I decided that I wanted my deity, the Dark One, (I know; terribly imaginative name), to be the only true deity on this world. It was born with the planet, made out of star stuff, and somehow acquired intelligence--don't ask me how. All other deities arising in the cultures of this world are essentially mythical things whose creations were fueled by the needs of the people of those cultures.
So I was lying in bed this morning, and it occurred to me that the Dark One does not like Ilviak, who is the most evil deity I have ever created. I was relieved by that realization. Then I asked myself what the differences between the Dark One and Ilviak are.
I know what Ilviak wants--human misery on an intimate level. Ilviak is no megalomaniac; it messes with one person at a time. I know from what I have written already that the Dark One is not like that at all. It does not want human misery, and it feels great loyalty to its own people. Yes, it's more interested in world domination than Ilviak is, but the Dark One is patient and willing to grow with its people. It is content to start out small and work its way up. It has a very long-term agenda.
So I figured out that what motivates the Dark One is enlightened self-interest, though self-centered self-interest from the masses will satisfy it to a large degree. Enlightened self-interest is what the Dark One demands from its priests, and it is why the deity has few priests. Most among the Dark One's chosen people can never quite make it to the enlightened level.
But I have said in this journal that this story is about love. Love is supposed to be, by its nature, more concerned with benefit to others than with benefit to the person who loves. Or is it? Ayn Rand believed that there was no such thing as true altruism.
I don't know if I agree with her. I can certainly see her point, and maybe it is often true. But I would hate to think that everyone in the world is so shallow that our best joy in life can be quantified as us stroking our own egos by being kind to others or by sacrificing things for others. To me, that would make existence empty and soulless.
"Your payment to me is my pleasure in your intelligent enjoyment of my music." - to paraphrase a character in The Fountainhead.
I suppose that's not exactly an empty way of looking at it, but...to me, it does lose something. Or am I just being dishonest with myself?
So I'm left wondering if this story really is about love. If it's not about love, I'm not sure what it is about.
Quizzage: LMAO!!! Nabbed from kathrynthegr8: