Category Archives: Spiritual

Tales Of The Book Part Fifteen


Something there is that loves balance and righteous redress. That tips the scales to measure out justice and knows no judgments other than the ones we declare for ourselves. Something there is that equates giving with the gifts we receive, and arrows sent into the darkness with barbs that come back and wound us without warning.

Something there is that deals out measure for measure as though they were cards placed thoughtfully in a solemn pack of Tarot. For each Fate dealt to another there is one that comes back to the dealer. For each smile offered to a stranger there is another that comes back as an unexpected offering.

Something there is that won’t allow me to denigrate another without denigrating myself. Or to devalue my efforts when I have given my all to the enterprise. Something there is that knows when laying down bricks of kindness and devotion to others I am building a home for my spirit that casts shadows on palaces and mansions.

Something there is that knows true wealth accumulates in the heart and is the only capital I can give away yet never exhaust. Were I to gather all the riches of Rockefellers and Kings and Oil Barons and hold them locked with a miser’s love in the deepest vault, I would be the most impoverished of spirits walking the planet.

Something there is that won’t allow me to take away the rights of others without losing the ones I hold most dear. With each wall I erect to keep out those I fear, I carve out deeper levels to the prison within which I am held captive. How far from the sun I fall when I build a world to exclude those on whom the sun shines freely.

Something there is that lifts up and honors the gifts of life and love. That breaks through the darkness of a wounded spirit like tendrils of grass breaking through the deepest asphalt. Something there is that will ever rise above fear and the pitiful acts of frightened people and self-serving governments.

Something there is that knows the measure of a man or a woman and the gifts which, by their offering, they have chosen to receive. Something there is that tips the scales to measure out justice and knows no judgments other than the ones we declare for ourselves.

Something there is that lets us build a world for ourselves as we would build a world for others.

Something there is that is writing this now.

Something there is that is reading this now, as well.

From “How To Train A Rock” by Paul Steven Stone, ©2009 Paul Steven Stone

With God On My Side

“Now I lay me down to sleep . . .” I mumbled.

It was bedtime and here I was, another mildly fatigued, upwardly mobile, young professional praying against the side of his bed, fetchingly arrayed in wine-red pajamas and white deerskin slippers. “I pray the Lord my soul to keep. . .” etc., etc. etc.

It was the usual last-thing-before-I-sleep bedtime prayer and I was positioning myself to make a few minor requests.

“. . . I wanted to thank you for all the good stuff in my life,” I offered God, “…especially for last month’s 7.6 percent annualized return on my investments. I still can’t believe it, given how the economy is still struggling.”

Now came the subtle shift . . .

“But, you know . . . there’s one itsy-bitsy area where I could use a little more help: my career. More specifically, I could use a little boost in the acceleration, if you know what I mean . . . ”

Next thing that happened was quite noteworthy, because God Himself interrupted me to reply, “No I don’t know what you mean, Paul Steven! I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. Boost in the acceleration! Who prays to God for a boost in the acceleration? Please make your request again, but this time speak more plainly.”

Well, yes, that was strange. God doesn’t, as a rule, talk to me when I talk to Him. As far as I can remember, this was the first time and it made me uncomfortable. Put yourself in my place: I could accidentally say the wrong thing to God and whoof!, before I knew it, I’d be some lower-order slave scrubbing porta-potties in Purgatory.

God’s voice was thin, and whiny—sort of like Pee Wee Herman’s—rising disembodied from the black grilled heating register on my bedroom floor. Most times, warm air came up through the grill; but this night it was the Voice Of God.

I was a little embarrassed about being more explicit with my prayer, but I didn’t have much choice.

“To be blunt,” I said, whispering tightly into prayer-clasped hands, “you know how I’m competing with Cindy Washburn for the Creative Director’s job, and how she’s done such balls-out work on the Kritter Litter ad account . . . ?

“Yes . . . ?” God replied. “And so . . . ?”

Still whispering, I asked, through awkward pauses, “Well, I’d like you . . . you know . . . to do something . . . to Cindy . . . so she doesn’t win the CD gig. Something small, not too damaging. Nothing like a car accident or a Nancy Kerrigan, but maybe she could suddenly develop a horrible rash, or maybe sales of Kritter Litter could fall through the floor . . . something like that. (Listen to me telling you your job!) is that specific enough?”

“Perfectly!” God answered with brisk efficiency. “I’d be happy to cover Cindy in a really repulsive, red rash but unfortunately you have too many reality-altering prayers already in process. I’m not sure I can add another one to the list until we clean up some of the others.”

“What others?” I asked, surprised.

“What others!?!” God exclaimed. “Where do I start? How about with Angela Firehouse? Surely you haven’t forgotten Angela Firehouse with whom you fell in love, and at whom you prayed me direct the charms of cupid’s arrows on your behalf. You remember now?”

“Vaguely,” I softly replied.

“You no doubt recall she is currently the wife of Edgar Firehouse, and that both the Firehouses currently live in the house next door to yours.”

“I know where they live.”

“Good Heavens, Paul Steven,” God added gleefully, “she’s your neighbor’s wife!”

“I’m a happily married man,” I countered. “I wouldn’t have done anything wrong had you given me the chance, which you didn’t, thanks a lot!”

“Hey, I tried,” God snapped back. “The lady wasn’t interested. She must have been praying for the strength to resist your charms. Besides, it’s a Universal Law that everyone gets what they deserve. You, she, even those thousands of terrorists you prayed for me to slaughter, which I’m still working on (just so you know). It’s not easy destroying entire subsets of the population and, besides, I never pretended to be good with details . . .”

That’s interesting! God talking to me like some insurance salesman confronting the enormity of his ignorance.

God continued, almost petulantly, “Now I have to add in the body rash you want inflicted on Cindy Washburn . . .”

“Will you do it for me?” I asked eagerly.

“I told you, everybody gets what they deserve,” God said with a peevish snort. “If Cindy deserves a rash, she’ll get the rash she deserves. Get it?”

“You’re a strange kind of God,” I offer. “Not like the God they taught me about in Sunday School. Don’t take this personally, but you seem rather shallow and petty-minded. Whoever heard of God being so easily bored and so quick to get angry? Instead of helping me resist my weaker nature, You seem happy to pander to its weaknesses.

“Just think about it!” I exclaimed. “I prayed for you to kill off thousands of Islamist extremists and you never once mentioned a thing to me about loving my neighbor or about how wrong it would be to take a human life. And whenever I pray for personal gain at someone’s else expense, You jump right to it, and never point out my selfishness. You’re a strange God, that’s all I’m saying.”

“Hey, Paul Steven,” the Voice replied, coming up through the vent. “I thought you’d figure it out by now . . .”

“Yes . . . ?”

“Everybody gets the God they deserve.”

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