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  1. #1
    looking for coffee redhead's Avatar
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    Deification = thin ice? (possible spoilers)

    depending on how far you have read into this series, this thread may contain spoilers. don't say you weren't warned!

    of the many emotional paths Gemquest has sent me down, the heaviest one for me was that of deification. over the generations, the peoples of the earth have deified the Lalas. purposely, or not (and i don't think it matters), they have come to see The First Lalas as a major god. "firstspeed", "may the first be with you", etc. with no evidence of any other religions, this seems to be it for them.

    which is totally fine.

    but the Lalas are not gods. that their wants and needs coincide with those of earthlings is coincidence. and when they don't coincide? sure, a character could say "they must have done this for a reason, right???". it has been ingrained into these people that the Lalas care about them, care about their well-being. The earthlings have come to expect certain things from the Lalas, and when those things don't happen, it may be crushing.

    they have deified someone/something that isn't interested in being worshipped, isn't interested in answering prayers, may not be interested in doing things humans expect gods to do. the people will feel the deepest kind of betrayal, the deepest felt "how dare you?" when their supposed gods never agreed to help them in any way, in the first place.

    within the Gemquest world, and outside of it, how could a society possibly survive something like this? what would it do to a society that did survive it?

    ****************

    and Gary, you've handled this is such an amazingly gentle and subtle way. i fear (i've gotten really attached to some of them!!)for the pain i know many characters will have to go through to get through this crucible. sure, i'm able to view it in a "for a rebirth, there must be pain" type of way, but i still fear for them.

  2. #2
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    I fear for them too. Trust me on that! Because in so many ways, 'they' are me.


    Betrayal is a terrible feeling. But if you set yourself up to be betrayed by choosing to believe in things that don't believe in you, who's to blame really?

    The world has gone through many twilights. Yet we survive still. We go on to find meaning in other areas. Our need to find meaning above and beyond the immediate, the family, creativity etc leads us into areas rife with disappointment and false hopes. And still we need to believe in something it seems. So we create gods who care about us and have agendas that parallel our own.

    Why would God care about me? Why would any being, divine or otherwise, care about me? We have reasons to create gods for ourselves, but what reasons do gods have for creating us?

    What reasons? And what if they didn't create us? What if they don't care about us? What if there is no meaning above and beyond the small circle of our own lives? Is that so terrible? Could we learn to live with this? What choice have we anyway?

  3. #3
    Where's Tonto zorobnice's Avatar
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    I agree here with Gary. Many people elevate other things/people/gods that never wanted to and do not wish to be placed in that position. The first thought that comes to me is my father, I idolised him for many years, there was nothing he could not do , when he died it crushed me, but one gets up and carries on. It did help me to realise how easily we put faith in things/people/gods so that there is not just "ME".


    May the Force be with you

  4. #4
    looking for coffee redhead's Avatar
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    Gary Wassner said:
    But if you set yourself up to be betrayed by choosing to believe in things that don't believe in you, who's to blame really?
    the easy answer is, the person is the blame, because they set themselves up to be dissapointed. the hard answer is that it's hard to fight against generations upon generations of comforting tradition.

    And what if they didn't create us? What if they don't care about us? What if there is no meaning above and beyond the small circle of our own lives? Is that so terrible? Could we learn to live with this?
    i personally, feel that it isn't so terrible. i can learn to live with it, and do not fear it. however, thinking of different friends of mine, and family members, i know some of them would either have a very tough time with it, or simply wouldn't be able to accept it under any circumstances. they would not be able to (or would choose not to) fight against generations upon generations of comforting tradition and belief.

    Zorobnice said:
    The first thought that comes to me is my father, I idolised him for many years, there was nothing he could not do , when he died it crushed me, but one gets up and carries on. It did help me to realise how easily we put faith in things/people/gods so that there is not just "ME".
    i think all children idolize a parent or other caring adult to some extent or another (i know i did, many times!). i have been very lucky, and have lost very few of these special people. i ran into a phrase, years ago, something a long the lines of "adulthood is when you realize your parents are mortal".

  5. #5
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I think the Lalas are the most interesting aspect of Gary's series. First, they are interesting in and of themselves as a concept. Second, Gary's characters spend a great deal of time discussing right and wrong (sometimes a little too much time perhaps ) and so it is fascinating to have something that is clearly suppose to be out and out right, and is tied at the most fundamental level with the fate of the whole world, and have it end up being more complex than that. It has shades of Old Testament situations -- a god doing nasty things that may or may not be for the good of man. Everybody is sort of groping around for answers in Gary's books, which makes for very interesting dramatic situations.

  6. #6
    bmalone.blogspot.com BrianC's Avatar
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    Hmm, this is a very interesting interpretation of the Lalas. I'll have to think about this as I progress in the series. Thanks redhead!

  7. #7
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    We choose our gods. They don't choose us.

  8. #8
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Oooh, it's a clue!

  9. #9
    looking for coffee redhead's Avatar
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    We choose our gods. They don't choose us.
    Oooh, it's a clue!
    to the book? or to real life?



    ahhh. to both. deep down, it's the same.

  10. #10
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    I haven't posted much on this thread. I've hesitated for a number of reasons. I'm writing the fifth and final book of the series now and this theme, as you can imagine, is primary.

    When our gods die, do we ressurect them in other forms? Or do we learn to live without them? Can we find meaning in a godless world? Many who suffer the crisis of a loss of faith, are faced with the struggle of discovering a reason to live once again. Who would suffer the most from such a loss? Who would feel the most pain? Those who believe the strongest. And yet who suffers the most in my books? What does that mean? Is it evil to feel a deprivation of meaning? NO. If there is no meaning, there is no evil. How can we call someone guilty if there is no crime?

    Without God, right and wrong become variations on the same theme. Everything has to be re-valued. We can reconcile the betrayals of our gods. They weren't gods to begin with. We elevated them. We gave them the power over us. So what replaces them? Another reason. The dialectic of human history.

  11. #11
    Where's Tonto zorobnice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner View Post
    When our gods die, do we ressurect them in other forms? Or do we learn to live without them? Can we find meaning in a godless world? Many who suffer the crisis of a loss of faith, are faced with the struggle of discovering a reason to live once again. Who would suffer the most from such a loss? Who would feel the most pain? Those who believe the strongest. And yet who suffers the most in my books? What does that mean? Is it evil to feel a deprivation of meaning? NO. If there is no meaning, there is no evil. How can we call someone guilty if there is no crime?
    Some people's identity is so tied up in their beliefs that if they did find out their god was dead or was a phallacy, it would crush them, they would have to re-identify themselves, which is easier said than done.

    I had another thought, and it runs concurrent with the thread. Do some people not deify so that they are not the last ones in the row when it comes to responsibilities, they can blame the deification. Does their deification not give them reason to absolve themselves or others. Does their deification not become a way of creating meaning in their own lives??
    Last edited by zorobnice; February 15th, 2007 at 02:50 AM.

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