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Conversation with "Pat"

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December 2004

Some much-needed quasi-religious principles, enunciated by the Source itself.
(For background, you may want to check the November offering "New Religion".)

We can say I had a vision.  Or an inspiration.  It's hard to tell which, but the end result is the following.  And if you ask whether I believe it myself, I can only say, "It goes without saying. . ."

It was like a voice within.  In Norwegian, actually.  "Are you there?"  it said.  Yes, I was here.  And then (translated, with – for scholars – a few clarifying references to the original at problematic passages):

"This is the Almighty."
     – Wow.  Like God?
"Call me "Pat."  That'll work for now."
     – Sure, Pat.  How's things?
"Not bad, on the whole.  But look, I don't have much time  – "
     – Not much time??  Aren't you eternal?
"Nonsense.  Nobody's eternal.  I'm just very old.  But again, I've got a little problem with your planet.  It's really gotten out of hand and I need to straighten it out (orig: "rette på det")."
     – Uh, anything I can do to help?
"Yeah, that's just why I'm calling on you.  Listen up, 'cause I'll only say this once."
     – I'm ready.  Shoot.

"First of all, I created the cosmos, peppered it with elementary particles, established the physical laws, breathed energy into the system, and let it go.  Everything else just happened according to the beautiful rules of probability and physics.  So don't blame me. All the universes, galaxies, stars, and planets formed themselves as a result of that first breath.  You too, for that matter.

"Now, I've got a lot of little creatures here and there around the cosmos, but your "Earth" has frankly been a headache to me over the last few millennia.  Just goes to show what blind alleys evolution can take.  Look, here's the deal:  I don't mind you folks making your own gods;  everybody does it – after all, I'm not very well known.  But nowhere else in my entire creation have I seen the likes of the bloodthirsty gods that you folks have come up with.  The slaughter has been beyond belief, and it's getting worse.  So I've come to put a stop to it.  My order to your species is simply to lighten up (orig: "slapp av") and quit worshipping your blood-gods."

     – Well, folks like to have a God to worship...
"I know, so you may as well worship me.  Not that I care, but at least I'm real!"
     – Well, could you tell a little about yourself?
"What?  I have to submit an application?  Just kidding.  But there's not much to tell, really.  I like to have a good time with the gang."
     – Uh, the gang??
"Yeah, the staff.  I made them to keep me company.  We have a ball (orig: "har det gøy"):  music, games, bowling.."
     – Do you have sex?
"Do we have sex!  Great sex!"
     – So are you like, male or female?
"Depends.  Both, and neither.  That's why I picked the name "Pat".  Do you like it?"
     – Uh, sure.  Look, if we're gonna worship you, we'll need to know a little more about you.
          And we'll need rules.  Lots of rules.

"OK. First, you don't need to worship me.  That's a notion you folks thought up.  Real gods don't need that.  But if you insist, I'll assign someone to pay attention.  Now, about me:  I don't have any kids.  You won't be getting any sons of mine coming to Earth.  And I don't do prophets or holy books.  And don't even think about offering me a blood sacrifice!  I'm not Pat the Bloody!  I'll leave that epithet for your current god."

     – Well, how about some rules?
"OK.  Just one:  Be kind to each other and to the Earth."  (Orig: "Vær god mot hverandre og mot Jorden.")
     – That's it??  "Be kind to each other??"
"That's it.  Be kind."
     – Well, look;  how about heaven and hell and all that stuff?  How about eternal life, and rewards and punishment and all that?  We need some encouragement to "be kind to each other".

"All right, I was afraid of that.  You want life after death.  Well, I'll give it to you, if it'll help.  But not eternal, you understand.  Just as long as I'm around.  And nobody knows how long that'll be.  As far as I know, someone created me, and who knows where it ends.  Hey, there's an issue that ought to keep your theologians busy!  But anyway, this'll be my rule:  You get to come to my place after death if you're not a jerk (orig: "en tufs")."

     – "If you're not a jerk??"  How do we know who's a jerk?

"Well, for one thing, you don't need to know.  I'll know.  But look, everyone knows who's a jerk!  If you hurt your fellow man, you're a jerk.  You're a jerk if you cut in line at the movies;  if you pollute the upstream water;  if you shoot your neighbor's dog;  if you beat your wife or kids;  if you're a self-promoter, habitually lie, or take advantage of your friends  –  in other words, if you're dishonest and mean.  In the end, my staff will decide.  The bottom line:  No jerks will be welcomed chez moi."

     – Wow!  That seems to leave out a lot of people, like priests and politicians.
"You're right about that. There won't be many of them around my place."
     – But what'll happen to them? . . .
"What kind of question is that?  Same thing that happens to everything that lives and dies.  They just don't live anymore."
     – So there's no punishment after death?
"Punishment after death?  Stuff and nonsense (orig: "tull og tøys").  They're dead!  Isn't that enough?"
     – Well, I guess . . . But look, before you go  –  you're starting to fade out  – seems to me we need more guidance than that . . .

"Sorry, you're on your own.  Look around you:  The Earth is beautiful, life is a marvel, and humanity is the greatest marvel of all.  If that's not enough to motivate you to enjoy your brief life you may be beyond help.  So relax, have fun, and toss your evil religions on the scrap heap.  Your obligations are not to me or to any gods of your own making;  they're to each other and to the fragile little ball of dirt and water I've given you to live on.  Live it up while you're here, and if you follow my simple rule I'll see you in a few years."

And with that the apparition, which was foggy to begin with, vaporized, and I returned to my senses.  Thought I:  How many theologians will it take to screw up Pat's plain rule for living?

"Be kind to each other and to the Earth."
We'll see.

[Reader:  Why not take a moment to enjoy the story "Supreme Court"  on this site?]

© 2004 H. Paul Lillebo

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