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Spreading The Suffering

Posted by Donk, 09 December 2011 · 1465 views

Common Cold God
On Monday I realised that my chest was feeling congested. By Tuesday evening, it was a lot worse. Worse enough that I told My Lady about it – normally I play the macho big-man and keep it to myself. Wednesday, a streaming nose was added to my list of pains. Thursday, the nose thickened, sinuses started to throb, head began to ache. By Thursday evening my throat was on fire - so much so that I took a couple of paracetamol. Up until then my medication had been whisky+honey+hot water.

Thursday night I went to bed feeling hot and feverish.

This morning (Friday), I woke up feeling strangely refreshed. The headache was gone, and so was the pressure in the sinuses. I still had the thick chest and streaming nose, but I could tell that the unwanted guests had finally been thrown out.

When I hear somebody brag that they've never had a day's illness in their lives, I feel sorry for them. They'll never know this feeling. Reborn, brimming with energy, optimistic... The springtime of the soul.

Still, I'm glad I only get one of these every three or four years.

One oddity of a medium-high fever is that it seems to set my mind free to head down unfamiliar trails. Here's where I went Thursday night:

Who is this God person, anyway?

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that there IS a god. Can we say anything about his nature?

The two favourite Christian themes are the Good Shepherd and the Father.

I'm not keen on the Shepherd analogy. A shepherd cares for his flock because it's his livelihood, not because he loves them. If he owns the flock, losing too many would lead to bankruptcy; if he's an employee, he'd lose his job. The God of the Bible doesn't seem to profit from either our skins or our meat, so the analogy falls down rather badly.

So how about God the Father? I'm a father and I tried to be a good one. To me that meant bringing up my children to be at least my equals, and preferably better. They're good people and make me very proud. (As indeed do their children.) Plus, if you care about such things, they're richer than I am. ;)

How would the God of the Bible feel about one of his children saying "I'm better than you are!" On past form, he'd be pretty angry. It's a very strange father that gets jealous of his children's achievements, so this one doesn't fly either.

Here's my contribution to the debate: God the Artist. He built the whole of Creation to please himself, or possibly other god-level superbeings.

The theory would go a long way to explain human history, and why we're the way we are. An artist is only interested in the overall result, not the materials. At the end of a session he's quite happy to sweep the marble chippings out of the door, or wash the paint off his brushes and down the sink. Or - perhaps a slightly closer analogy - a film director will leave an actor's best scene on the cutting-room floor if it doesn't fit in with his "vision".

It would also explain why prayers don't get answered. A prayer is an implied criticism: "I don't like things the way they are. Please change them for me." Artists don't take kindly to criticism. Comments like "shouldn't you give her a proper smile instead of that half-smirk?", or "if mine was that size, I'd wear a figleaf" don't go down at all well.

There you go! Everything explained. Why is complexity so simple when I'm running a temperature?

I was going to keep these ravings locked away in my journal, but I've had a crummy week, so I thought I might as well spread the suffering :)

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