Dr. Janet Smith Warfield
Fifty years ago, I had a mystical experience. It wasn’t something I was trying to have. I didn’t even know what it was. I just knew I had experienced a sudden understanding and clarity.
Nothing outside me changed. All that changed was my understanding of my external world. Suddenly, I was looking at everything through new eyes.
I had to tell others. No one understood. How could I use divisive, analytical words to communicate a unifying, holistic experience? It was like trying to use a screwdriver to hammer a nail.
Mystical experiences have always been called “ineffable.” They cannot be talked about with any kind of accuracy. The Tao that can be spoken is not the Tao.
I began playing with words, discovering all the creative ways they structure our experiences. I wrote poetry, essays and stories; I journaled. I questioned. Words were illusions, dancing at a masked ball. They were fingers pointing at the moon. They were not the moon. However, they could be used as powerful, transformational facilitators.
Alfred Korzybski wrote, “The map is not the territory.” The words (however useful) are not the experience.
There is this unifying, holistic, enlightening, transformational experience that has happened to people all over the planet from the beginning of time. It has been named by different people in different ways: salvation, enlightenment, satori, awakening, “I am aware.”
As soon as anyone tries to talk about it, however, they are creating a conceptual map of the experience. Each map is different, and the map is not the territory. The words are not the experience.
Socrates used questions. Jesus used parables. Buddhists teach the Noble Eightfold Path. Zen Buddhists use koans.
For fifty years, I have had many holistic, creative, right-brain transformational experiences. For 22 years, I practiced rigorous, left-brain law. Throughout my life, I have been playing with language and honing my people skills.
Out of this, an art form has emerged that I call “Word Sculptures.” Word Sculptures uses words in atypical ways (paradox, metaphor,…
Awards and Affiliations
Graduate of Swarthmore College
Cum laude graduate of Rutgers School of Law, Camden
Studied with Barbara Marx Hubbard, Jean Houston, Andrew Harvey, Carolyn Myss, Bob Proctor, John Childers, Marshall Sylver, Joanna Macy, T. Harv Eker, Mark Victor Hansen, Ron and Victoria Friedman, and Ken Wilber
Author of Amazon Best Seller,…
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