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16+ Language

To be a Permanent God

by Asith

Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

To be a Permanent God

"Author's note: Speculative fiction or secret megalomania? Probably both. I wrote this thing casually, and I hope it reads casually too. I want it to be a fun read, more than anything. But I also hope it's well written? Gah idk, I'm out of practice with writing anyway.

(2,500 words.)"

I was chosen to become a God. I don’t know how, and I certainly don’t know why. I know when; the 21 st century. That’s when I lived as a man. That’s also around the time that I died. I know this because most of my memories of humanity are still intact; I remember the civilization I lived in. But I don’t remember myself. Who I was; my personal identity – all lost in time. But it seems time is truly fickle, for when I was chosen to become a God, time was reset. Humanity was no longer in the 21 st century – they had reverted back to the beginning. This was apparently the cycle of the Gods. Now, I’m here, and I’m doing the cycle differently. I’m writing down what I’ve done simply for myself, for I don’t trust my own memory anymore.

It’s polytheistic, by the way. The universe is polytheistic. The threads of reality are controlled by multiple Gods, who each control their own domain and nothing more. But the strange part is that only one God can drive reality at a time. That’s the key point. Right now, I’m in the driver’s seat – but I’m new. When I died and became a God, they let me choose what my domain would be, but they gave me limits. It was my first time, they said, so I wasn’t allowed anything overly powerful. They would have had me pulled out of humanity simply to become a minor God -- pah. They explained how humanity would be reset, and how I would have my small part to play in the new cycle of humanity. How condescending of them. I knew immediately that I wanted to be far more than a minor God. I would play this game my way – I would lead humanity to far greater things, and I would figure out how to do it no matter what the other Gods thought. I chose to be the God of language. This is everything I did, and will do.

Part 1

Language feels like a fairly minor domain to have control over – it’s why I was even allowed it – but to a God heralding the dawn of a civilization? There was no greater strength. I knew this; it was the beginning of my entire plan.

Before me, the poor humans had no means of communication. I sowed the seeds of their language. With language, I gave them myth; and with myth, I gave them religion. The very first words they spoke were about worshipping me, for they knew very little else. This was my first move – although I was a minor God, I made myself the most important thing in these ancient humans’ lives. I was already heralded as the creator. Why should they know that I was a minor God? I made them believe that I was everything, for I spun it into their sentences. They would speak of me, and no one else.

The gift of language blossomed into communication, teamwork, and eventually, the beginning of a civilization. It was centered around me, as it should have been. They spoke of me fondly and worshipped me whenever they could. I believe that any other Gods watching would have already been displeased by my actions, but that did not matter, for they couldn’t do anything until my turn with reality was finished. I relished this thought. I would become humanity’s greatest God, and no one would be able to stop me.

Perhaps the fact that my knowledge of humanity was still intact gave me an advantage as well – I knew how these people would think, somewhat. I knew that they would want to rally around a single, powerful leader. For as long as I could, I would make sure that that leader was me.

Humanity continued to develop with little interference, at first. I improved their languages when their advancements required it, all whilst making sure that I was at the heart of their beliefs. Centuries passed much faster for me than for them, and I witnessed human history writing itself into existence once again. Civilizations blossomed into entire countries, all with their ruling powers and various important families – but this time, they all worshipped me.

The first problem arose as I approached what would be called “the dark ages” of human history. I began to wonder what exactly would cause the end of my turn with reality. Had the thought taken any longer to present itself, I may have lost my power at this point. Thankfully, I understood the situation quickly – my term as a God would be over when humanity stopped believing in me. It made perfect sense – the entire reason that time and the cycle of Gods had been reset was that, at some point near the end of the 21 st century, everyone had stopped believing in the Gods. A mere human – myself – had been chosen to become a God in hopes that I would be more tied to humanity than ordinary Gods. Now, this situation was fine in theory – humanity worshipped me dutifully – but how long could I last? I knew humanity well enough to understand that, as the civilization grew more intelligent, they would certainly start believing less and less in the Gods, no matter how hard I sowed it into their languages. If I wanted to remain their God forever, I would have to do something drastic.

I observed the current state of humanity. A few royal families controlled most of the populated land, and the peasants were plagued with malnutrition, disease, and ignorance. This was definitely the dark ages – before the age of enlightenment. The age of enlightenment would be the point at which humanity would begin to worship me less dutifully. I could not let them reach the age of enlightenment.

I had intended to move reality differently, but I had not intended on changes as drastic as this. Could I really leave humanity ignorant and suffering just so I could remain a God? Yes, I decided -- at least for the time being. I could help humanity more in the future, but for now, I needed to ensure their belief.

Halting humanity’s development seemed like an impossible task at first – I did not have much direct power as a mere God of language. However, it soon occurred to me that, if language could blossom civilization, then language must also be necessary for the advancement of one. It wasn’t an easy thought – I’d have to take away what I’d given them. I doubt any other God would have willingly removed their mark on humanity, but it was necessary. I wouldn’t remove all of it, of course – they’d still need enough to herald me as a God – but I’d remove enough to keep them in the dark ages. Communication would be stopped; new ideas would not be spread. Originality would die; only my own myths would flutter through their stories. And most importantly, they would not even be able to think of anything new. The very concept of originality could be ripped from their minds if I control their language with enough finesse. It was not merely changing the words they knew; it was altering the way they describe their very reality. It was a control of perception. A God of language has far more power than what it would seem like on the surface – especially one with enough persistence.

Part 2

I had successfully trapped humanity in the dark ages. They all suffered, and prayed to me to end their suffering. Perhaps I could have continued my term endlessly in this way -- removing enough from their linguistic capabilities to keep them trapped in place – but that was not my original plan. I wanted humanity to grow to be better than they had been, and I wanted to be the ultimate God alongside them. I began to ponder a solution.

I first thought of allowing a part of the population to advance while the rest were kept in the dark, but this presented the same issues as before -- eventually, they would get too smart to believe in me. My next thought was far more promising: what if I stopped seeing their intelligence as my undoing, but instead use it as my own weapon? I had the power to control entire civilizations, but couldn’t I, perhaps, control a few individuals? Small groups of people? What if they were allowed intelligence, but only under my ruling fist? I began to see the perfect way forward.

I planned contingencies first, just in case. I made sure to keep all royal families and other ruling powers as deep in the dark-age mentality as I could. As long as they worshipped me and believed that I had given them their place on their thrones, then I could control them, and thus control the entire population through them no matter what happened. I then began the next phase of my plan.

It started out as a mere handful of people, and then enough to form decently-sized teams. Spread around the entire planet, there were more than enough teams to make considerable progress. These people were allowed to reach the age of enlightenment. Being the God of language, I was able to understand the inner machinations of their minds, for all their thoughts were in my language. I picked people based on how intellectual they already were, and also how easy it would be to control them. For many, my powers would directly influence all their actions. Some were allowed to work independently, believing that they were working under royal order. A few, however, would be the ultimate seed to humanity’s progress. I did not merely want to allow humanity to develop as they done previously – I wanted to enhance it ten-fold. I presented myself to those few humans, becoming an existence inside their own minds, controlling that language that one uses when talking to oneself. I told them that I was their God, and even with their enlightened intelligence, they all came to believe me. In fact, they became my most devout followers, for I would now present them with the secrets of the future.

I was unsure what life I had led as a man. However, I certainly had a lot of knowledge still in my memory. It was definitely above-average scientific understanding for a man in the 21 st century; and for a God in this time period? Earth-shattering knowledge. I was turning my selected teams into researchers and scientists and engineers -- my own private researchers and scientists and engineers. The world would not hear of what they do just yet – as the God of language, preventing such communications was child’s-play. They would create the science of the future, with whatever material, in whatever way, under my guidance. I had the foresight of something greater than a God; I was a shortcut in understanding.

I had them make rudimentary antibiotics; disease would be crippled.

We engineered plans for sustainable food and water sources.

Environmental awareness policies were drawn into all our creations.

Efficient travel; unfathomable communication technology; healthier lifestyles; all began their development centuries before they should have done. While we worked in secret, the rest of the world was slowly allowed to advance as well. They left the dark ages behind, and grew into their own. It was then time for the ultimate turning-point.

Part 3

I had collected all the spoils of our science. I secretly held the power of a 21 st century civilization, while I ruled over the middle-ages. This was the perfect time period for the next phase of my plan: the people were still suffering enough to cling to the hope of a brighter future, but developed enough to understand the very power of development. I would now prove my mark on humanity, and make sure it remained there permanently. I would reveal myself to humanity in a way that Gods simply do not do.

I reached into their minds. Once again, I found that inner language that rests inside every head, and I contorted it in order to speak to the entire planet. I told them all who I was. I told them that they need not fear me. I gave them reasons to fear me nonetheless. And then, I unleashed all of the science we had created as if they were my own Godly powers. I cured all the sick and frail; I fed the starving and promised them that they would never go hungry again; I connected the world such that anyone could go anywhere as they pleased; and I made sure that they knew I was the one doing it. As far as humanity was concerned, I had blessed them with a utopia. I had brought them an infinity’s worth of a promised, prosperous future. I told them that I would continue to herald even greater futures to come. Now, they would never stop worshipping me.

The following centuries of my rule carried on without issue. I continued to directly impact their development, and as such, all of civilization heralded me as their leader. They didn’t necessarily call me a God; but they knew I was the best of them, and deservedly, I was their emperor. I stopped asking for prayers – their devotion to me, the beacon to the future, was so deeply ingrained and obvious that I did not need such a display. I was an imprint of the new history. There were records of how I had bestowed humanity with such gifts, and pulled them out of their bleak period – there was no room for doubt. I was not biblical; I was a fact.

Further centuries later, the exponential growth of science was clear. Because of me, and the head-start to science I had granted, humans were well into galactic colonization by the 21 st century. And each planet they inhabited was far more prosperous and peaceful than my Earth had been. I had forgotten most of that Earth, and that civilization, but that didn’t matter, for I now ruled over a much greater one. My plan had been a complete success; I was no minor God, I was the greatest of them all. The human civilization spanned across the universe now, and I was the God of it all. I had used language to play with history. I was an absolute. There was not a shred of resistance or disbelief in all of my empire, for who could defy the beacon to the future? Who would resist when I bring nothing but greater and greater utopias? Who could fight me when I control their knowledge and prosperity? Who would fucking dare? I wasn’t the God of language; I was monarch of the cosmos. Emperor of the universe! God of all of humanity, and everything that civilization ever touches. I would live atop humanity for infinity, just as I had done for all their history. I was a permanent God, and no other God would ever need to be present. I would own reality forever, and even after that.

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896 Reviews

Points: 29795
Reviews: 896

Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:34 pm
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alliyah wrote a review...

Hey there Asith! I'm finally here to review! This review is brought to you by the RevMo Checklist Challenge - I'm just now getting around to reviewing the pieces I had promised to - sorry for the delay, thank you for your patience!

First off, I think this is definitely an interesting thought-experiment piece; you'll absolutely find people who become offended by it because it engages with the divine - but I'll take it as fiction, and your author's note should really be enough. To help curb some reader's who feel this piece is a strike to their piety I strongly advise that you don't capitalize "god". "God" for many refers only to their religion's god, and no other, it is the English written form for a name which should not be respected or even really speculated about. If you lower-cased the word, rather than it being a name for a single-god, it becomes a noun that you can more comfortably throw around as you choose. While I don't mind reading about other theoretical or imagined "gods" or Greek mythology, or other religious deities, I have an immediate visceral dislike for the casual use of the word or name "God" in any context - so I really recommend changing the capitalization unless you're trying to be shocking or uncomfortable with the piece.

I planned contingencies first, just in case. I made sure to keep all royal families and other ruling powers as deep in the dark-age mentality as I could. As long as they worshipped me and believed that I had given them their place on their thrones, then I could control them, and thus control the entire population through them no matter what happened.
- what a horrible thought! It's like the opposite of divine-right, because the god seems to be using for the people's oppression somehow. By this section the god does not seem like a very sympathetic character because they're so into tricking people and the other gods - it ends up feeling manipulative. The reason religion's normally like an all-powerful god is because the god gives them something; either peace, grace, eternal-life, or maybe even earthly fruit - or alternatively because the people fear the god's wrath - I think you should explore those motivations a bit more. If I knew there was a creator, but didn't know anything about their mercy, morals, or connection to me beyond creation and existence, I'd be pretty satisfied to just ignore them.
Now on to the content itself - I like the mysterious set-up in the premise and the world-defining that makes the speaker feel kind of casual but powerful. This line, "I’m writing down what I’ve done simply for myself, for I don’t trust my own memory anymore." made me really curious of the god's limitations in part one.

It was my first time, they said, so I wasn’t allowed anything overly powerful.
- I'd love a bit more world-building or world-revealing here - is there like a sky/heaven-bound council that advises new gods? How do they converse? What do they look like? It's interesting that some gods feel they have the power to limit the newer god.

In part one I like your explanation of how language created connection between the god and humankind - it's true that our devotion is certainly tied to what we are able to express! I can't imagine a time when human's couldn't speak - so it might be interesting to portray that even a bit too; how language is tied up into our humanity.

but this time, they all worshipped me.
- (there is one "p" in worshiped) - this sentence confused me, was there a time when they worshiped other gods? were there civilizations before this one?

It was definitely above-average scientific understanding for a man in the 21 st century
- "21 st" should be "21st" or even better; "twenty-first".

I would reveal myself to humanity in a way that Gods simply do not do.
- this confused me, because wasn't the god already pretty much revealed to them?

I was not biblical; I was a fact.
- this is a bizarre statement. "Biblical" doesn't mean mythic; just like there's the "Holy Bible" or "The Bible of Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping" generally to be "biblical" isn't something that makes sense to be contrasted with fact - it's jut like a "large scale written work of helpful information".

And each planet they inhabited was far more prosperous and peaceful than my Earth had been.
- I don't think you quite show us how the people got to this place; based on their monarch system I would think there'd still be in-fighting between the groups.

Overall, this reminded me a bit of Nietsche's "Zarathustra" - a mythic little philosophical piece that isn't meant to be give truth to how creation actually exists, but gives insight into humanity's inter-workings and morals. The only issue, is that the god is so corrupt and power hungry, but still ends up succeeding, so I'm not sure what the moral of the story is except to be loyal to monarchs because perhaps they rule for a reason, and to be greedy with power ourselves, because that is the basis of societal advancement. I really question what the intended impact of the piece is for this; which I think as a more philosophical piece, should really be a primary concern.

The piece isn't super interesting as just a narrative, if I don't take it to be a work of philosophy to be honest. I think the narrative style could be improved with a more sympathetic humanity or reasonable motivations for the god - if we could hear his backstory more, or see what makes him want so much to be all powerful, I think the piece could become more disturbing and interesting. But as is, it's hard to have much sympathy for either humanity or the god in how they're described here.

The piece has good logical flow and language choices, and there weren't too many spelling/grammar issues as well.

Let me know if you had any questions about my interpretation or review!

- alliyah

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13 Reviews

Points: 1224
Reviews: 13

Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:59 am
JazenKnight wrote a review...

.I feel like this would be better suited as a novel, honestly. I picked up so many underlying philosphical impliments, and so many parts that could be expanded on.
.I think you need to show. This just seems to be a whole bunch of telling. Which didn't make this an entertaining read for me.
.I mentioned that some things could be expanded on-I'll mention one thing-his using science and ''healing'' humanitys ailments. That is cliched. You should find a way to make it more origional.
I want to see more of this, so please write a continuation.
Keep writing,

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
— Abraham Heschel