Way back in one of the early posts for Blog Gnosis I wrote about the beginning of a “new age” in religion heralding a return of the divine feminine. Now I don’t know if there’s really such thing as a NEW AGE in a literal cosmic sense—plus the use of the phrase is loaded with connotations that make one sound like a wingbat—BUT more and more I’m finding it a helpful metaphor (be warned I’m also getting over my fear of being a wingbat, I wish you could ask my wife how many times a day I mention “chakras”).
While a new promimenece of the “lost goddess” seems to be an aspect of the dawning of this new aeon it’s eclisped by it’s most promiment aspect—the over riding world changing TRUTH that’s been ripping through society for more than 100 years: God is within humans.
From Nietzsche to Carl Jung to Aleister Crowley to Jules Doinel, the beginning of the 20th Century was full of prophets and philosophers heralding the start of a different time where it was obvious that divinity is to be located within us and not “out there”.
It’s not a new idea at all of course. In fact, on our current Talk Gnosis episodes our guest Dr. M. David Litwa explains it’s a very ancient idea that we’ve been struggling with in myriad ways for thousands of years. But only now in this new age has it become accepted knowledge. Put into practice, if not theory, everywhere one looks.
And I just don’t mean obscure mystical religions, most strains of Atheism, Agnosticism, and Transhumanism elevate the human to divine as there’s no gods “out there”. Prominent sects of Buddhism and Hinduism that have flourished in the 20th and 21st centuries find the ineffable hiding in people, and of course I’d be remiss not to mention the so-called “New Age Movement.”
The fundamentalists seem to be the last hold out, but in my humble opinion they talk big about God running the world up in Heaven on His Throne—but then act as if god is in their leaders or human insinuations, with these people transmitting the will of their God and therefore becoming gods-on-earth to be obeyed and followed.
In his new book Desiring Divinity Self-deification in Early Jewish and Christian Mythmaking Dr Litwa gets into the complicated relationship with human-gods these religions and their societies been having over the past few millennia. There’s the self-deifing hero who’s elevated to full divinity through their sacrifice or their hard spiritual work and practice or other worthiness. And then there’s the self-defeying rebel, the villian despised in our myths for grasping and claiming their godhood.
I want to use that idea to jump into another one about the double edged sword that is the human-as-god. I feel like I don’t even have to talk about the positives of understanding one’s self as god, you’re here reading this so you probably have some sympathy to the idea…but here’s a few: no longer being under the heel of an angry sky daddy, the push to self-knowledge and inner work when one knows God is in you, and the world peace and understanding that comes when you view your fellow human as possessing the same divine essences as you.
However, this is the doctrine of this age and it doesn’t seem to be working out for us. In my humble opinion the world’s still a bit of a mess. And could it at least partly be because there’s a dark side of viewing one’s self as god? Materialism and commercialism suddenly make sense if you’re god and you deserve EVERYTHING in your creation, environmental and social costs be damned. If you are god and there are no other gods before you why treat people decently? If you are god shouldn’t you do what you want with no restrictions, is that not the textbook definition of a deity—all powerful with an unstoppable will?
I’m hoping this trouble we’re in is just the birth pangs of a new aeon, of a race still adjusting to realizing it’s true divine nature and that the actual realization and practice of our divinity will cause a huge shift in our consciousness*
A man can hope, right?
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*(yes, I used that phrase, ugh…who am I)