Friday, September 30, 2011

The Story of Creation

To Dr Faustus in his study Mephistophelis told the history of the
Creation, saying:

‘The endless praises of the choirs of angels had begun to grown
wearisome; for, after all, did he not deserve their praise? Had he not
given them endless joy? Would it not be more amusing to obtain
underserved praise, to be worshipped by beings whom he tortured? He
smiled inwardly, and resolved that the great drama should be

For countless ages the hot nebula whirled aimlessly through space.
At length it began to take shape, the central mass threw off planets, the
planets cooled, boiling seas and burning mountains heaved and tossed,
from black masses of cloud hot sheets of rain deluged the barely solid
crust. And now the first germ of life grew in the depths of the ocean,
and developed rapidly in the fructifying warmth into vast forest trees,
huge ferns springing from the damp mould, sea monsters breeding,
fighting, devouring, and passing away. And from the monsters, as the
play unfolded itself, Man was born, with the power of thought, the
knowledge of good and evil, and the cruel thirst for worship. And Man
saw that all is passing in this mad, monstrous world, that all is
struggling to snatch, at any cost, a few brief moments of life before
Death’s inexorable decree. And Man said: “There is a hidden purpose,
could we but fathom it, and the purpose is good; for we must reverence
something, and in the visible world there is nothing worthy of
reverence.” And Man stood aside from the struggle, resolving that God
intended harmony to come out of chaos by human efforts. And when he
followed the instincts which God had transmitted to him from his
ancestry of beasts of prey, he called it Sin, and asked God to forgive
him. But he doubted whether he could be justly forgiven, until he
invented a divine Plan by which God’s wrath was to have been
appeased. And seeing the present was bad, he made it yet worse, that
thereby the future might be better. And he gave God thanks for the
strength that enabled him to forgo even the joys that were possible.
And God smiled; and when he saw that Man had become perfect in
renunciation and worship, he sent another sun through the sky, which
crashed into Man’s sun; and all returned again to nebula.

‘“Yes,” he murmured, “it was a good play; I will have it performed

-- Bertrand Russell, A Free Man's Worship

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