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.

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LIFE AS A HUMAN BEING

God is hardest to acknowledge
When life seems easy.

God appears most frequently to hearts that suffer –
Not those on vacation.

Suffering never ends
But neither does joy.

Joy and suffering make up a bi-colored ball –
Each failing to come into existence without the other.

In fact, we only experience joy
To the same degree we’re willing to suffer.

Isn’t that life
As a human being?

JESUS’ BEST KEPT SECRET

In the East,
They paint images of water lilies
Rising up out of bottom mud
Through dark water
To a breezy surface –
Where they blossom in beauty.

Who could imagine such natural elegance rising up out of mud –
One of nature’s more ecstatic surprises.

In the West,
Jesus taught we could be “born again”
And then was hung up to die.

Repeatedly, though, throughout his life he rose up out of himself –
Flowering as a “new type” of human being.

People felt awe at this, and reacted according to their individual character –
Those bending towards hope, followed him with joy,
While those responding out of fear or anger, simply disappeared.

Through Jesus, the world was exposed to a paradox –
That is, whether it’s actually possible to extinguish a “next-stage” human spirit –

The authorities learned, in their attempt to kill off this late-Axial Age spiritual dimension,
That their best efforts ended up only certifying Jesus
As an evolutionarily new human paradigm.

In fact, this turned out to be a variation of an old, old story –
Winning by losing –

Jesus’ best kept secret.

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.

GOD’S “FACE”

The Old Testament asserts that we cannot “see” God’s face and live. (Exodus 33:20)

Paul, in the New Testament, however, says: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully even as I am fully known.” 1 Cor.13:12

How resolve this inter-testamental paradox?

I think the Old Testament was talking about “egos” – false selves that “die,” that is, become extinguished in any “direct” encounter with God. The New Testament, on the other hand, is talking about human beings who’ve been “born again” spiritually – when it becomes possible for a human spirit to actually engage with God’s Spirit directly because, qualitatively, and at the right place and right time, the two can overlap.

Even the briefest glimpse of God gets us “soaked” by Joy –

If God is Love, then, when we’re loving, even if only for a moment,
That’s when we experience God –
Not as a matter of belief, but of lived life.

Love is the aspect of God that resides inside us (Immanent) while Truth is the aspect of God that’s found outside us (Transcendent).

Experiencing the joy of God as a holy fountain inside us –
While having faith in a transcendent God
Who gifts us with significance, context, and meaning –

Turns out to be Heaven for most human beings!

THIS IS WHAT GOD IS REALLY LIKE

Sunday morning church is like a plate of sugar cookies –
Everyone chooses, eats one,
And is satisfied,
Since the cookie is their ego “self”
And it is good.

Church – a conventional
Once a week kind of thing.

But the God we’re supposed to meet – is wild –
Loving perhaps –
But definitely,
Dangerous.

Actually, you’d have to be insanely sane
To love God as much as you really could.

God’s wonderful joy and peace
May only be found through complete spiritual freedom.

When we discover this truth:
Nothing will seem safe anymore –
Except the holy spirit – grounded, as it is, in love, truth, justice, and beauty.

Afterwards:

We won’t meet a single person
Or experience anything at all
Without total astonishment!

This is what God is really like.

INEFFABLE LOVE

The love of God is like a cool fountain
Continually shooting joy up into our hearts –
Or a bright flame that illuminates our minds
And never goes out.

Once you experience ineffable love
You’ll know what God is like –

Nevertheless, this is difficult to describe
Even for mystics or poets.

THE SECRET OF SUCCESSFULLY GROWING OLDER

The secret of successfully growing older physically –
Is to simultaneously grow younger spiritually.

As our body starts falling away – heading back towards the earth –
At the same time, we should be striving to attain freedom of spirit –

We’ll know we’re living right
When, as our happiness is receding,
We experience joy on the rise.

We’ll be satisfied with decreasing material success
When a “spiritual” fountain opens up in our hearts –
And grows daily more refreshing.

It’s a race we win by losing –

An “end of life” paradox:

As we dissolve into the dust –
We simultaneously become more radiant.

SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS

“Sin”
Is treating people (including one’s self) and other living beings as objects.

Objects aren’t real – they’re ephemeral –
Only subjects are “real” in any true sense.

For example, the ego is a self-made intangible “object”
While your “true self” is always a subject.

The essential work of human beings is to find and align
Their true selves with a “real” God – not with “made-up” ones.

Mostly, though, we need to jump-start our everyday lives
Into an alternative world of creativity, joy, and color –
That we’ll start experiencing the moment
We decide to put aside our comfortable ego
And, completely, “wake up”!

A DANCE OF JOY

Usually, one doesn’t meet God personally,
And, even in that case, ordinarily just by accident.

We pass by, and only later realize
Something happened –
Maybe just a momentary impression –
Like noticing stars looking like astral “white flowers”
Or a simple shrub beside the path, when hit by the sun, turning into a “star.”

It’s the joy arising in our hearts
That tells us God has just passed by.

Unexpectedly, we feel like dancing –
Even though the world might think us crazy –

And we are – but only for God.

Our heart starts beating an internal drum:

Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy

Our feet leave the ground –
And, suddenly,
We’re in the air!

Who says there’s no such thing as ecstasy
In North America?