Irrelevant thoughts: The Armchair Gods

Some friends of mine asked me to bow and give ear to the armchair gods. They described the deep wisdom that could pour forth from these entities, stories of places never seen and times never experienced, things that could answer the questions of what my purpose is and how things really are.

Glancing around me, I saw so many in awe of these entities, these superb beings with seemingly intricate knowledge of the birth of stars and suns, our place in our galaxy and in the universe. And who wouldn’t be? It was believed that they or those of their kind had created many wonderful things for us lesser beings. Through their kind, we can fly through the air, shoot off into space, speak to each other much further than simple airwaves can reach. Who wouldn’t be amazed at such beings?

Yes, there were skeptics of these armchair gods, but they were just branded as irrational creatures, too bound to other notions and other gods to appreciate the sublime knowledge given by these divinities who grace the armchair, who write in high languages of mathematics and strange terminologies.

So I gave ear to the armchair entities and observed their pictures and stories and graphic re-tellings of the history of us all and how they had gazed into suns and stars and seen the supernovas. I heard and at first I marvelled. And then I thought to myself, “just who are these armchair gods? How do they know all these? Were they universe-creators? Were they interstellar beings who could traverse space and time to behold these marvels of creation? Were their essences totally different to ours? Had they exceeded our human limitations to peak into the outer limits of reality?”

I had committed the greatest blasphemy by questioning the nature of these beings. And with foolhardy bravery, I dared gaze at their forms.

Was I burnt to a crisp? Did their splendor cause me to be stricken with blindness, madness, or – dare I say it – death?

But just like any lowly peasant who is thrown into the court of a king expecting to see divine splendor to only be confronted with flesh just like his own, I saw humanity. I saw a rabble, and heard louder voices in the rabble. I saw the arguments and contradiction over details and their unyielding faith in the stories of old. I saw the faces of these gods as if I had seen my own. And I wasn’t impressed. I wasn’t in awe. I wasn’t amazed.

I listened again to their stories of time before. And I just saw myself, the limits of my own kind. These “gods,” they’re stuck here with me, trapped in the here, frozen in the now. They had not stepped above creation and looked down to point out what was what. They were stuck inside the bottle with me. Their natures hadn’t ascended to perceive times past that we could not see. They had thrown stones together and counted the clicks and found a system to systematize the clicks, so they had a uniform system of nonsense. But they were still stuck in the now with me. They had not peeked behind creation’s curtains to see the secrets of the universe. They had simply taken an overdose of the ego pill and let mental fantasies impose themselves on the unseen realities, unseen histories, unseen distances, all of which remained that: unseen. They had played the games of logic in the limits of themselves, found a group of similar minds, and claimed that the universe could be mapped in their scribbles. And all I saw were scribbles, scribbles of the mental games that they had played. All I saw were scribbles.

So I became “the irrational”, the skeptic, the heretic. And those who were my friends branded me as such. My eyes didn’t shine with awe, but were dim with distrust. My ears didn’t tingle with the reception of oracles poured forth from the lips of these entities, but felt cold and still as if hearing the mutterings of mad ghosts, driven insane, convinced they were alive. Beneath the glorious tapestries of their prophecies and utterances of occult histories and unseen worlds, I saw a mire, a quicksand, composed of the graves of former armchair “gods,” buried alongside their speculations and theories, each having claimed to be better than the ones before, and each dead like the one before.

For all their gusto, for all their popularity, for all their wondrous stories, for all the insults that had come my way due to my atheism with regards to these gods, I understood one thing when it came to people spouting their grand claims as it they were truth:

They were full of crap!

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