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It’s digital. And not fancy digital like your modern computers. Sort of like an old Atari game, where you only get one color, and life is defined by the spaces between. Only compressing it to a two dimensional screen loses so much. You’re not just looking at three dimensions, you’re looking at the angles between dimensions.
Somewhere, in a lower, unimportant corner of my consciousness I knew there existed a hospital bed. There was stuff going on there, a buncha doctor types working around it. I could understand it was important, in a theoretical sense, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to care. Never mind that it’s me down in that hospital bed; I was getting the straight dope on the nature of reality here.
I don’t know if my thought was verbalized as such, but coming down off the anesthetic I had a definite moment of recognition that there was something separating me from the rest of reality. There was another definite moment where I realized “I am Hank”, and from there the blurry picture around me resolving into a hospital room and a nurse who’s phone number I never got.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and Exalted; seated on a throne, and his train of his robe filled the temple.” So says Isaiah, when he begins the description of his call. I didn’t see God in my anesthetic dream, but I knew He was there. Invariant. And I mean that in a mathematical sense; no matter what way I twisted my perspective on reality He was there, exactly the same. Doesn’t matter if the whole world is digital or fluff on the back of a blue flamingo, God is God. “I Am who I Am” as he said to Moses.
Frankly it gave me the willies. I’m a good Christian. I know how this works; how my sins are forgiven, how God sees Christ in me. I know the Lord is merciful, and that his goodness endures forever. Even so, I find myself much like Isaiah. “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” God exists, He is sovereign, and evidently there’s still a part of me that wishes that weren’t so.
It seems I still think myself more clever than all of creation. The scrappy underdog movie hero who despite being horribly outmatched manages to trick the superior intelligence and brute force of his opponent. I think on some level that I’m still holding onto the notion that, if something queers the deal, then maybe I’ll be able to pull a fast one. On the Lord God Almighty. It’s not a great plan.
As Wednesday evening had progressed my throat swelled up. Around eleven that evening I figured this wasn’t getting any better on it’s own, so I drove in to the emergency room, croaked out my problem to the guy at the desk, and got to jump the line. The doctors don’t believe it was an allergic reaction, or the result of an infection, or anything like that. They’re saying ‘it’s genetic’, even though there’s no history of that happening. They had me on the bed, jabbing me with needles, sticking in IVs and whatnot. The EpiPens didn’t do anything but make my legs twitch. They put the mask on me and it’s ‘Bam! Mysteries of the Cosmos’ until they woke me up to take out the breathing tube Friday morning.
If one is going to consider the existence of God, then one ought to understand what exactly one means by ‘God’. One may imagine God being man writ large. A sort of Zeus who was lucky enough to come out on top of the cosmic king-of-the-hill game. If that’s all that God is, the Ayatollah of Rock-and-Rollah presiding over the biggest wasteland in the cosmos, then I’d agree with the atheist that there’s nothing there worthy of worship. Zeus tricked his way into the top spot in creation, and someone else could trick him out of it. But that wasn’t what I saw.
I saw the Rock of Ages, eternal, invulnerable, unable to be touched by petty things like all of reality twisting like a wind sock. Only not God Himself. Best I can describe it was that I was seeing the logical necessity for the existence of Deity. Look at reality through which perspective I would, there wasn’t one that didn’t require the existence of God to hang together. There’s no escaping God.
(A quick note here; the thought wouldn’t be complete without it. As such, one’s best course of action is to reconcile oneself with God. The way to do that is through Jesus Christ, who died for our redemption and was raised from the dead. It wasn’t my intention going into this post to turn it into a sales pitch, but I really don’t think I could have failed to include it and still be telling the truth.)
After all that though, I don’t count on opium dreams as reliable source of intelligence. And even if they were my impressions are so muddled and faded with the fact that I’m not stoned out of my gourd anymore that I’m stuck describing reality as ‘sort of like an old Atari game.’ I already believed all these things on an intellectual level going into this situation. I can’t say that if I had gotten the opposite impression while I was, in the parlance of our times, trippin’ bawlz, I would have changed my opinions. Still, it’s given me something to think about.
That, and I think I’m going to get the other noodle dish next time I go back to that Thai place.Published in