The Mind of God

Once around 2008 or so, I was sitting on my front porch with my granddaughter. We were looking at the night sky, marveling at the incredible number of stars up there.

I started trying to explain how far away they really are. I told her about the speed of light, then asked her to imagine multiplying that speed by sixty, for the miles light would travel in one minute. “Now imagine doing that again and again,” I said, “For the distance light travels in an hour, a day, a month, a year.” I told her some stars are millions or even billions of light years away, and that the starlight that was reaching us tonight had started its journey to us that long ago. “Who knows,” I said, “Any one of the stars you see might already be dead. When you look up at the night sky, it’s like you’re gazing into a vast, beautiful time machine. You’re not seeing things as they are, but as they once were, long long ago in a much younger universe.”

We sat in silence for a while, while she pondered this. Then I asked her, “I wonder if, when you look out there, what you’re really looking into is the mind of God? If so, it would follow that we’re part of that mind too, right? Maybe what we’re really looking at are his ideas - which would mean that we too are ideas in his mind, wouldn’t it? We, along with everything we see, are God’s thoughts.”

I guess it must’ve been getting late, by then; or, maybe the mosquitoes were getting hungry; or, more than likely, my granddaugher had pondered on my ontological ramblings quite enough. She didn’t have much to say, so we turned away from our great time machine and, walked back in the house.

But later that night, when my son had come home from work, I heard him and my granddaughter talking in their room. He asked her what she and I had done while he was gone. She told him we’d watched movies together, and I’d cooked for her. Then she told him about our conversation on the porch. He asked her if she enjoyed talking with me. She said yes, she really did, but that sometimes it gave her a headache.