Sunday, April 7, 2013



It is an epithet that means thundering, and it is not just that the sky father thunders during the storm, but that he is a warrior, a destroyer, and a defender of his divine rights. The thunderbolt, you see, is also called the weapon of Zeus, a weapon with which he slew dragons, Titans, and giants. A weapon with which he was said to punish those who stood against him.

But, when you are a God, what does it actually mean to stand against you?

We human beings tend to think of Gods as people. we often ascribe to them very human features, motivations, and even appearances, yet to know a God is to come to the realization that they are not human beings, not even slightly, and so one must also come to the realization that what we may perceive as their motivations, their will, may actually just be our own projections. Our own expectations reflecting back on us.

But myth is often also a reflection, not just of our own hopes and dreams, but of something else, the experiences of man with the divine. When man creates myths, he does not do so simply out of his imagination, but out of having experienced something that he cannot readily explain, or as a result of experiencing what he feels is a direct answer to a prayer or a hope. So, when we refer to the warrior Zeus, the one who launches his weapon at his enemies, we are reminded that Zeus has, in the past, responded to the pleadings of men. Whether that response was literal or perceived is matter of faith, and we must each decide whether to accept these myths as being proper interpretation of divine action or simple legend.

But one thing is clear, the myths, in spite of their contradictory natures, imply that the Gods do, from time to time, act in our best interest. Oh, they don't necessarily take sides in our wars, or football teams, or any of the other myriad things we humans seem to think the Gods do, but in times of great peril, they do grant strength and fortitude to those who have within them the potential for greatness, whether they are individual or entire cultures, so that in the end, they add to the sum of us all. And certainly that is something to be ever grateful for.

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