YOU WILL FIRST NEED A healthy interest in the way people interpret the inexplicable — their beliefs, theories, conspiracies, religions, philosophies, ideologies and desperate explanations of What’s Behind It All. (N.B. This works better if you’re a non-dogmatic critical thinker who’s more interested in what others have to say than in proving them “right” or “wrong.”)
2. Peruse the offerings and wonder whether they’re serious.
3. Obtain and address several postcards, one per organization. Write on each one, “I am interested in your work. Please send me more information.” (You may want to use a PO box instead of your real address, depending on who you’re contacting.)
4. Enjoy the results. These include expanded awareness of the pageantry of human thought, heightened sense of humor and the absurd, and a certain healthy doubt about your own beliefs, theories, conspiracies, religions, philosophies, ideologies and desperate explanations. (I’ve been doing this since 1988 and haven’t looked back. Well, once — but fortunately, they weren’t gaining.)