Archaeologists discovered the opening lines tp God's autobiography of his missing years, and the entries are quite telling.

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Archaeologists recently discovered “God, The Official Autobiography of The Missing Years” etched into a smooth patch of Arizona cliff-side with a scrupulous and lush hand. The handwriting was none other than that of the Deity, who decided in some antique moment to record his earliest recollections. Here then are the opening lines of God’s autobiography:

First Memory

My genuine earliest memory is the awakening of my senses all at once. I saw blackness. I smelled burning orbs. I tasted the honeycombed luxury of my tongue. I felt the delicate surface of my being. I heard a vast stillness. My interior life commenced with my sensual arousal. And by interior life I mean my intellectual life.

First Thought

My first thought, so far as memory permits, was as follows. I thought taste supersedes smell, smell supersedes touch, touch supersedes vision, and vision supersedes hearing. I have since reevaluated these in almost reverse order.

First Word

I was immediately aware that I was using words to think these thoughts, though the origins of words in me are as mysterious to me as my coming to be. The first word I recall saying aloud was GOSTOSO. How I was able to utilize the Portuguese word for TASTY I’ll never know. My facility with language is inscrutable, even to me. Note too that the language you are reading me in right now is not my first.

First Smell

My next thought concerned the scent of what I now know was burning hydrogen, helium, chromium, and iron. It is odd that I did not think of the names of those chemicals at the time; perhaps I did not know the words, in any language. My thought, however, was that the aroma (a word I made up like some Stratford lad) was altogether stiffening, spine straightening, but not unpleasant to me in the least. Subsequent thoughts were further mental commentaries on my baby-like sensuality.


Touch, I thought, could amuse me forever.

First Sight

Sight lacked variety, of course, with all that blackness. But the grainy, circular all-encompassing darkness imparted its own philosophy to me, one of merriment and of (here’s an old word I coined) glee. I thought that that word actually mimicked the feeling I had upon seeing black. After black, I saw the blushing effect of my babbling initial vocalization, which made, or made for, the entire jaw-dropping spectrum of color. I’ll explain this shortly.

First Sound

Concerning the sense of hearing, I thought that it’s possible to hear even without sound, for the sound of silence is in fact sound. I then heard another sound: a noise, something louder, melodic, smoother, more mesmeric and consoling than the acoustical silence I was listening to. What was it?  It didn’t yet have the ring of familiarity. What was it? It was my own voice saying the word GOSTOSO. There was an echoing of that utterance and my immediate thought was that I had produced some alteration by the act of talking, as if a word spoken by me had caused other things to exist. (Things is my coinage too.) Without gesture, without facial expression, without movement, without much in the way of intonation, in other words, without those important ingredients that propel most communicable expression, a word from me changed it all.

A Deed With No Name

And so it was. This is exactly how all the dizzy universes came to be. Such was the unbidden ability of the word GOSTOSO  in my mouth. Accidentally kicking over a bucket of mud and calling the drippings creation would be a misuse of the term creation. Likewise, creation is too lofty a word to describe the coming to be of things on my account. (I did not invent the word creation; it’s not my type of word.My act was not even strictly creative. If the coming into being of things must be named, perhaps mishap would better serve, or fluke. But I prefer no word at all. It was a deed without a name.

Take It All Back

These are my earliest memories. These are my earliest thoughts. And as thought became speech and speech became things, these are my earliest productive activities. It seems only yesterday. I would take it back if I could: take back the moment, relive it, revive it, and keep it to myself, immerse it within my interior life, my solitary confinement, without need to speak of it, without the accident of production, without the universes, without the helium and the hydrogen and the chromium and the iron, without the colors, and even without you, you sharp-sighted mortal hominid. I could do without. But I cannot take it back. I cannot go back. I can wish, but I own no potion to make it so.


The leap ahead to my next available memory may very well be an eon (or two). EON. Now that’s a word I remember inventing with effort. Eon, to my ear, like glee before it, was onomatopoeia: it sounded like the thing it referred to. When pronounced slowly, eon sounded to me like time elapsing. And it took me so very very long to think up that word. And it took me so very very long to say it.

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J. H. McKenna (Ph.D.) has taught the history of religion since 1999 at the University of California, where he has won teaching awards. He has published in academic journals and the LA Times, Huffington...