Saturday, 29 June 2013
"The Divine Is With Us"
In Poul Anderson's The Game Of Empire (IN Flandry's Legacy, New York, 2012), the sense of living in troubled times reaches a crescendo when the radio blares that:
"...Admiral Sir Olaf Magnusson had bowed to the unanimous appeal of his valiant legionaries..." (etc) (p. 261)
The insurrection is under way. The transmission ends:
"'Stand by. The Divine, in whatever form It manifests Itself to you, the Divine is with us.'" (ibid.)
Imagine people on and between two planets, some in uniform and armed with blasters, hearing that message. The appeal to an impersonal Divine is an attempt to calm and reassure as many as possible. How does the Divine manifest Itself to Patricians? Magnusson himself is a Neosufi, contemplating the All and aspects of the Divine. Targovi, a pagan, refers to Javak the Fireplayer. Axor, visiting the system, is a Jerusalem Catholic.
An even more ecumenical appeal would have been, "The Eternal, in whatever form you conceive it, is with us." That would include those who conceive ultimate reality as Emptiness or who say, "Nothing is eternal but eternally moving, eternally changing matter and the laws by which it eternally moves and changes..."