American Gods 2.2 The Beguiling Man – The train leaves

After the murder of Zorya, Mr. Wednesday swore revenge. The train is rolling. A war between the old and the new gods seems inevitable. Shadow was captured on behalf of Mr. World. He is being interrogated and tortured by Mr. Town. Shadow: “Where am I?” It’s not the question “WHERE YOU ARE” but “WHY YOU ARE”, is the answer from Mr. Town. Shadow is mentally tormented with the memories of his youth. So, he experiences again the entry into the USA, the aggressiveness of the gangs, the death of his mother and the deadly infidelity of his wife. Like a train he drives through his mental landscape. At the same time, he is also in a real train of which he does not know where he is going. Trains of reality have properties:

  • Drives on exact schedule
  • To defined stops
  • The path is determined by the rails
  • Courses are set by the system
  • The train driver works on a checklist
  • The compartment is a fixed place
  • The landscape is the moving


Although in one go Shadow makes a spiritual travel. Elsewhere, Czernobog predicts the rise of a new star. Maybe that’s the destination for Shadow. On the other hand, Mr. Town accuses him, “You always swim with the stream.” Which is not spiritual at all? His wife Laura has also lost her faith; “Gods are fairy tales of and for adults“. What represents a spiritual move?

You never know when it comes: You cannot plan a spiritual journey. Shadow probably does not have that either. Even as a teenager, he met Mr. Wednesday and indirectly learned from him the finger plays with the coin. That was just when he heard of his mother’s deadly illness. The trains continued anyway and with the greatest regularity. Until there were more and more disturbances – disruptions. The new, digital has not come as planned. No one has created a timetable for it and still he drives – but digitally.

Getting in is possible everywhere: Stops are places of silence. They give you a bond with everything. You can get in, reach all places or even stay. Although: “No place is the same place for everyone,” says Shadow as a teenager. Therefore, every person must establish the spiritual stops of his life himself. There are instructions from the ancient gods, but without guarantee. The new gods do not have an “app” for this. There is a fast pace, everything is meticulous and financially planned. Mr. World has business plans for everything. But where does the digital lead?

The way is completely unknown: It comes to a paradox. The old gods know the ways. They give people exact instructions. Similar to a timetable with place and time to change, to the luggage rack, the seat, etc. Everything is written down in the holy books. The new gods, however, do not know where to go. Media is an exception here. It relies on the old timetables (Marilyn Monroe) and on the infinite needs of the people. Media: “The desire for distractionis limitless. I can drown her in passive pleasures and wipe out her spirituality with babytalk. “She has an ally, Techboy. However, there should just be disputes. The marketing people are already so detached that they want to break away from technology. But because Mr. World necessarily needs the Media for the upcoming war, he must search for her. He threatens shutdown and: “I am mankind’s greatest invention.”

One sets oneself the course: For that the big world religions have different ideas. In Asian traditions, you have a lot in your own hands about karma. In contrast, Islam, according to which everything is already decided by God’s will anyway. In Christian, atheistic Europe God helps you when you work and you are diligent. The love goddess Bilquis must now set a course for herself. But no war with the old or the new gods. In the discourse with Mr. World, she says: “War divides lovers, war and love are two sides of a coin, so they never meet.”

The first steps in life still make us the parents. If they give us a lot, then they also show us how we set the course in our lives. Laura Moon has decided to go out with her husband’s best friend. Laura to Mad Sweeney: “Yes I did it and I’m dead now, but I stand by it. For us, that is not the death penalty. ” Although, there are still countries where homosexuality is punishable by death (Brunei).

God gives me every freedom: God has given us the world and also given the responsibility for it. We have it in our own hands; A paradise or the hell!

The material is fixed: We are sitting in our compartment and are convinced that this is the whole world. Nothing changes. Some believe that there is a change in the climate. But everything else fix. The others should be a bit more flexible!

The spiritual is mobile: The landscape passes us by. Sometimes we can see clearly, another time it is foggy and once again it is dark. At the end of the episode, the moving train (mental) drove into the stationary car (material). Mr. Wednesday on his car “I wish you good karma

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