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A Hermetic View
Considering Ancient to Early Modern Аrуаn Metaphysics: 2/1/2023
© 2023 James LaFond
AUG/23/23
This morning, about dawn, awakening to unseasonable cold in the Pacific Northwest I had a half dream, those unconscious-to-conscious musings that afflict some weirdos when trying not to wake. The novel Slave was on my mind, about a learned man sold into captivity as a tutor and being quizzed by his curious young master about the ancient pagan gods: “whence might they have gone?”
Reading Exodus 3, in which Moses “came to the back of the desert and came to the Mountain of God,” and communicated with God, via “The Angel of the Lord,” through a bush that “burned with fire and was not consumed,” a world of multiple suprahuman powers is obvious.
“I am the God of thy father,” says the Almighty. This suggests multiple gods.
“The God of Your Fathers,” “the Lord God of Your Fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob,” again suggests more than one power was understood by Moses.
Exodus 19 “How I bear you on eagles wings,” “a peculiar treasure unto me,” as God declares that he has other nations upon the earth and that the people of Moses will be priests. “Thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount,” all of the people were brought to hear God in his furnace like thunder, having appeared as a burning unburnt bush, having spoken directly as the Mountain and also in this thunderous aspect.
Exodus 32 has the people conduct a faithless betrayal, “make us Gods to go before us,” and has been previously treated in this inquiry as a self-deification of a faithless folk, forging a golden calf from their own precious metal symbols of holding bond servants. Moses convinces God to repent, a mortal power to influence a deity that is absent in modern theology but was common in ancient and especially pre-civilized metaphysics.
Exodus 33: “And I will send an angel before thee,” “I will not go up into the midst of thee unless I consume thy people for they are a stiff-necked people,” “when the people heard these evil tidings” that they were being assigned a lesser power to guide them and scourge the enemy and that the greater power raged against them “they mourned.”
We see here the ancient belief that a god may do good and evil, as opposed to the modern dualistic view that one power, God works good and the opposite power, Satan works evil.
“The Lord spoke unto Moses man to man as a man speaks with a friend,” within the pillar of cloud that was pitched outside the camp, outside of the community. Moses here has met with God, mostly in wild places, away from human community, even on behalf of the congregation. This is counter to modern notions. This god, the God of Abraham, warns of specific other gods, two by name and region to be encountered and overcome in Canaan.
“My face shall not be seen,” counsels God to Moses, by way of protecting the man from what must be a scourging image, a visage that would kill in clarity and might only be faced by the prophet in cloud.
Exodus 34: “the Lord descended in a cloud and stood with him,” “long suffering and abundant,” was this God, indicating a striving power, subject to affliction from other powers, an aspect of divinity common to heathen theology but commonly denied in Christian thought outside of the person of Jesus.
“Thou shalt worship no other god, for the lord whose name is jealous is a jealous god,” “a whoring after their gods” is a grave warning given thrice after the God of Moses directs him to destroy the altars and “groves” of enemy peoples against whom he is sending his angel, indicating a certain angel, a certain fierce lesser power under his command, a clear aspect of heathen pantheonism, similar to the relationship of Athena to Zeus in the Iliad, or Aphrodite to Jove in the Aeneid. This notion was kept alive, in what the ancients would have called the guise of Apollo, plague darter, in 1676 when Increase Mather exalted the disease that killed “the heathen” in such great numbers as “The Avenging Angel of The Lord.”
After 40 days and 40 nights with The Lord, receiving the testaments, Moses’ face shone, shined, glowed and it struck fear. This, the ancient might well have equated with the Oracle of The Shining One, Apollo, though I am more inclined that the burning bush, illuminated by an angel, would best equate to a visitation of Apollo or Hermes. Moses had to veil himself before his people, his aspect had grow so terrible, and thence unvieled himself only in the presence of God.
If we can, as moderns, believe that Moses, experienced this in Sinai, in communication with a god who claimed to have a presence in other lands, why must we discount as fantasy like experiences recorded in pagan and heathen theology? Certainly the God of Moses recognizes other gods to the point of referring to himself as “a jealous god,” yet his modern adherents, deny his own words assigning other rival powers out of hand.
Exodus 20 is definitive on this point, “Though shalt have no other gods before me,” “other” indicating that there are other gods, gods with real powers, as gods were powers, not merely symbols or modern notions of self-worship and science.
“No likeness of any thing that is in heaven above,” indicating multiple heavenly powers might be created, nor of powers within the earth or ocean. These are things, not ideas, powers; and there are powers of earth and sea as well. Recall in early Genesis that God commands unnamed oceanic and earth powers to generate life forms.
“Thou shalt not serve them,” indicating earth and oceanic powers, something congruent to pagan pantheonism personified in Earth’s relationship with Sky and Time and Poseidon’s relationship with Zeus Almighty.
“I am a jealous god, visiting the iniquities of the father onto the third and fourth generation…”
… “a” is one of many,
… “jealous” capable of envy like Zeus and punishing unborn generations for the sins of the father, this god declaring that he is wrathful beyond punitive and corrective measures, capable of a titanic anger attributed only in the modern mind to discredited pagan gods such as Zeus, Athena and Thor.
I am inclined to credit the very Zoroaster like, Magi sense of one light power in cosmic duality with one lesser dark power, what has become the modern Christian 70% Yin to 30% Yang duality, to the deistic influence of the leading minds of The Enlightenment, which places only man and his sciences and nature in duality under a distant Creator. For the leading Christian minds of the late 1600s, Mather, Milton and Bunyan, recognize angelic guiding and punishing and devilish misguiding and afflicting powers that are condensed into decreasing aspects and increasing human ascension via science and mere ethics by 1800. [2]
This brings me to the dream I had this morning, in which a learned slave was educating a young reader, I think both characters being myself at various ages.
Thunderbirds in Amerindian mythos equate to God in Exodus in the pillar of cloud.
Apollo as well, equates to God in Exodus in the tabernacle and the bush.
Angels, in Exodus and other books equate to Hermes, messenger of the gods, who is also The Escort of Souls, gathering the souls of the righteous departed to Eternity. Hermes is also the guardian of travelers and athletes, his daughter, Paleastra the goddess of wrestling, bringing to mind The Angel of the Lord with whom Jacob wrestled.
Likewise, in Iroquois myth, concerning Hiawatha [He-who- makes-rivers] son of Thunderer, we have a Hermes figure, for rivers were the highways of pre-English North America and Hiawatha did “bind men in concord” and did so with the aid of a prophet, Deginawida [Two-rivers-comming-together-to-become-one] or Three-Rivers. [1]
The jealous God in the pillar of cloud, Zeus, Thor, Thunderer, angels of testing [Jacob] warning [Lot], enlightenment [Moses] and wrath [Moses] where, in most traditional ancient systems, assigned identities and were subject to the will of The Almighty, a power greater than all of them combined. Zeus declares to the Olympians in the Iliad that if they all grabbed hold of one end of a heavenly chain and he tugged on the other that he would drag them with ease. Zeus here, inspired Milton in Paradise Lost, with the fallen angels very much echoes of Poseidon consigned to The Earth and The Deep, Ares nearly slain by a mere man’s bloody hand begging Zeus for healing and Apollo [who many medieval Christians equated with a fallen angel and even Satan], whining that he, like Posiedon, his uncle has been a cruelly used bond servant at the hands of Zeus Almighty, Time Holder, the supreme power, residing beyond Time.
The modern secularist sneers at all of this and his cousin, the modern Christian sneers at most of it. But the men of late antiquity, Christians who embraced science and philosophy both, began the tradition kept alive to this day, of depicting Jesus Christ, not as a Jew, but as a bearded, brown-haired Аrуаn, a likeness directly copied from the Nordic image of Zeus at Ellis, where the Olympics were held in his honor until some 485 years after the crucifixion.
Notes
-1. At least one tribe of Israel, Samson’s Dans, where Аrуаn, as was Aramaic, a language of the Gospels. The Iroquois were partially Аrуаn in genetics, culture, language and metaphysics, having intermarried with the Norse, their forefathers, who migrated from the northeast into the Eastern Great Lakes region.
-2. See the Unitarian edition of The Jefferson Bible.
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