Monday, October 6, 2008

Sick Day Rerun: Does this Mean They Have God-Catchers?

I've caught a case of the creeping crud and haven't been able to put the final polish on the planned posts for today and Wednesday. Here's a rerun from my other blog, originally published Sunday, May 21, 2006. Consider this fodder for deity design in your next world building attempt.

"Ray, the next time someone asks if you're a god, you show them your license!"

I'm reading James Frazer's The Golden Bough right now. It's been lurking on my nightstand for a couple of years. In an attempt to catch up on my reading, I try to consume a chapter or two a night.This evening, the topic was on incarnate gods. And I quote:

"A register of all the incarnate gods in the Chinese empire is kept in the Li fan yaun or Colonial Office at Peking. The number of gods who have taken out a license (emphasis mine) is one hundred and sixty...The Chinese government, with a paternal solicitude for the welfare of its subjects, forbids the gods on the register to be reborn anywhere but in Tibet...But besides these public or licensed gods there are a great many little private gods, or unlicensed practitioners of divinity, who work miracles and bless their people in holes and corners; and of late years the Chinese government has winked at the rebirth of these pettifogging deities outside of Tibet. However, once they are born, the government keeps its eye on them as well as on the regular practitioners, and if any of them misbehaves he is promptly degrade, banished to a distant monastery,and strictly forbidden ever to be born again in the flesh."
And I thought the DMV was bad!

1 comment:

mr scratch said...

I always wanted to run a Bunnies and Burrows campaign set in, what the players would figure out, was Imperial China. It would have elements based on a story I know I have shared with you of some beavers who need to put out a forest fire and go on a quest to do so but they fail because the rain they get from the Storm Boy isn't Official, Licensed Rain.