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Tuesday, February 04, 2020

The Glorification & Personification of Divinity

'To make glorious by bestowing honor, praise, or admiration'. This is the definition supplied by Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary for 'glorify'. Taking a step back, according to the same website, 'glorious' means 'possessing or deserving glory'. Here again, though, we must step back again, only to see that the word 'glory' is defined as 'praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent'. These words describe both persons or things. To be honest, they are closely related to the word 'worship'. According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, the word comes from the Old English 'worðscip', meaning 'condition of being worthy, dignity, glory, distinction, honor, renown'. This again can be indicative of a person or thing, mostly a person. Anticipating the argument of those who say the Christian 'God' IS a Person, we will also offer this definition of 'person'; again, from Merriam-Webster; 'human, individual sometimes used in combination especially by those who prefer to avoid man in compounds applicable to both sexes'. Reading further in the above link shows that only fourthly does it refer to the so-called '3 Persons of the Trinity'! All that to say this; 'the Christian 'God' IS, in this sense, a Person: 'He' is how a male-oriented ( dominated ) society perceived the Divine Source of Life!' Because we here in America, for the most part, are grounded in Christian ( Bible-based ) principles, most Christians perceive 'Him' in this way as well. This is not either to say that theirs is a wrong or 'bad' perception, for 'as above, so below'; It is what It is'. The Hebrews were not the first to describe the Divinity in a way they could relate to, nor are they the only ones to have their own perception & to believe that it's the only correct or true One!

The Divine Source of Life is neither male nor female! Strangely similar to our makeup, as human beings, this 'Source' is perceived in as many different ways as there are perceivers. Some perceive It as a 'Him', some as 'Her', while others perceive It as 'Energy' or 'the Universe' ( which IS arguably 'Energy' ). The three major religions of the world, Christianity, Judaism & Islam, all perceive It as 'Him'; Judaism & Islam because they're both from male-dominated societies; Christianity, because it sprang from Judaism. The Pagan roots of Christianity revered the female aspect of Divinity, which seems to have been all but lost in the shuffle, so Earth-worshipers who fall under the large umbrella known as 'Pagan' refer to the deity as 'Her'. Along those lines, one might recall that, in the Bible, 'God', or 'Elohim', commands the Earth to 'bring forth' ( Genesis 1:11 ); the only time 'He' spoke those words concerning anyone or anything beside the man & woman.

'Why do humans feel the necessity to personalize Divinity?' Furthermore, 'Why do we feel that we must glorify that Divinity; that this should be our Life's Purpose?' One doesn't necessarily lead to the other but to answer the second question first, religion bears the brunt. Religion teaches us to look outside ourselves for strength, for answers, whereas most so-called 'religious texts' teach us that we have the power to choose our own destiny. To return to an example from the Hebrew Scriptures, 'God' ( 'Elohim' again ) told Cain, 'If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door.' ( Genesis 4:7 ) We have the Power, through Choice, to decide our own Destiny! There is not some Divine Being up among the stars that sets our course, although, on a bit of a side-track, it is well accepted that the Moon affects the tides, yet we humans, or at least most Christians, find it ridiculous, even blasphemous, that 'She', along with other heavenly bodies, should affect us.

To answer the first question might be a bit more of a challenge though! Why DO we humans feel the need to put a face, so to speak, on the Forces of Nature & especially the Divine Source of Life? In an attempt to answer this question, let us consider that, as human beings, we are naturally prone to relate to other human beings. For example, Christians refer to the Divinity as 'Father'. That again, is because of the male orientation of the culture from which the Hebrew Scriptures sprang. In that vein, 'Father', being more of a human, or biological concept, it is natural as well, to believe that we come from somewhere. For Christians, of course, 'God' is a spiritual 'Father', rather than a natural, or biological One. As spirit-beings, of course, it IS only natural to personalize the Source as our 'Father', in other words, to attach ourselves to this Source in a way that we, as human beings, can relate to. There is nothing wrong with this, of course ( nobody wants to feel like they're an orphan-physically or otherwise ), though looking to this 'Father' for our sustenance tends towards irresponsibility. One might actually compare this to our level of maturity as human beings: as we mature in Life, we learn to rely on ourselves, rather than, or at least more than, our father, This, though, is to say nothing of the female half of the equation, our 'Mother'.............

'Mother Earth' is a term used by 'Pagans' for the most part, although it is often employed by even those who view themselves as 'spiritual, not religious', something which is becoming more prevalent. Going back, again to our quote from Genesis 1, we see that the Earth, just like a human Mother, in fact, similar to Adam & Eve, was told to 'bring forth'. Therefore, in this sense, we could all be called 'Children of the Earth'. It should be noted here that such an argument is somewhat dependent on the notion that these first few chapters of Genesis describe nothing but the 'creation' of the material world. On the other hand, it should also be noted that this is a Universal Truth!

While the argument that 'it had to start somewhere' is rather 'up-in-the-air', so to speak, it is fairly well-accepted that there was/is a Creator, that a Divine Being is behind it all. This blogger is no exception! I can foresee & indeed, have heard no questionable evidence contrary to the fact. As I have been known to put it, 'I didn't put that mountain there; did you?' Are we to simply believe that the 'God' of the Bible placed them there? Of course not; that would be akin to averring that 'God' created Adam with the appearance of age, as well as the stars, etc., etc.! Was there a beginning? Will there be an end to the physical universe? Some say 'yes', some say 'no'. Clearly though, Someone put that mountain there! 'Was it, as the Hebrew Scriptures seem to say, the Christian 'God', the God' of the Hebrews?' Believe what you will; it must be known that, while there is/was in the ultimate sense, a Creator, a Divine Source, this Divine Source gave 'Mother Earth' the ability to 'bring forth', not on 'Her' own, but as in the case with the Virgin Mary ( Matthew 1:23 ( Isaiah 7:14 ), '[ The ] Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you' ( Luke 1:35 ).

'So, Who do you worship & 'why'?' 'How do you worship?! 'Worship', at its roots, simply means 'to ascribe worth to' ( IOW ). It is often said that we 'worship the ground she walks on'. In fact, if you'll recall from one of my recent posts, some of the original ( Christian? ) marriage vows actually contains that very concept. One could well say then, that whatever, or whoever one sees as worthy, actually receives their worship! In the same vein then & moving on; 'How does one show ( manifest ) their worship, be it of an individual or thing?' 'We will glorify....................' As described earlier, we worship by bestowing 'honor, praise, or admiration'. To worship is to glorify, to glorify is to worship! Since worship simply means 'to ascribe worth', anything we view as worthy therefore receives our worship; anything or anyone, therefore, that we honor, praise or admire thus receives glorification. Though, religiously speaking, these terms are used to refer only to a Deity outside ourselves, in terms of Spiritual Truth, they refer to what might be termed, 'The Spirit Within'. Even the Bible agrees; Jesus said, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him' ( John 14:23 ) When we give honor, glory & praise to the Spirit Within; when we ascribe worth to our Higher Self, we thus worship ourselves, not as human beings, but as as Spirit Beings, part & parcel with the Divine Source!

Namaste' & Blessed Be!
Charles Haddon Shank