exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
"O My Lost! I sweep aside the rubble of our years to see you clear of their shadow." Walter Benton
"I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if, at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside me." Abraham Lincoln
This statement by Lincoln, among the thousands of Word Gems quotations, might be my favorite. An honoring of the "friend down inside," a self-respect, a realization of sacred self-worth, is just about the most important lesson to learn; and the most difficult.
In my own life, I would need to approach age 60 before I authentically met, and could accept, that "friend down inside."
Word Gems, in 1500 documents, 10,000 pages, constitutes a kind of life-notebook, a collection of my best gold-nugget findings. There is enormous benefit, as George Spenser Brown used the phrase, "simply bearing in mind," just keeping close to, the stellar insights of history's great thinkers; subconsciously, these seeds of wisdom, in a cross-fertilization of ideas, influence and lead us, eventually germinating as new and increased vision.
The good "friend down inside" remains stranger to most. It's not easy to arrange a meeting. We live in a world arrayed against the sacred person, the "true self."
"What is a man," asks the poet, "what has he got, if not himself?" Without that "friend down inside," we become easy prey to those who promise safety and security. Collective-ego institutions - political, corporate, and religious - ever grasping for power and control, attempt to convince us that we are not enough, that we are defective, that we are not able, that success could never be ours, that God could not love us, but for the superintending benevolence of self-appointed elites:
they bought and sold you... controlled you
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
I look at you and see the love there that's sleeping...
I don't know why nobody told you how to unfold your love
I don't know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you...
If the "friend down inside," the true self, remains unknown to us, if we live without self-respect, a realization of sacred self-worth, we will fall victim, become servile accomplices, to cultish elements in society intent upon merchandizing, "buying and selling" us.
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.
However, the education of this latter, a free person, was very much different in kind. It was liberal in orientation, that is, pertaining to freedom, and centered upon clear thinking and developing the mind -- for its own sake, as an end in itself, and not as a means to something else or someone else’s private agenda. Most views of education down through the centuries have not been "liberal" in any meaningful sense but were crafted in service of a master, some Dear Leader - a government, a church, an ideology, a cult – with little regard for the individual. It's been this way for many thousands of years and not much has changed (also see Dr. Adler’s essay and my own “1-Minute essay”).
People often wonder about their purpose in life. There are “outer” purposes which vary from person to person; however, as our time on this planet is very fleeting, none of this matters overly much. It is the “inner” purpose which takes on cosmic significance, and this purpose will be the same for every individual – it is the call to “wake up,” to open our eyes to who we truly are; it is a beckoning to freedom, to an activation of the sacred “true self.” A great many articles on the Word Gems site address this universal summoning to action.
Without a mind calibrated to the sweet melody of sacred autonomy, of personal freedom, we will fall victim to those who strut and prance and proclaim themselves to be our saviors. Look around you – almost every institution, every ideology, every belief-system of the world, exists to make you its pawn; if you let them, if you have not yet discovered the "friend down inside".
A central organizing element of my writings is the scientific evidence of the afterlife; as with love, it changes everything. My core articles and books, the fruit of 55 years of investigation, attempt to expose error, bad ideas and bad thinking, the propaganda of this world, designed to control you, to separate you, from the "friend down inside," the sacred true self.
Edward C. Randall, attorney and afterlife researcher: "I have found an unknown country about and beyond this Earth, and I would not go from this world of men without leaving a record of what I have learned. We are but custodians of knowledge as of wealth, and it is the duty of every one to give to others that which he has acquired, whenever it will add to human happiness."
The following icons form a nucleus around which Word Gems is built:
The scientific evidence of the afterlife, indeed, changes everything. Our world is but mere "pale copy," just a black-and-white awaiting the full color version, a "practice turn," a "training ground," a place to open our eyes and "wake up" as preparation for the "real world" to come.
It's a solid world over there with hard edges where people walk on solid ground, with real birds singing in real trees, flowers growing in gardens with buzzing bees, and boisterous little children running and playing tag.
There is no "floating on pink clouds and playing harps"; no judgment, no divine wrath, no angry god -- all of that medieval draconianism will be left far behind in the "hell" of our world.
Daily life and environment there, for the most part, is quite Earthlike, that is, a perfected Earth, without the social problems or struggles for existence; no bills to pay, no health issues, no worries about crime, war, or invasion -- think of the most pleasant and carefree summer day you ever had and multiply that euphoria by a hundred. The locals call it Summerland.
We shall thrill to discover in that "real world" a substantial and complex society of higher education, gourmet cooking just-for-fun, scientific research, the fine arts, parties and get-togethers, university libraries, concert halls, theaters, art galleries, and friends walking in parks for quiet conversation. Our new "home world" is humanistic and progressive, spiritually oriented but not religious, a place where personal choice and self-development become the air we breathe -- an enlightened civilization centered upon the sacred autonomy of each individual.
In Summerland we will live and love, learn and evolve, moving forward doing normal and natural things, all the good things we wanted to do here but lacked the enabling means. Moreover, to our amazement and disbelief, we will discover that it is not too late to recapture what we lost -- lost opportunities and lost love. In that "real world" we shall find resolution and fulfillment for all authentic desires. Awaiting us is the "real life" of romantic Twin Soul love, personal growth, adventure, recreation, service opportunities, travel and exploration, educational and cultural advancement of every sort -- all that the heart longed for but was denied, here, on this planet of sorrow, blindness, and injustice.
The entrance requirements to our destined and permanent home-world are not onerous; perfection or "sainthood" is not required by any means, nor will any particular belief-system or creedal assent offer any advantage at all. None of that will matter anymore in the slightest but only -- our entrance ticket becomes -- a willing heart to improve, grow, and change; a desire to serve and care for those less developed; a studied commitment to become what we were meant to become, a fully mature son or daughter of God, one "made in the image."
For the sincere individual, there is absolutely nothing to worry about; and even if one begins as not so sincere, such deficiency can be rectified with a decision to change and do better, allowing one to catch up.
All of the dreaded stories about crossing over we've heard since childhood, all of the terrifying threats of judgment and punishment, of a harsh and humorless god, are simply not true. These fear-and-guilt inciting fables were invented by dark forces, as George Harrison asserted, intent upon "buying and selling" us, "controlling" us -- by way of separating us from the good "friend down inside."
All the very best to you in your investigations,
In addition to the above core articles, among the 1500 documents in the Word Gems library, allow me to especially recommend the following important writings, breathtakingly vital and germane to our future happiness and evolvement:
The Holodeck Worlds: How We'll Find Wholeness in Summerland from the Traumatic Sufferings of Planet Earth and the four articles on Spirituality
Ultimate Reality, Destiny, and the four articles on Beauty
The Essence of a First-Rate Mind and The Inferential Life
The 500 Tape-Recorded Messages from the Other Side plus two personal favorites, Constructive Assent and Earthrise Restatement
What does it mean to be a great man or woman? and the error of Reincarnation
What We Stay Alive For and the reality of Twin Soul eternal marriage, plus the difference between Love and Wisdom, Woman and Man, deserve special mention
Metaparadigm: Your Life and Behavior will Change Naturally, Easily, and even Quickly, when Your Metaparadigm Changes
Creativity and the Dazzling Darkness; plus "Sensibility: 1-Minute," what happens when we die
The Double-Slit Experiment: the only mystery of science and Evolution, a 5-Year Research Project; also, What Scientists Know and How They Know It
Surrender and Acceptance, Zen, Life, and the Krishnamurti lectures, especially his "summary" discourse
The Gospel Of John was written as polemic against the Gospel Of Thomas. The ‘John Christians’ were threatened by the teachings of the ‘Thomas Christians’ and attempted to marginalize, and stamp out, this earliest view of the nature and mission of Jesus of Nazareth.
Weaponized Art of the Ancient World and how the unenlightened Heart of Darkness leans toward Cultism, Evil and Guilt
The solace of a quiet small room, a sanctum of personal transformation, is a good place to meet the "friend down inside". READ
Why do family members, old friends, and romantic mates drift apart or even abruptly split?
When my daughter was in high school, she had a girlfriend; the two seemed inseparable. Later, the friend chose an alternate lifestyle, assumed that she’d be judged, then abruptly, and permanently, broke off friendship ties.
An example of my own: In the “Evolution” article I recounted that in senior-high English class I’d delivered a speech on the subject of “Creationism versus Darwinism.” Almost all of it, as I now perceive, was error. However, a good friend since childhood disagreed, summarily rejected me, and put me away with no reconciliation.
the hidden cause of all conflict
Each of us, likely, could offer scores of such examples. Krishnamurti’s teachings on the ego – concerning dualism, fragmentation, separation, division – are not of mere academic interest only to professional philosophers. This information holds the sacred key to understanding why planet Earth is the stage for war and conflict, not just on the international level, nor solely with religious or political groups, but also among family members, friends, and lovers.
Why do people drift apart or become immediate enemies? The short answer is that they become an offense to each other. People identify with, make themselves equal to, belief systems which, they assume, will "make me happy." They say "this is who I am," and "this is what I need to be safe and happy," and if you represent something different, their self-image will be threatened, their prospects of safety and happiness will seem to fold - and then you'll be rejected, no matter the strength of former bonds of amity. You'll be rejected because, don't you see, it's a matter of life-and-death to the ego.
the carefully crafted self-image
In his 17.December.1969 lecture, Jiddu Krishnamurti offers one of the most clear and insightful explanations concerning the inner workings of this dark dynamic. When we feel offended by someone, he said, “there is an image about yourself,” one that we ourselves build. This ego-image reflects one's cultural “conditioning.” Why do we build this image? We do so “as a means of security ... of protection ... of being somebody.”
fear is behind the curtain
And what do we find if we draw back the curtain of this ego-image? “Now, if you go behind that," Krishnamurti says, "you will see there is fear.” What is the composition of this fear? It is the existential fear of "I don't have enough" because "I am not enough."
Let’s analyze this ego-image more closely. Why do we build it? What are we protecting? If we allow ourselves to become very still, if we taste and sample the nature of this hidden fear, we will find that we’re protecting a self-image, a mental projection of what the ego would like to be and have:
“I am the person who needs to be seen as virtuous, respected, worthy of honor. And it goes without saying that I know what’s best for you.”
“I am the person who needs to be seen as right and correct. As such, I need you to believe as I do, to agree with all of my religious superstitions, and my self-serving political views. I need you to accept all of my inflexible opinions because your assent makes me feel, not just safe and secure but, that I’m worth something.”
“I am the person who needs to be seen as successful and winning. I want you to be impressed with what I am and what I have so that I’ll be counted as a somebody. I need these merit badges so that I can face my peer group, family, and community and be considered important."
“I am the person who craves to be viewed as a wise person, an in-demand friend, a counselor with ‘the answers.’ I count on you to offer me this prestige so that I can feel good about myself.”
“I am the person who needs you to make me happy. You can be my friend/lover/relative if you do what I say and think as I think. I need you to love me, to compliment me, to defer to me, so that I can judge myself as ok.”
“I am the person associated with you, and if you disappoint me, if you fall short of my expectations - especially after all I've done for you - if you fail to make me happy, if you begin to take on contrary opinions, then you will become a threat to what I want and to the image I’ve created for myself. If any of this happens, then, of course, I’ll have no choice but to get rid of you, even though we’ve meant much to each other over long years.”
And so if anyone – sibling, friend, lover, child, parent -- becomes a contrary force to any of these ego-images, then the offending person will immediately be counted as an enemy, no matter a long history of cordial relation.
a closer look at the hidden fear
We find there’s more than one curtain to open. The ego’s need to be seen as right, virtuous, properly religious or political, is not the only hidden agenda. As one pierces the levels of self-obfuscation we discover the core terror which vivifies all of the ego’s activities. It’s the fear of death. This is the central terror, as we learn from the great psychologists.
This means that when one is attacked, there may be purported surface issues, but the real reason people rage and become apoplectic is the ego fighting for its life. It's identified with, made itself equal to, being right, virtuous, and all the rest, and if it fails to promote itself with these "images," then it will face a kind of psychological death. “Who will I be?” it asks, if these false-security images are minimized or taken away?
the high cost of following the truth wherever it leads
All this is most dire. The reality is, if you assiduously pursue the truth, no matter the cost or where it might lead, then you will lose (for a time) almost every last person who was once close to you. Why must it be so? - because you will become a living, walking threat to another’s carefully crafted self-image.
narrow gate, without fellowship
Editor's note: In his writings, Andrew Jackson Davis warns of the "narrow gate" that leads to life; few be that enter it. Those who live courageously by following the truth wherever it leads, as Davis points out, “will walk a pathway without fellowship of thy earthly brethren.” The cults have long employed the weapon of excommunication, shunning, and ostracization - a forced separation from friends, workmates, and family - toward anyone who disagrees with the hive mentality. This putting away occurs not just in religion but in dysfunctional families, corporations, academia, politics, and other power-seeking groups. They’re afraid of contrary opinion which might disembowel and expose shallow teachings. And so they’ll get rid of you for spreading "misinformation"; and you, as a truth seeker, will be censored and required to make your way through this world “without fellowship of thy earthly brethren.” But, be assured, a day of reckoning is but one missed heartbeat away.
We, ourselves - not some mythical Satan - are the focal point of all evil in the universe. It’s the pathological ego within; it’s the false self, the ego-images, ever attempting to find safety and security for itself, to bolster an inner neediness, the existential emptiness deep within.
We cannot become truly educated, nor reach a good level of wisdom and maturity, in the highest and best sense - or meaningfully prepare ourselves for Summerland or to be with one’s Twin Soul - without understanding the wiles and machinations of our own personal “heart of darkness.”
please, it’s very impolite of you to notice that I lack a self
Soren Kierkegaard: “But in spite of the fact that man has become fantastic in this fashion [i.e., lives unrealistically by denying his own mortality and impending death, the terror of which is covered up by palliatives such as ritualistic, form-based but empty, religion], he may nevertheless … be perfectly well able to live on, to be a man, as it seems, to occupy himself with temporal things, get married, beget children, win honor and esteem – and perhaps no one notices that, in a deeper sense, he lacks [an authentic] self.”
One of the universe’s great paradoxes:
true spirituality, one’s higher sentience, a better level of consciousness, is not obtained by working very hard, by religious rituals, by prayer, fasting, vow, or pilgrimage - but simply by quietly observing the inner disorder
What is it like?
It is like planting an acorn; within, lies dormant a towering, mighty oak. But how is this bold expression of floral life brought to manifestation? - not by great effort or trying very hard, not by “seizing” for advantage...
Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
Earth's crammed with Heaven
And every common bush afire with God
But only he who sees takes off his shoes
you can have it all laid out in front of you, but it won't make you think
Concert for George
Royal Albert Hall
November 29, 2002
Horse To Water
you can take a horse to the water but you can't make him drink, oh no, oh no, oh no, a friend of mine in so much misery, some people sail through life, he is struggling, I said, "hey man, let's go out and get some wisdom," first he turned on me, then turned off his nervous system, you can take a horse to the water but you can't make him drink, oh no, oh no, oh no, you can have it all laid out in front of you, but it won't make you think, oh no, oh no, oh no
listen to Sam Brown’s sensational version of “Horse to Water” at the Concert for George
lovers "touch foreheads" only in the Dazzling Darkness