Saturday, May 1, 2010

God Made in Our Image

There is an ancient truism that is the inversion of the Genesis statement that God made humans his God's image that humans always image God in their own image, and that if horses could speak, they would speak of God as a horse (I do not quite recall the reference off-hand, but if someone would like to supply it in the comments, it would be much appreciated).

But such truisms, however true, seem trite to just speak it outright, and so to help make the point, I have enlisted a poet (W.B. Yeats):

The Indian Upon God

I passed along the water's edge below the humid trees,
My spirit rocked in evening light, the rushes round my knees,
My spirit rocked in sleep and sighs; and saw the moorfowl pace
All dripping on a grassy slope, and saw them cease to chase
Each other round in circles, and heard the eldest speak:
Who holds the world between His bill and made us strong or weak
Is an undying moorfowl, and He lives beyond the sky.
The rains are from His dripping wing, the moonbeams from his eye.

I passed a little further on and heard a lotus talk:
Who made the world and ruleth it, He hangeth on a stalk,
For I am in His image made, and all this tinkling tide
Is but a sliding drop of rain between His petals wide.

A little way within the gloom a roebuck raised his eyes
Brimful of starlight, and he said: The Stamper of the Skies,
He is a gentle roebuck; for how else, I pray, could He
Conceive a thing so sad and soft, a gentle thing like me?

I passed a little further on and heard a peacock say:
Who made the grass and made the worms and made my feather gay,
He is a monstrous peacock, and He waveth all the night
His languid tail above us, lit with myriad spots of light.

(W.B. Yeats, "The Indian Upon God," Crossways; italics original)

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