"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." ~ Voltaire
"If God did exist, it would not be necessary to invent him." ~ Dada
It's been many years now since, nodding towards the ceiling, I asked my dental hygienist during one of my semi-annual visits in a moment when my mouth wasn't full of rubber gloved fingers, mirror, dental pick and saliva suction tube, "Has anyone ever told you your poster up there reminds them of a near-death-experience?" Looking at it briefly, she surrendered a small laugh. Apparently no one ever had.
The poster is a series of pinnacles, each comprised of smaller and smaller pinnacles which, because they are fractals, are precisely identical to the larger ones.
I'm big on those because I sometimes ponder if the Universe isn't just this big fractal and we exist somewhere in the middle of an endless repeating pattern of a Mandelbrot set. Always I ponder it during every visit to my hygienist while having the depth of the pockets in my gums probed with a pointed metal object.
And so it was again yesterday, while cradled securely in the bosom of my hygienist, I once more stared up at the same ceiling image I'd studied last December. And just like then, my eyes were drawn up higher and higher by the poster's pinnacles stretching toward infinity at the very moment the little metal dental probe burrowed deeper and deeper inside the gum pockets beside teeth┌1 and ┌8 (both lower left).
It was at that point -- at the very depth of ┌8 lower left -- when my eyes beheld the fabled "light" of every near-death-experience. It was hovering just above those pinnacles like it does every visit. But yesterday, for the first time ever, the thought struck me: "What if God is like this big smiley face thing?"
It was at precisely that moment, with rubber gloved fingers, mirror, pointed metal probe and saliva suction tube in my mouth, I unavoidably laughed aloud, interrupting the procedure at its most sensitive moment.
It's a good thing my hygienist and I are friends, because she asked what my outburst was about out of curiosity instead of anger. After apologizing, saying I really couldn't help myself, I asked Carol, "Did you ever wonder if God's, you know, like this big man-made smiley face like thing?"
Just like several years before, she paused, and stared up.
I nervously awaited her reaction. Then she laughed!
Curiously, I got the sudden feeling I was in the middle of some big repeating pattern.