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 50-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

"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 681-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 50-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 (50 pages)

The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim (505 pages)

Breadcrumbs (681 pages)

Recent Breadcrumbs

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

Seven 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)

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,
Who are you . . . really?

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

* * * *
You are the source,
The divine ocean,
The absolute supreme,
The eternal unity of isness.

* * * *
Discovering your true birthright
Requires the persistence
Of an aloof scientist,
Gradually scraping away
At the layers of conditioning
Until one day there is nothing left,
And what you really are 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 intuitive longing
To awaken to your birthright,
Then you are free of artificial limits.
You have at last triumphed over illusion.
You have discovered the most indelible truth,
That you are, indeed, sovereign, eternally 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,
Will ever be now,
Is ever now.
Never has there been any time
Other than 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.

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

* * * *
Give it what proper name 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 oneness cloaked by the same diverse mystery.

* * * *
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, conclusions,
Are not the vehicles that will truly get you home.
All concoctions, all speculations of mind,
Are only obstacles to the journey.


The manifest dance is timeless, momentary, eternal.
A reverie 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, fluid, abstract 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.

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

* * * *
You, the seeker, are already that which is sought.
You are the source, the mystery, pure and simple.

* * * *
There can be no serenity
In the restlessness of desire,
The dread of fear, the isolation of anger,
Or the arrogance of pride.

* * * *
Occasionally, quietly, reflect within . . . "I am.”
That simple awareness is all you can really know.
Contemplate the thought closely, add nothing to it.
See its subtle movement to the source within.
Those persistent and discerning enough
Will surrender to the mystery within.


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.

* * * *
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 yourself into.

* * * *
All mythos, all sense of time and history,
Is the make-believe of adults.

* * * *
The infinite source of manifestation
Is tasteless and untouchable,
Without sight, 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, 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.
A swimmingness in the unconditional, timeless aloneness.

* * * *
Worship martyrs, crosses, statues, crystals, photographs,
Nature, wealth, words and ideas, or whatever your own will manufactures.
Or simply attend nothing but your own momentary absoluteness.
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 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 spontaneously
Or chose your parents through karmic design,
Whether you live just once, or well past a trillion times
With identities stretching throughout eternity,
In the most real sense, it is all the same.

* * * *
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 Am of isness,
Witness to a mysterious, imagined theater,
A dreamer dreaming the kaleidoscoping light show real,
The eternal nature masked by endless variations of laughter and sorrow.
Why?  No one can know.  That you are is surely enough.

* * * *
Surrender your identity:
Your names and cravings,
Your fears, angers and doubts,
Your knowledge, opinions and habits,
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 arrogantly believe yourself more spiritually significant
Than a cockroach, grain of sand, or pile of dung,
Then you are missing the real point.
There is great wonder in realizing you are one
With worms, snails, lice, flies, toads, salamanders and snakes.

* * * *
Are you able to examine your existence
Without any attachment, craving or trepidation?
Dispassionately, objectively, reserving all arrogant judgments,
Seeing 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 countless array of passing experiences,
And come to the realization that it was really all your creation,
An inexplicable, intangible, ungraspable, timelessly wondrous journey,
Imagined by a dreamer whose infinitely choiceless nature is prior to all imagination.