Mr. g is God, but small g god. Probably not the one you were taught about. He is the protagonist of a novel carrying his name written by Alan Lightman.
Right off, I’ll say that Mr. g, the book, worked for me because he is the god I have come to believe exists. If I had to explain him to you or hang a label on this god, I would say look up “Deism.”
Deism is something I have so far only touched lightly on here in the past. It is the belief in a supreme being, a creator, who could – but chooses not to – intervene in the universe.
It is not a new belief. It was an intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that took in a number of the founding fathers of the United States. They accepted the existence of a creator on the basis of reason but rejected the belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind.
This “fictional God” (we could have another discussion about that term) exists in a Void before any creation along with his Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva. I cannot explain who they represent or even why they exist. I understand why the Creator couldn’t have creator parents but…
Mr g is omnipotent but not omniscient. He creates universes. He put creatures into one. And then he lets it go on its own. (I was going to say he lets it evolve but that is a troublesome word.) It is trial and error. Though he has created rules/laws for these universes, he is surprised by what occurs.
There is also Belhor and his toadies living in the Void. Is B the Devil or just a way to question and challenge him and allow him to explain things?
The book actually avoids outright talk of religion, though the idea of a soul or something that lives on beyond the mortal life is brought up by Uncle Deva. But, like Deism, if a religion, it is one whose followers believe in a God who “created the universe, established its rules of behavior, set it going, left, and
hasn’t been seen since.”
I depart from that description in that I believe that his God can and may occasionally interfere with the course of human events, as Mr. g does once in the book.
A creator God as all-powerful but not all-knowing is probably not a comfortable fit for most readers.
Lightman also wrote Einstein’s Dreams, a collection of stories that are dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905 as he ponders in his waking lifetime, relativity and physics.
Each dream/story explores another possibility. In one dream, time is circular and we are fated to repeat the good and bad over and over. But in another one, time stands still and people cling desperately to what they have in fear of it going away.
Lightman teaches in the humanities at MIT and his books span science, theology, and philosophy. Sometimes, as with Mr. g, he both ignores and observes the questions that arise when those three things cross paths.
Albert Einstein once said, “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.”