Saturday, May 3, 2014

Is Pain Punishment or Prelude to Pleasure?

How long have religions proclaimed that pain is just punishment,
Not only for our own mistakes, but for those of ancestors long gone?
Is the purpose to frighten us into inaction for fear of repeating mistakes?
How much more healing it would be to present pain as prelude to pleasure;
For all new life comes at the cost of the physical pressure of stress.
The mother anticipating her child can even laugh when she labors in love.

Some say we should mourn at the births of babies and celebrate the grave;
Only those who see physical manifestation as the only journey can say this.
When we look at the universe as an ever-evolving organism through stress,
We can celebrate every moment as if they are all parts of the same.
We seem more foolish than are dogs and cats who live fully in the moment,
Anticipation and fear of failure never clouding their innocent minds.

Civilization has, for too long, meant deadening our animal instincts,
Pretending that humans are wiser because we walk upon two feet.
The effort to stay upright plays havoc on our human bodies.
Does the stress of pushing blood upward also starve our brains?
Education, life, death and worship have all become simply sterile.
Burning mulch is madness, but we do these destructive things everyday.

How have we lost the pleasure of playing in a huge autumn leaf pile,
Before it is carried over to protect tender roots and new life's shoots?
Why do we build concrete pastures rather than embracing sunlight,
As the energy that has sustained us since the beginning of our earth?
And what of the water that this stops our earth from absorbing and cleansing,
Without any human intervention needed to affect this miracle?

There is no pleasure in process when we take no time with nature;
All metamorphosis requires gestation and great stress for rebirth.
Until we are willing to watch and wait while earth unfolds miracles,
We will continue running from one to another Pyrrhic victory.
The question is not whether we will experience discomfort;
The question is whether we see it as punishment or new birth.

Perhaps when we begin to see all life as preparation to seed the new,
We'll stop poisoning our earth to hurry and experience the most events.
If we can begin to enjoy watching one generation gently fold into another,
We will concentrate on our natural rhythms and cycles of earthly rebirth.
A leaf that falls from a tree, when left alone, feeds new plants and people,
By allowing its sacred energy to be dispersed at the pleasure of the planet.

How wonderful it is that I now have sisters sharing our spirits
Across oceans, cultures, religions, ages and walks of very different lives.
How freeing to me has been this realization that my body won't be reborn;
As my spirit has always seemed much too big for only one life and body.
I have been able to calm my restless nomadic soul with the new knowledge
That my spirit may live on in many corners and forms of life in the great universe.

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