Would it be wrong to reveal that God’s office isn’t really that huge? At least, not as huge as one would imagine. When it comes to volume, think of a Principal’s office, only less intimidating. God’s office is mostly orderly, save the thumbtacked notes to the wall beside a dartboard with three points in the center. If this office were anyone but God’s, the darts may very well have been meticulously placed there for appearances- but common sense says superior hand-eye coordination is probably packaged in with being all-knowing and all-powerful. There are papers roughly piled on one side of the desk, and serious thought must be given as to why God bothers with paper at all.
“An office wouldn’t be an office without paper, right?”
“I- I’m sorry?” I said.
God lounged back, bounced a bit off the back end of his rolling recliner, and smiled.
“You were just wondering why I need paper. And that was my answer.”
Jeez, how does one interview a being that not only knows the question before its asked, but knows the question, answer, motivation behind the question, and what effects the answer will have will have throughout time, space, and any dimension in between? Forget living up to expectations. The only way to take advantage of the situation is to be honest.
“Okay.” I nodded, jotting down the quote. “I want to start things off with some simple stuff.”
“Saving the meaning of life until the end, eh?”
“Eh, it’ll make for a good read that way.” I said.
God chuckled and agreed.
“So, what have you got for me?” he asked.
“Well, first, you’re god. Omnipotent. Omniscent. All-loving. One with the universe.”
“I think we’ve established that.”
“Why do you use the physical guise of James Earl Jones with a ponytail?”
“Because,” he said in that famous deep, wise, and charismatic voice, “I love his work. That man can do no wrong. And I figured I should appear to you in a guise that would best suit this interview.”
“So your physical manifestations are like suits of clothing to you?”
“Just about.” God said. “Plus, I like ponytails. Can’t go wrong with a good ponytail.”
“Okay.” I said. “So if you thought it would be best to appear as Barbara Walters, a dog, or a tree stump, you would?”
“Of course.” he smiled. “Gender is but a suit. So is species. Though I admit being a tree stump would defy common sense.”
“So common sense is important to you?”
“Yes, I’d say so. But understand this, and please try to get me word-for-word here, common sense is a human creation. It evolved from thousands of years of gradually increasing intelligence. So that means what is and what isn’t common sense is up to the culture in which one lives, and can vary from place to place.”
“So how do the ten commandments fit into that view?”
“Not easily, the way things are today.” he said. “First off, that’s a misnomer. I only laid out six to begin with, and they were far from law. More like suggestions re-enforced by common sense. Don’t kill anybody. Don’t steal stuff. Don’t lie. Don’t be unfaithful. Don’t lust after stuff you don’t need. And every once and a while, remember I’m here. I sent them down to Moses just so no one got confused- being good is a good thing. It was that type of simplicity I was shooting for back then.”
“And you don’t shoot for simplicty now?”
“On the contrary, I wish people would realize that not everyone has to be a jack-of-all-trades or a supergenius or a world-class athelete. Tremendous pressure is put on folks because expectations are unreasonable. That comes as a result of straying from one of the Six Suggestions: lusting for something you don’t need. Does one need to be a world-class athelete or a supergenius? No. The reason geniuses and atheletes existed to begin with is because they believed in something they liked to do. Atheletes enjoy exercise and fun. Geniuses enjoy learning and fun. Don’t waste time with something you won’t enjoy; chances are you’ll survive. And even if you don’t, you’ll have died doing something you liked, and will have found a place in paradise.”
“Going back to your six suggestions, how did they come to be ten commandments?”
“Blame it on arrogance.” God admitted. “I initially made one tablet and handed it down. But when Moses first showed it to his colleagues, they talked him into adding to it. Hey, everything on there was common sense, right? All it needed was a little more common sense. Unfortunately, their culture gave them biased eyes. The one about strange Gods, I had nothing to do with. That one’s just plain stupid. It’s true that I am one force, but that doesn’t mean other inspiring forces exist or even that I’m the one to thank for everything that happens in the entire universe. I’m no fan of dogmatic rule, but if someone chooses to believe in something that gives them spirit, hope, faith, or whatever, then it’s not a bad thing. The Inquisition- now THAT was a bad thing.”
“So, if you were to choose a prophet in today’s world, who would it be and why?”
“Ooh, a toughie.” God said. “I say that because with the incredible variety of beliefs and experiences among your cultures, it’s very, very difficult to reach people in your era and culture. Trust issues are a problem, believe me when I say that.”
“Oh, I do. I do.”
God laughed again.
“A prophet needs to be able to talk to and get along with people of all walks of life. He or she needs to understand themselves, their role in society, and their relationship with me. That doesn’t necessarily mean the prophet has to be perfect, just understanding- because that’s what prophets are supposed to bring to others. Teach by example or inspiration or whichever connotation you prefer.”
“So prophets are just people that understand things?”
“Yes. While they may not have answers to every question you ask, they can point you in the right direction and let you figure it out by yourself.”
“So who fills that role today?”
“Hmm… I have to pick carefully, you know. I say one name and extremists are likely to hail that person as holy or evil, depending on the translation.”
“Yes, I know what you mean.”
“I’d say… George Carlin, maybe.”
“Have you ever seen the bit about condensing the ten commandments into three? Hot damn, that was good of him. He was right about several things, how honesty and fidelity are part of one overall value, how you can be spiritual but not religious, and my favorite, how baseball is passive and football is aggressive.”
“What does that bit of material have to do with anything?”
“It’s just funny, is all. He nailed language on the head with that.”
“So, you value a sense of humor?”
“Highly.” God said. “Without humor to lighten the load of the world, there would be way too much negativity. Negativity leads to all the things that piss me off, jealousy, anger, hate, bigotry in my name. People have begun to reach a state in which they’re able to look at their existance and laugh. You know you aren’t perfect, you accept it, you make fun of yourselves, and you have a good time. Accepting you’re imperfect allows you to exceed potential, because believing there is any possibility of becoming “perfect” is ironically limiting, as it is essentially an end. To suggest there’s an ending to anything in this universe I’ve created – this one filled with an infinite of infinites, large and small – it is a fool’s belief, and a shallow one at that.”
“So what meaning to you intend life to have?”
“Skirting around the classic wording, eh?” God smiled. “I’m game. Ahem. My intent has always been the same. The precise meaning, though, changes. Initially, the meaning of life was simply to live. I would’ve been content if it remained like that. What amazed me, was the will I put into life. Life did not simply want to live and be happy, it wanted to change. It wanted to evolve. It wanted to do beter and better and better, it wanted to advance to the point in which one day could understand their own creator.”
That James Earl Jones voice cracked the most enveloping smile I’d ever seen.
“But the more you all search, the more you seem to figure out that I’m no longer your creator.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Oh, don’t qute me wrong, I kick-started the engine, but human beings have been behind the wheel of their own Ferrari for a while now.”
“Let’s go back to Life. What did you mean when you suggested that life is a single entity?”
“Have you ever doubted it was? That a single life was truly alone? That a man, dog, elephant, or rose had no parent before it? What is called a “single life” is another misnomer. Life is very much like water. There may be seperate droplets, seperate atoms, but they all join together into one body of water. You don’t call a lake “thirty billion trillion droplets of water resting in a concave section of the ground,” do you? A mother who is with child is a single entity; neither the mother nor the unborn child have seperate souls. They are one. Even after the child is born, they are still genetically linked for all time. The bond is not only for mother and child. People connect in many differnt kinds of ways through love and happiness. In the beginning, there was only one type of love: appreciation for another being. But you all have far surpassed what I gave you and evolved love into many different feelings. It’s a wonder you’re able to keep track of them all. But it’s wonderful how the scope of life, its fluidity, has been fundementally altered into something more rich and meaningful than simple appreciation. There is romantic love, sensual love, passionate love, jealous love, familial love, plutonic love – you name it, humans have created and embraced it. I’m in awe.”
“So God’s in awe of humanity’s creations?”
“Let’s put it like this. Utopia will come to you far faster than you can imagine.”
“All right, thanks.”
“You’re welcome. Is that all you wanted to ask?” God said with a smirk.
“Nah, that’s it.”
God laughed a good belly laugh. Of course there was more.