Stephen Bennett

Rookie - 20 Points (June 1949 / Quincy, Massachusetts)

Death And Infinity - Poem by Stephen Bennett

Yes, one word is a universe... all
of these... or any other, frozen like
a snapped picture and moving
like whatever that picture means or is
likely going.

Yes... Life is in life and vice
versa, and life is in the word and the word
is in the 'in the word'. Yes...the word
is in life and also vice versa. Life is
neither the same as the word
nor anything different.

Between all falsehood and the opening
to any truth anywhere,
lurks all the works and games
of the claim maker. In his workings
we find a kind of truth, calling for
its provisional existence:
a suggestion of itself suspended
in the special world of thought, which
precedes both the post-concluded
pre-wondered all of reality, a goal to where
all working processes someday can come.

All the workings of this moment,
for as long as truth is still
unfinished, must turn upon
an element of a claim.
A diet program that works
includes the 'dis' 'claimer'
'individual results may vary'.
thus a special kind of usable
truth becomes possible out of
literally anything conceivable.

All imagination is tentative, and in being
so, prefers to work as a launching pad
for expectations rather than as a tool
of examination, actually it is
a functioning lie, both false and true
at one time, because while
nothing is in it, all belief is behind it.
So it works as a truth, even if
it's not explicitly believed by one,
it's believed enough everywhere
it has to be believed, by someone.

As every teacher is assumed an expert,
and must function as one as assigned,
whether knowing the subject or not,
because if not, no teaching can happen.
This totally works in context
of the need to get teaching done.

What makes it show up as false, if it does,
is not related to the underlying logic.
When it's false, it's from the failing
of its needed function. Not from any
content of what the flawed function
has brought. When one of the world's
functional lies turns out to be less
of a tool and more of a weapon,
the complaint made is answered
by an appeal to the claim made
not to any of the underlying facts
that it may be lying about.

The teacher is or will become an expert...
just not in this case... yet. That the teacher
must be an expert in the subject,
at its most bottom line, was never a fact.
It was and is a claim. In any choice
we engage elements of both the most
infinite in possibility... the almost anything
that is something not yet and the most
rigorous definition of the something we'll get.

All paradox begins at the meeting place
where unlimited potential to create
tries to join with the limiting medium
of a physical mate, where it must manifest.
By working through claims.. not facts
all paradoxes are affairs without conflict,
always being able to change the claim
according to what is believe required.

We are not living lies; we are living claims.
To change my life, I can get training
according to a claim I've accepted.
We send young people to die, because
of the claim that the bad of now
is the good of tomorrow. One way or another
that's what every claim is... not a lie.

We join our whole futures with someone
to love, because of the feeling of
claims we have received and made
back. From the heart of the claim's
making. Its fantasy's amazing light
shines into our moment and condenses
our imaginations into genuine substance.

We are continually both making claims
and considering the acceptance
of claims offered. The more bold
the claim is, the closer and closer
its proof gets to infinity. Claiming
that if we get a college degree
we will achieve success assumes
years of effort. That success is neither
attained nor expected at the moment
of graduation. The claim of eternal life
as a result of choosing Christ assumes
using the entirety of the time of both
life and death to fully accomplish all
of what's required and to receive all
of what's been promised.

As long as we are able to continue
a making of effort or to begin again
anew, all claims maintain validity.

With the one and only exception
being the claim that someday we'll die.

This we are doing a little bit
of that one all the time,
and we will fulfill the promise
to complete the procedure entirely
sometime one day somewhere
in the future. So in this ongoing
moment of paradox our personal death
is unique. We are each sustaining
a connection to infinity supported
by and in this piece of dying meat.

The claim of all claims, which we hope is offered,
is that our connection to infinity
will out last our death. We expect
to have all the time we need to finish
everything we care about. This hope
is the only source of our ability
to keep trying.

We look into creation from
the perspective of infinity,
but from it everything we touch
and deal with is decay
except for ourselves. We are
points of changing life surrounded by death.

Even the people we know can
seem like dead objects. This is my boss.
That's my spouse. We have
every reason to believe they are
each alive in the same way
as we, but its verification is forever
withheld, as the only interior
we can ever know is our own.

Our involvement with this world is comprised
of trading the ownerships and powers over
the dead commodities. The material of
the material world: it's death.
It's value vested in the visible...
the material, even the idea as material.

You meet someone, and suppose you think
you may be falling in love. Suppose it is
your belief that global warming is serious
and a problem, and the obstacle to
the problem's cure is a combination
of ignorance, laziness and corruption.
Suppose that someone you want to love
believes all the noise of the issue
is a deliberate calculated tactic,
or a pure unexamined stupidity. The forces
of production could never
be capable of wasting an earth,
since it would destroy them too, and you
really think that you want this person.

So all your claims must be playful at first,
but once you've each shown each other
in your full selves, they soon become painful.
They actually create a trauma of torture.

Claiming is not just a projective truth,
it's name implies a form of ownership.
Collected commodities of a person's
realm, ranging from the personal ideas
on out to the most remote controlled
articles of property, are a security.

Though adding on to this realm or
subtracting from it does not change
what is me, it changes completely
all of the death that's around me.

In my consciousness, I emerge
out of infinity to hold on to death.

Consider the experience of the cold-
calling sales effort over the phone
or face to face, If I call you
to sell you... to see if you want
a mortgage a debt consolidation,
you may have just before then
discussed the need to do something,
but you tell me that everything is
under control. In the second
of that conversation we both meet
the unknown face to face. It is not
about the ideas I'm trying to claim.
It's about the personally owned territory
being threatened.

This is the purest example of claim making.
A salesman is trained to handle the negative
fears and objections through rebuttals
and assurances. Both
a telemarketer and customer think
they're interacting with and through
the idea aspect of false claim.

The question of falsehood consumes the attention,
but the territorial side of it is so easily missed.
The telemarketer too is staring at the unknown,
not just in the call he makes to you,
but in every call. He wonders
if anyone is telling the truth when they say
they're not interested, and he knows they wonder
whether he is telling the truth
as he gives his rebuttals. They are together
focusing attention on the factualities or falsehoods
of what's being said, while their guts
are involved in a struggle for real territory.
Should either believe the other and disbelieve
himself? If he gets you, that's value and success.
In that moment death falls and infinity is met.

Actually each field of ownership and control
reaches further out in that moment.
Personal beings actually get larger.

In the miracle of the flowing thought we enlarge
the reach of infinity by taking over some
of the death around us. Materially
it's a transfer of ownership and control.
That's what's experienced
in an orientation to death. Some
of what was outside your control
has just moved into it. In
the perspective of infinity, it is
an expansion of freedom.

That's what we feel. But do we
own this material or this freedom?
Do we own any of the things
we appear to control? God is
the owner of everything. We
each give up our bodies inevitably,
and inevitably all of our possessions
are gone. Although everyone
believes they see this, no one
acts as though they do.

Death always seems to come
with surprise, even to those very old
or those ill for a very long time.
Those who live high risk life styles...
who have people that love them,
will regard their death a broken
promise, like they have been
promised it would not happen
and that promise deliberately
and unexpectedly destroyed.

People are surprised when they loose
control over the physical world, something
everyone looses, but still it always remains
a surprise. The loss of physical presence
effects all claims too... all of the truth
we hoped to manifest eventually... each idea
we carry inside us in the flesh of our brains
is alive when our thoughts are upon it,
but dead like the walls when
our thoughts are somewhere else.
Every claim is a raising of the dead.
The only purpose of forming it
is not the dilemmas ownership
or the cravings for control on. it is
to form and maintain the conscious
continual meeting place
between infinity and death.

Stop reading here to look
at the words already read.
All of them are all dead until
you see them. The essence
of this is not in whatever substance
we own or control. Nor is it in
any of what these words say
or in what they mean.
Communication is not moving
a substance from one mind
to another, or from some location
in the unknown to here.

I do not speak this this to tell you
a thing I have to convey. Words bring
you into the moment of a thought
but are really not the substance
or the content of that thought.
We never tend to see that.
Thirty five pictures that flash
in our eyes each second we
watch a movie suggest the action
we see. But what we actually watch
and following is the steps of change
between each pair of them. Exposures
on film glimpsed through a shudder
neither saw nor captured that, but we do.
What we watch and follow looks
the same as what the camera saw, but
it's not even in the same league.
In the same way what lives in
this moment is alive because
you and I are following it, and it's not
about what we are gaining or what
is ultimately taken away.

That is death. That's what death is
We never really own anything
except the meeting point where
death meets infinity, this moment
and the claim it makes and that
we feel ourselves making
or ourselves being in or to it.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Poem Edited: Monday, February 27, 2012


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