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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




Can you be content living in the world as an unknown, uncelebrated non-entity?

As a young man at Bible college, though it was not my original purpose in attending, I quickly fell into the group’s dysfunctionally competitive spirit of attempting to win a ministerial post. If I quiet my mind just now, and cast myself back, 50 years ago, to the energies coursing through my person at the time, I can still feel the churning and seething neediness. I wanted to be noticed. I needed someone to tell me that I was competent and able. I craved a Dear Leader’s stamp of approval to feel good about myself.

READ MORE at the bottom of the "Spirituality, Part III" article.




Editor’s note: I have added a new item to the points-of-evidence roster on "the afterlife page," #32:

Dr. David Fontana, one of the world's premier afterlife researchers: "a billion billion to one" statistical odds in support of post-mortem survival of consciousness

Professor Fontana speaks of scientific experiments, comprised of thousands of trials, which, in aggregate, offer insurmountable statistical evidence supporting survival of consciousness; as he states, the odds of the findings happening by chance are “a billion billion to one.”

In other words, chance is ruled out as causal factor; or, to state it differently, the existence of an unseen world of unseen forces has been more than amply substantiated.





Darrell Huff's classic book, How To Lie With Statistics  

Raw data is message-neutral, but statistics represent an interpretation of the data. This is where the fun begins.

If you're a propagandist with a party-platform to sell or impose, it's not difficult to make the data appear as a rising or falling trajectory, or a flat line, whatever is required to offer "proof."





the most profound concept in all of science

This is the view of physics Professor Jim Al-Khalili, as offered in the documentary “Atom.”

Superlatives concerning scientific marvel are often associated with Einstein, and rightly so, given his discoveries that time and space are not absolute but vary with the speed of light. But Professor Khalili reserves highest laudation for something and someone else – an insight of Werner Heisenberg concerning the hidden workings of the atom.

READ MORE on the "Theory of Everything" page, near the bottom



I am your density, Lorraine

I have created a new topic-icon for the homepage – Destiny. See the accompanying “Editor’s 1-Minute Essay.”




In Summerland, we wear the clothes we like and feel good in, whatever makes us happy and comfortable

Dressing one’s age loses meaning entirely in Summerland where people present themselves at their age of choice.

Instead of one’s apparel issuing as age-appropriate, how we dress over there will, or should, reflect our inner life-force, the hidden soul’s individualized sense of artistry and joie de vivre, a visual and colorized hint-of-manifestation of one’s particularized definitions of “truth, goodness, and beauty.”

READ MORE on the "Summerland 1-Minute" page




the tropical birds, in their own way, on their own island, enjoying their own eternal life 

from Father Benson's "Life In The World Unseen, Book I"

Editor's special note: I must admit, the following scene concerning the tropical birds I find to be one of the most moving in all of Benson’s reports. The image of these joyous birds, God’s creatures, “enjoying their own eternal life,” fills the soul with peace and wonder.

plumage as riot of color

We had by now approached sufficiently near to the island be able to view it quite well...There were not many dwellings upon it; those that were to be seen were more summerhouses than anything else. But the great feature of the place … we could see scores of the most wonderful birds, whose plumage presented a riot of color...They were, like ourselves, part of the eternal world of spirit, enjoying in their way, as we do in ours, their eternal life.

an absolute enchanted fairyland of nature

Their very existence was just another of those thousands of things that are given to us for our delight… it was [the birds’] trusting friendliness that was so delightful...

READ MORE on the "Summerland 1-Minute" page





What we call “gravity” is a revealing of the invisible contour of space-time.

Since the speed of light is a constant, something else “has to give.” And this is why space and time are not fixed but relative elements of the universe.

sloshing around to make it fit

Depending on how fast we’re going, space and time slosh around, expanding or contracting, as needed to make the speed of light always come out as 186,000 miles per second.

Space-time is like a fabric, an unseen matrix, underlying all things.

READ MORE near the bottom of the "Einstein" homepage.




Editor's 1-Minute Essay: Part III 

Beauty is the child of Truth and Goodness

What we judge as Beautiful reveals our state of being in terms of current perceptions of Truth and Goodness.


a triad which judges all things

Truth, Goodness, and Beauty form a tribunal by which we judge our lives, the world, and its accoutrements.

They have been called “transcendental” in that all things fall under their winnowing eye, determined as true or false, good or evil, beautiful or unpleasing.

Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, it might be assumed, stand as three independent judges, equally exercising an authority of evaluation. But this is not so.

Beauty, the offspring of Truth and Goodness

Truth and Goodness, to a certain extent, share common ground and lead us to Beauty, which, as their child, reflects aspects of the parents.






Paul's misinterpretation in Galatians, and how it affects the Church today

Eugene Peterson's The Message


Editor’s prefatory note: When Eugene is right, he’s really right. Not infrequently, he nails the underlying essential meaning of a particular biblical passage.

When I wrote my article on Mark 11, Eugene was the only one to get to the core meaning of what Jesus was talking about: “Embrace this God-life, really embrace it.”

And here, as well, in Galatians 2, he distills the essence of Paul’s viewpoint in a way that has escaped other translators.

READ MORE near the bottom of the Galatians homepage.




Soulmate, Myself:
Omega Point

How is it possible for Twin Soul romantic love to endure for eternity, for ages and eons without end, when its hapless earthly counterpart hardly survives the honeymoon?



Editor's note: This writing is part of the fourth book in the "Love In The Afterlife" series.




Soulmate, Myself:
The Perfect Mate

Jill and Dan 


felt that old familiar pain... the snow turned into tears



Editor's note: I have added additional commentary by Kairissi and Elenchus on the love story of Jill and Dan, part of the "Perfect Mate" book.

READ MORE near the bottom of the page



“Socialism sounds really good, we should try it.”

The term “socialism” leads us to a root concept of “society,” suggesting a just society, one built on a spirit of beneficence, good will toward all, an association constructed not on individualized human greed but on a literal commonwealth, blessings shared with everyone.

Well, who could argue against this? What could be better?

“Let’s create a perfect society of charitable good works by legislative decree. Didn’t the early Christians create a socialism and even a communism for themselves? Let’s make it a crime to be greedy, to amass wealth, to take more than one needs.”

Socialism offers such high hopes, but has always failed to deliver. How do socialists respond when confronted with the dismal record of their form of government?


READ MORE on the "Economics" page




somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known
Dr. Carl Sagan, physicist, author of Cosmos


As part of my investigation of biological evolution, I have prepared a rather extensive list of quotations, in the main, offered by the fathers of quantum mechanics.

It’s not what you think. They attempt to explain, to themselves, and to the world, that consciousness, not matter, is the essential element of reality. This principle is famously referred to by the great quantum physicists as “The Observer Effect.”

Be prepared to seriously fall down a very deep rabbit hole.






a grand sweep of Russian history, the dreary recycling of brutal totalitarian and duplicitous socialistic “I’ll be your savior” governments


Dr. Irwin Weil, Russian Literature 


18 hours of lecture featuring the most noteworthy
Russian writers, set within a survey of Russian history,
from Ivan the Great (c.1500) to modern times




Why can't anything go faster than the speed of light?

What’s light got to do with E=mc2?

Einstein saw a link between energy and mass, a mediation by something appearing to be unrelated to the process

As it turns out, at the speed of light, energy and mass change hands at wholesale levels. At lower speeds, the effect is minimal and not apparent. The speed of light is a constant, like saying that water boils at 212 degrees. It's the way the universe is built.




In Summerland, meeting new people is no longer a big risk and problem.

The following is Robert Benson’s channeled testimony from the other side, “Life In The World Unseen.” He's been in Summerland only a day or so, and his old buddy Edwin is showing him around. There’s a girl sitting by a lake. Benson is hesitant to meet her, but Edwin encourages him...




I cannot be, until you're resting here, with me

"I didn't hear you leave, I wonder how am I still here, and I don't want to move a thing, it might change my memory, Oh I am what I am, I'll do what I want, but I can't hide, and I won't go, I won't sleep, I can't breathe, I cannot be, until you're resting here, with me..." Dido


Editor’s note: I have created an additional restatement of the essential message of “The Wedding Song.” You will find it on the “verse four” page.




 Alive Inside may be close to the most inspiring film you'll ever see; no, really.



Music can heal the despairing soul as no other balm or medicinal agent. It might reawaken us to life and love lost, vivify the battered human spirit, offering hope of celestial tomorrows rooted in untapped human potential.

All this we sense to be true. But, even more, in recent years, one man has been engaged in a private crusade to bring music, the personal songs of one’s life, to dementia patients – with astonishingly wonderful results.

See the website: www.aliveinside.us



Editor’s note: I’ve written an additional summary statement for “The Wedding Song.” 

Restatement II: a summary of the essential message of The Wedding Song

The “union of spirits,” not bodies, causes Authentic Love to “remain.” In other words, there is no true love without a meeting of minds, hearts, and souls. John and Mary are painfully aware of this.

The “traveling on” of “The Wedding Song” is the sacred couple’s great adventure, an unending delightful journey, of growing closer and closer in joy and intimacy. And the “life” spoken of next refers to this captured, growing sense of oneness.

Why is this shared joy given a new name of “life”?





 Dante's "Comedy" is famous for its "abandon hope all ye who enter here," but, overall, it actually has a message worth knowing about. 

Special note: The "Divine Comedy" helped to popularize the error that suicides are more evil than most. See the above "7th circle of hell."


Written in the early 1300s, "The Comedy" became a classic “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Afterlife.” More than other works or even official ecclesiastical doctrine, the epic poem would come to define Western civilization’s images of hell, purgatory, and heaven, influencing the popular imagination even today. But, once we get passed the draconian mythology, we find a good deal of wisdom.

“O human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall? … Consider your origin. You were not formed to live like brutes but to follow virtue and knowledge.” Dante Alighieri, "The Comedy"





an apple falling to the ground passes through an infinite number of "time zones"

A not uncommon occurrence: An apple falls from a tree. However, as it nears the gigantic body of mass that is this planet, time, for the apple, slows down.

But not just for an apple. Einstein said that any object, for example, in contra-distinction, moving away from a massive source, will experience time “speeding up.”

This is why clocks run faster on an airplane, or on the second floor of a building, as opposed to ground level. The ordinary senses of a human being cannot detect this disparity of time. However, if we were to measure this with a super-accurate atomic clock, we’d find a difference of several billionths or trillionths of a second.

READ MORE on the new "Einstein" page



the banality of Evil

The problem with Eichmann is that he appeared to be as congenial as your favorite uncle. A disarming affability; and, in a sense, a sincere display, very much of the order we've known from respected ones in our lives.




How could this be? – Eichmann, one of the great mass murderers of the Nazi regime, so unmonsterlike, resembling a kindly neighbor across the backyard fence. Hannah Arendt famously called this “the banality of Evil.”

Hannah Arendt, to Gershom Scholem regarding the Eichmann trial: "It is indeed my opinion now that evil is never ‘radical’ ... that it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension. It can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like a fungus on the surface… the banality of evil."

“Spreads like a fungus” - slowly, imperceptibly, by unmeasured increments – and then to “lay waste the whole world.”

Judgement At Nuremberg:

Ernst Janning: "Those people, those millions of people... I never knew it would come to that. You must believe it, you must believe it!”

Judge Dan Haywood: "Herr Janning, it 'came to that' the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent."


READ MORE, an inset-box near the bottom of “the 500” or the “nature of evil” pages.




Editor’s note: The evolution-research project, now, after two years, is far enough along allowing us to see how the process works. Here it is in outline form:

+  TIME 




To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.

Henry David Thoreau


Every human being, without exception, making one’s way through the initial stages of enlightenment, will begin to sense a certain antipathy with the ways of this materialistic world.

The distance will become palpable. The old allurements are now perceived as vulgarities, a dehumanizing sleep-walking. And there will be a rising up, from an uncharted center, of desire for authentic living.

This process of inner awakening, the soul coming of age, is presented to us in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. His two year, two month seclusion in a modest cabin with pond became, for the Concord sage, a veritable small-and-quiet room of transformation.




cherished notions of “motherhood and apple-pie” vary from culture to culture

Herodotus (writing circa 450 BC), in his treatise on the Greco-Persian wars, comments on “nomos,” the Greek word for “custom, convention, or law.”

He talks about the arbitrariness of “nomos,” of how people become accustomed to what they know and what they’re taught in a particular culture, religion, or society.

barbarity to one, the good life to another

In Greece, Herodotus says, a certain activity “X” is considered a barbarity, something, according to his sensibilities, beyond the pale of what any person of even modicum advancement would tolerate. But, he asserts, in another society of the Near East, “X” is considered a normative expression of “nomos,” indeed, a reasonable, even honored, course of action, with the refusal of “X” deemed to be an atrocity and appallingly distasteful.

who wrote the html-code for your programming, what you believe

The great “father of history,” Herodotus, is correct, of course. That which the average person believes is simply a product of what Grandma said, the Nice Young Man at Church said, what teacher in third grade said. These early pedagogues “wrote the html code,” our cultural programming, for what would become our personal sense of propriety, of right and wrong. In popular parlance, we refer to this burdening weight of prejudicial assumption as our “baggage,” which is not easy to set aside.


READ MORE, as this inset-box is featured in the "Morality" and "Reason Behind The Reason" articles.



'God, I love those people'

My favorite scene in the whole Stargate series was Lya of "The Nox," like a Spirit Guide, coming to offer wisdom and protection.



Don't let the unsolved hairdos of The Nox fool you. Ultra-sophisticated, The Nox's schtick is to pose as primitive forest-dwellers...



But, in fact, they're one of the most advanced civilizations across the cosmos, with not only floating cities...



... but cloaked floating cities. Lya's pretty good at making a lot of things disappear -- weapons of soldiers, entire spaceships, turning people invisible and transporting them -- she's not that particular if duty calls. Well, she is, actually, as The Nox live by a strict code of nonviolence. When push-comes-to-shove, however, it's true they will help the "good guys," but, the annoying part is, they also help "the bad guys." The Nox refuse to become anyone's enemy.

Little wonder then that even the battle-hardened Col. Jack O'Neill found himself gushing before the high-order morality and sentience of The Nox: "God, I love those people!" 

The Nox offer us a compelling metaphor of how God deals with us.

READ MORE near the bottom of the referenced page.



a mandated time to recall who we are and what's really important


Every day was as the one just spent. Every day he would sit on the shore of the island Ogygia, thinking of his wife Penelope, wishing to return home. Every day Odysseus mourned and wept for his lost love.

But Calypso had taken him prisoner and refused to grant him leave.

The Iliad, where Odysseus was introduced, it could be argued, is built around three Greek words which speak to a misconstruing of reality: (1) kleos, glory or fame, that is, one’s legacy and hope for immortality; (2) time, respect, honor, literally, “what people say about you”; and (3) menis, wrath, fury, rage.

When people invest themselves in, identify with, link their sense of self-worth to, what others think about them, they’re headed for a lot of unhappiness. Because when they don’t get the fame and the praise, the gold stars and the pats on the back, or when there’s no satisfaction in these, then the sense of futility sets in - the menis, the rage, the anger, is ignited toward those who, as the ego sees it, failed to “make me feel good about myself.”

READ MORE about the mandated solitude and introspection



the 'Absolute Sovereignty of a Human Being' principle:

we are not allowed to abrogate a sacred requirement toward self-determination  


the following is a quotation from Adrian Smith's new book, "A Prison For The Mind"


The central doctrine of [the English] constitution is known as “the legal sovereignty of Parliament.” This means that Parliament can legislate on any subject matter and having legislated, no court or other body can challenge the validity of that legislation… There are only a few things that Parliament cannot do. It may not bind its successors with such wording as “this Act shall be for all time to come.” Parliament must remain free to change its mind and Parliament may not abrogate its unique powers by giving them away to some other body. Parliament is omnipotent in all things, save the power to compromise its own omnipotence

I have often thought that I would like to adopt a personal constitution on the UK model and make it my own operating system. We could call it the Absolute Sovereignty of a Human Being. We can have our opinions and convictions, but never bind yourself and always remain free to change your mind. You may not abrogate your unique responsibility [of final word on the course of your own life]…

READ MORE on the "Person" page



Dr. Tyler DeWitt, MIT science grad, one of the best teachers

Word Gems is my private collection of the best gold-nuggets I’ve discovered in all fields; it’s not for sale, but you can share it if you like.

It’s not easy to find something good, and not often am I tempted toward superlative in this search, but Tyler DeWitt is really something. His specialty is science (and a good bit of math, too). Just sample his couple hundred youtube videos and read the reviews, and you’ll see what I mean – many thousands of comments from grateful viewers who rate him to be the best teacher they’ve ever found.

How does he do it? Well, we can’t really “bottle and sell” the genius of a great teacher, but certain characteristics will soon meet you in his lectures:

  1. He’s extremely knowledgeable regarding topics under review. Like all great speakers and writers, he has something worthwhile to say.

  2. He’s humble, no ego, doesn’t talk down to you, and assumes no prior knowledge on the part of the listener.

  3. He doesn’t waste your time by drawing and writing on the board but masterfully employs pre-arranged visual aids; this alone is wonderful.

  4. He explains his terms, uses analogies, and offers examples.

  5. His use of a split-screen, allowing us to see both the teacher and the material, makes it easy to listen.

A good teacher is a “gift from the gods” and will facilitate an expeditious assimilation of knowledge. After reviewing Tyler’s work, you might be led, as I was, to assert, “If I’d had you as a chem teacher in high school or college, my life could have unfolded differently.”

You can easily find Tyler DeWitt’s videos on youtube. No matter what your field of interest, he helps all of us envision what a good teacher looks like.



when the law and the facts do not support your case, then pound the table and vilify the opposing attorney


The following proverb, sometimes called “The Last Resort Rule,” was not taught in Civil Procedure class when I was in law school; however, some attorneys do report of professors who mentioned it.

There are different versions of the aphorism, but it goes something like this:

“If you have a case where the law is clearly on your side, but the facts and justice seem to be against you,” advised an old lawyer to a young attorney, “urge upon the jury the vast importance of sustaining the law."

"On the other hand," the old lawyer continued, "if the law is against you, or doubtful, and the facts show that your case is founded in justice, insist that justice be done though the heavens fall."

“But,” asked the young man, “how shall I manage a case where both the law and the facts are dead against me?”

“In that situation,” replied the old lawyer, “talk around it - and the worse it is, the harder you pound the table.”

Some variants of this sophistry conclude with, not just pounding the table but, attacking the opposing counsel, or yelling with outrage, or shouting at the jury.

It's all a cool calculation. In other words, when the law and the facts are not on your side – and if you lack any semblance of scruple -- you need to do something fast to divert attention from the poverty and lack of substance of your defense; you need to create a scene, manufacture some theatrical charade of moral outrage, produce your own little one-person “mob rule” incident in order to bully your way into a better tactical position – that is, if you want to have any chance of winning your case, and, again, if you lack any sense of moral rectitude and respect for the rule of law.

READ MORE on the "Clear Thinking" page



feelings of unforgiveness, long entrenched, forge steel bonds, become an unbreakable feedback-loop in the wearied mind, and cannot be dissolved with saccharine will-power, a gritting of the teeth ‘I forgive you’ – that won’t work, and will only make you feel more out-of-alignment with yourself

You can say the words “I forgive you” but you won’t feel the words to be true, and won’t truly want to, with mere good intentions and mental effort.

Injustices incurred a long time ago, especially during impressionable childhood, are the worst. These stalwarts have had a long time to build impenetrable concrete-bunkers in the head which defy one’s best efforts to disgorge them.

You can wallpaper-over the injury with repression and smiley-faced platitudes – for a time -- until the volcano comes, until the lid on the kettle can’t be held down any longer. But I will tell what needs to be done and is the only way to torch the roots of the malady.


Okinawa Island, 1945, GI with flamethrower battling dug-in snipers


READ MORE on the "forgiveness" page



globalism and socialism, the trojan horses of totalitarianism

In conversation with a childhood friend since first grade, regarding the current diseased political atmosphere in the country, I said that I’m a long-term optimist but a short-term pessimist. The totalitarians in our midst are becoming more rabid in their desperate efforts to save the deep-state, carefully nurtured in the shadows for many decades; however, there are still a great number of freedom-loving people to oppose them in their malfeasance.

But I am very troubled when I see what’s happening with our youth. Lacking a sense of the despotism of history, of how fragile is the delicate flower of civilization's rule-of-law and how easily we could slip into a new dark age, the callow young, especially, flirt with socialism and communism. They love to be gulled, think themselves far too clever, and are not yet experienced or wise enough to understand what’s wrong with “guaranteed income for all” and the like. They do not yet perceive – and probably won’t until it’s too late – that an elitist globalism and socialism are the Trojan horses, the poisoned candy, of totalitarianism.

Unless something changes, I told my old friend, the younger generation will soon be the majority and then, as the older ones die off, “they’ll be selling the farm for trinkets and beads,” a security-blanket of empty promises. And that will be the end of the freedom-loving American Experiment.

John Adams, our severe Founding Father, warned that no democracy, in the history of the world, has yet survived its unthinking, venal and purchasable, immoral populace. Democracies, he admonished, eventually commit suicide in a surfeit of hedonism - and we’re watching the action movie, with its predictable conclusion, right now.


READ MORE on the "Economics" page



the moment of becoming a sane, really free, human being

“I'm simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I'm saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you. Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes. It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say ‘this is good, this is bad,’ you have already jumped onto the thought process. It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher. And this process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty. That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being.”

                                                                -- Osho

READ MORE on the new page, "Zen"



the sacred meaning of art


Most art today is not worthy of the term and does not reflect higher levels of awareness; instead, most art seems to reach for the sensational, the gaudy, the carnival, the meretricious. When we view it, there is no calling forth of hallowed wonderment from the depths of being.

In these works of so-called art there is nothing that leads us to higher ground or deeper perceptions, nothing that points us to the inner knowing, there is no “translucence,” no shining through, “of the eternal splendor of the One.” It’s a purely man-made contrivance devoid of co-creatorship with the divine...



READ MORE on the "Art" page



the education of a free man or woman 

ancient Greek pottery, “Phlyax Scene,” depicting a master (center, long tunic) and a slave (short tunic)


Many years ago Mortimer Adler helped me to understand the meaning of the common term “liberal education.” “Liberal” in this context has nothing to do with political leanings but, in its classical sense, speaks to “liberty.”

A liberal education is one befitting a free man or woman. Slaves in ancient times were treated as chattel, as things, belonging to a master. Instruction for a slave was limited to training, the acquisition of skills in relation to tasks to be performed for the benefit of a master...

READ MORE on the "About" page



the translucence of the eternal splendor of the One and of Truth

In 1970 Nobel laureate Werner Heisenberg delivered an address entitled, “The Meaning of Beauty in the Exact Sciences.”

He drew distinction between two definitions of beauty put forth in history:

(1) the concept of beauty as harmonious relational symmetry, a pleasing unity of externals; but also, from Plotinus,

(2) “Beauty is the translucence, through material phenomena, of the eternal splendor of the One”; further, Heisenberg referenced two Latin mottos, “The simple is the seal of the true,” and “Beauty is the splendor of truth.”




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.





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



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.



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."  




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



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.