On the Nature of Deity: Round Table Discussion
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I can't believe I spelled Pi wrong in my previous post! *face palm* I ripped and roared a little bit too much over the weekend. But still -- pie? What was I thinking about? Hmmmm. I wonder....
When I was in college at JHU, my paleontology professor said that in 30 million years, California will be an island off the coast of Alaska. That's how active the tectonic plates are around the Pacific Rim. And from both satellite and ground, we can see what a seismic shift can do to a landmass.
Let's cut to the chase. What deity do we blame for this restless Earth? It's events like what just happened in Japan that made my beloved dad an agnostic at best, and mostly an atheist.
Think about it for a minute. If we presuppose that deities have our welfare as Their primary concern, how could any one (or group) of Them created such a wackadoo of a planet?
This seemed like a question to put to the bored gods, so I sent out requests for a round table discussion. Needless to say, Yahweh is a no-show (although He was invited). In His place we have the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Also joining us this evening are some deities with Underworld experience. Please give a warm, wonderful, "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Tepeyollotl, Umvelinqangi, and Eresshkigal! (Sacred to the ancient Aztecs, Zulus, and Mesopotamians, in that order.)
Anne: Welcome, O mighty deities! Here are some fine offerings of pecan Pi for you! And no, don't eat the Spaghetti. He's one of You!
Eresshkigal: When people start worshiping noodles, it's time to throw up your hands.
Tepeyollotl: Or just throw up.
Anne: Now, now, bored deities! At present there are growing numbers of Flying Spaghetti Monster devotees, while Your own praise and worship teams have languished to the point that You are called ...
Eresshkigal: Don't you DARE say the "m" word!
(All, including FSM): WE ARE NOT MYTHS!
Anne: Hey, did I say You were? Chillax! Remember where You are! This is "The Gods Are Bored." We never use the "m" word here, except to point out that any deity can become a "myth" if His or Her (or Their) praise and worship team dies out or becomes the victim of a hostile takeover. No, today's essential question is the philosophical one that has bedeviled the human race since the beginning of time: What sort of deity creates a haphazard world where bad things happen to good people, and really, really bad things happen completely at random? Please explain to me why the Koch brothers are more worthy than the poor Japanese and their children who just got mortally smacked down.
Umvelinqangi: Any deity can answer that for you, Anne. You are not to question the ways of the gods.
Anne: Yes, I've heard that one. But what I want to know is, why? Who's accountable here? Who created this fragile, fickle planet and then set us adrift on it...
FSM: You're drifting on it now, but the dinosaurs had it first.
Anne: Whoa! I didn't know you could talk, Noodly Master!
FSM: I'm just trying it out. Not sure I want to make it a permanent part of the playlist. I keep putting my feet in my mouth.
Eresshkigal: That wouldn't be a good idea if you were hungry, Sticky String God.
Anne: Back to the essential question. Which deity is responsible for the faulty nature of the planet's geology? Seems to me like any half-decent deity could create a planet that wouldn't stir up so many disasters. Is there anything too difficult for a deity to do? Or do You just not particularly care about humans?
Tepeyollotl: The trouble starts when people give us praise for all the great things that happen, and then ask us not to do any mean things. We don't roll like that. We're on a totally different plane of existence.
Anne: Okay, so You don't care what happens to us humans, and You screwed up the plumbing in the Earth-moving machinery.
Tepeyollotl: No, it's not like that at all. The ones who are screwing up are you people.
Anne: Yeah, right. Like we created the tectonic plates! Oh please.
FSM: Maybe the Earth just happened. You know, like chemistry and physics reactions taking place over time.
Anne: Well, then, where do the deities enter the picture?
Eresshkigal: We entered it when you began to experience the levels of perception. Trouble is, you're not very good at it yet, so you graft all these human traits onto Us. Blame Us when things go wrong. Praise Us when things go right. It's not that simple.
Anne: I never did think it was simple as Pi.
Umvelinqangi: Give up the Pi puns, Anne. We all get it. You were tired and working without your glasses.
Anne: So, Great Ones, are You only in it for the good times, and You step back during the dark hours? Or do You pick us up and carry us, like that sappy Yahweh story that gets sent in chain emails?
Tepeyollotl: None of the above. We operate in a different reality entirely. The universe is far more complicated than humans can imagine. Even your computers don't get it, and they probably never will. That being said, I wonder if I could take a piece of Pi for the road. It's a long way back to Mexico.
Anne: Oh, yes, please ... all of you help yourselves! I know that humans have a history of making "offerings" and then sneaking off to eat or drink them behind the altar. But I'm watching my girlish figure just now. The Pi is all yours.
FSM: No thanks on the Pi, but could I roll in a little of that Calabrian olive oil you bought at the Italian market?
Anne: It's pretty expensive stuff, Noodly Master.
FSM (whiny): But I'm a God!
Anne: So You are, but You're still working Your way up the ladder. Crisco will be just fine for You.
FSM: I'm offended.
Anne: No you aren't. You exist on an entirely different plane of perception, where no offense is given or taken. (To the other deities) I've got that right, don't I?
Eresshkigal: As close to right as you're going to get, Anne. By the way, if you put a little bit more vanilla in this Pi filling, it will be better.
Anne: Advice from the Goddess! I am blessed.
Labels: interview with a god