“Spirituality, just like love, is the human base station” – Doug “Ten” Rose

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 9.18.30 PMThe Only Love Project’s Bill Murphy (BM) conducted this interview with Doug Ten Rose (DTR) via Skype on April 24, 2013. Many thanks to Mr. Rose for his time, wisdom, and delightful sense of humor.

BM: Briefly tell us your background. What would you like others to know about you?

DTR: I was born a poor black child. Oh no, wait. That’s Steve Martin. That’s not me. [laughs] It’s not about me, you know, it’s about the project, and there’s a much bigger picture. But I guess within the context of this, we’re going to have to go into it a little bit. It’s pretty much all described in the Fearless Puppy book [Fearless Puppy On American Road]. Or at least the first 40 or 50 years are. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, grew up in the Coney Island area, and started selling drugs at an early age. Decided when I was in my mid-teens that this was not going to go very far. [laughs]. There was all kinds of stuff to deal with. Besides the obvious, which is that the drugs can kill you, you’ve got the ripoffs, and especially in a big city like New York, you’ve got the mafia wanting to deal on the same corner, so there’s only a short time you can be there, and you have to dodge them. Then of course there are the legal complications and the police. And then of course you’re acting like a jackass because you’re whacked out all the time.

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 1.09.41 PMSo anyways, the thing to do it seemed was to get outta there pretty quick, and so I did. Started hitchhiking and it worked out so well that I just kept going. Now of course, part of what’s responsible for that was that era in history. Because in the mid to late ‘60s, every Volkswagon van was a guaranteed ride, people would stop and pick you up, it was a rollin’ party. Since things have changed so much over the past 40 years, I don’t think anybody could do that kind of lifestyle now. It would be intensely more difficult to do. People just aren’t as trusting, they’re not as friendly in a lot of ways, and so it probably wouldn’t work as well now. But at the time we lived more for the love and happiness, and the book Fearless Puppy is about that time.

All the profits from book sales are going to fund Continue reading

Inspiration

There can be no excuse for us if we do not embrace the path of love.

There have many who have gone before us, who have left behind their wisdom for us to ponder.

“Mankind has to get out of violence only through non-violence. Hatred can be overcome only by love. Counter-hatred only increases the surface as well as the depth of hatred.”

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I’ve decided that I’m going to do battle for my philosophy. You ought to believe something in life, believe that thing so fervently that you will stand up with it till the end of your days. I can’t make myself believe that God wants me to hate. I’m tired of violence. And I’m not going to let my oppressor dictate to me what method I must use. We have a power, power that can’t be found in Molotov cocktails, but we do have a power. Power that cannot be found in bullets and guns, but we have a power. It is a power as old as the insights of Jesus of Nazareth and as modern as the techniques of Mahatma Gandhi.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“From whence comes love, where does it have its origin and its source; where is the place, its stronghold, from which it proceeds? Certainly this place is hidden or is in that which is hidden. There is a place in a human being’s most inward depths; from this place proceeds the life of love.”

- Søren Kierkegaard

“Let us not use bombs and guns to overcome the world. Let us use love and compassion. Peace begins with a smile. Smile five times a day at someone you don’t really want to smile at at all. Do it for peace. Let us radiate the peace of God and so light His light and extinguish in the world and in the hearts of all men all hatred and love for power.”

- Mother Teresa

Love

Lately, I’ve struggled with this question:

How does “only love dispels hate” work in the face of mortal danger?

This question has become like a mantra to me. It occupies much of my waking moments, and several of my conversations. It haunts me.

What prompted my consternation is the recent spate of violence in the Middle East and the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya. How would “only love dispels hate” have prevented that tragedy, and stemmed the wave of terrorism?

This has weighed on me heavily.

Knowing my spiritual and emotional turmoil, a wise friend sent me this cartoon:

I like that. And it immediately helped soothe my troubled thoughts.

But it did not totally answer my question because Continue reading