HOLY CORRESPONDENCE

Some poets enjoy exploring beauty in nature –
While others prefer “punching out” big ideas.

Some poets muse about where we came from –
While others look ahead to where we might be going.

Some poets get depressed and lie down in their cups –
While others become, and sometimes remain, righteously angry.

But the greatest poets – the truly great ones –
Look right into the face of divine nothingness
And express the inexpressible.

The truly great ones fall so deeply in love with the Holy
That they write shy “spiritual letters” to eternity
Which sometimes provoke surprising responses from God
And anyone fortunate enough to stumble upon this holy correspondence.

NO EXCUSE

We can encounter God as “revealed”
Anytime we’re out in nature
(To mystics known as God’s “Back”).

To see God’s hidden “Face,” however, takes a pure heart, courage,
And an intense love.

Looking at God both ways allows us to experience God whole – that is, as “Holy” –

And there’s really no excuse for our not doing that.

TODAY

Christianity is a big city religion
Because Jesus, Peter, and Paul all went into capitol cities to die.

Cities are a domain of control –
The opposite of nature or God.

As a consequence, Christianity decided to place its God into an unchangeable canon –
And then closed it for good –
Whereas “spirit” is like an invisible ball
Children enjoy playing with.

Starting quite early, however, Christianity’s most serious games
Involved war –
Taught, derivatively, by its self-designated “13th Apostle” –
Constantine.

On the other hand,
Each individual could be like Jesus
Deciding to become a child of God –
And live as God would live
If God were human –
That is, completely “free.”

Anyone could do this – it’s what Jesus, Buddha
And Mohammed all taught –

But isn’t that the opposite of what the world religions are teaching us
Today?

POETS ARE BAKERS (for National Poetry Month)

Poets are bakers
Kneading wonder words into the food we need.

Sometimes, though, poets can start believing they’re even more ancient than the gods
And attempt to create greater worlds than those gods were ever able to achieve.

Poets’ most critical work, however, is discerning fresh uncharted paths
That they can barely see –
And have rarely had the opportunity to walk on themselves.

Poets also are carpenters
Building worlds not yet in focus – much less existence –
With unsettled words
Plucked out of the sweet invincible air.

Poets use words like nature uses colors –
And diligently work to design magic glasses
Through which “reality” may be seen.

Poets – humanity’s last surviving “world-makers.”

INNER LEAF

God’s never “perfect” because God is real

Same as nature –

Same as you.

God’s not limited by imperfection
Since that’s the wrong category to apply to God –
“Perfection” is only applicable to the world of abstractions –
Which only the “unreal” achieve.

Abstractions are “definable” –
God never is.

So if you truly want to experience God
Take anything from nature,
A leaf, for example –
This is not God, obviously,
Yet the leaf belongs to God,
Just like you, if you’re fortunate enough to discover your own
Inner leaf.

WHAT ARE MEN SO AFRAID OF?

“Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” 12 Mathew 32

The religious traditions that exclude women from a central role vis-à-vis God flagrantly sin against the Holy Spirit. By imposing strictures against women’s relationship with God, especially in preaching and teaching, men, in direct opposition to Jesus’ admonition, are forcefully diminishing the Holy Spirit by restricting it to one half of the human race – since the Holy Spirit is, of course, freely available to all human beings, not just to a single sex, and, certainly – not just to males.

So, what is it that men have been so afraid of? Is it that women’s natural love of nature implies they might also have the potential to be more intimate with God as well? And is that why men, so very long ago, felt an urgent need to manufacture a male “exemplar” God to prima facie exclude all images of women from the godhead? Or might it have been an even deeper fear – that God might actually possess strong feminine aspects?

There’s also been a lack of “inwardness” in our postmodern lives. It’s far easier to project human intelligence “outward” into science and technology, finance and politics, than “inward” where thinking inevitably has to confront emotions and feelings. Ironically, the outward “male” path is easier to follow than the inward “female” one because it’s so difficult for one’s rational thinking to sort out one’s emotions and feelings – especially when we become so “attached” to the latter. However, that’s where most of the “juice” in human life resides – along with an ability to get “real things done.”

Here’s the problem: in men’s traditional approach to religion, “spirit” has not been taken very seriously, while materialism has been avidly worshipped. As a result, the spiritual visions of Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed have, over time, become transformed by the religious institutions established in their name into a kind of ersatz spirituality – shading into frequently violence-tinged “spiritual materialism.” This has created the kind of spiritual imbalance that, one day, might flip humanity into a final tragic cycle of self-destruction.

The “hard” male-dominant social structures that have created this spiritual imbalance – i.e., the world’s vast, almost child-like, yet extraordinarily expensive military organizations, the constantly morphing multinational corporations, and the West’s “sacred” capitalist economic structures – by common consensus have now gone too far and are currently threatening humanity’s very existence.

In light of all of this, isn’t it time – even past time – to think about spiritually starting all over again – and modestly and respectfully requesting women’s help?

THE NUMINOSITY OF TREES

We set up Christmas trees in our homes
As a sign of God and nature’s presence.

It’s a really good symbol because these trees have fresh green needles –
Natural as all outdoors –
And are strung with lines of colorful lights –
Reminding us of the candles used by our ancestors.

We do this without thinking about it –
Since it’s a custom more ancient than our formal religion –
That is, bringing nature and lights into dark winter homes.

But it’s more than a symbol –

If you engage a bit more deeply with your tree –
Through half-closed eyes and an open heart –
You’ll slowly begin to perceive that nature’s lit with an “inner fire” –
In other words, numinosity is hidden inside the entire material world –
Representing an aspect of the holy that’s in everybody and everything.

This numinosity exists not only in life, but also in non-life –
Like stones – small as a grain of sand or large as a planet – or even stars –
Whether spinning around in water or revolving through outer space –
In a way, they’re all “alive,” each bearing its own particular “touch” of God.

Quantum physicists know this –
How everything increases in energy and speed
The deeper one penetrates through the multi-layered shells of reality –
Like Russian nesting dolls –
Universes inside universes –
“Up,” as well as “down” – to infinity –
Where everything moves
Faster than the speed of light – and beyond –
But never, never, as quickly as the speed attained by human hearts in love –
Where entropy doesn’t apply.

Love exists in a realm beyond material measurement –
It’s a spiritual quality of such signal importance to humans
That everyone long ago reached agreement that love’s both essential and true.

So, you might want to take a closer look at your Christmas tree,
Looking through half-closed eyes and an open heart,
To see for yourself whether you can intuit the presence of God
In your very own living room.

Remember, love moves at the speed of glorious green nature –
Hiding individual colored lights, like stars, throughout your tree’s infinite branches –
And supporting tiny angels gently opening and closing their wings –
Nestled way back in the shadowy dark fresh green needles.

Standing there, quietly,
In your very own living room –
A radiant, sparkling, light/dark Christmas tree

BLIND TO BEAUTY

If God is truly beautiful, then what does that say about North American Christianity
Other than it must be blind –
Or, maybe, stubborn – simply refusing to open its eyes?

Where are the colorful flowers Hinduism loves so much
Except for some seasonal displays of white Easter lilies?

Maybe the Protestant North, given its weather,
Simply can’t find enough red, orange and gold flowers to decorate its churches –
The skies too overcast to provide a wider spectrum of Nature’s beauty.

Well, snow is beautiful –
So why not pray whenever it snows – absorbed in its purity?

When snow arrives, it’s kind of magical,
And peaceful.

If we’ve been driven inside by the cold weather
Why not bring fire along with us –
Candles and a glowing hearth for light and warmth –
Perhaps we should even consider celebrating Christmas all winter long!

So here’s the problem –
North America is constructed like a cash register –
Filled with money and metal drawers –
But is rarely appreciated for being beautiful – since it really isn’t –
Expensive, yes – too often; but, beautiful, no.

As a result, our local crafts have been dying off over time
(starting shortly after the Native Americans were separated off from the rest of us) –
With individual-made clothes, home furnishings, and design –
All machine-made –
Which has steadily been removing human-designed beauty
From our lives over several generations now –
(of course only for the best economic reasons).

As a consequence, we have been losing
All artistic crafts hand-made by human beings –

One item at a time.

Nature also has become separated from our day to day lives – especially in the cities –
We can still experience God, though, when looking at Nature
(spiritually, the “Back” of God) –
But no longer have the capacity to discern God’s “Face”
Which is simply too much for us to handle at this historical moment.

Listen, no one can ever buy God, no matter what they think –
All the money in the world only makes whatever’s being purchased even less holy –
Less likely that you’ll ever be able to discover the secret of God’s joy
Hidden deep inside your heart.

Actually, I now wonder whether we’ll ever be willing to accept
Any direct, or even indirect, gifts from God
Again.

EATING THE HEADS OFF FLOWERS

Since Nature mirrors God
We often feel a desire to smudge it.

Actually, we have two inconsistent thoughts:
First, with respect to Nature, that we can get away with anything – no matter how destructive –
And, the world will always be able to recover from our ungentle touch.

This is cognitive dissonance –
In common language, insanity.

When God eventually demands an accounting
We’ll have nothing to say –
Except, like spoiled children –
“We didn’t really care.”

This is a recurrent dream we have about dying
By our own hand –
Destroying love freely given to us –

Eating the heads off flowers –
And forgetting everything else.

THE CHOICE

People, today, are much too busy to think about God –
Too busy to pray – and also –
Too busy to even notice the brilliance of Nature’s seasonal displays.

God wanted to get people over their material obsessions to live a more spiritual life –
But, unfortunately, people haven’t been concerned about that at all.

Increasing numbers of people are moving ever more quickly through their lives –
Like human bullets shot from birth –
Ignoring their need for slowness – that is, taking their time.

God is surprised at this –
But shouldn’t be.

A wind is rising, but nobody notices
Since they’re situated so deep inside their office parks.

Flowers have been releasing exquisite odors all morning
But peoples’ noses are stuck deep inside their coffee cups.

God gave us a natural world in which to live
But we’ve constructed a separate world designed for conventional lives.

I think we’ve already made our choice:

The only question being –
Is it truly irrevocable?