Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I Wonder and I Wonder and I Wonder......

(occasionally I will double post an essay at both of my blogs. It is true that Smoking Mirrors is my rant and brooming the corners blog, but now and again I'll hit both locations with the same thing. I won't do it often. This is just one of those times. Thank you for your understanding.)

I wonder often about all those people in pursuit of the elusive. I wonder about the levels at which they plateau out at; the spiritual version of The Peter Principle. I wonder at the various ways and means by which they arrive at and do not arrive at their spiritual Samara; by way of the Road to Damascus, or Commercial Street, Front Street, Main Street or back-roads, alleys, over the fields and through the woods. As all roads once led to the real Rome and now most roads lead to metaphorical Rome, eventually everything leads to God just as every drop of water eventually finds its way to the sea.

I wonder about all the robes and costumes and varieties of spiritual practice; the prayers and the chants, the dances, the hymns and I definitely wonder about the Holy Wars. I wonder about the enormous cathedrals and temples and empires; the televangelists with the bad hair and the bank accounts and the movie stars with the Dali Lama. I wonder about the people who are reacting this moment and going, “Wait a minute, the Dali Lama is different.” Of course, just saying that puts you at square one of the board-game; Holy Wars- the Home Version.

I wonder about all of the centers for spiritual awareness from Mount Shasta to Sedona, from the Ozark Mountains to the Green Mountains. I wonder about all the courses in the colleges on Comparative Religion. I wonder at all of the people gathered all over the world in small groups and large groups, in circumstances of brain-washing and with bad missionary intent and- alternatively- in circles of love reaching out and washing the worlds. I wonder at the different levels of awareness and the dozens of new spiritual teachers that set themselves up Rajneesh’s wake; who ply the beach at Goa; whose international scene of gossip and whispers across the internet creates a riddle for which I have no answer. I wonder at the glazed look in the eyes of Katie Holmes who was none too bright to begin with as scientologist Grima Wormtongue tells her what to say during public interviews. I wonder at The Raelians and The Solar Temple and the O.T.O. and The Satanists and the pagans and the witches and the Stepford girls at Bob Jones University and of course I wonder about The Mormons but not a whole lot.

I wonder at those who set off for the Himalayas and those who live in solitude in the woods and many kingdoms of nature in her varieties of seclusion and who yearn in their hearts each day, as I do in mine, for Lord Kalki, who is also the forever returning Christ, to come; for the age to be birthed and for the mother to smile as it is placed in her arms. God, I wonder, how long? …how long?

I wonder at the other great body of us who live in a world of TV programs, cell phones, fast food and a Rolodex of frothy dreams spinning like a revolving pastry cart and who think that The Real World is The Real World. I wonder at the people living in blasted buildings, hunted by men in Humvees and Land Rovers, on foot and on horse and camelback across burning sands. I wonder about the people who live in storm drains outside of Calcutta. I wonder about the Falun Gong and the Baha’i and all of the groups that live under the lidless red eye of the executioner and the Dungeon master. I wonder at Tibet and the terrible fate of those who remained behind. I wonder at the people who pay large money to go into real dungeons for sexual release that is a physical mimic of a different need.

I wonder at all the incomprehensible intricacy of each soul among every soul like snowflakes suspended and twisting in the air and falling and touching the ground and melting, both knowing and unknowing… turning to water, more water, now at a commonality with all water in a common imperative toward the sea.

I wonder at the sound of symphonies that rise out of the chatter and the car horns and collected noise of the city streets. I have heard these sounds rise and turn into music more than once. I have heard that music and listened to it dance up and down the street in waves, a few brief seconds, and then dissolve back into the cacophony again. I have seen the world do this too- moving from harmony into chaos and I have noted that the centers of light intensify as the darkness expands.

I have watched the smoke rise from the manholes and grates and have thought of the hidden fires in Hell’s Kitchens… I’ve listened to Blues and Jazz as they marked the passage of the lives that were the windows looking into the lives of the city that passed them by. Every location has its music. It has its rules. It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about how it is here and how it is there and knowing the difference. It’s about knowing how to walk in the different worlds.

All those worlds and ways of walking, all those religions and philosophies and Popes and philosophers and ages when it was better or worse; I think of some olive grove in long gone Ithaca and what it felt like there; how it was for The Rishis five thousand years gone by the banks of The Ganges and the sound of steel on steel by the glow of the inquisitors fire. What an enormous caldron of changes! What a vast immeasurable expanse of things in even the short range of time we call history. Our collective history is so very short and our personal history so much shorter still.

It stands to reason, within the tremendous complexity of this world; this world which is but one, overlapped by ever more subtle realms moving up the spiral into pure boundless light. It stands to reason that there is an interweaving consciousness. It stands to reason that such a consciousness that can maintain the integrity of everything in its place must surely be aware of you; aware of you as you are not. It stands to reason that something that can make everything out of itself and be aware of everything it made; be in everything it made and be itself, apart and within it, must have powers and perceptions and a plan beyond anything you can imagine.

What can you do in the face of this? What can you do but prostrate yourself in awe. What can you do but accept with total, childlike faith the ultimate benevolence of its every thought concerning you, your world and everything beyond. What can you do really? Nothing… You can move in concert with it and you will be dissolved into its sense of itself sooner, or you can extend your suffering and move against it and be tormented by the separation until you learn to move in concert with it… pain is the difference and the distance between its motion and your motion.

You can look in the mirror and talk to it. You will find if you do this for a few minutes that something will change in your eyes and it will be looking back at you. All spiritual practice, every idea, every complexity of approach and all convolutions and minutiae of definitions and descriptions resolves to one thing- union; any meditation that is not concerned with this is just another kind of TV watching. If you set a mirror outside or in a corner, it will collect dust. It will collect dust until it obscures the image it is meant to reflect. This is how you become caught in the world; your mirror is laden with dust. You cannot see God and God cannot see you. Meditation and prayer polishes the mirror. It washes the mirror.

Do you have a problem? Do you have a problem with your health; with where you live, with your family, with your job, with money, with dangerous things, with how to change your life? How do you become free? From whom would you learn this? Who can free you? Is this not the one of whom you should inquire? Why do you not sit and inquire? Why do you not faithfully each day and FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN REMEMBER each day, each moment… inquire? Why do you not hold to the certain knowledge that anything that could create all of this out of itself; that could create you and fill you with a questing love as great as that which you ‘should be’ feeling…. Anything as immense and fine as this would surely hear and answer you; would hear you before you even asked. Of all the things I wonder about. I wonder about this the most.

How can any of us, with the evidence that fills and surrounds us not KNOW that there is a God so very great… so measureless, omniscient, benevolent and compassionate? God, I do wonder at this. There will never be and there has never been any consideration in your life anywhere near as important as this. Polish the mirror, speak to the mirror, look into the mirror and always remember, ‘you are only the reflection’.

“"Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him."


Anonymous said...

Have you read Meister Eckhart? I think that is how his name is spelled. You remind me of this writer, especially in the use of beautiful imagery to make an unadorned point. Kalil Gibran comes to mind as well. You've a real gift at this.

Jack Weldon

Anonymous said...

Wonder-full !... Hallelueah !... Amen !... Aummm

Anonymous said...

rippin work.

Anonymous said...

Your post reminds of a song lyric

Ed Ames - Who Will Answer Lyrics

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!, Hallelujah!

From the canyons of the mind,
We wander on and stumble blindly
Through the often-tangled maze
Of starless nights and sunless days,
While asking for some kind of clue
Or road to lead us to the truth,
But who will answer?

Side by side two people stand,
Together vowing, hand-in-hand
That love's imbedded in their hearts,
But soon an empty feeling starts
To overwhelm their hollow lives,
And when they seek the hows and whys,
Who will answer?

On a strange and distant hill,
A young man's lying very still.
His arms will never hold his child,
Because a bullet running wild
Has struck him down. And now we cry,
"Dear God, Oh, why, oh, why?"
But who will answer?

High upon a lonely ledge,
a figure teeters near the edge,
And jeering crowds collect below
To egg him on with, "Go, man, go!"
But who will ask what led him
To his private day of doom,
And who will answer?


If the soul is darkened
By a fear it cannot name,
If the mind is baffled
When the rules don't fit the game,
Who will answer? Who will answer? Who will answer?
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!, Hallelujah!

In the rooms of dark and shades,
The scent of sandalwood pervades.
The colored thoughts in muddled heads
Reclining in the rumpled beds
Of unmade dreams that can't come true,
And when we ask what we should do,
Who... Who will answer?

'Neath the spreading mushroom tree,
The world revolves in apathy
As overhead, a row of specks
Roars on, drowned out by discotheques,
And if a secret button's pressed
Because one man has been outguessed,
Who will answer?

Is our hope in walnut shells
Worn 'round the neck with temple bells,
Or deep within some cloistered walls
Where hooded figures pray in halls?
Or crumbled books on dusty shelves,
Or in our stars, or in ourselves,
Who will answer?

(Repeat Chorus Below)

If the soul is darkened
By a fear it cannot name,
If the mind is baffled
When the rules don't fit the game,
Who will answer? Who will answer? Who will answer?
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!, Hallelujah!

Visible said...

Man! That is a beautifully written song. I'll be checking it out. Thank you for putting that where I could see it.



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