now this is a question, or questions, that i have spent a long time pondering. pondering about how other pagans perceive deity.
so how do you perceive deity? and by that i mean gods and goddess.
do you go with: I have listed a few of the more common ideas but I would love to here your own take on it.
"all Deities are the same Deity just manifested in many different ways"
"Deities are individuals in their own right"
That is goddess and gods are separate entities with in there own right with separate lives, individual wants and needs.
“Deity created humans” in that god created the world in 7 days kinda way
“Humans Created Deity”
In the need to explain the big wild word around them, and the nasty stuff that happened, humans created gods who were responsible for these happenings. (this in many ways is a very durkheim (think crusty old theorist) who said that humans created gods because they needed a parental figure to take responsibility for everything that they didn’t understand.
“There is no such thing as Deity”
Deities is just anthropomorphised characteristics created by humans. (by anthropomorphised I means assigning human characteristics to)
“I acknowledge the existence of something out there that is bigger than me, it is indescribable and can not be contained with in such a simple concept as God and or Goddess”
“same as above with an added, however I choose to work with known deities, as it is much easier to comprehend rather than having to focus on the big unknown and unknowable in the middle of a working”
“ I am my own deity”
I know that there are many different ways of perceiving deity or not perceiving deity as the case may be. I just wanted to get the ball rolling, so to speak. There are no wrong or right answers, as everyone will have their own take, and own experience on deities, goddess and gods. What my goal here was to get people thinking, and discussing. Not for people to tell other people that their perceptions of deity are wrong because xyz.
Ok play nice now.
"I acknowledge the existence of something out there that is bigger than me, it is indescribable and can not be contained with in such a simple concept as God and or Goddess... however I choose to work with known deities, as it is much easier to comprehend rather than having to focus on the big unknown and unknowable in the middle of a working."
Yup, that's pretty much me as it stands today.
An old flatmate of mine had a book on the Myteries of Isis which had a nice quote in it that sums up my perception of divinity. Please note that this is not an exact quote, as it has been many years since I last read this book :-)
"Mans perception of the Gods/Godesses is like looking at a pure white light refracted through a prism, and worshipping a colour of the spectrum (the Manifestation)rather than the light itself (the Source)."
Basically, I beleive that there is a higher power, and we label various manifestations of the Source into things that are more within our ability to comprehend.
So, in short, similar to crsq actually :-)
Interesting question, and earlier comments have covered a few bases already. I tend not to go in for reduction to a singular 'T/thing', and this fits with my experiences. To say that all the god/esses and wights from all the places and cultures of the world are really one Deity makes about as much sense to me as saying that all the individual human beings are really the same singular being. The way I experience gods and wights and conceptualise those experiences has me seeing them for their individual characters and diversity and that to me resists any move to conflate them into being aspects of a single entity or force. I guess you could call it 'hardcore' polytheism!