Fiction

Charles Darwin in Heaven

He knew he was tiny. Insignificant. Am I single-celled, he wondered. When he heard the tiny sounds he made as he tried to move, he knew. A towering figure made its way toward him. Something Charles could only define as an angel. He couldn’t see the creature, only could sense it; its size and how it shifted the atmosphere around him. As it neared, he had so many questions.

Charles found that he could not speak. A voice entered his mind.

“You cannot see, Charles, because Evolution does not know what an eyeball is, thus you have no real mandate in your form to grow such a thing.”

Darwin found that he could communicate with the creature with his thoughts. “How can I think, then? How can I know where I am? How can I understand you?”

The creature laughed. “Do not fret, Charles, for you are in heaven. But as to your thoughts, how you can think and such, well, that’s because He deems it so, otherwise, you will not understand the lessons you will be taught.”

“Lessons? Lessons about what?”

Life, Charles, life. How it came to be, how it is, how it has express purposes and how those purposes are to each own of its kind, and not part of some sentient but monadic force that is simultaneously not a thinking being, yet manages to direct all of the life processes that occur on your Earth and beyond.”

“I was wrong, then.”

“My yes, were you ever.”

“Am I being punished?”

“Not in the sense you might think, no. As I’ve noted, you’ve been spared and are in Heaven. But you have some lessons to be learned before you can appreciate the Glory of this Place.”

“What will happen to me?”

He heard the creature laugh again. “Charles, my boy, you’re going to evolve! Right now, you are a single cell to which He has assigned reason in order that you might learn.”

“How long will I have to be… this?”

“No one at all up here or below on your Earth is certain of that time frame. Perhaps a thousand years. Perhaps a million. Perhaps, well, perhaps it will be one or two billion years from now when you finally succumb to a pressure, a force; Evolution, as your proteges refer to it as a proper noun, and you will move unto the next stage of whatever awaits you.”

“When will I get legs, at least?”

“Do you require legs?”

“I would think so.”

“You would think so because your soul is currently being given permission to think and reason. Evolution has no such permissions up here or anywhere else thus the force that is necessary to complete your rise from single cell to Man has no inkling that you require legs. I wouldn’t count on them very soon.”

“This is Hell! This is Hell! I may never be able to see the beauty of this Heaven! How is this not Hell, then? If I am not allowed to evolve?”

“My dear friend,” the creature said, “as a complete Man, something magnificent to behold, you had every means necessary to see This Place throughout the Earth you spent so long studying. It seems you missed the point of that experience entirely. Why should He believe that, given the chance now, you would truly appreciate what your eyes might one day evolve and see?”

“I shall! I shall!”

Again, the angel laughed. “We shall see,” he said. “We shall see.”

(This little tale emerged from a conversation between myself and my oldest friend, Chris. A guy I can always count on to help me find new perspectives)

Advertisements