Limits of Mythology

Originally Posted June 30 2016

I think one of the major qualms I have with most mythologies (fictional and real) is that they usually depict gods as simply powerful humans.

What do I mean by powerful humans? I mean that they will have powers that defy logic or understanding, or human ability, yet in the end they are either indifferent on humans, trying to support them though have a temper, or will try to manipulate humans to their own will.

If a human were to be given the powers of these gods but still remain with the heart of a human, they would still be human. Power is a mighty tool, but not a reason to bow down or worship someone.

If I was armed with a butter knife and found out my opponent came with a tank, yes I would submit and do what they wanted. But my heart? My heart would still be looking for a way to overthrow them. This is why, I think, atheism and agnostic beliefs are so popular in fantasy stories. Because who would actually want to worship and follow such beings? They’re more like spoiled toddlers wielding assault cannons than gods!

But in a way it makes sense. It is considered a law of reality that something is incapable of producing or understanding something equal or greater than itself. Think about how much we still don’t understand about the human body or brain in spite of millennia of study. So it makes sense that a human’s picture of a god would be a human capable of things they were not.

For a god to be truly worshiped however, it has to be something beyond human… Not simply powers beyond human, but a heart beyond human as well.

Such a being is impossible to consistently make up unless you were told by something outside how it should act. Believe me, as a writer I see even my most ideal characters painted with the personality of who I am.

It’s reasons would be simple and clearly stated, yet also hard for us to understand as they would be so unlike anything we could imagine. It would tell us to live ways that seem to go against our understanding of how the world works, yet their paths would line up straighter than even our own instincts.

Though that being said, such a being would be impossible to accurately make up and write, as in order for there to be a being who is great enough to be worshiped, it would have to be something greater and wiser than you. You cannot search greater wisdom through your own wisdom. Wisdom is not gained that way. You can organize your thoughts and draw conclusions which feels like wisdom, but that wisdom still comes from things and interactions outside of yourself.

To see such a god written about therefore would be very hard to take lest it had some truth to it…

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