You, as the wise man, should never be tempted into leaping
into the sewer with the other person, who, after all, is playing
a patient in an insane asylum! Stay up on the sidewalk (of
decency, courtesy and professionalism). Let the other person
wallow in their own juices (for three weeks!) Don't spoil
their role by attempting to "make them a better person!"
And as for yourself, your mind and body really need time to
heal. Try to get away from them! This is the wise thing to
do. The idea isn't to win some skirmish, the idea is to have
your own individual life. Retire from the arena! It's just
a sign of intelligence.
2. We're all closely related. In
far more brutal times, my ancestors wrote the Bible, and your
ancestors wrote the Bible, too! Personally, I practice a philosophy
I learned driving a taxicab in San Francisco: a. to
communicate honestly, b. to
retaliate instantly, c. to forgive
completely, and d. to broadcast
a clarity of intention. The whole idea is to get away with
being yourself, at all times and in all places. Let the world
take care of itself.
Never take anything seriously. It's really easy to make friends
with a dog, isn't it? The trick is, don't try to change anything.
Pull evolution back a notch. It's like agents of dumbness
around you. There's two people. At least one's happy. Follow
the noble savage.
3. You can't get other people to
like you. However, you can learn to see who does like you,
and learn to listen to what's hidden in people who are deeply
hurt or critical. The cleverest way to be able to "do
something" about those influences is by having a subtle
influence on yourself. Simply by thinking
outrageous things, you put the world in a new light:
Hitch your wagon to a star.
4. Strangely enough, you don't need
to confront or criticize a bully to defend yourself. Be in
solidarity with dogs and angry children! The secret
is playfulness, brought into existence by thousands of tiny
scripts. You can learn the way children learn, which is by
example. Reconnect with the youngest parts of yourself.
Because experience is by nature solitary, most people don't
get practical on-the-spot assistance when they get into difficulties.
The deepest parts of the mind are "preverbal" and
inarticulate, locked down by the fear and inexperience of
a child. It's made worse by "bad advice," such as
teaching a child to say, "I don't like it when you tease
me; please stop," in inappropriate situations. The youngest
and preverbal parts of a person need many more specific remedies
to verbal violence distilled through the experience
of an adult into Mind Candy. Tonic, they
used to call it It's an old-fashioned art.