Thursday, October 6, 2011

Breath Of The Eternal

Thou art the dark butterfly,
Thou are the green parrot with red eyes,
Thou art the thunder cloud,
                    the seasons, the seas.
Without beginning art thou,
Beyond time, beyond space...

                             -- The Upanishads

     Here is ancient wisdom, from among the oldest of the world's sacred texts. This ancient wisdom will never die. Do we know this, or don't we? Everything hinges on that question. There is a Seed of Singing Light; a deathless, Holy Source; a Fount of Joy, Grace, Wisdom and Truth, which streams forth eternally from the soul of every created thing--butterflies and parrots, thunderclouds, seasons and seas, as well as from you and from me. The sages who wrote The Upanishads named this divine essence The Self--not the little self of the ego, but the Higher Self transcending all differences, all separation. Once we experience our Oneness with this Higher Self, once we realize I Am That! -- only then can we evolve beyond fear, grief, anger and despair. This is the only path of ultimate liberation.


Cannot die. Perched on
a phone wire, the wren
trills it. Truth flares
in the quick flex of
the cat's claw, or from
a sheen of raindrops
on the white iris, their
cool fragrance, beckoning...

Listen. The whole Earth is
breathing, in and out;
night flows through us
like the flag of some
unknowable world. Who
have the winds come for?
What is the secret name
that all things cry?

Open yourself to the far
whirling of the universe.
We begin from a seed
but our home is Everywhere.
The wren, the cat, the iris--
each are different faces
of our love. The Light of
Ancient Wisdom cannot die.


     Don't be distracted, confused and deluded by the ten thousand things--or even the ten billion things of our intrusive, competitive, materialistic, consumer society. You'll never find an answer out there. You'll never find true joy, peace, wholeness or fulfillment out there. Your innermost identity is not defined by this transitory world; it's part of an unconditional, primal, Eternal Spirit existing before, beyond and after this world. That's where we start from. We don't extract Joy from people, events, activities, possessions, achievements. We bring that Joy with us and infuse it into them. That Joy is our birthright--not contingent but original. Its source is our Higher Self--The Breath Of The Eternal--inspiring all things.

         SHEER JOY

Watching a lone bluejay
suddenly launch out, free,
into immense bright air,
I felt cleansed and reborn.
All life I sensed bursting
with Spirit, invincible!

At our innermost core
the primal Source of Being
fountains upward, flooding
through matter's opacity,
streaming pure bliss
from another world.

Here is the Hidden One
I adore--matchless,
indomitable--a Mystery
beyond imagining, nearer
than bone, sweeter even
than love's caress.

What opposes sheer Joy
perishes...Learning this
we blaze like suns, illumed
by Heaven's Holy Light.
An unquenchable child
dances in the soul of God!


     What are the keys to Original Joy, to union with this Higher Self? Simplicity, humility, openness, silence, solitude, self-discipline, inner surrender, pure intention, unwavering devotion, impeccable alertness, childlike wonder and yes, sometimes even sheer desperation. When we discover that every idol, obsession, addiction and presumption inevitably fails us and leads us only further astray, then, finally, we might turn to the one answer which never fails us, never leads us astray--the hidden, primal, holy, invisible Light shining eternally at the center of our souls...

Ah, from the soul itself must issue forth
A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
          Enveloping the Earth--
And from the soul itself must there be sent
A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth,
Of all sweet sounds the life and element!

                     -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge  


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