THIS IS WHAT GOD IS REALLY LIKE

Sunday morning church is like a plate of sugar cookies –
Everyone chooses, eats one,
And is satisfied,
Since the cookie is their ego “self”
And it is good.

Church – a conventional
Once a week kind of thing.

But the God we’re supposed to meet – is wild –
Loving perhaps –
But definitely,
Dangerous.

Actually, you’d have to be insanely sane
To love God as much as you really could.

God’s wonderful joy and peace
May only be found through complete spiritual freedom.

When we discover this truth:
Nothing will seem safe anymore –
Except the holy spirit – grounded, as it is, in love, truth, justice, and beauty.

Afterwards:

We won’t meet a single person
Or experience anything at all
Without total astonishment!

This is what God is really like.

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THE PEARL THAT IS YOU (for Ruth)

When you tithe, you might buy a few more bricks for a new church annex,
But, unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy God
Through this kind of material agency.

And, even though thousands of people regularly assemble at a specific place of worship –
God will more commonly be found, waiting alone, out in the parking lot.

In truth, God resists being organized
By a committee, a denomination, or even a religious empire,
Nor can God be systematized by logic or complex mathematical equations –
In fact, it’s simply not possible to preserve a spiritually deteriorating civilization
By transforming a standard-issue, everyday God into a shibboleth
To be held in people’s mouths like a piece of butterscotch candy.

Even if we stand out in the street – shouting –
“Open, Jesus, Open”–
God will refuse to open
Because God doesn’t respond to “holy” passwords.

Usually, God is most likely to be found when we’re not really looking –
And, frequently, is discovered in the most surprising places.

The human heart has enough room for a miniature sky – sprinkled with surprises –
But the best one – by far – the one you’ve always hoped for –

Will arrive first thing in the morning
When, half-asleep, your hand reaches under your pillow –
And, there it is –
The pearl you’ve traded your entire life for –

The pearl that is you.

WAKING UP WHEN YOU’RE ALREADY AWAKE

Ghosts, if they exist, don’t qualify as “Spirit” in God’s eyes –
Neither does any amount of religious enthusiasm –

Spirit is not part of any “Trinity” either, no matter what the Church says –
Nor does it reside solely in people’s immaculate minds.

In fact, Spirit isn’t even “mystical” –
Any more than anything else is.

“Spirit” can best be identified as waking up when you’re already awake!

The West doesn’t value this –
Nor has it even been curious about it –
Mainly, because Spirit isn’t available for commercial or political manipulation –

In fact, the West gave up its love for Spirit a very very long time ago.

Today, we’re like children playing in the sand
Intent on carrying out made-up roles –

Spending time quietly with one another
Until our parents finally call us home.

BEAUTY TAKES ITS TIME

The world doesn’t judge
Much less take notice of
What we do.

Most of the time, we’re not sinners –
Only imperfectly real –
No matter how many Messianic feathers we stick in our caps.

The real reason we can’t directly see God – or anything else for that matter –
Is because our ego mask has no real “eyes” –
Except for a couple of tiny mirrors
Reflecting ourselves.

The truth is: There’s no real
“Christ,” “Church,” or “Bible” –
They don’t actually exist!
Just God, who they only partially represent, is truly alive in our world.

For example, it’s love that makes possible “real” life,
Truth that opens minds to original ideas
And allowing justice to others that gives us the ability to compromise –

Beauty, for its part, however, always takes its own time
Opening a door for God to enter –
Which is why an experience of true beauty is so magical –
So much so that everyone dreams of experiencing it “in full flower”
At least once in their lives!

CAMOUFLAGE PEOPLE

Jesus, in the way he lived his life, demonstrated
Something truly amazing –
So, it’s surprising that, even after all these years, we still haven’t “gotten” it.

Big Religion, on the other hand, has acted like an enormous stuffed pillow
With extraordinary capacity to smother spirit –
And, even though it hasn’t been able to muffle Jesus’ radiant words entirely,
It has been effective at “re-interpreting” what he said –
For over 2000 years.

Quite a feat!

In spite of that, the Church never achieved complete ownership of Jesus –
Even though it’s been publicly displaying him,
Like a jeweled pendant for two millennia.

In contrast to these theological contortions, however –
Jesus has always been just another human being –
Teaching us how to love God –
Which, of course – is both very easy and very difficult.

Jesus told us not to try to live like him but, instead, to be like him –
To embrace, whenever possible, truth, justice, and beauty –
And always be vulnerable
To love.

Without his extraordinary example, how will we ever escape all the crazy ideas
We are so constantly fashioning about ourselves –
Faster than eye can follow –
Instantly creating and re-creating a “self” in order to meet worldly expectations.

Camouflage people –
We assiduously avoid any reality
That might turn out to be our actual lives.

CHURCH LIKE A MUSEUM

Jesus had this idea
That, one day, we might become complete human beings
Instead of remaining, in some part, human animals –

That we might set aside our materialistic desires and fantasies
And live in “reality,” that is, in spirit.

To Jesus – spirit was God,
And the reason we’re prevented from seeing God, face-to-face,
Without dying,
Is the very real danger of seeing ourselves.

In light of this, Jesus preached death to artificial selves
And the rebirth of our true self –

The “pearl” –

After he died, Church officials rushed to designate him as “God” –
But, of course, by then, he was no longer able to stop that from happening.

His finest gift to us was the validation of an active, open, loving human spirit –
While his successors spent their time constructing a spiritual/materialistic empire.

Everything they did, at least in part, led away from God –

So, today, we attend church, reverentially, like entering a museum.