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Sonoma County Gazette
Beneath the Surface with J. Jaye Gold

Beneath the Surface with J. Jaye Gold

Jul 30, 2017
by Diane McCurdy, Film and Book Reviews


By Diane McCurdy

(1) Why did you write Justin Time? I have a tremendous value for the potential impact that a book can have on a life. They certainly have had that effect on mine. Not that a person can learn to be a conscious human being from reading, but one certainly can be inspired to reexamine the path that they are on inorder to assess if it’s still relevant, and possibly rededicate themselves to it. The unique ideas inJustin Time may be able to act as such a catalyst for someone, somewhere, sometime.

(2) Who are your favorite authors? My favorite authors, Herman Hesse, Rene Daumal, John Fowles, andPeter Beagle have been able to express the depth of human life through metaphor, even fairy tale. Itseems tome that this artistic skill, which I attempted in one of my other books,Highway of Diamonds, allows the reader to extract their own wisdom, rather than be told what they are supposed to think.

(3) What do you mean by the word “multilinguality” that you used in your book? I definitely don’t want to coin a new phrase or term – we certainly have a sufficient number of those to last well into the future. Having received far more than any individual could possibly expect in the areas of love, richness, and depth of life, I understand the natural extension of that experience is service to others. When a glass is filled to the brim, it will naturally overflow. In order for that service to be able to cross the lines of social, religious, economic, and racial divisions that we have created, it is necessary for a person to have life experiences that enable them to interact with people from as varied backgrounds and circumstances as possible. One must be able to speak, understand, and feel the languages of sports, finance, travel, family, science, cooking, the city as well as the woods, and of course music.

(4) What are your living conditions? Are they reclusive? Do you live in a commune? Although my living conditions are relatively private, they certainly could not be classified as reclusive. The concept of commune would be a less accurate description ofthe way I have chosen to live than the concept of community or common unity. Everyone seeks a common unity with those they are closest to, however small or large that group may be. My common unity is with people who value a support system for becoming filled up from within. This allows for the resulting overflow of energy to be focused at serving others rather than only ourselves.

5) How political is your life? No matter how elevated or esoteric a person’s view has evolved into being, that person is still a part of the Human Race. There is no escaping that fact nor should there be. To recognize and empathize with the struggles of others on our planet is a natural manifestation ofawareness. I have found it critical that a person who aspires to become a conscious human being spends part of their energy in assisting those less fortunate and developing a sensitivity to the challenges that others’ lives present. It is for that reason that we have taken on numerous extensive hands-on social work projects both in the U.S. and abroad, addressing the plight of Syrian refugees, rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, and constructing birthing centers in Cambodia and a medical clinic for Burmese refugees.

(6) Do you have children? I was married for years and have grown children and even grandchildren. We have a relationship of mutual respect and admiration, though in actual time spent together my priority is with my students, as theirs is with what calls out most clearly to them. 

(7) What are these “obstacles”to which you refer? However a person interprets the process of the creation of human life, we can agree that it is brilliant by any standard. So we need not debate religion vs. science. What we can do is recognize that this near perfect instrument called a human being is not functioning with the purity of which it is capable. Additions have been made that appeared at the time to be necessary. These protective devices eventually bloomed into the obstacles that keep us from recognizing our natural inclusion with all of humanity. Competition, protection of self-image, restlessness, fear of embarrassment, to name just a few, are all add-ons and can be left behind, revealing an extraordinary but natural creature worthy of the title of Human Being.   

(8) Is there really help for a person who is dissatisfied with themselves? The nature of life certainly does not exclude an amount of sadness and strife – yes, shit does happen. But the quantity and frequency ofwhat could be called negative emotions, whether they surface as worry or anxiety or fear, are not required. We produce them almost as quickly as we try to get relief from them. There is a way out of that tangle, but it does require some sobering attention. A person has to be weary enough of the repetition to alter their priorities sufficiently to allow the entry of something new. It also requires someone who actually knows the way out. My words have been my art form and have most clearly been realized when I speak to people. I am a jokester. I rarely can talk for two minutes without expressing the funny edge of life. I have been only minimally successful at being able to write that humor, which I cherish, into my books (perhaps best in Highway of Diamonds). The answers to these questions are relatively serious, but it would be a misinterpretation to say that my attitude is anything other than that humans (who are potentially glorious) are simply ants walking on the sandy beach of infinity carrying tiny ant-sized laptops under their arms.


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