I Have Nothing
I often walk the sinewy wooded banks of Ramapo River,
But generally I am alone in the immersions into the ethereal scenery,
Slaking my thirst for loneliness and beauty.
I spent my life in small, solitary pursuits,
Believing life is more important
Than the person temporarily possessing it.
The world around me is occupied and single-minded,
Like an addict on a
Seemingly grand though fatalistic trip to some searing plateau.
People don’t have time to look around and absorb,
Other humans the unavoidable parts of the scene,
Their will to live can be carried out only one way.
Seeing my maverick mien,
The world does not tire reminding me that I have nothing,
Not quite understanding it I continue to live as I have always done.
But in my meditative moments
I have tried to plumb the depths of the culture surrounding me,
And have come up with some seminal insights:
Materialism and individualism are the boundless goals of our age,
Great effort is expended to have God on your side,
Fulfillment is to be possessed by self-glory.
People believe in and work hard to have good-times,
But good-times come and go, often without leaving a nurturing residue,
Not wanting to give up, people seek them again and again.
The world is right that I do not possess those ornaments -
I walk askew to the flow of its culture,
I am alone but not lonely.
For me wealth serves only utilitarian purposes:
Comfort and style are wholesome - but not crass opulence and vulgarity;
The day when money replaces God will be the end of humanity.
I need liberation and not possession,
I need affirmation of my values through my life,
Not their recognition by others.
There is great beauty in nothingness,
It focuses on searching the human spirit,
And the spirit of the grand architecture of nature behind it.
Space around us
Beckons us to infinity and beauty -
It is never empty.
I have nothing,
But I am on the grand voyage
To become one with the universe.
*Maharaj Kaul was born in Kashmir, India. He studied engineering in Banaras University and Polytechnic Institute Of New York. He has worked for Wyeth (now Pfizer) and other companies. From his childhood he has been interested in the origins and philosophy of science, religion, and art. He has taken a special interest in studying the effects of the age of technology, we are living in now, on religion, culture, and personality of the mankind. This is a subject that recurs frequently in his articles, books, and poems.
He has written five books: (1) Meditation On Time (poetry); (2) Destruction And Injustice: The Tribulations Of Kashmiri Pandits: (3) Life With Father; (4) Inclinations And Reality: The Search For The Absolute; (5) The Light Through The Woods (poetry).
Some of his literary work can be viewed at www.kaulscorner.com.