The Last Flesh, as I have previously covered someplace is the final stage of enlightenment achieved as one's trudge through the cycles of reincarnation comes to an end, and draws its name from the belief that this incarnation is the last iteration in a physical 'flesh' form. For most who achieve this level of enlightenment, merging with the bosom of creation (or whatever) is a desirable outcome, and so they do. For some, this is not so true. Those who chose to remain join a select club of hyper-powerful entities, collectively referred to as 'Gods' by the mere mortals from whence the spawned.
In this mythos, these gods are far from all-powerful. They are in an awkward position of relying on the collective energies of the conscious universe to express and maintain potency and influence. Generally, this is done by aligning large groups to one's own polarities. This tuning of groups is done by a prescribed emotional alignment: fear, love, joy, jealousy, hatred, etc; and is amplified philosophically or dogmatically to reinforce those emotions and thought processes that combine with the divinities own. These energies are then tuned to the divinity via rituals, mantras, prayers, and processes of the worshipers. While a low level of energy can be gathered from the broadly emanating emotional energies, it is the tuning of dogma and ritual that 'codes' the energy so that it can only be unlocked by the god to whom it was tuned.
Bereft of these energies, these so-called gods remain no more potent than they were before they ascended, tapping into that tier of comprehension and power that allows this transfer of spiritually attuned energies. Ascent does not require, and rarely does, result in the sacrifice of a physical form. It does make a physical form irrelevant in many ways, but the sacrifice of the physical body represents a trade off that if engaged in prematurely, dooms a would-be divinity to a shadow existence, where they are only able to draw power from the weak and unfocused emotional energies, unable to amplify or tune energy in the conscious universe.
Generally, the ascended maintain their physical form, so that they may motivate and inspire others, teaching them the philosophies, dogmas, and rituals required for them to prosper as gods. As these power thresholds increase, the quality and potency of their divine acts will become more spectacular, increasing the pool of contributors to their energy reserve.
Eventually, the size of one's congregation and therefore energy reserve is sufficient to maintain itself, and a release of one's physical form makes sense. Freed from a finite form, one draws perceptions in the same manner one draws energy. Those perceptions available to the devout are clearly perceived by the god, the awareness of the moderately faithful is blurred and often slow in revealing itself. The information that exists where only the un-tuned emotional energies exist are perceived only vaguely, often in a subconscious manner. In essence, one's entire self becomes the network of tuned energies that one taps into.
Energy is more easily moved in this cloud, making acts of divine will more readily available, but at a cost of overall energy still. Overtaxing one's capabilities can fracture and weaken the overall structure of tuned energy, resulting in dramatic emotional shifts in the minions that to much power is drawn from, functionally burning them out and making them vulnerable, ideal sources of energy for others. Great divine acts are always done at great energy cost, but when one exists as the energy itself, one must be prudent with dramatic shows of power.
Once free of form, gods can manifest are as visions and dreams. Physical forms take tremendous amounts of power and are rarely created, and even then, often for only the briefest appearances.
It is possible for a god to infuse into a mortal at a considerable sacrifice. Those chosen for such honors are usually the most highly tuned individuals, and such 'avatars' are frequently designated the heir's to the god's power, and in function, they are. This is a rarely pursued path, as the energy form of the old god trails out still, but the consciousness is focused, so that the old gods essence becomes the network that feeds power to the new avatar (in the same way the network fed power to them before they sacrificed their physical form). Obviously, with the sacrifice of so much that they were, an avatar is carefully chosen for their affinity to the old god's nature, motives, and goals. An avatar cycle can be repeated, as a process of renewing the network and maintaining relevance over generations.
I am going to end off at this, but I will be back to clean this up a bit, I suspect, and will be adding to this overall theory in subsequent posts.