I posted this on Facebook November 6, but i should have posted it here as well. Would have, if i had not been having computer problems (redundant term) at the time.

Working with a Guidelines group at TMI

I took a break from my life as hermit, last night, to speak to the Guidelines class at the Monroe Institute. It turned out to be an extraordinary experience, I think because of a couple of subjects that have been much with me recently.



Yesterday Bob Friedman dropped off advance copies of my latest book, Imagine Yourself Well a book that was a long time in the making. A lot of practical experience went into this one, and I got it into only 100 pages.

first copy 058

I meant for it to be severely practical. Here’s the first part of the intro:


In this book you will find simple techniques to improve your health. They are free, they have no side-effects, and they cannot interfere with any medicines you may be taking. You can mix them with whatever form of medical care you prefer. You can do them with your doctor’s blessing, or you can keep them to yourself.

You can use these techniques, no matter how serious your present condition. Are you in continual pain? Seriously injured? Enduring a chronic degenerative condition? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. You can use these techniques.


Forty years after the first column, Michael Ventura has posted his final column. After 40 years, Letters at 3 a.m. is no more.  I’ve posted his final column on my facebook page; alternatively you can find it at the austin chronicle site.

Michael Ventura’s next-to-last column




Austin Sun – Oct. 31, 2014
The most significant sentence of the 20th century was written in 1950 by James Baldwin:

“The world is white no longer, and it will never be white again.”

Baldwin knew most of this planet never was white. His declaration was for the world that calls itself “the world” – emphasis on “the.” It was a world that called most of the planet the “Third World.” There was no second. Only a world that called itself “the world” and a lesser world that came in third.

The world that calls itself “the world” is far more diverse now, because, as Baldwin knew, it wasn’t strong enough to have its way, so it had to change.





Austin Chronicle – Oct. 17, 2014


You get accustomed to the nonsense that passes for commentary. It functions as the political equivalent of elevator music. You get so saturated with empty views that when, say, The Economist editorializes a whopping absurdity, it buzzes right by until you stop in your tracks and ask aloud, in a public place, “What can these pallid motherfuckers possibly be thinking of?”

To wit, The Economist, Sept. 27: “America … seems swamped by the forces of disorder, either unable or unwilling to steady a world that is spinning out of control.”

Control of whom, by whom, and for whom?


Michael Ventura is retiring from writing his Letters at 3 a.m. column.  I can’t begin to express how sorry I am to hear it.

http://austinchronicle.com/columns/2014-10-03/letters at 3am-a-long-goodbye




A pleasant surprise to find myself quoted within a column written by someone for whom i have had the highest respect for the 30 years since i first discovered his work.


Austin Chronicle – August 22, 2014


A 19-year-old shot an archduke.

That happened on June 28, 1914, in a country that was then called Austria-Hungary and is now called Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Almost instantly, many dots collided and connected. As usual, most leaders expected a quick, predictable war. As usual, that was nonsense.


There is a Will Smith movie called “I, Robot” in which the cop says to the computer guru, in exasperation, “you’re the dumbest smart person I know.” That’s us.

Michael Ventura’s latest “LETTERS AT 3AM” column:


Austin Chronicle – August 8, 2014

 Dark Angel premiered October 3, 2000. Created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee, the Fox series pilot opened with eerily crew-cut children in their jammies fleeing in the snow and getting shot. Cut to Jessica Alba on a motorcycle in a dilapidated Seattle with drones patrolling overhead.

Alba narrated: “They used to say one nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day. It was sort of a joke until the June morning when those terrorist bozos whacked us with an electromagnetic pulse from 80 miles up. You always hear people yapping about how it was all different before the Pulse – land of milk and honey, blah, blah, blah, blah – with plenty of food and jobs, and things actually worked. … Americans really thought they had it dialed in, money hanging out the butt. But it was all just a bunch of ones and zeros on a computer someplace. So when that bomb went klabooey, and the electromagnetic pulse turned all the ones and zeros into plain old zeros, everyone was like, ‘No way!’ America’s just another broke ex-superpower looking for a hand-out and wondering why.”





Austin Chronicle – May 30, 2014

A street kid – I was a street kid. (No. There is no “was” to the street. Still a street kid, down deep.)

If “street kid” conjures in your mind a tough, svelte, hip urchin – well, street kids like that exist, but they’re the ones the street kills first. For every movie-worthy street kid, there were dozens of us hanging out in the background, alert as cats – fire escape kids, rooftop kids, alley kids who knew how to blend right into the bricks and survive.

“Street sense” is not like in the movies – it’s not digging the score about every badness on the block. Street sense is knowing any shadow might hurt you. Street sense is respect for those shadows, with the knack to spot capital-C Crazy from across the street, and even from around the corner. Knowing how to go from here to there without getting your ass handed to you.


For some reason this remembered column has been on my mind, so I thought I’d share it once again.

Letters at 3AM


By Michael Ventura

Friday, February 27, 2009

Screens, screens, screens – everywhere, screens. Right in front of me, in arm’s reach, are three: the three computers accessible from this chair (often I work on two at once). Another screen’s across the room – the TV. My cell phone, also in arm’s reach, has a screen, even though I bought the simplest device possible – it cost 10 bucks, but it can take and transmit photos and movies. You see screens at checkout counters, restaurants, laundromats, waiting rooms, and on the dashboards of cars. Millions preen for screens on YouTube and Facebook, marketing their images like politicians or starlets. What with BlackBerrys, iPhones, and my 10-buck cell, few Americans go anywhere anymore without a handy screen that connects to every other screen in some way or another, linking to any event, broadcast, or data source anywhere, including satellite photos of every address you know. The screens disconnect, as well: I work where I live, so, theoretically, I need never leave my apartment – I can order shoes, pet food, people food, parts for my car, and lingerie for my girlfriend right here on this screen, to be delivered right to my door. Now that I think of it, it seems half the people I know met their present significant others via the screen.

The power of these interconnected screens is such that a virtually unknown woman can step before the media on a Friday and by the following Wednesday be a superstar nominated for the vice presidency of the United States. Conversely, a man touted as a promising presidential candidate uses the obscure racial slur “macaca,” someone videos the event with a cell phone, within hours every news outlet replays the video, and the viability of a presidential hopeful evaporates into Cyberspace.