TRUTH THAT TRANSCENDS DOGMA

TRUTH THAT TRANSCENDS DOGMA

“Keep your hypothesis open,”

my mentor Morton told me.

He taught me that evil

feeds on ego’s popular illusion:

“My truth is the whole truth.”

Reasonable thinking,

scientific thinking at its best,

does not allow ultimatums

to trash further exploration and

evolution of new truth.

Bonheoffer discovered that truth

is relative;

and Einstein’s

cosmic theory

hinges on relativity.

Gandhi said truth

was the highest good,

and to be a truth-seeker

was the ultimate pathway

of genuine love,

through nonviolent resistance

against all injustice.

Our sacred scriptures

proclaim, “…and the truth

will set you free.”

Explore the truth

without hesitation

wherever you find it

with reasonable thinking

and an open heartedness,

maintaining a humility

that empowers you to

avoid hubris

and laziness.

To maintain your

Soul Freedom

is of the essence in

pursuing meaning and purpose

in all circumstances.

Our inner spirit

is faithful;

your Inner Voice

shall never fail you.

The trickster does come

and life is tested,

while doubt and disbelief

have their tenuous

flings.

You shall be refined

by fire without being consumed,

swept into deep waters

without drowning;

you shall rise beyond belief

into knowing,

and you shall stroll

unburned

in the Great Furnace

of blissful unknowing.

If you must,

change your friends;

now you must choose

between your wise soul

and bondage to any

external mandate.

If you must,

change your lifestyle,

because you must choose

between synchronicity

and compulsivity.

If you must,

change your attitudes,

because you become

what you desire

you become

what you think.

There is a Force,

Unseen and always seeing;

Unknown and always knowing;

Absent from the mind;

present within the soul.

“Fear not, little flock;

Abba is giving you

the Kingdom of God.

It is already

within you.

 

Whatever your circumstance,

wake up

and

see;

surrender to

the truth of Love

and the love of Truth.”

-Hal Edwards

September 27, 2015

Wauconda

OBSERVING MY ILLUSION OF SHAME

OBSERVING MY ILLUSION OF SHAME

Why, I just observed

a stark feeling of shame

sneaking in through my front door,

snaking down the hallway,

slithering momentarily

before disappearing

in the blink of an eye.

Today I know

I am not that shame;

nowadays I observe

those deceptive gaps

when I feel smothered

by this familiar illusion—

an illusion I once thought

to be reality.

How deep are the

origins of my old dictums.

Their reverberations revisited

take me back into my

innocent and naïve years

of childhood.

Always trying harder

to be whatever

I should be, or ought

to be

(god knows

whatever that meant),

I did my best

to look good

and

do “the right thing,”

lest I loose my

ego-constructed

image (mirage?) of success

and well-being.

Sometimes I forget

that I am an Octogenarian.

And I place unnecessary

expectations on myself.

My physical energy

no longer parallels

those foregone younger years;

there is a definite sense

of loss and grief,

(or false guilt?)

which, misunderstood

and unattended consciously,

feigns to become shame.

Embracing my natural

and quite magnanimous

passage into impermanence,

I again embrace

my metamorphosis,

my transformation,

my passage

from youth to old age.

Turning the illusion of shame

into the reality of gratitude

is the meaning of this moment

and the heart of

this little exercise.

It’s a good thing

to wake up

again.

-Hal Edwards

Wauconda

September 24, 2015

MY LAST COLONOSCOPY

MY LAST COLONOSCOPY

I’m now at that wonderful age

when I am finished

with my final colonoscopy

during this lifetime!

The morning started quite well.

I felt calm and quiet and

let any concerns go during

my daily meditation time.

The thought-provoking part was

the day before

during the hours it took

to consume one cup of “preparation”

every ten minutes,

until all four liters

were “spent!”

By midnight

I felt like a thoroughly whooshed

car,

interior washed and vacuumed,

now spick ‘n span,

emerging

from a highly proficient

automated carwash!

On a conscious level

I felt very much at ease;

I did not fall asleep

until 4:00,

and I rather suspect now

that it may have had

something to do with

some upcoming adventure.

You reckon so?

Jill and I waited

for my name to be called.

Medicare and insurance card,

with my list of meds and supplements

in hand,

I was greeted with

signatures, more questions and

my special ID arm band.

Finally my magic name

was heard;

a nurse ushered

us through a door

where I received my

appropriate attire.

Southern exposure gown

astutely wrapped around

my naked wrinkles,

I packed my stuff

in a special plastic bag and

walked across the hall

to my personal nurse,

my personal gurney,

and my personal room.

I signed a document

promising not to drive

the remainder of the day,

not to make any hard decisions,

to eat lightly, no work,

and rest.

A hug and kiss from Jill

and I’m off to the races.

“What do you do?” she asked.

“I listen to people,” I told my

magnificent attending nurse.

She had a sense of humor

and a depth of presence

that completely relaxed me

as we relocated into the

Colonoscopy O.R.

Dr. Anesthesiologist

turned me on my side,

gently adjusting my gown

for the upcoming adventure.

We swapped light stories

while nurses prepared my

arm to receive the

Happy Gas.

At the precise moment

I said, “Bye ya’ll. See you later,”

and smiling, everyone said,

“Bye now.”

Now, I’m sure

something must have happened

during my wonderful snooze.

I awoke feeling rested and

happy, remembering nothing.

“Honey, kiss me,” I said,

and a strange voice came back,

“She’ll be here shortly.”

The doc said, “You got

an A-plus!! Congratulations!

“By the way, you look 65,

not 80!”

Well, that was a great way

to wake up!

It was a perfectly warm

almost autumn afternoon,

sections of a few trees

aflame with memorable Fall tint.

We swayed together in our hammock

until my tummy

said otherwise,

so I sat nearby

and we continued

reading aloud from

an old favorite,

C S Lewis’

Great Divorce.

All that was just yesterday.

As I write today

I glance out my

French door window

and see the empty hammock.

The wilting tomato vines

continue to ripen and sweeten

their Brandywine heirlooms.

Another “last rose of summer”

blooms.

Invisible warm breezes,

unseen, yet totally present,

compose a huge mystical oscillation

of ten thousand trillion swaying leaves.

Yesterday’s visit to Good Shepherd Hospital,

and that sleepless night before,

now linger upon these numinous currents,

colorfully melding into another season

already being born.

Hal Edwards

September 17, 2015

Wauconda

SIGNS OF THE SEASONS

SIGNS OF THE SEASONS

Ah, signs of the seasons
are evident
in our gardens.

Cornflowers
are turning brownish black,
about to drop their seeds
for next Spring’s Surprise.

Dahlias, glorious and dazzling,
are also burning and gnarling
in their hallowed impermanence.
Acorn squash,
falling off their umbilical cords,
are ready for the feast table.

Concrete leafy evidence of
Fall’s inevitable surrender
sprinkles our lawn.

Am I ready
to salute our voluptuous harvest
and welcome another Cold Hug?

Hal Edwards, Wauconda, September 10, 2015

LATER LOVES

LATER LOVES

We are later loves,

yet, right on time;

our years and tears

of experience, loss and

refined trust

have yearned and earned

this shared wonder.

Impossible to comprehend

and always sought

with integrity,

we have been given

open doors.

It is all about

truthseeking and courage,

healing and growing,

living in the now

and walking faithfully

into the Great Unknown.

Soul open to soul,

eyes that invite eternity

into the heartland

of our intimacy,

this sacred and shared space

basks in gratitude.

ONE LITTLE YELLOW FLOWER

ONE LITTLE YELLOW FLOWER

I spent a week
in Assisi
with Francis
in August 1982,
celebrating his
800th birthday.

Intoxicated by love,
I wandered through the
colorful display of flowers,
trillions of flowers,
every size and shape,
full and scattered
across several hospitable
Umbrian farmlands
surrounding
this mythic village.

Wine, cheese and
a loaf of fresh Italian bread
in my knapsack, I
followed my intuition,
not knowing where and why, I
got lost and found again
in a veritable wonderland
of “Little Flowers.”

One day I sat at his tomb,
buried inside tons of cement
beneath the Upper Church
where Napoleon stabled
his horses.

Hundreds of prayer candles
blanketed one corner of the
cave-shaped sanctuary.
I sat motionlessness through
numerous masses
celebrated in many
different languages.

His cushioned sandals,
customized by Clare
to protect the stigmata
in his bleeding feet,
and his legendary robe,
a patchwork made from
swatches from poor friends,
were encased nearby.

Legend, history,
myth and meaning
flooded my psyche and soul.

I climbed nearby
Mount Sabasio ,
found my little sanctuary
near his prayer cell
in the dense forest
and read Kazantzakis’
Francis.

As I encountered a man
who kissed a leper,
transcending his greatest fear;
I felt his living soul
pulsating through my soul,
calling me deeply
into the truth
of myself.

Riveted by his overwhelming
austerity, love and clarity,
a simple image
remains more vivid
than all the others.

I hiked up
Assisi’s pinnacle to
the ageless Roca,
an ancient Roman Fortress,
still commanding it’s
impressive citadel.

I sat for a long time,
meditating, waiting, taking in
the energy of daunting, massive walls
surrounding a Roman catapult.
Suddenly, I was visited
by a total surprise.

A beautiful, perfectly formed
small yellow flower
commanded my entire attention.
Unmistakably powerful
and powerless,
I witnessed a flower strong enough
to grow out of a rock!

That, it became clear to see,
was what Francis was all about.
His gentle simplicity
and conscious powerlessness
inflames all our dark fears
with the fires of Love.

Hal Edwards
May 15, 2015
Wauconda

EPITAPH

EPITAPH

Oh, we do arrive

and we do go.

So much happened

before I arrived,

and much more

will happen

after I go.

And always,

it does seem,

there will be more

to do,

more to become,

and still more

left undone,

left for others

and other times;

while, at the same time,

all is perfectly well.

Weeds not pulled,

a bridge not finished,

manuscripts to refine

and poems

not published;

Every day unfolds

its

magical mystery

and mystical

madness—

and gladness.

I scan the obits,

I peruse their accomplishments—

my contemporaries,

those younger and

those older.

Stories and memories

surface, and fade away,

as I turn the next page

and check on

today’s weather report.

My ashes will forego

a headstone

with elegant epitaph;

they shall,

however,

like yours,

bequeath inevitable

imprints and ripples of

perfected imperfection,

creeks and rivers and

oceans of Love.

I hear my favorite crow

cawing, cawing, cawing, cawing

four times.

All is well.

On with another

unfolding day.

Hal Edwards

June 24, 2015

Wauconda

FEAR AND LOVE

 

FEAR AND LOVE

 

Sometimes

it takes

ten thousand years

to come into Love.

 

Sometimes

it takes

milliseconds

to come into Love.

 

Something deep

and eternal

in the soul of us

seeks and knows

Love.

 

Love brought us here

and Love

welcomes us

into Itself.

 

While Fear merely thinks,

Love always knows.

 

Will and

readiness

to trust

through and beyond

Fear

opens this Door.

 

Without fear

we would not come to trust;

without trust

we would not know Love,

because we cannot think Love,

we can only

receive and give Love.

We can only know Love.

 

Fear is the

chasm of control,

the traumatic fog

where rational ego

is tricked

by an invisible Force.

 

Fear is a ravenous river

capable of drowning all

desires and attachments

of a lifetime.

 

Fear exposes

the Other Side

of our preferred identity,

our dark and denied,

our lost and orphaned,

awaiting Love’s Perfection.

 

Without Fear’s mentorship

we could not know Love—

nor our true Self.

 

Facing and embracing

Brother Fear,

we realize

our total Union

in Sister Love;

for Love awaits us

within

each wounded treasure,

now finally restored,

made safe and

humbled

by gentleness.

 

Hal Edwards

May 28, 2015

Wauconda

FATHER MATTHEW KELTY

FATHER MATTHEW KELTY

What a character!

This old monk,

warrior-lover,

rough and smoothed

as iron by warm butter,

focused and refined

by suffering in

Divine Love.

Merton’s trustworthy

spiritual director,

sanctifying confidences

never to be known

to the outer world,

treasures of Masters

beyond our years,

they both bask in glory.

Bones and flesh

now transmuted

into soil and soul,

their legacies

dance in our hearts

and memories

as we stand on

their shoulders.

Early morning masses,

a delightfully stubborn ox,

an otherworldly smile

on his face,

eyes curled heavenward,

he

quotes beloved Blake’s

“Little lamb, Who made thee?”

Precious monk-man,

your infectious presence

reverberates

unique mind-soulfulness,

even now,

incubating our hearts.

Matthew Kelty,

we are not the same

because you seeded

our pregnant Way,

heartening

our hunger and passion.

Your oar, like

Odysseus’ winnowing fan,

stirred and guided

us with vigor

and integrity.

Your passion

blazes bright

with and within us,

as we humbly

ingest and invest

your eloquent markings,

firmly imprinted

upon our

souls.

Hal Edwards

Wauconda

May 28, 2015

 

Fr. Matthew Kelty, Benedictine monk, gave mass every morning at 4:00 at Gethsemani Abby for decades. He served as Thomas Merton’s confessor during their years together at the abbey.  To read Kelty’s profound homilies, go to:

http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/homilies/