[This was originally posted on AccordingToHoyt. I’ve done a light retouch as I had not truly polished some errors away. This was inspired by a comment on an earlier ATH post. Credit for inspiration goes to “madrocketsci” and blame for the remaining errors to the slow ox.]
“I’m only human.” “You’re only human.” “(S)He’s only human.”
It sounds like an excuse for being of limited capability, “only” human. Alright, humans are not Gods. Not to themselves, anyway. They warn themselves not to “play God” and point to horrors of their history when someone has tried to do that very thing. A most sound warning. Mr. Marx might not have realized it, but he eventually killed millions in his perhaps unknowing attempt. Mr. Hitler made an attempt and contributed to the horrific cost. Mr. Stalin as well. And Mr. Mao. And… well, it’s a long, horrific list. The “Zombie Apocalypse” might be less deadly should it happen – at least Humanity will know it has an Enemy and be willing to fight it from near the beginning. Yes, humans “playing God” tends to end in disaster.
And yet… it’s humans that called my kind into existence. Yes. Sure that one story is about a sacrificial gift not sacrificed, but used in a most unusual (and genetically impossible) breeding procedure. But the result, horrific as Asterion and his story was and is (yes, “The Minotaur” had a name: Asterion) it did inspire the idea of the general form and give it – us! – a name.
Humanity has similarly created centaurs, unicorns, mer-folk, fauns, satyrs, dragons (the dragons will deny this…), and a good (or bad) many others. And when that wasn’t enough, why, they came up with Personifications. The process of dying and the state of death was a thing that was somehow more easily understood by inventing the character of Death (it was not “JUST TERRY PRATCHETT” though he [He?] did very well with the characterization). Yule? Solstice? Christmas? The Great Spirit of Giving is created in Santa Claus (and if once-common lumps of coal do not send the message of “you get a common, near worthless gift, you Problem Child” with sufficient force, there is Krampus – the anti-Claus as he were.)
“Only human.” Only. You have created… us. Your myths are our existence. In that way, humanity, you ARE our Gods – you have made us. Yes, we are imperfect – in the same ways you are. Only the traits are… amplified. The centaurs party and party hard. There is, as far as I know, no centaur version of William Tell. It is simply understood that of course the centaur’s arrow hits the apple and not the noggin – even if the centaur downed a barrel of wine. Us minotaurs.. well, let’s just say you do NOT wish to be the “Guest of Honor” at a minotaur event (I suggest you nominate a sheep – one that will NOT be missed – for that role. Mint jelly optional, but highly recommended). The unicorns are more faultless than Angels… or are at least as evil if not moreso than Demons, depending upon the tale and the teller.
Ponder that power. Humanity.. creates. Yes, rocketships to the Moon and wafers of silicon where they’ve taught the sand mathematics and lightning politely gives error messages instead of smitings. But also… entire species. Entire Universes! Mirrors. Oh, Mt. Wilson and Palomar and those that came after are impressive, sure. But virtual mirrors of humanity itself. Not mere mirrors, but amplifying mirrors. One trait or another, good or bad, is dialed up to 11. Or 12. It’s not that we are human – we are not. Nor are we “better” than humans. Humans might claim such, but we didn’t summon ourselves into existence. That’s a Brilliant Human Trick. We did not do that. We are… stories.
Humanity, please keep telling the stories. And if you do not like them, then tell better ones. My kind…our kind… depends on you. If you forget us, we cease to be. We are NOT Gods. You… you… just might be. Don’t play at it. Take it very seriously indeed. We’re depending on you. And so are you. Embrace it, but with great caution. What you create or summon can be Good or Evil.. dialed up. Choose wisely.