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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



'the truth is not a fragile thing and will eventually rise to the top of a heap of competing ideas'

Physicist Tom Campbell, in clear language, explains the history and significance of the quantum mechanics revolution of 100 years ago, how its implications were denied by materialists, and why its proper explication might lead to a better world, free from the power-control-force paradigm afflicting all of us today.

See the video



Editor's essay:

If we see someone as ‘the bad guy,’ some will say ‘I forgive, but I can’t forget.’ Is it possible to truly cleanse the mind, to be set free, of these negative images?




Krishnamurti lecture:

27.May.1965. Sanity means no contradiction within, a state in which thought and action correspond. Virtue is not a continuous, fixed phenomenon but order reborn from moment to moment. Most do not want freedom inwardly as it implies standing completely alone, without a guide, a system, without following any authority; and that requires enormous order within oneself. There is a beauty which is not the result of a stimulant, and cannot exist without great simplicity. Simplicity is not a matter of possessions but comes when there is clarity of self-knowing.




New archeological findings offer compelling evidence of the existence of biblical personages – Joseph in Egypt, Jacob, Moses – also the historicity of the Exodus, the plunder of Egypt, and the fall of Jericho.


What might be the implication of these authentications of biblically-referenced events and personalities?





channeled statement from the other side, received by the medium Charlotte Dresser from her sister in Summerland, as reported in Life Here And Hereafter (1927)

Emerson: Man is his own star [his own source of light and truth]. Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.

These precepts of sacred individualism, offered by Emerson, are even more important in the next life.




'What is belief? - a state, not an act, of the mind.'  

Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871)

British mathematician, with contributions to logic, set theory, probability theory, computer science, and numerous other fields; founder, London Mathematical Society (1865)

'It is not in the power of anyone to alter his state [of mind] by will. [There is] a tendency to suppose that profession [of mental position] might be taken for belief; the dishonest wanted only profession.'




how to effectively interact with virtually any consciousness level or personality type

I’ve sometimes speculated concerning the kind of work I’d like to have in Summerland, with the area of counseling as a possibility.

However, this has led me to question, “As there are so many levels of consciousness and personality types, how could I become competent and able enough to address a very wide field of human condition?”

READ MORE on the ‘levels of consciousness’ page



beauty is not in the thing

Jiddu Krishnamurti, September 24, 1967, London: “Like love, beauty is not the cultivation of thought. A thing of beauty is not beauty. Beauty is not in the thing, in the building, in the person; but there is that beauty which is not the result of conditioning, in which thought in no way interferes.”

The sense of beauty is an opinion, a judgment, concerning the good and the true.

Beauty issues not from one's “hardware” but “software,” the “programming.”




the love sonnets of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

She didn’t want to publish them, felt these 44 love poems to be far too personal and invasively revealing. However, husband Robert strongly encouraged her to share them with the world; the very best produced, he judged, since Shakespeare.

See my "Editor's expanded paraphrase" of each love poem.




'know thyself'

"Know thyself" represents some of the most ancient wisdom of this world. It was inscribed upon the Greek temple of Apollo at Delphi.

And today, a leader in the new science of consciousness, Dr. Federico Faggin – also the inventor of the first microprocessor in 1971 – asserts that the most fundamental characteristic of Universal Consciousness is that of self-knowing. All of cosmic evolution, Faggin suggests, is driven by Consciousness desiring to know itself.

We ourselves are derivatives, "made in the image," of Universal Consciousness, possessing, in embryonic form, all of its major traits.

And isn’t it interesting that, if we self-obfuscate and refuse to “know thyself,” the very first thing that happens to us upon crossing over is to be “sent to remedial education”, dark detention, where we will remain, until we agree, agree with ourselves, to fulfill our primary mandate.




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?”

Clark responded:

“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.”




'my truth and your truth' is a cachet and fashionable prevarication  

truth, goodness, beauty: ideas we judge by
freedom, equality, justice: ideas we act on

We cannot credibly discuss the pursuit of truth – the queen of the Great Ideas – without first securing its crisp definition. The concept of truth, like almost every other good thing in our totalitarian-leaning world, has been politicized and massaged into irrelevance: “my truth and your truth” is a common fraudulent statementWe’ll get to the bottom of this fashionable prevarication.




to move uninjured among falling worlds, the anguish which might dissolve the stars

In his well-written essay on the Bronte sisters, Sydney Dobell speaks of Jane Eyre’s journey to Lowood School. Conditions are forbidding; dark, windy, rainy. Dobell comments:

"There is something intensely, almost fearfully, interesting in the diary of a child’s feelings. This 'I,' that seems to have no inheritance in the earth, is an eternity with a heritage in all heavens. This 'me,' which is thrown here and there as a thing of nought, the frail, palpitating subject of a schoolboy's tyranny, almost too fragile even to make sport for him, fear not for it. It can endure. This, that trembles at the opening of a parlour-door, quails at the crushing of a china plate, droops amid the daily cuffs and bruises of a household, and faints with fear in a haunted room, will pass alive through portals which the sun dare not enter, survive all kinds of temporal and spiritual wreck, move uninjured among falling worlds, meet undismayed the ghosts of the whole earth, pass undestroyed through the joys of angels, perhaps; also, through anguish which would dissolve the stars."

READ MORE on the "person" page


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...




A room filled with a battery of electronic sensing devices, monitoring every nuance of motion, heat, and sound, but the evidence is summarily rejected by radical skeptics.

Professor Eckhard Kruse reports of his investigations of physical mediumship. In an effort to preempt radical skeptics’ immediate charges of fraud, Professor Kruse employed an impenetrable array of high-tech electronic equipment.




 Would the saints still be saints if they'd been born and grown up in a different culture?

Jiddu Krishnamurti
1895 - 1986

Question: “Mahatma Gandhi read the Gita, and he was a great man. Why are you hostile to our saints?”

Krishnamurti: “You call them great because they fit into your pattern. Will you as a Hindu, accept a Christian saint as your saint? Of course not. Your saints are conditioned by the culture in which they have lived. The saints were tortured human beings, tremendously devoted to their own conditioned ideas of God. But if they’d been born in Communist Russia, they wouldn’t believe. There, they would be no saints, they would be Marxists.”




Quantum Mechanics

“Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it.” Niels Bohr, 1952

"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real." Niels Bohr, Nobel laureate


Editor’s note: I've created a new link-icon on the homepage featuring "science's greatest mystery," quantum mechanics.




Clear-thinking violation #6: fastening on trivial error in an opponent's argument, making much of it, and then, in this inconsequential victory, suggesting that the rival has been defeated on the main question

In the excellent movie “Mr. Holmes” we find the 92 year-old Sherlock walking with a young boy. The lad is worried that his mentor, preparing himself for death, might soon pass on, and encourages himself with the statement, “You’ll still live a long time. I had an uncle who lived past 100.” To which the aged logician counters, “There’s my point, precisely. What are the chances that you would know two old men who made it over the century mark?” Slightly miffed at this response, the 12 year-old lamely retorts, “Well, I didn’t exactly know him.” The ancient detective, wheezing and gasping, attempts to laugh. This is a small but spot-on example of shifting the argument to inconsequential element – as if knowing the two men under review were the dispositive factor in play. We smile at this well-intentioned youngster’s sleight-of verbal hand disingenuously misplacing the object of debate. But we commonly see this corruption of the truth-process everywhere, writ large, among egos grasping at hegemonic position. Look for it. It’s everywhere; we could almost say, there's little else.

READ MORE on the "clear thinking" page


consciousness is a quantum field containing all manner of possibility:

developing an internal guidance system for eternal life; a life which begins today 

The following is a paraphrase of Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s lecture:

In the 1920s, when quantum physics was getting started, Alfred North Whitehead was one of the first to understand it. Other philosophers didn’t have the math background, but Whitehead was also a mathematician and so he grasped the significance immediately...

READ MORE on the 'consciousness' page



Why do we not accept the truth instantly?

Jiddu Krishnamurti
1895 - 1986

09.July.1968. As we look at the chaos, misery, confusion in the world, what is the central issue as remedy? The central issue is attaining the complete, absolute freedom of man, inwardly, then outwardly.

We might say, ‘I agree with that intellectually’ but no action follows. Why do we not accept the truth instantly?

It is like the rich person who hears the word 'generosity', and feels vaguely the beauty of it, yet goes back to miserliness. We do not accept, or even see, the truth when we have a vested interest in not seeing it.

A man is unwilling to look at the truth because he is afraid. He believes that by looking he will lose his family, his money, position, his job, will fail to get the girl, all the rest of it, which means, he will lose his security and hope for pleasure and happiness.

He is frightened to lose his security and therefore he will say he cannot understand the truth, and will refuse to even look at it.




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 this earliest view of the nature and mission of Jesus of Nazareth.





Editor's Essay:

What We Stay Alive For



to remain steadfast in belief, despite lamentation over what we've done to ourselves - the missteps of youth, the spurned opportunity, the unprepared heart, the glassy-eyed sensibility, the quick-draw-shoot-first temper, the self-serving and epic miscalculations, the egoic and puerile torpor of mind, the insensate worm only vaguely aware of the light - that love endures, and still lives, beneath the rubble of the lost years;

moreover, to trust, though it delay for a “thousand summers,” that Heaven's gift will finally arrive; in this delay, "too long a sacrifice," as Yeats wrote, "can make a stone of the heart," and many would refuse to wait; the true mate, however, sets himself to wait, waiting with joy, as he builds his life around the inner-whispering assurances of inevitable reunion...





the difference between pride and self-esteem


Bruce Lee: “Pride is a sense of worth derived from something that is not part of us, while self-esteem derives from the potentialities and achievements of self. We are proud when we identify ourselves with an imaginary self, a leader, a holy cause, a collective body of possessions.

“There is fear and intolerance in pride; it is insensitive and uncompromising. The less promise and potency in the self, the more imperative is the need for pride. The core of pride is self-rejection…

“All social disturbances and upheavals have their roots in a crisis of individual self-esteem, and the great endeavors in which the masses most readily unite [are] basically a search for pride.”

READ MORE on the "Hoffer, True Believer" page 



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, 'in the know,' 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 grew up on the 'wrong side of the tracks.' My family culture held great disdain for education and knowledge. This disrespect for anything truly progressive has always held me back, creating for me a self-image of 'I’m not smart enough to succeed. I can't get a high-paying job, that's for other people.' And so if you come to me and suggest that, in fact, I do possess talents and strengths, then I will feel very uncomfortable, begin to panic, as you attempt to lead me out of my dysfunctional comfort-zone. At the first sign, with your help, that I I could actually advance myself, I’ll fall apart, swoon in terror, and then begin to blame you, and hate you, before I retreat and crawl back under the safety of my rock."

"I am the person who is comfortable with present ideas. They've gotten me this far (sort of). And they may be half-baked, a straw-house of illogicality, but, even so, these irrationalities offer a certain veneer of meaning to my life. In support of this charade, I surround myself with so-called friends with whom I share a tacit agreement, an unspoken pact: 'You must agree never to point out the non sequiturs of my beggarly superstitions, and I will agree to act as if I accept yours.' That’s the conspiratorial deal. However, if you come along with hard empirical evidence, well-reasoned positions, and suggest that I might want to take a more honest approach to what I believe to be true, well then, I will have to hate you for upsetting the applecart of my entrenched and time-honored unreasonableness."

"I am the person who carries on the traditions of my family. Unfortunately, these are more like peculiar shibboleths, marks of tribal distinction, but not of honor and dignity. I feel duty bound to ask, “What would mother do?” or “This isn’t the way dad did it.” I don’t have enough self-respect to live my own life, follow my own insights, quest for my own meaning and destiny. And if you come along and encourage me to think for myself, to break the apron strings (years after mom passed on), I will feel frightened, disoriented. And then I will blame and hate you for pushing me toward autonomy, full personhood, and self-realization."

“I am the person who needs you to make me happy. You can be my friend/lover/relative if you do exactly what I say and think just as I think. Anything less than this will be threatening to 'who I am.' I need you to love me -- just as I am, with all of my soft-underbelly beliefs -- to compliment me, to defer to me, so that I can judge myself as ok. Don't let me down, I warn you.”

“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 an opposing force to what I want and to the image I’ve created for myself. If any of this happens, then, of course, I’ll have to get rid of you, even though we’ve meant much to each other over long years. I'll have no choice but to shun you.”

And so if anyone – sibling, friend, lover, child, parent -- stands as opposition 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.”



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




The Dazzling Darkness is a concept representing a frame of mind untrammeled by the dysfunctional ego. Therein, freed from base-alloy lower-nature 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



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