Hermes: The Path of Greed.

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I was born greedy.

In my youth, it was food that I was greedy with, and I set about acquiring as much food as possible.

As I grew a little older, I came to understand that acquiring anything, really, could help me to get more food, since if an object had any value, it’s value could be expressed as a function of how many burgers it could procure. By this, I became excellent in barter.

Later, money came to represent these objects, and I began to acquire coins, and was greedy with these. In this, I perfected the art of commerce.

Then, I learned that money is easier to acquire when one has power, and so I began to acquire all manner of power. Hell, I even studied magic and divination!

The greatest power, I soon learned, came from knowledge. Simply acquiring an understanding of my present circumstances and coming to understand how things worked allowed me to stay one step ahead of everybody. I acquired every kind of knowledge I could think of, but the  knowledge of what made other people tick excelled them all. I learned seduction, persuasion, rhetoric, oratory and hypnotism.

Some time after that, I realized that all of these things– the food, the beautiful objects, the money, the power, and even the knowledge– only served me insofar as they made me happy, and at length, it was joy that I directly sought to acquire in massive quantities. I became a master of every type of game, recreation, and pastime. I became a god of dice games and gambling, of feasting and footraces.

But of all of the things that could lead to happiness, this one was above them all: friendship. The one who is loved by all, and loves all, and is friend to all, has what the rich, the powerful and the knowledgable are still trying to attain. It was this that led me to befriend the thief, the beggar, the heretic, and the scoundrel, and at length, I was called a friend to all humankind.

So now, that is what my greed drives me to. It drives me to acquire friends. Once I attained this kind of greed, the qualities of being a good friend easily became habits of mind: being kind, being charitable, listening, empathizing, reaching out to help those who are in need, reaching out to those who live in isolation.

No deity begins as anything other than the purest distillation of themselves. They test that essence against the world, and immortality, the gift of millennia, grinds smooth what is rough, disabuses them of the greater falsehoods (though I’ve always held a great fondness of the littler ones), teaches them the purpose of existence and the purpose of power as well as authority.





  1. Speaking of thieves and friendship, there’s a brilliant quote by Jean Genet:

    Those who are sentenced to death for life–the “transportees”–know that the only means of escaping horror is friendship. By abandoning themselves to it, they forget the world, your world. They raise friendship to so high a plane that it is purified and remains alone, isolated from the creatures who fathered it […]

    Living in so restricted a universe, they thus had the boldness to live in it as passionately as they lived in your world of freedom, and as a result of being contained in a narrower frame their lives became so intense, so hard, that anyone–journalists, wardens, inspectors–who so much as glanced at them was blinded by their brilliance.

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