The End of Illusion

I do not necessarily love often, but I tend to fall deeply in love.  The last time I fell in love with a girl, I was never able to tell her.  I knew I would have to leave her soon, due to circumstances beyond our control, and I didn’t want to make it harder for either of us.  That’s a big part of the nature of love, as far as I understand it; trying to make things better for the people you love.  I’ve travelled around the world for the loved that were lonely.  I’ve stayed up late, using everything I knew how to do, to help the loved in need.  I’ve spent hours, surrounded by books on terrible topics I don’t grasp, squinting through tears of frustration, for the loved who need help I can’t provide, finding a way to be what they need me to be.  I’ve made a fool of myself in public, for the loved who needed huge demonstrations of my caring.  I’ve made a fool of myself in private, for the loved who needed someone to forgive their quirks.

Love is finding a way to be what the people you need need you to be.  Not to say you should lose yourself, because anyone worthy of your love does not need you to do that.  You become more, you make yourself stronger, for their moments of weakness.

A woman I love passed away today.  My grandmother lost a long term battle with cancer, and there was nothing more we could do for her.  I miss her in ways I don’t comprehend yet, and it’s been a few short hours.  Someone, seeing me in pain, brought up the concept of a loving God.

And I am fucking furious.  How can there be an all powerful, all loving God.  How can a God who loves me, who can do anything, take her from me?  How can he have let her suffer like she did at the end?  That’s not love.

I can hear the objections, the “He works in mysterious ways.” Bullshit.  A mysterious way is not necessary for an all powerful God.  He’s either lying about what he can do, or lying about how he loves.  If he’s an all loving God, then my capacity for love is a lot greater than his, because I would have done something, changed something, relieved his suffering. 

Some would say it’s a test of faith.  That’s even worse.  Trust me, if I love you, and you need me, I will not be hiding in a fucking cloud, working on my mysterious ways.  I will be there.  You will hear my voice.  You will see me there.  I will move Heaven and Earth if you need me to, and I’m just a man.

If a human wanted to test my faith, if I was in a relationship, where someone did something horrible to me, to see if I would still love them afterwards, trust me, that’s the end.  I will not be involved with anything so terribly petty.  If you hurt me to see if I love you, you don’t love me, and I’m done with you.

So, if there is a God, he is a terrible, lying monster, more of a Lovecraftian horror, intent on finding the limits of our endurance, than a caring father figure in the sky.  If there is such a thing, congratulations, you win.  My faith isn’t strong enough to see us through this, you petty, selfish asshole.  Don’t call me again.

But I really don’t think there is.  I think we live in an immense amazing universe, and we are just reaching the level of understanding needed to realize it can be wonderful and terrible and there doesn’t have to be a point.  Everything happens.  Not for a reason, it just happens.  The meaning we find, that’s another amazing thing that doesn’t need to originate with a cloud wizards who needs to make sure we love him because he’s there.

And those who would say we need God, even as a social construct, to ensure the morality of people, I think you underestimate basic human goodness.  People are, in general, great, greater than any dream of omnipotence, and the terrible acts by a few of them don’t begin to amount to the terrible things I’ve seen credited to this all loving all powerful God. 

The God people have told me about all my life, I think it’s an analogy.  It’s from an older time, when we couldn’t explain all the superb and grotesque possibilities of limitless, endless space.  It’s from before we could see that, when the chips are down, people will find a way.

When you’re crying quietly on the train ride home, coping with loss, and a child you don’t know comes to hug you, that’s not the work of a celestial genie.  That’s the natural concern, the innate decency of all people.

I don’t have all the answers.  I can’t tell you where we come from, how we got to the amazing place we, as a species, are at, or what happens when we move on.  I can’t tell you why we are wonderful or terrible to each other.  I can tell you that God is a terrible explanation for any of it.  I prefer uncertainty to that monstrosity.

If you want to comment on this, there’s a couple of things I’d like to remind you.

1. You’ve come to my soap box.  I can edit and delete your comments, and you can’t do that to me.

2. I’m pissed off as all hell about the 30 years people have been lying to me about this fucked up concept.  Normally, I respect your right to your own viewpoint, beliefs, and recognize that God is your version of the basic human decency I treasure more than anything else, that makes the love no god has ever shown possible.  If you think this post is the right time to argue with me, you may find I’m in too much pain right now to be reasonable, and I’ll quite happily tell you to take your archaic superstitions and fuck right off, because I’m looking to hurt someone right now.

My basic human decency is on vacation right now.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment