TAT Journal Issue 10
The Mirror by Richard Rose
Who is it that speaks to you?
Who is it that listens to me?
If all is God. . .
Can we pretend to be the soliloquy of God?
Can we pretend for a moment that we are all particles of God,
Enjoying his divinity?
A bird in the tree sings, saying,
I am here now, I am here now,
O the glory of being here now. . . .
O the glory of being here. . . .
O the glory of Being. . . .
O the glory of. . . .
O the glory of meeting a predator. . . .
And he meets a worm, which like manna
Is a delicacy, a divine aspect,
A gift of God's own body in particle form.
And he eats the worm joyously. . . .
God victorious and God experiencing destruction. . .
God sadistic and God masochistic. . .
God organic and God as fertilizer. . . .
As decaying bird-food, as fertilizer,
Revitalizing less organic soil,
Creating a cradle for millions of microscopic organisms.
All singing the praises of life,
With songs of exultation, anger, despair, and fear.
All singing about orchestral soil,
And echoing the desire of God to experience all.
Do we not hear the voice of God
Howling with funereal sullenness,
Through the forest in the winter. . . .
Roaring in cascading rivers,
Piercing his own sensitivities in lightning and ocean gale,
Feeling cosmic pain in the explosion of planets,
In the quaking of planets. . . .
Or in the divine breath of a hurricane?
Are we not more fortunate than those
Who are "being there then,"
Caught and frozen in a winter wilderness. . . .
Swept over the falls of a treacherous river. . .
Swallowed by an earthquake,
Or incinerated by lightning. . .
Or flung to their death by the winds?
Should we rejoice that God
Through tiny human nerves
Experiences all forms of horror and pain,
Despair and fear?
But the God within all, in all now. . .
Witnesses that not all freeze,
Not all are drowned or torn to pieces. . .
He witnesses this only through human nerves,
In and through his audience of millions,
Through his millions of eyes, ears, and noses
That watch others die, butchered a million different ways,
That watch others suffer
That watch others hope and lose hope
That witness instilled courage change. . .
To instilled despair and terror.
Can we imagine the glories of a God
So self-watching, so identified with us,—
Who are so identified with this pointless game?
Unless we visualize God as infinitely introspective
That watches the eater and the eaten
The beater and the beaten,
Watches the millions uneaten observing
The ones being eaten,
Watches the millions unbeaten,
Observing the ones being beaten,—
There seems to be no point to this drama.
And now he watches another group of observers,
Less numerous than the simple observers,
Those who watch the watchers,
Those who study madness and record madness in a way that pretends to be orderly and sane,
Who study observers
And have millions of reactions
Singing the praises of God by a thousand different names,
While they train themselves to act as rescuers,
Digging out God's victims,
From hurricane, earthquake, or typhoon,
From freezing, burning, or drowning,
From terror and desire and fear,
From thinking about origins and destiny,
From the anguish of loving,—
Doing God's work and believing,
That God likes observers acting concerned,
Acting as though God as the victim needs rescuing,
That God as insanity needs explanation. . .
That God as the destroyer needs apology,
Or needs humans taking on God's sins. . .
By acts of pious asceticism.
For God now breaks into many parts,
Observers watching observers,
And observers of observers of observers,
But which of these billions is really here now. . . .
Which of these particles, among God's infinite number of particles,
Is watching God???
Is he alive to all who watch death and life,
Is he alive to God. . .
Who rejoices in seeing God particularized?
Or is he alive who is not among the myriad observers,
The myriad eyes that sleep or remain less asleep?
Is he alive who hears through millions of ears,
Of greater or lesser dependability,
Or is he alive. . . . . .
That turns his back on madness,
On rejoicing and despair,
On pleasure and pain,
On Gods and God-particles,
And who looks on nothingness with apathy and indifference,
Who laughs at the thunderings of Hell
And the shrill insanity of Heaven,
Who feels with feelinglessness,
As only God can feel. . . .
But who turns once more back to his fellow man
I have become a mirror,
Look beyond my beauty,
Look beyond my ugliness,
Look beyond my wordlessness,
My inarticulateness, My fractured mentality,
For I have been back there freezing and exploding,
burning and drowning,—
I have been the insanity of those observing,
I have lost all my particles except that which is a mirror,
Which is nothing of me,
But which gathers other particles
Which are inarticulate, And which identify with other
infinite articulations of madness.
I am that which gathers other particles,
Let us be mirrors.
I am not a mirror of moaning and misery,
I am not a mirror of praying and pleading,
I am a mirror of the process called seeming,
I mirror the seeming. . . .
Watching the watching of seeming and dreaming.
The puppets of the Absolute have broken their strings,
Have formed agreements to dream dreams,
Have agreed to pretend to create other puppets,
And have agreed upon madness together,
Until madness has become to them as reality,
While unconsciously they hunger for
The comfort of the guiding hands of their puppeteer.
I am a mirror that madness looks upon,
And sees a hope surmounting foolishness,
I am a mirror that reflects no madness
And seeing nothing but a seeming of madness.
I am a mirror that looks not to reflect love
For I perceive no love but a seeming of love,
And I see no justice, divine or human,
But a seeming of justice.
I am a mirror that was not made and remade to
Reflect only seeming. . . .
I am a mirror also of myself,
Watching myself, watching myself, watching myself
I am a mirror alive and aware
Aware of being aware of being aware of being aware. . . .
ad infinitum. . . .
Untimed and unspecialized,
Not dreaming of life or dreaming of death,
Not dreaming of Gods or demigods.
I am a mirror with my back to humanity,
Vainly lighting a direction,
For puppets to pick up threads and contact,
Strings to the Absolute.
I am a mirror facing the Absolute,
There is nothing to face, until we turn our backs
Upon the void. . . . Upon projections. . . .
Upon particularization, Upon seeming. . . .
Until we realize we are not turning away
From a void or from confusion or meaninglessness,
Until we realize that we do not realize. . . .
Except that the Absolute has a mirror
Which it turns upon itself,
I have had enough of my adventure,
Into endless possibilities of my self. . . .