Poem on Blind Faith by Lawrence L. Schwartz

On the Occasion of Hiroshima Day we thought it fitting to share the following poem by Lawrence L. Schwartz.  He introduces it with the following words:

On July 11, 2016, I was privileged to read my “Poem on Blind Faith” at the United Nations Chapel, in my role as an interfaith minister, as one of the guests at an interfaith program organized by Guruji Dileepkumar Thankappan.  (Text of poem follows link to video.)

Click Here to View:  Lawrence L.  Schwartz reading the poem on YouTube.

“A Poem on Blind Faith”

When religion is based on fear, not Love,
You cannot feel that God’s within,
You’re stuck with the fear of “that God above,”
And spend your days in dreading “sin,”

You feel threatened that folks outside
Will obscure the “divine truth” from others,
And cannot see it’s not they who hide,
The Oneness you share with all sisters and brothers,

You cling to verses in a book,
And dare not go within yourself,
You cannot take that deeper look,
When you put the book up on the shelf,

The darkest fears then make you tell,
All sorts of lies you think are real,
You’d rather say, “Kill the infidel!”
Than see inside behind your zeal,
Plowing Heaven under, creating “hell,”
You run from what you cannot feel,

And while obsessed with hatred and killing,
Far from the Truth behind your chapter and verse,
Seeing only difference in those unwilling
To follow your way, you make things worse.

Wars, and famines– the years roll by,
Generations of blood spilled on the soil,
As families torn apart moan and cry,
From the folly of your misguided toil,

When you say, “My way or the highway,”
Proclaiming God bids you to carry that torch,
You block the very Light of day,
And cast long shadows o’er the Earth you scorch,

Whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Jew,
The subtle music of your soul:
Singing “Never instead, but in addition to”
Is the song that could have made you whole.

This refrain down through the ages,
Missed by zealots in their furious blindness,
Yet heard by saints, rishis, and sages,
Could have turned the world
Into one of kindness.

In every age, the flame of Truth burns,
Obscured by those who see only its smoke,
And heads keep spinning as the world turns . . .
A blind eye and deaf ear to the
Seers who spoke . . .

. . . But what if it Still is not too late,
To Listen to that “Still small voice within”?
Still to turn toward Love, and away from hate, And Still that violent negative spin?

Can the world yet come to Peace,
Without condemnation and invective?
With real understanding, violence will cease, Grasping difference as being only in perspective.

This then is our fervent prayer–
A Cause to sing an anthem by:
Listen WELL to the Inner Love and Care,
Let that “still small voice” be AMPLIFIED!!

If actions do speak louder than words,
And if we act from the inner Heart,
It will take time but it’s not absurd,
To give peace a chance,
And NOW’s the time to Start!

(C) 2016 Lawrence L. Schwartz


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