December 25, 2010
My Conversation with GodBy Bob Weir
I was sitting alone in my room the other day, and I had a talk with God.
Me: "God, why is there so much strife in the world?"
God: "My son, I programmed my children to be complex beings beset by challenges and struggles which would strengthen them and force them to work out the problems of their existence in order that they be worthy of their own complexity."
Me: "But why did you make us to be so belligerent toward each other? Couldn't you have simply made us love each other?"
God: "Love is inherent in all my children, but its value must be discovered and appreciated. Otherwise, it would be taken for granted and ignored like an abundance of toys in the hands of a spoiled child. Love, like life, must be earned through suffering."
Me: "With all the power in the universe, you could, with a wave of your hand, make everyone deliriously happy. Why should we have to deal with any sadness?"
God: "Without the experience of sadness, you would not appreciate happiness. Without the knowledge of pain, you couldn't understand pleasure. Food is most satisfying when you are at your hungriest."
Me: "Then what you're saying is that we should expect life to be difficult, because if it were simple, we would all be spoiled and unappreciative."
God: "Even more, you'd not know if you were happy because you'd have nothing to compare it to. Without hunger, how would you know when to eat?"
Me: "Well, what about our physical forms? If you had made us all look the same, we would not have people hating each other because of their differences."
God: "Trust me, if you all looked exactly alike, the boredom alone would result in mass murder on a scale never seen before. You see, it's your differences that make you attractive to each other. That attraction is programmed into you in order that you will propagate. What motivation would you have to multiply if the results were always the same? The reason life is exciting is because it's unpredictable."
Me: "It seems as though you're saying we should welcome adversity, pain, suffering, and failure, because without them we couldn't enjoy their opposites."
God: "Exactly! Your very existence is in a state of balance, like the calibrated movement of the planets and the stars. At times, you may think your life is miserable, but you can determine that emotion only by comparing it to a more joyous time, when your life was balanced in the opposite direction. Suppose there was no balance. How could you know what felt good? How could you know what success was if there was no failure? Would you appreciate the day if there was no night?"
Me: "Does that mean we should welcome pain into our lives?"
God: "It means you should be wise enough to know that pain is a part of life. You needn't dwell on it, but you must acknowledge it as a vital component of your humanity."
Me: "Well, what about all the different religions in the world? How many Gods are there?"
God: "There's only one of me, but my children were provided with free will. They can choose to ignore me, refer to me by other names, or condemn me."
Me: "Since you gave us free will, are you going to punish those who do not believe in you?"
God: "I said everything was part of a balanced existence. Those who do not believe will punish themselves during their journey through the vacuum of faithlessness. But inevitably, all will come to believe as they move closer to the end of life."
Me: "But how can you expect people to believe in you when they can't see you?"
God: "You can't see the wind, but its effect on you is evident. You can walk to the edge of a cliff and not see gravity, but do you challenge its existence by jumping off? There are forces in the universe that are not three-dimensional; they don't have weight or density, yet their power is unmistakable. You can't see love because its form is ethereal, existing in the hearts of those who experience a warm and affectionate but invisible connection between themselves and others. Therefore, although you can't see love, you can feel its power to bring people together and infuse them with the spirit of happiness. My son, you can believe in me or not, but my love for you, although unseen, will not be unfelt."
Me: "Thank you, God, and happy birthday to your son."