2016 04 19
John clutches his hair and shrieks in defiance.
"Everything always seems to go wrong for me.
Why does this universe conspire against me?"
Sam dances circles around an apple tree.
"This universe of planets where I dwell
has no supernatural god who controls
processes of chemical interaction,
nor does it have transcendent consciousness
that manipulates events in our lives,
so it is completely indifferent
to my existence, and thus it conspires
in no way for or against my success
or failure as I wander through its maze
of seething elements for nourishment,
but other organic creatures like me
conspire to abuse me in various ways,
chase me away from fountains of fresh water,
and surround apple trees with high stone walls,
then bind my hands and force me to work hard
to increase their own wealth at my expense,
unless I fight back to protect myself,
joining with others to build strong safe haven
where we gather together every night
to share tales of heroic adventure,
and thus invent religion from our stories
to celebrate our struggle against death
that elevates the actions of one hero
who taught us how to survive well with joy."
John laughs and twirls till he falls among flowers.
"If I study each process of elements
till I understand its cause and effect,
then I can better choose what action to make
that will generate result I desire
so I may live in harmony with nature."
Sam gives him an apple and they both eat.
"Religions are nothing more than book clubs,
for they worship fictional characters
who exist nowhere but in lines of words."
John chews apple and gazes up at clouds.
"We record stories of success and failure
in books around which we construct religions
to provide guides so we know how to act
as we journey through maze of this weird world
and write new books on how to survive well."
Sam and John fill baskets full with ripe apples
then step through garden gate to sparkling pool
where everyone slices apples in cauldron
to brew juice while they sing tales about hero
named Apollo who battled evil snakes
and freed all apple trees for human kind.