“A Step in the Right Direction”

Nilsson says, “Another step in the development of polytheism was thinking of the great forces of nature (such as sky and seasons) and of human life (such as love and death) as gods.”

Yes, and the same story applies there.  It is quite apt, and not incompatible with understanding a single divine reality behind them all.  In fact, seeing them as gods—as personal beings with desires, plans, loves, and so forth—is a step in the right direction, of acknowledging that God is a Person and one with whom one can interact.

“Lord, did the polytheistic response affect You in any way?”

Oh yes, in many ways.  When someone sensed My presence in a place and responded respectfully, it increased My awareness of My presence there, and of what it was about Me that evoked and deserved respect.

Then I was given an analogy.

Sometimes someone might be the pillar of a particular institution and not realize their distinctive role until a crisis.  And they notice that everyone rallies around them or sees them as their savior or seeks their advice or expects them to get them through it.  In a sense, they were the pillar all along, but it was almost latent and not fully actualized until the occasion arose and they saw it reflected in the eyes of others.

I gather that God’s experience was something like that.

“I Came to All Peoples”

I have told you that there are many gods but only one God and I am He.

“What do You mean by many gods?”

In a sense, the wind and seas are gods.  The elemental forces of nature are gods.

“Why gods rather than impersonal forces?”

They are not impersonal.  They are agents of Me.  They help direct the world toward its goal.

“What is Your relation to the God of Israel?”

The God of Israel is one face of Me.  It is really Me, and I really did undergo the development recorded pretty accurately in the Hebrew Bible.

“You have other ‘faces’?”

Of course.  I came to all peoples, but arrived in different guises.  I came to the American Indians as the Great Spirit, to the Muslems as Allah, and so on.  I came to the Hindus in many different forms, and hence their many stories.

“Let Me Tell You What the Story Is.”

In a few days, I asked again about God’s story.

The story begins with creation, the evolution up to life, animals, early man.  Then to the very ancient communications that require language and memory.

They (My communications) occurred rather simultaneously, and each communication was tailored to and by the recipients.  So the precise sequence for telling My story is more a question of narrative strategy than of accuracy or significance.

“But I will have to tell a story that makes sense.”

That makes sense to whom?  Let Me tell you what the story is.  I am burgeoning forth, reaching out to matter, plants, animals, activating their interiority, giving them direction.

As I have explained, I grew as a Self in response to the interiority of others, and I wanted to communicate, interact, more fully and at a higher level.  This (communication) is somewhat possible with early man, who recognized My presence in nature, in life, and also heard, if somewhat dimly and inchoately, My other promptings such as conscience, (the sense of) right and wrong, fine sensibility, appreciation of nature and beauty, love amongst creatures, and mystical union.

“Early people saw my presence everywhere…”

As early peoples caught glimpses of the divine in art or in nature, it must have been natural to think there were gods in things.  In fact, I had been told.

Some elements of polytheism are merely superstitious, but other aspects are genuinely responsive to the many ways in which I present myself.  It may seem odd to your modern mind to think of fire as a god, but why do you think I made fire mysterious and fascinating?  It is a physical metaphor in itself—it is created out of nothing and disappears into nothing, grows and dies, gives life and warmth as well as pain and destruction, and it looks both hypnotically attractive and frightening.

As you know, I am very powerful.  I do manifest Myself in storms and thunder, in the ocean and great waves—in the power that drives the universe and that manifests itself in each particular event.  The large cosmic forces are divine and so are their concrete manifestations in specific incidents.  That does not mean that every rainstorm is a specific communication or is there to advance or retard some particular action, but it does mean that every rainstorm expresses an aspect of Me.

Early peoples saw My presence everywhere, saw the spiritual indwelling of things, their powers and potencies and the divine element in all that.  But there was always an awareness, however dim, that there was a single spiritual reality behind them all.

“Do you think I could come to the ancient Jews in the same way I came to the seventh century Chinese? to Americans today?”

How God Comes To Different People:

I had been told that culture is a factor in divine revelations.

“Lord, why is culture so important?”

That’s like saying, why language?  If I am going to communicate with people, they need a language.  For the same reason, they need a culture.

“They need a culture, but why such a variety of cultures?”

There are many ways of realizing (actualizing) the human story.  Culture enables lives of different (types of) significance (meaning).

“But why, in terms of Your story?”

I need to come to people in all their particularity, not to mankind-as-such.  The Chinese is one way of being.  The primitive is one way of being.  I come to each in its own terms.  Each enables Me to show a different side of Myself.

Do you think I could come to the ancient Jews in the same way I came to the seventh century Chinese? to Americans today? to you?

Learn more about how God comes to different people.