"Eyewitness reports of human encounters with "supernatural beings" have been documented as far back as the painted caves of Upper Paleolithic Europe 35,000 years ago and brought right up to date with bizarre accounts of abductions by aliens in the twenty-first century. Such reports include powerful common themes... that science is unable to explain."
Supernatural: Meetings with the
Ancient Teachers of Mankind, Revised Edition, Graham Hancock,
What are the gods? Could billions of people from pre-history have believed in lies, founded on nothing but the hollow words of priests? Or were the gods based on some truth, some genuine metaphysical intelligence that humans contacted and communed with?
The gods, or the germ of the gods, began as extensions of the Truth. For whatever reason they fragmented; were rent from Truth and thrust into contact with the world: Dionysus, Anubis, Azazel, Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli*, and others. Not all the gods, most are just myth; the personification of abstract thought. Did the average Greek believe in Zeus, or Athena, or Ares? Probably not. They represented aspects of human psychology and served as a means of learning these truths, just as ego, superego, and id centuries later.
Ares and Athena are both gods of war - personifications of abstract
ideas - but they signify different approaches to war. Ares represents
the old style of fighting, like Achilles or barbarians; men who fight
for personal glory and bloodlust. Athena represents civilised warfare,
with strategy and tactics and allegiance to the city-state. Stories involving the two were commentaries on societal evolution, from archaic to classical; from tribes and kinship groups to political entities that united multiple disparate families.
However, some gods represent genuine aspects of Truth that can be approached through transpersonal experience: the original teachers of mankind. Millions of people, from all times and all nations, speak of meeting the same entities through the use of drugs, fasting, or rhythmic dance. They cannot all be sharing in the same hallucination, or else be imitating one another from reading past accounts. No, these experiences must point to a genuine reality.
Over the countless eons, psychic garbage has accumulated around these fragments and they've taken on lives of their own. What began as projections of Truth were, through prolonged exposure to the collective shadow of humanity, rendered into entities with thoughts and personalities all their own. Wise and powerful beyond all conception, yet totally dependent upon humans for their existence. This is the condition of the gods. A lack of prayers cannot starve them, as in Aristophanes' The Birds, or has commonly been believed throughout the centuries. They do not need us to believe. Our beliefs merely give definition to their form. They have appeared in every culture under many names. All they require is the continuation within the collective unconscious of the same thought patterns, the same vortices, that created them. And so it does not matter if you believe in Anubis per se, it is the psychopomp, the one who delivers souls from this world to the next. Call it Yama, or the Grim Reaper, or Charon, or the Being of Light, it is still the same entity by whatever name you give it, and so long as the need remains for such a being, so shall it continue to exist, in all the different guises disparate cultures have given it.
That is the folly of man, thinking himself Adam, with the power to change the essence of a thing by changing its name. Water is still the same whether it is in a pot, or a towel, or on the floor, or in a cloud, or ice. A man is still a man, whatever mask he wears, by whatever name he refers himself. You cannot change a horse into a cow by changing the definition of "cow" to include horses, nor can you affect the gods by believing, or disbelieving, or by granting them different titles. You can lie to all the world, but in the pure light of Truth you cannot lie to yourself, and you will find, when you die, the lies you've told become chains and anchors preventing you from ascending to the Truth.
These gods are not the God, and though they live a long time, they are not immortal, and must return to the Truth eventually, when humanity has evolved and there is no further need for this world. On the contrary, a true immortal, though his body may die, his soul will remain as the unique expression of his being, even when his identity shifts from the individual to the Truth itself, dissolving the illusion of separation. The soul of the immortal is indestructible, even if he does not see himself as the individual.
In part two I will look at the nature of that which we call God.
*The god of human sacrifice. The Aztecs were unique in all the world for the sheer brutality and the numbers of their victims. Something, very dark and diabolical, had to compel the Aztecs to commit ritualised murder on such an enormous scale.