The Heart of the Matter
The enclosed post below was supposed to be my last post explaining the reasons why I have chosen to move toward a purely Deanic theological position away from Filianic theology. I think it does a good job of doing what it does. However it does not get to the existential heart of the matter. I think that the heart of the matter is simply that I have problems with Filianism for the some of same reasons that I have problems with Christianity. I have problems with the idea that a single divine mediator via either his death on the cross or as result of her voluntary descent into the underworld has decisively defeated evil and has brought salvation to humanity.
It is very hard for me as it has been for the theologians of Judaism to believe that in Jesus the salvation of humankind was established when two thousand years later the Second World War which caused the deaths of tens of millions of people and the Holocaust which caused the murder of 6 million Jews could occur. It is hard for me to believe that a sort of decisive salvific action occurred 2000 years ago, when we live now in a world in which the environment is being destroyed, and human culture is increasing being degraded, and people are still being slaughtered in places such as Syria.
In particular it is difficult for me to accept that salvation in some way was accomplished in Jesus when one looks upon the actual example of moral lives of the people and the Church which supposedly believe in his name.
On the other hand it is easy for me to believe as did the prophet Zoroaster and the people who followed him that the world has always been a place of ongoing conflict between good and evil and that the ultimate conflict is yet to occur. It is easy for me as it was for many of the Jewish Kabbalists and latter Hasidism to believe that ongoing human actions either for good or for evil have an ultimate effect on the destiny of the planet.
Now there are those who believe that it is a purely spiritual world beyond time and matter that really matters and that the temporal, physical world ultimately is not significant. Well I can only say that I disagree. If this life on earth is only some sort of decline from some higher spiritual level then it is very difficult to take seriously the idea that God created this world at all. If the world of matter / time / energy and pain and suffering exist, then it all must have a meaning and a purpose and not just as some testing ground in which the pupils are graded after death. I still have not heard any other meaning that makes more sense to me than the idea of Jesus that the purpose of creation is a future Kingdom / Dominion of God / Thea in which human oppression will be ended and justice will be the rule.
Just How Many Daughters?
Within my most recent post I argued against the position held by most Filianists that the Filianic Mythos of the Mother and Daughter represents the primordial religious tradition of humankind. Instead in its present form the mythos of Filianism is best interpreted as being a radical rewrite / reinterpretation of the Christian Biblical mythos. This interpretation of the nature of the Filianic scriptures does not neccesarily mean that the spiritual authority of the Filianic Mother Daughter mythos should be rejected. However it does weaken its authority to the degree that the faith of the believer in the Filianic mythos is based on empirical evidence to support this claim of primordial authority.
While in that article I discussed some of the primary reasons for my rejection of the claims of the Filianic mythos, within this article I hope to articulate another reason for rejecting its authority. In the history of religions there have been many interpretations of how the Divine is approached, in what connects the divine with humanity. In most of these, either Monotheistic or Pagan, the approach of humanity to the Supreme Deity is not mediated by either a Son or Daughter. Within most of these neither a salvation drama envolving a Father and Son or a Mother and Daughter exists or is of importance. Christianity seems to be unigue in its Father Son salvation mythos and Filianism is unigue in its Mother Daughter salvation mythos. One might argue that the Demeter Persephone mythos is similar to the Filianic mythos, however, that cult seems to have been unigue among the ancient classical religions and its interpretations are not certain. However, this is highly specutive, it could be like the remaining tip of an iceberg as one of the last surviving of many earlier prehistoric Mother / Daughter cults which dominated the religious landscape in an earlier period.
To summarize some of the other religious approaches. Within within the Pagan religions there was very often a high God sometimes a Goddess who at least nominally ruled as the primary organising Deity of the divine world and of the human / material world as well. For example within ancient Egypt Ra / Amun Ra was the central creating deity around which the divine world revolved. Within Ancient Babylon that deity was Mardoch, in Greek society Zeus. Within Canaanite society both Father El and Asherah, the Mother of the Gods, presided. However within each of these pantheons a multitude of lesser deities also played a major role manifesting / causing the events and phenomena which keep the universe in existence.
Within the Abrahamic faiths one God is credited with the creation of the universe. That God’s sovereign will within Judaism is manifested as Torah, within Islam as Sharia. It is this divine law which is the primary connecting link which binds humanity to Deity. Humans receive the favor of deity by living within the rules of that Law. Within these religions traditionally a significant role is also played by a multitude of angels which also aid in the communications between humanity and God.
Within the Eastern faiths of Hinduism and Chinese Taoism, divine reality is seen as the One Brahman or as the Tao respectively from which all of existence flows. Within Hinduism various high deities such as Shiva, Vishnu, or Durga are seen as representing the personal nature of the spiritual reality of Brahman. Again as in the case within the Pagan religions a multitude of diverse lesser deities are the forces / entities which make up the world system. Within Taoism as well a mulititude of deities and spirits flow from the One.
The point of this is that within none these systems is a pride of place given to a divine drama in which the fate of humanity is decided by the interactions of a Father and a Son as in Christianity or by a Mother and Daughter as within Filianism. Instead within all of these religions it is a multitude of spiritual forces, deities, spirits or angels which interact with the world of nature and humanity. This is the case for both Pagan religions and the radically Monotheistic religions of Judaism and Islam. So the question arises why should either a Father / Son or more importantly from a De’anic perspective should a Mother Daughter paradigm be assumed to be the primary candidate as the instrument of divine truth and salvation. Why in stead should not the primary mediating forces between humanity and the divine world be seen as many. Or why should not the concept of divine law itself as in Judaism or Islam not be given pride of place. My perspective is that perhaps they should be.
Perhaps to approach this issue another question may be asked. Just how many daughters does Thea have? Why is the number necessarily limited to one? The Canaanite Goddess Asherah, the Mother of the gods had 70 sons and daughters. Most of the ancient goddesses of paganism had multiple children. Within the 2nd century CE Gnostic systems, the One normally imagined as the “Father” had multiple emanations the primary one of which was Barbelo, the Mother within the Sethian systems or the Son within more rigorously Christian Valentinian systems. From the Sethian trinity of Father, Mother, and Son a multitude of Eons / Superangels and lessor angels were born. In contemplation of the Gnostic systems it is very easy to envision the Eons / Angels as being both daughters and sons of the Divine.
So the question is why should we not assume that a plurality of divine forces / beings mediate the connections between heaven and earth as does Paganism and theological systems such as Zoroastrianism. Why should we privilege just one mediator either a single Beloved Son or Daughter to do this. I answer this question for myself with a no. I choose not to privilege the position that only one Daughter / Son mediates the reality of the Divine. I do not deny the right of either Christians or Filiani to believe as they do nor do I believe that they are neccesarily wrong in their beliefs. I could be wrong. However my beliefs tend toward that of the majority of religions of humankind in which there is a multitude of forces interconnecting the material and divine worlds. Therefore I am going the way of an independent form of De’anism which seeks a differing way.