My friend Rob Brezsny asked me to pick out some quotations from my writings that he could feature in his newsletter. I did, but most of the ones he came up with were ones he found himself. Here’s an excerpt from his newsletter, followed by the quotes that I came up with. I’ve always had a weakness for quotations. Here’s one of my favorites:
“I hate quotations.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Rob Brezsny’s Astrology Newsletter
JANUARY 9, 2008
“You have everything you need in the present situation to work with impeccability. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work toward manifesting additional resources and opportunities. It does mean that the present situation supplies you with everything you need to take the next step.”
– Jonathan Zap, “A Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler”
“PRONOIA IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR PARANOIA:
How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings”
is available for sale at
Here’s an excerpt:
French Impressionist painter Henri Matisse wanted his art to be “free from unsettling or disturbing subjects . . . soothing, a cerebral sedative as relaxing as a comfortable armchair.”
Spanish painter Pablo Picasso had a different opinion. “Art is offensive,” he asserted. “At least, art should be allowed to be offensive. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous.”
As you practice the art of pronoia, you will probably get best results if you swing back and forth between Matisse’s and Picasso’s approaches.
Every once in a while, try out William Butler Yeats’ idea, too: “Art that doesn’t attempt the impossible is not performing its function.”
To read news and features from my book, go here:
OTHER PRONOIA RESOURCES:
This week I’m featuring the work of JONATHAN ZAP.
He’s putting together a collection of his writings in book form. For the moment, we have to be satisfied with reading his insights on his website at zaporacle.com.
Here are some of my favorite essays:
“The Glorified Body: Metamorphosis of the Body and the Crisis Phase of Human Evolution”
“Suffering associated with body image has reached such epidemic proportions in our culture that it must be counted as one of the greatest spiritual plagues ever to be visited upon mankind.”
“Resource Fluctuations Happen–Working with Scarcity and Abundance”
“The Taoist assumption is that the universe is unfolding as it should. Resources fluctuate, and fluctuation is the heartbeat of life, an essential part of the dynamic aliveness and interest of incarnation. And it takes times of both abundance and scarcity, along with every other sort of fluctuation, for there to be development.”
“Projection: The Enemy of Peace and Justice”
“Environmental destruction, racism, violence, injustice, war derive from a single source — the human psyche. An activist who is not interested in psychological underpinnings is analogous to a botanist who is not interested in biology.”
“The greatest of life skills is the ability to live with ambiguity, ambivalence, and paradox without trying to regularize these uncertainties into finished, absolute truths.”
“Kill the Time Grid and Fire up your Life: A Lesson in Practical Magic”
“The test of a big dream is to ask yourself, ‘Will I remember this well on my death bed?’ If you have a big dream you will probably find that to accomplish it will require a minimum of two hours of devoted activity per day.”
“The Path of the Numinous: Living and Working with the Creative Muse”
or “The Muse: Ego Can’t Live with Her, Creative Fulfillment Can’t Happen without Her”
“A Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler”
To find out about Jonathan’s DREAM INTERPRETATION service and other counseling services, go to zaporacle.com and click on the blue-green sphere. I have personally benefited greatly from doing dream work with him.
To use Jonathan’s ORACLE, go to zaporacle.com and click on the gold sphere at the top. Here are some quotes from the Oracle cards:
1. “The core of your relationships to people, sex, time, money, power, eating, politics, career, health, and spirituality is your relationship to yourself. Get that relationship right (a moment-by-moment challenge of epic proportions) and all those other relationships will be as good as they possibly can be. Omit, neglect, or distort any part of your relationship to yourself and all those other relationships will accordingly be diminished and distorted.”
2. “Find your spirit medicine and remember that what works for someone else, may not work for you (and vice-versa). Also what works for you when used consciously, sparingly, in just right the circumstances, might be disastrous as a habit.”
3. “The Warrior must be aware that the psyche is conservative in nature, preferring old, self-destructive neurotic patterns to the unknown. The Warrior must have the insight and determination to break those patterns, particularly those created by early childhood situations.”
4. “The liminal state is characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. One’s sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation. Liminality is a period of transition where normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behavior are relaxed — a situation which can lead to new perspectives.”
(Note: I endorse Jonathan Zap because I like his work. This is not an advertisement, and I get no kickbacks.)
Please tell me your own personal nominations for PRONOIA RESOURCES.
Contents of the Free Will Astrology Newsletter are Copyright 2008 Rob Brezsny
Your real identity is that you are an interdimensional traveler who arrived from some other dimension at birth and who, almost every day, travels to another dimension called the dream time, has a guaranteed portal out of this matrix called death, and who interpenetrates with the varied dimensions generated by other human psyches.
—-From A Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler
You are the ones I call out to from the edge of the campground because this is the time when the individual, isolated mutants, like scattered embers glowing in the cold, dark forest need to gather together to create a blaze of many colors, the radiance of which will reach out to the four corners of this richly chaotic realm…
—-From A Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler
Our desires, addictions, obsessions and various neurotic sufferings are predicated on our enslavement to linear time. Against the backdrop of the dread ticking of the clocking we anxiously seek to enforce our will on the Tao. But against the backdrop of the infinite and eternal, the phantoms we pursue appear quite differently. —–Jonathan Zap (Zap Oracle card)
The greatest of life skills is the ability to live with ambiguity, ambivalence and paradox without trying to regularize these uncertainties into finished, absolute truths. From Dynamic Paradoxicalism—the Anti-Ism Ism
People are not always what they seem. Respect the otherness of the other and don’t be sure you know who they are. It is hard enough to know who you are. (Zap Oracle card)
As the race car drivers say, don’t look at the wall if you are heading toward it, look at where you want to go, and where I want to go is through those shimmering planes of improbable coincidence, through the interstices of the web, sparkling constellations of thought forms and images encoded as zeros and ones, indeterminate autonomous zones where fellow mutants disassociate from Babylon Matrix, shape-shift and shimmer iridescently with possibilities. I seek to follow time lines less traveled by, but where there are promises to keep, and many paths and errands meet, and I avoid the timelines of white powders which may seem lovely, dark and deep, but are where withering souls go to creep. —From Friends don’t let Friends Incarnate in the Babylon Matrix
Dynamic paradoxicalism is my attempt to create a meta-philosophy that is a counter to fundamentalist and absolutist thought which is nearly as common amongst New Agers and the left as it is among religious fundamentalists and the right. The greatest of life skills is the ability to live with ambiguity, ambivalence and paradox without trying to regularize these uncertainties into finished, absolute truths. Dynamic paradoxicalism recognizes that most important areas of truth exist as a paradox where seemingly contradictory elements have a dynamic level of validity based on context specific circumstances. Although a greater conception that synthesizes the disparate elements of a paradox into a grand unit is an awesome addition to the conceptual tool box, it is not always the most useful tool in the box. Dynamic paradoxicalism recommends an ability to slide between the poles of a paradox, in some circumstances favoring the point of view of one side of the paradox, in other cases the other pole, and in still other cases favoring the unified view.
—–From Dynamic Paradoxicalism—the Anti-Ism Ism
Always remember that there are time lines in the affairs of a mutant which, entered when portals open, lead on to fortune, omitted and all the voyage of our incarnation is bound in shallows and in miseries. And oh how can one ever tell how rich the Babylon matrix is in shallows and in miseries! Intricate networks of stagnant, toxic rivulets seeping into florescent cubicles, scheduled incarnations set to run by clock and currency, the folk that seem to dwindle with every nervous step, hungry ghosts hurrying, then hobbling, on the path of winding down. In such a darkly trending part of the multiverse are we now afloat, and we must seize the portals when they open, or lose the timelines of sparkly green fire which lead us to other worlds than these.
—– From Friends Don’t let Friends Incarnate in the Babylon Matrix
There are other paths than those of shallow misery, but they are easier to see when you realize the Babylon Matrix is only one of a multiverse of dreams. But what a noisy, bustling, buzzing, in your face sort of a dream it is, the dream of a Cyclops with one blinded eye careening drunkenly down the darkened skull-shadowed avenues of history while headlines blare “ This dream is an emergency! Grasp it with white knuckles!”
—– From Friends Don’t let Friends Incarnate in the Babylon Matrix
And has no one ever told you the basic “facts of life” that to look into another’s eyes is to witness beacons from another dimension flashing across the night of time? Did you believe the Babylon Matrix lie that other entities were hottie objects with which you could have “casual sex” (dumbest of dumb oxymorons)? Didn’t you know that intimacy with the other is an impingement, an interpenetration, a merging of dimensions with consequences of cosmic proportions? Didn’t you realize that all relationship is interdimensional travel?—–From A Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler
The core of your relationships to people, sex, time, money, power, eating, politics, career, health, spirituality, the Tao, the multiverse is your relationship to yourself. Get that relationship right (a moment by moment challenge of epic proportions) and all those other relationships will be as good as they possibly can be. Omit, neglect, or distort any part of your relationship to yourself and all those other relationships will accordingly be diminished and distorted. (Zap Oracle card)
According to the Taoist I Ching, evolution occurs on the path of “reverse alchemy,” the path of returning to Tao and essence. It does not necessarily occur merely by being in tune with the Tao and essence. Viruses, daisies, spiders all live perfectly in tune with the Tao and their essence, never deviate from it, but they don’t have the human potential for metamorphic evolution. Acquired conditioning inevitably separates us from our essence and attunement with the Tao, but if we are able to follow the path of reverse alchemy, undo the conditioning and rediscover our essence and Tao, then we will have furthered our evolution and the evolution of self awareness everywhere. (Zap Oracle card)
The heart has two phases, contraction and expansion, systole and diastole. Mammal incarnation has two phases it cycles through on a daily basis—-waking and dreaming. We are interdimensional travelers, arriving from another dimension at birth, departing to other dimensions at death. The cycle of the day recapitulates the cycle of a life. At night/old age we run out of energy, grow sleepy, and eventually surrender to the temporary oblivion of sleep/death. Sleep/death is not an eternity of velvet darkness, the velvet darkness is polka dotted with shimmering portals—-incarnations/dreams
There is a hidden evolutionary side to narcissism lacking in all descriptions of I have encountered. Narcissism also wants to explode the barriers that obstruct powerful communication of the self with others and to vividly enter their perceptual field. A perfect narcissistic fantasy, for example, would be to emulate Jimmy Hendrix playing searing guitar chords to a stadium full of mesmerized, electrified fans. What we call narcissism may actually be the pathologized form of an evolutionary drive toward more powerful communication, toward new telepathies. Those with a greater latent capacity for such communication may experience alienation and an insatiable urge for greater recognition from others. So don’t cringe from your narcissism, but don’t let it rule you either.
The personal view can trap us in the forever chaos of he said/she said. An impersonal or cosmic view requires looking fiercely into things without emotional entanglement. Cut through to the core of what is going on. One way to do this with your life is to ask yourself the question: What will I remember well on my death bed?—–(Zap Oracle card)
See the patterns of your world. Often there are acausal parallels between the physical world and the psychic world, in the past they were often called “portents” or “omens” and in many cases people projected too much into them. Modern fundamentalist materialists assume they are “coincidences” if they notice them at all. The Taoists saw the paralleling of inner and outer as inevitable and worthy of alert observation. (Zap Oracle card)
The central idea of the I Ching is that we are always cycling through classic patterns of energy and change. Oracle consultations, especially with the I Ching, can be a way of seeing such underlying patterns of energy and change. Another way is self inquiry—stripping away the details and asking yourself what essential pattern of energy and change is in play in your life right now?
(Zap Oracle card)
Avoid meaningless work if possible. Jobs take up too much of your time and life energy to have no intrinsic value besides a means to get you a pay check. Sometimes you may have to accept such a devil’s bargain to survive, but if at all possible find meaningful livelihood. Avoid work that you won’t remember well on your death bed!- (Zap Oracle card)
Keep secret work secret. Consciousness work should be shared with the worthy—spiritual allies that share your commitment to consciousness. Prosletizing indicates an unbalanced psyche with a compulsive need to get others to share the imbalanced belief system. As Aleister Crowley says, “If I tell a man something he is not ready to hear, it is the same as if I told him a lie.” Consciousness work is depotentiated if you spill it out everywhere. When a pick-pocket sees a saint, he sees only his pockets (Zap Oracle card)
You are a transformer. A human being is an entity incarnating in a corporeal primate body which is undergoing a state of continuous transformation from conception through birth, growth, aging and death. We live in a state of continuous metamorphosis and that is great! Not so great for an ego that would like to hold on to things, identify and resist change! As a super complex process, human incarnation bifurcates into either a higher state of organization or a lower one. As a Dylan lyric puts it, “He who’s not busy being born, is busy dying.” Embrace transformation and ride the wave of metamorphosis. Resist change and you will experience a drowning sensation as you get sucked downward by the undertow. (Zap Oracle card)
You have everything you need in the present situation to work with impeccability. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work toward manifesting additional resources and opportunities. It does mean that the present situation supplies you with everything you need to take the next step. Think out of the box, people have changed the world with nothing more than pen and paper. You can create magic out of mundane materials if you creatively embrace what is before you. (Zap Oracle card)
I was once walking down the street at lunchtime on a weekday and saw one carefully groomed yuppie after another passing me. There was not a hair out of place, and they seemed dressed up to look just like ads they had seen in glossy magazines. In my mind’s eye I saw that their energy had formed a kind of exoskeleton, their identification with persona, clothing, accessories and bodily appearance had formed them into a kind of full body helmet, polished, blow dried, glazed with subtle cosmetics, while somewhere the self, like a shriveled, malnourished, somnambulant embryo lay dormant. Molt the persona that has become attached to you through identification and feel yourself grow larger. Don’t wait, like Darth Vader, for the exoskeleton to fall away on your death bed.
(Zap Oracle Card entitled “Beware the Hollow Folk”)
You may never know all the mysterious depths that cause some people to stand so much closer to you than others. There is the often monotonous carnival of circumstantial acquaintance, and then there are those certain people you are connected to by inner ties. They are like planets with orbits aligning, even intersecting with the orbit of your planet. You need the whole field of relationships, the acquaintances in outer concentric bands, the strangers you have never met in more distant and diffused bands. And then there are those few in the close bands…those connected to you through karma you can’t fully discern, those who light up your eros, those who are spiritual allies that help you to recognize and fulfill your great work, those whom you are called to help on a depth level, those who may be all of the above. All the concentric bands of relationship deserve your mindful awareness. Be the wise alchemist over seeing the asymmetrical and ever shifting flows of energy happening at each of the bands of concentric relation. (Zap Oracle Card)
It is so crucial to respect the otherness of the other– they are like another world, another dimension, and despite whatever proximity they have to our world/dimension there are so many unknown aspects. It is a life time struggle to begin to know ourselves, how easily and falsely do we presume to know the other and merge our agenda and projections with their veiled identity. (Zap Oracle Card)
The immature attitude toward transformation is to see impeccability as a sacrifice to gain a reward. It degrades the present into a sacrifice for an imaginary “transformed” magical future. The immature approach turns all efforts into their opposite, light into dark. True impeccability is existential, it is done for its own sake, not in the expectation of anything. Only such a stance has the detachment from result to achieve the fluidity and adaptability to mean a lasting value. This type of impeccability is not “for” transformation. It is in itself the revolutionary transformation you seek. Transformation occurs when you strive to give up the expectant attitude and replace it with a lasting effort to seek impeccability as an end in itself. (journal quote)
Babylon Matrix, you poisonous, parasitic lattice of antilife decrees, territorial aggression and evil hegemony of dominator primates, you far from equilibrium toxic patriarchy hurtling toward the strange attractor of quantum evolutionary change, you suffocating cocoon of shrinking parasite-ridden medieval leather bristling with the claws and stingers of puppet-headed warlike primates. You, Babylon Matrix, your darkness has metastasized through the skull shadows of our long descent into history. But your Gregorian days are numbered…. (Friends don’t let Friends Incarnate in the Babylon Matrix)
Intentionality is shown by the act itself. By your actions you reveal yourself, rather than by looking at yourself. (this, and the next few are journal quotes)
Make a decision for the moment and act on it .
Leaving the moment is self deception. Being in the moment is self love .
Excess lingering in the shadows of reflection is such suffering while the path of positive action awaits .
Insight may be irrelevant and recursive when will is the issue.
Like a fractal, like a hologram the small part recapitulates the whole. By looking within you can see everything. (Zap Oracle card)
Find your spirit medicine and remember that what works for someone else, may not work for you (and vice-versa). Also what works for you when used consciously, sparingly, in just right the circumstances, might be disastrous as a habit. (Zap Oracle card)
Emerson said, “The problem with travelling is that you take yourself with you.” But there is also the potential of traveling to be a secular pilgrimage, rite of initiation, but you can’t rely on a change of settings to take the place of inner dynamism.(Zap Oracle card)
You are much more than your body—don’t judge yourself by its reflection. (Zap Oracle card)
You need to be the alchemist of your own inner cauldron. You know the medicine you need better than anyone—-find it, make it, use it and don’t forget to offer some medicine to others as well. (Zap Oracle card)
What we often don’t realize about a loss, about the dark night of the soul, is the space that it opens up for us where new life can grow. (Zap Oracle card)
Much of what binds us into the matrix is surrender to gender stereoptypes which encourage us to feel incomplete and desperately in need of someone else to find a wholeness that can only be rediscovered within.
The Warrior must be aware that the psyche is conservative in nature preferring old, self destructive neurotic patterns to the unknown. The Warrior must have the insight and determination to break those patterns, particularly those created by early childhood situations.