Notions

I used to adhere to notions,
Notions held forth by this teaching or that,
As definitive descriptions of “reality” and “truth”,
Presented with a particular form of “logic”,
Argued, lawyerly, in often fierce debates,
Or… asked simply to be accepted on faith.

I used to adhere to the notion,
Of a “Ground of Being”, a substratum of Existence,
Call it what you will; God, Jehovah, Allah,
Or Consciousness, so popular these days,
From which, within which, and as which,
All that is, arose into existence, and vanished.

An Infinite Unmanifest Ocean, I imagined,
From which we, as manifest waves, arose and fell,
Waves of individuated Ocean, we were,
Having become lost in our individuation,
Forgetting our Essential Identity and Origin,
Suffering in identity as a wave, isolated and alone.

This… formless something,
This Ocean of Unmanifest Potentiality,
Though formless and unmanifest, was… Alive,
Not as a formless “thing” alive,
But as unmanifest Aliveness, prior to all “things”,
From which all manifest “things” arose.

This… formless something,
Existed beyond the grasp of intellect,
Beyond the imaginings of heart,
And yet was Remembered in the Depths of Being,
As the longed for Heaven, Nirvana,
The Fulfillment of our Heart's Desire.

This… formless something,
Though beyond our grasp,
Enlivened our very grasping,
As if… as the manifest wave,
The Unmanifest Ocean,
Sought desperately to Remember itself.

I used to adhere to this notion.

But this notion, in time, was turned from,
As I changed stances, over time,
Taking refuge in notions born of other teachings,
Each providing words, images, and concepts,
That gave comfort to my heart's weary longing,
And kept my mind from the lunacy of Unknowing.

Over the many years of my life,
I have taken many stances, adhered to many notions,
But these days, near the end of things,
I hold the many notions mere… possibilities,
Neither declaring as true, nor decrying as false,
But seeing all as Villages of Refuge along The Way.

I used to adhere to a notion,
Of “what” it was that remained,
When I and the world vanished in Union,
And “what” it is that has lingered since,
Illumining the Experience of Being,
In Dissolution and Bliss.

But these days… these days…

These days, I see the Light in all notions,
For although this one may be true, or that one,
Or, from a certain perspective, all,
I take my stance with Farid Ud-DinAttar,
The sea will be the sea,
Whatever the drop's philosophy.

These days, I see the difficulty in all notions,
For although this one may be true, or that one,
Or, from a certain perspective, all,
I take my stance with Hafez,
The great religions are ships, and poets, the lifeboats.
Every sane person I know has jumped overboard
.”

These days, in the Winter of my life,
I write from any stance, any notion,
Which presents itself most suitable,
In conveying, metaphorically,
That which has become, for me,
Beyond any stance or notion.