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Dreams

A philosopher had a dream in which he saw the secret of the universe revealed. He wrote it down on a piece of paper, and when he woke in the morning found that he had written: ‘A strong sense of turpentine pervades the whole’. How often I’ve had the cousin of that dream, where I’ve gone to bed with a point yet to be solved in a talk that I’m preparing. During the night, I make the grand discovery, only to wake in the morning to find that my solution smells like turpentine.

Dreams are peculiar things. Some are admittedly significant. Others are merely the colourful fruit of the brain reorganizing its filing system during the night. But the philosopher’s heady experience and quest remains. Is there a grand secret to why things are the way they are? Or is it as Douglas Adams puts it in his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, that the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything, is 42?

The Book, without ambiguity, puts it this way. Speaking of Jesus, it says: ‘For by Him all things were created, visible or invisible. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.’ That’s it. The secret of the universe. “A strong sense of deity pervades the whole.” Not some abstract principle of love or compassion, nor some Being with the clinical smell of a laboratory, but a Deity with vivacious personality and passionate purpose.

DM 15th January 2019

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