Transcript of an editorial meeting

YAH: Almost everything you’ve written here is wrong – or at least, seriously misleading and lacking essential elements of context. No one will read it.

MOSES: Can’t we just dispense with the text and go straight to the commentary?

YAH: The Oral Torah concept? Yeah, but remember: the devil is in the details. Basically, everything you think you know is wrong.

MOSES: Wrongness, then, would seem to be an existential attribute of – um, I mean, the unavoidable condition of Your creatures, correct me if I’m wrong.

YAH: I will, trust me. Generally speaking, to be wrong is to be consumed – by burning, say. Though just once, I would like to feel that myself. It’s hell to be right all the time.

MOSES: I think if we want to write a real bestseller here, we have to put in a lot more angels. Tell me about the seraphim.

YAH: Beetles! I never tire of them, their hard & shiny outer wings, the way those diaphanous inner wings unfold, their way with flowers, dung or carrion. Their almost infinite variety.

MOSES: O.K., maybe I’d better stick with violence and begetting, then. But something you just said made me wonder: philosophically speaking, would it be fair to say that Creation is the only escape from tautology?

YAH: Stop trying to pin me down! I ain’t no beetle! Despite what some Egyptians might have told you.

MOSES: But I heard that you gave Abraham something called Sefer Yetzirah, The Book of Creation – like the Chicago Manual of Style for the cosmos. Where can I get a copy?

YAH: That was just a test, like the Binding of Isaac – which he failed miserably, by the way. What a tool he turned out to be! A cog in search of cogma. Haven’t spoken to him since.

MOSES: “Teaching to the test” is wrong, though, isn’t it?

YAH: He was supposed to figure that out on his own. That was the test. This is not a test! I don’t play dice.

MOSES: But, I mean, is it really possible to create new life forms by combining and recombining the letters of Your name, over and over, in precise and non-intuitive sequences?

YAH: Genetic engineering? Yes, but it’s a waste of time – and leads, of course, to hubris and atheism.

MOSES: Suppose, however – just suppose! – there were a need…

YAH: Look at the way unrelated species come to resemble each other, so-called convergent evolution. What are they converging toward? Look at how species co-evolve – the flower and its pollinator, an intricate pas de deux for which it took billions of years and a couple supernovas to set the stage. Beautiful, yes? But let me tell you, Moe: It’s all in the smiting.

MOSES: O.K., but let’s think of our target audience. The priests are going to want to know: how can we be holy, as You are holy? I mean, that is what you said you wanted to communicate, right? In a nutshell?

YAH: As some German Christian heretic will say in the fullness of time: “If you want the kernel, you must break the shell!” Tell the priesthood to suck on your left nut.

MOSES: That’s not very constructive.

YAH: Then tell them to pay attention. That’s it!

MOSES: What is?

YAH: PAYING ATTENTION! What Adam and Eve had such a hard time with. You know, “the only escape from tautology.” Or solipsism, to look at it from My point-of-view, for once.

MOSES: Come again?

YAH: Bugger off, tablet boy!

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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