I am always melancholy around my birthday. Perhaps it comes from edging ever closer to forty, but my thoughts inevitably turn to darker things as October rolls around. This year I am doubly troubled, as my natural nihilism has led me down a very dark path indeed. It is common knowledge that I hail from deeply agnostic stock, and my recent work with spirits such as Lilith has left me questioning just what a universe inhabited by such beautiful and terrifying entities actually means for us as a species. Even better, all that is required to follow me fall is to ask yourselves the same questions.
First, what is the one overriding belief that unites the majority of humanity, even in these more sceptical times where science and religion both claim to know better than the average man in the street? Second, which small slice of acquired knowledge makes us feel safe as we huddle before these ersatz altars and wait for our prayers to be heard? Finally, can you name the lie at the core of almost every belief system currently employed on the planet today, including the new age and left hand path narratives?
The answers can come in many forms, but all will inevitably relate to the human need to see ourselves as in some way special. Mankind is hardwired to feel marked for greatness, shepherded home by far more powerful beings who continually watch over us as we grow to maturity in some nebulous universal hierarchy. Magickians eternally strive to either regain a divine nature denied to them by the cruel hand of history or secure union with an all encompassing deity who will happily make their existential angst go away. Yet if such romanticised ideas were proven wrong could you live in a world where the totality of your experience actually meant nothing at all?
If you disappeared tomorrow the many and varied gods you work with on a regular basis would just move on to another human vessel without missing a beat. The same goes for the shades of the dead which you spent so long bringing onside and even all the tulpas you have created too. We mean nothing to these entities, other than a passing distraction during mind numbingly boring unlives that last many centuries longer than our own. They are so far beyond us that we are little better than pets, and as everybody knows any dog is easy enough to replace once the original is buried under the oak tree in your back garden.
Look at the somewhat sensationalised work of John Keel. He expressed constant befuddlement at the motives of creatures who coupled abilities straight out of Greek mythology with the mentality of YouTubers running a second rate prank channel. If even half of his claims were true then surely a species as important to the universal plan as we believe ourselves to be warrants a far more meaningful first contact than men in black suits drinking Jell-O and stealing ball point pens. Yet that is what we get, and I think I am starting to understand why. Unfortunately the revelation is far from pleasant, though I have never been one to shy away from uncomfortable truths.
The spirits we worship, regardless of how devious or powerful they seem to be, are just as lost in all this as we are. There is no grand plan at play, just boredom and instinct, on their part as well as ours. Some have hinted that the universe at a quantum level reacts like the thoughts of some vast, chaotic mind. This is seen by many as a sleeping god dreaming quietly of all that ever was and ever will be. But while it is exciting to see things in such a pseudoscientific context, we again must ask ourselves what humanity could ever bring to the party to make this slumbering Goliath wake up and take notice of our presence anyway.
It is far healthier to accept that we are but an accident of creation, and to face the fact that the various entities which we run across in our daily lives lack any real interest in us other than as a way to pay the bills. As we seek to use them, they do the same in return. The bottom line is that while we may be unique, we are far from special. Ours is a rudderless existence wherein the relationships we create to distract us become the only things that actually matter. In a reactive universe where the human imagination may well have birthed such spirits in the first place, should we even blame them for seeking attention elsewhere after we are gone?