Author Archive
The agony of being connected to everything in the Universe

The agony of being connected to everything in the Universe

Many of us have set out on the path of enlightenment. We long for a release of selfhood in some kind of mystical union with all things.
Embracing your inner corpse

Embracing your inner corpse

Embracing your inner corpse This thing called corpse we dread so much is living with us here and now. —Milarepa In each of us is an inner corpse struggling to be exhumed. Unlike the corpse you will one day become, this shadow corpse is alive. It is the living presence of Death that you carry...
Skeptical mysticism

Skeptical mysticism

Skeptical mysticism It takes faith to believe, and it takes courage not to, and who is to say which is the deeper and more truthful. —Herbert Weisinger You often hear about believers who have a crisis of faith, but what of the skeptics among us who have a crisis of doubt? For years we skeptics...
One step from oblivion

One step from oblivion

One step from oblivion Things are entirely what they appear to be and behind them…there is nothing. —Jean-Paul Sartre Commercial air travel is a regular part of our lives, yet many of us still feel an eerie disquiet when we fly. You browse the in-flight magazines while a 37,000 foot chasm of emptiness lurks just...
The inner bigot

The inner bigot

The inner bigot We contain the other, hopelessly and forever. —James Baldwin We live in a society scarred by hatred and misunder-standing. You look out at this world and figure that because you’re not a church-burner, gay-basher, or with the LAPD, you’re not a bigot. But inside each of us is an inner bigot waiting...
The tragedy of commitment

The tragedy of commitment

The tragedy of commitment Whoever wants something great must be able to limit himself. –Wolfgang Von Goethe Sometimes you are paralyzed with indecision. You can’t bring yourself to choose any one future because to choose one is to forsake the promise of all others. Yet not choosing is making you crazy. In such a state,...
Loving the wrong person

Loving the wrong person

Loving the wrong person Let our scars fall in love. –Galway Kinnell We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and...
The nurturing power of dysfunctional families

The nurturing power of dysfunctional families

The nurturing power of dysfunctional families Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. –Leo Tolstoy It is important, if you grew up in a dysfunctional family, to take time to reflect on the competitive edge it has given you. People from happy, harmonious homes may feel healthy and...
Interview with Brother Void

Interview with Brother Void

TIM HARRIS, OF REAL CHANGE NEWS, INTERVIEWS BROTHER VOID from a cell phone in the Albuquerque, NM rail yard May 13, 2002 No one ever said living in late-capitalist consumer society was going to be easy. Sure, we can get a good toasted bagel whenever we like, but what does it all mean? What is...
The interstate of life

The interstate of life

The interstate of life You are free and that is why you are lost. –Franz Kafka On the interstate of life you rarely reach your destination. In rest-stop after rest-stop, you look for signs of God, or happiness, or just reason enough to get back on the road. But is it not right and fitting...
Some reviews...

Some reviews…

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT DAILY AFFLICTIONS: “Steely words of wisdom.” —BOOKFORUM “Delighfully lean and smart send-up….Great common sense tonic.” —BALTIMORE SUN, Editor’s Choice “A wicked-wise…oddly bracing (and timely) spiritual-philosophical work.” —ELLE “Perversely enlightening.” —AUSTIN CHRONICLE, Katherine Tanney [full text] “I just got the book this weekend and read it from front to back in a...
Existential contest.

Existential contest.

Reinterpret the great existential masters! Submit your own reinterpretation. Submissions so far: 41. German imagines Sartre living in Compton: “Hell is other peeps.” 40. C. J. Kershner tells us the following: As a jaded young person who is tired and discontent with the society into which he has been so cruelly thrust, I feel it...