We begin with God.
God is everybody and everything – so, God can play all the parts, and God can be all the scenery, all the settings – time and place. Obviously, we begin in medias res.
We begin with God.
God doesn’t come first because there is no first in eternity.
But there is a creation myth, a story of what did not happen.
It’s a hangover. A hangover from a dream. The residual effects. Long after the dream has passed, we remember the dream. Very slight on facts and long on feelings and atmosphere.
You’ve got all these scenes with God in them.
I don’t know if I’d call them scenes. Dialogues. You know, like Plato.
But you got God in them. So, is he like a character in your story, or what?
God impersonated by a human being?
God comes down here, turns into Jesus, impersonates a human being.
He wasn’t just impersonating.
What do you mean “just”? You demean the craft of acting.
He was human. That’s the mystery. It’s one of your sacred mysteries.
Just shows you how good he was.
And the Shroud?
The blood has been submitted to DNA tests and it appears to be someone who lived in the thirteenth century.
We need to track down that person’s kin.
To tell them.
When you say you prayed, what exactly do you mean?
I asked God’s forgiveness and –
In your mind?
I spoke. I spoke the words.
You said them aloud?
You said aloud: God –
What would you say?
That’s how you’d talk to God?
Why do I have to talk to him? To tell him what I’m thinking?
To beg forgiveness.
That’s ridiculous. In my mind? I’m begging forgiveness? I could be reading a book.
The Church is a lie.
The pope is a liar.
Priests are perverts.
The whole world turns into a prison.
Where the greatest sinner is the greatest saint.
And the Devil is God.
Pray, tip down your jug that I may drink.
Drink, and your camels too I shall water.
I consider the question of God to be open.
As in there is no solution.
I didn’t say that.
No solution has been presented.
Look, if you just went by the assumption that religion – all of it – is fucked up, then it would stand to reason that it gets more and more fucked up as it goes along. On that basis alone you have to hand it to the Jews as being the oldest as being the least fucked up. The Christians come along and think they’ve got some bright new idea, but it’s crazier than the first shit. Then Mohammed comes along and his shit is the craziest yet. But for sheer comedy though, you’re never gonna beat the Mormons.
Jesus walked the earth.
People don’t like the idea of evil actually being in their God.
So, their God is able to discern evil.
And cast it out.
Cast it the hell out.
Ghost riders in the sky.
Them motherfuckers been riding a long time.
Ex nihlio. You know what that means? Out of nothing.
What a concept.
The novelty alone was enough to jog the world off its axis.
Turns out the axis is imaginary.
But out of nothing.
Be a neat trick, wouldn’t it?
Couldn’t top it.
That’s the point. Could God make a rock so heavy he couldn’t lift it?
That involves a negativity.
Jesus being God was the Greek’s idea. They were used to gods taking human form. It would never have occurred to the Jews.
Didn’t Buddha do something like that?
I don’t know. Hey, any of you guys know Buddha?
Buddha Who – how many Buddhas do you know?
So the west becomes more rational.
And the east more mystical.
Why do we always think the end of the world as a sad thing?
The world could have a happy ending.
Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to revelation.
Down, down into the filth and the mud and the blood and the feces. It takes your breath away. And you have to wait for eyes to adjust to the darkness. Up ahead a cave is being guarded by a dwarf. To get by him you have to wade through the icy water of the stream, but it’s clean and purifying. Inside the cave a red crystal glows.
I keep having the same dream.
If you want everything given to you.
Give everything up.
When the walls of Jericho came a-tumblin down, the Israelites killed everything that moved – men, women, children, cattle, donkeys.
And that was all cool with Yaweh. He wanted it that way. Because he was a War God.
And maybe your job is to be the King’s enemy.
I’ll probably never see you again.
Yeah, well, I’ll be right here.
I’ll see you on the other side.
A paradise of pleasure.
Do you believe in fate? If God has a plan for you, are you free then to follow that plan or not, as you choose? And God is going to let you?
But we have free will. Every moment there are decisions to make. And you make them. Things that could go either way. Things that could go another way. And everybody else makes their choice too. And then you throw in hazard, blind luck, chance, and what happens happens.
But once something happens then things cannot be other than they are.
We live in the effect of some cause.
Many many effects.
Of many many causes.
The effects transform into causes and vice versa.
The cause inextricable from the effect.
Like form from content.
Free will is a sham.
Maybe you can do whatever you want, but what good is that if you have no control over what you want?
Isaiah wrote: God is high.
Well, that explains it.
All the bad shit that’s ever happened. What sort of God would allow the Black Death?
Turns out God was high.
The Holocaust? I did that? Oh shit, you’re kidding. Damn, was I wrecked.
You mean Shit Writing?
No, no. They’re curses. They were written on this pottery and then deliberately smashed and the shards were buried here.
You think you can solve your problem with magic?
Faith in God is not magic.
What’s the difference?
There is no magic.
I am God. You can have no other God but me.
Do not take my fucken name in vain goddamnit.
Keep holy the Sabbath.
Honor thy father and mother.
In that order?
Aint gonna be no graven images.
Graven images? Of what? Of anything?
I am Everything.
So much for art.
Thou shalt not kill.
I hadn’t thought of that.
Or commit adultery.
Without a very good reason.
So much for Primitive Accumulation.
I never lie.
You mean want? How am I not supposed to want? Hey, wait a minute, where are you going? Wait!
This stone is a witness to it.
This stone saw and heard it all.
A silent witness.
Do you want to die?
I want to find out what happens. I can’t wait.
Something happens. Nothing never happens.
Faith in anything. It doesn’t have to be religious.
She’s on a cross – how can it not be religious?
A woman on a cross is not so unusual. Women were crucified as well as men. By the hundreds, by the thousands even.
Her faith transforms the ugliness of death into beauty.
Anybody who thinks death is beautiful is full of shit.
Maybe not. You can have faith in anything.
Maybe you can, but I can’t. I can’t have faith in shit.
Now shit is one thing I can have faith in.
Tell me what you don’t remember.
How can I tell you what I don’t remember if I don’t remember it?
What don’t you remember?
I don’t remember.
Sure you do. You remember being born?
Well then, that’s one thing.
That I can’t remember?
How about Creation? I don’t remember that.
Then how do you know it happened?
Same way I know I was born. I’m here, I musta come from somewhere. Everything else is here – it musta come from somewhere too.
That’s ridiculous. You think everything came out of your mother?
The Virgin is the Bride of Christ.
Wait a minute, how can . . . ?
An incestuous relationship between the Son of God and the Mother of God?
This is the Oedipus Complex brought to Divine Life.
And it is going to make God the Father very angry.
Happiness you consume.
Sadness consumes you.
Happiness you devour until it is absolutely gone.
Sadness eats away at you, nibbles, gnaws, bites, but when it is finished it is you that is gone.
There’s nothing left but sadness.
And they lived happily ever after . . .
In the Ever After.
If you want to go back to the beginning, we have it on good authority that Cain’s father wasn’t
Adam, but the Devil.
The Devil fucked Eve?
Who else is he gonna fuck?
So the Devil fucks Eve, and then what?
We’ll get to him.
I just rolled in on a cloud of shit.
I walked with the guy for three years, all the way to Jerusalem, and I never once heard him say he was God.
Maybe not in so many words maybe.
At all. Nothing like it.
You were a man who knew another man, that’s all.
You’re telling me you never met him.
Not while he was alive, no.
Not while he was alive?
What the hell are you talking about?
I never met him while he was alive.
What’s that supposed to mean?
I met him after he had risen from the dead.
You met him after he had risen from the dead.
Yes. You can’t see love or hope, but you can’t see the wind either. You can see the sun, but you can’t see heat. Maybe he was God without knowing it.
That makes no sense.
It’s not possible. By definition, God is omniscient, all-knowing. He couldn’t actually be God and not know it. He knows everything. He’d know.
Yeah, he would know, but maybe he didn’t know it then.
You think? Maybe it begins to dawn on him –
Hey, I can work miracles.
Maybe he never knows it, you know? Maybe he doesn’t figure it out until he comes back.
From the dead?
And he says: Wo! I must be God.
I can’t believe how naïve you are.
Believe it. I believe it. I’ll believe anything.
What are you doing?
That do any good?
Sure it can. Remember Saint Ignatius prayed so hard he almost went blind.
I don’t pray like that.
How do you pray?
Is it ok to drink beer and smoke dope while you’re praying?
In some religions it is.
But you have to believe what they believe.
Who cares what they believe?
You have to care.
How’re they gonna know?
Now you’re just being silly.
Is or is not the Bible the Word of God?
The words of the Bible are the Words of the Bible.
Are they the Word of God?
The Word of God?
Do you believe in the Word of God?
Is it in the Bible?
The Word of God?
The Word of God isn’t written down.
You’re saying the Bible is not the Word of God.
I’m saying the Word of God isn’t something written down. That’s not the way God talks. That’s the way we talk. God talks like God.
And what does it mean – what is God’s message?
It’s going to rain.
If you say the words of the Bible are not the Word of God, you blaspheme – and there is no greater sin.
If you say the words of men are the Word of God, you blaspheme – and there is no greater sin.
Somebody’s doin a bunch of sinnin round here.
God could talk like a man if He wanted to.
He? That makes no sense.
Just like when God sent his only son Jesus . . .
God sent his only son?
Jesus became a man.
What do you mean, he became a man? He was a man.
Jesus was God, I mean, Jesus is God, but he took on the nature of man.
That makes about as much sense as saying a circle could act like a square if it wanted to.
This is why Solomon says that the instruction of fools is folly.
You think when God prays He prays to Himself? Think again. God prays to us, just as we pray to Him. It’s a two-way street.
You enemy of God and his saints.
What’s it mean when they say: God helps them who help themselves?
Means God doesn’t want to help anybody.
Because he’s a mean bastard.
That’d be good.
That’d be funny.
Can’t make fun of people praying.
Heaven forbid, but is praying actually a productive use of your time?
Time spent with God?
So: Praying would actually fall under Consumption rather than Production.
You’re buying what God is selling.
Which makes God rich –
Befitting the Lord and Ruler of the Universe.
But if you don’t pray.
And your time spent with God just sits there.
Then God is going to take His services elsewhere.
To the faithful.
And to Hell with your sorry ass.
His surgery is scheduled for today. Been scheduled for three weeks. He decides he’s not going. He’s going to have faith that God is going to cure him.
God is going to cure him of pancreatic cancer.
What he believes.
Just what he believes.
No, I mean why is God going to cure him?
Because He loves him.
Because he has faith, because he has trust in God.
Doesn’t he have faith in doctors?
It doesn’t matter.
It’s going to.
You can’t tell him what to do. He’s putting his trust in God.
Then God should tell him to put his faith in doctors.
And you sure as shit can’t tell God what to do.
Well, you can, but I bet He won’t do it, He sure as shit won’t do it just because you say so.
God’s not taking orders from me.
Well sometimes I just wish –
What’s the difference between a wish and a prayer?
God could grant a wish as easily as a prayer.
Don’t you wish.
Don’t despair, say a prayer.
If you say a prayer –
You are in despair.
Caligula wants us to worship him as a god.
I can live with that.
And we’ve got to vote for his choice for Consul.
Consul of Rome?
I can live with that, who’s his choice?
His horse. Caligula’s horse.
Did you say whores?
You got a problem with that?
We’ve got three great bands of warriors on this Crusade to recapture that goddamn Holy Land. One is led by the fucken king himself over there, and one led by myself, a brave and worthy knight, and one led by that kid.
Yes. And a child shall lead them.
No. That kid.
You mean the fucken goat?
Don’t that beat all. They say it has magical powers. Well, spiritual.
We could if we wanted slaughter all the Jews as usurers.
But what’s the use of it?
What’s the use of usury?
I mean, somebody’s got to do it.
There is no disguising the crapshoot nature of the game we are all playing.
Interest is vital.
The wheel of fate cannot turn without credit.
History’s greatest villains are all gathered together.
Who’s that guy?
Is this prison?
These villains are the repressed aspects of the self.
The dark side we all have.
Called chaos by many.
Jung called them our shadows.
The Jews are the Chosen People because they chose themselves and more power to them. For the life of me I can’t see how that’s any different from God having chosen them.
Except that there is no God.
This is what I’m saying.
What if there are no chosen people?
But there are.
Then let me change the mood: what if there were no chosen people?
Circumstances contrary to fact considered hypothetically.
They’ve got their own demons.
Their own magic and mystery.
But that God would single out one race. . .
Forget about God.
What if God forgets about me?
Not a race. A civilization. A culture.
And to say it alone is chosen.
Well, I’ve read the Bible and the Koran and the sayings of the Buddha and the Upanishads and the Tibetan Book of the Dead and I know what Zen is all about, and I’m not saying it’s all shit . .
But taken altogether, it’s just a fucken mess.
Israel and Judea.
Who’s got first dibs on the Holy Land?
God gave us this land.
We’re back to that, are we?
And it’s ours.
Providing we can take it.
And hold it.
That makes it ours.
In the eyes of God.
You can’t just turn up after two thousand years and say This is Yours. We fucken live here.
And Marx felt otherwise as well.
The Jewish Question.
As did Proust.
They didn’t even believe in God, so what has being Jewish got to do –
If there’s no God.
What’s anything got to do with anything if there’s no God?
Marx wouldn’t be living in Israel.
He might. Why wouldn’t he? All he did in England was sit in the British Museum and read. He couldn’t do that in Israel?
Can’t see Proust living in Israel.
Because it’s a religious state.
The Secret Life of Ideas.
The Dream of Life.
A Jew should be concerned with the Talmud and Torah.
Except in business.
But the main thing –
Is the Covenant.
Because that’s not between Jews and Arabs or Christians.
That’s between Jews and God.
That’s in the Bible.
Not now. Things that are in the Bible happened in biblical times.
This is not Bible Time.
To some people it is.
You make these casual references to Hitler and the Holocaust. . .
Break their teeth, Oh God, in their mouth.
Nightmare? People – our people – lived in those camps and they didn’t have nightmares. You know why? What kind of nightmare do you think they’d have? They’d rather be in the fucken nightmare than what they woke up to.
The Jews finally proclaimed the Christians heretics.
I don’t know about that.
I was there.
James, the brother of Jesus, was killed by the Sanhedrin, that’s Jew against Jew.
This was like throwing the Christians out of Judaism.
Christians? Did they call themselves Christians?
That was Paul’s idea.
And the Christians wouldn’t fight with the Jews against the Romans.
Can you blame them?
That’s because you’re a Jew.
So were they.
No, you threw em out, remember?
The risen Christ appeared to all the apostles.
So you say.
I was there.
Christ is an invention of mythology.
Jesus was a peasant revolutionary.
And the more they smoked from the magical pipe, the more did they come to believe.
Look, if Good is stronger than Evil, then Good will win – sooner or later.
And if Evil is stronger than Good?
Then Evil will win.
But if Good and Evil are of equal force.
Which only stands to reason.
Then this shit could go on forever!
You mean . . . ?
This shit is going on forever.
So, get used to it.
We ought to be used to it by now.
Been going on forever.
Far as we know.
We’ve got to rebuild this city!
Whore houses over here, saloons over there, dope houses down the street, freak shows, dime museums along the avenue – a glorious stirring site.
John of Patmos, high on mold, having visions in his cave.
The Demogorgon is the father of the whole fucken race of gods who live in caves in the bowels of the earth.
With his nine kids, and two broads named Eternity and Chaos.
I reach into the belly of Chaos, whom I have fucked and impregnated, I pluck out our kid, whom I will name Discordia, and the little bitch immediately takes off and starts flying around the cave like a balloon with a hole in it. I’ve got no time for this folderol. I snatch her out of the air and cast her down.
It’s hard to say which is more ridiculous – the living praying for the dead or the living praying to the dead.
Praying for the dead as if there were something we could do for them.
Praying to the dead as if there were something they could do for us.
What an extraordinary collection of ugly and stupid people.
But their ugliness is closer to beauty by far . . .
Than their ignorance is near to wisdom.
You are the Enemy of God and you must die.
Whores have kids too, you know. To be the Son of a Whore is not that uncommon.
Still I wouldn’t go around calling someone that.
Solomon gives away a parcel of the Promised Land – beach front property it was too – and nowhere in the Bible does anybody say boo about it.
Why’d he do it?
He needed the money.
The Lord will smite you with boils, with scurvy, with blindness.
What, is He out of fire?
I can see how you misplace your keys, how you lose your wallet. How the hell do you lose the Ark of the Covenant?
The last we hear of the Ark is in 586 BCE when Babylon strafes the Kingdom of Judah.
What year is this?
BCE? What the hell is BCE?
Damned if I know.
Before Christ Everlasting.
The False Warning.
The Righteous Teacher.
The Wicked Priest.
And do you pray?
And does it help?
I don’t know. Sometimes, I guess.
Well, you pray to God, don’t you?
God? No, that never occurred to me.
Then to whom do you pray, if I might ask?
Yeah. I just pray. Aloud. Please help me!
Yeah. I don’t care. Why would I care?
Does that include God?
Why else pray?
I told you, sometimes it works. I don’t know how.
How can it work if there’s no God?
Who cares how it works?
Because everything living dies.
And everything dying lives.
Till it dies.
And then it is no more.
Except that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Same air that Jesus breathed.
It’s funny, the closer you get to death, the further away everything else seems to be. Are you prepared to die?
Are you prepared to die?
Don’t worry about dying
The Spouter of Lies.
May 1606 sees the passage of the Act to Restrain Abuses of Players. Example: A fine of ten pounds every time a Player uses God’s name in a joke.
You say the name of God and you either gotta do it in reverence or in fear.
Now that’s OK.
So I figure I’ll climb up to the top this column, sit there, isolated, alone, maybe fifty feet up, expose myself to all the cruelty of nature, not to mention any critter who wants to have at me, and maybe I can escape these diabolical temptations.
Suppose for a moment that you are just like any other drug fiend alcoholic. And these are all just thoughts pissing through your mind. . .
What? No. At any one time.
Any one time.
Moment by moment, thought by thought.
One thought at a time.
That’d be something, wouldn’t it?
If you’re lucky.
Luck has nothing to do with it.
Now look down and see what you’ve got on the page.
In most cases, words we all know.
Trying the best they can to make their meaning clear.
As one might think, or hope, or wish, or pray that God would.
Unless God is trying to play some sort of game with us.
Make things difficult for us.
Wants to make things difficult – on purpose.
To show us how smart He is.
Or maybe . . .
The Thing is difficult all on its own.
That’s the thing.
And the word was made flesh.
Do we cavil at the use of the passive voice in this sentence from the Word of God?
Saint Ignatius cried so fucken hard at Mass that doctors warned him he might go blind.
We walk in darkness.
We hear voices.
What we think we hear is actually a collectivity within the central nervous system.
The voice of God.
Is the way we perceive it.
If we’re schizophrenic.
In your brain.
And once your mind gets hold of God.
There’s only one other way to think of it.
That all of this is just a part of the Mind of God.
And who wants to think about that?
And how would you do it?
You’d use your causal operator.
Anterior convexity of the frontal lobe.
And the inferior parietal lobe.
And their reciprocal connections.
Rub em together, wudiya get?
See there. In the triangles.
You mean up above the spandrels.
The ignudi twisting and squirming in dark places.
We are animals.
What happened to Jesus?
He was crucified, and he died.
And he was buried.
And rose again.
No. He was not buried. People who got crucified didn’t get buried. That was the point. They got crucified by the thousands. Didn’t you see Spartacus.
What do you mean, he wasn’t buried?
He wasn’t buried.
Sure he was. It’s in the Bible.
I’m just trying to tell you what happened.
He wasn’t buried.
What happened to him?
You mean what happened to the body? Same thing happened to everybody else got crucified.
Dogs ate em.
Dogs ate them?
Dogs ate him. Sorry.
They go in there.
He goes in there.
He goes in there.
Or she. It doesn’t have to be a man.
Could it be a child?
So they go in there.
Into the cave.
Into the labyrinth.
He knows where he’s going?
He’s seen it before.
In his dreams.
In he goes.
He doesn’t know.
He thinks he knows.
He’s seen it in his dreams.
He’s making it up as he goes along.
But he’s not making it up out of nothing.
In the cave.
They’re all connected.
You mean the cave in your mind?
You keep asking all these questions.
Paul roaming around from Corinth all way to Rome.
Spreading the Word.
And the Jesus people start to turn into the Christ people.
They start putting together their mythology.
The mind enters the cave.
They go in there.
The artists would go in there without a lamp.
Without a lamp.
Till they figured out how to make a lamp.
And how would you make a lamp if you couldn’t buy one at Wal-Mart?
You’re going from thirty thousand years ago?
When the first humans appeared.
And what happened before?
Before we were here?
Before we were.
Before we can get outside of time.
There’s all this time that needs to be accounted for.
Josh and the Prodigality of his Tongue, did he say?
The Prodigality of the Son.
Let us rather now become personal and autobiographical to the point of inscrutability, if you know what I mean.
I’ll go first.
The Church won’t allow dissection of the dead.
No, no, because what’s inside the body is a divine mystery.
And you start to get this feeling that all things are directed toward their ends.
You don’t have to kill yourself.
You mean nothing’s wrong?
Did I say that?
I will not be party to the assassination of God.
Well, you’re not gonna rat us out, are you?
It suddenly occurs to me: I may not be fit to operate a vehicle.
What do you want me to do about it?
I may be bipolar, but we’re all in this together.
Why make the meaning a secret? You see what I’m saying?
What you’ve always said.
Why crawl deep into a cave, where no one else can go, and paint a picture on the wall?
In the dark.
How else can you make a picture of the dark?
Drink long and deep from the Cup of the Lord’s Vengeance.
Death isn’t something that’s waiting for you.
Death is something you have inside you.
Who brought death into the world?
Don’t you get it? Everybody’s perfect.
This is just perfect.
Do you have any idea where we are?
I’m guessing we’re at the bottom of a deep gravity well.
We appear to be on the surface of a gas-covered planet.
What’s that in the sky?
A nuclear fireball.
Kind of close, isn’t it?
I’d say it’s about ninety million miles away.
And this is normal?
To us it seems that way, but our perception is skewed.
So you’re not asking for much.
Just your essence.
But if you go back, to that moment, you remember, you were only a child. How old were you, six, seven?
You can go back there any time, to that moment, to that summer, and what happened, the very moments, be there, go back, the way it felt, the way it smelled, every nuance, every sound and sensation. But you weren’t there.
I was. It’s the most real thing in the world to me.
But it isn’t in the world and neither is the you who was there. Every single particle of you is different now. Not a single atom remains of the you who was there. You’re all new.
I just remember it is all.
Whoever you are, you’re not you.
Not what you think of as you. You may think of yourself as this collection of experiences, but you are not the collection of atoms that experienced them.
That’s a relief.
Don’t blame me for my life being all fucked up, I wasn’t even there.
Converting itself into helium by nuclear fusion.
You gotta start somewhere.
Originally formed by a disc of gas.
You gotta be kidding me.
Out of which the rest of the solar system, including the earth of course. . .
It’s a small world after all.
Now we are heading back in time.
No. Now we are heading out of time.
Obviously this is the kind of planet that is capable of generating and supporting our particular life forms.
Well, we live here.
As long as there’s water. It gets so cold that the water freezes, we’re fucked. Gets so hot that the water boils.
We’ve got this thin band of an orbit, that if we stray the slightest bit.
Almost. An ellipse.
Got Jupiter out there, intercepting asteroids that could easily obliterate us.
Got the moon, just one of em, stabilizes our axis of rotation.
Sun is not binary, which is good, otherwise sun’d be locked in a mutual orbit with a companion star.
That’d make our orbit too radical to sustain life.
Your mind has the power of its affects to the extent that you are able to arrange the affects in order and connect them.
Yeah. I don’t know. Maybe
See, you always end up depending on somebody.
This is because we cannot live alone.
Shit no, if we could, we would.
All the other Cyclopes on the island . . .
And we each live in our own cave.
There was all that, and autumn was suddenly chilling the air outside, telling nature, if not humans, that death was surely coming, and maybe it would be spring again thereafter, but, surely, for some, if not for many, spring would never come again.
And now it is transmuted into a fiction.
This isn’t fiction.
I’m real. You’re real.
What’s wrong with you?
I know I’m real.
You know it, huh?
I think . . .
Leaves fall, wind blows, people die, and this is the only possible world.
The only way things can be.
That’s why our brave young fighting men take such heavy-duty drugs.
This is not Amsterdam, my friend.
No it is not.
It is somewhere else entirely.
We’re still in a war, you know.
It’s a different war.
Different wars for different times.
They could kill all of us.
Safety in numbers.
They could kill us all.
A certain numerical assurance.
A world we’re not in.
And what might have happened.
You might have been happier never having been alive.
If, never having lived.
Trying to see just how happy you could be.
By never having lived.
In the world.
The more joy we have, the more perfect we are.
The luckier we are.
Things could have been different.
Things cannot be other than they are.
There may be, there probably are, hundreds, maybe thousands, maybe millions of universes.
We use these maps to find our way back in time.
Backwards forwards, what’s the difference? You think it’s like an elevator, that you can only go up and down, but you can go sideways in time too. You see, everything is moving, and that includes time.
It’s all fluid.
Past present and future are really all happening at once.
You think cause comes before effect, but that’s not necessarily the case.
That is logically absurd.
Stephen Hawking wants to figure out how the universe started before he dies, bless his heart.
I hope he does, God bless him.
I’m cheering for him.
I’m praying for him.
Look at him. His face all screwed up, crying his eyes out, wrenching his whole body into a physical plea.
Now, that’s praying.
You hear about people going crazy all the time.
You don’t just hear about it,
Look on the bright side.
The bright side of insanity, the bright side of mental illness?
You don’t understand – this man is my friend. My very friend. He hath got this mortal hurt in my behalf.
This movie is being shown to dead people.
And a grand old year it has been, looking back on the year just past.
Hell of a year.
The year of the year.
That it was.
Year after year.
A year like no other.
Previously having dealt with Jesus in these pages.
Juxtaposing the sacred and the profane.
Mixing them together.
This is what got that guy into trouble with his Piss Christ.
Not to speak of those Dutch cartoons.
No, they are not to be spoken of.
So much the better.
Perfection and reality are synonyms.
Which agency of the government are you with?
I see you’re taking notes.
What’s so funny?
I was just remembering how much I used to love my wife.
I was getting all misty-eyed. Then reality set in.
Comedy is built on incongruity.
The Real. That’s another name for Terror.
De Sade fantasized about an indestructible victim. Now that would be fun.
The preacher walked out of his own sermon and went across the street to the bar.
There’s no rhyme or reason. You see? It’s a choice. Rhyme or reason. It’s a choice, one or the other.
So rhyme displaces reason, or the other way around.
Otherwise there would be chaos.
You’re describing reality.
Shall we stop by the Museum of Whores?
Right on our way.
God & Man
Don’t feel guilty.
That’s easy for you to say.
This has nothing to do with what I say. Guilt is bad for you.
Same as you told us not to eat that fruit.
The fruit of that tree?
What did I say?
You forbid it.
I forbid what?
What, are you getting senile, the fruit of that tree, you forbid it.
No I didn’t.
You did not forbid it.
I did not forbid it, no.
I thought you did.
I . . . ?
You seem to have a certain propensity for that.
You didn’t forbid it?
The forbidden fruit.
What did I say?
You said Don’t Eat It.
And now you know why.
I don’t mean to be critical.
Of course not.
But I would be less than honest if I . . .
It’s just that, well . . .
You didn’t like it.
It’s not that I didn’t like it.
Did you like it?
No, but it’s not that.
I just don’t think . . .
It’s just, I, I, you know what I mean.
I think I do, yeah.
Joy and sadness. That’s all there is.
And joy is preferable to sadness.
Which comes in different sizes.
Which comes in different lengths.
Now you’re going to have to be careful how you stand up.
So everybody can’t see that you have a hard-on.
I don’t, oh, I guess I do.
Anything, anything at all that distracts us from what is eternal and infinite can be fatal.
So you’ve got to pull yourself out of that moment.
No. Don’t let it.
It will pull you in.
You smell her perfume and you’re a goner.
Someone says her name.
She . . .
You cannot let the finite have control over you.
Only what is infinite,
And what might that be?
You have to be God. How else are you going to be one with God?
That’s important, is it?
To be able to live with yourself.
If you’re a philosopher.
One of those truth-telling professions.
The only one.
You’re saying philosophers are the only people who tell the truth?
For a living.
What about priests?
What about artists?
Artists are philosophers. Unless they’re liars too. But a philosopher can’t be a liar and still be a philosopher. Mutually exclusive.
A philosopher can’t be a liar any more than God can be a liar.
Why couldn’t God be a liar if he wanted to?
Think about it.
Did you go to church today?
To tell the truth, no.
Do you believe in God?
That’s a facetious answer to a very serious question.
It would probably be more offensive to you, if I tried to explain to you that I am God.
That would be blasphemy.
Not really. You’re God too.
Everybody’s God – is that what you’re saying?
Yeah, and so is the air we breathe, and so is the shit that comes out of your ass.
Did you just say what I think you said?
I don’t know. What do you think I said?
I won’t repeat it.
What’s happening to me? Tonight? Tonight I’m going to die.
Worse than that.
What could be worse than that?
To love what is infinite and eternal.
You mean, as opposed to your ass.
A miracle, you see, would be . . .
Miracles are not consistent with the nature of God.
What does it matter, the pleasures of the flesh that someone else had?
Where are those people?
Who are those people?
A lot of those people are fictional.
A lot of them are dead.
Like the boy said, I don’t put no stock in dead people.
Everybody finally comes to the same realization: I haven’t done anything wrong.
When they have.
Doesn’t matter. They have to set themselves free. They have to free themselves of their guilt.
They drown in it.
If you mean, by a miracle, a suspension of the laws of nature, this would appear not to qualify.
No, no. I lost my cell phone and this woman found it in her bags when she got home from the mall.
And I had not even been to the mall.
Miracle after mircale.
Miracle upon miracle.
Well, the odds are against it.
In the sense that there are so many millions of people.
So, the chances of any two in particular interacting is extremely remote.
But the chance of one person interacting with another.
Is virtually assured.
It’s like the lottery. The chance of any one particular number being drawn is minute.
But the chance that some number will be chosen is assured.
And that’s all we want is a chance.
Sometimes a philosopher is like a hermit.
Not when they need the guy.
Who needs a philosopher?
You’ve got to be kidding me. Socrates? Who needs Socrates?
What are you looking for?
Looking through this . . .
Lost? I’m in the library.
How you doin?
I’m doin, how you doin?
Don’t be so sure.
Your life. You keep talking about your life as if it possessed some sort of singularity.
Well, it’s the only one I have.
Yeah, you. You ever think of anyone else?
Moses was Pro-Life, you wanna talk about being Pro-Life.
Have to promote the propagation of the race, you know.
And you regard the entire world as an udder to be milked dry.
You either rule your passions.
Or your passions rule you.
How about a truce?
That’s called death.
Don’t you get it? There’s only one set of rules for reality.
No. Reality is different for everybody.
But it’s the same thing.
There’s only one reality?
There’s a difference between a cave and a library.
And a labyrinth.
But not much.
All the answers are there.
And, if you’re lucky, you find out the questions later.
You go through life wondering what are these the answers to?
It’s not like a watchmaker being the cause of a watch. It’s more like the nature of a circle causing it to be round.
There’s no creator standing outside creation?
Because there was no creation. Eternity and infinity stretch in both directions, you know.
No beginning. No End.
In the beginning.
There was no beginning.
The origin of things.
Is their natural order.
Got any money?
I would, but I just spent a trillion dollars on a war on terror.
Not what. Who.
The serpent that devours its tail.
Pain is longitudinal.
By hurting now over what happened some time ago. What happens now suddenly seems to replay something that happened before. It’s only now that we can assess the damage.
To realize what it meant.
Better late than never.
No unfathomable mystery.
No other world accessible only through divine revelation.
No hidden power.
No secret truth.
There is nothing that cannot be known.
Oh my God.
The Bible is for children. Intellectual children.
For all we know, we are all nailed to the cross.
We all feel, we all intuit. . . .
You’ve got the thing equidistant, the crossbeams, and that’s giving you a genital perspective.
Historical Jesus, Rabbi Joshua, who walked the earth in the first century of the common era.
You doubt his existence?
Only to a certain extent his divinity, which I do not believe he possessed to any greater extent than you or I.
One substance. Back to that are we?
Back to the Long March.
There’s nothing outside the march, so nothing is lost.
Not in the long run.
Maybe I’ll feel better after a beer or two.
Worth a try.
Jesus Fucked Up
It was a terrible mistake, don’t you see?
You mean by whoever crucified him.
The Romans crucified him.
Does matter. Jews don’t crucify. Romans crucify.
He should of never let em crucify him.
He’s fulfilling prophecy is all. He’s gotta die for all our sins.
What sins? We’re not even gonna be born for another two thousand years.
I don’t know. The sins we’re gonna commit. He’s gotta be crucified and be buried and after three days, he rises again.
He shoulda never been crucified in the first place. Doncha see how that fucks everything up? He shoulda just lived. He should have just kept on living. All this time. He should still be walking around. I mean, don’t get me wrong, rising from the dead is pretty damn good.
And appear, you know. Appear to people.
Certain people, yeah.
Certain people, yeah.
Transfer of Power.
You see what I’m saying? You wouldn’t need any of that. And now, all this religious hatred and intolerance and violence. It’s so unnecessary. And it’s not our fault.
Whose fault is it?
His. All he had to do was not die. Is that asking too much? From God? Rising from the dead is great, but not dying would have been a hell of a lot better. You want people to believe that Jesus is Lord – don’t die. Then you’d see. Ask anybody. You believe in Jesus? Yeah. Why? Well, let’s see, he’s thirty-three years old and he was born in the year 1. See? Nobody would have a problem with that. Wouldn’t need any more prophets, wouldn’t need the Pope or Imam or any other authority on earth, we could all just go about our business. That’s what he should of done, if you ask me. But, what do I know? Just seems to me, if you were God and you really had everybody’s best interests at heart – that’s what you’d do. Instead of playing this insane game of making us kill you so you could rise from the dead.
Jesus fucked up?
In my humble opinion.
The seasons change, and with them our psyches alter.
Our fecundity withers.
All is autumnal.
And the lengthening shadows reveal rather than conceal our darkest thoughts.
Assuage our soul.
And torment can lead to peace.
But you’d never guess it from the candy display at Publix.
A joyful fear before the unknown.
It was not a conversation, but rather some mysterious communication.
Kismet. Turkish for doom, appointed lot, fate, pre-determined fortune.
So, it’s no longer time to die?
What’s gotten into you?
What a funny thing to say?
Happiness. Happiness has gotten into me.
He felt all over the tension of happiness.
You really are free. You can start to use your God powers the moment your belief that you actually have them takes over.
What are you doing, like some quasi-religious thing?
What do you mean? This? You think it’s a cross, don’t you?
You telling me it’s not a cross?
You can call it a cross if you want to.
What would you call it?
I wouldn’t call it anything.
All the while, thinking: there’s nothing wrong with dead people.
What, after all, can be said about the dead, except they are no longer with us?
But they are.
Many people, many, many people feel profoundly alienated from the world they live in. They hope and dream and pray for some miraculous escape.
Why not two Gods? One all-good, one all-powerful.
Mom and Dad.
So what is the meaning of life?
You’re kidding me, aren’t you?
No, no, I’m not kidding. I’m serious. What is the meaning of life?
What is the meaning of life?
I told you.
Tell me again.
There’s no meaning to life.
That’s such a comfort.
It’s just cells.
Trying to reproduce.
And that’s it?
Do you believe in creation or destruction?
Because they are the same thing.
Hi, I’m Dale, I’m your neighbor.
I’m hear to spread the word of the Lord.
Where – on my lawn?
And about the fellowship of faith. To invite you to join our congregation, and come celebrate, and make a joyful noise.
And we can pray for whatever particular . . . . Let me ask you, neighbor, what are your prayer needs?
I don’t know.
World peace, I guess.
Neighbor, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did not come to earth to bring us peace.
That’s not the deal.
It’s not about peace. I mean, everybody’d like to have peace in their life. I’d like to have peace in my life, you’d like to have peace in your life. But you can’t use that as an excuse.
An excuse to . . . ?
Just lay back . . .
Lie back. . .
And let things happen. Too many people do that without realizing that what the Lord taught us is that you have to pick up the fiery sword.
And you have to be willing to wield that fiery sword.
The fiery sword.
You don’t have to hit anybody with it, do you?
With the fiery sword?
Lord Amighty yes! And they will be smote . . .
With the fiery sword, yessir.
You don’t have to kill em, do ya?
Kill em? If that’s all we did in life was go around killing people, where would we be?
Where are we?
If you think this is a long process. . .
Think how long it took to kill off the dinosaurs.
In the dream there is no time.
Then how can you be late? I’m always late in my dreams. What do you mean there’s no time?
You’ve been found by . . .
The snake with no eyes.
And we have all these dreams.
We don’t all have these dreams
We all have dreams.
The organism, yes, it does dream.
Exposed to the vulture’s beak, like Prometheus, or cast fettered into the serpent’s den.
The saying In God We Trust doesn’t mean a damn thing to a Buddhist.
And that’s a good thing?
That is a good thing. Man preaching the word of God.
According to his lights.
Best he can.
To say it’s God’s will is not enough. It’s got to be the will of the people who carry out God’s will.
So he said, so he said.
And in time of need, God draws near.
In a time of need.
There’s a difference between needs and wants. Your needs, when you think about it are not all that many.
You gotta eat.
True. But you don’t have to drink.
Thinking about the preacher’s daughter while the preacher’s preachin.
Thinkin about her pussy, with the Lord Jesus looken on.
What’s up with that?
Our needs are few. Food, shelter. I think we need security. I think we need to love and be loved.
I don’t know what my unconscious is up to. That’s what makes it the unconscious – you can’t be conscious of it. But my fucking conscious mind is thinking about sex, I wanna be conservative here, I’m guessing about ninety-five percent of the time, so my unconscious must be going fucking nuts.
Wants, oh we have a lot of wants.
God does not draw near for wants. He draws near for need. The risen Jesus.
Fucking freaked em out. They’re out there fishing all night, professional fisherman – do it for a living, been out there all night, and haven’t caught a fish all night.
And there he is.
Isn’t that him?
On the beach.
I’ll be God . . .
That’s him, isn’t it?
It is. Look. He’s waving. It’s him. I swear to God, it’s him.
How? He’s dead. He’s been dead for . . .
Have you caught any fish?
What’s he asking us for? He doesn’t know that?
Cast your net on the other side.
Cast your net on the other side.
Just watch out for the fiery sword.
They want an Islamic state, what’s wrong with that? If Israel can be a Jewish state, what’s wrong with being an Islamic state?
After all, we are a Christian nation, are we not?
In an Islamic state, you see, they’re followers of Islam.
What do you follow?
In the beginning, people worshipped stones.
In the middle ages, when you’d ride up on a town, first thing you’d see, you’d see the churches, or come to a city, see the cathedral sticking up, later on, it’d be the palace you’d see. Now it’s all factories, commercial buildings. That’s architecture, but it’s also a new world.
If you believe in time.
Then you maybe believe you can outlast it.
And the more you make some deity out of her. . .
Nobody worships women anymore. I wish they did. They could start by worshipping me.
One piece at a time.
What do you mean?
They might start, your worshippers, just by worshipping one aspect of your divinity, say, your ass.
A fitting object of adoration.
An ass that people could look up to.
Providing they were lying down.
Either he rose from the dead, literally, physically, historically. Or he didn’t. So which is it?
No, he didn’t. Not physically, not literally, not historically. What happened was: it didn’t happen.
Did not happen?
Did not happen.
Just try to keep the order straight for starters: There’s creation. It’s topped off by man. And then wo-man – out of man. Then there’s the Garden of Eden, which we fuck up. Then there’s Cain killing Able, which makes things worse. After a while there’s the Flood and Noah and his Ark – with God complicit, as much as admitting that He fucked up this time. So let’s start over. And we do. And that’s where real historical people, it would seem, start to get involved.
Hearing a voice.
Here we go again.
Can’t even say his name. If you say it . . .
You can’t say it.
It doesn’t sound like anything. It’s just, it’s just like, I don’t know, it’s just like a breath.
You look affected.
In what way?
As if you were trying to draw attention to yourself.
The hat is an affectation. You’re indoors. What is the purpose of the head covering?
To be the only god.
So, what have you been up to?
Just preparing to die.
To be prepared to live without God.
No one thinks like you. Doesn’t that bother you?
Why should it bother me?
There’s always that moment when God looks down and sees that you are happy and decrees that this must not be so.
Are you happy now?
And this cannot be.
Listen to this. Woman enters a convent, becomes a nun, but one night she runs away from the convent and turns into a party girl, and she wastes her whole life, and when she’s just a drunk old hag, she goes back to the convent, expecting to be reviled.
I hate when that happens.
But guess what happens.
Turns out that all this time, this whole debauched lifetime, the Virgin Mary has taken her place as a nun, and she just morphs, does like this shape-shift thing . . .
And she’s right back in her life as a nun. Hasn’t missed a beat.
It could happen.
You have arrived at the Gate of False Dreams.
It all comes out of patriarchal despotism.
How civilization began.
How killing. . .
Assassination. . .
Of the father.
Becomes the supreme crime.
So after they kill him, they make a god of him.
And the sinners repent, so they can sin some more.
Repression dominates life. You become fat and miserable.
That’s civilization. And so, our longing is always for sexual satisfaction.
Is that what drives you?
Me and everybody else, and if you don’t think so, it’s only because you’re repressing it.
I don’t think so.
Think again. You keep talking about how bad what’s his name smells, this stinks and that stinks, and it smells bad in here, and this smells like pee and this smells like cat pee and this smells like dog poo and that smells like shit, and it smells like somebody threw up in here.
What do you think that’s all about?
Your neuroses. They reveal themselves in your animal nature. That’s you at your most basic, and what you think is refined, turning up your nose because something stinks, is really just you using your sense of smell, the basest of all the senses, left over from when we had our noses near the fucking ground.
How do you know I . . . ?
Next thing you know you’ll be telling me you’re not neurotic.
Jesus walked into Jerusalem with three thousand followers. Three thousand. Policed by four hundred Roman soldiers. Jesus had an overwhelming force. All he had to do . . .
Are you gonna eat that?
I don’t eat meat.
You don’t know you’re missing.
Yes I do. It’s just. . . the whole meat-eating thing.
What about it?
I just don’t get it.
What don’t you get? It tastes good. Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean?
Since it doesn’t go into his heart.
It’s what comes out of a man’s mouth that makes him unclean, not what goes in.
How is that?
Because it is from within the human heart that evil flows.
(They are holding hands in a circle. Their heads are bowed in prayer, and then the meeting is breaking up, people begin to leave. Ensemble #1, 2, 3 linger.)
Could you, maybe, if you really want to do a group prayer thing next time, could you maybe make it a little more nondenominational?
A little more, you know, ecumenical.
What the hell are you talking about?
I mean, if you believe Jesus is Lord. . . ?
What do you mean, if?
Well, you do, and that’s wonderful and all, and I’m truly happy for you, but, then, since Jesus is Lord, maybe you can just say Lord and not say . . . you know. I mean, instead of saying, you know . . . Jesus.
Wait a minute.
And that way . . .
You can . . .
Are you telling us . . . ?
You know, for the people who don’t . . .
Don’t say Jesus?
Well, I’ll be goddamned.
No, you don’t have to take it that way.
Like we’re gonna cut Jesus out of the goddamn prayer.
I didn’t say to cut Jesus out of the prayer. Jesus is Lord.
Goddamn right he is.
I’m just saying . . .
Jesus is Lord.
Then why can’t he be in the goddamn prayer?
Because of the different faces of God.
That’s one of them.
What if abortion had been available to the Virgin Mary?
Let us pray – so that the laws of the universe might possibly be momentarily annulled in our behalf. Is that too much to ask? Virgin Mary in the abortion clinic.
She’s got a pretty good case.
Through no fault of her own.
She aborts Baby Jesus.
Surely God can trump that card.
Everybody makes mistakes.
To err is human.
To forgive is divine.