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22. Apostate

Driven to despair by his fruitless attempts to understand the Universe, the sage Devadasa finally announced in exasperation


ALL STATEMENTS THAT CONTAIN THE WORD GOD ARE FALSE.


Instantly, his least-favourite disciple Somasiri replied The sentence I am now speaking contains the word God. I fail to see, Oh Noble Master, how that simple statement can be false.

Devadasa considered the matter for several Poyas. Then he answered, this time with apparent satisfaction:


ONLY STATEMENTS THAT DO NOT CONTAIN THE WORD GOD CAN BE TRUE.


After a pause barely sufficient for a starving mongoose to swallow a millet seed, Somasiri replied: If this statement applies to itself; Oh Venerable One, it cannot be true, because it contains the word God. But if it is not true -

At this point, Devadasa broke his begging-bowl upon Somasiri's head, and should therefore be honoured as the true founder of Zen.


(From a fragment of the Culavamsa, as yet undiscovered)


In the late afternoon, when the stairway was no longer blasted by the full fury of the sun, the Venerable Parakarma began his descent. By nightfall he would reach the highest of the pilgrim rest-houses; and by the following day he would have returned to the world of men.

The Maha Thero had given neither advice nor discouragement, and if he was grieved by his colleague's departure he had shown no sign. He had merely intoned, All things are impermanent, clasped his hands, and given his blessing.


The Venerable Parakarma, who had once been Dr. Choam Goldberg, and might be so again, would have had great difficulty in explaining all his motives. Right action was easy to say; it was not easy to discover.

At the Sri Kanda Maha Vihara he had found peace of mind but that was not enough. With his scientific training, he was no longer content to accept the Order's ambiguous attitude towards God; such indifference had come at last to seem worse than outright denial.

If such a thing as a rabbinical gene could exist, Dr. Goldberg possessed it. Like many before him, Goldberg-Parakarma had sought God through mathematics, undiscouraged even by the bombshell that Kurt Gdel, with the discovery of undecidable propositions, had exploded early in the Twentieth Century. He could not understand how anyone could contemplate the dynamic asymmetry of Euler's profound, yet beautifully simple,


21. Judgement | The Fountains of Paradise | e^(pi * i) + I = 0



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