Years ago I went through a phase of writing fiction.  Then I stopped.  Then, after a long break, I wrote one more story/parable.  I know more or less exactly when that was: the summer of 2015, when we moved house and I was not coping well with the stress of moving.  I started the story in our old house and finished it in the current one.

I was going to send the story to Hevria.com, but for some reason I never did.  Now I seem to have burnt my bridges there, I thought I might as well post it here instead.  I’m not re-reading it, because I know that if I do, I won’t post it, so apologies if there are errors in there and also there are doubtless aspects of it that I would change if I was seriously revising it now.

The story probably should have changed my life, but didn’t, which I guess shows that you can believe something intellectually without it actually affecting your behaviour for the better.

 

A Just So Story

There was a wise and righteous man in the land of Utz and it came to pass that the man grew angry with God, for the world had corrupted its way and everywhere was evil and poverty, murder and war, sickness and death.  And the man entreated before God for forty days and forty nights saying, “Why do you let the world corrupt its way?  Why not return it to how it was when it was created, when everything was just so.”  And at the end of forty days and forty nights God hearkened unto him.  And God said to him, “You may do as I do, but you may not know as I know.  And as for me, I will leave you alone, for you think you can do better than Me.”

And it came to pass that the man looked at mankind, and it had corrupted its way and everywhere was evil and poverty, murder and war, sickness and death.  And the man saw that the inclination of the thoughts of man’s heart was evil all day.  He said, “Let the evil inclination be removed from mankind and after this everything would be just so.”  And it was so.  The people had no free will.  They were like angels: they prayed and did acts of kindness and studied Torah like the angels and they did not sin, but did everything just so.  And they were like animals: when they were hungry, they ate, when they were thirsty, they drank, when they were tired, they slept and when they were aroused, they procreated and everything was just so.  But they felt no love and they felt no joy and they felt no fear or hate or guilt and they made no art or music or poetry for everything for them was just so and unchanging.  And it was evening and it was morning, one day.

And the man saw that the people felt no love and they felt no joy and they made no art or music or poetry.  And the man saw that although they had no free will, they still made mistakes and ruined things, and as a result everything was not just so.  And so the man said, “Let there be no people at all” and there were no people at all.  And there was only the sound and the movement of the animals, the birds, the insects and fish on the land and in the sky and in the sea.  They did not deviate from their appointed roles, yet still the big animals ate the little animals and the big birds ate the little birds and the big fish ate the little fish and everything was not just so.  And it was evening and it was morning, day two.

And the man saw that the animals, the birds and the fish still killed each other and so the man said, “Let there be no animals, no birds, no insects and no fish” and there were no animals, no birds, no insects and no fish.  And there was only the sound of the leaves of the plants rustling in the breeze.  Yet the plants lived and shed their leaves and died, leaving decaying matter and everything was not just so.  And it was evening and it was morning, day three.

And the man saw that the cycle of life and death continued with the plants and that nothing stayed the same and everything was not just so.  And so the man said, “Let there be no plants or living matter of any kind.”  And there were no plants or other living things.  Yet the continents continued to move away from each other and towards each other and so there were earthquakes and volcanoes and everything was not just so.  And it was evening and it was morning, day four.

And the man saw that the continents yet moved and there were earthquakes and volcanoes and everything was not just so.  And so the man said, “Let there be no continents, but let the Earth be a single lifeless, motionless rock.”  And the Earth was a lifeless, motionless rock.  Yet the weather continued and there were storms and lightning and chaos and everything was not just so.  And it was evening and it was morning, day five.

And the man saw that there were storms and lightning and chaos and everything was not just so.  And so the man said, “Let there be no planets whatsoever.”  And there were no planets whatsoever, just stars of diverse kinds.  Yet there were solar flares and supernovae and black holes with radiation and gravitational effects and everything was not just so.  And it was evening and it was morning, day six.

And the man saw that there were solar flares and supernovae and black holes with radiation and gravitational effects and everything was not just so.  And the man said, “Let there be nothing at all.”  And there was nothing at all, for the universe returned to being tohu vavohu, unformed and void.  And even God could not be found, for He had said He would leave the man alone.

And it came to pass that the man was lonely, for there were no people and no animals, no birds and no fish and no insects and there were no plants and there was no God.  And the man was astonishingly lonely, lonelier than ever a man has been before or since.  And the man entreated God for forty days and forty nights saying, “I renounce my words and reconsider, for I am but dust and ashes and nothing I have done has made a world that is just so.”

And God hearkened to the man’s words and it was as if he had never spoken for all returned to how it was: the stars and the planets and the storms and the continents and the plants and the animals and the birds and the fish and the insects and the human beings.  And God said to the man, “Behold, you went wrong even from your beginning, for the good does not spring from the just so.  And now, behold, you may no longer do as I do, but you may know as I know, that you may know the reasons for My awesome goodness.”

And the man’s eyes were opened and he saw left and right, up and down, front and back, in and out, before and after all at once and everything for him was now.  A thousand years were as a day in his sight and a day was as an instant and all was happening now.  He could see why what happened, must happen, and how the future causes the past.

And the man begged to return to normal because he was no longer human, for he had no hope and no fear and no happiness and no sadness for he knew why everything was, is, will be, and must be and he knew only being, all at once.  And God hearkened unto him this time also and he was as he had been.

And it was good.

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6 thoughts on “A Just So Story (Fiction)

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