We have many sorts of consciousness: unconscious, sub-conscious, and self-conscious, You can be fashion-conscious, bargain-conscious, and class-conscious. The level of consciousness that leaves all the others in the dust is cosmic-consciousness. When you are cosmic-conscious, the triviality of all the rest becomes evident. Your aspirations and worries and their attendant anxieties diminish to relative nothingness.
UNDER THE TREE OF MORTALITY
…we stand, reaching for eternity
and falling ever short.
Here we live and here we die
beneath a never-caring sky
that will not heed a word we pray
nor need us when we go away.
(Mike Cohen – Oct 2014)
THE MOST HUMBLING THOUGHT
The universe is a very big place
where lots of little things are going on all the time.
Already you are unaware of nearly all these little things.
In time, you will be unaware of the rest.
And you will never
never be aware
of how little a difference that will make.
(Mike Cohen – Apr 2008)
One of the most cosmic-conscious minds in the universe, Albert Einstein famously asserted that God does not play dice with the universe. The implication is that there was a grand design that was not left to chance. But maybe it merely suggests that craps is not the chosen game of chance.
THE ETERNAL POKER GAME
There’s one famous game of five‑card‑draw
that everyone witnessed, but nobody saw…
Round the table five players sat hauntingly still ‑
Fate, Chance, and Justice, and Chaos, and Will.
Chance was the dealer. Justice went first.
They played their hands strangely, as if they’d rehearsed.
Justice took two cards, then Will took two more,
Chance shrugged and took three, Chaos took four,
and when his turn came, Fate impassively sat,
though he said determinedly, “I’ll stand pat.”
Will folded quickly. Then Chaos gave in.
Chance, Fate, and Justice all went for the win.
None of them would admit hope for victory was gone,
and so the three sat with their game‑faces on
until the time came, as the second hand swept,
to reveal the five cards those three players had kept.
Chance had three sevens; Justice, a straight.
All of the focus now fell upon Fate.
Over the game room there settled a hush
then Fate flashed a smile and his hand… royal flush.
They sit every day, and they play their old game.
Each time the contest’s results are the same.
Chance always deals. Justice always begins.
Will always folds first. And Fate always wins.
(Mike Cohen – c.1994)
Between the dealer Chance and the winner Fate, the fix is in as you can see if you read tea leaves.
Tea leaves afloat on the surface
doing the dance of chance… Then
sink, sank, sunk,
drink, drank, drunk.
Swirl and drain,
and what remains
of chance has turned to fate.
(Mike Cohen – 2013)
You needn’t believe what you read in tea leaves to see truth in the metaphor as tea leaves demonstrate that the past tense of chance is fate.
Whether it’s a matter of fate or chance, it’s not hard to see how things could easily have turned out much differently; and maybe they have in a universe not far away.
BALANCE AND PROBABILITY
I thrust open the window, and my face into the morning air.
The ground is two-and-a-half stories distant,
a height somewhere between serious injury
I lean out, out,
and in several nearby parallel universes I fall,
balance and probability being what they are.
In some of these universes my fall is fatal;
in others it is not.
In one, I teeter momentarily
then topple backward,
striking my head against the end table
and dying instantly.
Balance and probability have a wry sense of humor.
In the vast majority of parallel universes,
including the one in which we seem to be residing,
I simply inhale deeply,
filling myself with the splendid emptiness of an as yet unspoiled day,
and return inside,
oblivious to all the drama and tragedy going on nearby.
(Mike Cohen – Aug 2006)