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About Deities

1. According to the Heterosophical theology, gods and goddesses are perceived as powerful allegories and metaphors, rather than beings with real, literal existence. Like other abstract concepts, gods and goddesses can have a certain impact on reality (think of the influence that the monotheistic gods have today upon the major population of the world, even upon those who do not believe in them), and therefore the question of their actual existence is rather irrelevant. Gods exist in the same way that human love, hate and jealousy exist. Like the latter three, in a world without humans, there will be no gods.

2. Like other metaphors, in order for a particular deity to have a significant impact on the world, it must be accepted and agreed upon by a significant group of people. The influence of a god with two believers will be negligible in relation to a god whose "existence" is accepted by millions.

3. On a personal level, one can have a certain relationship with a particular metaphorical deity, and it may have a significant impact on him/her, even without there being a broad agreement about it.

4. Gods and goddesses are fundamental allegories and metaphors for different types of situations and moods: forces of nature, common human qualities, emotions, political situations, and even certain places and objects. Everything in the world can be represented by a deity, and every deity can represent a number of things. Within the practice of Heterosophy, those archetypal qualities that the gods represent, are called Deitypes.

5. Theoretically, any deity that has appeared throughout history could have been the subject of a genealogical research. Its origins could have been traced, and the religious, political, economic, social, and emotional forces that led to its emergence could have been identified.

6. A deity is the mask worn on a particular trait or element in human existence, or in existence as perceived by humans. In any culture the mask may be a little different, but for many things, the different masks may be quite similar. For example, deities that represent universal traits ("deitypes") such as fertility, for example, may be very close to each other, even though they will bear slightly different names and characteristics. More particular traits, will give birth to more unique and specific deities.

7. The deitypes (both human qualities and natural elements) that underlie the metaphorical deities, are in fact abstract archetypal patterns - sections of consciousness, which project themselves as images on the screen of human experience or imagination. For example, the archetype of the maternal experience may project itself into mythology as a mother-goddess, which is in fact an allegorical personification of the abstract pattern. The same goes for deitypes like the Storm: it is the way in which the natural phenomenon is perceived by human consciousness, rather than the natural element itself.

8. The personification and deification of various elements in reality and in the human psyche, serve different needs in human existence. On a general level these needs may be political, social or ethical, but on a personal level they may be related to religious feelings, passion for mysticism, longing for a certain authority, or motivation for understanding. From the heterosophical point of view, metaphorical deification may have a positive effect on the mental work that one does with himself/herself, and on his/her experience in the world and connection with nature and the surrounding environment.

9. Nothing is ontologically sacred. Sacredness, like gods and like other categories of reality and imagination, is a human matter that requires the acknowledgement of the individuals concerned. As in other cases, sacredness might be a tool of oppression (only certain individuals have access to the sacred, sacredness produces hierarchies, etc.), but it can also be an empowering tool and a generator of meaning in the world. Those who walk the path of Heterosophy, are aware that sacredness is in the realm of imagination (and the stories we tell ourselves), but recognize its potential power, like with other faculties of the imagination, such as dreams, suggestions, and hallucinations.

10. The way one works with the deities and maintains his/her relationships with them, is solely related to his/her attitude towards the internal units that make up his/her mental structure. By nature as metaphorical beings, gods do not oversee or supervise, nor they hear prayers or fulfill any wishes, unless the human psyche allows them to do so. Even then - miracles, magic and witchcraft are all just what physics, chemistry, biology and psychology allow - there is nothing that is above nature.

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