Chapter 11: God: The Phantom Fuehrer
Alan Watts once described the universe by saying, “It is as if God is playing a game.” if there is no God, who is playing and what is the game?
Alan Watts was a nice guy but that statement he made was stolen from Hindu mythology. That’s what he was doing his whole life, although to the West it appeared as if he was giving original insights.
Basically he was trained as a Christian priest and, like every Christian priest, acquired a certain knowledge about all the religions so that he could prove Christianity to be the best, the highest, the truest religion.
But Alan Watts - that’s why I say he was a nice guy - seeing the Hindu religion could not say that the Christian religion was the highest religion that had happened on earth. He was an honest man.
He renounced his priesthood and remained almost a beggar his whole life. But he was tremendously impressed by Eastern religions - emphatically with the Hindu idea of God playing a game. In Hinduism it is called leela. That is one of the contributions of Hinduism to world thought.
All other religions believe that God is creating the world; it is a serious affair. Only Hinduism makes it non-serious. Hinduism says it is just a play, a game of hide-and-seek. It is God who is hiding, it is God who is seeking; it is God in men, it is God in women. To Hinduism, existence is made of the stuff called God, and it is not a creation. The concept of creation has implications which Christianity, Judaism, and Mohammedanism are incapable of answering.
First: Why in the first place should God create? What is his need? One creates something because of a certain need. You create a house because you need a shelter. You create because there is a certain desire to be fulfilled. Is God full of desires? Then what is the difference between man and God? Is God in need? If even God is in need then there is no possibility of a state where you will be free of need: need is going to follow you like a shadow wherever you go, and you can never be free from it - and unless you are free from need, desire, wanting, you are a slave, and you will remain a slave.
A God who has a certain need to create is a slave.
The implications are very significant. Was it compulsory for him to create, or was it optional? If it was compulsory, then God is not all-powerful. Somebody above him orders him to create, and there is no option, he has to do it. Or if you say it was optional, then the question arises, Why does he choose to create rather than not to create? There must be some reason for choosing to.
What reason can God have to choose creation? Then that reason becomes more important than God himself If even God has to follow rationality, then why should you have to bother about God? You should think about being reasonable, following reason, which even God cannot throw away.
Why did God create at a certain moment, at a certain time?