Thursday, February 9, 2012

A higher power with no sense of irony


I heard during a lecture that Thomas Pynchon had written somewhere that God is the original conspiracy theory; I haven't found the source of the quote, but the saying appears in many places around the Internet, and it seems that the sentiment has resonated loudly with quite a few. Whether there is an all powerful Deity really isn't the topic of the following poem, originating, rather, from a frustration of a good number of folks to invoke his name when the conversation, in print, on a monitor, or in person, touches on the intangible, the unanswerable, the unknowable.

It's a mystery, it's god's will, it's part of a plan not revealed to us--all these, in variations both subtle and dumb, emerge when the chasm yawns before the assembled.The stark differences in God's persona between Old and New Testaments had changed his mind as to what to do with the world he created, and it's reasonable to think of him as a Deity who is constantly changing, evolving. Otherwise we'd have a God who is static and incapable of changing; he'd be someone who'd be incapable of dealing with an continually unfolding cosmos which he put in motion in the first place. The Prime Mover, I'd think, must by definition be able to move again, and yet again, as needed , as his vast mind assesses, discerns and decides. But iti may be a mistake to think of God as omnipotent ; if we are made in his likeness then our weaknesses are his as well, and this gives a vital clue that God is less than all-powerful and that he doesn't know the outcome of each and every matter before him. It's an attractive notion that God remains teachable by the very things he creates.

I understand the reluctance venture forth into things where there is nothing concrete and all else is supposition--it would be a tacit admission that our daily lives are guided by habits of behavior not directed by natural, embedded imperatives and mandates from heaven, but are rather instinctual/species behavior which we conveniently decorate with a language capable of turning our thoughts into fine arts, culture and technology. Ours would seem to be a species with an alphabet, nothing more, a variation from the gene pool which, in the meantime, could be developing an even more intriguing species to supplant our loud presence on the planet. who wants to think that they are merely passing through , merely in line on the evolutionary chain of happenstance? Invoking god's name would be the fastest way to block out the sun.There's a reason that it's written that God blessed/cursed man with Free Will; I actually believe that FW is central to his Divinity, in the sense that he could choose to battle his creative power and simply do nothing. The existential nature of God, though, would become bored and ill-tempered simply existing in a vacuum, and so he decided to create meaning for himself, much as we do in this realm. Free will is that thing that allows us to associate together and determine and define right and wrong, good and evil, and it is also that inspire given instinct, I believe, to empower us to fight the baser desires and instincts.

Ah well. I say that we have the capacity to think and may as well do so, chasing every loose thread and inconsistency we happen upon. We can't just call the problems of existence acts of Providence and leave it at there. Thinking, discussion, analysis, poking at eternal mysteries are the Acts of Providence each us are the recipient of. To lie down is to deny a miracle, and that can't be good for anyone. .
How God Created The World

No god I know
waits for a chat
as he waits
in a garden ripe
with words that
are first in line.
There is no garden
until he desires fruit
rich in the taste
of particular soils,
there will be no desire
until he creates hunger
and the need to sit down,
there will be no table or chair
to put anything
that belongs on them
until he contrives the
things that go there
and makes it all look
like they've been present
for the ages.
There will be no ages
unless he makes things
with tongues, mouths,
tastes of all sorts,
something alive
with a memory of what's good
in this life they discovered along
the way as they experimented
with ways to talk to a god
who seems so busy
thinking things through,
he realizes
nothing will age
unless there are creatures
that die.

The god I know
thinks of big words
and broad strokes,
he's been asleep
since the beginning
time, which he invented,
he will wake up
and create, I think,
the cell phone, on a lark,
and will notice
at once
that his voice mail is full.