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Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings
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Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,182 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Readers were instantly beguiled by Rob Brezsny's new approach to the humble horoscope when his "Free Will Astrology" column first appeared in 1996. Instead of the generic, one-size-fits-all style of similar columns, Brezsny used witty parables, tender rants, cultural riffs, pagan wisdom, and lively rituals in his playfully positive readings. He brings that same sensibility ...more
Paperback, Revised & Expanded, 388 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by North Atlantic Books (first published December 31st 1999)
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 ·  1,182 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Jan 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone mellow or totally uptight :P
Shelves: life
Ok, so in a nutshell, this book is the reason that I know my current girlfriend, her daughter, several other good friends, and why I always have a particularly happy picture in my head when I get frustrated (at least once I remember to remember the picture :).

That said, none of that had to do with reading the book, but it sure set the bar high. When I finally got to actually READ it, I found it to be a delightful and fun combination of ideas and activities that I still play with regularly, two
I mean the following statement with the utmost respect for Rob Brezny, of whom I am big fan. This book belongs in the unnamed genre that resides somewhere between sacred oracle text and toilet reading. I have, indeed, swapped out the old worn psychic dictionary and swapped in this text. Ok, I didn't really read this entire book from front to back, but I don't think it's designed to be read so linearly. I think this book gets 3.5-4 stars, pending on how cynical I feel at the moment. ...more
Sep 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I have very mixed feelings about this. It's a monster, could use a redesign, and might be better off as a series of small books. There's just so much going on. Brezsny's language sometimes gets annoying and hokey, trying too hard to be zany and "outside the box." I do not end up with the impression that he's someone I'd want to spend much time with. Sometimes you don't want to talk about a paradigm, you know? But overall, I believe the world needs this book. Its heart is smack in the right place ...more
Oct 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Everyone will like this book. Honest. Perfect gift book. It's got stuff for any type of person. Mystics, scientists, punk teenagers, conservative grandfathers, recovering cynics, Pollyannas, and all the rest of us, struggling to feel like life is GOOD. It's filled with GOOD. Brezsny shows you the good is under your nose.

This book doesn't allow you to hold onto any limiting old ways of being. So even when I am trying to be self-indulgently depressed, stubbornly kicking and screaming against his p
Marian la Contrarian
Sep 23, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: growth
As I described it to one friend, this book is Dr. Seuss meets Eckhart Tolle. It is a romping, joyful celebration designed to shake you out of your complacent, semi-sardonic response to life. Brezsny hitches outrageous vocabularic flamboyance to the cause of liberating people from their soul-defeating perspectives, offering in their place the madcap vitality of a child's openness to imaginative possibilities that have not been foreclosed on by the safe stance of satire. Yet the work's intent is n ...more
Jun 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book to read snippets of before bed at night. I love his horoscopes and this is sort of an epic version of those. Overall his worldview (that the world isn't as evil/scary as we think) isn't a bad one to absorb. Some of it is a little loopy, but some of his writing is viscerally poetic (Tom Robbins wrote a blurb on the back of the book and I can see the style similarity.) ...more
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just received this must weigh in at 5 pounds...but I am already head over heels excited about what it holds for us artist looks to be a marvelous playground for adding a layer of refreshed, deepened, wild and wooly imaginings to the ways in which we move through the world.
Jan 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Billed as the antidote to paranoia, this book is a collection of stories and facts designed to make one feel good about life. The premise is to accept that Universe can be conspiring to give us everything we desire, provided that we believe in ourselves. It is full of introspective musings and mental exercises designed to uplift. As anyone who reads Rob Brezsny’s astrology column can imagine, this book is nothing like the usual self-help books. It’s loaded with pithy statements, expansive quotat ...more
Mikey T
Dec 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have no idea where to start with a review of this book. I can only say for sure that it is the most influential book I've read all year, possibly longer. For me, this book serves as a wellspring of inspiration. This book stokes my vital fire, fanning the flames of creativity.
Thank you, Rob, for putting this out there.
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
awesome, inspiring, non-linear, fun......I've been in the spirituality/self-help business for YEARS thought I'd read it's on the list of the books that have changed my life. ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just what you need to set your imagination free. Brezsny will push you to think outside the box you think in- when you think you are thinking outside of the box.
Reese Lightning
Burning Man in book form, which is to say not my cup of tea. I'm all for positivity and light and goodness, but I found this guy annoying about it. I was really into his horoscopes when I was a teenager, but... I was a teenager; I was into plenty of dippy shit. Every asshole with a messiah complex looks like a wise man to those who want to see one. I could just as easily see Charles Manson having written this. ...more
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three cheers for the mystic Trickster, Rob Brezsny. The world is a better place with him in it. This is a spiritual text of sorts - for those who need to remember that the world is a magical, beautiful, mystical place and for those who know it already. It's filled with invitations to shake things up, reach out and connect in new ways to your fellow human beings, bring ritual back into your life, and giggle as much as possible. He suggests using the book as a kind of divination tool - when you fe ...more
Juliette Morris Williams
My copy is on my desk at work, for easy reference/flipping through. So it's going into the 'read' pile, but it's constantly being read. A great book to have on hand when you're experiencing life changes, emotional turmoil, a tough day at work, writer's block, other words, a great book to have on hand. ...more
R. J.
May 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rob speaks to me in my own language. Where it has been enlightening to some, it is refreshing to feel that one can celebrate the habits of believing the universe prefers to deliver the goods to everyone. This goes for cynics and optimists alike. Any page is the right page to start reading.
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
LOVE this book! Rob Brezsny is an amazing writer with a wonderful perspective on life. It is one of those books where you can pick it up, turn to any page, read for a couple minutes, realize just how lucky/blessed you are, and then try to be a better person. Highly suggest!
Aug 10, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far i love it....sounds insane like me. Still have to allow for paranoia to work itself out but fundamentally i like the idea of having the desire to effect a constant state of pronoia. More to follow
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got hooked reading Rob Brezny's weekly horoscopes in The Willamette Week in Portland OR, wise humorous, and irreverent. What a creative way to be reminded of the expansiveness of the imagination. ...more
Chambers Stevens
Lord...where do I even start.
Okay...the book starts with a basic premise.
What if there are forces out there that want to do you good?
Susan Marie
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that one never stops reading. Supreme existential thought but light enough for everyone.
Jul 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Very unusual book with lots of little optimistic anecdotes and exercises.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost any quote I have in my quote bible is in this book. I love this man, his playfulness, his imagination, his demand that optimism be given more respect. He has compiled one of the most amazing book of quotes, facts and mysteries (he called them mirabilia= events that inspire wonder, marvelous phenomena, small miracles.) Although thinking outside the box and letting fun and humor permeate his delivery, he is serious, and probably one of the smartest men on the planet. I related less to his o ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gosh, how does one review a book like Pronoia. It is, simultaneously, a self-help book and a parody of self-help books. It's devastatingly funny and deeply insightful. It's an unusual journey into what makes happiness, happiness. It made me think and giggle and swear.

I read this book the first time relatively recently, and I've since bought a number of copies for friends. It's... Deeply mundane and extremely profound all at once. And I loved every moment of it.

Especially, I love that you can p
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My love affair with cynicism ended recently, so I spent the better(worse) part of the year thumbing through this hefty text searching for new neural pathways to fall in love with. There is definitely something on every page to at least make you rethink any of your current existential strongholds. My takeaway overall, the synthesis of these 400 pages, is that imagination is the only thing we have to combat an unpleasant reality, so why not imagine amazing things happening and then find the courag ...more
Dawn K
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are days when you just want a way to ponder a life-niggle with a fresh set of eyes.
Rob Brezny offers a gazillion refreshing takes with Pronoia.
Take it with a grain of salt, a vitamin for your creative soul or a newly discovered truth tab.
It matters not. This book has heft in size and in its boredom busting, perspective-wrangling abilities.

Reading it in bitesized pieces works well although randomly flipping to this page or that is an adventure all its own. There's no reason you must own
Pax Bennett
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uplifting
This book maybe isn't something you have to read cover to cover.... I did though, and now it's my oracle. When I need to remember that life is good, miracles happen (and I am one) and everything will keep moving for the better, I flip to any page of this and dive into a state of joy. ...I also color in the pages when I'm thinking hard on something or just listening to music. This book is soul food. ...more
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow I started this book more than 2 years ago (although I really dug into it only this April) it is hard to believe I am finished!
What a read! Talk about Divine Wow! I am so grateful that this book fell into my hands. I’ve been converted! Call me a total Pronoiac! The universe truly is conspiring to shower all beings in happiness. Let’s embrace this moment and celebrate.
Although I’m finished reading this book I truly doubt my journey with it will ever be complete.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-the-soul
This book is kind of insane — it’s all over the place. Any given page has dozens of quotes. But it’s nice when you’re having a bad day and just want to flip to a random page and feel motivated. As a reformed pessimist, I always thought positivity was a bit delusional and if you feel that way too, this is THE book for you. Positivity may in fact be delusional but it is more useful belief system to you than pessimism.
Daeryl Holzer
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a big fat book filled with imaginative and well-written snippets of goodness! A great way to start your day, before you get inundated with the bad news and fear that circulates so frequently on social media. Rob Brezsny has a remarkable way with words and gives the reader an attitudinal twist to living in this crazy world of ours.
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