"The One"

Thomas

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"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
 

seattlegal

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Child of a New Day said:
I just finished reading a Cunningham book and he talked about "The One". A diety higher then the Goddess and God. He said the One is the devine source and created the God and Goddess and the God and Goddess created us.
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.
The concept of gatthering the scattered shards of light is also found in the Kabbalah and other Jewish beliefs.
Another interesting parallel--the Tao is viewed as water that will naturally flow to the lowest and hidden places. {the scattered shards of light?}
 

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Child of a New Day said:
Incase anyone was interested this is the part of the book I was refering to.

Before time was, there was The One; The One was all, and all was The One.
And the vast expanse known as the universe was The One, all wise, all pervading, all powerful, eternally changing.

And space moved. The One moulded energy into twin forms, equal but opposite, fashioning the Goddess and God
from The One and of The One.

The Goddess and God stretched and gave thanks to The One, but darkness surrounded them. They were alone, solitary save for The One.

So they formed energy into gases and gases into suns
and planets and moons; They sprinkled the universe with whirling
globes and so all was given shape by the hands of the Goddess and God.

Light arose and the sky was illuminated by a billion suns.
The Goddess and God, satisfied by their works,
rejoiced and loved, and were one.

From their union sprang the seeds of all life,
and the human race so that we might achieve incarnation upon the Earth.

The Goddess chose the Moon as her symbol,
and the God the Sun as his to remind the inhabitants of Earth of their creators.

All are born, live, die and are reborn beneath the Moon and Sun;
All things come to pass there under, and all occurs
with the blessings of The One, the Goddess and God,
as has been the way of existence since before time was.

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.
 

gwenwifar23

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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.
 

bgruagach

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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?
 
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gwenwifar23

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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:

If there is only one god (your god)
with a set of rules (your rules)
and another person believes in another deity
with another set of rules
you have a problem.

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.
 

gwenwifar23

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P.s. I wrote:

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.

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.

In reality, Hrae-svelgr is a force that is not quite angelic. She has the form of a black eagle and she is the great-great-mother. She reigns in the depths of Nifl-hal, the most remote area in Nifl-heimar, the ice-root of the tree-of-worlds (Yggdrasil). When people die of old age, illness or starvation, the soul falls down to Hal (the first world in Niflheimar). When the soul is not healed, it sinks deeper and deeper until it falls into Nifl-hal. There the soul is devoured by Hrae-svelgr. Her name means: Gobbler-of-corpses.

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.
 

bgruagach

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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.
 

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The Etymology of "God"...

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

gwenwifar23 said:
God and goddess, where do these words come from?

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".

gwenwifar23 said:
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.

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.

gwenwifar23 said:
The words 'gods', 'goddess' and 'goddesses' were created in christian times.

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.

gwenwifar23 said:
The jews had a desert-deity, and there were other deities. Jews were not allowed to worship them.

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.

gwenwifar23 said:
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.

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.

gwenwifar23 said:
Yes, there were many deities. But they were not omni-present or omni-potent, like "the One" in this thread.

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
 

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Neoplatonist said:
A thread titled "The One" and no mention of Plotinus and/or The Enneads!?!

That aint' right! :p

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
 

bgruagach

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Therapon said:
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.

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
 

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bgruagach said:
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.quote]

Absolutely! However few polytheistic religions other than Classical Paganism or Hinduism actualy articulate a philosophical position. Within Hinduism Monism (Advaita) is the perspective that is given more attention but Dualism, as in Vaisnava tradition, is also present. Even so the One is still recognised.

Classical Paganism had by the time of Plotinus rejected dualistic thinking and Neoplatonism is distinguished from earlier philosophies precisely over this point.

It is from this tradition that contemporary Neopaganism has developed and both Wicca and Druidry have inherited their monistic perspecitive.
 

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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.
 

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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? ;)
 

bgruagach

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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? ;)

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.
 

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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
 

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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."
 

bgruagach

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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.

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.
 

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In a sense, yes, it is a Gnostic concept. In a more sincere sense, no, it is a Hermetic concept.

The idea of a "Lord and Lady" also has roots in Hermeticism, with its concept of the Divine Father and the Divine Mother, also seen as the binary who is supreme above all except for the One. The One is seen as highly impersonal in both Gnosticism and Hermeticism, with this binary being how the One manifests in a way to give it agency in its interactions with mankind.

Also in Hermeticism, the Lord and Lady correspond to different elements. Fire and Air are masculine elements, whereas Water and Earth are feminine elements. In this way, the elements, too, are given this sort of dualistic balance.

This isn't too weird given that Hermetic alchemy has roots in Daoist alchemy, which is where we get the idea of the Dao being represented by a feminine Yin and a masculine Yang. Much of the same correspondences are retained in Hermeticism from Daoism, and we see these used by many early and prominent Wiccan authors.

Gnosticism also has this division, or at least my sect of Gnosticism, Sethianism, does. We call the Divine Father "Kalyptos" and the Divine Mother "Barbelo."

Hermeticism is sometimes seen as a form of Gnosticism, and the two did have heavy influence on each other, but they're both ultimately traditions that branched off of Platonism. Platonism is where the concept of the One or the Monad originates, which Hermeticism and Gnosticism just built upon.
 

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I just finished reading a Cunningham book and he talked about "The One". A diety higher then the Goddess and God. He said the One is the devine source and created the God and Goddess and the God and Goddess created us. .............
I like that..... a lot. It clicks in to place, for so many different paths.....

I am a Deist, so I believe that every particle, force and anything else is a part of 'The Deity' which is so vast that it might not even notice our Universe, let alone this midget planet.
But there is a resident Force over all, and this I have always called Mother Nature, ever since I was a kid.
Nature's every whim has always been obeyed, whether it is an exploding star or a sparrow taking notice of another one in springtime.

And so Cunningham's 'The One' and his 'God and Goddess' who created us (and everything...and will smash it up afterwards) are my 'local overlords'.
Maybe one day I'll realise how to separate Mother Nature in to a couple? But, 'yes'.... that works for me.
 
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