ALWAYS FRESH

“I go back to where everything is nothing.”
                                                      Rumi

Along with Rumi, I want nothing – except freedom
And perhaps a friend to point the way to God for me
In place of all the religious “professionals” lining the way to nowhere
And flatterers complimenting us on things we already know.

I want nothing
And the freedom that goes along with it –
I also want a God who still desires being God
Along with a quotidian material world whirring into and out of existence.

I want a freedom that’s fully paid for –
And a love that arrives “out of the blue.”

Speaking of “blue,” I want a lot more of that
Skies, oceans, robins’ eggs, and Van Gogh blues –
Along with the spectacular “yellows” I’d never seen before visiting Musée d’Orsay.

Nothing is absolutely the beginning of everything –
Nothing is a midnight diner – cars streaming by –
Nothing is music discerned through an almost-waking dream.

Nothing is a God who doesn’t need to be acknowledged as “God” –
Since God’s perpetually fresh!

WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM!

When you’re a baby, you’re the entire universe –
And there’s nothing else that matters but you.

You’re given a beautiful mother
Who takes care of all your needs –
So you never forget her face.

Then, slowly, surely, everything starts coming into focus
Until the day you’re finally able to see yourself –
Along with all your limitations.

The surprising pain associated with becoming aware of those limitations
Leads to constructing a fantasy “self”
That you can almost believe in –
A splendid “ego” useful for dressing up your more primitive, negligible self –
Someone capable of surviving and succeeding in this world.

Eventually, you become a “real” puppet – like Pinocchio –
Who can “pass” –
Manipulating the world from behind a curtain –
While it’s only in bad dreams you realize the rest of the world
Is the same as you –

Puppets!

You exist through an unreal “person” or “persona” –
Unaware of having an alternative, even if asked.

Entire religions are built around the existence of a few chosen people
Courageous enough or insane enough to become their “true selves.”

But established religions never explain it that way –
Instead, they say such people are “gods” or “super-beings” –
And that if you’re willing to turn yourself over to them, they’ll protect you –
Most especially, after you die –
And then you’ll be able to “live forever” – whatever that means.

Gurus and other hotshot spiritual hustlers
Ask who “you” are –
Knowing you’ll have no answer –
And that you’d have to “die” to obtain one – and there’s no chance of that ever happening!

Actually, it’s quite simple –
There are no religions or spiritual “masters” available to help you –
There’s only you.

To discover your “true self” you’ll need to give up everything
You are, have, and want to be –
And be willing to be your naked self – and then look at that!
Then drop that, and keep dropping all the that’s which subsequently appear –
Until there’s nothing left
Nothing, at all –

When you discover the magic of being “born again,” as Jesus recommended –
Even then, you’ll need to be very careful not to let this new state of being
Develop into a more advanced kind of Ego.

This is why humbleness comes first –
True humility –
Someone used to being overlooked.

Then, when you finally start breathing freely again –
When you can “see” actual reality,
Including, most importantly, the reality of “yourself.”

That’s when God will suddenly appear and say:
“Good job, little one,”
“Welcome to the Kingdom!”

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.

MEMORIES LIKE MOUNTAINS

Joy jumps up – almost out of nothing –
Hope also arrives from nothing.

Nothing is eternal as love –
And nothing is as unbreakable as truth.

All night long, beauty remains a dark One –
Until morning, when it shatters into a trillion different colorful images.

As we grow older, memories become like mountains –
Mainly lying behind us –
While ahead only a few sparkling streams remain to cross.

While still young, though, Nature called out to us like the children we were –
Bursting with life – and with love taken for granted.

But as we age, our attention migrates to ever greater abstractions
Which become steadily easier to understand and accept
Than those earlier complex bursts of childish life-love.

HERE COMES THE SUN

Here comes the sun
Here come stars –
Flying around
Above our heads.

Here come feelings
Here comes romance –
We wear them – like rings on our fingers.

There go dreams
When waking –
Like window shades rolling up.

Also, there goes our world – a tiny bit of the universe –
Along with invisible relentless Time –
All gone – just like that!

Only God remains
Carefully repeating the questions we had no answers to.

Yes, God has decided to stay behind –
And has begun filling up nothing
With everything –
All over again.

Here comes the sun
Here come stars
What a relief to see
The unexpected joy in this chapter two!

TO BE A MYSTIC IS TO BE FEMININE

To be a mystic is to be feminine –
That is, beautiful in a spiritual way –
Especially since we now know there’s no “church” available to mystics –
Because, originally, churches were established for transmitting male doctrines
Of “abbots,” “fathers,” and “ministers” –
Male establishment figures authorized to direct people to God.

In truth, however, there’s only God and the “true self” – and nothing else –
God is a universal Spirit extending infinitely beyond human spirit –
While the true self is “nothing,” i.e., “no thing,” as well as, of course, “no ego.”

Traditional religions have largely been based upon the erroneous idea
That human life is hierarchical –
However, we know that life’s much too “spontaneous” for that!

A true prophet or enlightened individual will always be a “wild” combination –
Like a child endowed with the understanding of a wise old man –
Or a wise old man with the spontaneity of child.

Jesus, on earth, was a vulnerable human being with enough courage to embody God –
Or, perhaps, God had decided it was finally safe to merge with a human being –
Anyway, Christian theology might actually be correct
In its clumsy, overwrought, and often misunderstood way –
Especially the part about salvation,
And, most especially, life after death.

Jesus tried his best to “save” the world he lived in
And he’s still trying to do the same today –
It’s just that, over time, he became transformed into something else –
Something, unfortunately, he would never have been able to recognize.

GOD COMES IN WHEN THE “OLD SELF” GOES OUT

If you want to be “like” God, you have to let your ego “self” go –
For to be like God is to become nothing –
Because as a no “thing” you’ll have opened yourself up to freedom.

As soon as we start becoming “somebody” or “something,”
Or commit to any external concepts or ideas,
Our freedom starts becoming restricted.

For us, to be “spontaneous” is to be “human” in a similar way that God is “God.”

Religions’ founders, in their holy books, always point towards spiritual freedom
But, unfortunately, these same books were transcribed and edited by followers,
Not founders,
Who diligently worked at limiting human freedom
To fit their own version of the founder’s vision
So that people could return to being “properly” controlled –
Much as they had been before.

As a consequence, religious institutions basically preach
And teach different kinds of spiritual control,
Even though the “God” manifested by the founders continues to remind us
Of the inherent essentiality of spiritual freedom.

Remember, God is “absolutely free” –
And that’s what God has always wanted for us too.

THE FREEDOM IN BEING “NOTHING”

Shouldn’t we view “God” as a dynamic “Nothing”
Since, after all, everything originally came out of nothing?

How could anything have more freedom than nothing?

The same goes for our “true self” –
Take away your ego (or, in some cases, multiple egos)
And you’re left with the kind of freedom God enjoys.

So, now, you’re telling me –
That “God” and the “true self” might, in essence,
Be One?

AT ANY MOMENT

Once you become nothing – that is, no thing,
You instantly become a door –
A spiritual door that, once entered,
It’s possible to find your “true self.”

Surprisingly, it doesn’t take much “work” to surrender one’s ego
Since it’s only “dead weight” accumulated from birth –
Manufactured and transmitted by culture, politics, society, and religion.

It’s surprisingly easy to find your true self – the easiest thing in the world –
But does take courage
Because you have to give up everything
That is, the glorious ego you pieced together over a lifetime.

Easy, because you’re already “there” – beyond ego – without consciously knowing it –

Yes, it’s true, you can find your “true self” at any moment –
Your very own spiritual “pearl.”

THE FREEDOM IN BEING “NOTHING”

Should we view God as a dynamic “nothing”
Since, after all, everything originally came out of nothing?

And could there be anything with more freedom than nothing?

The same goes for our “true self” –
Take away our ego (or, in some cases, multiple egos)
And you’re left with the kind of freedom God perennially enjoys.

So, now you’re telling me –
That God and the true self might, in essence,
Be one?