In Every Face

When we are finally able to open our eyes somewhat,
we find that each one of us is a kind of laboratory,
an experiment in which consciousness labors
on itself, attempting to become self-aware.

It employs experience in order to recognize itself,
to reflect itself to itself, in the same way we ourselves
appear before the mirror and study the apparition
staring back — we are that, but that is not us.

“Who am I, what am I?” All questions with no answer
at last become obsolete — we did not bring ourselves
into being, we don’t pump our own blood, renew
our own cells — we are being breathed, lived by
whatever for the sake of whatever, does it
really matter, and if so, to whom?

Instead, we play feed-back loops composed of our own
mental formations, then sort out from that vast collection
of sense impression files and filtered memory programs
one particular fantasy of interpretation on perception
which we subjectively classify as the “Divine” —
we are quite ingenious with our naming.

Because the mind cannot grasp itself, it prays to itself
to reveal itself, to shower itself with its own grace,
and because we are ever hopeful by nature,
we look for ourselves in every face.

Every face is that God answering back,
graciously demonstrating to itself
exactly what it is by seeing
exactly what it is not.

In this way it finally comes to rest.
When notions of real or not no longer
appear, mind relaxes, surrenders the quest.

Nothing arises to be removed,
nothing needs to be added.

Here is our original face, the very one
we have always been — while we’ve
been looking everywhere else,
it has always been here,


About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: Essays on the Conscious Process: Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: Verses and ramblings on life as it is: Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: Verses on the Play of Consciousness: Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: Poems of the Mountain Hermit: Love Poems from The Book of Yes: Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: Thank You!
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