THE CANS NO LONGER OPEN!

There’s nothing more open, yet more resistant to change,
Than the American people.

We are the direct descendants
Of an extended chain of empires.

We stretch back – deep into time –
While, at the same time, and quite carelessly, vault into the future.

Truly, there’s nothing more modern,
Yet more ancient, than Americans.

We enjoy playing marbles with our leaders’ heads –
Voting for what we think we believe in –
And buy too many things we don’t really need.

What a laugh!
Especially since there’s not a single funny bone remaining in America.

The cans don’t open either –
Since the can openers have all gotten misplaced.

It’s the fault of religion
That we can’t find anything anymore –

Jesus Christ had been our favorite “opener” –
But, somehow, along the way, he got bent.

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TENTATIVE ENCOUNTERS WITH REALITY

Everything – living and nonliving –
Shares, in some way, with God –
Even our sleepy selves.

But this effect tends to disappear
As soon as we experience it –
Yet is the reason it seems so beautiful!

Life appears to be, and is, exquisite
When we experience it slipping through our fingers –

We try our best to hold onto it –
But are able to capture only a few images
In memory or
Imagination.

As we mature, we come to believe
That the mind is “real” –
But this is a lie.

When we dive down into our personal ocean of unreality
Even kisses are only ideas
As we repeatedly lose ourselves in all the infinite dimensions
Of no dimension.

The truth is –

God, and the true self,
May be encountered, only tentatively,
One individual, and one moment,
At a time.

TEARS OF JOY

Evangelical Christians talk about being “born again” –
As if it’s easy.

And that suffering and dying are nothing more than just saying the words
“Jesus Christ.”

But this is all a sham.

Suffering and dying are very difficult –
As Jesus so graphically demonstrated.

But that’s what it costs –

Dying, to make way for the birth
Of the kind of people God meant for all of us to be –

Pretty much everything in the ancient world had to be destroyed
To make room for that.

It’s the same for each one of us – it won’t be easy –
Giving up and
Starting all over again –

Arriving straight out of a spiritual womb
Into a sky we’ve never experienced before.

At birth, everyone starts crying,
You, your friends, the entire world – everyone –

Tears of joy.

SURFING

Human beings desire control in their lives –
Which is both a good, as well as a bad thing.

Actually, life is more like surfing –

If you go too far forward –
Or too far back –

You fall in.

It’s the same with our attempts at control –
Not enough, and life starts to fall apart,
Too much, and it can freeze up.

Western culture teaches that we should strive for as much control in our lives as possible
But this has led to embracing a “material” God.

It’s similar, isn’t it, to what Jesus said about the birds –
Which don’t have to worry about what they eat or wear.
Jesus knew people had to work –
But thought it just wasn’t the most important thing.

The paradox each of us needs to solve
Is how to become our “true self” –
The child that’s still able to play –
In the midst of a responsible adult life.

It is a lot like surfing, isn’t it –
Balance being the most important skill.

Playful as a child –
Responsible as an adult.

This takes a lot of practice
Like all other critical life skills.

WHAT IS “GOD”?

When someone says:

“I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and spirit” –

What “God” is being talking about here?

The God that I mean is not some ancient shibboleth
Or “Big Old Man in the Sky” –
And, certainly not, the puppet God worshipped in too many churches today.

My God is “the Best” – that is, the best that human beings have ever been able to conceive.

For example, for me, this would include:

“Love” coming to life in all its most beautiful manifestations –

“Truth” that’s continually opening up – ever clearer and finer –

“Justice” as “ultimate fairness” – which naturally exists, and

“Beauty” which makes life feel like a “celebration” is about to happen!

What do you think constitutes the “Best”? Or, perhaps even, the “Very Best”?
Tell me, and I’ll be happy to say that what you just said
Is closely-related to, or even a part of, “God.”

It’s that simple, isn’t it?

If you argue “the Best” no longer exists –
Like much Western culture currently treats the word “God” –
Then what has happened is only that you’ve tricked yourself out of yourself.

Actually, “the Best” does exist –
And, traditionally, and rightly, we call it “God.”

When I say “Love” is God – or “God” is Love –
Do you really dare reply that it’s not?