Krishan Bihari Noor
Come, what do we gain by evasion? We are under the harrow and can’t escape. Reality, looked at steadily is unbearable. And how or why did such a reality blossom (or fester) here and there into the terrible phenomenon called consciousness? Why did it produce things like us and who can see it and, seeing it, recoil in loathing? Who (stranger still) want to see it and take pains to find out, even when no need compels them and even though the sight of it makes an incurable ulcer in their hearts? People like H. herself, who would have truth at any price.
If H. ‘is not,’ then she never was. I mistook a cloud of atoms for a person. There aren’t, and never were any people. Death only reveals the vacuity that was always there. What we call the living are simply those who have not yet been unmasked. All equally bankrupt, but some not yet declared.
But this must be nonsense; vacuity revealed to whom? Bankruptcy declared to whom? To other boxes of fireworks or clouds of atoms. I will never believe – more strictly I can’t believe – that one set of physical events could be, or make, a mistake about other sets.
No, my real fear is not of materialism. If it were true, we – or what we mistake for ‘we’ – could get out, get from under the harrow. An overdose of sleeping pills would do it. I am more afraid that we are really rats in a trap. Or, worse still, rats in a laboratory. Someone said,m I believe, ‘God always geometrizes.’ Supposing the truth were ‘God always vivisects’?
Sooner or later I must face the question in plain language. What reason have we, except our own desperate wishes, to believe that God is, by any standard, we can conceive, ‘good’? Doesn’t all the prima facie evidence suggest exactly the opposite? What have we to set against it?
We set Christ against it. But how if He were mistaken? Almost His last words may have a perfectly clear meaning. He had found that the Being He called Father was horribly and infinitely different from what He had supposed. The trap, so long and carefully prepared and so subtly baited, was at last sprung, on the cross. The vile practical joke had succeeded.
C. S. Lewis