“BORN AGAIN” – AN INFINITE NUMBER OF TIMES

Childhood is the closest most of us will ever get to Christ –
On average, people, as they grow older, become harder, deader in important parts,
And increasingly brittle.

This demonstrates that we may also be moving in the wrong direction spiritually –
So, before we grow any older, we need to consider turning
And becoming more childlike in our souls.

We need to do this without giving up our lifetime of experience –
Retaining our hard-earned maturity.

The joy and light that, hopefully, will start growing brighter in us –
Eventually could even turn into the “twinkle” of a new-born baby –
A few older people have achieved this – think, for example, of the Dalai Lama
Or another mature person with this kind of sparkle that you might already know.

That would, of course, make one the most mature “baby” – ever –
Since, by that time, we’d have experienced being “born again” –
An infinite number of times.

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JOY

Joy can’t be bought, earned, or manipulated.

To experience joy, however, is simple!
Just open up your heart to God
And everything else in existence that’s “good” will start rushing in.

It’s like what happens when a black, white, gray world
Suddenly gets drenched in vivid colors –
Or when one realizes that life can’t be a “true life”
Without God at its center.

Joy is a fountain that never ceases –
A spiritual light that never dims!

In fact, human beings were made with joy for joy!

However, it’s always a personal decision
Whether you’ll permit joy to begin rushing into your own life!

LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN

Jesus didn’t want us to be “like” him
Instead, Jesus wanted us to be him –

Yet not “him” – he simply wanted us to be our “true selves” –
Just as he was a “true self” –
With a similar relationship to God.

He kept inviting us to join his wedding party with God –
Insisting we hurry along.

But this looked like it could be dangerous – and still does:
Seeing like Jesus could “see”
Hearing what Jesus could “hear”
And experiencing God – much like Jesus did?

So, we gave it some thought, and, given that apparent danger,
Decided it would be much better to stay one-step removed from God –
In a sort of ego-drenched “half-life.”

Actually, Jesus did want us to have it all! –
That is, a life lived as a “true self” – in the presence of God –
Everywhere and at all times.

Jesus knew about living with this God of surprises –
Experiencing life like little children do –
With their “magical” lives!

Why don’t we take Jesus (as opposed to some theological “Christ”) more seriously?

THE NEED FOR SOMETHING “FANTASTIC”

Restlessness is the opposite of peace –
Anger of joy.

So why do we insist on spending time
In dismal lands – far from the spirit –
Even though, from birth, we possess a passport into the world of the Good?

Yes, it’s true that agitation and sleeplessness
Are fruits of a spiritual disease –
But in God’s medicine chest
Every single pill, elixir, and cream – all “natural,” by definition –
Can cure anything.

Long ago, when God began calling human beings
To come home –
They didn’t hear because they had been listening to something else.

The ones who did hear became the elect – the chosen ones –
But, those who, for some reason, didn’t,
Spent most of their time and energy enhancing the “fantastic” in their lives –
Because that’s all they were capable of experiencing at the time.

WE ARE NOT MINDS ALONE

Here, in the First World, minds are the highest-valued aspect of humanity –

A splendid mind, as a great analytical tool, can get you into the Ivy League
And, later, qualify you for the top one percent.

Nevertheless, we are not minds alone – we’re not simply mental tools.

Minds, over a lengthy period of time, develop in a surrounding cultural sea –
And take on the “color” and “imprint” of their birth society.

In order to get outside our socially-cultivated mind and gain the freedom
To think and feel objectively,
Paradoxically, we have to get “out of our minds” –
Which, of course, may cause problems –
But these will not be too serious
When we start thinking through God’s infinitely greater mind –
Resorting to our “no mind” –
Which enables us to observe the world, as well as our own minds,
Critically – “from the outside.”

Later, however, when we’ve actually gone ahead and lost our minds –
We’ll find we also need to lose our names as well –

Because God doesn’t possess a “name” either.

POETS AND GOD

Great poets desire to express the inexpressible
And that’s why the greatest of them – spiritual amateurs all –
Reach for the Divine.

Early on, Christianity got rid of spontaneous poets
And replaced them with orthodox priests and ministers –
And this is why, eventually, Christianity evolved into a religion of rationality –
A religion without fresh poetic inspiration.

People on a long journey towards the holy, however,
Want their favorite poets free to “sing” to God
Because they understand that spontaneity
Is essential in expressing spiritual truths.

Once they’d given up holy ecstatic singing,
Western poets, over time, increasingly became colorless and dull –
Proving that poets need the energy that can be imbibed
From the “living juices” of a “living God.”

In other words, artists (which all true poets are)
Require a subject matter that is “colorful” – “packed with life” –
Like the Divine (the “face” of God)
And Nature (the “back” of God).

In sum, to have the experience of God remain “fresh” –
God needs poets who are willing to reach out to the Divine –

So, tell me, how did Western poetry ever get so far off-track?

HEART AND MIND

Socrates said, “know yourself,”
While Jesus taught us to “love others.”

But, of course, we need both!

If you don’t know yourself, then you won’t be able to see the reality of others –
Because there’d be no true “you” doing the seeing.

And, if you don’t love others, you won’t be able to know and love yourself –
Because we can’t exist without real relationships.

It’s also known that it can be difficult to know one’s “self” – because we’re too afraid to look –
Afraid we’re ugly!

It’s this dual path that we really need –

So, go down these two ancient Jewish and Greek spiritual paths,
And, surprisingly, we’ll find ourselves feeling less ugly – more beautiful –
When we go down, others will suddenly begin appearing more lovable to us –
Especially after we finally decide to forgive ourselves.

TIME IS NOT REAL

The past and future are not “real” – but simply “mental bookkeeping” –
True reality is present only in the “Now” –
The sole “eternity” that exists
And where God, in fact, actually lives.

This “Now” is experienced, ordinarily, only when we get “out of our minds” –

However, when we experience life mainly “inside” our minds,
Real life will continue on in its spontaneous and colorful way – on the outside –
Totally ignoring our inner obsessions.

This “outside” life could be ours – all the time –
If we ever decided to “wake up”
And start sharing life with God in the “Now.”

THE FREEDOM IN BEING “NOTHING”

Shouldn’t we view “God” as a dynamic “Nothing”
Since, after all, everything originally came out of nothing?

How could anything have more freedom than nothing?

The same goes for our “true self” –
Take away your ego (or, in some cases, multiple egos)
And you’re left with the kind of freedom God enjoys.

So, now, you’re telling me –
That “God” and the “true self” might, in essence,
Be One?

YOUR “ORIGINAL FACE”

I’ve frequently written about the “true self” –

That is, when you come to be able to live the life you were meant to live – before being born –
Before getting “beaten up” by family, society, and culture
And “molded” – with or without your active participation –
Into an “ego” that occasionally reflects aspects of your true self – but frequently does not.

Zen people call this true self – our “original face.”

To illustrate the weight of mask upon which your roles are typically displayed –
Start by relaxing your facial muscles –
Then check to see whether your face still remains tight –
If so, try to let your face become as “liquid” as possible – completely non-judgmental –
Until you’re left with as un-tense a face as possible.

That’s as close, without a lot of additional spiritual work,
That you’ll be able to get to your “original face” for now –

A face that exhibits your naked heart –
A face that reflects your essential being

Your “true self.”