Growing Souls

My friend Jim Price has an unusual prose style which he uses to clothe unusual ideas. He sent me this little piece which I liked well enough to ask if I might post it.

Growing Souls

The gods are in basic agreement on only one point: That Earth in the field of time was meant for growing Souls, because Souls are necessary for the expanding consciousness of Universe.

So, in a sense, the gods are farmers.  Some elder gods have suggested that they too are being farmed.  The notion of what they might blossom into and become is beyond their reckoning.

So the gods do what they know how to do, or what they think they know how to do: grow Souls from the seeds of human consciousness.

“That’s all we really are,” one of the Elders proclaimed in the Hall of the gods.  Hall of the gods is a misleading metaphor.  A Hall is a structure of shared attention.  Perhaps better to say that the message was projected successfully across the entire gods-space. “We are, basically, farmers for God.”

“We’re not farmers.  We’re fishers, fishers of men.” Then there was a pause.  “And women, it should go without saying, but if we have to say it…”

“Speak for yourselves, we’re the Angelic Host.”

“We call ourselves the loose confederation of Oversouls for the seeding of sainthood.”

“Sainthood?  How grand!  We’re a tightly knit band of gods for Goodness without encouraging unnecessary morality.”

“We’re a separate and struggling identification of millions of fledgling gods still figuring out the connectedness of consciousness.  Did we just say that in Unison, or did we unconsciously elect a spokes-god.  Would someone please try to clarify just exactly how we are meant to coalesce as a group?”

“No can do, can do, can do…” returned a response in near infinite echo, like in a valley of Universe so grand that echo could last nearly forever.

There are lots of individual gods, as well as lose federations of gods who all possess autonomy.  But no matter how they identify, they are all basically farmers, farming the myriad of physical existence in order to grow and ripen Souls.  It’s harder to do than it sounds, and there is no consensus on what is the best method to accomplish this God given task.

The gods don’t have names, because theoretically they are an interconnected whole.  But even the most lowly to the eldest on high know that they do not act as though they are connected.  Sometimes quite the opposite.  They have complete latitude to farm in whatever manner suits their nature or desired outcomes.

For there is much prestige in bringing the fragmented potentials of soul into the maturity of Soul.  It’s like growing diamonds from coal.  And gods are given a great deal of latitude in their methods of production.  They are, after all, gods.

At this point the Narrative is requesting a sort of disclaimer.  Make that disclaimers (plural).  The Narrative does not wish to be sued by the Devil or by the Confuser of Tongues.


Disclaimer #1: The gods do not like being called the gods.

“Stop calling us the gods!” Typical response, the way they can choose to interrupt the Narrative, even in the midst of a disclaimer.  But they really are gods, in the sense that that possess and transmit the creative energies of physical existence.

“Gods is misleading!” The Narrative has no idea who just said that, for the gods can communicate anonymously.  So the narrative can’t just say, “Gods is misleading!” said Zeus (or Odin…).  That would be even more misleading, because we tend to project human characteristics onto the gods.  But when you ask them what they want to be called, you can’t achieve agreement, or even a straight answer.

“Just don’t call us late for sunset.”

“How about Organized Transcendence?”

“Yeah, OT for short.  It could also stand for Over Time.  Like, humans are the game and we are in overtime.  Or, we are over time, like, on top of time.”

“If you have to explain it…”

“We’re just staying with the OT theme.”

“Otherworld Theologies.”

“Overseeing Two-leggeds.”

“You’re giving yourself away, you must be one of those two-legged favoring gods.”

“It takes one to know one.”

“OK, we’ve been known to sport a couple of legs on occasion. But never without accompanying wings or an extra head or set of arms.”

“Legs as fashion.  Is that what you do between moments?” 

“Orgasm Tea.”

“Absurd.  Where are these words coming from?  Which humans in what neighborhoods have you been hanging out with?”

“Orgasm Tea is an exciting brew, but not all that helpful in describing us to humans, or any other two-leggeds for that matter.  Words are always going to invoke a personal meaning, something unique to each of them.  So we’re afraid the humans are going to have to work it out on their own what it is they want to call us.”

The Narrative rests its case.  The gods do not like being called the gods because humans have no collective idea what that means.  It’s a bit of a catch, since it appears the gods do not either.


Disclaimer #2: The gods are flawed.

That’s right, the gods are not perfect, although it is not possible to describe those imperfections in terms of projected human imperfection.  They don’t lust after our women, or have jealousy over which god is voted by humans as “most popular god” or “god of the year.” They aren’t conniving for our affection and worship.  As was already mentioned, they are busy trying to grow Souls.

Anyone who thinks gods are perfect just has not read their mythology.


Disclaimer #3: The gods are not unified.

By definition, they are connected, but that does not make them unified.  Because the gods are actually Gestalts of fledgling and fully realized Souls already grown, gods can sometimes appear to be just a bit schizophrenic.  Not in a crazy sense.  But they do sometimes seem to hallucinate reality beyond their conscious control.  In other words, some gods believe in one thing while others something slightly different, and these differences have their effects on individuals in human reality.  The basic fabric of reality itself, when you get right down to it.  And they appear to talk to themselves when consensus of unification is not strong.

“Do not.”

“Yes we do.”


Disclaimer #4: Calling them Souls is potentially misleading.

            The following riddle was left at the doorstep:


            Reflected light always visits the nurseries of children.

            The Light has an adopted name, the child’s spirit name,

            The name she will always respond to in her dreams.

            This Light will illumine many paths,

            But if the Light is not examined through a gemstone,

If the Light cannot express itself as a crystal,

If no path is followed all the way to rainbow’s end,

The Light will set with the Sun into darkness,

            Waiting for the dawn of another birth.


Disclaimer #5: The Narrative is flawed.

That’s why it’s called fiction.

The gods will not sit still long enough to tell their collective story.  They will not sit around an infinitely large round table and wait until the Narrative distills their collective thoughts.  You cannot bribe their cooperation for tea and cookies like you can Santa Claus.  Not even for orgasm tea, whatever that is.

Every narration passes through a muse, or a hierarchy of muses, and lands in the imagination, tugging at thoughts to bring birth to a story.  If lucky, a narration will connect with a single muse, a storyteller or informant.  Without a second collaborating source, it is difficult to determine reliability.


This Narrative would like to appear as more or less omnipotent, being that it is apparently quoting gods.  But in fact, it is driven by one particular muse who calls herself Deep Thought, after the Deep Throat informant in Watergate.  Apparently she has warmed to the idea of this level of veiled revelation.  Deep Thought may well be a god in muse clothing.

“I cannot reveal my true identity,” she informs.  “There are consequences for going outside the system.”

So it can be assumed that all quotations have been and will be channeled through her, whoever she may be, although the Narrative makes a secret claim that it may have additional sources.  (“The system does provide channels for knowledge, albeit obscure and riddled responses on the more controversial subjects such as soul farming. The system is cautious not to provide information that may be misunderstood or misused by humans. Prometheus.”)

“Maybe it’s time the system became more transparent, communicated more freely with humans.”  No doubt uttered by a fledgling god.

“Bull manure and raccoon scat.”   Must be an Elder, but not so old that it has forgotten about scat.  Or, maybe it was speaking down (to the level of the fledgling).  Gods speaking with other gods.  The Narrative assumes they are not thin skinned. The Narrative assumes they probably don’t have skin.

“Soul making is important to the gods, and we are more than willing to provide the circumstance for humans and other intelligent creatures to mature their Souls.  But there are reasons why we do not communicate every aspect of our motivation and agenda. We mean, do humans tell their dogs they are taking them to the vet?  They might not tell them even if they could, because their dogs would not jump so eagerly into their cars.  For sake of salt water and the quirks of quarks, let’s have gods speaking with gods, and let The Intermediaries work out what is communicated to humans.”

“We thought we were The Intermediaries.”

You see, it’s Deep Thought who gathers these conversations and makes them coherent for sake of the Narrative.

“If you allow every atom its say,

We’ll be here forever and a day.”

Bad attempt at poetry.  Must be from a fledgling god.  Perhaps an effort to show solidarity.

“What I want to tell you,” Deep Thought suddenly states directly, perhaps because there is an opening due to disagreement,

“What I’ve been waiting for this very moment to share, before the agents of distortion turn me into a passing glitter, is that the gods employ an almost shocking variety of methods in their Soul making.  Some gods treat their seeds and fledgling shoots like well loved children, or creations of art, giving them every opportunity for growth, and nurturing them through difficulties. Other gods can be a little careless, allowing a surplus of seed to be spread.  The result is that some of the seed is bound to grow, and some will be left to rot.  And still others are selective in their treatment, using short term strategies like metaphoric fertilizer that maximize a few Souls for the moment, but deplete future potential.  They forget process in favor of short-term outcome.”

The Narrative decides to speak for the first time.  “Are you telling me that careless or selective methods of Soul farming by some undefined number of gods is one potential source of human suffering?” Perhaps engaging in conversation was not wise.  Conversation is not at issue, it may be timing.  At this point, the Narrative is mesmerized by an over stimulation of images, having joined not just a single conversation, but the conversations of gods.  It may be that the Narrative has inadvertently entered the Hall of the gods. 

“Just what do you think you are up to Deep Thought?” The Narrative has lost control over its own narration.  Deep Thought has become transparent, although her identity is still a Mystery to the Narrative.

“I’m just tending rainbows and hiding a leprechaun’s pot of gold.”

“You were about to reveal hidden aspects of the relationship between humans and their gods, revelations that some gods are not even aware of.”

“I’m just a muse of light and color, dropping riddles from the sky.”

“Time to come home.”

And Deep Thought was gone, leaving a wall where the veil was verging on transparency, where she had hoped to provide fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Was Deep Thought trying to lead humans back into the Garden?  Perhaps a table could be set and a meal could be shared, without it needing to be the body and the blood.  The Narrative believes that the variety of fruits in the Garden is endless, and that humans should yearn to share the succulence.


The Narrative has been unable to reach Deep Thought for further comment.  When you are a Narrative, essentially an offspring of Human and Muse, the gods of your ongoing story, you have to wonder what will happen when the gods attend to other business, when the gods go silent.  On its own, the Narrative has struggled to prepare its final question.

“What happens when the gods love Universe, that is to say- God, with a greater intensity than the soul seedlings under their care, struggling to take root?”

No answer.  Perhaps it is no longer the question. How can the Narrative blame the gods for attending to their own growth, for loving the Creator more than the Created?  How do the created take responsibility for their own growth?

“Heliotropism, plants reaching out for the light of the sun.”  A new voice. “The longing to bask in brightness.” There is always potential for a new voice.

Another question, another muse.

Another muse, another Story.

The Narrative is nearing its end, wondering if it will drop out of connection when its maker is done growing it.  What will happen when the last period has been struck? 

Only the gods will know for certain how much Light it will hold.

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