Gathas of the New Age



Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)



Table of Contents
          The Book of Miscellany (11/6/45)

          The Book of Heart

          The Book of Peace and Humanism

          The Book of Universality

          The Book of Science

          The Book of Christ

The Book of Miscellany

I have heard the lion-roar,
I have witnessed that ceaseless procession of sounds
Coming from the mouth of the Silent One;
I have peered into the abyss of the Void,
I have played with the telegraph whose messages go on and on and on.

Praise be to the infinite affirmative!
Set me up against the nots and the knots,
And those confusion loving infidels
Who speak in the name of religion.
Too long have the ways been barred with signs of forbidding and foreboding,
Too long has man been dazzled with extravagancies of fantasy.

I have tuned into that Comedian, the ever-laughing one,
I have listened to the Weaver of Delight.
I shun those manikins who joy in tomes of cosmic puzzles,
Whose pleasure is the labyrinth of countless enigmas,
Whose mantram is “peace” and whose minds are at war,
Who loudly proclaim “prosperity” in times of famine,
Who shout “liberty” while they are branding cattle,
And whose greatest fear is that fear may sometime end.

Lord, show Thy compassion to the street-corner preacher,
May Thy loving-kindness touch his heart,
Forgive him that merely quotes dead scriptures,
Unaware of the Fount of Life within his bosom,
Unaware of the pulsations of his heart.
He who would save, may he be saved above all;
He who would lead, may he become Thy faithful follower.

When the Camp Farthest Out is the Camp deepest in,
When the Camp where men gather is the congregation of hearts.
Why need we look afar for a Savior?
Why need we build costly structures in order to worship God?

May I but learn:
To encompass the whole of humanity within my love,
To spread compassion with fervor even to the lowliest,
To know that the kingdom of blood is a grand unity,
To know that the empire of the heart is above all.

May I but learn:
That kindness to a human being is more than kindness to a trillion bugs,
More than extended mercy to a million animals,
More than a thousand prayers of my self-exalted mind,
Greater than the religions of the masses, whatever be its form,
Identical with teaching of the masters, whatever may have been their time.

Give me that Galileo of the spirit,
Whose telescope can penetrate the ego,
Whose consciousness is not retained in molds,
Whose self-surrender effaces his self-surrounding,
Who brings us ever closer to our goal.

They have justified war because
They have exonerated racial subjugation because
They have condoned villainy because
Because” I do not love you.

In the Beginning was the Word,
And the Word was with God,
And the Word was God,
And there was peace.
Now there are multitudes of words,
Words in the mouths of men,
Words in the minds of men,
Words in the books of men,
What has happened to peace?

Praised be thou, O Reason—echo of myself,
Able to prove whatsoever I want—echo of myself,
Magnified by my fellow beings—echo of myself,
Supreme above every quality—echo of myself.

I salute that Pakistan which is free from men’s imposed restrictions,
Which accepts the teachings of the first selected Kaliph:
That even the greatest of men must come and go,
But that Allah, His Beneficence and Mercy, abide forever.

I salute that Pakistan which does not demand superiority over others,
Which strives unceasingly to be worthy of the Prophet and the Book,
Which carries the Spirit of Islam on into the future,
Nor neglects the hallowed teachings of the distant past.

When the captain of the ship threw Jonah into the sea of life,
When there was great calm on the bosom of the deep,
When the stillness was so great that movement was left unperceived,
The prophet found solitude in the midst of turmoil and existence,
Discovered the greatest of wealth in the belly of manifestation,
Finding the heart of God even amid tumultuous surroundings,
Discovering the secrets of life and of joy,
Thence becoming permitted to embark to the safety of dry land.

Cosmic Beginning arose from primordial Silence,
From that unfathomable abyss which is Father-Mother of light and darkness;
Then, by temporizing into mind,

By a selective series of movements within the Void,
Manifestation became,
In an eternity, or aeon of aeons, it became,
In no time whatever it became,
Separate and yet not separate from its origin,
Apart yet not apart from its ultimate goal,
Source of all and termination of all,
Creator of all, and destroyer of all,
Limited only by the names we apply.

Manhood was formed from the original light of God
The world became because of the light of Adam
Unpolarized in its purely pristine state,
Polarized whenever it departs from glory,
Neither and both in the realms called “above,”
Sexually diversified in the realms called “below,”
Where the Yang and Yin, the Jelal and Jemal
Impregnate the formative body,
Determine the attributive physical outcome,
And bring into new relationships,
Those same ultimate forces, those same attributes and aims.
With God creation, presentation and preservation may be one,
With man the functions of sex are polarized—
This is not the subject-matter for mere jest,
This is not the subject-matter for travesty,
This is not even the determinative standard for morality,
Life is beyond our limited reflections.

God is the All in All,
The absolute perfection of qualities,
The ultimate for everything conceivable,
Bliss and sorrow, comedy and tragedy, happiness and woe.
So are the movements toward ultimate fulfillment, the actual reality;
So are the movements toward ego-accentuation, the immediate reality,
Which draws all things to the web-center of its conniving
Like a coiled serpent awaiting its prey.
So the ego comes into conscious manifest being,
The Old Man of the Sea wanders about in innumerable guides,
Tempting all,
And throwing blame on a spirit of evil which is non-existent.
The world has suffered, the world is suffering, the world shall suffer
Because of ego accentuation, the enemy of life-giving love,
With its incessant demands,
Whence all misery, all pain, all sorrow—
We have chosen Pandora’s box though we lip-service Christ and Buddha;
We have chosen Pandora’s box though we claim to follow the prophets.


Hail to Mahabharata,
Land of munis and swamis and yogis and kings,
Whose greatest believer was a humble weaver;
Vedas and puranas and sacred teachings,
Silent instruction and brahmanic preachings,
And a humble weaver the greatest believer.
From lofty Himavat to wave-swept Coromandle,
From princely Rajputana to over-crowded Bengal,
Where ancient wisdom joins modern reform
Within the boundaries set by the noble Norm,
And a humble weaver the greatest believer.

When I go to India
I may listen to the discourses of the pundits,
I may teach the peasants a better way,
Or offer all my learning to the pundits
And let the peasants show me how to pray,
But I shall dance with Chaitanya! Hari Om!

When I go to India
I may present my very ego to the swamis,
I may bring the latest knowledge from the West,
Or may demonstrate my wisdom for the swamis,
Yet let them teach me what they deem is best,
But I shall dance, I shall dance with Chaitanya! Hari Om!

When I go to India
I may visit all the temples in the land,
I may bring a wealth of offerings to the wise,
And though the Western world may fail to understand,
I may travel many miles in humble guise—
But I shall dance, I shall dance with Chaitanya!
Aye! I shall surely dance with Chaitanya, Hari Om!

When God created Adam, He made him out of the dust of the earth,
When God created Adam, He made him in His likeness—
God created Adam, it is said, out of His Own fulsome light,
God created the cosmos out of the light of Adam;
Whether the environment reflects the people within it,
Or whether the people within it reflect their environment,
The land that was ignorant of trees and flowers and song-birds
Became the land of people that lacked the qualities of trees and flowers and songbirds,
The peninsula of desolate sand housed the people of desolate hearts.
We shall not sing of the people of the time of ignorance,
We shall sing of how the people were rescued from that ignorance.
There was a world of sand liaisoned by fire and metal into glass,

There was a world of desolation elevated to beauty and value;
There were those hearts of sand, purposeless and leaderless,
There was the heart of Allah whose Grace rescued them by the fire of Mercy and the metal of Eternal Patience.

There was a man born in those wastes,
A spiritual son of solitude and vast emptiness,
Who lost his father while a nursing infant,
Who lost his mother while a little child,
Who never lost the endless grace of Allah,
Who planted the seeds of Baraka in the wilds.
When the faithful one sought the Grace of Allah,
The Grace of Allah embraced his vivid heart
For whosoever walks a single step toward Allah
Will find that Allah takes a dozen steps towards him.
There was a meeting place of the heart of man and the heart of God,
There was the removal of a single drop from the blood of young Ahmed,
Qur’an was revealed,
Revealed on a solitary peak,
Revealed where the eye sees only wasteland stretching upon wasteland,
Revealed among the ignorant of the ignorant,
Who despite their state dwell within the realm of Divine Mercy,
Who, despite their state, still can become the transmitters of baraka.
So, Mohammed, the orphan Hashimite, became the Messenger of God,
So, Mohammed, the exiled Meccan, became the spokesman for Allah,
So, Mohammed, whose purity of heart excited even his enemies,
Became an exemplar for the human race:
The people of sandiness were by love transformed into glass,
The people of opaqueness were by grace transformed into light,
The people of ignorance were by mercy transformed into knowledge.
The bookless people were granted a guidance forevermore.
From that unexpected beginning came a multitude of leaders of mankind:
Thus the Alhambra and Al-Azhar and an endless string of mosques,
Thus the Masnavi and Mantik-ut-Tair and many soul stirring poems,
Thus the transition of wisdom and knowledge from ancient times to now,
Thus the establishment of brotherhood within humanity.

What wonders has Allah performed!
How marvelous this alchemy of the spirit!
How mysterious and marvelous the blessing of His Grace and the Grace of His blessing!
How impenetrable the glories of Islam.

The Book of the Heart

I do not proclaim the conceivable,
The God of many attributes and powers;
Nor do I proclaim the inconceivable,
Vainly sought by the wandering mind,
Supershadowed by words.
But I proclaim the superconceivable—
Who is to be loved.

Which is nearer to infinity,
The long time or the short time?
The long time is not nearer to infinity,
Neither is the short time nearer to infinity—
Love is closest to infinity.

What is this human heart, beyond mind, beyond logic, beyond explanation?
What is this human heart, irresponsive to infinitude,
Completely unaffected by finitude,
By means of which distant lovers may commune,
By means of which proximate enemies are brought to confusion,
By means of which understanding is immediately expanded,
Where space and time and the might of man are of no avail,
Where the smile of a little infant may be all conquering?

Where is the distance between the stars of space?
What is the distance between the dreams of lovers?
What is the distance between the points of heart?

What is nameable, what is intelligible, what is logical—
What has it brought through the course of many centuries?
What is describable, what is commendable, what is proclaimed,
What has it done through the period of many centuries?
Where is the seat of compassion within the consciousness?
Where is the source of mercy within the consciousness?
What have these to do with what has gone before?

When the world has been seized in uttermost turmoil,
When the greatest hopes of diplomats end in frustration,
When the dreams of lofty minds only reach an impasse,
When the most carefully worked out plans only end in naught,
Who looks into the ever beating heart?
Who seeks the kingdom that lies so dormant within?
Who has discovered the luminous Pearl beyond all price?

What Alexis Carrel did with the heart of flesh,
What Gautama Buddha did with the heart of mind,
What Jesus Christ did with the heart of heart—

Shadows come and go, enter and depart,
Substance remains eternally.

When heart pulses to the radiations of the universe,
When atoms dance and waves sparkle in unison,
When the sense of Godness becomes a reality where we stand,
When the feeling of compassion is all embracing,
Where need we look for an answer to our dilemma?

Come, young people and I shall sing of true love,
Come, young people, and heed the notes of my song,
For when you love one another to the exclusion of everything else,
When you love one another and are blind to the rest of the world,
That is passion, that is infatuation, that is the quickening of the ego.
When you love one another to the inclusion of everything else,
When you love one another and your eyes see the rest of the world,
Whey you love one another and grow abundantly in that love,
That is the divine presence in your midst,
This leads to the marriage hallowed by eternity.

On the battle field of Kurukshetra,
In the long ago, in the not so long ago, in the ever present,
The Lord of Heart assumed supreme command,
The Lord of Heart controlled the host of friends,
The superhost of foes likewise bowed to the Lord of Heart,
Located in heart, functioning through heart, fulfilling heart,
In the physical heartbeat, in the psychic pulsation through the blood,
In the life-force which penetrates the recesses of the universe,
Through which the Lord of Heart is ever standing,
Through which the Lord of Heart is ever commanding,
And the humble, like Radha, wait in patience.

When the Jihad is at Kurukshetra,
The long awaited universal peace will be,
Mohammed and Krishna and Christ in loving embrace,
Old and young and the yet unborn in loving embrace,
The white and the black and the yellow in the loving embrace of Adam,
The totality of creatures in the loving embrace of God.

When Kurukshetra is at Armageddon,
The new earth on earth, the new earth in heaven,
The new heaven on earth, the new heaven in heaven,
The end of verbal confusion,
The end of ego confusion,
The end of mental confusion,
The supremacy of love.

If God be love, if God be compassion, if God be Mercy and Kindness,
Are we not all led astray?
Are we not the coconspirators for the destruction of the world?
Are not our leaders only of the brood of Iblis?
Or is there a light that completely encompasses the world?
Is there a love which interpenetrates the universe?

The Lord of Love spoke in the name of Love,
Many times mentioning Love, seldom mentioning sin;
The Lord of Light spoke in the name of Light,
Many times mentioning Light, seldom referring to darkness;
The Lord of Life spoke in the name of Life,
Many times mentioning Life, hardly alluding to death.

Give me that man, who with a touch of his hands, heals the pains of many,
Give me that man, who with a quickening glance, reaches the hearts of many,
Give me that man, who with a silent breath, answers the prayers of many,
Give me that man, who with a radiant heart, awakens the souls of many,
Give me that man, who with an unbounded consciousness, assists the aspirations of many.
O Lord, may I become that man, not depending upon others;
O Lord, may I become that man, nor add any further burdens to Thy Self.

In the Scriptures are other bodies mentioned.
And potential faculties beyond the sphere of earth;
In the Scriptures are other faculties mentioned,
Which the unfettered devotee may attain,
In the Scriptures is a universality suggested,
With the keys in the hidden heart.
O Lord, deliver me from those noises, which in Thy Name,
Would hinder me from that supreme attainment!
O Lord, bring me that still small voice
Which is Thy Self.

Let me seek that heart which revivifies the body,
Let me seek that blood which purifies the self,
Let me become aware of the blessings within this body-temple,
Let me not minimize the words of Perfect Masters
With my own or others oft-repeated cacophonies,
Drawn from the mirage of hallucinative emotions,
In the name of That which they have never experienced.

Nearer to us than breathing, closer than hands and feet,
Even more proximate than the jugular vein—
Forced from our consciousness by those who attain position,
Driven from our minds by those who have secured power,
Smothered by the authorities who would exercise their sway,
Yet untrammeled, undiminished, not even modified,
By those ignorant multitudes who have stood before the world as mediators,

For nothing stands between God and the human heart,
Nothing tarnishes the altar within the heart.

O for a single bath in that supreme fountain of light,
For a single ray of that unfathomable love,
For even a momentary touch of the Supreme Awfulness,
Attaining peace, neither life nor death would matter,
Attaining bliss, one attains the all.

The Book of Peace and Humanism

Parliaments harangue,
A public speaker is acclaimed,
And thousands die upon the battlefield.

Another argument is won,
Another point has been conceded,
And thousands die upon the battlefield.

Lip service to the word of God,
Real service to the latest whim,
And thousands die upon the battlefield.

How dreadful are those inhumanitarian foes (of today)!
How terrible the atrocities they are committing (today)!
How unspeakable the methods by which they handle the prisoners (today)!
How beautiful to forgive and forget (those of another day)!
How dreadful were those inhumanitarian foes (of another day)!
Are millions upon millions to die upon the battlefields?

World peace—by the formula of the Crusades
World peace—by the formula of the Thirty Years’ War;
World peace—by the formula of Vienna;
Till thousands died, and millions died, and more,
But the eyes of men are slowly opening.

Christ said: “This is peace.”
Man said: “That is peace.”
The Son of God marches forth to war:
To slay the Prince of Peace.

Peace has not come from any formula,
Nor from those factors that have brought on previous embroilments,
Nor by the mere involvement of changes in the dictionary
Which do not exempt the masses from sorrow and slaughter.
When have the lions and the lambs laid down together?
Despite the pulpits, we come upon a new day;
Despite the theologians, we are coming closer to reason;
The gases commingle in the atmosphere,
The delegates commingle at the United Nations.

Bread crumbs to the little birds in the Indian village.
Children with distended stomachs starve;
Honey to the crawling insects in the Indian village,
Children with distended stomachs starve;
Boiled rice for the vermin in the Indian village,
Children with distended stomachs starve.

If one believes in God—not in an idol of wood, even less in a super idol of subjectivity—
Then one believes in man.
If one believes in a Golden Rule—to do in a noble manner
Then one believes in man.
Or he is a psychic criminal, born in deceit,
            encased in smog ridden surroundings even until he dies,
If one believes in a Silver Rule—not to deal falsely,
Then one believes in man.
Or he is both the demonic task master and the benighted serf.
Only this—when we come to the end of words,
Only this—when we come to the beginning of deeds.

            When the hand finds happiness at work
            And the slave is man’s machine,
            Every man will be a lord of the land
            And every woman a queen.

            When beauty comes as a gift of life,
            When tasks bring strength with joy,
            Swadeshi will have its effect
            On every girl and boy.

            When the intellect bows to the will
            And the will obeys the heart,
            The soul will manifest its skill
            In liberated art.

There is one lesson in the book of Genesis—
That God created mankind in His image;
There is one lesson for all mankind to learn—
That God created mankind in His image;
There is one basic teaching for our moral code—
That God created mankind in His image.

There, but for the Grace of God goes I, said Cromwell,
There, but for the Grace of God, am I that crippled invalid;
Who is not his brother’s keeper?
Who is not whose brother?

Inside the halls the delegates are discussing subtle subjects,
Inside the halls interpreters sweat in mutual confusion,
Inside the halls there is an impasse on procedures,
Inside the halls the reporters are hopelessly at odds;
Outside the halls the children play together regardless of their ancestry.

Listen to the delegates castigate the policy of another nation
(How many children are laughing in the streets of his home town?)
And another is haranguing in no uncertain terms

(How many children are smiling in the streets of his home town?)
The representatives of the New East rebuff the speaker from Israeli
(How many children are playing in the streets of their home towns?)
While the American ignores the existence of the Sons of Man
(What are the children doing in their respective home towns?)
Once a Galilean said we should be like children;
Too bad, but he was crucified for that.

Here are the Holy books with their lessons: do this, don’t do that—
And here are the history books.
Here are the sacred teachings: this is right and that is wrong—
And here are the history books.
Here are the marvelous writings of sages, here are inspiring words—
And here are the history books.

When I study the sacred traditions of man—I use the electric light;
When I climb to my study away upon stairs—I use the electric lift:
When I leave my home or return from work—I use the electric tram;
When I prepare or store my foods—I use electric devices.
Praise be to this electricity, developed by emancipated man,
Praise also to modern plumbing and sanitation, developed by emancipated man.
Praise be to those good things of this world, developed by emancipated man.
Now I know the meaning of tradition,
Now I know the lessons of the scriptures,
Now I know the wisdom of the sages,
They only wanted to help emancipate man.

There are starving beggars outside the walls of every mosque,
Demonstrating the ineptitude of the ego,
And the need to offer thanksgiving first by helping our fellows,
Before we dare to pray.
What is the temple of the living god:
The mosque or the church, or the synagogue,
Or that body which has to be clothed and fed and housed,
Originally produced by the spirit of the Universe.

There is a teaching of Islam not preserved in theological treatises,
Nor perused in modern propagandic magazines,
Concerning a man who, when his fellows went a single day without food,
Withheld nourishment from his body for seventy-two hours;
Who, when his fellows were unable to find suitable dwellings,
Slept in a ragged tent;
Who, when his fellows were stern in submitting orders,
Emancipated his slaves.
An orphan boy, deprived of both his parents,
An orphan boy, who instituted the brotherhood of man.

There is that evolution which did not stop with the perfection of the body,
There is that evolution which continues into the world of mind,
There is that evolution which seems to have no ending,
But despite its limitations,
There is that evolution.

The Book of Universality

There are streams in the river of light:
Emerson and Whitman and Carpenter and Traubel;
Ramakrishna and Aurobindo and the great Maharshi;
Inayat Khan and Ameer Ali and Mohammed Iqbal—
And rivulets of the past from many lands,
Flowing into the self-same cosmic ocean.

There is a religion of the heart:
In music and poetry and painting,
And in children’s games;
Its pulpit is the sandbox,
Its preacher is the sunlight,
Its temple is everywhere.

In that temple there is no delineation of sects,
Nor divisions from differentiation in belief,
No schismatic, no heretic, no mleccha,
But a universal communion,
Because of the very nature of Reality.

In that temple there are no egos and there are;
There are no qualifications and there are;
There are no movements and there are;
There are no explanations and there are.

When the radiations of the limited self,
Finding no termination to their incessant outpourings,
Filled with the spirit of love which demands an outlet,
Dominated by the spirit of compassion which ceaselessly seeks to heal,
Inherently entwined with the spirit of constant blessing,
Needing therefore vast fields in which to work,
Focused themselves in a duo-fold manner—
Into the personalities which skillfully embraced their essence,
Into the cosmic atomic formations enfolding hard matter,
So that positive and negative forces came into manifestation,
Without destroying or impairing those infinite attributes
Of love, compassion, blessing and mercy
Which are the fundamental essences of this universe.

There is that silent Sufi who breathes into the ears of the intelligent
That wisdom which is the nexus of useful knowledge,
That forbearance which promotes the pragmatic brotherhood of man,
That insight which ultimately solves all perplexing problems.

When the word of power comes into the world,
It will not be as a mighty and majestic king,

Even less as the will of a self-established despot,
But clothed in the garb of benignity,
Sweet as the smile of a little loving infant,
Sweet as the nuptial embrace of the mourning doves,
Sweet as the gentle entrance of the vernal dawn,
Yet with such undiminished, undiluted strength
That all the turbulence of the era may be becalmed.

Did you ever tune into the bosom of the suffering mother:
In communist China, in fascist Spain,
In doleful South Africa, in militant Germany,
In prosperous America, in confused France—
And notice any particular difference?

When the Ave Maria becomes the Om,
And the Pater Noster the Pan,
And the college boys appreciate the mantric value of Rah! rah! rah!
Then will the kingdom draw near,
Verily the kingdom will be near.

When the Paradise of the East descended upon Europe it wrought horror,
When the Paradise of the West descended upon Japan it wrought havoc,
Blood has flown in the streets of the New Jerusalem,
And the coming of Maitreya is preceded by great travail.
Verily the apple of Hesperides has become the apple of Discord
And the fruit of the Tempter is still the desire of man.

When the cross becomes the swastika
And the crescent the wheel-of-the-law,
We shall no longer need prayers for peace,
Nor be troubled about another war.

When the cross becomes the crutch,
When the crescent is the scimitar,
When the wheel-of-the-law is a prison,
We may expect another world war.

Allah is the light of the Heavens and earth,
Neither of the East nor the West—
No man is excluded from the Light of the Sun,
Nor of the Light of the Eternally Blessed.

I shall no longer worship God in gorgeous caves,
Nor bow my head beneath an amethyst canopy,
Nor light prefabricated candles while my heart is in darkness,
Nor murmur words which have no part in experience,
Nor sing hosannas concerning what is only my wish,
Nor can I find a moment not dedicated to worship,

Nor a place that is not truly sacred,
Nor a man that is totally depraved,
Nor anything lacking in sanctity.

Give me monotheism or give me polytheism,
Give me worship by ritual or formless prayer,
But save me from those who praise themselves.
Give me realism or give me idealism,
Give me philosophy or art or social service,
But save me from those who praise themselves.
Give me religion or give me atheism,
Give me freedom to believe or to blaspheme,
But save me from the ignorant who deify their inner selves,
Coat their deeds with terms from sacred scriptures,
But leave man to continue in shame or hate or dismay.

Let me praise Thee, O Lord,
But never praise my praise;
Let me worship and be kind,
But never laud my beneficence,
Let me extol the Spirit of the Universe,
Or the noble deeds of men or groups of men,
Becoming therein free from my egotistic vanity
Which covers only my outer self.
Save me from that humility which is my pride,
Save me from any suggestion that I am apart from the totality.

I bow my head when the scientist is accused,
I praise my Lord when he rises above nationality,
Knowing that the laboratory demonstrates universality,
That the testing room is the place of brotherhood,
And that the United Nations promotes a united humanity.

The water in the rivers all over the world,
The gases in the atmosphere all over the world,
The rocks in the mountains all over the world,
The blood corpuscles in man all over the world—
The eye of man—and the eye of God.

Let me cease to be a rock and become running water,
Let me cease to be a bee and become the succulent honey,
Let me cease to stand alone but flow along with life.

There is no grim-faced cosmic policeman,
Nor a book of detailed recording of our every misdemeanor,
Nor a fiery devil taunting us with our faults—
We live and move in a pageant of unencumbered compassion,
In a forgiveness which far outstrips our imagination,

In a tender gentleness beyond our ordinary thoughts.
When we behave contrary to the spirit of life,
Our afferent and efferent nerves become so self involved
That they are unable to derive full nourishment
From the ever-present, ever-throbbing spirit of life:
So the sinner is his persecutor and his judge.
The nervous system requires the enforcement of moral law,
Inexorable before all external advocates,
Unaffected by multifarious theological adaptations.
Opaque to the surrounding bliss when it is ego-centered,
Bathed in the warmth of the universe when it is free.

There is a river in the midst of the vastness beyond space,
There is a river in which galaxies and universes are lost,
There is a river which flows on with utter intrepidity,
Containing the waters of what has been known as Suchness,
Containing the healing waters of the Spirit of Christ,
Containing the waters from which Dry Land first appeared.
Mankind stands in the midst of these very waters,
Permitting its currents to batter against his ego,
Bringing misery, misfortune and disease and death
Until the island of the separated self is drowned—
Then he can mingle with the creatures of the waters,
Then he can drink so his thirst is quenched forever,
Then he can be alive in the presence of the True Self.

It is not the strident voice bellowing in the street,
But the still soft voice within;
Nor the compelling evangelist in the crowded hall,
But the still soft voice within;
Nor the nasal twanging of a contentious choir,
But the still soft voice within;
Nor the thought marks of long customs and traditions,
But the still soft voice within;
Shout—but you cannot scare the devil away;
Be still—and know that “I” am God.

The Book of Science

Differentiate the chemistry of tears anywhere, any time, any how;
Or the biophysics of the kiss anywhere, any time, any how;
Or the electromotive effect of smiles anywhere, any time, any how.

When Prometheus seized firebrands from heaven
And taught men to cook foods and lighten their darkness,
The heart was fast asleep.
The fire was sacred, the fire was kept burning, the fire required an altar.
So there were candles, so there were torches, so there were brands,
While the heart was fast asleep.
Candles gave way to gas, gas abdicated for electricity,
Electricity, in its turn, has become superseded by supersonics and atomic power,
But the heart is still asleep.

When the devotee knows his God
As the astronomer the heavens,
The surveyor the measurements of the earth,
And the navigators currents of sea and air.

When the devotee knows his God,
As the physicist his natural forces,
The engineer his instruments
And the geologist the ages of the rocks.

I was a civil engineer, a builder of bridges,
And I marked my ways, I marked my works,
Even to the fourth decimal place I did these things,
For the lives of men depended upon it.
Roads were carefully marked,
Bench-marks carefully measured,
All done and redone with a triplicity of certitude,
Checked and rechecked as occasions required
For the lives of men depended upon it.
Carefully in steel, even more carefully in concrete.
Carefully from the factory, furnace, and mill,
Even more carefully in the construction,
With the scaffolds, with the templates, with the molds,
Measured and re-measured to the air, to the wind, to the warmth,
Even to the fourth decimal place.
Then there was an accident,
Even with proper safeguards, even with required safety nets,
Some one slipped, some one fell, some one died—
So my name was wiped from the affairs of men
Whose lives had depended on me.

I was a foreign diplomat,
I gauged my country’s honor,
I attended meetings, I attended fetes, I attended international gatherings;
I spoke or acted or connived or intrigued according to my country’s honor—
Then there was war, then there were deaths, then the destruction of cities,
But at last there was victory, at last there was peace.
And I, who had known no battlefield,
I, who had shed no blood, nor borne extreme hardships of military campaigns,
Represented by nation at the subsequent congresses;
Though my ways, though my plans, though my subtle schemes
Changed the boundaries of nations and upset the lives of many
Still I was a hero to my people,
Who built me statues and honored my name
And marked me as an exemplar of history.

It is not through the conquest of space,
Nor through intercelestial travel,
Nor through an apprehension of Planck’s constant,
Nor through an increasing knowledge of alpha particles,
But through the centering awareness of heart,
Through the vivification of qualities of heart,
Through realization of the love-life of heart
That satisfaction is attained.

When the sight which perceives through many light years,
And the vision which perceives beyond the electron
Unite with consciousness of the atman,
With the awakening of the Christ within,
The goal of man will have been achieved—
Nor through the destruction of this undertakings
But by his voluntary abandonment of centripetal ignorance.

When the creative waves have spent their energy,
When the spirit of spirit has done its work,
The light originally fomented,
Steps down serially from the highest to the densest,
Establishing those radiations seemingly so destructive
That atoms cannot hold them, nor the world itself.
Man has become fearful of the mysteries he has uncovered,
Nor is mindful of the nature of those mysteries,
And, looking outside himself for the meaning of things,
Seems to have come to the end of his ways.
He is apt to turn his fears and wonders into hatred
So the whole world splits into inimical camps,
Each concentrating on the destruction of others,
Each dead to the interpretation of the essence of things,
And totally unaware of that Reality
From which all manifestation draws its sustenance.

This, it must be assured, is a momentary matter
For that which comes from the One will return to It,
Be it energy, be it substance, or be it life.

There is an oracle beyond imagination
Which the keen-eyed have perceived in the holy,
Placed within the framework of religious art,
Capturing the emotions and the spirit, if not the form.
There is an endless array of radiations before us
Not always easily measured in Angstrom units,
Nor contained in the types of vibrations readily recognized,
Which include all manner of being within their scope.
Television depends upon inductive attunement,
And lays before our eyes events of earthly space,
Bringing also an appreciation of that vaster universe
With its multitudes of myriads of vibrations
Whose stage is the unbounded space even beyond Einstein.
When the inner consciousness is fully awakened,
This scheme of the nature of things becomes entirely clear,
Showing reality and all entangling relationships,
Throwing science, philosophy and metaphysics into a heap,
Revealing the dependence of everything on universal love,
A love that is compassion, mercy and bliss,
A love that begins and ends and is—with God.

As the waters rise from the sea,
As the clouds float high in the air,
As the rain falls gently back to earth,
As the rivers return it to the ocean,
So is the dhamma, verily this is the dhamma.

As the tuning fork sets its companions into motion,
As the orchestra tunes to the oboe’s sound of A,
As the resonant strings of instruments vibrate,
So is the dhamma, verily this is the dhamma.

As the induction coil establishes a secondary current,
As the radio dial is adjusted to a particular station,
As the controls enable the airplane to land,
So is the dhamma, verily this is the dhamma.

O water, goddess of humility, satisfied with the lowest places;
O water, goddess of heart, ready to receive so much in her bosom,
O water, daughter of peace, giving way to other things,
O water, mother-of-the-world, bringing sustenance to plants and animals,
O water, conqueror of ego, willing to change even your form to maintain harmony in the world.

O discerners of differences and sowers of doubts,
What of the electrons which are the same in every form of form
Which do not differentiate between the high and the low,
Which know no races, no classes, no moral molds, no dualistic divisions,
Which cannot set up class against class, which depend upon nothing, yet upon which all things depend?

There is apartheid in South Africa, and caste still lingers in India,
In contemporary Spain heresy is a crime,
In the lands of the commissars any sign of deviation is a plot against the State
And in the atmosphere
Nitrogen and oxygen and the rarer gases sport and dance and commingle and commune.
Libraries are investigated and people called upon to express their beliefs,
Contentions take the place of wars,
Tempers rage when the sword is sheathed,
And non-cooperation is used for selfish purposes;
And in the atmosphere
The noxious fumes of factories, the poisonous gases of mines and the incessantly produced
            carbon dioxide
Are welcomed and dance and commingle and commune with the gases that have long
In the church: communion
In the atmosphere: commingling
In the social order, one does not dare to propose a parallel.

The physicist asked me of the inner life:
Take this wire, subject it to stress and strain,
Measure its patience and its pain,
As in the world below, so in the world above—
The form through pain, the essence through love.

The chemist asked me of the inner life:
This gas oxygen, this gas hydrogen, this universal energy—
How is their offspring the liquid water,
Are its qualities drawn from environment,
Are its attributes produced from heredity,
Or does this universal energy contain that which we do not know?
Take this wicked self, this universal energy,
Test it by the trials and temptations,
Test it by the opening of its hidden qualities,
And in the transmutation that follows,
What has become of predictability?

The Book of Christ

There was a lonely one on Golgotha,
The place of the skull, the hill of the mind, the acme of intellection;
On his right a thief, on his left a criminal,
At the place of the skull, the hill of the mind, the acme of intellection;
There was darkness, there was sadness, there was a trembling world,
At the place of the skull, the hill of the mind, the acme of intellection.

There was a radiant one at the door of the cave,
The entrance to love, the threshold of glory, the opening of the heart;
There was the brightness of the blessing to the women
At the entrance to love, the threshold of glory, the opening of the heart;
The disciples gathered in warm delight
At the entrance to love, the threshold of glory, the opening of the heart.

The Twelve followed him, the Twelve listened to him, the Twelve failed him
At the place of the skull, the hill of the mind, the acme of intellection—
The Sermon on the Mount was in vain,
The instruction to the Disciples was in vain,
The discourse at the Last Supper was in vain,
Because of mind, because of ego intellection.
The Eleven followed him, the Eleven listened to him, the Eleven triumphed
After the opening of the entrance to the tomb,
After the opening of the door of the love-in-heart,
After the experience of benign resurrection.

Man was crucified, God was crucified, the world was crucified
At the place of the skull, the hill of the mind, the acme of intellection;
Man was resurrected, God was resurrected, the world was resurrected
At the entrance to love, the threshold of glory, the opening of the heart.

                        There was a man from Galilee,
                        And thence the Sermon on the Mount,
                        And then the Cross.
                        There was a teaching from Galilee,
                        With its prayer for eternal forgiveness,
                        And then the Cross.
                        There was a message from Galilee
                        With its castigation of accusers,
                        And then the Cross.
                        There was a religion from another place
                        With its worship of the Master from Galilee,
                        With its exaltation of the Cross—
                        So the Sermon was forgotten,
                        The Message was withheld,
                        Forgiveness was forsaken
                        And accusation was excused.

Once Jesus Christ lived on earth and talked to men,
Once Jesus Christ lived on earth to illustrate the ways of God before men,
Once Jesus Christ manifested to bring a message.
Another time Christianity appeared in the name of Christ,
Another time Christianity appeared with innumerable doctrines,
Another time Christianity appeared with a multiplicity of sects.
In our own time a simple Hindu trusted in the goodness of God,
In our own time a simple Hindu manifested purity of soul,
In our own time a simple Hindu explained the power of soul—
Who is nearest to Christ in the kingdom?

I wonder at the present starvation in Spain or China or India,
I ponder how Christ fed the multitudes before he preached;
I wonder at the malnutrition in so many regions of the world,
I ponder how Christ fed the multitudes before he preached;
I wonder that in the days of Abraham there was a famine in the land,
I rejoice that Christ fed the multitudes before he preached.

You can graft a lemon on to an orange
Or an orange on to a lime, or a lime upon a lemon,
Or you cannot;
But who has been able to graft the ethics of Jesus upon accepted Roman law?
You can graft a pear on to an apple,
Or an apple on to a quince, or a quince upon a pear,
Or you cannot;
But who has been able to graft the ethics of Jesus upon accepted Roman law?

When I read so much in daily publication about love,
When there are so many stories printed in books about love,
When the sound vibrations on radio waves are replete with songs of love,
What has become of the glorious Message of Christ?
What has happened to the beautiful teachings of the Gospels?
What lessons has mankind learned from the lives of saints?
Verily, thou shalt not take the words of thy Lord in vain!

Love has been crucified upside down,
The loins of man made the abode of communion,
The flesh of man glorified as the meeting place of souls,
The de-instinction of lust clothed in the robes of glory,
While we stand bewildered before the distant enemy,
While we stand perturbed over the doings of our immediate neighbors,
While we seek strange counsel for our inner disturbances,
While we take the name of true love, our shield, in vain.

O Lord, may our will be done upon earth!
(Thence famine, thence poverty, thence pestilence)
O Lord, may our will be done upon earth!
(Thence tribulation, thence devastating war)
O Lord, may our will be done upon earth!

(Thence revolution, thence drought, thence panics)
O Lord, may our will be done upon earth!

Once I asked Jesus Christ a question—
“When people stop preaching about me,
When people begin to listen to me,
When people seek the still small voice,
There will be abiding hope for the world.”

Once I asked Jesus Christ a question—
“That echo which you presume to be the answer
Is the echo of your question,
The betrayer of undeliverance,
That asks, and asks, and asks,
Nor can ever be satisfied.”

Once I asked Jesus Christ a question—
“Blessed are they that ask and seek,
Blessed are they who knock at my door,
Blessed are they who come in humility,
Blessed are they who bow down.”

Christ was taken before the High Priest:
“Thou hast said, thou hast said.”
Then he was brought before the Ruler:
“Thou hast said, thou hast said.”
Finally he was led before the Roman Legate:
“Thou hast said, thou hast said.”
Judge not, condemn not, accuse not,
“Thou hast said, thou hast said.”

A thousand people bowed in the temple
Not one with a heart like a child,
A thousand prayers from selfish lips,
Not a soul that was calm, or mild;
A million people go to war—
Glamour, glamour, glamour,
While diplomats hurl lofty words,
Clamor, clamor, clamor—
A recipe is couched in words,
A plan that was tried before,
Is offered to a trembling world
As an antidote to war.

Who has upset the truth that man cannot worship God and Mammon?
Who has upset the truth that we must love each other?
Who has upset the truth that God abides in us all?
Who has upset the truth that the least of teachings will abide?
Who has upset the truth?