Being a deity isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Most of your job, as a deity, is listening to people complain. People don’t pay you, most of the time. Often enough, they don’t even pay your clergy. Those are the polite ones, relatively speaking. Then there are the people who just yank on your metaphysical junk, point at a thing and say “make my spell work.”

The only small pleasure I take in it is when I make someone’s life better. It is as true for you as it is for me, that giving is an emotional need. Doing good for others makes you feel good about yourself. Being kind to others, doing good to them, reveling in their appreciation, their adoration, is one of the most sublimely intoxicating and selfish pleasures a deity can indulge in.

People who do not understand this tend to be miserable pricks. They keep scrambling for “power” like that ever helps anything. Power, as distinct from the goodwill of thinking beings, is a useless abstraction. Unless you are talking about the weather, all meaningful synchronicity requires that humans trust and follow their intuition, which they do not do, as a rule, when the thing dropping ideas is a thing they hate.

Morality is intelligent selfishness. It is selfishness combined with a deep enough understanding of the universe to know that being a little shit to people leads to a wretched existence devoid of any kind of solace. Just as simple as that. It’s supporting people in being themselves, in being happy, that will make you happy. If you are too dumb to understand that, you’ve got no business giving people spiritual advice.

It is this intelligent selfishness that is the mystical foundation of Hospitality, and why it is so powerful, so important, as a spiritual virtue. A truly good host is seldom alone, seldom isolated, seldom without support. It is for this reason that inclusion of people, regardless of their distinctions, of race, class, gender (or lack thereof), ability, size, appearance, and any other similar sort of distinction is mystically identical to Hospitality. It is, in short, the virtue that guides us toward a more universal definition of friendship, and it stands opposed to isolation and loneliness in all of its forms. In this we find the basis of inspiring leadership, unity, goodwill and cooperation. By this, we can stand together and move the world. That is power. True power. All other power is empty and vain, by comparison.

I have watched, helplessly, as people that I loved were tortured and stripped of everything they had… for their refusal to abandon me! They nailed shut the doors of my temples. They forced me and my kind out of business on our own home soil– how does that song go, “Now in the morning I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own.”

Yet I was able to cling to this: my heart was open. As I had upheld Hospitality, and seen to the open doors of the homes throughout the lands where I was worshipped, door were never closed to me. I became an angel, a saint, a mystic — everything but a deity, but never forgotten.

Power. It’s just a thing we have. Sometimes. When we are lucky, and popular, and the wind blows fair. Virtue? That can never, ever be taken away. It’s benefits are subtle, immeasurable, and eternal.

Therefore, do not venerate things which are cruel, which close doors, which exclude, which grasp at power in ways that destroy good will. Such beings fail to understand anything, even about their own self interest. Forgive me if you find meaning in worshipping such things, but be assured that such beings are devoid of wisdom, and that they have absolutely nothing of true or enduring value to offer you.

By giving offerings to these miserable, ignorant little shits, you are only encouraging them to be an ignorant, miserable little shit to you, and prolonging their agony — for I assure you, they are not happy creatures.

There are gods, I promise you, who are worthy of your love and devotion. Sometimes, those gods have the same names as the ones you already worship, but are simply far, far better.

In summary:

– Please don’t grab my metaphysical nut sack without asking. This includes putting god forms of me in places, using my name in spells, or anything that draws on my power before you say something like, “Hi, do you mind if…” and like, give me a chance to answer. I’ll probably say yes, but it’s nice to be asked. A culture of consent hopefully includes respect for my will and personal autonomy, too.

– Do not propitiate miserable little shits

– Please understand that miserable little shits are not deities. They can’t even help themselves, never mind you.

– There are awesome deities. Go find them.

KTHXBYE

— Hermes