Fantasy artists have been depicting gods practically since the beginning of such art. Unfortunately, their work doesn't reflect any thought went into what it is to be a divine, or how the gods do their deeds. The divine beings appear to perform their miracles, just because they can. That isn't all that satisfying. If you're like me, you want to know how they did such and such!
The Bible begins with God creating the universe out of whole cloth. An impressive deed, in its own right. This greatest of all beings seemed to create its opus out of sheer boredom. Although it is understandable existing without anything else around may not be all that, with infinite thoughts, how would The Perfect Being ever get bored?
Within their myths, The Greeks gave their gods human characteristics and turned their stories into something akin to soap operas. Makes for good theater, but doesn't do anything to inform us about how these divine entities did their deeds, and does give a rise to a question, why would such powerful beings lower themselves to the pettiness of mere mortals? Damn it, inquiring minds want to know the details!
Omnipotence was the go-to theme within early depictions of divine expression. Later fantasy artists decided to limit the gods. These artists depicted the divine as being very powerful beings that were nigh-impossible to kill or destroy, but under the right circumstances, could be damned to some awful place or even destroyed. Again, makes for good theater, but doesn't explain how any divine expression can be ended. Either something is a god or it is not. If the existence of gods can be sundered, there must be a good explanation as to how, and just because is not a satisfactory answer. A ring being tossed into a volcano is not what I would call a mind-blowing, earth-shattering, divine-ending event!
Ideas are the true power of The Cosmos. All oneirologists and cosmologists agree upon that principle. What they don't agree on are the natures and relationships of ideas to themselves and to The Cosmos. Their theories are anything but clear. The only certainty is that anyone who has any dealings with the various Halls of Power must have a method of defending against systems of ideas.
Once someone presents a system of power based upon conceptions, there is no choice but to respond with something more potent, or risk being swept up into the organized network of ideas. Thus, a better mousetrap is needed. One might assume such a construct, even if purely defensive in its nature, would need to be based upon better notions. The trouble with that is, what is a better idea? In the simplest of terms, what makes a concept more potent than another, and who or what makes that determination?
What is a better idea? What makes a concept more potent than another? Who or what determines the characteristics of notions? How would someone wield a concept?
Without a doubt, ideas are so much more than something imagined in the mind. Many oneirologists believe concepts are the root of all power. They claim those who wield ideas are in a wholly different league than those who do not. One legendary expression goes something like, "When someone comes at you with an idea, your best weapon better not be a gun!"
Anyone can hold a gun, and most anyone can fire it. Physical objects are easy to handle and manipulate. Ideas are altogether a different kind of animal. Being intangible, concepts defy physical touch and exploitation. Something else is needed to bridge the gap between the physical and the intangible. At least one oneirologist believes data to be the key to bridging that gap.
Data flows through the mind with every sound we hear, every single thing we see, and every flower we smell. We don't need to connect to data, it has already made a relationship to us. The next step is to conceive of a way to use data for the manipulation of ideas, but how?
What is it about concepts that would lend themselves to utilization in the first place? At the end of the day, each idea is nothing more than a conglomeration of characteristics. In theory, these qualities can be understood and thus, manipulated, at least mentally. It seems, the trick is to mentally tag the datum already present in the mind to get them to orchestrate concepts to do whatever the desired outcome may be. One might suppose this would require some form of mental construct or rubric of understanding.
It is possible to conceive of a mental factory in which datum serves as the workers and ideas as the material they work. This would be one kind of mental construct, a cerebral edifice existing within the seemingly empty, but vast, space of the mind. We've thought of a place where worker data would reorder the qualities of notions for the purpose of achieving some desired outcome.
To reorder the characteristics of ideas, one must understand the relationship of ideas to each other. The first principle is not all ideas are equal. This brings us back to a twin set of questions: What is a better idea, and what makes one concept more potent than another?
Is hard better than soft, or just different? At root, easy questions. Upon reflection, variables and nuances cloud the equation. For this to work, there needs to be clarity, but how much? In theory, only as much as the purpose or intent at hand requires. That much is controllable. Instead of every possibility, a narrowing of potentiality needs to occur. The datum involved must be given specific instruction.
If the instruction to the workers is, hard is more desirable than soft, the construct will build with that in mind. In this case, soft will never and can never be better than or superior to hard. Order the rubric to attach this conception to a cooked strand of spaghetti, and hopefully the limp and soft piece of pasta becomes hard. This is what wielding concepts is all about, manipulating ideas to affect the tangible components of reality. A simple flicker of the mind and reality succumbs and conforms to it, and you didn't need to lift a finger in the process of molding this small bit of reality.
By the utilization of this rubric of understanding, ideas can be wielded more easily than anything of substance. With all of that in mind, keep your thoughts loaded, and keep your mind spry!
What is an idea, and why is such a thing so damn important? These twin questions have consumed more ink and air than all other intellectual inquiries combined. To this very day, oneirologists and cosmologists can't agree upon any exact answers to either of those questions. If the most educated in The Cosmos can't come to terms with something as simple as the importance of ideas, then what chance do the rest of us simpletons have of understanding such matters?
The most common working definition of idea is something imagined in the mind. Since data is intrinsic to everything the mind perceives, one might assume there is a relationship between datum and ideas, but thus far, there is no bullet-proof evidence for the assumption. The only thing of which we can be certain is without concepts of space, time, and substance and the perception of those notions, there would be no existence.
If you look at a tree, you see the confluence of a network of roots, a trunk, branches, and leaves. That perception is limiting because when you think about the same tree as a series of ideas, The Cosmos opens its doors wide. The other way in which to conceive of a tree is as a patchwork of ideas; a delivery system for nutrients, a conversion system for taking in light and turning it into sustenance, a housing for animals and insects, and a bounty of materials. This alternative is far more powerful, if it can be tapped or drawn upon in some manner. If, being the operative word.
Just like the tree, everything we perceive can be broken down into ideas. It is just a matter of conceiving things in a different way. With all of that in mind, it is hard not to think of ideas as being the foundation of reality, that which existence is dependent. What if data is the means of opening the doorway of our mind to the foundation of reality, and what would it mean to go through that portal?
What if data could be weaponized? What would the look and feel of that be like? How would such a thing be dealt with? Would it be possible to neutralize it?
Technologists have been pushing the limits of the possible for aeons. The impossible now transforms into the possible at an alarming rate. The march of Progress has made The Cosmos a dangerous place indeed. Nobody can rest easy wondering when they fall asleep what conditions to which they will awaken, if they even come out of their unconscious state. The Church of Balentine is at the forefront of raising such alarums.
Data is the information our minds receive to allow us to perceive and react to the reality surrounding us. Without data, we would be vacuous husks, unable to even feed ourselves. The Church of Balentine worries the day is in the not-too-distant future when the all-important data stream becomes our worst nightmare.
Theories abound about the possibility of imparting metadata to bits of data integral to existence. In and of itself, this is not problematic, but such conceptions do not need to take too many steps sideways to be transformed into something nefarious. For example, what if explosive metadata were added to the data that tells our minds to breathe in oxygen, and when we breathed in oxygen, KABOOM! In that case, the metadata would have combined with the data to create a data bomb. Since oxygen has explosive qualities, this scenario is not out of the realm of possibilities. All it could take to make this scenario a reality is some madman with a penchant for destruction.
There is no need to worry about this circumstance as of yet, but the day of imparting metadata to data is fast approaching. We are on the threshold of data uncertainty. Public awareness of these possibilities and vigilance are the mechanisms for avoiding a Cosmik ending event. Laws prohibiting data research need to be immediately put into place and vigorously enforced for the benefit of mankind. Freedom to conduct pure research for the sake of satisfying idle curiosities in this area of inquiry is no longer a luxury any of us can afford to tolerate. The cost of existence in this case is a necessary loss of freedom. Law must be be used to rein in irresponsible technologists, the madmen of the scientific community, who are bringing us ever so quickly to Hell in a hand basket!
Once upon a time, Diluvia was a thriving and sprawling civilization. The Passion doted on her Diluvian children. The Cosmos danced around the creations spun from these artful beings. The future was their oyster, and their place in The Cosmos seemed so certain. Any cosmologist worth his salt knows these bare facts.
That was so many eons ago. Since then, Time has not been kind to Diluvia. The fortunes of the Diluvian children have all but been lost to the ages. Diluvia has joined the ranks of fallen civilizations and doesn't merit a mention in any histories. One can't even say this once thriving society went out with a whimper. There is no record of any sound these people ever made. We are left with shadowy notions of a civilization of which The Cosmos once sang its praises. If this can happen to these people, what chance does anyone have to leave a lasting impact?
Nobody knows what happened to Diluvia or its people. One day The Cosmos shifted and when the dust settled, Diluvia was no more. The Divine don't speak of what transpired. Only a few madmen living in the squalor of bug houses dare to whisper anything about this fallen civilization. A couple lunatics have had the audacity to write upon their walls one phrase, SYLPH ANDROMEDA, THE CHILD OF DREAMS. Nobody knows what connection these letters have to Diluvia, only that these scrawls have drawn the interest of those who run these institutions, and not much causes them to pay any heed to their wards. Warehousing and forgetting are the purposes of such places. The curators of these institutions for the irredeemably insane have tried to paint over and erase these messages. The inmates just scrawl it again and again, no matter what consequences may follow.
Punishment is swift and grave for anyone who speaks about this forbidden fruit. The madmen just laugh with each lash of the whip. When deprived of food, these lunatics gulp air and burp joyously in defiance of their cruel guardians. They seem to take pain and deprivations as some form of payment for their heretical deeds. For some reason, the powers that be desire Diluvia to remain forgotten to the ravages of Time, but why?