From the written record of human history several thousand different deities have been identified. Some you will have heard of many more you will not. Until a few years ago I would have called myself an atheist. I have now come to believe in the existence of the divine, I have my Gods to whom I connect with as often as I can. If I am prepared to acknowledge the existence of any given God, can I rationally deny the existence of any other? Some belief systems maintain that there is only one God or pantheon Gods and Goddesses, mine does not. How then should I regard my relationship to these other deities? If the spiritual and divine realms do indeed reflect the material world, then there is scope for myriad forms of spiritual beings and deities.
Many ancient pagan religions revered Gods and Goddesses under their different aspects, the Triple Goddess of neopaganism has the Maid, Mother and Crone aspects. This triple aspect feature is common among pagan deities and similar to the Christian Holy Trinity. Despite acknowledging multiple deities with multiple aspects I still consider myself a monist, that is the belief that all existence essentially comprises a single reality. That is a single divine reality, manifesting the physical universe, the spiritual realms, the soul of each individual and the Gods themselves; it has been variously called the Tao, Logos and Brahman among many other names.
It seems to me that the nature of reality and therefore the divine is holographic, meaning that each part contains within it the entirety of the whole. Normally when each of us encounters the divine we see one (or more) of its many faces. The face we see differs from person to person and culture to culture, whether or not we see that which we expect to see or whether the divine presents a face which is most appropriate to the time, place and expectations of the observer I could not say. Whoever we are and whatever Gods we call upon, it is the same divinity that gazes back at us all. This is not to say that Yahweh is identical to Odin, or that Zeus and Shiva are the same. They possess different personalities and attributes, potentially different spheres of influence and powers. They are all manifestations of the divine reality in the same way that each person is a different manifestation of the same ultimate divinity.
It has long been the goal of the wise to know the divine reality directly, it is agreed by those mystics that have experienced it that the divine is unknowable except through direct contact and practices such as Yoga and meditation. The Gods in the various forms in which they recognised are more accessible – perhaps that is part of their purpose, perhaps not – through prayer, Shamanism, meditation etc. Whilst Brahman cannot be understood except by the most elevated, the Gods represent a more discernible face that people can to connect to. If this represents intention on the part of the Gods, or whether we have evolved to be able to interpret the Gods in a way which makes sense to us I do not know. That many if not most of the Gods are anthropomorphised to some extent suggests to me the latter.
Some people may feel that this belief in some way diminishes the Gods, from being absolute in and of themselves. However this misunderstands the nature of the Great Hologram, since each part contains the entirety of the whole, each deity is no less than the entirety of reality; as incidentally are each of us as individuals. As the Hindu Vedanta philosophy says There is only Brahman.
I feel this idea accounts for the diversity of human experiences of the divine whilst maintaining the principle that we (people, nature and Gods) are all essentially one and the same infinite and divine essence. This vision of reality serves as the basis of a flexible, tolerant and all inclusive belief system, it allows me to rationally follow my chosen Gods whilst still aiming for the realisation of the understanding that I am one with Brahman.
Does this conflict or fit with your own beliefs?
Many thanks for reading, and blessings be )O(
- “Absolute Space” – The God? (arganesh3.wordpress.com)