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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


Touched By An Angel



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I’m a fan of Monica's Touched By An Angel. I love the cast, and I love Della’s theme song. I didn’t discover this series until almost 30 years after its debut, but it was worth waiting for.

The show often presents a technically inaccurate picture of “heaven” but, even so, it’s an inspiring dramatization of divine aid to us, hapless mortals that we are.

However, the show raises some important, and disturbing, questions, and I’d like to discuss these.

Within the first 20 episodes, we find our favorite angels-on-duty rescuing people in all sorts of situations: little children are carried out of burning buildings, bad cops are helped to go straight, teen girls are defended against sex traffickers, adulterous mates are shown the light, homeless persons are brought back to normalcy; and others.

Do these things really happen in the real world?

Actually, from my research, I would have to say, yes, they do. There are dramatic rescues from every sort of chaos and danger. One coming to mind, a lady I knew, told me of the story, when she was 13 or so, an uncle took her to a secluded cabin to molest her. Before the crime could be committed, however, the assailant was thrown across the room, said the lady, like a flimsy bean-bag.

And on the “angel encounters” page, we find other stories of direct, personal intervention to encourage and affirm a better way.

All this is wonderful, and we can know that Spirit-Guide helpers, aka “angels,” do perform exploits at times.

The operative words here, however, are “at times”.

Many tens of thousands of children pass to the next worlds, every day, due to accident, disease, war, starvation, abuse, neglect, and other oppressions in this world.

The sex trafficking business has never been as widespread and ominous as it is today, with hundreds of thousands of children brought into sexual slavery. And many of these die there.

We could continue listing accident, injury, oppression all day long. And the question is begged, while there seem to be “angel rescues” for a few, where are the rescuing angels for the millions that are plunged into the violence, manipulation, and servitude that is this diseased world?

Well, the answer is complicated. What kind of a world would it be for angels to stop any crime in progress? In the episode concerning the teen girl about to made a sex slave, Monica touches the hand of the perpetrator and instantly sends him a thousand miles away to a forlorn desert area. Imagine this occurring on a grand scale. Millions dispatched to prisons across the globe or to other worlds. People would very quickly be too afraid to breathe or think, lest an angel-policegirl send them to ports unknown. We might also add, do not the criminals also need rescuing? - this is what the Guides do in the Dark Realms. Are not these dysfunctional ones also human beings, also hurting, probably products of some wretched upbringing? This was Hitler's story.

Once we start down the road of mass intervention, a misguided attempt to create utopia, we soon conduct ourselves to a form of strait-jacketed super-righteous prison-world, wherein no one dares to look askance or step the wrong way. No, this storm-trooper approach enforcing plastic smiles is not what God wants.

"Above all trust in the slow work of God. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be." Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Because – where does this end? We say, but let’s at least get rid of really bad guys. And who might they be? - certainly not us, of course, only those "others". But on this good-riddance list, do we include the negligent parents who brought up children without moral compass? Do we lock up the adulterers as home-wreckers, and even those who look twice at another who does not belong to them? Would there be anyone left, "untouched" by the Pharisee angels on patrol? - monitoring even your thoughts for the untoward whim! Well, thoughts lead to actions, don't they? - and so nip it in the bud for a perfect universe.

Suddenly we don't like so much anymore this idea of angel intervention. Maybe we'll just take our chances.

feasibility study

There are unverified reports from Spirit Guides who say -- they've heard talk at high levels -- that, before the Great Spirit set in motion the grand plan of bringing embryonic souls to godly maturity, a feasibility study was made. A nearly infinite number of possible ways to set up the moral world was entertained. Everything was pondered: an ideal environment or a demanding one? more lenient? more strict? greater or shorter life-spans? more freedom, less? less capacity to mess up? more supervision? - on and on. At the end, with all things considered, all pros and cons weighed, it was decided to go with the present system, unpleasant, even dangerous, as it often is. One thing for sure in this program: the capacity to choose, to direct one's own experience, to come to know one's own self, to become a person in one's own right, had to be safeguarded, above everything else. You could build a sentient life on this foundation, eventually, maybe two or three worlds down the road, become a truly good person, but without it, you'd have nothing, no power to transform or evolve. Despite the risks and the systemic suffering, it was perceived that the eventual outcome of living an eternal life of joy, of augmented abilities of body and mind, even with unfolded "super-powers" of the immortals, would be seen as far "worth it" even by those who had suffered the most. The coming benefit being so great, so wonderful and awesome, once "graduation" had been achieved, that all the pain along the way would yet be viewed as a small thing, more-than reasonable price to pay for value received. As the apostle Paul judged it, "the present trials and sufferings are not worthy to be compared" to the incredible life that's coming for the mature sons and daughters of God. We have no idea. Those in “upper management” do and, oftentimes, at this early stage, want this for us far more than we do, and their attitude is, “yeah, well, kids think the dentist is a bad man, too, and you’ll thank us later.”

Editor's note: In various articles I’ve stated that God and Guides employ a laissez-faire management style in dealing with planet Earth. And while I think it’s obviously true that, from one perspective, this assessment is correct, there are the occasional, strategic interventions. And this, too, seems to be correct. But there is a classic belief that God, in the beginning, sent the world and the universe spinning, allowing natural laws to regulate, and then adopting a hands-off policy. I think this view is very wide of the mark. The reality is, while there are so-called "laws" to regulate, interventions are common but most of them not dramatic or visible like Superman swooping in to rescue. Most of the interpositioning takes place on the personal level, the unseen mental level. The intervention comes in the form of – what I’ve called -- “sparks” of insight as Spirit leads us into greater degrees of clarity and understanding. This can, and should, happen daily. It’s a hidden private tutoring. It’s an intervention that only you know is taking place. This is the true “Second Coming”, with the Jesus of the “Gospel of Thomas” stating plainly that it’s already happened, and happening - and don't be looking for it in the sky somewhere, he said.

Editor’s note: You may want to ask, have I ever experienced one of these dramatic “angel” interventions? It seems that I have. One time in my life, I heard a somewhat loud voice offering instruction. Further, I’ve spoken of the “sparks” of insight, but, as I think about it more, there’s an entire other area of what should be viewed as intervention. I refer to synchronicities; what Carl Jung defined as “circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection." Certain events in life, in terms of how they unfold, the timing, the manner, might be so unusual as to defy all probability of occurrence; the "combinatorial explosion," possibly, billions and billions to one. Over time, if eyes are open to these seemingly fortitudinous events, one begins to accept that an unseen force must have orchestrated the circumstance, with it being far too unlikley to enlist chance as causal factor. I believe that everyone is offered these synchronicities by Spirit-Guide or “angelic” management, but we have to be open to noticing them. But there is one more area of this unseen regulation, possibly a sub-set of what are deemed to be synchronicities – I’m thinking of close calls, when one might have been killed by accident. In those cases "Monica" as SuperGirl might, in fact, swoop in to rescue.

But even if we accept this view as reasonable, how do we make sense of, why do certain ones enjoy, the dramatic rescue at times while most do not?

I don’t think we can have the full answer right now. I believe that when we’re able to “stand on a higher mountain,” allowing us a farther vision, we will understand. What we do know is that God loves all equally and that, eventually, all will be made right and fair.

I say “we know” this. But, how do “we know”? We discussed this degree of certainty, echoing the thoughts of the apostle Paul, in the “arrabon” writing.


The way the world is going these days, many of us wonder if it, or we, can survive without some kind of divine intervention. We haven’t seen this kind of totalitarianism since the years prior to WWII, but today it’s worse with high tech surveillance. And we don’t know, will the world, once again, be plunged into a new Dark Age? It feels “1 minute before midnight,” and we’re waiting for the totalitarians to manufacture some new crisis – some new war, some new health scare, some new attack on reformers – some new pretext to justify diminishing personal liberties; or maybe, even worse, some new political savior, as Shakespeare warned, who "smiles and smiles," the big lovable sloppy grin, cloaking the monster heart, beguiling the childish-unwary to surrender autonomy.

But as we wait for this next shoe to drop, I was reminded of something in the “Gospel of Thomas,” which speaks to us very directly in our time. The following is reprinted from the “Thomas” page:


E. Let's look at the key verse from Thomas which brings together the concepts of "beginning" and "light" -- our segue to John.

The disciples say to Jesus: "Tell us what our end will be." Jesus says: "Have you then deciphered the beginning, that you ask about the end? For where the beginning is, there shall be the end. Blessed is the man who reaches the beginning; he will know the end, and will not taste death."

K. They ask of him, "Tell us what our end will be." And what a normal question this is. We look at the state of the world and we're troubled. We see the corruption, the threat of war and more oppression, and we find ourselves praying, "God, what will become of us - of me?" And this is what they were asking, "Tell us what our end will be?"

E. Once again, this question is no stranger to MMLJ. Sprinkled throughout much of those writings, we find the disciples asking about “the end time” and “how will we know?"

K. Not always, but usually, in those gospels, Jesus is given to answer directly in the form of “wars and rumors of wars,” “earthquakes,” and a general rising tide of violence in the world. He’s also on record to exclaim, to the effect, “Those of you standing here will see all these things happen in your lifetime.”

E. But the Jesus of those gospels got it wrong. It didn’t happen. The apostles died, and no dramatic Second Coming, no “rule with a rod of iron,” to be found anywhere.

K. The Jesus of Thomas, however, will not be drawn into ill-fated prophecies of “signs of the times.”

E. Earlier, as we've seen, Thomas' Jesus said "What you seek for, the new world, the kingdom, has come already."

K. And notice how he answers in the present verse: "Have you then deciphered the beginning, that you ask about the end?”

E. It’s a deflective answer: “So, if you’re asking about ‘the end times’ you must have already figured out what happened at ‘the beginning’.”

K. Ahh, “the beginning.”

E. Yes, the famous “beginning” of Genesis.

K. And what happened at the beginning of all beginnings?

E. That’s when “the God of Light” created everything.

K. Oh, that little thing.

E. Now let's look at the last half of this verse:

For where the beginning is, there shall be the end. Blessed is the man who reaches the beginning; he will know the end, and will not taste death."

K. Jesus has already told them about their beginning, where they came from.

E. They came from the Light.

K. But this hasn’t really sunk in for them. They’re worried about the end of the age and troubles to come. But the Jesus of Thomas will not address this.

E. Instead, he directs them to their beginning, when they became associated with the Light. In effect, Jesus is saying, “You came from Light. For you, that’s both the beginning and the end, the conclusion of the matter. You don’t have to worry about anything else.”

K. “Blessed” means “happy” or “prosperous.” “In good fortune,” he said, “is the one who accesses the beginning,” that is, “identifies with and remembers that he came from the Light.”

E. “He will know the end” or “He will know how everything is going to conclude.” And notice, too, these of the Light “will not taste death.”

K. This is what they’re really worried about: “Will I be killed during a calamitous period of world trouble at the end time? What will become of us?”

E. But the Jesus of Thomas answers these questions by affirming that the children of the Light will survive. It may grow darker before the dawn, Evil ones of this world might even kill your body, but the real you, the light within, cannot be harmed.

K. Elenchus, this teaching here is very timely. We live in an “end time,” we sense a culmination of evil. This world has always been a troubled place, but with high-tech now the totalitarians have control of the whole planet. And the evil ones are becoming more and more bold, and so we don’t know if civil society can survive. But Jesus, in these verses in Thomas, comforts and encourages that it will yet be well for us.


reprinted from the "cosmic rival" page, very apt here, as well:

postscript II

'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, just to throw you off, 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; and she'll help anyone. 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."

Lya performs all parlor-tricks with her mind. And she makes the Stargate operate and open simply by the power of thought, with no machines or dialing required. She is so dangerous.



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!" 

Who wouldn't? and in this sterling example of The Nox we see our future, one day -- you and me, all of us -- as advanced Spirit Guides. Hairdo style at your discretion.

the inner resonance

Interestingly, it seems that others have agreed with my earlier assessment of favorite scene. I did a quick online review and was surprised -- but shouldn't have been -- that many fans considered Lya's deeds and Jack's response as the most memorable of all Stargate episodes.

I think we're hard-wired to feel this way. We recognize truth when confronted with it. It feels right to us. And I think we're headed for a world, a mind-controlled existence, a super-advanced civilization, representing the Nox's humble spirit and selfless devotion to the betterment of all. They refuse to become anyone's enemy.

Think of a religion of some ample size - it doesn't matter which one, as they're all alike in this regard. Has anyone ever said of the general membership, of the institution-at-large, of the layers of hierarchy and church-culture - "God, I love those people"?

We're still waiting on that one. But, in this poverty we see, clearly, I think, how the Spirit Guides -- and we, too, in our coming roles supporting the great altruistic work of Summerland -- shall yet create a true sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, of spiritual community in the universe.


The daughter of Lya, little Nafrayu, is naïve in the ways of the universe and cannot comprehend evil. This is actually how it is with aborted babies or perished infants who cross over, are cared for, and grow up in Summerland. They can't comprehend evil. There are ways for these immature ones to gain valuable Earth experience and wisdom without reincarnating, which is not even an option, but a mythic religious doctrine.

Evil is a foreign concept to inquisitive Nafrayu, this child of advanced civilization, who sometimes gets into trouble. Mom Lya has had to “raise her from the dead” at times, in consequence of imprudent innocence. To Nafrayu, but also addressing Jack O'Neill, Lya gently chides, “The young do not always do what they are told.” Amen - the young, ages 2 to 92.



Editor's note:

Evil is the good turned inside out. It’s the attempt to get at what we need and want but by taking unwarranted short-cuts.

Above, I referenced Spirit Guide Abu’s teaching-principle of “kneading bread,” the slow process of bringing us to maturity. It suggests God’s “velvet glove” and light touch in dealing with the peoples of the world.

With a statement like this we’re immediately thrown into confusion: God is blamed for all things that go wrong on planet Earth, but, on the odd occasion when things seem to go right, we ourselves quickly take full credit. It’s “heads I win, tails you lose,” but not in God’s favor.

Abu spoke of a certain “powerlessness” of the Guides as God’s agents in terms of helping humankind during their time of spiritual minority. The question becomes, what is the best way of bringing sentient beings, those endowed with a certain measure of autonomy and volition, to a mature state of being?

Yes, no doubt, the Guides could, as we’ve discussed, “blow up a spaceship” on their whim, and muscle their way into a tidy world wherein everyone is forced to smile and courtsy and attend church-services three times a day. But now we’ve entered a “1984” world of cultish autocracy, just one more strong-armed “utopia,” led by a powerful ruling class, that has stained red the pages of history.

To live in such “perfect” environment, where nothing is allowed to go wrong, is another way of saying that everything would have to be absolutely controlled, with personal freedoms outlawed. But who would want to live in a world like that?

There’s an old debate about whether this world is the best of all possible worlds, did God make a mistake, or is it run by an inexperienced, incompetent god who could have done better if s/he’d been more wise?

I don’t think so. I think this is the best of all possible worlds – given the task at hand. Again, how do you bring a being, endowed with capacities of reason, judgment, choice, to an evolved state of consciousness? The majority of the people here are quite immature and, as such, will take “short cuts” to what they want, or think they want. And this results in what we call “evil.”

It’s all a “classroom” for us. Everything we do, or has been done, contributes to our individual and collective wisdom. We are headed for the vast expanse of eternity. How do you prepare a being for such infinite scope of existence? How would we “survive eternity” without learning to “live as the gods”? These are very difficult questions, and many, even on the other side, are still trying to come to terms with some of this.

But I think we can know some things. We are meant to grow, to mature, to evolve, to advance. We are to become mature sons and daughters of God. We will, one day, in our altruistic endeavors, be called upon to creatively and wisely serve those who have taken the “short cuts” to a good life. This sense of charitable intent must be linked to good judgment and prudent strategy. And those who do their best to remain mindful of the greater good while on planet Earth, I think, fit themselves quite well for the next stage of our journey.

There is statement by the apostle Paul, in the book of Romans, which exclaims that all of creation yearns for the coming of the mature sons and daughters of God. The original Greek, as I recall, is more descriptive, offering the sense that creation “stands on tip-toe in breathless excitement” waiting for the grand debut of the Mature Ones. That’s you and me, at graduation.

What does this mean? It means that Evil in the world, and in the universe, cannot be overcome by the use of Evil means – violence, vengeance, autocracy, cultism, censorship, power and control, deception; we could go on – all of these “short cuts” represent what has been, for so long a time, business as usual down here on the “sorrowful planet.”

But, in the meantime, the whole creation stands on tip-toe, in breathless excitement, awaiting your coming, the altruistic and clever stratagems of your selfless thoughts to offer aid and service to the suffering multitudes.

there's no truly effective teaching until the student wants to become like the teacher

We know it won’t be easy, and we know there won’t be any quick solutions -- it'll be a slow process, like “kneading bread.”

And someday, maybe not that long from now, somebody will be saying of you, "God, I love those people; God, I love that teacher." And this is so very important because, as Spirit Guide Abu points out, there is no truly effective teaching until the student wants to become like the teacher.





Editor's last word:

I'm tempted to stop watching episodes of “Touched”. I don’t mind so much that “heaven” is portrayed inaccurately but what bothers me is the distorted view of God sometimes presented.

Angels in this tv-drama are very humanlike, have free will as do their mortal counterparts; and many of the angelic-service corp, according to the series, are inexperienced. We should not be surprised then if they find themselves confronted by what’s common to us: not a choice between good and evil but degrees of evil, with the best option the lesser of evils.

Around episode #40 Monica is trying to help a fellow, a good guy who, 18 years prior, had accidently killed a brute in the act of raping his sister. Under strict orders from Tess to cooperate with the authorities, Monica is faced with a dilemma. While being questioned by a detective, she allows a very slight slanting of the truth to slip out, which allows the accused to escape.

Tess then comes down on her really hard, threatening that she might lose her angel powers over this truth-violation. She could even be banished to some barren planet, as the perfect God could not bear to have her around with this kind of conduct.

This paints God as an out-of-touch Puritan bureaucrat; remote and detached from what his servants are up against in their difficult work on the Earth. (See more of this errant view on the Jesus page.)

And I thought of Father Benson’s account on how the real God truly sees us – to the effect: God has no mercy to give, no forgiveness to offer, because God is never offended by anything we do.

Much could be said here, but it's already been said elsewhere. Overall, I like the stories featured on "Touched" and will probably see more of them.