Neal Stephenson is Amibah the Formless One

Close to ten years ago, some of us had imagined ourselves to be Gods, and thus created a Pantheon. I was War, for whatever reason. Madness was Madness. Kodhi was Disease. Spunky was Death, because, you know, Death looks like Spunky.

And then there was a whole host of “minor Gods”, most of who I don’t remember right now, but most of who were also modelled after real people that we (Madness, Disease and I – the creators of the Pantheon) were very well acquainted with. If I’m not wrong, there was a point in time when we tried fitting every significant person around us into the Pantheon. Anyway.

So as far as Pantheons are concerned a flat organisation is not desirable. There can be minor quibbles among the Gods, which can only be resolved by a higher power. Then, there can be conflicts in judgments of Gods, for which a hierarchy is necessary to determine whose Will will prevail.

One way of doing this is to establish a hierarchical structure, where there is some kind of well-formed ordering among the Gods of the Pantheon. The downside of this, of course, is that there can be quibbles among the Gods regarding their positions in the Pantheon itself, and if they can’t agree on the hierarchy itself, there is very little they can achieve by being Gods.

So a standard solution for this is to have a mostly flat organisational structure, but have a head at the head of it – a King of Gods, or perhaps a God of Gods. So in Indian mythology you have Indra. The Greeks have Zeus, whom the Romans call Jupiter and whom the Norse call Thor (it is interesting, though, that when it comes to days of the week, it is Brhaspati and not Indra who is mapped to Jupiter and Thor. But that is another matter). Given that most of the Pantheonic religions have a King of Gods, it seems like a rather sustainable organisational structure!

And so we decided to have a King of Gods for our Pantheon also. Now, within our peer group we wanted to avoid unsavoury competition, and didn’t want to impose a hierarchy. So we had to get someone from outside the peer group to head the Pantheon (like the Kodhis have Manoj Kumar at the head of their Pantheon). So we created a King of Gods, and called him/her (it wasn’t clear then) Amibah the Formless One. Amibah wasn’t mapped to anyone we knew.

So as I’d mentioned in these pages last month, I recently finished reading Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. Earlier in October, two days before I was due a day-long flight, I started reading the prequel to that, The Baroque Cycle (this book is so long that at the end of the flight, most of which I spent reading, I was at 6% in the book). I’m now through about a quarter of the book, and it has been absolutely awesome. I’ve learnt much more about late Medieval European history by reading this book than by reading all the other history books I’ve read in the last several years.

That, however, is besides the point. As I have been going through the two books of Stephenson, I’m amazed at how much of Madness’s talking and writing and style is derived from Stephenson. In almost every page, there is something that I read that reminds me of Madness. The similarity in styles is unmistakable. Considering that Madness had finished reading the two books before he wrote all the stuff in which the same style was seen, the causation can only run one way – everything Madness says and does is heavily influenced by Stephenson’s writings.

Madness channels Stephenson in everything that he writes, says and does. If you were to remove the elements of Stephenson from Madness, he gets reduced to virtually nothing. By thus channeling Stephenson, Madness can be considered an ambassador of Stephenson. Nay, he should be considered to be a Prophet of Stephenson.

So if Madness is a Prophet of Stephenson, that implies that Stephenson is a God. But Madness is no ordinary prophet – he is also a member of the Pantheon. That a member of the Pantheon is Stephenson’s prophet can mean only one thing – that Stephenson is a higher member of the Pantheon. Which means he is none other than the King of Gods.

Which means that Neal Stephenson is actually Amibah the Formless ONe.

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