Reflections
Written and compiled by Richard Lang.
Freely released into the cosmos every few days...
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Reflection 315

Welcome!


Impossible But True


The way that I put it to myself runs like this: There is a little boy, oneself perhaps, who says to mummy: "Who made the world mummy?" Mummy says: "God made the world dear." Then you say after a little thought, "Who made God, mummy?" According to what kind of mummy she is, she says: "God made Himself," or "Don't ask silly questions," or "I don't know." But if she is a sensible mummy she says, "God made Himself." Then I hear the little boy saying, after due thought, "Now that was really clever! Do you mean to say that He did it without any help?" Mummy says, "Yes, without any help, because there wasn't anybody to help Him." "Do you mean to say that there was nothing, and then God, who wasn't there, said, 'Hi!' or 'I AM', or 'Ho!', or I don't know what? God who wasn't there wished Himself into being, and He wasn't there to wish Himself into being! But He did it. Now that was not only clever but it was impossible!"

So I think of this little boy, now grown up, remembering the conversation he had with his mum. He thinks of God rather as a Blake-ian figure with a streaming beard and white hair, coursing through the empty heavens and looking up and down and sideways, and unable to find a single thing except Himself. He has just arrived and He looks down and He sees His beard and sees Himself there and nothing else, no helper, no environment, no universe, no chaos. Just Himself, floating or streaming there, and it is most irregular. 'Did I do this? If so, how?' He can't make it out, He is absolutely flabbergasted. God can't understand how He came to be. And the boy, now grown up says, 'Who is it that is having this experience of wonder? Is it me the human being or is it God who is bowled over by the mystery of His own being?' Then he might have doubts, and say, 'Yes but God is very clever and He would know more than I do, and the fact that I can't make head or tail of Him and His Self-origination is just evidence of my human limitation.' Then he realizes something else: which is that God cannot, in the nature of the case, know how He did it because even if He knew how He did it He wouldn't know how he got around to doing it. I mean He must get thrown back on the mystery of Being. God says to Himself, 'There shouldn't be anything at all, it is most peculiar, most irregular. I made myself without any help or assistance or encouragement from anybody. I made myself, and not only did I make myself but I make myself from moment to moment. Every moment I make myself and this is unspeakable mystery and joy and I don't know how I do it.' I think that God is so thrilled by this and so pleased with it that innumerable universes, complete with the situation we are sitting in here, are quite secondary, downstream, easy, so simple to do, ridiculously simple compared with the task he has already, is all the time achieving, namely His own Being. (Douglas Harding. 1976 Interview.)


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