“Love just doesn’t happen. It’s not like a weed. It doesn’t grow by itself with no tending…” – Bill Murphy

It took a lot of cajoling. But the spotlight was finally turned on The Only Love Project’s founder as he was asked the same set of questions he routinely puts to others. What follows is the phone conversation Bill Murphy had with Saij MW (Ambassador of Unconditional Love, Tennessee) on September 3, 2014. Thank you, Saij, for your time and fleet-fingered transcribing talent!

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

IMG_8408BM: Oh, I like how you put so much inflection into that question. It makes it sound like it’s a really good question [laughs].

Factually speaking, you can say I am a husband, a brother, a friend, a cat owner (or maybe the cat owns me…I don’t know). But, really, the most important thing I would like others to know about me is that I am somebody who cares and that I’d be by their side if they needed me. The factual things I began with (husband, brother, friend, etc.) are really pretty much in common with a lot of people. Such descriptors don’t set me apart from anybody. And, in fact, I am not really anybody special. But what I do strive to do is to be available to people who need help. So that’s what I’d like others to know about me: that I am there and that I care.

SMW: Well, that always comes across from my experience.

BM: Thank you.

SMW: Would you consider yourself a spiritual person?

LarrySelfPortrait2-copy copyBM: Absolutely, for a number of reasons. Some of it would be related to how I was brought up. Back when I was maybe 10 – 9, 10, 11, something like that – my mother thought it would be good for us to have some sort of religion in the house, and she wanted to pick a really old one to make sure it was authentic. [laughs]

So it was a toss-up between Judaism and Catholicism. She figured those were the two oldest Biblical sort-of religions. And for whatever reason she picked Catholicism. I don’t know what would have happened if she would have picked Judaism. I don’t even know if you can swing that. Well, Sammy Davis, Jr. did, I guess.

So for awhile I was raised Catholic. I went to Catholic Sunday school. I may have even done the Confirmation thing. I don’t remember. It was a long time ago. After that I was done. (And I don’t even know if my brothers went through that.) I was nothing for quite awhile, sort of agnostic or atheist. Probably in my mid- to late-twenties I discovered Protestant Christianity (especially the writings of the late Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Josh McDowell, John W. Whitehead, and Cal Thomas) and studied that for a few years. It answered a lot of questions, especially Continue reading

“Love can open doors, knock down walls, penetrate the enemy, feed the hungry, heal the sick” – Louis St. August

Louis M3

On December 13, 2013, the Only Love Project’s Bill Murphy (BM) called Louis St. August (LSA), vocalist for the legendary Boston-area melodic-rock band MASS.

The transcript of our conversation is printed below. Enjoy.

And thanks again, Louis!

LSA: Hello?

BM: Is this Louis?

LSA: Yes, it is.

BM: Louis, this is Bill Murphy calling.

LSA: Hey Bill, how are you?

BM: Doing great. How are you?

LSA: I’m good, thanks. How is it over there in, where are you living – Ohio?

BM: Michigan, Grand Rapids.

LSA: Michigan, Michigan.

BM: Yep.

LSA: So you must be experiencing the cold weather as we are here in Boston.

BM: [laughs] I don’t know what you’ve had in Boston, but I know what we’ve had throughout the Midwest here. It hasn’t been pretty. You guys having the same kind of crappy weather?

LSA: We are. It’s been little flurries, it’s been very cold, in the 20s, and we’re expecting a little snowstorm tomorrow, 8-10 inches, or 8-12 they’re predicting.

BM: Wow.

LSA: Yeah, everybody’s going to run out to the stores and buy that milk and bread because the end of the world is coming. [laughs]

Louis DoorwayBM: [laughs] Well, I appreciate your time tonight. I’ve been a fan for well over two decades, since the mid ‘80s.

LSA: Thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, we’ve chatted quite a bit on Facebook, and if I recall maybe back in MySpace days.

BM: Yes. Yep.

LSA: I think, if I remember correctly. I try to remember everybody, but it’s kinda hard.

BM: [laughs] Well, I appreciate it. I approached you for an interview for The Only Love Project because of your posts on Facebook. Everything about you seems so positive. Same for your band. So, I thought you’d be a great candidate to share that with people.

LSA: Thank you.

BM: The first question is, Briefly tell us about your background. What would you like others to know about you?

LSA: Well, I guess this: Continue reading

De-Splicing Brundlefly

We’re sometimes asked where The Only Love Project came from. The answer is right under everyone’s nose: Facebook.

The Project was born a little over a year ago because of two things:

1. Contemplating a simple phrase from the Dhammapada: “Only love dispels hate,” wondering what it means, how it works, etc., and

2. Watching the anger, divisiveness, bitterness, and sadness on Facebook — about every subject, 24/7.

It doesn’t matter what issue it is, someone inevitably appears with a different point of view. And that’s okay. Differences make life interesting. Imagine everyone eating the same food, reading the same books, watching the same movies, mowing their lawns on the same day, in the same way. That’s not society; that’s the plot of The Stepford Wives.

Sadly, thanks in large part to the Internet, everyone has become firmly entrenched in points of view. So much so that their identity has become their direction.

Their identity has become their direction.

brundleflyIn other words, they and their cause have merged, sort of like Brundlefly in the horror movie The Fly. When scientist Seth Brundle accidentally merged his DNA with a common housefly, the two became one — with disastrous results.

Same thing is happening today — only Continue reading

“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

The Mission Field of Love

What color is love?

What is its gender?

Does it have an age?

Does it have a political affiliation?

Does it even have to be reserved for human beings?

Love can be bestowed upon everyone, or upon any living creature. For example, if you don’t get out much, and don’t know anyone, but you have a dog or cat, you be love for your four-legged companion.

That’s a no-brainer for most people. Especially people with pets. But here’s one that isn’t so obvious: the Internet.

The Internet is — to use a Christian term — a mission field that stretches, literally, around the world.

One way to be love is to not get embroiled in squabbles online. Don’t ramp up arguments to the point where Facebook friends react by blocking/banning other Facebook friends.

How do you do that? By not taking sides. By not drawing a line in the sand that says, in effect, “THIS is what I know to be true. YOUR way is wrong.” Doing that immediately bifurcates reality. It creates an us and them. My way, or your way. That’s where animosity begins.

You’ve seen it. The anger. The heated arguments in Facebook posts. There are some nasty people — who may not even be truly nasty offline, in person — who are trying so hard to make their ideological points that they lose the ability to be kind. It exists on both sides of the political aisle, too. I’ve seen “Liberals” who are extremely angry and bitter against those who don’t share their views. Likewise, I’ve seen “Conservatives” who are dead-sure those on the other side of the aisle are hastening America’s demise. The chasm between them seems too vast to be bridged.

Maybe it is. But it’s worth a try to bridge it. And one way to accomplish that is to keep only-love mind.

That means to be mindful of what you say and do in your world, where you are.

So if, where you are, is sitting in front of a computer, or standing in line with your smartphone in hand, you can practice only-love mind by keeping your fingers from typing words that divide, rather than unite.