Betsy Robinson, author of funny literary stories about flawed people, is a perpetual seeker of truth.

From books to music to theater and fine art, from online TV to DVDs, this blog takes a look at current culture through a spiritual perspective — with a touch of humor.

Materials under the "review" tag are a mix of free review copies (books, DVDs, etc.) in exchange for a review, to library copies, to materials and tickets I've paid for.


A Really Bad Hair Day (Feb. 13 blog)

The Art of Collapsing (Feb. 6 blog)

Life is only temporary says Evan Handler (Jan. 28 blog)

The New World of Finance (Jan. 28 blog)

All about growing up in a cult (April 16 blog)

Fierce Giving (Jan. 8 blog)

(Copyright © 2008-2014 Betsy Robinson. All rights reserved)

Notes from a Crusty Seeker

Our Universal Obsessions & Our Power of Attorney

December 17, 2009

Tags: compassionate wisdom, healing, Unemployment, review

About 12 years ago, I discovered Light of Consciousness magazine and ever since I’ve been a fan. The magazine’s staff is volunteer and they work in a place called the Desert Ashram in Tucson. Founded 22 years ago by a guru named Swami Amar Jyoti, Light of Consciousness publishes quarterly and is sold at newsstands. And in case you’re assuming that a magazine made by volunteers in an ashram follows some kind of doctrine or is even cultish, I’d like to assure you that this is not the case.

Light of Consciousness offers the most diverse, expansive, open-minded array of inspiring information you can imagine, mostly culled from books and other publications, because they have no budget for editorial content. And for the last few months, I’ve been reading the Winter 2009 issue. It takes me months because I read, re-read, contemplate, re-read, and finally digest. During this process, there are two articles that have digested like good medicine, and I thought I’d share some bits from them. If the bits help you, I’m glad. (I’m sure the Swami — he’s dead now — would be happy also.)

From an article called “Gratitude and Blessings: Practices for Greater Giving and Receiving” excerpted from Gratitude: The Essential Practice for Happiness and Fulfillment by Angeles Arrien (an audio series available at Sounds True), there’s this:

Apparently there are four universal human addictions, each with a positive flip side possibility. The idea is, if you can acknowledge your addiction, then you have access to its flip side. They are —
(1) an addiction to intensity, lest life be too dull (see my blog, “The Pleasure of a Good Upset”). The positive possibility is having a passionate heart that can be filled with gratitude, acknowledging all the good in your life.

(2) an addiction to a fixation on what is NOT working. The positive is the gift of vision and the ability to see the whole as well as the parts.

(3) an addiction to needing to know. The positive is wisdom, which is connected to patience, trust, and flexibility.

(4) an addiction to perfection. The positive is the commitment to excellence and growing.

And from another article called “Girish Chandra Ghosh: A Bohemian Devotee of Sri Ramakrishna,” came a wonderful idea:
Giving your “power of attorney” to whatever you aspire to surrender to (God, the Universe, All That Is, Christ, a person who represents spiritual truth).
Maybe it’s a mind game or maybe it’s not. But I find the notion freeing. In fact, this morning I surrendered my choice of thoughts to a higher power. "You have power of attorney to select my thoughts," I said out loud. And remarkably, my mind went silent. Ah.

I recommend giving away your power of attorney while remaining responsible for the fact that you are taking actions. (I know, it’s a confusing concept if you’re not used to it. But contemplate it. Maybe it’ll help.)

Happy Holidays.

Selected Works

Big Moose Prize-winning novel
a funny, sometimes sad, story of negotiating life without a clue

New on Kindle--a funny book for foodies who are committed to self-change through self-awareness
an epistolary memoir ... sort of
A funny and moving little book for anyone who's had a mother or struggled with being human.
anthology of stories and plays
includes Darleen Dances and stories below

1-act play

short story
the problem with worrying about the future

true story
Why I don't believe in death.

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