The Illusion of Opposites – A Story

As it arrived at the gathering
Death appeared to mock Life, taunting it
With an arrogance, a leering smile and a brash dismissal,

Shrouded in black, faceless and anonymous.
“We are locked in eternal embrace,” grinned death,
“And I always win. I take them all, I take everything eventually.”
“Ah,’ said Life, Sweet Death, always thinking in opposites.”
“What is it you win, exactly?”

You do not understand, obsessed as you are by transitions and crossings. You see a part of the picture and think it is the whole picture. I see the whole picture and embrace everything inside it. The coming and going, the movement towards and the movement away, the struggle and the ease, the peaceful acceptance and the angry struggle, and the longing for immortality. Nothing is separate from the whole. There is only one thing, sweet death, and you, and I , and everything that ever has been and ever will be, is it. You may imagine me as your enemy, but I love your delusion as a mother loves her unruly baby.”

They left the gathering together.

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between a rock and a soft place

in my most silent moments
of quiet reflection
i see a life passing in a flash
always just out of reach

some dreams lie shattered
on the floor
and others hang emblazoned
upon the wall
the majesty of brokenness fixes everything

and now it all melts into the same ocean

somewhere between
resignation and acceptance
is where i live
i don’t struggle to swim
no longer concerned with being anything
or anyone
no illusion of anything but this
tender bitter sweet
existence
unfathomable and fleeting

the union we seek is always here
the love we yearn for never left us
we never left the garden
it was just a thought
a momentary lapse of gratitude

only love is real.

love and death – the beauty and the agony

we are drawn to love 
like moths to the flame
and that flame is death 
we are designed to carry love into death
and invited to retract from neither
to be willingly broken, to love anyway
knowing that one day
it will all shatter into a thousand pieces
and transform into love’s absence
or move into the heart for permanent residency
this is the heroic goal of each human

the agony of love, the beauty of love
both are inevitable.

Just found out a fellow musician and husband of spiritual teacher Unmani has died suddenly in Goa. Robert was/is a great musician and just released his first album about two days ago. And then he left, leaving Unmani and a very young son.
My heart goes out to Unmani and his family.

Amoda and I talk about this often and live with the potential reality, particularly as I have been ill before and even now have potential heart and liver issues that have been flagged up as problems further down the line.
So often the men go early.

But what to do?

We are drawn to love, human beings are drawn to love like moths to the flame. And that flame is death.
We are designed to carry love into death, and to retract from neither.
To be willingly broken, to love anyway, knowing that one day it will shatter into a thousand pieces and transform into love’s absence, or move into the heart for permanent residency, this is the heroic goal of the human.

The agony of love, the beauty of love.

Here is his album, it sounds wonderful. So sad..

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/roberthanuman

earthquake poetry

last night as i travelled to some distant dimension
bodiless and free of all measurable constraints
i was yanked violently back to this dense place
by some almighty shudder and groan

‘WAKE UP!’ it demanded

and thus i awoke
confused and alarmed
mind scrabbling to comprehend
anxious for my beloved
fearful for my precious life

the dog next door howled and barked
at this unknown mystery
that visits when it wants
without any introduction

and then it fell silent
as if nothing had happened

nature returns effortlessly to calmness
not so the anxious mind
terrified of death and pain and loss

but slowly slowly mind calmed
heart slowed
and i returned to that other place
bodiless and free of all measurable constraints

in the morning it all seemed like a dream.

SAN FRANCISCO — A magnitude 4.4 earthquake centered on the Hayward faultnear the UC-Berkeley campus jolted the Bay Area awake early Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. CBS San Francisco reports the quake struck at 2:39 a.m. and was felt throughout the East Bay, North Bay and San Francisco. While many were jolted out of their beds, there was no preliminary reports of damage.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/earthquake-rocks-san-francisco-bay-area/

The Time World

We are bound by invisible chains
We call them seconds, minutes, hours, days and years
We arrived here from a timeless dimension
Innocent and naive
And destined for departure from the time world
Our pristine brilliance
Of no body, no self, no thing
Became corrupted
By our senses
And the veil came down upon us
All we know is time
It has us completely enslaved
Our very thinking is based on it
Everything and everyone is trapped
Like prisoners in time itself
With death the only escape
And each of us meets time
At the end he shakes our hand, kisses our cheek
And ushers us away

Only the master, the awakened one
The wise sage
Can see the illusion
And yet we live in the days
When many are beginning to see the light
All our eyes are opening
To something new and unseen
For many the illusion is too great
And the attachment too strong
They clutch and grab for power
Desparate to cling hold of that
Which is crumbling to dust
Before their very eyes

Don’t be fooled by time my brother and sister
Don’t be conned by your own perception
There is something vast everywhere
Inside and outside
It is here now, in this micro moment
At the edge of your senses
Through the door of the unknown

To be in this world
But not of it
To know it as a dream
But to live it fully anyway
To cherish each fleeting moment
But to stand outside time
This is wisdom
And unconditional love

Time is real…..but not that real.

 

the river

i am in some kind of vast river
sometimes floating serenely downstream
now turning a corner
and faced with crazy rapids
that threaten to engulf me
i get caught between rocks
in eddies and nooks
and must wait patiently
for freedom to come
as if by itself
my struggle makes it worse
and my acceptance makes it easier
but still nothing changes it
it started when i arrived
and i expect this river
to carry me all the way
to the ocean
from the spring of birth
to the ocean of death
always navigating the river

oh! mysterious intelligence
that brought me here
what do you want from me?

Photo by Dan Roizer on Unsplash

searching for home

the human adventure
is driven by lack
this secret sense
that something is missing
and if only it could be found
we would be whole
and free
and so we seek
and that seeking
drives our entire lives
we look in things and stuff
and in what we can get from love
or we devote our time to power
we search innocently in experience
on and on it goes
never knowing
that this searching
is an itch that cannot be scratched
a wound that cannot be healed
and a place that cannot be found
by the mind alone…

no!

oh mystery, how then to solve this puzzle?

there is a different kind of intelligence
that lives inside everything
and that intelligence is whole
it has no lack, nothing missing
we must somehow reach that intelligence

and we can only do that by
falling into the unknown
as though to our death
letting go of what we know
what we want
and what we fear

and then, with a sprinkle of grace,
we may fall into the cavern
of this divine intelligence
and stop searching
and start living

this is love.

everything is borrowed

there are two qualities to being human
one is temporary and fleeting, the world of form
the other is formless and without limit
we arrive, as if unbidden, from this formlessness
and we dwell here for a while
with borrowed body,
thought and life
and at some point
written by some divine intelligence
we must give everything back
and return to the formless realm
merged with everything and nothing

you don’t own anything
it’s all borrowed
and temporary

and none of our grasping or clutching
praying or pleading
demanding or pretending
changes the raw truth

better to live
in unguarded awareness
and undivided acceptance
of the way of things
than behind a veil of falsehood.

the greatest equality of all

i am a weary traveller
broken by the waves’
relentless pounding
the tumult of the ocean
that threatens to engulf
everything

i stand on deck
alone in existence
hands on the wheel
desperate for control
but looking out
through fearful eyes
at the storm that rages

i am broken
yet still i stand
clutching the wheel
not yet ready
to be swallowed up
and taken by the inevitable

lashed again and again
no land in sight
no sign of calm
just this eternal writhing
of the sea monster
with wild head and eyes
terrifying and inviting

i awaken, cold and hot
chilled to the bone
by life’s horror and beauty

we live in paradox
knowing our fate
and our predicament
yet living as though
that fate belonged to someone else
and we have been spared

oh! grand delusion
no-one is spared
this is the greatest equality of all.

love and death are lovers

love and death
are lovers
who sometimes fight
but long to surrender
into each others arms
in eternal embrace

we think they are enemies
but when they wrap themselves
around each other
in open hearted brokenness
they create a beauty
that is transcendent

love is hidden inside everything
as is death