“GOOD” AND “GOD”

They’re the same – don’t you already know that?

Both demonstrate the moral excellence undergirding the universe
As an “ideal,” as the “perfect” –
In other words, as Jesus’ personal image of God.

It’s also what we want to discover for ourselves
And why we feel so ashamed or guilty
When we do begin thinking about it
Because we’ve neglected or generally refused to work very hard at this
Since moral excellence takes a lot of effort –
Especially since we have to get past all the pleasurable fantasies
That have been so comforting to us.

A direct experience of God is exhilarating –
While the same can also be said of the Good.

Actually, there isn’t any “Big Man in the Sky”
And it doesn’t have anything to do with “Power” –
In fact, it’s more like a “state of being”
That takes significant effort through extended conscious human thought.

In the West, Jewish prophets and rabbis put a lot of work into ethics and morality
And we’ve all been the beneficiaries of their efforts –
While in the East, for priests and gurus, the focus was primarily on Nature and Beauty
Which obviously are good – just not “perfect” –
Especially if it doesn’t result in any deep connection to ethics.

So, the ultimate of both God and the Good is Jesus’ view of “perfection,”
That is, universal moral excellence.

It’s what we “say” we want –
As if such “sounds” can actually issue forth
Out of our very own mouths.

THINKING ABOUT RELIGION

Once upon a time, religion was primarily about God
But, today, young people want nothing more to do with any such “religion” –
Pointing out that, in many cases, it’s been transmuted into raw politics –
That is, into fields of strife and hate in a variety of forms and forums –
Including racial, class, and culture.

One prime example is the Russian atheist KGB kind of guy
Who got control of an entire national religion (the Russian Orthodox Church)
And has been using it as a tool to assist in unleashing death like a dark blanket
Over the heads of a neighboring Slavic state
As the first step in re-establishing the “Mongol Empire.”

And then, there’s our own American QAnon clown blaring: “You’re so fired!”
On his way to establishing himself as a cult leader and wannabe tyrant –
Along the way, subverting a primitive Christian religion – Evangelicalism –
Into a ready willingness to trade in its past spiritual wealth for political hard-wired power –
Saying: “If you give me your votes, I’ll ensure abortion becomes unconstitutional”
By sprinkling “conservative” justices and judges like anti-feminist dust through the land –
Requesting his “Evangelical” followers, in fair return, to give him the American “throne!”

Following all this, clever peripheral guys have come flooding in – seeking open opportunities
To cynically work their game of manipulating hard hearted fools –
(Ones who think violence is “cool”) –
(Ones infected with fascism through a nightly Fox punditry dosage) –
All, in exchange for money, power, and cheap notoriety.

After God was sold out by many of the current Christian Evangelical leaders –
Young people saw through it all
Discovering that Christian “God” wasn’t necessarily “Good” –
Yet failing to understand they weren’t rejecting the “real” God
But only a “puppet” God promoted (from the beginning) by Satan
Who, it looks like, may, temporarily, be winning.

Yet, I promise that the real God is alive and on the way –
Armed with Truth, Love, Beauty, and Justice –
You’ve probably never seen nor experienced all those elemental powers of God at once –
Who, as the “true” God, will, of course, emerge victorious
Over all these recent tin-plated political/media online “gods.”

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!”

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!

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!

“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.

GOD LOOKING AT GOD

Jesus did it –
So any of us can.

We need freedom, however, to accomplish it –
Because the “self” our parents and society provided us
Prohibits real freedom –
Yes, unfortunately, that “self” which we use to survive
And, hopefully, prosper in the world –
Partially blinds us to reality – as well as to God.

Very few individuals are able to drop their societal “self”
In order to glimpse God –
Zen Buddhist monks tell us that one should “Know nothing” –
And keep repeating it –
Because one’s “self,” and all its mental constructs, restricts our freedom.

This, however, is partially incorrect –
True, to the extent that when we accept any mental constructs
They tend to blind us to reality –
But false, in light of the millennia of human striving for greater understanding
That has led to acquiring tools that can test reality
For the presence of God –
That is, for “Love,” “Truth,” “Justice,” and “Beauty.”

Scientists of consciousness teach that we’re provided with approximately three seconds
To open ourselves to reality – that is, to God –
That we have a 100 trillion synapses available to accomplish this –
And that our mind has a capacity even larger than the entire known universe –
But also, of course, limited by the time available to take a look.

God, however, has no time limitations
(since “time” for God exists in an entirely different realm) –
Therefore, God is always looking at us –
And greatly pleased when we’re able to “feel” God’s presence
And, in response, turn in God’s direction.

Sometimes, we can “see” a flicker of God’s robes passing by –
In and out of our psychological reality –
Out there, on the edge of consciousness –

Not only “see,” but also have the ability to think about what we’ve just seen –
Using those spiritual tools of love, truth, justice, and beauty,
To reflect upon it.

This is what Jesus did, and why he was able to say the things he said,
And why the people who looked into his face could see God.

So, yes, Jesus is God
But so are you if you truly want it.

You just have to give up everything – so as to gain sufficient freedom
To “see” –
And then, have faith in what you are seeing,
Using those “spiritual tools” handed down to you
Over millennia of human experience.

We should be talking with one another about all this –
About God – and about our selves –

What could be more important?

PLENTY OF ROOM FOR ONE ANOTHER

What a year!

Who could have foreseen more than half a million Americans dead of covid
Guided into an epidemiological swamp by the first American fascist President –
Also, who could have imagined white police officers
Snuffing out innocent black folk like mosquitoes on the porch.

Never would I have believed nearly a third of American hearts
Could grow as hard as granite –
With minds, however, at the same time, warped and wavy as silly putty.

Where are our nation’s best virtues found today – religious, political, and moral –
Or, have we just degenerated, at base, into a retro-Evangelical/Capitalistic world
Charged up by thrashing male patriarchalism
That’s growing increasingly violent –
Before drifting off to expire, one day, in abandoned and sad solitude?

Isn’t that why we need a fresh flood of femininity into society
Brought about by large numbers of enlightened women and mothers
Able to enjoy their beauty without any accompanying objectification.

So, when the world starts becoming more natural through its “second birth” –
That is, when every person can achieve their “true self” –
(As a single brilliant “dot” in an infinite human fresco) –
There’ll arrive a “new world” of joyous young people –
Free and mature –

Who’ll be careful to leave plenty of room for one another.

TIME PUSHES THROUGH THE BODY LIKE A BABY

God isn’t found in any scientific theory
Because God’s alive in hearts – not unraveled in the mind.

God lives totally in, and actually is, the Spirit
And won’t be uncovered by computer algorithms.

God is simply a dance.

Also, God is Beauty, as to the presence of which
There’s simply nothing more to say.

God hums and we start humming along with her
So, when we picture any external threats,
We understand they’re going to  be met by the drawn sword
Of a gentle young girl.

God arrives right before the “second birth” of every human being –
First there is raw attraction,
Then, an amiable and patient waiting,
Consummated by intense pleasure/pain
Opening up one’s body, soul, and spirit
As God bursts through the doors of our being.

It’s unceasing, this pounding on the doors of life,
When time pushes through the body like a baby –
Or even the birth of God herself!

IT’S THE LIFE IN THE EYE THAT COUNTS

Where is beauty?

In a passing person’s face
Especially her eyes –   

Sparkling!

It’s the life in the eye that counts
Whether love, joy, or ecstasy –
The look that sees you as the center of the universe –
And as a manifestation of God –
You remember that passing-by look
For the rest of your life.

Tragedy, on the other hand, is when an actor isn’t aware he’s acting
Doesn’t know he’s in a play
And follows a script without the sense that he’s reading one.

He hears a smattering of applause, starts to bow –
And then
And then –

Wakes up.