noun: apotheosis; plural noun: apotheoses
the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.
the glorification of a being to a devine level.
Apotheosis is, by some rights the goal of all things; to be the absolute best at one’s special talent or talents. To be so good at what you do that you are worshipped for that skill or talent. Having reverence for greatness is part of the human condition – it is what we do, hence all the different forms of stardom throughout time.
But I am talking about apotheosis in the literal sense. How someone becomes a deity – someone who is worshipped, someone who commands worship. This is the heart of the other half of my fantasy story: what happens when someone is successful at becoming a God?
It has happened a few times in history, take guys like siddhartha gautama known to us as The Buddha, or America’s sweetheart known by his friends as Yeshua Ben Yosef but to the ages as Jesus Christ. Mythos aside, if these people existed, they were people before their rising to the status of worship.
Coming back even more recently, you can look at historical figures like George Washington who even has his own apotheosis featured in a work of art in a place named for him (featured at the head of this post). Does that mean he as become like a God in the eyes of the peole? He is certainly revered like one.
Now, now all of you flag wavers and defenders of a God and liberty, I could really care less what people believe and I mean no offense.
Geez, so sensitive. They are just words.
The thing is, and maybe someone can illuminate this subject for me, but it seems that under the correct circumstances anyone given enough time reaches some degree of this. Twain, Shakespeare, Homer, Plato, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, Lady Gaga, the list goes on.
The reason this idea has burrowed into my neocortex like a tick is that I am sort of writing a story about it, and have been for a while. Well, not the whole “God” part per say, but historical and mythological figures in the wild, and some science fiction fantasy reasoning as to why they are still being talked about thousands of years later.
More than anything though, I have been looking at the title for this post in my cue for three months, and I was afraid my head would explode if I didn’t finish it. There, now please return to worshipping Christina Aguilera, and I’ll go back to my Harold Ramis shrine.
Image courtesy of templestudy.com