POINTING TO THE GOD YOU ARE (for Ruth)

Beauty is usually seen
But can come in other ways too.

If at first nothing much appears very beautiful
Take a second look –
And, perhaps, even a third.

It’s only when you’re relaxing hard
That true beauty starts coming through.

Sometimes, beauty is just an accident –
You weren’t meant to see it coming
But, suddenly, beauty appears out of darkness
Or light – depending upon your location at a given moment.

Sometimes, beauty comes rushing through another person
Who points –
There –
And God suddenly bowls you over.

Mainly, beauty comes secretly
Between spiritual friends –
Do you have a spiritual friend
And do they ever point out God out to you?
A God you can’t see
Because they’re pointing at the God you are?

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!

GOD SINGS IN COLORS

Traditional English poets were primitive
Because you could hear the “beat” but not actually “see” much of anything.

When your heart echoes that beat and starts becoming giddy –
Your eyes will still be saying you have no idea where you really are!

A poet of fountains hears cool splashing –
A poet of the mind occasionally knows what he’s talking about –
But a poet that “sees” the world – as it is –
Is the poet God listens to.

God sings all the time –
Not always in melodies, that’s true,
But listen – God’s singing right now
About a direction in which to go and friends we might want to listen to!

God also sings in colors –
But only mystics are able to see this beauty
And only mystics have a good idea what God’s been talking about –
Generally, love, truth, justice, or beauty –
Directing these holy conversations straight through our hearts.

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.”

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.