Textual Arachne

A weaver of threads.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Three faces

This year at Midsummer I found myself invoking three aspects of the Goddess. They are still bouncing around in my head.

The first of these was Goddess as Divine Transcendance. This is the universal divine, the response of "God is in everything." All-encompassing and omnipresent, this is divinity at its utmost. It includes evil, suffering, joy, loss, ecstasy, fulfillment, and all of history and all that is to come. Shrinking it into words diminishes it; it's enlightenment and Nirvana and the perception of no-self.

The third of these was Goddess as Divine Immanence. This is relentlessly specific. This is "Goddess in the person next to me, this guy right here, with this color hair and this way of laughing and this past and these quirks and these glories." This is no less divine than the transcendant, and it's the thrills and frustrations of the everyday, of recognizing how my own life and yours, not some generalized "humanity", is part of divinity. This calls out for the immediate emotions of loving *this* person or *this* place, here and now, rather than the perfect equanimity of the transcendant that sees all as one.

The second one, which for some reason I found most confusing, is Goddesses. Deities, plural. More general than specific humans, and generalizable to some extent (such as the many different representations of Athena or Ceridwen), but not universal and definitely not interchangeable.

I don't know how to link these three, but I feel that they are somehow linked. Perhaps I'm just wanting to have it all--pantheism, immanence, polytheism--but each of these makes some sense alone. When brought together, do these aspects just dissolve into contradictions, or do they support and strengthen each other?


Post a Comment

<< Home