Two Truths (This and Ours)

The first part of this post is my poem, Two Truths (This and Ours), and the latter part is a brief explanation of my intents.


This Truth:

Not not-one.

Our Truth:

The ancestrality of you and I

is a revelation of the eternity

that is our living together.

Forever dancing as we go,

there’s been fall at our wake 

yet with opportunity for blooming…


For with sacred coordination,

and through divine elevation,

your moving never ceases to awe.


A prior hesitation

now posterior determination,

even your Contingency

moves as Necessity! 

Paradoxical other, together our


Dramas are unfolding,

Natures are creating,

Powers are destroying,

Love is preserving,


Dear, our life is ascending!


From the Play of our game,

And by the rule of its Law,

we open up Time itself

to make Space

for our World-To-Come.


To this End we go, relentlessly so,

to the final closure which escapes disclosure,

locking us in perpetual revolution.

Becoming the Being that is to Come,

our promise to each other

Never not-done. 


about the poem:

In Madhyamika Buddhist thought, best systematized by 2nd century philosopher and dharma practitioner Nagarjuna, reality can be seen in terms of “two truths”.

In one truth, the “conventional truth”, the phenomenal world is a relativistic play between interdependent processes, processes that cannot be understood in their isolation and only make sense in terms of their relationship to the others. I express this here through a play between two lovers, where we stand within the position of one as they apprehend the play of the other, and the identity of this one is only constituted as a relation to the other. Their relationship is a joyous process that seems to be leading somewhere, but this somewhere is beyond comprehension.

The other truth, the “ultimate truth”, states that there is no ultimate truth! This is a truth that affirms the reality of the phenomenal world as a relativistic play of interdependent processes without giving any absolute position to anything, even itself! It is a “truth” that does not pretend to stand above the world, but is radically self-reflexive on its own character as being dependent upon the world for its utterance. I’ve expressed this here through a modification of an even more ancient vedic understanding of the absolute, as “neti neti”, translated from the Sanskrit as “not this, not that.”

The “ultimate truth” is an apophatic (negative) statement whose aim is to negate itself, in order to open up to a form of positivity that is not uttered in speech but is played out in practice. In this way, the Two Truths are not different things but ultimately refer to each other, and make sense only by reference to each other; the Two Truths are interdependent aspects of the same understanding.

The beginning of the poem starts with the negative statement, “Not not-one” which refers to the ontological nature of reality, as a double negative that refuses to stand within the dualism of Being and Non-Being. The poem ends with a similar negative statement, “never not-done” which also refers to the ontological nature of reality, as a process whose very processual character is its own goal, which refuses to make a dualism between Path and Destination. By beginning and ending with these two similar apophatic verses, I try to “loop” the poem in on itself, as another way to express the interdependence of the Two Truths.

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