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Journal Tending Technique
From William Samuel's The Child Within Us Lives!

"The purpose of the journal is to consciously become the very point where the Ineffable becomes tangible in the world...."

Thank you for the call, dear friend, Zeke.

Jeremiah spoke of the Mystery as arriving "Line upon line," a reference to the last letter of the old Hebrew alphabet, which came to be believed to have special power. He added "precept upon precept." It has come that way for me, Zeke. I do not believe it comes to anyone otherwise. There may be "road to Damascus" enlightenments, but those events are not UNDERSTOOD or CONFIRMED quickly. Understanding comes "precept upon precept." Yours will come more quickly now because you are willing to get the veil out of the way – and to DO what you will be given to do.

Listen carefully: Get yourself a notebook and begin a journal. There is a "flow" from the Ineffable Beyond Name into our conscious/unconscious awareness, and from there into tangibility. We move into that flow as we clothe our Glimpse with words. That Flow is continual, constant, ever-flowing – from Non-Movement into tangibility and the world's movement.

The purpose of the journal is to consciously become the very point where the Ineffable becomes tangible in the world, that is, to unblock the Flow and allow it to move through our CONSCIOUS awareness again – just as it did when we were children.

This is not a religious approach, Zeke, because the flow of Glimpses from Godhead pertains to EVERYTHING good, true and wonderful. Beauty, wonder, form, color, tenderness, the fragrances of flowers, the beauty of children and mountains and June bugs, excitement, enthusiasm, FEELINGS of love and awe, and especially memories of the grand events of our lives are all part of the Flow.

Mark a section of your journal "GLIMPSES" and begin making a list of the notable Glimpses you have had in your life.

Glimpses of what? Nothing complex here. Just THINK BACK and remember the joyful, moving, significant moments. When you first fell in love. When you got your first bicycle. Any of the special, meaningful events you remember. LIST them. It isn't necessary to write in detail about them. At this time, just LIST THEM. Such as (some of mine):

1. Military school and homesickness.
2. The little girl, Barbara.
3. The picnic and the cow's soulful eyes.
4. The man screaming in the church.
5. Walking to meet Mom in the evening. Go back to your childhood, Zeke, and recall all the events that stick in your mind for ANY reason, painful or otherwise, because their sticking in memory is evidence they taught you something. You may omit the most painful ones if you like, but be certain to list the GOOD ones. What they taught isn't important right now. You are just making a list of the powerful MOMENTS in your earlier days.

At the moment, it seems I'm asking you to recall memories, and in a way, I am, but we'll call them GLIMPSES later, as you will see. This is a meaningful exercise, Zeke. Just do it. Pay particular attention to the sensations, feelings, moods and memories that come, AND KNOW THIS: As those things "come into consciousness," Something very healing to the BODY is coming with them.

Will you do this, Zeke? Set up a specific time, early in the morning and again in the afternoon or evening, each day. Not long. You set the time. Ten or fifteen minutes MINIMUM. Some days, when the Flow is really coming, STAY WITH IT. In a year or two (for you, how about a month or two?) you will be surprised and delighted to find that the Flow is CONSTANT and that you can actually do what the prophet said: "Whatsoever things are good and true ... think on these things."

falling leaf by Mike Fisk, You have just begun. I assure you, that Child LIVES, Zeke. Everything you felt as a kid, you can and WILL feel again! "Prove me now, herewith...!" The Child within will lead you to all things else. Then, you will have the opportunity to do the same for many others, even as now I do for you.


I can't remember when or why I began using the term "journal tending" because it really isn't that. It is more a jotting down of thoughts as they come or an examination of one's own thinking. It is very often a conversation between the me-sense and the Self within. For many years my journal was a shirt pocket and a dresser drawer; whatever words, phrases or sentences came were jotted onto whatever was handy – old envelopes, receipts, grocery bags. These bits and pieces were emptied into a drawer each day, and it was many years before the activity was even half organized.

The reader, however, is not being asked to do an effortless thing either. It does take time and a small effort to sit down and ask God a question – and then to be still and listen for an answer. When we talk to friends, some slight momentary attention is necessary to select the right words to describe the antics of our dog romping in the autumn leaves just raked. But we do that almost effortlessly. No more effort than this is required for keeping a "journal" as I propose doing it. Just remember, it isn't what we write that matters half so much as the MODE we put ourselves into as we write. Writing may be a "discipline" most of us don't enjoy because we can't write as easily as we can talk – and we are afraid to look at our results – but writing is invaluable because of the receptiveness it engenders.

But, my friend, if you will take my word for it at the moment, you will quickly find yourself with a remarkable "something to do" that will lead you straight to the Child Heart of yourself!

Through the years many have told me that writing was the last thing they would ever do. On my desk this moment there is a letter saying, "...if writing is required to discover the Truth, I'll never know the Truth." Yet, I've seen those very people become living lights in the world, some of them publishing books. Not everyone who keeps a journal will write to the world, yet not a single one who writes a word – even one word on the back of an old envelope – can keep from changing his experience by that very word. There is a mystical truth in the saying about the "web of interrelatedness": When a leaf falls to the earth, the universe is shaken. Just so, when one writes a single word, the universe is shaken. That is a fact which I will "prove" momentarily.

To this point in the book, we have talked about (1) the Child within, (2) the power of Glimpses and (3) journal tending. The journal has been introduced early because we will use it to get BACK to the essential Child and Its Glimpses, without which one is not living. Let me repeat, the power of the journal doesn't lie in the words written in it but in the MODE OF CONSCIOUSNESS one falls into as he writes! That "mode of mentation" takes us to the Child and the Child brings us GLIMPSES!

Some additional notes from other descriptions that William wrote about journal tending:

  • what's important is the mode of mentation that writing requires
    • once comfortable with it, it can be maintained at other times
  • a discipline that engages the flow of life
    • from the ineffefable, through consciousness, out into the world
  • action that sparks the flow of Light and Life in our subjective world:
    • "Adulthood has woven a veil that hangs between the child-heart and the world. The world outside has become the adult's reality, bound in time."

  • examining one's thoughts is the 1st step
    • writing is the most immediate way to do so by oneself
    • we do this for ourself – no intermediary between ourself and God
  • what's important aren't words written or spoken
    • but the experienced interface with Reality – inside and outside
  • writing keeps the flow passing between heart and the fingers that touch the world
  • the climbing adult diminishes
  • the child atop the mountain increases in consciousness

Excerpted from The Child Within Us Lives! A Synthesis of Science, Religion and Metaphysics, copyright © 1986 by William Samuel. All rights reserved. Butterfly Publishing House publishes audio CDs, DVDs and the writings of William Samuel. Visit the William Samuel and Friends website for more information. Our thanks to Sandy Jones for making these valuable works available. Buy from Amazon.


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