The journey from gods, to God, to Source is a long, arduous one. It starts with the amnesia of incarnation, and wanders through the labyrinthine illusions of ego, until it finally finds itself on the pathless mystery of the soul, on the verge of merging. Let me try to parse that journey.
(A) The gods
Those whom we originally worshipped – the gods – are really the thinly disguised personifications of the vices and virtues of individual humans writ large. We took the very best and the very worst in our own behavior, magnified it, and then ascribed it to the sky beings. This allowed us to worship greed and violence, while admiring the theory (though not the practice) of love, justice and compassion. In fact, these gods were no less and no more moral than ourselves. They had dalliances on the Olympian heights that overlooked the plains of plainly inadequate plain people, who simultaneously feared and attempted to emulate the lifestyle of these divine beings.
(B) The One “true” God
Then about two and a half thousand years ago, we graduated to monotheism. No more gods, only a one, “true” God – the omniscient, the omnipresent, the omnipotent, the just, the vindictive, the irascible, and the jealous. He is the thinly disguised personification, not just of individuals, but of the tribe itself, writ large. We took the very best and the very worst in the behavior of the entire nation, magnified it, and then ascribed it to him. And he returns the compliment, even today. He blesses both our National Security paranoia and our denominational chauvinism, and he allows us the right to conquer other tribes, enslave them, plunder their resources – and then convert them.
In its most virulent form it results in progeny conceived by an IVF procedure, in which the sperm is donated by the secularists (politicians, economists and the military-industrial complex) and the ovum by fundamentalist religion. It is assayed in a solution of xenophobia, fear, prejudice and self-righteousness. And it always gives birth to a demon child, an anti-Christ who promises salvation but delivers carnage and global destruction.This is the divinity of which Meister Eckhart spoke, when he said, “I pray daily to God to rid me of God!”
He is a God with three sets of rules. The first set is one that governs his own behavior. He is entitled to break all of his own commandments with impunity, e.g., “’Thou shalt not kill”, but he can wipe out all of creation in a fit of pique. The second set of rules is for his chosen people (he always has one, and it is always “us”). This is a code that governs their internal relationships, and by and large, it’s a pretty sophisticated one, unless you’re a woman or gay. Then the third set is for his chosen people in their dealings with outsiders (gentiles, pagans, infidels etc.) Here, not only murder but even genocide is permitted and, occasionally, even mandated.
He is a God who has long since outlived his usefulness. I hope Nietzsche was referring to him when he shouted, “God is dead!” Moreover, I hope Nietzsche was correct in his diagnosis. We can no longer afford such a God. He is very high maintenance and has done far too much damage to the human family. But we shouldn’t really be surprised; that was his avowed intention when, having detected our efforts at building the first skyscraper at Babel, he declared in Genesis chapter 11, “Let us go down and confuse their language…”
It’s high time to retire that kind of an insecure God, give him a pension and then set out in search of Source. The gods are to God as the persona is to the ego, and God is to Source as the ego is to the soul.
We know we are approaching Source when we begin to see that all life forms, in all dimensions, all worlds, all galaxies, and all universes are equally beloved and deserving of respect. Then we know that there are no chosen people, nor even a chosen species. And that there is only one rule for all. It is to love with all your heart and soul and mind and body. Because my neighbor IS myself.