F*** It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way. John C Parkin. http://www.amazon.co.uk/John-C.-Parkin/e/B0034OD3G2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1404379860&sr=8-2-ent
40,000 sales? Sold out workshops? From two words? Fuck OFF.
Steady on. Be calm. Let Go. Let God. Fuck it.
(Jealousy aside – John C Parkin’s books and workshops work, if you want them to.)
But how is this any different from the religion based around The Big Lebowski’s Dude, one of whose mantras is ‘fuck it.’?
Maybe someone should market George Costanza’s ‘Do The Opposite’ from Seinfeld? It’s surely as valid as this? Calm down – especially annoying advice according to psychologist Oliver Burkeman. Who also sells far too many books. BY HELPING PEOPLE. What’s wrong with that? Well, he’s still called Oliver. (Sorry, currently enjoying his The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.) Whereas John C Parkin’s partner is called Gaia. Can’t get any more New Age than that.
Do I have a problem with writing about happiness and wellbeing? Yes. I didn’t think of it. Murder mysteries about black magic and kinky sex seemed like a good idea to me. It turned out that (highly acclaimed) black comedies about new age fruit loops can be ‘a bit niche’ (Serpent’s Tail publicist.) Who knew?
If something doesn’t work, walk away. Wise words and the message, thus expressed, is original. Surely no one tried to sell the health benefits of swearing before? From a Buddhist and Taoist perspective? It is, of course, not just two words. His workshops involve dance, breath and energy work which are likely to tune anyone up, These take place in idyllic surroundings in Italy http://www.thefuckitlife.com/.
So why don’t I change the habit of a lifetime and stop being a curmudgeonly c**t? (“About f**king time” – anyone who has ever known me.)
Hats off to anyone who is helping other people. Mr and Mrs F**k It deserve the success for which they have worked.
Particularly relevant to addicts like me is a 12 step use of the ultimate solution. An Elmore Leonard novel reports a jailhouse Alcoholics Anonymous group which shortened the Serenity Prayer to ‘If you can handle it, do it, if you can’t, fuck it.’ Certainly more succinct than the original: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference’. But is it as good?
We need a compromise. ‘Accept the inevitable, seek growth, be wise.’? A bit sparse but at least we got rid of God. ‘The wise accept and endure, changing whenever possible.’? Maybe it was better as a prayer… “Just do the programme, you arrogant little shit!” A chainsmoking AA veteran has manifested, chugging strong coffee, furious after a hard day’s work and ceaseless soul searching. This is the sponsor who will make me phone him at 7.30 am every day before I go to a job sweeping floors, remembering to be humble 24/7 and apologizing continually. Well, if I may adapt the ultimate spiritual way: Fuck That.
Between the hairshirt and debilitating excess is the middle way. ‘Stay straight. Help others. Try not to be annoying.’
Workshops coming soon. And t shirts. And scented candles. But it isn’t as good as ‘F**K It’.
ps here’s Guru George Costanza and the eureka moment where he discovered ‘The Opposite’