Bewildering Stories

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A Parable Containing a Parabola

by John Thiel

Not many people know this, but the Earth is flat. It has been thoroughly demonstrated by science that our world is round, which helps account for the widespread ignorance, but the fact of the matter is that the world is both round and flat. How could this be? Einstein hinted at it---the shape of the Earth may be considered relative to the regard in which it is held. Round objects can look flat when seen from a certain perspective; now realize that the world is part will and part idea, and you will see that these perspectives have a significant effect upon the realization of existent things. For example, from the mortal perspective the Earth does appear to be fairly flat. Seen from the Moon, it would be round, but one could scarcely caper upon its rotundity, as one does on flat ground. To enjoy the orbic aspect of the bodies of matter set in space, one would have to visit the lesser of the two moons of Mars, and even there the activity would require vehicular augmentation.

The point is worth pondering because it is a matter of consideration in Heaven. Yes, that realm exists and is the place where God dwells. God is conceivably the only being who would decide worlds should be round, and if you do not believe in his existence, you will not be able to account for that orbic form’s existence, except by saying that planets must have been shaped in some cosmic lathe somewhere. A potter’s wheel without a potter.

Some believe that Man shaped the planets with the mass impulse of life-coming-into-being, in other words evolved the worlds, separating themselves from matter at a later time.

God was just discussing that belief, at a point in time in the Heaven which we now view. “Those are false religionists,” he told some angels. “It’s a wonder that anyone can even understand their mumbo-jumbo. They get into this intellectual Babel when they ignore the true source.”

The angels practically started babbling amongst themselves when they heard this. It was new to them and had a spiritually expansive effect.

“False regionists, practically,” said an Archangel. “One of their chief debates now is that concerning the origin of the regions in space upon which their dwelling might be done.”

God considered this. It was a less-than-perfect statement, but that was expected of angels unless he perfected them. Finally he said, “If so many are doing it, who is causing them to do it?”

“There’s a man presently claiming that he created the Earth. He says he had help from others of the world-creating type, but a small group of them did it and he is considering a debate with the people who say everybody had a hand in it.”

“What was he standing on when he started his creation?” God asked.

“Probably somebody else. That’s the way they’re behaving now.”

The question had not had an answer, and there was some consternation about the Archangel’s presuming to give it one, but the matter was too interesting for a distraction. It was determined that the man should be contacted and asked about his viewpoint, and this was done without interrupting the continuity of their conversation or changing the state of affairs around them at all, so it was essentially the same moment in heaven when a voice broke into the midst of their commentaries. “I created that planet and that’s flat!” the voice shouted.

“How long did it take?” God asked.

“Time enough for all things,” said the man. “We had world enough and time. The world was not too much with us, for we hadn’t finished it yet.”

“You look like you will soon, though,” said God. “A-bombs is what I’m referring to.”

“That just shows we can invent destruction. We create, and we destroy.”

“I know how you feel. I’ve felt that same way myself. Seems to me I remember creating it.”

“You remember seeing it. You ‘created’ it by making it yours. But it took man-work. You don’t look like the type who would invent basalt, silt, and the like. Don’t claim it, it’s not that good.”

“Surely it requires perfection.”

“No doubt of it, so far it doesn’t even have an essence. Look, here, let me demonstrate it to you.”

One of his partners appeared, carrying a blackboard and chalk. “Where’d I get those materials?” the “Earth-creator” said. “Now my man will explain it to you.”

The person with the chalk drew a straight line. “That’s us,” he said. “We go right to things. Hence we have created a flat Earth. Now here’s you.” He drew a curved line coming from above. “It’s a parabola of observation,” he said, demonstrating either an ignorance of geometry or a new space mathematics. “You look around, it might be said. So, as you look out in this curving manner, you create a round world. You’ve done this in the same place that we have created a flat one.”

“Don’t your scientists say that two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time?” the Archangel asked.

“Those are ascetics,” the demonstrator joked.

“All the same,” God said, “that doesn’t seem to be working out. I think I'll remove it, as I’ve predicted I would eventually.”

“You and what Armageddon?” the man shouted. “Who, you? I got that man with the chalkboard up there, and now I think I’ll raid Heaven!” A number of men appeared. “We built the computer and we can remake Heaven!” they all shouted.

“It needs more matter,” said Mr. Big. “That’ll sort of increase your visibility.”

The men went to work with an effort and a will and built their way right back to Earth. Their matter was a condition of their own realm which tended back to it and was not conformable to heavenly conditions at all. God had a brief laugh. “They tried, but did not accomplish,” he said. “And now, I shall remove them, as I said.” And he did it.

From the Earthly viewpoint, the destruction was not visible. Only over the course of centuries did they find any evidence of God's actions, and that was their discovery that the Earth was indisputably flat.

Copyright © 2004 by John Thiel

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