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?

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.

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?

EVERYTHING’S SPEEDING UP

Crows never get tired of yelling up in the trees –
Or God of patiently waiting for us to wake up.

The green world just keeps coming, doesn’t it?
Nothing stops it –
Because it’s impossible to return holy gifts
No matter how much they’ve been devalued or ignored.

Life keeps unfolding like an infinite Persian carpet that’s continually being woven –
With bright colors, intricate birds, and a variety of blossoming flowers
That all keep changing –
But we – we always remain the same – at least that’s what we seem to want –

But can’t, really.

One day, we glance into a passing mirror
And we’re different –
While the people in our lives
Have also been changing places.

The older we grow, the faster it seems to go –
It’s almost frightening –
Hey, life – slow up – what’s the hurry?

Yet as momentum builds,
We attempt to hold onto images, scents, memories –
And a small group of people –

But then it starts going really fast –

We find ourselves traveling at ever-increasing speed towards a dark light –
So why, then, are we becoming more joyful?

Whatever’s out there is way beyond anyone’s control –
But, maybe, that’s why we’ve been so anxious to arrive.

THE PEARL THAT CAN’T BE FOUND

It’s smart to be humble –
Because everything’s constantly changing.

Today, the king loves you,
But, tomorrow, you might find yourself out on the street.

So, generally, it is smart to be humble
Because you can’t fully appreciate life
If, unconsciously, you’re taking the gifts for granted
That are already yours.

When you start opening up to love – like a heliotropic flower –
You’ll start becoming aware of all the gifts coming in
As well as the gifts going out.

On the other hand, if you insist upon remaining proud –
You won’t understand anything at all
And find yourself sitting up on top of a mountain –
Unaware it’s collapsing beneath you.

Moreover, the pearl you were obsessed with finding
Will remain hidden deep inside your heart –
Because it’s not now, nor has it ever been, the subject of sale.

GOD’S BIG REALITY DREAM

The best way to “know” God
Is to attempt to understand, as much as possible, everything in the universe
And then, one day, set that all aside
For “love” –
A path of “knowing” through “unknowing.”

You can make infinite lists
Of everything God is “like”
And then throw them all into the trash
Because everything you just listed is not anything like God.

It’s more accurate to say God is like “nothing”
Or that no thing (or idea) is like God.

God is eternally in motion from nothing to something –
And back again –
In fact, God might be described as having a universal “heart pulse” –
Alternating between life and death; existence and non-existence –
With a more-than-human – yet infinitely beautiful – “face.”

One day, God decided to settle down in the ecstatic realm of “reality” –
Making our own lives appear to be tiny pieces
Of God’s “Big Reality Dream.”

THE “MYSTICAL” BEATITUDE

Mathew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”

The pure heart is an “empty” heart
A heart with plenty of room
For God.

The pure heart is a heart without ego
Because living without ego
Enables one to experience life without fantasy.

The Old Testament tells us that anyone who looks “directly” at God
Will immediately die –
And this is true for the ego
Because an ego’s encounter with God will result in its obliteration.

The “true self,” that is, the pure heart, can look at God
All day without harm –
In fact, that’s when the true self gains the power
To live life fully.

TOUCHING A DREAM WOUND

God is a spiritual relative about whom we’ve only distantly heard
But never actually met.

We do know that, one day, we’ll have an encounter
But it’ll be a surprise:

One example might be in a dream:

We’re deboarding a train
And notice someone in the passing crowd who looks familiar –
The resemblance to our first love so remarkable
That we can never forget it.

Meeting God “face to face” would have to be something like this –
An individual resurrection experience –
Similar to when the disciples didn’t know who they were talking to –
And only figured it out later.

Yes, sometimes our first encounter with God is in an oblique way –
We meet, and then instantly forget it’s happened –
The proof not in a wound we’re able to plunge a hand into –
But the reverse –
When we sense a gentle hand entering our own body –
Delicately touching our heart –
And spilling “life” out of us –
Everywhere.

Yes, sometimes, God can enter us through a dream –
If we’re interested enough
To remember when it happens.

SPIRITUALLY, DOES CHRISTIANITY STILL MAKE SENSE?

Jesus knew everything, spiritually, about being “born again” himself –
But, unfortunately, the Christians who came after him
Never became interested in their own “true selves”
Into which they could be born again (like Jesus) –
And live a life parallel to God.

Even though Jesus believed God was “Spirit,”
Christianity was founded, in large part, upon “spiritual materialism” –
Because that requires an external “savior” – in this case, Jesus himself –

This understanding of human beings as objects that need to be saved
Was in stark contrast to Jesus’ understanding of human beings as subjects
With an inherent ability to save themselves
By spiritually being “born again” into their “true selves.”