By Ken Trainor
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my last column (See page 21). I know you're busy. Then again, if you're not locked into the same time-space continuum we are, you're not subject to our constraints. In which case, I envy you. (Is it a sin to envy God?)
I liked your email address, email@example.com, but shouldn't it be firstname.lastname@example.org? Surely Yahoo would accommodate Yahweh. Think of the publicity angle. If technology had been this advanced 2,000 years ago, maybe Jesus wouldn't need to be born. You/He could have been the ultimate spiritual blogger and reached a lot more people. Have you ever thought about setting up a Facebook page? You'd have lots of fans.
Some of your answers indicate you would have made a fine politician. Your dodges are most adept. You can always attribute your non-answers to our need to find the answers on our own. Who could argue with that? You're absolutely right, of course, but then how could you not be?
It's comforting to think of you right behind me all this time (Response #2). It means we're never really alone. For some time I've suspected as much but for some reason always imagined you next to me. I never felt judged, just observed.
Your response to "the worst thing I ever did" (#7) gave me pause. What makes me most ashamed when I contemplate it alone late at night? I have plenty of regrets. I've done a lot of really dumb, but mostly small, things. However, nothing really outshames the rest. I guess I'm a petty sinner. Missed opportunities mostly. Sometimes I think that's our greatest sin: the accumulation of missed opportunities. And our punishment is being reminded of them, often late at night. Not being locked into time, maybe that's harder for you to understand. A wise man once said that sin is a failure to love. Sounds like something you might say.
My finest moments? Yes, I suppose, they must go uncredited. Sounds a lot like parenting ... or friendship ... or being a good, loving partner. Craving credit, I guess, is one of those emanations of the ego that you say mires us in illusion (#39). Despite all the ego eruptions and the harm it leads to, I also see an amazing amount of everyday decency and other-directedness in people. That must be gratifying for you. Or maybe not. Do you experience emotions like we do? I should have asked.
Life elsewhere in the universe might well be too intelligent to contact us at this point, as you say (#13), but I can't help wishing someone would visit, disable all our guns and electronic gadgetry (like in the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still) and say, "Cut out the crap! We're coming back in 10 years. By then we'd better see some progress."
Yes, I know your people can be amazingly pigheaded. I read the Bible. So a good stiff warning might not work, but it's worth a try.
Appreciated your answer on evolution (#17). It is my fondest wish as well.
You're pretty quick with the wisecracks (e.g. #18, #48). Reminds me of George Burns in Oh God, the most inspired bit of casting in the history of Hollywood.
Defining matter as "a miniscule part of my will" works for me, but it would probably drive a scientist crazy. Maybe that's your objective. Driven to explore the particular, we will eventually uncover the universal. Is that your stratagem? If so, you're much more playful than I would have guessed from all the stern descriptions. Then again, how could the ultimate creative personality not be playful?
I agree about praise and worship (#34). You're far too highly evolved to need all that sucking up, and we have more pressing business — like saving the planet from our own destructive tendencies. Doing your will, I presume, means respecting life in all its forms, not just the unborn. Besides, life provides ample opportunities to be awed by creation if we would only look up from our magic rectangles and pay attention, maybe take a long walk with a poet whenever we find ourselves taking it all for granted. On the other hand, this doesn't preclude people from gathering in church, temple or mosque for a host of other good reasons.
Any God who prefers the Boys Town statue over the Sistine Chapel ceiling (#41) is a God after my own heart (or maybe it's the other way around).
Yes, I did know someone whose soul was safely cradled in his body after his mind had diminished (#45). I still speak to him regularly and look forward to meeting his soul again someday.
I could say the same about you. But in the meantime, as you suggest (#44), I'll try to listen better. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Time, as you know, is our most precious commodity.
Oh, and thanks for the better-than-expected weather on Easter Sunday. That had to be divine intervention.
Answer Book 2016
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