Monday, September 7, 2009

Syncretic Monotheism

One of the things that the pagan/Wiccan community seems to find disturbing about the School of Wicca (among so many other things) is the School's espousing the paradigm of a monotheistic, unknowable Ultimate Deity. Of course most of the community cannot be expected to be familiar with the fine esoteric distinctions essential to scholastic anthropology and philosophy; these are specialist fields.
If there is postulated an Ultimate Deity beyond being "known" by the left-brain intelligence, that instead is something beyond "Nothingness" and is indescribable, one that can be comprehended only through the right brain, one that is at an entirely different level, that is beyond our simple comprehension at this stage of our development, then people who believe in such an Ultimate Deity are ipso facto monotheists. They are what is defined as syncretic monotheists. Since the Ultimate Deity is incomprehensible, a deity of any type and any gender, described in any terms, is acceptable to a religion/spiritual path that espouses such a Deity construct.
The monotheism taught by the abrahamic religions is defined as ethnic monotheism with its exclusive "My way or die" mindset. In such a monotheism only one god--a definable god (or goddess, for that matter)--is permissible; nothing else. All other deities are beyond the pale and are labeled evil, illegal, or satanic.
The Church and School of Wicca teaches syncretic inclusive monotheism that allows all types of gods and goddesses to be part of your personal pantheon. These lower-level gods and goddesses are often thought of in anthropomorphic terms and are comprehensible to our finite left-brain minds: They're a lot like us, though maybe more powerful. These are subordinate deities, of course--stone gods, jungian archetypes, devas, elementals, "entities", jujus, thoughtforms, ethnic specialties of every stripe. Call 'em what you will, they are creations of the human mind. In other words, without human attention, they would never have existed and would cease to exist.
We urge you to expand your awareness, to look up the scholarly definitions from original sources, and to understand that the right-brain undefinable idea is just as real, just as valid, as that of the left brain. The two categories are simply in different dimensions.
Now. If we have not insulted you and your beliefs, raise your hand. We'll get to you just as quickly as we can.
Blessed be those who question. Gavin and Yvonne

6 comments:

Blue Skull said...

The Maya had a syncretic form of monotheism. Hunab Ku resides in the constellation Orion. He was the supreme God and was never represented in stone or wood because his image was unknowable.

"We must find that means so that man will sustain, invoke, and remember us."

Council of the Gods
Popol Vuh
Sacred Book of the Ancient Maya

The Pagan Temple said...

Great post, G&Y. I remember the phrase "stone gods" from an earlier volume you wrote, and if I remember correctly, it stirred its fair share of controversy back then.

I have always been intrigued by the concept of the Jungian archetype myself. How deeply within our psyches do they reside, and are they merely a manifestation of our innermost selves? Or are we a manifestation of their own wills? Are those wills conscious or unconscious, or somewhere twixt and tween?

Just how real are they? Might an archetype be as real on some level as we perceive reality in our material realm, while at the same time not being literally "real"?

I am not a big fan of material representations of the deities, even when it comes to those old "stone gods". I think it serves mainly to limit their potential and worse, it hinders your attuning with them.

Best to leave your mind open to them when you seek to attune with them, and the best way to do that is not to hinder your mind with preconceived ideals. Allow them to reveal themselves as they will.

The more artistically inclined among us might be able to render a good rendition of the god or goddesses appearance, and others might derive meaning and value from that, but it should be understood that any such manifestation is personal and may have little or no meaning to many others.

Lady Snowstrixx said...

I would like to thank you . As a child I saw your book in a comic book and ordered it , i received it and a free Pentacle with it made out of pewter, It was so wonderful to read something that made me feel like I was not crazy for thinking the things I did ,I still fallow the craft and so does my husband. Blessed Be to Two of the most Greatest people I know.

Jessica said...

i need a teacher. please.
write me

wiccid1@gmail.com

Aaron said...

Hey, just wanted to leave you a message letting you know how awesome you are. Apparently our beliefs are pretty similar- I call myself monoptheistic even though I have my altar set up to honor two aspects of God.
Male and female they are, as per the normal Wiccan scheme. A lot of people seem to have problems understanding this, though. If we can accept that 'all the gods are one god, and all the goddesses are one goddess', then why can't we accept that 'all the goddesses and gods are one God'? Seems to me to be the logical extension of that.

Anyway, just figured I'd leave you a piece of fan mail and wave around the 'gavin and yvonne rock' flag.
BB (brightest blessings)!

Brooke Henson said...

Hello! I am just now researching the Wiccan church. I was raised baptist and stayed in that religion for a long time. I had a couple of years in high school where I considered myself atheist, but that didn't feel right to me either. Then I went through a spell where I felt there was a power beyond comprehension that connected everyone and everything together. Shortly afterwards, I met my ex husband who was Mormon, and of course we got married and I was baptized Mormon. That never felt totally right to me either. Call me crazy, but I recently bought a crystal ball. This caused me to want to do some research into witch craft which led me to Wicca. To me, it feels a lot like being underwater and then coming up for air. Thank you for this post.