To Do But Not To Be

How curious that a man
Can be willing to do a thing
And yet not be willing to be it—
That he will commit to it outwardly
And even for impressive periods of time
And yet not love it with all his inner being—
And live on for years divided about it in his spirit!

How has he learned to count such inner strife tenable?—
Fooling himself that it has no consequences (of consequence)
And that the inner Grinch that he can never evade for long
Must be wholly unrelated and from some other cause?

How can he make for so long that same mistake
Of prioritizing the doing of good things
While neglecting the unsavory fact
That part of his spirit hates
Some of those things?—
As if to work a peace
With oneself
Were not

He is torn
It would seem
Between whether
His existence is mostly
About the doing or the being—
If not merely about toughing it out.

But if it should be that it’s properly about
Finding that illusive inner peace that
So few find the time to consider
Then it stands to reason that
There must be some kind
Or resolution between
The vying factions
Of one’s will.

And few
Dare to swim
In such axioms
Where life is about
Whether we are good
And good deeds are not
About whether we should
But whether we are
Not about making
An offering for
A failing self
But about
Expressing a
Righteous one.

And now I have raised
That dangerous and divisive
Question of whether we may in fact
Be righteous and pure in our inner selves—
And if so, by what means it could be
And whether it is in actuality
Or only by make-believe
Ritual practices.

And the world will
No more want it settled
Now than ever it was before.
But I find myself now wholly willing.

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