Sunday, August 06, 2006

Teleology Take 2

Above a small village in the green part of the
mountains there lay a shrine. To whom none could say,
for the forest had claimed it and nothing recognizable
remained, except for the ruined statue of a man, the
God, standing.*

The statue stood crumbling slowly above an altar of
fallen leaves and creepers; vines had clambered up the
walls to frame it, and and fallen timbers from the
ceiling lay in the mud on the floor which had come as
the earth slowly came and reclaimed its own - except
for a small clear stripe where a stream ran in the
spring and when it rained.*

The shrine had been built facing east, so that in the
morning the sun cast its rays on the face of the
statue; now the stone was featureless, worn to
indistinction by the water dropping through the broken
skylight above. At noon the sun shone through the
skylight, so that the statue stood in a beam of light,
as if descended from the heavens. And in the afternoon
the face of the statue was dark, lit from behind, but
if one knelt at the altar one would see a halo above
its head. The skill of the builder had been great, and
the shrine was as much one to his skill as to the God.
But now all lay in ruins, neither lasting more than
the other. What the builder had believed none knew.*

Now into the village came a man, and his progress was
like that of the wind - for none saw him, yet all felt
him as he came, and the trees rustled as he left. He
drank of the water in the well around which the
village had been built; he bathed in the river that
ran by its side. And then he walked up the bank of the
river. And as he walked the river became smaller, and
then became many streams. But he followed one stream
without hesitation, and eventually he reached the
shrine; for it was spring, and a stream flowed through

Whether the other streams reached other shrines no one
knew, for none had followed them - or if any had, they
had never returned. but the man entered the shrine and
went to the altar.*

And then with a rock he scratched at the base of the
statue 'We are the breath of God'. And then he left,
and he was the third man.*

Then two men came from the village to the altar, and
they read what had been carved into the stone.*

And the first said, 'We are the breath of God, for we
were naught but clay till God breathed life into us.'*

And the second said, 'We are the breath of God, for it
is we who breathe life into God, we who created him.'*

And they stood in disagreement while the sun shone
overhead, but neither would change his mind. Then they

The the third man, who believed he was God, came and
lay down at the altar, and died.*

And a wind blew through the mountains.*


Blogger Aaron said...

very elegant, it has the feel of something written by Rumi.

3:37 pm, November 21, 2009  

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