Who when examining in the cabinet of the entomologist the gay and exotic butterflies, and singular cicadas, will associate with these lifeless objects, the ceaseless harsh music of the latter, and the lazy flight of the former - the sure accompaniments of the still, glowing noonday of the tropics.
Forget everything you ordinarily associate with religious study. Strip away all the reverence and the awe and the art and the philosophy of it. Treat the subject coldly. Imagine yourself to be a theologist, but a special kind of theologist, one who studies gods the way an entomologist studies insects. Take as your dataset the entirety of world mythology and treat it as a collection of field observations and statistics pertaining to a hypothetical species: the god. Proceed from there.
He never spoke with any bitterness at all, no matter how awful the things he said. Are there really people without resentment, without hate, she wondered. People who never go cross-grained to the universe? Who recognize evil, and resist evil, and yet are utterly unaffected by it? Of course there are. Countless, the living and the dead. Those who have returned in pure compassion to the wheel, those who follow the way that cannot be followed without knowing they follow it, the sharecropper's wife in Alabama and the lama in Tibet and the entomologist in Peru and the millworker in Odessa and the greengrocer in London and the goatherd in Nigeria and the old, old man sharpening a stick by a dry streambed somewhere in Australia, and all the others. There is not one of us who has not known them. There are enough of them, enough to keep us going. Perhaps.
Ursula K. Le Guin