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The Rise of Mailerism


Are you saying that is where God is now?
It is the only justification I can comprehend for God needing so much adoration from us. And if God created us in His or Her image, which I do believe, then God must also want us to understand some real portion of what is going on in His universe. It is to God’s advantage, I would argue, for us to understand what God’s desires might be.

We might assume that God, like us, is doing the best that can be done under the circumstances. We are God’s children, if you will, and it’s not a good parent who looks always to control the child. The mark of a good parent is that he or she can take joy in the moment when a developing child begins to outstrip the parent. God is immensely powerful but is not All-Powerful. God is powerful enough to give us lightning and thunder and extraordinary sunsets, incredible moments where we appreciate God’s sense of beauty. But if God is All-Powerful, then how can you begin to explain the monstrosities of modern history?

If we’re created in God’s image and we’re potentially good but then choose evil, perhaps we were evil all along.
Look at your phrase—“evil all along.” If, at Creation, the Devil was present and entered us as well, then what we speak of as original sin can be seen as God’s obligatory collaboration with the Devil. We were born good and evil. There’s an intense war that goes on forever, not only between God and the Devil but—I’ve said this before—God and the Devil as they war within us. God and the Devil do not have the resources to be in complete control of us all the time. Very often, they withdraw from certain people. Too much is being given, too little is coming back.

The point is that the purpose of life may be to find higher and better questions. Why? Because what I believe—this is wholly speculative but important to me—is that we are here as God’s work, here to influence His future as well as ours.

From On God, by Norman Mailer with Michael Lennon. Copyright © 2007 by Norman Mailer. Published by ­arrangement with Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.


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