The following is an excerpt of dialogue from one of my alltime favorite scifi series, babylon 5 between an alien dude and one of the main characters who, in the show writes a book and it becomes a sort of spiritual revolution for his people. He gets fans, lots and lots of fans. And after much reluctance, decides to talk to them. The following is one of the conversations:
Narn:What is truth? And what is God?
G’Kar: You don’t really want an answer to that question.
Narn: Yes, I do. Please.
G’Kar: If I take a lamp and shine it toward a wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding. Too often, we assume that the light on the wall is God. But the light is not the goal of the search. It is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it.
G’Kar: Similarly, someone who does not search, who does not bring a lantern with him…sees nothing. What we perceive as God is the byproduct of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light, pure and unblemished, not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe. God looks astonishingly like we do. Or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose, which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty… and all its flaws… and in so doing better understand the world around us.
Narn: Ah…yes…but… What is truth? And what is God?
G’kar (rolls eyes): Truth is… a river.
[amazed looks and murmurs from the crowd]
Narn: And god?
G’kar: God is the mouth of the river.
[the audience is pleased, G’kar walks away very annoyed]