Category: books

Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 7, On the Path of Unicorns, Part 1

Tap cover, to read.

This is the latest installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. For the next post in this series, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!

RECAP: In the last chapter, you learned how to chase unicorns. Chasing unicorns involves conventional techniques that include keeping an open mind, being on the lookout for camouflaged unicorns, and learning new things. Even more importantly, it includes being trustworthy. But this chapter will involve a technique that is far from conventional. It allows you to corral unicorns before you have to chase them.

On the Path of Unicorns, Part 1

The Path of Unicorns is a meditative path. That’s why I call it a “path.” It seems any practice involving meditation is touted as some sort of path.

People get very religious about meditation. They treat this exercise of the mind as if it was sacred, and must be regarded with an air of reverence. And so they claim that when you meditate, you are following a path. And apparently, this path leads to a holy destination, which they refer to as Enlightenment, Xanadu, Nirvana, or even, Heaven.

But don’t worry, I won’t be getting all holier-than-thou on you. Nor do I expect meditation to be sacralized, by anyone. So you won’t have to join a religion, or quit your current faith.

I’ll admit though, that meditation has a numinous quality to it, that lends toward metaphysical reflections. So if you want to get all spiritual about it, I completely understand. Go ahead and dig out your incense, mala beads, and bodhisattva statue, and have a blast!

And if you really want meditation to be sacralized, I don’t mind. In fact, I’ll help out by suggesting a religious sounding name for this path. How about Unicorniks? I think that’s a fitting name, since I’m using unicorns as symbols of unique experiences, and since the goal of this path is to increase our unique experiences.

This is fun, naming things, so now I’m going to get carried away and name something else. I’m going to call all the theories I presented in Chapters 2 through 4, Unikonics. This distinguishes theory from practice. Unikonics discusses the mechanics of our minds, with regard to how our minds produce uniqueness and happiness. But Unicorniks involves putting the theory into practice, by chasing unicorns, and by meditating.

And so we have Unikonics and Unicorniks. I’ve already presented Unikonics, in this book, up to Chapter 4, as well as much of Unicorniks, beginning with Chapter 5. But I’m not done with Unicorniks yet. Because we haven’t discussed the most important part of the practice. And that is, meditation.

Chasing unicorns, as discussed in the last chapter, can be very beneficial. But by itself, it is not meditative. It can augment the meditative practice, and thus be part of the Path of Unicorns, and I highly recommend it for that purpose. But nothing beats actual meditation for producing unique experiences and happiness. No, nothing even comes close.

That’s because meditation goes straight to the source of unicorns.

The Source

I assume that all things ultimately come from Mind. By “Mind” (with a capital “M”) I mean, any and all minds, including yours, mine, and that of all other living creatures. And this is because I’m paranoid. I’m scared to death of death. I love life and want it to go on forever. So I like to think this mind of mine, and that mind of yours, and all other minds, have been around forever, and will last forever. They are the creators and keepers of this universe.

I can’t say that I believe in eternal life, because I haven’t seen enough scientific proof to honestly assert that. But there’s no scientific proof against it, either. So I like to assume that we all live forever, while covering my ass and acknowledging that my assumption is just an assumption. To me it’s depressing to think that this Earthly life is all there is, and that after we physically die our minds are permanently annihilated.

It could be true, who knows? But damn, it’s just so frigging depressing to make that assumption. And so I prefer to assume the opposite. I assume that our minds somehow continue on, after our bodies kick the bucket. Either way is an assumption, but I like my assumption best. I could be living in a Fool’s Paradise by making this assumption, but I’d rather be a happy fool than a depressed genius.

Now, when I assume all things come from Mind, that includes unicorns. I assume our minds collectively created this universe, and thus created all the unique things found within it. Don’t ask me how to explain the physics behind this creation, because I don’t know. I never was good at Physics. Besides, it’s just an assumption. I could very well be wrong. (Notice the ass-covering here?)

But play along with me and I’ll try to make all this metaphysical maundering interesting, even if you’re a big, fat skeptic.

Consider that if all unique things come from our minds, then if we want to add uniqueness to our lives, and become happier than we currently are, we must travel the path that leads to Mind. After all, Mind is the source.

I call this, walking the Path of Unicorns. Or, Unicorniks.

When I want something, I’ve always been an advocate of going straight to the source. That’s why I was once a government employee. I needed money. The government prints money. So I went straight to the source, and applied for a government job.

Now, after 27 years of dedicated federal service, I’m retired and shower in money every day. Yep, one of my favorite pastimes is sitting in my walk-in vault, counting out 10,000 dollars, and then tossing it over my head, in a glorious green shower.

I used to do that with my gold coins, but damn, those things hurt when they clink off the top of my skull. So now I just use soft, lightweight, Ben Franklins. No more golden showers for me.

The point I’m trying to make is that going to the source of something tends to be where most of it is at. And I believe when we go straight to our minds, we can find more unicorns frolicking around than we’ll ever be able to find and catch elsewhere. Because unicorns, or that is, unique experiences, are ultimately inspired and generated by our minds. Mind is their point of conception and birth.

[Tomorrow we’ll consult your GPS and find the best route to go straight to your mind.]

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Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 6, Chasing Unicorns, Part 2

Tap cover, to read.

This is the latest installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. For the next post in this series, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!

RECAP: Yesterday you learned three fun and handy techniques for chasing and catching unicorns, which are: Keeping an open mind, being on the lookout for camouflaged unicorns, and learning new things. But wait, there’s one more thing . . .

Chasing Unicorns, Part 2

Be Trustworthy

There’s one more strategy I’d like to point out. It’s not as obvious as the others I’ve described, but I hope it will be obvious enough, once I point it out.

This is the strategy of being trustworthy.

Every human being we encounter possesses a treasure trove of uniqueness. Everyone has a different background from ourselves. They have different interests, different abilities, different viewpoints, and are different in a multitude of other ways. No two human beings are exactly alike. Not even Siamese twins.

Sometimes people don’t appreciate how unique they are, but that’s only because they live with themselves all the time. Imagine having to live with yourself all the time. How boring would that be?

We are all much more unique to others, than to ourselves. Therefore, we all have much to offer each other, whether we realize it or not. This makes us all unicorns.

There are different ways to catch human unicorns. One way is to hogtie him or her. Make this person your captive. Your slave. Hold the person against your will, and mulct all the uniqueness you can out of this unicorn.

That’s not as far-fetched as it may sound. Slavery has been around, in one form or another, since human beings have walked the Earth. The classic form of whip and chain slavery went mostly extinct back in the 19th century. Well, except for with those who indulge in certain sexual proclivities, but that’s a whole different kind of unicorn.

But other forms of “slavery” persist. For instance, spouses often become enslaved in their marriages, where the manipulations, threats, or pressure from their partners makes it difficult for them to end the relationship.

Many jobs pay what is known as a “slave wage,” where employees barely earn enough to stay alive.

And thefts, burglaries, fraud, and other crimes are common in our world. This to me is a form of slavery. After all, we have to work hard for the money and possessions we come to own. So when somebody steals from us, it’s as if we’ve worked for the thief, for free. That’s slavery, by any other name.

The problem with slavery, is that it can be hard to make slaves cooperate. After all, what is their incentive? And so, the master has to work hard, to make the slave work hard.

Slaves are also not likely to share much of themselves with those who exploit them. That would just leave them vulnerable to more exploitation. And so, when you try to force uniqueness from others, through slavery, you end up with far less uniqueness than they are capable of sharing with you.

When faced with tyranny, people tend to clam up, close up, and dry up, and make their best effort to passively rebel. If they don’t actively rebel. This leaves the tyrant a lonely person. Tyrants miss out on the wonderful variety of qualities that make each and every one of us fascinating, unique beings. Unicorns, in fact.

So if you want to catch a lot of unicorns, try being trustworthy. Be harmless to others. And honor their freedom. Freedom is the most precious right that humans and any other being can possess. We must have freedom so we can pursue unicorns, untrammeled, and find our happiness.

When you avoid harming and enslaving others, and when you honor their freedom, you make it possible to win their trust. And when you’re trustworthy, they’re most likely to share themselves with you. They’ll share the things that make them so unique. And in this way, you’ll capture a unicorn.

Which must sound kind of ironic, because you have to allow unicorns to be free, before you can catch them. And the way you hold onto them, is by continuing to allow their freedom.

Trustworthiness is won in other ways also. For instance, when you take care of yourself in a competent way, you free others from the burden of taking care of you. So the more independent you are, or at least try to be, the more likely you are to win the trust of others.

Being competent in what you do for a living is also a good way to win trust. Nobody has to cover for you. And your employer or customers receive quality for the money they pay you.

Quietly and anonymously helping others can also win trust. The way this works is by the way it affects your demeanor. People can sense untrustworthiness. It shows up in the little things we may do. It displays in many ways that we have no control over, including in the way we fidget, or the way we express ourselves, and in the things we pay attention to.

Often our demeanor is displayed in such subtle ways, it registers in the subconscious of others. They get a feeling about you, that they can’t quite put their finger on. But that feeling may lead them to either trust you or not trust you.

So if you’ve been quietly cheating and thieving from others without ever getting caught, it will still show up in your demeanor, and lead to being distrusted. Nobody ever gets away with anything.

And neither can you get away with quietly and anonymously helping others. This too will show up in your demeanor. While you are being all modest and secretive, your demeanor will be inadvertently announcing to the world just how trustworthy you are.

And that little trick will help you to catch unicorns, even when you’re not even trying to catch them.

I hope I’ve passed trustworthiness off as an obvious and conventional way to catch unicorns and enrich your life with unique experiences. And I hope it makes sense.

But the next hunting technique is a whole different ballgame. There’s nothing conventional about it, nor anything obvious. And it’s hard to make sense of it. It’s a secret weapon you can use, to corral unicorns before you have to chase them.

And those unicorns are waiting for you right now, with heads raised, ears perked, and nostrils flared. Over in the next chapter.

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Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 6, Chasing Unicorns, Part 1

Tap cover, to read.

This is the latest installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. For the next post in this series, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!

RECAP: Yesterday I introduced you to Unicorn Theory, which states that unique experiences can be as elusive and rare as spotting a unicorn. Everyone has unique experiences now and then, due to blind luck. But when you know how to hunt unicorns, you can have a lot more unique experiences than mere chance will allow.

Chasing Unicorns, Part 1

In this chapter we’ll chase unicorns, as they scatter helter-skelter, hither and yon. But in the next chapter we’ll save our breath and leisurely traipse down a meditative path, leading to the source of unicorns.

Chasing unicorns involves following some rather obvious strategies. And the most obvious, if you haven’t already guessed, is to keep an open mind. Hmm, who would’ve thunk?

An Open Mind

In this book, a unicorn symbolizes a unique experience. And it’s very apparent that if you want to have more unique experiences than your average closed-minded person, you have to keep your mind open enough to involve yourself in unique experiences.

It may be tempting to stay in a safe little corner, but your life will always be boring if you’re not willing to take a risk and try out new things.

I can provide all kinds of examples of unique things to do, such as, visit a rattlesnake zoo, read War and Peace, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, attend clown school, pick wild strawberries, paint your bathroom pink, learn rocket science, or buy a pet snapping turtle. But I don’t know your life. Maybe you’ve done all these things already.

What’s unique to one person may not be so unique to another. So nobody can tell you what is unique. It’s personal. You have to figure it out for yourself. And you can only do that if you maintain an open mind.

One reason why we get stuck in a rut is because ruts are relatively safe. Even when ruts involves situations that others might find dangerous, they’re relatively safe to us rut-dwellers because we’re accustomed to such situations. They’re the devil we know.

You may feel content in your rut, and if so, good for you. But if you want to have more excitement and happiness in life than your mere contentment, you must be willing to take a risk, and step away from your routine.

And there is a risk. Unicorns can be frisky and unpredictable. And they have sharp horns. If you’re not careful, you can be skewered.

It’s the same with unique experiences. Because such experiences are so unique, they’re unpredictable. They can mess you up badly. So they must be approached with caution.

Yes, use caution. But they must be approached if you want to experience them. You’ll never catch a unicorn by running and hiding from it. No, you must chase the unicorn. Only then can you feel the thrill and happiness from having such a creature in your possession.

Be On the Lookout

Another obvious strategy for chasing unicorns, is to be on the lookout for them. Unicorns tend to be elusive creatures, and you’re not likely to spot one by staring at the ground. So remind yourself now and then to pay attention.

When you consciously try to identify unique experiences, you’ll become amazed as to how many are out there, right under your nose. Unicorns are masters at camouflage.

For instance, have you been casually observing over the years, your wife knitting sweaters? Have you ever wondered how she pulls off such craftwork? Well, there’s a unicorn for you, right there. You can learn how to knit.

Are you mystified at how your husband can fix cars? There’s a unicorn. Start helping him, or pick up a book on auto repair.

These are just a few tiny examples of how unicorns camouflage themselves, hiding in plain sight, to be spotted only by those who diligently keep on the lookout.

And this brings up my next conventional and obvious strategy for hunting, chasing, and capturing unicorns. The strategy of learning new things.

Learning

Areas of knowledge that are new to you always make for dandy unicorns, because, well, they are so new. Obviously.

There are many ways to learn something new. You can buy, borrow, or steal a book. This day and age there are zillions of books, due to the boom in self-publishing, so you have lots of unique reading material to choose from. In fact you chose this book, so you’re already on your way to catching unicorns through the strategy of learning. And thank you very much.

You can also take a college course. Or change departments, where you work. Or google the hell out of subjects and learn stuff on the internet. Or observe carefully, the way people do things. Or just ask a lot of questions.

You can never run out of new, fascinating things to learn. Learning supplies a never-ending herd of unicorns to chase after and catch.

[That’s enough chasing. It’s time for a breather. But I have another trick up my sleeve, so come on back tomorrow, when I’ll show you another useful technique for chasing and catching unicorns.]

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