- Religion and Philosophy
The Immortal Truth
When God was neither in his heavens nor on earth, neither a spirit nor an incarnation, he was, simply, whatever was. He could, of course, give shape to part of his godship. And he often created food and a mouth to swallow it, a tableau and vision to see it. But always omniscience tore meaningfulness out of creation. Just as a man knows that a mirror does not contain the image it seems to surround, so God knew that whatever he made had no external validity -- was still his own substance, himself.
And God wished for complexity, and there was complexity. Then all of himself divided into particles and assembled into heaven, earth,k body, spirit. And the particles knew that this was good. So the divisions of God yearned increasingly toward complexity, for an externity of sameness was like a single breath in the life of a man. But however intricate and infinite the particles became, they were as simple as unity to God who contained them all.
At last God made man, only to realize that here, too, was nothing but himself; and he was lonely. So God knew, being all the wisdom there is, that pleasure could come only by cutting off his own knowledge of himself. There was danger that such self-imposed limits would destroy the essential divinity, and the thought of a godless world horrified even the Lord. Morning and evening he considered how to achieve, in a divine orgy, an occasional blotting out of knowledge. He had to be sure that omniscience would come back, though there would be no power to compel its return. This problem seemed too much even for God.
But divinity is itself. And the answer, that always was, effloresced into awareness. Breathe your spirit into the body of a man. When that body died, God would be free and again all-knowledgeable. The thought occurred that the body might discover how not to die; but even then, being human, it would be in man's nature to blunder into error as well as into truth. However long he might live, someday he must make a fatal mistake, for the definition of man includes death. God knew that divinity would be whole again.
Much as a gourmet lingers over a menu in an exotic restaurant, God surveyed an imagination of men. Should he be like Plato or Hercules, the slave, the peasant, the Midas, the Don Jaun? Alas! No type was suitable for the Lord. And in a blinding flash (not to God, of course), he saw the answer. Quickly this foreknowledge was split apart, and God remembered only that, to avoid loneliness as a man, he would have to create and be many men. And God said, "Let it be."
And it was. And men were born with hints of immortality. And each imagined that there were other men like himself - not as competent, as wise, as handsome, as good - but like him. And whatever evils befell were mixed in with such pleasures that men thought life a comedy that ends in tragedy. They understood not from whence they came and wondered how they could exist at all. They loved God, for they believed that to him everything was simple, while to them any worthwhile subject was a mystery. They lived their entire lives waiting to join his truth. Yet they tried to make life permanent, believing the security of daily error was more alluring than the surprise in eternal truth. And eventually they found the formula for being immortal in the body. For though men might make mistakes, others could revive them from seemingly fatal results. And then, one day, a man who tried to destroy the world was revived.