MW: Down on the farm, there is integrity even in the will o’ the wisp, in human organizations, integrity itself is a will o’ the wisp.
God: Even though you are perpetually betrayed in your relationships, a superstitious belief persists that things will be done as promised, when your backs are turned.
MW: But there are two good reasons for this, albeit they are good only because they are motivated by compassion: 1) I choose to believe and 2) it is burdensome and depressing to have to take responsibility for making this choice. The first reason gives me a sense of power and generosity, qualities that grace the puniness of human existence in the catalogue of the vast universe and the second, I need this mercy to survive.
God: It has been said, mostly by pedants that your problems…are not in your stars…but in yourselves. Put more accurately, your problems are a product of your perceptions of yourselves rather than your fancies about stars.
MW: That is why we signed bank notes for unreasonably cheap loans, ignoring the smirking grimaces of our bankers, and we said nothing when blame was passed down the organizational hierarchy onto the lowest head that is least responsible—for if we only persist and not rock the boat, we will survive someday, it will be our turn someday…
God: Even though change causes persistence: the universe expands while relative positions remain the same.
MW: So, it is hopeless…What is there to do?
God: Make music. Play tennis. Fuck a lot. Divorce. Take drugs. Rebel. Manipulate. Figure out a scheme. Steal. Get yours while you can. Get a secure job. Suck it up. Be careful. Play your cards close to your chest. Trust no one. Become a shepherd. Buy lottery tickets. Patent something useful. Join the Marines. On and on and on…while the eternal drums of entropy beat a refrain in the ghastly freedom from all care.
MW: Is there no alternative?
God: Alternatives are consistent with entropy but since they require no action they are deceptive, seemingly unimportant, only relevant to your perceptions of existence.
MW: Wordplay! Mumbo jumbo meant to confuse and impress me.
God: It’s well known that Confusion guards the gateway to knowledge.
MW: Platitude! Answer the question. What alternatives? In a practical sense! Related to the imminent collapse of the global banking system, for instance, or the perpetual incompetence of management of the simplest, yet essential functions of government that are supposed to protect and preserve ecological systems necessary to human survival?
God: The alternative is to do everything just as you are: make music, fuck a lot, pray, get your own while you can, whistle Dixie, whatever, but notice the integrity in everything you see and hear…and do…and say, and when you feel like it, act on that feeling.
MW: People will get in trouble, hurt others or themselves, acting on feelings willy-nilly.
God: Some will but no more than now. Freedom incurs responsibility. But people are in trouble, they are hurting themselves and countless others. In the most supposedly benign democracies the process for thoughtless harm is institutionalized in a myriad ways: casting radiation, plague and bombs on the heads of innocent children, starving others, putting sick people to death, ignoring the needs of the old and the weak. The alternative is not about changing laws or institutions, only changing your perceptions.
MW: You propose nothing more than blissful ignorance?How will my feelings affect the declining purchasing power of my income stream? The perverse medieval selfishness of Richard Cheney? Or the fact that Morgan Stanley executives are socking away billions while reactionaries in Congress shoot our economy in the foot…
MW: I don’t interrupt you.
God: Don’t make a fuss. Please, go on.
MW: …by cutting healthcare and Social Security and pouring money into demolition toys.
God: But you don’t know!
MW: Know? Don’t know? Don’t know what? Are you asking me to take Your advice on Faith? To trust that I will not again be betrayed? You, Who has consistently betrayed my trust and the faith of hundreds of millions, billions of innocents? Faith? Faith? Yours is a circular argument.
God. Hold on there, cowboy. There’s a significant difference in our perceptions of human history. In the first place, I have never ever betrayed the trust of anything. Second, human beings, for one reason or another, act in ways that, after the fact, are seen as counter-intuitive and they seem relatively helpless against each other in the now. What I am suggesting is that, were each of you to perceive your world in the present, uncluttered by reason, superstition and selfish priorities, you would act differently.
MW: So, right action is also involved!
God: No! Did I say act right? No such thing as “right action”. There is only a dance with your perceptions. Observe your integrity and act according to your feelings. The principle couldn’t be simpler.
MW: God, I think I see what you mean. I don’t know, but I see. Is that strange?
God: Mostly for men. What have you got to lose?
MW: Scales on my eyes, I suppose?
God: Maybe. It wouldn’t be the first time. But for Christ’s sake, leave Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Shiva out of it.