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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


 

What's New

 


"We trespassed, field to field; you, glad of my arms each time a fence challenged us; I, always held you longer than it took to help you over." Walter Benton, This Is My Beloved

 

Here are the latest additions to Word Gems

 

 

every obsession constitutes a refusal or inability to consciously address the pain in one’s deeper being

Every addiction, every fixation, every out-of-balance craving – whether it be drugs or alcohol, work or shopping, eating or indolence, religion or charitable works, sex or entertainment – becomes an avenue to cover up the pain in one’s hidden person. None of these palliatives reach to the core issue.

All such attractions, in the end, become fatal attractions. Not even the pursuit of aesthetics, of beauty, of the fine arts, will fill the hole in one’s heart. This is why historian Paul Johnson asserted that “art is not enough.” He was speaking of Hemingway, whose inner demons eventually led the great writer to suicide. Art is not enough because nothing is enough, there is no royal road to inner peace, other than accessing one’s true self.

And this is why apparent love relationships and marriages break down so quickly. In the aftermath, people might remain together but only in a dazed condition of “what happened to the thrilling love?” which, as the Beatles wrote and sang, “has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight.” John-and-Mary heady romance has no hope of surviving because they entered into their compact in order to neutralize the pain already existing in their lives. The relationship, fundamentally, did not cause the pain – although some relationships do a very good job in this area, too; but, instead, their union merely brought out the pain lurking below, temporarily anesthetized by the thrill of “getting married.”

Honestly and openly addressing the pain in one’s spirit is a major part of our task in this world. See more discussion in the “Surrender and Acceptance” article.

 

 

 

Weaponized Art: Part II 

30 Masterpieces Of The Ancient World

 

 

Professor Diana K. McDonald is an art historian on the faculty of Boston College. She has spent her life investigating primeval art – even from age 6, she jokes, with a trip to Mexico’s art treasures, courtesy of her parents. Dr. McDonald has critically examined ancient artwork in the museums and archeological sites of more than 40 countries.

In the following discussion, I offer my observations concerning the principle features of ancient art – what it meant to the people of long ago, its purpose, how it impacted the development of civilization, and its effect on the evolution of the human spirit.

READ MORE

 

 

 

the difference between mere talent and genius

 

Editor's note: I've prepared a lengthy review of Harman and Rheingold's seminal creativity research:

 

 

"When Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, he included both the major and minor prophets. They can be told apart because, though there are cherubim at the ears of all, only the major prophets are listening. Here, exactly stated, is the difference between genius and talent."

Isaiah listening

 

READ MORE at the "Editor's Essay on Creativity"

 

 

 

open a channel

“Surrender and acceptance,” as the mystics and spiritual teachers use these terms, is not about passivity or weakness, not about giving up, giving in, or checking out. It’s about keeping one's mind and spirit unfettered and teachable. It’s about maintaining an “open channel” so that Universal Intelligence can lead and guide us into all truth.

 

"open a channel"

 

READ MORE under the new icon on the homepage, "Surrender & Acceptance"

 

 

 

Schopenhauer and the hero, risking one's life for another at the sudden realization of oneness with all  

 


from the book, “The Power Of Myth,”
a discussion with Dr. Joseph Campbell 

 

Campbell: There is a magnificent essay by Schopenhauer in which he asks, how is it that a human being can so participate in the peril or pain of another that, without thought, spontaneously, he sacrifices his own life to the other? How can it happen that what we normally think of as the first law of nature and self-preservation is suddenly dissolved?

 

READ MORE on the “service and philanthropy” page

 

 

on a risk-adjusted basis, Harry Browne's portfolio strategy might be the best – safest, an emphasis on capital preservation, yet with a long record of consistent, good returns

 

Word Gems is a collection of best discoveries, the gold-nuggets of my research of over 50 years. And here's my favorite all-weather investment strategy.

Harry Browne was one of the great financial advisors of the twentieth century. He created what he called his “permanent portfolio” which, in my opinion, offers the best prospect of meaningful, reliable returns, but with a focus on safety and capital preservation. It's designed to do well in good times and bad.

Most investment strategies are built on the principle, "buy something and pray it goes up." But this is different.

READ MORE on the "Wealth" page.

 

 

 

Vincent Van Gogh:
“When facing a flat landscape,
I see nothing but eternity.
Am I the only one to see it?”

 

 

Editor’s note: I have written another chapter for my new book.

READ MORE

 

 

 
 

 

Editor's Essay: What Men Really Want

 

 

 

what will we write about when there are no threats and the world no longer needs saving

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
Dr. Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) and Dr. Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley)

 

Editor’s note: The great writers assert that a “story” is defined by some form of problem-cause-solution. But what will happen in Summerland, a perfect society, where there are no threats, no invasions, no wars, nothing to mar and jar? Will there still be such a thing as writing or storytelling?

Kairissi. We spoke of Jack and Cathy in “the 500” writing, but they can help us again to think about the author’s question.

Elenchus. In our world, people like Jack and Cathy work to thwart the efforts of those who would destroy civilization. But will Jack and Cathy be out of business in Summerland?

READ MORE on the "writing" page

 

 

Educational programs for children in Summerland reflect highest-level pedagogical philosophy, far superseding common fare of the Earth.

An elementary school teacher in Summerland designs a day’s lesson around a single blade of grass.

Why would a teacher do this? The answer relates to a “circle of learning,” a “circle of knowledge.” The origin of the word “encyclopedia” captures this sense. We can see the “circle” in this word. What does this mean? It means that all knowledge is connected, and a good teacher can use any point of knowledge – a blade of grass, for example – as a starting point which might lead to insights concerning, math, physics, chemistry, biology, literature, art, and anything else you might mention.

READ MORE on the "Summerland" page.

 

 

 

"Epicycles" of Darwinism
 

not everything that's logical or
mathematically consistent is true or accurately represents reality

 

The planets did not simply move flat-out ahead in their orbits around the Earth, Ptolemy postulated, but did loop-de-loops as they went along. These loopings, or epicycles, he suggested, were the cause of the "backwards motion” of the wanderers.

This solution satisfied nearly everyone. It worked. You could depend on it. It was now possible to make accurate predictions of the future positions of the planets. The mathematics all worked out wonderfully, which seemed to seal the authenticity.

There was one problem, however: none of it was true.

 

READ MORE on the "Evolution" page

 

 

The 500 Leslie Flint Tape-Recorded Messages from the Other Side

"I think I can safely say that I am the most tested medium this country has ever produced... I have been boxed up, tied up, sealed up, gagged, bound and held, and still the voices have come to speak their message of life eternal."  

READ MORE

 

 

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, the famous “Hungry Eyes” dance scene

 

What a knockout was Jennifer in her sparkling, racing, swiveling silver heels! These photos cannot begin to serve justice to the exquisite choreography of this enchanted couple.

READ MORE on the "Joy" page

 

 

weaponized art

British historian Kenneth Clark's Civilisation is a survey of history by reviewing its art. In chapter seven he examines the “visual exuberance” of sixteenth century Papal Rome, “the most grandiose piece of town planning ever attempted.”

What happened? How did this imperialistic, swooningly sensuous art and architecture come to be?

The Protestant heretics of Northern Europe had called into question Rome’s authority. However, instead of negotiating with and meeting the dissidents half-way, the Church doubled down on its absolutist ways, a response history calls the Counter-Reformation.

In effect, the Church’s position became: “You say that we’ve lost the early spirit of Christianity, our humble beginnings, with too much emphasis on materialism? Well then, we’ll show you materialism, with a degree of ornateness and extravagance, never before seen in history. In this way, we'll reassert our power and authority in the world.”

“Everything” in Bernini’s Papal Rome, says Clark, “is calculated to overwhelm” and intimidate.

 

READ MORE on the "Art" page

 

Also see Bill Maher's interview with Latin scholar Father Reginald Foster at the Vatican.

Maher: Does all of this opulence "look like anything, like anything, Jesus Christ had in mind? When you look at a giant palace like that, does it seem at odds with the message of the Founder?”

Foster: “Well, certainly. That’s obvious.”

 

 

If Jesus lived and taught among us today...

If Jesus lived and taught among us today, he would be branded as a rabid revolutionary, a threat to “good people” and stable society. He would be imprisoned, vilified, a target of fake-news; respectable leaders would line up to offer their outrage and speak against him; and if the paid-for mob got to him first, he would be bludgeoned to death in the streets.

But the greatest outcry of denunciation would come from elites within the Church. They would call him demon possessed, a castaway of God, a tool of Satan, as his teachings would contradict their “infallible doctrines.”

READ MORE at the bottom of the "Jesus" page

 

 

 

John-and-Mary romance as instinctual response

 Fiona Johnson, "The Girl In The Red Dress," The Matrix (1999)

 

Nikolaas "Niko" Tinbergen (1907 - 1988) was a Dutch biologist and is regarded as one of the founders of ethology, the study of animal behavior. His findings, much of which is reported in his seminal writing, “The Study of Instinct” (1951), would earn for him a Nobel Prize (1973).

A male English robin, in autonomic, stereotypical behavior, will ward off fellow males who venture into his territory. Tinbergen put this stimulus-response to the test by constructing two models: one was simply a tuft of feathers with a bright red stripe (on the left), with the other, a well-crafted and detailed robin but with no red breast (right). The territorial males ferociously attacked the nameless red tuft but gave a pass to the smart-looking mannequin robin.

READ MORE near the bottom of the "Desire" page

 

 

a new summary statement for the "reincarnation" article

 

Reincarnational doctrine, popular as it is, may be one of the greatest delusions in this world today. I devote a lengthy writing, carefully exploring its many erroneous facets, in 35 sub-articles.

The soul will “open its eyes” when it’s ready to, on its own timetable, and that's that. Its spiritual sightedness may come to the sinner before it comes to the saint.

And when it comes, ready or not, it will come in one blazing cosmic timeless moment of clarity.

READ MORE

 

 

“They laugh at me because I'm different. I laugh at them because they're all the same”The Joker

Heath Ledger as the Joker in "The Dark Knight" (2008)

 

Most people we meet every day, those in an unenlightened state, offer a modicum of civility because they know what’s good for them. They don't want retaliation or judgment. But, what if they didn’t care what’s good for them?

Director Christopher Nolan’s Joker masterfully portrays the utter shamelessness, the horrific basement-level of consciousness.

You can’t buy off The Joker. You can't negotiate with this terrorist. You can’t reason with him, explaining that, if he does such and such it will be better for him. He doesn’t care what’s better for him.

 

 

READ MORE on the "Levels Of Consciousness" page 

 

 

"Why can’t I find my forever-soulmate?"

Many of the concepts introduced here on Word Gems are controversial, but none more so than that of finding true love.

People often feel that I am incorrect to say that true love is a most rare commodity in this world and virtually none has experienced the real thing.

READ MORE near the bottom of the "Marriage" page 

 

 

good advice from mom

John-boy: “I don’t have much to offer her.”

Olivia: "You have yourself to offer – and that’s considerable.”

Yes... considerable.

Somewhere in the archives of “The Waltons,” I recall a conversation between son and mother. He was interested in a girl of means. Having taken inventory of his worldly possessions, and coming up a dollar short in the audit, he lamented the fact to his first advisor. She gave him the right answer.

READ MORE on the "Marriage" page.

 

 

attenuated definitions of morality

 

Trevor "Viking" Calcote (Tom Bateman) and Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson) in “Cold Pursuit” (2019)

 

Trevor Calcote is just one of your average PTA dads whose 10 year-old son attends St. Philip’s Elementary; except for the detail that he’s a drug lord and kills people as easily as some might kill a beer. This is just his way, but Nels has a hard time accommodating it when the latter’s son is snuffed out by “Viking.”

Understandably leery of eventual bad press due to so many unfortunate incidents, Calcote magnanimously donates a few tens of thousands to his kid’s school for new computer equipment. He adds this investment to his balance sheet under the “good will” category.

Is Viking’s deed a moral action?

Well, certainly some good was done for the recipients in the computer lab. But, was it a moral action for the giver? Even the most insensate among us would likely see through the brutal drug lord’s attempt to buy favorable public opinion. From Calcote’s side of the ledger, he gets no credit for any good works here. This is just plain-vanilla Machiavellianism.

READ MORE on the "Morality" page 

 

 

 

can't get next to you, babe, can't get next to you...

The Temptations, the movie (1998)

 

Can't Get Next To You (1969 #1)

David: I...
Melvin: Can turn a grey sky blue, uh...
Melvin: I can make it rain,
Whenever I want it to, huh!
Paul: I can build a castle
From a single grain of sand
I can make a ship sail, huh,
On dry land
Dennis: But my life is incomplete
And I'm so blue...

 chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, boom, boom

 

Editor’s note: Much is said about the almightiness of God. However, when it comes to dealing with mercurial humans, it’s best that we speak of Her powerlessness. It’s a self-imposed impotence; rather, the nature of the case demands it.

READ MORE

 

 

 

Desire is the need to add something to yourself

an excerpt from Eckhart Tolle's book, "Stillness Speaks":

Most people’s lives are run by desire and fear.

Desire is the need to add something to yourself in order to be yourself more fully.

All fear is the fear of losing something and thereby become diminished and “be” less.

These two movements obscure the fact that “being” cannot be given or taken away. “Being” in its fullness is already within you. Now.

READ MORE 

 

 

reincarnation won't help you if you don't know who you are

 

 

an excerpt from Eckhart Tolle's book, "Stillness Speaks":

Reincarnation doesn't help you if [you] don't know who you are. All the misery on the planet arises due to a personalized sense of “me” or “us.”

That covers up the essence of who you are. When you’re unaware of that inner essence, in the end you always create misery. It’s as simple as that.

When you don’t know who you are you create a mind-made self as a substitute for your beautiful divine being and cling to that fearful and needy self. Protecting and enhancing that false sense of self then becomes your primary motivating force.

 

Editor’s note: Reincarnation won’t help you if you don’t know who you are, and, with vivifying “catch-22,” you won’t need reincarnation if you do know who you are.

The “fearful and needy self” looks for “more time” to complete its self-evaluated condition of “I am not enough.” But this assessment is illusion. We already have what we need.

However, this is the psychological driving force behind reincarnation’s appeal. People are looking for a way to complete themselves, enhance and add to themselves, and they feel that they need “more time” to do this.

everything in life takes time, except one thing, the only thing you really need

There’s a certain logic to this demand for more time. In all activities of life we need time – to read a book, to travel from A to B, to pull weeds in the garden. Everything takes times, and so, what could be more reasonable than to believe one’s bottomless pit of “fear and neediness” should not require thousands of extra lives upon the Earth as herculean effort toward bolstering “I am not enough”?

But this is wrong. If you know who you truly are, you don’t need reincarnation – if such were an option or possible – because the “true self” is part of Universal Consciousness which exists in a timeless dimension of the eternal now.

No time is required to access it, nor is time required to find your true self. It comes to us in one timeless moment of cosmic clarity.

READ MORE

 

 

See my new article...

"How To Become A Good Writer"

Writing, properly framed, should be seen as part of the truth-seeking process. To say that someone is a “good writer,” without having something worthwhile to write, is like saying a carpenter is a “good nail-pounder” when the new house is uninspiring or defective. We don’t care if the nail-pounding or the writing is “good” if the content, the end-product, sucks. Above all, a good writer needs something important to say.

READ MORE

 

 

John Wright, a retired fireman, electronically communicates with his departed Annie

Victor Zammit interviewed John Wright concerning his attempts to "speak" with his wife Annie who had crossed over to the other side.

READ MORE on the "Afterlife" page, item #29.

 

 

 

Brother John of Glastonbury: "Everything here is law-and-order; and yet one is hardly conscious of the order or the law. We are ruled, but are not conscious of the ruling." 

The 500 Leslie Flint "direct voice" tape-recordings include a testimony by Brother John of Glastonbury (1393-1464 CE), a former monk during his Earth-life.

The following is from the June 3, 1970 recording:

"Everything here is law-and-order; and yet one is hardly conscious of the order or the law. This may sound odd or strange but, what I’m trying to say is, though we are ruled, we are not conscious of the ruling, inasmuch as there is no one person who orders or instructs, in that sense… There are many souls who ‘organize,’ and yet the ‘organization' is such that it seems the most natural thing… There is nothing here that mars or jars. Everything here falls gently, peacefully, harmoniously, into place. It is as if you begin to see, gradually, the jig-saw puzzle of life coming into a clearer picture.”

Editor’s note: Brother John offers one of the very best short descriptions of the laissez-faire approach to regulation and government in Summerland. People follow their own inner passions and directives, their own Jeffersonian personalized “pursuit of happiness,” with very little external-authority guidance (unless they ask for advice from a Spirit Guide). And this is why it’s so important to cultivate one’s sense of the “true self.” And, concerning those who “organize,” see our friend Elizabeth Fry’s testimony.

 

READ MORE on the "Summerland" page.

 

 

it's not the color of skin, but the heart of darkness

Ken Burns’ Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, the search for the fabled Northwest Passage, is one of my very favorite documentaries. It’s really thrilling, with the four dozen adventurers, to trudge up the Missouri, against the current, sometimes literally getting out and pulling the boats, all the way to Helena, Montana, where the great watery path finally divides itself into competing rivulets, revealing its origins in hidden mountain springs.

Along the way, the two famous captains encountered many Native American tribes. Some of these were the “bullies in the neighborhood,” brutalizing, grossly violating, and lording it over other tribes: not only were other men killed, with their scalps paraded as trophies, but women were stolen as prized plunder, now to live out their lives as non-entity sex-slaves and beasts of burden.

 

European slave-traders were aided and abetted by warlike African tribes, which possessed large numbers of Black African slaves, their own countrymen and women.

We don’t hear much about this from the vote-buying demagogues who want to portray slavery as an inherently White infraction. Do some research, for example, on the Imbangala or Nyamwezi African tribes who plundered their own racial brethren, enslaving them, and, at times, sold them for profit to the slave-trading Whites.

READ MORE

 

 

there is no such thing as “past lives” but there are hundreds of millions of spirits roaming the planet in search of mortals to whom they might attach

The errors of reincarnational theory cannot be diffused without an understanding of the realm of dark spirits. Hundreds of millions of these confused and wicked entities, like voracious ants or wild dogs, ransack the planet, hoping to cause damage to the mortal inhabitants of Earth.

The new book “Field Guide” is a must-read for those desiring better explanations concerning some of life’s mysteries.

READ MORE

 

 

 

"You can learn in one day here what it takes 10 or 12 years to learn on Earth."

Dr. Peebles, on the other side, speaking through trance-medium, Anna Wickland, offered this amazing statement! Imagine drinking in knowledge at such a rate! Think of the giant strides in personal development available to all!

 

READ MORE, the "Summerland 1-Minute Essay."

 

 

 

a tribute to David Kenyon Webster, a member of the famous Band Of Brothers

David Kenyon Webster
 

The Allied soldiers, transported in trucks, pass the vanquished Germans. Deeply moved by the futility of what he’s witnessing, Webster, a literature major from Harvard, stands to deliver a stinging oration to these members of the National Socialists Party:

READ MORE

 

 

 

Editor's Essay

Evolution 

The Great Controversy of How
Life Emerged on Planet Earth

 

Dear Reader, this is a large project that’s been in the planning stages for a long time. I’ve finally begun to add the first sections, and will continue to do so over the next year or so. I invite you to have a look at what’s been done so far. It’s going to be a really important writing.

READ MORE

 

 

a new summary statement for "The Wedding Song"

 

Near the bottom of the "verse four" page, I've added a new section with the caption, "Restatement: a summary of the essential message of The Wedding Song."

READ MORE

 

 

the jungle always wins

In their massive “Story Of Civilization,” Will and Ariel Durant, observing the tiresome rise-and-fall of history’s human governments, societies, and cultures, comment, to the effect, that the jungle always wins.

 

A people might amass great scientific knowledge in astronomy and mathematics, might create grand and imposing architectural edifices, produce a veritable wonderland of philosophy, the fine arts, and jurisprudence, but, eventually, the jungle will have the last say and wins.

 

READ MORE

 

 

swan rises in dazzling sunlight: becoming a better person

 

READ MORE: how to become a better person

 

 

 

 

The Great Psychologists Speak:

In Freud's "transference" we see the
needy inner-child
of a grown person,
distorting the world to relieve his
helplessness and fears, seeing things as
he wishes them to be for his own safety
.

 

READ MORE

 

 

 

Adrian Smith, JD, has just completed the "foreword" to Soulmate, Myself: Part Three.

"Physicist David Bohm discovered that elementary particles remain forever united even though separated at the furthest reaches of the universe. Spin one particle, and its twin will respond, regardless of distance. Separation is an illusion of the explicate order, but unity is the underlying reality of the implicate order.

"In the underlying reality of the implicate order, the separation of two aspects of the same soul cannot be thwarted. Reunion with our soulmate cannot be prevented by time or circumstances. We will be drawn to our true love in this life or the next, 'not for a reason,' but by a mystical force akin to gravity or magnetism. Reunion will happen, must happen, when we are ready for it. That which is separated must eventually be re-united."

READ MORE

 

 

Celine and Elvis sing, ‘why, oh why, can't my dream come true?’ - why is world peace so elusive?

Celine “travels back in time” to 1968, the year she was born, to sing “If I Can Dream” with Elvis – an amazing digital construction, and what a fantastic performance!

READ MORE and see the video.

 

 

 

Editor's note:

I wrote these articles in 2005, have retrieved them from the archives, and present them to you once more. It's all still valid. 

 

Editor's Essay: Part I: Yes, You Can Be Debt Free! How The Average American Family Can Wipe Out All of Their Debt - Credit Cards, Car Loans, and Home Mortgage - In Only 7 to 9 Years

Editor's Essay: Part II: Yes, You Can Save $1 Million! How The Average American Family Can Save $1 Million In Only 15 Years

 

 

a new topic-icon on the homepage:

Theory-of-Everything

The double-slit experiment, "impossible … to explain in any classical [Newtonian] way, [embodies] the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery [of science]."

Dr. Richard Feynman
1965 Nobel laureate in physics

READ MORE

 

 

 

 

Editor's Essay: Ode To Billie Joe: What Did They Throw Off The Bridge?

 

 

a new topic-icon on the homepage -- Joy

 

“We cannot forget joy. No matter how deep our rage and pain.” Nalini Singh 

 

READ MORE

 

 

 

new information on the subject of having children in Summerland

The Leslie Flint tape-recordings (below) provide new insight concerning the question of bearing children and having a real family on the other side. 

 and he's not even sorry

READ MORE

 

 

a new topic-icon on the homepage -- Authority

 Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism: “All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised... People ... go through their lives in a sort of coarse comfort, like petted animals, without ever realising that they are probably thinking other people's thoughts, living by other people's standards, wearing practically what one may call other people's second-hand clothes, and never being themselves for a single moment.”

 

READ MORE at the Editor's 1-minute essay, "Authority"

 

 

Can two people, still in this world, communicate via their higher selves? Consider the case of Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I fighter pilot, who, while lost at sea, sent a message to his lover.

 

READ MORE of the astonishing Rickenbacker case

 

 

 

Editor's note: I post new writings to the site pretty much every day, too many items to list on this page; however, I feature a few of them here.