Therapy is for Everyone
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CAST OF CHARACTERS
GOD (or PATIENT)
Scene: THERAPIST’s office. A cultivated, mature-looking gentleman sits in a wingback chair at right angles to a couch. A desk is in the opposite corner. A man lies on the couch, hands folded beneath his head.
GOD: I guess sometimes I feel like everything I’ve done since “let there be light” was a disaster. I mean, first that meteor, killing off the dinosaurs? I swear to me, you take your mind off this universe for one second and something goes wrong. And global warming? You let one band of hairless apes develop fire and ten thousand years later, boom! They’re freaking pyromaniacs. They dig shit up to burn it!
THERAPIST: And what concerns you about this? Is it morally wrong?
GOD: Morally wrong? Listen that’s another the monkeys got wrong. I didn’t invent morals. I’m in the creation business, but even I didn’t invent something as arbitrary as morals. What concerns me, is I built the damn thing, every last stick and stone, and they’re going to destroy it on me. That’s what pisses me off.
THERAPIST: And did you foresee this happening?
GOD: That’s another thing that irks me. Omnipotence! And omniscience. Sure, I could foresee the exact route of every snowflake falling in the Andes from here until Entropy. But I don’t. You know why? Cuz what’s the point of living if you already know what’s gonna happen? It’s like watching reruns. So I build this little world, I nurture it, I design each little microcosm with loving attention to detail, and what happens? A freak hybrid with delusions of grandeur decides that since he can use tools, it gives him the right to run all the rest of Creation like a rented mule.
THERAPIST: If I understand you correctly, you built the world, and purposely chose not foresee its fate. Now you are angry that your creations have done things you don’t approve of. Is that right?
THERAPIST: You feel betrayed.
THERAPIST: You feel helpless
THERAPIST: And who is to blame for this?
GOD: They are! Mankind.
THERAPIST: Why is mankind to blame? You created them. No matter what they’ve done, you created them with these traits and tendencies. In fact, with a little judicious foresight, you could have nipped them right in the bud. In fact, I think the problems you complain of are solely because you choose not to act. Your lack of initiative has brought you to where you are today.
GOD: No! I built the world to watch it develop over time. To foresee the result would make the whole exercise pointless.
THERAPIST: If this state of affairs is the result of your experiment, I don’t see why you’re upset. The world developed completely without interference. Therefore any result would be the “proper” one.
GOD: But they’re destroying it! The experiment should have run for another four billion years. Now it won’t even make a fraction of that!
THERAPIST: (mildly) How do you know? Did you look into it?
THERAPIST: Because it would violate your personal code
THERAPIST: And this is important to you.
GOD: Yeah, because if I don’t impose the rules, then they cease to exist.
THERAPIST: No exceptions?
GOD: No exceptions.
GOD: (exasperated) What?
THERAPIST: (composedly) To reiterate, in my own words. You created the rules, you created the players, but you’re upset because the game is so flawed it may end before its time, a time, I might add, which was also designated by you.
THERAPIST: But you are, in fact, omnipotent.
GOD: (interrupting) So what?
THERAPIST: (continues) And you are prevented from exercising those awesome powers by…a personal code of ethics?
THERAPIST: Today I’d like to talk your experiments and why you feel the need to limit yourself when your skills and abilities are, in fact, unlimited. What do you think is happening here?
GOD: What do I think is happening here? You’re playing dumb in order to guide me along by the nose to realize that by handicapping myself, I’m failing to realize my full potential, resulting in a loss to my self-worth and a loss to the universe as whole.
THERAPIST: Oh? Please elaborate.
GOD: (scoffs) Please, why don’t I guide us through it so we get it over with? In a classic case of silver-spoon syndrome, I don’t appreciate the advantages I’ve been born with. Omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, who needs ‘em? Just a drag. But, in fact, my abilities allow me to have my cake and eat it too, by constructing an entire world for my own pleasure, solely for me to go slumming in. Ironically, I have created the world in my own image, and thus, it is as flawed as I am. The great tragedy, if course, is that, by virtue of my powers, I am not truly flawed, but only warped by the self-loathing of my own perfection. Ergo, if I could only learn to love myself, the suffering of the entire world (which, after all, is a reflection of my own psyche) would be eased, and everybody would live happily ever after. Amen.
(pregnant silence, then lights dim)
THERAPIST: I’d like to hear about your childhood
GOD: (amused) You don’t subscribe to the notion that I appeared at the same instant the universe began?
THERAPIST: Did you?
GOD: Maybe. If the universe was there before I was, it sure didn’t do much with the place.
THERAPIST: How so?
GOD: Well, I suppose you might say that chemistry was already in place, but that I created biology. By which I mean, reactions were taking place when I arrived, but the essential spark was missing.
THERAPIST: And you contributed that spark?
GOD: No…not consciously, anyway. More like my presence was the catalyst that caused the reaction to occur.
THERAPIST: You mean faith?
GOD: I wasn’t speaking metaphorically, but literally. I mean life literally did not exist until I arrived, and commenced almost immediately thereafter.
THERAPIST: You keep saying, arrived. Does that mean you came from somewhere else?
GOD: I don’t remember.
THERAPIST: (skeptically) You don’t remember.
GOD: I remember every detail of every instant all the way back to the first moment I beheld the universe in all its majesty. And not one datum preceding it.
THERAPIST: And yet you’re certain you came from elsewhere.
GOD: No phenomenon occurs without casual factors. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Therefore, there must have been circumstances leading up to my arrival, and some explanation as to my lack of memory before that point, but I choose to believe that the information is above my pay scale, and have not attempted to access that information.
THERAPIST: Not once?
GOD: I don’t want to risk messing up someone else’s experiment.
THERAPIST: That’s your explanation for your own existence? That you’re a virtual construct in some other entity’s private experiment? And you consciously construct your own experiments based on what you think is being done to you?
GOD: Well, it’s a theory I’m working on.
THERAPIST: Do you feel anger at being used in this manner?
GOD: What, being a lab rat? Do you?
THERAPIST: I beg your pardon?
GOD: Well, that’s what I’m using you as. Are you angry about it?
THERAPIST: (nonplussed) Well, nobody likes to be manipulated…
GOD: You aren’t being manipulated. You’re being studied.
THERAPIST: But you created the conditions under which the study is being undertaken
GOD: And you have never known any other conditions. The accusation of manipulation still does not apply. But it does demonstrate that you’re angry; and what’s more, you’re angry even though you aren’t fully convinced you’re being studied.
THERAPIST: I suppose you’re right. I would be angry.
GOD: Me too. But it doesn’t do me any good, if my theory is correct, and I am part of a grander scheme.
THERAPIST: And yet you’re still angry.
GOD: Yeah, well… Don’t you humans recommend talking to someone when you’re angry about what God or the Universe has done to you? Who else do I have to talk to?
GOD: So doc, does this make me a hypocrite?
SCENE 4 or POSTSCRIPT
(same location, THERAPIST seated at desk, writing notes in a file)
THERAPIST: (as voiceover) The patient exhibits the most extreme God complex I have ever encountered, complete with a rational explanation for the universe and its failings, and an extensive, well-reasoned mythology. He does, however, bring the existential crisis to an entirely different level.
Having been unable to find any crack or seam in his story, I have taken the unusual, and for me, extremely distasteful step of conducting a background check in order to garner information with which to break this psychosis, but so far the investigation has garnered nothing. In fact, my detective says that it’s as if he never existed…