I wrote this on my return from India in 1970. It is the first piece I ever had published.
I recently came across it in some old files, so I have posted it here as archive material.
I'd probably polish the words a bit now, but otherwise I still like it.

Since posting it here, Ariel Ky was prompted to record it. Listen.

The Divine Play

One and one make three, two units together with their union. Each of these poems is to some degree autonomous; but if they are allowed to interweave in the reader's mind they will yield by their union a third poem, to bring resolution and completeness. Two voices echoing the One. Let the unity prevail while enjoying the diversity.


Once

Once upon a time there was no time
No beginning and no end

There was not any thing

No thing, no name, no form
Yet neither was there nothing

No Existence, no Non-Existence

Darkness hidden in the darkness
No diversity no equality

Just omnipresent Unity

One, beyond opposites, beyond boundaries
Pure Being, Bliss Consciousness

Quiescent in Itself

But in its boundless majesty
Supposing it might be

Being willed to become

Though still and calm and changeless
It imagined to be Other

Pretending It was not One

It dreamt of the impossible
That what was not could be

Existent born from non-existent

The cosmic game began
Pretending there was no pretence

It flowed as waves of energy

Producing waves of Itself within Itself
Till vibrations filled the void

And there was Light

Tendencies appeared qualities developed
And as they interacted

Time and Space were born

Earth and air and sea became
Cosmic sap in leaf and bud

And so the Universe evolved

Not being it was fun
And so pretense continued

But in its multiplicity

In its infinite variety
The many seemed to miss the One

Forgetting this was only play

Diversity ignorant of divinity
The pawn and player parted

It lost Itself

The changeless and the ever-changing
Appeared to be quite separate

The Joy of Life was hidden

The pawn was It, but only saw the pawn
The player was It, and silently looked on

Though It sought Itself

Though we thought and reasoned, wrote and read
Dissected and examined everything we met

Searching high and low

We looked through microscopes and telescopes
Till knowledge filled our minds

Yet it could not fill Itself

So good was the pretence
The inescapable escaped

For It was everywhere we looked

In ignorance we blundered on
Seeking that which lay within

Some knew they way

Buddha, Moses, Tao and Jesus
Nanok, Shankara, Mohammed

They told us the Reality

They came to show us what we were
To put life back into living

But so few saw, for so few heard

Looking out we never saw
The glory they described within

One day we shall wake

When we cease the quest for what It isn't
Then we'll rediscover It, then we'll see

Then we shall understand

Why we have never understood
Why it is that all is thus

And we will see

That you and I and he are It
The earth, the air and sea are It

That everything is It

And knowing It and living It
Eternally adoring It

It will rejoice in being found

We shall rejoice in having found
The real I so still within

The blissful Self pervading all

Reality cognized as joy
Everything cognized as I

We shall be It again

Until the game has reached its end
When everything has grown to know

And realize

That It had never really changed


Peter Russell, 1970