WHICH COMES FIRST?

Which comes first – life or consciousness?
(This may not be as obvious as it first appears.)

Is dumb animal life necessarily followed by ever-expanding human consciousness
Or is consciousness an eternal form of spiritual energy present in all living bodies
And even nonliving matter like rocks and dust –
That is, is “consciousness” something that’s omnipresent out there
Inherent in both life and non-life forms – just at different “levels?”

Who knows the answer to this – for now – except God?

Let’s review the most commonly accepted “steps”:

First comes existence
Then life
Followed by consciousness
Then, hopefully, a handful of human/God selves
And, finally, God
Who, of course, incorporates everything before and after –
Including, most importantly, the present.

The sense we have that “we” will not die –
Even though understanding it’s a physical impossibility–
Where does that come from?
Is it a lie or some kind of sophisticated self-delusion?
And, if so, why is this “sense” so strong – so seemingly unassailable?

I don’t think or feel I’m a living cognizant piece of  “meat” –
Instead, I feel like a fountain – a spiritual fountain –
And, given that, where does the supply of “water” come from?

I feel connected, yet remain independent and free.
I feel I’m part of a whole, but not subservient to that whole.
I feel I’m a spirit – similar to God – but certainly not the same as God.
I feel I have authority – but no important authority.
I feel I’ve joined a cosmic dance where I lead by not consciously leading.

Who am I?

AN OCEAN OF BEAUTY SPEAKING

Long ago and far away, God appeared inside a “burning bush”
Speaking about the necessity for human beings
To step back away from this seemingly unnatural display of Holy energy.

My own spiritual experiences usually arise at the meeting of ocean and shore
Where sunlight flashes in and out of summer afternoons –
 “Speaking” through the beauty of an ocean rhythmically crashing onto the shore –
Echoing my walking heartbeats.

Whenever the Holy is experienced through both sight and sound –
At the same time and place –
We are to understand that God is present
Due to such “doubling-up” of spiritual experience.

I’ve recently become worried, though –
Since I’ve been inquiring about the God who’ll come after Jesus’ God –
A God who’ll adamantly refuse to be rolled back
A God who’ll agree to be shared by everyone on the planet.

I hear soft sounds and, simultaneously, start seeing brilliant lights –
God is hiding somewhere, out there, behind those crashing liquid mountains –
Speaking in a still small voice which no one yet hears.

Waves come rolling in – lighted up inside –
Grumbling: “I’m coming” –
“I really am!”

ALWAYS THE SAME PERSON

I’m always changing – adding and subtracting to and from my “self” –
Yet remain the same – from the first moment of my existence.

How is this possible – to remain, in essence,
A single soul –
While, over time, adding and subtracting worlds to myself –
Eventually even being changed by the love of my life into two
Yet still remaining one.

Is God like this?
From the first moment of creation – staying the same –
Carrying time, space, and energy inside an infinitesimally/infinitely small/large bright self?

Is it really necessary for a God to “die” in order to be “born again” as a newer, fresher God –
A “Springtime” God?

When, ultimately, I personally “flash off,” will I remain the same – just in another form?
Will, after my body dries up and blows away, the energy of my “life” continue existing
In a time and space beyond our present time and space?

All forms change and die –
Yet, perhaps, never really die –
Not even the “old” Gods
Or the newborn ones either!

BEAUTY’S ALWAYS THERE JUST LIKE GOD

Beauty
Takes your breath away
So you never forget it
Till meeting it again after stepping off a “cliff”
Into life/death.

Beauty is what you first see when opening up your eyes at birth
And what you could continue seeing except for a long hazy sleep –
The sleep of your long-developed and cherished ego.

You spend your entire adult life attempting to wake back up –
To see, once again, what you first saw –
The naked beauty of the world.

It’s always there – right behind your eyelids –
Covering up your “true” eyes –
You can open them anytime you wish –
But only after giving up that hypnotic dreamworld.

Oh, God, let me see
Just like You see!

Let me be awake in the same way You’re awake –
Let me experience beauty every moment
Of my grateful/ungrateful life!

NOT, NO NEVER, ULTIMATE REALITY

God can be viewed from two directions – one from God’s consciousness
And one through human consciousness.

Since we’ll never understand God, though, from inside God
We’ll just have to plod along – uncovering successive “pictures” of reality
On our way towards, but never fully achieving, God’s own unique vision.

That’s why, over millennia, we’ve experienced a succession of “Gods”
Like live Russian “God” dolls
One inside another –
Our minds, over time, replicating those ”Gods” – one after the other.

The real God, though, actually “lives” beyond human reality –
Present, past, and future –
In fact, it’s obvious God “lives” beyond time and space.

But we ourselves don’t – can’t!

The closest we’ll ever get to the real God
Is the taste, flavor, and inspiration of all-too-human love.

It’s the only direction we’ll ever be permitted to experience –
But not, no never, Ultimate Reality.

THE BIRTH OF A NEW RELIGION

It won’t be a new religion bearing a capital “R,” but something beyond that.

Something beyond the usual and ordinary conceptions available to our human minds –
Something beyond all previous definitions of “God.”

It’ll come bubbling up, surprisingly, out of nowhere,
Which is where the next final God
Is now residing.

It’ll be similar to what happened to Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammed –
When God “twinned” with a specific human being –
So that people were no longer able to distinguish who was who.

The next final God will also choose someone specific
Someone surprised at being chosen
Yet willing to accept that choice for the good of all –
And, more probably than not, will be a woman.

This particular someone will know when they’ve been chosen –
Because they’ll become “Love” –
They’ll embody “Truth” –
Their right hand will symbolize “Justice”
And “Beauty,” for them, will be completely natural.

This God beyond all presently known Gods
Is knocking on hearts across the globe at this very moment.

“Knock knock – Knock knock!”

Won’t you let in the God beyond “God”
So she can begin appearing in and influencing all hearts on earth
Today?

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

What’s the difference between a mental concept and a mentally direct experience?

“The tulip is reddish-orange.”
“Snow covers the mountainside blindingly white.”

Are these mental concepts or mentally direct experiences?

Or perhaps both?

Zen argues we should rely solely on direct experience
And avoid mental concepts which can be manipulated inside one’s head
And end up, really, as almost anything at all.

So, tell me, are love, truth, justice, and beauty, direct experiences or mental concepts?
If they’re direct experiences – they could be reality – the same as God.
If they’re mental concepts, on the other hand, they might be mirages, dreams,
or complex manipulations inside one’s mind – i.e., lies!

Zen repeatedly has attempted to distinguish between mental concepts and direct experience
but, in my opinion, has not had much success in parsing this.

I think that’s because, sometimes, mental concepts actually are identical with reality –
at least in certain times, circumstances, and places.

They just are!

THE “INTERPRETER”

The left hemisphere of our brain contains a special module called the “Interpreter”
Which provides us with an interpretation of our behavior – both cognitive and emotional.

This “Interpreter” looks outward as well as inward and, ultimately, brings these together
into one core reality – as a psychological unity.

This unique system was delivered to our human brains over a fabulously lengthy period of time via natural selection.

In sum, our conscious feelings and insights are derived from a virtually infinite number of “bubbles” floating up through our humanly-modularized brain which are then integrated into one’s “self.”

Of course, God doesn’t need an “interpreter” to assist God’s understanding –
God “thinks” through and beyond time and space.

“LAYERING”

Our minds “read” reality through differing layers of abstraction
Because human beings embody a complex architecture of consciousness
Made up of different “levels” of virtualization using mental abstraction.

For example, the micro-physical level is on a radically different level
From the “normal” human body level –
When we move our arm, the mental abstraction of “arm”
Lies on a different level from the millions of cells making up that arm
Which, in turn, is on a different level from the gazillions of electrons making up those cells.

So, given these different levels of “reality” –
Our minds virtualize “arm” as an ordinary everyday mental abstraction
As part of our overall physical self –
While our minds also have the capacity to visualize, using imagination,
The underlying cells and electrons supporting this “top” level of human reality.

God’s reality, however, encompasses reality at all levels.
Jesus indicated his understanding of this by teaching his disciples that God
“Numbers” the very hairs on our heads. (Mathew 10:30).

So, what is the next layer of abstraction that might become available to our human minds?
I think it’s a “human/God” level of experiential Love, Truth, Justice, and Beauty –
Which, in turn, would require a fresh spiritual language and accompanying supportive culture
To attain this newly-exposed world of reality existing beyond
All previous levels of human abstraction.

With the availability of a new language, fresh realities could open up to our “true selves”
So as to experience living “like” God would live if God were a human being – just like us.

WICKS

We are wicks
Waiting for a promised spiritual fire to light up our hearts –
Waiting for a holy love.

I meet enlightened people in the most unlikely places –
Suddenly, they appear,
And this leads to long inspired conversations,
Especially after God enters the room.

God lowers a hand near my head
Which lights up in response –
To God’s “touch” – gentle and profound.

It’s never just a single candle though –
There’s usually a long string waiting for that hand of fire
To be lit up – all at once.

God’s an “invisible hand” that reaches down to us –
No body, no face, nothing to be seen!

I’m a waiting wick –
Waiting for a touch from God’s gentle flame
That changes me into pale pure fire.