Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Best Description of God I Can Come Up With (with thanks to a noted Athiest)

In Kurt Vonnegut's novel Dead Eye Dick, the main character describes his birth in terms of the place and time when his “peephole opened.” When we are born, our peephole on the world opens and when we die it closes. All over the Planet and all over the Cosmos there are peepholes being opened up and there are peepholes closing. Some peepholes are shaped like people, some like grasshoppers, some like dogs, some like marmosets, some like bacteria, some like rhododendrons, and on and on. Gazillions of them and probably more: opening, looking around for a time, and then closing. But behind all the peepholes, looking through each one of them, is but one, gigantic eye. The eye that lies behind all peepholes: this is the best I can do to explain my understanding of what is meant by the word God (not that anyone is asking...)

And, of course, the "fabric" through which this universal eye peers is Nature, the material world. It is within the material world that these apertures of vision open, and it is the material world which these apertures observe while they remain. This material world, of course, is also what obscures the truth that all peepholes are, in reality, looking with one eye; it is the material world which creates the illusion of multiplicity. Veryily, we are peepholes of the Divine, looking out on the world and all the other Divine peepholes and wondering, where is God in all this? This is why, in Vedantic thought, Nature is also Illusion, Maya, the obscuring veil of matter.

As a further side note, I would add that, at least for Earth-life, keeping one's peephole open usually involves the forcible closing of other peepholes in one form or another. Many a baby rabbit has met its demise at the blade of a plow to provide the vegetarian with cauliflower and spinach, not to mention the tarsands that are pumping right now to bring us bananas and kiwis and tomatoes out of season (food for thought, certainly...)

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