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Clear Light

When I sat down to read this new book of poetry by Steve Taylor I immediately felt at peace as I absorbed his beautifully written words.

Time invested: fifteen minutes a day.

Time I feel joyful: when I fill my mind with words, thoughts, and concepts that nurture my existence.


Without empathy we see enemies everywhere.

We feel threatened by strangers when they come close.

We strengthen our defenses and protect our resources

in case others try to steal what’s rightfully ours.

But with empathy we see brothers and sisters.

When strangers come close we sense kinship.

We embrace them and open up our lives to them

knowing they’re entitled to share what’s ours.

Without empathy we feel incomplete.

The goal of our life is to accumulate —

to build an empire, to claim ownership of the world

so that one day we might feel whole.

But with empathy we feel no sense of lack.

The goal of our life is to contribute —

to alleviate suffering, to help heal the world

and strengthen our connection to the whole.

Without empathy the world seems full of separateness.

The closer we look, the more separateness we see

and the essence of reality appears to be

tiny, solid building blocks of matter.

But with empathy the world is a unity.

The closer we look, the more connection we see

and the essence of reality reveals itself

as a vast space of formless oneness.

Without empathy other human beings are objects —

machines made up of inert materials

that we can use for our own ends

and discard once they have no more use.

But with empathy every person is a universe —

a mysterious spiritual space

full of unknown forces and energies

that we feel privileged to explore.

Without empathy the ego has a solid boundary.

We live as prisoners, trapped inside ourselves.

And the torment of our isolation

is redirected at the world as hatred.

But with empathy the self is soft and fluid.

We’re part of the world, as the world is part of us.

And through our openness, like a river through a channel

we feel an endless flow of love.

Excerpt From: Steve Taylor. “The Clear Light.”


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