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Previous poem - Gleizes's Essai


Once you have understood
what a book is,
then you can understand
that there is only one book -
one book with a million
billion trillion
chapters, all derived
from a common source which is
Mind - for now
you have also understood
that there is only one
mind, with a million,
billion, trillion - how many
cells are there in the body
(God is abundant)? -
derivatives, walking about
and talking, each
not nothing in its own right, but not either
detached from Mind, which could also be known
as Earth, for what
is understanding if it is not
what stands under, and so
everything plays
with everything else
and all sin
is my sin, and my sin
touches everything, and so,
by the same token,
when the Book (the only
book there is) declares:
Everything on earth praises You -
it's true.

'The only book there is' -
It was a long time ago
(when I was writing my own
book) it occurred to me
that every book -
even the most frivolous or obscene -
is a chapter in the Bible,
the book of our
relationship with God, for how can we
do anything that isn't
a relationship with God?
The girls giggling
in the back of the bus, repeating
mindlessly 'O my God', are expressing
a relationship with God.
When we by reading enter
Mind we are
potholers, entering
our common earth - oh yes,
the earth is very big
and the caves are very small, but still
that is where we are, we are not
nowhere. Yeats
had it right when he said:
Though Grave-diggers' toil is long,
Sharp their spades, their muscles strong,
They but thrust their buried men
Back in the human mind again.
And yet perhaps he had it wrong
if his human mind
like Milton's Satan,
is its own place, for ours
belongs to and longs
for Something Else -
and that is where those clever
Zen philosophers have it wrong, rejecting as they do
subject and object, which is to say
love, which is to say
Mind -
for here is a definition
of Mind.
Mind is whatever
has an object
and it is by
the quality of our object that we
in our particularity
are defined.

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