Mythology is full of stories of valiant heroes, of daring men, who challenged the gods and suffered awesome torments as a reward.
Recall Prometheus, who gave men fire and was condemned by Zeus to have his guts eaten by a hideous vulture every day till the end of time. Or Sisyphus, who tricked death itself and, for this reason, was sentenced to push a heavy rock up to a steep hill, only to see it rolling down every time.
Even Heracles, the strongest of them all, wasn’t spared. The goddess Hera, annoyed by his accomplishments, made him go insane and kill his own wife and children. His well-known twelve labours and the humiliation of serving the inept Eurystheus were his way to atone for this terrible sin.
But these stories are, as it happens, just stories—lies which insecure and envious deities made up in order to prevent man from achieving his potential. Fantastic tellings of punishments devised to instil fear and submission. The truth is that man has not been made to toil on this earth, much less to waste his life in the docile adoration of somebody else. To cultivate one’s intellect; to shape one’s body in the most perfect of ways, as if it were a statue: that’s what we are made for. To make a god out of ourselves is our destiny.