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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Channel One

I imagine that you associate other people’s desire of you as determining your own worth. This is common for most homo sapiens, as we were raised to believe that what other people thought was good or bad, desirable or undesirable, loveable or unloveable were the correct criteria for evaluating our own behavior. Since the approval (which is often confused with love) of parents, relatives, teachers, peers was so vital to our well-being, we learned to believe that what they thought was right for us was right. Not only did we believe it, we felt it. Behavior that many of us spontaneously enjoyed as children, such as loud boisterous playing, eating and sleeping when we wanted, and touching our genitals often met with disapproval and control. These once enjoyable activities (and anyone whose childhood memory is open can remember many ways that his or her activities were repressed — some successfully and some not) no longer gave us pure spontaneous pleasure. Fear, anxiety, guilt tainted the activities that we knew would meet disapproval, or else, consciously or unconsciously, we stopped doing what was deemed bad. Some of this control is necessary for children to survive safely and sanely into adulthood, but, as we all know, much of our parents’ manipulation of our free expression was stimulated by their fear and insecurity.

Tabula Rasa

The mind is at birth a clean sheet, a tabula rasa, wrote John Locke, This column is yours. Sincerity, rather than writing skill, is the only requirement.

Another Appetite

July is the month when our bi-centennial fever may just do us in, when the epidemic of ashtrays, napkin rings, underwear, shower curtains, pendants and key chains — all emblazoned with Old Glory — will reach a tacky peak, and those who profess to be our leaders will succumb to the flatulence symptomatic of celebrations of the Fourth.

Channel One

Power is acting, doing, performing, producing. Power is directed energy. Power = desired, directed behavior → goal accomplished. Power is the hammer striking the nail, the axe cutting the tree, concentrated force changing the environment. Power-full people change (manipulate) the environment to meet their needs. Power is neither good nor bad. Power is focused ego producing or preventing change. We are children of America: power is our creed.

Channel One

I would like to comment on the article that you wrote in the issue of “Birth and Death,” that, to me, was the most timely subject at this point in my life. Being a widow, and separated from my children by hundreds of miles, I find that my new life has brought on new reconditioning.

Seymour Dueless Says

Let’s see, travel. I abhor it as a general rule. No, that’s not true. I like to travel. If I were rich I would probably go to Europe. Nowadays, it’s pretty much the trip into town and whether or not the brake job I did myself is going to . . . well.


Painting our little house from a folding chair set up in the clay driveway. Understanding that what I do well, will be what pushes me forward. Taking the time to be precise with my painting, getting the dimensions correct, undistorted, was like an exercise in vision. SEEING clearly. What is there. This physical reality is so obviously the symptomatic phenomena of a more real pattern of reality, the same way that I am.

Channel One

I am becoming myself. Between becoming and being myself lay a miasma of ancient feelings, values, and perceptions. These are the unknown forces to which I respond by looking everywhere else for the solution, an end to my fears and hunger. These “forces” will be unknown until I believe that re-discovering and experiencing them will feel better than being insidiously controlled by them.

Right Livelihood

Guilt and Money

For me, business and livelihood means trying to pay my bills by doing what I enjoy doing and would probably do anyway, even if I had a more conventional job. A number of my friends are in the same boat — they do massage, cook, build houses, and throw pots.