The Cat And The Mouse — Revised

Once, there lived a cat and a mouse
In an average suburban house

The cat got his meals every day
Even when his owners were away

The cat had nothing to worry about
But there was something that he was without

He felt alone, even among mankind
For they could not understand his mind

So the cat felt lonely without a peer
But there was one other animal near

The mouse had to scavenge for every meal
And to run and hide when the women squeal

For he fears every moving being
And he is always from their sight fleeing

The cat seems to know that he’s the master
And he knows he can always run faster

And the cat knows that he is duty bound
To chase down every mouse that’s around

But the cat has had enough of killing
And to chase, he is no longer willing

For every time he does a mouse kill
He gets less and less of a feline thrill

And he thinks, “I would rather have a friend
Than see the life of this last old mouse end”

And so he waits for the mouse to come out
Of his hole, and to step gently about

But the mouse smells and sees the cat waiting
And he thinks that he is only baiting

After some nights without seeing the mouse
The cat walks back and forth throughout the house

The cat thinks, “I really need a new friend
But this mouse does not seem to comprehend

That my intentions about him are good
He has not accepted or understood”

Then the cat had a wonderful new thought
And to the mouse’s hole some good food brought

But still, the mouse refused to go outside
And from the cat, he continued to hide

Finally, the mouse had nothing to eat
And he wondered if he should take the treat

“Is it better to hunger in this place
Or to take the risk of death and disgrace?”

But then he thought, “For many countless years
Cats and mice have been at odds, it appears

But perhaps this cat is just not the same
And has finally given up the game”

In the end, the mouse risked it and came out
He hunted for the food and sniffed about

He smelled the cat around, and saw the food
But when he took a crumb, the cat just mewed

Then the mouse thought, “Could this really be true?
Can this cat shun what he was raised to do?”

At long last, although the cat could not speak
He won the mouse’s trust after a week

And now these former enemies are friends
And the mouse has a joy that never ends

For he forgives the cat for killing his kin
And the cat also feels that it’s a win-win

For now he has a friend who understands
And his friendship with him rests in good hands

And, who knows? Maybe someday the owners
Will see them, and will no longer be loners

And when they see the cat and mouse playing
Maybe they will also cease their slaying

And by the example of these two friends
They’ll also find a joy that never ends

Haunted Houses

What are these photos doing on the wall?
Does she show her parents to those who call?
What is this strange music that fills the room?
Has the dead singer risen from his tomb?
Why are we watching, once more, this old show?
Can the dead actors give us a happy glow?
Are we surrounding ourselves with ghosts?
And, further, are we their virtual hosts?
For they say that this world could be a dream,
That our life is just a matrix-like scheme;
But if we are all actors in a play,
What happens when our bodies all decay?
Do we go to a place that is more real,
Where we can clearly think and really feel?
Or must we still haunt all our offspring,
Those cheerful children waiting in the wing?

Will the real people please make themselves known,
So I’m not in this haunted house alone?

The Judge

This poem is in the form of a ballad.

A child was born, his mother’s first,
Who tried each thing he could;
Each thing he tasted with his mouth,
And judged if it was good.

A growing boy, he learned from books
What men did love and prize;
He learned of virtue and of good,
And he became more wise.

So he did take his lessons all,
And saw the world through them;
He judged each thing with expertise,
Be it a rock or gem.

The man became an expert judge,
And, all throughout the land,
His judgment was a valued thing,
For his unbiased stand.

But after many years of life,
The man began to doubt;
He felt his judgments were not just;
What was it all about?

The things he’d learned in all the books,
He felt were simply air;
The judgments that he’d made till now,
They were not just or fair.

He felt he could not see the whole,
And he felt quite confused;
Have I been wrong about my life?
Have I my job misused?

How do I know how things will work,
When all is said and done?
The things that I have judged against
Could be the shining sun.

And so the judge withdrew his claim
That he could wisely make
Decisions for those who wanted them;
He felt he’d been a fake.

I’m not aware of all the things
That go into our life;
And if I stop my judgments now,
Perhaps I’ll know less strife.

It was a heavy burden that
I’ve carried on my back;
I’ve judged against or for a man;
I’ll drop my heavy pack.

And from now on I will not judge;
I’ll let Someone more wise;
He sees and knows how all things work;
He has clean thoughts and eyes.

Each thing that I did judge against,
It could have been His plan,
To use it as a way to life;
I will no longer ban.

And now the man accepts all things;
He’s free, and he is glad;
He lets the Spirit do His work,
Calls nothing good or bad.

And if he finds his mind goes back
To its judgmental ways,
He views his thoughts, but lets them go,
And so he spends his days.

It’s Not Worth Fighting For

This crazy world is not worth fighting for
Our struggles are rewarded with more pain
Why would we want another pointless war?

Our strength is slipping out an open door
Disease has entered both our heart and brain
This crazy world is not worth fighting for

Survival never was this hard before
Ideas come, but are they even sane?
Why would we want another pointless war?

Is there some shelter on a distant shore?
If peace can come, then let it always reign
This crazy world is not worth fighting for

All sides are losing with a zero score
When we compete, more stress is what we gain
Why would we want another pointless war?

When guilt and fear are gone, as long before
Our love will shine with joy we cannot feign
This crazy world is not worth fighting for
Why would we want another pointless war?

This poem is based on a specific form called the villanelle. The villanelle has the following structure: A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2, where the letters “a” and “b” show that there are only two rhyme sounds in the poem; the upper case letter “A” represent the refrains; and the numbers 1 and 2 represent refrain 1 and refrain 2. The two refrains have the same rhyming sound at the end but they are different phrases, so they are indicated with the numbers 1 and 2.

The Mistake of Equating Sex and Love

We said before that all real pleasure comes from doing God’s will. Whenever it is not done, an experience of lack results. This is because not doing the will of God is a lack of self.
A Course in Miracles: Complete and Annotated Edition, T-1.46.3:3-5

The pleasure which is derived from sex as such is reliable only because it stems from an error which people shared. Awareness of the error produces guilt. Denial of the error results in projection. Correction of the error brings release. The only valid use of sex is procreation. It is not truly pleasurable in itself.
A Course in Miracles: Complete and Annotated Edition, T-1.46.5:1-6:2

Though mistaken you have often been,
You have never committed a mortal sin,
For a mortal sin would condemn you to hell,
With no release, as you seem to know well;
But all your errors can be undone
By the Holy Spirit, one by one.
—Alan Steinle, from “Your Salvation Is Not Far”

This essay will discuss the mistake of equating sex and love. I define love as the sharing of all of oneself with all that is. Love is, therefore, unlimited spiritual union. I will also begin with the premise that our true identity is free and unlimited love, and that we share our Creator’s nature, but that we have become unaware of our real identity. We are not aware of our real identity of love, which joins us to every other part of creation.

In the world at this time, sex is often seen as an expression of intense love for another person. In fact, sex has become the foundation of the “special relationship,” which is a relationship of specialness and exclusivity between partners. However, sex cannot be equated with real love, as defined above, for the following reasons: (1) Sex is limited. That is, one cannot have sex with everyone. (2) More importantly, sex is not an effective means of sharing or union.

To begin with point (1), sex is limited. One cannot have sex with everyone in the world. Sex is usually limited to one partner in a special relationship, and it becomes the focal point of that relationship. If a person has sex with someone outside of the relationship, that person is called promiscuous, unfaithful, and untrue. The very fact that sex is limited in this way makes sex different from love, as defined above, which seeks to be shared with everyone in all dimensions. Many have tried to make sex more like love by experimenting with “free love,” wife swapping, and polygamous marriages, but this compromise approach still limits sex to a finite group and this limitation is not satisfactory and it keeps sex from being the same as real love. To exclude anyone from our love is to try to limit love and to keep love from being what it really is.

Even if one could have sex with everyone without limitations, sex still could not be equated with love because of point (2). That is, sex is not an effective means of sharing or union. Although bodies can touch, they cannot join. Only minds can join in union. Therefore, to search for sharing or union in the act of sex is to be disappointed and dissatisfied, again and again. In fact, the separation of minds and lives is the usual result of sexual relationships. Those who attempt to maintain special relationships over time, in the face of disappointment, often live in a fantasy world and believe that they cannot find anything better.

Specifically, sex produces different sensations in the two partners. Because of different body types, the partners do not feel the same physical sensations. In addition, one partner could be feeling pleasure while the other partner could be feeling pain or nothing. One partner could be intent on conquering the other as an exploit, while the other partner could be feeling exploited or used. One partner could desire to have sex often, while the other partner could come to see sex as boring and overrated. One or both partners could be thinking of someone else while having sex. One or both partners could desire to be with another person. Since sex has been associated with love, and love is naturally unlimited and free, the partners naturally become attracted to individuals outside of the special relationship. Because this attraction is taboo and censored in most societies, the partners can feel guilty and then project this guilt onto each other and accuse each other of unfaithfulness.

Thus, sex has a way of alienating the partners, and bringing about dissatisfaction and disappointment, even while bodies are close to each other. The Chinese have a saying: “One bed, two dreams.” John Lennon made an album called Double Fantasy. And Stevie Wonder wrote and sang, “Do I do what you do, when I do my love for you?” The answer to this musical question is most certainly “No.” Partners in special relationships tend to become isolated and to live in separate fantasy worlds that continue to clash with each other.

For the above reasons, we can see that it is a mistake to equate sex and love and to value the special relationship that has sex as its foundation. If sex is not love, and bodies cannot really join, then what is the alternative? The solution is for all minds to join in the joy of oneness and love and for all physical actions, including sex, to be subordinate to the will of the mind. In this way, all actions will be guided by the will of the collective, and sex will not be any more or less enjoyable than any other physical action. And it will not separate people into exclusive special relationships.

Sex is not sinful, but as long as we equate love and sex, we will be blind to the real love that is in us and that is us. Love is what we are, not something that we need to look for guiltily in a limited area, as if we were beggars who do not really deserve the sustenance that is given to us, and which we have not earned. If love is, by nature, unlimited and free, then we should not look for it in a limited, exclusive relationship. If love is also our own nature, and if someday we will regain the awareness of ourselves and know our true nature, then we should not feel guilty about wanting or seeking what is truly ours. Let’s accept correction for our tired old mistakes, although our new thinking may contradict the thinking of most of the people in the world.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
—attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer

The ultimate purpose of the body is to render itself unnecessary. Learning to do this is the only real reason for its existence.
A Course in Miracles: Complete and Annotated Edition, T-1.46.8:5-6

Mistress Math

This is a tragicomic poem.

Long ago, Math left her obscurity,
And, soon after, she lost her purity;
Men have embraced her in every field,
For when they ask her, she always does yield;
For she enjoys all of the attentions,
And men ignore all of her false pretensions;
See her standing under that pale lamp light?
She is valued most in the dead of the night;
For each scientist reads in his textbooks
Of her sine-wave curves and charming good looks.

She says, “Prove it all night, prove it all night!
Come and make love to me with all your might!”
How can she seduce so many good men?
How can she go where most have never been?
She’s a mistress who comes from abstraction;
That’s her strength and her fatal attraction;
She continually keeps you guessing,
And her love is a curse and a blessing;
For while men use her to prove that they’re right,
She has the last laugh in the morning’s light.

How has she led so many men from truth?
How has she wasted many a man’s youth?
She is deceptively simple at first,
But, in the end, she can make your brain burst;
For, at the start, she is easy indeed,
But her complexity can make your heart bleed;
At first, she says that you’re the only one,
While she is, with your colleague, having fun;
And just when you think you have figured her out,
A suspicious idea from your mind will sprout.

In every lab and in every field,
Men to her great power have kneeled;
For she teaches that what can be counted
Is real, while all else should be discounted;
She makes men mad trying to quantify
The world, but they’re working to simplify
The things that they still don’t understand,
The knowledge that is slipping through their hand;
They count something, and say that’s what it means;
They make models and graphs of complex scenes.

How does Math get away with all these things?
Why is she the tune that each scientist sings?
She tells men they truly understand her,
And that they now can fully command her;
And men are fooled by this simple deception,
As they simplify each new perception;
For if they cannot truly comprehend
All of the world’s wonders and apprehend,
They return to what they learned in their schools,
Where they recited their fact charts and rules.

So don’t be surprised when you see a shrink
Adding up all the thoughts that you think,
And don’t look so shocked when you find out
That someone dissected Einstein’s mind out;
For the doctor thought he needed to know
How each blood vessel did pump and flow;
And when he had counted all the brain cells,
And analyzed all the chemical smells,
He believed he knew the man in the brain,
But no true wisdom did he really gain.

When the astronomers count all the stars,
They’ll be no closer to knowing about Mars;
For though Math tells us we can use her skills,
Quantifying all qualities just chills
The heart that wants to know and comprehend,
And truly wants the whole world for a friend;
And those who think that they know their lovers
By counting their toes under the covers,
Have been misled by all of Math’s seductions,
And have blindly followed her instructions.

I’m going to tell you how to resist
Math’s skills, when she does forcefully insist
That she is understanding’s only source,
That she is on wisdom’s pathway and course;
You need to know that only One is real;
It is the only number that can heal;
All other numbers are imaginary;
They are One’s imagined adversary;
But if you would follow after Math’s charms,
You’d be attacking One with powerless arms.

All the differences cannot be arranged
Into groups without becoming estranged;
Everyone who needs more than one number
Is still in a dream, and still does slumber;
Two is the beginning of confusion
For those who keep living in illusion;
But One is what everyone will see
When men forsake Math and from her flee;
Math is the mistress of separation,
But single-mindedness is reparation.

Dancing With The Dead: The Fall Of Civilization And The Return Of Life

What have we done with the world? With our civilization, we have sought to make the permanent out of the impermanent, the eternal out of the temporary. We have eternity in our hearts, but we don’t understand that this world is not eternal and cannot be a firm foundation for our hopes. Bodies and other physical things are, by their nature, changeable and temporary. How could they, then, be forms worthy to house eternal beings? Bodies will never be suitable homes for us to live in, eternally. In a body, we can learn that we don’t need a body to live. However, if we place our hopes in a physical body as an eternal home for our spirit, we will always be disappointed with our body, and we might even attack our body for not being what we want it to be.

In order to make this world more orderly and less frightening, we have done many things. We have made buildings of uniform temperature and size, and we have made highways with smooth, even surfaces and with few unexpected twists and turns. We have paved the world with flat, uniform surfaces because we are afraid of the unusual and unexpected. In our civilization, we have made the world as we want it to be, and we simply cannot see or perceive anything else. We collect the books, music, and movies that reinforce our view of the world. Our books tell us only what we want to know. Our music makes us feel only how we want to feel.

Civilization is not decaying. It is dead. Something that is decaying still has life and can be used as nourishment for another type of organism. Civilization is dead because it is frozen in one type of thinking. It is a closed loop in which few challenges to the expected norms can enter.

Why have we made this kind of civilization? It is because we are afraid of change. According to A Course in Miracles, we are afraid of change because the first change we experienced was the change from oneness, love, joy, and knowledge, to a state in which we are without these things. We don’t realize that another change is needed to help us return to our original state of joy, love, knowledge, oneness, and peace. Creation is currently shattered, separated out into isolated bodies and objects. We make our environment uniform so that we won’t be so afraid of it and so it will resemble the oneness that we lost. However, when we try to make physical things uniform and permanent, we only temporarily delay the change that is in their nature. Our spirits are indestructible and eternally secure, so we don’t need to worry about them. Our bodies are impermanent and changeable, so we don’t need to worry about them, either. We don’t need to worry about anything.

The following quotation is from a book of prophecy called Jeremiah.

“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
Broken cisterns
That can hold no water.”
(Jeremiah 2:13, NASB)

What is life? Our spirit already has eternal life. Our body does not have any life of its own. It is merely a vehicle for the spirit, and it will disintegrate when the spirit leaves it. What does the quotation above mean? God says that we have made two mistakes. We have abandoned God, who gives us life (who is a “fountain of living waters”), and we have made containers for ourselves that cannot hold or contain or preserve life. I think that God is saying that we cannot find or preserve life with our dead civilization. God must inspire us with his thoughts each moment if we are to have real life. His thoughts teach us what is real and worthy and what is unreal and unworthy of a spiritual creation of God. Bodies and buildings are not worthy houses for unlimited, free spirits. However, because we have made the mistake of thinking we can find eternity in a changeable world, we think that we can preserve our spontaneous ideas and thoughts in a book and call those frozen thoughts knowledge. We think that we can preserve our spontaneous joy in a music file. And we think that we can buy and sell our knowledge and joy. However, knowledge and joy are our inheritance, and not something that can be bought and sold and preserved in physical objects. Our physical objects cannot hold spontaneous life (or “living water”). They can only limit life.

When we realize that our spirits are eternally secure, we won’t put our trust in crumbling bodies and we won’t try to preserve knowledge and joy in material objects. Instead, we will look to God for continuous inspiration and life. Our happiness will come from the assurance that once we learn that all of our mistakes cannot permanently keep us in a state of separation from God or each other, and that we don’t need to feel guilt or fear for our mistakes, we will be free to let God take the final step of lifting us up out of this temporary world into eternity.

Before we all return to eternity, however, we will have the opportunity to prepare and purify our minds in a world that civilization cannot touch, a world in which fear of change does not disturb the happiness and love we feel for each other, a world in which the spirits, temporarily using bodies, interact with each other in freedom and harmony.

The Three Views

This poem is a Shakespearean sonnet about believers, atheists, and agnostics.

Believers tell us daily, “God is there,”
Although no one has proved that he exists;
Their only weakness is that they’re aware
That doubt and worry in their minds persists.

The atheists do tell us, “God is not;
Forget the fairy stories you believe;
We must remove, from earth, all of this rot;
Your pastors, priests, and teachers do deceive.”

Agnostics freely tell us, “God may be;
However, we are not, like you, so sure;
We will not judge the matter till we see,
Until the thoughts we think become mature.”

Of these, how can I know which view to trust?
I will believe my life comes not from dust.

[The Kansas song says that we are “Dust In The Wind,” but maybe we are really wind (spirit) in the dust.]

Not My Beast

Many people turn against politicians, point their fingers at them, and blame them for all of their problems. However, this world was made to be opposite to heaven and to oppose God’s will, and as long as the world is valued as a way to be separate from God and different from heaven, there will be no end to problems.

We can use this world to learn what we want to learn. We can learn that God is our friend or that he is our enemy, that God should be loved or that he should be feared. If we believe that God should be feared, we will put our faith in something besides God. Some people believe in only themselves, but others feel the need to believe in and belong to something that is greater than themselves. But if we join a group that includes less than everyone, we deny God’s oneness, inclusiveness, and love. A group that includes some and excludes others is a group that I will call the Beast in this essay. The Beast is different from God in the following ways:

1) The Beast includes some in the group and excludes everyone else. God includes everyone in his love and acceptance.
2) The Beast says that the insiders are better than the outsiders. God weeps for those who are temporarily lost outside in their isolation.
3) The Beast uses fear to control people. God uses love to unite all of creation.
4) The Beast uses hatred and suspicion to divide people. God uses forgiveness to reconcile people.
5) The Beast rewards loyalty with money, gifts, and short-lived fame. God gives everything of worth to all of his children.
6) The Beast claims that the insiders are superior and special. God knows that all of his children have special abilities, but when everyone has returned to heaven, everyone will possess all abilities.
7) The Beast uses secrecy to maintain power. God promotes true communication as a way to restore minds to sanity and love.
8) The Beast speaks with dark and contradictory words to divide and confuse. God communicates with one will and one voice to all who will listen.
9) The Beast claims that physical things, such as bodies and money, are the most important things. God knows that only the eternal is real and that the body is only a temporary learning device.

No one can serve two masters. We can choose to serve God or the Beast, but we cannot serve both at the same time.

Those who feel the need to belong to something greater than themselves will not be satisfied until they join God’s complete creation. This might require giving up the body and this world, but these two things have no value in themselves. They merely exist to help us learn to give up their empty gifts and accept the joy of knowing that we are not alone, that we are part of God’s universal brotherhood.

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