Here's part three of my mini-one-act play (Mankind, the Preview) starring God and Mickey. (This just in! You can now see the whole script here.)
God: If I wasn't God, I'd have no idea.
Mickey: Did you make that planet just for the humans? I know how you like to give all your creatures their own special place.
God: I do. And I did. That planet's just for them.
Mickey: Wow. What a deal for the humans. They are gonna love it down there! I know it!
God: There'll be a lot down there to love, that's for sure. They're also going to have a lot to struggle with, though.
Mickey: They are? Struggle? What's "struggle," Lord?
God: It's where things aren't absolutely perfect all the time.
Mickey: I'm sorry. You're losing me.
God: Look -- you love your life, right?
Mickey: Yes! Always! Praise be to you, Lord!
God: And why do you love your life so much?
Mickey: For the same reason we all love our lives up here so much! Because we're always in your presence!
God: Right. But what if it wasn't like that? What if it wasn't always as easy for you to experience me as it is for you right now?
Mickey: I don't understand, Lord. Is it something I've said? Something I've done? That sour note I hit during our harp concert the other night? I'm sorry, Lord. That was my fault. I wasn't concentrating. Sure, at the time we all thought it was pretty funny. But I could see how later on, you might think, "Now that's the third time Mickey's flubbed that song. I oughta ..."
God: Oh, stop it, you goof. I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about the humans. They're going to exist in a system defined by undeviating rules about space and time that will have the effect of essentially hiding me from them. And I'm going to give them all an absolute free will, too. That combination will incline them toward an independence that's truly unprecedented.
Mickey: Really? But all of us up here have free will, Father. And we all love you.
God: Yeah, Mickey, but one of the reasons you do is because the vibrant immediacy of our co-relationship makes it fundamentally easier for you to love me. I mean, I'm right here.
Mickey: But you're everywhere, my Lord. Where aren't you? You're ... omnipresent, praise be to you.
God: Yes, to you I am. But to the humans, I won't seem so irrefutably omnipresent. The system I've designed for the humans will make them wonder not only if I'm everywhere, but if I'm anywhere.
Mickey: You're kidding, right? This is a joke? Sure you can joke, because you're God. But when a poor, innocent little minion does it, it's ...
God: No, no ... I'm not joking. The humans' realm of experience will be so rigidly physical that it will actually be a challenge for them to believe in anything that doesn't register with the five senses they'll be equipped with.
Mickey: The five whatses?
God: Senses. It's a way of breaking up their experience into something like different, simultaneously broadcasting channels. You see, Mick, you experience your reality as a unified whole, as a kind of infinitely dimensional gestalt, in which your personal identity isn't in any way ... well, you know what your life is like.
Mickey: Glorious! Infinitely rewarding! Praise be to you, the source of all joy!
God: You're too kind. But the point is, you naturally understand your consciousness as an extension of my own. So it's difficult, if not impossible, for you to grasp the way in which humans will experience me, and their reality. They're going to exist in a system that precludes their knowing me with the same kind of logical, physical surety that will characterize almost all the rest of their knowledge. They'll very much tend to trust only what they can see, feel, hear, touch, and smell. And they won't be able to do any of that with me. In a very real way, I'm going to remain hidden from them.
Mickey: [pause, and then reflectively] You're right about it being impossible for me to imagine that. For the life of me, Lord, I just can't think of what it would be like to live in a world in which you're not always just . . . there. Dazzling. Glorious. Resplendent.
God: Well, you'd be freaked to know what I've done with space and time in order to make it seem as if I'm not omnipresent. For starters -- get this -- I've created an entire universe for the humans in which space and time are both fixed.
The above is a reworked version of similar material that appears in my book, Penguins, Pain and The Whole Shebang: Why I Do The Things I Do, by God (as told to John Shore).
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