Suppose this world is like an enormous motion picture set. Let’s call it “Rear Window”. Just so, today you are Jimmy Stewart. It’s a good day. All is well! Look, you have a large pair of binoculars. Splendid! God is looking through them. What a curious God! A voice calls out: “Action!”
In the rooms across the way, the player we call “life” goes into action. In one room, God is doing yoga, chanting a lovely mantra to God. In another, God is murdering his wife. In yet another, God is smoking while composing a story at the typewriter. Guess who it is about? Out on the street, God is marching in a protest. Likewise, God charges over to beat up a protestor. A white version of God kicks a black version, then they change places. The music alternates between happy and sad. It’s a catchy tune. In the story, God is threatening to bring fire and fury down on God. Then there is God weeping in the bombed-out ruins, bombed out by God. What a crazy deity, whistling a catchy tune!
As it so happens, it is the same one who is blooming both flowers and weeds, who is flying birds, swimming fish, living us — amazing! Who imagined God would do such things? It takes a God to surprise itself. When we appear, we act surprised. That’s the mark of a good story. We create the plot as we go along. It’s an efficient process, every line seems fresh, though if truth be told, we’ve heard it all before. No matter, there is a cast of countless thousands, thousands of beautiful images with no inherent reality. Each one is different than the next, though all are the same being, surprising itself in every costume — whether cricket, criminal, camper, carnivore, or awkward-sounding metaphor. Let’s admit it, God is great!
Anyway, what’s the big idea? We all have an idea about God. Maybe we got this idea from Mom and Dad, maybe from the preacher. There are so many ideas. God loves to make stuff up – let’s call it creation. All are God’s thoughts, even Darwin, even Pastor Jim with the swastika armband and the citronella torch. We are those thoughts, but because we are God, we imagine that we are looking out through the binoculars, enjoying the passing show. We are certain that we exist. After all, look at the mirror! Who is that smiling character, dressed up for the theater? This is what makes the show interesting – the belief in our independent existence. God is clever that way, otherwise there would only be infinite divine bliss, the same state in which we now exist.
We claim that God is on our side, and so we shoot the big guns, we fill up the oceans with plastic garbage and atomic waste, we raise our beer glasses in a toast to God, the Deus ex Machina! Who knows, maybe God is an atheist! In any case, don’t worry. We’re here today, God tomorrow. Let’s put down the remote control and have some fun, let’s dance like mad in the dreamy hall of mirrors and destroy countless virtual worlds, just by inhaling and exhaling!
As we do, let’s pray to God to bless us, the only God, and absently forget that is exactly what we are – not a thing, not a being, not anything with a name or form, but all forms, all the names which are only the names of the great and powerful God, the utterly non-existent one who is gazing out through the binoculars at itself, who laughs and weeps so hard that it eventually slips into a dreamless sleep, and then everything disappears.