Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Metaphors for Divinity

Originally posted on January 14, 2011

Zordak: You were wondering about how other beings in other parts of this or related universes think about God. You might anticipate that there are innumerable versions. I admit, though, that the notion of God being sort of like an earthly king sitting on a throne issuing commandments as such people did during only a few thousand years of human evolution is really rather extraordinary—especially when one realizes that a large percentage of those kings attained this status essentially through rather bestial aggression—or were the children or grandchildren of such thugs.

[What happened is that those in power were able to control the major media, prohibit or burn books or subversive newspapers, and before printing, basically control those who wrote “history.” That way the large gang leaders called kings or emperors, when established in their role, generated a team of sycophants and front men who then described these guys not as criminals but rather as noble, as not just good, but often “great.” This is what they paid folks to do, the publicity agents of that time—and of course these guys were also presented to the world as if they were dispassionate scholars. Teachers today still haven’t been supported in being as subversive as they should be in challenging the “royalty” of the past. Thus the core conservativism of a culture may take centuries to evolve.  Only recently are people beginning to realize that media can also be corrupted.]

But back to God. Most civilizations with some degree of intelligence know that the Wholeness of the Cosmos cannot be captured in any language, but it may be interesting to you to know about some of the various metaphors that are used to suggest some of the qualities of the Deity or Divine Dynamics.

For example, one species is good at (the closest equivalent in humanity) “embroidery,” the construction of elaborate gowns. Their higher-status beings with support of many who contribute to their costumes may wear several layers, each more elegant than the next. They imagine—they project their high-status ideals, too—that God exists as one who wears many layers, a gown with the most exquisite bead, inlaid jewels, ribbons, threads, sequins, and so forth. Each element of this imagined gown is a whole universe, or some consider the tinier elements to be closer to their own cosmos, such as a whole planet. The point is that they peer at what we would discard as a grain of sand. Your poet William Blake in his Auguries of Innocence used the line, “To see a world in a grain of sand…”

This species enjoys discovering ever-new things to wonder about, and instead of relying on ancient words written by their own species, they open to anyone doing a kind of show-and tell of whatever—and rhapsodizing about its complexity and subtlety. This they see as the equivalent of what people on your planet call worship. Okay?

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