Tuesday, 6 December 2016
"A man had to take whatever the gods offered him, and they were a miserly lot."
-Poul Anderson, "Brave To Be A King" IN Anderson, Time Patrol (Riverdale, NY, 2006), pp. 55-112 AT p. 74.
Two differences between Everard and van Rijn:
van Rijn refers to saints, not to gods;
Everard, of course, does not believe that any of these superior beings literally exist.
However, it is a natural way to think, especially when Everard has time traveled to ancient Persia where gods were part of life. But we still do it now, projecting concepts applicable to psychology and society onto nature and the cosmos:
I complain that life was not designed better, forgetting that I do not believe that it was designed;
I spontaneously address the One as "Lord," although my philosophy tells me that It, or (to use a Hindu term) THAT, cannot be a person;
looking at it from the other direction, I imagine that few people who travel with a St Christopher medal believe that the story of Christopher carrying Christ carrying the world is literally true - it is a good story about travel and that is all that matters.
Gods and some saints are good stories or, in Alan Moore's phrase, "higher fictions." Thor has made a good transition from altars and prayers to comic books and films. On this note, I will shortly post my personal list of the three top gods.