March 30, 2022


Beulah Land 31 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
The Gateless Gate is an implied Eye of the Neetle,
letting people in,
and keeping people out,
of Beulah Land,
the Promised Land,
the Elysian Fields,
the Farther Shore,
the Happy Hunting Grounds
and all the other idyllic destinations of lore. 

And, it is everywhere we are,
right here,
right now,
in every moment.

"The kingdom of heaven is spread out
over the earth," said Jesus, 
"and no one sees it."
Because we are looking for the wrong thing.

That is what the Gateless Gate
stands for,
In order to see what is before us
we have to change our mind about
what we are looking for.

We have to stop thinking
and start perceiving, 
trusting our instincts
and our unconscious
in leading us to know what we know
and follow what we know to be so
through the Gateless Gate
into the wonder of being here now,
with nothing to do but to enjoy the radiance
and reflect it in all that we do.

It sounds crazy
until you stop thinking about it,
and laugh.



Earth Shadow 10/14/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Settling into ourselves,
enjoying being who we are,
doing what we do,
sharing the earth
with others like we are--
and all others are like we are
(We are one with all things,
certainly with all living things,
but the atoms that make us up
make up suns and asteroids and dark holes as well).

When you start with gravity and time,
anything is possible.
Of course, we have to have a third thing.
A third thing is necessary
to create gravity and time...
Maybe a carbon atom.
That will do nicely.

Then we can sit back and watch the show,
settled into ourselves,
enjoying being who we are,
doing what we do.

We--or some variation of us--have been at it
a long time,
coming and going,
sunrise, sunset,
being who we are,
wondering about all of it.

The old Hindus have a number
for the years we've been at it.
The old Comanche's and Apache's and their kin
cut to the chase 
and say, "Many moons."

Coming and going,
being who we are,
doing what we do.

And we owe it all to that
immutable, abiding, enduring, everlasting
carbon atom,
watching it all come and go



Fall Curve 10/17/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
The message of the Gateless Gate
is "Turn The Light Around!"

It is all that anyone who knows
what they are talking about ever says.

It is all that can be said.
All that needs to be said.
To say more is to distract people
from the business of turning the light around.


All the talk, talk, talk,
comes down to 
"Turn the light around!"

What that means is,
"Change your mind about what is important!
And keep changing it until you get it right!"

That's all Jesus had to say.
And the Buddha.

Sin is being wrong about what is important.
And delusion.

Enlightenment and salvation
are being right about what is important.

Knowing what matters in each situation as it arises--
seeing what needs to be done and doing it--
is all it comes down to ever.

We are one slight perspective shift away
from seeing/hearing/knowing/doing/being.

Having the transforming, life-altering, insight
is stepping through the Gateless Gate.
Turning the light around.
And living in light of what is truly important
throughout the time left for living.

If you think it is about something else,
you are wrong.

Turn the light around!


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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