A startling change now took place in my mind. My reverie was shattered as a dream at the moment of waking, and I became aware that I had long been observing a vast pattern of cosmical and hypercosmical events. I remembered that I had been watching the visible apparition of God not for moments but for aeons, and that I had seen him create cosmos after cosmos. Now at last I was to behold God's latest creation. I was to attend the birth of that intricate and tragic cosmos, fashioned of nebulae and stars, in which mankind occurs. Would this, his latest, be also his final sketch, before he should venture on some more finished work, which perhaps would raise his spirit from time into eternity, from mere progress to perfection?
Out of the confusion of limbs and organs which had confronted me, a face now formed itself, displaying its profile. Recognizably it was the face of God, the unique one; but this was not the God of the Jews nor of the Christians, nor was it Zeus nor Allah, nor any other deity of men. It was feline, snakelike. It was lean and keen and ruthless.
Horror seized me. Could this, this living pole-axe, be the face of the true God? Could the spirit that this thing expressed be the one reality behind men's dreams, the dreams that they had reverently perfected through the ages? Where was the Love, and where the Wisdom; where even the Justice and the Righteousness?
In a mean suburb of a dark commercial city, had I not known a woman? Was she not fair though marred, gentle, though turning to bitterness? Surely in her there was more divinity than in this deity.
Yet as I watched I was compelled to worship.
Beneath God's face the innumerable, shadowy, restless creative hands aimlessly fingered the pale glimmer which I knew was chaos, the formless potentiality of matter, the sleeping potentiality of mind.
It seemed that in the dark spirit which is God there was not peace but restlessness, and the insistent need to create.
But presently I observed in God's eyes, God's serpent eyes, a sudden intentness; as though, peering into the jungle of his own nature he had glimpsed some new, some exquisite idea.
And now I seemed to discover in my memory that though God had triumphed in each of his many created universes, yet he had every time destroyed what he had made. Always there had come a stage in the growth of his creature, when though perfectly fulfilling his plan, it had also stung him into new percipience, and into vague new desire beyond the capacity of the poor creature to satisfy. And so, time and again God had reduced his cosmos to chaos, either with one swift, tender-contemptuous stroke of his almightiness, or slowly, delighting to observe its cycle completed by long drawn out senescence and death.
A full light, a full intelligence, now gleamed in the eyes of God. The quarry was now clearly visible, the new conception apprehended. Looking down once more upon his chaos, God now took purposeful hold of it with all the sinewy cooperative gangs of his hands.
He drew out from chaos a minute portion, so minute that it lay on the point of his finger as a mote upon a continent.
Earnestly for a while God gazed upon this infinitesimal, considering how to work his will upon it. Then delicately he rolled it between a finger and a thumb, vitalizing it with the novel urge of his conception. But he sealed its potencies within it, so that for the present it should express nothing of its nature. Yet to my divinely stimulated vision it appeared as a very minute dark pearl, dimly shining by the reflected light of God's own person.
Earnestly God regarded his little creature. And he saw that it was indeed made according to his plan, that he had indeed with agile fingers fashioned it to be the bearer of lofty and diverse potentialities; so that, when he should see fit to unseal its energies, it might be the vehicle both of physical power and of mentality, that it might playa part equally well in the interior of a star or in the brain of a man, and equally in the life of a saint or of a blackguard.
And now God set about to pass the whole of chaos between his fingertips. As flax issuing from between the fingers of a woman spinning, comes forth as thread, so from God's countless fingers chaos issued as fine threads of smoke.
As the ultimate electric and vital units came into being, God counted them. Soon there were as many of them as would go to the making of a spermatozoon, and soon as many as would be contained in a sun. And presently there was so much of the tenuous and granular substance of the cosmos as might form the warp and weft of a million galaxies. But God did not stay until he had used up all chaos, and the number of the beings which he had made was the number which his conception demanded, even to the last unit.
The host of the units was an obscurity floating around the hands and arms of God, and over his; thighs and genitals, and above his head.
With all his hands, God now took hold of sleeping matter and gathered it in as a seaman a bellying sail. He furled it in upon itself. And in so doing he geometrised it according to his conception. Searchingly he threaded his new-made matter through and through with the tracks of his ubiquitous and correlating fingers; so that, when he should give the word, the potencies of the cosmos should issue orderly.
Then God withdrew his hands from the entrails of his creature. And his many hands poised lovingly over it and around it and under it.
And now, looking once more at God's face, I saw that it was kindled, enspirited with expectation of the beauty and the horror which were to come.
The slumbering cosmos appeared to me now as a smooth orb of darkness. For all its energies were still sealed within its unit members. The black sphere of the cosmos shimmered between God's hands like a huge inky bubble. Its surface reflected to me a dim and contracted image of his hands and of his lucent face.
It seemed to me that creation was now completed, and that God's new cosmos was ready to set out upon its long adventure. But I was mistaken.
For now with sudden violence God pressed upon his creature with all his hands and from every side, so that the tenuous dark orb was crushed together, and the myriad floating units were crowded ever closer and closer.
And God constricted the cosmos until every unit coincided with every other, and the cosmos was no larger than any single one of them. It now lay upon the fingertip of God, and the rest of his hands were drawn away from it.
Within the atom-cosmos were all the potencies for many million galaxies, and for storied worlds innumerable. Yet the pregnant members of the cosmos, though coincident each with all, remained inert to one another. For God had not yet broken the seals that he had set on them.
God gazed long upon his creature. And he smiled. And all his hands were still.
Then God spoke to the dark and slumbering germ of the cosmos. And he said, "Let there be light."
Immediately the seals were broken that God had set upon the myriad primal members of the cosmos. And the cosmic germ burst into life.
Nebula Maker Contents