Thursday, July 23, 2009

“Who made God, Daddy? Who made God, Mommy?”

I will not strain your credulity by trying to write something sophisticated. On the flip-side of that token, I hope you will set aside any knee-jerk religious conviction or fuzzy-skulled mysticism while reading this.

The child's question is everything. We gather around us a lifetime of buffering nonsense to keep her question from touching us in the deep places. It is too disconcerting to really address it and think into it. Or we've become so mature, that such a query is met with condescension.

Well, Meister Eckhardt drove his mind all the way into it. And came up with an “answer” that some would find the raving of an imbecile. God requires a foundational Godhead...then the Godhead requires something beyond even it...something finally ineffable.

The question is everything. It is a serious matter. The child is waiting.


I used to be, and still sometimes am, over-stimulated when reading or hearing about the death of a child or young person. Someone cut off, cheated out of years and experience. There's a scene in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, in which Hans Castorp overhears the tragic wailing and rebellion of a tubercular girl on the eve of death. That really stuck to me.

I used to think that old people dying was not such a tragedy. They've lived a long life. They had their share of experience. Now, I'm not so sure. I'm beginning to think that a life spent wrapped up with religion or some mysticism...or as an above-it-all atheist...or in some other “mature” kind of buffer zone...well, I suspect that the Reaper's close breath just might be more horrible on their faces than on the cheated child.

Here's why: the child or young person is closer to the vacuum of non-being; the elder is much farther removed. If there is a God – something that explains Being – then the child has more lately flown from that mysterious Weaver; the awesome, sublime dew of life's morning still beads on her fair soul. The old are too far flung in time, thus tragically forgetful...grown too solid to be bothered with such ephemeral questions as “Who made God?”

On the deathbeds of ancients, I suspect the trauma is tenfold that of the young. Now...Now...Now...the question looms as agony instead of curiosity. But what does it matter you might ask, if there is no answer? Well, I further suspect that a life, short or long, spent in conscious awareness of, in constant tension about the question of who made God would be a life that is less anguished over pending extinction. Less shocked and surprised to discover that there actually is a Mystery.


  1. ah, I love a good mystery...

    excellent blog :)

  2. What you said makes me mysteriously happy. :)

  3. One of my dear friends (whose children are all brilliant, and was a single mom like me for years) had this experience: her son announced to her one day when he was young, "I don't need a god, because I have a mother." These questions are not easily answered.