“Absolutely unbelievable” said the atheistic Historian wiping his eyes in genuine disbelief, “I can’t believe that any of you exist!” Out of the time machine strode a litany of gods, a white robed bearded fellow, Jesus; a tanned, curly haired, sensuous man, Dionysus; a male with a green face and green hands wearing well-fitted white linen, known as Osiris; a bronze athletic figure, Adonis; Tammuz, looking like the nobility, with his crown upon his head and a tightly curled beard wrapped around his strong chin; and walking nonchalantly behind the queue out of the machine was the Buddha in all his resplendent glory, without a shirt, fat and laughing, the most distinctive figure from the lot.
The Historian is shocked that more than one god is now standing confused in his office about what has just happened, especially when he believed in none. He’d always assumed that if there were a God, it would be a singular all-powerful god – the ever changing masked deity that is continually symbolised under different names but referring ultimately to the same deity – . He’d even read a few articles in a progressive, although somewhat fringe, academic journal, which thought God might actually be a supercomputer which when switched on remarks “there is a God now.”
These bizarre circumstances that he now found himself in all started out as a personal prank. For a speculative joke, he wandered what would happen if he set the time machine to find something that for a while was popular and many took its existence for granted but was in fact not real. He ruled out trying to find Atlantis or alchemical gold made from lead because most of the time it was the belief of small sects and even then some doubted its undeniable truth within its minuscule circle of proponents. But belief in the gods was something different. He reasoned that since most cultures and civilizations displayed their gods as the pinnacles of their civilizations, a belief that millions through the millennia have commonly thought to have been true until the rise of the scientific secular age, it would fit his criteria perfectly: wildly popular but the truth of its existence lay on shaky foundations. What’s more, the most glorious creation in science – the time machine – was going to distinctively prove that the gods, those myriad and existence-spanning creations, were just delusionary fictions of unsophisticated minds.
From what the Historian can gather though, this is the only functional time machine within the world and performs the exact function that it is supposed to. He brought the technology from a brilliant young adult in his late twenties, who wore huge glasses bespectalling his acne infested forehead, whom was attempting to sell the technology to the first desperate bidder that wanted it. His lawn displayed a big sloppy handwritten sign indicating a time machine to be sold – most ignored the sign thinking it to be an ill-thought out humorous gag, mainly because he was ugly. The young adult told him upon purchase, in a hurried rushed voice remembering a contrived philosophical-esque warning, that “despite mankind’s fixation on producing the time machine, which before now has been out of our engineering reach, from my conclusive studies as its creator, I can assure you that this technology is a curse.”
The bespectacled student declared that he only produced it by studying for hours in the library due to his loneliness because of his unremarkable ability in being unable to seduce even the most unprettiest girls. “What else does technology get made for?” he bluntly remarked. Before the Historian left with the machine, the scientist gave him a few cautionary remarks about the technology he had acquired. “Don’t meet Cleopatra whatever you do. To desire the temptress is to also desire the torture of unrequited love and torture itself. Normally I would let you infer your own conclusion from what I just said, but any horny young male will undeniably lust after her, such are the enticing passions and lusts of the loins – especially when chasing after the greatest taboos this world age can offer, beautiful women that were once consigned to eternity’s past. Not even a handful of the present day’s handsome men and women, powerful representatives of states and transnational corporations, and honoured athletes of all endeavours can claim to have slept with the Egyptian goddess Cleopatra, although obviously they would not believe me, especially someone like me! That’s not to say that I have had amorous sex with her either, but technically I had more chance than any other… I remember those sharp brown eyes that sucked attention and admiration into their very bliss, her golden dress draping her slender olive body and showed her soft delicious cleavage. Like an inexperienced lover I gaped at her mesmerising beauty letting it overwhelm my bodily senses, controlling my reactions with the illusions they were my own. So I slowly, with a delusional sensibility of suaveness – more resembling the clinkered awkwardness of a dissembling marionette – made my determined way towards her down a few golden covered steps and stood, admittedly frightened beyond belief at her supernatural charm and elegance, before her sexual judgment of me. She raised her delicate crystal jewelled wrist to the accelerating beating of my heart, and then rested her head there as if we were lovers of the ages, oh what wonderful bliss this was! She removed herself and smiled at me. “Guards” she demanded “torture him.” Out of my seduced delirium I realized, as I always have, that I am no Julius Cesar, nor Mark Anthony; I should set my sights on shy librarian girls.
Another don’t is Helen of Troy. I hadn’t learned my painful lesson from earlier that month that our sly emotions lead the way not reason, as reason is a slave to the emotions, why else would I visit Helen of Troy after Cleopatra? A less intoxicating, but a more radiant beauty than Cleopatra, she embodied the rays of sunshine herself. But anything that is worth the sun that covers the Earth in her resplendent glory has to be strong enough to carry her on his shoulders. You will have to fight for her. Literally. I ran away like an enfeebled coward from extremely strong, battle-heartened, passion induced psychotic warriors. I don’t recommend it; I was moments from being slain from head to toe. “The scientist began to softly weep because he now understood that despite the most powerful technology conceived he would always remain himself, accepted without choice and with no feasible alternative forthcoming, since he could never leave the tower of the self in which he was stranded. “I’ve sadly came to realize that if I’m unable to make friends and screw women in my own time, I will be unable to make friends with the great and most beautiful individuals that have lived. I will never be whom I want to be, despite dreaming otherwise.”
After the purchase, the Historian returned to his oversized office with his wooden desk which held mundane student seminars, resulting in typical wood carved doodles and cryptic messages of bored students to each other, a bookshelf filled with dry boring academic history books (according to the Historian). In the corner a television was secretly linked to a games console in which he spent his time playing under the guise of a locked door when students and fellow staff believed him to be in astute concentration writing papers to be published. He placed the time machine discreetly in the corner with a linen blanket over the top of it, thinking nobody would bother him about this linen monstrosity.
It was, however, big enough to be noticed by others and frequently students and staff alike asked him what was so special to be covered in the corner in an attempt to hide it. This task itself seemed to be curiously challenging, he had to give an answer that did not arouse interest in the object by rousing suspicion either by making the item sound secret or by completely underplaying the value of the object and arousing its interest in others by telling an obvious lie. The moment he told a mediocre curious student that underneath the linen were dirty clothes (especially bewildering since the item displayed sizeable contours and a huge mass) in a lackadaisical aside, he spent half an afternoon having to wrestle the student aside from finding out what it truly was. From then on, whenever he left his room even to just quickly go to the toilet at the end of the corridor or to pick up mail from his pigeon hole in the opposite room to his, he made sure out of a paranoid necessity to lock his door. This safety of his room for such brief absences in a relatively secure environment looked to others as if he were becoming unhinged from the rigorous pressure of his job and it looked extremely suspicious at the same time, like he was hiding something of great importance. According to the other members of the department, as the Historian’s room became a subject of wild fantastic discussion, it had been positively noted that in this case, there was a direct linear relationship between the increased safety and the increased suspicion.
The time machine looked like a silver chariot of the gods, with its curved leather chair enough to hold a more than a solitary traveller. The machine was formed by a steel base and futuristic looking wheels, time itself being its horse and cart. It displayed an inscription on the outside: “Appear, appear, whatso thy shape or name, O Mountain Bull, Snake of the Hundred Heads, Lion of the -Burning Flame! O God, Beast, Mystery, come!” The time machine represented the Holy Grail for the historian, as he now had empirical proof whether the artefacts or historical observations he hypothesized about were validated by real, living and breathing evidence. Doubt the existence of a famous battle, tune up the machine, and see what it brings up: maybe some swords covered in blood, testimony of individuals that fought and were slain in the battle, a few ragged diaries, lost in time, faithfully recounting the events of battles once known. Seek and you shall find.
To the Historian’s dismay, although the unbelievably powerful machine offered a wealth of academic insights, it also entailed unique, unseen and unsettling problems. His foremost desire was to be the most renowned and respected Professor in the subject of his lifetime devotion, applauded en mass for his brilliant insights the moment somebody read his articles or saw him speak with such elegance and profundity at a historical conference. Worshipped till the end for the flawless mastery of the subject and the wealth of knowledge he recalled at the whimsy of his disposal far surpassing those Professors that mockingly rival him. For these reasons alone, the mere suggestion that arose in him involuntarily at the most inconvenient times, that he should donate the machine to the world science museum to allow access to all researches in the ideal of progress of knowledge, historical analysis, and scientific advancement would be to squander the advantages the technology bestowed on its owner, and only him. And he absolutely would not allow that to happen.
Imagine, he would dream to himself, the fame he would receive from his penetrating insights and the trappings of success that would cling to him: appearing on the front cover of Time Magazine, adorning his rustic face and withering white beard. To have his fancy’s pick of attractive women begging for his attention and sexual intimacy, the same girls before that forever rejected eye contact despite how close the Historian trespassed towards their sweet smelling perfumed bodies.
But to his absolute dismay, he failed to publish any article in the most respected prestigious peer-reviewed journals, let alone any innovative and outstanding papers. How could this be? Yes, most of his interpretations of historically significant events and the well-thought out arguments detailing what really happened were plausible yet controversial in the academic milieu, with the time machine used to ascertain the absolute truth of his reasoning and evidence of his argued propositions. Yet only a few experts read the papers with interest and in many occasions it managed to illicit the old eyebrow raise here and there, but ultimately, based on their own research and reputations, it was all terribly implausible to have actually happened according to the judgement of the peer review. At conferences and university meetings, he was occasionally told by frail hands, acting in the best intentions, when holding their Cuban cigars that looking at something in a different way is not always the same as looking at something the correct way. “The study of History” the Historian would think in moments of isolation “is only a human discipline limited to the best argued interpretations that already rest on time entrenched assumptions, available known evidence, the agendas of unknowing parties and motives hidden beneath this apparent pursuit of knowledge.” He would sigh afterwards, “Of which I and History do not fit those moulds.”
The Historian felt the extreme hollowness of his efforts, noting the bizarre incongruity that his acquired objective knowledge was positively substantial but denied in the professional study of it. Without doubt, this pushed him to the limit of frustration that his brilliant endeavours were underwhelmingly recognised. In brief flashes it did occur to him that maybe he was ahead of his time, and when time has stretched its wings further, and his body has decomposed and is no longer remembered by even the strongest memory, that his ideas and thoughts will be acknowledged in the desired fashion that he hoped would happen to him in his own lifetime. Neither did he yield to this desperation nor did he really care that such an event materialized. He wanted success, recognition, fame, money, ladies – in this time, with his consciousness now. He did not want to appropriate the truth for its own selfish ends.
If these states of affairs were strange for an atheistic Historian – let alone anybody in this age of science and reason with its godless universe – it would be impossible to chronicle the extreme disorientation these gods felt about their current unknown circumstances. Jesus was giving blessings to the diseased and poor folks in the Mediterranean climate. Before he knows it, he’s whisked away, softly fading into the background of the sepia-chalked mountains and the olive palm trees that line the horizon, as he rested his hand on a sick beggar and mumbled some proclamations to God. Reappearing within the radius of a intense white exploding flash, after a ride through time’s pathway on the chariot of the gods, into a discreet corner of a futuristic office (a typical mundane office of the here and now variety to us) surrounded by a mini library of books on wooden shelves, some kind of weird fluorescent light pouring down in constant waves from the ceiling and what looks like a bulky plastic box resting on a stand in the other corner without the slightest thought about how it functions. Jesus, undoubtedly, is not the only one to feel like this, and like the other personages around him, he cannot comprehend what’s happened to him. Especially embarrassing is that Jesus does not know whom these other men are. He’s slightly terrified of the tall green man next to him with an elongated, almost vertical, skull, “does he even come from this planet?” he wonders to himself.
He knows though, intuitively, that this gathering is constituted of gods and god-men like himself. Gods, he now recognizes, have a distinctive aura emanating from them. A knowing mystique that radiates from their mere presence, and this specific feature he can currently feel, as if it were a warming sensation quiescent on the skin. The gods all look around at each other with a bewildered expression and you can tell what some of them are thinking from the unambiguous nature of it, a realization that distinctively questions the special nature about their existence. Before this chance meeting – Adonis and Dionysus believed that only they, the Titans, the Olympians, made up the Greek Pantheon and the world. For Osiris, only the fellow Egyptian god members; For Tammuz, the Sumerian gods; The Buddha didn’t believe in gods, believing them to be figments of his imagination, and it’s hard to tell whether he believes in them right now. Jesus, however, is the most shocked out of this divine bunch: “I thought I was the only god.” The Historian thoughts went towards the enigma of Hamlet, “there are more things in Heaven and Earth than dreamt in your Philosophy, gods from Heaven and gods from Earth.”
Progressive safety without a cause really does equate to increased suspicion by others, and this principled law is being governed at the moment by the Historian because, oddly and against University open-door policy in student term-time hours, he has rushed to the slightly ajar door, closed it and locked it from the inside with a key. It’s just in time because a timid, but audible knock, is now heard from the wooden door. But the desperate student outside whose anxious about the forthcoming exam is hoping the door will magically allow her inside, but her faith is dwindling by the second. But if she really knew what was going on within that room then she would’ve trenched away disheartened back to her dormitory. The Historian’s not entirely sure how he would have responded should a student or a member of staff managed to enter the room when the door remained unlocked. He would of probably have answered, once the initial terrifying shock subdued, that “his friends had dressed up for a religious fancy dress party they were about to attend, I’m getting ready to look like Mithras.” And if the gods started to speak in their foreign Aramaic, Egyptian, Persian, Nepalese tongues (although a strange quirk, the benefits of advanced technology, of the time machine is those present in the room can all understand each other) offering prayers, barking orders, or generally being aggressive, then the Historian would’ve commentated on their ultra- realism and how they’ve really identified with their roles. He would’ve been less concerned if a student wandered in, presumably asking the lecturer to basically write his essay for him or her, considering they wouldn’t be able to identify the personages should they have been seen, kids these days don’t really have any perspective. Although he would be mildly apprehensive of the types of stories, gossip and rumours that invariably would make the rounds. Locking the door serves two purposes though; it not only stops anybody entering uninvited into the office, but it also forces those coerced to be here from fleeing the room, and causing an unquantifiable imaginative amount of trouble.
The Historian motions the gods to sit down wherever they can. The Buddha sits down on the expensive oak desk with the Historian scared that it might break due to his weight since it wont stop creaking under the duress. Dionysus grabs a cheap bottle of wine off the bookshelf and leans on the windowsill; Adonis, without the wine, does something similar at the adjacent window and when he gazes out over the scenic campus, a young pretty girl waves at him and giggles and Adonis makes sure that he smiles back (Aphrodite will never find out). Jesus sits cross-legged on the floor; he makes a gesture to show that he’s comfortable enough to not need a chair or any material possessions. Tammuz aggressively secures the professors leather armchair as befits a member of the nobility. Osiris pulls out a chair and imagines that it is constructed in gold and that he is delivering judgment to the members surrounding him.
Now that the Historian has proven to himself that they surprisingly exist, he has no use for them but to send them back through history. However, he wants to have fun with them first, pleased with the delicate gaiety of the situation the Historian would like to keep it that way he decides to gently tease his visitors
“So” said the Historian looking around at the gods, “out of you, who here was a virgin birth?”
Jesus raises his hand straight into the air feeling special that he is slightly different from the others, brought up to know that he’s the only one. But slowly, a little unsure of his humble background, Dionysus extends his hand into an affirmative acknowledgement. Jesus and Dionysus stare at each other in amazement, “I thought I was the only one” they blurt out roughly the same time. The gods are similar with the mortals they habit; thinking they’re radically different from everyone else yet are actually similar in ways uncommunicated, even the discernment of supposed differentiation. Dionysus speculated that he’d always thought his mother, Semele, had lied when she said that Zeus was his real father, compensation from the truth that his biological father was some hobo in the city, a far worse man than her reputation and pride would allow to be her partner. Seeing Jesus raise his hand gave credence to Dionysus that such a phenomenon was possible despite the continual doubts. He gathered finally that his mothers testimony could be trusted, in spite of it being farfetched compared to the reality of normal births. Tammuz, hardly listening before, has just understood the question asked and raises his hand also. Jesus and Dionysus are in shock that such a phenomenon should be widespread, “you too!?”
It does naturally occur to the Historian that he should imprison the gods and refuse to send them back to their own time. He could parade the discovery to the major media outlets: television channels, daily newspaper, monthly magazines and Hollywood movies. Jesus Christ starring in the movie premiere The Gospel of St. Mark, and the Buddha starring in the indie low-budget avant garde movie The Life of the Buddha, with Dionysus and Adonis starring in The Clash of the Titans; Osiris playing a confused role in the television series Stargate SG-1; and Tammuz in the star-studded, multi-billion funded project, The Epic of Gilgamesh (advertised as the new Lord of the Rings).He would be rich and famous – the man who discovered the existence of the gods and possessed the only time machine in existence – and mass attention would be directed on him, interviews given and articles written about him. But after awhile, after he’d amassed his fortune and his public star had risen its finite arc, he would remain forgotten and all the attention, all the granting of genius, would focus solely on the gods themselves. Think of the irony of it all, he smiles to himself, the gods will disappear from the religious text s written on the apex of religious belief, and the gods will be overcrowding their presence in a non-believing age. But this is not what he wants. He wants everybody to raise their caps and applaud him when he enters a room, for this man is special, this man a genius, the greatest maverick that academic historians ever knew.
“I’m sorry gods” he says with slight hesitation and feeling agape that he would, without flattery or jest, address somebody in this manner, “but I can’t actually believe you exist, a proposition that I never seriously entertained.” He notices the displeasure on the faces of the gods and Tammuz gets off the leather chair, stares at the Historian and asks assertively “how the hell could’ve you denied my existence?” He pushes the Historian, and continues “I’ve killed men for less.” The fellow gods murmur in agreement with each other, and turn facing the Historian in expectation of what further knowledge he has to say, except for the Buddha whom gives the appearance that he does not care what he has to say, for he understands the impermanence of all things including the beliefs of others.
The atheistic Historian has a severe longing for the gods to disappear. He wishes, as is their duty, to return and instruct the civilizations of their own time, to part this room through the time machine back to ages hence. The Historian is somewhat apprehensive in knowing how to address the truth of this matter, so he tries to sidestep it as much as he can, by apologizing for the situation, before he reveals to them that faith is a declining commodity these days especially in well-educated individuals. He avoids eye contact with the gods. “I know that you’ve experienced excruciating hardships so I regret to have to tell you this.”
“What hardships” Jesus enquires rather meekly with a sense of foreboding
“Tell us what?” Adonis demands
The atmosphere of the office has suddenly transformed from the air of general confusion to an evident despair regarding future events. He’s noticed a strange quirk about these gods though. They seem to have this bizarre notion of immortality and they somehow believe they’re going to live forever.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this but none of you will live forever. Some of you in this room will be torn to pieces and your dismembered remains will be scattered, without any intent or purpose, throughout the country of your birth. Many of you will be betrayed either by your brother supposed to protect you or the disciples that are meant to worship you. Sold for silver you will be nailed to the cross with nails impaling your hands and feet as others mock and jeer your presence, with only a handful of those that love you crying for your life to be spared. Jealousy and power absolutely corrupt and will persuade those close to you and in your inner circle of those you can trust, to throw you in the river trapped in a coffin. One of you will have to face the spiritual tribulation of surviving the stones, flames and arrows thrown by leagues of terrifying demons, unimaginable devils and bizarre creatures stacked upon each other to attack you. Others of you will be defenceless from Titans whom will rip you into pieces with the slightest ease because your presence signifies the immorality of your father, which has got nothing to do with who you are or what you’ve done, even if from the highest virtue. You will then be thrown into a boiling cauldron to make soup. Others of you will be walking in a forest in an attempt to rendezvous with your lover only to be ravished by wild animals out of vengeance, whose sexual advances you rejected. I refuse to reveal to you which of the destinies I’ve been speaking about applies to you, but I’m pretty sure each of you have an idea of which one is your destiny.”
A murmur of discontent diffused across the room, although not everyone is scared though, it only makes sense if you identify that some flowers are thorns and others roses, but those who are truly different – and a truly divine individual is within the office – will see everything as beautiful flowers: the jewel is in the lotus.
The promise of thorns scares Tammuz, whom unlike some of the others showing signs of experiencing deep melancholia, “I’m not going back” he says “I refuse to face what is to come, I will not return to certain death that is sure to follow.”
“But you have to go back to your lives. You do not belong here and our society will not accept you, you’ll be sectioned in a mental health ward. They will not believe your Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, Adonis, Jesus, and Buddha, because nobody believes you exist; and if they do, they refuse to believe that you exist, alive, in the world right now.”
The gods did not, as is customary of mere mortals, doubt the information from the messenger as is the custom. The other custom is to deliver verbal insults in exchange for the uncomfortable knowledge, or to deny despite the overwhelming evidence that such a rendezvous took place. The superior man or those that consider themselves to be, when hearing such a harsh brutal truth, will try to escape such a fate by any means possible. Athletic Adonis opened the window as wide as it would go, first stuck out a leg and is trying to mediate an almost impossible path down the guttering onto the scenic college campus where he can find delightful respite with the beautiful tanned ladies who won’t care that they can’t communicate together due to the language barrier because it is impossible to look so handsome. Dionysus along with Jesus and Osiris are trying to dislodge the door from its hinges since it will not open simply by turning the handle and they do not have the key, and now Osiris is attempting to start a running jump and barge into the door with Jesus and Dionysus goading him in to do it with insinuations that he will have to face his brother, Set, if he doesn’t. Tammuz, who finds that aggression, intimidation and violence will get you what you want within this world, grabs the atheistic Historian and puts a sword to his throat demanding that he hand over the door key. The Buddha sits quietly on the table looking over at the fake lotus flower planted on the shelf next to the unused books and anthologies.
The Historian fearing for his survival takes the key out of his pocket and gives it to Tammuz, who passes it to Osiris. He knows that only distressing incidents and events that will eventually lead back to him can come from this. Osiris sticks the key into the lock and opens the door, and as he walks out in tandem with Jesus, Dionysus and Tammuz they see a student sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall waiting for the Professor to return to his room. The student glances up at them and only focuses on Osiris with his green face, looking like an alien from a distant planet, and she lets out a mighty high pitched scream that shatters the ear drum of Dionysus. Scared of the reaction they have provoked they run back into the room and slam the door shut. The Historian gets back the key and rushes to lock the door before any further trouble can commence – he’s slightly worried that in a few hours the FBI, CIA or NSA will breaking through windows in a harness holding automatic rifles in search for Earth-bound alien.
The Historian is simply stunned from what he is experiencing and seeing. This is a topsy-turvy world, he thinks, a world in which we have repeatedly, denied, suppressed or rejected any phenomena that became ill-fitted to what we believed to be true. What other assumptions are mistaken, misguided, and unforgivably wrong that we take as the cornerstones of our cherished values and dogmatic beliefs. Look at us: we have denounced these men performing heroic deeds in the past surpassing the courage of the bravest men whilst suffering the ultimate torture the world and men offer. What today’s wrongs are right and are right wrongs, and our theories and principles based solely on an abyss of emptiness. What can we do but stumble in the dark and grope at what we believe to be true and listen to others whom hallucinate and follow each other into believing what they could not possibly see.
Jesus retires into a corner of the room borne by shadows and wraps his arms around his knees. Its dawn on him that he cannot stay here after the student screamed and neither does he want to go back to the Roman Empire and Herod. He’s not too sure what to do with himself. He knows his fate that is to come and he wants to rebel against it. Such a life is devoid of value or worth in any kind, especially as he’s become aware that, if not now, in some distant future, it will be entirely forgotten or rejected as worthy as belief.
“I’ve seen people nailed to a cross before” Jesus mentions. “In the main square of Golgotha with brute crowds of men and soldiers cheering in complete delight at the misery of others who are crying in anguish of unbelievable torment. The men are sentenced for crimes that they have and have not committed, but actual justice is irrelevant, what really matters is the public event. As the stumbling men carry the staggering weight of the cross to the site of their deaths, the families will wail and cry until they are emotionally exhausted. The crosses of the doomed men will be close together with the mourning wives, children and relatives huddled around. The outer layer will be the laughter, the applause, the clapping and excitement by the neighbours, the public men and state officials. As each nail is hammered into the bone of the victim, each scream of blood curdling pain will be met with the jubilation of the rabble, in delight of the atonement of the supposed misdeeds. I cannot bear to the see the excruciating agony on the pained faces filled with grief by the slow torture each man endures before welcoming his death with arms forced open by nails that shatter the bone as it joins the victim to the crucifix. I cannot and will not tolerate the beaming smiles and uplifting joys of the crowd as I meet my death. I will not allow this to happen to somebody like me, I will never go back and confront my chosen destiny. “
“You will not all die” the Historian tells them in order to make them stop, and it is honest, “a group of you will be resurrected after your deaths. You will return to face the world once more armed with the insight of your experiences. Adonis, Jesus, Osiris, Tammuz, Dionysus, you will dance and dance and never die. Adonis, Aphrodite out of her tremendous love for you, desired for not only your beauty, will plead with Zeus to bring you back to life instead of staying everlasting in the underworld. Osiris, you will be dismembered and scattered throughout Egypt but Isis, due to her immense affection, will search throughout the land to find each part of you. Jesus, the cross will almost cut you into sections, but you will be placed into a tomb, do not confuse it with the coffin of Osiris, with a boulder lodged in front of it to block out the light, in a type of underworld environment. But finally you will resurrect and eventually leave the world of men, promising not to abandon us but to return with the eyes of love for mankind in time of need. Dionysus, when your body is part of the soup of the world, Rhea will reconstitute you due to her endless love for your wild delight.”
“You’re wrong” is all Jesus can say. “I do not love mankind. I do not love or forgive those that laugh and laugh when there are those who suffer extreme pain, even if they deserve it. Maybe in the future that you know of I say I love mankind and will come back, but have I yet? You did not say so, maybe it is something I said so that they would not defile my name after I left them. Who can forgive nails in the cross? Dismemberment of limbs one by one? Torn to pieces by Titans for whom you’ve done nothing wrong? Ravished into pieces by wild animals? Why would I want to come knowingly go back to that? Maybe it will happen to me if I stay here with you, but atleast it will be unexpected and there will be nothing I can do to stop it from happening because it just happened without my prior knowledge of it. I cannot stop, however, and I fear more than anything, the crucifixion and being impaled by nails. I do not have a lover to return to and to piece me back together, I will not return to simply administer words of wisdom that ultimately fall into a harsh silence. History is a futility I have to live through, but now I can choose not to live in my own time. ”
“I want to return” said Osiris charmed by the words he has heard, clearly pining for Isis, “and live my destiny as it has been prepared for me. Even though I will be betrayed, I want to go back for the love of Isis, her gentle touch and devotion for me is worth any pain and sacrifice. To voluntarily refuse to go back for her is a stab wound to my heart that is more severe than any pain I could feel, especially without her comfort and care by my side. For her unbound love, it is enough for people to believe in me in my own time and my suffering will have some higher meaning for them whilst they are still alive: hope that grief, loss and pain can be overcome. I am returning for my historic nation, my heroic people and the long-term future that will yield against me.
“But …” says the Historian almost hesitant to speak due to the consequences such a thought entails, “I will die one day, my corpse lifeless and cold as the stones in the winters chill along with the corpses of others, and there will be a time when the memory of what you achieved and whom you were is totally forgotten.” The Historian feels the lifeless brunt force of these thoughts and starts to understand what they implicate. But forgotten will also be these miraculous conversations he’s having with time’s deserted gods; the lovemaking with his wife in the throes of passion, standing up against institutions and mutual enemies in the name of his reasons and principles, disappeared and never to be remembered again. The beauty he’s noticed throughout the fragmented parts of his life and when trekking the Pyreness and mount Borneo. Born witness to the great moments of his life, his marriage, children and awe at the mystery of life will be entirely forgotten like smoke fading into the atmosphere up and away and forever gone. Memories are the substance of life, lived until they die and never returned, even for the immortals among us.
The Buddha walks over to the time machine and tries to configure it, but has absolutely no clue how to operate it; the technology is alien to him as miracles are to us.
“You want to go back?” the Historian says with sadness tinged in his voice “Even though you will be betrayed, slaughtered, schemed against, abused, tortured, killed, maimed, deceived, despite the virtuous acts of kindness and compassion that you bestow on the sick and healthy, the rich and the poor, alike.”
The Buddha is ready to ride the time machine back home, “I will return for all I already know that all is impermanent and without a self. This truth of existence I have understood for many, many years.” Adonis has followed into the queue, “I’m going back for Aphrodite for she is all that matters, only her love can guide me out of the underworld”, and Osiris is just behind him ready to go back citing “the love of Isis is the only queen that can piece me back together.” Jesus will not be returning to the sorrows of his world and is in an emotional limbo in figuring out how to respond to the unknown and uncertain future he will face. Tammuz and Dionysus refuse to follow for wild frenzies of orgasmic ecstasy and romantic love are not always enough to return others and the self from the underworld. They watch the other gods depart and are thankful they are not returning.
The Historian sets the time machine back to the pinnacle moments of the god’s respective cultures and they fade straight into the time for which they belonged just as quickly as they were here, in the blink of Brahma’s cosmic eye. The Historian is wistful about the futility of history but in admiration to the gods who now serve him personally as a guide of existence, he whispers to himself “And even though you were gods, life tore you into pieces – but still you came back, once more, to entertain the sorrows of the world.”
The following text was found by an ancient History Professor, an expert on 21st Century culture, in an extended diary transcript, discarded in an abandoned house that has recently been renovated. The pages are yellow and filled with accumulated dust through the centuries passed since its writing. The historical validity of the corresponding text has not yet been proven with the Professor doubting the actuality of the events described in the text: ascribing it as fantasy, a mere fiction, a mythological abomination. He does not own a time machine to assess its validity and neither has one yet been devised, nor do people believe in the gods at all.