This is a question that we all ask ourselves at least once in our lifetime. The answer to this foreboding question? Well, ultimately, Nothing. This annoys the Christian folk to no end and the Pagan folk sit there wondering why I am even discussing this topic as it is not relevant to anything but a monotheistic religion. Beep, wrong on all accounts.
If we look at (I am going to take a chance and say) ALL religions and spiritual paths, then there is a single force or power that is the primary undercurrent of existence. Many will speak of the Gods, and this question of “What is God?” is incredibly different to the question asked in a previous essay (which I will include here for convenience) of “Who are the Gods?” But many speak of the Gods, individual beings and entities that exist “apart” from us, existing as individuals just as you, me, and every other entity walking through this Cosmos. When we speak of God, however, we are referring to something completely different.
So, let’s get to the nuts and bolts. The word “God” is not a name, it is a title, a description we use for communication. It is much like the word “Lucifer” which denotes a god that is a light-bearer or light-bringer, and although we refer to Lucifer as being an old Roman Pagan god, there are many luciferi and lucifera such as Lugh as an example.
God is The ALL of the Hermetics, Old Dame Fate of the Traditional Cunning Folk spoken of by Roy Bowers. In every path and religion, there is a Supreme Force, an energy that permeates Everything and came from Nothing. A Power that is in, and is everything and nothing at the same time. When we refer to God being Every-Thing and No-Thing, we have to consider that although we experience this world as being solid, when we get down to the atomic level, there may be particles and sub-atomic particles, but an atom is made mostly of the ingredient of No-Thing, the closest representation being thought. And so, from No-Thing came Every-Thing, and in Every-Thing exists No-Thing.
In British Traditional Craft, Roy Bowers speaks of Old Dame Fate “spinning without motion”. This Force or Power is the Centre, and it is our quest to move closer to that Centre, however, what is the centre of anything? If we draw a circle on a piece of paper, where is the centre? We may look to the middle point of the circle and put a dot there and call that the centre, but as soon as you put a dot with your pencil, we give that dot dimension, and the centre itself has no dimension. Therefore, when we speak of the centre, we are speaking of the entire circle from that middle point extending out to its perimeter, and even beyond. The Cosmos is infinite, and so is the Centre.
We can also take this circle we have drawn and bring it into the imagery of a round-about found at a children’s park or playground. If you put a person on each segment of the round-about and spin it with everyone standing on the perimeter, you will all feel the force of the spin, throwing you out, pushing you from the middle. However, if you were all to move into the middle, then you feel the calm of the spin, even though the round-about has not slowed down. And so, Old Dame Fate is the Centre, she is the middle, spinning without motion, but also extending out to the Cosmos.
In Hermeticism, The ALL is also referred to as the Universal Mind. With this depiction we may consider that God created everything through thought, or God thought everything into being and keeps everything going through the mechanism of thought. This may seem a little abstract, but if we go back to the basic ingredient of the atom, it may not be so difficult to understand. Remember that we use words from our language database to describe things, but in some cases, it is somewhat lacking. Thought is not necessarily just that which we may think within our minds, it is energy. Thought, like radio waves, are a form of energy, and our bodies and all things around us, are energy, and so what we see as physical objects, are in a sense, the same as our own thoughts, all energy being projected and formed.
When we look at the Pythagorean Pentagram we find the letter Iota at the point of the pentagram which modern Occultists have come to label the fifth element of Spirit. Iota is the first letter of the Greek word “Idea” which means in English, idea, thought, but also form. In modern Occultism, Spirit or Æther is that element which envelops the other four, being Fire and Water which are bridged by Air and forming Earth, and so Spirit is that which is present in all. Thought, present in all things existing within the Cosmos and forming all things.
I was taught in Kabbalah that the first line of the Bible, which reads in our English translation as, “And God created Heaven and Earth” actually has 42 (it could have been 44) different interpretations in the Hebrew, one of them being, “And Mind created …”. So what is “Mind”? Mind is a thinking unit, and thought is energy, therefore Mind takes thought/energy and forms it into shape.
But now the real catch. Unless you know where, or guessed where I am going with this discourse, you may have considered up until now that God, Old Dame Fate, The ALL, or whatever other title or name you can give this Power, is separate from you and from me. But it is not. It is Every-Thing and No-Thing, and therefore it exists within and without all things. It is everything, including you and me and the neighbor, as well as the trees, the plants, the animals and the coffee, tea, juice or water you drank this morning. It is one flow of energy, not individual strands or balls. Ergo, everything is connected, and everything is one body with many cells, all acting in consensus to keep the body together. Some of those cells may try to reject the body and will form a cancer within it, but they will never be separate from it.
To conclude, everything is God, everything is Power flowing, changing, forever in motion. As the plant withers and dies the energy that formed that plant in consensus continues to move and flow and form a new thing. And so we come back to “What is God?”, and the answer is everything, you, me, all things, including the Gods that we worship, which takes us to the previous discourse I wrote asking “Who are the Gods?”. And the answer? They are beings, entities, bodies of energy just like the rest of us, but also of us, are us, and we are them and you are me and I am you.
Lee ‘Red Oak’ Johnson
Who are the Gods? – previous essay
Everyone is talking about the Gods, but who the hell are they? This obviously has many avenues available, and every one of us will follow, worship, praise, and believe in their own Gods, or set of Gods, or even just the one God. With so many cultures in the world, both past and present, we have a selection that encompasses a continent full of encyclopedias. But it is not just a case of which we select, or those that select us to work with them, but how we understand that relationship.
Before I start this discourse, let me scream from the rooftops that this is only an examination of possibilities. What I believe and what you believe will most probably be two completely different things, and we are all entitled to those beliefs. However, what I will be relating here may come as a shock to some, and will get that back hair raised, ready to attack. By all means, please attack. Nothing like a good ‘ol frolicking in the forest.
Many of us view the Gods as being separate from us. Some consider them archetypes, aspects of our own consciousness, and still others that the Gods are us, part of us, and we part of them. There is also the question of the nature of these beings that we call Gods. Are they malevolent or benevolent? I do consider that in many a case, these Gods are created in our own image. Let’s take an example here. Mildred worships Odin, and in her relationship with Odin she finds him to be loving, kind, helpful, always there to give advice and ready to be petitioned during spell work. Nothing wrong with that, except when we look at the older texts and the nature of Odin to his past worshippers. He was not a kind God, and being a War God, he demanded sacrifices in exchange for work done. So what is the real nature of Odin? Ah, therein lies the crux of this discourse. When looking at the European Gods in specific, they don’t really give a continental about us humans, except for Thunor/Thor, who is protector of Man and Gods. Do the Norse Gods come to our aid when we request it during our prayers? A sticky question actually. Considering they really don’t care too much for humans, I’d have to say no, but then it begs the question, who have people been contacting for so many centuries?
To delve into that question, let’s consider something first. No matter what religion you look at, when you delve deep enough, you will find a common theme. We are all connected. A lot of people may consider this statement to be in terms of our relationships, i.e. we are connected by love or even hate, but it is far more than this. Everything (as I always say) is energy. It doesn’t matter what you are looking at, whether it be your wife, husband, Aunt Agatha or the tree in your front garden, it is constructed of energy. What we see as tree with leaves and bark, is a construction of our minds, and we all see it through an agreement, a consensual reality that creates the tree. If however we were to See energy, then we would see lines or threads of pulsating power flowing up, down, in, out and around the tree. If it has been a while since you watched Matrix 3, then watch it again. Toward the end when Neo reaches the Machine City, in a state of blindness, he Sees everything as energy, lines of energy that move and flow. This is Reality. This energy, known in Anglo-Saxon terms as Wyrd, and in Kabbalistic terms as Avir and Ruchaniyut is never ending, it flows through, in and out of all things. In its form as Avir it is unformed and so it is that energy which is around you, whereas, when it enters you and forms the body you find yourself in, it is known as Ruchaniyut, i.e. realized form or potential. This energy, flowing in a constant flux and motion, connects everything, it is the same energy which flows through the person next to you, the cat in the room next door and the grass growing in your garden. Therefore, we all energy and the same energy, i,e, we are all connected and One.
So who are we talking to when we talk to the Gods? In my understanding, we are talking to ourselves, to a realized potential of who we are, and that which we are is Everything and No-Thing, God, YHVH, Old Dame Fate, The ALL, the Supreme Power that is All, Everything and at the same time, No-thing. We are all these things, but we also have individuality like cells in a body, all moving around and past each other, considering ourselves to be removed from everything, not seeing the Power that flows between us. We are the Gods, and they are us. And in that instance, we also create ourselves in the form of the Gods. Yes, they are as individual as we are to each other, but they are also us, connected, cells within a larger body, and if you consider that this larger body is possibly a single cell within a larger body of It’s reality, then the Cosmos just gets bigger and bigger. And through all these ever ending expanses of realities upon realities, we are all still connected, all being that energy which is flowing through everything imaginable.