Bondage: (n) the state of being a slave.

Dribbling sweat and spitting out angry consonants, the preacher forewarns his timid congregation of the dangerDictionary B of the bondage of sin. Here’s the real essence of bondage:

Bondage is the loss of free will.

Whether it’s taken from you due to addiction, removed by the authorities because of your criminal activity, or snatched from you by religious fervor which insists on stringent practices to please a pissed-off God.

Bondage is when human beings can’t decide for themselves.

Presently, we are in bondage to the delusion of destiny–the ridiculous notion that our lives are pre-determined by some ethereal force which has programmed us for purposes beyond our control.

Actually, the most frightening thing about human life is that we choose to do both the evil and the good that spew from our nature. We are not prodded by the heavens nor are we drug to the depths of hell by demons.

The only true bondage is when we revoke our free will to something, someone, or some place and find ourselves dissatisfied, without a vote.

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Betrothed: (n) the person to whom one is engaged.

Dictionary B

The pride that we have over our sophistication is not only comical but often ill-placed.

We have the most intricate system for pairing people into committed relationships that has ever been devised in the history of bipeds with brains.

Yet we also have the highest divorce rate.

So do we question this system of placing the entire experience of choosing a mate based on the level of our interest and financial security?

No. We continue to chase down love haphazardly.

Simultaneously, cultures which pair off individuals in pre-arranged marriages don’t fare any worse than we do. Do you know why?

It’s because marriage has nothing to do with love.

Hell, if we’re going to make this planet work, we all have to learn to love one another. (But that doesn’t mean you’ll exchange body fluids with the population as a whole.)

Marriage requires three unique impositions:

1. “I’m not going anywhere.”

If you believe that separation and divorce are options in your relationship, you will eventually pursue one of them. There is a power in thinking that we possess the intelligence to solve our problems.

2. “I am not satisfied with myself.”

Although it is very popular to be self-satisfied, trying to sell this to another person who sees you every day is ridiculous.

  • I need someone to help me overcome my demons.
  • I need a friend who will see those demons and not run away in terror.
  • And I need a cohort who will not be too judgmental when I invite my demons back in for a one-night stand.

3. Be prepared to laugh all the time.

Most arguments begin because we decide to defend or discuss stupidity instead of laughing at it.

Humor is what makes sex excellent. Since it is such a silly little practice, which is accomplished just as well among the monkeys, we dare not view it as serious or overly spiritual, or we become notoriously foolish.

I don’t care whether you date for fourteen years or if you met each other fourteen minutes ago.

“I’m not going anywhere, I’m not satisfied with myself and I’m prepared to laugh” is what makes betrothal be-workable.

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Bet: (v) to feel sureDictionary B

There are those who deem themselves very conservative and would insist they would never place a bet on anything–as they sit down at a fast food restaurant and devour a double-bacon cheeseburger, betting that their arteries will withstand the attack.

We all bet.

  • In politics, they call it “tendencies” and “polls.”
  • In business, they refer to it as “great ideas” or “hunches.”
  • In romance, it’s deemed “beauty” or “fragrance.”
  • And in religion, we revere it as “faith.”

For after all, none of us are sure of much of anything as it pertains to the future, and all attempts to contradict that ignorance only make us appear insistent, not intelligent.

So what do I bet on?

1. I bet that people are self-involved, and you get along a whole lot better when you know it.

2. I bet there’s more evil in a private meeting of a political party than there ever is in twenty demons congregating over the fires of hell.

3. I bet the things that have sustained us–faith, hope and love–will continue to work, even when some cynics consider them outdated.

4. And I bet that I will reap what I sow.

These are my sure bets.

I have found that when I understand them to be true … I always end up with an excellent payout.

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Belying: (v) to give a false idea of something

Dictionary B

What a cool word.

Because you could have a classical rendition of this particular term, phrased, “Beneath her explanation was a mistruth belying.

Or you could have a street rendition, “She be-lying.”

And in both cases it would be right.

But setting all that to the side, I do believe the greatest mystery of human life is finding a way to eliminate having a closet, attic or basement to store our thinking.

We should be so open and willing to be viewed by the public that we welcome a living room without curtains.

It scares the crap out of us to think about such a vulnerability–and we don’t offer this transparency to please others.

Rather, when we start tucking secrets away into private rooms of our memory, we become infested with ghosts and demons, which will not leave us alone.

And as difficult as it may be to survive trials and tribulations, it is virtually impossible to escape the belying grit and grime which accumulate in the corners of our mind.

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dictionary with letter A

Aquarius (n): the eleventh sign of the Zodiac.

“This is the dawning of the …”

The next part of this lyric from the song in Hair is “…Age of Aquarius.”

I happen to really enjoy that production and the tune, even though I grew up in a religious environment which believed that all astrology was “of the devil.”

Yes. Leave it to Satan to come up with a practice where everything is left to chance and the moving of the stars.

So as a kid, it was difficult to sing the song, share the song or even refer to the song around grownups. They would warn me that I was welcoming in dark demons, which would later infest me with horrible attitudes like failing to pay my electric bill.

It was difficult–because truth is much like water. It tends to come from everywhere and surprise us with how similar it is, considering its divergent points of origin.

Some water comes from the mountains through melted snow.

Some from the sky.

Some from wells from deep within the earth.

But pour it in a cup, drink it down and it’s refreshing.

I have to be honest with you–the off-Broadway musical, Hair, did more to enlighten me, generate social consciousness and make me compassionate than any sermon I ever heard in church.

It was raw, a little silly and laced with too much hopefulness.

But without that kind of childlike faith, we all become cynical growling adults. And deep in my heart, I wish there was an Age of Aquarius. I dream of how wonderful it would be if the stars would shift, Jupiter would align with Mars and attitudes would improve.

But I think I’m stuck with the symbolism–or maybe I’m Jupiter and my brother is Mars and the truth of life is still stuck in the closet somewhere … of the seventh house.

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dictionary with letter A

Antipsychotic: (n) a type of drug used to treat psychotic disorders.

I believe the old saying is that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

I don’t know if that means that fools are careless, or angels are chicken shit.

But I do know that ever once in a while, it’s important to risk appearing foolish in an attempt to focus on something that’s important.

So playing the part of the fool, let me state bluntly that America is nuts.

I know that’s not a clinical word normally used by psychiatrists, but it does describe the mishap of activity that is being presently performed under adult supervision.

Religion, politics, entertainment and corporations have lost all sense of morality and even any compass for productivity, chasing down either imaginary dragons or unicorns in the enchanted forest.

There seems to be a national sense of neurotic.

Now, what is the difference between being neurotic and psychotic?

  • Neurotic is when you’re afraid that you’re going to go out on the street and get robbed, so you end up staying at home.
  • Psychotic is when you stay at home and have a visceral experience of being robbed by imaginary thieves named Imogene and Darnell.

Here’s my concern: neurotic people can become psychotic if their neurosis is not talked out.

I believe we’re already on the verge of finding imaginary enemies that are chasing us down instead of having the good cheer and wisdom to tackle simple problems in our everyday lives. So more than ever, people are being prescribed medication for conditions that should be handled among our peers with comedy and conversation.

Yes, if we stop talking to each other, only texting and posting on Facebook, the little demons will start crawling out of the closet and begin to gnaw on our ankles.

So let me be foolhardy and tell you that social networking, the Internet and cynicism are tempting us as a nation to leap from neurotic to psychotic. Then we scratch our heads and wonder why somebody would ever go into a school and shoot a couple dozen little kids.

I know we’re concerned about tragedies like this, but I’m much more worried about the loss of humanity, the missing link in our species that creates brotherhood instead of culture wars, and the rejection of a gregarious nature, forcing us back into our caves, where we scrawl on the walls, admiring only our own artwork.

We will become psychotic, and then will probably become so alarmed that we’ll prescribe a national antipsychotic for the water system if we don’t learn to deal with the neurotic notions that make us feel superior to each other and afraid to merely use our abilities the best we can.


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