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The Metafizzical Essays of
Nicholas Hancock

Published by The British Hancock Society
by arrangement with the author.


Copyright    2008 Nicholas Hancock.  Permission  is granted  to  distribute  in  any  medium, commercial or non-commercial, provided author attribution and copyright notices remain intact.

LYING DOWN WITH LEOPARDS


LYING DOWN WITH LEOPARDS

Isaiah told us that 'The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a small child shall lead them.' Why didn't God do this from the very start? Of course I'll be told Isaiah didn't mean this literally. It was an allegory or a parable, not a straightforward prophecy. Very well, but my question remains: if the universe was created by a tribal Middle-Eastern god, why was the resulting creation so predatory? Why were pain receptors so ruthlessly effective? Why create the spectator sport of the Food Chain? It's easy to say this 'creation' is sublime. But we do so in the presence of mountains whose shifting arthritic joints are thought to be free from pain. Apart from some television Peeping Toms, do we enjoy the spectacle of crunching bone? - of the antelope brought down by the magnificent paws of the lioness? Such a pre-lsaiah creator was clearly a sadist. And, if then, surely now. Christian theologians tell us that the first concept of God was of a jealous being, one subject to omni-destructive rages in the face of His creatures' lapses and that this gradually transformed itself into one of a loving, protective Father. These, however, were patently human notions projected onto the godhead, Who, if He existed at all, was unlikely to have been even moderately affected by them. If He started out as a sadist, we can be sure He'll continue eternally in that character. Hindus on the other hand appear to have created their creators more rationally. Kali, the black goddess dripping blood and crazy for it, has goats daily sacrificed to Her in Calcutta; in her other manifestation she is Devi, the epitome of peace and calm. The two avatars tell us in metaphor that merciless bloodletting and deep inner tranquillity exist side by side: while one being is brutalised, another only a few metres away is in its seventh heaven. I'm not saying the Hindu pantheon holds any conviction for me - simply that it more effectively describes the blend of good and evil than either Judaeo-Christian or Muslim thought. But, to return to our Christian sheep, it's remarkable that, in view of this wholesale massacre, they can believe in the Master Butcher after all. Perhaps the strength of their belief lies precisely in their refusal to view this massacre.