This is from April 2009, just a beauty and one of my favorites from the year coming to an end.

"G.O.P.: R.I.P"

"So there it stands: a naked, pigeon-chested old man, random strands of white hair on its boney shoulders; its swollen-knuckled hands clasped over its dead genitals, looking at once forlorn and menacing, shivering with self-loathing and xenophobia, raging pathetically at its timely and appropriate defeat at the hands of Reason.

Ladies and gentlemen: The Republican Party.

With every passing day, the people who stubbornly, maddeningly cling to an obsolete ideal and who stand in the way of the cultural advancement of this country, this America, spew the base reality of their caustic ideology into the air.

The Republican Party is like a dying tyrant, mad with syphilis, ironically like that very Stalin they would accuse their enemies of associating with. How else to account for their desperation to resurrect the wraith of Joseph McCarthy; the hammy and baffling utterances from high level party officials like Boehner and McConnell; the blatant desire on their part to let the country fail out of sheer resentment; the wanton sedition of Conservative shit-stirrers ranging from the quasi Madame Defarge Michele Bachmann to the porcine, pill-popping porcine propagandist Rush Limbaugh?

It is an all out assault on reason, on progress, on truth. What is the difference between the Republican Party and, say, the Taliban? A rogue by any other name would smell as rank. Their frantic accusations all churned out in a futile effort to explain their current pariah status is as pathetic and draconian as stoning a woman in the street.

I feel I must apologize for my own particularly febrile anger. It's unseemly and ugly. But finally, the enemy is clearly outlined. We can see it for what it is and what it always has been. It exists not in myth but in a reality which has plagued humanity for millennia: utter, hateful ignorance born from a fear of truth, indeed a fear of life itself; a mad and impotent pursuit of some long-forgotten ecstasy having spawned generations of paranoid power addicts who chase the past at the expense of the future, cloaking their real intentions in perfumed patriotism and the seductive swoon of religion.

It's so fitting that we are living in an age where beheadings, torture, piracy and now unbridled power mongering are all common place. Perhaps that element of humanity is going back into hibernation and is snapping at any and everything before its eyes finally close. In our lifetime the choice has never been so stark.

Don't be intimidated by that naked, pigeon-chested old man. His party's over."


Working on some selections for the stupidest primates of the 00 decade.

Here's a few to start with:



Perhaps more than anything else, this says it all:


Just take a minute and think about that.

WHEW! That is a year to top off a decade from hell!!


I have written many posts on this blog and posted many articles by others here as well on the very serious damage that sexual repression does, individually and to our societies. And you know what? Most people don't get it. Most people still think that a vibrant sex life is a luxury, like playing tennis or watching a football game on Sunday. But it isn't. Our sexual energy is one of the most powerful forces within all of us, and when that energy is distorted or blocked as it is in so many individuals, the results are disastrous, whether in the causation of personal disease or social ills.

HERE is yet another headline about somebody who was sexually repressed trying to blow people up:
Terror Suspect's Web Posts Reveal Desire For 'Great Jihad,' Shame About Sex.

"The Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused in the Christmas day attack on a U.S. airliner, reflects on a blog about a growing alienation from his family, his shame over sexual urges and his hopes that a "great jihad" will take place across the world."

Come on, folks! This problem isn't going to go away. Violence, fanaticism, paranoia, maniacal repression of others, Republicans, these illnesses won't be contained by anyone's military or police force, or by any protest movements, anymore than an adolescent's sexual feelings can be successfully contained by threatening or inane pseudo-religious dogma or preposterous, Flintstonian policies like "abstinence only."

Work on yourself, people! Help your children free themselves. This is only going to change one person at a time. If you have been ignoring or neglecting or minimizing your sex life, do the world and yourself and your children a favor and get on it! Make a New Year's resolution that will really mean something.


I've of course written before on the rampant damage that sexual repression causes. Here's another example from this week's news...

In a piece on The Daily Beast last week, entitled "Leave 'Sexters' Alone!" Conor Friedersdorf writes that "stories that begin with 'sexting' become tragic all too frequently only when principals, police officers, or district attorneys get involved. In most cases, teens who conceal their sexting from authority figures suffer negligible adverse consequences; they're hardly the first generation to play 'I'll show you mine,' and even Verizon's 3G network cannot yet transmit sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy."

Exactly! How sadly often is it that suppressed, repressed and oppressive adults inflict their own festered ire from a sex-life gone dead on their kids who might actually think their sexuality is a cause for exploration and celebration.

Here's more from Conor's article:

"The two known suicides attributed to 'sexting' actually resulted from adults who exacerbated, rather than stopped, the abhorrent 'slut-shaming' that peers callously directed at girls whose naked photos were spread around school; and authority figures in at least six states charge less troubled teens who send naked pictures of themselves with distributing child pornography! Yes, it is possible to be charged with distribution of child pornography for sending out a photograph of yourself—and to be charged with possessing it when a naked photo sent by your high-school girlfriend is stored on your cellphone. Should technology ever permit humans to download our brains' mental images to a hard drive, every last teenager in America will wind up prohibited from living within 10,000 feet of themselves!"


Here's Krugman:

"What was truly impressive about the decade past, however, was our unwillingness, as a nation, to learn from our mistakes. So let’s bid a not at all fond farewell to the Big Zero — the decade in which we achieved nothing and learned nothing. Will the next decade be better? Stay tuned. Oh, and happy New Year."

Read the whole essay HERE.


What kind of decade is coming to an end this week?

Some, including TIME Magazine, have called this "The Decade From Hell!"

Well, indeed, it was certainly pretty bad from a collective perspective, that's for sure. Unless you were a hedge-fund manipulator, or a banking, insurance, or pharmaceutical crook, or a politician on the take from same, the decade just ending, the one dominated by maggot-eating, obeise-berating reality TV and eight years of surreal, sexless saber-rattling and pseudo-religious posturing by the worst leaders in American history, you were pretty much screwed at every level in the 00's.

If you were in the 98% of the population not worth $50 million or more, you worked harder and longer this past decade and got less compensation in current dollars for your efforts. You were told that the schools your kids had to go to, the roads you had to travel on, and the levy's built to hold back hurricane flood waters from your city were all in fine shape, even though your reality said otherwise, often tragically. You were convinced that global warming wasn't real, but Saddam's weapons of mass destruction were, and in spite of the evidence, you were told that just telling teens not to have sex was the best way to prevent them from doing it, even as teen pregnancy rose and rose. But the good news was that you were systematically prescribed drugs to help you get it up, lower your blood pressure, emotionally numb you and basically keep you from complaining too much while you were being raped and robbed blind.

Here's a bit from the TIME piece:

"Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post–World War II era. Call it the Decade from Hell, or the Reckoning, or the Decade of Broken Dreams, or the Lost Decade. Call it whatever you want — just give thanks that it is nearly over."

And let's not even talk about the levels of inanity and stupidity diving ever-downward with the likes of Sarah "Wilma Flintstone" Palin, Joe The [not really a plumber] Plumber, Glenn Beck, Orly Taitz and the birthers, tea-baggers, end-timers and assorted other overmedicated Barney Rubbles.

But... was it truly "the decade from hell?" The interesting thing is that the answer to that question depends on from where you answer it. We are always creating our reality at two levels - individually and en mass. In spite of it all, I know people who fell truly, deeply in love during the 00's for the first time, or who created a masterpiece in their chosen art form, or found abundance without cheating or stealing from anybody else, or who healed their minds-bodies-and-spirits in miraculous ways without the slash-and-burn mideaval methods of mainstream medicine. Yes, a lot of good most definitely happened to many individuals, all within the larger context of debacle after debacle at the public levels of reality.

So, can the best decade, personally, simultaneously exist within the worst decade collectively? Of course. As long as you're not thinking and living your life from a strictly dualistic place.

A concomitant question that arises is: Can we be evolving collectively as a species if as a species we are collectively doing so poorly? Well, I suppose that's like asking if an alcoholic is evolving when he's in the process of hitting bottom. The answer is to some degree unknown because it all depends on what is done at the bottom, what choices are made there, and then, what the follow-up is. As a country, we may certainly be at our bottom, although just when it seems that our degree of denial has brought us as low as we can go, Joe Leiberman and John McCain raise a toast and take another swig of single malt bullshit!

Nonetheless, folks, you create your own personal reality from the inside out, and our collective reality, just like the weather, is a manifestation of all of our personal realities combined. So, as we approach a new decade, my advice is to continue to be as conscious and loving and connected as possible in your life, and perhaps you will be the Hundredth Monkey.

[Read about the HUNDREDTH MONKEY here.]


Two years ago, I posted a long piece entitled "THE END OF THE JOB!" It was about many things related to our changing work-life consciousness, and worth reading if you have a bit of time over the holidays. The title itself came from the September 19, 1994 cover story of Fortune Magazine, of all places. Again, worth reading if you have the time. In short, what the Fortune article made clear was something I had already come to realize - that working by the hour at a traditional "job" was not going to cut it any more in terms of providing financial well-being or stability down the road, unless, of course, you were either willing to live a minimalist subsistence lifestyle through old age, or work full-time well into your 70's and beyond.

In 1994, when that article came out, I had just turned forty. I didn't have any fears about getting older. I still don't. In fact, I always have and still do look forward to getting on in years. But what I did realize at that time, as I began my approach to mid-life, was that the country I grew up in economically was gone, a country in which my working-class parents could buy a 4-bedroom house on a quarter of an acre of land, half-an-hour from New York City, for substantially less that I just paid for a 4-cylinder car in 2008! Yep. You heard that right. And furthermore, in my childhood, all of my friends - the sons and daughters of house painters, carpenters, plumbers, garbage collectors, school teachers, deli-owners - all lived in comfortable private houses, as well, and like my dad, the fathers were the only wage-earners in the families. Get it? One working-class level income got you a roomy house, at least one car, a yearly summer vacation and a college education for the kids, if they wanted one. Today? Well, you know the story. Two, three, even four incomes per household barely gets you a living, and only at that if you go into substantial debt to boot.

I took up a mission in the mid-nineties. I began telling everyone, including the people that I advised as a therapist, that they needed to understand not just the realities of their own financial situations, but even moreso that they needed to understand that the infection of deregulated greed and corruption ravaging the body of America's economy wasn't going away anytime soon. Working for a living just wasn't going to cut it anymore, if you wanted to finish out the last rounds of your life at any level of comfort and quality. Nor were you going to be able to live on what, if anything you'd put away for the future. Most working or middle-class people didn't have any kind of significant savings or pensions they could rely on, and even if they did for a while, the debacles caused by the nefarious bank and hedge fund managers and other market manipulators eliminated those modest nest eggs for 95% of the population.

So, what was/is one to do in the face of these harsh realities?

"Invest in yourself" became my mantra.

In a piece I wrote earlier this year, entitled "YOU ARE THE ONLY GAME THAT ISN'T RIGGED," spinning of a brilliant piece of journalism by Matt Taibbi, that's what I advised. If you have a gift, a talent or a passion, then explore it, develop it, express it in the world somehow, especially if it's something that doesn't require working for a wage by the hour. And if you find yourself blocked in that area, then, for your sake, do the self-work necessary to unblock yourself, whatever it takes.

That's how I started on my own track to become a writer 8 years ago. As much as my work as a psychotherapist was a true calling for me, it was nonetheless a by-the-hour proposition, and therefore had a ceiling in terms of its capacity to produce wealth for me. So, in 2001, I began what I now call my "GET RICH OR GET OUT" journey. Simply put, I set myself on a course that would inevitably end with me becoming financially independent, either because I'd become wealthy enough to enjoy the material benefits of western society without having to "work for a living" until old age, or because I had dropped out of mainstream culture altogether and gone off the grid.

I still can't say yet which of the two alternatives will play out for my future. Last week, with the help of the wonderful director/actor/author, Paul Michael Glaser, I held a staged reading of the pilot episode of a television show I created. Last month, a screenplay I co-wrote with someone won Best Action Adventure Screenplay at the Gotham Film Festival. Clearly, I haven't given up on writing as a potential road to abundance for myself and my family. However, last night, I found myself talking with the love of my life about the possibility of moving to Canada sometime in the future to escape the crooks and liars that are gutting this country and make a fresh start in a healthier land.

I'll keep you posted.


During President George W. Bush's administration, abstinence programs received more than $100 million a year directly in federal funding and about $50 million in federal money funneled through the states. But the effort came under mounting criticism when studies concluded that the approach was ineffective and signs emerged that the long decline in teen pregnancies was faltering under abstinence only

As part of President Obama's first budget, Congress approved a request for more than $110 million for a new "teenage pregnancy prevention" initiative that would only fund programs that have been "proven effective through rigorous evaluation," which would effectively eliminate abstinence programs. James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington-based advocacy group said: "This is the end of the failed abstinence-only model that research has shown is ineffective."


anonymous said...
Great picture of you and Mr. Glaser.

I sure wish I could join you in Canada. Definitely agree about what is happening to this country.

caseydancer said...
Wow, congratulations on the Gotham award and thanks so much for this article.

It almost brought tears to my eyes because it is this exact concept I cling to when the fears about my future creep in. That my gift, my passion and my joy is writing, and so writing must be the path I'm meant to follow to lead me out of this dark, suffocating, dead-end, hand-to-mouth-til-the-day-I-die life.

You're inspiring.

Two anonymouses said...
We need you Peter; don't go to Canada!!! I & F

PL says:

Hang in there, everyone. It ain't over 'till... And remember, sometimes you just have to be willing to do something in order not to have to do it!


“It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.”
Kahlil Gibran


Of course, now we know about the slew of prescription drugs found in Brittany Murphy's bathroom.

"A check of the nightstands revealed large amounts of prescription medication in the decedent's name. Also noted were numerous empty prescription medication bottles in the decedent's husband's name, the decedent's mother's name and unidentified third party names."

The medications included Topamax (anti-seizure), Methylprednisolone (anti-inflammatory), Fluoxetine (anti-depression), Klonopin (anti-anxiety), Carbamazepine ( a bipolar med), Ativan (another anti-anxiety), Vicoprofen (pain killer), Propranolol (for hypertension, used to prevent heart attacks), Biaxin (antibiotic), Hydrocodone (pain killer) and, oh... miscellaneous vitamins! It was noted that no illegal drugs were discovered.

I have been saying for 30 years that history is going to look back upon the medical-pharmaceutical-insurance complex of the late 20th Century/early 21st Century as a heinous perpetrator of crimes of the worst order. Dealing not just in staggering amounts of theft and deception, but in death, literally mass murder, these criminals in suits and white coats have engaged in an appalling, scandalous and barbaric war against a dependent, naïve and ignorant population.

This is beyond political or economic philosophy, folks. You can’t blame capitalism or partisanship for what’s happened to millions of people who’ve lost lives and limb, or beloved friends and families, or their financial solvency because of the lies and nefarious acts of these assassins and drug dealers. This is rampant sociopathy, pure and simple, beyond the typical brand of psychopathic disorder so prevalent in our society, beyond even greed or hate. This isn’t about money or power, either. These serial killers have no empathy. Their victims are not human to them, but merely a source of supply for the insatiable needs of their egos from hell. They have no more conscience or compassion than an army of red ants does while eating its helpless prey alive.

Like the worst nightmare or horror movie, where the killer first numbs or paralyses, then rapes, robs, tortures and dismembers his victims before finally ending their misery, the doctors, pharmacists and CEO’s in this criminal conglomerate keep you terrified with diagnostic proclamations of doom, and drugged and anesthetized with toxic prescriptions, while you are slashed and burned beyond recognition until you finally die... or run out of money.

Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith are not even the tip of this iceberg. The number of people slaughtered at the hands of these sociopaths amounts to a genocide, an extermination of human beings over not just years, but generations.

Now, let me be clear about one more important point before concluding. No one is innocent here, except our children. If you are an adult and you surrender your mind and will over to a doctor because you want to believe in a fairy godfather, or if you pay huge insurance premiums and then don’t hold your company’s feet to the fire when they refuse to pay your claims because you reflexively defer to “authorities,” or if you blindly take drugs or give drugs to your children to solve problems that a knowledge of nature’s wisdom and a determined amount of personal research can resolve, then you are no victim. You are a colluder, an enabler, and most certainly stuck in an oral-masochist character structure! You are, in other words, lunch for the psychopaths and sociopaths of the world.

So, as always, I end with the same dictate – if you want to get out from under the control that the manipulators and mind-fuckers have over you, get serious about your self-work!
That is the only true vaccine there is against whatever ails you.

Happy trails, Brittany!

P.S. To my readers who will remind me that they personally know of good doctors who strive to be true healers, just as they know of good cops who aren’t on power trips but want to be of service to their community, I will answer in advance that yes, I know there are, just as there were Nazi party members and sympathizers who didn’t actively participate in the slaughter of millions of Jews, and some who even helped them escape. I honor those individuals, like myself, who work out of the box in an otherwise dysfunctional profession. But just as one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch, one good apple doesn’t exonerate the rotten bunch.




THIS is from today's NY TIMES:

"Federal support for the wishful abstinence-only approach, which began in the 1980s, ballooned during George W. Bush’s presidency. As the funding grew, so did evidence of the policy’s failure. A Congressionally mandated study released in 2007 found that elementary and middle school students who received abstinence instruction were just as likely to have sex in the following year as students who did not get such instruction. Many states rightly declined to participate in the abstinence program, forgoing federal money. Most of the nation’s recent progress in reducing the abortion rate has occurred in states that have shown a commitment to real sex education."

Get it? Get the stupidity? No one who piously opposes things on moralistic grounds ever actually reduces the problem they're pretending to address. Why? Because the intention of piety and moralizing is not to solve problems, folks, but to aggrandize the egos of those who judge and throw stones. That's why Conservative Christians never actually follow the teachings of Jesus, because he espoused humility and tolerance, not bombast and hatred.



Here's some excerpts from Frank Rich's editorial today in the NY Times on how stupid we are:

"As cons go, Tiger Woods’s fraudulent image as an immaculate exemplar of superhuman steeliness is benign. His fall will damage his family, closest friends, his PR company, Accenture, and the golf industry much more than the rest of us. But the syndrome it epitomizes is not harmless. We keep being fooled by leaders in all sectors of American life, over and over. A decade that began with the “reality” television craze exemplified by “American Idol” and “Survivor” — both blissfully devoid of any reality whatsoever — spiraled into a wholesale flight from truth.
"After his 'indefinite break' from golf, Tiger Woods will surely be back on the links once the next celebrity scandal drowns his out. But after a decade in which two true national catastrophes, a wasteful war and a near-ruinous financial collapse, were both in part byproducts of the ease with which our leaders bamboozled us, we can’t so easily move on. Only a few years after Enron’s very public and extensively dissected crimes, the same bankers, federal regulatory agencies and securities-rating companies were giving toxic 'assets' a pass. We were only too eager to go along for the lucrative ride until it crashed like Tiger’s Escalade."


It's a question I've asked often in relation to the insane and inane behavior of human beings when they blindly follow their irrational fears and the nefarious promises of psychopaths to alleviate those fears.

Today's example of our stupidity is on the subject of menopause.

MILLIONS of American women in the 1990s were told they could and should help their bodies ward off the manifestations of menopause and could even prevent major illness by taking menopausal hormone drugs. Major medical associations said so. Gynecologists and physicians said so. Respected medical journals said so, too. And of course, Big Pharma really said so.

Well, here we are again, a decade later, finding out how harmful our trust of Big Daddy is and how equally destructive our lack of trust in nature can be. In a piece in the NY Times today, entitled "Menopause, as Brought to You by Big Pharma," lawsuits and internal documents now show how one drug company, Pfizer, and its predecessors promoted the idea of hormone drugs and how they have made women severely ill.

Here's an excerpt from the Times article:

"Television commercials positioned hormone drugs as treatments for more than hot flashes and night sweats — just two of the better-known symptoms of menopause, which is technically defined as commencing one year after a woman’s last menstrual cycle. One commercial about estrogen loss by the drug maker Wyeth featured a character named Dr. Heartman in a white coat discussing research into connections between menopause and heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and blindness.
'When considering menopause, consider the entire body of evidence,' Dr. Heartman said. 'Speak to your doctor about what you can do to help protect your health during and after menopause.'
Connie Barton, then a medical office assistant in Peoria, Ill., was one woman who responded to such messages. She says she took Prempro, a hormone drug made by Wyeth, from 1997, when she was 53, until 2002, when she received a diagnosis of breast cancer. As part of her cancer treatment, she had a mastectomy to remove her left breast.
Now Ms. Barton, who said in an interview that she used Prempro in part because her doctor told her it could help prevent heart disease and dementia, is one of more than 13,000 people who have sued Wyeth over the last seven years, claiming in courts across the country that its menopause drugs caused breast cancer and other problems.
The suits also assert, based on recently unsealed court documents, that Wyeth oversold the benefits of menopausal hormones and failed to properly warn of the risks.
In October, a jury in a Pennsylvania state court awarded Ms. Barton $75 million in punitive damages from Wyeth on top of compensatory damages of $3.75 million."

I've said this dozens of time on this blog, folks - Nature doesn't screw up, people do!

Why would we need to drug ourselves to counteract a natural process like menopause? Think about it. I know, when you're stuck in a character structure, and stuck in childhood emotionally and psychologically, thinking is a very threatening challenge, but try. Do we think that nature itself is psychopathic? That a natural process built into the life cycle of all women could somehow simultaneously be life-threatening? Really?! Is it really easier to believe the drug merchants and slash and burn sociopaths masquerading as doctors than to trust in nature?

Please! Grow up, people! Big Daddy is an abusive, greedy drunk, and he does not have your well-being in mind. What he does have in mind is how much money and power he can steal from you because you want to stay a child.

How stupid are we?


President Barack Obama, as I've written on this blog often, has many qualities that our previous president did not: intelligence, emotional maturity and the presence of mind and selfhood to not be ruled by dogma and ideology. After eight years of the moronic, debased, retrogressive debauchery of W and Darth Cheney, Obama's election was a breath of fresh air and, yes, hope.

The end of the new president's first year in office is still 5 weeks away, and throughout the last eleven months, he has maintained a poised, rational demeanor, even in the face of the most despicable obstruction by the trash heap that has become the Republican Party, and in spite of the vile, racist hatred that has erupted like a fetid volcano from the right wing lunatic fringe that infects the United States like an incurable venereal disease.

Yet, something seems amiss, or perhaps, is missing in Obama's leadership so far.

Last April, I wrote about the president's "Rigid Character Structure," and how his desire to get things done, as with all who have this personality make-up, may supersede his higher wisdom. Obama was elected with a strong mandate to lead the country into an era in which the debacles of unregulated trickle-down economics, xenophobic and militaristic foreign policies, and the suppression of civil liberties would be reversed and our course set straight. It was not only clear when Obama was elected that the Republicans would be a negative force against any progressive movement in these areas, but likewise, it was clear that the Democrats would continue to be the useless, mealy-mouthed, two-faced wimps and shills that they have been for the last thirty years.

So, as he seemed to understand early on, Obama, in league with the majority of citizens that elected him, would have to take the fight to the career politicians and incorrigible psychopaths and fat cats who have become a modern plague upon our world. The hope was that the new president would lead by leading, not by compromising with the crooks and liars, not by patiently tolerating the constant stonewalling for obstruction's sake alone of any and all positive change, and not by listening with an open mind to those who would advise the president to surge into his own Bay of Pigs gambit in a country whose resistance we cannot defeat with brute force or technologically advanced weaponry.

At the end of John Kennedy's first year in office, he, too, seemed to be off the mark he had set during his exhilarating, hope-inspiring campaign. It didn't look good for the young president at the end of 1961. Yet, by the time he was killed, almost two years later, JFK seemed to be hitting his stride and arriving to the leadership potential so many had expected.

Barack Obama may yet arrive and become himself fully as he grows into his office over the next few years. 2009 comes to an end as a dire year in American history, yet perhaps, we are at a moment of rebirth. All such moments include labor pains and fear and resistance before the glory of the delivery.

I still hold hope.


"YOU'RE SCREWED!"Democratic Representative Michael Capuano, upon his return from a primary campaign for the Senate seat in Massachusetts vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. Capuano, who finished in second place, was asked to share the wisdom he learned on the campaign trail.


"Those at the top are separated from the consequences of their actions. They are exemplified by Robert Rubin, formerly of Citigroup and a mentor to both Obama’s Treasury secretary and chief economic adviser. He looked the other way when his bank made ruinous high-risk bets, and then cashed out and split, leaving taxpayers to pay for the wreckage while he escaped any accountability. Such economic wise men peer down at the country from a hermetically sealed bubble of privilege and self-interest. And they tend to think, as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs notoriously put it, that they are doing 'God’s work' to sustain our free-market system."
Frank Rich (in today's NY Times)


Here's LOFF56:

Hey PL - Long time no comment...

Yeah, someone posted this on Facebook a couple of days ago and I read the article. Interesting, yes, but my initial reaction was that I was a little suspicious of motivation.

I'm familiar enough with the quantum science that Dr. Lanza employs here. It's incredibly fascinating, completely mind boggling and really makes you think about the nature of reality. But applying this incredibly complex theory which very few people in the world, if any, can actually wrap their minds around the mathematics of to anything tangible or even intangible seems at best extremely mis-guided or excessively optimistic.

I mean I guess anyone can make a theory about something, so I guess he's not at fault for mis-informing anyone. But what's the goal of this theory? As far as I can tell, it seems like he's trying to provide a methodology of coping with death. The article starts, "Many of us fear death." Isn't that like a big neon sign that says: "Read on - I can tell you how to not fear death."?

From a logical standpoint he says: "Death does not exist in a timeless, spaceless world." Ok. Yes, I guess that's true. But if so then you have to concede that LIFE doesn't exist in a timeless, spaceless world. It's comforting to wrap your mind around an uncomfortable abstraction like death by putting it in an equally abstract context, but when you do the same with life which is more easily... felt (for a lack of a better word)... it seems wholly uncomfortable. "What, you're telling me that life doesn't exist? But I experience it as existing." You can't have your cake and eat it too.

From a psychological standpoint the quote that he uses to bolster the practice of his theory seems incredibly psychologically naive: "I grieve that grief can teach me nothing..." Really?? I'll defer to PL on this one, can grief teach us nothing? Is he suggesting that we just forego with any practical or well established methods of grieving and instead just convince ourselves that this scientific theory eliminates the need for us to believe that our loved ones are actually dead? ???

I'm as interested in the scientific answer as anyone, but I think the application of science in real life ought to be carefully checked when people start making claims about it that push it into the realm of religion. At this point in scientific understanding, I don't think it's any more Truthful to suggest that when we die we live on in a parallel universe as it is to suggest that we live on in either heaven or hell.

Yes Einstein said that we live in a "stubbornly persistent illusion". I have the intellect to imagine and comprehend what that means, but I don't have the physical, mental or emotional capacity to actually live outside of that illusion. Enlightenment, I think, would get me closer, but probably still light years away from being able to do that.

I'm curious as to your opinion on this PL. Usually you give it away with your comments when you post an article, but all you said was "interesting" this time. Perhaps you're on neutral ground?

Here's PL:

Welcome back, L56! Good to have your thoughtful ponderings about ponderous matters.

Here are some of my thoughts -

Trying to understand life beyond a space-time continuum, while living in one, is a major challenge, but do-able. A knowledge of quantum physics can give us that understanding. Actually experiencing life outside of the space-time continuum, while living in one, well, some would say that happens all the time - when we dream. Often in dreams, "we" are in two or more places at once and traversing the past and present simultaneously. I actually do think, L56, that there is ample scientific evidence that consciousness continues after the body "dies," but the fear-of-death business is a very lucrative one, so mainstream culture is indoctrinated with that fear. Religion is worse than useless in this regard, because religions push a reward and punishment philosophy more relevant to controlling children and prison inmates than alleviating irrational fears of death.

Does life exist outside of the space-time continuum? Well, unless you are strictly defining life as only that which is physical, why not? I take it you don't subscribe to Descarte's "I think, therefore I am" position?

On the subject of grief, well, to be human is to feel, and to feel must include feeling loss. Knowing that a loved one who has died may yet exist in another realm does not mitigate the need for grieving the loss in this realm. And not fearing death, or understanding that death is an illusion in some ways, again does not eliminate the need to experience loss at the emotional levels of our being. We are, after all, only human!

Thanks, L56!

"Does Death Exist? New Theory Says 'No!"

Check out this interesting article by Robert Lanza, M.D.

"Many of us fear death. We believe in death because we have been told we will die. We associate ourselves with the body, and we know that bodies die. But a new scientific theory suggests that death is not the terminal event we think."


Inevitably, when someone working with me has a breakthrough and comes out of their character structure - that conglomerate of defense mechanisms created to survive childhood - the response is the same. It's like they've just hatched from an egg or awoken from a dream. The sense of freedom, exhilaration and clarity is striking initially, like they're seeing the world around them for the first time, and it is often startling, as well.

It is almost assured at some point early on that said "hatchling" will express dismay in this way to me: "Oh my God! Everywhere I look, everyone seems crazy!" I reassure them, sort of, by confirming that perception with a calm, "Yes. Most people are."

The next very important phase of acclimation to sanity and freedom, then, is to adjust to that reality. Being a sane person in an insane world can stir up fears of being isolated and lonely forever, and even inspire wishes to be insane again, so as not to be alone.

Undaunted, I continue on: "Yes, most people regularly lie, even to themselves." "Yes, most people cannot truly love, but substitute co-dependence for the real thing and call it love, utterly confusing the children they bear in far too many numbers." "Yes, most people resist growth and change vehemently, at times even violently, and call it being 'traditional' or having 'values." "Yes, sadism, the flip side of the rampant masochism infecting most people, is experienced as pleasure, while affection and sensuality are decried as weakness." "Yes, running up deficits to start wars and give tax cuts to subsidize the extravagant lifestyles of the rich is not thought of as spending, but using public funds to build better roads or schools or environmentally safe industries is thought of as wasteful." "Yes, it seems like we live in the Bizarro World of the Superman comics where up is down, square is round and bad is good." "And yes, Glenn Beck is really getting paid big money to break down and have psychotic episodes on television."

But not to worry, I insist. True loneliness comes from being alienated from yourself, from living inside the cocoon of a character structure, separated artificially from life. As you get used to being free internally, the fear of loneliness will be replaced with a confident, grounded, empowered sense of self and a oneness with all of those around you, even with those whose toxicity may be such that you cannot directly engage with them. You will realize that while we are all human, we are not all the same, and especially not all the same in terms of "soul age." Many people on Planet Earth, in fact, are still relatively young in that regard, and so still given to the delusions and dictates of the ego. Your presence as a mature, older soul, whatever chronological age you are, will ultimately be a guiding light for those who only appear to be in power.

And to boot, your health will improve - physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and sexually - and again, regardless of what age you are when you break through.

So, come on out. It's not only safe out here in the light, it's fun!


Some good Thanksgiving reading!


As the first decade of the 21st Century draws to a close, TIME Magazine has taken a look back and concluded that the 00's constituted the "worst decade ever."

This is from TIME's cover story on what it calls, "THE DECADE FROM HELL!":

"Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post-World War II era."

I'd like to add two additional "bookends" that suggest the U.S. may have hit bottom in the 00's - the election of George W. Bush in 2000 and the rise of "The Biggest Loser" to the top of the ratings on television.

Everyone knows by now, even a majority of Republicans, that W was perhaps the most incompetent and inane leader we have ever had in the White House. That is why so many humiliated "former" Republicans are pretending to be "independents" now, longing for the good old days before the greatest Republican, Abraham Lincoln, when people of color and women were regarded as chattel, homosexuality wasn't even a word, and there were no anti-trust or labor laws.

Anyway, Bush is history, and the self-described balls-in-the-mouth "teabaggers" are a sad sideshow, but the popularity, no, the very existence of The Biggest Loser is as close to an apocalyptic sign as any earthquake, tsunami or 2012 movie.

Wednesday's New York Times pulled the curtain back on NBC's ratings juggernaut, this so-called "reality" game show which features overweight contestants competing to lose the most pounds. The Times reported that Season 1 winner Ryan Benson, who lost 122 of his 330-pound starting weight, will be absent from an upcoming reunion show. Mr. Benson is now back above 300 pounds but he thinks he has been shunned by the show because he publicly admitted that he dropped some of the weight by fasting and dehydrating himself to the point that he was urinating blood.

Now in its eighth season, “The Biggest Loser” is one of NBC’s most-watched prime-time programs besides football, drawing an estimated 10 million viewers each week, according to Nielsen. TEN MILLION VIEWERS! That's the apocalyptic part, folks, that so many of us are so emotionally numb, spiritually disconnected and intellectually addled that we could possibly become obsessed with such an exploitive, no, demented, carnival act.

“I’m waiting for the first person to have a heart attack,” said Dr. Charles Burant, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Health System director of the Michigan Metabolomics and Obesity Center. “I have had some patients who want to do the same thing, and I counsel them against it,” Dr. Burant said. “I think the show is so exploitative. They are taking poor people who have severe weight problems whose real focus is trying to win the quarter-million dollars.”

Getting contestants to talk openly about the environment of the program is difficult. Shortly after a reporter started contacting former contestants to interview them about their experiences, a talent producer on the series sent an e-mail message to many former contestants reminding them that “serious consequences” could ensue if they ever talked to a reporter without the show’s permission. To do so could subject them to a fine of $1 million!!

HELLO?!!? Now, why would a producer be so adamant about contestants not talking about what goes on behind the scenes on their show?

Don't get me wrong. 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, torture, economic collapse, all part of the horrific legacy of the Bush-Cheney years, yes, but we were all part of that debacle, people, and again, unbelievably, 10,000,000 of us are currently flooding our consciousnesses with a game show about obesity!

So, who's the biggest loser?


"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Abe Lincoln


Here's Bill Maher:

"Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country. And before I go about demonstrating how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness dragging down our country, let me just say that ignorance has life and death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, 69% of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Four years later, 34% still did. Or take the health care debate we're presently having: members of Congress have recessed now so they can go home and 'listen to their constituents.' An urge they should resist because their constituents don't know anything. At a recent town-hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to 'keep your government hands off my Medicare,' which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways.
"I'm the bad guy for saying it's a stupid country, yet polls show that a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. 24% could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket.
"Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only 30% got their wife's name right on the first try.
"Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll says 18% of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth. No, they're not stupid. They're interplanetary mavericks. A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen, and a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, which is an absurd sentence because it contains the words 'Bush' and 'knowledge.'
"People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes 24% of our federal budget. It's actually less than 1%. And don't even ask about cabinet members: seven in ten think Napolitano is a kind of three-flavored ice cream. And last election, a full one-third of voters forgot why they were in the booth, handed out their pants, and asked, 'Do you have these in a relaxed-fit?'
"And I haven't even brought up America's religious beliefs. But here's one fun fact you can take away: did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which one came first.
"And these are the idiots we want to weigh in on the minutia of health care policy? We should forget town halls, and replace them with study halls. There's a lot of populist anger directed towards Washington, but you know who concerned citizens should be most angry at? Their fellow citizens. 'Inside the beltway' thinking may be wrong, but at least it's thinking, which is more than you can say for what's going on outside the beltway.
"And if you want to call me an elitist for this, I say thank you. Yes, I want decisions made by an elite group of people who know what they're talking about. That means Obama budget director Peter Orszag, not Sarah Palin. Which is the way our founding fathers wanted it. James Madison wrote that 'pure democracy' doesn't work because 'there is nothing to check... an obnoxious individual.' Then, in the margins, he doodled a picture of Joe the Plumber.
Until we admit there are things we don't know, we can't even start asking the questions to find out. Until we admit that America can make a mistake, we can't stop the next one. A smart guy named Chesterton once said: 'My country, right or wrong is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying... It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober.' To which most Americans would respond: 'Are you calling my mother a drunk?"


Here's an excerpt from a MUST READ ARTICLE in on the state of stupidity in America:

"In the parlance of our times, the term 'idiocracy' means a nation run by idiots -- and the term 'idiot' is defined by the dictionary as 'an utterly foolish or senseless person' who exhibits 'a mental age of less than 3 years old.' There are obvious reasons to believe America is becoming an idiocracy - a series of horrendous government and business decisions strongly suggest that we've seen the ascension of utterly foolish, senseless people, many with the mental age of infants (yes, W., I'm looking at you)."


Integrative Mental Health: A New Model For Depression Relief

Well, it's not new to everybody, but it's definitely worth the read. Below is an excerpt:

The World Health Organization has predicted that by 2030, more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem. Yet of all the dysfunctions of modern medicine, the way we treat depression may be the worst.

As outlined in "Are You Depressed, Or Just Human?" by Andrew Weil, normal changes in mood are often labeled as depression, leading to an overdiagnosis of the condition. But even if the patient is truly depressed, the prescribed treatment is almost always limited to a potent pharmaceutical. In other words, a complex, multifaceted problem is frequently treated with an oversimplified, expensive therapy that, sadly, is often ineffective.

The reason? Money. Our profit-driven medical system makes it difficult for doctors to spend enough time with patients to make a correct diagnosis and to craft truly individualized treatments. Also, patients themselves often demand the drugs they have seen advertised, and overworked, harried doctors frequently go along.

There is another reason for this regrettable situation. Many physicians are not trained in other treatment options for depression, though these can be safe, inexpensive and highly effective. So even if both physician and patient favor an alternative to drugs, they often lack the knowledge to employ it.


DADLOFF responds to two posts by PL (linked below):

State Labor Dept. Finds Park Slope Restaurants Underpaid Workers


TODAY'S QUOTE! by Bob Cesca

Now, here's DL's responses:

"Where have you been lately? I don't think I know of too many places where you can eat these days that don't have many illegal aliens working for below wages. Be it Park Slope, Manhattan, Westchester or here in upstate New York where some of the 11 to 13 million illegals work below wages and for cash as well. And by the way, what do you mean by 'coolie labor?'
Next item: What kind of inherent talent does Obama have for leadership? He may have natural intelligence but not any notable skills or experience to be leader of this country. He is probably winging it and depending on the people around him to guide him along. That to me is troublesome. The reason he got elected is because people didn't want to elect another republican. Any democrat that ran could have won this time around."


So, DL, are you saying that because the exploitation of non-citizens occurs in a lot of places in New York, I should give Park Slope, a very wealthy community, a break? Or are you implying that it is somehow the fault of said non-citizens willing to be exploited that we have this exploitation? I'm confused. And what I mean by "coolie labor" is what coolie labor is defined as - a system of indentured servitude, just above outright slavery.

Regarding Obama versus Sarah Palin, are you suggesting, DL, that "natural intelligence" is a throw-away asset when it comes to leadership? Until Obama's election, we hadn't had any intelligence of any kind in the White House yet in the 21st century. While you may disagree with some of Obama's policies, I hope you at least would agree that intelligence is a bottom-line prerequisite, unlike the Republican Party of the 21st Century which seems to believe that intelligence and education make you an "elite," while macho bluster, superstition, homophobia, racism, sexism and xenophobia make you their kind of leader.

And are you actually basing your point of view on a belief that President Obama is, in your words, "probably winging it?!" Our last president was most certainly winging it, and as Sarah "Wilma Flintstone" Palin might say - "You betcha the people didn't want to elect another Republican!"

What are you saying, Dadloff?


State Labor Dept. Finds Park Slope Restaurants Underpaid Workers

Upscale neighborhood, narcissistic stroller set, fascist food coop... paying coolie wages to those who serve them? Just connect the dots, folks. That's all you ever have to do.


"Where Ronald Reagan was a celebrity in the old-Hollywood framework, Palin is a celebrity in the talentless, Balloon Boy, reality show, Prejean, new-Hollywood framework. Suffice to say, this strategy further devalues what it means to be considered 'presidential.' It chips away at all of the basic but necessary prerequisites for the gig, replacing them with nothing but the base notion of fame. Not even popularity as it applies to fame, but merely the quality of being known. Consequently, this can only contribute to a future when we choose a president based solely upon his or her ability to achieve the most real life drama, irrespective of any sort of inherent talent for leadership, natural intelligence or any notable skills whatsoever. A reality show president."
Bob Cesca


I had the privilege last night of being at a screening in New York of director Alex Merkin's new feature film, "ACROSS THE HALL."

It was an astonishing and very heartening experience for me, as a movie lover and as an aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker.

Across the Hall was astonishing not simply because it was an edge-of your-seat, adrenaline-draining thriller, or because the shooting style and editing made me imagine what Alfred Hitchcock might be doing today if he were young and alive and had his hands on today's technology. Nor was it astonishing mainly because the actors, particularly the two main characters, played by Mike Vogel and Danny Pino, were encouraged by Merkin to maintain a level of close-up intensity that never burned out and never burned the audience out. All of those elements made the film great, but what made it astonishing was that this was the first feature by this director, and it was shot in seventeen days on a very low budget, and it was still great!

Across the Hall was heartening because like my hero as a writer, Alan Ball ("American Beauty"), Alex Merkin clearly made the film he wanted to make, not the film that an aspiring director might think the Hollywood money people would want him to make. (Praise to producer Stephen Fromkin for giving Merkin the latitude to express his budding creative genius in this project.)

Filmmaking is not just a business, folks, and while there is always pressure to make it so from the suits of Hollywood and Wall Street, it cannot ever become only that because storytelling is a practice necessary for human evolution. From the earliest cave drawings and sand-paintings to today's webisodes, we communicate not just through language, but through the metaphors of story that convey our deeper yearnings and common experiences, and give us pause to laugh, cry and ponder.

As I watched this film last night, I couldn't escape having a couple of thoughts: Alex Merkin is going to become a household name soon, and I want this man to direct one of my films!

Congratulations, Alex!


HERE'S A LINK to a few pieces I've posted about spanking, some a little tongue in cheek, if you'll excuse the pun, and below is a news item about a new study that shows that spanking children is harmful to them. Is there a more emphatic expression than "DUH!" that I could use?!


"Think a little spanking won't do much harm to kids? New research says the effects can be long-lasting.
Children are too young to understand when parenting behavior is wrong, a social psychologist says.
A new study of more than 2,500 toddlers found that spanking may have detrimental effects on behavior and mental development.
Lisa Berlin, the study's lead author and research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University found that children who were spanked as 1-year-olds tended to behave more aggressively at age 2, and did not perform as well as other children on a test measuring thinking skills at age 3. The study is published in the journal Child Development."

By the way, one of the studies that I referenced shows that Republicans by far spank their kids more than Democrats, and that 8 of the 9 biggest spanking states voted for McCain in 2008. I repeat - "DUH!!"


I watched a funny movie a while ago that I hadn't seen in a long time - "Defending Your Life," starring Albert Brooks and Merryl Streep. It's about two people who recently died and had to make their cases to the heavenly powers that be as to whether they would be allowed to stay in Heaven, or needed to be returned once again to live another lifetime on Earth. The determining factor on which the two would be judged was how well they learned to manage and overcome fear.

Yep. Fear. Not anger or greed or selfishness, but fear as the mortal sin that could prevent one from moving onto eternal bliss.

Why fear? Because fear, not hate, is the true opposite of love. In all disciplines of true understanding, be they spiritual or psychological, fear is understood to be the antithesis of love. In fact, while hate is an ugly, distorted expression of love, to be sure, fear is what prevents love its expression and therefore leads to hate.

Love and hate are both based upon self-identification. In other words, you do not bother to love or hate someone you cannot identify with at all. In fact, you often love or hate another individual because the person evokes in you glimpses of yourself. And in the other person, you sense your own potential. In his or her eyes you see what you can be. But... you must first love yourself before you can love another. You cannot hate yourself and love anyone else, and as I discussed in my recent blog entry, "Full Permission Loving," love is the thing we all fear the most. (See that entry for the reason why we fear love so intensely.)

Lately, I am struck by how much hatred has infused our public discourse, and in particular, how much hatred is being directed at the least hateful president we've had in decades, Barack Obama. Obama is spreading a message of unity and hope, and yet to watch the far right pundits and talking heads, you'd think he was the devil incarnate. Why do they fear him, and therefore hate him, so much? Is there something so insidious about Mr. Obama that I am somehow missing, even after thirty years of studying the nature of human beings as a psychotherapist and sociologist? Is Barack Obama really the Antichrist? Or could it be that perhaps those individuals who hate him have become so fearful of facing how separated they've become from their own best potential, so unable to inspire anything but negativity, anger and despair in others, and so removed from their genuine capacity to love, except abstractly of course, like loving the flag or the cross or the "troops," that they must seek to denigrate and destroy anyone who puts forth a message that is positive and loving?

We've been here before haven't we? Martin Luther King, the Kennedy's, Ghandi, and of course, Jesus himself, all messengers of hope and unity, all brutally murdered for delivering that message.

King himself once said this:

"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."

I can't predict what will happen in the public square as this year ends, and a new one begins. As a species, the human race seems to barely be in its adolescence developmentally, and we know how that goes so often.

Maybe these more optimistic words by MLK can offer us some solace:

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."


Amazing how the jingoistic crowd of right-wingers who whole-heartedly (and empty-headedly) supported one of the most ignorant, incompetent and corrupt administrations in U.S. history, during the Cretaceous Era between 2000 and 2008, as if being a Republican was their patriotic calling card, are now claiming to be... Libertarians!


Like the character created by Jon Lovitz on Saturday Night Live, "The Pathological Liar," whose signature line was "YEEEAAAH, THAT'S THE TICKET!", these mortified and mortifying hypocrites now claim they were betrayed by the Fake Cowboy and Darth Vadar who they blindly pledged their undying loyalty to for 8 years, while 4,000 of our children were actually dying in their fake war.

"Yeah, we was betrayed... that's the ticket!"

Suddenly, these drooling, clueless children are lost in the wingnut wilderness without their soulless leaders. So, these new "former Republicans" are imagining that they're reincarnated pioneers in coonskin hats tracking down "Injuns," this time masquerading as Liberal savages, or maybe in their delusions, they're Confederate Soldiers in old Dixie fighting for their states rights to enslave other human beings to preserve "their way of life."
That's the really pathetic part. Every single "birther" cretin is the descendent of an immigrant, but yet they cry crocodile tears about how "their country is being taken away from them," presumably by the descendent of a renegade slave now in the White House.

Sorry, folks, but your desperate attempts at independence, now, are easily exposed by your trying to block real democracy and progress in our country by screaming inane screeds at town hall meetings or hanging tea bags off off your straw hats, when you don't have a clue about what's really going on in the halls of power in our country. And crying that the democrats have fucked up, too, isn't really a position, is it kids? No. It's just what kids say when they've been caught being mean, selfish or stupid.

"He did it, too!"


Nice try!


Westboro Baptist Church, a hate group that travels around the country holding anti-gay rallies, protested outside the school attended by President Obama's children on Monday morning with this sign!

Why do I get as riled up about this subject as I do about, let's say, drugging school children or government sanctioned killing? Because after treating people of all ages and backgrounds in therapy for thirty years, and as a sociologist studying our culture, my conclusion is that the single most prevalent and insidious cause of dysfunction in our world today is sexual repression and suppression, from Middle America to the Middle East. (And make no mistake, the Iraq War was started by one sexually repressed and fanatical government, steeped in religious ideologies that subordinate sex and women (the BUSH-CHENEY administration), against another such government (Iraq's).


Whether you look underneath the facades of the perpetrators of child abuse or of war, you'll find someone with a harsh or otherwise distorted relationship to sex. Just read the newspapers!

This is not a new or original idea here, folks. It has been understood throughout history. The truly organic, spiritual nature of sex, and the detrimental effects of sexual repression, have been written about for thousands of years - in the East and West - from the Kama Sutra to the writings of Sigmund Freud. But more importantly, you know, each of you know, that it's true experientially. How could something that feels so good and is so compelling in our very nature be wrong?! What must it do to our psyche and emotional life to be told that something so desirable inside of ourselves, something that feels so exhilerating and life-affirming, is sinful, or must be controlled, except under the strictest of conditions prescribed by legislators or religious leaders? It doesn't compute, right? That's why you masturbate secretly? Or have affairs or seek out prostitutes.

Now, mind you, when I use words like "life-affirming," I'm talking about real sex, not "faux sex," ala Elliot Spitzer or Bill Clinton or the school teachers in the mid-west seducing 13-year olds. That kind of impulse-disorder driven behavior is in fact the result of sexual repression caused by guilt and shame about sex. I'm talking about sex that is the celebration and exploration of our human nature, sex that elevates, not denigrates.

Here are some beautiful excerpts from a Pathwork Guide lecture called "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: the timeless Now, beyond the confines of time. In the total sexual experience man breaks through the confines of time and separateness to which his limited mind has bound him. Through such an experience man is reminded of his true existence in the eternal."

So, again, why would we seek to deny or control such a wonderful and powerful force with externally enforced celibacy or internally oppressive defense mechanisms? Because the sexual experience reveals us, for one thing. It opens and exposes us, if it's real sex. It blows our egos out of the way, freeing us up to see ourselves and others in a purer way than we're used to.

Here's more form the Guide lecture:

"Whatever exists within the human psyche shows up in the sexual experience. It is impossible to keep it out of it. The sexual experience is therefore an infallible indicator of where a person is: where he is liberated and at one with divine law; where he is evil and destructive; where he is stuck and stagnant because his destructiveness is hidden and not being dealt with. Hidden facets become magnetized and energized by the sexual current and they determine its direction. When this direction is negative, and therefore shamefully denied, both development and the vitality of the life force are being hindered. The powerful creative energy that is inherent in the sexual expression creates a condition in which all character attitudes, all aspects of the most hidden nature, must manifest."

Wow! The sexual experience as an "infallible indicator" of where a person is at? Well, take a look around you, and at yourself, and ask whether or not this seems obvious to you. It certainly does to me.

Hey, editors at the New York Times, stop giving equal weight to regressive movements like "Abstinence Only." If you have to report on such a phenomenon, be honest. This is not just another legitimate philosophy about sex and love. This is a distortion of our humanity. And it causes harm. The single most common reason for divorce is sexual incompatibility, especially among people who didn't have sex until after they were married, and the most common reason for violence against women and children is sexual repression, as well.

And while you're at it, stop acting like giving children drugs in order to perform more efficiently in school is any different than athletes taking steroids to perform better on the field.

Oh yeah, and one more thing - while I'm going off - how about if we stop pretending that deciding to become a cop or a soldier isn't a pathology. Who in their right mind signs up for a career who's job description includes having to kill human beings?

Please, let's just be honest.


This is excerpted from an article by Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks, authors of "Conscious Loving." (For a related article written by me a while ago, you can reference my piece, WHY RELATIONSHIPS "FAIL"-IN PURSUIT OF EROS.)

Here are the Hendricks, quoting from an important study. See if you're in there - if you dare!

"Some years ago John Cuber and Peggy Harroff did one of the few in-depth studies ever done on the relationships of successful people. From studying the relationships of 437 successful people, the authors found that 80% of the people they studied had unsatisfying marriages and long-term relationships. Only about 20% of the couples had relationships the authors called "Vital." The other 80% had three main styles of unsatisfying relationships:

1. Devitalized. In these relationships, the partners remained together in spite of having fallen out of love with each other years ago. They had been "going through the motions," sometimes for decades. The relationships often looked okay from the outside, but there was little or no passion between the individuals.

2. Passive-Congenial. In these relationships, the partners had never been passionate about each other in the first place. Their relationship was based more on affectionate friendship, much like business partners. Their expectations were low, so they were seldom disappointed with each other. Because of the low expectations, they didn't fight much and so remained together in a state of ho-hum harmony.

3. Conflict-Habituated. In these relationships, the partners had created a lifestyle based around constant conflict. Whether engaged in low-level bickering or heated conflict, they remained together as long-term combatants, interspersed with periods of truce. They seemed almost to thrive on conflict, which provided them with an adrenalin-infused state of ongoing arousal."


Birther Lawsuit Witnesses: "Orly Taitz Told Us To Lie"

Lou Dobbs: "This will be my last broadcast,"

Sean Hannity: "And although it pains me to say this, Jon Stewart, Comedy Central, he was right. Now on his program last night, he mentioned that we had played some inccorect video on this program last week while talking about the Republican health care rally on Capitol Hill. He was correct, we screwed up."




A screenplay, "GRAF," that I co-wrote with one M. Roman Rosales just won the Best Action-Adventure Screenplay in the Gotham Film Festival here in NYC.

What the heck, folks! All I want to say about this is just don't ever say no to yourself.


This must sting a bit. Sarah Palin's newest conspiracy theory on the "disturbing" redesign of U.S. coins was too much, even for Fox News - on Tuesday night, Fox fact-checked Palin.

Last Friday, Palin, the erstwhile former neighbor of Russia who believes that humans roamed with the dinosaurs a mere six thousand years ago, rolled out her latest conspiracy theory, this time on the redesign of U.S. coins. Palin waded into the subject by remarking that there had been a lot of "change" of late, for example, the redesign of U.S. currency which moved the once-centered text "In God We Trust" to the edge of coins.

"Who calls a shot like that?" Palin demanded on Friday. "Who makes a decision like that?"

As Fox News anchor Bret Baier noted: President Bush, that's who.

Baier commented on the not-so-hidden subtext of Palin's speech: "Unsaid but implied was that the new Democratic White House was behind such a move to secularize the nation's currency." Baier added: "In actuality the coin's design was commissioned in 2005, when Republicans controlled congress, and then was approved by then President Bush."



"The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for America."


Here's Laura:

"It feels like you're on to something, Peter! I'm going to give this a try!"

Here's PL:

Yes, Laura, you can try this at home!



How does the therapeutic relationship end?
“Termination” is the ominous term used to describe the end-phase of conventional therapies. In this phase of therapy, the patient is thought to go through the final throws of separation and individuation issues, played out in transference with the therapist. This is also supposed to be a time when the patient will temporarily regress into a final crisis, until finally arriving to a state of autonomy. A requirement here, in traditional thinking, is that the patient and therapist must sever all contact after a formerly agreed-upon last session. Thus, the absoluteness of the word, “termination.”
Yet, it seems obvious that if a patient needs to have such an absolute cut-off dictated to them by a dictating “authority figure”, the implication is that the patient is still quite prone to dependency…so, how “successful” could the therapy have been? (Ironically, termination is thought of as one of the most important phases of the treatment process and yet, it is the least talked or written about in the psychotherapy profession.)
There often is a crisis period that occurs in the later stages of a full-spectrum healing process as well, but it is not precipitated by the pending “termination” of the relationship with the therapist. This crisis occurs within the context of the therapy at its own natural time, without needing to have set an ending date to initiate it. It occurs naturally when the person is strong enough and no longer needs to be defended and armored against deep feelings. It is a deeply healing crisis. It can be a final grieving for the losses of one’s early life, or a final release of the terror caused by childhood traumas, or perhaps a final expression of anxiety as a patient’s sexual feelings emerge in full force.
The actual ending, in whatever form it takes, of the therapeutic relationship becomes kind of anti-climactic, then, more like a transition experienced with a celebratory sigh and embrace, not with a somber tone of severance. Because neither the patient nor the therapist are neurotically dependent on one another, the ending need not be compulsorily absolute. What actually ends at the “end” of a successful therapy is the continued making of transferences to the therapist – and for that matter, to any other people in the patient’s life. The patient acknowledges comfortably at this point that the therapist and she are “equals”, adults who are not in need of parental figures anymore. So, the therapeutic relationship, like every relationship, can end or transform gracefully, according to the nature and purpose of the connection between the two individuals.

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