maygra: (4c)
[personal profile] maygra


Disclaimer #1: I am not under any illusion that Kripke & Gamble routinely give a lot of in-depth thought to the implications of how and what they present in their very casual use and equally casual mangling of any and all myths/legends/philosophy/ religious tenets they use in the show. They are writing entertainment -- and they are neither the Wire nor are they Twin Peaks.

Disclaimer #2: I'm also clear that any kind of theosophical overlay I can come up with in regards to SPN could be applied with equal ease in most case to pretty much anything or everything -- but it's SPN that's generating my examination, ergo...I'm keeping it in my own little compost pile to turn over and watch fertile ground be created from pretty much the scarps of anything they throw me.

Disclaimer #3: I'm simplifying. On my flist are any number of *actual* theologians and historians and not a few people who do not practice in the Abrahamic tradition. If I make a factual error, please feel free to point it out to me; if you want to argue theoreticals, please to be not pulling out your irrefutable creds with any more or less fervor than Kripke et al manage to mangle most mythical traditions. (I have xkcd 386 and I know how to use it.

Note: All proper names of major religions are in lower case for a reason. I'm not talking aobut people's faiths, per se but the myths used in and around said faiths rather than challenging anyone's theology.

Currently in my garden of thoughts: Watching it with [profile] baileytc, we were both kind of watching with jaws dropped at the garbage soup mix of what framed the story, cause while we had most of the big players of death and destruction, the herding of humans in for snack time a la Soylent green was a bit of a shocker. Where the hell was Huitzilopochtli & Tezcatlipoca if you're going to go all bone-munch on us?

Anyway... something Lucifer said (and Damn ITunes for not delivering me my episode five minutes after the aired episode ended *shakes massive fists of rage*) about the other gods stepping back, negotiating out, deferring to ..made my brain go to the very much free-floating idea that gods and goddesses are only as powerful as the belief of their followers, and that at some point in the far distant past, the ascendancy of the judeo-christian god, took precedence, followers with extra fervor, and the belief is coupled with the conviction of followers to the willingness of any given god (or pantheon) to direct intervention.

By most estimates, judeo-christians (all sects, which includes the judaic faiths, your traditional christian sects of catholic and protestants, and islam, ba'hai faith, all of which acknowledge one "God" share between them no matter how else you slice and dice their religions texts.) (See here and here, just for numbers)take up the bulk of all faiths combined by a not insignificant number of boots on the ground as it were. That isn't to say that all believers in those traditions align perfectly with one another, but they do share the same big cheese, so by an estimates, Zeus, Odin -- time to step off the Olympic gold pedestal, dudes. And yes, Kali Ma, in numbers you and your homies in the Hindu pantheon pull a big crowd, but silver is not gold, and if you want to slice and dice between father and son, that still puts you on the bronze. Those damn upstarts pulled a theological miracle mile and then some.
So, while I get the kind of dismissive tone of the "old" gods bugged some people, if you look at it in the context of the god with the most toys (human believers) wins, then the arrogance of -- not only Kali's western religions, but of Lucifer, Michael, Zachariah, and even Gabriel's admonition that the old gods, even combined, can't prevail, -- makes a hell of lot of sense.

So, picture a time, when the Abrahamic faiths were on the rise, and you have a head to head between the legions of YHVH, and the far more decentralized adherents of the Norse, Roman, Greek, Hindu, (Buddhists (okay maybe not... I can see Buddha sitting on the sideline saying, "I have no need of your numbers game. What followers I have will be sufficient be they 10 million or 1.") Native American, Mesoamerican... on and on...and there being some kind of brokered deal wherein those old Gods (including Gabriel as Loki) could keep being and existing, reliving the good times, some retirement resort in Valhalla...or Elysium, maybe six months in each, in exchange for not going into all out War and destruction mode ...I mean, the argument being that the Archangels can be pretty damn persuasive even without the use of threats.

But here we are, several millennia later, and suddenly the Angels are breaking the contract without returning to the negotiating table, about to lay waste to the last bits of human consciousness that actually give *life* to the gods and you've got some pretty pissed off shareholders in the whole, Team Abraham takes over the world thing...

I mean the one thing the older religions didn't do with the absolute fervor and determination of the Abrahamic religions was spread beyond their immediate geographic location of origin. And while judaism isn't a religion that depends or even promotes conversion, by simple migration, the influence of Judaism is not limited to the middle east or central europe, and christianity made it a point to spread and dissemble as much as possible.

So, it makes sense to me, in that context, that Kali Ma even as Mahakali, might end up giving ground to Lucifer, who while not a god himself, is one of the most identifiable (if not often invoked) of the Abrahamic god's representative. (And keeping in mind in the panoply of non-Abrahamic religions, that Baron Samedi is not a god either -- if anything he's the upper management equivalent of an archangel -- on Gabriel's level, but probably not on Odin's)

I get people being cheesed off at the way the elder powers were presented and then seemingly dismissed (both by the writers and Lucifer) but in the Chopped and diced myth arc foundation of Kripke et al...what happened and how, actually makes sense to me. My real wish is that they had taken more than one episode to do it, because the set up suffered in only 42 minutes, for what could have been a seriously awesome throw down between all the active powers...

Anyway... that's why the episode didn't really bother me all that much, because honestly, they've managed to trash the more popular myths about the angelic hosts with gleeful abandon for a couple of seasons now. (Come on, you know you want to see Zach and Mikey and Gabe and Raphael and even Joshua, standing up in choir robes and singing Ave Maria...you know you do...)

Plus it all plays well into my own pet theories of how this will play out -- including why god with the Big "G" sent the boys a message through Joshua...Mankind's faith in anything outside him/herself (Our boys included) is like hoping Ganesh will bring you rain, or Baldur will step in and restore your 401K losses from the economic meltdown if you just believe in him strongly enough. Or you know, clapping your hands to revive fainting fairies.

And that's my theory: That God isn't going to interfere -- that he gave mankind free will, free agency for a reason -- and for good or bad, it's why he loves humans above even his devoted angels -- because when humans decide to believe in a god or gods, it's a choice. When angels do it -- it's not a choice, it's an absolute.

And what will ultimately save the world from the apocalypse is that Sam and Dean will not give in to having that choice taken away form them again... at least that's what I'm hoping. Because Gabe had the right reason (in my head) -- we are imperfect beings, we are petty and glorious all at once, we are small minded and capable of great things between one breath and the next. We can be both righteous and humble, and we are as varied as the stars in heaven and as the angelic hosts are not, nor the old gods who built and hold to their own mythologies and restrictions.

We try and we fail a lot of the time. But we keep trying.

I am glad Kali Ma made it out, and although in my heart I think Gabriel/Loki is gone gone...in my head I'm still thinking, but... but...dude, Loki!!. And because we've seen Lesser angels killed, but Archangels? Not so much...

So while I don't expect to see him back, I would not be surprised if he did pop up again.

I'd say more about the boys themselves but other's have said it already -- like cowbell, we needed more Sam, and thank you whoever, that the hints of emo broken Dean were few and far between, because I'm fast hitting the point where I'm seeing Dean as whiny and annoying as people saw Sam in season one and two and I Hate feeling that way.

Sam +(plus) Dean - (minus) emo/angst x (times) 11tybizillion = \o/
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