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gods and immortals discourse

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Lakshmi explaining Sociology of Divinity to Kaeli


Lakshmi:  Your dogged bleating about the rightful freedom of these pathetic mortals betray a willful naivete on your part.


Kaeli:  Perhaps, but it is not up to us to determine their nature, even if we have the advantage of wisdom on our side. Mortals need space to develop their own society, on their terms, whatever that may be. 


Lakshmi:  After a few thousands of years, you'll agree that society is an incompetent idea. Such valorization of the individual as a romantic hero will lead you to the realization that society submerges the individual into the social. Moreover, there are other experiences that the idea of society does not account for: the mystic, the aesthetic, the psychological, the moral, so on and so forth. An intelligible theory of society? of brief blips, easily forgotten? No such thing. 


Kaeli:  You settle for conclusions rotted after centuries of failure and resignation.


Lakshmi:  Wisdom is wasted on the young. The forms as experiences are reflections of mortal experience. Perhaps these forms are causal in dictating and guiding culture. Then again, forms reflect through contents the idealization of an individual life. Therein lies the contradiction between cause and effect, and the impossibility of a sociology of mortals. Life is fluid, whereas forms are provisionally frozen logical concepts. And the history of mortals you are proud of must be about change between the contesting forms, contesting experiences that reflect mortal existence. That is why all mortal culture consists of remainders, vestiges of brief identifiable moments of order. 


Kaeli:  A lot of talk that parades your exhaustion with mortals as justification for exploitation. That all forms of mortal culture leave behind remainders or vestiges betrays your weakness for fatalism. I on the other hand, see that same exhaustion of form as the triumph of existence over form. Mortals are free to express themselves in all cultural manifestations.  Yes, they are also free to worship you, just not on your terms. 

Nameless sage: To be chosen... but nothing predestined us of this condition. We tried to control history, in order to escape & exceed it, but we sunk even deeper into it. Lost all chance of ever rising to metaphysics or sacred destiny, we foundered in a magnificent, yet futile drama, without enigma or enlightenment, one which, leaving the politician & philosopher indifferent, interests only the historian.

Whosoever chooses time is absorbed by it & buries his originality within. One is chosen, one becomes so - neither by purpose nor by edict.

Our penchant for utopia is merely a vague memory projected into the future - a vestige converted into an idea. But it’s our fate - as we aspire to paradise - to create dystopias.

Cartaphilus: Despair is deeper than doubt. That is why kaeli suffers worse than than I do.

Thoth: If death was the only absolute that couldn't be doubted, then doubting immortals like us are paradoxical.

Cartaphilus: Yet we're not truly tragic because doubt is far less intense than despair. Through despair, Kaeli suffers more intensely than I do with my doubt.

Thoth: Abstract doubt involves only a part of ourselves and occurs more often....

Cartaphilus: Despair on the other hand involves completely and comes from the deepest well. The most serious form of doubt hardly begin to touch the intensity of despair..

Thoth: Skepticism is for the superficial & dilettante. We smile contemptuously at everything but we will continue to eat, sleep and breed without giving it a second thought.

Cartaphilus:For Kaeli, whose depth cannot be understood by anyone, except those who also despair. Any act requires tremendous effort. Sleep is no longer a right. Her despair doesn't allow the tragedy to be forgotten, for she will always remember the painful actuality of subjective torment.

Thoth: Doubt is nothing but discomfort about problems and objects, and it comes from the fact that big questions are not answered. Once they are, we return to normal.

Cartaphilus: Despair is indifferent to problems, even if they're solved, for Kaeli

Cartaphilus: How do you determine something has become decadent?

Thumos: With an excess of moral judgment and an exaggerated, romantic estimation of the past.

Cartaphilus: [smile] Not everything can be solved psychologically. Perhaps the more objective answer is where new ideas come from. If they are imported from somewhere else, then that city, nation, world has begun to sink into decadence.

Thumos: I would distinguish between decadent and decadence. One is a judgment, and the other, an age.

Cartaphilus: Because of its stagnation, Teotihuacan is flooded with transplanted doctrines.

Thumos: You may have a point. Rome declined once it began to import foreign ideas.

Cartaphilus: Teotihuacan can no longer create new religions or uphold its decaying mythologies...

Kaeli: You're only trying to pervert my hopes.

Iz'rael: No. Fate will take care of that. We are all always proceeding from one forfeiture to the next.

Kaeli: Why should I listen to you?

Iz'rael: When I was young, I had the elder gods to initiate me. They helped me disengage from my illusions. Without them I would never endure the centuries. By imposing their bitterness, they prepared me for my own.

Kaeli: Great. Wisdom as a bitter pill.

Iz'rael: We gods were exceedingly ambitious and ready to conquer. But only failure awaited us....