CHAPTER FIVE – The mind of God
The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
Who can ever know the mind of God? On her first night’s sleep at The Place, Maggie fell into the most vivid dream.
Later, as her spiritual journey progressed, she was encouraged by angels to recall the dream, and contemplate its meaning. While Maggie described it, one angel touch-typed a transcription, tidying and sharpening the language into a record to be filed away.
Bob hopped up onto God’s lap. Satan’s male cat had a habit of nudging open the door to the inner sanctum whenever she was about to meditate.
God smiled as he began to purr. Bob adored every being that he met on his rounds. No favourites.
God settled again in her Chesterfield armchair, briefly observing how the mustard velvet covering had withstood the years. Satan had brought the chair back from one of his City of London forays.
This and a flow of other thoughts appeared, and then disappeared. One of these being the notion that most sentient activity within her creation could be boiled down to observers peering into available fields of consciousness. Looking at the equivalent of multi-dimensional screens, whether awake or asleep. And holding the ability and will-power to lucidly influence events on the screens.
As her mind became stiller and quieter, she moved down to the well of consciousness, from whence sprang pure creativity.
Here, where she had created the world. Beautiful and exquisite initially: elegant, cohesive and harmonious. She had dreamed it into existence, glorying as she witnessed the joy.
Then the first experiment. Inserting a man and woman, in her own image, and offering the choice. To stay contentedly in the paradise, or enter and steward a more complex world, where good and evil co-existed; sun, moon and stars shone in cycles; and all humans possessed free will. A world where entities would kill and eat each other, in lives that spanned never-ending pain, struggle and death.
Bob rumbled away, spread happily across her tummy and upper thighs. A Rolls-Royce engine of a cat, idling in neutral.
She knew she had designed the most incredible and magnificent challenge. A training course in recognising good and evil. One where her love was quiet but ever-present, generating an invitation to wisdom, truth-seeking, sharing and witnessing. The truth was available, with humble but far-reaching detective work.
Later, at a moment when materialism and complacency were choking human abilities to live truthfully, she had upped the stakes. She had imagined an intimate shard of herself into the very fabric and texture of her dream, by implanting her son Jesus into the game.
The subsequent resurrection message could not have been any clearer: that you cannot perish if you live your truth. And that for those who managed to live well, using their free will to steer paths of love and benevolence amid the disavowing, better things awaited.
An over-familiar thought entered her meditation. Had the challenge spiralled out of hand? Could humanity still change its course? Or was it too late.
The two World Wars had intensified the human training. After the 1945 decision by the United States military to detonate nuclear weapons in two Japanese cities, 150,000 mainly innocent human beings had been incinerated. The wounded were described by survivors as living pieces of charcoal, wandering aimlessly as their skin fell off, and vomiting out their insides until they collapsed and died. This was her creation.
In the intervening decades, she had become increasingly hooked to The Place’s screens. Looking into a world where the most critical notions of God had been progressively excised in favour of misleading narratives spinning out from Rome, London, Washington and elsewhere.
Bob stretched, yawned and jumped down.
When God opened her eyes, they alighted on a gleaming bottle brought back by Satan from his excursions. A 50-year old Glenfiddich single malt that he had stolen from Selfridges. In earthly perceptions, worth tens of thousands of pounds, he had suggested.
He was the best lieutenant available, as flawed as any human, but loyal as a dog. The star witness to the almost invisible nature of the centralised empire that crushed human spirit. The empire which generated polarity and entropy, and about which no school taught.
The first sip was very sweet, white water rafting her down a torrent of flavour, descending from upstream zesty marmalades and vanilla toffee towards a widening estuary of herbs and fruits. And hints of smoke.
Relaxing, her other hand reached for her King James version of the Bible. Her Word was contained, often encoded, in its 66 books. A mystical, sanctified and potent system for living, but sullied and bastardised by the Church, with its intermediation. Her fingers traced intricate patterns across the dark leather.
Estuary. The word lingered longer.