Not to be confused with admirers, or friendly faces, or lovers. No one has a lot of friends — at least, not good friends, and that’s the only kind. Friendship is an investment of understanding (not to be confused with concern), trust (not to be confused with confidence), and love (not to be confused with affection). It takes time, which in itself takes time. When you were a kid, all you ever wanted was one good friend. Has that really changed?


Not to be confused with parents, children, or relatives. Everyone has a family — although some go through life hardly realizing it. Parents are sometimes important members of your family, sometimes not. When I was a child, the man who sold knishes near the high school was part of my family. Also, the blind man who lived across the street. Kurt Vonnegut once suggested that we’re all members of one or another karass, teams that do God’s will without ever discovering what they’re doing. Of course, deep down, we know exactly what we’re doing. Around the world, my brothers and sisters join hands. Not yet friends. One day, perhaps, family.


Not to be confused with villages, nations, or planetary federations. Everyone is a community. Begin with your own psychic organization: the community of personalities you call I; the triumphs and confusions of cooperation and leadership that make up a life; the politics of consciousness. See how cells, each conscious beings, befriend one another in the truest family spirit. The love affair that ensues we call a body. And the sum of madness and mystery, chaos and ecstasy we call our Self. It is a territory on which we plant the flag of a name and govern, well or poorly.