We all entered this given world Shining ever so brightly Until we were handed a cloak of shadows And were taught to take our shining lightly The shadow cloaks that we are given Are all different, but the same Put on by people who we’re born to trust But started lying with our name They called us a moniker we didn’t choose That made them feel a certain way Perhaps a projection of someone’s past That we’re expected to display Rather than get to know us And discover who we are They tell us who we’re supposed to be And complain if we stray far But it’s not that I’m trying to blame them They did what they knew to do Because before they projected onto us They were cloaked in shadows too They too were forced into a box Aimed to maintain society They believed the lies that were told to them Before they ever lied to me Some were told the lie that they were best When compared to other people While some were told that they are worst And must forever work at achieving equal But, both these states are lies There’s no one above or below another And the truth is there’s no shadow here That another’s light cannot uncover You see all of us were meant to shine So that this world won’t be in dark And each of us has the work to do Of dissolving shadows with our spark In so doing we don’t just free ourselves We free all who came before Until the world is filled with shining lights Who wear shadow cloaks no more
You are the Love of my Life And the Life in my love. Every love poem I write to You Has been plagiarized from Your Heart. Though words cannot contain You or express You, You have endless names So that anyone who will Can know the satisfaction of calling on You. But Named or not, We cannot beckon You to come where You’ve never left. You are always here. The places we go where we cannot find You do not exist. As the Psalmist wrote, “When I awake, I am still with You.” Am I still with You? I must be. Or I would not be writing words that only Love can speak. Am I awake? I must be. Or I am dreaming the only thing worth dreaming— That You are the Love of my Life And the Life in my love.
I had a realization on the other side of light,
I see the darkness that we are when we give into our fright.
Don’t want to lose. Get ahead of the game.
Borrow from the future? Can’t we see we’re insane?
Spend what we don’t have. Take from tomorrow.
Where’d it all go? Now we wallow in our sorrow.
How did we get here from where we began?
Did God see this coming when devising the “Plan”?
Free will prisons that we make on our own,
Built on illusions that we can ever be disowned.
Guilt is our garment. Robed in despair.
We reap what we sow and say, “God doesn’t care.”
Wanting to be masters we make a world built for slaves.
We try hard to live forever while we’re digging our own graves.
Now at the bottom, we want to go back,
To the place where we came from–before we knew lack.
But “Do we deserve it?” is the question on our mind.
We’ve lost ourselves in a place that no one else can find.
Can we ever go home? We decide we will try.
Anything’s better than staying here to die.
On the way home, our head down in shame.
We are brought back to life at the sound of our Name.
Instantly restored as if nothing ever happened.
Suddenly we see the true value of the world and its trappings
We always had it all when we remained with Our Source
A single thought of separation and a whole planet’s off course.
This morning I found myself stuck onThe Root. For those of you who have never heard of it, it is similar to The Huffington Post, but with articles that are more tailored to the interests of a largely African American audience. Some of the articles that I got mesmerized by were a 4 page article on African American Slave Holders, one on the push to get Dr. Ben Carson to run for POTUS, and an article about people’s reactions to the new version of Annie being cast with the little black girl from Beasts of the Southern Wild, Quvenzhane Wallis. As I read the articles, I monitored my thoughts around the subject matter to see what I could learn about myself and how I relate to the world. You see, I have chosen to be a person who checks in with myself a lot. If a thought occurs to me that I feel is questionable, such as, “Why is Ben Carson a Republican?”, I am inclined to examine it to see if I can determine where it came from and whether or not it is a thought I really resonate with or if it was one handed to me. Like with the Ben Carson thought, I can distinctly remember my father telling me that any black man who is a Republican these days must hate himself or other black people. With that in my head, my mind immediately tried to tie Ben Carson to the black slave holders who I had just read about in the previous article. That led me to consider other so called, “black on black” violence and exploitation. I say so called, because if people of other races exploit each other no one calls it anything. I’ve never heard anyone say “white on white” or “brown on brown” crime. Anyway, after a single thought starts making too many divergent connections, I usually stop the train and get off and then ask myself how I got there in my mind. From there I determine whether I want to keep going with that train of thought or move on to other things.
For a long time, if I came to realize that a person I was talking with was jut parroting what they were told by their family without ever taking a look at whether or not those thoughts actually served them, I would start the process of removing myself from the conversation. My reasoning for this was that I felt like that tendency among people to just go on automatic pilot mode is what allows a lot of dysfunction to keep moving through the generations. “My mother or father did it so I do it.” never sat well with me. And besides, I really don’t see the point of that line of thinking. In this way, I am like Socrates, who said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The way I see it, if my life is merely a consecutive string of undisciplined reactions to my environment and conditions based on what I was force fed to believe through propaganda, then in essence I was never really here. That being said, I don’t merely limit myself to the Descartes[ian] ideology, “I think therefore I am”. I see thinking as a part of “who I be”, but not the whole. Other relevant aspects of how I express my being are feeling, intuiting, accepting, and surrendering to just name a few. But all of these aspects or faculties or facilities of my being fall under the umbrella of Consciousness. For me, Consciousness is the essence of who I am. Consciousness is the intentional observer/influencer of my being and the channel through which I deliver my activities into the world. In my opinion, without Consciousness, the world is nothing but vanity.
If I were to draw a picture of how I imagine Consciousness being, I would draw Consciousness as the Light of Creative Intelligence, my mind would be the slides or film I want to project, and the projector itself would be my body. As I project onto the world i.e. the screen, the Intelligent Light of my Consciousness is also observing what I project and engaging with the receivers at multiple levels. This creates an expansion in Consciousness which then brings greater illumination to the slides or film which represents the thoughts that occur in Mind. As the illumination intensifies, there is more clarity to the thought projections. This continues until the projections become an ideal representation of the Conscious Intelligent and Creative Light. When that happens the slides and/or film are no longer necessary because I will no longer have anything to project onto the world or onto others in order to justify my existence. At that point, I will be functioning as pure Consciousness–an uninterrupted and unfiltered, freely giving and freely receiving creative being. I think this is how it works for all of us. I believe that that is our true nature. As I said in the post Switched At Birth, I believe that we all came here as pure being, and then, for many of us, the inaccuracies and sometimes flat out lies began, starting with the very names we identify with. But beyond our names are the other associations that become the filters through which we give to and receive from Life. And for me that is where The Root came in this morning. As I read the articles, I could feel my filters engaging.
Before reading those articles, I was simply Conscious Being. Besides, my dog and some lady bugs, no one was home. I had done my morning devotions, meditation, and prayer. I had caught up on this campaign called The One Great Hour of Sharingwith my daughter, which has the tagline, “We are One” and was feeling grateful that I have another day to get closer to the Root of my Being–my Source who I most often refer to as God. I will admit that for some time now, I have “fallen off the wagon” when it comes to remaining sober to what I believe is God’s reality of Life. That is to say that without constantly checking in with myself, praying a whole lot, reading the Bible and other expansive material, and talking about the Higher activities of life, I feel the temptation to get intoxicated with the smaller story of who I am, the roles that I play in the world. I know that I am not my roles any more than I am my thoughts. I am not a fictional character. But as many of us know, sometimes it seems easier to play one.
When I looked at the articles, I felt some of my fictions coming up. You’d have to read the article on African American slave owners to get an idea of what my feelings might have been, but I will say that, if I jumped into a time machine immediately after reading it, I might have caused some trouble for some of those people. When I read about Ben Carson, I found myself thinking of him as having become a cartoon character. He’s a brilliant doctor and I’ve read some intelligent things from him, but I will say that I have my challenges with how it seems like he has straight up bought into the vanity of the political world. Granted I don’t know him or any politicians, but it all looks like reality TV to me at this point–even President Obama. And finally, when I saw people having a problem with a black Annie, I felt myself wanting to take it personally. Besides the fact that I am a sensitive person and almost cried both times when I watched the trailer, I could easily project my curly haired daughter into that character and the thought of people tripping off of that bugged me. Like the author said in the article, “Annie is Black, Get Over It”.
All this being said, I am confessing that my particular black filter was kicking in in every one of those articles. Of course there are purely human elements that I would bristle at such as slavery in general, Carson’s seeming disregard for people who do not identify as heterosexual, or people being overly critical of an obviously talented child actor simply based on her race regardless of what that race might be. Still I have more to examine about how my filter influences my work in the realm of Consciousness and how it effects my ability to give and receive freely. It is really interesting because, while I believe that experience informs a considerable portion of how we engage the world, I do also believe that we are capable of transcending our experience thus enabling us to live in what St. Paul called the “newness of life”. In the newness of life as I aspire to live it, everything about life is new and fresh and pure moment by moment, even our very selves and our relationships to others and the whole wide world. I’m not going to get into it right now, but what it basically means to me is that once we identify ourselves as children of God and citizens of eternity, then we live in a realm where as he puts it, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” and ” In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!” As a person I understand as having examined his own life, I can see Paul adding a whole lot of other categories that we hold onto into that list–married, single, heterosexual, GLBTQ, rich, poor, healthy, unhealthy, red and yellow, black and white. I know that I am a citizen of eternity where there is no division among us and for the most part I live out of that space with everyone I encounter, but I’m still working on that tension between that reality and how I encounter events in time that seem to thrive in anti-consciousness and denial.
In the 17th Chapter of John the author of that book depicts Jesus praying for his remaining disciples as well as for the people who will believe in his witness to God based on the testimony of his disciples. In those prayers, he asks that his present and future disciples stay in the word that he gave them and remain One with God just as he is. Check it out.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and haveloved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
This poem takes responsibility for that word that Christ has given. Be One. I equate this with being Real. Oneness is Reality and everything else is a lie. I hope that by the time you get through this blog you understand what I mean when I say that lies do not exist. The reality is ONE or none. That’s it. God is not divisible. Jesus taught that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Paul taught that “within God we live and move and have our being.” One of the Hebrew names for God is HaMakom which means The Place. God is our Home people. We have never left our Home. Can you believe this? You are either One with God or no one without God. Now for those of you who think that this statement is some kind of religious zealotry, I suggest you reserve judgment until later. I am not religious. In fact I do not think that religion is based on reality. I think that religion is designed to keep the lie at bay. It ‘s like a big dam that is trying to protect us from being destroyed by illusion. In order to do that, structures are created as alternatives to the temptation of the world. This is noble, but it is based on making the lie real, which it is not. The lie says that separation from God is real. It says that there is somewhere we can go from God’s spirit. It says that God has a divided mind that differentiates between what we call light and dark. It says that there are people in hell who are away from God. But, Psalm 139 says:
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
So no, I am not religious and I do not think Jesus is either. For those who think otherwise, I suggest reading the Bible. In my understanding, Jesus wanted us to wake up the Reality of God and to our own Reality as being One with God. As the above Psalm says in verse 18, “When I awake, I am still with You.” It is only a dream that we are not with God. In the poem, I am expressing what I get out of John 17. We are One with God. God is in relationship with All. Jesus compelled us to love one another and to love our so called enemies because God loves All without distinction. Jesus faced death and gave his life, because he refused to protect himself from a lie. He denied its reality. He knew that his life was in God’s eternal Life and in that reality, he received God’s name. That Name has been declared to us and that Name is One. It is the Name above every name. Your name, all of our names are housed in that Name. If we can’t find our name in that Name, we will never know who we are.
I know that there are a lot of things or experiences in life that may convince you that you are nowhere near God. But I am here to tell you Psalm 139 is true. There is nowhere we can go from the Spirit of One. I know, because I have tried. It was in the depths of the hell that I made for myself that I heard my name in the Name. My hope is that if you’re on the journey to know your name that you will find your name within the Name and live your life as One even as Christ is One. And I hope the testimony of this blog can help facilitate that.