Thursday, 5 September 2013

God's Daughter

It is argued that there is some evidence for lost prehistoric civilizations. Imagine that some of them had lasted as long as our recorded history. That implies entire lost languages, literatures, cities, technologies, myths, maybe alleged revelations? World religions as different from Christianity and Buddhism as they are from each other? (My best guess at that is a Goddess-worship in which popular polytheism coexisted with philosophical monism.)

In "The Longest Voyage," Poul Anderson imagines human beings isolated on another planet long enough to confuse the Fall from Paradise with their own fall from the heavens, to come to believe that God's Daughter had been born among them, to write scriptures and to regard a more recent visitor from the interstellar civilization as a Messenger or prophet.

Although this fictitious scenario is set in the future rather than in the past, it is an attempt to imagine the outcome of millennia of independent development for a human population. We recognize popular superstition, power politics and exploration although all the details are different.

The Montalirians, who pray to God's Daughter, regard the Hisagazi, who "...worship two sorts of gods, watery and fiery..." as "...pagans..." (p. 109).

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