Archive for mistaking ego for spirit

Monotheism and Disguised Polytheism

Posted in Atheist, Bible, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, religion with tags , , , on April 17, 2012 by chouck017894

Monotheism, belief in a one-god creator, it could be argued, is not exactly the natural approach to understanding our individual relationship to the creative Source.  Such a belief system tends to ignore the fact that all things that make up Creation are directly interrelated, and by ignoring that fact naive seekers may thereby be inspired through crafty manipulation of their egos to become bigoted with a false claim of exclusivity.

The basic layout of the four parts of what would become Jewish scriptures has been confirmed as having been significantly blocked out from the late 8th century BCE.  Assyria destroyed the little kingdom of Israel to the north (722 BCE), and the threat of a similar fate was in the minds of the people of Judah.  Archeology has shown that regardless of biblical accounts, Israel and Judah were never sister kingdoms.  Jerusalem in this timeframe was a tiny village, but the cult-priests of Yahweh were located there and they were obsessed with making their temple the religious center of all the surrounding territory.  Polytheism, the belief that there were numerous gods, was common among the Hebrew people, but the priests in Jerusalem were determined to convert all tribespeople to Yahweh.  With the fall of the kingdom of Israel, Jerusalem burst forth in sudden expansion c. 720-718 BCE, and the village that had covered no more than ten or twelve acres rapidly mushroomed out of its narrow hill site to engulf the entire western hill, growing to 150 acres.  It was the “holy city” of Yahweh, but the new population was resistant to belief in a single god.

It was not until after the Captivity (537 BCE) that the priests of Yahweh managed to fully impose their concept of one god upon the disoriented returnees to Jerusalem.  The monotheistic concept issued out of a fanaticism of the Yahweh priesthood which sought social and political authority, not a desire to teach spiritual integrity.  The priesthoods’ fraudulent propaganda was that Israel’s suffering had always come about as punishment for the people turning their devotion to other gods. And with their fanatic contempt of neighboring people the monotheistic “faith” that the Yahweh priests offered actually sank morally lower than the polytheists who could recognize the interrelationship of all gods and all life.  And that unyielding attitude of the Yahweh priests was welded into Jewish credo, which insured a destiny of senseless conflicts for them with the many other cultures they met through subsequent centuries.

The early Jewish priests, like all typical cult administrators, never treated the people outside their control as worthy of any respect.  In that manner, the Jewish faith retained its tribalism and localism, and it was shored up even further with ego delusions of special status with the creator-god.  In other words, stimulation of ego was equated with spiritual quality—a perversion of spiritual understanding, which unfortunately now also stains Christianity and Islam.  Such spiritual haughtiness was seldom an indulgent sin of Pagan conduct.  And that self-serving spiritual understanding taught by the priests of Yahweh did nothing to improve the status of the feminine sex within that faith system.

Polytheism sees the creative source-power, which monotheism personifies as God, as a presence within everything, and not something that is given to a select few as special darlings of the Creator.  By its very nature polytheism thus encouraged religious tolerance, and respected the creative power’s law of diversity.  That refusal of the monotheist theory to respect the spiritual equality within all things amounts to spiritual greed, a serious indulgence in blasphemy.

The disguise of polytheism’s “lesser” gods is first seen in Genesis (16:18), the book of beginnings, when Abram’s concubine, Hagar, is fleeing the wrath of Abram’s wife Sari.  Hagar, alone and frightened and carrying Abram’s infant son Ishmael, is visited by an “angel” at a fountain of water in the wilderness.  (No one in this story has yet had their names changed, which indicates to those who know the code that this is story is set within the pre-physical planes of energy formation, so the prototypes are not yet defined [named] as matter.)  In that meeting the account is intentionally made indistinct with the lesser “angel” seemingly absorbed by the higher creative deity to convey the illusion that “angels” are simply an expression of god.  Clearly this is myth, not history, and it skirts very close to admitting that the higher creative presence is within all things.

Then in Genesis 19:18, Abram’s nephew, Lot, who lived in Sodom (primal energy plane), is said to have been visited by two angels, but strangely, the two are addressed singularly by Lot as “My Lord.”  This method of disguising the lesser gods of polytheism as “angels” was a convenient business tactic for installing a hierarchical priest-style faith system, and that tactic was carried over into Christianity and Islam.

In Judaism’s early traditions, the heavens were perceived as being administered by divine attendants or assistants of god.  By the time Deuteronomy (32:8) was written, angels were portrayed as god’s vice-regents and administrators in a hierarchical bureaucracy over the world.  How is this so different from polytheism where a variety of gods administered to different aspects of everyday life?  The primary difference, as the priests fashioned it, rested in personifying the creative Source as a prejudicial being who allegedly chose adherents of the priest-invented faith system to Yahweh above all else in Creation.

Angels as messengers of god were not so different from the Greek god Hermes who was characterized as the messenger and herald of the Olympian gods.  Angel Gabriel is thought of as an intermediary, an agent between persons or things, so he is in the same general category as messenger.  The warrior angel Michael, as another example, is not that far removed from the Roman god Mars.  The angelic hierarchy became increasingly explicit (as in Daniel 10:13; Ephesians 6:12; Jude 9; and 1 Peter 3:22), and archangels then came into the imagined heavenly lineup.

The minor gods of the polytheists were transformed by the holy word authors into the role of angels for monotheistic use, and that usage increased in later stages of Hebrew scriptures.   And that convenient tactic is found throughout the New Testament.  In the NT, however, angels more often deliver messages to humans (as in Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:11, 26:2-9;  Acts 8:26, 10:3).  When the angels appear to humans, they were generally described as descending from heaven as minor gods might do (as in Matthew 28:2; and John 1:51).  The next step was the suggestion that each person has his or her own protecting angel (as in Matthew 18:10; and Acts 12:15).

The history of monotheism as practiced by those pioneering priests of Yahweh does not support the claim that it made for a higher, more principled life.  The priests were fixated upon ceremonial laws, a maze of taboos, performances of animal sacrifice, and political maneuvering, none of which taught any moralizing or ethical concept of life, let alone teach any spiritual enlightenment.  Thus was lost the understanding that every “created” thing has its origin in the Source, which means that all things are interrelated and equal within that power.