By Jim Macaulay
I was born without the gift of innocence.
I came naked and you told me that.
I came without the gift of faith.
Even the wondrous power of belief's
Credulity was withheld from me.
Why then do you puzzle at my remoteness,
My cynicism, my indifference to your religion.
You say you feel sorry for my plight,
Yet, it is you believers who
Anguish over your own lives thereafter.
Why should you care, you and all your fellows?
You, who once kept your secret words,
Secret in a foreign tongue
Lest I should read and understand.
You protect your "concept" with the threat
Of my death here, and worse in what you claim
Will be my life hereafter.
Blasphemy, I hear you cry,
"Be nice to our "God"
Or we'll kill you, because your words
And actions will upset him
And he will punish us,
We who worship
And believe in him".
Him, your omnipotent one, who single handed
Built this world, this Universe;
Created all, will he really quail before
My questioning mind?
You know that with your concept, of a "God"
You have added a new dimension
To this, our world.
No longer length, height, width and time
You have created a "beyond".
A extra dimension lying
Beyond this life.
Beyond this world,
It may surprise you
But I too recognize a beyond.
So I question what is your beyond,
Is it the same as mine I wonder?
Now I ask you,
What did the shaman see,
(And those that are, still do),
When on their "journeys"
To another place?
Was it their experience
Of something out there;
Something other, that led,
In time, to the growth of religions?
Is your belief simply based
On what the shaman saw?
I think it is,
And because so many people
Now believe in something
Outside their own world,
I have to ask:
Can all you millions be so wrong?
However, organized worship,
Ritual and hierarchy,
Leave me cold;
Drive me away.
I have a brain, I can think,
And I can choose to shake my head and wonder,
Or bow it and yield to your belief.
What then do I believe?
I praise good deeds
Yes I do consider dying,
And the possibilities after death.
Although I live alone
And my house is empty,
I oft times feel a "presence",
Not just of a recently departed guest
Or a friend long passed away.
Certainly not with a sense of fear or alarm,
But just something to make me think
Of your "beyond".
Yes I talk to the dead, but not with them.
Departed friends live with me yet,
Though they have been long gone,
And ceased to pay their taxes in this place.
What good does it do to talk to the dead?
When there is none to listen – or is there?
I rationalize, and see my visitors
As two-dimensional friends.
As such, they pass along the swirling paths
Of brain and mind, to centre in my breast.
Where in a flurry of palpitations they come to rest.
They come and go with the force of will.
Using no energy
Needing no power other than desire.
Thinking about them, they come.
Perhaps thinking about me, they come.
But what good is this "presence"
This feeling of something other?
What evil or benefit does it bring?
Is it here to do which of any of us good?
Am I starting to believe in spirits,
These are I feel, not quite
The angel guardians,
Whatever they may be.
Although my effortless
Escapes from past dread
Stop me in my tracks
And make me wonder.
But then would it matter if they were?
I am sure that the same experiences
Felt by the ancients
Brought the concept of "other" to their minds.
Of this, I am certain:
That nothing new in the idea
Of "beyond", has entered the human mind
Since the days of early fossils,
Or however long that man has fought
For his place upon this earth.
Once and long ago,
Bursting into my head.
But I was too young,
To be other than frightened.
I lacked the courage, the guidance,
To take that final step into the unknown,
Without a hand to see me safely home.
But the beyond was there,
Touchable, scary, and a place too far for me.
I wonder if that too is your beyond,
Your final destination?
You practitioners of god-led wonders
May have only come but one
Single step along your way,
And like my self, lacking guidance, have
Halted in a comfortable place,
Seeking the reassurance of the like minded
To bolster the insecurity
Of an empty core.
Adopting by necessity
A bristling stance,
Protecting the wavering
Acceptance of an imposed faith.
We, who can, question,
And hope that logic will out
And free you from your anguish.
© Jim Macaulay