Saturday, August 12, 2006

I write Creation myths when I'm bored.

Just like everybody else does, I suppose.


It is entirely incorrect to begin this tale, this remembrance, with "in the beginning," for it was not the beginning. A beginning, certainly- but not the beginning. There is no "the" beginning, anymore than there is a starting point of an orbit.

So, in the beginning of this tale, everywhere -and everywhen- was in one place. This one place was the Seed, the Source of all energy, matter and time to come.
And then there was the Creator. An intelligence perhaps of the Seed, perhaps external of it- perhaps both.
The Creator nourished the Seed and caused it sprout. The Creator unstopped the Source, and let the universe spill out. The Creator took the raw essence of reality and spun the threads of Space and Time, then wove the together, forming the warp and woof of all that is.

With the foundation laid, the Creator fragmented.
Score upon score of new, if lesser, intellects formed from the fragments, and these spread into the vastness to continue the Work. These entities were the Starfounders, the Worldsmiths. And once the heavenly bodies were wrought, and set in their endless dance through the great night, the Worldsmiths fragmented, just as their Creator had.

The next generation becomes more complicated.
This generation gave rise to the Lifebringers. The Lifebringers tinkered with chemistry and energy and conspired with circumstance to make something more from base components.
And where possible, Life blossomed. Where ideal, it flourished.

At the same time, the Custodians formed. These beings gave themselves back to the cosmos, reinforcing the careful chaos laid out by their predecessors. The Custodians ensure the growth rate of the great endeavor, monitor the onset of entropy, and generally keep rocks on their curved paths through space.

This third generation also allowed for the realization of the Elementals. Earth, Air, Water; 'Energy' would be more correct than 'Fire', but nevertheless. Also Slood, where appropriate. Things to be shaped, warded and embodied.

And because all things were set in motion, this generation did not splinter and spawn- did not need to give of itself to propel the rise of successors.
Time passed, and worlds turned and stars burned. The Lifebringers spent untold ages coaxing their charges through evolutionary process, the Custodians shepherded their rocks along the solar winds and the Elementals settled into their primal niches.
More time passed, and the universe found it's stride. Functions once meticulously watched over became automatic, became natural, and the grandchildren of the Creator... dwindled.
They merged with the purposes they once warded, and their energies bled away, unspent.

Some- Elemental, Custodian and Lifebringer alike, devolved- became degenerate. What had once been pure and primal intelligence became personality, and the Titans arose.
Their memory of brotherhood and purpose eroded and the Titans did what personalities do, soon or late- they clashed.
At first, these contests were almost animal, with tooth and claw and power the Titans struggled, rending the earth, boiling the seas and burning the sky.
In time, they for more entertainment in pitting proxies against one and other. Man, newly risen from the ape, and other races on other worlds.
So much more fun, so much more cost effective to make mortals slaughter each other in the name of their Titan masters.
Unknown to the Titans that ruled them, these mortal minds would be their undoing.

The mythology of the Greeks of Earth -among others- held that the Gods were the children of the Titans and that they rose against their parents and took man under their sometimes dubious protection.
The Greek belief, like all myths -even this one- was not entirely correct.

As Man emerged from the dark of the cave, and laid the foundations of civilization, he dreamed. He imagined, longed to create something bigger than himself, to belong to something larger than his tribe. In the perpetual nightmare of the Titan wars, Man needed something to look forward to, something better beyond the horizon.
The raw energy that had bled and trickled away from the third generation began to coalesce, to accrete around these longings. Through hope and.. wishful thinking, Man unwittingly created the Gods to carry him to this new era.

And so began the last Titan War.
The gods were ephemeral things at first- vague and unformed.
As time passed and they proved themselves to their creators, belief firmed and so did the gods.
Pantheons formed as Man's belief defined and shaped roles for the gods. New duties and responsibilities were assigned as Man grew and changed.

It has often been pointed out by theologians and laymen alike that the gods seem inconsistent, contrary, capricious and sometimes downright crazy. Countless theories have offered, countless arguments started and innumerable hands smacked with rulers over these observations.
The truth is simple- the gods were creatures designed by unwitting committee.
They are the spawn of a racial hope, a sort of collective subconscious dream of something bigger, something better.
Following their ancestry and the nature they were given, the gods, in their own way, turned on their creators. They demanded worship, and sacrifice and fealty. They developed grudges and rivalries amongst themselves only slightly less vicious than those of the Titans.

Eventually, Man's counterstroke was beyond effective.
Man developed religion in accordance with the gods' demands, but then shackled the gods with Dogma.
Dogma allowed the belief and faith of the masses to be channeled in such a way as to rob the gods of their power, their very nourishment, and thus, their influence over the world.
And in the fullness of time, the gods became figureheads; no more than the idols that they railed against in earlier days.

So the gods have dwindled to whispers on the desert wind, or remain barred in their heavens, just as they helped Man chain the Titans beneath the earth and the wave.
Prophets have come and gone, sometimes changing the nature of 'their' god's imprisonment, but never breaking it.