Keep Your Friends Close … and Your Enemies Closer

I’m about to make a bunch of new enemies in the “Spiritual” universe … as well as a few others out there in the New Age/NLP/Self-Help universes as well!

I’ve already got plenty of old enemies; people who cast me in the light of their need for me to be who they need me to be … e.g.: evil, stupid, corrupt, arrogant … whatever. Those enemies I can deal with, no problem. Those enemies are familiar … both as known entities and by type. Some of them even read this blog regularly.

The new enemies I’m referring to are those who will be more bent out of shape than usual by where I’m heading. Not that where I’m heading is new territory, just that I’ll be laying it out more directly than ever. These are folks who want a few things to remain status quo …

  • Their own sense of status and respectability

  • The consensus reality they live in remaining constant

  • The ideas they hold as sacred untouched, e.g.: love, light, peace, happiness and the overall goodness of the human condition … 

Type 1:

You know Type 1 … they’re ones who wander the world preaching the perfection of the Universe as long as things are going well for them … and simultaneously decrying the evil of the political party they disagree with, the starving children here or there, the women who’s basic human rights are being stomped on by one evil regime or another … all while chanting … “It’s all perfection … perfection … perfection” out loud … and “Except who and what I disagree with …” under their breath.

These folks are bliss vampires. They want to feel good all the time … no conflict, no discomfort, no disagreement (unless they initiate it … and then without any pushback from anyone else) … these folks think happiness is the bomb, the ultimate, nirvana … they’ll follow anyone, any process, any method … as long as they’re promised it will lead to peace on earth, a new age blossoming and total bliss if they stay the course, all without having to really struggle or think for themselves. Their mantra … “My master/teacher/guru says …” 

Type 2:

Type 2 is the opposite end of the spectrum … they want everything under the sun that they can consume … you know all the material goodies possible. Heck they’re willing to do whatever it takes … as long as it pays. They have bought totally into the current social paradigm, i.e.: do what it takes to make money … get rich, live in comfort, become wealthy … it’s all about quality of life and lifestyle … you know somewhere between the “Four-Hour Week” and “The Apprentice” The Type 2 folks often find themselves getting heaps of praise for their achievements … they build businesses, employ people, demonstrate what the lifestyle of the rich and famous looks like to everyone else.

You have to wonder though, if the Type 2s really have so much what drives them to want even more … when is enough, enough? There are some folks in this group who are still “up and coming” … they haven’t made it yet, but they aspire to the success they perceive is present once they achieve fame and riches. These people are always looking for the next golden ring, the next thing to achieve, the next mountain to climb … they often find themselves dead long before their time running as fast as they can without getting anywhere, and leaving everyone and everything they truly love behind. Their mantra is … PROGRESS AT ALL COSTS, THE LOVE IN MY LIFE … OR EVEN LIFE ITSELF!

Type 3:

There’s a Type 3 that deserves honorable mention as well … the combination of the Type 1 and Type 2 … these folks who want to be spiritually AND materially wealthy … AND believe that they don’t have to sacrifice anything in their lives to have it all … These folks have fallen as deeply in love with Maya’s illusions as possible. Of course they also know in their heart of hearts that everyone else is living the delusion … that no one gets it … how wonderful life can be when you’re living the dream. Their mantra … No Pain, All Gain!


Spaciousness …

Here’s the primary challenge I present to these folks, in all three categories and others I could have referenced …

I Promise Them Nothing!

I totally understand how this is so underwhelming to some … and to others the epitome of what they don’t want … what they’ve avoided their entire lives … i.e.: looking within and finding themselves lacking.

Now, here’s the secret they’re missing …

“No One Is Ever Lacking Anything.”

It’s not that they have all they need, or that they don’t need anything … the deeper secret is that there’s nothing to find … NOTHING! But since the moment they were born they’ve been led to believe that there’s something to had … and IT’S OUT THERE SOMEWHERE. So they set off to find it … and everyone around them taught them how to seek and continued to reinforce their seeking “IT” … but here they are, still not  having found “IT.”

Most folks are limited by the idea that something is missing and has to be found “out there”  …
i.e.: they keep seeking and never finding.

The solution of course is letting go of everything you have been taught to believe it … everything you believe is true or real as you know it today. It’s not adding in anything new, start by removing all the untruth and unreal so you can begin anew from what is true and real. This upends virtually everything you’ve heard or read from just about every master/teacher/guru or whomever out there. They’re all selling the idea you need something they have … learning, skills, whatever. I’m not selling anything, but the idea that to move forward you have to begin by removing what you already have, beginning with your beliefs … and you don’t need me or anyone else to do that, the journey I’m suggesting is singularly personal and ultimately utterly up to you and you alone.

The key to moving forward begins with releasing your beliefs, starting with the ones nearest to the surface … and then moving onto those that are most deeply held. Ultimately you’ll find the process leads you to question everything … including your relationship to everything else, who you are … and what if anything is real in a way you can count on. It begins with the process of undermining your most closely held and cherished beliefs, everything you now believe you know.

You’ve been led to believe that you have you’re own thoughts … thoughts that are in fact what you’ve been taught and told to believe before you could think for yourself. This process then continued and continues with all the masters, teachers and gurus who want you under their spell, and they have an ace up their sleeve … they’ll tell you just what you want to hear, e.g.:

  • “You can have everything you want … and as long as you believe it, it will be yours.”

  • “There’s no reason you have to give up being successful to be spiritual, or visa-versa.”

  • “Unlimited riches and wealth are yours as long as you’re willing to work for them.”

  • “You can do what you love and make all the money you desire too.”

  • “You were born to be happy and successful, and you deserve it because you’re you.”

  • “The secret to lifelong happiness and bliss is simply residing in the light and love.”

  • “Once you put the right system in place lifelong wealth is yours for the asking.”

  • “When you access your true self and tell your story everything you ever wanted will come to you.”

  • “Over millennia the world’s greatest masters, teachers and gurus have known the secrets of enlightenment and if you’ll follow their system you can become enlightened too.”

Let me help you understand all these statements you might have come across or may come across someday …


This kind of stuff is complete and utter bullshit if you’re seeking the freedom to have the experience of your life.

When you begin the process I’m suggesting by asking the question, “Is this/that real?” … or “Can on count on this being true without question?” … and asking and answering these questions for yourself based on self-verification, NOT SOME EXTERNAL SOURCE OR ANOTHER … will lead you to the source experience, i.e.: what comes before you know anything based on external sources. 

There are better and worst ways to run the kind of process I’m suggesting, but if you run the process it will all lead to the same place … you’ll wind up with NOTHING. What you’ll have instead of the falsehoods and all the things those falsehoods suggest you need and want is a profound sense of spaciousness … i.e.: the space to perceive the world as it is and to be yourself in it. This is the difference between being sane and insane … and being sane in an insane world is both a blessing and curse.

The blessing is that you’ll be free to act in alignment with what’s real, instead of living in relation to the delusions and distortions most folks around you are living under … the illusions of Maya. These folks are what I referred to as insane in my book, “The State of Perfection, Your Hidden Code to Unleashing Personal Mastery” unable to anticipate the effect of their actions, because they are unable to perceive the world as it is:

“It’s only possible to be declared insane in relation to the declared definitions of normal. They are always determined by society-at-large, and the definitions of normal change significantly over time. One way to define sanity is in relation to insanity, e.g.: reverse the rules of sanity and you get insanity. If sanity is defined as ‘to be healthy in mind and body, and to be able to anticipate and appraise the effects of one’s actions’ – then a working definition of insanity could be stated as ‘to be unhealthy in mind and body, and to be unable to anticipate and appraise the effects of one’s actions.'”

Riggio, Joseph (2012-04-21). The State of Perfection: Your Hidden Code to Unleashing Personal Mastery (p. 8). IM Press, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

The curse is that since most of the world lives in a state of delusion, distortion and illusion they’ll perceive you as the one who’s insane. However, there’s no way an insane society, or anyone operating in alignment with such a society’s norms can declare anyone insane, in fact rejecting the norms of such a society is the only sane thing to do:

To recognize sanity or insanity in another requires sanity in one’s self. If the society-at-large is insane, e.g.: unhealthy in mind and body and unable to anticipate and appraise the effects of its actions, then how can it possibly declare it’s citizens insane? Only a sane society could reasonably claim the right to declare its citizens sane or insane. Therefore, while it may at first seem counter intuitive, “If society-at-large is insane, when a person rejects the insanity of that society, they must by default and definition be sane”. in context, is actually logically sound.”

Riggio, Joseph (2012-04-21). The State of Perfection: Your Hidden Code to Unleashing Personal Mastery (p. 8). IM Press, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

So you’re be confronted with a choice … to be insane and considered to be sane in an insane society … or to be sane but considered insane in an insane society. The only thing I’m offering here is the the second choice:

… to be sane but considered insane in an insane society.

Sanity means giving up identifying with anything that the insane society you’re a part of suggests is of value, including what seems obvious from within it … happiness, wealth, relationships … all of it. I’m sure you’re getting why I said “I’m about to make some new enemies …” now.

When you give up the insanity, i.e.: the beliefs imposed upon you by society-at-large, and your tendency to identify with them you begin to become less and less egoistic, and more and more ego-less … less associated and identified with “self” … you begin in this way to move beyond the limited sense of self you now operate from to a more unlimited position that transcends self … and self-interest.

Making this work requires you to employ a big “trick” in your favor … i.e.: not replacing the beliefs you give up with any new beliefs. Instead of replacing old beliefs with new beliefs the “trick’ requires you to remain open to not knowing, i.e.: not knowing anything … what you think is true or real (before you verify it for yourself) … what you think you want or need (before you verify it for yourself) … what you think others think or believe (because you can’t verify this at all). All that remains is …


Spaciousness is another way of referring to having nothing. Being spacious means being able to remain open to notice and explore whatever comes up, and responding in the moment based on what’s indicated by the signals in the system. This way of operating often means you won’t know where your going or what will happen when you do … just that you’re able to trust that what is, is what is … (the utter opposite of goal setting … another social favorite I personally despise … because when the criteria is having your own life it simply doesn’t work).


Foolish Wisdom, Inc.

Okay, enough for now, other than one last point …

All this is really an introduction to a new phase and revisioning in my public work … becoming even more direct and up front about the idea that I offer nothing … and that I’m damn proud of it too!

This isn’t anything new for folks who are familiar with me and my work. I’ll still do the stuff I’ve always done, just less of it … more simplified:

  1. Small group retreats where I’ll explore these ideas and how they apply to the unique place your in with regard to them … except they’ll be called “Foolish Wisdom Retreats” and I’ll be charging a minimum of less than $50/day for them based on the venue cost where they’re being held (Yes, you read that correctly, it’s not a typo … depending on the venue you could attend a two-day Foolish Wisdom Retreat with me for less than $100 USD total investment on your part!) … I intend to hold them in the U.S. on the East and West Coast, and in the U.K. next year … and maybe one or two in Asia as well.

  2. Private Work with individual clients remotely via telephone or the Internet, in person and with a limited access for business clients where there’s a deep match and fit … this work will be arranged individually and will be offered on a first come/first serve basis based on my availability, I also plan on continuing to run my yearly membership mentoring program, UA Sapphire Private Access – but with a radical revision of access to virtually everything I do.

  3. MythoSelf based skills training and a brand new program I’ve developed in association with the Society of NLP/Richard Bandler – the first and only Licensed NLP Consultant Certification  … I’ll be running two sessions of MythoSelf personal/professional development training next year, once in the U.S. spread out over the year and once in Europe as a twelve-day intensive, and I’ll run one NLP Consultant Certification (for anyone who already has an NLP Master Practitioner certification only) here in the U.S. – we’ll kick it off with a couple of sessions of the wildly successful and newly revised “Kick-Ass Consulting” program I delivered with John LaValle years ago …

That’s it! I’m cutting it all back to the essentials … so I can play the role I was born for … the Wise Fool and Provocateur Extraordinaire …

The new entity I’ve organized to offer all my live public programs is Foolish Wisdom, Inc. … so if you don’t hate me or what I’ve laid out here yet keep an eye out for what’s coming up in 2013 …


Looking forward to it …
Joseph Riggio, Wise Fool and Provocateur Extraordinaire

Princeton, NJ


P.S. – The offerings of Foolish Wisdom, Inc. are all about becoming a Wise Fool yourself. In that regard I’ll leave you with a few things to think about before I go:

  • Foolish wisdom is about dealing with the world in ways you have not before 

  • Foolish wisdom is based in reflection that leads to resolution

  • Wise fools treat life as less of a problem and more of a puzzle

  • The wise fool knows how to communicate with themselves and how to communicate with others 

PPS – If you haven’t made plans to be at this year’s MythoMania you still have time to do it now, for only $150 you’ll be immersed in the MythoSelf Process with me and some of the top MythoSelf Facilitators and Trainers in the world for two full days … AND I’M PROVIDING LUNCH and SNACKS & BEVERAGES … heck, you’ll be paying less than it costs me to invite you, now here’s the link you need to register:

Get the details … MythoMania 2013

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  1. says

    Well said you foolish man! I love it. This is of course, not IT. Because there is nothing. This will constipate the bulls***ers for sure. Way to go, Smokin’ Joe. Keep us posted on dates.

  2. Alexander Behrang Keshtkar says

    Nothing new, still loving it, it’s just a nuance of the same color. You are getting old 😉

  3. Darran Hughes says

    We were born with the beauty of “knowing” nothing, it feels right that we should unlearn to be that way again. Here’s to the wisdom of the fool, and being considered insane by an insane world… Looking forward to loving even more what you expose within us in 2013! With thanks as always Joseph..

    • says

      It’s an interesting thing of course to consider what it is that we consider sanity/insanity. In the old days the “fool” knew and responded innately … even Old King Lear respected the wisdom of his fool …

  4. t says

    Hey Serious Foolish Wise Ass Kick Ass,

    A like the smell, the taste, the feeling, the sound and the absolute elegance of the new/old version of your spaciousness/Nothingness provoking, invoking and pull-sourced work.

    It’s like a breath of frest air in hell or a bit of light inside of the lock down. It’s old and it’s new and it’s the presently updated you. I’m ever so greatfull to enter into my let me check-in and calibrate with the best, most connected and most integrates reference inside of and deep within me. Yeah…I like that source….it’s the best source for me, my relations, my own version of transformative presence that delivers what’s alredy wrapped into the particular human package.

    In reading your book three ways, four ways, backwards, updside down, scatter shot….I realize in some way that I saw this coming. Thanks for putting your book out there since I can metabolize and check-in again to see what check-in with my inner checking system.

    I look forward to the new offerings. Let them come forward with a foolish vengeance.

    Best…n beyond,


  5. Hamza Zeytinoglu says

    For those you know and know you this might be old news. What’s important is you haven’t let go, and now emphasize even more. Significant! From my experience in life, without mentioning it even once you’re talking about living life as a ‘scientist’ pure and simple. I’ll let people deal with all the negative connotations science has in today’s “insane” world. The masters of knowledge know well they can’t survive without letting go of some and keeping some, and letting the universe around them to decide for them, sometimes without them even knowing!

  6. Mike McCarthy says

    Hi Joseph, Thanks for coming out. I’ll resist adding….. Into the light! I love it and know that we will be enhanced by your courage. I have had the dubious pleasure to suffer an illness that has taken me out of the workplace for the last 10 years. I thought I lived. Then I got sick. I got sore. I got angry. I got poor. I got rich because I got the chance to ‘perceive the world as it is (ish) and to be myself in it’, sorta! It involved skidding about in several different varieties of shite, of the bull and horse and many other types. Being unable to do anything other than sit there or lie there has many advantages if one can past the ego and the anger and the good intentions of those around us. I signed up for but never got to your different workshops and I survived that
    too. I got lots out of your TCP stuff and your book is a cracker. The neat trick of getting us to
    read it 3 times is very clever and effective. There’s ‘atein’ an’ drinkin’ in it and it will keep us warm over the winter. I find myself quoting from it regularly and impressing myself and other people – is that Foolish Wisdom or Wise Foolishness?

    Looking forward to your continuing “to pour forth in profuse strains of unpremeditated art”. And your enemies – new and old – are entitled to breath as well.

    All the best. Mike

    • says

      Hey Mike,

      Good to hear from you … and to get the update.

      No one wants to hear it and fewer still want to know it, but the only path is the narrow and difficult one … the eye of the needle, as it’s said.

      Laying in bed ill, uncomfortable, sore, angry, poor … it’s a path that others before you have found gave them the impetus to move on. There is no option sometimes other than to let the circumstances dictate the movement.

      The real trick, ‘better than getting you to read the book thrice’ is becoming aware that the movement is orchestrated beyond you, both by and for you … as we say in the “spiritual corner” … that some amazing shit!!!


  7. Marla says

    in going against the grain, it’s pleasant to be reminded the truth doesn’t hurt. (guess I’m on the right side of the fence.) looking forward to seeing you.

    • says


      Well, sometimes it hurts … until it doesn’t … and that’s just a kind of choice that comes after the breakthrough to realization of what’s real, so if the truth doesn’t hurt than it’s not the truth, or “You’ve come a long way baby!”


  8. Hamand says

    Joe, I haven’t read this yet… just got the rant email a moment ago in fact… and I wanted to pass on my relief that you and the family are fundamentally ok and safe. Good to have you back… after that Lance Armstrong post I was expecting fierce and fiery words from you on the presidential candidacy… and then I saw the storm news.

    Be well, if there’s anything you need please ask and I shall do my best.

    • says


      All’s well in NJ post Sandy.

      Lots of clean up and work to do now … but the worst of it has passed, except for those folks wishing it were different.


    • says


      I was going to reply to the last comment you left …

      ““You self-righteous prick!” – Methinks he doth project too much.”

      Clever. Never thought otherwise though … I’ve known who I am for a long time. When you can’t hide from yourself “What Is” becomes obvious. Thanks for noticing …

      It will be interesting to see where the spaciousness leads … that’s the next adventure now.

      Coming along???


      • Al says

        Hi Joseph,

        Thanks for your reply to my comment(s). Always had a bit of a problem with ‘What Is’, though I do think there is such a thing, we have to make sure that it isn’t just ‘What I Am’. I’ve fallen into that trap so many times, and probably fallen into it yet again. But I figure if ‘What Is’ is pure information, emotive language has no place there, though I can accept polemical language has its own place.

        On the subject of spaciousness, how can spaciousness lead anywhere if everywhere is space? All it can do is lead back to itself, over and over again. If coming along means going back to the start then sure I’m coming, being part of ‘What Is’ I have no choice.

  9. Kevin Thompson says

    I’ve been thinking about you in the midst of the big storm and glad to hear everyone is fine. I really look forward. As with the last 3 years, you’ve still got my attention… 100%. Am excited to see where this leads.

    • says


      This is the clearest vision I’ve ever been willing to put out there …

      The challenge has only been finding a way to articulate it that creates an opening for anyone other than myself … a few recent shifts have made it impossible to put it off any longer though.

      I can tell you where it leads … “Adulthood” … not chronologically, or according to some arbitrary or fallacious social definition, but as we’re designed to be … self-aware, self-referencing, self-responsible … to become fully awake and actionable.

      This process is a human birthright, not something reserved for some refined and/or exclusive group of folks who sit on mountaintops. It does require growing up and resolving the basic questions I’ve posed … i.e.: “What is real?” and “What can you count on to be true without question?” based on self-verification NOT external sources. That however is much more than most folks will ever actually pursue.

      Most folks will do one of two other things if they are motivated at all:

      • 1) Fall into a spiritual stupor … experiencing endless bliss and happiness by following a master/teacher/guru of their choice, and/or joining the “club” … i.e.: the religion that promises them what they need/want to hear, e.g.: “You can have anything you want because G-d provides and loves you.” … “You are suffering now, but you’ll find your reward in heaven.” You pick the pablum and there’s someone selling it cheaply … it only costs your life.
      • 2) Falling into the trap of social acceptability and success … working hard to achieve whatever they believe will satisfy them and bring them the happiness they desire … including wealth, fame, love, comfort … you name the intoxicant of choice. These folks are climbing the ladder as fast as they can … or if they’ve gotten up high enough to have a view taking some time to accumulate the goodies that come with the rarified air they inhabit … never realizing that the view is just illusion designed to keep them climbing, because on that ladder you can never reach the top there’s always another rung to go … and at the worst continual “progress” insure that rungs are added regularly so today’s achievement is tomorrow’s forgotten endeavor … remember this phrase and all will be well, “What have you done for me lately.”

      Either way … falling into a spiritual stupor, or climbing the ladder and grabbing the golden ring … you are lock step inline with never growing up and seeing reality for what it is … instead of the illusion that’s presented to you from the moment you leave the womb.

      If you have a copy go back and read the quote from Joseph Campbell “A Womb With a View” in “The State of Perfection” it’s on page 41 in the paperback version of the book. His last comment regarding the negative comparison of Ph.D.s to baseball or football players about sums it up for me:

      (Regarding Ph.D.s and the like …)”But this other poor chap he’s been sitting under an auditorium of professors … and even though he’s got his Ph.D. he’s still looking to make sure they’re still going to give him the right credits for everything he says.”

      (FWIW the full quote is more complete, but just that bit says a lot.)


  10. says

    Really looking forward to working with you again and I love Foolish Wisdom, both yours, my own, and as a name for your new company. Cool branding. Catchy. I dig it. :)

    I’m curious about this idea of sane vs. insane. I’ve been on the receiving end of one who has used this supposedly self-transcended position as an excuse for behaving in ways that are completely absent of any accountability, compassion, or awareness of others. I think this “spaciousness” runs the risk of being used as a weapon, as an excuse for behavior that is selfish and lacking in integrity, but disguised as “I’m just refusing to conform to the norms/beliefs of an insane society.” Seems like a slippery slope, one that’s had my attention for a while and that I’ve been wanting to get your perspective on for a while…Does integrity play a role in this spaciousness? And what is the definition of integrity? Because as I’ve experienced it being used within the frame of your work, it has not matched the dictionary definition of “soundness of moral character” or “honesty.” I know you cannot control how students of yours may or may not bastardize your work for their own needs and agendas, but I am deeply curious, as of late, whether you believe that any moral frame should be adhered to. Is this spaciousness and this movement away from societal beliefs also a move away from morals and ethics as generally recognized in our culture?

    • Freada says

      Hi Karen, I smiled when I read your post. It’s so true how people can used this supposedly self transcended state in all sorts of ways. Almost like the behaviour of a teenager living in an insane world. Thinking they know it all – independent with no concept of interdependence. Hopefully ‘it’s a phase’:-)

      Yet, to vulnerable people who are still living in an insane world these supposedly self transcended people can reek untold damage, vulnerable people are often looking for hope, for someone who can show them a way out of the mire and insanity and they will follow the words of the insane in this pursuit – yet, something on the inside is ‘not quite right’

      When we are being truly spacious from the inside out being moral and ethical, honest and having integrity flow as naturally as a river towards the sea. It may not be according to what society says is moral and ethical but it’s being moral and ethical from that deep inner knowing. Kind of like what Walt Whitman says “There soon will be no more priests. Their work is done. A new order shall arise, and they shall be the priests of man, and every man shall be his own priest.

      Just my thoughts over breakfast!
      Hope you are all sleeping soundly over there.


      • says


        Well said (and I love the Whitman quote).

        Here’s one of those comments guaranteed to get me some of those new enemies I mentioned …

        From the point of view of a realized adult, there is no “untold damage” it’s literally all perfect. The Universe makes no mistakes, things simply are what they are … what is, is.

        This is the reason to avoid making this leap … it will leave you outside the boundaries of good sense as you’ve come to know it within the societal structure. There’s no bliss or joy on the other side, just clarity … see what is for what is … nothing more. Further … there is no one on the other side to make it all better once you do leap.

        Morpheus couldn’t put the genie back in the bottle for Neo … in large part because Morpheus thought he was contained in what is real, another one of Maya’s illusions unfortunately … “REAL” is way beyond Zion. The Matrix is Plato’s Cave of course, and Trinty is realizing that the shadowshow that is the Matrix are just reflections on the Cave wall, not “reality” … so the folks operating in the real world are in the Cave experiencing their “reality” not the false “reality” of the Matrix … but they’re still in the Cave … no one ever goes outside into the sunlight.

        In the sunlight there is no right or wrong, no “untold damage” … just what is …


        • Freada says

          Hi Joseph,

          I agree absolutely, from the point of view of a fully realized adult what is, is. There is clarity and there is no is no one to make it all better on the other side. No one to give us a lollipop or kiss it better. That’s fine.

          However, when I talk about untold damage, I’m referring to the ground where a person is ‘NOT’ a fully realized adult, and so give themselves over blindly to those people or institutions or leaders who ‘appear to be fully realized’ or transcended in some way – without question, taking what it is these supposed leaders say as gospel! (I’m thinking of some of the religious institutions here)

          I get it is what it is, I get it’s a work of art perfectly orchestrated and I also get that for some people, no matter what age, there is what I would call, untold damage that may never be unravelled…a shadow land that doesn’t see the sunlight and I get that’s the way it is!

          Best Freada

        • says


          We agree … and it remains clear to me “from on high” that the devastation you declare is just more illusion.

          The challenge to the devastated is that they don’t know it’s illusion any more than the folks in the Matrix don’t know they are still in the womb and only dreaming. The dreams they have are shaping the lives they are living, because for them the dream is the only thing … and sometimes the dream becomes nightmare.

          The story I am weaving doesn’t exist either. It’s a story about a time that doesn’t happen … when human adults raise their younguns to be adults as well. It’s the only story … and it’s being told to children, i.e.: no adults in the room.

          Being Irish you understand the literalness of “you can’t get there from here” and all. The “children” in the room, can “ooh” and “ahh” … and have moments of what seems like extraordinary clarity, but never the real thing. THEY CAN’T EVER BECOME ADULTS! Only the few who choose to leave childhood behind can ever hope to become adults … and then they have to endure that unceremonious descent into adulthood. (NOTE: The word is “descent” not “ascent”)

          So while I could sympathize the evidence remains clear to me … no devastation, ever … only the perfection of it all … the singularity remains …

          And alongside the singularity the illusion of separateness sustains the nightmare …

          The only sane choice is to wake up, not hope the nightmare becomes dreams of sugar plums and fairies … and doing all we can to soothe the children who believe the nightmare is what is real.


    • says


      You ask too much …

      First of all I have no data, so I have no opinion … except the one I’ve already shared with you.

      What I do have are questions, and maybe an observation or two as well.

      My first question is, “Did you have no idea of what was going on as it was transpiring?” … i.e.: are you claiming your a unwitting, innocent victim who played no part in the drama???

      My next question, assuming negative answer to my first, i.e.: you did have some awareness and choice about what was transpiring, is, “Why did you let it go on?” … did you assume you had no choice, or did you assume that this individual was responsible for you and/or your choices???

      Your view from the vantage point I have is one of a child, not “childlike” which is a marvelous position to hold, but “childish” as in unwilling to grow up and assume responsibility for ones self. From the same vantage point, if your interactions with this person, and the choices you made ‘hurt’ enough to cause you to move on … both from that relationship and from the position you were holding that made it possible, than you should be grateful, not angry … nothing to be angry about, but no difference either between the two when you truly sane as I’m suggesting, just good to make the preference choice your own.

      Now on a deeper level, “NO!” the laws, ethics, mores, norms of society as you know them have little to no meaning to someone who is awake and clear. That isn’t the same as saying that there are no laws, ethics, mores or norms … just that society neither dictates them nor knows them. Believe me the Universe is quite clear and explicit in the way it works.

      Here’s an example for you … “KARMA” … most people think what goes around comes around “sometime” … but the reality is that karma is instant … it’s always happening, now … now … now … there ain’t no later when you get how the Universe actually works, because time is just another illusion we live within … until we don’t.

      So I don’t know … and frankly, I don’t want to know … the details you refer to in your comments. But there is no slippery slope at all. Unlike social qualities like laws, ethics, mores, norms or whatever, that are situational and adjusted to suit the times, e.g.: “slavery is now wrong” … we all know that right??? … except in the regimes that are on good terms with the powers that be (in the Americas, Europe, Asia …) where it’s still practiced and accepted … or another that’s obvious to anyone who’s had to deal with “the law” or “rule of law” … if you don’t get caught it’s not illegal, and if you get caught get the right representation and pull the right strings and it’s still not illegal … we’ve allowed “what’s legal or not” to replace what’s ethical or moral, but the Universe has no such leeway.

      Here’s what I recommend, wake up and get over it … you were there the whole time and you had choices … you made them, live with them … long and fully … heck, with a sense of gratitude you may even thrive as a result.


      • says

        thanks for your reply, joseph. of course i am not claiming to be an unwitting, innocent victim. i agree that that’s a childish position, and while i’ve certainly had my moments of regressing to that sort of thinking, i always ultimately come back to the deep awareness that i am responsible for everything that happens in my life, the illnesses, the relationships, the finances, etc. and then, of course, the question becomes why i was willing to tolerate behavior that i found so distasteful for so long. ah, not as comfortable a question. fair enough. if i can’t get to that awareness on my own – as i have – then i have more work to do than i thought.

        i like your distinction between society’s laws and ethics and the universe’s karma. that makes sense to me and releases me of feeling like i need some external confirmation that i am correct and someone else is wrong. ultimately, as you said, what is simply is. neither good nor bad. your advice to wake up and get over it was predictable but nonetheless appreciated and i agree. :)

        as for a sense of gratitude, i have tremendous gratitude for many of the lessons i’ve learned as a result. as i’ve heard it said, a tree cannot grow toward the sky without also growing its roots down deep into the dark earth…i’m just upset with myself for ignoring the whispers of the universe and requiring a 2×4 to the head over and over instead. maybe the greatest lesson to be learned here and to be grateful for is to learn the lesson more quickly next time. :)

        i look forward to you ripping me a new asshole in person next time (metaphorically, of course). 😉

        with love,

      • Dagfinn Reiersøl says

        The ethics question reminds me of a discussion I got into recently on Facebook. The starting point was the Taliban shooting of teenage girl Malala Yousafzai. Someone said, “We had more ideals in common with any given German unit facing us at Normandy, than we do with some of our “allies” in the Middle East.”

        I made the point that armies must be judged by their deeds, not their ideals. And the fascinating thing was that this point was totally ignored during the rest of the discussion. They kept discussing the ideals.

        A long discussion of ethics that completely ignores even the possibility of hypocrisy?

        Theory and practice diverge. The map is not the territory. Everybody knows that, and doesn’t. And as I’m writing this, it occurs to me that Korzybski’s book, which I’ve never read, is called Science and Sanity. Hmmmm…

    • says


      Sandy has come and gone … she wasn’t all fun and games … just like many real women though she’s left a mark in her wake, something to remember her by …



  11. Tim says

    Sounds great Joseph,
    always good to do some vigorous pruning, get rid of the dead wood, confound the diseases and encourage some strong new growth in the Spring!
    Got a great woodland venue here for ‘Retreats’ starting 2013.

    • says


      This is the tip of the iceberg … I’m planning on executing some major disruption. If I can under the skin of a few of the most notorious masters/teachers/gurus writing checks they can’t cover with the promises they’re making, and I get their hackles up a bit I’ll be most pleased. That alone will make making the enemies I anticipate worth it.

      Maybe we’ll chant to the forest spirits together in 2013 … or at the least have a Dionysian feast … and party like the old gods are back!


  12. says

    Very glad to hear you escaped the worst of Sandy’s storm.

    Now that is a refreshing post Joseph. I pride myself on being contrarian and considered eccentric for taking a different path away from the herd, but reading your post I realise I am a mere apprentice learning from the wise words of a master.

    We have exchanged comments before, I have had a different life to most of your readers. For me it took a couple of traumatic life changing and almost life ending situations to come to similar conclusions to yours.

    Your choice of a new business name is wonderful I can’t wait to see what title you adopt for your role.

    • says

      Hey Peter,

      I recall most if not all of your communication and comments … usually very thoughtful, even when we might not be 100% simpatico on some issue or another.

      Regarding your comment above, I’ve actually held my peace for the most part for many years in most public forums. Not because I’m reticent in any particular way, just that I’ve realized the futility of it for the most part. Now I decided that I’ll put the stake in the ground and dance naked around it like good old Diogenes in the marketplace masturbating to make his point to the crowds. Heck … even Alexander gave Diogenes his due … the old dog.

      So let’s just say there’s a new dog in town … just as ornery and scraggly as old Diogenes was in his day … but with a slightly different style, albeit same general message … life is meaningless, so get on with it.

      FWIW virtually all real change or transformation requires crisis, no one makes a change without being driven to it. Major change almost requires a major crisis, the sense that there’s literally no choice but to move on. In part my “job” is to provide the crisis that most folks strive to avoid, curling up in their comforters making believe all is well, while they recite soothing prayers or chant to themselves … even as the devil is knocking at the door and his daemons are screeching around the windows.

      I’ve decided to come out and play while I’ve got some time left to do it with gusto … kinda a Campbellean herald calling out the crisis that begins the Adventure.

      Thanks for the words …


  13. Allison says

    Thanks for such a great post! Wonderful hearing from you after Sandy and thankful you are safe and sound.


    • says


      She was a ride (Sandy) … lots of kicking and bucking, but eventually she moved on looking for something she wasn’t finding here I guess.

      Some folks are in bad shape still, homes literally torn down by the storm surge up and down the coast (what we call the Jersey Shore). There are whole towns without power, and schools have been closed across the state for a week now. Gas shortages have people lined up fifty plus cars deep at gas stations to get their ten gallons of rationed gasoline. Food is rotting in refrigerators and freezers, and people are with critical medication or support services too.

      Fortunately we escaped most of that here in Princeton. The winds were bad and trees were down, as were the power lines. Beyond that we lucked out really. The rain was light so the ground was relatively dry, giving the trees good rooting – so far fewer came down than would have otherwise. A few years ago we had a massive rain storm with high winds and there were four or five times as many trees down in town as there are now. We had power in two days and I topped off the cars before the storm came so we still have gas to spare. All in all, it was a heck of a ride, but one that we survived and came out of strong.

      FWIW New Jerseyeans do best in crisis, I think it’s an East Coast phenomena. We pretty much come together, do what needs to be done and get on with it. Folks are a little short tempered, but that’s par for the course in ‘Jersey’ … so you learn to ignore it by the time your six or seven … or you move to California `;~>

      Thanks for the thoughts … hope to see you soon!


  14. Thomas says

    You know Joseph no matter how much I’ve studied the various industries out there self help, spiritual, etc etc, I keep coming back. It dawned on me at some point after reading several of Watts books that I took on something that was never mine to take on in the first place.

  15. Shyaam says

    Another good post Dr.Joseph! As I see, the theme in all your posts is to get ‘IT’. Its more like the strategies of J.Krishnamurthi and Eckhart Tolle together. I see there is this enormous fear to let go of all that I need to know and just be. Any pointers?

    • says


      Thanks for the nice words.

      The trick as every other source will point to as well is being present. My most recent post “Foolish Wisdom …” comments on this too.

      However, that is often not what people need to hear to make the move, they need/want more specific strategies. My best recommendation on this count is body-based training. Essentially what yoga and meditation are when taken together.

      Yoga (physical training) was designed to create the specific body fitness required to still the body so you can sit still for long periods of meditation. Meditation when done properly is designed to still the mind so that the thoughts that normally churn endlessly from one to the next begin to cease as well.

      For most people though stilling their body and mind goes to waste to a great extent. They miss the opportunity created to experience what is present in the space between thoughts. This stillness within the stillness is the opening to experience what is real, i.e.: what is present when we are not examining or interpreting what is present, simply experiencing it directly.

      So where I go when I’m working with clients is to deep sensory training to bring them into direct contact with what they are experiencing in those instants before thought intrudes.



      • Shyaam says

        Oh! I did not realize that I got a reply!!!
        Thank You Dr. Joseph!
        So, the trick, as You have pointed out here and in many other posts is get Body-based training! (I remember, Your post, ‘If You can’t run your body well, You can’t run Your mind well’)
        I also see a pattern in me – that – deep down – I sabotage ‘stilling’ the mind, because, if I do, I can’t be in control (though I recognise that I don’t have control anyway)!

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