St Francis and the Tattooist

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“Author, artist, connoisseur, madman, thug, pirate, villain, Buddha, sage, Satan, gypsy and most solid of brothers” so said Johnny Depp about Jonathan Shaw. For those that don’t know Shaw, he’s a famed New York tattooist and mythic figure in underground circles and is profiled in the excellent Huck magazine. Here are some of his words of wisdom:

“Fear is the insidious mental parasite, which keeps us from the attainment of our highest purpose as beings.”

“Human society, as we know it in today’s world, is largely a construct of an insidious, sophisticated control system, a sort of mean-spirited mental prison, designed to keep sheep in line, living in slavery to ‘the system’ ”

[On advice to his younger self]: “Study the Saint Francis Prayer as a model of successful living”

So what better way to end, then to quote the full prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

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