07 February 2012


What is written here
Has been spoken, written, and lived
By many in many times and places in human history.
Ever disguised by innumerable masks, costumes, concepts, and technologies,
Its mysterious nature has timelessly confused and frightened
Those unable to discern beneath the surface.

This aphoristic vision is simply another attempt,
Using contemporary masks, costumes, concepts, and technologies,
To illustrate in thought something as old as old is,
That which has ever yet never been.

It is for those who desire nothing from this manifest dream
But that it be a journey into freedom.

Best wishes.

* * * *


Writing has been an enjoyable process ever since I began toying with prose, keeping journals, and corresponding with friends during the college daze.  The philosophical/mystical/whatever-you-want-to-call-them thoughts that started popping into mind since 1989 have always been very out-of-the-blue spontaneous.  Nothing forced about them.  They are being shared on the off chance that others may find them of interest, though, quite frankly, it really does not matter if no one else ever even reads them, for I am first and foremost my own audience.  I got mine, so to speak, and it is, as it has ever been, up to each to discern their own on their own.  There are really no followers in the ultimate quest, only earnest seekers who waylay their desires and fears enough to discern that which is the end to all doubt.  “Yay” if it is your fate to figure it out.  “Oh well” if it is not.  And “so it goes” either way, really.

“The Stillness Before Time” is the original 53-page work that was published in 1992, including mostly aphorisms, a few essays, and lists of movies and books.  Though a self-published version can be purchased at major booksellers, a downloadable copy is available, no charge, at the website below.  There are also a variety of links to several Facebook pages, Twitter, a number of blogs, and links to other very powerful writings of the same ilk.

The different sections can be accessed by clicking through older and newer posts at the bottom of each page, or by searching through the blog archives in the sidebar.

The Stillness Before Time

A recently edited and expanded 53-page PDF copy can be downloaded at:

"The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim" is the second book, and is both blogged and available as a download.

The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim

The 505-page PDF copy can be downloaded at:

“Breadcrumbs” is a blog of a more personal nature than the others, including the most recent aphorisms, a life resume, a photo album, some duplicates of essays and lists previously published, and other this-and-that silliness that has come to mind over time.  All just to show I was a living, breathing, relativity mundane, oftentimes foolish mortal, same as everyone else.  No need to make me more than I was.  No need for legends, no need for myths, no need for fables, no need for miracles, no need for any fictions to which history has so often given itself.  This collection of thoughts is as full of the limited and arbitrary as anything else born of space and time, so please do not shape it into some dogmatic lunacy.  Use it as a launch pad, not an orbit.


A 924-page PDF can be downloaded at:

And the latest blogging unpublished elsewhere:

“The Return to Wonder” blog is a compendium of aphorisms not included in the three other works: The Stillness Before Time, The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim, and Breadcrumbs.  It totals 3,000 pages formatted in 300 ten-page chapters written since 1990-ish.  It has been uploaded beginning with Chapter 265 up to Chapter 1, followed by Chapter 266 up to 300.

The Return to Wonder

Please note that this sort of wordplay is very random; all but impossible to put into any rational order. Probably best read it in bits and pieces in the here and there.  One of those open-to-any-page works.  Especially well-suited for coffee shops, coffee tables, and porcelain thrones.

Please also note that all writings are subject to editing without notice, so re-downloading PDF copies every year or so may be a good idea if you want the most current version.  This applies especially to Breadcrumbs, which is likely an ongoing work until a few minutes or hours or daze before the last wheezing breath.

If you find these many thoughts at all relevant, please feel free to share them with others who might also appreciate them, else they will more quickly slip back into the timeless oblivion from whence they came.

All the best,


P.S.  Regarding the name Yaj Ekim ... It is just a reverse spelling on the first and middle names ... Michael Jay Holshouser ... Mike Jay ... Yaj Ekim.  Coincidently, make of it what you will, Yaj is an Indian boy’s name meaning worshipper, sacrifice, another name for Shiva, a sage.  And Ekim is a Turkish name for October meaning “sowing” (of seeds).

The Stillness Before Time
There is really only one Way.
It is without division or boundary.

It is without name or theology.

Awareness is its scripture,

Here now its venue,

You its witness,

Your life the journey.

A 53-page PDF copy can be downloaded at:
Main Blogs

The Stillness Before Time

The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim

The Return to Wonder



The Stillness Before Time (53 pages)

The Unfolding Next Round (Unpublished elsewhere)

Standouts from "The Return to Wonder" Edit


Michael Holshouser

Michael's Little Warehouse of All Things Amusing, Absurd & Profound

Le Fichier Circulaire de Michaël (Michael’s Circular File)

Yaj Ekim

Hughson Union High School Class of '72


Michael Holshouser


Michael Holshouser


Michael Holshouser

Odd and Ends

Final Exit
The Blind Men and the Elephant
The Joyful Curmudgeon
Of A Philosophical Nature
Quotes, Quotes & More Quotes

The Four Agreements
Le Fichier Circulaire de Michaël
50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School

12 Rules You Can Live By

How to Work in Any Environment

Eight Translations of the Ashtavakra Gita

The Heart of Awareness (Byrom)

Ashtavakra Gita (Marshall)

Bitten by the Black Snake (Schoch)

A Duet of One (Balsekar)

Ashtavakra Gita (Richards)

Astavakra Samhita (Wood)

Ashtavakra Gita (Vedic Scriptures)

Ashtavakra Gita (Shastri)

Translations of Other Ancient Writings
Ashtavakra Gita: I Am Shiva
Tao Te Ching: Verse One
Tao Te Ching (Marshall)
Yoga Sutras (Marshall)

Dhammapada (Marshall)

Avadhut Gita (Shastri)

Song of the Avadhut (Abhayananda)

Atma Bodha (Chinmayananda)

The Essence of the Ribhu Gita (Ramamoorthy & Nome)

Yoga Vasishta Sara (Ramasramam)

Crest-Jewel of Discrimination (Madhavananda)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Stillness Before Time
Reflections from a Fellow Sojourner
© Michael J. Holshouser 1992
© Revised Edition 2001
© Revised Edition 2008
World Rights Reserved

One Way

There is really only one Way.
It is without division or boundary.
It is without name or theology.
Awareness is its scripture,
Here now its venue,
You its witness,
Your life the journey.

You Are Gold

You are perfect.
Pure gold.
Brighter than the sun.

Dean Evans


Before all experience,
Before all thought of identity,
Before all mirrors and photographs,
Before all vanity, gratification, and delusion,
Before all vexation of desire and fear,
Before all suffering of existence,
How are you, really?

* * * *
Move prior to concept, prior to known.
Return to the untainted awareness of the child,
The uncarved freedom of the empty tablet,
Prior to all said, all done, all imagined.

* * * *
You are the source,
The quantum ocean,
The absolute supreme,
The eternal unicity of isness.

* * * *
Discovering your true birthright
Requires the persistence
Of an aloof scientist,
Gradually scraping away
At the layers of conditioning
Until at some point there is nothing left,
And what you truly are, and are not, is quite apparent.

* * * *
There is really no death,
Only the departure of the senses
And the dissolution of imagined identity.

* * * *
When in every moment
You see without a trace of doubt
That there is no master other than you,
That those many pedestaled images of great souls
Were projections of the inherent longing
To awaken to the birthright
That is prior to consciousness,
You will be free of artificial limits,
You will have triumphed over illusion,
You will have discovered the indelible truth:
That you are, indeed, sovereign, indivisibly absolute.


Everything that appears real,
Everything that you have been told,
Everything that you have come to believe,
Is all the fabrication of your mind.

* * * *
There is no path.
There is no dogma.
There is only the absolute,
And a universe of appearances
Disguising the way home.

* * * *
There has ever been now, is ever now, will ever be now.
Never has there been any time other than right here now.

* * * *
When you are satiated of identity,
Weary of meaningless experiences,
When you would even die to be free,
You will do whatever needs to be done
To spin no more on the web of suffering.

* * * *
When struggle and resistance end,
When surrender to what is, is complete,
You will be the awareness that is home to all.

* * * *
Love can only be total, unconditional.
Other uses of the word are of self-absorption:
Incomplete, limited, conditional, manipulative, painful.

* * * *
It is natural to want to know who you are,
But the thoughts of self, the attachment to persona,
The encasements of identity: labels, definitions, assumptions,
Are not the instruments that will truly get you home.
All concoctions, all speculations of mind,
Are only obstacles to the journey.

* * * *
Call it by whatever sound you will:
God, Allah, Brahman, Tao, Buddha, Krishna,
Christ, Great Spirit, Way, Absolute, Supreme, Totality,
Or any of the many other labels it is given throughout the world,
It is ever the same indivisible mystery cloaked by the illusion of diversity.


The manifest dance is timeless, ever-present, undying.
A dreamtime without beginning, without end;
Without cause, purpose, or meaning;
Neither definable or explicable,
For it is beyond all rational appearances.
It can never be known, comprehended, or understood,
Except in the most roundabout, circumspect, oblique, effortless ways.
And in that which is intuited there is no gain or reward.
One simply wanders spontaneously free,
Whatever the course.

* * * *
Taste the tasteless,
Hear the soundless,
Touch the untouchable,
Smell that which has no scent,
And you will see the unseen.

* * * *
All identity is make-believe, a collusion of human scale.

* * * *
Manifestation is simply mask after mask
Disguising an artful, mischievous trickster,
Playing an eternal game of hide-and-seek.

* * * *
The many teachers of suffering:
Illness, injury, aging, dying, and death,
Would you, could you, awaken without them?

* * * *
You who seek are already that which is sought.
You are the unequivocal source, the mystery, pure and simple.
Discerning it clearly in the everyday, without a trace of doubt, is the challenge.

* * * *
There can be no serenity, no contentment, in the restlessness of desire,
The dread of fear, the isolation of anger, or the arrogance of pride.

* * * *
Occasionally, attentively reflect within … "I am.”
That unadorned thought is the first and foremost assumption.
Contemplate it closely, thoroughly, add nothing to it.
See its subtle movement to the source within.
Those persistent and discerning enough
Will dissolve into the inexplicable.


This fleeting mystery is a whimsical kaleidoscope.
An eternal, immortal weaving; without beginning, without end.
A boundless, indivisible ocean of light and shadow in which all forms dance.
All one can observe of the mystery are the countless manifestations;
Never the dispassionate, unwavering witness beneath.

* * * *
All mythos, all sense of time, all sense of history,
Is nothing more than the make-believe of adults.

* * * *
What you call real
Is merely a reflection;
A temporal, dreamy illusion;
An enticing, ever-changing lightshow.
Your true nature is none of it.

* * * *
So many words you cleave your Self into.

* * * *
The infinite source of manifestation
Is tasteless and untouchable;
Without vision or sound or smell.
What one perceives is but the mind’s reverie.
The vague, obtuse, ephemeral quality of awareness called intuition,
Is as near to understanding as any one can ever come.

* * * *
Be serene, content, alert, cheerfully at ease.
It is your original state, your birthright.
It requires no choice, effort, or contention.
No outward manifestation or proof is required.
It is a natural state of awareness, of simple beingness.
An effortless wander in the unconditional, timeless aloneness.

* * * *
To maintain any one path most true,
To insist on duality in any way, any shape, any form,
Is to completely misconstrue the relativity of this manifest dreamtime.

* * * *
Worship martyrs, crosses, statues, crystals, photographs,
Nature, wealth, words, ideas, or whatever your own will manufactures,
Or simply attend nothing but your own momentary awareness.
But for the sorrow of continuity in all but the latter,
All dreams pass in the same manner.


Put aside all hope, all gain and loss, all dreams of glory,
All yearning, hate, anger, fear, envy, and jealousy,
All dread of sickness, injury, aging, and dying.
Your mind-body is but a temporal dream,
You are eternal, sovereign, absolute.

* * * *
There appear to be many paths
In the return to isness.
All are equal in the quest home,
Because, like Dorothy's adventure in Oz,
No one ever really left Kansas.

* * * *
Understand the subtlety between
Claiming you are god,
And knowing you are godness.
One cannot be, and the other never was not.

* * * *
You are a window to the eternal,
But must part the tattered curtains
And wipe away the smudge to see it.

* * * *
There are the ignorant who think they know,
And the ignorant who know they do not.

* * * *
Whether you were born by chance
Or chose your parents through karmic design,
Whether you exist just once, or well past a gazillion times,
With a succession of identities playing out through the abyss of eternity,
From the indivisible perspective, it is all very much the same.

* * * *
Explore love as much as you might with all your beingness,
It is the awareness within all that is its unfathomable cradle.

* * * *
You may sit quietly and breathe with your eyes wide open or tightly shut;
Chant spiritual songs or hum mantras until your mind is three shades of blue;
Practice every sort of rigid, dogmatic, death-defying diet or prescribed exercise;
Submit to ancient beliefs, rituals, and traditions; wear costumes and deify symbols;
Practice any discipline, worship any form your mind or another's might conjure;
Real meditation is the serene awareness of every moment's birth and death,
And no system is required to discern and freely perceive your birthright.


You are the ground,
The splintered I Amness of isness,
Creator and witness to an inexplicable theater,
A dreamer dreaming the kaleidoscoping quantum show real,
The timeless nature masked by endless variations of laughter and sorrow.
Why?  No one can know.  That you are is surely enough.

* * * *
Nothing wrought of this quantum genesis is ultimately real.
Everything is imagined, everything is dreamily timeless.
All indivisibly appearing, all indivisibly disappearing,
Within and without the eternal matrix of awareness.

* * * *
Surrender your identity:
Your concepts and cravings,
Your fears, irritations, and doubts,
Your knowledge, opinions, and routines,
Your ambitions to achieve one glory or another.
Surrender everything you believe you are,
That you have never really been.

* * * *
There is no Eastern or Western thought,
Only an awareness manifesting consciousness,
Blanketed by an innumerable array of mythologies.

* * * *
If you smugly believe yourself more spiritually significant
Than a cockroach, grain of sand, or pile of dung,
Then you are missing the real point.
There is profound wonder in realizing you are one
With worms, snails, lice, flies, toads, salamanders, and snakes.

* * * *
Are you able to scrutinize your existence
Without any attachment, any craving, any trepidation?
Dispassionately, objectively, reserving all pride-filled judgments;
Discerning forthrightly, clearly, without ulterior motive;
Observing closely the many joys and sorrows;
The likes and dislikes, the loves and hates;
The thoughts, beliefs, opinions, conclusions;
The endless flow of people, places, things, ideas;
The seemingly boundless array of passing experiences;
And come to the realization that it was really all your creation;
An inexplicable, intangible, ungraspable, timelessly indivisible journey;
Imagined by a dreamer whose ultimately choiceless nature is prior to all imagination.


How will you be psychologically free?
There is no method.
It happens when you will abide
No further infringement from any portion of the illusion,
When you are at last sovereign enough to journey alone, whatever the course.

* * * *
No word touches it, no language explains it, no mythos contains it.
You are it, you have always been it, you will ever be it.
Polish that mirror until all you see is you.

* * * *
Too big to see how small it is,
Too small to see how big it is,
You are, nonetheless, all of it.

* * * *
There is really no religion, no Way,
Just keen observing of a passing mystery
Beyond comprehension or conclusion.

* * * *
The senses tease and taunt you.
They are lies of the delusional mind.
You must ascertain the witness within,
Discriminate the freedom that they cannot,
And know with every particle of your beingness,
That only in the timelessness of awareness are you real.

* * * *
To discover your true Self, you must explore your self.
To see the many others, yet see no other, that is the razor's edge,
Upon which all seers timelessly traverse this reverie both real and unreal.

* * * *
To identify with thoughts is akin to the ocean believing it is the sound of waves crashing.

* * * *
Symbols, mantras, postures, diets, attire, practices of any sort,
Are nothing more than tantalizing, captivating distractions,
Until you sharpen your attentiveness and discernment,
And fully grasp it can only be puzzled out very much alone.

* * * *
Any given mythos is essentially an unspoken agreement, a set of rules,
With language, rituals, and symbols to impose its continuity in the unborn.
When you see the collusion of tradition for what it really is, all become relative.


Polish mirrors that never reflected,
Clean stains never spilled,
Mend tears never torn,
Perfect that never flawed,
Illuminate shadows never cast,
Give purpose that requiring none.
You are ever unfathomable and unknown,
A timelessly whimsical mystery dancing in stillness.

* * * *
Your vain existence is as secure as that
Of a clay figurine created by a child playing,
And then delightfully shattered with a laugh of glee.

* * * *
There will never be political, economic
Or social resolution to the human condition.
Consciousness itself must make the paradigm shift.

* * * *
You will never be free
Until you can say no to your parents,
Your ancestors, your mythos and, finally, yourself.

* * * *
Take a lump of clay, divide it in two,
Sculpt them into any forms that come to mind,
Call one evil, the other good, one black, the other white,
Or any other fabrications of the dualistic mind,
Both ever remain the same clayness.

* * * *
Study anything and everything
But neither follow nor imitate anyone.
What is the point of listening to any teachers
If you do not intend to someday grasp the teaching?

* * * *
Geographic isolation has spawned a broad diversity of mythoi,
Each grappling to protect ancient beliefs, customs and histories.
Humanity’s clinging to what was is becoming less and less viable
As the stew of a shrinking world continues to simmer in dreamtime.