The poem and subject matter that follow may cause many minds to rebel and disagree with what is being stated. Accord, openness to contemplate, or outright rejection are all valid! Most feel ‘rights’ and ‘entitlements’ are more than just concepts the majority agree with. Rules may be useful as some do require a framework to work within. But as Lao Tzu states in The Tao Te Ching (translation by William Martin):

Stop trying to be holy. Stop making rules for behavior. Stop demanding that people behave according to your wishes. Stop seeking privilege and profit. Stop trying to be clever. If you stop these fruitless pursuits, people will naturally find kindness, compassion, and right action arising in their hearts. If you don’t know what to do, just stay quiet, see without judgment, and live with simplicity. Things will take their course.

In “Dante’s Divine Comedy,” Dante encounters the phrase “abandon hope all ye who enter here” etched above the entrance to the underworld. At first glance one might interpret this phrase to mean having no hope means one is doomed. However it may be interpreted that one without expectations as to how this journey should turn out does not suffer expectations about how things might turn out. The following poem speaks to being present with “what is” and not living in a delusion of projections about the future – or what you are ‘entitled’ to.

descending into seeming depths,
hope is a rope of unknown length,
a wish wrapped in a desire might say
“oh please let things work out my way”

when faced with an uncertainty,
having hope is a toss of the dice,
a gamble made with an all-in drop,
“pretty please with sugar on top”

yet there is comfort in not knowing,
free from hopeful paralysis,
aligning instead with ‘WHAT IS’ now
no need for an analysis

cool detachment, objective facts,
not entering into a hopeful pact,
no expectations of what or how,
observing this unfolding NOW

with existence vibrating as it does,
knowing these appearances-in-disguise
as a play of light within the whole ,
the hopeless truly are the wise.

3 thoughts on “Hopeless

  1. Hello Walter – I find it difficult to interpret hopelessness as being without expectations. It feels more like being stuck in the underworld where there is no light. Abandoning hope is a condition for entering the underworld, but if one is blessed to rise from the abyss, as Dante was, is hope still lost? Gurdjieff wrote, “Hope of consciousness is strength.” While it may be a crutch, I feel hope of consciousness supports being without expectations. It is not hope for the future, it is hope of a higher reality which has been tasted. The separate self in devotion.

    1. Maybe so! That word, hope, is a placeholder and will mean different things to each. To be fully present now is to not hope for a different now or different future but to observe and see what the moment asks for.

Comments are closed.