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I read Tom Robbin's novel, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, over the summer and can say, in all seriousness, this book changed my life.  I read it on a flight home to Los Angeles and walked away with a dramatically new perspective on, well just about EVERYTHING.  While I am still processing and exploring, I wanted to share a few quotes and passages that left my jaw on the floor, heart pounding out of my body, and brain dizzy.  Perhaps these will act as a catalyst for you as they did me?

LIFE

"...Life is essentially playful. Of course, it plays a bit rough at times. Maybe life is like a baby gorilla. It doesn't know its own strength."

"When they tell you to grow up, they mean to stop growing. Reach a nice level plateau and settle there, predictable and unchanging, no longer a threat. If Sissy is immature, it means she's still growing; if she's still growing, it means she's still alive. Alive in a dying culture."

"A lot of life boils down to the question of whether a person is going to be able to realize his fantasies, or else end up surviving only through compromises he can't face up to."

LOVE

"If space is love, Professor, then is love space? Or is love something we use to fill space? If time eats the doughnut, does love eat the hole?"

"Love is dope, not chicken soup."

THE MIND

"If little else, the brain is an educational toy. While it may be a frustrating plaything—one whose finer points recede just when you think you are mastering them—it is nonetheless perpetually fascinating, frequently surprising, occasionally rewarding, and it comes already assembled; you don't have to put it together on Christmas morning. The problem with possessing such an engaging toy is that other people want to play with it, too. Sometimes they'd rather play with yours than theirs. Or they object if you play with yours in a different manner from the way they play with theirs. The result is, a few games out of toy department of possibilities are universally and endlessly repeated. If you don't play some people's game, they say that you have "lost your marbles," not recognizing that, while Chinese checkers is indeed a fine pastime, a person may also play dominoes, chess, strip poker, tiddlywinks, drop-the-soap or Russian roulette with his brain."

"Alas, the brain is a toy that plays games of its own. Its very most favorite is the one-thing-leads-to-another game. You know it."

"You meant only what you said, that it all depends on how you look at it, that everything, always, depends on how it is perceived, and that the perceiver has the ability to adjust his perceptions."

WOMEN

"Debbie says that women are different from men and that that difference is the source of their strength. Way back before Judaism and Christianity women were in charge of everything, government, economics, family, agriculture and especially religion; both Debbie and Delores agree on that. But Debbie says that if women are to take charge again, they must do it in the feminine way; they mustn't resort to aggressive and violent masculine methods. She says it is up to women to show themselves better than men, to love men, set good examples for them and guide them tenderly toward the New Age.'"

"She says the ability to bring life into the world puts a woman closer to the Divine Mystery of the universe than males are, and that her motherly feelings are what gives her her protective and peaceful qualities, thus accounting for what is best in her—and best in the human race. She says the capacity for motherhood is the source of women's strength. Only women stand between technology and the destruction of nature, Deb says. If we're ever going to get the world back on a natural footing, back in tune with the natural rhythms, if we're going to nurture the Earth and protect it and have fun with it and learn from it—which is what mothers do with their children—then we've got to put technology (an aggressive masculine system) in its proper place, which is that of a tool to be used sparingly, joyfully, gently and only in fullest cooperation with nature. Nature must govern technology, not the other way around.  Only then can all oppression end. Nothing is more vital to the human species than the reproduction of life. This is a woman's trump card."

FREEDOM

"So you think that you're a failure, do you? Well, you probably are. What's wrong with that? In the first place, if you've any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free."

"There's just one thing in this life that's better than happiness and that's freedom. It's more important to be free than to be happy."

WORDS TO LIVE BY

"I believe in everything; nothing is sacred. I believe in nothing; everything is sacred."

"You've heard of people calling in sick. You may have called in sick a few times yourself. But have you ever thought about calling in well?"

"If you believe in peace, act peacefully; if you believe in love, act lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that's perfectly valid—but don't go out trying to sell your beliefs to the System. You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world, change yourself."

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