Now – after years of glancing past the subject, and after a thousand banalities, and after as many or more moments of good humor and respectful discourse, deep resonance, and shaded awe of what virtue the other is capable of – let us finally talk of God.
I have been at this a while, my friend, but I am not an expert. In no time, you can find someone better prepared to speak about God. But we are friends, and so there is a kind of leniency, a courteous respect, for whatever it is I may have to say.
I will work quickly. In some parallel way, I may appreciate time as well as a naturalist, who thinks this time – birth to death – is all he has. I do not, but I do appreciate that it is all the time we have to come to grips with what is real and true. It is further true, and we almost agree, that beyond that time, no one really knows what happens.
What shall I say? I have the floor, like one looking for his seat who is unaware that he has entered the theater from stage right. The subject is only that which, if it is true, is the most important truth in the world. If it is false, then nothing is important, for the Universe, and every single piece and particle within it ends adrift in a vast dead sea. Somehow, though I deny the totality of it, the naturalist mythology has a haunting allure to it. Everything will finish in the pattern from which it started – in almost exact homogeneity. And everything will also be different – where the original homogeneity was in a state of unimaginable potency, bursting forth from infinite density and inconceivable heat, it finishes fully exhausted, and perfectly cold and still. Nothing will move. Not one thing will move.
But we needn’t be held captive by that paralyzing climax. That great winter of the Universe may come to pass, but it will (I believe) ultimately pass. I would not curse God if He let the Universe at least reach that point, then to resurrect it. That pattern has been established.
Let us dance then, or duel, or engage however you like. Let’s be better than ahead of our time – let us transcend time, for a spell. Yes, let there be a kind of magic in our conversation, which lifts it out of the mundane, out of our real and lamentable troubles, out of our frustration at falling short of true liberation, true joy. For one may escape a trouble, only to have another beset him; and one may gain the whole world, but eventually he dies.
Now and here, then, let us enjoy the blaze of the human spirit, as it does what no other animal can. And like a blaze, it is both primordial and everlasting – the fire precedes us and it will outlast us. In that hypnotizing glow, let us see something of the ineffable mysteries which we now consider.