Review of an Afterword by God

Posted Sep 9, 2007
Last Updated Apr 12, 2008
From time to time I'll post something by someone else — something I especially like. Like the following Afterword to an irreverent book by Shepherd Hoodwin.

The first time I read it, I was delighted with Shepherd's slightly yiddish-flavored wit. (God is Jewish, of course.) But rereading it today, I was re-delighted not only by his wit, but by a neat set of perceptions that triggered realizations.  Cognitions. 

And — dare I say wisdom?  A word scarred by millennia of pretention and puffery.  Shepherd's gentle, witty wisdom-for-fun tends to erase such scars.

Now for Shepherd~~~

As the author of the bestselling (in three parallel universes!) book "Enlightenment for Nitwits," I wanted a Big Famous Celebrity to do its Afterword. I was most fortunate to be able to get God, Creator of the Universe, to take time away from his busy schedule and write it. He is the renowned author of several scriptures, so who better to write about enlightenment? With His generous permission, I reprint it here. I hope you find it, well, enlightening.



Afterword by God

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."--Genesis

First of all, let Me say that I don't think that anyone who would read this book is a nitwit, although it's a cute title. A nitwit cannot laugh at the foibles of life, especially his own. Believe me, if I didn't have a sense of humor about MySelf, I wouldn't still be here. Laughter is my best creation, along with dogs (which, of course, are Me spelled backwards).

I'm thrilled that the publisher asked me to write the Afterword of this happy little book. For one thing, it's always a pleasure to have the final Word. When my children were younger, I needed to lay down the Law sometimes so they would feel secure, and maybe I occasionally went a little overboard. There weren't any good parenting books back then. (I still think I was right about the golden calf.) But anyway, today, I wait to be asked before putting in my two shekels worth, so I'm glad to have been asked, since I have a lot to say about enlightenment.

The quote above describes what happened on the Monday of what was, for me, a very busy week. But what people don't understand is that every Monday, every beginning, is the same: Light is the beginning, not the end.

The end of that particular week culminated with My making human beings. Of course, then I took Sunday off. Resting is the connective tissue between what was and what is to come, the time of absorbing what you did and preparing for what comes next. Then, however, Monday came again, as it always does. The next cycle, building on what went before, always starts with light, and separating it from darkness.

The common picture is that you work really hard, get enlightened, and then what? Twiddle your thumbs? (Incidentally, "twiddle" is an excellent word that could be used more often, in a variety of contexts. Just a suggestion.)  Beam beatifically for the rest of eternity? That would be boring. No! Become enlightened, and you're just getting started.

The fact is that humanity isn't created once, but over and over, at new levels. By the same token, you don't just become enlightened once, either, but have a chance to do it at a new level every "week."

So what does it mean to become enlightened? It simply refers to you turning on your inner light, which is always there potentially, to a greater brightness, and letting it shine without obstruction. You basically just have to say, "Let there be light" and really mean it.

What does enlightenment look like? For one thing, it's lighthearted. It's full of joy. Most children are already enlightened, but since, by definition, they're not mature, external influences can easily distract them from joy. Mature enlightenment is the ability to be joyful no matter what.

Becoming enlightened requires a willingness to let go of everything you carry that can get in the way of the free flow of who you are. That's the hard part, because much of it masquerades as necessary protections. And maybe  they were at some point. But as you approach enlightenment, you let them go, because all you need is love, as the song goes. Along with some street smarts. You definitely don't need those thick walls you thought were defending you. So it's not the enlightenment that's hard, it's the letting go of the walls and learning how to live without them.

What, then, comes after enlightenment? There's a whole world in need of healing, a planet that has been suffering terribly under the abuse of those who mostly don't know better. You noticed that the first day didn't just involve establishing light, but separating it from darkness--very important. When light and dark aren't separated, people can't tell them apart. "What's wrong," someone might ask, "with dumping waste into the river? It has to go somewhere." The light is mixed in with the darkness. You could say that such a person lacks knowledge of better alternatives that would do less harm and more good. He may not even know what harm he's been causing (and he may not want to know, because what good would it do to know without also knowing a better way?) Those who are enlightened can educate, but, more importantly, help others open to their own light and experience the clarity of separating the light from   the darkness in themselves. It's sometimes called "raising consciousness"--helping people become conscious of more parts of life. A higher consciousness, like taller windows, lets in more light.

Not that there's anything wrong with darkness -- I created that, too. When it's properly separated from light, it becomes Night, the time you dream and create new possibilities, the time your body is re-energized so it can be ready for all the activities of the Day. It's only a problem when light and darkness are all twiddled together.

I can't do it all MySelf. So get enlightened, already, and let's find out together what comes next. What does an enlightened being do? Whatever needs to be done. If the trash needs to be taken out, you take it out. With music in your heart and a bounce in your step.

Becoming enlightened doesn't mean that you're suddenly a know-it-all. No one likes a know-it-all, anyway. Even I don't know it all, although I know a lot. We each have to stay open, because none of us know exactly what the next creation will be like. For example, who knew that humanity would come up with microwave popcorn? It never entered My Mind!

Will you be perfect when you're enlightened? No. And yes. As with all parents, my children are already perfect -- you can do no wrong, as far as I'm concerned. But will you be free of all blind spots and shortcomings? That would put us all out of work.

And next Monday: still more enlightenment. Thank God it's Monday!

Sincerely yours,

Now, 2007
Here, Earth

Shepherd Hoodwin's URL is

David Palter

Dec 17, 2007

This particular divine revelation is as good an explanation of the concept of enlightenment as any that I have seen. Most people expect too much of enlightenment, just as most people also expect too much of God. Deists expect nothing of God, believing that His only function was to create the universe, and that having done so, God is now retired. But Deism is a somewhat obscure religion, not as popular today as it was in the 18th century.