» What God Has Joined Together «
Kevin McGowin
Monday 18 - Cyril of Jerusalem, ISO A Good Old-Fashioned Spanking

Cyril of Jerusalem had had a lot going on in his Life of Late, some of which was really Cool and some of which Wasn't, but it all seemed really compressed to him, how fast it was all going, and then when his favorite Uncle up & Died, he lost his shit and started drinking hard. Which wasn't all that difficult, since yesterday was St. Patrick's Day and he'd been fucked up all weekend, just like everybody else, but people he'd only recently met were telling him how he was a really disturbed Alcoholic because he'd pissed them off, and he was like, Fuck, Dude, it was you that got me to Buy the Bourbon and you who smoked the Cabbage with me that put me over the top in the first place, but, though Cyril wasn't always like that, well, People out There who drink and do Drugs, they always rail on other people for all the shit they do, it's just the way they Are, and Cyril knew it, but okay, whatever, man, Point Taken.

And Cyril was a Poet and a really good one and he was writing lots of poems about lots of shit, but he landed himself in a weird sitch when this crazy chick who was a heavy-metal singer in Seattle started thinking all his poems were about her, God knows why, and she was net-stalking him and Wigging Out and his Poems, well, they were about people who were nothing like this woman! So on top of everything, he had to consult his Attorneys, Sandorse and Associates, a great firm BTW, in order to get the woman to Cool It. More about that later.

But Cyril was listening to a William Saxton CD and Sobering Up, getting ready to go to a Funeral, and he was masturbating thinking about his Patron Saint, as Cyril, like all people of that Name, was what they might call a "gay" or a "queer" man, and he was getting off but having a Panic Attack and couldn't read, so he was calling up Roedy Green. And he was saying, Roedy, man, the Xanax just isn't working! And I've been having Cosmic Sex with Rasputin and listening to William Saxton, we all know what he had to Overcome, and what the hell do I do!? And Roedy was on the other end of the phone and he was saying to Cyril, Cyril! I'm not some self-centered Buttflake like Tony Bird and I'm not as good a songwriter as Jed Palmer used to be and my Dick is not as big as that of Damon Sauve. But look, your Uncle was like lots of people, he was ready to Hit the Road and his soul was gone while his body was still up walking around, see, and then Roedy said some other things.

Roedy Green said to Cyril, Now comes the speculative part. If there are all these parallel worlds branching like mad, how come you only see one of them at a time, and what determines which one you see? All the branches are in some sense pre-existing. Reality is a giant park you can explore by following its many meandering paths. How do you choose which path to follow in your exploration?

Here is how you steer your way around the tree of the many world possibilities.

Focus on what you like; you will tend to drift into worlds with more of that. Or in Ken Keyes' terms, enjoy the strawberries. Think of it you are letting the universe/your subconscious know what you want by where you focus your attention. (Since men have mostly ridiculed this hypothesis, let's go for a trivial experiment that may appeal to women who may be more open-minded and better motivated to try it.) For example, Cyril, let us say you wanted your body and face to look more youthful. People typically try two things that don't work:

Berate themselves for how ugly they are. They focus on their flaws. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They give up and fail to take any practical actions that would help their appearance. Their consciousness is filled with thoughts of ugliness, so even if they were cute as Alicia Keys (or Brad Pitt), they still could not enjoy it. As new agers say, what you resist persists. See, Cyril, You steer toward unpleasantness because you are so intently focusing on what you don't like. It works the same way as being distracted by a gruesome automobile accident while driving.

Lie to themselves, affirming for example, "Everyone thinks I am cuter than Alicia Keys (or Brad Pitt)." Underneath they know this is a lie, so they are effectively affirming and concentrating on the opposite.

What should you do instead? Focus on the parts of your face or body that are improved from yesterday or last month. Perhaps your eye bags are not quite as puffy. Perhaps your cheeks are not quite so plump. Look at the crow's feet at the corner of your eyes and notice how shallow they are. No matter how deep they are, they are still shallow compared with the Grand Canyon. Notice how the grooves are so tiny you could not even measure their depth with a ruler. You might not even be able to feel them with your finger. Focus on their shallowness. Quantum changes still obey the normal laws of physics. You still have to take concrete actions as well, such as get better exercise, diet, rest and reduce your stress. This focus-on-what-you-like approach will better motivate you. Focussing on what you like means you get maximal return for your efforts. You will also be more acutely aware of your successes which will further motivate you to clean up your life.

The power of the futile gesture. Take action to improve what you do not like, but do not waste your energy excessively complaining. Do not focus too hard on the problem or you will drift into a universe where it is even worse. For example, if you want the forests saved, start a project to save one small forest, and you will drift into a universe where everyone is busy saving the forests. Since you don't really have to change the world, you can attempt seemingly impossible tasks realizing that all you are really doing is voting on what part of the tree you would like to visit next, see, Cyril! In MY life, Gay Lib happened after I wrote A Guide For The Naive Homosexual. Live Aid happened after I gave my house to the African famine victims. Disarmament started after I composed the nuclear defense chain letter. Debt forgiveness of 3rd world countries happened after I helped get a small R.E.S.U.L.T.S. lobby together to write some letters on the topic to politicians. The Makah whale hunt was banned after my not-widely-publicized suicide protest (I stopped taking the AIDS medications that were keeping me alive.) Gandhi picked up a handful of salt, and it lead to the independence of India. This is akin to Stephen Gaskin's "Attention is Energy." In one sense, the world did not change; we just moved into a more compatible part of the tree.

Reprogram addictions to preferences, perhaps using the Living Love techniques. I am using the term addiction in the Ken Keyes sense as anything you tell yourself you have to have before you will let yourself be happy. Addictions are like burrs that hang out and hook you, preventing you from flowing smoothly to more beautiful parts of the tree. Sometimes addictions let go with a bang, then when the pent up energy is released, you can be catapulted quickly into other quite different places. At first this can be quite frightening even when the new place is quite pleasant. When I reprogrammed my addiction to live with my ex at the June 1977 Joy of Living workshop in Berkeley, I got so high I was convinced someone had secretly been giving me drugs, Cyril!

Cyril, my man, when you find Yourself in a part of the tree you don't like, do not panic. You do not have to change the entire universe, just focus on rules 1, 2 and 3 and the whole world will miraculously appear to change — but all that really happened is that you steered your way into a more harmonious part of the tree. Telling yourself your current universe is weird will just drift you into even weirder realms.

Movement over the possibility tree is governed by quantum mechanics. Only cumulative tiny shifts (allowed by quantum indefiniteness) are allowed, and you always have to start from where you are and move smoothly and logically to the desired place. Cyril, Do not attempt to break physical laws. The way to move is by slow steady pressure using rules 1, 2 and 3. When you get good at it, or when you are in high excitement, slow steady pressure can give the appearance of almost instantaneous change, a quantum miracle. Large seemingly impossible shifts are made by a consistently directed accumulation of microscopic changes over an extended time period, each allowed in the realm of quantum uncertainty.

If you get stuck in a particularly unpleasant part of the tree, and feel incapable of following rules 1, 2 and 3, do not panic. Just wait -- This too will pass. Your subconscious mind will eventually apply them for you. Outside help will also eventually arrive to get you unstuck. You can also try to move in the opposite direction, Cyril, to sort of rock yourself free. You can also console yourself with the thought that you just explored a "wrong" turn, and that possibly other copies of you are happily enjoying the fruits of the other branches. I explained this hypothesis at the end of Debby Hamm's More Joy workshop. Participant Gerry was obsessing that his cat might be dead when he arrived home. I told Gerry that if when he went home and found his cat dead, that the many worlds hypothesis suggests another copy of Gerry went home and found his cat alive, as long as there were some lawful chain of events allowed by random indefiniteness that would lead to his cat living on. Gerry's cat, like Schrödinger's Cat was in some universal sense both alive AND dead.

And Cyril was getting it hard and then Roedy said the most Important part. He said, One of the strange predictions of this theory is that you may be immortal. Your friends may die, but generally you won't. You will tend to steer yourself into parts of the tree where you stay alive. So long as Heisenberg uncertainty allows sufficient slop in the inevitability of death, you can continue to squeak through. You may choose to die eventually. See my "Reality Is A Hallucination" essay, particularly the "suicide." Immortality is one way of interpreting that experience. From the point of view of most of your friends, you would die, however. This may be a great comfort to those who have lost loved ones. Loved ones who have passed on are alive in some parts of the tree, but dead in yours. They did not die, you just drifted off to a different part of the reality tree than they did.

Sweet Jesus. For once, Cyril understood and felt even more joy than Bertie'd felt when he was talking to Roedy! And he turned off William Saxton and put on that Marilyn song where she goes, I wanna be loved by you. Alone! Ba-baba-poopee-do! And he started singing it and skipping around in his underwear like the Homo he was, and hey! YOU know that song, too! I wanna be Loved by you . . . You and nobody else but you . . . I want to be Kissed by you . . . I want to take Dick from you . . . y'know, all that, and I'll bet it's going thru your head RIGHT NOW! Your Narrator was telling Someone, it's like certain Beatles songs, no matter who the fuck you Are, you Know them! And all the people on the Webcams, well, THEY all know that Marilyn song, too! Far Out! This then, is just another Aspect of what God has Joined Together. Don't like the song? Well, This Too will Pass.

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