Contrary to most modern thought,
and according to many modern thinkers contrary even to any thought,
God speaks quite often.
As a matter of fact, God is always talking.
A regular divine chatterbox.
Annoys the hell out of anyone who listens—
which, of course, is the point.
Not being annoyed, you understand,
but getting rid of any vestiges of hell.
And when you stop to think about it, being annoyed
is rather a small price to pay for that.
A ceaseless murmuring is characteristic of all the gods.
And those who speak for the gods:
seers, oracles and prophets are annoyed people
(they can’t not hear their god—think about that!).
Not coincidentally, you may have noticed,
they’re usually annoying people.
It’s due process: their god annoys them,
and they subsequently annoy us.
Again, not that annoying is the point
(though you might argue that with regards to
some of the more capricious deities,
and, for that matter, some of the more obnoxious
seers, oracles and prophets)
usually it’s not that annoying is the point,
unfortunately it’s just the most easily perceived
and the most often reacted against.
The incessant speaking of the gods is indicative
of a deep, divine desire—
a matter of the gods profoundly wanting someone to do something—
anyone to do, well, not anything, but specifically one thing—
wanting you to live like it matters
that there’s a god you believe in—
to live as though it makes a difference
that you choose to live as this god would have you live.
So, naturally, once a god is claimed by an individual,
that god takes it upon herself to hone her conversation
in on that particular individual—
to consistently point out where her desires
for the life of that individual and the actual living
of that individual coincide and where there are discrepancies—
a constant prodding, praising, exhorting, challenging, chiding …
annoying, eh? … all the time.
It’s a remarkable refrain.
Gods of all sorts: “Live like this. Notice this. Do this.”
Gods of every proclivity—every disposition
in an astoundingly harmonious
(given all the diverse proclivities and dispositions)
a truly astoundingly harmonious chorus:
“Hey! Hey you! Live like this.”
It’s an open air market with the gods loudly hawking themselves—
all distinctions—important distinctions—extreme differences—
blending into one noise:
“Hey! Hey you! Get to know me! Live like I want you to!”
And it’s easy to begin thinking it’s a buyer’s market.
It’s easy for mortals to lose sight
of the significance of their relationship with the gods—
easy to lose respect for those you perceive to need you to believe in them—
easy to get to thinking that the gods need us
more than we need the gods.
And so gods have been devalued,
and most people acquire or develop a volume control
whereby they acknowledge a god but don’t have to listen all the time,
or, a mute button, so they can have an appearance
completely unrelated to whatever is said.
Others change channels—
not realizing that there is an equally strident god for each channel—
not realizing that the one option we absolutely don’t have
as human creatures, is to be godless—
surfing the divine hosts.
The worst thing people do, however,
is to become so accustomed to the voice of a god,
so familiar to what a god says,
that they take the god for granted—
take what the god says for granted.
And they don’t need a volume control or a mute or a remote control.
In the most real sense they hear but don’t hear.
Not that any of this is an incomprehensible reaction.
It does take a phenomenal amount of energy
to listen, to hear, and to respond all the time.
Such an intense focus on the present—
such a focused way of living, is exhausting.
It’s how children live.
Maybe it’s why we grow up and get old.
Maybe it’s why we’re mortal—
all of us having to tune out our god to some degree or another.
Comprehensible or not, justifiable or not, it is, without a doubt,
the very worst possible response to a god.
It is the destruction of relationship
in the apparent affirmation of that relationship.
It is the killing of the god
within the apparent celebration of that god now dying.
“My child, my children, why have you forsaken me?”
We downsize God to fit our perspectives
seemingly unaware that there exists a fixed ratio—
that the smaller we force our god to be,
the smaller we ourselves become.
And we have to to some extent, admittedly,
Know what it is you’re doing. Know that worshippers are more guilty of doing damage—
of distorting the gods than any other group of people by far.
This, of course, is the flip side of the most profound affirmation religion makes.
When contemplating the possible,
a committed yes is a word of great power—
capable of altering what is—
of transforming that into what can be.
Never a word to be spoken lightly—
to be uttered without careful consideration of the consequences.
And common magic.
Nothing arcane about it.
Nothing removed from the everyday life of anyone.
Integral, in fact, to the everyday life of most everyone. Hence oft overlooked—taken for granted—even mocked.
Yet this deep magic so frequently rejected
is the cornerstone of any new reality.
Hey! Hey you. Say yes—to me …
to me … to me … to me … to me … to me … to me ….