AN ECSTASY OF LOVE (for Marguerite Porete (declared heretical by 21 male theologians))

Just as there’s joy beyond joy
There’s also love beyond love.

You’ll discover this when you die to everything except love –
That is, when you eat, sleep, and work only for love.

Suddenly, a door opens
And a long-lost parent from heaven walks through
And asks for you

Only you – and nobody else.

When your spiritual mother or father recognizes you
And says “Come” –
You do!

Love beyond love is where flowers come from –
Where birds travel to in winter –
It’s also the place where fresh water enters the world –
That is, love beyond love is a “spiritual rain”
Coming down sufficiently to drench us –
Inside and out.

Love beyond love is when God begins talking through you –
When you open your mouth and what comes out is what God’s been feeling –
Because you are no longer you
You are God come to life inside you –
Like Marguerite –
And that’s when you start looking, sounding, and smelling like
Joy!

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TRUE FREEDOM (“True freedom is when one becomes love.”) Marguerite Porete

The opposite of freedom is being trained to respond to others unthinkingly –
So, when others think you should be jumping, you jump –
Or when others think you should be more beautiful, you try to make yourself beautiful –
Or when they think you should be more successful, you do your best to appear successful.

Yes, from birth on, people are trained to be responsive to others –
That is, to sacrifice their freedom in order to “get along.”

The question each of us faces is how to become free
Without tipping over into selfishness or destructiveness.

The answer is simple – yet quite difficult in practice –
You have get awake and then resist falling back asleep –
The answer is to give up your ego and, as Marguerite says, “become love.”

This is what God has always wanted –
But established religions demand many other and additional things –
Things that simply don’t count.

The answer is simple – yet not obvious –
The answer is – it’s not easy –

As Marguerite (the “Pearl”) says:
“True freedom is when one becomes love!”

 

DEATH CREATES BEAUTY

Death creates “beauty” since we’re unable to fully appreciate beauty
Without acknowledging the backdrop of death –
Especially when it’s shining through.

Death creates “love” because we won’t achieve our inherent capacity to love deeply
Without becoming aware of the curtain that’s about to fall –
When love, literally, “explodes” into our consciousness.

Death creates “life” because ordinary quotidian life doesn’t appear fully real to us –
So, unconsciously, when we start becoming aware of this –
Death sticks its ugly head through our window –
And “wakes us up” –
Forcing us to become totally alive!

In sum, so long as we refuse to acknowledge death,
We won’t have the ability to “see” ourselves –
Or much else for that matter.

Terror and the void are birthplaces of extraordinary “beauty,” “love,” and “life” –
So, shouldn’t we be a little more grateful for their existence?

MIRRORS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY

The ego is a “manufactured self”
That we weren’t originally born with.

At birth, we simply arrived as open consciousness –
Innocent – without ego.

Our “ego” was primarily created in response to others –
I.e., we slowly, carefully create personhood over time
Largely in interactions with other people – and especially in response to their opinions about us
And this is true, whether such opinions turn out to be true or false.

So, instead of being unconditionally loved by God – who truly sees us –
We experience a love and acceptance that’s highly conditional
Through “others,” i.e., through human “mirrors” who constantly show us
Our “face” the world sees –
In tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of reflections –
That, eventually, we come to accept as our “self” –
Ending up seeing ourselves the same way others see us –
Most especially, how our parents saw us –
(Who previously went through this same kind of impersonating process).

As a result, we’re incentivized – and sometimes even threatened –
Against re-discovering our original “true self” –
Because that’s not what “others” have been willing to recognize.

The price for regaining our “true self”
Is to completely drop that hard-earned, hard-shelled ego –
Along with everything else we’ve historically become –
And start over!

This might happen one day when we, suddenly, experience the freshness
Of engaging with the world like a “child” again –
That is, the day we discover and claim our original true face.

At that point, we’ll begin radiating the glory inherent in being a “true self” –
The only one God has ever thought worth loving!

MORE LOVE

If God is Love –
And we want a greater awareness of God in our lives –
Shouldn’t we try to be more loving?

Don’t all of us need a little more love in our lives –
In other words, more “God”?

And don’t all of us have a greater capacity for love than we usually admit?

So, why have we gotten so distracted
From deeply valuing the only human experience that truly matters –

That actually lasts beyond our earthly life?

THINKING ABOUT BEAUTY

One can’t “see” beauty except through love –
In fact, beauty will refuse to come into existence without its presence.

***

One can’t “recognize” beauty without truth
Because, without it, one can only make out a fuzzy, indistinct façade.

***

One can’t “enjoy” beauty without justice
Because injustice causes us to forget everything else.

***

Beauty is “fresh” … “fragile” … and always “temporary.”

***

Beauty is the most valuable thing that’s actually not a “thing.”

***

Beauty is like God – evanescent – so we’re often uncertain about its very presence.

***

Beauty’s central to what makes life worth living.

FREEDOM IS A PRE-CONDITION

Freedom is a pre-condition to experiencing God –
Or love, truth, justice, or beauty, for that matter.

Without freedom, and the courage it takes, “you” are nowhere
Because outside ideas, powers, and institutions
Have the ability to take you away from yourself.

Without freedom you’ll have no true life
No true being
No true existence.

Before you “do” anything
Before you say “yes” or “no” –
First, become free.

There’s really nothing else worth having
Spiritually, politically, or economically
Than to be a free “true self.”

Actually, the definition of “human”
Is “freedom.”

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.

THE LANGUAGE OF “NO THING”

In God’s realm – beyond speech, form, and image –
Lies a place
Where human language is a lie.

Where reality is expressed only through love.

Not only will it be necessary to lose our ego –
We’ll also be required to lose our stiff adult mind as well

In order to become spontaneous as little children –
So that wars, exploitation, and suffering can finally come to an end

When we’ll be left solely in “God’s Kingdom”–
The one Jesus constantly prayed for.