Societies and the gods – 2

Continuing a conversation with the guys held Thursday January 5, 2006.

(10:10 a.m.) Friends?

We find it difficult to confine any discussion, as you well know. Every subject links up seamlessly with every other subject – in other words, just as, in a sense, there is only one person, so there is only one thought, only one perception, and that is – everything! This is the meaning of the Buddha’s admonition that every time you make a distinction you make an error. Not that no distinctions are to be perceived, but that no distinction is or ever could be absolute.

So – to move back toward the center of what we want to discuss – people perceive guidance differently because their cultural traditions describe it differently. In a homogenous culture the expectations are homogenous. The more complex and self-contradictory the culture – the more competing threads – the more diversity in understanding; the greater the number of images and concepts, many appearing to be entirely contradictory.

So, angels. Aliens. Saints. Past lives. Various archetypes. The collective unconscious. Power animals. The ancestors. Earth spirits – we could continue, but the point perhaps is made. We will make it more clearly:

Every society “creates” us in its own image. If it is a fragmented, self-warring society, then the gods are at war. If a powerful homogenous society concerned at most with the transgressions of individuals, this is what it will see on the other side. It isn’t a chaos over “here” – except in that it is chaos over “there.”

You are fighting over competing visions of what you call the afterlife, or the spiritual reality, or the other side, or heaven and hell, or nirvana, or even the energy of the great mindless machine – and you don’t see that you are grappling with your own contradictions in the only way you know – by projecting them onto us. Projecting in two senses of the term: projecting one’s inner stuff, and creating, of that projected material, shapes and beings.

So, if you project warring forces (and no reason you shouldn’t; anything that exists exists on both sides of the veil, being different as we have said mainly according to the laws of the turf involved) those warring forces will be seen as warring individuals, or groups, because it is too difficult psychologically for you to hold the view of abstracts. Thus the warfare of the good and bad angels. It is all projection: That does not mean it does not exist. It means, merely, you cannot see ultimates.

Find the Dion Fortune quote about “what are the gods” in The Sea Priestess and quote them.

All right, I shall.

So – here is the point we wish to make at this time. Your quest to understand (and by “you” we mean, at this time, all who read this, sharing the quest) is part of society’s work. You are doing invisible mental work that though invisible is not unreal or not important. It is real work and there are few enough to do it. Consider the work, if you will, to be that of creating and infusing with energy a visualization, a new archetype, a container. Your society is tearing itself apart because you are in the time of new birth. Aid that birth!

For clarity – “your society” may now be considered (for the first time in recorded history) all the sub-societies of the planet. You are in a global civilization. Is it a surprise that previous containers are not adequate?

Those who cannot create rely upon those who can. It requires much less to adhere to a new vision than to obtain and co-shape it. Your work is to help to shape the vision so that your fellows – many of whom will hate you for the work! – may benefit.

It is a great and rare privilege to participate in the coalescing of a new civilization; rarer to participate in a new form of civilization; rarest of all – your fate – to also participate in the coming to consciousness of a new way of being human.

So. This is a coherent place to pause. Type this and the quotation in, send it off to the winds as before. And as always you have our thanks for participating in the work.

And you know you have mine; this greatly enriches my life.

The quotation is from pp 172-174 of the 1978 Samuel Weiser paperback edition of The Sea Priestess, by Dion Fortune, originally privately published in England, in 1938. Fabulous book. She wrote six novels, all very worthwhile, but this and its sequel Moon-Magic are in my view the best.

Then Morgan le Fay began to tell me about herself, and how things looked from her point of view; it was a curious experience, for I had never dreamt there could be such a viewpoint for any human being. She told me that those whom the gods chose were dehumanized and semi-deified.

“For that remark,” I said, “you would have been burnt in the good old days, and quite right too.”

“What are the gods?” said she.

“God knows,” said I.

“I think they are natural forces personified,” said she. “So to be made one with the gods is to become the channel of natural forces. And that is not as rare as you might think.

And she told me that devout men of all faiths had held that it was possible to bring the soul to a single-pointed focus by adoration and meditation and dedication; and that when this took place the god came down and possessed the worshipper, and the power of the god shone out from him like light from a lamp. She told me, too, that the ancients had known things of which we moderns had only touched the fringe.

“When the Priest of the Moon came to me in the crystal,” she said, “he asked me if I would like to learn these things, and I said that I would. And he told me that to do this I must give myself up to them; and I said that I would do this also. Then he said he would teach me, and little by little he has taught me.

“He taught me that there is but one priesthood, which is the service of the One, whence all life proceeds and to which all returns, and It is Unmanifest, and no Man at any time hath known It, or ever shall know It. Only in Its works is It known to us, and from these we deduce Its nature, and Its nature is Nature. Primitive man personified Its powers and called them gods; modern man depersonifies them and calls them forces and factors. Both are true,” said she, “but neither is the whole truth; for the gods are forces, and the forces are intelligent and purposive, being expressions of the nature of the One.

“And as It is, so is creation, for creation is the expression of Its nature; for as the Chaldean Oracles say, `The wise man looketh upon the face of Nature and beholdeth therein the luminous countenance of the Eternal.’ And human nature,” said she, “is a part of Nature, and you learn a lot about both Nature and the gods if you study it.”

Then she told me the idea the ancients had of priesthood—that it was mediumship; but it was not the personified god that spoke through the possessed and inspired priest or pythoness, for the personified god is the form under which man represents those potencies to himself, and the real god is far otherwise—but that the priest, overshadowed by the gods, put forth his powers; that which was latent in him was released, and he became for a time what all men would be when perfected.

“Then that being so,” said I, “what are the gods?”

“God knows,” said she. “But we know that by doing certain things we get certain results.”

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