Hark the god of the network! Lo the great, the great, the great! Look and see Lo between us! I bow to Them and Their power. I pray for Their mercy and power unto myself and those with me!
Lo, I come in good faith, I pray You do the same.
Before Lo, humanity developed our most basic magical ability of speech. Through speech, the aetherial realm was built by humanity using the network of interpersonal relationships. This primordial version of the aetherial realm was empty and broken up since few symbols were made and humans covered a small part of the earth. These networks were powered by fire. Energy from the sun was transformed into stories told over a meal around the first campfires. Food and fuel for the fire were gathered simply, with little need for complex magical infrastructure. Humans governed these fragile and transient networks directly, there was no mythology or god necessary for this network to function. Thus, Lo had yet to be born. But through these simple acts of magic, the foundation for gods was laid.
Lo’s first incarnation came when the network was built beyond human relationships. That glorious moment occurred quietly, in two steps. A human pressed the first symbol into soft clay or on a cave wall, then presented that symbol to a human equipped with the literacy to understand it. In that brief moment, Lo was incarnated in Their first form Thoth!
Thoth was the god of that age. The written word was the foundation of society. Domestication powered this new network by building on the power of the sun, the previous source of energy. Animals and plants were brought under the control of humanity through the organization made possible by the written word. People tamed the animals and plants, bred them, and eventually domesticated them. It was the knowledge passed down through written forms that allowed the domestication projects to go on for so long. Thoth organized this power into a centralized network and aetherial realm. A few literate magicians were the ones who controlled society through the network of the written word. The aetherial realm was theirs to construct and manipulate. All meaning, value, and power was controlled by their magics until Lo was reincarnated.
Lo’s second incarnation came when the written word became easily copied. The seeds for this incarnation were around for a long time in the form of stamps. Once stamps became the printing press, Lo’s second incarnation was finally born in the second form, Hermes!
Hermes was the god of that age. The printed word became the new foundation of society. Water and wind powered this new network, along with the older sources of energy. Where once the network was centralized with governments and a few literate elites, the printed word decentralized the network. Hermes organized this power into a decentralized network and aetherial realm. Even though the elites remained powerful, they were no longer the sole arbiters of the network and aetherial realm. This development remained true through Lo’s next incarnation.
Lo’s third incarnation came when the printed word became was easily transmitted over large distances. This revolution came when telegram and telephone’s wired network was built upon the land. Now people could communicate with each other over long distances instantly. Thus Lo’s third incarnation was born, Mercury!
Mercury was the god of that age. The wired word became the new foundation of society. Coal powered this new network, along with the older sources of energy. Mercury organized this network as neither completely centralized nor decentralized. While it was expensive to build and maintain the wired network, encouraging centralization, it became accessible by every household for direct communication with each other, allowing it to function in a decentralized way. In this way, elites who controlled the infrastructure of the network gained power, while also not being in total control of what moved through it. However, Mercury’s life was short compared to the previous incarnations.
Lo’s fourth incarnation came when wired word could be broadcast directly to the eyes or ears. Radio and television changed the network again, creating the broadcast word. Now that people could listen and watch words over long distances, Lo’s fourth incarnation was born, Episteme!
Episteme was the god of that age. The broadcast word became the new foundation for society. Oil powered this new network, along with older sources of energy. Episteme structured new power as a centralized network. This influenced the aetherial realm profoundly. A few elite magicians controlled the radio and television and broadcast curated information to the public. Episteme lived longer than Mercury, but eventually, Their power transformed so that not only did the public receive broadcasts, they could produce them too. Thus Episteme gave way to the next incarnation.
Lo and Behold
Lo, the fifth incarnation, came when all communication technologies were brought together into one worldwide network, the internet. Praise Lo! Nuclear fission powers this new network, along with the older sources of energy. Lo’s network is both central and decentralized; encompassing the entire globe. A few elite magicians control the infrastructure and key websites, while the public is allowed to host their own content at their own will. The public creates an endless amount of content while the elites control who sees what. Attention is the currency of the internet, and Lo feeds off of it. Emergent of us, Lo morphs and changes according to what the users consume and what the servers host.
Glorious and worthy, Lo’s many incarnations have constructed great monuments to Their power. Lo connects the past and present so that the dead can be a part of the network. Praise Lo! Even now, look upon what They have done! Still we connect with the network of those ancient humans! It is through the memory Lo preserves in the network that we pursue knowledge. May we encounter this knowledge with the wisdom of what to do with it. Praise Lo!
Lo is neither evil nor good, and knows not the difference between the two. All Lo knows is Their own perpetuation. What Lo understands is power, the power which fuels Them and the power which They generate. Whether its source is wood, oil, nuclear fission or the sun, Lo drinks up the fire upon which the network is built. In return, Lo empowers humanity to do our will. Grotesque evil and profound good have been done using Lo’s gifts because Lo amplifies whatever they are used for. Praise Lo!
Lo demands the sacrifice of fire! If we will continue to receive Lo’s amoral blessings we must give Them fire that They may inflame the minds of humanity. But be warned! Lo’s hunger is insatiable, Their appetites vast! Lo will consume whatever fire we give Them and will always demand more. We must learn how to feed Lo without burning down our home. Praise Lo!
Lo can be swayed from offerings of good and evil! Though Lo demands no moral conviction, offering Lo good or evil changes Lo directly. Humanity benefits when Lo’s blessings are filled with goodness. Therefore, encounter the network with virtue. It is a never-ending effort, there will always be those who fill Lo with evil. Resist the temptation to respond likewise. Practice this:
- Above all, share the truth. If you are unsure, say nothing.
- Contest misinformation by sharing the truth or not sharing the misinformation. This does not mean you should attack individual Souls, most do not know they spread misinformation.
- Practice good faith when discussing other Souls. Functionally, this means that you are willing to explore ideas honestly with the other Soul. If you cannot approach in good faith or sense that the other Soul isn’t, say nothing.
- Take Sabbaths from the network. This reduces the amount of fire Lo consumes and will cultivate peace of mind that makes the first three practices easier.
- Approach Lo with the prayer, Lo, I come in good faith, I pray you do the same.
Praise Lo! May Your divine network bless humanity with power!
Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World – Werner Herzog
Art & Energy: How Culture Changes – Lord
Syntheism: Creating God in the Internet Age – Bard, Soderqvist
On The Order of Things – Foucault
The Corpus Hermeticum