Sunday, May 3, 2009

You gotta believe

What if it was real?
What if the most fantastic things that mankind has ever dreamt were real? Gods, dragons, monsters... what if they existed... but only as long as people believed in them?
Neil Gaiman talks about this in American Gods, which I'm reading for the second time.
I think his angle gets boiled down to this: stories have power. When enough stories, enough passion, enough belief grows about something, it becomes mythic. It has a power of its own. It becomes real in a way. He takes it a little further and says that all the totems, idols and statues of deities, well, the people who worshipped them weren't primitive or crazy. Their belief created the gods. But the gods, supernatural powers that they were, were still dependent on the lowly mortals who worshipped them.
So what happens when a god goes out of vogue? When's the last time you met a worshiper of Anubis, Egyptian God of the dead, or Queztacoatl, Aztec god of the skies? That's sort of what the book is about - what happens to the washed up ones, and the new ones that take their place? I'm not even talking about religious figures any more. What's a more modern thing that we sacrifice our time, our possessions and ourselves to? How about TV? Or fame? Or money?
Love it....

No comments: