exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
"You must have failed deeply on some level or experienced some deep loss or pain to be drawn to the spiritual dimension. Or perhaps your very success became empty and meaningless and so turned out to be a failure." Tolle
Editor's 1-Minute Essay: Spirituality, Part I: What Does It Mean To Be a Good Person?
Editor's 1-Minute Essay: Spirituality, Part II: Totalitarians at the Gate
Editor's 1-Minute Essay: Spirituality, Part III: How To Become A Better Person
Editor's 1-Minute Essay: Spirituality, Part IV: The Crucial Role of Personal Responsibility in Attaining Spiritual Maturity
Editor’s Essay: What does it mean to be a great man or woman?
the most important concept on the Word Gems site
At the time of this writing, the Word Gems site conceals 1700 documents; if printed, 10,000 sheets might ensue.
I no longer feel the need to add anything to this corpus of information. Especially, with this final chapter of the "small room" book, I ask myself: if required to choose one most important concept from the many gold-nuggets I’ve been privileged to see, what would it be?
It’s is the “mind the gap” principle - introduced in the “Surrender and Acceptance” page, and further discussed in the “Zen” article, along with the “Just Sitting” writing.
“Mind the gap” means that one perceives the great existential separation between “true self” and “false self.” It allows one to say, “I am here, the real me, reveling in a quietude of peace, and over there, across the divide, is the emotional chaos which, for so long, has been masquerading as my essential self but, in fact, is an imposter.”
I feel there is no more important precept that one might possess to prepare one’s spirit for life in the next dimensions. Why is this? It is so because “mind the gap” means that you’ve not only accessed, but have crossed over the threshold into, the domain of the sacred soul.
In that celestial realm of certainty, wherein one is linked to Universal Consciousness, all mysteries will yet bow the neck and bend the knee to one’s investigations. In time, the hidden regularities of the universe will disgorge themselves as you come to understand more and more and more… and not even some of those on the other side for thousands of years, who have not yet perceived the efficacy of “mind the gap,” will be able to stand against you.
Some may ask, shouldn’t love have something to do with a “most important concept”? And I would say, yes, of course, as mystics, poets, and saints instruct of its highest expression of the human spirit. However, unless we access the “true self,” we will never experience authentic love, but only its ersatz counterpart, mere egoic wanting and needing. When we do find ourselves in this way, true love, a perception of oneness, automatically and naturally rises to the surface of consciousness. It was there all the time, in the silent reaches of the soul, inaccessible however, due to “static on the line” from the “false self.”
Editor’s note: Recently, I've come to view all of the above as "second most important." See on the "ultimate reality" page.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The foundations of a person are not in matter but in spirit.”
Hui-Hai: “Your treasure house is within; it contains all you'll ever need.”
Douglas MacArthur: “It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.”
from the book, “The Power Of Myth,”
a discussion with Dr. Joseph Campbell
Moyers: I remember a lecture in which you drew a circle, and you said, "That's your soul."
Campbell: Well, that was simply a pedagogical stunt. Plato said somewhere that the soul is a circle. I took this idea to suggest on the blackboard the whole sphere of the psyche. Then I drew a horizontal line across the circle to represent the line of separation of the conscious and unconscious. The center from which all our energy comes I represented as a dot in the center of the circle, below the horizontal line… Now, above the horizontal line there is the ego, which I represent as a square: that aspect of our consciousness that we identify as our center. But, you see, it’s very much off center. We think that this is what’s running the show, but it isn’t.
Moyers: What’s running the show?
Campbell: What’s running the show is what’s coming up from way down below…
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “We ask for long life, but 'tis deep life, or noble moments that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.”
Walt Whitman: “In the faces of men and women I see God.”
Henry David Thoreau: “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.”
Buddha: “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.”
Teilhard de Chardin: “You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”
The Dazzling Darkness is a concept representing a frame of mind untrammeled by the dysfunctional ego. Therein, freed from base-alloy animal inclinations, one might apprehend not only the identity of one’s true mate but also a realization of the living presence of God in one’s life. READ MORE
Aquinas: “Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.”
Balzac: “The smallest flower is a thought, a life answering to some feature of the Great Whole, of whom they have a persistent intuition.”
Chesterton: “Coincidences are spiritual puns.”
Denis Waitley: “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”
The following is reprinted from the "afterlife #31.stead" page:
he's smiling, looks mild-mannered enough, but do not be deceived
In the movie Man Of Steel, Clark’s mother asks him: “What are you going to do when you're not saving the world?”
We would bring to the attention of the “insane 500” teachers what he did not say. He did not say,
“I’m going to spend my time far away, in my aloof Fortress Of Solitude. I must do this, of course, as it's much too appalling distasteful to mingle with the weakling-rabble on the streets. Securing for myself, evolved person as I am, a circumscribed and sequestered residence is but right and proper. One of my noble rank ought to live in a manner commensurate with high standing. I will, however, on rare occasion, deign to make appearance in the world of mere mortals. They will benefit by my pearls of wisdom as I lecture that they needn’t bother attempting to scrutinize life on a high plane; my ways are past finding out for plebeians. After all, I really know, because I'm here, and you are not - and that's all you need to know.”
But this is how Clark did respond to his mother:
|“I gotta find a job, where I can keep my ear to the ground; where people won't look twice when I want to go somewhere dangerous and start asking questions.”
Allow me to paraphrase and offer the sense of Clark’s remarks:
“I want to live a life of service and help where I can. Yes, I have abilities, but I don’t want this to be a barrier. I want to live among the people in a nondescript way. I don’t want to attract attention to myself. I want to be ready and easily available, to help anyone in an expedited manner when opportunity arises.”
There are advanced Spirit Guides, far more powerful than Superman, who live this kind of quiet and unassuming life in Summerland. They may appear to be "meek and mild-mannered" as Clark, but let us not be deceived concerning their potentially world-shattering abilities.
On the Word Gems homepage I spoke of Kierkegaard's "knight of faith." Those identified with such make a home among the people, as a friend and neighbor, so as to be available to those willing to be aided. This is the unpretentious, unaffected, unambitious mind of God, on display and in action.
See the “afterlife #31 main-page” and the "Summerland 1.minute” writings for testimonies from and about these self-effacing servants who live as “ordinary” citizens in Summerland; in residence, in some cases, for thousands of years, with no egoic craving to “move up the ladder to the seventh heaven.” Also see this article, from the missionary work of Franchezzo, on the “super-powers” of the advanced Guides.
We might fantasize ourselves, someday, in the next world, assuming the role of a super-hero; however, living as Clark Kent might be the more advanced modus vivendi.
Our materialistic society values a spirit of competition, someone who can “win” and be “number one.” Nothing wrong with winning and, if appropriate, being number one, but, if that’s all you have, then, as Art Mokarow used to say to us ministerial students, “there’s something wrong with you.”
We extol Superman, and rightly so, for all of his man-of-action virtues, but, let’s think about it, Clark, in his own way, was a true man of strength. He knew himself, on the deep inside, well enough, such that he didn’t have to prove himself as the macho-man at every turn. He allowed others to think that he was overly "meek and mild-mannered" if it served a greater good. This non-flashiness would have been even tuffer for Clark as Superboy, not being able to play sports and impress the girls.
We are reminded of Eckhart Tolle’s excellent discourse:
what looks like weakness is the only true strength
"Instead of trying to be the mountain, teaches the ancient Tao Te Ching, 'Be the valley of the universe.' In this way you are restored to wholeness and so 'All things will come to you'."
can you be content quietly living as a 'nobody', true to yourself, until your own burgeoning competence unavoidably elevates you
READ MORE of Eckhart's insightful discussion on the "evil" page.
Dalai Lama: “The universe is a single atom: the convergence of science and spirituality.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Spiritual force is stronger than material force; thoughts rule the world.”
Buddha: “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.”
George Bernard Shaw: “The English are not spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.”
M. Scott Peck: “The great awareness comes slowly, piece by piece. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. The experience of spiritual power is basically a joyful one.”