Posts tagged #suffering genius

Your searing pain + the unnerving real reasons my book is so cheap

Your searing pain

You stall on projects that are dear to you.  You sometimes wake up feeling a kind of angst which you know has driven other great minds to suicide. You sense there's a huge disconnect between what matters most to your heart and what seems to matter to the rest of the world and that feeling of disconnect fucking hurts.


I know that hurt, and I know how to overcome it, a day at a time.  I've written a book.  It's called Awesome Your Life: The Artist's Antidote to Suffering Genius. And I don't mean "suffering genius" lightly as in "whininess." I mean "suffering genius" as in "life-threatening alienation and terror." It's an existential phenomenon that I take seriously. Dear, amazing friends of mine have murdered themselves via overdose or suicide because they couldn't cope with the pain of living with their own sensitive and visionary minds.


Because it is such a real and dangerous problem, the solution to the pain of suffering genius isn't easy. The book leads you through a difficult and harrowing hero's journey wherein you learn how to experience ecstatic joy and consistent creative flow by facing the trials and invitations of your unconscious. Only there's something kind of unnervingly weird about my book.


The weirdness is that my book is very cheap. 99 cents.


There are a lot of things in this world that cost 99 cents and suck.  Like "food" on McDonald's value menu. Or potentially toxic toys made in China. Or Justin Bieber's songs on iTunes, which my best friend Gloria inexplicably loves. My book, however, does not suck. It actually rather rocks, as these thoughtful reviews attest.


The unnerving real reasons my book is so cheap

So why, if my book rocks so stunningly hard, does it cost 99 cents? The answer has to do with my radical politics and pulse-pounding hope. Here, in no particular order, yet in a satisfyingly numbered fashion, are the shocking reasons:


  1. I want to live in a gift economy. So the book is a gift. There are books and programs for increasing creativity available online that cost more than a hundred dollars.  My book, I can say within all honesty and modesty, is thoroughly as good or better than these. It's the product of research and practice that cost me many thousands of dollars and years of work. I could charge $150 for the Awesome Your Life program, glittered up with a few audios and videos mixed in.  Maybe I'll do this at some point. But right now I love the feeling of offering something that's of very high value for a very low price. Merry Christmas, one and all!
  2. I really love the Occupy movement. 99 cent books for the 99 per cent!
  3. The book teaches that the point of creativity is the enjoyment and generation of the gift world, a state of grace in which needs are met without hardship. 99 cents is a price that allows the book to be available for most without hardship.  And if 99 cents is still a price that generates difficulty for you-- email me (sweetsongofjoy at gmail dot com) and we'll work something out.
  4. Many of my friends are broke brilliant artists, who live in their warehouse studios or with their parents.  I know how they struggle, and I wanted them to be able to afford my book.  Indeed, I want all broke brilliant people to be able to afford my book (see the point above).
  5. I'm interested less in money and more in readers.  I'd love for not only you to read the book, but also for all of your friends and your mom and the people you don't really like that much to read the book.  For $15, the price of a regular book, you could gift the book to yourself and 14 people you don't even really like that much! Thereby securing yourself excellent karma. Or, since you don't like them that much, you could just tell them to suck it up and buy it for themselves. It's only 99 cents, sheesh.
  6. The book shows you how to embody throbbing, extra-rational optimism.  I'm throbbingly, extra-rationally optimistic that I'll become a 99 cent Kindle best-seller like Amanda Hocking.
  7. The best books I ever read in my life I got for 99 cents at a thrift store. So I feel like returning the favor to the world.
  8. I don't like to pay a lot for stuff, and by extension, I don't like asking others to do so.
  9. Did I mention it's Christmas? I fucking love Christmas.




There's a lot more empassioned empathy, raucous humor, and daring solutions in the book.  So why not buy it?













What is Depression?

Reitdiep RainbowCreative Commons License photo credit: The Wolf  


Depression-- hopelessness, dread-- waking up in the morning and feeling like there's no point to being awake-- what is that, really? Is it just a chemical imbalance in the brain?

Yes and no.

The brain (like the rest of our bodies) is a physical manifestation of our soul.  This means that chemical imbalances in the brain reflect spiritual suffering. No treatment for depression is really complete unless it addresses both the spiritual and physical dimensions of the affliction.

Depression is a symptom of suffering genius. Our genius suffers when she feels trapped, unacknowledged and unable to express herself fully in the world. This happens all too often in our present society-- which, for all it's celebration of commodified individuality is actually quite opposed to genuine expressions of soul-- like love and ecstasy.  (If you're curious about this hostility, try having an ecstatic transport in a grocery store and see how people respond.)

Yet no matter how harsh the external conditions, this feeling of being trapped is always an illusion.  We're always free to express our genius, even if we sense the consequence of that expression would be something scary-- like losing our jobs or losing a friend.  Just acknowledging the fact that we are choosing to restrain ourselves because we don't like the potential consequences to being who we really are can allow us to regain a sense of our basic freedom and begin to lift the burden of depression.

At the same time, we also need to overcome the fears that would keep us in our limiting position.  We may need to honor the fact that when we embrace our true selves, we lose some safety and security, some approval and predictability.  We may need to deliberately give up the comfort that we've known in order to embrace the radically unknown world of our possibility.

When I'm struggling with a limiting belief or situation, my friends like to remind me that I'll change "when the pain becomes great enough." This is true.  I will.  Yet some people don't change when the pain becomes great enough-- or rather, they change in far too dramatic a fashion.  They kill themselves.

I've endured depression many times and I've felt tempted to make that all-too-radical change from life into death.  What I've discovered each time depression gripped me is that it's always true: "I" do have to die.  But the "I" that needs to die is never the real me, my physical body and my actual spirit. The "I" which needs to die is the little ego who wants and demands that life go a certain way and is incredibly pissed that it won't. This "I" despairs.  This "I" judges me with intense cruelty and harshness.  I've found that depression is the invitation which asks this "I" to die.

So if you're feeling depressed today-- let me ask you-- what demand are you holding on to that isn't getting met?  And what would happen if you just let that demand die-- if you just let go of it?  Who would you be without that demand?


Technicolor Galaxies and Burst Stars- Inspirational Crack

I just spoke to the sweet folks at NASA this morning, working on getting their permission to use images from their Chandra X-ray Observatory for my book.

I want to encourage my brilliant readers to take some time to look through the whole big collection of these images on flickr. They're the most astounding images of outer-space I've ever seen.



I bring these to your attention because I think they're first-class high-grade inspirational crack.  What do I mean by that? Well, looking at these images is addictive and hypnotic in that good way. I can't stop looking at them.


When I'm viewing these jaw-droppers, I think about how there are forces out their in the universe (I like to think of them as the Divine Wow but maybe you want to say "physics") that made them-- which is the same energy that creates you and me and everything.


I'd offer that these images are some fresh evidence of the universe's genius at work-- a genius that we're free to tune into and partake of by practicing spiritual principles.  Doesn't knowing that get you a little high with wonder?