i was going to write a prayer tonight.
i wanted to start with “i don’t know whether you exist.”
but then i figured i’d be better to say something like “i’m not sure whether you are an external referent in reality, or merely exist in the realm of platonic forms, the way triangles do.”
i know triangles are real, you see, even if they don’t exist in the physical world. “a being of infinite love and compassion” may not be real either, but “people who believe in a being of love and infinite compassion” do exist. they are real. i have felt love from them, acting on this belief of unknown veracity – and through these actions, felt the love of god.
i cannot be “wrong” about this belief of mine in god, because i insist that my god is metarecursively defined: a being of infinite love and compassion exists as “the actions taken by those who believe in a being of infinite love and compassion.” the proof of infinite cardinality is made by contradiction: show me the end of the world, and then i’ll accept that the being of infinite love doesn’t exist.
you may claim that this god of mine is not a real referent, that it doesn’t have an objective correlate – but neither do triangles, which aren’t usually all that controversial. they are both concepts with validity that have done a lot to shape the world. i’d think it was silly if a bunch of people insisted triangles existed somewhere and hated gay people, too – but that just makes “homophobic triangle deities” a silly idea; it doesn’t invalidate the causal power of belief in a loving god.
so no, you can’t convince the logical mind part of me that believing in god is anything but reasonable. i ran through that proof again as i finished my run, and slowed to a jog, thinking “why does it still feel so damn empty sometimes when i say that i think things will get better? will they really be that much better if my mom won’t be around to see that?”
i see triangles every goddamn day, i thought, and none of them fill me with hope. i want to see this infinite love made real in the world. i want it so badly, to live in a place where “just be a good person” is really all you have to do, and things will be ok for you. you know – the lies we tell children – “just be a good person and it’ll all be ok” – i want those to become true because i’m old enough to remember being a child again.
i know this is possible, and i do believe it will happen eventually. i just want my parents to be alive to see it.
i was finishing my run, starting to write this prayer in my head, and settling on the expression of my belief in god as merely being a belief in the causal effects of people who believe in a loving, caring, accepting god.
i was finishing my run and felt overcome with grief at the absence of this god in our world.
and then i heard the crickets chirping – and i knew god was real, if only for another moment.