My Mind Opened (as their world closed)

Buddha under the bodhi tree

The beauty
The delight
The agony
The fear
The endless possibilities built above the vault of emotion
I listened to them being described, plotted and extrapolated
Like Euclid’s parallels, stretching to infinity
Like Borges’ library, home to every possibility
Like the shape of water in a snowflake
Like starlight seen from every vantage point in this and every universe

Drawn out
The ideas became endless architectures of potential
And I believed
As my every thought led to another
That every thought must lead to another
An unbreakable flow of energy
Opening the petals of my mind
Like a flower turning to the light
And I thought that thought might be limitless
And how this thought would let me touch the sun

But the eternal fire was out of reach
Which was the real agony
What had been unimagined was now denied

A line had coiled snakelike around every idea
It prescribed
It strangled
A limit was set to every possibility
Until my only choice was a choking destiny
And the commonwealth of mankind was revealed to be a prison

Those once thought to be victims, were found identical to their supposed persecutors
The righteous had proved themselves to themselves, and to no others
(Because how could the righteous choose to learn from the profane?)
And so attaining their own definition of wisdom, they sought to spread it
And their minds became juries
Where every supplicant must be plaintiff or defendant
Measured relative to their judgement
Against standards claimed to be absolute through their endorsement

And so I learned they had nothing left to teach
That their command was confused with instruction
That they walked all over this world, in grand circles of their own design

I listened no more
As no voice spoke on any other’s behalf
And I examined the scars they had left behind
As I walked through them
Their words had done violence, carving tracks into our world
Leading slaves like me to trudge through the recurring rut
Deeper every year
Consuming the surface of this Earth

Weighed down by gravity
I shed my smile
I shed my tears
I shed my dreams
I shed parts of me that were born into this world but never yet named
And I left them all by the wayside
As I toiled onward
I looked ahead, at the footsteps I followed
Knowing there was no escape to the sky
And I walked along
But my spine connected feet of lead with a head still craning for even the darkest cloud
So I bolted from their cattle train, and sought the solace of a private silence

So much was promised
But promises are not guarantees
Lost alone, comforted only by my own quiet
I realized my error
I had heard words
I should have listened to the world, instead of its occupiers
This world, my world, lies beyond anyone’s possession, and lies mute whilst others talk
It is a world whose presence is felt, unspoken, everywhere
A world that promises nothing to nobody
A world that promises nothing but itself
And freed from mortal concerns
I found the soul can transgress every boundary
And shape a heaven made of every room

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