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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


Editor's 1-Minute Essay:




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dysfunctional marriage interprets union in terms of relationship through the children as opposed to personal relationship with each other


Editor's note: I find Dr. Campbell here to be shockingly wise and insightful.



Dr. Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth: "...marriage is recognition of a spiritual identity. If we live a proper life, if our minds are on the right qualities regarding the person of the opposite sex, we will find our proper male or female counterpart. But if we are distracted by certain sensuous interests, we'll marry the wrong person. By marrying the right person, we reconstruct the image of ... God, and that's what marriage is...

"I've been amazed at the number of my friends who in their forties or fifties go apart. They have had a perfectly decent life together with the child, but they interpreted their union in terms of their relationship through the child [not] their own personal relationship to each other.

"Marriage is a relationship. When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you're sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship... You're no longer one alone; your identity is in a relationship. Marriage is not a simple love affair, it's an ordeal, and the ordeal is the sacrifice of ego to a relationship in which two have become one."




marriage as relationship through the child 

Ann Landers, as I recall, used the phrase, "the miserably married." The greater the misery, the more children tend to be worshipped. Women, especially, given their keen nurturing-and-caring instincts, will seek refuge from a loveless marriage by hiding in child-worship.

Volumes could be written on this aspect of "the games people play," how they attempt to wallpaper over, not only their dissatisfaction with an ill-matched mate but, the emptiness and quiet-panic deep within.

Our children are not our property. They do not belong to us, as such, but, temporarily, are on loan to us from God. Do not talk down to a child, do not play a pompous role as if this little person were an inferior; just because a parent might know more, for a short while, and is older does not speak to superiority. They will soon be growing up and will well remember the insolence; be sure of that.


  • Hasdai Ibn Shaprut, Jewish scholar: "Your son at five is your master, at ten your slave, at fifteen your double, and after that, your friend or foe, depending on his bringing up."


Respect the dignity of children, the divine image within, but do not worship them as mask and bromide for one's unresolved pain in life due to marrying the wrong person.




Editor's last word: