Yesterday I was rereading a post by Galina Krasskova on the problems Polytheists face in Interfaith communities (link here). Her article inspired a deep feeling in me that I shall try to address here, both on the issue of “Oneness,” and on the issue of the nature of God. Specific to that is my observation that many people create God in their own image.
Even people who profess Interfaith beliefs, it seems, do not carefully examine their own prejudices, which assumes monotheism as a truth. It comes down to sort of a goody-goody New Age belief in “God is One” and let’s all get along mentality that mainly seems to stem from an inherent underlying belief that if people can create an Interfaith dialog accepting that “God is One,” it pre-supposes that each God is the SAME.
I have experience of many Gods; therefore I can not argue with the Polytheists. As to the “Oneness of God,” I think human lives are too finite to fully experience any complete truth of the nature of the Absolute Divine. My imagination can conceive of an Absolute Divine from which Gods, humans, and many other beings breathe, move, and have their own nature, but I cannot KNOW it.
I believe that the Nature and the Mystery of God contains both unity and diversity. Unity is NOT sameness, and diversity allows for all the wonder and differentiation in the Universe. My personal proof arises from my own experience. I consider myself a Shamanist and a Mystic. I am able to merge to a large degree with the life forces around me, and while I experience feelings of “Oneness” and sacredness from the act of merging, I am also aware that there is a limitation on the breadth and width of my capacity limited to my sense of place.
So I must ask, in Reality, does my finite ability to experience a feeling of “Oneness” in my home forest prove the absolute Oneness of God, the infinite? No. I am too finite and too limited to conclude that my experience attests to the Oneness of God. So this is an assumption I do not make. I do, however, reasonably conclude that within the Mystery of God live both unity and diversity. Unity does not imply “Oneness,” and it especially does not imply “sameness.”
I observe often that people create God in their own image. A case in point are those Christian groups who profess that they and only they are going to heaven because of whatever virtues they and they alone have decided that they possess. Among these groups are haters of many different types of people – people of color, people of diverse sexual orientation, people who are not just like them.
How stupid. Go to the source. If you are going to profess to follow Jesus, then follow Jesus: Jesus the Desert Rabbi who fed the multitudes, healed the sick, and taught that a true transformation of one’s Spirit/Soul/Body complex was necessary to get into Heaven, which is already among us. The Jesus who taught that we need to be like a child. The Jesus who overturned the money exchanger’s tables within the Temple of God, because idiots had brought the profane into the Holy place of the Sacred.
“God” is NOT ONE. If we are even talking generally, such as about the “Three-in-One” concept of Father-Son-Holy Ghost TRINITY that comes down to us from Christian teachings, we are speaking of a triune concept of the Divinity that is much older than Christianity. Gurdjieff’s Law of the Triad, which he says is the basis for Objective Science in the constant flow of three forces – an affirming, positive force, or force plus (+); a denying, negating, or reciprocating force, or force minus (-); and an equalizing or neutralizing force (= or 0) – can be observed both in modern science and in teaching stories from the Elder religions. The flow of electricity, for example, is known to have these three forces. And while I cannot speak for Elder religions outside of the Norse or the Christian, because I lack understanding of them, in the Norse we have three Triads of Three. The Triad of Creation is Odin, Vili, and Ve (Force Plus). The Triad of Destruction is Hela, Fenris, and Jormundgand (Force Minus). The Triad of BEing are the Norns: Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld (Equalizing Force).
And since I’m on my rant, why do we imagine that “God” is only Light? The “God of Light” has a Shadow, which in Avicenna’s Visionary Recital continues down descending levels of worlds to Earth. And why should God’s Shadow be imagined in human minds as direly evil? Death is necessary to Life and Life is necessary to Death: Both are part of the reciprocal feeding that occurs throughout Nature and in the Universe. Death is not complete annihilation, but a breaking down, from which new beginnings arise.
To Christians, the Shadow of God is Lucifer, Son of the Light, whom they demonized. A serious fallacy in their thought process here is that God would totally cut off his own son. He did not, in the final moment, demand this from Abraham with Isaac, so why would he demand it of Himself? I think Lucifer was “cast out” as a child is cast out of the home once he is grown and asked to support himself. Perhaps the Absolute sent Lucifer out to become a Creator of Worlds himself, and this seems to me to fit in with Avicenna’s descending order of worlds, which we also find in the Gurdjieff material. The idea that God has three aspects has little to do with Lucifer at all, and much to do with the Nature of God Himself, and also with humanity as we are said to be created in the image of God.
The very idea that humanity was created in the image of God comes from the Old Testament, or Jewish Bible. The “three-in-one” teaching of the Christian trinity relates to this too. The image of God is a spiritual one, an invisible one -not a physical one. People have three aspects of consciousness – the physical, the emotional, and the intellectual. This crops up from other cultures too that speak of body, mind, and spirit. In the Norse Creation myth, these gifts come from Odin, Vili and Ve that they give to two trees, Aske and Embla, that become the first human beings. Odin gave Ond, or the Breath of Life; Vili gave Will; and Ve gave blood and all that goes with that – a blooming hue, the sensory perceptions, and sexuality.
Renee Baribeau, writing Winds of Spirit, has found that the Creator Gods from many cultures around the world were originally Wind Gods. I found this very interesting, along with the information that the Christian’s Holy Spirit translates to Holy Breath from the Latin “Spiritus.” Spirit is but one aspect of the divine nature given to humanity by the Gods. If people truly look at all that we are, we are made up of all the other elements as well – Earth, Fire, Water, and that Consciousness that makes us unique and holds this complexity of “self” together.
In fact I find it very interesting that in considering the Nature of God we are asked to consider the nature of humanity itself. That ages old question of philosophy invites it: KNOW THYSELF. The idea of the three-fold consciousness invites it. The adage of the Emerald Tablet of Alchemy “As above, so below” invites it. The knowledge of psychology is, after all, the knowledge of the Soul (psyche, from the Greek, meaning Soul). Word play: “Soul, Sol, Sole” gives a clue. People stand upright, feet on the Earth with the Sun and the Moon overhead. If Gurdjieff is correct, we are created as transformers of forces that feed the Earth and the Moon from the Sun and the Stars overhead. As we are created in the image of God, we can know that Nature of the Creator from our own nature as Created Beings. And it is this “I AM” essence within us, that if practiced and prolonged, reconnects us with Great Nature, and the instincts of Nature, that as Created Beings we are entitled to and never really lost the potential for experiencing.
There is no separation, and true Presence is the Key to regaining our intimacy with Great Nature and healing our Earth of human excesses such as Climate Change. And there the subject of another blog and another teaching.