I’ve suspected for a long time that the world is too big a responsibility for a single deity to handle. On the other hand, I’m generally a One God kind of guy. I’ve decided that the way to reconcile these beliefs is with a multiple-incarnations pantheon. All deities eventually run into a single entity, like streams joining rivers and running out into the ocean. As of around 1:30 this afternoon, my favorite example is the weather in the San Francisco Bay Area. How is it that the weather can be foggy in the Sunset district, sunny downtown, windy but clear crossing the Golden Gate and in the Marin headlands, cold, wet and foggy another mile or two north on the Pacific side and sunny in Sausalito? I think that there are a lot of weather gods operating in the Bay Area and they don’t bother to coordinate when they’re deciding what to do.
The way the incarnations work is that if the single entity at the top decides something’s important, that entity will incarnate as a tremendously powerful being that can handle it. It’s not that the main entity can’t – it’s that it’s a little bit too much dissipation of focus to be pleasant. That second-tier being then incarnates as various middle-management types to cover different aspects of the job, and they then incarnate as other, smaller entities which have the ability to incarnate as gremlins, spirits, etc. If something’s relatively small but seems to have a distinct personality, it probably has its own. Older computers, my Volvo, probably the BQE and each of the bridges out of Manhattan all have small to midsized beings responsible for them.
Different beings, of course, have different personalities. The weather gods responsible for Lake Tahoe are kind of like very talented stoners. When they put their minds to it, they can make an amazing season. But, fairly often, no storms will hit until fairly late, or rainstorms will come a little earlier in the spring than we might, perhaps, desire. I suppose if a mere mortal were to call the weather gods on these inconsistencies, they’d say something along the lines of, “Sorry dude. Forgot.”
The traffic gods, on the other hand, are pretty vindictive. They demand blood sacrifice. I think they also have some hand in parking tickets. It takes an evil force to give me two in the space of forty minutes.