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Greyeyes was a man of few words, but he conveyed a great deal of information in the words that he did speak. He didn’t mince words either, there was no small talk between us since he didn’t have the time, or the patience. When I asked about the gods, and the spirits he followed, then he spoke at length, but always in a way that could be understood. One of the most astounding things he said was that there was a Great Spirit, but even the indigenous folks, his own people, hadn’t gotten things right for a long time. He’d laughed at Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, and many, many others that he mentioned briefly. And I listened.

I’ve never been much of a man for any religion, as it gives me the feeling of tying my hands together, even if people who belong to one religion or another find it to be liberating. This is where Greyeyes and I agreed, that religion divided, or still divides, and it lays down rules of how to live, how to exist, and how to pay respect and honor to the figureheads, in one way or another, for everything they haven’t earned. The Great Spirit, in Greyeyes’ words, acknowledged the powerful and the weak alike, and it favored no one. The only job the Great Spirit had was to keep things running as long as possible, and the powerful beings that saw themselves as gods in the Great Spirit’s reality were allowed to do as they would, say what they would say, and gather followers as they would.

That was sobering, to tell the truth. I’ve never been a man to follow a god of any religion, and this didn’t really irk me in any way since I never thought I had a dog in the fight. The Great Spirit didn’t favor anyone, and would let shit happen, because all the Great Spirit had to do was keep the whole show going. I get that, and I respect it. Gods and religion just get in the way, in my opinion.

(to be concluded)

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