“It is God’s omniscience that helps Him to endure the sorrows of the world,” says the narrator of Francois Mauriac’s short story, A Man of Letters. Why would any God endure this world of ours for so long had it not been for the empathetic understanding of the criminality that underlies the crown of His own creation? The question begs a lot of other questions, of course. Is there a God, did He (is it He really?) create the universe, was He aware of the evil that he was giving birth to while creating the human beings...?
|Michelangelo's The Pieta|
Let us assume that some God created the universe for reasons similar to why Dostoevsky wrote Crime and Punishment or Michelangelo carved the Pieta: a creative urge. Not the whole of creation is under the control of the creator because there are unconscious motives which underlie every creation. Sublimation of the darkness within the creator is one of the motives of creation. The human beings seem to be the darkness that lay within God. Even God must have been baffled by the horror of the creation, the horror called man.
Yet that Creator, omnipotent and hence able to put an end to the creation, is enduring the horror and the concomitant grief because his omniscience makes him empathetic too. That’s what Mauriac suggests. The more you know, the more empathy you feel. It’s like watching a movie. You know why this character is behaving like this. Though you can’t accept the behaviour because it is not good according to your moral standards, you still feel empathy for the character because you know why he behaves thus.
The more you know, the greater your empathy. No, it’s not merely knowledge. It’s more about a refinement of the consciousness. A refinement that can come from a greater awareness and understanding rather than from any religious rituals or platitudes.
If the terrorist can raise his consciousness level, he won’t be able to kill anyone even for his god.
The same logic is applicable to every criminal.
Crime is born of ignorance. Crime is a form of crudeness, a lack of sophistication of the mind, even if it is done for the sake of gods or morality or whatever.
God would have become Satan without that elevated level of consciousness. With that consciousness, He must be enduring a lot. Poor God.
PS. A poem I wrote about two decades ago on this theme: God’s Love Song