Friday, November 14, 2008


Or maybe what I’m thinking is not what I’m saying. Or maybe what I’m saying is not what I’m thinking. Or maybe what I’m thinking is not what I’m thinking. Or maybe what I’m saying is not what I’m saying.

I’m reminded of the line from the TV show, Step By Step many years ago. A character by the name of Cody is an idiot. He’s a fortunate idiot because he is irremediably jovial, good-spirited, and optimistic. Everyone likes him because of his effervescent personality. But as I say, he appears to have the IQ of a bag of rocks. This also is endearing.

However, Cody takes the SATs. He’s a high school student, and he’s thinking of going to college, and he is told that people in his circumstance need to take the SATs. So he does, along with a young woman. I forget her name. Also a high school student and also a regular on the show. A person who also wants to go to college and who also takes the SATs. But she comes across as quite bright. She makes sure that she does. She tries to be smart and tries to convince others that she’s brainy. That’s her character.

But it turns out that Cody achieves a higher score on the SATs than she does. I forget the scores. I think both of them were in the high 600s or low 700s on the math and verbal. But I don’t remember.

The young woman can’t understand this. It doesn’t make any sense at all. She gets quite upset at Cody or the universe or God or all three. And Cody tries to say something that will explain what appears to be a black hole in the logic of the universe. Tries to say something to excuse himself for appearing so bright when he also appears so lacking in intelligence. He tries to apologize to the outraged young woman. So he says, “My brain must have a mind of its own.”

Whenever I am down. Whenever I’m feeling depressed or out of sorts, I think of this line. And it cracks me up. Every time. “My brain must have a mind of its own.”

The classic dialetheia—a true contradiction—is exemplified by the following statements applied to Cody, let’s call him, who is straddling a doorway, with one foot in a room and one foot in the hallway outside the room: (1) Cody is in the room; (2) Cody is not in the room.

I think this is the situation that God is in. What I mean is that God is fundamentally contradictory. A paradox. A paradox. A most ingenious paradox.

He’s in the room, and he’s not in the room.

Hey, he’s God, remember. He can be anything and anywhere he likes.

If you hypothesize parallel universes (and we have a good deal of company here) you can have Cody fully in the room and fully outside the room, simultaneously. So using this paradigm, you have no need of the straddling business.

And of course, you have light, which behaves simultaneously like a particle and like a wave.

And so. What I’m suggesting is that maybe God and maybe elements or aspects of his creation. Are dialetheias. Maybe true contradictions are all around. Maybe there is something fundamental here that is paradoxical and that is recalcitrantly and irremediably so.

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