Yesterday public television in SeattleÂ celebrated their decade-long relationship with the just-deceased self-help writer Wayne Dyer, and to honor the author the station was replaying one of his final talks.
The theme of his presentation alludes me; it was something about Five Steps to Something or Other, the secrets of which were contained in his new book, which was touted tastefully throughout his talk.
I decided to give the show a try, despite the fact that I’ve a strong aversion to listening to other people talk or write about â€˜howâ€™ life should be lived or experienced.
Prior to the advent of the Internet, this phenomenon of people giving advice about living was always buzzing in the background of life, but not in the omnipresent way it does now.
The Net has mutated what used to be a semi-contained industry (the self-help, how-to world) into a bacchanalia of yapping gurus andÂ guides — billions of bromides pinging back and forth across blogs, YouTube and social media every hour.
The world, as the Net depicts it, is divided into distinct camps: Those with electronic devices doing nothing. And those doing nothing but writing or talking about doing stuff and then selling that information on an electronic device to people that aren’t doing anything.
Read this entire post here.
When you’re a writer Facebook becomes a peculiar problem.
Famous writer Zadie Smith, in her list of 10 rules for writers, says that working on a computer without wi-fi is essential. I guess she was tempted, while writing, to make too many visits to The New York Review of Books and start grazing.
In this post, I’m using the word peculiar to evoke its deeper etymology. Peculiar’s Late Middle English usage was to indicate: “Belonging to one person.” But even more peculiar (and further back in time) is the word’s Latin origin and usage, which is related to cattle and how those cattle belonged to you, were your property.
The Latin etymological tree goes like this:
pecu (cattle) > peculium (property) > peculiaris (of private property) > peculiar (particular, special).
So this is good to note, because you need to guard your stock when you’re working on your own creative stuff; to keep your words in your own writing stockade — rather than let them roam too much within the Facebook dream field. Grazing.
Secrets, Tips and Suggestions
Over the years, as a writer and incessant Facebooker, I’ve found that I can use Facebook to my own advantage, and so can you:
â€¢ The Truth About Mercury Retrograde
â€¢ Planetary Ennui: The Nostalgia for Samsara
â€¢ How To Make Facebook Your Slave and Preserve Your Creative Drive
â€¢ The Power, Beauty, and Wonder of the Horoscopeâ€™s 12th House
â€¢ Imbeciles at the Gate: How The Internet Destroys Astrology
â€¢ How To Escape From the Torture of Self-Help Hell
â€¢ Depression and the Solar Consciousness
â€¢ Secrets of the Heart: Love is an Action Not A Feeling
â€¢ Create Your Own Archetype & Call It You: An Escape from Evolutionary Astrology
â€¢ Redefining the Oxymoron of Sex and Marriage
â€¢ Death is the New Black
â€¢ How To Write About Astrology (Especially How Not To)
â€¢ Astrology, Ants, Hives, Essence, and Types: A Gurdjieffian View
â€¢ Final Notes About the Life-and-Culture-Changing Uranus-Pluto Square
“What people today do of fear of irrational elements in themselves and in other people is to put tools and mechanisms between themselves and the unconscious world.
This protects them from being grasped by the the frightening and threatening aspects of irrational experience.
I am saying nothing whatever, I am sure it will be understood, against technology or mechanics in themselves.
What I am saying is that danger always exists that our technology will serve as a buffer between us and nature, a block between us and the deeper dimensions of our experience.
Tools and techniques ought to be an extension of consciousness, but they can just as easily be a protection against consciousness. This means that technology can be clung to, believed in, and depended on far beyond its legitimate sphere, since it also serves as a defense against our fears of irrational phenomena.
Thus the very success of technological creativity … is a threat to its own existence.”
â€œLife itself is an exile. The way home is not the way back.â€ –Colin Wilson
A fellow Cancerian, Colin Wilson‘s seminal book The Outsider aggravated a place in my soul that eventually became my salvo against the confines of consensus reality.
Meaning, his close examination of individuals who lived as poets or artists or occultists or just peculiar mutations within our species — the unclassifiables — got under my skin when I was a teenager and helped forge my path forward as an adult — with courage and enthusiasm — to explore astrology, art, poetry, metaphysics and the teachings of Gurdjieff.
Years later he recounted: â€œAs a young man I was scornful about the supernatural but as I have got older, the sharp line that divided the credible from the incredible has tended to blur; I am aware that the whole world is slightly incredible.â€
His claim that the “mark of greatness is always intuition, not logic” supported my own instincts and goaded, in a way, my disinterest in hard science, with its over-emphasis on materialism and chilly all-or-nothing proclamations about reality. Which, if you study enough science, you soon discover are made defunct decades later by a new brood of giant-headed blowhards declaring the latest explanations for everything.
Wilson always wrote from a wild mixture of wonder, awe, strict discipline (his output was beyond prolific) and the impulse to explore every possible facet of any given subject, especially if it involved the otherworldly. The weirder, the better. Even lurid subjects like crime, murder and perversion benefited from his unflinching eye and inquiry, driving my Moon and Saturn in Scorpio into rapt attention that bordered on obsession.
There will be lots of homages to read online today, better and more comprehensively written than mine. Find them and then begin your own journey into Wilson’s wondrous worlds. Start with The Outsider. A rite of passage for every human being.
But I wanted to post my shock and sadness and sense of loss upon hearing the news this morning that Colin had died. I don’t like the feeling of being on the planet without him around — as corny as that sounds; but it’s a testament to how thoroughly his essence intertwined with and impacted my path.
It’s like I’ve lost a soul brother.