SIM:Jan Droogendyk: A Headbanger's Journey
Jan Droogendyk attends a religious service aboard DS-17.
((Promenade - DS-17))
((OOC: I thought it might be neat to explore religion as it might exist in the future))
::Standing and glancing about, Jan Droogendyk found himself near an institution which we might be tempted to dub a chapel. But that would be far too anthropocentric a term. Sentient beings, given to so much diversity of mind and body, were prone also to a diversity in spiritual experience. For example, where one species such as humans might have possessed a single structure at the center of the brain which regulated emotions and another which regulated the spiritual, other species might possess two or more emotional centers with what we might dub the neocortex being in fact a cross between a reasoning center and something akin to a temporal lobe.
Furthermore, holding one's position on one's knees as a supplicant was considered offensive in at least twelve of different cultures which passed through the station regularly. Five other cultures tended to view holding something in a higher position as distasteful to say the least. If it is not among us then what worth is it to us, the reasoning went among two cultures. If it is high then it must also be ignorant as it cannot perceive the detail we see, another culture's holy writ claimed. And so, matters of spirituality withdrew further and further into the confines of individual minds and in so doing expanded infinitely into a diversity of comparative anthropology and connoisseurism.::
::Presently a band was playing in the institution, which we shall call the chapel only for the sake of brevity and familiarity, though I have noted already that this really is not the most appropriate term. The band styled itself after the old Terran form known as heavy metal. Droogendyk enjoyed this traditional music immensely for its expressions of anger at the sordid state of the mind and of the corruption which sin had introduced into the world.::
Lead Singer: Only through him! (Him!!!) can I cleanse myself from the **** of sin!
the band raged on.
Lead Singer: Only by love will I be free from the ravages of doubt!
Looking around him, Droogendyk saw two Klingons banging their heads in tune to the music, while three Vulcans sat in a circle meditating. He was fairly certain that the Klingons saw this event as a kind of inner struggle while the Vulcans saw it as an opportunity to test their skills of equanimity and resolve in the face of a noisy world.
Lead Singer: All of life is terrain! (Land!!!) It bears fruit that nourishes us!
Droogendyk himself prayed to Jesus Christ thanking him for creating such a wonderful world filled with so many curious and sundry things by which he could learn both of God and of himself. He was saved now, protected from the damage which sin had introduced into this universe.
"Oh Lord," he prayed silently, "Bless this the sound of thy servant and bless the reading of thy word to my soul."
::After the band had finished playing Droogendyk held back hoping to catch a glimpse of the lead singer, Blake Dragon. He liked this band a lot, particularly for Blake's views. He had long black hair that was slightly curled after the style of the 20th century bands which tended at that time to use their art as an explosive expression of civil and societal injustice. But now the art form was used as a vehicle for so much more.::
Someone: You rock!
Dragon: Well thank you, Alex. I see you've been studying 20th century idioms and turns of speech. You know, it's good to be back at Deep Space 17.
Band Member: Hey isn't the Ithassa region named for a phycisist?
Dragon: That's right Steve. It was named after Sjori Ithassa, whose discoveries included harmonic amplification phenomena exhibited in the pulsars along the secondary sequences of the set of stellar phenomena in the known Galaxy. In part because of his work we now have a more effective gravitational lensing technology for peering into the deeper universe.
::Now Droogendyk decided to ask a question.::
Droogendyk: Do you know God?
Dragon: Oh hi Jan. I didn't see you there. Yes, as a matter of fact I do. But to say that one knows him is to make a statement whose meaning is by definition different for every listener. God reveals himself in many different ways. For me, he reveals himself as a male diety who created the universe. I understand that for some species and subcultures God is actually a large computing aparatus. For the Borg it can be argued that God is a perfect symmetry of subatomic particles. I think for you He is the father of a sacrificed human being named Jesus Christ, whose name in turn derives from a term connoting 'annointed' in an obscure language known as Greek. Some even see God as a concept to be avoided in favour of a purely material universe. God becomes by definition the act of withholding belief in him, an idolized act of restraint.
Audience member: Does this guy know how to party or what?!?!
::Jan spent the rest of the day there on the promenade enjoying the pleasant conversation and music of Blake Dragon before returning eventually to see how things were among his friends aboard the Independence.::
Crewman Jan Droogendyk USS Independence-A as simmed by
Lt. Jg. Kevin Breeman Engineering Officer USS Independence-A
I thought it would be interesting to take the futuristic setting of this game and use it as a venue to turn around the notion of tradition. So I've taken heavy metal, a musical genre considered by most to be a rebellious kind of music and cast it as a traditional musical form fit for religious experience in this sim.
I was very careful to emphasize subjectivity in this post over the absolutist claims of many religions. So theism is cast as a consentual experience that one can legitimately have either collectively or individually. I gave Dragon the role of expounding on the un-written social contract I thought would be in effect in a society like this. To speak of God in a multi-cultural / multi-species society like this one is to discuss a floating referent that can mean anything.
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