THE EGO IS AN ACTOR

The ego is an actor
With a chest full of costumes suitable for playing its various roles.

A “true self,” however, will put away all those costumes
And become no one –
With no roles, no desire to manipulate others,
And, of course, not much power or riches either.

The ego is an actor
Playing to an audience of one – and sometimes many –
But, primarily, manipulates itself
In the vain hope of, one day, overcoming the world.

The “no self” is spontaneous –
Empty of everything except for joy,
But, certainly, overflowing with that!

The ego carries out the roles
That family and friends recognize –
And never, ever, forgets the specific part it’s supposed to play.

A lifetime passes
During which we’re regularly fed, entertained, and comforted –
But this type of quotidian ego can never reflect the person we really could have been –
That is, someone who solely serves God –
And whose real name is “Freedom.”

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EVERYONE WANTS THE SAME THING

Everyone wants the same thing –
A good community for their children to grow up in
And, if their descendants so choose, the same place for future generations.

People want a meaningful God to worship –
A God who encourages goodness, spontaneity, and creativity.

People want love between husbands and wives to be and remain real,
And freedom for their children to “be themselves,”
Along with friends who they’re happy to spend time with
As well as an openness to joy – (not just satisfaction or happiness)
But pure joy.

They want to experience the world getting better
With violence, nihilism, and hatefulness falling away.

They want their intellectuals to have common sense –
While still preferring to “think for themselves” –
And they’ll take all the time necessary to sort through
The value of what they’re presented with
So as to make intelligent-loving decisions.

Everyone wants the same thing –
Good neighbors – (next door, county, state, and country) –
And they’ll also want to know that, as they age, they’ll be on a natural arc
Of becoming more loving, more wise,
And more accepting of others.

Finally, they want God to be their best friend –
A God who’ll walk out ahead of them, pointing out what’s good,
What they should seriously treasure, and, ultimately,
What’s important to be retained for life beyond our physical life –
The one we can’t now see or experience, but hope will be there
When it finally comes time for us to go.

THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF JESUS

Jesus loved parties,
Weddings, and celebrations.

He loved eating and having amazing spiritual conversations with his friends.

This is one of his important “unwritten” messages –
That we should live our lives joyfully
Like children at a party.

The crucifixion wasn’t his real message –
That was the Romans talking.

Jesus’ own life was filled with joy –
Sending and receiving invitations –

But, for him, weddings
Were always the best.

CELEBRATION

There are friends
Who, in reality, aren’t –

Then there’s the Friend
Who’s been patiently waiting for us to call.

But, because we’ve been so busy with the essential
Tasks of living –
Somewhere along the way, unfortunately,
We’ve forgotten how to celebrate “spiritually.”

We’ve been so busy “pissing into the wind” or
“Whistling past death” –
That we haven’t had the time to eat a single celebratory peanut –
Not to speak of that splendid wedding cake.

These days, we no longer take time to get spiritually “drunk” –
Instead, we’ve reserved that particular party for some anticipated “life” to come –
The one where we enter the door of death
And come out the other side in a spectacular display of angelic fireworks.

But what if this is the only celebration permitted
What if this the only “light” we’re ever going to enjoy –
Our sole existence –

Suffering and all –

What then?

FRIENDS AT LAST

Here’s how God “works” –

Just when everything’s looking good
And our humility’s decided to take a hike –
God will place a few unexpected obstacles in our path
To trip us up.

Isn’t it obvious that the more humility we’re able to retain –
The more our capacity for love can grow –
Which is why God wants us to experience a few failures.

God encourages greater humility to accompany increasing success
So we can continue experiencing our vulnerability.

It’s like riding a bike – the faster we go –
The less thought we need to give to what we’re doing.

This is what God wants
And what Jesus gave his life demonstrating:

“One eye on ourselves
And the other on God” –

If we can live this way
We’ll find God and ourselves
Becoming friends, at last.