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2020-12-03 12:03:51 (UTC)

To a Friend: On Chopra and DEVO

Personal entry follows.

I have an old friend living in the northeast, basically in squalor and in rustic, off-grid lands. There's an unusual back story to how we've been able to stay friends for so long, though my likelihood of visiting her in person is miniscule (pandemic times aside).

Every few days, she forwards me a "Gratefulness Message of the Day," which includes some kind of motivational, compassion-engendering quote from some motivational speaker, or guru, or spiritual leader of some kind. They are nice. They are also of widely-varying quality and range of ridiculousness.

So today she passed along a quote from Deepak Chopra, who has both many ardent followers, and well as plenty of detractors. When it comes to that guy, it seems like, "you're either in the car with him, or throwing rocks at it." Personally I fall into the latter category, thanks to the website, which I cited below in my response to her.

My entire (brief) response is included below.


Hey [friend]--

This year, I started semi-regularly listening to DEVO. They have a song, "Beautiful World," with the second verse like this:

"It's a wonderful time to be here
It's nice to be alive
Wonderful people everywhere
The way they comb their hair
Makes me want to say:
It's a wonderful place
It's a wonderful place
It's a wonderful place
For you
For you
For you"

I appreciate the repetition.

The song ends with the same refrain, but with the added phrase:

"For you
For you
For you
It's not for me"

Personally, I find DEVO more enlightening these days than most feel-good soothsayers out there. That's not to say there's not a time and place for such motivational folks and their words. But right now, it's a time for DEVO.

I think that Chopra quote insinuates a bit too much guilt and responsibility on the reader during trying times. As if, were we to simply get our mind right, open ourselves to the collective unconscious, acknowledge we are the universe and the universe is us, or some other mystical phenomena, the pandemic would evaporate and we could "get our lives back to normal."

That's my take on Chopra. Oh, and the website has a quote generator that has an 80% chance of being just as profound (based on my own empirical research).

Meanwhile... I am back at the office a few days a week. Not exhibiting symptoms, so I was not required to be tested or to self-quarantine. I went to the shore and was by myself whenever I wasn't out picking up a pizza, so I assume I was able to keep my viral load surprisingly low.

I have another vacation planned for late December into the New Year, and I intend to be alone: riding my bicycle, drinking coffee, and eating pastries. As I contemplate the bottom of my coffee mug, I will become one with the universe.