While chatting with my Christian chiropractor about ethics, it occurred to me to take a look through what had been written about it since I began scribing in 1989. The creative juices took hold, and this is the result, with aphorisms and essays from the major works – The Stillness Before Time, The Return to Wonder, The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim, and the seven Breadcrumbs titles. Along with aphorisms on ethics, are thoughts on good and evil and the Golden Rule, a few pages of online philosophy and ethics definitions and links, a recent Where Is the Line? ditty, the dialogue from an amusing and enlightening episode of Young Sheldon, several page of aphorisms on duality from The Stillness Before Time and The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim, as well as three oeuvres from The Stillness Before Time: Ten Reflections, Got God?, and The Human Journey.


A PDF is available at


The Gordian Knot of Ethical Thinking

Writing has been an enjoyable process ever since I first began toying with prose; scribbling poetry, keeping journals, corresponding with friends and acquaintances during the college daze. The philosophical/mystical/whatever-you-want-to-call-them thoughts, that have been popping into mind since 1989, have always been very out-of-the-blue spontaneous. Nothing planned or 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. I played my little part. I had my share of fun. And it is, as it has ever been, up to each to discern their own, on their own. There are really no followers in this Don Quixote quest; only earnest seekers, who waylay their desires and fears and dreads, enough to discern that which is the end to doubt, the end to dueling with windmills. “Yay” if it is your fate to figure it out. “Oh well” if it is not. And “so it goes” either way, really. Ecclesiastes 1:2 is always a good reminder: “Vanity of vanities,” saith the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.” Awareness can only, with great effort, regain control, regain sovereignty, from the usurper, imagination, creator of all that is time, creator of all that is space. Creator of all that is illusion, has never has been anything more than illusion, will never be anything more than illusion. Only as real as the given moment.


“The Stillness Before Time” is the original work that came together in 1992, including mostly aphorisms, an essay, a newspaper question-and-answer, ten reflections, and lists of both movies and books. Though an early self-published version, long since edited and expanded, can be purchased at major booksellers, a downloadable copy is available, no charge, at the link below. There are also links to a variety of blogs of other creations by me, along with links to many writings of a similar nature, by thinkers and seers from across all times, across all geographies. "The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim" is the second published book, and is both blogged and available as a PDF download.


The “Breadcrumbs” titles, published annually since 2015, all include the core chapters: Leftovers, Soundbites, Breadcrumbs. In the Breadcrumbs chapters, I unleash thoughts of a more personal nature than in the other two. All just to show I was ensconced in a living, breathing, relativity mundane, oftentimes foolish, mortal mind-body. An actor playing the hand that was dealt; same as everyone else, vain as everyone else. No need to sculpt me into more than I was. No need for myths, nor legends, nor fables, nor miracles, nor cult followings, nor any other fictions, any other absurdities, over to which the human mind, and all its imaginary history, has so often given itself. The Breadcrumbs chapters prove me again and again to be yet another Shakespearian player, as full of the limited and arbitrary as anyone else born into this dream of space and time. So please be sure not to shape me, or these many random thoughts, into some dogmatic absurdity. Use them as a launchpad, not an orbit.


“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 originally totaled 3,000 pages formatted in 300 ten-page chapters written since 1990-ish. A gradual editing that will likely never be completed, is changing that dynamic into something of a mishmash.


Please note that this sort of wordplay is very haphazard, way too much work to put into any 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 always subject to updates and editing, so if you are interested in the most current version – before this house of cards comes tumbling down, and the world grows large again – downloading PDF copies every once and a while might be a reasonable discipline. This applies especially to the current year of Breadcrumbs, which could well be an annual project until the last wheezing breath, though frankly, the temptation to stop writing entirely is not off the table. It is a pleasant way to pass some of the countdown remaining, but it is unlikely there is much ground that has not been wandered by this frame of reference far more than enough already. No matter how many times Sisyphus rolls the boulder up the mountain, it is more than a little doubtful that the blind men and their true-believer followers, will ever discern, ever realize, ever embrace, the elephant in the middle of the room, without fabricating some new form of absurdity. It is the way we roll, it is the way we have always rolled, it is the way we will, far more than probably, always roll. Every species has its limitations, and we have in this mind’s eye, far-exceeded ours.


That said, if you do find these many thoughts at all worth preserving, for whatever times are ahead for this world and all its life forms, please feel free to share them with others who might also appreciate them. Else they may well swiftly slip back into the timeless oblivion from whence they came.


So it goes, either way. I played my part, I said my piece, I had my fun.


All the best,




P.S. For best viewing online, using the largest screen you have available to explore my little theme park, is suggested. Scrolling down and down on a phone screen is just not going to give you the same entrée.

P.P.S. Regarding the name Yaj Ekim ... It is just a reverse spelling of the first and middle names ... Michael Jay Holshouser ... Mike Jay ... Yaj Ekim.


P.P.P.S. Coincidently, make of it whatever you will, or will not, 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). All kinds of absurdity can be read into that by the many so-inclined – none of which was in mind when I came up with the idea to reverse the letters to my name. See P.P.S. for details.


P.P.P.P.S. Yes, I am Shiva. And so are You. No, I am not Shiva. And neither are you. Irony and paradox rule.


The Stillness Before Time Website


The Stillness Before Time

Reflections From a Fellow Sojourner


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 PDF is available at:



Main Blogs


The Stillness Before Time

Reflections From a Fellow Sojourner


The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim


Breadcrumbs 2015

Bits and Pieces From a Dream of Time


Breadcrumbs 2018

Bits and Pieces From a Dream of Time


Breadcrumbs 2019

Bits and Pieces From a Dream of Time


Breadcrumbs 2020

Bits and Pieces From a Dream of Time


Breadcrumbs 2021

Bits and Pieces From a Dream of Time


Breadcrumbs 2022

Bits and Pieces From a Dream of Time


Breadcrumbs 2023 & Beyond

Bits and Pieces From a Dream of Time


The Return to Wonder

Field Notes From the Unknown



Breadcrumbs: The Original Blog


Breadcrumbs: The Original Blog



Other Blogs by Michael


Michael’s Rabbit Hole

A Selection of Breadcrumbs & Other Aphorisms


The Call of the Eternal

A Conversation With My Self


Imagination: The Great Usurper


Lost in Translation

The Human Paradigm’s Linguistic Muddle


The Gordian Knot of Ethical Thinking


Mystery, Mystery & More Mystery


Imagination, Imagination & More Imagination


Doubt, Doubt & More Doubt


Science, Science & More Science


History, History & More History


Patterns, Patterns & More Patterns


Reincarnation, Reincarnation & More Reincarnation


Standouts From “The Return to Wonder” Edit

Selections From the First Sixteen Chapters


Of the Human Journey

Along with Got God? And Ten Reflections


To Be, or Not to Be


The Mystery of the Mystery


Who Was the First?


The Real is Discovering


59 Moments to The Way It Is (And Is Not)

The Scribe's Guide to the Great Whatthe#$*!?


An Incomplete Selection of Contemplative Definitions


A Variety of Letters, Emails, Texts, & Sundry Odd 'n Ends


Titles, Titles & More Titles


Even More


Sketches of the Once Upon a Time

A Few Epiphanies and Other Hallmark Moments


The Corollaries of Yaj Ekim


Possible Last Words & Epitaphs


The Standard Ripostes

The Scribe's Go-to Responses to This and That in the Day-To-Day


My (Not Quite) Haiku


Once Upon a Christmas


Ditties for the Bluegrass Pyre


A Short List of Books for the Up and Coming

Some Written Works That May Help Get the Young up to Speed


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



* * * * * * * * * *


The Gordian Knot of Ethical Thinking

© Michael J. Holshouser 2024

World Rights Reserved


The Stillness Before Time
Reflections From a Fellow Sojourner
© Michael J. Holshouser 1992

© Revised Edition 2024
World Rights Reserved


Ten Reflections

© Michael J. Holshouser 1998

© Revised Edition 2023

World Rights Reserved


Got God?

© Michael J. Holshouser 1996

© Revised Edition 2023

World Rights Reserved


Of the Human Journey

© Michael J. Holshouser 1996

© Revised Edition 2023

World Rights Reserved


Michael J. Holshouser

1112 Cedar Creek Drive, Unit 4

Modesto, California 95355-5213

The United States of America


Pronunciation: Holtzhowzer


All have the express written encouragement

To distribute this creation freely to any and all

Who have the eyes to see and the ears to hear

The mystery in which each and every one

Equally participates in so many ways.