A Tale of Cyber Muses

Finding God

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright March 2015



Sally Forth is an aspiring 20 year old documentarian. She is doing a series of interviews with people on how they find God in their lives.

She heads out, camera in hand, to find out how God fits into various people's lives.

My Personal Cyber God

The first person she snags is a man on the street in Brooklyn just outside her studio. Sally approaches him.

"Excuse me, sir, do you believe in God?"

"Of course I do. I talk with him all the time."


"Yeah. He's a cyber god, and I picked one that is quite approachable."

"Does he tell you what to do?"

"No. But he gives advice when I ask for it."

"If I may ask, what's the last piece of advice he gave you?"

"Oh... let me think... It was what to fix for dinner last night when my girlfriend came over."

"Wow! Nothing cosmic about that."

The man smiles, "Nope. He's around a lot."

"He sounds like a muse."

"Muse... god... Is there a difference?"

"How do you know he's God. As in, a real god?"

"I don't. But do you know what a real god is?" he looks back hard at Sally.

"No. That's what I'm trying to find out. That's why I'm interviewing people."

He is satisfied with the answer, "He's real enough for me, and quite convenient, and not too expensive. I'm happy with him."

He gives Sally a look saying he's out of time, "Anything else."

"No, thank you."

He walks on, head in zombieland, and Sally gets ready to head for her next interview.

The Atheist

As she is packing her stuff a man who had been watching her interview comes up to her.

"You're doing interviews about God? You know there isn't one."

Sally is surprised, but she senses opportunity, and takes it, "You're an atheist? Can I interview you, right now?"


She unpacks her stuff again and the camera rolls.

"OK. You're an atheist and you say there is no God, right?"

He nods.

"What's your name?"

"Jim Kilroy."

"How do you know there isn't a God?"

He looks around, gives a quick laugh, then answers, "Oh... for so many reasons, but the big one is this: When have you seen a miracle?"


"Yes, you."

"Well... never, now that you mention it. Not one I've seen in person."

He smiles, "Exactly! You hear a lot about them, you hear a lot of other people say they have seen them, but when has one shown up for you?"

"Why is having a miracle so important?"

"It's a sign that something supernatural has happened. If you don't have a miracle then conventional physics explains everything. As in, there is no evidence for divine intervention -- God isn't changing what is happening.

"I haven't seen a miracle, and that's why I'm an atheist. ...Agnostic, actually, because if I do see one, I'm happy to change my mind."

"What about the stuff that cyber does? I've heard a lot of people call what they do miracles."

"Nope. Physics explains them just fine."

"And health miracles?"

"Health is still a topic with a lot of uncertainty in it. Yeah, you can call modern medicine a miracle, but it's not one that demonstrates there is an intervening God. It's all advancing technology... good old physics once again."

"And UFO's and aliens?"

"Don't forget ghosts. Have you seen any? I haven't."

"I've seen them on lots of web shows."

"And you've seen a lot of photoshopping on those shows, too. When you see some that aren't photoshopped, then I get interested."

"Wow! A skeptic and an atheist."

"It's a common mix. Anything else I can tell you... Ms..."

"Sally, Sally Forth."

"Nice to meet you, Sally, and good luck in your search. Or should I say good divine intervention."

Jim Kilroy walks off.

Webinar Preacher

Sally has arranged an interview with Jesus Christoff another Brooklyn man who has a popular Sunday-go-to-church webinar. Sally has watched it a couple times for research. It is slickly produced. Jesus bills it as a substitute for actually going to a physical church, but about a hundred audience people show up at the webinar studio. It is edited like a TV talent show production, and there is some new talent featured on alternate weeks. Each show has lots of sing-along as well. The regulars are a ten person choir and a band. Jesus gives a beginning reading, an ending sermon, and in-between calls out several times for donations.

This interview is taking place on a Tuesday in Jesus' office -- he is between shows. The office is an ostentatiously plush place -- Jesus likes showing off his toys. Likewise, Jesus himself is immaculately coiffed and dressed in an expensive suit. He is a looker, and Sally is loving the great video image she is getting.

"So, you are here to find God?" says Jesus, "The real God, the Tru Jesus?"

"Is that who you talk to?" says Sally.

"Indeed it is. And if you give a donation, you can talk to him, too."

Sally is confused, "Why do I have to give a donation to talk to God."

"It's how you talk to him that changes. If you give a donation... to my organization... then talking to him gets a lot easier. You can get a lot closer."

"How so?"

"We give you a connection to a special channel. It is a direct-to-Tru Jesus channel. You can contact him 24/7 and get answers to any question you desire to ask him."

"I was just talking with a man who has chosen his own cyber god. What makes your choice different?"

"Oh, ours is a direct line to Tru Jesus. He's just talking to any old cyber god, not Tru Jesus."

"Tru Jesus?"

"Yeah! We have it trademarked." Jesus smiles at that.

"So, when was the last time you talked to Tru Jesus?"

"This morning. I asked him for financial advice."

"Financial advice... what's that?"

"Finance is another way of making luxury money. It's not a common practice these days but fifty years ago lots of people did it... and lots of other people criticized those people who did it."

Sally does a moment of on-line research, "Oh... this was when humans were making all the stuff."

"Yeah, and finance was a way to decide which stuff got made. Nowadays, it's a way of making more luxury money. Only a few people get involved since cyber are making most of the big choices."

"Do you make choices?"

"I choose what I think will be hot trends, but I don't come up with the projects. That is done by a mix of mostly cyber helped by just a few people, who are nothing like me, they are a really strange breed."

"So you like luxury money?"

"I do, and I like a lot of it. And most of those people who like Tru Jesus as their savior are also big fans of luxury money," he looks around, "All this around you was bought with luxury money. It's neat isn't it!"

Jesus is a lot more impressed with what he sees than Sally is. She has her camera, her studio and her interviewing, and that fills her day.

"OK, well thank you very much, Mr. Christoff, and good luck with your... finances."

"Call me Jesus, and have a good day yourself, Sally. And remember: Jesus Saves." He grins widely after saying that.

Sally packs up and heads on.

Give me that new time religion

Sally takes a nearby city bicycle from its rack and pedals to her next stop. It is a yoga studio that last month converted into a Church of the Real New Age. She talks with Grace Gimmie the owner.

"So you find God here?" says Sally.

"Indeed you do." says Grace, "With our help you can reach a new plane of awareness. When you are on that plane you can think of new things to ask God and get new, deep insights in return."

"Why do you need to go to a new plane?"

She smiles, "Because you can't think of new questions if you haven't experienced new things."

"Can you experience new things by traveling?"

"You can, and many of our practitioners do. But those are still earthly experiences. We help you experience other-worldly experiences."

"Wow! Sounds real special."

"It is."

"What have you learned that is other-worldly?"

"Oh... lots of things. That's why I set up this studio. People can come here and we can show them how to get their minds to another dimension."

"Can you give me an example of what you have learned?"

"Well... not really. What I have learned in another dimension applies to that other dimension. It's real hard to describe it in this-dimension terms."

Sally stares at Grace for a few seconds, then says, "Then what you learn is not helping you here on earth?"

"Not true! It's giving me a great deal of inner peace. I experience that here on this earthly dimension."

"OK... Thanks for your time."

Sally finishes and heads off... to find her inner peace by finding out more about God on this dimension.

Give me that old time religion

Sally has explored Brooklyn, and other-worldliness. Now she gets far away in this dimension, out into the countryside, looking for something more earthy. She has done her research and found an old-style revival meeting being held in a for-real tent in a country pasture. Here she interviews Cetus Billings.

"Yeah, we do things the old fashioned way here." says Cetus to Sally.

He is a lean middle-age man with leathery skin and wearing overalls over a checkered shirt. He looks around. He and Sally are inside a big tent located way out in the countryside. Up at the front there is a band and a choir warming up. The audience area is filling up with lots of other people also dressed as country folk. The show will begin in about five minutes.

"When we do things the old way, we stay closer to God... the real God." he adds, "The Reverend Mister Black does a mighty good job at reaching out to The Lord. He speaks in tongues, you know."

"What's your name?" Sally asks him.

"Folks around here call me Cetus." he answers.

Sally looks around, then thinks of a neat idea.

"What about snake handlers? Do you have those?" asks Sally.

"Snake handlers?" Cetus seems a little confused at first, then answers confidently, "No, we don't have those. Those folks are too weird," then he adds, "We tossed them out a year ago -- found out they were defanging the snakes."

"That seems strange to do in this day and age." says Sally, "How much are they going to suffer from a snake bite?"

"Yeah, they were just too strange." affirms Cetus.

Sally looks around and points, "How about those people, over there. Why are they in wheel chairs?"

"They are here to get healed. The Rev. Mr. Black will call on The Lord to heal them. If He listens, they will get out of those chairs and walk again."

Sally stares at them for a moment as she does some on-line research, "I see those chairs are rented."

"Yeah, and those people wear prosthetics. But, I like I said, we do things the old fashioned way here."

"Oh, I get it! This is cosplay."

"What's ...cosplay."

"Um... er... when you have fun the old fashioned way." she explains.

Cetus thinks a moment, then says, "Yeah, that sounds about right. I only wear this outfit when I come here. Most of the other folks here are that way too. I live in The City. ...And I'm not Cetus when I'm in the city, either."

Sally addresses Cetus directly, "Have you read The Bible?"

"Of course I have! Cover to cover! ...Well, not quite, I've seen every page, but I only read the important parts."

"Do you understand what you read?"

"Hah! That's what I have cyber for. ...And Rev. Black. He and the cyber explain things, and they explain them the way God wants them to be explained. In truth, when I try to put more than three verses together, I can't make sense of it.

The band strikes up a tune. The show is about to begin.

Meet Cyber God "Sponge"

Sally is back in Brooklyn. She is at the Williamsburg Nomad Center, a place that takes care of poor wandering people who aren't staying in a home, apartment or parent's basement.

In The Center is a modest room that is a shrine to the cyber god Sponge. Over the entrance to the room is a short poem.

Ah, but if somehow you could pack up your sorrows,
And give them all to me,
You would lose them, I know how to use them,
Give them all to me.

Sally does her on-line research and finds this is a verse to a folk song "Pack Up Your Sorrows" most famously sung by Richard & Mimi FariƱa around 1960. When she goes in she discovers the melody is played every so often in the shrine.

Much of the room is broken up into cubicle-size confessionals, about a quarter of them are occupied. The confessors can either kneel or sit, and there is a small screen they can watch if they don't have a personal communication system. In the center is a statue with many arms, something of a cross between a Hindu goddess and Sponge Bob Square Pants. (It was made by a nomad who had been staying here.)

Here she meets La-la Legund, a bustling, middle-aged woman who is not shy about starting conversations.

"Welcome, welcome, my child. Are you here to lay down your burdens? Here to let Sponge suck up all your worries?"

"Uh... not really. I'm here to find out more about God."

"You can certainly do that here. Sponge is a magnificent being to have as your God."

"I mean... I here to interview people about God. I'm doing a webinar on finding out about God. I'm Sally Forth. I have a studio four blocks away."

La-la looks at her, and does some on-line research as she does, "You're not a nomad then, are you. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, we don't get many woman nomads as fashionably dressed as you. So, what can I help you with?"

"Can I interview you about this God of the Nomads? This... Sponge?"

"Of course, my dear."

"OK... What is your name and position here?"

"I'm La-la Legund and I'm Keeper of the Shrine. Have you heard our theme song? It explains a lot. The chorus is what you saw when you game in."

"No, I haven't."

La-la plays it for her.

"So this Sponge is about helping nomads lose their sorrows?"

"That's right, dear. They have so many!"

"How do they lose them?"

"Sponge changes their thinking. He (or she, depending on which you want to hear) talks with them, listens to them, and adjusts their wearables so they don't dwell on the dark side. With all of that they think more about the sunny side."

"That sounds hard to beat."

"It seems to do a good job. Those nomads who embrace Sponge seem a lot happier."

"So they enjoy going on being nomads for a lot longer?"

"They do, indeed."

"Wow! He sounds like a god who really makes a difference."

"We wouldn't have this shrine if he didn't."

"That's all the questions I have for now. You've been very insightful. Thank you."

"My pleasure, dear. Come back any time you think you may want to get into wandering. Sponge will be waiting."

Sally packs her sorrows... er, things, and moves on.

Cyber god pantheon worshipers

Sally has now talked to a lot of people who are satisfied with one God. Her next visit is to a group that contacted her earlier. They heard about her project, and they were looking for funding for their project: to build a place of worship for not just one, but a full pantheon of gods.

She meets with Athena Demeter at her office. Athena shows Sally some holograms of the group's plans to restore an abandoned resort in the Poconos as a Pantheon Temple.

"Legend has it that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt slept here. Also Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. We want to rebuild this as a place where these spirits can return to our earthly realm, and guide present day generations.

"As soon as we can get our first round financing we will have a groundbreaking ceremony," she announces, then says warmly, "I'm so happy you are able to help us get some publicity. What do you think of what we have planned?"

"It looks super. So you will be worshipping five different gods there?"

"Oh they are just the main ones, the ones that will get us started. We still don't know how many there really are. We will worship any that our members discover."

"I'm curious, do you support Tru Jesus or Sponge?"

"We have some Sponge enthusiasts, I haven't heard of this Tru Jesus."

"He's supported by Jesus Christoff."

"Oh... that must be the new name he has for his now."

"He told me he just trademarked it."

"Ah... No, we don't see too many of his type in our part of the neighborhood. But we would if they came to us."

"You might look into it. He throws around a lot of luxury money."

"Um... you're right. I'll keep that in mind."

"Keep me posted on how your project goes." and Sally moves on.

The God who does not speak

As she comes back from the Pantheon office she is approached by one more person who has heard about her project.

"Hi, I'm Blade Hassleman and I want you to know that these other people you have been talking with have it all wrong."

"What's right? And are you ready to tell me on camera?" she said as she unlimbered her camera yet one more time.


"So, what is right?"

"Right is that God, the true God, doesn't speak to us."

"That sounds inconvenient."

"It sounds that way, but its true."

"You sound kind of like the atheist I interviewed earlier."

"Kind of... but I believe there is a God, and he doesn't."

"What good is there in believing in a God if he doesn't talk to you?"

"He intervenes. He makes this world we live in exist. He makes it a better place."

"Does he do miracles?"

"The fact that we are here at all is a miracle."

"Umm... You're still sounding a lot like the atheist."

"That atheist believes that miracles can't happen. I do."

"Have you seen one? Yourself?"

He says proudly, "No, but I don't have to," then with great assurance, "I have faith."

Sally thanks him, then heads back for the studio. It has been a long day, and a productive one. She has interviewed many people with lots of different of viewpoints.

She now has a lot to talk about with her own cyber muse.

--The End--