The Fate of the Feast of Being

Disclaimer: The CEO is by no means an anti-scientific organisation. The content herein concerns the Gods’ perspective and not necessarily the mortals at all. As such the piece can be interpreted in a manifestationist light.

The Fate of the Feast of Being.

It so happened that in the realm of the Gods there was to be a feast. The deities took an eternity in its preparation, for this feast was to be the greatest feast ever and the feast of the divine is naturally the best feast possible. Furthermore one cannot enumerate or describe the contents of this feast in human language for this feast is necessarily in excess to all our concepts of the comestible. What we can say is that the feast of the divine is the feast of being, and its consumption by the deities was to be the greatest unfolding of divinity’s fusing with its own works.

In that timeless world –which contains in it the essence of time- the Gods prepared to eat the feast, the relish of the Gods in their being-towards-the-feast-of-the-divine was itself nearly as great as the feast itself. Thus the realm of the Gods was filled with the anticipation of the holy. One can only dream of the gloriousness of this timeless time in its golden glory. The infinite halls of the Gods decked in ethereal splendour, finery beyond finery, decoration upon decoration, this event –which is the event of all events- promised to be the greatest happening and becoming and having been. Yet this having-been would be so great as to never dwell in its pastness, for the essence of the feast of being contains all that is and will be.

Now there dwelled also, in the timeless realm of the Gods, a dog. The dog was the companion of the Gods, but in truth it was a wretched beast, its wretchedness and its beastness were evident to all the deities, but they in their glory petted it and kept it. The Gods knew what the dog was and they felt it was better to keep an eye on it than let it stray around the divine realm, for the dog was the dog of science. Unlike the glorious divine realm and its inhabitants, the dog of science was more easily describable being more concrete in its appearance. The dog of science was in fact a rather rotund Labrador that shuffled and puffed its way around the divine realm. The dog of science was a sickening beast and many of the divine thought it would soon die, and frankly many of them thought that was the best thing for it.

At the timeless time of the feast of being, the dog of science of was puffing its way around the glorious banquet hall, sniffing at the food of divinity. The dog of science though, was a stupid beast and knew nothing about the glorious nature of the feast; to the dog of science the feast of being was simply more food like any other.

It came about –which was the essence of coming-about-ness- that the feast of being was due to commence. The Gods had gathered in the hall of halls and sat at table of tables to eat the feast of feasts. In all this glory, no one paid any attention to the dog of science, which lay slumped under the table in a wretchedly unhealthy pile of beast.  Now in that instant before the first mouthful of the feast of being was tasted –and we must not forget the incredible relish that the Gods felt towards the feast- there came an interruption. The interruption was a knock from the world of mortals at the door of the divine realm. The Gods longed to ignore the knock at the divine door yet knew they could not, for due to the law the Gods are compelled to always answer the door. So thusly coerced to answer the door, the Gods left the feast of being and went to see who was there, though they knew that there was no one there and that the knock was simply that, a knock from the mortal realm. Such knocks are not uncommon in the realm of Gods, yet necessarily they can never have anyone behind them, for no mortal may be behind the door when the Gods answer[i].

So the Gods go to the door and open it, they open it wide and peer out, checking carefully in all directions, for the Gods are nothing if not meticulous. Yet it is as always and there is no one there. However what is that happens whilst the Gods leave the feast of being? Well, whilst the Gods are away answering the door, the banquet hall is empty, that is except for the wretched dog of science. In the absence of the Gods the dog of science heaves itself to its feet and moves its turgid carcass close to the edge of the table of the feast of being. Again it sniffs the feast, and as before, finds nothing special in this, the best feast ever. However the dog is hungry, it licks its slavering maw and drools at the prospect of dinner. Now nearly overcome with excitement at the prospect of food, the dog of science begins to form a plan.

In an effort of almost titanic proportions, this most rubbish of beasts heaves its front two legs up onto the table where the feast is laid and once there it pauses, sniffs and drools until its saliva makes a small puddle on the tablecloth of tablecloths. Now from this position all the beast can do is stare, for the feast of being is too far in the middle of the table. But the dog of science, though fat and wretched, is cunning. The dog presses its legs down hard against the tablecloth and begins to shuffle its hind legs backwards, in this way the dog of science –slowly but surely- drags the divine table cloth –upon which is the feast of feasts- towards the edge of the table. Soon the dog has the feast close to the edge of the table where it could begin to feed, but no, the dog is not satisfied with a mouthful and it drags the tablecloth further until parts of the feast begin to spill onto the floor.

Here then is the true beginning of the tragedy of tragedies as the first dishes of the feast of being falls to the floor. Yet the dog of science is not satisfied with this initial spillage and now that it has part of the tablecloth reachable from the floor, it grabs it in its mouth and begins to drag again. If the Gods were aware of this tragedy then they would assuredly stop it, but they are away and the feast of being cannot defend itself. And so it happens that glorious dish by glorious dish falls off the side of that greatest of tables until ultimately the feast of being, the most glorious achievement of divinity, is nothing but the greatest mess the divine realm has ever borne witness to.

Now, seemingly content to have rendered the entire feast upon the floor, the dog of science begins to feed, hungrily wolfing down the best meal ever, yet its feeding is not a moment of magnificence and relish, of taste beyond taste. No, the experience of the dog of science is no different from its ordinary dinner, except perhaps that –on this occasion- there is more of it. So the dog of science eats and eats the feast of being. In fact the dog of science does not cease until the whole of the feast has been consumed.

Can one imagine the horror of the Gods when they return from the door? Can one conceive of what the deities must feel when their being-towards-the-feast-of-being is greeted not with the feast of being, but instead with the huge bloated evil dog of science lying on the holiest of tablecloths unable to move from its gorging.

Frankly the Gods are appalled, but this appalledness is the essence of being appalled, it is the most upsetting sensation ever. Of course in many ways to say they are appalled is not to say anything remotely adequate. They are horrified and terrified, they weep and gnash their teeth, they wail they the wail of wailings. Yet what does the dog of science do? Well it lies there on the tablecloth and looks at the Gods for it has no idea that there is a problem. It possibly wonders if they aren’t going to eat something themselves, but this is only conjecture. It certainly doesn’t know what all the wailing and crying is about. It is a blessing for the Gods that they cannot read the mind of the dog of science, as if they could it might increase further their distress and this is a happening not to be contemplated[ii].

But what is this sensation that the dog of science now feels? What is that rumbling in its insidious stomach? The dog of science doesn’t know immediately but soon finds out. For the divine food is of course the richest, finest food ever. In fact the divine dinner is –quite naturally- too rich for the wretched dog of science and now the dog of science discovers this. The dog of science feels terrible so it raises itself to it pathetic feet and makes its way to the porch outside. In doing this the dog of science believes it is being quite well behaved for it would not dream of being sick in front of the Gods in their fine banquet hall.

So the dog of science gets outside to the porch and there, it begins to be sick. In truth, the dog of science is violently sick on the porch, which is hardly surprising since it just consumed the whole of the feast of being. The Gods look on in horror at the worst spectacle ever; one might say the worst spectacle possible. That wretched beast that they have allowed to hang around the divine realm, that they have fed, that they have looked after; not content with eating the feast of feasts is now vomiting it up on their own porch. We said before that we did not wish to contemplate what would happen if the Gods state were to worsen, yet now that is what happens. The Gods stare with the horror of horrors at this terrifying image: the dog, the sick, the porch. They try to understand, they try to say the words ‘The dog of science has eaten the feast of being whilst our backs were turned and now is throwing it up all over the porch’. But they cannot say these terrible words; some of them manage half the sentence others cannot even say the first word. Now this horror –the Gods believe- is at least the final horror and it maybe that this horror itself is enough to taint the divine realm forever. But no, this is not the end of the terror, for now having been sick for some considerable period of time the dog stands still, sick dripping out its maw. It looks at the Gods in their distress and probably it believes they are crying because the dog has been sick. The dog of science is very touched by this, but believes the Gods should not fret, for now the dog of science feels fine. In fact the dog of science feels so fine that it believes there should not even be any need for the wastage in front of it –which is the sick of the feast of being.

And now we reach it, the final horror that assuredly ruins the allness of everything for all eternity. The dog of science droops its head towards the sick of the feast of being and once more, begins to feed. Well, as one can imagine the Gods horror is even greater than before, it is the essence of disgust and more. Yet the increased state of revulsion amongst the Gods does not seem to bother the dog of science, it feeds and feeds until once more the feast of being is –in its new state- yet again totally consumed.

Well now the state of the Gods is so dreadful that ultimately when they can stare no more, the Gods are forced to flee. Yet what happens in the Gods absence, well the dog stares at the empty realm, but is not bothered for it suddenly has a more pressing matter, that is once more it does not feel too well. Fortunately for the dog of science it is already outside, so again it begins to be sick, sicking up the rich sick of the feast of being. It is, in all honesty, just as well that by now the Gods have fled, for we do not wish to contemplate what they would feel in observing this. And what is more, this happening is one that seems to have trapped the dog of science, for again and again it eats the sick of sick and again and again it vomits up –all be it each time slightly finer- the sick of the feast of being. The divine realm then, is now devoid of divinity; there is only the dog and the cycle of the sick of the feast of being and its being re-consumed on the porch.

It so happens eventually that the mortals who knocked on the door to the divine realm become curious as to why no one answered it. Eventually the mortals peer in, for they know also that according to the law the Gods must always answer the door, hence something must be amiss[iii]. What greets the mortal sight upon entry is not the brilliance of divinity’s dwelling, but an empty realm, devoid of glory. All they find is the dog of science being sick on the porch then eating its sick. This then is the dilemma that faces the mortals. Should they try to stop the dog from its cycle of being sick and feeding? And if so how? Should they beat it with sticks then try to clean up the sick or should they befriend it, perhaps by offering a different less rich kind of food? If they do distract it what should they do with the sick? Should they sift through it to see if something can be rescued, to see if they can perhaps learn something from the sick of the feast of being? Or maybe they should just leave the dog to its hideous cycle and attempt to find where it is that the deities have fled to. These questions and many more face the mortals, who can say what they will decide…

 

Notes.

[i] There is on this point some debate about the originary state of the myth, for though no one could question the truth of that law which compels the Gods to always answer the door, there does exist a version in which the mortals ask to come in to partake of the feast of being. In this version an argument ensues between the Gods and mortals as to whether they should be allowed in. The mortals argue that since –in many respects- the feast of being is for their benefit, it stands to reason that they should be allowed in. Whilst the Gods understandably reply that whilst it is true that the feast of being does find its reflection in the mortal realm, it is not directly for the mortals to partake in. It is of course in the time that this debate takes up that the dog of science commits the crime of crimes. There is of course an obvious consequence from this version. For in this case it is the mortals themselves who are indirectly responsible for ruining the feast of being and thus fall out of favour with the Gods, whereas in the version presented here it is the meticulousness of the Gods that is the chief problem. There are of course those who say the mortals are to blame in either case as we cannot blame the Gods for making sure there is no one at the door. Interestingly enough we might note two links with the respective version in terms of Christianity. The version above tells us that no mortal may be behind the door when the Gods answer it and who could fail to see the parallel with this and the well known notion that one cannot look upon the face of God and live. The second point regards the version where the mortals argue with the Gods and are hence responsible for ruining everything. This of course can be easily interpreted as the fall of mankind.

[ii] A debate has sprung up about the sensation that the Gods experience, for we are told that when they first encounter the dog of science after it has eaten the feast that this is ‘the most upsetting sensation ever’. Yet then first there is one reference to a sensation worse than this i.e. when it is imagined what they would feel if they could read the mind of the dog of science. Then later we are told that such an event actually occurs i.e. when the dog is sick. Some scholars have conjectured that for an effective reading we must add the word ‘bearable’ to the description of the sensation, so that it reads ‘the most upsetting sensation ever that is bearable’. Those who disagree with this state that the addition is not necessary as under no circumstance can the sensation be described as bearable for we are told it is the worst possible sensation. The reply to this is of course that ‘how then, is it that the sensation becomes worse later?’ Here theorists have conjectured that we must look for a kind of transcendence of the sensation of worstness and that it is this transcendence that is responsible for the Gods being forced to flee. This theory of transcendence has been modified to cover the even worsening of the sensation when the dog begins to eat its own sick, hence we end up with the following schema.

 

What is felt when the Gods encounter the dog           =              The most upsetting sensation ever.

when it has eaten the feast.

 

What is felt when the Gods view the dog being         =              The transcendence of the most upsetting

sick.                                                                                               sensation ever.

 

What is felt when the Gods view the dog eating        =              The transcendence of the transcendence

the sick.                                                                                        of the most upsetting sensation ever.

 

To this though, the advocates of the addition of the word ‘bearable’ will simply claim that the theory of transcendence is but another way of saying the same thing as adding the word ‘bearable’.

[iii] There is a good deal of discussion as to the nature of the door upon which the mortals knock. A certain school –in line with the idea that the mortals wish to join the feast- believe that the door is in fact the door to the banquet hall. This would seem to be a hard claim to defend as we are told at the end that the mortals peer through the door and see the porch and the dog. How is this possible if the banquet door is the one upon which they knocked?  It seems very unlikely that there would be a porch inside the banquet hall. This school then point to the unclear translation and that this explanation of the two doors has been lost through the years of rewriting. They state that it may be that there are two doors but that, the first time the knock is mentioned –the disturbance of the feast- they knock on the banquet door having already knocked on this further outer door. The second time they knock it is only on the outer door, as when they enter it is obvious that the divine realm has been deserted. A consequence of this theory is that the mortals may have frequently visited the divine realm when they deities do not answer these more outer doors. Of course if one wishes to keep to the doctrine that the mortals must not be behind the door when the deities open it, then one must allow that they have sufficient time to escape the divine realm when they hear the Gods approach.

It must be said though, that the majority of interpretations do not side with the theory of the two doors. The more popular interpretation is that there is in fact only one door upon which the mortals ‘knock’ and that we should not –in our analysis- attempt to be too literal about the door and its location. These scholars hold that the mortals knock is not a knock on the banquet hall door and that furthermore, their advent into the ex-divine realm is almost certainly the first time they have been in. The knock that takes place before the feast is going to commence is upon a figurative door that is especially from the mortal realm, moreover the Gods know this when they go to answer it. This theory also aids those who wish to defend the theory that it was not an argument but the fastidious checking of the Gods that there was no one there. It helps for it means that the Gods must traipse out of the banquet hall –for the mortals see the porch when they come in hence it must be outside- to get to the door hence giving the dog of science more time to eat the divine feast.

 

 

 

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