Twisted

People,

In the wake of all that is going on with the violence, fear, hurt, and anger in this world, I challenge all of us who are seeking to transcend status quo to read this poem and take it into your heart. If you get something out of it share it. It’s autobiographical, but in the end, it isn’t about me. It’s about taking responsibility for the world that we are all creating. It’s time to wake up or die in our sleep.

The Love,

Pedro S. Silva II

Twisted
Open up your ears and hear
The story that I’m telling you
When I was a little kid
I used to get dissed on the regular

I used to get picked on
Poked at and made fun of
Because I was a sensitive cat
Always talking about One Love

Other kids my age
Had multiple distractions
Where as I was more focused on
Putting words into action

So when I took it to the streets
I didn’t expect to get straight dissed
‘Cause my shoes had too many stripes for Adidas
But not enough for K-Swiss

My words were for nothing
I only evoked laughter
I tried to get them focused off my clothes
But it just didn’t matter

They called me church boy
They said I talked “white”
But they were living cartoon
While I was living real life

I wanted to show love
But all they knew was hating
Perpetually playing themselves
Because they were mentally masturbating

They believed the lie
It had been passed down from their mama
Generations infected by an attempt
To keep the black man in drama

So I took it to the adults
I thought they would understand
But they were too “whitewashed”
To see this burgeoning black man

So I took it to my history teacher
Then he said this to my face
“You’re a smart boy
And a credit to your race”

He thought it was a compliment
Only a white man could say that
If he understood anything about me
He’d have known I wouldn’t play that

But I knew he had good intentions
I could tell he didn’t know
He was caught up like everyone else
So I decided to let it go

I then took it to my Grandma
But what she said left me unsettled
She told me tell white people I was Portuguese
So that they would treat me better

What the hell was that?
Was this some conspiracy?
Everyone and their mama working together
To try to instill fear in me

They saw something I thought was impossible
While I saw something else
They were choosing to believe a lie
But I chose to believe in myself

I knew that God had made me
And I know He only makes the best
So I knew the fact that I was not white
In no way made me less

Someone had gotten it twisted
And I was going to find out who
There was no way I was letting these scared victims of society
Tell me what to do

So at first I examined the white man
Since everyone thought he was so smart
I discovered so many despicable deeds
It was as if he had no heart

Then I checked out the black man
I figured they were more like me
But I got pissed to find out some of them helped
When we were sold into slavery

My mind became consumed with anger
I had to let it out
So I decided to tell every black and white
What I was all about

Well both sides called me a racist
In that they agreed with each other
Whites said I was an uppity nigger
And blacks called me siddity brother

So I then turned to God
Well turned on Him is more accurate
Because I didn’t like the way He made this world
I told Him I wasn’t having it

I said “You better do something
Before I fix this world myself
If You are the One responsible for this
I might as well pray to someone else”

He responded, “While you’re sitting here pointing fingers
How about looking in the mirror
I am the One that made all you see
Call nothing I made inferior

Who are you to judge?
Are you the scale by which all things are measured?
Are all things imperfect as compared to you?
Did you put this world together?

There’s a point to all of this
Just listen to what I’m saying
Perhaps I created this entire world
Just to have you right here praying

In Me anything is possible
To all those who believe
This world is as beautiful or ugly as you see it
It depends on what you choose to perceive

I made this world out of perfection
But in your Ego you thought you could fix it
This world will change when you change your mind
You are the one that got it twisted

© Copyright 2004 Pedro S. Silva II

 

 

The Truth is “I Don’t Know”

I’ve been told that I am lucky

I’m not sure if that is true

It seems that what I’ve received in life

Has been a result of what I do

Some people call it karma

Some say I’m reaping what I sow

Perhaps they are the exact same thing

But the truth is “I don’t know.”

I mean the Truth is “I don’t know”

I’m saying, not knowing is my thing

I go into the world planting seeds

But it’s up to God what it will bring

I can’t bother with calculations

Since I cannot do God’s math

There are just too many factors

For me to figure out the Path

Of course I make some guesses

What else am I supposed to do?

I can try to make it all make sense

But only God knows what is True

I’m blessed that I get clues

To let me know I’m on the Way

But just because I was before

Doesn’t mean I am today

That’s what my mind starts saying

When it gets real hard to see

But I just took my mind off God

Because there’s really nowhere else to be

Every time that I remember this

Everything will go my way

Because the only will I want is God’s

And it’s for this only that I pray

Then in faith I must surrender

Everything I thought I knew

Then step out with only my trust in God

And see what “She” will do

The Truth is “I don’t know”

It’s with this fact that I must live

Though I may not know what the outcome is

I must stay mindful of what I give

© Copyright 2015 Pedro S. Silva II

After the Walls Come Down

Walls now crumbled, things start shifting

No one can deceive you

You find yourself where you always were

But no one will believe you

You tell them your new story

Because in Truth you know it’s theirs

In the Mind of God where we live and move

Death has no power there

Resurrection is a promise

Because no one ever dies

Once they choose to live the Life

Which reveals that Love abides

Now you’d think that this was good news

And the simplest of decisions

But soon you see that’s not the case

When people have the habit of division

At first you understand it

Since you were living by those rules

But once it became so clear to you

You start to think of them as fools

How could they not get it?

Can’t they see that we’re all One

That there’s no such thing as separation

When we focus on the Son

But no one you’re telling wants to hear it

Especially not from you

“Suddenly you’re so high and mighty.”

“We know what you used to do.”

“Don’t act like you’re so holy.”

“Remember the way you used to be.”

“Then you go and find religion.”

“Now you stand here judging me.”

You try to tell them you’re not judging

And that religion is not what guides you

It’s just that now you see the Truth

That all our lives we have been lied to

This is bigger than religion

The Truth is so much more

Religion is a roadmap to the Center

But it can’t take you to the Core

When you see it you can’t forget it

It transforms your entire life

Now you’re willing to surrender everything

For the Pearl of greater price

You’ll let go of all attachments

To receive what God’s ordained

But you never thought in doing so

Your relations would be strained

But now it’s starting to hit you

The Truth does not always bring accord

That’s what Yeshua was trying to tell us

When he said he came to bring a sword

This is rarely preached in churches

For this fact we don’t prepare you

When people just want you to join the club

We fear that it will scare you

We try to tell you of the joys

But forget about the costs

Which is natural when we choose our words

From a paradigm of loss

You see the connections we think we’re losing

Are ones that never did exist

Who they accepted was a false us

That’s why the true us gets dismissed

But we shouldn’t take it personally

It’s not the real you they’re rejecting

They doing what the ego does

It’s the false them they’re protecting

To do this they will attack you

Your temptation is to get them back

Which insanely makes them happy

Since it seems to keep the lie intact

Yesh says, “Pick up your cross and bear it.”

“Come and follow me.”

“The Truth is that since we’re all One

If you get lifted they get free.”

“I know that it’s a mystery.”

“But as I told you it is Light.”

“Being low is the way to go

If you’re to see the highest heights.”

“But you cannot take them with you.”

“Still you must give the invitation,

So they can see how much they’re loved

And perhaps surrender separation.”

“While you can’t control the outcome,

You’ve power over what you give.”

“So while they may not see it now,

One day they’ll remember how you lived.”

“They’ll know you lived forgiveness.”

“They’ll see you knew what you were worth.”

“That you saw yourself as a child of God

Despite the conditions of your birth.”

“And perhaps that will be the trigger.”

“That they can live forgiveness too.”

“But in the meantime you must show them,

By forgiving what they do.”

 

© Copyright 2015 Pedro S. Silva II

 

See 1 John 4 for perspective.

Out of Order

What if the very last day

Was really the beginning?

Losers get all the trophies

Because there’s no such thing as winning

Being fair isn’t fair

We just get what we get

And I can change the whole world

Since nothing’s happened yet

The whole world is out of order

Nothing is what it seems

It’ll be your worst nightmare

To fulfill all of your dreams

The void is now full

With infinite potential

Never fully actualized

Just to keep it existential

Freed by our limits

We are living beyond borders

Stifling chaos

In a realm that defies orders

Undoing the Big Bang

Is as easy as folding paper

Everything returns to zero point

In the mind of the Creator

It’s the ultimate “do over”

For that which was not done

Temporal ties cannot terrorize

In unmanifest light of eternal Suns

All things are forever

In the mind that cannot die

But only in not being born

Can you possibly know why

© Copyright 2015 Pedro S. Silva II

Life of Wonder

So how did I get this life?

This person that I be

I wonder if I’m happy

I wonder if I’m free

The reality is I can’t feel it

These things that people do

The stuff that makes them excited

I can’t tell if it is true

I see it and it makes me wonder

Is this the way that I should feel?

Am I full or am I empty?

I wonder which is real

It’s not like I just got here

I’ve been here all my life

But still I feel unseen out here

Like someone turned out all the lights

I’ve taught myself to participate

I can do the conversations

But sometimes it’s just like Groundhog Day

Repeating the exact same situations

What I want is something different

Almost impossible to describe

I don’t just want to make it here

My intention is to thrive

I’m not just living for my next fix

Like I’m fundamentally broken

I am emerging from the mouth of Wholeness Itself

The Word that never comes back void once it is spoken

That’s why I’m in wonder

Why do so many choose the lesser gift?

Choosing the package over the content

Is like getting high without the lift

While we think we’re going up

We’re really headed down

Heels over head, the world just flipped

Soon to crashland on the ground

And then again I wonder

Why can’t we see this on the way?

We’ve been warned this time was coming

Despite not knowing the actual day

But I guess that’s human nature

We always think that we’re immune

Somehow we believe we can be in harmony

While never seeking to be in tune

How did we come to believe this?

How did this become the norm?

And how did I get caught up too,

Despite my resistance to conform?

Is it because I gave it my energy

When people accused me of being aloof?

In my effort to resist what I called a lie

My actions denied the truth

Now expressing what I do not want

There’s no room for what I do

So I’m wondering how to transcend this trap

And once again, the truth pursue

© Copyright 2015 Pedro S. Silva II

There Are More Important Things

There are more important things

Than the ones that I am pondering

Thoughts that distract me from all that’s True

And lead my mind to wandering

There are more important things

Than what’s in and out of season

Than comparing myself to others

When there really is no reason

There are more important things

Than what I make up about tomorrow

Fearing a future that might not exist

Or repeating yesterday’s sorrow

There are more important things

Than achieving my desires

If getting what I think I want

Means in truth I yield to liars

There are more important things

Than getting someone to love me

If in doing so I lose myself

And put that one above me

There are more important things

Than living a life of pleasure

If at the end of it I’ve torn your soul

And can’t get it back together

There are more important things

Than what I call religion

If I only use it as a set of rules

Without seeking its deeper vision

There are more important things

Than being protected from what I fear

Since it seems that trying to run from it

Has only served to draw it near

There are more important things

Than me seeking after wins

Since the race isn’t always for the swift

Or for the one with fewer sins

There are more important things

Than always being right

Since almost everything is relative

When seen in a different light

Yes, there are more important things

But what they are I do not know

So I occupy myself with this vanity

Until I’m forced to let it go

 

 

 

Judge

Judge

Am I jealous of your ignorance
Because I wish that I were too?
Do I call your innocence, stupidity
Because I can’t do what you can do?

Why do I judge
When I know that I don’t like it?
Is it because I know I’m you
But I have no way to fight it?

Did I create a “heaven”,
To prove that I’m better?
Is it because I think I am now,
And I just want to be forever?

Well if “God” is always right,
If I try to judge I know I’ll fail
So if I refuse to admit this
That’s what will keep me in this “hell”.

I wrote the poem above when I was on a flight from Baltimore to Orlando.  There was a family coming on the plane who had never flown before.  Out of nervousness, the mother kept apologizing for her family and confessing this fact as they loudly found their way to their seats.  They were the last people to be seated on the plane and essentially the rest of us were waiting on them.    My former wife and I were headed to the Sunshine state to spend some time at the Disney parks and go on a cruise.  I assumed that this other family was headed to Disney as well.  Needless to say their children were very excited and it only made sense.  However, despite the plane having several families on-board presumably headed to the same destination, it seemed that many people were judging this other family.

From my seat I could hear the surrounding passengers mumbling such things as, “find your seat already” and “it’s not that hard”.  Even my wife was a little bothered and probably embarrassed.  You see this family who had never flown and was having a very hard time were African-American like us. Now to some people reading this you might think that their ethnicity doesn’t matter, but you’d be wrong.  With a lot of Black people, we tend to take it personally and feel embarrassed if other Black people are doing something that draws public scrutiny.  I could go into the psychological reasons for it, but I will just make it simple and say that in a world that runs largely on first impressions and stereotypes, there is a frequent and underlying fear that what other people do will reflect back on us if we can be identified with those people.  We fear that whatever judgment someone makes about the offenders will be generally projected onto us.

I have found that this tendency is most prevalent in cultures with a dominant sense of collectivism but it happens with all people who see themselves as directly connected with others in some way such as family, teams, political party, nationality, etc.  It is the whole idea of being guilty by association.  I remember being a child and when the news announced a serious crime my family would be praying that the criminal was not Black.  Largely it was because we didn’t want to hear the bad news of another one of us being accused of a crime, but as I learned soon enough, it was also because we didn’t want whatever crime that was committed to reflect on us; further exacerbating the already existing and deliberate tendency of the larger society to view us in a negative light.  At first I couldn’t understand why my family felt that way until I noticed that if the criminal was Black, the newscasters would always state that fact, but if they were White, they would never mention it in their descriptions.

I thought about this as I watched the faces of the people on the plane.  Being the sensitive type, I allowed myself to feel as much as I could trying to get a sense of what was going on with not only the family trying to find their seat, but also with the other annoyed passengers, and my own inner person.  I tried to turn up my compassion and to think more about what the people were experiencing than my own judgments about how I thought people should be.  As I watched the family struggling to get in their seats and find a place for their carry-ons, I thought about what it might feel like to already be nervous about flying for the first time as adults not to mention having excited children tagging along.  I imagined that they probably were feeling very anxious and likely it was this anxiety that influenced their decision to wait until everyone else was on the plane before boarding.  Having never been on a plane before, they would not have known the carry-on situation and therefore did not anticipate having to try and find a place for their stuff because passengers who boarded earlier took their once empty bin.  Add to this that they were on display as all of the other seated passengers annoyingly waited for them to get their seats, and I could only imagine that this whole situation was torture for them.  Consequently, the wife was subtly pleading for compassion by constantly revealing their inexperience while the husband seemed to be pulling an Adam with a face that said, “this was all her idea.”

As for my wife and the annoyed passengers, I already mentioned part of what I felt was getting to her and some of the other Black passengers who barely looked at the family.  There were some passengers who could care less and were just settling in for the flight and then there were those who were projecting their frustration on the family as if they were doing something to them on purpose.  At first my mind wanted to make it a racial thing.  I wondered if the family was White if they would have been less annoyed.  And I think the answer for some of them would have been yes.  Is it personal? Sometimes yes, but more often it is no.  People just tend to have greater affinity for those who they seem to have more in common with.  It is like a programming.  They don’t even know they do it half the time it is so ingrained.  And then there are the people who are just people who are easily annoyed–which in the Metro-DC area is not uncommon.  There are a lot of people who live their daily lives in a rush.  Anything that seems to make getting to where they want to be take longer is subject to the wrath.  It could have easily been a snow storm and they would be angry with nature.  Everything  outside of themselves is an equal opportunity annoyer (made up word).  These stressed out people probably need a vacation more than anyone.  But it is probably likely that they if they were going to Disney, they were going to try and conquer it and ultimately leave their vacation more tired than they were when they arrived.  I’d say that they were as good of candidates as anyone for Jesus’ insight to “forgive them for they know not what they do”.  And then there leaves me.

I tend to be one of those people who is initially intolerant of intolerant people.  I judge people who judge people and condemn those who condemn others.  In reality, this is probably the worse kind of judge because those of us who have this tendency have the luxury of what people call righteous indignation.  We can convince ourselves that we have the “might of right”.  Usually we can point to religious texts like the one below to demonstrate why our point of view is the more accurate one.  Consider Matthew 7:1-6 which admonishes people for judging others.  It would be easy for me to point to this scripture when attacking someone I see of guilty of judging others unfairly.  Used incorrectly, I could do a lot of harm with this scripture.  Much like the away those who are adamantly against abortion can justify killing a doctor who performs abortions, using the “thou shalt not kill” defense, I could come to someone who is judging and say to them, “you are a no good dirty rotten judger of people and I hope that you get what is coming to you because you are just wrong because the Bible says don’t judge.”  And when I did, I am sure that I would have a lot of people supporting me who also have pent up judgments about themselves and the world around them that they are just waiting to project onto someone else so that they can get the nasty feeling of  self-condemnation off of them.  But here’s the thing.  That’s now passages like the one below are meant to work.

As the second stanza of the poem asks:

Why do I judge
When I know that I don’t like it?
Is it because I know I’m you
But I have no way to fight it?

Passages like Matthew 7 are spoken to and from a place of Oneness.  When Jesus speaks to the disciples and others about why we should not judge, he does not do so only from a position outside of us, but from a place within us as well.  He is speaking from the all encompassing reality that we all know and that we all are.  Paul touches on this awareness when he says in Romans 1:20,”For since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”  While I will not unpack the full breadth of this passage right now, I will point to the obvious implication made here that all of Creation knows the fullness of its Source.  We are not separate from Source–from God and consequently from one another. Therefore, we have no excuse for living as if the opposite is true.  As the Christ, Jesus lives this reality of Wholeness eternally and speaks to us from this place.  Thus, when he makes assertions like the one you are about to read, it comes from that place.  And from this place his judgments are true, because their only intention is to remind us of who we truly are.  For as it says in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  Now, in this Light read the passage below:

Matthew 7:1-6

7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

This poem Judge attempts to convey the essence of this passage–that the judgments we project onto others naturally returns upon us precisely because, in Oneness, those others are in fact us.  When Christ through Jesus, advises us not to judge, it is because he knows that it is of little effect in transforming our collective consciousness.  Our judgments do not transduce the dark energy of ego resistance into the vibrant all-creative energy of realized potential as we deceive ourselves into believing it will (if you would like this sentence unpacked contact me).  Only consciousness can do this.  This is what Jesus is telling us in verse 3-5 above.  What we often find when we release judgment for consciousness is that once we remove the plank from our own eye, we will discover that there never was a speck in our brother or sister’s eye in the first place.  All we were seeing was our own projected planks out in the world.  However, if after removing the plank from our own eye, we still see a speck in another’s, our conscious Love for them will show us how it can be removed for the benefit of the All.

Rather than unpack the rest of the poem which mentions heaven and hell in the context of being the ultimate in the human struggle with judgment, I will leave you with this expression I found on the bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap, “For we’re all One or none! Listen children, Eternal Father Eternally One!  We’re All One or none! Exceptions eternally? NONE.”  As it pertains to this poem, Heaven is acceptance God’s reality and hell is it’s denial.  When we deny God’s reality to others we deny it to ourselves.  “What we bind on earth we bind in heaven.  What we release on earth, we release in heaven.”  Such is the Way of One.

Lamentations On Forgiveness

You tell me to forgive them
But sometimes its so hard
To let go of some of the things that people do
You’d have to be a god

If I loved them and I healed them
And then they turned on me
It’d be better for them if I stayed dead
Because they’d never get away from me

I could not have your power
And deal with what you did
And yet I say I follow you
Who am I trying to kid?

That’s why I still need you to hold me
To keep me in your embrace
To lift me when I can’t lift myself
And shower me with your grace

 

The above poem pretty much sums up why I seek Christ.  Rather than being an original part of the book, it was actually written to accompany a sermon I did based on the words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  I’ve been meditating on those words for over 30 years. Ever since I realized that my brother and my fighting would never end as long as I kept hitting him back, I have been using those words as the kind of “true north” of my conscience and my consciousness.  Whenever I find myself agitated and incapable of saying those words, then I know I have some more work to do on myself.  Even though I hate the idea of a crucified savior of the world or even the fact that God’s world needs saving at all, I cannot deny my experience that people do great harm to one another and that most of it is cyclical. I’ve seen many hurt people hurt people.  Some people are so used to being hurt that they live in anticipation of it, often see it when it isn’t even there, and may even go so far as to push others to hurt them in order to confirm the only reality that they have ever known.  I know this first hand and in my experience the idea of Jesus saying, “I am no longer going to contribute to this cycle.” through his willingness to forgive has been the only thing to really work effectively in my own walk.

As the poem demonstrates, I still get stuck on some issues.  Especially since becoming a father, I have found that I need to ramp up my forgiveness practice more and more.  I do not anticipate getting to a point where I will no longer need to work on this, because new things show up everyday.  I am not just talking about things in my personal life.  I see it as my job to forgive anything that disturbs me–anything that agitates my soul and tempts me to look away from the world that Jesus saw where God loves those who do evil with the same love as those who do what we call good.  I should say that I am not delusional, thinking that the world is going to become some utopia where people will be singing happy songs and there will be no pain and yet I work toward it because I am certain that the alternative is less promising.  We already know what doesn’t work in this world.  And yet we still do it.  So the way I see it, is that forgiveness is the most viable option.

So as hard as it can seem sometimes, I am committed to the practice.  But I should say, that forgiveness doesn’t mean anything goes and that there are no efforts to correct those who harm.  In my practice, it simply means that people who do evil are ignorant.  I forgive their ignorance and clean myself from using my pain to justify my reactions.  If I do that then I am doing nothing other than justifying whatever harm they cause based on their pain.  It is a cycle.  So what I do instead is to seek forgiveness first.  Then out of that space, I will take the corrective actions that are in my power to perform.  Hopefully I am working out of inspiration so that I can trust that whatever I do is born of the love out of which the person/offender is created.  The hope is that what I offer helps wake the person up to their own inner reality.  If you’ve ever dealt with someone on drugs who is detoxing, you know that helping them can take a lot of forgiveness and that in order to keep them straight, you sometimes have to look like a real a**hole to get them to see the harm they are doing to themselves and others.  The whole point is that whatever you do is out of love and toward that persons healing.  Surgery could be another good analogy where you look to hurt someone when it is for their own good.  Forgiveness can often manifest like spiritual surgery. It starts by working on yourself which then prepares you to work for others. That’s how I work with Jesus.  I see him as the forgiveness master that undoes the cycle of pain perpetuating pain.  When I get hurt I turn to him.  It helps to draw me out of myself and toward that higher way of being that he offers.  No matter how much I feel sorry for myself sometimes for being the person taking responsibility for forgiveness in some situations, I know that it is the Way.  Ultimately it is all I have to offer.