"The One"

Discussion in 'Pagan' started by Child of a New Day, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,741
    Likes Received:
    2,125
    "I just finished reading a Cunningham book and he talked about "The One". A diety higher then the Goddess and God."

    Hi Neoplatonist -

    Yes, I came to this discussion for the same reason!

    Seems from a quick reading of the posts that this is just another derivation of Platonism.

    Thomas
     
  2. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercur├Žn Buddhist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,635
    Likes Received:
    110
    Hmm, this sounds similar to the Taoist concept of the Unmanifest Tao becoming the Monistic Manifest Tao, from which the complimentary dualism of Yin and Yang arise.

    Compare the first chapter of the Tao Te Ching with what has been presented here.
    Another interesting parallel--the Tao is viewed as water that will naturally flow to the lowest and hidden places. {the scattered shards of light?}
     
  3. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds like a pretty standard creation story, and sounds quite similar to some accounts given in the Bible--Genesis comes to mind, and then whatever part of the Bible that says, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God..." or something like that. I'm sure I am butchering scripture... apologies. :eek: Just wanted to note the similarities.
     
  4. gwenwifar23

    gwenwifar23 Mistress of Light & Love

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    God and goddess, where do these words come from?

    In ancient teuton language, most nouns where male or female, most nouns where single and plural. But the word god was neither male nor female. And there was no plural form. And in all teuton languages it sounded like good.

    According to Andreas Firewolf, this means, that the ancient teutons knew only one god, this god was neither male nor female. God created the universe, and that was good. They had nothing more to say about god. The painter is not in the painting, and the sculpter is not in the sculpture. How can creatures talk or think about that what comes before creation?

    The words 'gods', 'goddess' and 'goddesses' were created in christian times. The jews had a desert-deity, and there were other deities. Jews were not allowed to worship them. Christians, influenced by jewish, greek and roman teachings projected their faith upon the teutons and accused them of worshipping many gods. This was a misunderstanding.

    The ancient teutons formed aliances with the Aesir (spirit-beings of the wind), Vanir (spirit-beings of the sea and water), Jotun (spirit-beings of the fire) and Hrimthursen (spirit-beings of the ice). They were not considered to be gods of god-like. They were not almighty and/or omnipotent. They were subjected to their weird (word in dutch, urd in icelandic), which was weaved by the weird-sisters or norns: Urd, Rota and Skuld. According to Andreas Firewolf, these powers are the three guna's of the Brahmans.

    Why should we pray to the creator of the universe?

    Andreas Firewolf made a ridicule story about a biologist and some ants in his book "Cirkels van Licht en Liefde" (Circles of Light and Love, only in dutch). A biologist takes some ants to his lab to study them. These ants find out, that he is feeding them. They start to worship the biologist as their god and bring food-offerings to them. Once the biologist notices this, he concludes that he has influenced his subjects of study and destroyes them.

    Personally I see the gods and goddesses as role-models.

    Freya is my role-model. She is the deity of love, the spirit-being of sacrifice. When her lover was gone, she searched for him in every town and slept with all men. She is the deity of whores, who where greatly respected by the pre-christian people. Walpurgisnight comes from Val-burg. Val means fallen. Burg means keep, fortress. Freya is also called: Lady Val-burgja. She is a fortress for fallen women, like Odinn is the leader of the men who fall in battle. "Fallen women" should not be interpreted in a christian sense. It goes way back, when some women were warriors, like men. When you go on a spiritual path, you become a warrior. Someday you loose the battle, perhaps against old-age or something. Then you fall down. Warrior-women go to our lady Freya Valburgia, Warrior-men go to Odinn.

    When I meditate on Freya as my role-model, I get a good feeling. How can I get such a feeling when I meditate on the creator of the universe. The creator is without manifested qualities. The universe is its expression.
     
  5. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's nice to hear that people have found a spiritual path that truly speaks to them. Teutonic myth and culture has certainly influenced other parts of European and British culture but it is hardly the only source.

    The claim that the words "gods" and "goddesses" originated with Christians is quite interesting but is contradicted by pretty much all the history we have available to us. Perhaps the words we use in modern English were coined during Christian times but the ideas of multiple deities and words for multiple deities certainly existed well before Christian times.

    Before the Christian era we have many many cultures that worshipped multiple deities and clearly had terms to refer to more than one god or goddess. Just as one example, Greek religions predate Christianity and encompassed the worship of gods such as Zeus, Poseidon, Pan, Dionysus, Hermes, and many more. And while it is true that some believed that all deities were manifestations of a single larger entity (such as the Hindu conception of Brahman) there are many pre-Christian pagan religions that did not believe this and taught that each deity was distinct and separate from the others. That's why the gods and goddesses often fought one another -- why would they fight if they were all just different faces of the same being?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2006
  6. gwenwifar23

    gwenwifar23 Mistress of Light & Love

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, there were many deities. But they were not omni-present or omni-potent, like "the One" in this thread. The greek deities were competing with eachother, like in a soap-production. They kept things hidden for eachother and were plotting against eachother.

    The lord of the christians is completely different. It is not a simple deity, that lives in the creation, but something above and beyond creation.

    I did not state, that all deities were derived from the teutons. I stated, that the word god is an ancient teuton word. According to "Jan de Vries: Nederlands Etymologisch woordenboek" (Dutch etymologic dictionary) the word "god" was without gender. Jan de Vries was a famous authority on teuton language, culture and mythology, author of "Altgermanische religions geschichte".

    It would be wrong to compare the deities from the pagans with god as creator of the universe or to compare them with "the One". As soon as you start worshipping "the One", you are no longer a pagan.

    Andreas Firewolf wrote in many of his works, that religious wars started with the believe that there is only one god. In short:

    To this problem there are several solutions:
    1. You conclude that you are wrong, so you convert yourself to another god and another set of rules. This does not solve the problem, because sooner or later you meet again somenone with another deity and another set of rules.

    2. You conclude, that other people are misguided.
    2a. You try to convince the poor misguided people of your superior believe with words and reason.
    2b. You ignore the poor misguided people, because they have not evolved to your superior state of evolution.
    2c. You force the poor misguided people to believe what you believe. For there own good, offcourse. :( Those that refuse to change their believe-system should be destroyed. In the 15th and 16th century christians burned eachother at the stake, because they believed that the other christians had the wrong version of the christian lord. They did that for there own good, offcourse. It was to save their soul.

    Pagans do not have this kind of problems. Since there are many deities, it is natural that another person has another deity and another set of rules.
     
  7. gwenwifar23

    gwenwifar23 Mistress of Light & Love

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    P.s. I wrote:

    According to teuton language, there was only one god. But (as I stated above), they revered many deities. They knew the Aesir (like Odin and Thor), the Vanir (like Freya), the Thursar (like Skadi) and the Jotun (like Surtr). But those deities were not "gods".

    If one would try to translate the teuton concepts to christian terminology, the teutons had four armies of angels with four arch-angels: Odinn as arch-angel of the Aesir, Freya as arch-angel of the Vanir, Logr or Surtr as arch-angel of the Jotun and Hrae-svelgr as arch-angel of the Thursar.

    The translation in the previous paragraph would not be recognised by ancient teutons and is not accurate. It could help christians to understand the teuton concepts.

    The teuton warrior/warrioress is initiated for nine days and nights. On the ninth night, you have to climb the wall of fear in Niflhal and feed yourself to Hrae-svelgr. In her stomach you are desintegrated. Then she relieves herself of you and you fall into the primordial darkness. Finally you rise up until you tower above the universe and you become the creator of your own destiny.
     
  8. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for sharing your understanding of teutonic religion. Very interesting -- and I can think of parallels to some of the things you mentioned in other religions and cultures too. Nothing brings all those elements together in an identical way but a lot of the things exist in other forms in other places.

    There is a lot of diversity in how different religious groups express their understanding of the Divine: monotheistic, monotheistic with a hierarchy of beings, polytheistic (in both "soft" and "hard" polytheistic variations), pantheistic, and lots more.

    And some religions such as Wicca don't dictate any one model as mandatory, although in Wicca there is a tendencey towards polytheism (either "soft" or "hard") rather than strict monotheism.
     
  9. MacMorrighan

    MacMorrighan New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Etymology of "God"...

    Just thought I would revive an old thread for discussion (gee, long time, no post, huh?):


    Actually, according to my research, the etymology for the word "God" comes from the Old High German, Gott, which is tracible to the Indo-European root *go, meaning "the bull". While the French term for God, "Dieu" (of Romanic provedence) stems from div, which means "radiant".

    Personally, I have not heard this theory before. Indeed, what I know of the etymology of he term, itself, it would appear that the gender would be implicately masculine.

    Gotta' disagree here on not only etymological grounds, but also on the understanding of history. For example, the Romans had a word for "Goddess," which was Dea.

    Nawe, the tribes in fact had many Gods, and frequently worshipped Them. The largest secret of modern Judaism is that such Gods as Adonai, Elohim, Ba`al, etc.-- or, the God of Moses and the God of Abraham-- were absolutely distinct from the other and referred to tribal Gods in a polytheistic sense, raher than a Monotheistic one. Indeed, Adonai is most often translated in the Old Testament as "Lord," etc.

    But, in fact, it is commonly accepted amongst scholars that the Teutonic tribes did have various Gods, and they they did wrship Them.

    Although, speaking of Freyja ["Lady"] (I thought you might find this fascinating), She is a Goddess of "Shamanism", with a male homoerotically-inclined Priesthood, who is also tracible to the Neolithic Bird-Goddess of Marija Gimbutas' "Old Europe". She, of course, taught Her special-brand of Magick to Odinn, which involved sexual penetration on the part of the Magick-User; er go, Odinn was also homoerotically-inclined by definition, and is associated with the Ergi.

    While it is true that many Gods and Goddesses were not "omni-present" or "omnipotent," but I have recently come to find that some paleo-pagan Deities certainly were considered to be "omnipresent". Now, at the time, I never thought to make a mental note of the Names or cultures of these Gods so I will have to search through my rather enormous personal Library to discover Them, again.

    Thanks for allowing me to share,

    All my best,
    Wade MacMorrighan
     
  10. Therapon

    Therapon New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Khairete

    It does make one smile:cool:

    If I may put in my two pence-worth. There have been a lot of posts which seem to go off in all sorts of speculative tangents but for the record and in context.

    Theres no mystery here...:confused:

    The One lies at the very foundation of the Western Tradition and is the underlying unifying principle behind Classical Pagan Philosophy.

    The roots of contemporary Wicca and Druidry for that matter, lie in the western esotoric tradidion which emerged during the renaissance. The foundations of which was the reintroduction to the west of the Neoplatonist tradition. The One is the transcendent and ineffable God of Plotinus and the Neoplatonists. The roots of the teaching on the One have been traced back through Plato to Pythagoras. the Golden Chain of Tradition goes further back through Hermes Trismagistus, Orpheus, Dionysos, Apollo, Zeus to Phanes. Such are the legendry origins of its divine beginnings.;)

    The One is if I'm understanding Plotinus correctly the essential transcendent unity of all gods and all beings, the only truly existant reality. This is pure Monism, the underlying philosophy of Polytheism.

    For the most sublime exposition of the teaching on the One you could do no better than read the Enneads of Plotinus. They are avaialable on-line.:rolleyes:

    Erroson Therapon
     
  11. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    While it is true that there are polytheist philosophies (such as that of Plotinus and the others you mentioned) which reduce to monism, it is a mistake to assume that this is true for all polytheists.

    Polytheism is not a single uniform philosophy or religion but a rather generic term for religions that acknowledge more than just one deity. There is a huge amount of variety and often radical disagreement between polytheist religions and philosophies. And that includes variety with respect to the concept of monism.

    ; )

    Ben Gruagach
     
  12. Therapon

    Therapon New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. sedated_angel

    sedated_angel Wiccan

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    True and not true. (From my personal point of view.) As I understand it, from a Wiccan standpoint this is. There is a deity higher than the god and the goddes, in a technical sense. This deity however did not create the god and goddes, but humans, yes humans, created them as a way of relating to the higher deity. "The one" as it was phrased is the creator of all things. And Wicca, along with every other religion, is our way of relating to something which is otherwise unfathomable. We anthropomorphize this higher deity into something more like ourselves, in order to understand it. So, to be technical, when christians say that "God created us in his image" Technically they have it all bass ackwards, they created god in their image.
     
  14. BeckyThatch

    BeckyThatch New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just finished reading Ken Wilber's "Sex, Ecology and Spirituality". He's a very enthusiastic advocate of Plotinus and what he refers to as the "Divine ground". I think this is the same as "The One".

    Socrates essentially said that it can't be put into words. If that's the case, what are we talking about? ;)
     
  15. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    I often thought that the claim we can't put something into words was a cop-out. Sure, we can express it through words, music, dance, visual arts!

    However I do think it's true that the One, the Divine, or whatever you want to call It is so vast that it is impossible for us to know It in Its totality. All our attempts to express our understanding of It are by definition limited parts of It. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try! It's through expressing our understanding of It and learning from each other that we are able to expand our understanding of It.
     
  16. reedshimmer

    reedshimmer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ben your encyclopeadic knowledge has astonished me all day today you are amazing.

    I have ME and tried really hard to read and understand this positively highbrow and very intellectual discussion as the subject is of great interest to me.

    On a lighter note, if that is allowed; a post by Chalice wherein he/she discussed the similarity between the gnostic 'scattering of light' and the jewish kabbalah 'shattering of glass' made me think that perhaps the former was the bardic knowledge of 'the big bang' creation of the universe handed onto the jewish people and encompassed within their faith as so many religions are wont to do - use someone else's knowledge and practices to further their own cause. Is this possible? after all the god's would have been the entities around wouldn't they?

    Respect and regards

    Reedshimmer
     
  17. Iomharr

    Iomharr New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting concept. I have a couple of Cunningham's Wicca books but never saw mention of "the One." In either the Dummies Guide or Complete Idiots Guide to Wicca I flipped through in a bookstore, there is mention of "the All" from which the Lord and Lady came.

    Though I'm Asatru and heathens are mostly hard polytheists, I do believe in a Brahman-like being from which all things emanate (gods and people alike). I call it the Urgeist or "primal spirit."
     
  18. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you read back through this thread you'll see we mentioned where Cunningham talks about "the One" -- it's in his popular book "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner." If you look on page 123 at "The Blessing Prayer" it starts off with:

    "May the powers of The One,
    The source of all creation;"

    Cunningham was just passing on his modified version of the Dryghten Prayer, first popularized by Patricia Crowther (one of Gardner's high priestesses.) And while it's not necessarily a core teaching among all Wiccans, it is popular among some.
     

Share This Page