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!

“HERE I AM, READY OR NOT”

Men invented the ego but kept it mostly to themselves –
Women thought this quite the magic show
Generally permissible to watch.

Men created masks for dancing round a fire –
Women hummed and pounded the earth with their fists
Which resulted in many children for the community.

Men invented writing but kept it to themselves
Women said: “alright” and retreated into kitchens with daughters
Resulting in men monopolizing societal memory
Which, in turn, encompassed gods, wealth, and power –
Thereby inheriting a “male heaven on earth.”

Someday, all these “men-as-Gods” will have to stop
And take a break – in order that women can stand up without fear
And show us what we’ve all been missing.

I pray the right woman, reading this – today –
Will stand up and say: “alright – I’ll do it” –
“If the world is now willing to accept a “woman-as-God” –
“Here I am – ready or not!”

DANCE

The supreme physical expression of human joy
Is dance.

God (including all earlier gods) requested dance first
Before images, ideas, and all other expressions of worship.

First was the foot
Then the hand
And, finally, the head.

Dance expresses joy in life
And the immanence of God in our hearts,
Along with a strong desire for physically moving with others.

Dance is how children express their happiness
With spontaneous movements.

I think it’s important to become aware of dance going on all around us –
Especially that of our sky neighbors – the birds.

Also, watch patterns of waves forming over large bodies of water –
Watch wind as it touches, and then re-touches, forest leaves.

Notice the small shy smile appearing on your lover’s face
And your joy, in response, when you give your feelings permission to shine.

Why not give that permission right now
After all, the entire world depends upon it!

 

A TIME OF BOOKS AND PENS

Life in the modern world is like a fire truck roaring out of the station,
Sirens blaring, leaping down the street to greet a new emergency.

I want to live in a time with fewer emergencies –
A time of books and pens.

In such a time we’ll prefer politicians whose main ambition is to fix roads
And who don’t view politics as a gladiatorial contest.

We’ll cherish prosaic problem solvers
And ignore charlatans and mountebanks.

We’ll establish schools that excel at increasing children’s competence
And instill a love of civic duty
So they’ll grow up to be like first responders – able to meet life and death situations.

We’ll value workers who thrive on keeping the city’s water running clear and clean
And, out on the farms, people who produce healthful food.

We’ll encourage lifetime love between our young adults
So that our grandchildren can thrive.

PEERING OUT OF TUNNELS

Why worry about what one “looks like”
When peering through cloudbursts of love?

How give up one’s “self” in order to look through God’s eyes –
Or take a “perfect shot” without aiming –
In other words, how act in this world?

How will we achieve the spontaneity of no ego – like children do –
Or be impervious as a flower taking its own beauty for granted?

And why spend life peering out of tunnels
To see whether you’re loved or threatened?

What God is, is fearless – like water –
A being who’s no “thing” – but radiates love –
Without, however, being interested in the images created inside our heads –
As opposed to what we’re actually doing.

God appears wherever nothing else can be seen –
Beyond the self – even any “God” self –
That is, a selfless “self” who sees – but can’t be seen –
Because God never appears outside “spirit,”
That is, “love,” truth,” “justice,” or “beauty,”
And why the “you,” yearning to model yourself on God,
Are unafraid of dying –
Because there, you’re actually not there –
Even though, up to now, you’ve been busily completing a spiritual self
Inside time!

 

“A TRUE HUMAN BEING IS NOT HUMAN!”

From “A Surprise of Roses” by Rumi

Rumi is talking here about the “true self” –
While “humans” are egos with no idea who they really are –
So, the day a human can remove “herself” from herself –
Is like throwing a key away that no longer fits the lock
Like being surprised by a kiss that touches only air
Or a play marriage that children solemnly enact.

After one stops claiming their human ego –
What’s left is God – and nothing but God.
Perhaps it may take you a long while to accept this –
Perhaps you’ll hear friends and neighbors muttering, “How dare you!”
And yet, there’s no going back – given what little’s left behind.

It’s true that, at this point, one has no alternative
But to continue going forward and claim God for oneself!
Especially, given that God is free, you might well decide – why not you too?
Why not escape your narrow ego commitments and become free yourself?

God freely fills the night sky with bright and pulsing stars –
Also, God’s always free to laugh – any time and any place –
And, God as a child, one day, became Jesus
Willing to die “ugly” on a cross.

Since no one has ever been able to kill God however –
Whenever they have tried, the result has only been infinitely more God!

 

 

A FRENZY OF JOY

Countries are like big shoes and little shoes
Walking around –
Some without too much direction and others with almost none at all.

Countries are also like lips
Some used to mock, others to kiss –
While the rarest of all can sometimes even be poetic.

Some countries have long memories and others almost none at all –
The latter due to centuries of unacknowledged crimes against others.

People themselves can also be like shoes, lips, or memories –
But, in spite of that, all are capable of dancing when the music starts.

When the music starts, there is no “I” and no “you” –
There’s only a “whee” caught up in accelerating circles of joy.

Logically, this means that dancing should be more popularly encouraged –
Whether in culture, play, or spirituality.

The elderly keep time by nodding along –
Tapping their toes.
The children, however, run riot – attempting to imitate the adults’ complex steps
As well as all their motions and emotions –
Resulting in a wild, yet oddly calm, frenzy of joy.

 

THE NEED FOR A NEW MESSIAH

Jesus taught that each individual soul needs to wake up –
So, please, Wake Up!
Jesus made this demand every day of his life – up until his dying day.

However, now, and most especially now, we need a new kind of Messiah –
A New Messiah!
Who can call out not just to individuals – but to every individual in the world collectively
That is, to Everybody in the Entire World All at Once!

We know the earth’s been overheating like a frying pan –
Getting too hot to handle –
And the seas are next to boiling over –
While winds have been achieving ahistorical force-multipliers.

Yes, waves have been getting too high, winds blowing too strong,
And heat getting much too hot –
So, now, a New Messiah is needed who everyone in the world can hear at once –
Asking human beings to “wake up” – all at the same time
And instantly rally to do what’s necessary for stopping
This threat of an impending global warming catastrophe.

This New Messiah will embody, like Jesus did during his own time,
The spirit of all those who love God,
Along with all the children’s hopes and concerns about “saving the world” –
And, adding to our own individual/collective human voices (inspired most recently by AOC),
This New Messiah will say:
“Put a stop to all the inexorable greed and corruption arising out of carbon-based capitalism”
And “The spirit of God is equal to what’s needed for our planet’s survival”
And “God is the source of all light as well as the source of all life.”

MEMORIES LIKE MOUNTAINS

Joy jumps up – almost out of nothing –
Hope also arrives from nothing.

Nothing is eternal as love –
And nothing is as unbreakable as truth.

All night long, beauty remains a dark One –
Until morning, when it shatters into a trillion different colorful images.

As we grow older, memories become like mountains –
Mainly lying behind us –
While ahead only a few sparkling streams remain to cross.

While still young, though, Nature called out to us like the children we were –
Bursting with life – and with love taken for granted.

But as we age, our attention migrates to ever greater abstractions
Which become steadily easier to understand and accept
Than those earlier complex bursts of childish life-love.

“BEAUTY IS TRUTH’S SMILE WHEN SHE SEES HER FACE IN A PERFECT MIRROR” Rabindranath Tagore (from “Fireflies”)

The “perfect mirror,” of course, is God
Who reflects back beauty whenever truth is being spoken.

Beauty also requires a kind of innocence –
Like the open look of a child
Whose mind is absolutely clear
And fearless.

There’s another kind of beauty, however, that’s created by the application of cosmetics –
Where blemishes are hidden and the face simplified –
So that, from a distance, one “appears” beautiful –
Coming closer, however, is always a different matter –
When everything becomes transparent – especially any artificiality.

True beauty is like a wave …. falling ….
True beauty is like the spontaneity of young children –
Especially their playfulness.

A few years after he became a young adult and totally open to God,
Jesus, arguably, became the most spiritually beautiful person in the world
And that’s why the authorities determined to kill him ugly
When, however, as a largely unforeseen result, he became so infinitely beautiful
It was almost impossible to look directly at him and live.

This is still the case for those who worship true spiritual beauty today.