Hvaðan guðum? Frá mönnum Hvaðan?
O ba le y duwiau? O ba le y dyn?
Woher die Götter? Woher Mann?
Ó gach áit na déithe? Ó fear gach áit?
From whence the gods? From whence man?
This is possibly the heaviest question of any faith. From where does divinity derive? Where does it begin? Does it have a solid definition? What is the relation of the Divine to the Mortal?
Last night, I asked Lilith these questions. And in the resulting dream, I had an epiphany of faith.
We make the gods and they make us. They would not exist for lack of mankind, and mankind would not exist for lack of the gods. It’s a paradox of beautiful proportions.
We give definition to our universe by our perceptions and beliefs. It exists without us, yes. But without anyone to perceive it, it is essentially formless, much as a tree falling in the the forest with no one to hear it is essentially silent. The gods too are given form by human belief and perception. The divine cosmic force that they embody is always there, humans or no humans. But humans are unique among all the races of the Earth. We alone name things, which gives definition. We alone understand names, which gives perception. Odin is Odin to man, and man alone. Before man told his stories and sung his songs, was he called Odin? If I am correct, likely not.
This helps explain though how humans can give rise to such powerful beings, yet we remain unable to channel their powers ourselves. We are merely giving new form and definition to something that was already there. To paraphrase from the Torah, what was before simply was. It is that it is, with no proper name or shape, a formless force that beats at the heart of all existence. It is the Cosmos, the Order, that organizes and maintains, but never defines. And then came the humans, created by this force via natural processes. And we gave the force that birthed us names. “Yahweh”, “Ra”, “Odin”, “Prometheus”, and countless others were all names we applied to the central Cosmos of the universe. But what is a universe to do when it has so many fundamental definitions, many of which conflict with the others? They can’t all be true, yet as expressions of a single entity, they are. What happens to a human mind when this same thing occurs?
It divided into multiple expressions.
And therein lies the paradox of divinity. The One became Many, yet still remained as a central unifying force. Had it been an utter split, the universe may well have been torn asunder.
Even the mighty Yahweh is truthfully only a single expression of the Cosmos among many. All are true. Yet none of them are entirely true. None are the original, because all are shaped by how we see them. Humans, by nature of our helplessness to not define, will never know the original Cosmos that led to us. We can only ever know the expression(s) we choose to see.
As a metaphysical academic, this pains me. To never know the origin, the one true genesis of the Cosmos, is almost maddening. But as a spiritualist, I’m ultimately fine with it. I have chosen my expressions well. They show me how to live well and honorably. As with any teacher or role model, that is ultimately the final purpose one must expect of them. And who is to say the original Cosmos was even sentient or capable of human interaction? If we transferred names and definitions to it, we may have given it a face and a voice as well.
This does not mean that our definitions and expressions of the Divine do not make it any less Divine. A god by any other name remains a god.
Whatever created us via the processes of the universe is the proverbial falling tree in the forest; essentially silent, formless and faceless. Nameless. It exists, but merely to a blind and deaf universe.
And then we came along.
Perhaps on purpose. Perhaps by accident. I’m not a good enough person to suggest one over the other, though I like to think we were planned and carefully guided to our current phase of evolution.
But if you ask “why are we here”?
That answer’ll do me just fine.