Monday, November 21, 2005

On the subject of elephants...

Well, sort of...

It's Penn Jillette's "This I Believe" segment on NPR, and his first analogy goes thusly:

"...you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?"
You may notice that I seem to be intentionally obfuscating the title and subject of his essay. And the reason for that is that I think some people might not like what it says. And to you I say: I'm sorry, but that's sort of his point.

I'm not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.
Good stuff.

[thanks to Dave at Dave's Beer]

2 comments:

kathryn said...

I love this. It is brilliant.

I'm inching my way toward making that definitive statement, "there is no God." I don't know that it is necessary to actually get there and embrace it. For me, at least. For me, simply leaving that question alone is enough. There is so much unknown out there, so much mystery. Trying to believe in God distracts from the Realness that Is. Trying not to believe in God, or even bothering to think about it, also distracts. (But that doesn't stop me from reading about religions and culture.)

Oh, you have certainly provided some good stuff to ponder!

kat said...

oo, that was really interesting. i've always been fascinated by religion and spirituality, but the concept of God has never found a place for me. i like his description of the opportunities and up sides of a world with no God and I totally agree with his statements about those who use their faith as a way not to listen.

i guess i think of spirituality as a way of being curious, noticing, appreciating, open....