A LITTLE MORE JUSTICE

The point wasn’t Jesus being a child of God –
The point was that all of us are required
To turn the world into Heaven –
And for God to appear in everyone
In order to preserve human joy from fading away.

Of course, there had to be a first –
And that was Jesus – standing on a towering mountain of Jewish Spirit –
When, not long afterwards, the rest of us decided to move over
To keep Jesus and God company.

It’s like rain – one drop doesn’t make it –
Nor does a single kiss, by itself, make a baby.

God started out with absolutely nothing
But has been working diligently for over 13.8 billion years
To become you –
Yet, obviously, there’s still a long way to go.

Children are playing outside
There’s a lot of new construction going on nearby
Bells are tolling
Celebrating a new election –
In a country where every citizen can be free and prosperous –

All it takes is a little more justice.

REALITY AT ALL LEVELS

How can we see like Jesus could see –
As fully human and fully God?

He saw with two eyes – one a human’s and one God’s.

A real human eye is found only in a “true self” –
Like the eye of an infant – where everything is fresh and new –
And, as the scientists say,
Pure uninterrupted experience is limited to three seconds,
But is never found in the head of a wooden puppet – like Pinocchio
As an “ego” or a “false self.”  

God’s eye is different –
It sees through time (eternity) and space (infinity) –
Set within the four cardinal points of love, truth, justice, and beauty –
With the lines meeting at the top of a spiritual pyramid –
Love meeting truth, truth meeting justice, justice meeting beauty,
And beauty resting on love –
All conjoined at the tip – where God lives.

Two eyes – one a human being’s and one God’s.

Jesus could see through a child’s eyes
Balanced by those four spiritual attributes of God.

When those two eyes exist in a single head
They see reality – and at all levels.

EXCHANGING THE EGO FOR A “TRUE SELF”

             Some say the most profound scientific discipline is theoretical physics which has vastly expanded our understanding of the structure of the physical universe using the language of mathematics, but I think this now needs to be matched by an even more profound spiritual/theological discipline that can further our understanding of the relationship between God and the human self through expanded human consciousness of love, truth, justice, and beauty as expressed through the arts. Materialistic evolution via science and technology has taken us about as far as we’re going to get while still retaining our basic humanity, but the prospects for our species will be pretty dim if that’s the full extent of what we’re ever going to achieve.

             I propose it’s time for human beings to make a conscious choice about which evolutionary path they should take: materialistic evolution (especially digital artificial intelligence) or the next step in humans’ spiritual evolution. Greater spirituality, however, won’t necessarily increase our intelligence or ability to manipulate the material world, but could, eventually, evolve us into an entirely different type of humanity – the kind originally pointed towards by Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed.

            When a person enters the world as a baby, they’re totally open to God – arriving as pure energy in human form. Because they come straight from God, they’re completely natural upon arrival. After their surprise landing in this world, however, they need to figure out how to survive in this particular time and place. They eventually do, but the cost is often high. They’re faced with the necessity of becoming the kind of person that other people readily recognize and the surrounding culture use. Since usually they’re raised by parents – people who’ve already made the requisite compromises and adjustments – the baby ultimately learns how to “fit in.”

            This baby, who started life as a tiny energy “sun,” eventually begins “dimming” because so much of her original natural energy will be perceived as “alien” to her family’s world. Eventually, the baby matures and becomes a “person” by developing an ego – and ultimately joins society. One day, however, that baby – after attaining adulthood – might begin wondering where all her previous energy had gone – and whether it might ever be regained.

            In traditional societies, a person’s roles remain largely the same throughout their life and also determine how their children will turn out.

            In modern societies, however, by early adulthood, a person usually gains abilities and opportunities to change “who” they are by making individual choices – leading them away from predestined family roles – becoming partly a family-destined person and partly a self-determined one – in a “composite” role. Nevertheless, whatever this composite role turns out to be, it’s still just a role.

            All roles, traditional or modern, become included in one’s “life story.” As Shakespeare asserted in As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” So, the problem with developing an “ego,” along with one’s accompanying “story,” is the temptation to “make up” that story as one goes along – like in a dramatic film – even if carried out mainly unconsciously.

            Another problem with “roles” is their need for consistency and continuity, so the self can seemingly remain “the same.”

            This is why “higher” values are necessary to effect any serious changes in our quotidian roles and stories. Traditionally, humanity’s highest values have been attributable to a “Spirit” (usually “God’s”) – as well as to divine spiritual attributes like love, truth, justice, and beauty.

            Roles and stories, however, compel us to live as unfree. Since we believe these roles and stories (as reinforced by the surrounding society) constitute our “identity,” we sometimes even believe we would need to “die” as the price for achieving freedom. If a person becomes threatened with losing their identity, frequently, they’ll think they might as well be dead. That’s how important roles and personal stories are for a normal human being. In fact, there’s a general consensus in the humanities, as well as in psychotherapy, that the ego, as a person’s chief fictional character, is one’s essential self.

            So, how is it possible to free ourselves from embedded roles and stories that obstruct our natural human self-understanding and close down our best, most spontaneous thoughts – in order to gain the freedom necessary to become our “true selves”?

            The answer is that we need to be “born again” – at any age. That is, we’ll need to reverse direction, spiritually, and become a “child” all over again so as to become as free as God.

             Jesus himself said this, did this, and then died for it – all to show us how.

             To be “born again” is scary – few can do it all at once. Most people need time to shed their artificial roles until they’re free enough to make a long daring leap into their “true selves.” Starting at an older age, it actually becomes easier to work towards greater spirituality by breaking up and discarding pieces of one’s earlier “false selves” and gain a greater naturalness and openness spiritually even though one is at the same time physically degenerating.

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!

TALK ABOUT THE BEAUTY OF GOD

Jesus and the Sufis believe God is “Love” –
And it’s hard to disagree –
But, for now, I want to speak about “Beauty.”

Older adjectives for God included “Power” or “Knowledge”
Especially in the more ancient patriarchal brands –

All these go low.

Presently, though, I prefer “Love” or “Truth” –
While, like I said, I want God to be experienced as “Beautiful”
With a “knock your socks off” look –
When we do take a look.

Can’t we agree that people dedicated to Beauty
Are God’s people –

People who bring live beauty into the world –
Who’re as natural as Nature –
And possess the openness of children.

Beauty is like the first appearance of Spring –
A “natural” gesture –
A spontaneous smile.

The most valuable, aching, type of beauty,
Is the kind that’s just on the verge of disappearing –
Like cherry blossoms – falling –
A kingfisher’s flash dive into the lake –
Or a kindly memory surfacing later on in a well-lived life.

In essence, Love “reflects” Beauty –
Truth “tells” it –
And the fundamental fairness of Justice “requires” it.

God’s eyelids blink out numerous metaphors of Beauty –
Heart-stopping, if you’re fortunate enough to see one.

Beauty is a dream waiting patiently for God’s entrance into the material world
Or waking up to one of God’s repeated emergences into Time –

Beauty is a “splash” of Life –

Revivifying, spontaneous, fresh!

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.

DREAMING OF THE TRUE SELF

We don’t age in dreams – or internal consciousness either
But we do in mirrors and other peoples’ reactions to us –
Teaching us what our external appearance shows.

God sees the same person at birth, childhood, young adulthood, maturity, and old age
Because, spiritually, we’re always the same age –
Which is why, sometimes, we believe we might survive
Even after our last breath’s been taken away.

If we could only remember that our “true self” doesn’t track physical age –
Whether young or old –
And also remember what our existence feels like in dreams –
We would understand our “true self” lies beyond success or failure,
Age, sickness or health.

Of course, our true self does have the ability to learn –
Especially in one’s attitude to gifts of the spirit – like truth, love, beauty, or justice –
And we’re always free to ask God to accept us just as we are
So that, in turn, we’ll be able to accept ourselves (and others) in the same manner.

Remember, don’t judge yourself by externalities –
But only by the internal feelings and intuitions
Arising out of your individually unique experience.

 

PEERING OUT OF TUNNELS

Why worry about what one “looks like”
When peering through cloudbursts of love?

How give up one’s “self” in order to look through God’s eyes –
Or take a “perfect shot” without aiming –
In other words, how act in this world?

How will we achieve the spontaneity of no ego – like children do –
Or be impervious as a flower taking its own beauty for granted?

And why spend life peering out of tunnels
To see whether you’re loved or threatened?

What God is, is fearless – like water –
A being who’s no “thing” – but radiates love –
Without, however, being interested in the images created inside our heads –
As opposed to what we’re actually doing.

God appears wherever nothing else can be seen –
Beyond the self – even any “God” self –
That is, a selfless “self” who sees – but can’t be seen –
Because God never appears outside “spirit,”
That is, “love,” truth,” “justice,” or “beauty,”
And why the “you,” yearning to model yourself on God,
Are unafraid of dying –
Because there, you’re actually not there –
Even though, up to now, you’ve been busily completing a spiritual self
Inside time!

 

THINKING IS A TOOL

Thinking is good – perhaps even better than knowing –
Because thinking is a tool – like a knife is for cutting –

And cutting is important to distinguish one thing from another.

For most human beings, thinking is an outward-facing tool –
Rarely used for cutting the cutter.

People make exquisitely fine cuts
Truly accurate dissections of others –
But, ordinarily, fail to address themselves.

Someone able to use a knife on herself
Is able to open eyes all over her body
To see through time and space.

If she keeps cutting, she’ll end up with nothing –
Which is a result God encourages – ultimate freedom!
The place where the universe begins and ends –
Where love, truth, justice, beauty, and freedom
Constitute points from which everything else bursts into being –
Where spirit touches the material world –
After taking a long path from material to spirit –
And then repeating itself
Over and over again.

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.