From celebrations when you’re born To lamentations loved ones mourn: Your life’s a circle turning round From birth canal to earthy mound: Thus fit it is to mark in rhyme Your start and end in mortal time.
Quite evidently, here on Earth we find An agency we’ve designated Mind, The origin of order and control, Assembling many parts into one whole: Good Orderly Direction, nicknamed GOD, Not a despotic ruler with a rod But a generous provider now called Source To which for all our needs we have recourse.
Despite the seeming chaos and real pain That mortal earthly wayfarers sustain, There’s comfort to be found for misery Acknowledging this cosmic mystery.
Though enigmatic, history’s not blind, For Mind’s involved in everything designed.
I read and would believe that mind survives The death of bodies destined for the grave, That something deeply mystical contrives To elude the horror of that dark enclave. Mind is what’s real in the deepest sense, For matter is but thought made manifest As palpable, illusory evidence Of what one would not otherwise attest. But still reality, as Plato knew, Is not materiality but form, Not wispy figments in perceptual view; Instead, some constant, underlying norm. And yet this reasoning is too abstract, For nothing’s more consoling than plain fact.
How did this vasty cosmos come to be, This seeming endless universal sea? Is there a singular controlling force, Its guiding genius and its covert source: Good Orderly Direction we’ve named “GOD,” Personified as shepherd with a rod?
But pastoral imagery is not our mode As in the days when huts were our abode. Our brightest answer now is that it’s Mind By which the whole shebang has been designed, An intellect with which we are imbued, Defining goals appropriately pursued.
Above all else, our mission’s to ensure This grand experiment will long endure.
Each person’s a receptacle of mind And thus with all eternity aligned, While toward some latent destiny inclined That introspectively may be divined.
Discovering for what you’re best designed, Which latent talents need to be refined And with whatever resources combined Are topics worthiest to be opined.
What is the next significant frontier To be transcended by our human race, The next important barrier to clear Now we have entered into outer space?
I speculate it’s something in our mind, Some latency that’s still to be released, Some lurking virtue not as yet refined By which our species’ worth will be increased. It’s wisdom that our kind has ever sought, The sapience for which we’re doubly named, Discerning how to do that which we ought Instead of foolish deeds for which we’re blamed.
Once Homo sapiens avoids that trap, We’ll rise above our rep as Homo sap.
In some imagined futures, aliens Come to our world with good or ill intents; How we fare in those meetings all depends On how wisely we manage such events.
The preparation we’d best undertake Is to present such visitors with clear, Compelling evidence that we’re awake To wisdom and hold peace and loving dear. It’s only on such terms that we’ll survive, Whether or not such creatures visit us, And if our troubled species is to thrive, We’ll shape a culture that’s less ominous.
A Global Wisdom Culture would entail A shift to make our species whole and hale.
What wisdom have we humans yet to master To govern our wayward intelligence And spare us from the inevitable disaster Our follies will soon reap as recompense? When Homo sapiens sapiens grows sapient Indeed, and not in aspiration merely; When we have straightened out in us what’s bent, We’ll recognize what we have longed for dearly:
The sanity of wholeness and good health, Prerequisites for durable well-being, Of all treasures, the highest kind of wealth And for one’s soul what’s ultimately freeing.
The wisdom to discern what’s best for all If mastered will redeem us from our fall.
The Unitarian-Universalists Are truly catholic (but uncapitalized) In that their fundamental creed consists Of principles that reason has surmised Pertaining to the whole of humankind With which clear-thinking members are aligned. They’re dubious of dogmas handed down From superstitious eras before thought Evolved, when simply someone with a crown Could dictate principles for which we fought. The U-U faith is that mentality That’s sound and kind should shape reality.
I’d rather know in truth than trust in faith The declarations of some “Holy Wraith”: It’s science that will show the rightful way And dictate what commandments to obey If we’re to thrive in earthly enterprises Meeting whatever challenge here arises, And simply common sense reveals that love Is what our noblest goals are fashioned of. But superstition and idolatry Have over eons bred such misery That thoughtful people cannot but deplore The oxymoron of “religious war.” A blind belief in someone’s “holy word” Instead of truth is patently absurd.
Though other theories have prevailed till now, With matter being assumed the building block Of all there is, a thing and not a Thou, The universe not spirit but a clock, An older view has lately been revived: That Mind’s the elemental guiding force By which the budding cosmos is contrived, And Spirit is its fundamental Source.
Mind matters more than we have long believed Being the womb in which the world’s conceived.
That we are here is evidence enough The universe is made of more than stuff, But rather is invested with a mind By which the blooming cosmos is designed. Mere random rolls of dice could never build The complex universe we’re here to see, And such an enterprise was clearly willed Then surely through invention came to be. The proof of this is that we’re here to show By our own deeds the way a mind proceeds: This very poem demonstrates the flow Of thought that fills a certain pattern’s needs, And thus it is the universe is made From form and matter thoughtfully arrayed.
It’s Mind that finds or generates the stuff From which materiality is made, But matter in itself is not enough, So Mind decides how it is best arrayed, And thus it was the Cosmos came to be And thence evolved to what it is today, A function of expressed mentality That may, through us, have more still to display. For all we know, we’re evolution’s edge, On whom the growing cosmos now depends, For it’s our duty and our privilege To realize where cosmic progress tends—
Taking the greatest stride we’ve ever stridden, Revealing those deep secrets Mind has hidden.
The problem with emotion-backed demands Is how they bind your mind and tie your hands; Whereas if you’d let go and just be calm, You’d feel the healing of that heavenly balm Which patience and serenity supply And Providence will render by and by.
The Prairie Home Companion’s on tonight For those of us who stay in Saturdays, A folksy and old-fashioned ear’s delight For us accustomed to the inward gaze, Trained by the radio in our childhood To see with just imagination’s eye What otherwise would not be understood, Except as fiction readers learn to spy. The two-hour’s traffic of this medley, Performed on stage in a Twin City’s hall, Consists of music, songs and repartee, Variety enough to please us all Capped off by Garrison’s weekly reviews Of his hometown, Lake Wobegon’s breaking news.