Category Archives: Blind Elephant Press

The Universe According To Paul Peterson

In the following excerpt from “Or So It Seems”, a novel that recognizes life as a damn funny spiritual adventure, Paul Peterson expounds on the mechanics of Karma as seen through the eyes of the Seekers For Truth and, most especially, their leader and guru, The Bapucharya.


For some reason that seems to only make sense to Hindu holy men the universe was constructed with Automatic Universal Misunderstanding (AUM) as a core element in its composition. We are purposely led to believe that the physical world we see around us is the real world, the entire world, the only world in which we live and die. And if some entity called God exists He is probably hiding on another planet or at least in the clouds, only coming down for special occasions like the six days He spent creating the world.

We have been led to believe by our parents, teachers and scoutmasters, who have all been fooled before us, that what we see is what we can expect. Except perhaps for a late-inning visit to heaven for those fortunate enough to donate a lot of money to their churches.

But that is not how the universe works according to The Seekers For Truth. In their universe we are all witnesses to a gigantic shared illusion constructed out of vibrations and fancy dreams—and please do not ask me whose dreams.

In this universe, according to Seeker doctrine, we have each agreed to live in this illusory world and pretend it is real. Then to make the whole thing even more incredible we have agreed to forget that we ever agreed to play this game in the first place!

For The Seekers it is like we are all staring at the same movie screen believing it to be life in its entirety. As if we decided to disremember everything else in the world except for what we see up on the screen.

So having forgotten we are merely watching a movie we live out our lives paying off the obligations and debts we owe from previous lives which, by the rules of the game, we have also forgotten. At the same time other individuals are paying off debts and obligations to us from lives they do not remember either. While all of this is happening nobody seems to be consciously aware of any of it!

No wonder everyone looks at you as if you were crazy when you offer even the thinnest glimpse of the cosmos as seen through the eyes of The Seekers For Truth.

“Tell me that again? I have lived many lifetimes and you have lived many lifetimes but neither of us remembers any of them? And during some of those lifetimes I have done things to you that make you do things to me and neither of us remembers that either? And the main thing we are supposed to do while playing this game of pretend is to discover that we are playing the game?”

It is virtually impossible to comprehend the mechanics of the universe as seen through the eyes and spiritual teachings of The Seekers For Truth.

If you do not agree, then explain to me how an individual can have the freedom to respond to events whose outcomes are determined in advance? That is like being able to win a tennis match whose final score is already fixed against you.

“You must have faith,” The Bapucharya has said over and over. “There would be no reason to keep traveling up your Path of Seeking Truth if you already possessed the truth you are seeking. You are on the Path Of Seeking Truth specifically because this grand prize of all grand prizes has not yet been given to you.

“Stick your nose out, children, take a big whiff—ohmigoodness! Can you smell it? Of course you can. It is the scent of fresh cut grass, is it not! You do not need to see with your eyes or hold with your hands the fallen blades of grass to know they are all around you. Just the same you do not need to have this oh-so-elusive thing we call the truth in your hungry little grasp to know that it, too, is real.”

Tales Of The Book Part Eleven


The first thing one notices about rocks is they are essentially quiet creatures. Adverse to long discourses or extended bouts of conversation, they nevertheless are quite engaged in life. Constantly pondering the deepest and densest of life’s mysteries, thereby distracted to an apparent state of inertia, they are thought to be dull companions and highly unsuited to racquet sports or most other forms of physical activity.

Here at the International Rock Training Institute we have discovered, and proven, I believe, that rocks are far more capable and sentient than we humans generally believe. In fact, it’s the rocks’ very ability to conceal their considerable capabilities from the general population that underscores the scope of their hidden powers.

So, what to expect when you bring home one of these seemingly inanimate creatures as a pet?

Expect love. Lots of love. Pound for pound, there isn’t a more loving, open-hearted creature than a rock, though they can be fickle at times. Until recently it was thought rocks heated up in the sun because of the sun’s rays. After much research, we now know their rising temperatures are psycho-romantic reactions. Rocks tenderly exhibiting warm feelings for their cousin, the Sun. Similar to the way their temperatures will flare-up when they’re with their masters. Unfortunately, such displays of affection often go unnoticed, leading to a deep-seated fear of rejection and humiliation in most mature rocks.

As unfortunate as that may sound, this fear of rejection will prove an important tool in helping you train a rock of your own. A simple example will prove the point.

Let us pretend we are training a rock to keep us company while watching TV in the evenings. Right off, most of us would make the mistake of placing the rock on a nearby chair or perhaps on the TV itself.

Ask yourself, could you watch TV if you were sitting on top of the TV? Of course you couldn’t. And neither could a rock.

As for the chair, it demoralizes the intimacy-starved rock to be placed so far away from you. It derails the very trust and intimacy you were seeking to instill. Far better to place your rock on a nearby coffee table at the beginning of the training cycle. The idea being, of course, to gradually inch the rock closer to you on successive evenings. By tantalizing the trainee rock with your increasing proximity, you enflame its desire for closeness, and will soon find not only a docile rock sitting on your lap, but a companionable one as well.

The majority of rocks that visit the International Rock Training Institute come here for our “Good Companions” curriculum, which trains rocks for companionable relationships with all types of masters except toddlers, who need to be first trained not to eat rocks or stick them in their playmates’ eyes. We also offer a curriculum focused on “Security” for rocks being channeled into careers as Watchrocks or, possibly, projectiles.

Training a rock requires, well, rocklike patience. Much like human beings, rocks form impressions and psychological patterns in their early years that help shape their entire lives going forward. These impressionable “teen” rocks should be treated with great care and with great tolerance for their periodic mood swings and narcissistic bingeing. Should you discover you’re in possession of a teen rock rather than a mature one, don’t expect to win its trust anytime soon.

Unfortunately, we won’t have time this week to discuss “strays”, the wild, untamable rocks you find scattered most everywhere. Suffice it to say, many of the wild stories one hears about these highly independent rocks are true. They are unstable creatures to say the least. Unfriendly, sharply cunning and not very trustworthy. I would not want a stray rock living in my home, not even with my children fully grown and out of the house.

More about strays later on. For now, I’ll close this week’s “A Rock’s Throw” by inviting you, as always, to send me your questions about rocks and their proper training. Again, I must sternly request you do NOT send me the rocks themselves. And whoever threw that rock through the Institute’s lab window yesterday, I should warn you your rock has already conveyed your vital information to the police who are now on their way.

I forgot to mention, rocks are notoriously disloyal.

The above is the eponymous story from the collection, “How To Train A Rock” by Paul Steven Stone, available on For more information, go to HowToTrainARock. com, or the author’s site at

We’ll Always Have Paris

From the television:
“Tonight’s news begins with a Stone’s Throw exclusive. Intimate friends of hotel heiress Paris Hilton have confided that the talent-starved celebrity has agreed to marry Quaker Bob, longtime spokesperson and package icon for Quaker Oats cereal. The two met at a party at the Scientology Celebrity Center in Hollywood. Fans and celebrity watchers were taken by surprise since Ms. Hilton had vowed never to wed after her breakup with fiancé and Greek shipping magnate Paris Latsis…

“Yes, the two actually shared the same first name!

“Speaking of which, the irrepressible Ms. Hilton confided she broke off the engagement when she learned her fiancé expected her to change her name to his, which would have made her the second Paris Latsis on the celebrity register.

“’I come second to no one,’ she declared, sparking smirks and titters from members of the press corps who had obviously seen Ms. Hilton’s pirated sex tape…”

From the living room:
“Did you say something, dear?” I ask my wife Sylvia.

“I said they’re not going to ask about the ring. The guy gave Paris a 24 carat diamond engagement ring and they never asked if she gave it back.”

Looking at Sylvia with her spiky, imitation Brittany Spears hairdo, I think of how much I preferred her Jennifer Aniston look. “Remind me why you changed your hair?” I ask.

“You know how long it’s been since they cancelled Friends?” she replies curtly. “Besides, if it wasn’t good enough for Brad Pitt…”

From the television:
“Celebrity watchers will recall that Quaker Bob was once engaged to Madison Avenue kitchen phenom, Betty Crocker. There was never an official announcement from General Foods or the Quaker Oats Company but insiders say the engagement was nixed after Quaker Bob was seen holding hands in Las Vegas with fabled femme fatale, Elizabeth Taylor.

“Paris and Quaker Bob expect to marry next spring in Massachusetts, the only state that currently recognizes mixed marriages between celebrities and advertising icons.”

From the living room:
Sylvia’s mentioning Brad Pitt makes me think about his friend George Clooney who was in a movie I recently rented on Netflix about some guy who used to be on TV, Edward R. Murrow.

“Ever hear of someone named Edward R. Murrow?” I ask Sylvia.

“Sure,” she answers easily. “He was the host of Jeopardy before Alex Trebek.”

“You’re good,” I reply, smiling. “Real good.”

From the television:
“In other news, nobody could have been more surprised than Bernie Madoff, the Monster of Manhattan, when he received an unexpected visit from the ABC Extreme Makeover team. In an episode featuring Martha Stewart and her all-prison team of decorators, the former Wall Street Wizard’s prison cell was reportedly transformed from a basic green penal motif to something Ms. Stewart calls ‘Rainbow XCell.’

“As Ms. Stewart explained, ’I was particularly concerned with Bernie’s gray facial coloring, which could easily create a solemn, almost burdensome, mood in this otherwise airy eight by seven foot cell. So my team and I literally splashed color everywhere, festooning rainbow hues across lace-trimmed curtains, bedclothes, pillow cushions, even a knitted tea cozy handed down from Bernie’s maternal aunt. And then, for the final touch, we painted the cell’s solid steel bars in the full spectrum of rainbow colors—very sexy and polychromatic! By the end of the show, I think you’ll agree, we managed to bring a fruity and sensuous air of allure to an otherwise pedestrian cell unit. According to a very pleased Bernie, it’s almost as welcoming as his penthouse. But you can read all about it in my next issue of Prison Decorating Monthly.’”

From the living room:
“You know,” Sylvia says, pushing the mute button, “I’m starting to think the whole thing was a railroad job. A complete miscarriage of justice. Now that I’ve seen the real person on television a few times, I can tell Bernie Madoff is not as bad as everyone said. Probably just another victim of bad press and a lousy publicity agent. Like what’s his name, that governor from Illinois…?”

“You’re right,” I add, “and did you read in People Magazine about Bernie’s charity work, and him becoming a born-again Talmudist? Just shows you can’t believe everything you read in the papers.

“Could you turn up the sound, sweetheart.”

From the television:
“On a more serious note, U2 Rocker, Bono, back from a fact finding mission to Africa, met behind closed doors with Sting, Paul Simon, Donald Trump, Chelsea Clinton and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to begin developing a plan to halt the worldwide spread of AIDS. No word yet on the scope of the plan or whether it would roll out in conjunction with U2’s planned world tour next summer. When asked why Elizabeth Taylor, who heads her own private AIDS foundation, wasn’t invited to attend the conference, unnamed sources suggested her presence was vetoed by unforgiving friends of a still heartbroken Betty Crocker.

“For our final story, we turn to Stockholm, Sweden, where the winners of this year’s Nobel Prizes were just announced. We regret to report there wasn’t a single personality you would recognize among the prizewinners.”

From the living room:
“I’ll bet the Nobel Prize TV ratings really suck this year,” Sylvia says knowingly.

“You’re so right,” I agree. “If they were smart, they’d give at least one of those awards to someone famous.”

“Paris Hilton, maybe,” Sylvia suggests. “Or Brittany Spears, if she’s out of rehab.”

“You’re good,” I reply, smiling. “Real good.”

“We’ll Always Have Paris” is from my soon-to-be-published “How To Train A Rock”, a collection of short insights and fiction flights. Watch this blog for the publication announcement, probably next month.

Or So It Seems—The Novel

Or So It Seems a novel by Paul Steven Stone
Part odyssey, part oddball adventure, “Or So It Seems” offers a breathtaking look at one man’s spiritual journey.
A growing legion of fans are applauding “Or So It Seems”, taking it to their hearts like earlier generations embraced “Catcher In The Rye” and “Catch-22”. In Paul Peterson, the novel’s narrator, we are given a comically tragic hero beset by divorce, single parenthood and the difficulties of living a simple life in a complex universe. It’s Peterson’s search for answers to the mysteries of his life that powers and accelerates this fantastic adventure.
Never before has a novel so effortlessly—and humorously—synthesized Eastern philosophy into a palatable feast for the Western mind.
To learn more about this unique novel, visit