FEEDING FIVE THOUSAND

There was no real “physical” miracle here –
So this shouldn’t be seen as qualifying Jesus as “God.”

However, there was a profound teaching –
About sharing.

As the day wore on –
The disciples started wondering
How the thousands of people who had come to hear Jesus were going to be fed.

At first, the disciples considered going out and buying food at nearby villages –
But, instead, Jesus said: “You feed them” –
Instructing his disciples to start sharing their food as an example
Of how followers of Jesus should respond to a common need.

This particular teaching, at the time, was such a striking “symbolic action”
That, eventually, it became established in Christianity as the Eucharist –
Illustrating that followers of Jesus, when meeting to share teaching about God,
Should also share a meal-in-common – that included everyone
Men and women, poor and rich, old and young.

The Gospels refer to 5,000 men being fed,
But the heart of the story actually centers on the biblically-invisible women –
Without which there would have been no food to share.

The men came to listen to Jesus without (like men sometimes do) thinking ahead about food –
While the disciples only started becoming concerned about it later in the day –
But the women had already planned ahead
And brought enough food to feed their families and friends.

Jesus intuited this, of course, because his soul was both male and female.

This first “all-people” spiritual dinner turned into a big outdoor picnic –
Celebrating God’s word as taught by Jesus –
Along with the sharing of food by the women enabling everyone to be fed –
With plenty of leftovers.

This was a teaching about spiritual democracy –
That all persons, of whatever age or sex, stand equally before God –
Symbolized by their common sharing of food.

There was no “magic” here at all –
The teaching was simply that Jesus’ followers, using their initiative and faith,
Should simply share what they had with others –
(As opposed to the segregated eating by classes and sexes common at the time).

This teaching eventually was included in all four Gospels – establishing a new social pattern for Jesus’ followers –
Ultimately becoming the Eucharist (which, unfortunately, over time, has largely lost its original meaning).

Neither the Christian Church nor the rest of the world, has yet to fully embrace this teaching –
That followers of Jesus (whether Christian or not) are called upon
To start the reign of God –
By starting to share what they have.

If America, for its part, could drop its primitive faith and reliance on military and economic power
And start sharing what it has with the rest of the world
Wouldn’t we – especially under the leadership of women (who respond naturally to people’s physical needs) –
Be capable of successfully feeding, clothing, and housing all eight billion of us?

Wouldn’t that be the miracle God wants –
For human beings to thoughtfully and lovingly share the world’s resources with one another.

As I said, Jesus didn’t believe in physical miracles like the “magical multiplication” of loaves and fishes –
But he did believe in spiritual miracles involving the kinds of changes possible for a human heart

If just given a little “spiritual push”.

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WHAT’S REALLY “REAL”?

Is only what’s visible – “real”?

But, what if the invisible’s just hiding –
For our own good?

After all, what would happen if God, even once, showed up “plain as day” –
Wouldn’t we need to quickly become invisible in order to protect ourselves?

And what would God “see” when God “looks” at us?

A bright dusting of subatomic particles –
Flowering in kaleidoscopic dimensions –
Struggling for some priority of “appearance”?

On the other hand, when we “look” at God, we aren’t able to “see” anything
Because God isn’t a “thing”
Which proves the secularists correct – (at least to the extent they’re willing to go) –
Since, logically, without “thingness,” no “thing” can possibly exist!

So, by establishing “Gods” and their respective civilizations,
People projected giant spiritual puppets up and away from themselves –
Placing them on distant heavenly thrones.

However, recently, we’ve been in a process of losing our belief in such “Gods” –
So, mightn’t there be some danger that our “socially-constructed selves”
Might also get blown to pieces in the ensuing chaos?

Don’t we understand anything
Do we really have to take all the churches, mosques, and synagogues apart, stone by stone,
Along with all the traditional religious rhetoric – phrase be phrase,
In order to get free enough to encounter a “real” God
Face to face –

That is, for us, finally, to become fully conscious and fully alive?

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GOD

21st Century American poets
Sing about God’s “disappearance” –

But it’s not God who’s disappearing, it’s America’s spiritual culture –

What a waste! – our allegiance to a nationalism of no love –
To upper-echelon materialism –
And, also, to this ersatz “heaven” of global capitalism.

This raises the question, however,
Whether anything can exist without a center –
Especially since our own center is an “ego”
Which we’re rapidly losing confidence in.

The primary duty of working poets at all times and places
Is to sing about joy in the presence of God –
So that each of us might, in turn, have our own individual joys reaffirmed
And our true center hold.

When American poets started giving up God –
What was left was a group of negative images and a few slick verbal tricks –
What was left, in essence, was a deep emotional depression – artistically made invisible.

But what came next, of course, was Satan –
Grinning ear to ear –

Death trailing behind in all its manifold forms –
Entering our lives like the tide –

This is the price we’re going to be required to pay
For American poets being so willing to let the “real” God go.

APPETITES

Over time, God’s biblical names have turned to ashes –
And begun drifting down –
Each ancient name a wasted universe.

Even though the names are “pretty dead” by now –
God doesn’t miss them – at all.

People don’t want an original God anymore – it’s just too much reality to bear –
Instead, they’ve substituted smaller, ersatz Gods – stuffed animals, really –
In order to get themselves to sleep – while still being awake.

Since most people will never be privileged to see, hear, or experience God themselves –
They’ve authorized the construction of large stone structures –
Each topped by a white arrow that points straight up –
Symbolizing that something’s up there!

But actually nothing’s there.

So, when people decide they no longer want a real God any longer –
And begin worshipping their own fabulous human productions instead –
They begin feeling an increasing spiritual hunger –
That is, a strong desire to eat everything in the world
Whether money, fashion, wearable computers,
New ideas, exotic food, foreign vacations, and much much more –

As a result, it’s getting pretty hot – and heating up even more –
In a sort of reverse Vesuvius effect –
Each person an upside-down volcano – pulling “hot” materials back inside themselves.

God is appalled at this, but can do nothing
Because these people no longer exist as ordinary human beings –
Having become primarily appetites.

It is natural to eat – so long as it’s in suitable proportions –
It only becomes unnatural when it’s gotten completely out of control –
For example, when one tries to “eat” enough to fill the gap left by a missing real God.

Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed all warned us against this –
When our appetites become more important than other human beings, or even God –
When appetites take over and start devouring our human spirit.

The strongest materialistic forces in the world have been steadily pushing this –
With global capitalism out in front –

The advertising and public relations campaign runs as follows:

“Become appetites, little ones –
Don’t even think about God –

After all, you can’t “eat” God,
Can you?”

CROWS

Even with all the love freely available to us,
The world‘s just getting too technically complicated –

And, since that’s the case,
What heroine will finally be able to cut through

This great Gordian cybertronic knot?

We’ve been marching along, carrying papier-mâché gods out in front of us –
In a dream-time parade.

It’s snowing –
While, at the same time, it’s been quickly melting.

Our words for meaning,
Unfortunately, have lost all their original meanings.

A fluttering of wings
Suddenly surrounds us –

It’s the crows – who’ve been waiting –
Their calls so loud
We can’t think.