Friday, August 24, 2012

"Q" With A View

If you're a Star Trek fan ( and I'll admit that I am only at best marginal ) you've probably seen at least one episode of the many spin-off TV series with the bombastic character "Q" played by actor John de Lancie. He is a synergistic character, an individual member of a race of omnipotent beings which together form the "Q Continuum". They live in a dimension all their own and seemingly exist to meddle in the affairs of humans or whom ever else might be inhabiting the Universe. They expect humans to know they posses superior intelligence and paranormal powers, and if de Lancie's Q  character is any indication of the attitude of the rest of them, they hold us mere mortals in contempt for our lack of  recognition and validating their greatness.[]

In other words, they sound like typical Deity to me.  Ho-hum, Humans, we are bored.

I find the character of  Q particularly interesting from a theological angle. If Q represents our concept of a god-like being, then how, exactly are we humans viewed by the gods? Are we viewed as a sort of  blight on Planet Earth by a species far advanced beyond our wildest dreams? Are we merely tolerated?  Do the gods just allow us to exist for entertainment? Is our evolution an experiment in growth potential? Are we valued as an emergent creation to be nurtured during our time of discovering our potential. Are we merely mortal-or fully equal?

It's not much of a theological jump from the Q to the gods of, say, Olympus. Each god and goddess had assigned duties or "aspects".[] Individual deity were prayed to or worshiped depending on what the devotee desired. A relationship or patron-ship developed between human and god, and the human depended on the superior knowledge of the god to help them through their lives. Many of these groups of Deity exist, depending on location and pantheon, but all have similar duties or favors. We know from our experience what these patrons mean to us, but still, there is the question of what Mankind-the Human Species, et al- mean to the gods? A quick Internet search will usually yield nothing other than the Judeo-Christian definition of Mankind being made in G-d's image from the book of Genesis, followed by the story of the Fall from Grace. That leaves us yet to wonder...What is our relationship with the gods of antiquity?

The word deity derives from the Latin deus (male) and dea ( female); the related words divine and divinity (divum), roughly translates to "open sky" or "heaven". The Sanskrit word deva also reflects this definition " shining ones". also cites the words "heavenly" and "celestial" included in its definition of divine. The gods are believe by humans to be supernatural beings of superior intelligence and power to our own. Some believe humans were created by the gods, some hold to the belief that humans and gods are co-creators in earthy matters, and others define them as archetypes (C.G.Jung). The worship of deity is largely a religious and spiritual matter: the belief in one singular omnipresent god (monotheism), many gods (polytheism) or the divine in all things (animism) are all valid forms of belief. Many earth-centered religions take an animistic view ( as do many Native Americans) of the spirit alive and living in everything that exists, not just humans and animals. In addition, demigods, the combination of gods and humans, are also recognized through many religious traditions, and some houses of royalty claim their rulers to be such.  However, the majority of religions believe their gods and goddesses to be sovereign and dwell in places inaccessible to humans, such as other worlds, celestial, subterranean and supernatural. Most are thought to be invisible forces which interact with humans through rituals. Others are manifest in the physical forms of men ( such as the Dali Lama) or animals.

Basic monotheistic Christianity believes that G-d is a single personification with Trinitarian  aspects of the Holy Spirit and the Son. Various Christian sects ( Christian Scientists and Gnostic Christians, for example) deviate from that by believing that G-d is both male and female ( Father/Mother God). Others believe that the three members of the Trinity to be equal in standing; of these groups, a small amount name the Holy Spirit as a 'female' aspect along with the two males who hold slightly higher power. Polytheistic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and neo-Paganism believe in many concepts of the Divine, in forms not only limited to gods, but as spirits and Elementals.[].The most popular belief among religious traditions is anthropomorphism, that the gods are personified with human traits. In religion and mythology, it  refers to the perception of a divine being  in human form, or the human qualities in the gods.[]

The closest I can come to answering the question posed regarding our relationship to the gods is this: we exist to give life to each other. Humans need the personification of a higher power on which to project their fears and adoration. The gods need humans to provide veneration to justify their existence. Again, we dance on the edge of the sword.


  1. Interesting thoughts. You'd probably like the stage play "So You Die A Little". It's about a man who dies and end up in what looks like an office building, where God, Satan and all the angels are working, and he finds out that Earth is actually a celestial real estate venture and humans are viewed as an infestation.

  2. I like it-it sounds different. I'll check my French's catalog and see if the script's available. Thanks!

  3. Just wanted pop in and let you know that I nominated you for 3 blog awards. I may not comment a lot but I always read your posts!

  4. I don't remember if I gave you the place to go for the nomination



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