Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.
If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.
Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth
That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,
Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.
God wants to manhandle us.
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.
The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:
Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.
But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.
~ Hafiz, The Gift – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky
Here’s the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometime it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don’t know what you’re looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit.
It? I ast.
Yeah, It. God ain’t a he or a she but a It.
But what do it look like? I ast.
Don’t look like nothing, she say. It ain’t a picture show. It ain’t something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found It.
Listen, God love everything you love – and a mess of stuff you don’t. But more than anything else, God love admiration.
You saying God vain? I ast.
Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.
What it do when it pissed off? I ast.
Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
~ Alice Walker, The Color Purple
image source unknown
When someone asks me who they are
or what God is
I smile inside and whisper to the Light:
‘There you go again pretending.’
1 this unlit light, this Presence in which the sense of ‘I’ arises, is eternal. It is the core of you. It is never born and never dies. Best befriend it, for there’s no escape from it. It’s your ‘I’, my ‘I’ – one, and only one, ‘I’.
2 God is, like it or not. However, names (including the God-name), ideas, opinions, descriptions or images of this ineffableness, are lies. Remove the lies and what remains? Your ‘I’, my ‘I’. God is Light, the scriptures tell us. Unlit Light. See #1.
3 Angels exist, as surely as do you. The easy way to make their acquaintance is to stop believing the story about your aloneness, your separation. The veil that separates one from the unseen energies which clamor to comfort, to heal, and to guide, is woven of thoughtstuff. You don’t have to believe in angels, you simply suspend skepticism. Stop the story. Silence is like a gilt-edged invitation to your seamless support team.
(Angels taught me this.)
You are already awake. And by you I don’t mean you as the imaginary separate individual. I mean you as everything–you as this awake space that’s here right now, that is everything and no-thing.
I mean the seeing, breathing, awaring being that is already awake, already complete–always complete, always awake.
And everything is it, everything, everything! The sunlight, the birds, the leaves, the traffic, the thoughts, the mental movies, the headaches, the episodes of acid indigestion.
Everything is this one undivided, awake, alive–what? I could put some word on it–beingness, emptiness, presence, God, the Self, oneness, boundlessness. Those are just words and each of those words is it. Every word is it. Everything is it.
And there’s no possibility of being separate from it or losing it or not having it yet, or not quite getting it, because there’s no one apart from it to get it or to lose it or to find it or to have it.
And the thought, “I’m not quite there yet,” is only a thought. And that thought is it too, playfully expressing itself as that funny little thought and the melodrama that thought creates, because apparently whatever this is, this awake emptiness or whatever you want to call it, apparently it enjoys melodramas. It loves playing.
~ Joan Tollifson
Source – Joan’s website: http://www.joantollifson.com/writing5.html
On rare and wondrous occasions a piece of writing or poetry comes into one’s orbit and leaves one awobble at the sheer synchronicity and serendipity. How could this woman know me inside out and tell my story so soulfully hundreds of years ago?
I had a natural passion for fine clothes, excellent food, and
lively conversation about all matters that concern
the heart still alive. And even a passion
about my own
Vanities: they do not exist.
Have you ever walked across a stream stepping on
rocks so not to spoil a pair of shoes?
All we can touch, swallow, or say
aids in our crossing to God
and helps unveil the
Life smooths us, rounds, perfects, as does the river the stone,
and there is no place our Beloved is not flowing
though the current’s force you
may not always
Our passions help to lift us.
I loved what I could love until I held God,
for then—all things—every world
Source – Daniel Ladinsky, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
If I was going to symbolize the God-idea (why not – isn’t that thought’s job?) it would be as a question mark.
I don’t mean a ? as in mystery – although that fits too – I mean as a dynamic.
It seems to me that the unknowable unspeakable whatever-it-is that lives this lifestream moves on the well-oiled wheels of curiosity. It’s the ultimate sticky-beak and nosey-parker, insatiably wondering about … everything that can be experienced and known in the infinite arena of existence. Ceaselessly wondering, but never, ever, reaching a conclusion.
Questions fuel my life and determine the choices ‘I’ make, the paths ‘I’ tread. One of the lovely things about senior-hood is that you can look back over a life and catch those questions. I marvel at that, and at the questions that laid out my lifepath.
In a back-to-front way it’s like you’re standing at the stern of a boat, watching the wake and suddenly seeing it as an arrow, an arrow frothing and surging with shoals of questions… an arrow propelling the lifeboat with your name on the prow towards an eternal horizon of possibilities.
Image source: National Geographic