ALWAYS FRESH

“I go back to where everything is nothing.”
                                                      Rumi

Along with Rumi, I want nothing – except freedom
And perhaps a friend to point the way to God for me
In place of all the religious “professionals” lining the way to nowhere
And flatterers complimenting us on things we already know.

I want nothing
And the freedom that goes along with it –
I also want a God who still desires being God
Along with a quotidian material world whirring into and out of existence.

I want a freedom that’s fully paid for –
And a love that arrives “out of the blue.”

Speaking of “blue,” I want a lot more of that
Skies, oceans, robins’ eggs, and Van Gogh blues –
Along with the spectacular “yellows” I’d never seen before visiting Musée d’Orsay.

Nothing is absolutely the beginning of everything –
Nothing is a midnight diner – cars streaming by –
Nothing is music discerned through an almost-waking dream.

Nothing is a God who doesn’t need to be acknowledged as “God” –
Since God’s perpetually fresh!

TURNING AROUND IN A DRASTIC MANNER

In America, God, the real god, dies every minute –
Killed from opposing directions –
First, by those believing they no longer need God
Because they’re so smart and ambitious –
And, second, by those who worship an older, passé God
Who, since he’s obviously no longer as effective for them, get furious –
And want (and actually try) to pull down the temple on their own heads.

The first are Ivy Leaguers
The second small town Evangelicals.

America traditionally has been an open-hearted kind of place –
And Ivy Leaguers and small-town Evangelicals agree about this
But they’ve been looking in opposite directions – and for now can’t see one another –
And, presently, don’t even want to!

Our Founders designed an America open to the skies –
A free land where people could be themselves –
But freedom, alone, can’t do everything.

Americans also have to be inspired collectively to acquire the best human qualities –
While expressing a spirit of openness in their lives –
Along with an authentic concern for the “beaten down.”

America does make mistakes – really big mistakes –
But, usually, eventually, turns around after admitting them.


Yes, America can turn around – sometimes, even in a drastic manner!

GAINING ENOUGH SUBSTANCE TO LOOK DIRECTLY AT GOD

The common and usual “self” expands by sticking “things” onto its body –
As well as manipulating other people into its lower orbit –
While rolling and trolling around in egoistic sweet desires.

This kind of “self,” however, sometimes disconnects from itself –
Like a space capsule unlocking from a mother ship
Into a self open to enjoying everybody and everything
With the freedom to be objective and to tell “the whole truth” –
Because there’s no longer any false self remaining.

A self that’s left its false self behind becomes a “true self” –
Free to think God’s thoughts,
Love like God,
And tell the truth like God –

That’s not to say, however, that these experiences can’t end up being a bit “shallow.”

The first step, however, is to gain spiritual freedom –
The second requires a lot of hard work – (because God is not a lightweight) –
Even 10 years of sustained and persistent work
Might only get us as far as being a decent human being –
Even after exercising the freedom of God.

People courageous enough to look God straight in the face
Sometimes still come to realize that working spiritually for most of their lives
Might not add enough weight
To gain the attention of a single person
Desiring to know something about the “real” God.

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!

MY NAME IS SURPRISE

One problem with religion is its construction
Of sandcastles in the desert –
Waiting for successors to knock them all down.

Another trouble with religion is its professionalization –
Because only amateurs are authorized
To take off their clothes in public.

Then, with religions, there are “splits”
Where the fiercest enemy is a sizable portion of its former self –
Flying arrows – hearts turning black.

The final trouble with religion is the killing off of founders
Because founders, like Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammed,
Are still too alive to be turned into museum sculptures –
So alive, that everyone runs away screaming:
“They’re alive – watch out – better yet – run!”

Of course, running out into the lonely night,
Eventually, you have to stop, turn around, and start to relax –
But it’s really not so bad without post-founder institutions to believe in –
After all, that feeling of freedom is wonderful!

My heart starts doing jumping jacks
In my chest
Out my mouth.

My name is “Surprise” –
Just don’t try sneaking up on me!

BLAZING BEAUTY

How is it possible to grow more beautiful while aging,
Especially given all the recent dimming
Of eyes, ears, teeth, feet – even balance?

Is it only our memories that are getting somewhat sweeter,
Especially the recent ones?

Those recent memories – the brand-new ones –
Having just been born –
Are certainly the easiest to grasp.

Primarily, it’s increasing gentleness that I have recently begun to accept –
Especially a gratitude for small gifts –
The unexpected ones, that aging’s been providing me with.

I think a certain kind of beauty does arrive with age – but mostly from the outside –
A beauty we might never have noticed before
That we can carefully turn and store inside ourselves.

It goes without saying that this kind of beauty constituted the original name of God.

So, as we get older, it’s our ability to accept God,
Along with God’s primary attributes – love, truth, justice, beauty and freedom –
That’s the source of any and all blazing beauty in our lives.

FREEDOM IS A BLANK SHEET

To lose everything might provide total freedom
But it doesn’t usually happen that way
Since a person can only lose one piece of themselves at a time.

Writing is freedom on a blank sheet
Without even a dot –
This sheet appears as empty as God
Who’s been busily filling everything in.

Love is like leaving a window open
So that, suddenly, if a bird flies in –
It’s the symbol of your heart returning home.

I keep tearing off pieces of myself
And tossing them out into the dark –
Pretty soon the night will be all lit up with me –
How embarrassing!

After a certain age, sex and gender start floating off –
What’s left is much greater freedom –
It’s what you’ll see when you get close enough to look directly at God
While, later in life, you start filling up with so much love
That you can’t hold onto anything else.

God is a surprise
Because you never see God coming –
Just don’t piss in your panties
When it happens.

HOW EVE BECAME GOD AND SAVED THE WORLD

At first, Eve was a happy animal –
But one day she ate a piece of fruit
And, spontaneously, split in two.

Instantaneously as a result of this split,
She found herself outside the garden
Looking back at her happy self still inside.

She experienced herself “naked” – out in a tough world –
The fault of her newly-found “consciousness” –
A “mixed power” she had acquired through “seeing herself.”

Of course, the story doesn’t end there –
There’s both good and bad in the gift of consciousness –
For example, she was able to trick all the still unconscious beings
And take anything she wanted –
But it didn’t take long for them to join her in this newly conscious world.

After thousands of years of humans tricking one another
And getting pretty much nowhere –
One day, one of Eve’s descendants decided to “become herself” – i.e., her “true self”
And stop working so hard at trying to trick the rest of the world.

This descendant became her true self by mimicking “God” in human form,
And, as a result, became willing to lead human beings out of their ego-delimited world –
But, just before she could accomplish this,
Adam intervened by saying: “Get back, woman!”
The world is not finished with tricky male egos yet”
We still have a long way to go” –
Adam enforced this command with a warehouse full of iron patriarchal laws,
Male-preferenced customs, and an infinity of direct and indirect physical threats.

This worked!
So well, that Eve was compelled to step back from her new God-gifted freedom,
And, as a consequence, the world fell into Male-Ego Hell –
Which eventually got so bad that even Adam began to get scared
And thought he might want to invite Eve back into a more active role –
But Eve said “No” –
“Not me.” “Not now” – “unless and until you admit you’ve been a jerk” –
“And a violent jerk, at that!” –
Adam refused to admit this, and so the entire world died.

The end.

An alternative ending is Adam did admit he’d been a jerk –
And allowed Eve to re-gain her freedom –
Free, she looked around, and thought, again, it might be time for her to embody God –
But only the kind of God a woman could believe in:

A God closer to Nature –
A loving and family-friendly God –
A truthful God.

This God was entirely a female creation –
So that when Eve determined that her God was “good”
She was able to immediately step into her waiting role.

Eve became God, as a human being, much like Jesus had done in the past –
And, as a consequence, took her turn at saving the world!

The result was that men eventually became happier (even if reluctantly),
And the earth and all its other inhabitants – animal, vegetable, or mineral –
Were saved
Because Adam was willing to step aside
And allow Eve to become the kind of “God,” in human form, she best understood.

Now, all the beings on earth live happily, including all the Eves and Adams –

This is the second, and fortunately happy, ending.

THE VALUE OF INTERMITTENT ENLIGHTENMENT

Talking over some earlier posts with my brilliant wife
She pointed out that complete enlightenment –
By achieving “no one” or “no thing” – was too abstract for her
And that she, as a woman, couldn’t “feel” the reality of that kind of existence.

I gave her examples, including Jesus and the Buddha, but she rightly countered
That women with families and worldly obligations
Wouldn’t be attracted to becoming “no one”
And that such “freedom,” even if achievable, would be meaningless to most people.

This made me think she might be right.

So I reflected further, and determined I should not be arguing
For achieving complete and absolute enlightenment –
That is, for people to become “god-like,” in imitation of Jesus or the Buddha,
But, instead, an enlightenment that’s more like the periodic use of a physics equation (e = mc2),
But, in spiritual terms, a formula showing (“no ego” = “no one”) –
Available for use, intermittently, that is, whenever one actually needs it.

I believe that enlightenment is available to everyone on this planet –
But, thanks to my wife’s critical observation
I no longer think it’s an “all or nothing” enlightenment –
But rather enlightenment available for use at critical junctures in our lives
So that important life decisions can be made at the highest, best level –
Individually, as well as for those desiring to affect the world as a whole.

The first, and most important, step in this formula
Is to become conscious of one’s ego self
Because, without an objective view of oneself, nothing else is possible –
This is not an insignificant step because it’s where people face the most resistance –
Taking that “first look” – since almost no one dares it –
But if you do have sufficient courage to look directly at yourself,
You’ll be able to see the puppet you’ve become (and that everyone else can see) –
And then, if you wish, decide you don’t want to be a self-driven puppet –
At least during that precise next moment – given what’s immediately facing you.

Of course, a lifelong attachment to one’s ego is not easy to efface–
So you don’t – all that happens is you become aware
That you can, consciously and contemporaneously, look at yourself,
See what you’re actually doing at that moment,
And then decide whether or not you want to do something entirely different.

That is, you don’t have to helplessly continue along the path
Of embodying the ego your mother so loved
Or that your friends and world have accepted as being “you” –
Instead, at this critical juncture, you can simply look at yourself and say “No” –
I want to do something else – something my heart and mind agree upon –
Something my “true self” has decided.

This “true self,” later on, may itself come to appear somewhat limited
Even though it’s infinitely superior to that former ego “puppet” –
Limited in the sense of not having all the freedom God possesses –
If you want that kind of high, almost infinite freedom – you have to take the next step –
And, again, through the use of our spiritual formula – become “no body” or “no thing” –
Asking, at this particular inflection point, “What would God do?
Not as an all-powerful being –
But as a vulnerable human being called upon to act as God would act if God were human –
And then, do it!
After all, this is what Jesus had been able to do!

This is what I’m saying anyone can do any time they want
Through the use of intermittent enlightenment.

Most of the time, people, including myself, act only through their ego selves –
For example, when eating, going to the bathroom, or talking quietly with friends –
But the possibility of acting through one’s “higher self” is always present
And can be acted upon at critical life-changing moments.
You don’t need to use this knowledge, this ability, solely for saving the world
Like Jesus or the Buddha (since you’d probably get killed for having such presumption) –
I’m saying that you can use this hard-earned spiritual ability to consciously see yourself
And then make a decision about what you really want to do –
Anytime, anyplace you decide.

This is the singular value of having access to intermittent enlightenment –
You can have it whenever you actually need it!

This is my gift to you, dear one –
The realization that you can be as enlightened as Jesus, Buddha, or Socrates –
Not for saving the world – but for use in ordinary, but important to you,
Day-to-day life situations.

By the way, all enlightened beings – including Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, and Socrates,
Were never enlightened during every moment of their lives –
History captured them as acting at specific critical moments at their highest, best level –
And then spotlighted that period as being a permanent condition.
But, actually, it was only an intermittent moment – even for them –
Remember, the spotlight of faith and history bounces off
The highest, most critically important moments experienced by humanity –
Which is not the same as actual ongoing reality.

All of them were human, just like you and I are,
But they could and did act at critical moments with the ultimate freedom of God –

Just like you and I can also!

UNCOVERING THE NUMINOUS LATER IN LIFE

Everything both is, and is not, “numinous” –
Depending upon which set of eyes you’re looking through –
The trick is to remember which ones you’re using at any given moment
So, when “holy time” arrives, you can wake up out of your ordinary eyes.

Sometimes, God gently touches (or slaps) your face –
So you wake up
And, suddenly, everything becomes numinous.

One’s ego, however, never engages with the numinous
Because the ego, by nature, is trapped inside itself for its own protection
And so neversees” God –
Which is why all the world religions, historically, have never been very effective.

Freedom provides a broad opening into the numinous –
– Freedom from self, from “God,” and from everything else –
Such freedom is so radical, it’s equivalent to dying –
And, then, dying a second time!

Permission granted –
Now you’re able to “see”
A single object – numinously!

But, one day, the whole world will open itself up to you in this same way –
An experience like going a trillion miles an hour
In pure silence.