The purpose of this page is to advance some claims that may prove unpopular. I do not wish or intend them to be so, but they contradict many things that I have heard and read – not to mention believed in the past. Nevertheless and like most of the ideas in which I believe very strongly, these have grown slowly over the course of my entire life and its roots touch every kind of experience to which I have ever been party. This is something of a cross-post from my other site and was meant to kick off the Numena page, but since this blog is effectively serving the same purpose I place it here. Eventually I will remove the other. Lastly, the original post I wrote back in March, but I leave it posted on the day I transferred it because I’ve modified a bit here and there … enough anyway to consider it as it were a new edition.
1) No one knows the number of the gods and goddesses.
One, three, five, three hundred or even three orders or seven of increasingly abstract divinities, there is no possible way to know or comprehend the number or nature of all divinity. Whatever people have thought in the past, because we rely on the nature of divinity for our own nature in existence, in thought and in time, our minds, being defined within time, are dependent on their nature and thus cannot fully comprehend it. This is another way of saying that divinity cannot really be fully objectified by the mind and rendered a thing about which one might say ‘yes, I have it! I understand the divine.’ All we may do is come into a relationship with the divine as it exists in and of itself, not according to the principles we establish as criteria for the operation of our own faculty of understanding.
There is an inverse to this. If we cannot know the totality of divinity because we can only know by interacting with them, then we can know the individual divinities to which we are party. This first principle situates us firmly within all things and thus we can come into contact with any of all things even as we cannot encompass all things.
2) Gods & goddesses are inseparable from those things that are their purview.
This principle is really the defining feature of pantheism. In other words, Uranus the Sky-God is the sky or rather the divine element that makes the sky what it is: space and void in its supernal majesty (rather than its abyssal profundity). Just as each of us has a distinctive self that transcends time, so do all those things that are around us. Each rock, plant, grove, stream, and anything that has a distinctive, perceptible self-ness has a spirit inherent to it. Much of Greek mythology speaks out from this understanding. Chaos for example is the soul of the great infinite seething mass of quantum potential out of which all things arose. The Orphic Egg from which Eros emerged is that first nexus of energy that preceded the Big Bang, and Eros himself is the explosive procreative energy of all things. Contrary to popular conception, Gaia is not actually the Earth but the stabilising, material force that resides in the coalescence of all matter as matter. Tartarus is the soul of the dark matter that resides ‘behind’ (metaphorically speaking) all bright matter. Both are of Gaia, but we live on and among the bright plane of her metaphorical body, while the beings of the ‘underworld’ (one might also say ‘hindworld’ for all its accuracy) are consigned to the darkness of Tartarus.
3) Mythography is an attempt to intellectualise the divine by creating a narrative that communicates or corresponds to the experience of interaction with it.
This is to say that from a cultic perspective, mythologies may be separated by language but not necessarily by practice. The truer historical picture would see a range of cultic practices that blur the cultural boundaries modern academic thought and now popular sensibilities continue to strengthen. Culturally specific mythologies (Norse, Celtic, Greek, Roman, Chinese, etc.) may be separated by language and spatio-temporal circumstances but are nevertheless attempting to describe the same things as a means of coming into a proper relationship with them (whether through engagement through worship, avoidance through taboo, or any combination of them).
4) Good and evil are terms for real, tangible forces that are relative to an individual’s perspective, and thus for humanity depend on ‘higher’ powers.
This is to say that there are qualities in the world that have a definite physical influence though they are of themselves immaterial. I use the term ‘humanity’ with deep reservations having not had the opportunity to formulate a proper term for what I mean, but it will suffice for the present. The dominant perception among many cultures is that all such qualities map broadly onto a spectrum of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, but this is an oversimplification. From a human perspective, those things that cultivate life and diversity are usually perceived as goods, while those things that operate against these are evil. In reality there are an infinite range of goods and evils, as should be readily apparent from the broad spectrum of human endeavour and conflict.
The real value of this principle is in the implication here for the development of what many would call magic. To see this principle in action, one only need to carefully and quietly keep a still watch through the course of one’s day, watching the effect good and bad ‘vibes’ have on people and events around them; in the words of a popular version of this, ‘good thoughts make you feel good [attracting good events] and bad thoughts make you feel bad [attracting bad events].’ Good and evil are handy, simplistic terms for groups of general forces aligned along generally similar qualities: .i. repulsion, diminution, disintegration, nullification = evil; attraction, growth, integration, contribution and nutrition = good. Through the manipulation of these and the deliberate development of one’s faculties of sensation regarding them, a whole new landscape of human endeavour emerges.
5)Truth and reality are not relative, but our understanding and experience of them is.
This is a way of saying that all ideas, descriptions and stances are all true for that time and place. To restate it in another way, this is not so much a statement about reality and the objective world as it is a comment on the degree to which we should be sympathetic to any given person’s experience. The objectivity of the world is subject to debate at any rate, but this is not what I wish to write about here. Like the elephant described by blind men, our seemingly contradictory experiences all point to a common truth if we have the creativity and patience to assemble the pieces. Of course, this elephant is ever growing and ever changing according to the nature of the blind men’s fingers, but that is a subject for another time.
6) Loose Ends
There are several further tenets that I believe are true, but they are not profound or the kind of things that you put in a religious book. They are more things that you observe as simply part of the landscape — like saying that people generally prefer life over death, though not always. Some of these principles are as follows:
- That which is most beautiful is usually difficult to attain. In terms of place, the best views require a climb or a journey. In terms of ideas, the more profound always require more thought or experience.
- There are principles that guide the form of things, though these are not as resolute as laws. The branches of trees mirror the branches of the vascular system. Coalescence of planets, orbits, or drops of dew tend toward a spherical shape.
- We become what we perceive. This is not so obvious as the first two, but I will trust the reader to prove this to satisfaction, providing first some explication.