The time-stream is the normal passage or flow of time and its historical developments, within a given dimension of reality. Elder gods are all-powerful beings that exist outside this reality within their own dimensional plane. As they are not subject to the traditional rules of time and space, they are able to view the time-stream in its totality. This allows them to observe all events from past to future at once as would a spectator. These gods are able to enter the stream from their dimension onto the mortal plane. However, as time operates similarly to the flow of water, the current of the stream can ebb and flow in both direction. This makes their control over where they enter is extremely limited. They can aim for the middle ages and end up in the 51st century, as they are subject to the volatile tide of the stream at that point. The solution to this would be a physical manifestation of themselves called an avatar that can serve as an anchor to a specific point in the stream. These avatars would function as "landing zones" that would operate as a beacon, guiding the deity through the rough flow of the stream, similar to the purpose of lighting houses serving as beacons to ships on the open sea. To accomplish this, I would need help from mortals on the other side to build this avatar on their behalf, and must find some way to communicate with lowly mortals to carry out its desires.

The problem is that the minds of humans are frustratingly fragile, while the mind of a god is vast and incomprehensible. Any human that touches the mind of a god will go irrevocably insane. Even cults devoted to worshiping it are not immune to this fact, as they may be subject to misinterpreting the my will. This often devolves into human sacrifices and goals of ending the world in order to bring about their my return. Written texts are also not an option, as this can lead to the same problem. A god can clearly and plainly dictate its intentions (Thou shalt build an avatar of thy lord, and not kill each other in the process of thy making it) and those same followers would spend decades debating and interpreting the meaning of their words and their deeper meanings. This would also devolve into schisms of faith as different factions fight over minuscule differences, leading to religious wars. (You humans are weird that way I guess).

How can I make known my actual will and guide the hands of my followers from a higher dimension without directly communicating with them?

  • $\begingroup$ "my will" Are you impying, that you, Incognito, are an Elder God? $\endgroup$ Jan 6 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ Aside: I wish you'd edit and get re-opened this old related question as I've just come-up with an answer which might help. $\endgroup$ Jan 6 at 20:46
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    $\begingroup$ "A god can clearly and plainly dictate its intentions ... and those same followers would spend decades debating and interpreting the meaning of their words and their deeper meanings." doesn't this mean there is no possible solution at all? Everything gets twisted by the mad humans, so how the elder god communicates seems to be irrelevant. $\endgroup$
    – ooak
    Jan 6 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Firedestroyer of course not! He’s just an avatar for one. $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Jan 6 at 20:57
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    $\begingroup$ I think I had a good answer. I'm not sure now, having been driven irrevocably insane by reading the question. $\endgroup$
    – Jedediah
    Jan 6 at 22:13

4 Answers 4


Show them in their dreams

Dreams can be complex and highly fantastic. Human mind can handle complex things happening in dreams that they might not be able to handle or comprehend in real life. The vast and incomprehensible mind of a god can be depicted with signs and images in dreams.

Humans spend about one-third of their life sleeping. Thus, it is an efficient way to deliver messages and signs. When people realize that they are seeing the same or similar dreams, they will understand that there is a higher power guiding them.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure this would prevent the debates and infighting. If direct commands still led to schizms, how could visions be any clearer? $\endgroup$ Jan 7 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ A picture is worth a thousand words. And there is a justification why you can't show it outside dreams (when humans are awake observing the reality they know). $\endgroup$
    – ermanen
    Jan 9 at 18:54

Leave your message to a "man in the middle": be it the bowels of some animal, the flight of the birds, coffee grounds, the stars, some colored stones, a set of game cards, molten lead in a fresh egg, the flame of a fire...

Mankind in its history has read the future and the will of the gods in many, many way.

Profit from this and use one of those method. And if anything goes wrong, you can always blame the reader. And if they read your shopping list as the latest and greatest will, well, sit down, grab some popcorn and enjoy the view.



Followers will do various things they hope will please their deity. Initially these things will be fairly random. Some will come closer than others to actually pleasing the deity. Those followers who are "colder" will be punished - maybe a tooth will fall out. Followers who are "warmer" will get rewards - maybe they will regrow a lost tooth. Rewards and punishments will of course vary as such things do. Ideally (but not necessarily) both reinforcements should carry signs of divine intervention.

It will take many iterations as well as communication between followers but eventually rewarding the pleasers and punishing the displeases will result in a fine group of deity pleasers. Their creativity might actually please the deity more than what the deity came up with itself.


This allows them to observe all events from past to future at once as would a spectator

Then either a) you're stuck in a predestination paradox, because you can already see the outcome of your influence and there's nothing you can do differently (because you're already going to have done it) or b) you can violate causality which means you're free to try literally anything at all, and if you can see that it didn't have the desired effect in the future then you can try something different in the past.

Timey-wimey balls play havoc with plans.


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