On the Nature of the Gods

[These are thoughts based on my own Awakening experiences and on Alan Watts’ explication of  The Cloud of Unknowing. These are not “Gospel truth,” but instead are insights from what I myself have experienced, leaving out all the footnotes, qualifications, and conditionals, for the sake of clarity. I’ll be happy to discuss details and fine tuning later. By the way, I think it relevant that the Greek anastasis means both “resurrection” and “Awakening,” and that the Hebrew death means both “knowledge” and “sexual union.” And I here do not use the word “God,” because it is almost always misunderstood.]

Begin with the hypothesis that consciousness is the ultimate reality. That ultimate consciousness must be compassionate Persons, in the same sense that we are each a person, since compassion could not have arisen from an impersonal and therefore uncaring consciousness. These Persons are infinite, else they could not forever do for us the impossible that we cannot do for ourselves. They are simultaneously both One and Many, as the Greek philosophers already knew.

The infinite, compassionate Persons must be inherently incomprehensible to humans, since any map we may have of them, no matter how detailed, approaches zero asymptotically as a percentage of all possible knowledge about them. Hence we cannot know anything about them with certainty unless they choose to communicate such knowledge to us. Being compassionate, they will always choose to do so.

These Persons, known to us only by revelation, must be more than human, not less. We humans will always perceive a sexless being to be less than human. That is, these Persons must be male or female, and since male and female cannot exist without each other, there must therefore be at least one God who is male and at least one Goddess who is female. The mystery of gender, unlike time, space, matter, or energy, is also an ultimate reality. The divine love between the God and the Goddess, the passion of their sexual embrace, is the source of all creation.

Hence sex is not optional; it is essential. It is the heart of faith and revelation, not its enemy. It is a true path to salvation. It is both holy and fragile. It is like fire: beautiful in itself, neither morally good nor morally bad in itself.  Only the way in which people use it can be called good or bad.  Love, sex, all pleasure is therefore good in itself, as trees, water, air, light, and earth are good in themselves, for they are.  To be is a good in itself.  Sex is, as the Gods are.  The more sex, the more love, the more pleasure there is, the more divinity there is, and the more we become the Gods.

The passion of the Gods is not a calm and boring bliss. It is a sensual riot. The joy of our orgasm at its best, if compared to the passion of the Gods, is like a gentle breeze compared to a hurricane. The Gods want us to be with them in the ecstasy of orgasm; they want to make love to us: they want us to make love to them. Only our ignorance keeps us from ecstasy. We learn through pleasure, and joyful knowledge raises our divinity.  Only pain and misery are repeated over and over; wisdom and ecstasy raise us into communion with the Godhead, and allow us to participate in the infinity of creation.

The Gods do not dwell elsewhere, in the sky, in another, nonphysical universe, at some other time or place. They are always here among us, in the only universe there is. If the doors of perception were cleansed, we would see them walking among us, healing our wounds, protecting us from accidents and folly, if we let them do so.

Are we different from the Gods?  Are we not each a small bit of the Gods?  Then how could what displeases us give any pleasure to the Gods?  If the Gods are pleased by what we enjoy, then be joyous, create ecstasy for yourself and those you love, and the ecstasy of the Gods will also be increased. Why have you waited for these words to do what you want, to do what will please you and thus please the Gods?  Do you need permission to please yourself?

The reality behind all religions is the Awakening, the immediate experience of union with the Gods; let nothing obscure that fact.  The direct experience of the Gods is the most joyous and ecstatic one that we can know; it lights up the world from inside. Every person is allowed and able to have such an experience, which alone can give real, permanent meaning, direction, and perspective to human life, though every person must seek after it and hope for it in his or her own way. All religious symbolisms and myths are a means for expressing what one knows from the direct experience of the Gods; they are clear, true, and easily understood in that way, worthless if not understood in that way. The knowledge of the Gods is first and most important.

It is foolish to look for the Gods in gloomy preoccupations; they tend to come unannounced and break down your door when you least expect them.  Instead, seek them through joy, through intuition, through what your heart tells you is most important.  The Gods are joy, the Gods are love, the Gods are ecstasy.  They might come to you in a moment of pain and trial, but not if you purposely make your life a trial. They do not live in gloom; they live in joy and light.

The Gods cannot be found by your looking for them, there is no method for finding the Gods, because they are always already here.  It is only your ignorance that keeps you from knowing them; the knowledge of the Gods is the Gods themselves dwelling in you.  You must get yourself out of their way, for it is your ordinary self that prevents you from seeing that the Gods are already acting in such a way that you may know them.

Mind is not merely body, and body is not merely mind, for they are the same; it is only the analytical intellect that deceives us into thinking they are different and opposed. Union with the Gods is given to us as material beings, not as spiritual, nonphysical beings, for that is not what we are, nor will we ever be. To accept the gift of union, we do not have to deny our bodies, for our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is yet another ultimate Person.

Does love mean possessing the object of love?  Does love mean being possessed by the object of love?  Can you possess the Gods?  Do you fear being possessed by the Gods?  Is not any answer foolish, if we are the Gods? We cannot possess the Gods by doing anything; we cannot possess the Gods by doing nothing.

The Gods have given themselves to each and every one of us, whether we deserve it or not, which no one does, for we could not by ourselves reach the Gods.  Therefore the holy life is the result of union with the Gods, not a means for achieving it.

Faith is belief in what you don’t understand, but the knowledge bestowed by Awakening is instead the realization that the Gods have already done for you what you could never have done, out of love for you. This is not mere intellectual knowledge. It is feeling, being overwhelmed by, the ecstatic reality of the Gods’ love for you.


  • http://www.facebook.com/KateGladstone Kate Gladstone

    “Begin with the hypothesis that consciousness is the ultimate reality.”

    • Aidan Kelly

      Kate, If you look back at the blog on “The Problem of Anything,” since everything could not have started from nothing, then consciousness seems to me to be the only viable possibility. Can you think of another?

  • http://omorka.blogspot.com/ Omorka

    Doesn’t seem to leave much room for humans with complex or non-binary gender identities, or asexuals, or any non-cis-heterosexuals, really.

    • Aidan Kelly

      I’ve noticed that people who don’t understand what I’m talking about always want to quibbe about details. Please notice the words “at least.”

    • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

      Precisely, Omorka…
      Though I have some small disagreements with other ways that some of the above ideas were expressed theologically, I can overlook those very easily, and find much to agree with in this piece.
      What I cannot under any circumstance agree with, because it is part of my own divine experience, is the notion that this “mystery of gender” is limited to male or female, and that sex is a necessity. Asexuals choose to not express their sexualities physically, which is a perfectly good choice for them, and thus for the gods working through them in their individual cases. Condemning that outright seems foolish, inadvisable, and a little un-Pagan to me.

      • aidanakelly

        Hm, part of the problem here is that I teach English and have been an editor for years, and therefore expect literate people to know the difference between restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses and how they are punctuated.. I apologize for that assumption.

        I did not say, “There is one God, who is male”; that’s what you obviously thought I meant. I said, “There is at least one God who is male.” That’s a restrictive clause. But of course for most people that’s like expecting them to know the layout of a font box.

        My saying it that way was and is open-ended. It implies that there is or may be at least one other God, who may or not be male. Same for Goddesses. I think it’s plausible and perhaps necessary for there to be a God or Goddess who creates or reflects or is otherwise intimately tied to every possible variation on human or nonhuman sexuality. There has been some wonderful science fiction speculating about all that. I am also proposing (that is, will propose) that every one of those multiplicity of deities is infinite and the ultimate reality.

        I gather some people use “asexual” to mean “celibate.” . I don’t. Celibacy is of course a logical choice for people with a low enough libido, but it will not work for the vast majority of the human race, any more than strict monogamy does. But it’s a CHOICE. I meant something more like “eunuch.” A being incapable of having any form of sex has no choice. That’s like being blind or deaf or paralyzed. Any living being has dignity of person, but doesn’t make them a role model or an ideal to be desired.

        I also think I might still dealing with the unconscious and unexamined assumption that there can be only one infinite deity. Hmm? Am I? I’ll work harder to eliminate the vestiges of that

  • Michael York

    Beautifully said, really. The comments raise some further and legitimate concerns, but it seems that Aidan has nicely expressed the gist of the divine dynamic. I think consciousness is the ultimate goal, so perhaps in this sense it is the “ultimate reality.” Of course the ‘mystery of gender’ is not ‘limited to male and female’, but none of us would be here if it were not for male and female. Whether any of choose sexual union or celibacy, the orgasm between Goddess and her first born is the origin – the origin of everything. Same sex union shares in that divine orgasm no less than male-female sexual union. Even those of us who abstain from sex can still appreciate the marvelous beauty of the cosmic orgasm. It is this cosmic orgasm that is itself the ongoing and eternal ‘Awakening’.

  • Kate Gladstone

    “I think it’s plausible and perhaps necessary for there to be a God or Goddess who creates or reflects or is otherwise intimately tied to every possible variation on human or nonhuman sexuality.”
    What about the exploitative variations: the ones that are very, VERY far from “harming none”?