Saturday, April 5, 2008

More on our tendency to anthropomorphize God

Here's an old Sufi story, courtesy of Idris Shah, the late Sufi leader. It's in one of his books.
There was a guy who learned how to talk to ants. He found a couple ants one day and asked them "What is God like?"
One of the ants replied, "Oh, God, well, we only have one sting, but He has two!"
It should be obvious what this story is trying to say (at least on one level—Sufi stories have a lot of levels, but don't ask me about that, I'm not a Sufi) .
Don't obsess on the absurdity of talking to ants, it'll hold you back.

It may be that the reason and meaning of our existence is nil, just a copacetic accretion of biological events. Or there may be something more to it. Maybe life itself is a prime mover, an entity not like us of which we are nevertheless a part, and from which we came and to which we return. Jesus said "the kingdom of God is within you." He was trying to tell us something. Buddha said that this world is illusion. He was trying to tell us something. They both were talking about the same thing, only from different angles.

If that's making your brain explode, go back to worrying about talking to ants.


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