Are They Conning You?

To make any kind of successful change in your life you must:

A: Have a mentor who knows the terrain you wish to travel.  Following a mentor who doesn’t know the terrain is like the blind following the blind.

 B: Understand the value of the change to be made.  Unless you truly understand the value that making a change will bring to your life you won’t have any motivation to see the change through.

 C: Be dedicated to making that change.  Without dedication you’ll simply go with what’s easy and never attain the full benefits that a real change can bring you.

Those of you who have college degrees think back to your time in school.  Go through your professors in your mind.  Then ask yourself the following three questions:

1. How SUCCESSFUL were your professors in the industry they claimed to be educating you in

If they weren’t extremely successful in the industry you wished to be in they didn’t know the terrain you wished to travel and it was simply the blind leading the blind. 

A friend of mine who’s a practicing lawyer, who also teaches law and ethics at a college, hates his job and no matter how hard he tries he simply cannot advance in his law career the way he wishes to.  He’s currently teaching students how to be successful lawyers.  How successful do you think they’ll be if they’re being led by a guide who can’t thrive in the terrain through which he’s guiding them?

2. How many of your professors understood the value of change?  Think for a minute about this one.  Were the professors you had effectively growing the scope of their own experience, or were they teaching you about things that other people had done or discovered – or what they had done 20 years ago? 

Teachers who reference experiences they see on TV, in a movies or in books do not themselves understand the value of change.  Their experience is second hand.  And when they teach it to you, it becomes third hand experience.  What kind of events make a greater impact on you: ones that someone else tells you about third hand?  Or ones that you experience yourself first hand?
3. Did your professors help you to become successful and actualized in the industry you wanted to thrive in? 

Unless you are fully actualized in the area you wanted to become educated in—providing you actually recognized the value of the change you needed to make, and were willing to make that change—your degrees failed you. 

Before you decide it’s time to go back to college or send your kids to college ask yourself: Did school make you successful and actualized the first time? 

If your answer is yes, then why do you need to go back again? 

If your answer is no, then why would you continue to sink your precious time and other resources into a system that already failed you once?  If you bought a smart phone and found out that it wouldn’t connect to the web, didn’t text and you couldn’t make any calls on it, would you go just go back to the mobile store and buy another one?

The alternative to college

 1. Is there a way you can find a mentor who has already thrived or is thriving in the terrain  you wish to cross to act as a guide for you? 

 

Student loans are a liability.  They pick your pockets before you ever get a chance to fill them for yourself. Working with a successful mentor who is willing to guide you in exchange for equal value compensation is a way to avoid this trap.  So ask yourself: What can you do to bring value to a mentor’s life that is an equal exchange for his acting as your Sherpa? 

2. Until you truly understand the value that such changes will make in your life you’re likely to lack real motivation. 

This means understanding that you really can become the person you always wished to be: first hand.  That means you have to give up vicarious living.  It’s a lot more work and comes with greater responsibility.  The value: you will become the real deal, empowered, actualized, authentic and able to act as guide to others.  It’s much harder to be a real boy than a wooden one: just ask Pinocchio.  Still he knew it was worth it in the end.

3. College means very little effort and work.  You read a few books, sit in a lecture, take some tests.  But the price is enormous.  It means hungering for the approval of teachers and the constant need for reassurance and grades.  That need for approval and acceptance will spill over into your relationships and effect them.  It also means selling off thousands of hours of your precious time to pay for a degree that comes with no guarantees and is more like a rigged card game than a path to living a full and prosperous life.

Living life first hand demands constant effort and growth. It demands dedicating to yourself, the well being of your family and friends.  It means keeping your oaths and contracts the way the old knights did.  But the fruit that bears in independence, true acceptance and self satisfaction outweigh anything that you could ever get from a grade-point average.

Now, before you think that college is a measure of excellence consider this: if a college flunks you, they lose your money.  If they lose your money, they can’t stay in business.  So, it’s in their best interest to make sure you pass.  No matter what you learn or don’t learn; who you are or want to be. It doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that your tuition keeps coming in.  For as long as they can get it, and during as many times in of your life as they can manage it.

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Are You Lying To Yourself?

In the last article I spoke to you guys about why people lie.  Now Let’s take a look at what keeps people lying even though they know it’s doing them and the people around them incredible damage.

I know, it’s a big subject.  And it might be making some of you uncomfortable.  But no one’s judging you…certainly not the Gravestomper, who’s dedicated his life to helping people live happy, secure and fulfilled lives.   So, stick with me. I got your hand…

Lying is sort of an insidious snare.  And it’s true that it may seem impossible to tackle.  You may say, “Corin, everyone lies and it’s such a big problem that there’s just no way to stop it.”  

But if you fall into this group you have to realize: the “everybody” you’re talking about are only unsuccessful people. People who are really safe and secure and those who feel a true sense of love and belonging don’t need to lie because their primal motivators, the ones I spoke about in the last article, are satisfied. They simply don’t need to.

So, let’s think about this for a second.  Wouldn’t you rather be one of those people who’s satisfied and successful rather than one of those who’s hungry and making excuses to cover it up?

Still, there are those of you too who’d like to say, “But I disagree with you, Corin.  A habit like lying can’t be broken.” 

But we all know from news articles and blogs and social media, and from magazines and books and TV that millions of people every year break damaging habits, leave their excuses behind and become part of that group known as “The Successful People”. 

Don’t you think being a member of their group would feel more safe and fulfilling than being part of the ‘excuses’ crowd?  Wouldn’t it be cooler to be part of the family of winners than to always be like that kid with the broken toys who’s got to defend his lousy family, the one that’s always bringing him down, to all his friends?

Look—it’s OK. People in families always emulate the others in their family.  They model what is going on in their environment.  It’s how we learn.  There’s nothing shameful about realizing that your actions are causing you pain. What is shameful is when you learn things like the stuff you’re learning here but choose to ignore them or make excuses for them.  Because then you are choosing to consciously continue to do damage. 

It’s the difference between ignorance and stupidity.  When one is ignorant, he just doesn’t know any better.  But stupidity, is when you have knowledge of something like how to better yourself, but choose NOT to use it.  It’s a side effect of lying.

Let me tell you about a friend of mine who was starting a business.  She’d worked in education for a long time and wanted independence, security and freedom but knew she wasn’t going to find it teaching. 

Three friends of hers wanted to start up a business.  They promised her it would be fun and the money would be rolling in.  All she had to do was make an initial investment and they would do the rest.  She wanted to be part of their group and have the security and status they promised their business would bring her.  It sounded easy and she wanted easy really bad. Bad enough to lie to herself about who she really was and what she really wanted.

When she told me about it I offered to help her with some motivational coaching as a favor. I even offered to bring in a business coach friend of mine who agreed to help her at a major discount in his fee just to make sure she had a solid foundation to start from. 

I sat down with her and showed her what the sixteen primal motivational drivers were and how to discover what her special combination of these motivators was.  I also showed her some other exercises that would help her to really discover what her core values were, so she’d be able to start a business that was based on who she really was and what really ‘moved’ her.

When it became obvious that she’d been ignorant about how these tools are actually used by really successful people, she became intensely uncomfortable and irritable.  When she saw that the tools would really help her but that it might take a bit of time to really work through the process, she started making excuses and finally dismissed the whole concept.  She said her business partners had everything taken care of. That they were geniuses at business and that her interests were covered. 

When I asked her a little more about what her business partners’ backgrounds were she began to lie about what the business really was, who was involved and what the terms of the arrangement would be.  She lied about how much money she’d already put up, about who’d be responsible for the debts and even what her position in the company would be.

So, why did she lie?   Why didn’t she just figure out what her primal motivations were so that she could really start to build a secure life that would make her confidence grow and really fulfill her? Why did she choose, instead, to be dishonest with herself and with everyone around her?

OK, this is big.  REALLY big.  It is so big that I’ve debated long and hard about whether I even want to tell you this.  Because telling you what I’m about to tell you may in fact trigger the very mistake I’m hoping to help you recognize.  Most of you will dismiss it.  Why? You’ll be unable to recognize that you, in fact, are making this very mistake, because this mistake is self-reinforcing.  Its very nature prevents people from recognizing that they are making it.  And most people are so threatened by it that they immediately start making excuses, dismiss it, get angry about it, or run away. 

The fact is this: When my friend learned what the primal motivators were, she couldn’t deny that there was some combination of them she needed to satisfy before she could ever be successful and happy.  And it threatened her trivial pride, preferences and prejudices.  It is one of THEE biggest mistake people make.  They believe they know it all that no one can help them because they’ve got it covered.  And as I said in the last article: we lie for two reasons.  1. We lie when we’re hungry and we can’t get our primal motivations satisfied. 2. We lie when the fact that we can’t feed ourselves is exposed to others.

My friend said she didn’t need any coaching help from me or my successful business coach friend. She stated rather firmly that she had it all figured out.  “My partners know everything about business,” she said.  Then she disappeared from my life for months.

When I finally saw her again she was mortified to admit that it had all blown up on her. That her partners got controlling interest of the business even though she’d put up all the money. That they had asked her to leave the partnership.  That she’d lost thousands and still owed more.  And that they continued to do business irresponsibly while she was still legally responsible for most of their debts. 

She now works an hourly job while she waits for all of this to go through the courts.  She still has no freedom, no security, and she’s wracked with shame.  Still, she won’t even agree to acknowledge there could be any primal motivators that she needs satisfied, and she’s gearing up to do business with some new partners who’ve promise her that a business proposition they have is going to make her very wealthy.

Know anyone who does this?  Who lies to themselves and everyone else over and over again because their petty pride, preferences and biases keep them from ever admitting they aren’t making it no matter how badly they’re faking it?

Here’s the good news.  You don’t have to live this way.  In fact, you owe it to yourself and everyone in your life to NOT live this way.  Lying is much more damaging than the  traditional argument of good versus evil would have you understand.  Because that cause for lying, lack of satisfied primal motivators is a constant, never ending destroyer of your self confidence. (see the first article)

If you want  to learn more about the primal motivators and what they are, go ahead and enter your name and email below.  And I’ll send you a secret link to a video I’ve done that will teach you a little bit about them.  Don’t worry—it won’t cost you anything and you’ll be able to watch it whenever and wherever you want to.  But I’m only going to post the video for a very short time, because I have other projects in the works that really need my attention.  So, if you want to see it, go ahead and get the link now:





Why ‘Light and Love’ Will Suck You Dry and Steal Your Soul

Yesterday I posted a tweet on Twitter and Facebook that caused quite a stir.  Some of you saw it and responded appreciatively.  Others tried to throw stones at it with weak arguments and platitudes.  In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten so much response from a tweet before.  It was: What if it’s the “dark” that’s trying to save you, and the “light” that’s keeping you powerless and immobilized?

Of those who tried to derail the concept there was a particular white-lighter who tried to take some sort of moral high ground and steal the Gravestomper’s authority for her own.  She responded to my statement by tweeting: “Life is rarely so clearly delineated. Balance must be found.”

It’s key that you pay attention here.  This is very important.  On the surface this looks benign.  Even “good” or “wise”.  After all, the New Age has been telling us for years now how we all need to be balanced.  Balance is good, isn’t it?  We all need to be in balance don’t we?  And for most of us that sounds like a great thing.  We have so much work, so much responsibility, so much fear in our lives that to balance it all with some laughter, fun, and joy would be a nice change. 

But what keeps us from having that actual balance? 

I’ll tell you.  It’s the white-light mentality. The one that tells us all paths are the same and they all lead us, in the end, to love.  The one that starts with us being “good people”.   The one which is waiting there for us to chastise us every time we have an “impure”, “wrathful” or “unbalanced” thought.  The one that  teaches us to give our personal power away to guilt and shame.  That tries to keep everyone of us in line each and every time we assert our true, active selves and our creativity.  It masks itself as liberated, free and enlightened but in actuality it is as bound, ignorant and manipulative as the religion of our parents.

That in mind, let’s take a good look our white-lighter’s statement: “Life is rarely so clearly delineated. Balance must be found.”

What does this really mean?  That word ‘Balance’ is what we, in hypnosis, call a Nominalization.  It’s a word that has no meaning but the one the listener assigns to it.  Nominalizations are building blocks of something we call ‘Guru Speak’.  It’s a hypnotic language that the few really popular Gurus, White-lighters and “Secret” folks use to get followers.  They use words and phrases that have no concrete, practical meaning to create trance states and feelings of longing and incompleteness that they then take advantage of. 

On the surface what they say sounds good because it’s usually tied to something that suggests being a “good person”.  And everyone wants to be a good person, right?  But when you start to look more closely at anything they say you begin to see that their statements are actually hollow.  The only meaning that can be derived from any of their words are those that the audience assigns to them. 

They consistently use words like Love.  Balance.  Healing.  Wholeness. Oneness.  Nature. Consciousness. Purity. Source. Godhead. None of those words really mean anything until you assign your personal experiences to them.  Then they sound terribly profound.  And whenever you ask one of these guys what any of those words actually means, they turn it around on you by saying: “What do YOU think it means? 

Why do they do that? Because they know what they are saying means nothing and if they turn it back on you, you will A) feel insecure that you don’t have the enlightened answers they do and B) you will drag an appropriate desire or wound from your life and attach it to the word, find personal meaning in it, and then beg them for more of their wisdom.  It’s a win-win situation for them

See, the reason that white-lighter chose to toss her comment about balance at me wasn’t because she wanted to open up a dialogue.  Her response had little to do with knowledge or wisdom.  It was an attempt to chastise me for taking a stand. 

My statement was clear: What if it’s the “dark” that’s trying to save you, and the “light” that’s keeping you powerless and immobilized?  The ‘light’ here means: the white-light mentality.  While ‘dark’ indicates those of us who are advocating facing fears, taking action, and wrath when necessary.  Her response was an attempt to nullify the concept I put out there because it incited a change in view.  A challenge.  A dare.  Fact is—people were excited by my statement.  They were tantalized, intrigued and even a bit titillated to think that maybe plunging into the darker parts of themselves, their thoughts and their lives could set them free from suffering. 

But white-lighters are uncomfortable with such assertions.  They are uncomfortable with people who take action.  Who challenge others.  Who encourage people to face their fears.  Who support people who get out there and go after their dreams.  Who assert anything but love and sitting immobilized on a cushion. 

Why? Because when you are immobilized on a cushion you can’t rise up against them.  When they are standing above you and your eyes are closed they own you.  When you believe that everything is supposed to be love you castrate yourself with guilt every time you want to crush one of these love-and-light manipulators to dust. And if action, self-actualization, risk and true wisdom based on direct experience are the codes that people are living by then they will have to actually learn how to do something of value.  And that is the last thing any of them want to do.  Because—and they know this—they are empty insideTheir words are empty.  Their actions are empty.  Their wealth is empty and their wisdom is empty.

So when this white-lighter saw the statement I posted was wrathful, risky and a bit frightening she tossed one of the accepted nominalizations at me in an attempt to nullify it, thereby justifying her discomfort with the concept.  “Life is rarely so clearly delineated. Balance must be found,” she said. And that way she sounded like a good person, wise and poised.  After all, who would dare disagree with that? It’s Balance after all.  Right?  Wrong.  Because there is no potency that follows a statement such as hers.  Only flaccid self-analysis.

When I refused to accept her reality she did what these white-lighters always do. And I will tell you this now, so that you can recognize it when they do it to you.  They have some common responses they use when you challenge them and begin to show that their words are meaningless, their actions reprehensible, their philosophies barbaric and insane.  They will:

1)    Say that you are twisting and skewing their words, suggesting that they possess the pure, good and objective truth and you are a Devil who is using some form of evil magic to distort that truth.   They’ll forget that they are the ones choosing their own words, but since they refuse to take responsibility for their lives they are, of course, going to blame YOU for their lack of coherency.

2)    Try to give you parental scolding when you assert yourself confidently.  When you refuse to be submissive they will suggest that you “expect people to follow you blindly without questioning your will.”  What they always fail to realize, however, is that it was really your refusal to accept their attempts to control your will that they found so distasteful to begin with.

3)    Suggest they possess the true Dharma or teachings and you just are too wicked to recognize it.

4)    Accuse you of being selfish for wanting to live a successful, active, profitable and fully actualized life.  If you were pure you would be poor and sitting on a meditation cushion emitting love for all beings. 

5)    Try to inflict guilt on you by suggesting that their lack of success comes from a bad bit of luck.  Meanwhile they try to bind you to them by teaching you that “good people” give everything they’ve got to those less fortunate.

6)    Inflict their dysfunction on you, undermine you and give you criticism aimed at shaking your self-confidence all the while talking about how “All is Love”. They will justify their shitty behavior by saying things like: “I’m opinionated.  You’re just going to have to deal with it.” Assuming that you will be bound by the code of being a “good person” who wouldn’t dare say anything unkind to another who is just expressing her free will.  But you do NOT have to deal with it.  In fact, it is your right to throw their dysfunction back on them and let them see the horrible monsters they really are.  When you do this, they will show their true colors by trying to “teach you a lesson”.  Because they are really cowards, they will enlist their friends to try and destroy you. (This particular white lighter began asking her twitter friends if they’d like to show up on my door step and teach me what Dark really meant.  She asserted that they could be the true champions of White Light when they finally destroyed me.  In the end, she dissolved into a public puddle of her own victimhood.)

7)    Tell you there is no such thing as evil in one breath, while paradoxically telling you in the next to embrace only ‘love and light’ so that they can feed, unfettered, on you and your resources.

8)    Teach you the dark is “evil” because they know in it lies the secrets that will release you from their constant control over you.

The white-lighter attempted to drive me thru guilt and shame.  The guilt and shame of forgetting to include the importance of being a “good person” in my statement. 

Why is that so powerful an attack?  Because we have all been instilled with the guilt inducing victimhood of or parents religions which taught us if we were not good we would be punished.  If we talked back to our parents we would be slapped in the mouth.  If we touched ourselves we would get sick. If we fucked who we chose to fuck when and how we chose to fuck them we would be struck down by an angry god.  If we did not go to school we would be homeless.  If we did not lash ourselves to those poor unfortunates who were victims of cruel fate and take care of them wholly we would spend an eternally frying in hell. If we did what we were talented at rather than working a job we hated like everyone else we were selfish.

The true underlying  philosophy of the white lighter can be summed up succinctly in one statement: “How come you?”

  • How come you get to be out there stomping while I’m sick and poor?
  • How come you get to be exploring your dark and exciting side when I have to be a good person?
  • How come you get to adore your work while I have to work a job I hate to make ends meet?
  • How come you get people to listen to you but no one listens to me?
  • How come you’re happy but I’m not?

 

And you know what the common, underlying theme is in all of these statements?  Entitlement.  They feel that just because they show up to the party they get to be the belle of the ball.  That everyone should flock to them, appreciate, cherish and respect them just because they are here and they tell everyone in a hundred different ways what good people they are.  Their philosophy is sick with this sort of bullshit:

  • All paths are equal.
  • Everyone is special and talented.
  • Everything is Love.
  • A balance between light and dark is what’s needed.
  • You are perfect as you are.
  • All gods are the same.

 

Well I got news for you, guys:

  • All paths are NOT equal or all people would be happy and successful. 
  • A LOT of people are completely mediocre and it’s agony to be around them. 
  • If everything was ‘love and light’ there wouldn’t be so many divorces nor would there be a need for homicide detectives.
  • You cannot have any kind of balance when you refuse to act on facing the things you’re afraid of. 
  • If everyone is perfect as they are then why are so many people drugging themselves with food, dope, booze and fantasy to escape their miserable lives?
  • There is no unity: the world is horribly dissected into pieces of pieces of pieces.

So, let me end this where I began, reaffirminig that The Gravestomper project is about liberating people from suffering. Getting them to get out there and live their lives fully.  It’s about self-actualization.

People are being crushed by guilt and shame, false teachers and the false belief that they have to sublimate their true selves to someone else’s definition of what a good person is.

The white light path will neuter you, drain you and finally, kill you.  It’s all about sucking the vitality from your life.  It’s full of platitudes, users and entitlement mentality.  If it’s yours and it sparkles they will steal it because it’s the only thing they know.

Now, I’ll ask you again:  What if it’s the “dark” that’s trying to save you, and the “light” that’s keeping you powerless and immobilized?

Happy easter.

 

Stockholm Syndrome: “A term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors” –Wikipedia

This syndrome develops when the following four conditions are present.  It can develop in any relationship where these factors are present between an abuser and a victim:  terrorist/hostage; parent/child; lovers; teacher/student; government/subjects; religion/ followers.

  1. The victim believes he’s in danger.  Weather from an implied or stated threat by the abuser.  The victim also believes that the abuser will carry it out.  This threat is usually accompanied by a prescribed code of behavior that the victim must abide by that determines the level of punishment at the hands of his abuser.  Examples: if you do not prescribe to our group’s code of morality we will humiliate and ostracize you.  Or, if my dinner is not hot, to my liking and on the table when I get home, I will throw it against the wall and make you clean it up right in front of the children.  
  2.  Small kindnesses from the abuser that make the victim believe the abuser’s really not all that bad and  that there is a possibility the situation will get better.  These momentary kindnesses also act as a carrot on a stick that make the victim believe there’s a way to finally win the approval of the abuser.  Examples: the sacrament of penance in which the priest forgives the sinner.  Or, the alcoholic/abusive father who pays for his sons college.  Or, the jealous boyfriend who buys his lover jewelry after hitting her.
  3. Isolation from all outside influence other than that of the abuser.  Example: Everyone outside your religion is out to get you and lead you into shame and eternal suffering.  We are the only chosen people.  Or: if you go out with your friends I will harm them.
  4. The victim really believes there’s nowhere else for him to go. Example: if I leave my religion I will have bad luck for the rest of my life and then go to hell. 

 

We were told we were sinners and that we should be punished.  No amount of “God’s love” or forgiveness nor promise of happiness in the hereafter could ever change that fact.  We were inherently evil we were told.  And we deserved to be punished.  The “One Catholic God” was our father, they said.  And they were his representatives.  To question them meant suffering greater than we could possibly fathom with our tiny minds.  We were in essence, taught, to shut up and take it.  Or else.  We were told this from the time we were infants and dunked into water to wash all the evil away.  Evidently it didn’t take.  Because we were still to be punished daily in school and when we went home to our parents.  The threat was clear to me when I  was seven and ran away from school and they dragged me back and beat me for it.  The brilliance of that one act was lost on them.  The effects of the deed were too precise for words: an arabesque of abuse expertly executed.  In that one act they’d achieved all four steps of the Stockholm Syndrome.  The threat, the isolation, the belief there was nowhere for me to go where they wouldn’t find me and bring me back was sealed: all by age seven.  The kindness came when they stopped beating me and allowed me to live.  Swell bunch of fuckers they were.

Broken by seven I had nine more years within their organization, each one punctuated by their yearly tribute to punishment: easter.  Every ‘good” Friday they would drag us kids into the church and show us something called stations of the cross.  If anyone else carried out such a public performance they’d be arrested for pornography.  Subjecting children to a snuff play.

There they forced us to watch over and over again the abuse, torture and murder of a man.  They called it beautiful. They called it glorious.  They told us it would be our greatest honor to follow in his footsteps.  All of their saints had been murdered brutally too.  Didn’t we want to be saints?  Meanwhile the pastor who was rubbing our faces in this threat was fucking my classmates behind the altar.  No one found out about it until we were all adults. 

Didn’t I want to be an altar boy my parents asked me.  “No.  Never.”

Meanwhile their Pope—unbeknownst to us followers–was beating himself daily with a belt and  covering up little boy rape.

By the time I was in my teens I got my courage back and  tried to run away again.  My father physically stopped me and threatened to have my friends arrested, further reinforcing the isolation while adding a threat to the safety of my loved ones.

He’d also done a good job raising me to believe I needed him to survive.  “You?  Make a living?  No way.” He told me repeatedly from the time I was in junior high.  “You don’t know how to do anything.  You’ll starve. And then you’ll come crawling back to me begging and grateful for what I’ve given you.”

Within the next few months I was broken again, and I settled into my life, numb.  I began defending my family and its religion.  I didn’t know why.  They treated me like shit but I didn’t know there was anywhere else to go. The fear of bad luck and poverty and suffering if I left was consuming.  Until the day I realized my life had been nothing but suffering and bad luck and what did I really have to lose.  By 29 I got far enough away from them to get some perspective on it all.

At 33 I left them and I never looked back.  It took a few years to begin to get myself on track, but by then my luck started to improve, tremendously.  I began to find successes I never could have had in that environment.

I know there are others out there who’ve been through this.  Maybe this won’t hit you now but someday you’ll get a little bit of distance and then, in that quiet moment, I want you to ask yourself: What do you really have to lose?  Your suffering? Your identity as the victim?  There is more.  So much more.

Happy easter is the most absurd phrase I’ve ever heard.  It’s a secret message those with Stockholm Syndrome give each other.  “Yes—life sucks.  Yes, I’ve been fucked and abused and beaten and broken.  And for some strange reason, I’m happy about it.”

Happy images from a recent gravestomp thru a Catholic cemetery

People who are grieving the death of loved ones come upon this painting and believe its beautiful art.

The caption on the window stated that she chose this fate to having sex and she was blessed for it.

Law of Attraction or Law of Decay?

Back in the late 80’s I worked in a book store. At the time there was a deluge of new ’self help’ titles that were preaching the beginning of what has come to be known today as the “law of attraction“. The authors of these books swore emphatically and passionately that if you just followed your heart and did what you loved for a living, happiness would quickly follow and money would flood in afterwards like a tidal wave.
 
Now, I got my first job when I was twelve years old. I worked as a bar back in the bar where my father used to go and get drunk. To say that I had a Dickensian upbringing is a bit of an understatement. I grew up in a blue collar Chicago neighborhood where everyone hated their jobs and were miserable from 9-5 every day, and then came home at night and got drunk. By the time they were forty their bodies were shot, their mobility was limited: they were overweight and stuck and unhappy. So, when I read what these authors were saying about doing what you love, I desperately wanted to believe them. After all, I thought, they’d published books, so there had to be something to what they were saying…right?
 
I majored in creative writing and minored in dance as those were the things I loved most at the time. When I graduated I was ready for the happiness and wealth these self-help gurus had promised but ended up, instead, working in a factory that made dance clothing. I was the only one there with any kind of college degree and I was far from the highest paid individual in the joint.
 
Depressed at this outcome following five years of college, I decided what I needed was more education to make my dreams come true. So I went to graduate school and got an MFA in creative writing. During that time I sold some stories to national magazines, did some freelance writing for corporations, wrote a kids book for a New York publisher, tutored writing students and then, finally, ended up a writing teacher at three different Chicago Colleges/Universities. I thought my problems would be over but in all that time I never made more money than I did working in the factory, nor did I see any of the success that was promised by those new age gurus who told me that if I just followed my passion I would succeed and succeed big.
 
Once, when I was teaching at Loyola University, one of the top Universities in Chicago, I asked the English department chair if I had any future as a teacher at Loyola. His blunt response to me was: “What else do you know how to do?” I was devastated that I had spent ten years of my life educating myself to wind up at a dead end.
 
After eight years of teaching college, I finally decided I didn’t want to be poor, underappreciated or overworked any longer and I quit teaching to pursue other interests. It took me a few years to begin to get my life on track again because I was still clinging to the belief that if I just did what I was passionate about I would be successful.
 
In the middle of this I learned about sales, entrepreneurialism and about a Tibetan doctrine about kingdom building that the ancient BÖn used to build the silk road. Studying these things confirmed something that direct experience had taught me years before. The Law of Attraction is merely an advocation of self indulgence. The truth of the matter is: If you wish to be successful you must first conceive of a vision that is bigger than yourself and your own desires. It must be big enough to include other people. Big enough for them to find a place in it. Otherwise you will never find success no matter how passionate you are, no matter how badly you need to express yourself, or how much talent you have. Desire alone never brings success. In fact, the more desire you invest in a thing, the more likely that thing will elude you.
I always think of this LOA movement as a four hour long sex session that your partner skips out on before you orgasm. When it’s over you’re left chafed and frustrated and alone–wondering why you wasted all the energy to begin with when with a little effort you could have just taken care of yourself.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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