Divinity

I rule the world. The words I utter are commands, and the masses beneath me are contracted to obey them. But my dominion, they tell me, is false. I am no ruler. I am but a voice through which a higher power speaks, indirectly and from the beginning of all creation. I am not even the corporeal viceroy. I am a whole cosmos beneath the power, a cosmos that belongs in its entirety to another. The hierarchy that exists within is as nothing to the lord above. All temporality is flat and even when viewed from heaven, they say.

I reject their lies. I am a God, in any true sense.

What is the mark of divinity? Let us consider the church’s falsehoods. By their terms, a god is defined by absolutes, by infinitudes. Absolute knowledge, absolute presence, absolute capability, absolute love. Well enough, for a different reality, one exempt from the tensions of compromise. Not so for our existence. The very fabric of our universe is impermanent and imperfect. Nothing absolute can be woven from such thread. Everything ends, and perfection is just as fleeting. I, a god, will die, just as the gods before me have passed into nothing. Leave this talk of absolutes to the mathematicians and theologians. Let them theorise their own perfect objects, if it comforts them. The true deities will still be here. We populate this tarnished, entropic world just as you do.

A god is not absolute. It is not infinite, or axiomatic. These ideas are but the fantasies of expansive minds. A god is merely that which we cannot stop. It is not exempt or apart from the anomalies and infelicities of the universe, from its mysteries. It is their exact manifestation. It is death and birth, war and love. It is the sun, the moon and the stars. It is the ocean, the sky and the land. It is storm, calamity, thought and fortune. Anything that is greater than us, that operates far beyond our consent and understanding, anything that cannot be fully gripped by mortal minds or fully conquered by mortal hands. These things are gods. So it has always been, and so it always will be.

And what of myself?  It is true that I am but flesh and blood. I will not claim that each human is a divinity unto themselves. Each is inscrutable, it is true, but this is nothing more than an artefact of the universal imperfection that I have described. Communication and comprehension will always fail us, to one extent or another. But a god must be further beyond our grasp than the thoughts and deeds of fellow humans. Not even the most hardened of solipsists would refute this. I was born human, and if I were the last of our breed left alive, I would be human again. I am a god because of the power that is embodied in each word I speak and each action I take. It is hierarchy, law, politics, currency. I am the state, and the state is a pantheon of forces that we cannot stop. Their origins may lie in human minds and deeds, but they are far beyond us now. They have become gods, and I have become them.

The Son of Man, 1946 by Rene Magritte

The End

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