Three Second Epiphany

When I don’t know what to title a blog piece, my mind goes almost immediately to Pink Floyd lyrics.  So…that may or may not explain what might be the eventual title of this post.

First off, a shout out. I have some amazingly talented friends. No. Seriously. It’s ridiculous. Most I’ve known since Junior High. Some before that. I’m going to blame the water in Westerville. Whatever they were putting in it in the 70’s is probably the stuff of legends or at the very least the stuff of SyFy original series.

Take for instance… friend of mine who writes decided that she would write some smut and self publish..since that seems to be a hot commodity these days. She posted it on the bacefook and it was funny. Because it was like, no shit. That’s so true. I mean the whole 50 Shades of Grey phenom. That’s one of many self-publishing Cinderella stories. So it was just funny in an irony sort of way.

And then she had a follow up post that led me to believe she did write the piece!! I laughed because it’s just awesome. I mean it’s awesome that she did, if she did. I didn’t read the piece.

Where was I going with that? Yeah. No idea. But I thought the whole thing was awesome. Basically I tip my hat to any one who writes.  Especially when they bang out 8000+ words in the span of a day or two…that’s no joke.   I’m not going to bust her out in case she publishes under a nom de plum, but kudos to her for writing.

I meanwhile, am stalled at about 3500 words.  The book took a twist that I didn’t see coming, and to be completely honest, I need to stop watching NCIS and/or put the book on hold for a bit. Otherwise, I feel like parts of it are going to have the reader saying, “Hey…didn’t I see that on NCIS.” I doubt it would be intentional. Just an exposure kind of thing.

I have another piece or 20 I can turn to. I have a folder of story starters, short outlines, short screenplays and other ideas that I can flesh out. I’m thinking of one concerning the power of Prayer with a capital “P.”

I had an epiphany at lunch today. I figured out what one of my biggest gripes about Religion is. And when I say Religion, I mean the brand Religion. As in organized and palletized for easy digestion.

Something never really quite sat right with me about the Bible. I mean…here is this book…detailing what you need to do to get to heaven and what can cause you to eagerly dive headfirst in to hell.

And from the sounds of it, those are pretty serious things. It’s a big deal. Like for eternity a big deal.

When I’m talking about Religion, and Heaven, and Hell, I mean those of the judeo-christian faith.

So..right….big deal. Eternity.

And then it hits me. The loop hole. Yes, there is a loop hole in the bible.  It’s blatant in its mention, but subtle in its role as a loop hole.  Are you ready for it?

Free Will.

Man is given Free Will by the Creator.

Why? There wasn’t free will in the Garden of Eden. “Eat anything in except the fruit from THAT tree.” There was a father raising children. Until they ate the fruit.

The forbidden fruit.

They were not told, “Hey. You can eat any fruit you want. If you eat THAT fruit, though, bad things might happen–but you have free will to make that choice.”

No. They were told not to eat the fruit. No ifs, ands, or buts.

And then they ate it.

And God was pissed.

Kicked them out of the Garden of Eden. And somewhere along the way (New Testament maybe–I need to go back and look to figure out exactly where) humans were given Free Will.

There’s Heaven. There’s Hell. And there’s Jesus. If you want to go to Heaven…take a right turn at Jesus.  If you don’t, you’ll probably go to Hell BUT IT’S YOUR CHOICE.

Wait. What?

MY choice?!?!  God got pissed at the VERY FIRST HUMANS EVER for eating an apple, but you’re going to leave a decision with ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES up to the guy that hates to balance his checkbook?!?

What kind of sense does that make?


It’s the loop hole.

I think the people who were working on the Bible looked at what God was telling them to write and thought “Hey….this is pretty heady stuff.  What if I need…you know…a break from all this Jesus Freaking. I know….Free Will and Forgiveness.  I can screw around…pin it on Free Will. Then pick up that Travelodge Map showing the way to Jesus and get on that stairway to heaven. And if I wanna sew some more wild oats–no problem. It’s free will and then I just ask for forgiveness. Easy Peasy Japanesey.”

Every programmer leaves a back door. At least somewhere in the development process (no…that’s not really always true at all. Coding is hard work. Writing in extra code just for a back door and trying to get it past QA is a nightmare. But it makes for fun movie twists and blog posts). So this backdoor.

The author of the Bible–no, not God. God was more of the creative consultant on that project. If you ask me, the Bible was more of a ‘story inspired by…’  So no…the dude who first said that God told him to write the Bible. HE put in Free Will. That was the loop hole.

So…God has a plan for my life. And I have Free Will. But God’s plan MUST include my Free Will. If God’s perfect plan includes all of the times I exercise Free Will, then it’s either A) not a perfect plan…or B) my free will is neither my will, nor free.

I just don’t see how Free Will factors in to something that has such monumental consequences.

It reminds me very much of a line from a Pink Floyd song.

We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year. 

Gold fish have a 3 second memory.  For 3 glorious seconds, or at some point, they know exactly where they are. And then they forget.  You see, the souls aren’t really lost. They’re in the fish bowl.

Only they don’t have any way to retain that knowledge. So…the brief flashes of illumination only serve to obfuscate the issue.

They have free will.  They could  stop swimming.  Only in less than 3 seconds, they would forget why they stopped. And would start swimming again.

It’s all getting deeper.

It’s interesting to me. When you set about to try to disprove something like God….the layers that you peel back to get to that ‘truth’ in and of themselves reveal something so much more divine than human imagination.

Other lyrics from “Wish You Were Here” take it deeper.

So…so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell
Blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field, from a cold steel rail
A smile from a veil
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for pain?
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for the lead role in a cage?

Free Will. God’s Plan. I’m just a simple son of a printer…but I’m not sure I can see how those two things would ever reconcile in a way that both parties would be cool with. I know I’m not supposed to know. Or that all will be revealed in God’s time.

There’s just one problem I have with that.

Time, much like free will, is a concept made up by Man. The Creator has no use for either.

I think my three seconds is about up.

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