The first question:
Is God really dead?
If not dead, then seriously ill, on his deathbed. Which is far worse.
I have heard:
There was a small synagogue somewhere in some obscure village in central Poland. One night when making his rounds, the rabbi entered and saw God sitting in a dark corner. He fell upon his face and cried out, “Lord God, what art thou doing here?”
God answered him with a small voice, “I am tired, Rabbi. I am tired to death.”
God is tired of man’s inhumanity to man. God is tired of man’s immense stupidity. God is tired of man’s unawareness. Only man seems somehow to be a misfit. The whole existence goes on harmoniously; the whole existence is a dance. Man is out of step. And the reason is that only man is free to be out of step. The glory of man is that he is free? totally free. Nobody else has that freedom. Because of the freedom, man can choose. He can choose either to be with God or he can choose to be against – and man has chosen to be against. There is a reason for it.
Each child has to choose to be against his parents. That is the only way for the child to attain his ego. If the child goes on saying yes to the father, yes to the mother, and says always yes and never says no, then the child will not have any backbone. Then the child will not have any soul. Then the child will be just an extension of the parent. That hurts, that humiliates. And it is not just accidental that we have called God the father. It is the same drama played on a more cosmic scale.
Man is still childish. To be, he still needs to say no. A man is mature when he can be and can say yes too. Try to understand it. A child has to say no to the parents, a thousand and one times he has to say no, because that is the only way he can feel “I am.” Sometimes he has to say no against his own welfare; sometimes he has to say no in spite of himself. Sometimes he wants to say yes, but he cannot say it, because to say yes means not to be. And each moment the struggle: to be or not to be. The moment he says yes, he is not; parents are. The moment he says no, he is. So the child has to say no. He has to rebel, he has to go against, he has to go astray to be.