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.

Advertisements

GOD’S BIG REALITY DREAM

The best way to “know” God
Is to attempt to understand, as much as possible, everything in the universe
And then, one day, set that all aside
For “love” –
A path of “knowing” through “unknowing.”

You can make infinite lists
Of everything God is “like”
And then throw them all into the trash
Because everything you just listed is not anything like God.

It’s more accurate to say God is like “nothing”
Or that no thing (or idea) is like God.

God is eternally in motion from nothing to something –
And back again –
In fact, God might be described as having a universal “heart pulse” –
Alternating between life and death; existence and non-existence –
With a more-than-human – yet infinitely beautiful – “face.”

One day, God decided to settle down in the ecstatic realm of “reality” –
Making our own lives appear to be tiny pieces
Of God’s “Big Reality Dream.”

TRUTH

The truth we’ve been searching for appears just over the horizon –
But, even though we’ve been traveling a long time,
We never seem to get there.

On the other hand, since the truth we’ve already attained
Is like daylight – we usually take it for granted –
Forgetting the previous night’s total darkness.

Truth is beautiful!
And gets more so, the closer we get –
The very approach is thrilling –
Whether as science, art, or attribute of God.

Once a person starts down this path
It’s almost impossible to stop.

Searching for truth is like reaching our hands and hearts out to God –
A goal one might sacrifice one’s “self” for –
Because, with both God and truth, dying to the “self” leads to direct access.

Reputation, wealth, and notoriety,
Mean next to nothing when truth’s come closer –
The best part, however, is that we’ll never reach any “final” possession –
Because there’s always more truth beyond what we’re, presently, able to attain.

So, truth, like God, is usually just barely out of reach –
No matter how avidly we’ve been following its light.

TALKING ABOUT BEAUTY

Beauty needs to be “fresh” –
Strike us as a surprise –
And be “one of a kind.”

Can beauty be separated from love?
In other words, is it possible not to love what we experience as beautiful?
I think it’s unimaginable, unless you’re dead!

Spontaneity is the principal requirement for beauty –
Because no matter how much training you’ve gone through–
Whether in dance, sports, art, or anything else –
True beauty only appears beyond what you’ve already accomplished.

Beauty is natural –
Unaware of itself.

It’s always a gift –
Since it doesn’t have to be paid for –
Being much too dear for commercial purchase.

Sometimes, if you aren’t paying close attention, you might get tricked
Into thinking beauty is present, when it really isn’t –
But as soon as you look more closely – you’ll know whether it’s real.

It’s like a hummingbird flash –
Suddenly appearing, and then, just as quickly,
Gone.

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.

TWO OF THE OLDER FAITHS

Once, God was a little boy
Who liked to venture outdoors
And play in bright woods or along an endless seashore.

Later, when God grew older – with a full beard –
He enjoyed sitting beside the fire in the evening
And making up stories about people he had once met.

When God died, however, no one knew,
Because – even though God was a friendly old guy –
He mostly preferred his solitude.

****

Once, God was a little girl
Who enjoyed playing with dolls
And baking cookies shaped like stars.

When God became a woman with long hair
and beautiful hips –
As she walked down the street, everyone
Wanted to follow her.

When God died, all the beauty in the world began to fade –
So, now, all we have left are a few ancient hieroglyphs –
We don’t know what they say, except that:

****

She was beautiful.
He was a kind.

****

Two of the older faiths.

DANCING WITH A WILD GOD

God is so wild,
That the authorities decided to seal the Holy Spirit up
Inside stone buildings with long narrow aisles
And steeples like tall
Pointy fingers.

God is so wild,
That people aren’t permitted
To say anything that’s not already been said a million times before.

God is so wild,
That we wear business suits
To worship –
In order to demonstrate our good order.

When we pray in public, we do it all together –
But, generally, quietly –
Because we don’t want to risk sending God
Over the top.

God is so wild
That we lock our hearts up in tiny jeweled theological boxes
So we’ll never be tempted to reject our lifetime of clichés.

God is so beautiful
So true, so loving –
That without all these solid protections:

We might start dancing, wildly, along with God –
Out there –
In the violet twilight
Of our beautifully naked streets.