JOY

Joy can’t be bought, earned, or manipulated.

To experience joy, however, is simple!
Just open up your heart to God
And everything else in existence that’s “good” will start rushing in.

It’s like what happens when a black, white, gray world
Suddenly gets drenched in vivid colors –
Or when one realizes that life can’t be a “true life”
Without God at its center.

Joy is a fountain that never ceases –
A spiritual light that never dims!

In fact, human beings were made with joy for joy!

However, it’s always a personal decision
Whether you’ll permit joy to begin rushing into your own life!

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LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN

Jesus didn’t want us to be “like” him
Instead, Jesus wanted us to be him –

Yet not “him” – he simply wanted us to be our “true selves” –
Just as he was a “true self” –
With a similar relationship to God.

He kept inviting us to join his wedding party with God –
Insisting we hurry along.

But this looked like it could be dangerous – and still does:
Seeing like Jesus could “see”
Hearing what Jesus could “hear”
And experiencing God – much like Jesus did?

So, we gave it some thought, and, given that apparent danger,
Decided it would be much better to stay one-step removed from God –
In a sort of ego-drenched “half-life.”

Actually, Jesus did want us to have it all! –
That is, a life lived as a “true self” – in the presence of God –
Everywhere and at all times.

Jesus knew about living with this God of surprises –
Experiencing life like little children do –
With their “magical” lives!

Why don’t we take Jesus (as opposed to some theological “Christ”) more seriously?

WE ARE NOT MINDS ALONE

Here, in the First World, minds are the highest-valued aspect of humanity –

A splendid mind, as a great analytical tool, can get you into the Ivy League
And, later, qualify you for the top one percent.

Nevertheless, we are not minds alone – we’re not simply mental tools.

Minds, over a lengthy period of time, develop in a surrounding cultural sea –
And take on the “color” and “imprint” of their birth society.

In order to get outside our socially-cultivated mind and gain the freedom
To think and feel objectively,
Paradoxically, we have to get “out of our minds” –
Which, of course, may cause problems –
But these will not be too serious
When we start thinking through God’s infinitely greater mind –
Resorting to our “no mind” –
Which enables us to observe the world, as well as our own minds,
Critically – “from the outside.”

Later, however, when we’ve actually gone ahead and lost our minds –
We’ll find we also need to lose our names as well –

Because God doesn’t possess a “name” either.

POETS AND GOD

Great poets desire to express the inexpressible
And that’s why the greatest of them – spiritual amateurs all –
Reach for the Divine.

Early on, Christianity got rid of spontaneous poets
And replaced them with orthodox priests and ministers –
And this is why, eventually, Christianity evolved into a religion of rationality –
A religion without fresh poetic inspiration.

People on a long journey towards the holy, however,
Want their favorite poets free to “sing” to God
Because they understand that spontaneity
Is essential in expressing spiritual truths.

Once they’d given up holy ecstatic singing,
Western poets, over time, increasingly became colorless and dull –
Proving that poets need the energy that can be imbibed
From the “living juices” of a “living God.”

In other words, artists (which all true poets are)
Require a subject matter that is “colorful” – “packed with life” –
Like the Divine (the “face” of God)
And Nature (the “back” of God).

In sum, to have the experience of God remain “fresh” –
God needs poets who are willing to reach out to the Divine –

So, tell me, how did Western poetry ever get so far off-track?

TIME IS NOT REAL

The past and future are not “real” – but simply “mental bookkeeping” –
True reality is present only in the “Now” –
The sole “eternity” that exists
And where God, in fact, actually lives.

This “Now” is experienced, ordinarily, only when we get “out of our minds” –

However, when we experience life mainly “inside” our minds,
Real life will continue on in its spontaneous and colorful way – on the outside –
Totally ignoring our inner obsessions.

This “outside” life could be ours – all the time –
If we ever decided to “wake up”
And start sharing life with God in the “Now.”

THE FREEDOM IN BEING “NOTHING”

Shouldn’t we view “God” as a dynamic “Nothing”
Since, after all, everything originally came out of nothing?

How could anything have more freedom than nothing?

The same goes for our “true self” –
Take away your ego (or, in some cases, multiple egos)
And you’re left with the kind of freedom God enjoys.

So, now, you’re telling me –
That “God” and the “true self” might, in essence,
Be One?

SENSE OF DIRECTION

You can’t hear God
No matter how closely you listen.

You can’t see God
No matter how intensely you look.

You can’t touch God
No matter how distant your reach.

Yet you can know God
As much as you’ll ever need.

How is this possible?

It’s because
Human beings have no difficulty identifying evil
So, instinctively, we also know its reverse –

God is there – in the opposite direction –

For us, it’s always just a matter
Of turning around.

ATHEISTS AND AGNOSTICS WRESTLE WITH STRAWMEN

Atheists and Agnostics attend various media events
And ridicule projections of “God”
Presented by evangelical producers of the “Old Time Religion” –

But fail to remember that God was never an ancient white sky-man –
But “Spirit” –
And that this same kind of “spirit” is also within themselves –
So what they’ve apparently (but mistakenly) been laughing at is simply their own egos.

Everyone knows this – at least impliedly –
Because human spirit is capable of being one with God when most unconscious of itself.

So what I would like to say to my atheist and agnostic friends:

It’s better to try to experience God than to simply “talk about” various concepts of God –
And, experiencing “the Kingdom,” as Jesus called it, that is within you –
Is certainly no “laughing matter.”

ASKING FOR DIRECTIONS

Vacant churches line the seashore.

Strolling along the sea/land divide
Religious teachers casually toss artificial pearls out onto the deep.

But true religion, courageous and contagious,
Is unwilling to accept anything less than a life filled with joy.

When everything else begins to exit,
Love comes rushing in at the last moment bringing its own surprising reality.

What’s the point of arguing about the nature of God?
Every person knows what she knows – and that’s that –

Until, that is, someone remembers to ask
For directions.