Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Nature of Deity

Personally, I think I'm technically a monotheist because I believe that there is only ONE GOD. However, I've been told I'm really a Henotheist because I acknowledge that the ONE GOD manifests as gods and angels and demons and rocks and animals and trees and other self-aware entities on purpose.

I find it alien after all these years of Working with gods, angels, and demons of various ranks that anyone would think there's no single unifying Source that exists within each of the other manifestations. Yet there are people who believe that Deity can only be experienced as multiple entities, that the embrace of monotheism itself somehow blinds a person to the "true nature" of Deity.

I think that's as limiting as the monotheist who rejects all other manifestations of God as delusional or demonic. Hermetic theology is monotheistic, yet makes room for many other gods. As a result, the Hermetic student can experience the multiplicity of the many gods and spirits, and still reclaim their divine race and value that comes from remembering the Source in whose image we were made. We can develop a bi-directional relationship between the Nous and our own minds, we can participate actively and consciously as observer and observed, we can play with the sprites and fairies, the gods and goddesses, and still maintain a unified existence within and as a manifestation of the Good.

We aren't limited to the forms and structures that happen to define "us" and "not us." We can see, from a unified perspective, that all that interacts does so in time to a tune that began long before we were born and will continue long after we've moved on. Insisting on limits to anything can only result in limitation.*

The point of Neo-Platonism and Hermetic magic is to understand who we are, and what it means to be made in the image of The Divine. Divinity is One, and it cannot be understood if the perceiver insists otherwise.

*This is, unfortunately, a "lesser truth." With Greater Truths, the opposite is also true. Insisting on "no limits" by itself does not result in "no limitation." It does, however, lead (more often than not) to methods of transcending limitations.