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.

REALITY AT ALL LEVELS

How can we see like Jesus could see –
As fully human and fully God?

He saw with two eyes – one a human’s and one God’s.

A real human eye is found only in a “true self” –
Like the eye of an infant – where everything is fresh and new –
And, as the scientists say,
Pure uninterrupted experience is limited to three seconds,
But is never found in the head of a wooden puppet – like Pinocchio
As an “ego” or a “false self.”  

God’s eye is different –
It sees through time (eternity) and space (infinity) –
Set within the four cardinal points of love, truth, justice, and beauty –
With the lines meeting at the top of a spiritual pyramid –
Love meeting truth, truth meeting justice, justice meeting beauty,
And beauty resting on love –
All conjoined at the tip – where God lives.

Two eyes – one a human being’s and one God’s.

Jesus could see through a child’s eyes
Balanced by those four spiritual attributes of God.

When those two eyes exist in a single head
They see reality – and at all levels.

EXCHANGING THE EGO FOR A “TRUE SELF”

             Some say the most profound scientific discipline is theoretical physics which has vastly expanded our understanding of the structure of the physical universe using the language of mathematics, but I think this now needs to be matched by an even more profound spiritual/theological discipline that can further our understanding of the relationship between God and the human self through expanded human consciousness of love, truth, justice, and beauty as expressed through the arts. Materialistic evolution via science and technology has taken us about as far as we’re going to get while still retaining our basic humanity, but the prospects for our species will be pretty dim if that’s the full extent of what we’re ever going to achieve.

             I propose it’s time for human beings to make a conscious choice about which evolutionary path they should take: materialistic evolution (especially digital artificial intelligence) or the next step in humans’ spiritual evolution. Greater spirituality, however, won’t necessarily increase our intelligence or ability to manipulate the material world, but could, eventually, evolve us into an entirely different type of humanity – the kind originally pointed towards by Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed.

            When a person enters the world as a baby, they’re totally open to God – arriving as pure energy in human form. Because they come straight from God, they’re completely natural upon arrival. After their surprise landing in this world, however, they need to figure out how to survive in this particular time and place. They eventually do, but the cost is often high. They’re faced with the necessity of becoming the kind of person that other people readily recognize and the surrounding culture use. Since usually they’re raised by parents – people who’ve already made the requisite compromises and adjustments – the baby ultimately learns how to “fit in.”

            This baby, who started life as a tiny energy “sun,” eventually begins “dimming” because so much of her original natural energy will be perceived as “alien” to her family’s world. Eventually, the baby matures and becomes a “person” by developing an ego – and ultimately joins society. One day, however, that baby – after attaining adulthood – might begin wondering where all her previous energy had gone – and whether it might ever be regained.

            In traditional societies, a person’s roles remain largely the same throughout their life and also determine how their children will turn out.

            In modern societies, however, by early adulthood, a person usually gains abilities and opportunities to change “who” they are by making individual choices – leading them away from predestined family roles – becoming partly a family-destined person and partly a self-determined one – in a “composite” role. Nevertheless, whatever this composite role turns out to be, it’s still just a role.

            All roles, traditional or modern, become included in one’s “life story.” As Shakespeare asserted in As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” So, the problem with developing an “ego,” along with one’s accompanying “story,” is the temptation to “make up” that story as one goes along – like in a dramatic film – even if carried out mainly unconsciously.

            Another problem with “roles” is their need for consistency and continuity, so the self can seemingly remain “the same.”

            This is why “higher” values are necessary to effect any serious changes in our quotidian roles and stories. Traditionally, humanity’s highest values have been attributable to a “Spirit” (usually “God’s”) – as well as to divine spiritual attributes like love, truth, justice, and beauty.

            Roles and stories, however, compel us to live as unfree. Since we believe these roles and stories (as reinforced by the surrounding society) constitute our “identity,” we sometimes even believe we would need to “die” as the price for achieving freedom. If a person becomes threatened with losing their identity, frequently, they’ll think they might as well be dead. That’s how important roles and personal stories are for a normal human being. In fact, there’s a general consensus in the humanities, as well as in psychotherapy, that the ego, as a person’s chief fictional character, is one’s essential self.

            So, how is it possible to free ourselves from embedded roles and stories that obstruct our natural human self-understanding and close down our best, most spontaneous thoughts – in order to gain the freedom necessary to become our “true selves”?

            The answer is that we need to be “born again” – at any age. That is, we’ll need to reverse direction, spiritually, and become a “child” all over again so as to become as free as God.

             Jesus himself said this, did this, and then died for it – all to show us how.

             To be “born again” is scary – few can do it all at once. Most people need time to shed their artificial roles until they’re free enough to make a long daring leap into their “true selves.” Starting at an older age, it actually becomes easier to work towards greater spirituality by breaking up and discarding pieces of one’s earlier “false selves” and gain a greater naturalness and openness spiritually even though one is at the same time physically degenerating.

GOD HAD AN IDEA

God had an idea –
It was so beautiful
God decided to release it out into the void
Where it took flight
And became everything.

It would take eternity
To appreciate everything in detail
So why not take a single thing – or person –
Taking as much time as you need
And, after a while, some more time –
Waiting for the surprise about what you, at first, hadn’t glimpsed.

Yes, it’s time that makes things (and people) more beautiful –
Just when you’re starting to get impatient – not seeing anything new –
It comes down like glory – drenching you.

Where did this surprising beauty come from?
Was it hiding inside ourselves all along – just waiting for a touch –
Or a light of love
To cleave one’s heart like a gentle sword?

Oh, God, give us a lot more beauty
Than we’re able to, at first, see –
And then give us time to wait for this unknown beauty to open –
Time to discover the “pearl”
That is us!

POINTING TO THE GOD YOU ARE (for Ruth)

Beauty is usually seen
But can come in other ways too.

If at first nothing much appears very beautiful
Take a second look –
And, perhaps, even a third.

It’s only when you’re relaxing hard
That true beauty starts coming through.

Sometimes, beauty is just an accident –
You weren’t meant to see it coming
But, suddenly, beauty appears out of darkness
Or light – depending upon your location at a given moment.

Sometimes, beauty comes rushing through another person
Who points –
There –
And God suddenly bowls you over.

Mainly, beauty comes secretly
Between spiritual friends –
Do you have a spiritual friend
And do they ever point out God out to you?
A God you can’t see
Because they’re pointing at the God you are?

WAKING UP

If the “self” is a problem
And finding one’s “true self” the main issue
How will we ever find our “true” self
Without first establishing a true world?

It’s a conundrum, isn’t it: since, in most cases, there can’t be a true self
Without first establishing a true “world”?
But such a true world can never be founded
Except by true selves.

This is where psychology merges into politics
And politics back into psychology –
Always in the context of an “alive” God
(No old, stale Gods for us!)

Love, truth, justice, beauty and, of course, freedom, are essential aspects
Of any “living” God
Who can make possible both “true selves” and a “true world.”

Everything, however, can and, eventually will, get better – it just takes time –
Along with large scoops of hope and love –
And, certainly, a lot more awakeness –

God, please help us wake up – NOW!

THE LAST TRUE HUMAN BEINGS

Jesus is coming through the fields
Looking for you.

Jesus is reading out names
Hoping to gain people’s attention.

Jesus bends to pick a bright flower
Awed by its beauty.

Jesus was never interested in wealth or power
But, instead, love and truth.

Jesus asks us to look directly at God
And, then, fall in love.

Jesus proved this love of God
Can be even more important than life itself.

Jesus rejected hypocrites
And all other self-important people.

Jesus loves neglected human beings –
People without money or power
The black and brown ones
Who he claims are “His” people
In the light of their suffering
And as being the last “true” human beings left on earth!

TALK ABOUT THE BEAUTY OF GOD

Jesus and the Sufis believe God is “Love” –
And it’s hard to disagree –
But, for now, I want to speak about “Beauty.”

Older adjectives for God included “Power” or “Knowledge”
Especially in the more ancient patriarchal brands –

All these go low.

Presently, though, I prefer “Love” or “Truth” –
While, like I said, I want God to be experienced as “Beautiful”
With a “knock your socks off” look –
When we do take a look.

Can’t we agree that people dedicated to Beauty
Are God’s people –

People who bring live beauty into the world –
Who’re as natural as Nature –
And possess the openness of children.

Beauty is like the first appearance of Spring –
A “natural” gesture –
A spontaneous smile.

The most valuable, aching, type of beauty,
Is the kind that’s just on the verge of disappearing –
Like cherry blossoms – falling –
A kingfisher’s flash dive into the lake –
Or a kindly memory surfacing later on in a well-lived life.

In essence, Love “reflects” Beauty –
Truth “tells” it –
And the fundamental fairness of Justice “requires” it.

God’s eyelids blink out numerous metaphors of Beauty –
Heart-stopping, if you’re fortunate enough to see one.

Beauty is a dream waiting patiently for God’s entrance into the material world
Or waking up to one of God’s repeated emergences into Time –

Beauty is a “splash” of Life –

Revivifying, spontaneous, fresh!