<<< Griffith Invictus HOME Griffith & the God Hand >>>
Griffith Invictus: The Human God/Idea of Evil

The following are what I consider my most important posts on The Black Swordsman forum, and links are provided to view the posts within the context of their discussion thread. Since these posts were made an indefinite amount of time apart from each other, the same information is sometimes repeated, but each of them have some piece of information the others don't.

NOTE: the term "Idea of Evil" (IoE) only appears in the "lost chapter" (chapter 83: God of the Abyss, part 2) which was pulled from the compiled volumes of the Berserk manga. Since the IoE's relevance to the current storyline is debatable, I now prefer scrapping that term altogether and instead calling it the Human God, evidence of which is scattered all over the canonical manga. Based on this evidence, the canonical Human God appears more neutral/holistic in alignment than the Idea of Evil. A lot of the posts that follow were made back when I was a strong advocate for the validity of the lost chapter, and although I am not as adamant about it anymore, the points I made about the Idea of Evil are equally applicable to the Human God, as is demonstrated in the two sections on Manga Evidence.

Manga Evidence (Short)
Manga Evidence (Long)
Not Actually "Evil"
Both God & Satan: Holistic
Sub/Conscious Consent & Voting System
Humanity's Deepest Desires, including Suffering
Humans Want Suffering
No Agenda: Both Human God & Griffith

Manga Evidence (Short)

We have considerable evidence for the IoE as presented in 83 outside of 83. It's not as consolidated or as direct, but it certainly exists.

Firstly, the existence of a "God":
Griffith floating towards what is clearly the IoE as drawn in 83, but during the canonical Eclipse. He recognizes it as "God."

This "God" was created by man:
Ye lambs of the ungodly God born of man" (Void).

Regarding wish-granting:
This is the cruel grace of the God born of man" (Void) which once again confirms that "God" was created by humans.

Regarding the will/desire of humanity as connected to the actions of the God Hand:
Now, all in my entire world is of one thought. It desires the same thing as I. Everything crying out, desires me... No, the world I bring forth. Everything will be fulfilled by one voice." (Eggman)

Also confirmed by Puck: "
Incredible... the livin', the dead... all the souls here are cryin' out in desire for one thing."

And, along with the preceding visions of people's desire for a savior, and even the King of Midland recognizing Griffith as his desired (later, Ganishka does the same), a confirmation after the false eclipse:
They sensed intuitively that the one they desired had come."

Plus third-party confirmation of the existence of a very powerful entity in the deepest layer of the astral whose agents are the God Hand:
They are the executors of the will of something lurking in the distant Abyss of the astral world." (Flora)

Frankly it'd be tedious to list all the references since there's so many, but I hope you can see that all the "speculation" is not based solely on 83.

back to top


Manga Evidence (Long)

Ex: God Hand are lying about serving a God created by humans which drives causality.

We have no evidence that the God Hand have ever lied. Why would they do that? And why would they lie 
to each other about the existence of the human-created God who grants human wishes? If they were not serving the God that drives human causality and were instead on some kind of self-proclaimed power trip, they would not function the way they do now. They could grant power to whomever they want whenever they want. But no, they are strictly bound by causality and the fate-driven function of the Behelits. Behelits are artifacts of fate, as verified by Flora, and they fall within the domain of the human God, as demonstrated by the floating Behelits during the Eclipse when Griffith was talking to this God. They are "ideas"; human wishes.

Ex: There is no connection between human desire and causality or some God.

Again, even if you don’t believe the mass visions are genuine expressions of human desire, the false eclipse at Albion clears this up. Here we have an explicitly fate-driven event, as evident by the presence of a Behelit and as explained by SK. A sacrificial ceremony cannot happen unless it is in the flow of causality, and Behelit-triggered sacrificial ceremonies are the exclusive domain of the God Hand and the human God (as explained by Flora when she described the function of the Behelit as well as evident in the rest of the manga). In the middle of the sacrificial ceremony, we get three distinct sources saying that humans (both living and dead) desire what this ceremony brings. In fact, the destruction of the false eclipse is carried out by the souls of the dead. In speculation, you can easily tie these formless souls to the souls who dwell in the Hell Vortex, 
but you don’t need to. You already have a fate-driven event, tied to a God Hand Behelit, tied to the fulfillment of the desires of humans.

Just as the Apostle and Crimson Behelits grant the desires of individual humans ordained by fate, so this millennial Behelit granted the desires of humans on a mass scale. Fate and the human God are inseparable, and so are Behelits and human desire. They are 
 by human desire, and the quotes from the false eclipse show this desire to the reader. The millennial Behelit was not triggered by any one person. It was certainly not triggered by Eggman's desire. His desire was granted by the God Hand long ago, when he was in utter despair. He became a Behelit; the fate object used to manifest desires. From then on, he waited for the entire world to reach a point of utter despair so that humanity’s longing for what he could bring forth ripened enough to trigger him, and this was accomplished by a sequence of fate-driven events coming together.

Ex: The human God is not the human mass subconscious.

We know the human God was created by humans. We know that it is aware of and grants human desires on an individual and mass scales. We know that the Hell Vortex that the God Hand preside over (which makes it in the domain of the human God) is made of the mass consciousness of the human dead, and we know of no other afterlife for humans who follow the God Hand religion. We know that the presence of these dead is a driving force during sacrificial ceremonies. We know that the collective desires of both the living and the dead are taken into account during fate-driven events within the domain of the human God. We know that even though the humans are terrified of these events, they have an even more powerful longing that overrides this, so it is not the active human conscious mind which does the wishing, but the passive subconscious over which they have no rational control. This is confirmed by the overhanging narration of Berserk: "man has no control, even over his own will."

What is your alternate interpretation of these facts? How is the human God aware of the desires of humanity if it does not have some connection to them on a collective scale? You 
can argue that equating the human God with the mass subconscious of humanity outside of the lost chapter is the most speculative of my assertions (although by no means unfounded), but then you're left with "it might not be the human mass subconscious, it was just created by and serves the desires of the human mass subconscious." Since it is human desire that controls/triggers the human God/fate, and not the other way around, it can't be "feeding" on them.


Volume 3, comments about the Hell Vortex:
Puck: "It's enormous...!! An endless swirl of consciousness...?!"
Femto: "When your body of flesh expires, your spirit will be whisked away by a wave of demonkind, straight to Hell. And you shall wander within that dark swirl of souls for all eternity. Before long, you won't even be able to preserve any final remnants of your individual self. Like a drop of water, you'll simply dissolve, becoming no more than another swell in an ocean of dark souls."
(The fact that Vargas is a soul in the Hell Vortex despite not having sacrificed or being sacrificed, as well as the sheer number of dead souls, might suggest all who follow the God Hand religion go to there. Otherwise it suggests that those who suffer or are "evil" in life go there, since the "vibration of their soul" would be "close to demonkind.")

Volume 23, 
Griffith commenting about where the souls of the dead go:
To where they will become One."
(This may or may not imply that all who follow the God Hand religion - ie: "get caught up with demonkind" - go to the Hell Vortex, but it does reinforce the mass consciousness of the dead. This is again about souls that did not sacrifice, were not sacrificed, and were not particularly "evil" in any way.)

back to top


Not Actually "Evil"

I feel that a huge misconception about the IoE is that it is "Evil." It is not Evil. It is the "idea of" Evil. Its purpose is to give meaning to human suffering. It is the "desired God," the turbulent sea of the human un/sub-conscious, and an outlet for their deepest, most intense, and most repressed desires/drives/emotions. As it describes them, it explains that this "is truly the will that defines human nature," and that it exists "obeying the will of the essence of human kind." It is a reflection of the will of the human mass consciousness, and as far as I can tell it has no sense of self-preservation or agenda of its own, so I'm not sure if you can say that the IoE can represent itself.

The Berserk world is brutal and harsh. It is no wonder that the IoE is fueled by so much anguish and despair. Their repressed desires scream the loudest, and are heard. So where is the other half of human nature, you ask? I don't know. It's not in the polytheistic gods since they are not dependent on humanity. I would say that it's expressed through regular, individual humans who have to temper their desires with empathy to participate in a civilized society. It's a survival mechanism, but such it only serves to bottle in their resentment towards each other. Even if humans put on a mask of civility in public, it cannot compete with the raging ocean underneath.

I guess what I'm saying is that the two sides of human nature could be defined by what humans repress and what they don't repress. What they repress gets expressed through the IoE, what they don't repress gets expressed through individual humans every day. However, since (1) what humans repress tends to be the most powerful of their drives/desires/emotions, (2) many humans repress much more than they express, and (3) the conscious mind represents only a tiny fraction of the whole self when compared to the sub/un-conscious, human will as expressed through the IoE dominates.

Humans as a species also tend to dwell much more on painful things than happy things: one "bad" thing can easily erase many more "good" things in their mind. Even if humans are half "good" and half "bad," they still put more weight on the "bad." This is another reason why the IoE might be dominated by painful things, and why painful things are such a disproportionately powerful force.

I think the content of the IoE changes based on what humans as a species decide to repress. But either way, the IoE is the will of the human mass consciousness since it is the home of their strongest desires. Griffith, above all, is the manifestation of these desires, which in turn make up the IoE. "I dwell deep in your heart, I am part of you. You are part of your kind's consciousness, a part of me. Your desire is my desire as well."

back to top


Both God & Satan/Holistic

Anyway, despite being a tad lopsided, I think the IoE is a very holistic God expression. It is both "God" and "Satan," just as it is both "light" and "dark," just as the God Hand and Apostles are both "angels" and "demons." To quote Griffith when him and Guts were discussing whether Zodd was a god or a devil, "aren't they the same thing?" Well aren't they? I think it's only humans who make these distinctions.

back to top


Sub/Conscious Consent & Voting System

1) By "knowing consent" do you mean "conscious consent"? Conscious consent means little to me when you’re dealing with cosmic affairs on a mass scale since the conscious mind is only a tiny fraction of the total being. If the majority of the self (the sub- and un-conscious) gave consent, that’s consent to me.

2) Yes, it does assume that, based on IoE’s description of itself.


So is there such a thing as an absolute win-win? No, but there is a way to maximize it to the best of your ability. Selfish reasons or not, this is what Griffith appears to be doing right now. He is trying to make the people of his kingdom happy (and succeeding spectacularly) as well as welcoming anyone who wants to join him, even from enemy nations. There are things that could potentially interfere with his plans, though.


"Either way, somebody has to determine and prioritize these things, and there is no absolute way to do it. In Berserk, this determination/prioritizing takes place through the will of humanity. It is the closest I can think of that comes to approximating common wants/goals on a massive scale [which is why the will of humanity as expressed through the IoE can be extended to represent the human species]. ... It doesn't matter to me if the world humans wished into existence is nice, or happy, or dangerous. The only thing that matters to me is that they got what they wanted, and can use the same mechanism to change it as they did to create it. ... it's a marvelous self-adjusting system."


Suffice to say I treat a being as their whole self, which includes the conscious, subconscious, unconscious, whatever. I estimate that the conscious mind takes up maybe 5% of the space, so it is not at all reflective of who they are or what they want. Also, just like the sub/un-conscious can affect the conscious, the conscious can affect the sub/un-conscious. By reshaping our thought patterns the whole being can be controlled.


The IoE is a human thing driven by human will, and it's a perfect reflection of their imperfection. But that's okay, because as long as people are getting what they want (on the subconscious level), I don't really see a problem. If they don't like what they're getting they can eventually change what they want. This is also part of causality, since it would be a reaction they have to events.

Up till now humanity desired Griffith, and I believe he was elected to serve the role he does specifically because his dream reflects what they wanted for their world. So it doesn't matter if Griffith is only pursuing his own dream, since his dream is in alignment with humanity's desires for itself, however stupid they may be.


People's reactions are triggered by a chain of events which create a given set of circumstances, and those reactions can be reliably projected because they are ones that the person would naturally have to those circumstances, so they are still acting on their own will, although that will is not independent of circumstances. By doing so they perpetuate the formation of further circumstances for others to predictably react to. This cause and effect happens on a mass scale, and the trajectory it creates into the future is fate.


Collective will isn't some mutant unrecognizable thing from individual will, and fate isn't simply the net result of everyone's wishes pooled together. Individual wishes are granted most dramatically during Apostle transformations, but it's my opinion that everybody gets what they wants, because it is only through granting individual desires that the mass consciousness can manifest. It is individuals who are reacting to circumstances and shaping the flow of causality. Even if people's desires appear to be in conflict with each other, it's still possible to grant both in their own time and in their own way, and bring them into harmony.


(note that will doesn't exist in a vacuum; it has consequences which lead to other consequences, etc, until all wills connect to each other)


Without this constant stream of consciousness/reactions - of rage (Guts), gladness (Charlotte), bitterness (Eggman), ambition (Griffith), rebellion (Ganishka), etc - causality would not exist and the universe could not run. Guts' reactions are a perfect example of this. He might think he's trying to fight the human God, but he is not. On the contrary, his actions fall within the flow of fate and smoothly progress it. The same goes for Caska and SK.

back to top


Humanity's Deepest Desires, including Suffering

I think it's been emphasized in Berserk that humans are just twisted as a species and the God they created reflects this.

It's pretty naive to think that people don't wish "bad" things on themselves as well as "good." There's whole therapy programs designed to change deeply entrenched negative thought patterns that affect people's everyday lives on Earth, now consider how much more influence these thoughts would have when they fuel a causality machine.


Point is, the IoE will grant the strongest desire humans as a species have. This does not necessarily coincide with what humans consciously want, since the conscious mind is a relatively tiny fraction of who they are. The subconscious mind, which contains the deepest, most intense, and most repressed desires/drives/emotions, screams the loudest and is heard. Kind of like people in abusive relationships might consciously want a healthy relationship, yet they have a thought/behavior pattern ingrained into their subconscious that keeps giving them what their low self-esteem thinks they deserve. What we say we want and what we actually feel deep down inside are often very different things.

The Berserk world is brutal and harsh. It is no wonder that the IoE is fueled by so much anguish and despair. And so humans cried out with one voice for their world to be shaken to the core. They asked for wonder and enchantment, to be part of something larger than life, for extremes of beauty and horror. They asked for the Age of Darkness. They also asked for a Savior King, a glorious leader to take them under his wing and deliver them from the ruins of the past into a new world. The IoE granted their wish.

back to top


Humans Want Suffering

Humans have been suffering long before the existence of their created God and long before the arrival of Griffith so it's really pointless to bring that up. People always have suffered, people always will suffer. The human God gives humans some control over their suffering, whether individually through becoming Apostles or on the grand scale by granting the desires of the mass consciousness. Their God reflects who they are, not the other way around, so if you want to blame anyone for the fucked up state of affairs in Berserk, blame humans as a species.

Oh and YES, they DO want these things to happen. This is shown clearly during the False Eclipse at Albion. We have Eggman saying "Now, all in my entire world is of one thought. It desires the same thing as I. Everything crying out, desires me... No, the world I bring forth. Everything will be fulfilled by one voice," Puck cross-verifying it with "Incredible... the livin', the dead... all the souls here are cryin' out in desire for one thing," and finally by the narrator "They sensed intuitively that the one they desired had come."

back to top


No Agenda: Both Human God & Griffith

IoE does not wish for anything, humans as a species do. It does not appear to have a will of its own. It is not "responsible" for the world's pain and suffering, it just provides reasons for the suffering that has always existed and will continue to exist whether the IoE is around or not. However, it also equates itself with the will of the essence of humanity and weaves destiny to reflect their desires. Some would consider this an improvement over whatever randomized(?) system existed in the past (in which suffering seemed "absurd") since it gives humanity a voice in what happens to it.

"Selfishness" need not be incompatible with the "greater good." Griffith was elected King by the will of humanity because what he desired was in alignment with what humanity desired. In fact, if you accept 83, centuries of destiny-weaving designed him to serve this exact purpose. It is nothing short of his cosmic responsibility to the world that willed him into existence.

People like Griffith are much more reliable than most. You can always trust him to not sabotage his dream, and so long as he desires a happy kingdom, he will make everything as pleasant as possible for his people. You can argue that we don't know for sure what kind of kingdom he desires, but I'm basing my opinion on the kind of atmosphere he's created for the Hawks in the past, and the kind he is creating for his subjects thus far.


Also, as has been said before, there is no evidence that the IoE has a will or "agenda" of its own. There is a possibility it could’ve been lying, just as there’s a possibility the polytheistic gods are lying to the witches, but we have not seen either of them lying so far and I see no reason for them to lie so I assume they’re not. Also, "Griffith can do no wrong" has no relevance to me. He does what he was created to do.

back to top

<<< Back to Runaway Dream HOME Griffith & the God Hand >>>
DISCLAIMER: Berserk and all the characters, story, and art therein is copyright Kentaro Miura.