This is from an email conversation I am having at the moment – thought I would post it too. My current burning questions.
So upon reading so many bogs where ppl are having .. just fantastical encounters with what seems like, real Beings.. it begs the question, to me anyways – so if they are real, what exactly are they?
Are they another race of beings, that reside in a parallel reality, that can interact with our own?
Are they divine beings then, or just more powerful than us?
Is God the Creator then, actually a bunch of beings, and where does all of that, or all of them, all the pantheons, fit into the creation story?
In Norse mythology, Odin was our original ancestor, I believe. So were they a race that was born before the human race and then gave birth to us? If so are they eternal then, because they still exist today. And further to that, if they still exist today in the same form as they always have been, why do all of their stories end in the past? Why are there no more stories, nor more sagas in the present time, talking of their lives now?
Are they ascended beings then, that used to live here on earth and then moved up?
And if all of the pantheons are real, do all of their holy lands exist as well – over different parts of the world, or in different realities?
And if they are supernatural beings from another dimension, how is it that they are even related to us here on Earth? In other words, why do we worship them at all?
Also – wondered about the nine worlds of the Norse – this has really caught my attention because, with all of similarities I’ve found throughout different belief systems, it would easy to draw that conclusion – that they are all the same place – the Underworld, the Middle world, and the Upperworld. The universe seems to be split into three realms. Yet with the Norse there are nine worlds amongst the world tree called Yggdrassil – and there’s just something about it that makes me feel like this is something completely different. Like they have their own pocket of reality. And that’s what led to my confusion: do the Norse gods and their place – the nine worlds, exist in and of themselves, alongside the planets of Brahma and Vishnu, and alongside the Celtic Underworld and the Greek Underworld – and if the answer is yes then, that lead me to the creation story.
Creation stories have very little in common. I’ve read a bunch and they are all different. Hard to draw parallels. And then in that it makes you wonder which one is actually historical? Did Odin create us, or Brahman, or Yahweh? Was it a group of Gods or just and driving creative force – the big bang?
My personal belief is quite vague. I know what feels right to me, but it is not a well-formed belief – it’s kind of floaty and not succinct: that there was a creative force in the universe that was, and is sentient, that I call the Creator; that it is neither sex, or both male and female at the same time; that it created humans out of the pure need to create and that the world was put in motion by that force and still moves today through its own momentum; that the Gods and Goddesses are all part of the one creative force, just as we are. Not necessarily aspects of it, but part of it in the same way that we are all One.
And that’s about it – in there, there is much room for more details; there could be pantheons of Gods just as numerous as there are parallel realities, there could be a divine hierarchical structure to everything, with humans, angels and demons and etc. But I don’t know enough to have a feeling about it. And of course, I want to know.
Here’s some links to interesting info on this topic. I particularly like the Hindu stuff, as it resonates with me. But I don’t feel an affinity with their gods necessarily.
Food for thought…
In Norse mythology there are 9 worlds that are divided among three levels:
- Asgard (Aesir, the land of the gods),
- Alfheim (elves),
- Vanaheim (Vanir),
- Midgard (men),
- Jotunheim (giants),
- Svartalfaheim (dark-elves),
- Nithavellir (dwarves),
- Muspelheim (fire, a bright, flaming, hot world in the southern region), and
- Niflheim (the dead, the lowest level)
all held together by the world tree, Ygdrasil. But the nine worlds and Ygdrasil were not there in the beginning.
Excerpt from here
“Just as a single force in space can be mathematically conceived as having various spatial components, the Supreme Being or God, the personal form of the Ultimate Reality, is conceived by Hindus as having various aspects. A Hindu deity (god or goddess; note small g) represents a particular aspect of the Supreme Being. For example, Saraswati represents the learning and knowledge aspect of the Supreme Being. Thus, if a Hindu wants to pray for acquiring knowledge and understanding, he prays to Saraswati. Just as sunlight cannot have a separate and independent existence from the sun itself, a Hindu deity does not have a separate and independent existence from the Supreme Being. Thus, Hindu worship of deities ismonotheistic polytheism and not simple polytheism.
Hindus declare that there is only one Supreme Being and He is the God of all religions. There is no “other God.” Thus the Biblical Commandment “Thou shalt have no other God before me,” really means, “Thou shalt not deny the Ultimate Reality or worship any power other than the Ultimate Reality.”
Hindus view cosmic activity of the Supreme Being as comprised of three tasks: creation, preservation, and dissolution and recreation. Hindus associate these three cosmic tasks with the three deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Lord Brahma brings forth the creation and represents the creative principle of the Supreme Being. Lord Vishnu maintains the universe and represents the eternal principle of preservation. Lord Shiva represents the principle of dissolution and recreation. These three deities together form the Hindu Trinity.
One must clearly understand that Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are not three independent deities. They represent the same power (the Supreme Being), but in three different aspects. Just as a man may be called a doctor, father or husband based upon the tasks he performs, the Supreme Being is called Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva when conceived as performing the three different cosmic tasks of creation, preser-vation, and dissolution/recreation. “The oneness of the three gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is brought out by the mystic symbol AUM where ‘A’ represents Vishnu, ‘U’ Shiva and ‘M’ Brahma.”
Hindu religion is often labeled as a religion of 330 million gods. This misunderstanding arises when people fail to grasp the symbolism of the Hindu pantheon. According to the Hindu scriptures, living beings are not apart from God, since He lives in each and every one of them in the form of atman (BG 10.39). Thus each living being is a unique manifestation of God. In ancient times it was believed that there were 330 million living beings. This gave rise to the idea of 330 million deities or gods. Actually, this vast number of gods could not have been possibly worshipped, since 330 million names could not have been designed for them. The number 330 million was simply used to give a symbolic expression to the fundamental Hindu doctrine that God lives in the hearts of all living beings.”
excerpt from Hindu Deities
This is an incomplete post. More later. I hope to discuss all of the pantheons eventually.