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written by Minette Quick
- evoked by study of A Course in Miracles
(For details of Minette's music CD please visit Solas Bhride or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have not been accepting myself today.
I have dug in my heels and refused today.
I have said I won't trade I won't budge today,
And I'm guilty as hell all the way today.
What brought all this on it's hard to say,
A feeling of turning my mind away,
Of finding some prejudice rearing its head.
When it came to the crunch, it was "No' that I said.
Saying "No" feels quite bad, I'm defending again,
Feeling the doors being shut again.
But somehow attraction is strong to be sad
To jerk about crossly and interact.
It's hard not to judge when you feel this way.
Hard to accept that you want it this way,
For you must, or you wouldn't be feeling this way
All this pain is a choice, strange to say.
Its removal is something I can't do alone.
I can honestly say that I'd rather go Home
Than gnaw like a dog at a meatless bone
And growl at all comers to "LEAVE ME ALONE"
On quiet reflection I'm tired of the pain,
It isn't such hot stuff apportioning blame...
To myself or to others - it's really the same.
Then the help that I asked for JUST CAME!
FORGIVENESS IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK
Forgiveness is not what you think
It's not separate "thinking" at all.
It's not searching for something that's wrong "to forgive"
That's not forgiveness at all.
Forgiveness, the key to happiness
Is knowing that nothing is wrong.
It's knowing that only in dreams "things go wrong"
It's changing the words and changing the tune
Of that dreary old dirge of a song.
No-one to blame
No-one to shame
No-one to suffer a wrong
Forgiveness is not what you think
It's not separate "thinking" at all.
Its not searching for something that's wrong "to forgive"
That's not forgiveness at all.
FREEDOM AT LAST
Truth is the answer, the question is doubt,
Illusion attempting to blot Heaven out.
Truth never wavers or changes or seems
To be anything limited, painful or mean.
It simply is everything spiritually seen
Pure and untainted, innocent, clean.
Truth is the traveller, the journey, the way.
Its steps never falter by night or by day.
Its goal the beginning, the middle, the end
Of all life here on earth,
Never fails, dearest friend!
"Truth will correct all errors in my mind"
- from A Course in Miracles
A FLICKERING CANDLE SHOW
Illness is an attack upon the truth
That I am changeless and like God.
It is an attack on truth itself
Which is God.
It is a defence against God's supposed attack on me
God's punishment of my "unforgivable sin"
My belief that I am worthy of punishment
By God, and that no suffering is too much
To pay for what I have done to Him.
And yet I have not "sinned" at all
I never left His side!
This dreary catalogue of crime
Escaped His conscious mind
Despite all efforts I have made
To leave and then to hide,
He smiles at me, beside Him still
He sees no cause for sighs!
My heart is full of JOY not pain
My mind of PEACE not "sin"
I radiate His LIGHT around
I let His GLORY in.
My brothers need to know it's true
They need to know it too
They've not betrayed their inner bond
Or strayed away from Him
Unchanging we have never left
The home we share with Him!
His heart is full of JOY not pain
His mind of PEACE not "sin''
He radiates His LIGHT around
He lets His GLORY in.
This outer world of darkness is
A flickering candle show
Where little light and shadows deep
Perpetuate illusion's supposition grim
That projection can at least provide
Some slight, though brief protection
From the fears I entertain.
Our hearts are full of JOY not pain
Our minds of PEACE not "sin"
We radiate His LIGHT around
We let His GLORY in!
BATS IN THE BELFRY
The constant yammer
The constant clamour
Of voices goes unchecked.
Until we sense
Their urgent sense
Our state of mind dejects.
Their words fly round
Their zigzag path
A wild careering flight
Confined, within a darkened cave
Those creatures of the night.
And when we wake
The pains we feel
Within that inner space,
Behind our eyes
The tension on our face.
The bats are my thoughts,
The belfry is my head,
The bells lie still
While bats fly round.
Beloved Father hear my prayer!
I thank you for your loving care,
For gifts and gentle help to let me see
I need not suffer pain eternally.
Your will is freedom, perfect peace
New ways to learn, new ways to teach.
New joy, new forms need not repeat
Your Spirit guides my erring feet.
Beloved one, Beloved one, calm yourself, be still!
Contain yourself within a while
Upon your lips a smile!
Release the whirl of words that fill
The air with gestures wild.
They only serve to agitate
Your mind, whose nature's peace.
Peace is a state that only comes
Within a constant will for it
And all it brings -
Abundance, gentleness and love,
Serenity and joy borne up
On spiritual wings.
Peace never can be fought for,
Strife is not its child.
Its nature is itself
From concept of an enemy.
Beloved one, Beloved one, calm yourself, be still!
Exhaust not silence with your words,
In peace your thought will flow
Into a healing stream of truth
Which other hearts will know.
Desire to communicate you feel,
Experience that Love
Which holds us by the hand
And lifts us tenderly
BLESSED IS HE
The real job in life
Is not to see
Ourselves as weak and feeble
Suffering and sinful,
But as glorious Sons of God!
Ours is the choice
To see ourselves
Through the eyes of men
He would not have us dream
Our glory dimmed.
He would not have us
Thralled in sin.
It is our choice,
We can reclaim
Our wondrous blrthright
In His name.
As the psalmist says,
Is He who cometh
In that name,
And full of pain
By which we subtly
State our claim
He loves us not
Within is one who knows
His Holy Spirit knows it all.
To ask His help is to restate
Our willingness, however small
To simply see another way
And peace of mind recall.
He does not fail
Our hearts to soothe
To reconstruct the scene.
Before we know our call is heard
There is a subtle change,
And something shifts
Within each one
The evidence is plain.
We can go on
And we are strong
Our minds are once more sane.
I oft confess that I'm weak and sin,
When I could confess that I'm strong,
That my performance wasn't good at all,
When there was nothing wrong.
I try to hide my strength inside
And bargain with some fear
That what my Father made of me
May somehow not appear.
The time has come to brush aside
Our "weakness" and our "sin"
There is no feeble trace or dream at all
That God can find within.
Our Godself lives within intact
In patience, mighty, strong.
It waits for us to waken now.
It's waited oh so long!
And yet a single blink of an eye
A turn of thought away
From visions bleak
Of passions deep,
Can change - without a sigh!
We are not lost within this dream,
We are at home in God,
We never slept at all, He knows
His Son ne'er weeps nor sleeps.
So what is going on, you say?
That I awake each livelong day
And creep from blind activity in dream
To passing pageant's play?
I, (sure as hell), know this is true...
And yet it's not, I say
For hell's own words describe it yet
And that is why it fades.
For nothing truth describes can fade
For symbol it is not.
It is itself, the love of God
Exactly as He made.
Confess again "I am His Child
Creation perfect, pure,
And joined as one with everyone,
My mind is certain, sure
That all my brothers feel my need
To go back home as well.
Each in his own way
Judge him not,
Is bound for heaven not hell."
" Be traitor to no-one
Or you will be treacherous to yourself"
from the Song of Prayer (Supplement to A Course in Miracles)
In praying for deliverance
From your "wickedness" towards me,
I see you as my sworn and constant
In praying in terms of difference
Of opposites, of strife,
Of creeds and forms inimical
I cannot know you as you are
In truth at all.
And thus I cry for vengeance for my pain
For payment is the ego's call.
And who will pay the price of "sin"
The one without, the one within?
The crushing blows of punishment
Rain down and ricochet in waves
That drive from shore to shore,
For punishment is also war
It rights no wrongs and soothes no sores.
But who will gain from causing pain?
Imagination roars "Give me my due",
But you will lose,
Yes, you will lose.
For peace and light and joy are Gods
And no-one's here whom He loves not.
When we can recognise our part
In healing is, we'd rather not
Blame anyone, our strife will stop.
Our prayers for pain are masked in strain
Mistrust and guilt are interlocked.
"We go together, you and I"
Our prayer should always be.
"Release the present from its chains
Of past illusions", free all pain.
The peace of God the answer is
"A freely-chosen remedy''
Relinquish judgement then and see
How peace descends immediately
And wraps us in repose at last
In tender, sweet humility.
FROM ILLNESSES' DISQUIETING STATE ....
From illnesses' disquieting state
We beg release,
We pray, we pray.
But fear itself perpetuates
Solidifies and makes doubt strong
Cements by pouring anguish on.
Projection is a thought believed
In here, within the heart
Then thrust without as evidence
As "sense" to prove it "true".
Once placed without like bending bow
Its arrow wings its way
Its message sharp proclaims aloud
You are to blame, to blame,
To blame ....
0 cruel world, to blame.
Correction gently comes along
The self-same way to heal
And where accusing weapons lie
Softly sets its seal.
Within the mind it places truth
And whispers "think again"
"Your Father loves you still within,
You never from Him strayed,
His peace and light and joy are yours
No matter what you think.
Receive them now, forgive the world,
Let in a little chink
Of LIGHT upon this inner world
Distraught and full of fear."
"Behold, within your sinless Self
No "traitor" here abides.
Your innocence and purity
You simply once denied
Still shines, is One and safe and free.
Your changelessness is guaranteed
By God Himself, His Son and
Dear sweet Holy Spirit wise
Who never once in all these years
Departed from your side."
And when you listen to His Voice
And dare to think it TRUE
To turn away from clamourous pain
To walk in pastures new.
A single moment will suffice
To lift you up into new life
To shift belief from ancient strife
To let it go, to let it go ....
And suddenly with colours true
His bow will bend up in the blue
Proclaiming light and joy and peace
On earth before we are released
Beyond this earthly dream we made
As One our dreams of sorrow fade.
The guilty secret is the one
Which aims to hide its Self,
To turn its back upon the Son
Whose wholeness unregarded
Gathers dust upon the shelf.
As if the glorious Sonship
In the world
Could ever be undone
By fancied foolishness!
Communication opens up
The nature of the Son
And blazes up the vision clear
Of Christ in man as One.
And ever joined in love
Sustained by God the Father,
Three in One.
GUIDE TO LIGHT AND PEACE
The light of the day is your own light,
The awareness of the darkness is your own light,
The joy of the day is your own light
The peace of the day is your own light
In the silence of mind
Let your light shine,
Let the whirring of words cease
As you sink into peace.
Go within, go within
The body but reflects
Your state of mind
A mirror, showing gentleness,
Peace and kindness,
Agitation, fear and blindness
Coursing through the alternating
Currents of the mind.
When your body wakes up aching
Every muscle taut and shaking
As you creep to start the day.
It's the fruit of anxious dreaming
Setting nerves and sinews screaming,
Tense and irritable after hours away
In the land of cruel illusion
Unredeemed by kind conclusion
Which would wake you gently
Soothing pain away.
But settle for a peaceful time of day
For assistance to relax and wash away
The effects of mental conflict.
(Dreaming madly, strange things seem
To happen to you, shadow boxing
Insubstantial cloud formations ....
But simply, surely will the pain
Just ebb away....
The soft sweet sound of peace sings
As you pray.
A space arises in the mind
The tension gone, the body's peaceful
And you find
The answer is within and not without
The mind dictates experience,
The body, no!
Peace is a practice of going within
To remembrance, connection,
With everything, in!
Not snail-like retracting
From fear of the thrush
Which would lift you up brusquely
In one moment crush
Your frail shell
On its anvil
That's not going in!
"Going in" expands outwards,
Ever beyond the boundary of body,
Its more like a song
Which refreshes a memory
For which we long.
Peace is a practice of going within
To remembrance, connection
With everything, in!
HERE IN MY HEART HIS PEACE SINGS!
Sweet is the present time,
Now is the gentle time,
Let all your thought fall away.
Still in the morning light,
Sounds of the wind outside,
Here in my heart His peace
Nothing opposes it,
Tune in, repose in it,
it is the source of joy,
Solace of human grief,
Spirit of unity,
Drawing together all parts
Rest is its sure release.
Strength, joy and purity,
"I AM THAT l AM'
"I am that l am'
Since the dawning of time,
My truth still lies under the mask.
It shines through my being
Makes sense of my feelings
No matter what seems to arise....
And what does truth mean in my life?
You might ask,
It makes all the difference indeed,
If I base all my actions, decisions, reactions
On a mish-mash of unresolved dreams.
For It seems that I live in a world of mixed feelings
Of thoughts that float in and then out,
Of solid state clutter
Which makes the heart flutter
Whenever I try to get out.
Yet, "I am that I am'
Since the dawning of time,
My truth still lies under the mask.
It shines through my being
Makes sense of my feelings
Brings peace and sweet reason,
No matter what seems to arise...
IF I CORRECT YOU
If I correct you
I am wrong too
When I try to impress you I am trying to escape
An impression I have of myself ....
When I resist you
I am afraid
Not of you alone
But of my own vulnerability ....
When I try to appease you
It is my own wrath
Which frightens me...
When I oppose you
My own peaceful truth.
IN MY MIND'S EYE
In my mind's eye, my body is
A picture of myself
Created mentally and held
In seeming solid state
Reflecting pain, desire for gain
Mixed up emotions
Of guilt and shame,
A frame for all to see
In fleshly grossness,
Broken vein and creaking joint
A minefield of opinions laid
To snare the unwary resident
In its unyielding grasp.
And yet this frame it need not be
"For I am still as God created me"
No picture am I, mean and small
No walking canvas to appal!
No musty image overlaid
Layers of cracking paint
And varnish aged.
I do not want my frame to be
A symbol of success to me,
Or yet of failure either.
A neutral thing which serves me well,
No source of pain or sorrow.
At best a dream it can but help me on my way
A scene of conflict it is not
Made to deny it, with Holy Spirit's help,
It can represent
My Unity with God.
I OFFER YOU
I offer you what I would receive,
Freedom to live and love,
Freedom to be,
Everything I ever hoped
Could be true for me.
Freedom from fear and pain,
Freedom from hypocrisy.
Nothing has to go right
For me to be happy.
People do not have
To behave themselves
For me to love them.
I am free!
The world is like a dog
Guarding a meatless bone.
Nothing pushes my buttons
I am not a robot
I am free!
Let us not be
Blind to the major themes,
Themes of our thought.
For it is these,
Set the tone
Of our life.
I WAS AN UNWILLING STUDENT
I was an unwilling student,
I thought I had nothing to learn.
I thought that I knew all the meanings
That unfurled in my limited world.
I thought that I knew what I wanted,
I thought I had nothing to learn.
The teacher a bundle of limits,
The teacher a vessel of clay,
The teacher outside me for ever,
I pushed him and pushed him away.
I felt in myself I was separate,
Estranged and alone on the way,
Believed it was like that for ever
Trapped in a web I had made.
What suddenly made such a difference?
What suddenly made so much sense?
What whispered within out of nowhere
Saying "rest now, it's really okay."
What said "You are ever beloved,
Unblemished, unworthy of pain."
What melted the fear on my heartstrings
And took the dark burdens away?
It was that dear, brightening message
That presence of kindness that came,
That whisked aside sorrow and heartache
That brought about permanent change.
That gently, so gently persuaded
My mind to relinquish its pain
Which I'd hugged to myself in rash judgements
I'd distorted again and again.
It made me a willing recipient
Of wisdom, of love and not blame,
That told me that nothing could ever
Affect me ....
My perfection is always the same.
Why would I hurt you?
Why would I lead you astray?
I love you as I love myself.
My heart is as fresh and gentle
As the air on a summer's day
Which caresses your limbs
With its freedom
Soothing your cares away.
Who would not know that I love him?
Who but a soul trapped within
An illusion of wandering ever
Far away in a concept of "sin'.
But I know not a trace of dishonour in you,
Not a crack nor a crevice within
To dislodge my joyous perception
We are totally joined within Him.
JUSTICE AND FORGIVENESS
The scales of justice cannot be
A symbol of God's honesty
For He weighs not in terms of "sin"
Nor shuts the door against His Son
To let just a part of Him come in.
Oh for a way to rest in you
Forgiveness all the time!
Through prayer to rise up past the spite
Of unfulfilled desires "to fight and gain"
What vanishes in Light
Because it isn't true.
COMFORT AND HEALING
Inspired by the Song of Prayer
"One who prays without fear cannot but reach
Him He can therefore also reach His Son wherever he
may be and whatever form he may seem to take."
I hold your hand in prayer
Reaching out in love to you
To calm your fear and reassure you
Of your Father's care for you.
In reaching up in certain trust
Your simple faith may kindled be
And I thank God that in His Christ
Your true identity is found
Which cannot fail or wanting be
But shared throughout eternity.
LIGHT AND LOVE
When I close my lips and eyes
My sense of self becomes a smile
That ever widens out and radiates
Within, without, around, about.
I am a loving being,
Unto myself and unto you
Oh dear one too,
Most certain you!
I lose that overbearing sense
Of separation, taut and tense,
I melt so gently, sweetly, gently,
Into grace and ease,
All is peace,
Yes, all is peace!
LOVE YOURSELF FIRST AT CHRISTMAS!
"Love yourself first at Christmas"
The words came through quite clear ...
"Love yourself first this Christmas"
Whispered in my ear.
"For you are the one rejected,
However much loved by others
By yourself not recognised."
"Love yourself first, for Christmas
Is the time of Christ,
The time of new conceptions
With which to live your life.
The birth of new commitments
To live in peace not strife."
"Love yourself first, this Christmas,
Whatever that means to you
Be sure that you're kind to yourself,
Never mind what you think
That you ought to do."
"Love yourself first, for Christmas
Allow your own heart to glow,
To bask in the warmth that you know
When you feel that the spirit
Of Christmas is real ....
Begin with yourself
It will grow! "
MAKE ROOM FOR PEACE
To make a burden out of life
By listing every job
As something to be done "somehow'
Got through without a fuss,
Is just a recipe for pain,
Frustration, hardship, rush;
For wondering where the hours went
With little time for us.
"I have so much to do today"
The ancient legend runs.
"I'll never get it done, oh dear!"
"I'll never get it done."
This recipe for killing joy
Is simply based on fear
Which has us powering on
Through thick and thin
Through yet another year.
Stop for a moment,now and then
Make room for peace
Make time to breathe,
Decide that all you really need
To do is easily achieved!
Everything can fall in place
Can fit like hand in glove,
We needn't strive to be alive
Each hour is framed in love.
A tiny step, a simple choice
To trust within the quiet voice
That says "be gentle with yourself
And kind, release those ancient doubts
From mind, dare to believe in peace!"
Dare to believe creation's end
Makes of each one a forgotten friend
A companion on the way,
A reflector of our ancient hate
Sometimes, but faithful even then
In that! By showing us reactions deep
Which we have feared to face before
Asleep. This is forgiveness.
Rejoice it is so,
We can awake!
Our burdens and sorrows
Are simply mistakes!
To every involvement an antidote
A certain cure is found
Once we are willing
And ask for help
His Holy Spirit
Turns us around.
"MIRACLES ARE SEEN IN LIGHT" *
There is no darkness
But the darkness of the mind.
There is no problem that is not
Solved within the self-same mind.
For we are Spirit, bright indeed
With brilliance from God.
His Light enlightens us and gives
His strength to meet our every need.
In darkness weakness rears its head
And fools us it is strong.
We see our fears of failure written up
In each despairing song.
The burdens loom like shadow's gloom
Which lengthen in our wake.
But past are they, and fall behind
The light shows up but one mistake,
Belief that we are dark and weak
Alone and full of sin
Of fear and frailty covered o'er
With armour much too thin
To cover long the parlous state
We seem to fear we're in.
It is not true that I and you
Are what we seem to be.
Our strength is light,
Our state is bright.
The darkness that I see in you
Is really what I fear is true
In me, but dare not look at long
Because I fear the pain
Of struggling with its strong
The chains are made of painful words,
Linked up and locked together.
Evidence against God's Son
That he has somehow severed
His connection with His Father dear.
His guilt attracts him ever.
But shine one shaft of loving light
Upon this scene of fear and fright
Remember "Miracles are seen in light"
And darkness flees before my sight.
There's been a change of weather!
* A Course in Miracles - title of Lesson 91
Forgiveness is my sister dear
Jesus told me this is so -
And so I love her tenderly
Remembering she shares with prayer
A sacred function in my life
Unlocking frozen pain and fear
Repressed beneath my conscious mind
In attitudes which curb and bind.
So many things were "law" to me
The taint of right and wrong
The slightest hint of difference
Unleashed my judgement's edge.
And cutting deep I'd comments keep
On everybody's head
To hold against them if they dared
To threaten my serenity.
But she my sister soon did show
That this was hurting me.
The trouble lay not there with them
But deep inside of me.
The slightest pang of discontent
Reaction to events,
Unknown to me was pointing not
Out there at all
But showed that I believed in "sin"
Enshrined within forever since the "fall".
Each niggling pain forgiveness came
To gently rearrange.
Relentless hate I'd harboured changed
Another world I viewed.
The painful "truth" about us all
The barricades against recall
That I had feared to view
Receded drop by drop each day
As I became aware of you
My loving sister new.
Like gentle dew at morning found
Bestowed upon unyielding ground
She came to softly rain
Release upon me too.
In face of parched hard judgement I would hear
Her ask permission in my ear
To help me reconsider ....
Reconsider painful "facts" and briefly wonder whether
They were facts at all or even hard-edged bigotry.
And so I'd look forgiveness' way
And find within my mind
Thoughts like little bits of glass
Broken into slivers,
Fragments of fear embedded deep
Which set my heart a-quiver.
She gently urged me not to fear
But look again and see
If I could just mistaken be.
Perhaps my brother just like me
Could still be viewed quite peacefully
And seen another way.
Another way which absolved blame.
Perhaps he acted out of pain.
And so she turned harsh judgement's blade
Which pointed at my brother,
And showed it pointed then at me
Unless I wanted to be free
From it myself, and asked her help.
"Would you accuse yourself of this?"
She said, "Forgive yourself again.
Your hatred of yourself this is
Not judgement's just revenge."
And so l did and,lo ....!
The pain which was but cover
Was straightway gone and wondrously
Still lovable my brother!
For accusations of myself
I'd mirrored in him plain
As "sin" and cankering offence
Which thought swore could not ever be
Removed or recompensed - were gone!
Forgiveness set her brothers free
As equals and as friends.
And now by sweet reflection I could see
That he was innocent as me...
This change of mind is gentle, kind
Corrects the pain within
And leaves a space for peace and grace
To enter in, to enter in...!
Inspired by the Song of Prayer and
A Course in Miracles a line of which is quoted above
SINGING A SONG OF SORROW
In this mood all I want is to go to my room
Close the door and sink down, further down, into gloom,
Creep right under the covers, protected, alone,
With no-one to bug me, I'm here on my own.
Isolated and brimming with self-righteous rage,
I reflect on my grievances over again.
I'm singing a song of sorrow, the pillow is over my head,
I'm singing of "Nobody loves me, or cares if I'm living or dead".
It's a song of perverted justice,
"Did you hear what that bastard just said...?"
"I certainly didn't deserve it, I'll never forgive what he said."
My stomach is heavy and churning,
There's a pounding of blood in my head,
My body is really reacting,
I think that I'll stay here in bed.
But it's strange how describing in detail my plight,
Seems to bring it all into a different light.
I suddenly realise what's going on
The sound of this "sorrow' is simply a song
Of unmerited suffering, uncalled for pain,
The "daemon' has got me going again!
This vision of living a-wallow in crime
Isn't giving much space for renewal of mind!!
Perversely enjoying this season of sorrow
The way it pervades every bone to the marrow,
I hug it and savour its bitter-sweet flavour.
It's strange how much pleasure I take in behaviour
I find so repugnant in someone quite other - than I am...
OLD ADAM LIES A-SLEEPING ....
Old Adam lies a-sleeping,
A-sleeping on the ground.
His bonds are airy nothing,
Thoughts around him tightly bound.
But who is this a whispering
A whispering in his ear?
A gentle voice is speaking low
"Time to wake up, my dear!"
He stirs, he starts,
He rubs his head.
His pillow is not stone,
A feather bed replaces briers.
He is not alone!
And is this Eve, this woman here
Who led him once astray?
Her troubled face has been replaced
By sweet delight instead.
Where have we been?
Where are we now?
They look around them both
In wonderment, though sleepy still
To believe it they are loath.
Surrounding them on every side
Are trees of beauteous kinds,
And ministering angels call,
Offering cups of wine.
And what this wine significates
Is joy and peace unspoilt,
On tables unforbidden fruit
Is laid out rich in piles.
Smiles replace their grim dream now
And soon they see right well.
The choice is theirs to meditate
On heaven's dream not hell.
And so eventually all dreams
Shall pass from everyone.
Perhaps sooner they may come
If we but change our minds.
At each one's choice
And we'll rejoice with them
As they awake for heaven's sake
Forsaking dreams of conflict sore
While safely home in bed!
As ever I panic
I think it has gone!
But it hasn't
I merely supposed...
"Nothing went wrong
Right under your nose!"
Its that ancient old story
Of sorrow and pain
That tricks us by saying
"Believe ME" again.
Every time I remember
And experience Peace
From the memory
Comes instant and blessed release.
"Heaven is the decision I must make"
Look again "lady' for Heaven's sake!
Decide to be happy
You'll see how it goes
As miracles happen
Right under your nose!
PINCERS OF DEATH
Protestations of pigeon-holed people
That they're less than God made them
Are grand at a distance from me...
And its easy to cope
With their pain feeling sane,
Offering "comfort', concealing disdain.
As if you are somehow beyond it
Can dispense words of wisdom
To dispel foolish notions of blame.
But the panicky note
Clutching now at my throat
Knocks the ground from beneath my feet.
There's no rock there but sand
Shifting, sinking, demands
That I trembling descend to my knees.
The pincers of death are upon me,
Their words are scorching my breath,
Rising up from within,
Come to haunt and to taunt me
With visions and feelings of sin.
They imply I am basically guilty,
Place the mark of the demon on me.
Their jaws hold me tight
In their grasp through the night,
I twist and turn, helpless it seems.
I struggle and fight against bondage
My spiritual innocence seek.
I have taken the lure
But the one simple cure
Is not conflict but peaceful retreat.
To the place where reassurance unbounded
Whispers softly "Believe not these fears",
"You are God's child,
Not a foul guilty traitor,
And He loves you continuously."
ROOM FOR PEACE
Our minds are focussed on the Middle East
There is no time or room for peace,
The monster war is blown up in our minds.
A robin sings as darkness falls,
I stand beneath the tree,
And see his outline small reverberate
With his shrill song.
He little knows of tanks or bombs
But we have seen him fight for fat,
In fierce assault small birds attack,
His territorial rights exact.
Yet surely war is not our final fate,
This Ireland of ancient
"Land of anger", living still
in semi-solid state. But where within this land in truth
Can peace reside but in ourselves,
The place the thought takes root.
The place for peace is anywhere
That we decide to give it room,
To practise putting on one side
Our grim preoccupations' gloom.
Those ancient scores, those running sores
Keep pointing out, not in,
And must be reinforced each day
In case we tire of them
And let them go, forget to tell
Their story to the world.
Forget to raise our voices high
In fruitless protestation.
Forget to fan the embers on
Through successive generations.
And yet the world to Ireland comes
For peace and sense of place,
For quietness, identity,
For friendliness and lack of haste.
Ireland by many far away beloved,
They feel at home when here,
Feel spiritual kith and kin
Of ours as we respond to them.
It all depends which way you look
The picture that you see,
And in the end it all depends
On what you want to see.
Love is the place where hatred ends,
Its hold is ebbing slowly from our hearts,
The only place where bitterness
Can finally depart.
Is there room for peace in a war-torn world?
Is the daily round just toil?
Is there no place where love can live
To bind together and pour in oil?
SETTLING A SEASON
I read the words but as I gaze
My mind skids off across the page,
My eyes are tired and feeling strain
As the focus skips from phrase to phrase.
Why is my ego on the run?
Is the tone of the book some familiar sound
Diagnosing the problem without turning it round?
Its stirring in me an ancient hate,
Its just mildly censorial, that's all,
But it grates.
I close my eyes, but behind the lids
In flickering bursts the movement still skids.
In an instant I settle aware of what is,
I've been seeking without when the trouble's within.
At least I know now I can keep it in view,
Not fight it but follow its passage right through,
Stay with it, no struggle or overt restraint,
No need to interpret or try to escape.
The shifting and throbbing are settling down,
The flickering focuses into a throb, in my lip
Which is beating in time with my heart.
To be with these feelings and know it is safe
Is the true door to freedom, to gently awake.
Harmony enters, slips peacefully in.
Waiting and watching and knowing to stay
Is to welcome the stranger turned often away
Out of fear, but this stranger is offering a gift
Receive it and bless him all sorrow will shift.
These feelings oft buried are a deep longing prayer
For the love that is waiting behind them, right there.
Settling a season, just going within
And not fighting those feelings is not giving in
But transforming all sorrow in a wondrous way
With the help of the Spirit,
A gentle new way.
"TAKE THIS HEART OF MINE" .... He said
Take this heart of mine and offer it
For everyone to hear
Through the sweetness of its music
Its joy will make it dear.
Play it very softly'
Sometimes play it slow,
Play it very gently,
Sometimes play it low
Played with generosity
The heart of love is known.
Take this peace of mine and share it
Spread it far and spread it near
Its lilting rhythms dancing
Keep it ever in your ear.
Exchanging happy glances
As on life's path you go
This peace will grow in kindness
Clear to everyone you know.
Keep this heart of mine beside you
As your friend and faithful guide.
My words will never hurt you
Or lead you into fear,
My words will simply help you
when you need a loving hand
To sustain you, point you, guide you
Back to Heaven through this land!
Take this heart of mine and sing with it,
My Joy is oft unknown
Its laughter needs a voice to sound aloud
Its strength that can't be bound.
Who needs the voice of sorrow still
He hears that every day!
Let my life and love shine through you
As you walk along the way
With a light and airy footstep
Knowing weight upon the ground
Is but a mere illusion
Like a scowl or a frown
That passes like a shadow
In the sweet refreshing rain
Of the presence of a lover
Whom we recognise again.
Dear God, we are your children
Feel your love and we rejoice
We answer deep within us
To the comfort of your voice
For its music stirs a memory
Of being loved and safe.
Totally surrounded with your light
We are not insane!
THE DOLDRUMS OF SPIRIT
The doldrums of spirit are upon me,
The feelings of stagnant and slow.
The moods of a day,
Often settle and stay
Until I resolve
I will blow them away
No space in my spirit for rejoicing.
Resistance empowers the dull,
Makes a cold heavy fog of emotion,
Leaves the spirit unwilling to play.
Like moss on a log I will hold on,
I will spring back when trodden upon.
I will find some resilience from inside
And emerge once again as I may.
I will sing a sweet song, knowing maybe
The spirit that's willing can win,
That the spirit that wants it
Can shine of itself
And can throw off its notion of sin.
THE GOAL IS GOD
The goal is God, indeed.
The means but serve that goal.
The chair in which I sit to meditate
Supports my need for love
As does the cup I lift to slake
My thirst for sustenance from God.
Consideration of the form
Of chair or cup
May have symbolic strength for me
And yet another may not feel that need,
Indeed may even drink direct
With cupped hands from the stream
Or kneel upon the ground
To feel his nearness unto God.
We love the forms we have instilled
With deep significance,
Traditions strength lies in belief
And in our deep content
Those forms do serve
Our primal goal
And thus are heaven sent.
And so are other forms as well
Beliefs we find quite strange
If we could rest in their embrace
We'd doubtless find
Our aim was still sustained.
That we cannot in them believe
Does not invalidate
Their truth to those
Whose path to love
May not to us seem straight
But gently down our inner path
We make our halting ways,
And little detours make it seems
Which often clear away
Those individual obstacles we need to loose.
They go without our knowing
Just how wise
Our inner guide has been
untangling the maze of dreams
Created in our minds.
So let us not become entrenched
In deep theology,
In conflict over God's design
In using different cups and spoons
To feed our hearts desire
But lift our hearts by every means
We find does faith inspire.
If that belief makes your road plain
By all means pass it on!
If it can cheer another heart
Its purpose must be one with God's
Which is His precious Son is freed
From burdens self-imposed,
And in that moment rests as One
That One that Heaven knows!
THE IMPOSSIBLE BELIEF
I believe that a part of me's missing,
I believe I've a hole inside.
I believe it's been taken
My faith has been shaken
In you I'm mistaken
Now for my life I must fight.
But this attitude craven
An image is graven,
An inimical dream about life.
What God has created
Can never be shaken
Or threatened or cut with a knife.
Belief in perfection
Restores our protection
From crazy distortions and strife.
This world's a projection
Of defective perceptions
A shadow obscuring the light.
Acknowledge your power
God gave us that power
To extend the perfection He gave.
To believe imperfection
Simply changes direction
And makes mere illusions seem grave.
The free will He gave us
Can certainly save us
If He can persuade us within
To accept the Atonement
Which wipes out in each moment
Our misgivings, discomfort, chagrin.
To get to the root
Of each trouble, in truth
Is delightful not terrifying,
For when we discover
Old beliefs have no power
We will laugh at the concept of sin.
Old Adam can wake up!
At last he can shake up
Those lumpy hard pillows
Take a look round the garden
The apple's been pardoned
The "lies of the serpent" within
Were untrue and mistaken
Then dreamed all along by him.
No tree has the knowledge
In its fruit or its foliage
Of anything outside of you.
If you eat of its fruit
Your belief extends "oot"
But the dreamer, Beloved,
"TURMOIL BORN OF CLASHING DREAMS"
"Turmoil born of clashing dreams"
Conflicts' ground of changing scenes.
Common sense gives some release
Certainty brings gentle peace
Amidst the noise frustration raised,
A simple thought appeared beneath my gaze,
Awareness of futility of acting from hostility.
Actions based on ancient bargains
Sacrificial notions hardened
By intent to kill not save
Never were nor never will be
Anything but hatred....
Maybe, if I clearly see
And want to change my state
And am prepared to give, forgive
The thoughts of things I thought you did....
Maybe there could be a better way for me.
My prison is within my mind
That is what I really find
When I look within,
A solid state, a frozen mass,
Of habit, skeletal and stuck
In ancient forms,
And yet not finally convincing
For I know that there is something better
As once inspired, impassioned, years ago
I boldly stated thus, that God Himself
Could surely not be less than
Greater than the greatest
Which we could conceive of in ourselves.
By greatest I implied all that is good
And generous, and kind,
Beloved of all and fine, sublime!
This reasoning divine could not be
Refuted now or then - if God
Whose creations we ourselves are,
Be not capable of just perfection,
Neither could we then conceive of such a thing.
So God must all perfection be
And we creators of imperfect form.
No rather say "of forms" for forms
Do speak of limits and particulars.
Perfection cannot hold in finite form
Only in mind can it be even hinted at.
And imperfection cannot be but dream
For we being His cannot be different from Him!
* from a A Course in Miracles
UNDER THREAT OF WAR
If this problem can be solved
Tell me now, by whom?
By Arab? Christian? Muslim? Jew?
My warring self, whatever shape,
Reflected is in you.
Questions of conflict
Of race, religion, politics,
All devolve on attitude.
Through varying forms chameleon-like
We each take up our view,
And then it seems our different screens
Of thought drive mighty beams
Of ancient oak between us two.
If this problem must be solved
I must solve it too with you
My black and white and yellow self,
My red and brown self too:
My fair and dark skinned,
Blonde, brunette or even blue!
The Hindus know their Krishna dear
Depicted dancing with his flute
Delicately veined his skin
As well was blue.
Our gods and objects of our love
Are very varied in their hue.
Our doctrines, dear unto our hearts
Divide our oneness into twos
And drag our gentleness divine
Into that other realm
Where brother hates and factions war
And grievances are borne
Over the edge of death's dark rim,
And held in mind,
Intent on settling scores.
Its all a question of just how
We'd rather have it be...
A horror wave or simply something
To discuss in honour with civility.
To fear the worst or look beyond
To something out of sight
Of fixed perception's outer view
But clearly there to one who penetrates
The hidden causes cease to fight.
If you're a pawn and I'm a knight
We're playing games with rules,
But what we fear is at the end
The rules will force the hand of fools
To violence whose limits stretch
Beyond imagination's bent
To satisfy the crazy thought
Of tyrants' arrogance.
Our dreams we take so seriously
Are like a game of draughts.
We move the pieces, and set up
Our complex lives, charades...
Each action represents some thought
We hold within and then project
upon the world without
Our brother whom we are convinced
Has motives sinister within
Is seen upon our inner space
As representing painful splits
Our psyche fears to deem
Our own, originating in our minds
For fear the blame is ours alone
And we could not withstand the pain
Of what we've done
The lies we've told,
The wrongs that we've conceived
And carried out.
We must project and twist
The blame out there on him.
And what if we are not to blame,
Our earthly life a sham,
With no eternal cost or loss
The earth a temporary form
And Shakespeare's words were true
An "insubstantial pageant"
Past and unremembered too?
Would we return unto our source
As one, not me alone or you?
And all scores gone
All thought of sorrow laughed away
Know joy is all that's ever true.
No bodies to express our pain
Conceived within the dream.
Reality beyond the veil
Would light and love reveal.
We'd thank you for your loving care
For all that we'd forgot to fear.
"WHAT IS INTENT ON YOUR DESTRUCTION
IS NOT YOUR FRIEND"*
The "what" in this case is a thought,
A self-destructive thought.
Or so it thinks! For Self cannot be destroyed
But merely obscured a little while in dreams
Which paint a blacker picture for a season,
Until its truer colours re-emerge and glow
Again as we remember God's sane loving Reason.
For instance I accused myself today
Of "never doing anything properly.'
This ego thought, habitual and cruel
Leaves a trail of uncompleted action
Stretching back in time, proclaiming imperfection
Plain to see and sullying me with blame,
Which in the present operates and blights
Each project rising up in sight
And damns its progress and conclusion
As a brake on joy and satisfaction.
Start it once again, yes, if you dare,
But finish never, for you never have and never will
Do not deserve to share in peace and love
Which others have.
Abundance given freely to those better men
Deserving of proud labour's just deserts.
But never I, somehow inferior.
The ego's counterfeit of God's own Son
Whom He created pure and like Himself,
For Him, the ego substitutes
His shaky edifice, a mere distortion
Of an outline traced, caricatured, which
In parody bears not the least resemblance!
But what to do about it then, I ask...
Maligned by ego's ugly picture,
Should I goad myself into a frantic scurry
Of activity in fear that it is true
And only can be overcome by action's fruit.
No, though this gentle overview
Does not preclude activity at all,
It merely shows this insane thought's effect
And clears belief that it is true.
I do not need a picture such as this
To rule my actions or to judge events
Before they happen and look back
Determining my future failings from the past.
A room before me needs some freshening now I deem
The vacuum cleaner is at hand.
In peace I start to move and stay in peace.
I do not need to judge myself
Or hold this job despairing out before me
Feeling I just cannot bear
To "do it properly".
Another "strong" idea I see,
Testifying I am weak!
A lie about God's Son whose strength
Is unopposed and does not live
Upon this plane at all
Of shifting shadows, dust and thrall
To drudgery and sorrow.
No! He does not need to prove himself complete.
He is, he lives in peace!
"Who can find safety from attack
By turning on himself?"*
Indeed such thoughts have been attack,
And nothing else! I have been blinded
By the glasses I put on to see!
Crippled by the chains I wore,
About my feet, quite voluntarily....
I need not judge the work I undertake
As God the Father did me make.
I am His Son and that which I create
Is perfect too, so I am told.
And on this plane of sad or happy dreams
The difference only is of agitation or of peace.
In truth all dreams are but themselves,
Traceless equations on a clear blue sky,
Have no effects but in the dream,
Its characters more peaceful seem
As they begin to wake
Unto the nature of the dream.
Its tragedy, its comedy, its long-waged wars
And petty grievances.
Its noble souls, its down and outs,
Its players, fools, each dressed
To suit the part they took
As written in the author's book.
Behind the scenes each one a sham
An act played well or mean
Adds up to nought, a big round 0
A flimsy pretext of a show.
A neighbour living near for years
Beyond a fence of sticks, a wall,
Is nothing in our mind but just a name,
A presence, sometimes kind.
But maybe rooted in our mind
Are shifting feelings too of hate
Which serve to keep the wall
Of judgements up - "that young man's thin
And pale" we say, and though our dog
Accosted him and bit his leg
We swear the dog knew best
And bit his ill intent!
The watchword is PEACE in dreams of pain.
Just peace, not fighting to reclaim
Our lost possessions or our blighted sense
Of self-worth which events proclaim exposed
For ever. "What if I should be found out?"
Humiliation mocks us still.
No! Peace unto all, unto all I say.
Peace answers all.
*from A Course in Miracles
NO PARTNER IN CRIME!
When lowering in a pensive mood
Of deeds misplaced
I spent a darkened sunny day
With head bowed low
No time for play,
Vexation snapping at my heels
Frustration sapping peace and cheer.
But when my partner ceased to say
A word related to the fray,
When sighs and frowns
Brought only from him
Mild remarks about the garden ....
I realised I'd better change
My mood and waste no more
Delicious Sunday peace time
Its strange how simply sitting down
And basking in the sunny summer light
A glossy magazine transports
The mind to matters pleasant
Though of small import to me
Restores the balance to tranquility.
The cloud recedes and peace descends.
Eternity is not at end
But present happily.
The day I thought that I had lost
Stretched gently on into the night.
Awakening early at first light
I still could doze, enjoy, no strife
Was left to take into the day
All trace had washed quite clean away.