You've seen those so-called G‑d games--like SimEarth or Civilization or The Gungan Frontier--a programmer's idea of what it's like to be G‑d. You look down at a world with detachment and make decisions of global scale with global impact, and watch the mess that ensues. You plop down animals and vegetation while ensuring the biosphere remains balanced and healthy. Sometimes it works out, sometimes there's disaster. Starvation. Catastrophe. Extinction. That's okay. When your mother calls for dinner, you shut down the machine and walk away.
As a developer of software games, I'm wondering how I would redo this in a way that offers a better sense of the G‑d we know in our prayers and our living.
What would it be like if, playing this game, I could see not just from my heavenly throne but from the eyes of any creature on the planet? I could choose a predator or a victim, even a worm, or how about a plant or a rock -- and know life as it goes on from within that being. I would experience the satisfaction of munching green leaves, the fear of an approaching predator, the throbbing heartbeat of an attacked animal. The desperate will to live. And then I would become one with the beast that eats me.
What if I could enter all those creatures at once, and be all of them, all at once? Some that know the world with sight, others that live only in a world of smell, still others who survive by detecting electrical impulses. From within a single world, I could experience a thousand different ones.
I could be a bee that sees a spectrum of color beyond what humans know. Or a worm that lives in a virtually two-dimensional world. Hot as a lizard basking in the sun, cold as a penguin in an Antarctic blizzard. Wet as a fish, dry as a desert moth. Swift as a falcon, sluggish as a sloth. Smart as an angel, silent as a rock. All at once. Boundless diversity of experience. Each the center of a whole world.
And at the same time as I am one with all of them, living within them and feeling how ultimately real all this is, I would remain transcendent and aloof. Infinitely above and intimately within, all at once.
Then there would be a story. And I, the player, would be the author. In a story, you can express your innermost thoughts, thoughts that are otherwise ineffable.
My story would be a very big story, a masterful drama full of little stories. And in the little stories, that's where I would really have fun, since I would give some of my favorite creatures the power to influence the outcome of those little stories. To be the hero or the villain--or just a coward. To take part or to stand by. It would all be their choice and they would each have to live with their decisions.
After all, their consciousness is my consciousness. Since I have free choice to author this whole big story, I could have free choice from within them as well, in these little stories. And that's part of the big story.
So there would be this story with protagonist and antagonist, and I would be within both, but at the same time I would be on the side of the protagonist and against the antagonist. I'm infinite and boundless, remember? So I can be found even in a creature who's against me and against my side. I can be within the hunter and the hunted all at once. And sympathize and feel the pain of both.
And then, in the big story, through a culmination of all the little stories and their little heroes, my side would win. All would recognize the Me that is within them, and even I would find Myself there. And be surprised. If you're G‑d, you can surprise even yourself.
Boy, He must be having some wild time.