OUT HERE WITH THE BIRDS

America’s future doesn’t lie in wealth or power –

Instead, it’s a proof text
Demonstrating how different kinds of people
Can live in relative peace with one another –

If this works in America
It’ll work everywhere else on earth –
And provide solid evidence that reasonable laws
Can substitute for blood, cultural, or racial ties.

America’s future doesn’t lie in religious cults, no matter how ancient, popular, or patriotic–
But in a country purified of violence and materialism.

Until recently, Americans have been living a wrong idea –
That we have somehow been “chosen” –
An idea that, repeatedly, brought destruction upon earlier civilizations.

Really, it’s the “everydayness” of America that’s so great!

Recently, however, we’ve gotten somewhat off track –
And have found ourselves lost out in the grass –
But, maybe, that’s not so bad –

Actually, it’s really sort of peaceful
Out here with the birds.

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SEARCHING FOR GOD – WITH BOTH MINDS

We possess two minds: a logical/mathematical/scientific mind and a creative artistic one:
Joined at the brain’s center they function best when acting together
Because it takes both to encompass reality.

Today, many people are using just one of their minds in their search for God or for understanding reality – the “logical” one –
And that’s true whether we’re speaking of believers in orthodox religion or atheists –
Since both can be quite comfortable construing reality in a purely logical manner.

Atheists – being materialistic – use “Occam’s Razor” to crop spirit entirely out of life’s picture,
While Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals proselytize a “god-given” faith
composed of ancient superstitions systematized into a “take it or leave it” religion.

Both are dead-ends.

I propose that people should start searching for God and their true self by using both minds. A new post-“postmodern” field of human endeavor will be necessary to accomplish this: a freely creative and artistic, yet inherently rational, spiritual discipline of using both of our minds.

In the past, artists convincingly portrayed various aspects of God, but restricted their images and stories to their culture’s predominant religion – whether Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam.

Today, however, artists need to widen their scope of work to encompass all human religions, spirituality, thought, and emotions. Human beings’ highest and most joyful levels of creativity could then be used to “paint pictures” and “tell stories” about God, and to discover their true selves – with absolute freedom – while grounding this new“ spiritual-art” in a profound and rational understanding of reality.

This “Two Minds spiritual discipline,” however, will never be included in the course curricula at Princeton Theological Seminary or Oral Roberts University because this combination of a rational scientific approach with spontaneous and free artistic creativity, by its very nature, could never be the subject of academic systematization.

The best thing would be for each person to become a “scientific-artist” or “artistic-scientist” (depending upon one’s natural preference), and to go and search for God and one’s true self on their own – using both minds. If they happen to learn about someone who might be helpful to them in that search – they should go and talk to that person – one on one.

Repeat, as often as necessary, until radiant with joy!

PAIN ALL AROUND

When a society
or a person
Does something bad –
Really Bad

They quickly forget it –
so as to be able
to do it again

As Americans, we think mostly about
how good we are –
(and getting better every day) –

But if, by accident,
we’re ever reminded of our bad,
we tend to “duck and weave,” arguing many
others have been much worse –

That’s why the old-time religions are right
about sin.

We love it so much that
We “marry” it –
And hold it close to our hearts

Where it inexorably bites us deep
Unto death

Satan sitting on our chest
God up in his sky

Pain all around.

O SPOILED ONES

What if your ability to see “color”
Was contingent upon the presence of God –

Wouldn’t you want to immediately start a search for the Holy?

Or if you weren’t able to take pleasure in “eating”
Without first having the ability to say a heartfelt prayer of thanks –

Wouldn’t you want to start practicing with someone who already knew how to do it?

What if you couldn’t enjoy either “music” or “parties”
Without the active participation of God –

Wouldn’t you want to start sending out advance invitations on a regular basis?

O spoiled ones, you take all God’s gifts
For granted
And make life’s riches
Ordinary –

How could you!

FLYING STRAIGHT TO GOD

Look for a subtle movement
Or a place of pure stillness –

God may be found in either place.

Your heart, on the other hand, is a boiler room
Banging out wants and fears –

Once in a lifetime, though, you may hear God’s distant call,
And, suddenly, your heart’ll leap out of your chest
And fly like a bird quickly disappearing into the deep blue sky –

Free at last!

This is the actual moment you become holy –
And fill with overflowing joy –

When your heart leaves your heart –
And starts flying straight to God.

“LIVING IN SIN” – AND DECIDING TO WALK BACK OUT OF IT

Most of us, today, find ourselves “living in sin” because, at some point,
We misplaced our “true selves” –
Relinquishing what God gave us as our very own.

We were drawn to this path by our parents –
Who wished, initially, for us to survive, and then, later on, to thrive –
But, until the world, one day, becomes “God’s Kingdom” – once and for all –
That was probably the right call to make at that time.

So, we never made a conscious choice about exchanging our original true self
For a conventional adult ego –
The exchange that resulted in our losing “everything” truly meaningful to us.

The only possible cure is for us to admit the hard truth
That we actually have lost our true self, sometime or somewhere, during childhood,
And, now, don’t know how to find it again.

It’s a lie we’ll be able to recover our true self in one faith-soaked stroke –
Whether in this life or even in passing from this one to the next –
In truth, it may only be retrieved one step at a time –
The first one being the most important!

That first step by a true self,
Is like trying to put a tiny foot inside God’s huge shoe
And having faith it’ll fit.

At the heart of all religions is an implied promise to get your true self back –
It’s what we’re supposed to spend our entire lives accomplishing –
However, religion never comes out and says this openly
Because it would also mean, eventually, giving up on religion itself
And religion has way too much invested in us to ever reveal that!
So it doesn’t say anything –
And, instead, asserts that each individual needs religion in order to be “saved” –
Even though the promised salvation only begins after one’s life is over –
Or, perhaps, needs to be provided by someone else.

The truth is – all you actually need is God – and the heart of a courageous human being –
The truth is you can have everything – just for the asking –
That when you’re given a “green light” by God –
Which everyone who asks eventually receives –
You’ll be able to start walking – backwards – retracing all the steps taken by your false self –
Back through religion, society, parents, and even your physical birth –

Until you’re completely free (that is, “reborn,” in the language of Jesus) –
To the point where you no longer belong to anyone but God
And, of course, your true self – the “pearl” –
God provided us with originally – as our own individual and exclusive gift!

NOTHING ELSE LASTS

The Quantum Theory, the General Theory of Relativity, and God
Are all intellectual constructs –

Sophisticated mental tools located inside our heads

Each pointing out and away from us –
And used to apprehend different types of reality –

However, the farthest reaching – “God” – may only be discerned by using both mind and spirit

In other words, God –
As well as the spiritual attributes of God – such as love, truth, justice, and beauty –
Are the only true reality –

Nothing else lasts.

CAMOUFLAGE PEOPLE

Jesus, in the way he lived his life, demonstrated
Something truly amazing –
So, it’s surprising that, even after all these years, we still haven’t “gotten” it.

Big Religion, on the other hand, has acted like an enormous stuffed pillow
With extraordinary capacity to smother spirit –
And, even though it hasn’t been able to muffle Jesus’ radiant words entirely,
It has been effective at “re-interpreting” what he said –
For over 2000 years.

Quite a feat!

In spite of that, the Church never achieved complete ownership of Jesus –
Even though it’s been publicly displaying him,
Like a jeweled pendant for two millennia.

In contrast to these theological contortions, however –
Jesus has always been just another human being –
Teaching us how to love God –
Which, of course – is both very easy and very difficult.

Jesus told us not to try to live like him but, instead, to be like him –
To embrace, whenever possible, truth, justice, and beauty –
And always be vulnerable
To love.

Without his extraordinary example, how will we ever escape all the crazy ideas
We are so constantly fashioning about ourselves –
Faster than eye can follow –
Instantly creating and re-creating a “self” in order to meet worldly expectations.

Camouflage people –
We assiduously avoid any reality
That might turn out to be our actual lives.

IT’S THE SAME OLD STORY

It’s the same old story –

We need to change –
But change requires internal freedom –
So, instead, we make a futile attempt to change ourselves
By changing others.

But this never works.

So,
Since we can’t change in that way –
Or find the guilty party because the “crime” was committed so long ago –
We believe we might one day be saved –
By somebody else.

It’s the same old story –

We’ve lost all true meaning in our lives –
Can’t find it – even under our fingernails –
Nor can we buy it, join it,
Drive it,
Or even, marry it.

We believe,
If we ever encounter true meaning,
Face to face,
Our ego might suddenly “blow up” and disappear forever –

So, instead, we postpone any true meaning –
And try, for awhile,
To get along without it.