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 Stillness Before Time

A 53-page PDF copy can be downloaded at:

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

The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim

A 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.

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.

Breadcrumbs (Compendium)

An 1898-page PDF can be downloaded at:

And the current year unpublished elsewhere:

The Unfolding Next Round 

“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.

Also note that all writings are subject to annual updates and editing, so downloading current PDF copies every year or so might be a good idea if you want the most current version.  This applies especially to the Breadcrumbs compendium, which is likely an ongoing work until 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; not too much, hopefully – 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:



The Stillness Before Time (53 pages)

​The Return to Wonder​ (3006 pages)

Breadcrumbs (Compendium) (1898 pages)

Breadcrumbs 2018 (578 pages)

Breadcrumbs 2020 (222 pages)

Conversations (309 pages)

Definitions (104 pages)

Titles, Titles & More Titles (220 pages)

Ditties for the Bluegrass Pyre (15 pages)

Once Upon a Christmas (1 page)

(Please note that all writings are subject to annual updates and editing, so downloading current PDF copies every year or so might be a good idea if you want the most current version.  This applies especially to the Breadcrumbs compendium, which is likely an ongoing work until the last wheezing breath)

Recent Breadcrumbs

The Unfolding Next Round (Current ditties unpublished elsewhere)

Standouts from "The Return to Wonder" Edit

Possible Last Words & Epitaphs

List of Top Books for the Up and Coming

The Unfolding Next Round (Note: Current quarter ​unpublished elsewhere)

Of the Human Journey

Got God?

Ten Reflections

Standouts from the Return to Wonder Edit


Life Resume

Photo Gallery



Quotes Worth Pondering

Spam Responses (a.k.a. WTF Is This Shit!?) 


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

My (Not Quite) Haiku

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

Once Upon a Christmas

Ditties for the Bluegrass Pyre

Election 2016: The Rise (and Fall?) of Donald Trump

Eight Translations of the Ashtavakra Gita

The Heart of Awareness (Byrom)

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

The Book of Ecclesiastes (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)

Mandukya Upanishad & Mandukya Karika of Gaudapada (Panoli)

Gaudapada: Advaita Vedanta’s First Philosopher (Jones)

Translations of Ancient Writings by Bart Marshall

Ashtavakra Gita

Tao Te Ching

Yoga Sutras


The Book of Ecclesiastes

Writings by Bart Marshall

* * * * * * * * * *

The Stillness Before Time
Reflections from a Fellow Sojourner
© Michael J. Holshouser 2012
© Revised & Expanded 2017 
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.