THE CAROUSEL

If you don’t believe in God –
Believe in Nature.
And if you don’t believe in Nature –
Believe in the Works of Man.
And if you don’t believe in the Works of Man –
Don’t worry, the next thing’s gonna come ‘round anyway!

If you don’t believe in dancing angels –
Then look up and enjoy the birds,
And if not them – have a good night’s sleep –
Wake up refreshed –
And something will touch you without your even having to try.

The world we experience on a daily basis is like a shadow inside a closed hand –
And that hand is a broken walnut
The wind’s been blowing through –
A wind that, like a breeze of death, is able to knock anything over.

So, instead of that, think of life as a carousel –
Gorgeously spinning round
Playing children’s songs, decorated with colored lights –
And carrying splendid wooden horses moving up and down.

This is what it means to be a child again – living in the present –
And, perhaps, even to be an old man like myself – right now!

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DEATH CREATES BEAUTY

Death creates “beauty” since we’re unable to fully appreciate beauty
Without acknowledging the backdrop of death –
Especially when it’s shining through.

Death creates “love” because we won’t achieve our inherent capacity to love deeply
Without becoming aware of the curtain that’s about to fall –
When love, literally, “explodes” into our consciousness.

Death creates “life” because ordinary quotidian life doesn’t appear fully real to us –
So, unconsciously, when we start becoming aware of this –
Death sticks its ugly head through our window –
And “wakes us up” –
Forcing us to become totally alive!

In sum, so long as we refuse to acknowledge death,
We won’t have the ability to “see” ourselves –
Or much else for that matter.

Terror and the void are birthplaces of extraordinary “beauty,” “love,” and “life” –
So, shouldn’t we be a little more grateful for their existence?

GOD IS NOT PERFECT

God is not “perfect”
Just as nothing alive is perfect.

The only true perfection is death –
Anything alive cannot be perfect, by definition, because life’s constantly changing.

Think about nature, is any of it ever “perfect”?

Jesus was never perfect so long as he was alive –
He only achieved theological “perfection” after his death.

Thinking about achieving “perfection” will only make you unhappy –
Why would you want to be unhappy?

The interior “judge” you’ve been trying to satisfy by perfection is a dead spirit –
Why would you want to be dead?

Be as imperfect as you really are –
“Alive” –
And as happy as you can be!

Perhaps even “joyful” –
If you’re not afraid of leaping into reality –

A reality filled with life.

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.”

ALL THE TIME

Even if you put on an official “coat” of religion,
You probably still won’t achieve what God truly wants –
However, if you courageously open your heart – even a bit –
You’ll quickly find yourself being flooded with loving spirit.

Actually, “God” isn’t God at all –
Because God doesn’t have a name
And disappears whenever we are attempting to use one.

God sometimes may be found out in open fields or beneath gently rustling trees –
You can’t actually see or hear God then,
But, during such times, it is possible to gain a sense of God’s airy touch.

More often, though, God is found in hardship and suffering –
You won’t hear or see God then either,
But, if it’s important to you, you’ll be able to feel God’s presence.

God is known most completely by us
At birth
And death.

The rest of our lives should be just the same –
Yes, God should be that close – all the time.

FINDING GOD IN AMERICA

Where can God be found, now, in America?

Certainly not in suburban shopping malls –
Or, out there, stuck in a traffic jam –
And never, ever on cable TV – that’s for sure!

What about in the Friday Night prayers of h.s. football coaches?
Or as reflected in the back-lit jowls of Southern Baptist preachers?

No, I don’t think so.

Since we live in a democratic country,
Might there not be virtually millions of so-called “American Gods” –
Or are they all just egos search-lighting the empty night skies?

We do have a “National Religion” though – a Judeo-Christian composite one –
But it’s been used, largely, to justify wars and our greatest historical crimes.

If, however, we’re unable to find God here in America – at all –
Then we probably won’t be able to find any meaning either –
And, if we can’t find meaning,
We’ll probably end up lost out in the dusty fields of a digital world.

Even though we always faithfully celebrate our birthdays,
Unfortunately, we never take time to reflect on our fast-approaching deathday –
Because, patriotically, we refuse to recognize its existence.

If, however, you can’t think about death,
You’ll probably never encounter God either,
Because, after all, that’s where “the God we know” originally came from –

Life always comes out of non-life,
Doesn’t it?

HOW TO BE “LIKE” GOD

It’s certainly not about being powerful –
A few spiritual masters have said that, after death,
Each of us will be able to create our own universe –
But that’s just silly.

We’re not ever going to be God –
Even though it is possible for us to be “like” God
By getting “free” of all the “not-God” surrounding us.

After all, God is absolutely free – and doesn’t have to ask before acting –
We can be just as free – and in the same sense.

Wouldn’t it be thrilling to be as free as God –
To start thinking and acting, as a human being,
The same as God would if God were in our place?

What’s the main impediment for doing this?
It’s the ego, which we have mistakenly identified as our “self”
But the ego is not our “true self,” it’s only one of our own creations –
And being “man-made” – is not part of what God originally gifted us with.

We feel as if we’d disappear without our ego –
That we’d be a no-body, a no-thing –

And that would be right!

Because we aren’t an ego, a body, or a thing,
We are spirit – potentially, totally free –
If we accept being our “true self” –

Free as God, if we choose to be.

In such case,
What we’d lose is our artificial “self” – our ego –
And what we would gain is our “true self” –

Jesus called it “the pearl.”

JESUS DID IT FIRST

After, spiritually, we’ve fallen fast asleep –
Suddenly, God will open a door
Where, apparently, there had been no door –
And, with a good-natured chuckle, surprise us back to life!

Inside God’s voice may be heard another – more distant voice –
We hear it by being able to glimpse a face
Behind the face of society’s accepted quotidian “God.”

At times, though, it can seem like we’re a leaf floating downstream – just being carried along –
Sometimes exhilarated, at other times, getting stuck –
No matter how fast we go, however, usually we’re pretty passive –
So that what seems to us like “action” – is more like being a stone flung up into the air.

Given this, how much work and courage would it really take
To become fully conscious and fully alive –
To even start such an effort?

It might be easier than you think!
First, just wake up –
And then wake yourself a second time to your highest state of “awakeness” –
Walk to the nearest window
And look out –
If you’re fully “awake” by that time – more than you’ve ever been before –
At that very moment, you’ll get hit “right in the puss” with joy –
Human beings’ natural state.

It takes only a single moment to pass into eternity
Where we come to “life” without passing through a womb –
Avatars call this “life beyond life” –
Jesus called it pretty much the same thing – “being born again” –
But no one has described, specifically, what it’s really like.

Jesus lived through these peak experiences many times –
Especially, and finally, when singing the 22nd Psalm on the cross –
“My God, my God, why ….”

A touch of joy in death – unimaginable –

But Jesus did it first.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GOD

21st Century American poets
Sing about God’s “disappearance” –

But it’s not God who’s disappearing, it’s America’s spiritual culture –

What a waste! – our allegiance to a nationalism of no love –
To upper-echelon materialism –
And, also, to this ersatz “heaven” of global capitalism.

This raises the question, however,
Whether anything can exist without a center –
Especially since our own center is an “ego”
Which we’re rapidly losing confidence in.

The primary duty of working poets at all times and places
Is to sing about joy in the presence of God –
So that each of us might, in turn, have our own individual joys reaffirmed
And our true center hold.

When American poets started giving up God –
What was left was a group of negative images and a few slick verbal tricks –
What was left, in essence, was a deep emotional depression – artistically made invisible.

But what came next, of course, was Satan –
Grinning ear to ear –

Death trailing behind in all its manifold forms –
Entering our lives like the tide –

This is the price we’re going to be required to pay
For American poets being so willing to let the “real” God go.

DOWN HERE ON EARTH

If “life” after life were guaranteed
It might be easier to accept wasting this one.

But are we really so different from the leaves
Which bud, sway awhile in the wind,
And, eventually, join an autumnal heap –

Are they also going to heaven?

Or, rocks, which we know eventually turn into dust –
Will they one day find themselves reconstituted as “heavenly” rocks?

Paul tells us that we’ll have a resurrected body, just not our own flesh and bones –
But imperishable, perhaps hard as emerald.

Other people believe they can go on living – at least in memory –
Which is why they spend so much time building monuments to themselves.

But aren’t we all going to “drop” – eventually – just like the leaves?

And should we complain about this –
Given a lifetime of free activity,
And, hopefully, love –
Hasn’t that been a terrific bargain?

If death is real –
Then, logically, each passing moment is a unique miracle –
With the love we experience constituting our only “true heaven” –
And what we should be praying for –

Especially since – after we pass over –
Love will probably be the only gift we’re permitted to retain.