Today's Quote

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Albert Einstein

Response from "TreCoglioni" to PL's "DOG EAT DOG" & PL's Response

Here's "TreCoglioni":

"I couldn't agree with you more that it's amazing that workers don't support workers. However, blaming this behavior on sibling rivalry is a bit of a stretch.

The reason many people support measures that don't support their own, and their country's, best ignorance. Americans are indoctrinated to believe that capitalism and individuality, competition, materialism, etc....are all super wonderful things that equate to freedom. Americans can't seem to escape the propaganda...just look at how many vote for Dems and Repubs versus third party candidates who make real sense. If CNN runs a piece claiming that the labor unions are contributing to the problems or if they run an article that implies the sky is falling...many people will think accordingly. They fail to recognize that CNN gets its money from giant corporations and filters its 'news' to help the cause ("Manufacturing Consent" proves this point quite effectively). People generally don't have the time (by design...they are working to payoff their debt) to dig deep for the truth...and even with the truth, some will not adjust because they are brainwashed (for lack of a better word).

One could also argue that sibling rivalries are a RESULT of our society, not the cause. Did fighting brothers of peasants during feudalism cause the tyranny of kings?"


Well, while I agree that ignorance is certainly a mainstay of people's self-destructive attitudes and behavior, remaining emotionally and developmentally in childhood is a major cause of ignorance. People frequently "dumb themselves down" in order to serve the childish needs of their little egos.
Thanks for the response.


Here's an amazing and absurd reality - as people are debating whether or not to allow the big three automakers to go bankrupt or to bail them out, there is rampant and virulent talk about how it's the fault of the unions! That's right, those damn workers making between $20 and $40 an hour, they're the ones! Yep. Not the sleazy, clueless fat cats going to congress in their separate private jets to ask for billions in corporate welfare cash. It's not their fault.

I mean, come on! General Motors' CEO only made a salary of $360 million plus stock options last year. That's not fair. Ford Motor Co., which posted a record $12.7 billion net loss in 2006, gave its new CEO Alan Mulally $28 million for four months on the job. Peanuts! What's he gonna do with peanuts, Alice?

No, it's those greedy workers making almost $80 thousand! Can you believe it?

BUT... here's the triply amazing thing about it - the ones criticizing the greediness of the workers are... the workers! Yessir! I was listening to talk radio the other day in the car and a woman called in arguing in favor of the bail-out because if the car companies go under, her husband will lose his job. Okay, fair enough. But who did she blame? The union members who were still getting the equivalent of their salary in retirement. Yeah, those greedy retired bastards still collecting a 5-figure pension, that's the ticket. It's not the fault of Don Leclair, for example, who recently retired as CFO of FORD and got only $5 million as a retirement package. That sucks, doesn't it? What can you do with five million in retirement?

So, what's behind the dog-eat-dog mentality of working people? Well, that's where I come in. What's behind it is sibling rivalry, and - here I go again, folks - the childish need to have an idealized parent-figure in our lives. Pathetic? You betcha! But adults desperately vying for the favor of an imaginary parent will betray their own brothers and sisters every time for the crumbs that Big Daddy might brush off the table. Suck up to that abusive parent, blame the ruckus on your brother, and bloated Papa CEO might not fire you this time, Sonny Boy!

You know, I've written about this so many times, but it has to be said over and over - you search for an idealized parent-figure in your life and you live on crumbs... and it's nobody's fault but your own.


This is one of my own personal favorites of all the posts I've written:

I would assume that there are fewer and fewer parents these days who would argue against the notion that parenting should be an equally shared responsibility and that child-rearing tasks shouldn't be divided up along prescribed gender lines as they once were. So, rather than write about what's already been written about a lot on this subject, I would like to write about the notion of "equal unparenting."

I've talked and written a lot about how over-involved the recent generations of parents (Baby Boomers and Echo Boomers) are with their kids, and the kind of narcissistic disturbances that can cause. I have also talked quite a bit about how important it is for children to have parents who are happy and fulfilled in their sex-lives and creative lives.

Now, let's get practical and radical and take it out of the box. Raising kids the way most people try and do it today, even with the shifts towards equality of tasking, is inherently dysfunctional. Two parents, living together under one roof with their kids full-time, while also pursuing a self-actualized lifestyle of gratification in love and work is tantamount to climbing Mount Everest or competing in a triathlon every day! And how many of you have done either of those things even once? (I actually do know a mother of three who competes in triathlons as a way of taking a break from the rigors of mothering!)

So, when faced with this daunting situation (and by the way, most first-time parents don't have a clue what they're getting into), what typically happens? Well, like on any sinking ship, the first thing you do is throw overboard the things that seem expendable in an attempt to stay afloat. Sex is usually at the top of that list. No time, too tired, too angry - "Yeah, we'll make a date with each other." Never happens. Well, maybe it happens once. Next to get tossed are any avocations or hobbies that you love, but which don't bring in any money. Writing? Painting? Ice climbing in the Pacific Northwest? Can't afford it. Exercise? Yeah, for the kids - soccer, Little League, karate, ballet. "Should we let the gym membership expire?" "No!" Gourmet cuisine? Yeah, remember when you always cut out the recipes from the Wednesday NY Times to sample? "Amy's Macaroni and Cheese" sure makes cooking easy, now, doesn't it? And it's organic!

What follows the tossing overboard period is the spirit-crushing feeling of loss and emptiness because it "wasn't supposed to be like this." You're depressed and overwhelmed. This is followed by the insidious, relationship-killing blaming of each other - for not doing your share of the equal shared parenting, for not initiating sex, for not making me care that I've gained weight...

Now it's bad. At this point, it's usually the point of no-return for a couple and the only two choices are split-up or hunker down. In truth, the healthier couples can't hunker down, so... Couples therapy? An affair? A trial separation? Well, here's where I come in and where it's all about EROS. If the in-loveness hasn't been killed off completely, if there's still an ember of desire and passion for each other left alive, there's a possibility that the relationship can be revived, but it's rare. And it's going to require breaking the log-jam you're in and breaking the mold of how it's "supposed" to be done, and couples having the courage and fortitude to do that is even rarer.

How do you go about it? You start with your desires, the callings in your heart and soul, the ones that won't go away that you sadly pine about in bed when you're not having sex. You need to retrieve the very things you threw overboard because those things were NOT AT ALL EXPENDABLE. They were the essential things to living a good life and being good parents. Yes. That's right. Your kids need YOU to play soccer more than they need to play it. Your kids need you to have TIME OUTS more than they do. Yeah. Instead of sending more money on McLaren SUV strollers, violin lessons or Wiis, spend it on a good babysitter and housecleaning person. Next - and this is a big one - spend some time alone. Real time. Not just a couple of hours. A couple of days. Go in on a small studio if you have to. You're going to have to spend the bucks if you get divorced anyway. Think about it. A lawyer, child support and maintenance is going to cost you a lot more than a babysitter, housecleaner and a small studio to have some private time in.

Finally, assuming the EROS still burns somewhere for your partner, yes, do make a date with each other - and keep it. But DO NOT talk about the kids or the house or anything other than what you're passionate about and sex, sex, sex. Talk about it, reveal your hidden fantasies and shameful desires and then DO IT! Do it with more gusto than you've ever done it before. Sex only gets better with age. That's right, better. Anybody who has ever told you otherwise should get thrown overboard.

Okay, that's it for now.

Today's Thanksgiving Quote

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude."
Denis Waitley


Thanksgiving. Giving thanks. Having gratitude. It is a wonderful state of being, gratitude, but in our masked world of elaborately designed character structures, how many of us actually know that gratitude isn't an action you can take, isn't something you can DO. No, gratitude, like forgiveness, is an organic, spontaneous place you can only ARRIVE to - when you've cleared out the ego-inspired negativity and neediness inside of yourself, which IS something you can do.

As I've said many times, and written often on this blog, when you love yourself, you can't help but love others. You don't even have to try. And when you have become your true ADULT SELF, you can't help but be grateful and forgiving.

Thanksgiving is actually the only holiday I really like. Why? Well, because it's not religious, it's not patriotic, it's not a memorial or an anniversary, it's not about obligatory gift-giving, it's not about declaring romantic love for someone you take for granted the rest of the year, and for me, the greatest of all blessings, it's not about kids.

Yes, there I said it. I am giving thanks today for a holiday that is about grown-up pleasures, our indulgences of which are the best gifts we could ever give to our children, by the way.

Last year, I posted this in response to a piece in the Wall Street Journal about Thanksgiving:

"Well, you know I couldn't resist this one, being the curmudgeon that I am about kids ruling the roost in our overindulgent times. This did my heart good - from the Wall Street Journal Op-ed page yesterday:

"Thanksgiving: Great American Holiday, or The Greatest American Holiday?" by Joseph Epstein

'Thanksgiving does have the absence of the heavy hand of dreary gift giving that has put the groans in Christmas, the moans in Hanukkah. And no one has written treacly Thanksgiving songs, comparable to White Christmas and Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, which, I suspect, have helped make Christmas one of the prime seasons for suicide. Let us not speak Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, of whose travail we shall all have heard more than our fill as we ride up elevators and pass along the aisles of department stores.
'For some time in America we have, of course, been living under Kindergarchy, or rule by children. If children do not precisely rule us, then certainly all efforts, in families where the smallish creatures still roam, are directed to relieving their boredom if not (hope against hope) actually pleasing them. Let us be thankful that Thanksgiving has not yet fallen to the Kindergarchy, as has just about every other holiday on the calendar, with the possible exceptions of Yom Kippur and Ramadan. Thanksgiving is not about children. It remains resolutely an adult holiday about grown-up food and drink and football."

So, rather than "giving" thanks today, folks, I recommend experiencing gratitude - for whatever it is that you are genuinely grateful for already, even if it is your kids!


You haven't had really good sex, or any sex at all, in months, years, maybe, whether you may be single or in a steady relationship or a long-term marriage. Your finances are a mess, maybe even a disaster, or... they're not, you're solvent, but still, your work life is ungratifying creatively. You're over-weight, out of shape, having trouble sleeping, feeling old before your time, maybe, or succumbing to the insidious indoctrinations of the medical profession about the indignities of aging and the betrayals of nature. Anti-depressants, high blood pressure medication, Viagra, Ambien in your medicine cabinet? Medicine cabinet? What the fuck?! You have a medicine cabinet?! How did this happen? Some part of you knows this isn't right. Right? Your mind doesn't feel this resigned, this lacking in desire, this irrelevant to the rest of human life, old, for Christ's sake!
Some part of you feels vibrant, engaged, passionate, desiring to contribute. Yet, you are sinking into despair and lethargy and apathy. You're broke, or broken, or close to it. You can't get up or get it up! How is this possible? How did this happen??
Well, ask yourself this - are you commited to doing whatever it takes to open up your inner channels to the fullness of life? Are you willing to turn over every stone in your mental and emotional self to find the negative intentions, stubborn childish wishes and willful attitudes lurking there? Can you admit that being happy, free, healthy, wealthy and wise are not as important to you as being "right," playing it "safe" and being in "control." That your pride rules over all?
Well, having it all, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are indeed our inalienable rights as human beings, but it's a state you have to strive to arrive to. We live in a plane of intense heaviness here on Earth, yet it's a place of potentially great acceleration.
Here's the good news, folks - having a great life, fulfilled in love and work, with a sound mind and body is not only possible, but it is the way it's meant to be for us. But here's the hard truth - there's no short cuts, no end runs, no cheating, faking it, or half-stepping. You've got to reveal yourself - to yourself, and then to someone else. And then, go further and further until there's no corner of your inner life that's hidden and in the dark. Do it. Or don't, but if you don't, don't complain.

Today's Quote

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."
Martin Luther King, Jr.


ACCORDING TO THE NY POST: "Ann Coulter's Jaw Wired Shut!"

YEP! Ann Coulter may be completely silenced, at least for a while. If the New York Post's Page Six report is true, Coulter broke her jaw and her mouth is wired shut.


"As the American family fractures and the majority of women choose to live without men, churches are losing their grip on power and scapegoating gays and lesbians for their failures."

GO HERE to read the whole article:


"Requiem for a Maverick" by MATT TAIBBI

Here's an excerpt:

"The ironic thing is that the destruction of the Republican Party was a two-part process. Their president, George W. Bush, did most of the work by making virtually every mistake possible in his two terms, reducing the mightiest economy on Earth to the status of a beggar-debtor nation like Pakistan or Zambia. This was fucking up on a scale known only to a select few groups in history, your Romanovs, your Habsburgs, maybe the Han Dynasty, which pissed away a golden age of Chinese history by letting eunuchs take over the state. But John McCain and Sarah Palin made their own unique contribution to the disaster by running perhaps the most incompetent presidential campaign in modern times. They compounded a millionfold Bush's legacy of incompetence by soiling both possible Republican ideological strategies going forward: They killed off Bush-style neoconservatism as well as the more traditional fiscal conservatism McCain himself was once known for by trying to fuse both approaches into one gorgeously incoherent ticket. It was like trying to follow the recipes for Texas 10-alarm chili and a three-layer Black Forest chocolate cake in the same pan at the same time. The result — well, just take a bite!"

Today's Anonymous Quote

“A pessimist is one who feels bad when he feels good for fear he'll feel worse when he feels better.”

Repost: "The Superstition of Pessimism"

"If I believe in the positive, I will be disappointed, and I may chase it away by my very belief in it. I dare not believe in the good. It may not happen. It may be smarter to believe that nothing good can happen to me, that I cannot ever change, that I cannot ever grow out of my obstructions."

Do any of you have that little nugget lurking in your subconscious? Well, here's a real gold nugget for you - the Pathwork Guide lecture called: "The Superstition of Pessimism."

You may actually believe that there's some emotional safety in this kind of inner game - "If I expect the worst, I won't be disappointed." However, as the Guide warns us:

"Denying the positive and believing in the worst to appease the gods, as it were, is destructive. You do not know the power of such thoughts. There is no playing with such power without grave consequences. There is no such game that does not have a grave effect. The power of this game needs to be made conscious."

That last part is of the utmost importance. I tell many people, regularly, that making something conscious does a lot. As long as something is unconscious, it will exert power over you. Once something is brought into the light of awareness, it already begins to lose its grip and strength. And mind you, I'm not talking about superimposing a false or exaggerated optimistic attitude over an underlying negative attitude. That will do no good at all. And it's not necessary.

Here's the Guide:

"The courage to believe in positive life unfoldment can very easily be confused with wishful thinking. There is a subtle and yet very distinct difference between wishful thinking and a virile faith in the positive. You all indulge very easily in wishful thinking. Then, to be "realistic" -- because you already know the disappointing results of wishful thinking -- you revert into the superstition of pessimism."

Optimism is the natural state of all living things. Without it, newborns wouldn't reach out for nurturance right from birth. Flowers wouldn't open to the sun. Life expects to be fulfilled. So, by bringing our negative expectations into consciousness, thereby dissipating them, the natural optimism will take over.

Once more, the Guide:

"All human beings are wonderful manifestations of divinity. One flower is not better than another flower. One bird is not better than another bird. The mountain is not better than the sea. The pine tree is not better than the oak. Think of yourself and other people in those terms and assert your goodwill to let others be their best. Then you can let yourself be your best so you can truly enjoy the fruits of your efforts and feel deserving of them."

Today's Special Guest Quote

Today's quote was chosen by two special FPL guests, "Roseanne" and "Willa."

"Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive... then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman


"A Letter to My Brother, Newt Gingrich," by Candace Gingrich:

"Dear Newt,

I recently had the displeasure of watching you bash the protestors of the Prop 8 marriage ban to Bill O'Reilly on FOX News. I must say, after years of watching you build your career by stirring up the fears and prejudices of the far right, I feel compelled to use the words of your idol, Ronald Reagan, "There you go, again."

However, I realize that you may have been a little preoccupied lately with planning your resurrection as the savior of your party, so I thought I would fill you in on a few important developments you might have overlooked.

The truth is that you're living in a world that no longer exists. I, along with millions of Americans, clearly see the world the way it as -- and we embrace what it can be. You, on the other hand, seem incapable of looking for new ideas or moving beyond what worked in the past."

Full letter here:


This is from a crucial Pathwork Guide Lecture on a subject that perplexes many people in the later stages of their healing work. To attain self-actualization, after all of the excavating work of revealing and releasing hidden beliefs and suppressed feelings, the next movement necessary is that of surrender.

Here is Eva Broch, channeling the Pathwork "Guide":

Broch (“Guide”): “You often use the word surrender. You sense that this word contains an important aspect of spiritual fulfillment. Yet there is also a great deal of confusion attached to this word, which needs to be explored. A human being who is incapable of surrendering cannot find his core; he cannot find his divine nature; he cannot love; he cannot truly learn; and he cannot grow. Such an individual is very stiff, defended, and closed. The ability to surrender is an essential inner movement from which all good can flow.”

“You need to surrender, otherwise you will always remain attached to your very shortsighted self-will, which produces pain and confusion. Surrender means a letting go of self, of cherished ideas, desires, opinions -- all for the sake of truth.”

“You need to surrender to your own feelings. If you do not, you will always impoverish yourself and shut out your feeling nature. You become an automaton.”

“You need to surrender to those whom you love. This means trusting, giving the benefit of the doubt, being willing to yield if this serves the cause of the truth.”

“You surely need to surrender to a teacher, in any field you wish to learn. If basic surrender is lacking, no matter how much the teacher is capable and willing to give you, you can receive very little, if anything. This indeed applies also to a spiritual teacher. If you constantly withhold with distrust and reservations, you do not allow a most important dynamic to develop. You may assume that you can absorb mental knowledge from a teacher from whom you inwardly keep aloof. And this is true to a degree. But in true learning much more is involved than the outer mental processes. There is an inner, emotional, spiritual, involuntary level which must learn too. And on this level nothing can be absorbed unless you surrender to the teacher. This applies to the most mundane thing you wish to learn. A process that is learned merely as a mental deduction is not truly absorbed. It must become an inner reality in order to become your own. How much more is this true of spiritual growth.”

“The refusal to surrender has to do with lack of trust, with suspicion, with fear, and with the misunderstanding that if you surrender, you lose your autonomy and your ability to make future decisions. The refusal to surrender creates an over-developed self-will, which takes its toll on the personality. The personality becomes truly impoverished. For the ability to surrender is such a movement of fullness, of giving over, of letting go, that enrichment must follow it by a natural law. Over-developed self-will always brings strife. You can see in your world that two self-wills clashing create war -- on a small or a big scale. If peace is to be made possible -- again, between individuals or countries -- a giving in, a yielding must occur.”

“It is quite impossible for a dependent ego that denies self-responsibility to surrender... This is why those who are secretly, often unconsciously, most dependent, those who crave for a "perfect" authority to take over, are also the most defended against all yielding. They vaguely sense that the giving away of self can occur only when the self is strong and healthy, because then the self grows even stronger and healthier as it goes through the act of giving itself away. So, my friends, I say to you: when you find in yourself or others an inability to surrender, to trust, to give over, to yield, look for the undercurrent of dependency and denial of genuine self-responsibility.”

“As you grow in true autonomy and self-creating, you will sense very clearly that there is no contradiction, no duality, in regard to surrendering and standing firm. In fact, it will be clear to you that one presupposes the other, that one is not possible without the other.”

“Surrender amounts to a certain kind of inner, involuntary relaxation. The involuntary process comes about gradually as a result of much voluntary work on the outer level. It seems to just happen. There is a phenomenon that some of you may know and that may serve as a helpful illustration. When people go through extreme states of pain, there comes a point when it is no longer bearable. Then the fight against pain is given up on the involuntary level. A total state of surrender to the pain, transcending the conscious, volitional mind and will, takes over. In that moment all pain ceases and transforms into ecstasy. This phenomenon is known to the devilish practitioners who commit torture on human beings for political or other power reasons. When they see this happen, they stop their torture so as to get the victim back into a more normal state in which he begins all over again to resist surrender. The point here is to show you how everything can be transcended if the concept of surrender is properly understood and incorporated into the soul.”

Today's Idiotic Presidential Quotes

"What is right and what is practicable are two different things."
James Buchanan (Generally ranked as the worst president except for You Know Who)

"I'm the commander — see, I don't need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president."
You Know Who


Over a hundred years ago, Albert Einstein proposed the famous "Special Theory of Relativity," best known by the formula e=mc2. At the time, Einstein said that he knew his formula was correct, but he famously said he would leave it to the scientists in the laboratory to take the next ten years to prove it. Well, it took them a 103 years, but they finally did it!


Today's Quote

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”


"The CEOs of the nation's biggest three automakers flew to Washington DC yesterday to make their case before congress that the auto industry is desperately in need of a $25 billion bailout. Much to the dismay of lawmakers, these CEOs decided to travel to the nation's capital in style, on THREE separate luxurious corporate jets, revealing their collective resistance to sacrificing any precious perks."

Ya think?!

"The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla" by Dick Cavett

No intro by me necessary. Dick is a true wordsmith.

Here he is:

"Electronic devices dislike me. There is never a day when something isn’t ailing. Three out of these five implements — answering machine, fax machine, printer, phone and electric can-opener — all dropped dead on me in the past few days.

Now something has gone wrong with all three television sets. They will only get Sarah Palin.

I can play a kind of Alaskan roulette. Any random channel clicked on by the remote brings up that eager face, with its continuing assaults on the English Lang.

There she is with Larry and Matt and just about everyone else but Dr. Phil (so far). If she is not yet on 'Judge Judy,' I suspect it can’t be for lack of trying.

What have we done to deserve this, this media blitz that the astute Andrea Mitchell has labeled 'The Victory Tour?'

I suppose it will be recorded as among political history’s ironies that Palin was brought in to help John McCain. I can’t blame feminists who might draw amusement from the fact that a woman managed to both cripple the male she was supposed to help while gleaning an almost Elvis-sized following for herself. Mac loses, Sarah wins big-time was the gist of headlines.

I feel a little sorry for John. He aimed low and missed.

What will ambitious politicos learn from this? That frayed syntax, bungled grammar and run-on sentences that ramble on long after thought has given out completely are a candidate’s valuable traits?

And how much more of all that lies in our future if God points her to those open-a-crack doors she refers to? The ones she resolves to splinter and bulldoze her way through upon glimpsing the opportunities, revealed from on high.

What on earth are our underpaid teachers, laboring in the vineyards of education, supposed to tell students about the following sentence, committed by the serial syntax-killer from Wasilla High and gleaned by my colleague Maureen Dowd for preservation for those who ask, 'How was it she talked?'

'My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska’s investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars.'

And, she concluded, 'never, ever did I talk about, well, gee, is it a country or a continent, I just don’t know about this issue.'

It’s admittedly a rare gift to produce a paragraph in which whole clumps of words could be removed without noticeably affecting the sense, if any.

(A cynic might wonder if Wasilla High School’s English and geography departments are draped in black.)

(How many contradictory and lying answers about The Empress’s New Clothes have you collected? I’ve got, so far, only four. Your additional ones welcome.)

Matt Lauer asked her about her daughter’s pregnancy and what went into the decision about how to handle it. Her 'answer' did not contain the words 'daughter,' 'pregnancy,' 'what to do about it' or, in fact, any two consecutive words related to Lauer’s query.

I saw this as a brief clip, so I don’t know whether Lauer recovered sufficiently to follow up, or could only sit there, covered in disbelief. If it happens again, Matt, I bequeath you what I heard myself say once to an elusive guest who stiffed me that way: “Were you able to hear any part of my question?”

At the risk of offending, well, you, for example, I worry about just what it is her hollering fans see in her that makes her the ideal choice to deal with the world’s problems: collapsed economies, global warming, hostile enemies and our current and far-flung twin battlefronts, either of which may prove to be the world’s second “30 Years’ War.”

Has there been a poll to see if the Sarah-ites are numbered among that baffling 26 percent of our population who, despite everything, still maintain that President George has done a heckuva job?

A woman in one of Palin’s crowds praised her for being 'a mom like me … who thinks the way I do' and added, for ill measure, 'That’s what I want in the White House.' Fine, but in what capacity?

Do this lady’s like-minded folk wonder how, say, Jefferson, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, et al (add your own favorites) managed so well without being soccer moms? Without being whizzes in the kitchen, whipping up moose soufflés? Without executing and wounding wolves from the air and without promoting that sad, threadbare hoax — sexual abstinence — as the answer to the sizzling loins of the young?

(In passing, has anyone observed that hunting animals with high-powered guns could only be defined as sport if both sides were equally armed?)

I’d love to hear what you think has caused such an alarming number of our fellow Americans to fall into the Sarah Swoon.

Could the willingness to crown one who seems to have no first language have anything to do with the oft-lamented fact that we seem to be alone among nations in having made the word 'intellectual' an insult? (And yet…and yet…we did elect Obama. Surely not despite his brains.)

Sorry about all of the foregoing, as if you didn’t get enough of the lady every day in every medium but smoke signals.

I do not wish her ill. But I also don’t wish us ill. I hope she continues to find happiness in Alaska.

May I confess that upon first seeing her, I liked her looks? With the sound off, she presents a not uncomely frontal appearance.

But now, as the Brits say, 'I’ll be glad to see the back of her.”

Today's Quote

"Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills."


Fox News anchor E.D. Hill is leaving the channel after her contract was not renewed. Hill gained notoriety several months ago when she referred to the handshake that Barack Obama exchanged with his wife Michelle as a "terrorist fist jab."

See ya!

"LOFF56" Responds to "Racism Is A Psychiatric Disorder" & PL's Response

Here's Loff56:

"Hmmmm.... Interesting argument.
I suppose the further time marches on, the better the argument for racism as a psychiatric disorder.
However I'd have to say that racism is more of an educational issue. Obviously not in the traditional education sense, because as far as I know there's not a single school in the country that would outwardly teach segregation or racism. But more in the sense that there are still parents out there that haven't been able to let go of what their parents and their grandparents before them had instilled in them. Therefore educating their children with the same bigotry.
That being said, clearly there is a fear issue on their parts that doesn't allow them to let go of all that nonsense. Which is clearly a symptom of a host of psychiatric issues. So in that sense, racism is more of a symptom of other things (or perhaps a convenient tool for expressing fear) rather than a direct disorder itself.
Hmmm... so by definition I just don't think racism is a disorder in and of itself. But yes, they should all get some serious help!!!"


I hear you, L56, and I don't disagree with the idea of familial elements as a causal factor in some levels of racism, although I grew up in an all-white small town, in a working class Italian-American family where there were plenty of denigrating racial remarks made about African-Americans in a variety of settings by otherwise "normal" people around me, and yet, I didn't turn out to be racist. However, extreme racism, the kind that leads to hatred and violence and forming organizations around that hatred is psychotic. And psychosis is not culturally caused, although it may be culturally sanctioned.

Thanks, as usual, for the thoughtful comments, L56.


This was in today's Christian Science Monitor, in an article entitled, "After Obama's win, white backlash festers in US"

Here's an excerpt:

"In rural Georgia, a group of high-schoolers gets a visit from the Secret Service after posting "inappropriate" comments about President-elect Barack Obama on the Web. In Raleigh, N.C., four college students admit to spraying race-tinged graffiti in a pedestrian tunnel after the election. On Nov. 6, a cross burns on the lawn of a biracial couple in Apolacon Township, Pa. The election of America's first black president has triggered more than 200 hate-related incidents, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center – a record in modern presidential elections. Moreover, the white nationalist movement, bemoaning an election that confirmed voters' comfort with a multiracial demography, expects Mr. Obama's election to be a potent recruiting tool – one that watchdog groups warn could give new impetus to a mostly defanged fringe element. In some parts of the South, there's even talk of secession. The vitriol is flailing out shotgun-style. They recognize Obama as a tipping point, the perfect storm in the narrative of the hate world – the apocalypse that they've been moaning about has come true. Supremacist propaganda is already on the upswing. In Oklahoma, fringe groups have distributed anti-Obama propaganda through newspapers and taped it to home mail boxes. Ugly incidents such as cross-burnings, assassination betting pools, and Obama effigies are also being reported from Maine to Alabama."

Okay, now get this: The American Psychiatric Association has never officially recognized extreme racism as a mental health problem, although the issue was raised more than 30 years ago. After several racist killings in the civil rights era, a group of black psychiatrists sought to have extreme bigotry classified as a mental disorder. The association's officials rejected the recommendation, arguing that because so many Americans are racist, even extreme racism in this country is "normative" — a "cultural problem" rather than an indication of psychopathology.

The psychiatric profession's primary index for diagnosing psychiatric symptoms, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), does not include racism, prejudice, or bigotry in its text or index. Therefore, there is currently no support for including extreme racism under any diagnostic category. This leads psychiatrists to think that it cannot and should not be treated in their patients in therapy.

How do I say this?


Could anyone who scapegoats a whole group of people and seeks to eliminate them to resolve his or her internal conflicts NOT meet the criteria for a major paranoid delusional disorder? Are you kidding me?! Am I ever going to be able to stop asking...


If we don't start treating extreme racism, greed, homophobia, xenophobia and religious fanaticism as psychiatric disorders, we will never be rid of them. A "cultural problem" is figuring out and debating whether or not we want to watch sex and violence on public TV or celebrate Christmas as a national holiday or if Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" is more relevant than CNN for getting the real news. But hating someone you don't know because of their skin color or sexual orientation or nationality, or stealing a person's pension so you could have a $50,000 ice sculpture at your daughter's sweet sixteen party, or believing that an all-knowing creator God could truly love only your particular sect of believers is... right - DELUSIONAL!

Just had to get that out.


The Party of Lincoln became the Party of Hoover 80 years ago, and Bill Kristol, unrepentant right wing columnist for the NY Times, knows it and fears that it is still so. Here he is in today's Times -


"For the hard fact is this: The worst financial crisis in almost 80 years has happened on George W. Bush's watch. If Republicans and conservatives don’t come to grips with what’s happened, and can’t develop an economic agenda moving forward that seems to incorporate lessons learned from what’s happened — then they could be back, politically, in 1933. From 1933 to 1980, Republicans repeatedly failed to convince the country they were no longer the party of Herbert Hoover."

Ha! Of course, what Kristol is saying - or implying - is that somehow in-between, Ronald Reagan was not Warren Harding or Calvin Coolidge, the two Republican presidents before Hoover who presided over the corruption and excesses of the Roaring Twenties, when taxes were lowered on the rich and regulation was non-existent.

In fact, the last 28 years of Republican rule have been an almost exact replay of the years leading up to the Great Depression.

Listen, Bill, if there's one hallmark of right-wing philosophy, it's this - and it's why they hate Obama - they refuse to change. Here's a quote from FDR, the Democratic president who pulled us out of the Republican Great Depression:

FDR: "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.."

Oh, yeah, I've been meaning to put this out there to Hillary for a while -

Hillary, I think you would make a great Secretary of State, probably would've been a good-to-great president, too, but for years I've been saying that you have to divorce Bill first.

Your body language together speaks loudly of the lack of love-Eros-and-sex between you, and as far as your ambitions, well, his ego is so inflated, his pride so off the scale, his temper so volatile that he will continue to undermine you in every attempt you make to advance yourself past him as a great political leader in this country.

I'll help you out here by adding him to my '08 Election "Dump List" for you, but you will have to do it yourself if you want to progress.

More on Today's Paul Simon Quote About The Great Force Of Love

It's a powerful truth Paul is expressing in that little bridge from his song, "You're The One." The song is about the futility of blaming in a relationship, and it relates to something I wrote about a week or so ago in my post: "When Eros Ends It's No One's Fault."

Paul points out most poetically that love, as one of the greatest forces of nature, is a "shapeless shape" that doesn't follow the dictates of "human expectation," including our wish for it to "remain the same." Indeed, if we are living according to our true nature, it is love that dictates, not our wills. And like all living forces, love is constantly changing in a relationship, growing stronger or weaker, according to inner and outer conditions.

What do we control? Only our openness to giving and receiving love by letting go of the illusory protections against the illusory "heartbreaks" we fear. Why do I have heartbreak in quotes? Because the emotional human heart of an adult can't be broken. It is eternally protected by the soul. It is invincible. Experiencing loss doesn't break the heart; it makes it stronger, even more able to love fully and fearlessly if we embrace the loss. What can break, however, are the barricades we construct around our hearts in childhood, those cocoons, meant to be temporary shelters until we grow up. Yes, it is painful when those defenses crack and tear and break, but if we go through it, it is truly liberating.

Let's hear it from Paul one more time:

"Nature gives us shapeless shapes
Clouds and waves and flame
But human expectation
Is that love remains the same
And when it doesn't
We point our fingers
And blame blame blame"


A while ago, I posted a piece called "SPANKING REPUBLICANS," referencing a study that found that Republicans by a much higher percentage than Democrats physically abuse their children (i.e. - hit them, euphemistically called "spanking.")

The big spanking states were: Idaho, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Montana, Alabama, Kansas, Tennessee, and Indiana.

Well, with the election totals in, we have breaking news: all of those child-abusing states voted for John McCain... EXCEPT Indiana! Indiana voted Democratic for the first time since 1964! Wow!

Does this mean that the Hoosier State will change its spanking ways?

I'll keep you posted.

Today's Quote

"Nature gives us shapeless shapes
Clouds and waves and flame
But human expectation
Is that love remains the same
And when it doesn't
We point our fingers
And blame blame blame"
Paul Simon

Today's Quote

"In proportion as nations become more corrupt, more disgrace will attach to poverty and more respect to wealth."
Caleb C. Colton

Today's Quote

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
Charles Dickens


"Anonymous" writes:

"This is GREAT!! Oh man....if only we could put them all together on a ship and send them to some patch of land where they can create their own hell for themselves!
Thanks Peter!"


Somehow, since "the Kingdom of Heaven is within," so too must hell be, don't you think? I certainly wouldn't want to be living inside of Rush Limbaugh's or Ann Coulter's bodies right now, would you? I often say that although the Universe isn't fair, it is just.
Thanks for the comment.

Follow-up note from Bonnie on "Assault on Marriage"

Here's Bonni:

"I just wanted to add that I actually have no issue with getting married in Vegas, nor do I have a problem with Elvis impersonators. It's just the LEAST sacred wedding I can imagine. I'm sure that many Vegas-Elvis weddings have led to happy and strong marriages."


"I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said. My wife reminded me that, hey, as president of the United States, be careful what you say."
George W. Bush

"Bonni" Responds To The "Assault On Marriage"

Here's Bonni:

"Whenever I hear the phrase "sanctity of marriage" I just shake my head. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. You can get married in Las Vegas at 2am by an Elvis impersonator to someone you met fifteen minutes ago at the blackjack table, and if it doesn't work out, you can get divorced (or have it annulled, the way Britney Spears did with her drunken 2am Vegas wedding) almost as easily.

"Somehow this doesn't sound very sacred to me...

"The thing is, the moment the state gets involved in marriage (taking money for issuing marriage licenses, putting requirements on the prospective bride and groom such as having certain medical tests, allowing judges and mayors and other government officials to preside over a wedding, etc.), it ceases to be sacred.

"Yes, churches can bless (or refuse to bless) marriages, but the state trumps them every time. A Catholic priest might well refuse to marry a couple in certain circumstances (people who have previously been married, for example, or who are of non-Catholic backgrounds and are unwilling to convert, etc.), and that's the right of the chruch. But the same couple that Father O'Malley refused to marry can still go to Vegas and get married at 2am by an Elvis impersonator....

"A marriage conducted under the most tawdry and ill-advised of circumstances is legally equal to one that takes place in a cathedral with foreign heads of state in attendance and a blessing from an Archbishop.

"How is preventing people who want to get married from getting married preserving anything like sanctity of marriage? Show me how legal contracts taken out before a judge or an Elvis impersonator is in any way sacred.

"Want to really protect marriage? Make divorce illegal. Make everyone get married in a religious ceremony (yes, even atheists, so that it's properly "sacred"!). Make people take courses with counsellors prior to being issued with a marriage license.

"No, wait, let's just stop SOME people from getting married. That'll make it all okay..."

Thanks, Bonni. As your words point out, one can't be a bigot and not be a hypocrite. Ludicrous and irrational double-standards are the hallmarks of all bigotry.


THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL STATISTIC that really speaks to the shift in consciousness taking place in America represented by the election of Brack Obama. In a short piece in NEWSWEEK, entitled, "What Are Rich People Thinking? Why The Wealthy Voted For Obama And Higher Taxes," Daniel Gross lays it out.

Here's an excerpt:

"Last week's election was perhaps Bushenfreude's grandest day. As the campaign entered its final weeks, Barack Obama, who pledged to unite the country, singled out one group of people for ridicule: those making more than $250,000. At his rallies, he would ask for a show of hands of those making less than one-quarter of $1 million per year. Then he'd look around, laugh, and note that those in the virtuous majority would get their taxes cut, while the rich among them would be hit with a tax increase. And yet the exit polls show, the rich—and yes, if you make $250,000 or more you're rich—went for Obama by bigger margins than did the merely well-off. If the exit polls are to be believed, those making $200,000 or more (6 percent of the electorate) voted for Obama 52-46.
"For several years, I've been writing about Bushenfreude, the phenomenon of angry yuppies — who've hugely benefited from President Bush's tax cuts — funding angry, populist Democratic campaigns. I've theorized that people who work in financial services and related fields have become so outraged and alienated by the incompetence, crass social conservatism, and repeated insults to the nation's intelligence, of the Bush-era Republican Party, that they're voting with their hearts and heads instead of their wallets."

I repeat - WOW!


Here's a fun exchange I had today with "Rick" - my valuable ego checker - on my propensity to use the word "truth" to describe what Rick feels are my opinions, or as he suggests, my "one-sided positions."
(By the way, Rick is developing some fans on my blog. Hmmm.)

Here's Rick's first serve:

"Hi Pete,
I know you are a great fan of music so here's a bit of a music trivia quiz. Read on...
I keep reading your blog because you bring up interesting talking points. As I have written before, the heavily slanted tone of the writing requires this reader to have patience enough to wade through the muck and get to your supported points. There is learning to be had when you "out" certain positions on issues for being dishonest. However, extreme positions, even those that are opposite, usually tend to be guilty of the same offense. Whenever I start spouting one-sided positions as truth, without accepting any merit on the other side, my friend always reminds me of a Kansas song. What two lines do you think he sings to me? (I am intentionally not giving you the title of the song because I know how good you are at this.)

PL's return - minutes later:

"And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know." (from "Carry On My Wayward Son")

Rick's parry:

"I thought I might make you sweat a bit, but clearly I'm still playing single A ball! Well done! What do you think of that line??"

PL at the net:

"Well, a true wise man knows what he doesn't know, and doesn't fear acknowledging it, which makes him able to know what he does know and be fearless in acknowledging that."

Good volley, Rick!

America Discovers That Bailout Will Be Used To Pay Wall Street Bonuses

Don't we all know a relative like these corporate oral-psychopaths, you know the pathological liar brother or uncle who borrows your money or credit card and then uses it to go to the racetrack or pay for a date with a hooker?
Check out this story on the BLOOMBERG website. "Yeah... that's the ticket!"

Today's Quote

"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards."
Benjamin Franklin


Last week, on election day in California and two other states, marriage was banned between people of the same sex. Why?

Well, of course, the lying or delusional proponents of the ban claim that they are "protecting the sanctity of marriage," which can only be between a man and a woman, according to them. The real reason for the ban? Marriage, especially traditional marriage, is under siege. But not by radical or alternative approaches to marriage, and certainly not by homosexuals who love each other. No, in fact, traditional marriage is being assaulted by... traditional marriage. Yep. More than half of those "sanctified" marriages end in divorce these days, and an even higher percentage of traditionally married people have affairs.

Hello? Are Jane and John getting divorced or cheating more these days because Bret and Brad want to get married? Here it comes - HOW STUPID ARE WE?!

Traditional marriage is falling apart because so many people do it for the wrong reasons - financial insecurity, fear of being alone, wanting to live up to an image of being a proper adult, and worst of all, in order to have officially church-sanctioned sex! In other words, for reasons other than being deeply in-love. So, of course, it doesn't work - unless you're able to numb yourself and stay committed to hunkering down into a passionless life of misery-loves-company convenience and complacency. Institutionally-sanctioned sex is not hot! And many traditionally married people quickly find that out too late.

But what has gay marriage got to do with that anyway? Hmm... for one thing, if you just probe below the surface of the inner mind of any repressed person, you will find a stereotypical belief that homosexuals are in fact only homosexual in the first place because they are wantonly obsessed with sex. Right. So horny and perverted and lustfully out of control that they'll even have sex with the same sex! Yeah... Sex! Sex! SEX!!! "Hey! They can't have that if I can't have it!"

Of course, if those repressed oppressors actually knew any gay people up close and personal, they'd discover that a gay sexual orientation is no more of a path to great sex than a heterosexual one is. Emotional and physical connectedness and mental openness is what frees us up for that potential, and for the great trinity of Love-Eros-and-Sex.

My message to the gay-marriage-banning crowd: get therapy, get a life and get laid!

Anway, below is Keith Olbermann's "special comment" on the subject from his show last night. It's very powerful.

Here's Keith O:

"This is about the... human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

"If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not... understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want -- a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

"Only now you are saying to them -- no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights -- even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

"I keep hearing this term 're-defining' marriage.

"If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal... in 1967. 1967.

"The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not 'Until Death, Do You Part,' but 'Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.' Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

"You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are... gay.

"And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing -- centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children... All because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage. How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the 'sanctity' of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

"What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.

"It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

"And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

"With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness -- this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness -- share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know...It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow **person...

"Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too."



Hopefully, this is why the crooks and liars masquerading as "conservatives" will never have control of our government again in my lifetime, and why my so easily duped conservative friends will never spout the preposterous philosophies of trickle-down supply side economics ever again. As long as we have young souls on the planet - and the inclination towards greed and excess that they bring - we have to have grown-ups setting boundaries, folks.

Here's an excerpt from the Post:

A Quiet Windfall For U.S. Banks
With Attention on Bailout Debate, Treasury Made Change to Tax Policy

Monday, November 10, 2008

The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal. But they have worried that saying so publicly could unravel several recent bank mergers made possible by the change and send the economy into an even deeper tailspin.

"Did the Treasury Department have the authority to do this? I think almost every tax expert would agree that the answer is no," said George K. Yin, the former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the nonpartisan congressional authority on taxes. "They basically repealed a 22-year-old law that Congress passed as a backdoor way of providing aid to banks."

Today's Quote

"While I lived in Manhattan for a dozen years, I never felt fully at home there. Now, I live in a utopian commune ruled by children known as Park Slope, Brooklyn."
John Hodgman


There's a spot-on essay by Frank Rich in the NY Times this morning about the dawning realities since election day. It speaks to something I wrote last month called, "IT'S A THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE?," which, among other things, spoke to the connection between paranoia and homosexual anxiety on the far right.

Rich nails it:

"The post-Bush-Rove Republican Party is in the minority because it has driven away women, the young, suburbanites, black Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian-Americans, educated Americans, gay Americans and, increasingly, working-class Americans. Who’s left? Though Rove’s promised 'permanent Republican majority' lies in humiliating ruins, his and Bush’s one secure legacy will be their demagogic exploitation of homophobia."

Exactly. It ain't much to base a party on, boys!


This morning, I was looking for something to post that relates to the feelings of renewal and positiveness that I and so many others are feeling right now in the immediate aftermath of Barack Obama's astounding election by a majority of Americans. I found this article that I'd written seven years ago. It has particular meaning now because, with Obama's election, there comes the hope, perhaps even the promise, that the bridge will finally be made between the calls for love and openness heralded but ultimately stifled in the 1960's and this new century. I am very glad to have lived to see this day.

Here's my article, called:


Growing up in the Sixties, like a lot of people who are now in or just entering their mid-life, I heard a lot of radical messages about love. “Make love, not war” was a popular slogan of the peace movement during the Viet Nam era. “All You Need Is Love”, the Beatles’ anthem, reverberated via satellite around the world offering a singular solution to all of life’s problems. “Free love” was declared to be the new celebratory attitude towards sexuality. I soaked up these messages four decades ago, and felt their rightness inside of my body back then, and I felt so optimistic about the future of the human race. I was glad to be alive in this period of humanity’s evolution. I imagined that these ideas and attitudes would soon be accepted by the majority of people everywhere because the simple wisdom expressed in them was so compelling and irrefutable. As another song from that era proclaimed on Broadway in the musical, “Hair” - “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius... harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding…”
Today, forty years later, those messages seem either quaintly idealistic or, on the other hand, even more radical than they originally did. Many now seem to seriously doubt the power of love to overcome hatred or to resolve problems in our time, and people certainly have become very cautious, even fearful about celebrating their sexuality. Others assume that experiences of brilliant love and exquisite pleasure are fleeting moments that cannot last, so why bother?
What happened? Has love failed in its promise? Is sex not all that it’s cracked up to be? What actually is the nature of love and the purpose of sex, and why do we doubt or fear the power of these energies so much?
In my experience as a mind-body-spirit psychotherapist, I have found that people usually fear what they desire the most, and that the fear of genuine love and pleasure is ultimately at the core of every character structure. [Note: a character structure is a cluster of psychological defenses, emotional blocks and physical contractions that distort a person’s personality, body and energy flow.] Why would we fear love and pleasure? It seems counter-intuitive to fear what feels so good. Indeed, when I first suggest to a patient that they have a fear of pleasure, the response is usually one of protest: “I definitely want to be in love.” “I totally want to have good sex.” “I wish I could have it all in one relationship!” Their explanation for the lack of these experiences in their lives is that it must be something external causing the problem: “There are no available men/women out there.” “You can’t have good sex when you’re working or raising kids.” “Having it all is only possible in the beginning of a relationship.”
However, at some point in the course of therapy, when the defenses and blocks of a person’s character structure have been loosened and the emotional channels have opened, the truth becomes apparent. People discover that in their newly opened state, real love and sexual pleasure are available to them... and they are terrified of it! The openness becomes symbolic of some great unknown against which we all reflexively contract. As Eva Broch puts it in her channeled “Pathwork Guide Lecture” on the spiritual significance of sexuality: “In the human realm, the power of sexuality can, in its most ideal form, be the greatest ‘representative’ of spiritual existence. There is no other human experience that conveys so fully what spiritual bliss, oneness, and timelessness are.”
Indeed! Following are a few examples from patients of mine who’ve experienced the exhilaration of opening up to one’s love-sex connection, to that bliss, and the fear and confusion they felt as well when it happened.
One adult patient said these things recently in the course of the same week after the energetic connection between the heart (love feelings) and genitals (sexual feelings) was made: “It feels pleasurable to be in my body. How amazing! I have so much energy. I am so connected and grateful to my body.” In a session three days later, the same person said this: “What am I doing? Who am I? I can’t control myself. It can’t be that I was wrong all that time.”
Here is another patient, a woman who had recently fallen genuinely in love: “It’s so wonderful, so big, in every cell... I feel so loved, so adored… I feel amazing, what I’ve always wanted to feel. I cry after cumming every time!” And here’s the same women on a subsequent day: “Can it really stay good? What if this is just an illusion? I could really get what I want? I keep having flashes of becoming cold and indifferent.”
And one more person had these things to say shortly after her initial breakthrough from the protective cocoon of her defenses: “I feel like my heart is melting. It feels like being in love. Something’s happening to me and my anger... something’s freed up in me about it.. it just flows through me and then it’s gone. I think my heart and throat chakra opened together. It’s like a miracle. I have no regrets... I never thought I’d get here, and I don’t feel superior or competitive... I feel everybody’s pain... and I’m not craving sweets because I’m feeling my sweetness!” She expressed some of her fear and confusion this way: “It’s hard to figure out who you are now. Sometimes, I feel panic like it’s all a trick and a boom will hit me. It’s almost too much to feel the pleasure, to be so there.”
So, how do we develop this reflexive reaction against something that feels so wonderful? Perhaps we have to go back to the beginning... of our lives, to understand this particular dilemma of human existence as it is right now.
A newborn infant is an extraordinarily open system, a receptive, sensate being without any body armor, without defenses other than a kind of instinctual withdrawal reaction from pain perhaps. In such a state, everything is felt so acutely, so intensely, both pleasure and pain. If you watch a baby react to stimuli, it is always with their whole body, with the totality of who they are. When experiencing pleasure, like from the loving touch or smile of its mother or the nourishment from the breast, the little baby seems to quiver and melt from ecstasy; when it is hungry or wet in its diaper or otherwise uncomfortable, it seems to shake in agony and outrage.
While in this state of original openness, the child will inevitably experience a certain amount of frustration of its basic needs, and it will be hurt by other painful stimuli as well, such as the anger, fear or anxiety of its parents. The anguish in the child will eventually cause it to begin contracting its body, as its muscle control develops, to try and control the sensation of pain, and it will become a less open system. In a sense, the child has learned at a very visceral level that openness to receiving pleasure means openness to experiencing pain. A secondary response develops that becomes what we call second nature – in this case, a reflex to avoid “too much” pleasure. This becomes one of the final conditioned responses that must be overcome in therapy in order to become able to truly experience and sustain deep love and sexual pleasure.
Here’s Eva Broch again from the same Guide Lecture: “The ability to take frustration and pain are essential ingredients in the ability to love, to give and receive, and to experience bliss. Blocks and prohibitions of true fulfillment exist because within the adult personality, the infant still claims fulfillment according to its mode.”
“Its mode”, we can presume, means to avoid pain at all costs. Somehow, the child seeks to experience love and pleasure while avoiding feeling its hurt and pain…and this is not possible. One cannot stay open and closed at the same time. As that child grows eventually into an adult, it will develop a frustrating compromise solution, keeping only partially open, or opening only occasionally to have a taste of pleasure, followed by closing up quickly again lest pain follow. This is why people have come to believe that love and passion don’t last in a relationship.
When a person falls in love, there is a rush of energy, call it “Eros”, or “Cupid’s arrow.” I’ve come to think of that surge as a “free sample” from the universe to let us know what life could be like without defenses. For a while, regardless of one’s character structure, when we fall in love, our defenses are temporarily blown aside by the force of Eros. We see everything in beautiful colors, feel healthy and invigorated and can only see the best in ourselves and the beloved other person. This is bliss. After a while, however, the free sample is done, and our defenses begin re-asserting themselves, closing us up again. The reason for this is that we intuitively know that staying open to this amount of bliss will allow the stored up old hurt and pain we’ve been holding and hiding from to come up and out, and we reflexively try to stop that. This happens below the surface of consciousness, so we are confused and disappointed, and conclude that passionate love just doesn’t last.
What needs to be discovered, however, is that at the point when the free sample begins to run out, we have the choice to buy the whole package. If we actively seek out a process that will systematically dismantle our defenses so we can keep the emotional channels open, the passionate love can indeed not only last a lot longer, but even grow profoundly deeper. The “price” is, of course, letting all of that old pain out. What makes us recoil from doing that is the erroneous belief that we could not withstand the pain. That belief is from the childish mind, from a time when the hurt of not being loved enough was indeed too overwhelming, maybe even a matter of life and death.
Now, as adults, being disappointed in love is not a life and death matter (believe it or not!). We just react as if it was. To a baby or little child, its parents are the entire universe before whom they are completely vulnerable and upon whom they are totally dependent, without choice. For better or worse, there is nowhere else for a child to turn for love and nurturance than its parents. As an adult, however, one always has options regarding the choice of a love object, and adults also have resources available to improve the quality of a relationship that a child does not.
Furthermore, the pain of emotional deprivation to a being in a tiny, little infant body, with an unformed mind, is devastating and cannot be processed. An adult in an unfulfilling relationship has a big body and a fully formed mind with which to deal with this lack, so the feelings need not be experienced as devastating. When it seems so to an adult, it is an illusion. Though the feelings are real, created by the residual, unprocessed mind of the child inside, the danger is not. Discovering this reality and releasing the old pain is where a full spectrum therapy can help keep.
Does this mean that two people can be guaranteed to be in love “forever” if they free themselves of their defenses? Not necessarily. Being in love can have a natural course of time, short or long, just like any journey two souls may take together. All journeys have endings, even great ones. An essential ingredient of real love is its freedom. Love can be felt, given and received and ultimately followed where it leads, but if one attempts to control or possess it, which would only be done out of fear, the channel closes. This has been talked about in many places, from the Bible to the beautiful writings of Kahlil Gibran to the popular songs of our generation. “If you love somebody, set them free”, Sting sang in his hit single from the 1990s.
Monogamy in a relationship that is not based on fear is “spontaneous”, as Ellsworth Baker said in his book, “Man In The Trap.” What does that mean? To me it means that one is so in love in a singular way with one particular person that on a day to day basis there is a powerful desire to experience all of one’s sexual love energy only through that one other. There is no need for emotional or legal contracts, nor are there feelings of jealousy, ownership, obligation or betrayal under the surface. Just free love, love given freely. In my experience, this kind of spontaneous love with another is one of the most powerful and spiritual experiences we can have in physical form.
From such an open place, when the time of being in love naturally concludes between two people, the sadness felt is “clean,” without remorse or bitterness or defensiveness. One feels a poignant sweetness and a true feeling of being blessed for all that was experienced during the time of connection to the beloved other soul. The “end” of the relationship can be more like a graduation, rather than a tragedy.
To get to such a place requires that a person face their most deeply feared feelings of loss and abandonment stored up from childhood, and see those feelings all the way through to the other side. To be fearless to love, in other words, we must become fearless to lose. Anyone who I have seen become fearless in this way and find their way to genuine, free loving, confirms that the journey was worth the so-called “price.”
So, what has any of this got to do with the world’s problems and the dawning of a harmonious age? Well, I have never seen anybody who has become able to love freely wanting to make war or rob banks or even litter the street. In fact, people who become free in that way are warriors, but warriors who never have to fight in the usual sense. Like Mr. Miyagi, in “The Karate Kid.” They are simply courageous enough to really love and fearless about the illusions around losing. They understand the channeled message in Barbara Brennan’s book, “Hands of Light”, that puts it succinctly: “Hating war is not the same as loving peace.” Nothing is more powerful than an open heart. Nothing is more powerful than love. Finally, even fears of death are transcended when one loves openly.
Perhaps, to come full circle back to the “Summer of Love” days of the late 1960s, that was the meaning of “All You Need Is Love”, and of the final message the Beatles gave to us when it was time to naturally end their relationship with us: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Tonight's Favorite Movie Quote

This is my favorite piece of dialogue from one of my favorite movies. Near the end of the film, Tom Hanks' character is back home after 4 years on a deserted island. He recounts the moment when he realized what surrender was and how it affected him.

"I had power over nothing. And that's when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew somehow that I had to stay alive. Somehow, I had to keep breathing, even though there was no reason to hope. So that's what I did - I stayed alive and kept breathing and one day the tide came in and gave me a sail. I know what I have to do now - I've gotta keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
Tom Hanks


Jill Brooke, a writer and editor in chief of, posted a blog on the Huffington Post entitled, "Wouldn't It Be Great If Divorces Had Concession Speeches?"

Jill writes:

"One of the remarkable aspects of our democracy is how, after a grueling presidential race, the losing candidate makes a concession speech and there is a gracious transition of power. The incoming President then acknowledges the attributes of his competitor in the Presidential race. This tradition starts the process of healing and accepting the inevitability of the outcome."
"Wouldn't that be nice in a divorce?" Jill continues. "An olive branch, a speech or a built-in-tradition where ex-husband and ex-wife vowed to make efforts to support each other in their lives ahead.I know many of my friends would have loved to hear their ex-husbands (or ex-wives) give a concession speech after their divorces. In any marriage, as in any election, there is a winner and a loser. Even in an amicable divorce, someone feels more disappointment, someone is more elated."

Well, I definitely agree with most of Jill's sentiment here, though any speech or tradition is only as good as the genuine intention behind it. After however many years of sharing love and life together in a marriage or relationship of any kind, how valuable it would be to effect an ending that was infused with harmony and a loving acknowledgment of what the relationship had been.

So why is it that so often, so many couples end their time together with strife and anger, or as Jill says, with one person feeling more disappointment and the other more elation?

This is a subject that frequently comes up in therapy sessions, of course. At one end of a typical break-up is the person who feels they've been rejected and abandoned, the one who still wanted the relationship to continue, who claims to still be in-love; at the other end is the one who feels guilty for no longer being in-love, and for wanting to leave, who may even label themselves "commitment-phobic."

But here's where I may part ways with Jill, and with some of my colleagues. While it may be true that a couple can be split on whether or not they WANT to continue in a relationship or not, it's not true that one person can be unilaterally in-love with someone who is not.

"In-love-ness," or Eros, must be mutual to survive because it is an energetic current that can only exist in a completed circuit. If the flow of Eros is not mutual, it ends. What may remain, however, is a certain level of love, and sometimes even a certain amount of sexual desire. Many couples who are no longer in-love, still love each other and still have a kind of need-based, plateaued sex life together. But that special "thing" is gone, that nostril-flaring, pupil-dilating, butterfly-inducing charge is no longer present. The conflict starts when, in such a situation, one person is willing to live without that thing, and one isn't. And it's usually the person who is more developed emotionally that can't live without Eros, but that person usually is the one who takes the heat and criticism for being selfish or lacking in commitment.

This is what leads to destructive, blame or guilt-ridden break-ups, and to the unfortunate illusion that there is a "winner" or "loser" at the end of a relationship. Why Eros ends is complicated, with multi-layered reasons, depending on many factors (a subject for another writing), but if couples could accept that it is Eros that has ended, and it's no one's "fault," it would be possible to effect an ending that could really benefit both people, and could help to integrate all the gifts that the time together offered.

Todays Quote

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always."
Mahatma Gandhi

"Anonymous" Responds to "RELIGIOUS KIDS HAVE MORE SEX!"

Here's "Anonymous":

"Wow, another gem. I agree with what you said about exploring your desire, and I think I understand it better as an adult. But being raised Catholic, abstaining was the way to go. Respect your body and your sister's HOT friend's body. Ha! Having two little girls, though, the sex thing scares me. I am extremely sexual and I have no doubt that I lent a couple of those fantastic genes to my daughters. That is the part that scares me. Not an easy row to hoe.
Just my thoughts."

Good thoughts! Thanks!


Ah. Now that this eternal election is finally over and I can stop hammering the dumb-as-nails right wingnuts, I can get back to my favorite subject: sex! Here's a beauty from the latest New Yorker Magazine, an article called, "Red Sex, Blue Sex: Why do so many evangelical teen-agers become pregnant?" by one Margaret Talbot.

From the article:

"The vast majority of white evangelical adolescents — seventy-four per cent — say that they believe in abstaining from sex before marriage. (Only half of mainline Protestants, and a quarter of Jews, say that they believe in abstinence.) Moreover, among the major religious groups, evangelical virgins are the least likely to anticipate that sex will be pleasurable, and the most likely to believe that having sex will cause their partners to lose respect for them. (Jews most often cite pleasure as a reason to have sex, and say that an unplanned pregnancy would be an embarrassment.) But evangelical teen-agers are more sexually active than Mormons, mainline Protestants, and Jews. On average, white evangelical Protestants make their 'sexual début' shortly after turning sixteen. Another key difference in behavior is that evangelical Protestant teen-agers are significantly less likely than other groups to use contraception."

Okay, folks, put it together in your head, because I know at first blush, it may not compute - professing abstinence and NOT expecting pleasure leads to MORE SEX, and MORE UNPROTECTED SEX at that!

Get it? Hypocrisy - and yes, forgive me, "Rick," STUPIDITY - on the part of these parents has a way of outing itself through subconsciously motivated actions. Lame adults who teach their kids that their most powerful natural desires are sinful, that somehow nature and the way we're made is flawed, are putting their kids in such tremendous conflict with themselves that acting out becomes inevitable. On the other hand, kids that are taught to love their bodies and to expect pleasure, develop the capacity for patience and practicality when it comes to sex. It's not the "forbidden fruit" that Evangelicals think Eve partook of in the Garden to all of our detriment. In fact, the forbidden fruit was the development of self-consciousness, of a reflective ego. Remember? The parable in the Old Testament says that "they realized that they were naked." It doesn't say that they realized they were horny!

Anyway, glad to be back after a few days off basking in the shift in mass consciousness that just occurred.

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