Authentic Self Real Self Or King of Cool: It's This Blog's First Contest

My computer hacker, I call him Dave because "Hacker-Cracker" wasn't always kind or necessary,  sees to it that no e-mail written by me leaves without being given a special signature of:   "Love, Peace Higher Consciousness To All."  It's written in magic blue sparkly fairy dust or some beautiful thing.  When he's pissed he makes me write the entire letter in that paint.  I was trying to send a press release request for submission to the woman in charge of the Chicago Sun-Times and most of the surrounding areas.  It was written in Dave's Blue Period.  Guess what? No Sun-Times press release for me.

Anyhow, I have had several copies of this book, Handbook to Higher Consciousness,  over my long lifetime.  Tonight somewhere on my desktop or e-mail it said "Google" and then the "signature."  There are wonders, signs in everything and synchronicity never sleeps, so I did.  What you see below is the first Google  entry for it which says my signature is taken from that book.

I didn't recognize it.  I wonder if ever read the book cover to cover or just made sure it was on my bookshelves to convince people,  that I  actually was in pursuit of more than a roll in the hay, half a dozen or so cold brews, music to get ripped by, some ups/some  downs, and some pot, and, of course, the pretentious  person's catalyst: someone to impress. 

(Let's take a Bob Dylan moment only because it fits here.  This refrain popped into my brain's songwaves as i wrote the above, "Ah but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." (My Back Pages.)

Clean and sober and free of so much pretentious, phony crap. So much of it was just mental masturbation and mental clutter. Here's the authentic stuff now:   I am not a vegan because it's too much work.  I'm planning to become a vegetarian again as soon as I make some chicken Chinese and Thai foods, and maybe eat one more steak to say adieu. 

I'm over my beat-up 60-year-old self today and not out to impress anyone. I never was all that.  I am not by anybody's rating, hip, cool, rad, awesome or whatever the current word for that bridge that separates people so well.

 I attempt meditation for ten minutes a day (on good days) with my monkey mind and my adult attention deficit disorder and it's like sitting on a trampoline full of Sumo Wrestlers battling beneath my feet while I attempt to create Bobbin lace under a magnifying glass.  I smoke, only cigarettes. 'Nough said?   I haven't read the great classic, Moby Dick, and I was an honors English major.  I just don't care for all that nautiful crap.

I may be the only college educated American of a certain age who never got past the first two chapters of M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled and if his latest book about exorcisms is any indication of his inner turmoil and beliefs, count me out reading any  more.  (For M. Scott Peck bashing read this mean-spirited article that pulls no punches.)

I have not read  many, many great works of world literature including the Bible if you include it in that category (you do? really?)  It's just too negative and violent and too many "begets." I am shamed into remorse and genuine sorrow when I think of how much breathtaking poetry is simply lost on me because I lack the connections, and the language and knowledge of poetry to appreciate it properly.

I have a B.A. in English and make simple mistakes in spelling, capitalization, rhetoric, grammar and am guilty of using trite phrases and the latest pop catch phrase worn out before it's a month old.

I make myself sick I am such an intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical slacker.  I don't know what has been on my goals list longer--doing yoga or quitting smoking.  I can say that with God's help I don't drink, or take drugs unless prescribed for me.  Becoming  whole means  I don't stay in bed depressed for days, weeks and months.  I no  longer wish I was a writer because I do write regularl y.   I don't fear letting my grown kids see the real me and I know my kids love me and they know I love them.  I know I am a wiser, more loving parent and more flexible.  I watch far less television.  I read more non-fiction than novels.  I don't hate my parents anymore or  blame them for my mistakes.  I've learned to let go and let God.   You win some.  You lose some.  Why stop and try to put useless pieces together if it's broken.  Leave it in the dead past.  "Let the dead bury the dead."

I never again in this life will be capable of believing that I need to exchange my precious time, creativity and inspiration for a paycheck to buy crap I don't really want or need.  If my work doesn't bring me joy, I'm not going to throw away my hours on it for somebody's idea of what I should be doing with my life.

My God, my Higher Power (H.P.) I know, is large and infinite enough that no has to be excluded due to narrow dogma.  Everything  is inclusive, freeing, joyous, and sacred  in a natural flowing miraculous way.

 My God loves me exactly as I am and this same God loves a murderer, rapist, child pornographer, wife beater and coward exactly as they are because they were created in the image of God and are perfect.  Forgiveness needs to be  the immediate response.  The action must come without even the thought of holding a resentment or, I hope for me  someday without the ruffle of an irritation or annoyance.

I'm building up my way to respond with compassion to all of life just as I respond to love with love most of the time when I am open and trusting.  I want my heart to take the compassionate stance first and always and then to act on it.  The Dalai Lama is one model.  Mother Teresa is another.  There are many great and good compassionate people.

I have a far way to go.  I'm selfish, self-centered, grandiose, full of wants for petty things like fame, money and a good reputation.  I dream of world peace and man's reaching a new stage in evolution in my lifetime.  I also dream of living near the ocean, traveling world wide, and eating out more often.

Oh, you sweet man, Walt Whitman who expressed for us what we all are:  large and containing multitudes.  I, too, contradict myself.  I abhor killing for fur but am considering wearing the mink hat that my friend inherited and then gave to me.  It is warm and it's so funky and unlike me.  Progress not perfection is my goal.

Let's hear about you now.  Please write and tell us--share with us--whether you are cool, hip, rad, awesome, real, authentic, free or whatever the words are today and why or why not.  It's so freeing to let go of more inauthentic clutter and just be the very one you are.

Pretentious things I have done in my prideful life:

One thing I metaphorically did a lot of in the Sixties and Seventies that I don't do anymore:   I might NOT be movin" to Montana to raise dental floss.  (Thanks to Mr. Frank Zappa.)  I might be going to Vermont to study how to be a spiritual, mindful business person, but not because everybody's doing it and I think it would be an amazing thing to do, although I do find it somewhat amazing.  More in future blogs.

1.  Subscribed to the Village Voice as a 15-year-old suburban teenager and didn't understand most of what I read about.

2.  Taken an honors poetry l writer's workshop poetry session taught by a visiting Harvard Professor who awed me and whom, I believed, must know all there was to know about poetry.  But I was so stiff, scared and 'cool' that I did not write one word of poetry the entire quarter, not even the simple exercises he requested as homework, because nothing I could write would be good enough for a class like that with a professor like that and God forbid if the really smart grad students in the workshop mocked me or put me down.  In other words I destroyed the entire experience for myself.  It could have been so damn educational, freeing, joyous, a big step towards getting to know and understand poetry, but I cared more about seeming jejune, naive, untalented, ignorant or stupid.  Sometimes I look back at my wasted years and have to work to forgive myself yet.


  But let's make it interesting.  The least inauthentically hip, cool people based on their posts to this blog will win 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes directly from my clutter collection. If you can't help it that you are authentically hip or cool, don't worry.  As long as you are yourself you are an eligible winner.  What would I tell Johnny Depp to write or Jack Nicholson.  You may be a Cyndi Lauper or a Patti Smith, and no one is going to expect you to act like anyone other than hip, cool, fabulous you,.

Don't get too excited about the prizes.  I am a person living on a fixed income so they will be things like my unopened  back issues of the Reader's Digest, or a handmade collage made by yours truly of all the unhip things that make life a celebration when we're authentic,  like bluegrass music, popcorn dripping with real butter, reruns of The Andy Griffith Show or Mr. Rogers--wait, wait.  I have to focus on unhip things I can produce as prizes.

First prize then will be my entire carefully collected collection of ...  care to guess?  Hint:  Not old Rolling Stone Magazines, not old "LSD not LBJ" type political buttons, though your getting warm, one last guess---a how to guide on sending yourself off with a green funeral?  No, I'd use it if I had one and I wish I did.

First prize = my entire thrift store and garage sale button collection.  Buddy, some of these buttons are very unique.  You don't see ones like these every day. Use them in your art or is that so funky it could be considered cool?  That's authentic.  I just thought of it again now that I am giving them away, having procrastinated and never used them in my art.  There's lots you can do with them really.  Some  are so special I planned to remove every button from clothing items like denim blouses and replace them with tiny little boats or some bit of whimsey from the 1940's/1950's.

Second Prize = Tapes (Cassette, not 8-track) of music and spiritual talks we couldn't appreciate when we were cool and had to keep up with the popular music that everyone listened to. Leave the selection to me or maybe I'll print a list and we can vote on the best ones.  Examples from my L-7 but sort of new agey collection are most of the tapes of Marianne Williamson, Course in Miracles principles, P.M.Dawn (most Soulful of HipHoppers and the Bliss Album), Drew Carey Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined and Learn to Relax: Self Hypnosis and many more.  We'll vote.

Third prize is a book or two.  I have lots of books for the authentic person.  I'll publish some titles and you can chose.  Or you can give me a list of interests and I'll try and match them.

So send in a couple or so double spaced pages about all the ways you are more free, less pretentious, more laid back and more at peace since you traded in your cool stuff for sacred space.  Why you are an authentic old square today and how it feels.  Give plenty of examples. How have your values changed?  How did continuing to grow spiritually change your personality and lifestyle?

I hope you'll send pictures and testimonials from spouses, significant others, friends and children, but if you want to remain anonymous that's fine too.  I get a lot of blog comments from Anonymous.  Some are pithy and have some substance, but one Anonymous just writes spam about viagra and growing your penis to new lengths the size of football fields or something.  Do cool men want that?  Penises that collide with their toes when they walk?  I don't get it myself.

I have some awesome surprises for you in the next few weeks.  These things really are awesome, but I should fine myself $5.00 every time I use that overused trite word that has come to signify something teens think is cool.  What other words can we use?  Let's rescue our language of joy, bliss, wonder and awe.  I love the word wonder.  I feel so in touch with the child still within me when I can spend a few days wondering or even five minutes.  I will be providing some things to make you wonder.

Send in your language suggestions or comments here.

Authentic Selves Vs. "Might Be Movin' To Montana To Raise Some Dental Floss" Contest ends Feb. 7, 2011.  More about additional judges later.


 sky within, by Cternetea
 Photography Macro Nature
 Deviant Art

Finally, here's what I Googled from my signature.  It must be meant for one or all of you.   It fits nicely here naturally.  Oh sweet sacred serendipity.

Send contest entries to: by midnight Feb 7.


The following is from the higher consciousness classic,
Handbook to Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes, Jr. 
        which explains the Living Love system to higher consciousness.  
                    T H E   T W E L V E   P A T H W A Y S
                      To the Higher Consciousness Planes 
                      of Unconditional Love and Oneness


         1. I am freeing myself from security, sensation, and power
            addictions that make me try to forcefully control situations
            in my life, and thus destroy my serenity and keep me from
            loving myself and others. 

         2. I am discovering how my consciousness-dominating  
            addictions create my illusory version of the changing world 
            of people and situations around me. 

         3. I welcome the opportunity (even if painful) that my
            minute-to-minute experience offers me to become aware of the
            addictions I must reprogram to be liberated from my robot-like
            emotional patterns. 


         4. l always remember that I have everything I need to enioy my
            here and now -- unless I am letting my consciousness be 
            dominated by demands and expectations based on the dead past 
            or the imagined future.  
         5. I take full responsibility here and now for everything I 
            experience, for it is my own programming that creates my 
            actions and also influences the reactions of people around 

         6. I accept myself completely here and now and consciously
            experience everything I feel, think, say, and do (including 
            my emotion-backed addictions) as a necessary part of my 
            growth into higher consciousness. 


         7. I open myself genuinely to all people by being willing to
            fully communicate my deepest feelings, since hiding in any
            degree keeps me stuck in my illusion of separateness from 
            other people.  
         8. I feel with loving compassion the problems of others without 
            getting caught up emotionally in their predicaments that
            are offering them messages they need ior their growth.  
         9. I act freely when I am tuned in, centered, and loving, but 
            if possible I avoid acting when I am emotionally upset and 
            depriving myself of the wisdom that flows from love and 
            expanded consciousness. 


        10. I am continually calming the restless scanning of my 
            rational mind in order to perceive the finer energies that 
            enable me to unitively merge with everything around me.  
        11. I am constantly aware of which of the Seven Centers of 
            Consciousness I am using, and I feel my energy, 
            perceptiveness, love and inner peace growing as I open all 
            of the Centers of Consciousness. 

        12. I am perceiving everyone, including myself, as an awakening
            being who is here to claim his or her birthright to the 
            higher consciousness planes of unconditional love and oneness. 

         The following is from a classic of the higher consciousness
        frontier: The Handbook to Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes,
        Jr. which explains the Living Love system to higher

        This Center makes you preoccupied with food, shelter, or
        whatever you equate with your personal security.  This
        programming forces your consciousness to be dominated by your
        continuous battle to get "enough" from the world in order to
        feel secure. 

        This Center is concerned with finding happiness in life by
        providing yourself with more and better pleasurable sensations
        and activities.  For many people, sex is the most appealing of
        all sensations.  Other addictive sensations may include the
        sound of music, the taste of food, etc. 

        3. THE POWER CENTER.  
        When your consciousness is focused on this Center, you are
        concerned with dominating people and situations and increasing
        your prestige, wealth, and pride -- in addition to thousands of
        more subtle forms of hierarchy, manipulation, and control. 

        4. THE LOVE CENTER.  
        At this Center you are transcending subject-object relationships
        and are learning to see the world with the feelings and
        harmonies of flowing acceptance.  You see yourself in everyone
        -- and everyone in yourself.  You feel compassion for the
        suffering of those caught in the dramas of security, sensation,
        and power.  You are beginning to love and accept everyone
        unconditionally -- even yourself. 

        When your consciousness is illuminated by this Center, you
        experience the friendliness of the world you are creating.  You
        begin to realize that you've always lived in a perfect world. 
        To the degree that you still have addictions, the perfection
        lies in giving you the experience you need to get free of your
        emotion-backed demands.  As you reprogram your addictions, the
        perfection will be experienced as a continuous enjoyment of the
        here and now in your life.  As you become more loving and
        accepting, the world becomes a "horn of plenty" that gives you
        more than you need to be happy. 

        6. THE CONSClOUS

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