. We have looked at ourselves and other people and tried to summon conclusions about both, without seeing ourselves falsely, or putting our insecurities on others, or casting judgment on either unfairly. However, some truths are independent of designations like these, and exist eternal. Here is one to ponder:

Beyond a certain size, shirts just shouldn’t be striped.

Power Words

Oh, no, no you shouldn’t wear that…

Power Words:

I have a mission from my creator to tell the truth. Look out, other people.

Power Words for July 29th: A Useful, Almost Certainly False Belief

Whether it’s evolution, archaeology, the Holocaust, or the continued success of reality TV, we can all look around ourselves and see countless reasons why, nearly definitely, there is no God.

  As an experiment, we can go through our day with this beginning to a question in mind, “Why would God make a world where…” and see just how many different endings we can put on it. It shouldn’t take long before we’ve lost count, and become sad.

  But so what? Don’t we believe in a lot of things that are probably fake? We tell ourselves things that are probably false all the time, for a million reasons. When our favorite politician gives us hope by promising change, we suspend certainty that he or she is a self-interested jerk who will betray any promises made to win our vote. If we want to sleep with somebody purely out of lust, we might tell ourselves that person is kind, that we really connect with them on a personal level, or that they are not a lunatic, all so that we can justify this choice to ourselves. What has reality got to do with it? Didn’t a magic feather make an elephant fly?

  Why should God be any different? If we are helped to be better, more ethical people, with positive outlooks and values, simply because we believe in an all powerful, magical, bearded lord, a fat and bald wise man, a strange animal creature, a loving hippie, or a vague spirit-of-the-universe that we dreamed up in college because we wanted to reject our parents’ religion while maintaining its values without feeling like hypocrites… why should every observable truth get in the way?

Power Words:

Today, I will be a person of faith, and show love to the world accordingly, but without being annoying and preachy or doing any genocides, at least not ones with religious motives.

Power Words for July 26th: Time, Time, Time

Listen to Post  Power Words – July 26

We’re just in time. We’re having a great time. Time to get going. We’re going through tough times. The time has come.

And on goes the list. There are a lot of things we have to say about time. Although, could any of us really say we have the answer? What is time? When did it start? How long will it go? Most importantly, how much time have we got left? In truth, there are no answers. So what shall we do? What if we could stop time, as Zack Morris did on our beloved Saved by the Bell? This is unlikely to happen for most of us. For us, time is a constant.

On the spiritual path, we speak a great deal about living in the moment. When practiced, this ideal can be key to a happy and peaceable life. Unfortunately, living by this philosophy is much easier said than done. We think of regrets and disappointments in our past, or about fears and dreams for the future. These things can consume us, as might a giant monster who would eat us like so many snacks.

What can we do? How do we shuck the shackles of a mind trapped everywhere but in the present time? Here again, our affirmations are the key to opening the door of light which will bathe us in showers of peace.

When we worry about these things, we need only remember that the past is unchangeable. If we had to do it over again, we’d surely make the same mistakes, because we’re only ourselves, forever subject to our own limitations. Of the future, we can expect that whatever happens, we’ll encounter more disappointments, but what is more relevant is that no matter the triumphs we may have, we’ll ultimately grow ungrateful for them and focus on what we want our next future to be. Such is the nature of man and woman.

In short, all time is indistinguishable from the present time. If we feel discomfort, we have likely felt it before, and will feel it again in the years to come, without much significant change. There’s no use getting our hopes up. As a wise Eastern teacher once advised me, “Put down the shovel.” Years later, when I had stopped sniffing glue and other inhalants, I reflected on this and realized it was an analogy that implied I was digging a hole for myself. Though I was often observed to be carrying a literal shovel in that period of my life.

Power Words:

Time is not my master. I am free to choose living in the moment, and I should. Any other moment is surely just as unremarkable. What shall I have for lunch?

Power Words for July 25: What’s Up in the Stars?

As a boy, living in a small town without much going on, I had only my imagination to keep me warm. At night, I would gaze into the clear sky at distant space, and imagine all the wonders that might exist beyond this planet. What marvels lay on other planets, stars, and galaxies? Was there a space-boy somewhere, staring right back?

  As I grew, and came into receivership of my adult brain, I learned all about science. Centuries of astronomy, cosmology, and physics; all the work of the learned scholars, awaited me. I couldn’t wait to jump into the deep end of this pool.

  Sadly, these fields held more disappointment than anything else. Those wise scholars spoke of how the heavenly bodies I had once yearned to reach were nothing more than wastelands of icy rocks, clouds of dust and gas, and sometimes mere tricks of light entirely. These, like so many other revelations of adolescence, killed parts of my innocence that would never live again.

  It could’ve been avoided though. Or, if we fail to avoid these things, the damage can be healed. What if I had never learned of the facts being taught in our universities? Would I be any the worse off for it? Once I had begun my path to enlightenment, and looked at the world with new eyes, I learned that perfectly happy people were wandering around all day, choosing to be ignorant of certain facts. A person can choose not to believe their spending is forsaking the whole of their nation’s future for their children. A person can choose to believe that their favorite celebrity is not a murderer, a pedophile, of a sexual orientation they fear, or a Republican. A person can say, with confidence, “Evolution, Schmevolution!”

  Thus, I chose something new to believe. I now gaze into the night sky, and choose to know in my heart that just beyond the clouds is an entire Cloud Kingdom. In this fantastical place, where clouds meet space, Cloud Kings race and battle on chariots of ice, armed with tridents that fire ultraviolet lasers. That’s why we, down on earth, sometimes incur sunburns. Some Cloud Kings are good, and others evil. So I live my life by day, and stare into the sky at night, wondering when I’ll be summoned up to the Cloud Wars, so that I can fight for the side of good.

Power Words:

Today, I won’t let anyone’s sheets of data rain on my parade, and I will await my ascension into the Cloud Zone with dignity and patience.

Power Words for July the 12th: Who am I?

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Power Words for Spiritual Growth and Recovery from Pain

“Who am I?” once asked a man who, after decades as the town’s best known and trusted haberdasher, had put away his buttons, glove leathers, and small trinkets, and taken his retirement in the countryside. After so long making a living of strings and zips and other notions, the man felt that if not the proprietor of the haberdashery, he was surely nobody at all.

  One day, happening upon a stream, and pausing to take a rest, the man had a new thought. In the light of the sun, hearing the trickle of the water, he suddenly felt a peace fall over him as he gazed into the stream at his own reflection. Surely he had been a haberdasher, and before that apprentice to a masterdasher, and previous to then a student at one of the finest habercademies, and so on. However, these things could be said of many men. Haberdashers, mostly.

  The man reflected in the stream was only himself, and while he might be like many others, there was only one him. The true person he was lived not in the haberdashery, but in his heart.

Power Words:

The person I am is not my job, my place, a hat I wear, or a band I like. These are all parts of me, but they come and go. Today I will look at my truest self, by pointing my eyes into my soul. Backward and down.