Embrace the Tropes Part 3

This is slowly turning into a really good article series that I’m very interested in continuing. I hope you all are enjoying it, too. For today’s article I’m going to focus on the trope that I’ve pretty much built my whole book around. It’s my third favorite, but don’t let that fool you.

For today’s trope, we are going to discuss: God is Flawed.

Being the firm and devout Christian believe that I am (though I will confess I’ve yet to step foot into a church… being a Navy brat and having life uprooted every three years deprives you of a few luxuries)… But still being a devout Christian believer, I believe in an all-powerful supreme being that is perfect, merciful, but still very judgmental. I must strive to fit in His image every waking moment of my life.

But, even as a child in middle school I found this philosophy downright taxing, but I won’t get into that here. I’ve already talked about what feelings eventually evolved into (stay flawed, remember?). So, the moment I came across the Greek and Roman mythologies the idea that there were hundreds of pagan Gods that were very much not perfect was astounding.

I have always been attracted to these old mythos. I love the idea of a God that is just as pathetically normal as me. I don’t need to fit some image. I’m already in that image. And let’s be quite blunt about it: most of the heroes of the old mythos had better values than those Gods that they served.

The old mythos still do the same thing. They teach a concept known to the Greeks as sophrosyne. Walking the middle line between “hubris” and “complacency”. From stories such as Icarus and his ill-fated wings from flying too high, to even Athena vs Arachne in a weaving competition.

Stories that follow this trope are so far and few and in between. It is perhaps one of the things that has even appealed to me for my favorite writer David Eddings. He, too, portrayed his Gods as wise and all-powerful, but still so human – and quite likable for the most part.

In my own story I am very careful to never use the word God – that’s not what my pantheon is created around. However, they are all very human. I believe in the concept that we should strive to be the best that we can be at all times. We must always strive to attain the higher ground, turn the other cheek, etc. But at the end of the day I still want it recognized that for all of my effort I am still me, and I am still human. It’s just fun to think that sometimes Gods can be human, too.

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