As a broadly pantheistic man, would it be strange to say that I bask in the glory of God’s Word? How bizarre, that as one who acknowledges, feels, and loves the presence of the myriad of gods, spirits, titans, angels, heroes, and ancestors in his life wherever he goes, that I could also develop a love for “God’s Word.”
For God’s word is not to be found within the walls of any church or cathedral the world over – beautiful as countless may be – but rather it is simply all of existence. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [John 1:1] the Word – capitalized – is all of creation; it is the infinite stars of the cosmos, it is the air that fills my lungs, it is the immutable unsubstantiated force of the Will to Life. The Word existed long before any scribe of Asia minor invoked the name YHWH and it will exist long after the final hard drives containing digitized Abrahamic passages has degraded back into raw elemental material, swept into the mantle of our world by the eternal ebb and flow of the tectonic plates to later be ejaculated forth again as mountains in a new epoch which will in turn be deemed the abode of yet further iterations and emanations of Godhood.
I have found odd inspiration during my foray into the teachings and community of Protestant Christianity, most likely not in the places and ways other members of the congregation would hope. I came through the doors of the Church with a curious mind, speaking many other languages. Seeking not to learn “the right language” or find “the right path” of course, but to add to my repertoire. Much to the potential disdain of some of the more ardent members of the community who took issue to my mentioning of having a much more Gnostic and archetypal approach to the teachings of the Nazarene. For example, I was deeply moved at scenes of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion”; among them, before the scourging of Christ, he whispers “I am ready, Father.” Not because of his supposed dying for “our sins” but rather the notion of a man enduring (recall the Passion comes from Latin ‘Pati’ – to endure) severe torment and crucifixion for his ideal of what a Man is capable of and an ideal higher than himself. There is no need to deny oneself inspiration from, and be moved by the teachings and interpretations of various religions and schools of thought should that lightning bolt of intrigue enrapture your mind and heart. I certainly have not read the entirety of the Good Book, nor am I likely to ever, to be honest. I have flicked through and delved into certain segments when my research has brought interest to those aspects that I sought to understand more deeply.
Much as the Romans would not blot out the gods and customs of conquered nations, but rather demand that their gods be added to those honoured, or honoured first and foremost, I will not take an edgy atheistic stance of demeaning or degrading the Semitic God here. Such has been done at substantial length elsewhere and I assume those intrigued by the notions at work here at Halithaz are of broad and passionate mind to the plethora of forms of worship and connection to divinity that grace this era of our world. I recognize that countless men and women have led breathtaking lives of beauty and love in his name. And I will also not pretend that utterly revolting atrocities have also been caused in his name.
I recently had lunch with a man from the church I have been attending. A wonderful, bright, welcoming man, and a gracious host. In his home was a large and very aesthetically pleasing Orthodox style painting depicting one thousand years of Christianity in Ukraine. In the painting was a very detailed renditions of Slavic pagans in those beautiful white robes with the red cross-hatch patterns we all love. Dragon headed longships adorn the sidelines, and totems of deities make an appearance. But all is not well, as the pagans are seen gnashing their teeth and weeping, forced into the river at the point of swords to be baptized and accept “the Lord” or face death. Above these pagans we see an armada of knights led by priests holding an effigy of Christ and other significant depictions of Mary and the Child, and the face of the Redeemer. I asked him what this was showing.
He told me this is showing the beautiful day that Ukraine became Christian. The day that the Pagans accepted Jesus Christ and Lord God Almighty as the one true God. Within 10 minutes through other segues in conversation he mentioned how horrific the ongoing war in Ukraine is; how Ukrainians have been persecuted through the ages by invading forces. I agreed and said that it’s a genuine shame when an invading force comes and destroys the local customs and lives of locals, demanding that they change or face death.
He agreed. Seeing absolutely zero irony of this painting in his home.
I will not fill this essay and your minds with yet more critiques of the Christian faith, they are numerous and anyone seeking these things can simply scroll around Reddit and the page “I Fucking Love Science”. I still largely respect the lifestyles of the majority of contemporary Christians. But this incident reminded me sharply how different I indeed am from them.
Yet by this same token, I must admit as well that to the chagrin of my devoutly Germanic Pagan friends – from which circles arise my closest friends who I consider to be my blood – that I find myself being more of a Monist of sorts. The Bhagavad Gita has probably been one of the most formative works on my worldview. Not so in that I believe it is “Krishna” by name who rules above all, but that there is a singular formative energy or source that pervades behind, within, above, or from outside the infinite pantheons of Gods and Titans both remembered and forgotten to the annals of history and the Akashic records. It is also the same as the often insufferable New Age West Coast California yoga mosaic belief people who always give their thanks to “The Universe”. We are all saying the same thing, but in different languages.
yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino ‘pi mām
Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.
I must stress again, that it is not “Krishna” by name whom I have come to feel is addressing Arjuna throughout the Gita, but this all pervading aspect of existence, some degree of “Universal Consciousness” that is endowed and spread among all things material and immaterial in our cosmos above and below perceptible realms in light and in shadow in equal measure. A veritable mycelial network that pervades all levels and connects everything. “Krishna” does not dispel nor deny the existence of Demigods, Spirits, nor the perseverance of the Ancestors beyond their material lives on our plane. But rather that all these things are emanations of this force and manifestations thereof. The pursuit of this framework is “the great work” and can never been adequately conveyed but only felt, as our languages are too limited to express this ineffable experience of the infinite majesty of the divine above and beyond all things.
The Germanic pagans of which we are nearly all aware and learned of, the Vedic and Greek pantheons spawned from the same Indo-European root gods. The Babylonian and Sumerian gods and various angels and demons of the Semitic peoples. Seemingly infinite totemic spirits venerated by Aboriginal people from the Athabaskans to the Mapuche or Araucanians of Patagonia. Those elusive entities that walk or swim through the Aborigine Dream-Time of Australasia who have tread – and will tread forevermore through the red sand oceans around Uluru. All of these forces, beings, masks, spirits, energies, are the best attempt by those peoples and cultures at that time and within that collective psyche – zeitgeist – to convey their experience of the divine.
It is not lost on me that I am in essence arguing yet again for archetypes. Deep in the reptilian and early mammalian brain, brought to the first murky midwaters of our proto-hominid consciousness where the light of awareness first began to penetrate into the substratum of our astral and etheric selves not yet manifested here. These notions formed before the sinking of Atlantis, before the expulsion from the Garden, before the great Fall, and before Ragnarok or the Mahabharata – which are also still ongoing. It is our battle within and against ourselves as we seek to gain once again our audience with the Lord of Hosts within whose great hall reside all the gods of all time, and there they are stripped of their costumes and masks from their long journeys into our heavy and dense world. When and where they appeared under innumerable era to clothe and paint themselves in the perception of the people whom they visited so as to be recognizable to mortal noesis. Here they stand in their pure and stark blinding nakedness and cannot be described by these words I write nor by the discerning imagination of even the greatest of utopians.
The hubris exhibited by those devoted to Jehovah and His Son to claim with absolute authority that their one Book – a collection of scripts and parchments… written by mortal men… translated by mortal men… compiled by mortal men… printed by mortal men… read by mortal men – is the divine final explanation for all of existence and that all other beliefs, practices, modes of worship, and understandings are false is of course comical to the highest degree.
For Atlantis has been lost. We have been cast from the Garden. We remain bound by heavy chains to the black stone of the Caucasus. We are not perpetually with or living consciously in the divine state. By Christians’ own standards we are full of sin and imperfect; all of us. The hands that penned what would become “Genesis” or any other of the passages selected to be in the “final edition” of The Bible (which has as well changed throughout the years) are not those of the luminous and effervescent Lord God Almighty nor of His Son born in the flesh nor of the Holy Spirit which still exists as a burning ember within the soul of all. All these sacred doctrines have indeed been written by fallible, imperfect men.
Men who have done their best to try to clarify their experience of the divine to be passed down to their sons and daughters. And for them they are not wrong.
I would like to take a moment to clarify at that remark and say as well that I abhor the New Age terms akin to “speaking my Truth” or notions that “Truth” is, or can be subjective. I am of mind that there is indeed an objective, unmovable “Truth” or existence that persists despite our best wishes and whims, but that the software we install in our waking, conscious minds will indeed very much affect which aspects and to what depth we can plumb this Universe or all pervading and ever present existence.
With that aside, it is important that we as temporary beings with our finite time here and now explore these paths to divinity. We should walk all of these paths so long as we feel a calling to them. For me “God’s divine plan” has become utterly synonymous with the tireless spinning hands of Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld. Their tapestry they weave acts as my scaffolding within which I am bound to walk my path. I choose to listen to and abide the “pull” or intrigue to various schools of thought and explore them as I trust in this instinct and the guiding hand of God, the Gods, the Universe, or even genetic memory of my forefathers who have instilled in me instincts of which my conscious mind is not always fully aware.