The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

1 March 2004

Beyond faith

"As a non-believer," writes Michele, "I walk around with the knowledge that I just may be wrong."

For some reason this reminded me of a dream Isaac Asimov once described. It went like this:

I dreamed I had died and gone to Heaven. I looked about and knew where I was green fields, fleecy clouds, perfumed air, and the distant, ravishing sound of the heavenly choir. And there was the recording angel smiling broadly in greeting.

I said, in wonder, "Is this Heaven?"

The recording angel said, "It is."

I said [and on waking and remembering, I was proud of my integrity], "But there must be some mistake. I don't belong here. I'm an atheist."

"No mistake," said the recording angel.

"But as an atheist how can I qualify?"

The recording angel said sternly, "We decide who qualifies. Not you."

Mysterious ways, as they say.

Posted at 5:55 PM to Immaterial Witness

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Charles recounts a dream described by the late Isaac Asimov, making a point that some people don't seem to grasp.......[read more]

What more can be said?

Posted by: Juliette at 7:50 PM on 1 March 2004

I think this answer's Juliette's question:

Abou ben Adam (may his tribe increase!)
awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight of his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
an angel, writing in a book of of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adam bold,
And to the Prescence in the room he said:
"What writest thou?" The vision raised its head,
And, with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?"said Abou, "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still, and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men."
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again, with a great awakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben adam's name led all the rest.

- Leigh Hunt

Posted by: triticale at 11:18 PM on 2 March 2004