D E U S , R E D A C T U S
*Approx.: "God(s) on a napkin"
from the Latin (as per Plexus):
'DEUS' -- or 'Theos' (anc.Gr.) (see: 'Teddy')
'REDACTUS' -- meaning 'a duck with fingers'
(trad. served au jus, hence: 'napkin')
(human, contemplating tomorrow's lunch)
Actually, at first it was mostly re-act.
We built, argued, made love, feasted, fought. Action!
We became operators. And then co-operators.
This required verbs.
Most of us felt powerless. Alone. Like Eddie here.
So we invented Others. We declared them to "be".
And we felt a powerful sense of community with all who Believed.
So we wouldn't feel so powerless. (Or alone.)
We scratched and chipped and painted and carved
so we could see who we were dealing with.
Some were, frankly, provocative.
(Gilda's husband, inevitably, was incensed with Frank.)
Some were simple. Others complex.
But our Gods were fickle.
We tried to get their attention. Make them like us.
We tried to explain the Gods.
Some guys got rich explaining the Gods.
Still, the floods came. Plus war, pestilence, death.
We made up stories about heroes who defied the Gods.
Some of us thought we WERE God. Or close kin.
This didn't go over so well.
Later -- too late, actually -- people decided
this one guy really was God, partly.
They yelled at the sky that it was all just a big mistake.
He didn't answer, because he was dead.
So they declared him NOT dead.
We looked inwards. Some of us found something worthwhile.
But it wasn't God.
A guy named Augustine, a real party animal,
gave it all up one day and moved to the desert.
Later he confessed:
"I'm nobody if God isn't in here with me."
So a lot of people started to think they were nobodies.
In the middle ages the mirror was invented. Hey, look! Me!
(Before this we used polished bronze shields. Kinda blurry.)
Coincidentally, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment
and the Age of Reason happened.
A fellow named Descartes looked inside
and decided he thought he just was.
He thought our senses, feelings and religions
were not very reliable proofs of anything.
So he thought: I am.
Baruch "Benny" Spinoza read Descartes and said
"hey, maybe God is so powerful and beautiful and so, just, well,
that he doesn't even need to exist."
This fooled nobody. But people got to thinking:
maybe lightning is just...lightning.
Maybe we can figure this out on our own.
And we did.
We started asking: How does it go?
We did, we figured things out.
Knowing stuff was fun!
We competed to know even more.
A guy named Jefferson re-constituted these ideas, made it a plan.
We still felt lonely. Sad. And scared.
We kept believing in Gods and angels,
and all the fantastic imaginary Others:
devils, ghosts, vampires, gremlins, fairies, zombies.
In fact we invented more stories than ever.
God became a character.
(Is this God with an apple?
Zeus with a pomengranate?
Santa Claus with a cookie?)
Just another idea to know about or believe in.
Some of us stopped believing.
This left us without a community.
Communities help, during the hard times.
And there are always hard times.
TV, malls, and sports franchises all help. Sort of.
Helping helps. Because if we are all alone, it's up to us, right?
Because we decided to ask how?,
and do things for ourselves
-- and each other --
we now have libraries and electronic books
and votes and education,
and the arts and sciences.
And the internet!
Now we are truly in the Beginning...
(don't get your burkahs in a twist. It's really my sock.)