WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM!

When you’re a baby, you’re the entire universe –
And there’s nothing else that matters but you.

You’re given a beautiful mother
Who takes care of all your needs –
So you never forget her face.

Then, slowly, surely, everything starts coming into focus
Until the day you’re finally able to see yourself –
Along with all your limitations.

The surprising pain associated with becoming aware of those limitations
Leads to constructing a fantasy “self”
That you can almost believe in –
A splendid “ego” useful for dressing up your more primitive, negligible self –
Someone capable of surviving and succeeding in this world.

Eventually, you become a “real” puppet – like Pinocchio –
Who can “pass” –
Manipulating the world from behind a curtain –
While it’s only in bad dreams you realize the rest of the world
Is the same as you –

Puppets!

You exist through an unreal “person” or “persona” –
Unaware of having an alternative, even if asked.

Entire religions are built around the existence of a few chosen people
Courageous enough or insane enough to become their “true selves.”

But established religions never explain it that way –
Instead, they say such people are “gods” or “super-beings” –
And that if you’re willing to turn yourself over to them, they’ll protect you –
Most especially, after you die –
And then you’ll be able to “live forever” – whatever that means.

Gurus and other hotshot spiritual hustlers
Ask who “you” are –
Knowing you’ll have no answer –
And that you’d have to “die” to obtain one – and there’s no chance of that ever happening!

Actually, it’s quite simple –
There are no religions or spiritual “masters” available to help you –
There’s only you.

To discover your “true self” you’ll need to give up everything
You are, have, and want to be –
And be willing to be your naked self – and then look at that!
Then drop that, and keep dropping all the that’s which subsequently appear –
Until there’s nothing left
Nothing, at all –

When you discover the magic of being “born again,” as Jesus recommended –
Even then, you’ll need to be very careful not to let this new state of being
Develop into a more advanced kind of Ego.

This is why humbleness comes first –
True humility –
Someone used to being overlooked.

Then, when you finally start breathing freely again –
When you can “see” actual reality,
Including, most importantly, the reality of “yourself.”

That’s when God will suddenly appear and say:
“Good job, little one,”
“Welcome to the Kingdom!”

HER SLIGHTLY FADING BUT ALWAYS FAITHFUL LOVER

You wake up and, magically, you’ve become someone else –
Someplace else!

You can do this at least once in a lifetime –
As well as every day, and every second if you really want!

Falling asleep is traveling where the dreamgods live –
Falling asleep is where love can no longer even be imagined!

So, you need to wake up and, then, wake up once more
Awakening out of ordinary awakeness –
Listen, you can do this again
And again and again!

God keeps slapping you gently on the face, saying,
“Wake up, wake up, little one” –
And so you do, but only reluctantly.

Descending through God’s universe-sized face and approaching my wife of many years –
I see her smiling quizzically and starting to laugh –

Because she recognizes me –
She knows who I’ve always been
And has a good sense about who I’m about to become –

That is, her slightly fading but always faithful lover.

WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM!

When you’re a baby, you feel you’re equal to the entire universe –
Because there’s nothing that matters – except you.

You’re given a beautiful mother
Who takes care of all your personal needs –
So you’ll never forget her face.

Then, slowly, surely, the world comes into focus
Until, one day you can actually see yourself
Along, of course, with all your limitations.

That’s the day you’ll commence building a “fantasy” you – i.e., your “ego” –
One that you’ll be able to almost believe in –
Hopefully, a splendid one – “dressing up” the negligible you
Into a “someone” demonstrably able to survive in this world.

Eventually, you’ll be a “real” puppet
Able to “pass” – just like Pinocchio –
Manipulating the world from behind a curtain –

Only in bad dreams, however, will you suddenly realize that the rest of the world
Is the same as you.

You continue existing through this “person” or “persona”
Because you know no alternative.

Entire religions are built around a handful of exceptional people
Courageous or insane enough to trust in living as their original “true selves.”

But those religions never explain it that way –
Instead, they assert that such people are “gods” –
And, if you’re willing, they’ll “protect” you,
Enabling you to “live forever” – whatever that means.

Gurus and other spiritual hustlers
Ask if you know who “you” are –
Knowing you’ll have no answer –
That you’d have to “die” to discover one –
And there’s little chance of that ever happening!

Actually, it’s simple –
There are no religions or “enlightened masters” available to save you –
There’s only you.

To discover your “true self” you’ll have to give up everything
You are, have, and want to be –
You’ll find your “true self” by taking a good hard look at that well-developed ego,
And then drop it, and keep dropping anything else that appears,
Until, literally, there’s nothing artificial left.

That’s when you’ll be “born again” – just like Jesus recommended –
Being extremely careful, however, not to let that develop into an even more elaborate ego.

This is why humbleness comes first –
True humility – so you can be
Someone unimportant – but someone who’s real.

That’s when you’ll finally be able to breathe freely –
When you’ll be able to see reality –
Including, most importantly, the reality of yourself.

Finally, at the end, God appears and says:
“Good job, little one ….
Welcome to the Kingdom!”

MIRRORS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY

The ego is a “manufactured self”
That we weren’t originally born with.

At birth, we simply arrived as open consciousness –
Innocent – without ego.

Our “ego” was primarily created in response to others –
I.e., we slowly, carefully create personhood over time
Largely in interactions with other people – and especially in response to their opinions about us
And this is true, whether such opinions turn out to be true or false.

So, instead of being unconditionally loved by God – who truly sees us –
We experience a love and acceptance that’s highly conditional
Through “others,” i.e., through human “mirrors” who constantly show us
Our “face” the world sees –
In tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of reflections –
That, eventually, we come to accept as our “self” –
Ending up seeing ourselves the same way others see us –
Most especially, how our parents saw us –
(Who previously went through this same kind of impersonating process).

As a result, we’re incentivized – and sometimes even threatened –
Against re-discovering our original “true self” –
Because that’s not what “others” have been willing to recognize.

The price for regaining our “true self”
Is to completely drop that hard-earned, hard-shelled ego –
Along with everything else we’ve historically become –
And start over!

This might happen one day when we, suddenly, experience the freshness
Of engaging with the world like a “child” again –
That is, the day we discover and claim our original true face.

At that point, we’ll begin radiating the glory inherent in being a “true self” –
The only one God has ever thought worth loving!

YOUR “ORIGINAL FACE”

I’ve frequently written about the “true self” –

That is, when you come to be able to live the life you were meant to live – before being born –
Before getting “beaten up” by family, society, and culture
And “molded” – with or without your active participation –
Into an “ego” that occasionally reflects aspects of your true self – but frequently does not.

Zen people call this true self – our “original face.”

To illustrate the weight of mask upon which your roles are typically displayed –
Start by relaxing your facial muscles –
Then check to see whether your face still remains tight –
If so, try to let your face become as “liquid” as possible – completely non-judgmental –
Until you’re left with as un-tense a face as possible.

That’s as close, without a lot of additional spiritual work,
That you’ll be able to get to your “original face” for now –

A face that exhibits your naked heart –
A face that reflects your essential being

Your “true self.”

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.”