Monday, May 21, 2007

05/20/07, Sermon

There is a way to do things and a way to not do things. Or, as our parents used to say, “There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything.” The spiritual path is learning to do what needs to be done the way it needs to be done. And, we don’t have any idea what either of those things are. But, living shows us. We see what needs to be done, and how it needs to be done, over time.

This is the way it works: We decide what needs doing, and we decide when and how to do it. That is the entire scope of our lives. The quality of our living hinges on the quality of our decisions and choices. The problem, of course, is that we don’t know what we are doing. We don’t know what needs to be done. We decide, not-knowing. When it becomes apparent, as it will, that we were wrong, as we will be, then, we decide what needs to be done about that. We are always deciding what needs to be done, and when, and how, to do it.

The ideal is to live with our eyes open, learning what living has to teach us. We learn what works and what doesn’t work by guessing a lot, and being wrong often, and figuring things out as we go. Ideally, we develop a feel for a lives over time, a sense of how things are, a knack for living. And, we do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, and things go smoothly, exactly the way they ought to.

But disruptions come along. We marry into a strange family, or move to a different part of the country, or take a new job and have to learn again how things work now. And, pity the poor person who is always trying to live here and now the way she, the way he, lived there and then. “It’s a new world, Goldie,” and we have to adjust continually to a changed and changing context in order to know what needs to happen now, and how it needs to be done. We cannot keep the past forever present.

In order to be alive in the moment of our living, we have to be awake and aware, alert and attentive, now, in this moment. The recipe for a good life is consistent across time: “Eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart that understands.” It is never more difficult than that. And, it is always that difficult. Cultivating eyes and ears and heart is the work of a lifetime, and is exactly what is required to know what needs to be done and how to do it.

The spiritual task is seeing, hearing, and understanding. Or, to be more specific, right seeing, right hearing, right understanding. Everything flows from there. The spiritual quest is the quest to see, and hear, and understand. The spiritual journey is the journey to seeing and hearing, and understanding, rightly. Right perception (which includes seeing and hearing and intuiting), right living (which includes being and doing), and right relationship (which finds the balance point between the individual and the other, the part and the whole) is the spiritual vertex. There is nothing beyond that to know, or achieve, or experience, or acquire. Oneness with the universe is nothing compared to living in this moment in ways that are precisely right for the moment. Apply that to every moment, and you are as God is.

But, God is not threatened by the competition. There is too much standing between us and right perception, right living, and right relationship for God to be worried. Personal ambition alone is enough to keep us circling around the wrong flame forever. There is no particular advantage to right perception, right living, and right relationship. There is nothing in it for us. We don’t stand to get anything out of the deal. Doing what needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, because it’s the right thing to do isn’t going to play well in Peoria. Or anywhere else.

What’s the payoff is the question. How’s it going to help us is the question. What difference is it going to make in our lives is the question. How is being spiritual going to help ME is the question. What am I going to get out of being enlightened is the question. God’s laughing. Bent over. Howling at the idea that we could aspire to be competition.

Look, it’s like this, here’s the deal: In this culture, we are in it for what we can get out of it. We look for the advantage. We run a cost/benefit analysis before getting out of bed each day. We look at everything in terms of what’s in it for us. If it doesn’t pay off, we aren’t buying. Our motive for living is to have more at the end than we had at the beginning. “Whoever dies with the most toys wins,” you know. Acquire, amass, achieve, accumulate, accrue, assemble, succeed, win, triumph… We have to have something to show for having lived up to this point, and more to show for living from this point on. What we stand to gain is the motivating force of our lives. We don’t do anything without calculating the angles, and weighing the odds, and coming out ahead in the game.

All right. Put that approach in one chair. And, in another chair put all that stands between us and the realization of our ideas for our lives. We can lose the way in the swirl of lost car keys, IRS audits, over-drawn bank accounts, flat tires, leaking roofs, and the dog throwing up on the carpet in the den. The experience of life is a wrestling match between what we want and all that gets in our way.

Now, add another chair to the circle and place in it the concept of being called, of having a mission, of being invested in an undertaking—listening to music, say, or making art—for no reason beyond the experience itself. Now, invite the chairs to talk to each other. What do they say? How does the artist communicate with the corporate executive? What does Jesus have to say to Judas? What becomes of struggle when we are just listening to what needs to happen? Which chair gets most of our attention, most of the time?

We decide what needs to be done, and how to do it, in each moment. The moment redeems the past—to the extent that it can be redeemed—and influences the future—to the extent that it can be influenced. The moment is where life is lived. The moment is all there is. Moments add up to make a life. They aren’t what we use to get something out of life.

The moment is not where we set the stage for some future life. The moment is where we live. It is easy to get the idea in this culture that the value of the present is in preparing for a wonderful future. We live now in ways that will allow us to really live then. We use the moment to position ourselves for a fabulous life of wealth and opulence. And we lose the moment using it to get something from the next moment. And, something else is always coming along to derail our plans and postpone indefinitely the arrival of that grand future for which we live.

Our lives are contrived from the start. We do this to get that. We have to be going somewhere, you know. We have to have that career track, that life plan. We have to have those goals and those steps to attaining them. We decide what we want, and calculate our way to the realization of our desires. Desire fuels life. There is no end to what we want. And, there is no pattern to our wanting. To follow our desires is to run from one latest thing to the next. Our eyes trick us into a life that has no soul. The desires of our heart have very little to do with heart. Our lives are too shallow to splash because we spend them asking what we want and not who we are. How else would you do it?

Well. We might call it “living from the core.” Call it “living aligned with that which is deepest, best, and truest about us.” Gerard Manley Hopkins could say, “What I do is me, for that I came,” but we have no idea what he’s talking about. We have to figure it out. Integrity of being is the highest value, not gaining the advantage, not having it made, but being who we are, doing what is ours to do, even when that is all that is in it for us.

Most of us don’t have a clue about what that might be. And this is the important point: We don’t have to figure it out! We don’t have to be able to say what it is! Here’s some more of the deal: It is the nature of the good to not know what it is doing, to have only a vague sense of what ought to be, and to have no strategy for, or even an idea of, achieving what needs to happen. As the good begins to stir, we find ourselves saying strange things, thinking strange thoughts, things and thoughts we can’t begin to defend, justify, explain, or excuse, things and thoughts about photography, for example, or something that is equally fruitless, pointless, costly and serves no purpose. As the good begins to stir, we find ourselves being drawn toward certain experiences, and, as we move in their direction, what needs to happen becomes increasingly obvious, even though we may never be able to explain to anyone’s satisfaction—even our own—exactly why we are doing what we are doing. “It’s just so ME,” may be the best we can do.

What is opening before you, or trying to? What are you resisting? What are you forcing? What are you pushing? What if you stopped resisting, forcing, pushing, and just started listening? Just started assisting what seems to be calling you, asking you to give it a chance at life? Where might your life take you if you weren’t so determined to go somewhere else instead? What is your life trying to give you? The way opens, you know, before those who are open to the way.

In order for life to be more than "one damn thing after another and then we die," we have to factor in retreats and pilgrimages to the "thin places" which connect us with the foundation and restore our souls. We have to open ourselves to the refreshing waters, ground ourselves in the wonder of sunlight and air, return to the source, and be one at the level of the heart with all things. It is too easy for our lives to be too shallow to splash. The depths are all around us, waiting for us to immerse ourselves and remember who we are and what we are about. We have to take the time to engage in the practice and the discipline of enlarging our perspective and reclaiming our lives.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

05/13/07, Sermon

We are here to respect every path, and to call every path into question. Every path has much to commend it, and every path has much about it that is absurd. There is much to revere, and there is much to be completely irreverent about. We honor them all and satirize them all. Including our own.

The weakness of a path, any path, is its tendency to explain too much. When a path goes over into detail it goes over into delusion and denial. The value of a path is its general direction, not in its ability to pass out answers, and impose order, and define righteousness, and declare what is moral and what is not. Lao Tse says, “A way can be a guide, but not a fixed path.” A way that is the true way provides us with the foundation necessary to look unhesitantly into the heart of things, and see what’s what, and what needs to be done about it, so that we might do it and be done with it. That’s it.

We make up our responses to what happens on the path. We think for ourselves on the path. We learn for ourselves, out of our own experience, what works and what doesn’t. All we need are some general guidelines, some working principles, some encouraging words. We are quite capable of putting the rest of it together out of the materials available to us in the moment of our living. Jim’s First Rule of Life is enough for those who see: “Round pegs in the round holes. Square pegs in the square holes.” That, along with Jim’s Second Rule of Life is all anyone ever needs: “There are things we want to do, and there are things we don’t want to do.” And, if you think that can’t possibly be all there is to it, there is Jim’s Third Rule of Life: “There may be no personal advantage to what is beneficial.” These three rules are quite sufficient, I’m sure. But, we are quick to dismiss them, and make life harder than it needs to be.

We make things up that reflect the world we wish we lived in and have no connection at all with this world where life is lived. We tell ourselves, or once did, that God sends stuff to us based on how successfully we are able to please God, and that what happens in our life is a reflection of the degree to which God is happy with us, and we come here looking for tips for tweaking our life in ways that will thrill God out and result in blessings and rewards for us beyond imagining. We think, or once did, that if we can align ourselves with God, things will go our way and we will be in high cotton, and have nothing but a down hill glide to glory. We have to hit the wall more than once to change our minds about these things and see that the world we wish we lived in is not the world we live in.

A way that is the true way wakes us up to the way things are, and puts us in accord with the inevitabilities of our lives. It enables us to do what needs to be done while connecting us with what is deepest, best, and truest about us and all of life. It grounds us in the center of what is important, and enables us to laugh. It allows us to see the unchanging essence of who we are, the “essential you,” so to speak, which remains constant over the course of our lives—“the face that was ours before we were born”—in conjunction with the tumultuous conditions that are always turning things upside down. Throughout our experience with life, there is constancy and there is upheaval.

A way that is the true way, a path that is the true path, encourages us to think that all paths are valuable up to a point, and that the value of a path, any path, all paths, is its, is their, ability to help us face what must be faced in our lives, and find ways of dealing with what comes our way, while bringing the good to life within the context and circumstances of our lives, using the materials and resources available to us in the moment of our living, in caring for ourselves and all of creation—and to do it again in the next moment, and all the moments after that.

No path can give us something we aren’t ready to receive. The path we are on is a reflection of our orientation, our desire, our interest, our values, our ideals, and our idea of how things should be. Our path mirrors us. Our path IS us. We are the path we are on. At the same time, every path that is the true path, carries us beyond ourselves into deeper, fuller realization of that which is more than we can imagine.

The way is not about trying to get anything from life, rich, for instance. We are always mistaking wealth and prosperity for the point. We are always thinking if we were wealthy and prosperous that would be IT. Then, we think, we could escape life’s drudgery and anxiety and pain, and be ushered into ease and comfort. As if ease and comfort are the point. Here’s the point: We are to live life as it is in ways that are integral with what is deepest, best and truest about us and good for our neighbors and ourselves. It isn’t about getting anything. It’s about living this moment exactly as this moment needs to be lived, and doing it again in every moment following this one.

But, you want to feel great, don’t you? Admit it. You want to feel exuberant, overjoyed, super-saturated with pleasure and delight. Everything about the culture is geared to helping us feel better than we do about the life we are living. Feel bad today? Buy something nice for yourself. Eat something. Take some drugs. Drink some alcohol. Have some sex. Take in a movie. Play a video game. Escape. Escape. Escape. We have to get away from the lives we are living because we feel so bad about them. We wouldn’t last alone with our lives more than about eighty-two seconds. We hate our lives. We have to find the way out of our lives. That’s the way we are looking for.

I have some bad news for you. Every way that is the true way is the way into our lives. It’s the way of living the life that is ours to live as it needs to be lived, as it ought to be lived. Sorry. Not really. Happy. Happy to be able to point that out to you. If I don’t do it, who will? Who will tell you to just go live your life the way it needs to be lived, the way it ought to be lived? Who will tell you to step into your life and be the person you are capable of being, living in ways that are integral to what is deepest, truest and best about you?

There is no Secret. There is just you and your life. There is just living your life as well as you can imagine with the resources available to you in the moment of your living, without expecting to feel any better about it than you feel. Feeling good is over-rated. How we feel is irrelevant. When the baby needs to be fed, or the diaper needs to be changed, how you feel about it doesn’t play into the picture. Just feed the baby or change the diaper. See?

Oh, but we wish we were in Death Valley, taking pictures, don’t we? Or on a cruise ship. Or at the beach. Anywhere but here. That would make a good bumper sticker. “Anywhere but here.” That’s the theme of the American Way of Life. “Beam me up, Scotty.” “Anywhere but here.” “Take me away.” No where is good enough to be for long. We’re looking for the way outta here.

Every way that is the true way is the way in, not out. Every way that is the true way is the way of embracing our lives as they are, the way of living life as it is, as well as it can be lived, for as long as life is possible. Got a problem with that? No problem. The culture exists to help you feel better about everything. They sell escape on every side. They will be glad to take you away for as long as you care to be gone. But, I’m here to tell you it comes down to you and your life, and your life needs desperately for you to live it. If you don’t do it, who will? The truth is that it is up to you. You have to live your life. Every way that is the true way enables you to do just that.

Every way that is a true way provides us with what we need to do what needs to be done. Every way that is a true way enables us to see, and hear, and understand—and to respond to what is seen, and heard, and understood in ways that are exactly what is called for. Every way that is a true way makes it possible for us to serve the good in ways that are good—to the extent that is possible within the context and circumstances of our lives.

We are here to do what is ours to do—to be who we are—to be true to ourselves within the context and circumstances of our lives—in ways that are good for one another and beneficial to the environment and truly helpful to the world. And, we need a way that will enable us to do that. I recommend sitting. Waiting. Watching. Looking. Listening. If we do that long enough, something will become apparent. When it does, I recommend sitting with that—waiting, watching, looking, listening—until it becomes apparent what we need to do about it.

The way is the way of stepping out of the struggle to force our way through the world, and to look for ways to assist what is coming to be in our lives and in the world. We are mid-wives of the future. We help in the birthing of the world. We are not here to impose our will for the world on the world, but to bring to life in ourselves and in the world that which is truly good for all things.

Ah, but, all things are not interested in what is in their genuine best interest. All things are generally interested in what they want at the expense of themselves and all other things. We serve the good that serves our good. Never mind that we shoot ourselves in the foot wanting what we have no business having. Like world domination. The men—and it generally always is men—who strive for world domination have lives that no one would trade for. They have made a shambles of their personal world, yet they want to dominate the rest of the world. How’s that for egocentric craziness? Nobody can stand them so they are going to force themselves on everybody. How do you wake someone up who couldn’t handle knowing how stupid they have been all their lives long? That is the quandary of those who see in the land of the blind.

There is no rational, logical, left-brained solution to the problem. We cannot think our way out of the mess we have thought our way into. Thinking is the problem. If we think harder, we only create more of the problem. We have to stop thinking. We can’t live and think at the same time. We can’t live and think about living. When we start thinking about living, we stop living. Think of the times you have been most alive. You weren’t thinking then, were you? You were just living. See? Told you.

Monday, May 07, 2007

05/06/07, Sermon

There are a lot of people telling us what is important, what needs to be done, how we should live our lives. We have to decide who to listen to and who to ignore. How do we decide? We decide that as well.

There are a lot of recipes for living. “If it feels good, do it,” is one. “Grab the gusto,” is another. “Follow your bliss!” “Get right with God!” “Be true to yourself!” “Don’t spit into the wind!” “Cover your bases!” “First things first!” Bumper sticker philosophies are everywhere. Guidance is as near as the car ahead of us in line.

There are ten thousand paths to God—and to a life worth living. We must honor the path each of us has chosen, and honor our own path, by seeing it through, even when it becomes difficult, and we lose our enthusiasm, and forget the point. The Dali Lama meditates even when he doesn’t feel like it. Mother Theresa comforted the poor of Calcutta even when she wasn’t in the mood for it. Jesus left the Upper Room knowing what the rest of the evening held, and not looking forward to it. We think being holy means always feeling like it, always being in the mood for holiness. That’s how much we know about being holy.

There are periods on every path when we pick ‘em up and lay ‘em down. When we trudge on. When we go through the motions. When we make a day. We cannot think there is a path out there that we will always be glad to walk, that we will always feel like skipping down and singing a happy tune on. With that fantasy at work in our heads, we will always be in the market for a new path, always shopping for a smoother ride, seeking a quicker and more reliable avenue to the heart of truth and oneness with all things, a short-cut to glory, a way out of the mess and madness of our lives.

A path, any path, every path, is nothing more than an orientation that puts us in accord with the inevitabilities of life. “This is the way things are. This is what you can do about it. And, that’s that.” Our path is a perspective that opens us to the truth of the way things are and the way things also are. It is a way of understanding life and our relationship to it in ways that enable us to respond appropriately to what is being asked of us. A path that is a true path enables us to perceive what is needed—to know what is being asked of us—and do it. On any path that is a true path, we see what’s what and what we can do about it to make things as good as they can be for ourselves and others.

This gets us to the place of my place in your life. What do you need a preacher, a minister, to help you with? How can I be of help to you? If you need your lawn mowed, call someone else. If you need your car towed, call someone else. If you need an air conditioner installed, or a horse shoed, or a cat spayed, call someone else. I don’t paint, or nail, or saw, or haul. I don’t brand steers or rope caves. And I don’t repair computers.

When you look through the yellow pages at what services are available, you get a sense of what life requires. And, when you look at me and what I offer, you get a sense of how little I’m going to be able to do for you. Here’s what I think: I think you can count on me for perspective development. And, that’s about it. If you are interested in deepening your perspective, enlarging, expanding, your perspective, then I would recommend me. If you want to change a tire, or your oil, I would recommend not me.

But, don’t dismiss me too lightly. Before you walk away clutching the yellow pages, confident that there you have everything you need for managing the vicissitudes of your life and finding your way to wherever it is that you think you are going, let me suggest that your perspective is the most important thing about you. Your perspective is the single factor determining the quality of your life. It is the very foundation of life itself. You give me perspective, and I’ll give you the yellow pages, and we’ll see where we come out in the end. And, my money is on me.

If I’m right about that, and if I’m right about being uniquely qualified to help you with the development of perspective, then I’m one of the most important people in your life. You might think of me as a Perspective Therapist—not a Psychotherapist, because I’m not interested in your secrets, or your history, or your dreams, or your Ego and Shadow.

Sometimes, in the pop psychology books, Ego begins to sound like Shadow, like the evil, controlling side of us that is out to get us. And whatever became of the Id? We hear about the Ego all the time, but the Id? Disappeared. Type in “ego” in Google and you’ll get nearly 54 million sites. Type in “id” and you’ll get sites for ID theft, International Design Magazine, and Intelligent Design software. It’s all about ego these days. And the, so-called, True Self. We have a True Self, you know, and a False Self, a Pretend Self, A Self Wannabe which we call the Ego. It used to be that the Devil made us do things, now it’s the Ego. We have to keep Ego on a short leash so that our True Self can shine through. But who is the “we” that stands between Ego and True Self? It gets complicated. The Doctrines of the Holy Trinity and Transubstantiation and the medieval images of heaven and hell don’t require much more of a mental leap than the descriptions of psychic “realities.” Where there once were demons, we now have complexes and neuroses. It’s a mess. What we need is a way through all of it. That’s what perspective does for us. Provides us with The Way.

The way is the way through the mess and madness of our lives. The way cuts through all the confusion and complexity and goes straight to the heart of things. The way is a way of seeing which enables us to live well amid all the constructs and explanations and theories, whether from bumper stickers, or pop psychology, or the religion department of prestigious universities, or the latest discovery from the Bible labs. Seeing clearly enables us to find the path to the heart of things in spite of the trendy theories waving their little hands before our eyes and enticing us to “leave the way, and turn aside from the path” (cf. Isaiah 30:9-11).

Ah, but, every way can appear to be not working from time to time. No way is a magic carpet ride. We have to do the work required to walk the path we are on. We have to remind ourselves, and each other, of what we know when life delivers a big wet one right on the kisser. We have to ground ourselves, center ourselves, steady ourselves and regain our equilibrium when life smacks us a good one right on the chops. The path does not save us from the agony of not knowing what to do, but it can relieve us of the agony of having to know what to do.

Every true path is a life saver. Every true path provides us with a platform for orienting ourselves in the midst of turbulence and chaos, of remaining at-one with the heart of peace and compassion when the world around us is disintegrating at the core. The path is an external framework for placing ourselves in accord with the inevitabilities of life. With its practices and disciplines and ways of understanding how things are and accommodating ourselves to them, adjusting our lives to take them into account, the external path exists to connect us with, to wake us up to, the truth of the internal path, and reveals to us that we are always seeking ourselves. No path protects us from upheaval and loss. But, amid the upheaval and loss, a path structures our time, orders our lives, provides a framework for dealing with the world, and, ultimately, brings us face-to-face with ourselves.

Here’s an interesting thing about perspectives and paths: It is our own essence that calls us and confronts us. Our lives wake ups up and show us ourselves—and require us to live differently in aligning ourselves with and expressing who we are, consciously and intentionally in the world. Unconsciously, we wind our way to ourselves so that we might consciously embrace ourselves and live in ways that are integral with what is deepest, best, and truest about us. That’s the spiritual journey.

The outcome of our living is the path that unfolds before us. What we do leads us to where we are. The outcome IS the path. The path IS the outcome of all our previous outcomes. The threshold to the path is the decision, the choice, that awaits here and now. We sit, waiting to see what we will do, how we will do it, and what will become of it. All of which becomes the path, our path, our life, over time.

We are the path. The path reveals itself, not only to us, but also in us and through us. We see who we are, and the way is obvious. We act in congruence with our own heart/soul, live out of our own depth of being, and become the path we are. We are always surprised when we become who we are, and meet ourselves, as though for the first time. And, we are not surprised at all. “Of course,” we say, laughing, “It had to be you!”

There is a congruence of being in all of our acting. We see ourselves mirrored in all that we do. In some acts, we are more distorted than in others, but there is a core of order in the chaos. Our lives coalesce around the center that is us. And, at the center of the center there is an amazing convergence with the center of the centers of everyone. When we see ourselves at the level of the heart, we see everyone. The path unites us all at the level of the heart.

As we meet ourselves, we meet one another. We see all of us in who we are, and recognize our connection with all living things. The path expresses the truth of us in conjunction with, in relationship with, the truth of one another, with the truth of the world, the universe, creation, and connects us at the level of the heart, of the spirit, with each other and all that is.

Friday, May 04, 2007


If we sit anywhere long enough, our life will come along and ask something of us. At that point, we get up and do what needs to be done. We are here to do what needs to be done. If we don’t know what that is, we only have to wait. It will become apparent over time.

Once it becomes clear what needs to be done, and we get up to do it, something will get in our way. Then we will have to do what needs to be done about the thing keeping us from doing what else needs to be done. And, something else will get in our way. Now, you begin to see what our lives consist of.

The primary realization is that we cannot do it all and have no business trying. We have to walk away from some things. We have to leave some things undone. We have to pass on some things. We have to draw lines. Say no. Move on.

We decide where to spend our energy, how to spend our time. We choose what we ought to do, must do, want to do, will do, and will not do. In light of what do we decide? On what basis do we choose? What governs our action? What determines what we care about and why? We serve unconscious processes, and do not understand our own motives.

Self-actualization, self-preservation, self-expression, self-determination are terms we use freely, but what is the “self” and what is the “self” up to, and are “we” just along for the ride? We use words like “soul,” and “heart,” and “spirit,” and “self,” and “mind,” and “psyche,” as though we know what we are talking about. But, what are we talking about? What’s the game? Who are the players? We don’t know.

What’s in our best interest? We don’t know. Is it better to win or to lose? We don’t know. Is it more dangerous to succeed or to fail? We don’t know. Where are we better off? We don’t know. What is optimal? We don’t know.

We know what we like and don’t like, but we don’t know why we like it or don’t like it, or whether we should like it, or should not like it, or whether it’s good for us or bad. We don’t know what governs our actions, or what should govern our actions, or how to know.

That being the case, I recommend that we live toward the best we can imagine, and let that be that. We may be wrong about the good being good, but we have to live in light of something, so we may as well live in light of, in service of, the good we call good until we see that it isn’t all that good, and then live in light of the good we call good then.


We can only be as awake as we can be, as conscious as we are. We can only live toward the good we call good now.


We will never get to the bottom of it. We will never know what we are doing.


Thinking only gets you so far, then you have to experiment.


If thinking were all it’s cracked up to be, we wouldn’t need laboratories and test tracks. Everything would be what it was supposed to be right out of the box.


Thinking never takes everything into account. You have to live life, you can’t think it. But, if you aren’t thinking about what you are doing, you’re stupid. And, if you think you can think your way through life, you’re stupid. Trying to be smart is stupid, and trying to be stupid is stupid, and trying not to be either smart or stupid is stupid. What’s smart is knowing how easy it is to be stupid.