The Deus ex Machina escape
The theatre has been around since time immemorial. Playwriters created as many stories as they could to make a living, after all, they didn’t spend much time on the phone, but some plays were a waste of time, others a Hamlet. The stories they wrote were complicated and the solutions to the problems they created were not always logical or easy to concoct. “Deus ex Machina” to the rescue.
A “Deus ex Machina” was, and is, a plot creative device in a story whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and/or abruptly resolved by an unexpected and unlikely occurrence, perhaps even the intervention of the Gods.
If you, like me, watch sports games where some players excel or in yearly ceremonies where singers, musicians, or actors get a reward in one category or another for their work, you may get exposed to many reactions of gratitude by the surprised recipients.
One of those typical reactions is the humble acceptance of the award while raising a gaze to the sky or the ceiling of the venue thanking God for the prize. It gives the winner the appearance of being selected for recognition by a bigger power. Who can argue about its validity after that?
Another version is the familiar mention of a loved deceased parent who is watching the ceremonies from above with obvious pride because the child, who had been ignored before, finally made it. God not all of us have seen, even if we are believers, but parents in heaven are connected with all of us sooner or later. Mine left fifty-seven and twenty-eight years ago respectively. Whatever awe version of satisfaction is used, behooves the uncomfortable situation of a God who, in choosing the winners, let down any of the nominated who didn’t make it or disappointed dead parents in some other heavenly section whose children in the audience failed them. One more time to boot.
But I go beyond the competition taking place amongst these believers with the responsibilities of a God who keeps his attention away from the places where his or her presence might be more critical at that moment.
Was this God busy watching a piano concert or an award ceremony while the earth was suddenly shaking, and thousands of innocent people were killed and crushed by the flimsy buildings where they lived in Turkey or Syria? Is there value in an award given to a noisy bongo player while someone else was dying in silence? Would someone else’s heavenly parents like to see their earthbound children stealing the show at such a cost? And, above all, would they be still allowed to live in a heaven of peace and wonder with such a hell of a selfish attitude?
Recently, a religious figure whose name and denomination I remain silenced so as not to make him an object of admiration by the clueless who agree or criticize those who disagree has commented that this recent earthquake is divine retribution for faults attributed to its victims. What can I add that doesn’t dehumanize me?
And that’s my point of view today. So long.
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