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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Diagonal Relationship letters of comment, No. 3

(Third in a series of letters reprinted from the pages of the fanzine Diagonal Relationship).

The Diagonal Relationship 13, 1980

Permit me to horn in on the inside/outside debate between Ron Lambert and Adam Weishaupt.

I. An atheist is one who is quite sure there is no Higher Intelligence; if there is any doubt on the matter, you are not an atheist but an agnostic. God, by definition, is the only being who can be quite sure there is no higher intelligence than Hirself. Therefore, God is the only real atheist.

Others must be theists or agnostics.

II. Berkeley says the universe is inside the mind of God. Jesus says the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. If and only if both Berkeley and Jesus are right, I am inside God and God is inside me.

Berkeley and Jesus must both be right since:

III. In the highest mystical states, in all religions, the mystic experiences oneness with God. But we have already seen that God is an atheist. Therefore, the mystic alone can escape theism and agnosticism and become, like God, an atheist. This is possible by turning inside out.

IV. In a Möbius strip or Klein bottle, inside is outside and outside is inside. The same flip-flop occurs in music, art, and mathematics, as demonstrated by Hofstadter in the greatest book of our decade, Gödel, Escher, Bach. Therefore, if and only if God is like unto a Möbius strip, a Klein bottle, Gödel's proof, Escher's paintings, and Bach's fugues, Berkeley and Jesus can both be right, and God is inside and outside simultaneously

V. In Euclidean geometry, inside and outside do not flip-flop. Therefore, God is either inside or outside--and the Lambert-Weishaupt debate can be decided on one side or the other--if and only if God is limited by Euclidean geometry. But a limited God is not God. Therefore…

VI. Pantheism is really atheism under a fancier name, as all critics of pantheism agree. But the highest forms of theism, such as Vedanta, are all pantheistic on the very logical grounds that God must include everything, or else God is limited, and a limited God is no God at all. Since the highest form of theism is pantheism, and pantheism is indistinguishable from atheism, the highest form of theism is atheism.

VII. I can know the mind of only one Creator really well: myself. In Schrödinger's Cat, I put myself in the book as a character, but I also remain outside the book as its Creator. Therefore, the only Creator I know well is inside and outside his work at the same time.

VI I I. When God actually, or allegedly, wrote a book, He put Himself inside it as a character. If one Creator is like unto another Creator, God evidently wanted us to understand that He is inside and outside at once.

IX. When God actually or allegedly wrote a book He made Himself the villain in it, as all intelligent readers have noted. (This is why the Gnostics and William Blake, among others, have denied that God wrote the book and claimed Satan wrote it to discredit God.) But if God did write it, the portrait of Himself as a sadistic monster must be either an attempt to frighten us or a very subtle joke. Since God would not want to frighten us, it must be a joke. Since God is both an atheist (knows no Higher Intelligence) and a mystic (is at one with Hirself), the joke must be such that only those who are both atheists and mystics can understand it.

X. Since only the mystic is one with God--an atheist--all others, as demonstrated above, must be agnostics or theists. But the theist claims to know what he has not experienced; if he had experienced it, he would be, like God, an atheist. Therefore, for those who are not mystics, the only honest, modest, and logical alternative is to be agnostics.

XI. According to literal Christianity, Jesus was God and the son of Mary; the Holy Ghost was God and the husband or at least the impregnator of Mary. Therefore, God is His own father. But God is also the father of all humanity, including Mary, so God is the father of His mother, and thus His own grandfather. If God is both inside and outside, and an atheist, and His own father and grandfather, any attempt to reason about God must lead to paradoxes and contradictions.

It will be observed by the thoughtful that these arguments are quite logical, and totally mad. I do not claim that they are true, but merely that they are at least as lucid as the other writings about God produced by the human mind to date.

1 comment:

michael said...

This was my favorite of all the Diagonal stuff, and JUST IN TIME FOR XMAS!

I think it was in Cosmic Trigger vol 2, where he remembers an adult describing him as a little kid, something like (RAW) "could talk the judge down off the bench," or some Irish-inflected like that. This article shows that kid grown to fruition.

This one seems like a good candidate for inclusion in some NEW! future RAW anthology, but that's maybe just my taste.